LEAP State: California

Member Organization: California State University System

Year Joined: 2008

LEAP State Mission: California State University System joined LEAP States in order to catalyze and unify liberal learning initiatives across the CSU System and in partnership with California community colleges.

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Featured Engagement Strategy:

The California Faculty Collaborative is a community of practice—a group of people dedicated to improving their craft through regular interaction with one another. Started in 2014 as part of AAC&U’s broader Faculty Collaboratives project, the California collaborative began as a group of eight faculty fellows who spent two years brainstorming and designing a digital hub to serve the needs of the state’s higher education community. 

A resource its own right, the site offers curated articles on topics such as professional learning; access to past webinars; and links to OER (Open Education Resources), rubrics and other education-related materials. Users can actively participate in the site’s development by suggesting topics for the curated library. Most ambitiously, the site is truly a “hub” in that it seeks to foster connections that will multiply well beyond its parameters. Visitors can sign up for webinars, participate in Zoom conversations on topics that they submit, and directly access the collaborative’s tweets (Twitter being a way for likeminded individuals to engage conversation without even knowing one other – all they need is a common hashtag). Motivated by the belief that “we’re better together,” the site makes it possible for anyone to join and build her own community of practice.  

Contact:

  • Ken O’Donnell, Associate Vice President, Student Success Programs Integration and Assessment, California State University, Dominguez Hills, kodonnell5@csudh.edu
  • Christina Chavez-Reyes, Professor and Chair of the Liberal Studies Department in the College of Education and Integrative Studies, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, cchavez1@cpp.edu
  • Emily Magruder, Director of the Institute for Teaching and Learning in the California State University Office of the Chancellor, magruder@calstate.edu

Other Initiatives:

  • Give Students a Compass (2008-2015) began as a national AAC&U initiative to promote underserved student success and ultimately comprised about a third of the state's public institutions of higher education. It led to the creation of over a dozen “networking sites" connecting California State University campuses with nearby community colleges to develop a more effective GE transfer curriculum. The project’s final year focused on compiling and disseminating findings on its effectiveness and identifying promising successor initiatives, most prominently in thematic GE Pathways that are emerging around the state. 
  • The CSU GE Affinity Group is an informal collection of faculty and administrators from the 23 campuses of the California State University. Membership includes past and current chairs of the different general education curriculum committees around the system, and most deans of undergraduate education. The GE Affinity Group hosts monthly webinars, a listserv, and occasional in-person meetings as funding allows.

For more information, contact Eddie Watson, Associate Vice President for Quality, Advocacy, and LEAP Initiatives, at watson@aacu.org