Discovering, Integrating and Applying Knowledge: Effective Educational Practices for Today’s Students and Tomorrow’s Innovation
Conference Program and Resources
April 10-12, 2008 educators gathered in Austin, Texas for a conference on effective educational practice. Conference sessions explored the integration of high-impact, engaged learning practices into disciplines and departments; the development of coherent, comprehensive systems of support for student learning and educational change; the building of seamless learning environments, and the assessment and institutional structures necessary to advance and complement these efforts. The conference program and links to many resources are available below.
Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD) supported the conference as an Academic Partner.
Thursday, April 10
2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Workshop 1: Fostering Seamless Learning Environments that Connect Learning to Society’s Big Challenges
New poll findings affirm that college graduates need more cross-disciplinary knowledge and more real-world applications to succeed in a demanding global environment. What uses of technology and what classroom designs advance or impede student development?This workshop will explore ways in which learning environments can be coherently and developmentally redesigned to help students acquire the knowledge and skills needed to effectively address society's complex challenges. Participants will discuss a range of contemporary challenges including communicating in multi-cultural environments, adjusting to rapidly changing technology, and making good use of data. They will examine learning environments from the perspectives of physical layout of a space and the atmosphere in which students interact with each other and with the instructor. Participants will gain new understanding of the kinds of interaction most likely to help unequally prepared, first generation, and disengaged students succeed in college as well as ways for innovatively designing classroom space to advance student engagement and learning.
Paul Woodruff, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, The University of Texas at Austin
Workshop 2: Engaged Teaching, Engaged Learning: Creating Transformations for Effective Educational Environments
To be a member of a faculty is to be committed to two principal activities: active engagement in research and scholarship and teaching. The former is the ongoing learning, analyzing and reflecting upon the knowledge of one’s chosen “discipline” as the basis of creating new knowledge. The latter is the synthesis of one’s store of learning to draw the student into the excitement, the wonderment, of that knowledge. The aspiration of the teacher is to transform the learner into a discerning, knowledgeable, respectful, active citizen. This workshop will explore how best to achieve this transformation. What conditions foster effective teaching and learning environments? If those can be identified, how can they be multiplied? What can and should campus leaders do to encourage faculty to expend significant effort in devising modes of teaching that promise to engage the learners’ passionate attention? Is it inevitable that engaged teaching results in equally engaged learning? If incentives are needed to generate enthusiastic engagement of the enterprise of teaching, what are they? Answers to these and other questions will vary by institution, of course, but much can be learned from the differences and the similarities of distinctive situations. This workshop will explore these questions in detail.
Tamar March, Director of Arden Seminars and Senior Fellow, AAC&U
Workshop 3: Using Assessment Data to Enrich Effective Educational Practices (ppt)
How do we know which pedagogies lead to desired learning outcomes? Created for the purpose of helping those in assessment lead their institutions toward a future of ever-enhancing quality improvement, this interactive workshop will provide an overview of transformative assessment and describe specific action steps that can be taken to enrich educational practices. Transformative assessment can be a more meaningful use of data because it focuses on a shift to outcomes that are created by those who will use the data. Participants will discuss the case study of “Great State U”, an institution that has created an assessment planning culture based on the fact that “the accreditors are coming!” And, though the recent accreditation visit was successful, the institution is still “doing” assessment rather than actually using assessment to enrich and enact effective pedagogies. Participants will examine assessment as a transformative vehicle that can measure the outcomes of engaged and active learning.
Catherine M. Wehlburg, Executive Director of the Office for Assessment and Quality Enhancement, Texas Christian University
Workshop 4: Connecting Liberal Education Outcomes with Effective Educational and Institutional Practices
There is growing consensus among educators, employers, and policy leaders about the most important values and learning outcomes of higher education for life and livelihood in a global 21st century (e.g., AAC&U’s College Learning for the New Global Century and "How Should Colleges Prepare Students To Succeed in Today's Global Economy?" available at www.aacu.org/advocacy/leap/). Many colleges and universities face challenges in making these liberal education goals and values broadly known, supported, and engaged within the institution, and by key individuals and organizations outside the institution. Participants will discuss successful steps that a comprehensive public university has taken to showcase and build support for liberal education. Participants will identify groups and individuals on and off of their campuses who need to engage in the process and will brainstorm about effective strategies for doing so, exploring ways to adopt AAC&U LEAP literature and materials to frame their messages.
Donald P. Christian, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
LEAP Campus Action Network Exemplar
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Preparing Students for the Rigor and Responsibility of a New Global Century
Emerging research on student success has turned a spotlight on educational practices that raise the level of persistence and achievement for today’s college-going population. “Engaged learning practices”—such as learning communities, first year seminars, undergraduate research, infusing society’s big questions into the curriculum, and connecting knowledge with choices and actions—have educational benefits for all students. Soberingly, the research also suggests that students who could benefit the most from these engaged learning practices may not be the ones actually taking part. Dr. Treisman will explore the emerging research on practices that raise student achievement and discuss the implications for current efforts to help more students reap the full benefits of college. He will identify ways to tie engaged learning practices to “big questions”—e.g., learning communities, undergraduate research, and problem-based learning—and integrate them into disciplinary and departmental curricular efforts.
Uri Treisman, Professor of Mathematics and Executive Director of the Charles A. Dana Center, The University of Texas at Austin
Friday, April 11, 2008
8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Roundtable One: Classroom/Campus/World: Reworking Pedagogy through Seamless Learning Environments
Bard College at Simon’s Rock has developed three programs which focus on diversity and difference: (a) an in-house conference organized by students, who present papers from a number of current courses on race and gender; (b) a service learning course on post-Katrina New Orleans that asks how the conjunction of "service" and "learning" encourage participants to think differently about education, politics, and citizenship; and (c) a “History Lab,” for a course on Slavery and Memory where students practice disciplinary skills outside regular classes to create museum installations that speak to issues of racial and social justice. These three endeavors are unified by a desire to expand pedagogical practices by blurring the boundaries that define our work as teachers -- e.g., between the classroom and the "real world," between scholarship and political engagement, and between methodologies of the sciences and the humanities. Through these integrative and applied educational practices, students begin to recognize and enact the relevance of their classroom learning for their lived experience. Facilitators will share their experiences with these three initiatives and invite discussion with colleagues interested in re-imagining the directions in which the concept of the "seamless learning environment" may be taken at their own institutions.
Philip Mabry, Assistant Professor of Sociology, and Ryan J. Carey, Assistant Professor of History—both of Bard College at Simon’s Rock
Roundtable Two: Academic and Student Affairs Collaboration to Increase Sophomore Male Retention
At the University of Richmond, the number of male students placed on academic probation is four times higher than that of female students. Because this trend is not easily explained, the Richmond College Dean’s Office developed an approach to the retention of sophomore men that focuses on a strategy of personal assistance. The presenters will share for discussion a sophomore plan that relies on academic affairs and student affairs collaboration and follows three principles: (a) developing more positive relations with faculty outside the classroom, (b) creating more opportunities for meaningful relationships with peers, and (c) addressing the stress related to career planning.
Daniel J. Fabian, Associate Dean and Student Development/Chemical Health Coordinator— University of Richmond
Roundtable Three: Making the Teaching and Learning of a Multi-Disciplinary Service-Learning Community Visible
How can a multidisciplinary service-learning community with a common theme of food literacy support and enhance student learning and civic engagement? The Environmental Literacy and Sustainability Initiative and the human biology program, Food for Thought, collaboratively developed and tested a novel multi-course and multi-partner service-learning model to increase student interdisciplinary understanding and civic engagement. Over 140 students, enrolled in classes from four different disciplines, participated in this project. This discussion will examine how this new model made the work of students visible. Participants will explore the collaboration and new ways of thinking about learning communities. The facilitator will share strategies for engaging colleagues in conversation across disciplines using central themes and discuss different approaches to implementing multi-course service-learning.
Whitney M. Schlegel, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of Human Biology—Indiana University Bloomington
Roundtable Four: Connecting Student’s Technology Skills with Creative Out of Class Experiences (ppt)
Students in today’s age of You Tube, pod casting and video availability are extremely media savvy. This discussion will explore the development of a first-year film festival designed to bolster students’ inclination toward technology, out of classroom experiences, teamwork, effective communication and self-awareness. This annual event exposes students, faculty, and student affairs educators to the creative video expression of the trials, transitions and stories of first-year students. Through this experience students make connections while working in a group and learn to effectively communicate the experiences of a first year student to their peers. This festival celebrates the diversity of experiences and encourages student self-awareness. Participants will share how to engage students in developing a film festival; consider how to address the challenges facing students in their transitional first year; and identify exciting opportunities for collaboration.
Jennifer Rockwood, Director First Year Experience—University of Toledo
Roundtable Five: Campus Collaboration for Creating Evolved Remedial Classrooms (pdf)
A recent article in the journal College Composition and Communication explores the fraught nature of the “remedial” writing course. Author Neal Lerner describes how such courses are disliked by students, faculty, and administrators alike, and identifies some of the inherent injustices such course requirements create for those students who are least likely to advocate for themselves. Participants in this discussion will examine the high impact practice one college employed as a revision to the curriculum of their not-for-credit, state mandated remedial writing course via the efforts of faculty, student affairs educators, academic advising staff and administration. This practice led to a seamless experience of support by faculty and staff, in and out of the classroom, for these new and vulnerable student readers and writers. Participants will be invited to share connections between this programming and what does and could occur on their own campuses to explode the notion of classroom and engage all campus populations that could offer guidance and instruction to students.
Lee Torda, Director of Undergraduate Research, and Peggy Smith, Director of the Academic Achievement Center—both of Bridgewater State College
Roundtable Six: Owning General Education Like Never Before
Discussion facilitators will offer a brief overview of a new general education program at Saint Xavier University that is designed to foster faculty ownership, collaboration, and innovation. In this program, general education is characterized as an ongoing and shared faculty concern across the curriculum, rather than as a static list of course requirements to fight over and revise every decade or so. It establishes an institutional framework of committees and curriculum teams that make such ongoing faculty collaboration possible, necessary, and even inviting. The discussion will focus on the early stages of this process, from the idea for the new program through the first year of piloting courses, and how this work is already beginning to transform the culture of general education at Saint Xavier University.
Laurence E. Musgrove, Director of General Education and Jack Montgomery, Assistant Director, General Education—both of Saint Xavier University
Roundtable Seven: Engaging Diversity in a General Education Learning Community (pdf)
This roundtable discussion will center on the challenges of teaching about diversity and difference in non-stereotyping and culturally inclusive ways. Discussion facilitators will describe a pilot linked course structure which combines two freshman-level courses. Both courses are part of a cultural foundations curriculum and are designed to fulfill the St. Edward’s University mission’s emphasis on social justice and respect for all persons. Participants will examine an approach to teaching about diversity that engages and stimulates reflection in all students, while uncomfortably spotlighting none. Participants will share their experiences in engaging diversity to advance learning.
Cory Lock, Assistant Professor of University Programs, and Todd Onderdonk, Assistant Professor of University Programs—both of St. Edward's University
Roundtable Eight: Using Prior Learning Portfolio Assessment to Enhance Persistence of Adult College Students
Adult students typically bring a rich pool of experiential learning to their university studies. Prior learning assessment by portfolio can be an effective tool for overcoming common challenges adult students face and encouraging integrative, critical thinking, self-assessment, and communication learning outcomes. The facilitator will share an overview of a successful prior learning assessment program at St. Edward's and its benefits to students and the university.
Susan Gunn, Director of the Center for Prior Learning Assessment and Assistant Professor of English—St. Edward's University
9:15 – 10:15 a.m.
The Impact of Teaching and Institutional Conditions on Student Learning (pdf)
The Wabash National Study of Liberal Arts Education is a longitudinal study of engaging learning and teaching practices, programs, student experiences, and institutional conditions the promote liberal education. The study, which began in the fall of 2006, includes over 6,000 students from 25 institutions, ranging from community colleges to research universities. This plenary will focus on evidence gathered from the study of the impact of a wide variety of teaching practices and institutional conditions on critical thinking, moral reasoning, leadership, attitudes about and orientation to diversity, well-being, and the inclination to inquire. The plenary will also present both the extent and impact of these conditions and practices for students who traditionally have been underserved in higher education.
Charles F. Blaich, Director of Inquiries, Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts, Wabash College
10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
CS 1: Liberal Arts Education: Preparing for a Life of Work
Liberal arts education has been characterized as devoted to the life of the mind in opposition to vocational or professional training, and, at the same time, as the ideal preparation for a successful career. In this seminar, the presenters will address how this connection can be made by reporting on the work of a Teagle-funded consortium that includes liberal arts colleges and an engineering school and whose member institutions take a variety of approaches to this challenge. The presenters will draw upon alumni and faculty interviews as well as student surveys to explore methods for integrating undergraduate education and professional training and for embedding such integration into the culture of an institution.
Steven Weisler, Dean of Academic Development, Carol Trosset, Director of Institutional Research—both of Hampshire College; and Richard Vaz, Dean of Global Studies—Worcester Polytechnic Institute
CS 2: Community College Transfer Programs: Improving Access to Selective Colleges and Universities for Low-Income Students (ppt)
Nearly half of all undergraduates are enrolled in community colleges—including a disproportionately large number of low-income students—yet very few have the opportunity to transfer to the most selective four-year colleges. This seminar will introduce participants to the Community College Transfer Initiative (CCTI), which is designed to increase access to selective colleges and universities for high-achieving, academically prepared, low- to moderate-income community college students. Facilitators will address what research and formative evaluations of the CCTI have revealed about the collaborative practices that are needed among faculty, student affairs, and academic affairs to lower the significant economic, information, and cultural barriers to transfer facing these students. Presenters will highlight the CCTI programs, present practice-oriented findings and recommendations, and provide specific examples of successful practices.
Emily Froimson, Director of Higher Education Programs—Jack Kent Cooke Foundation; and Glenn Gabbard, Associate Director, New England Resource Center for Higher Education—University of Massachusetts Boston
CS 3: Using Information Literacy Standards to Foster Critical Thinking and Authentic Learning (ppt)
Students’ ability to locate, understand, integrate, and apply information to create new knowledge is key to fostering lifelong learning skills critical to success in the Information Age. The challenge for faculty and librarians is to generate meaningful assignments that will engage students in locating valid information and examining sources to create new knowledge. This session will illustrate how information literacy standards can be used to foster creative inquiry and support authentic learning through process-based assignments. Session facilitators will present results from phenomenographic research with faculty at a large four year public institution that relates to their conceptions of information literacy and how they integrate it into their courses. They will provide a context for the role of faculty and librarian collaborations as well as resources for clarifying how information literacy assignments and programs can assist universities in meeting standards of accreditation. Participants will then engage in a facilitated discussion to identify and co-create information literacy standards and competencies relevant to their home institutions and disciplines.
Rebecca Feind, Information Literacy Coordinator, and Lydia Collins, Health Sciences Librarian—both of San José State University
CS 4: Improving Global Citizenship Skills in Introductory Science and Literature Courses
In this session, instructors from English and Biology will discuss how they attempted to engage students in pressing societal and global issues in two courses, Introduction to Literature and Discovering Science—both designed for students outside the major, and each representing perhaps one of the only courses students will take in the discipline during their undergraduate years. Throughout the session, presenters will highlight their common strategies for improving students’ citizenship literacies, including (a) choosing current and controversial texts for exploration, (b) fostering democratic discussion through activities that draw on students’ own experiences and beliefs, and (c) implementing assessment strategies to determine the effectiveness of the course in reaching students’ thinking beyond the course itself.
April M. Heaney, Director of Learning Resource Network, and Mark E. Lyford, Director of Biology Program—both of University of Wyoming
CS 5: Integrating Disparate Threads of the Undergraduate Experience (ppt)
Too often, undergraduate students fail to integrate individual collegiate experiences into a coherent whole that leads to understanding, direction, and a career-path. While changes in curricula, pedagogy, advising, student life and other areas have each led to some improvement, no single approach has produced significant advancement for the facilitator’s campus. Western Carolina University's (WCU) model to reframe teaching and learning to explicitly integrate the often disparate threads of the undergraduate experience (e.g., academics, advising, residential living, service learning, and career orientation) into an original and seamless whole will be explored in this session. Participants will have opportunities to consider adapting the elements of the WCU model to their own institutional context.
Melissa Canady Wargo, Director of Assessment, Scott Philyaw, Associate Professor of History, and Carol Burton, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Studies—all of Western Carolina University
CS 6: High Impact Practices for Our Global Century: What Are They, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter (ppt)
This session will preview findings from a forthcoming publication from AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise initiative. Humphreys will highlight a set of educational practices that have been proven effective and that—along with a set of essential learning outcomes—define a liberal education for our global century. She will introduce participants to emerging research by George Kuh, Chancellor's Professor of Higher Education and Director, Center for Postsecondary Research, Indiana University Bloomington and member of the LEAP National Leadership Council, about who has access to these practices and what impact they have on different cohorts of students. Finally, drawing on recent public opinion research commissioned for the LEAP initiative, Humphreys will also discuss why these particular practices are consistent with how business leaders view the emerging challenges of our global economy and their own struggles to find college graduates prepared to meet those challenges.
Debra Humphreys, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs, AAC&U
1:45 – 3:15 p.m.
CS 7: The Arts as Student Engagement
This session will offer a hands-on experience designed to bring greater understanding of arts integration and the value of the “mind processes” of the arts as a method of student engagement. Participants will examine the kinds of conceptual frameworks that the arts provide for active student learning and make meaning of the “mind processes” of the arts. Arts activities will help participants explore a variety of concepts (transference, metaphor, imagination, reflection, perception, creativity, and interdisciplinary thinking) that lend insight to the broad applicability of the active learning dynamic.
Roxanne Reed, Director of the Fine Arts Institute, and Christopher Garrett, Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning—both of Oklahoma City University
CS 8: Intellectual Entrepreneurship: One Model of Engaged Learning
This panel will explore the philosophy and practice of “intellectual entrepreneurship,” illustrating how it provides a productive path to create engaged learning. The University of Texas at Austin’s Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium (IE)—an inter-collegial initiative designed to educate “citizen-scholars”—will serve as the case study. Focus will be placed on IE’s successful Pre-Graduate School Internship program. In addition to detailing how this internship functions, incorporating IE’s unique vision of education, panelists will discuss: (a) the organic nature of the mentor/mentee relationship in this internship; (b) the unintended, but significant consequences this program has for first-generation and underrepresented minority students; (c) the unique approach to engaged learning—one that empowers students to own and be accountable for their education—exhibited by this internship; and (d) how the above are documented in the experiences of several recent IE Pre-Graduate School interns and their graduate student mentors. Intellectual Entrepreneurship personnel and students (graduate and undergraduate) will make presentations.
IE Student Testimonials
Greg Vincent, Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement; Johanna Hartelius, IE Pre-Graduate School Internship Director; Ruby Olmanson, IE Pre-Graduate School Internship Assistant Director; Diana Martinez, IE/St. Edward’s University McNair Scholars Director, Luis Bonachea, graduate student in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior and IE Pre-Graduate School Mentor; and Mayra Hernandez, undergraduate student in Social Work and IE Pre-Graduate School Intern—all of the University of Texas at Austin
Moderator: Rick Cherwitz, Director of IE Consortium and Professor of Communication Studies in the Division of Rhetoric and Writing—University of Texas at Austin
CS 9: Beyond “Coverage”: Transcending Disciplines to Engage Big Questions
Integrative learning for students requires integrative teaching by faculty: those who wish to teach in integrated ways must be willing to transcend the approaches and assumptions of any given discipline. This is even more crucial when asking students to engage “big questions,” such as those involving ethics, citizenship, and morality. Participants in this session will explore ways to resist their own desire for “coverage,” for “doing justice” to a work they know well. A brief discussion of Columbia College Chicago’s new integrative first-year seminar program, New Millennium Studies, will provide background on the way one institution has challenged students and faculty to think about big questions in integrative ways, not bound by the disciplines. After devising a big question appropriate to their own institution, participants will examine how they might transcend traditional, disciplinary approaches to a familiar text and devise new teaching strategies that use the text to engage students with the selected big question.
Robert C. Lagueux, Director of New Millennium Studies: The First-Year Seminar and Miranda Zent, Assistant Director of New Millennium Studies: The First-Year Seminar—both of Columbia College Chicago; and David H. Krause, Associate Provost/Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dominican University
CS 10: Engagement and Intervention: Enhancing the Success of African American Students (ppt)
Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) has begun working on an African American Student Success Initiative that is based on two concepts: engagement and intervention. At Mt. SAC, engagement involves developing a more structured network of support to build a stronger connection between African American students and the college. Intervention consists of taking an intrusive advisement model approach that takes the office to the student. The panel will present background research relevant to African American student achievement, share the model being developed at Mt. SAC, and engage in sharing effective practices and strategies for use at various college campuses. Through an assessment exercise, participants will examine how prepared their campus is to address the needs of under-represented and underserved students. In small groups, participants will review their results and list barriers and possibilities.
African American Male Summit Executive Summary (pdf)
Carolyn Keys, Dean of Student Services, Dyrell Foster, Director of Student Life, and Phillip Maynard, Faculty in Communication—all of Mt. San Antonio College
CS 11: Re-commitment to Undergraduate Education: Lessons Learned (ppt)
In 2000, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was challenged to initiate a coherent, comprehensive, and transparent system of support for educational change, faculty innovation and student success in a complex and highly decentralized institution that had recently made a strong commitment to research. Since then, the University has made remarkable progress—re-committing itself to undergraduate education through a potent mix of partnerships, vision, leadership, resources, and focus. Session facilitators will share five successful strategies for reforming undergraduate education and advancing faculty support. Participants will reflect on their own contexts, identifying key potential partners on their campuses and examining why they believe these approaches might work.
Rita C. Kean, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and David E. Wilson, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs—both of University of Nebraska – Lincoln
LEAP Campus Action Network Exemplar
CS 12: Teaching and Learning in the Diverse Classroom: A Faculty Learning Community for Engaging and Sustaining the Inclusive Classroom
The faculty and TA partnership program Teaching and Learning in the Diverse Classroom (TLDC) is a faculty-based community of learning experience focused on institutionalizing meaningful diversity and teaching development-related initiatives at course, department and institution-wide levels. This highly interactive session will explore lessons learned from the TLDC model and common obstacles to the success of such a community. The session facilitator will identify strategies in utilizing the community of learning model for overcoming institutional barriers to creating and sustaining multi-culturally inclusive teaching and learning environments across campus. Participants will explore the possible applications of such a model for multicultural organizational change on their own campus—as both a general framework and as one well-suited to issues related to undergraduate, graduate, and faculty diversity experiences, as well as for impacting the general climate of the university.
Mathew L. Ouellett, President of the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD) and Director of the Center for Teaching—University of Massachusetts Amherst
Sponsored by the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education
3:45 – 5:00 p.m.
CS 13: Being Intentional about Interdisciplinarity: Fostering Learning at Disciplinary Crossroads
Throughout the academy, educators have discussed how best to prepare students for 21st century realities, most recently in AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) report. Session facilitators will describe the development, implementation, and early assessment of an interdisciplinary undergraduate degree program that was intentionally structured to support the kinds of learning students need to engage the complex problems confronting our global society. The integrative program in human biology facilitates students’ development of frameworks for incorporating facts and concepts and fosters learning skills in scientific inquiry, interdisciplinary thinking, critical analysis, interpersonal communication, and self-reflection. A central assessment and integrative learning tool for the degree program is a longitudinal student e-portfolio. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in discussion to foster new ideas for course and curricular innovation and assessment tools that support and inspire intentional, integrative, and interdisciplinary learning.
Whitney M. Schlegel, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of Human Biology, Phillip L. Quirk, Assistant Director and Lecturer for Human Biology, and Leslie Hobbs-Ramsey, Curriculum Coordinator for Human Biology—all of Indiana University Bloomington
CS 14: Community College Honors Programs: Innovative Learning Communities that Facilitate a Path to a Four-Year College
Forty-six percent of students enrolled in higher education institutions today attend community colleges. Community colleges serve a high percentage of underrepresented minority students and for many students present hope of being able to reach the goal of a postsecondary degree. Yet rates of retention and transfer rates among community colleges are often low. To address this concern, University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) established the Transfer Alliance Program (TAP), an alliance between a large public university and a number of local community colleges serving students who may want to attend a four-year college. Specifically, the program aims to increase the number of transfer students from community colleges to UCLA. Its goals are carried out by way of learning communities—in this case, honors programs or scholars programs—at the community college level. This session will describe TAP, the annual review process, and summarize best practices that facilitate a pathway from community colleges to four-year institutions.
Marc Levis-Fitzgerald, Director of Undergraduate Evaluation and Research, Linda DeAngelo, Postdoctoral Fellow, Shannon Toma, Research Assistant—all of University of California-Los Angeles; and Teresa Garcia, Honors Program Director—Santa Monica City College
CS 15: Instituting a Program to Improve Students’ Information Literacy Skills
This session will explore how one campus introduced a program in the core curriculum to help students improve their information literacy skills. At St. John Fisher College, campus leaders incorporated information literacy into existing learning community goals and created a new required research-based writing course for all first-year students. Session facilitators will (a) share assessment data from this first-year program, (b) discuss how they have used data to continuously reshape the curriculum and pedagogy, and (c) highlight ancillary benefits the program has had in terms of working relationships across campus. They will also discuss pilot programs they are exploring to extend the development of information literacy into the majors, across sophomore and junior years and senior capstone projects.
David Pate, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Director of the Office of Academic Affair, and Stephen Brauer, Associate Dean for First-Year Programs and Associate Professor of English—both of St. John Fisher College
CS 16: Honors Programs for Fostering Student Retention, Curricular Innovation, and Community Engagement
Honors programs are an established method to recruit and retain outstanding students, encourage engagement, and foster community. Yet they are not without their own challenges. Honors students have unique issues that can affect their academic performance and influence their relations with other students and the university in general. This seminar will include presentations by a panel of experienced honors faculty and staff who will explore the advantages and challenges of the honors learning community.
Gregory L. Waters, Director of University Honors—Montclair State University; Martha Bradley, Honors Program Director; and Gretchen Wilson, Honors Program Administrator—both of University of Utah
CS 17: Engagement and Learning: From Data to Action (ppt)
How can data on student engagement from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and on student learning from the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) help shape the academic program? Do changes in the academic program based on these data, enrich student learning? The University of Charleston has used data from both instruments for campus decision-making and tracked student responses to these changes. Changes in campus activities and curricular design that increased student engagement, particularly in the First Year Program, as well as changes that had little or negative affect on student engagement will be described and discussed. Participants will also examine some of the strategies used to connect the curricular and co-curricular programs. This presentation will be of interest to faculty, administrators, institutional researchers, and student development professionals.
Alan R. Belcher, Assistant Provost; and Karen M. Merriman, Assistant Provost—both of University of Charleston
LEAP Campus Action Network Exemplar
Saturday, April 12, 2008
8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Breakfast Discussion: Liberal Education and America’s Promise
Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) is AAC&U’s new campus action and public advocacy initiative, designed to engage campus colleagues and the larger public in meaningful conversations about what really matters in college. This session will introduce participants to LEAP’s goals and activities. The facilitator will provide an overview of LEAP resources, principles, and practices guiding the campus action component of the campaign. Participants will then discuss how their institutions can use the emerging national consensus around important liberal education outcomes to guide educational planning and practice.
Alma Clayton-Pedersen, Vice President of Education and Institutional Renewal and Debra Humphreys, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs—both of AAC&U
9:15 – 10:45 a.m.
CS 18: Faculty Seminar: Tulane’s Innovative Way to Engaged Scholarship
This workshop will focus on an ideal model of a service learning faculty seminar that is well suited for institutions seeking to improve their students’ experiences and sensitivity through faculty training and civic engagement. In addition, this session will share how such an initiative enhances the university’s life and results in enriched course offerings for students, enabling them to expand their knowledge of other communities, social challenges, and cultures. Presenters will highlight the process of designing the adopted syllabus, which includes discussions with other faculty members, finding facilitators for weekly sessions, finding community partners willing to share their experience while working with Tulane’s students, and providing sufficient resources to strengthen and validate this initiative.
Agnieszka B. Nance, Assistant Director for Faculty Training and Support in the Center for Public Service, and Molly Travis, Associate Professor of English—both of Tulane University
CS 19: Using a Hybrid On-line Pedagogical Approach to Remediation (ppt)
A substantial number of high school seniors are not prepared for the California State University Systems’ college-level mathematics and English. Since 1998, approximately 50% of first-time freshman have not passed the entry level mathematics (ELM) exam and English placement test (EPT); Hispanic students fail the exams at a greater rate. The FastForward to Academic Success program at California State University-Fresno uses online and traditional instruction and counseling to decrease remediation rates and increase retention of Hispanic students. At the collegiate level, students participate in a web-enhanced learning community concept. Evidence of success includes steadily improving proficiency rates on the ELM and EPT; similar patterns of success in the retention of college students are also evident. Workshop participants will engage in discussions and activities related to the implementation of the program to multiple sectors of higher education through four key theoretical concepts: (a) assessment and evaluation, (b) socio-cultural contexts, (c) curriculum and instruction, and (d) organizational structures and climate.
Victor B. Olivares, Director of the Fast Forward to Academic Success Program, and Bob Musselman, Professor of Mathematics—both of California State University-Fresno
CS 20: Dynamic Pedagogies for a Successful First-year Residential Learning Community (pdf)
Over its eight-year experience with learning communities, Duquesne University has addressed such important issues as cross-disciplinary integration; society’s “big questions’; support for service learning; involvement of residence life and student activities; and recruitment, preparation and support of faculty members. This session will focus on these issues from the vantage points of student learning and administrative support, both of which are essential in order for learning communities to achieve their promise and to be sustainable. Session facilitators will frame the important issues of learning communities by using Duquesne’s experience. Participants will examine the issues from the point of view of their own institution, formulate and report on recommendations they might make for their institution, and evaluate those recommendations in light of the experience at Duquesne and other institutions represented among the participants.
Evan Stoddard, Associate Dean of McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts, Michelle Gaffey, Doctoral Student and Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of English, and Amy Wargo, Junior Journalism and Multimedia Arts Student and Learning Communities Aid—all of Duquesne University
CS 21: Igniting Civic Engagement Through Service Learning
Like many universities, Northeastern Illinois University’s mission statement promotes public service, civic engagement and social justice for students. The challenge is to put this mission statement into action. This session will provide the nuts and bolts, and rewards and challenges of teaching a course that encourages students to be actively engaged in the social world around them. Facilitators will present examples and practices in designing a service learning course which promotes thoughtful civic engagement. They will share the benefits and challenges of working with students in a wide array of volunteer experiences. A short video will introduce the integrated work—both in the classroom and in the community—of selected Northeastern service learning students. Together, facilitators and participants will create classroom assignments that promote civic engagement, and address “best practices” based on this model.
Susan J. Stall, Chair of Sociology and African/African American Studies, Latin/Latin American Studies, and Women's Studies Programs, Cyndi Moran, Associate Professor of Communication, Media and Theatre, and Luvia Valentin, 2007 Sociology Graduate and Graduate Student—all of Northeastern Illinois University
CS 22: “Beyond War” and Beyond Student Disengagement – A General Education Approach to Engaging Students (pdf)
This session depicts a reversal of student disengagement through university efforts known as Transformational Learning Opportunities (TLOs). An example of this reversal occurred in a TLO-identified course, “Beyond War: Culture and Cognition.” As students were psychologically, socially, and then physically transported across boundaries, they learned to transcend their own misapprehensions of war and of their own learning. Participants in this session will experience visual and audio examples of course structure, pedagogy, and assessment that transport students —psychologically, socially, and then physically—into different cultural and cognitive frames so as to transcend barriers to understanding. They will examine the evidence of student engagement and achievement and ponder the question, “What general mechanisms induced students to re-engage in their own learning?”
Course Web site
Douglas J. Eder, Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness; Dan Richard, Associate Professor of Psychology; and Debbie Wang, Assistant Professor of Psychology—all of University of North Florida
CS 23: Empowering Students Through Action Learning: A 21st Century Skill Set (ppt)
Learning begins in the classroom but the transformation occurs most effectively when students empower themselves and are able to see firsthand the connections between instruction, knowledge and their real-world experiences. According to Lizzio and Wilson (2004), “Enhancing the ability to learn from experience can be thought of as a higher order, generally transferable skill.” This session will explore the application of action learning as a vehicle for increasing deep learning, epistemological curiosity, and commitment to the larger, global community. This session will focus on the exciting opportunities of action learning and the resulting student empowerment necessary for innovation in the 21st century. Participants will explore their own possibilities for engaging students by applying an action-learning component to their teaching. They will work through an organizational model and preliminary outline for their prospective projects. Consultation and resources will be available to facilitate participants developing an action-learning project.
Steps in the Action Learning Process handout (pdf)
Jeanne W. Rothaupt, Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, and Susan M. Wolfgram, Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies—both of University of Wisconsin-Stout
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
From Communities of Practice to Communities of Action: When Being a Good Teacher is Not Enough
If we are to realize the ambitious agenda envisioned in College Learning for the New Global Century, it is necessary, but no longer sufficient, to teach one’s students well. This plenary will address what is required of us as a community of educators committed to achieve equitable learning opportunities for all students. Participants will examine a sample test used to determine high school graduation and hence, access to college-level course and discuss the implications of a test like this for teaching and learning. Facilitators and participants will discuss what must be done to safeguard, encourage, and advance effective educational practice—in our classrooms, on our campuses, and in our communities.
Emily Lardner and Gillies Malnarich, Co-Directors of The Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education—The Evergreen State College