Team 5 Notes – Requiring High-Impact Learning Experiences
June 16, 2015
Summary of the High-Impact Practices Action Group
The High-Impact Practices Action Group has been meeting as a large group and as sub-groups organized around High Impact Experiences (HIE’s) and related areas. As a large group we formulated a spreadsheet/rubric of student learning outcomes for HIE’s that are “desired” not “definitive”. The outcomes are meant to provide a framework that can be used to guide planning, student goal setting and reflection, assessment and revision. Each subgroup mapped the learning outcomes to their HIE.
Other areas of focus of work/discussion include:
- Designating courses that contain HIE’s through the Registrar using codes that had well-established definitions that would come out of the work of our subgroups
- Developing a process of course coding that would allow the University to track courses and the high impact experiences offered and the HIE’s completed by students (would allow for a common definition/understanding by faculty and students of the HIE’s).
- Developing a system for effectively documenting “out of classroom” HIE’s
- A more robust portfolio system that would require submission and reflection on a routine basis (not just at the culmination of the degree) and the use of the co-curricular transcript in a more purposeful and routine manner.
- HIEs need to be fully integrated into the curriculum. What is needed to make this happen? HIEs need to be embedded in not only major courses, but LSP courses as well. Common experiences in the LSP may provide a great opportunity to naturally embed HIEs.
- Developing a central location on campus for the support of HIE’s – “The Pursuit Center”. The idea of the Pursuit Center is to bring together HIEs to a central administrative office and a physical space that would serve as a focal point of our mission in action. The Pursuit Center would increase communication among and between stakeholders from across campus that are involved in various types of HIEs. By increasing communication we would also be able to increase efficiency for development and implementation of HIEs across campus.
Below is a summary of the work of the individual subgroups:
The Out-of-Class Experiences subgroup accomplished the following:
- Reviewed relevant literature, most notably from George Kuh on the value and quantity of learning that occurs outside the classroom on college campuses.
- Examined current practices for acknowledging all out-of-class experiences at Truman, namely the Co-curricular Record.
The subgroup is currently working on the following:
- Developing ways to better promote and utilize the Co-curricular Record for all students, faculty, and staff.
- Devising a way to distinguish which experiences meet the status of high impact learning and how students can have that denoted on their Co-curricular Record.
Further, the subcommittee hopes that any work on the portfolio can find a way to nest regular Co-curricular Record work into regular student utilization of the portfolio experience.
The study abroad group has accomplished the following:
Gained an understanding of the state of study abroad at Truman
- Identified issues with student participation and administrative processes
- Gathered participation data (how many students are participating in study abroad and through which programs).
- Met with a group of students who had participated in study abroad to identify difficulties in the process.
- Met with the Study Abroad Office to more fully understand study abroad opportunities and identify challenges to student participation.
Next steps include:
- Meeting with representatives from Financial Aid, Business Office and the Registrar’s Office to discuss study abroad participation.
- Developing a report that documents rates of study abroad participation, identifies challenges and hurdles to participation, and makes recommendations to improve administrative processes, coding and tracking, and increase Truman student participation.
The Learning Community sub-group has been working to determine a structure of Learning Communities that would benefit Truman students and increase their access to high impact learning experiences. Currently, Learning Communities are the only area where Truman scored lower than the average for other COPLAC schools on the NSSE (22% of students at Truman report having been a part or planning to be a part of a Learning Community compared to the COPLAC average of 25%). Truman currently has living-learning communities in the Residence Halls that focus on pre-medical students, Romance Languages, transfer students, service and sustainability. The NSSE question related to Learning Communities asks students if they have “Participated in a learning community or some other formal program where groups of students take two or more classes together.” We defined a Learning Community as “A community who pursues intellectual and emotional growth through themed interdisciplinary and out of classroom collaborative experiences.” Our research of other colleges and universities shows that Learning Communities helped foster community and strengthen relationships between faculty and students. Additionally, some schools report improvements in student retention. Seeing the potential benefit to Truman students, we have begun researching the Truman curriculum for potential Learning Communities that work within our current restrictions for resources and faculty teaching loads. We are also researching best practices for fostering a sense of community.
The Culminating Experience (Senior Capstone and Portfolio) subgroup has accomplished the following:
- Reviewed the assessment almanac and surveyed current practices in both areas (capstone and portfolio).
- Decided to narrow focus to the senior capstone, ceding responsibility for a discussion of the portfolio to the HIE group as a whole.
Drawing general conclusions about the capstones proved difficult, partly because capstones at Truman have not been historically assessed as HIEs, and partly because capstone content varies widely among majors. For example, in some majors, the capstone consists of an original research project, while in others the course focuses on career planning or preparation for a senior exam. (This is not to say that some majors are more rigorous than others in their expectations of seniors, but simply that the most advanced work in any given major does not necessarily lie in its designated capstone.) Our consensus is that if the capstone is to be most effective as a HIE, it should not only be the culmination of a student’s work in the discipline, but should be structured as an ongoing interdisciplinary project, and should include an out-of-class component. It should seek to integrate the entirety of the student’s experience at Truman. Our group has coded the HIE outcomes in accordance with our vision for the capstone course. Our draft report to the HIE group will develop our vision for a high-impact capstone, and discuss the challenges we see on the horizon.
The Internship committee reviewed the current policies, practices and implementation of internships at Truman. The group did find some commonalities for Internship credit. For example, all departments agreed one semester hour of credit is based on a 40-hour work week. A wide range of policies from departments was found. The Internship credit form varied in departments, from a few to over twenty pages of information. One of the biggest issues is having a central source to collect data for credit and non-credit internships. There also needs to be better communication about internships and how they are being handled.
The Research/Scholarhip/Creative Activity Sub-group has accomplished the following:
- Adopted the definition used by the national Council on Undergraduate Research and Truman’s Office of Student Research,
- Collected a substantial range of data on student participation in undergraduate research/ scholarship/ creative activity,
- Discussed the hurdles to increased participation by both faculty and students, and, some solutions to these hurdles, including, but not limited to:
- developing a centralized physical space with staff to support students and faculty looking for/ seeking support for opportunities to include students in these experiences (The Pursuit Center),
- proposing sources of funding from using some mission specific funding to asking students to support a fee to support enhancement of high impact experiences.
At this point, we have discussed all the elements of our charge and are working on a summary of data and draft report.
Field Experiences/Service Learning
The Field Experience/Service Learning Subgroup has accomplished the following:
- Tried to determine the level of field experience and service learning activities currently conducted within the curriculum.
- Compiled data from TruView HIE reporting, SPAW reports, and Portfolio reports. These data sets were not adequate to address the level of FE/SL activities currently being conducted for various reasons.
- Requested the data for all courses offered by all departments.
- Recommend that HIE reporting be centralized so that courses are designated as particular types of High Impact Educational Experiences at the outset. If a course changes, or if different sections of a course being offered vary in the HIEE then those changes could be incorporated as need be.
- Developed working definitions, qualifications, characteristics, and learning outcomes for both FE and SL (see attached).
- Realized there is little to no communication across campus regarding field experiences and service learning resulting in:
- Various staff and faculty “reinventing the wheel” when they want to offer FE or SL as a component of their course
- Little knowledge of FE/SL activities that are taking place outside of one’s own courses or department
- Little communication/advertisement of FE/SL activities to students prior to enrollment in particular courses.
- Realized that there is variation in how these types of activities are setup and administered based on where (local, national, or international) and when (during semester, summer, interim) the experience is offered and who (department) is offering the experience.
- Based on the lack of communication about these activities and variation in administration of these activities we recommend a centralized administrative unit to oversee and facilitate these types of experiences.
The distinctiveness sub-group has discussed what previously and currently has distinguished Truman from other colleges and universities, where Truman is no longer distinctive regarding high-impact experiences, and how Truman can make changes to the high-impact experiences that are offered to regain a distinctive advantage. We focused on the ways in which Truman could provide these experiences in a manner which compliments the mission, vision, and goals of the University. As a result, the sub-committee recommends the following:
- Requiring multiple reflection pieces for each high-impact experience, including a pre-reflection, a reflection during the experience, and at least two post-experience reflections, one ideally at least a year after the experience to allow for a richer reflection of the impact of the experience.
- Revising the advising structure at Truman, so that a four-year adviser works with a student to help them incorporate high-impact experiences into their academic plan.
- Working within the curriculum to allow for credit recognition of high-impact experiences that may currently be unrecognized
- Returning to a more data-driven approach to evaluating the efficacy of high-impact experiences once the experiences are consistently framed as a Truman value (including mapping high impact experiences to specific student outcomes).
- Guaranteeing students access to at least one high-impact experience (which may require a shift in thinking about prerequisites for such experiences).
The Vision of Truman State University includes as a focus, offering transformative experiences to prepare our graduates to be civically engaged leaders. Truman offers a large and diverse array of both high-impact and transformative experiences for students across campus. These transformative experiences include, but are by no means limited to, study abroad, student initiated courses, research, scholarly activity, creative endeavor, field experiences, capstone experiences, internships, and service learning. Many of our students participate in at least one type of transformative experience during their time at Truman. The High Impact Experience Action Group is currently examining such experiences and developing recommendations concerning HIEs on campus.
At Truman, some HIE are housed within university wide programs/offices that are focal points on campus, such as Study Abroad. Others, such as research, scholarly activity, and creative endeavors are fostered by a university-wide program, the Office of Student Research, but also occur regularly outside of this program. Many HIEs occur throughout the university in various disciplines outside of any university-wide program/office. Whether these experiences occur as part of an existing university-wide program or are occurring within specific disciplines there is little communication at the university level among and between the broad set of stakeholders of these various experiences.
In short, there is no centralized focal point of HIE at the university level that can serve the Truman community as a whole. Such a center would serve the Truman community by enhancing communication among stakeholders, serving as a centralized example of the university vision in action, offer students and faculty a resource for becoming involved in such HIEs, and as a central office for facilitating, documenting, and publicizing HIE opportunities on campus.
To that end, the High Impact Experiences Action Group proposes the establishment of the PURSUIT CENTER. The Pursuit Center will be both a centralized administrative unit that will occupy physical space on campus and serve to facilitate and promote HIEs at Truman and throughout the larger community.
Group Meeting held Thursday, May 7th
I have updated the spreadsheet with the sorted outcomes created by Amber in response to the discussion at our last meeting on Thursday, May 7th. I will remind you of our relative difficulty in the Understand and articulate well-reasoned arguments section. You can track my changes in the google doc but in summary – I omitted Analyze what they see on TV and the movies and Develop a baloney detector (thought to be redundant with other items). I moved Write clearly and concisely which was in the section below to this section. However, there still may be an element missing. I will also remind you that we talked about adding one or both of the following Communicate effectively in a wide variety of media (worded in this manner to include digital literacy) and/or Communicate effectively in oral and written forms in replace of the item Demonstrate the ability to put together a sentence.
I would appreciate feedback on this section since I don’t believe we are at consensus with how it should stand – please “respond all” with your comments.
Other topics of discussion:
The group as a whole liked the concept of designating courses through the Registrar using codes that had well-established definitions that would come out of the work of our subgroups. A process of course coding would allow the University to track courses and the high impact experiences offered, the tracking of HIE’s completed by students, and for a common understanding by faculty and students as to what the HIE’s are.
We talked about how we can effectively document “out of classroom” HIE’s. Suggestions included a more robust portfolio system that would require submission and reflection on a routine basis (not just at the culmination of the degree) and the use of the co-curricular transcript in a more purposeful and routine manner. There was a desire to have the portfolio be an annual or even semester activity so students would track growth through the portfolio and engage in greater reflection. Suggestions for how to get students to do this included: not allowing students to enroll until they filled out their portfolio and/or co-curricular transcripts; reinforcing these activities more effectively in advising, etc.
We concluded that our next meeting would be in two weeks – however, I will be co-leading a CMDS study abroad trip to Mexico from 5/16-5/25 so I am suggesting Wednesday, May 27th from 3:30-5:00. Please let me know if you will be able to attend.
We decided on a 3-point scale for coding the outcomes 1- DEFINITELY, 2-PROBABLY, 3-NOT NECESSARILY. We will use the outcome spreadsheet and code all HIE’s within the subgroups. We will need to wait until we are all comfortable with the spreadsheet so please weigh in on the Articulate well-reasoned arguments section as discussed below.
High Impact Practice Group: Wednesday, April 29th
The learning outcomes that were generated by Team 3’s and Team 1’s group were disseminated and discussed (I have attached a copy of those from Team 3’s group and of Team 1’s, reported by Amber). We discussed identifying learning outcomes that were common to all HIE’s and whether or not that was feasible/desirable. It was suggested and agreed that some HIE’s are better at accomplishing some learning outcomes than others.
Some of the comments related to “common/desired” outcomes suggested that HIE’s are experiences that do the following:
• Ones in which the student takes ownership and that have application outside the classroom.
• Welcome and value new and diverse perspectives
• Develop critical thinking and reflection/re-evaluate preconceived notions
• Develop a concept of citizenship/show altruism
• Allow students to connect to a larger community
• Help them develop meaningful lives
• See themselves as a part of a bigger world and their discipline in a larger mosaic of knowledge
• Develop a tolerance for ambiguity and a comfort with autonomy
• Develop resilience, persistence and grit.
Are immersive, require reflection, result in a sense of accomplishment and challenge, develop a maturity, responsibility and self-motivation, cause a change in the student, are transformational, result in profound change, in a life impact.
The idea that everyone at the university is moving along a path to the development of these outcomes through a variety of experiences but the role of HIE’s should excel a student along the path a bit faster, more intentionally and help students identify that movement through reflection.
We decided that subgroups would continue their work and produce a written report by June 30th that detailed the “current state of affairs” for that particular HIE and a “vision” for what the HIE should be at Truman.
The next meeting of the large group will be Thursday, May 7th from 12:00-1:30. Amber will be consolidating the learning outcomes produced by the other groups so that we can identify which HIE promote which LOs.
SUBGROUP NOTES from 4/13/15
CULMINATING EXPERIENCE SUBGROUP
The subgroup charged with looking at the culminating senior experience (capstone courses, senior project or thesis, comprehensive exam, portfolio, etc.) has met once, with the next meeting planned for Friday, April 10. Thus far, we have discussed broadly those ideals of what constitutes a culminating experience, both in the context of performance as well as reflection/assessment.
A culminating experience should have a number of elements:
• Sense of community: activities are not a solo experience but rather provide the student an opportunity to interact with others
• Interdisciplinary: the activity should integrate academic, social, and practical experiences
• Impart a sense of meaning on the overall Truman experience but have application for discipline achievement
Students should be encouraged to evaluate their experiences throughout their tenure at Truman; the portfolio should be redesigned to encourage this constant reflection and should, in essence, become a tangible product which arises out of a student’s culminating experience to showcase accomplishment and justify the investment made in their education.
Our next steps are to conduct a landscape scan, looking particularly at how each department defines a culminating experience, and to hopefully obtain data from the Transformational Experience Questionnaire (from the Portfolio requirements). The group will continue discussions on definitions, common curricular elements, and how to make the culminating experience a high-impact one.
FIELD EXPERIENCE/SERVICE LEARNING SUBGROUP
Consists of Chad Montgomery, Amber Johnson, Melody Jennings, Lloyd Pflueger, Shelby Sims, and Stephanie Powelson
The FE/SL subgroup met on Tues 7-April and again on Friday 10-April. At our first meeting we discussed a number of the universal issues brought up in the High Impact Task Force meeting as they pertain to our subgroup. Overall, we discussed the definition of “field experience” and “service learning” and began assessing how the terms are applied across campus.
Our first step was to use the state definition for each and determine how faculty have assessed their courses through the High Impact criteria within TruView. Based on the data from IT there is roughly 25% participation for courses across campus. Of those reporting, 10% were identified as containing a field experience. We realize that this is an underrepresentation of the level of field experience that is taking place on campus, but it is a starting point. We recommend that the reporting be centralized so that courses are designated as particular types of High Impact Educational Experiences at the outset, rather than having each professor report on each class each semester. If a course changes, or if different sections of a course being offered vary in the HIEE then those changes could be incorporated as need be. If this type of system does not contradict with state requirements it would allow for more complete data.
We are also looking over the course catalog to determine the number of courses that involve service learning and field experiences across campus and which of those are required within particular disciplines. A first search of the catalog produced an underrepresentation due to course titles and descriptions not including exact search terms. We would like to query departments directly to determine which courses involve field experiences and service learning. Based on that course list received we will be able to determine the number of students taking those courses from the registrar.
We also looked at the SPAW report and Portfolio report to gather additional data. The SPAW report provides some data for Service Learning. However, the SPAW report combines internships and field experiences in a single line item. The Portfolio report provides data for service learning activities, but does not have a listing for field experience as one of the possible transformational experiences. We recommend that field experience be listed as a distinct transformational experience in the Portfolio and SPAW report if possible.
Some of the deliberations that we had about the definitions of field experience and service learning included 1) Active vs Passive Involvement, 2)Level of Immersion, and 3)Level of Responsibility of the experience. We were trying to develop a way to differentiate “field trip” from “field experience” and “service” vs “service learning”. One aspect that we could agree was of great importance was the incorporation of self-reflection.
We realize that some internships involve field experiences or service learning. We are limiting our discussions of FE/SL that are not incorporated into internships since the internship subgroup will be looking at those.
The data that we determined that we need for our discussions includes:
1) Number of courses that have FE or SL as components (how many are required)
2) Level of student enrollment in those FE and SL courses (registrar)
3) Level of SL that is co-curricular (co-curricular transcript)
4) Student organization involvement in service learning (survey?)
We will continue gathering data and discussing definitions. We will also begin addressing some of the other broad issues that apply to all subgroups.
LEARNING COMMUNITIES SUBGROUP
Monica Barron, Michelle Horvath, Brian Lamp, Gina Morin and Stacy Tucker-Potter.
Our committee has met twice (3/31 and 4/7). In our meetings we have discussed different models of learning communities. Some of the models we see are based around linked courses, clusters of courses, interest groups, as well as the residential college models. We discussed other models or potential models such as faculty who help draw connections between related classes, seminar classes throughout the four years and a freshman seminar that lead to interdisciplinary minors. We also explored ways that disciplines where cohorts seem to naturally form might lead to a more formal learning community.
We looked at some things on a functional level, such as being sensitive to tight schedules in the LSP and knowing that it would not be possible to commit faculty manpower without allowing a reduction in teaching load. But we also looked at things on a more theoretical/inspirational level. For example, Monica asked “What can the students at Evergreen State University (nationally recognized for excellence in its learning communities) do that our students can’t do?” It seems we will be most impactful if we continue to balance between keeping a firm handle on the practical while thinking aspirationally and looking for things that would truly make a difference not just on the NSSE but in our students’ education and the world.
Today’s meeting centered mostly on creating a Truman specific definition of Learning Communities. A draft is in place but has not been seen/approved by all committee members, so I feel it’s not ready to publicize to the larger group. Our next meeting will concentrate on brainstorming that helps us continue to think big while also we keep our eyes open for changes that help us meet the challenge in “easier” ways. To that end, each committee member is charged with proposing one “in the box” idea of creating/improving learning communities at Truman and one “out of the box” idea of accomplishing the goal.
Our next meeting is tentatively set for Tuesday, April 14.
RESEARCH/SCHOLARSHIP/CREATIVE ACTIVITY SUBGROUP
Amber Johnson, Amanda Langendoerfer, Jason Luscier, Chad Montgomery, Meg Edwards
4/3/2015 – noon, Mainstreet Mkt, SUB [AJ, AL, CM, ME present]; discussion focused on definitions & data on current state of participation
4/10/2015 – 3pm, Mainstreet Mkt, SUB [AJ, AL, CM, JL present]; discussion focused on data we have received, remaining missing pieces, hurdles to participation, importance of having a central office serving interests of all HIE experiences, resources needed to increase impact of these experiences
SUMMARY OF CHARGE:
In the meeting yesterday, we developed a set of expectations for what subgroups would be responsible for in their initial working phase. We have 3 weeks to make some progress and then report back to the big group. As I organized the list from the meeting into what seems like a logical order, I added a couple new items (italicized).
• Establish conventional use of terms and working definitions for research, scholarly, and creative activity among students
o discussed difficulty of developing a specific definition[see compiled definitions from CM & COEUR report from CUR]
o OSR currently uses “hands on activity appropriate to the discipline”
• Identify information we would like to collect about current state/ prevalence/ distribution of student participation in these activities on campus
DATA WE HAVE ACCESS TO:
• OSR has access to data on OSR funding, SRC participation, and NCUR participation by discipline [see data from CM on OSR funding analysis]
UNIVERSITY LEVEL DATA REQUESTS:
• Can we get information from portfolios on HIE (specifically R/S/CA) by program?
• Can we get data from Banner on HIE in classes?
Thinking of what is collected in link for faculty to self-report on faculty tab
Summary of reporting frequency across campus, by program would help interpretation.
DEPARTMENT/PROGRAM LEVEL DATA REQUESTS:
• Does your program/ discipline provide opportunities for student participation in research/ scholarship/ creative activity?
• If so, how is this defined by your program/ discipline?
Is participation in research/ scholarship/ creative activity required of all majors?
Does this activity take place in courses?
• If so, in how many courses are these activities required?
• If not, how is the requirement structured?
Are there optional opportunities for participation in research/ scholarship/ creative activity?
How are these opportunities structured?
How many students could take advantage of these opportunities in a single academic year?
• How common is it for students in your program/ discipline to present research/ scholarship/ creative activity to an external audience [for example through conference presentation, publication, performance, gallery show, or other form of presentation to a non-Truman audience]?
EXTRA-UNIVERSITY DATA COLLECTION INTERESTS
• How are students at other universities (particularly other COPLAC institutions) engaged in research/ scholarship/ creative activity?
• from OSR on GIASR and TruScholars applications and funding, NCUR and SRC participation by discipline
• Portfolio summary of HIE from 2012 Assessment Almanac & 2014 SPAW
• Banner HIE codes for Sp2015 semester [220 of 900 courses listed]
• Discuss how these activities tie to our mission/ why they are important to encourage
• Discuss ways to document participation in these activities for students (e.g., on transcript or co-curricular transcript)
• Discuss ways to recognize faculty contributions to these activities [not discussed in meeting but also important & related to Jeff Osborn’s visit/talk]
• Discuss hurdles to increasing student participation in RSCA [cost, faculty time, administrative barriers, knowledge of opportunities…]
STUDENTS – too many other commitments, may not know what they can do, may not know how to get started looking for opportunities, its hard & takes time
FACULTY – too many other commitments, many senior faculty (some, not all, running out of steam)
• To increase participation, what [several things] would need to happen?
CENTRALIZE INFORMATION & OFFICES to make it easy for students and faculty to figure out how to get started
FUNDING for travel to national/ international conferences in disciplines makes for more impactful experience for those students who go than participation in local/ regional/ or NCUR conferences
FUNDING for faculty summer research that can also include undergraduates in research
• What resources would be needed to implement proposed changes to increase participation?
APPLY for NSF funded REU experience for campus in summer
PITCH IDEA OF STUDENT FEE to fund HIE
TAKE SOME OF $10M mission money from MO to use for HIE (instead of all scholarships)
• Are there things we can let go of if we increase participation in research, scholarship, and creative activity? [efficiencies]
• How to educate/ inform faculty, staff, and students about working definitions, importance, and opportunities
STUDY ABROAD SUBGROUP
Renee Baharaeen, Meg Edwards, Huping Ling, Gina Morin, John Nash, and Tammy Roberts.
April 1st at 2:30. During the course of this meeting, we began moving through many of the questions that were posed by Dean Gooch. Overall, we discussed the definition of study abroad and talked about some of the issues that revolve around how to look at this issue. We created a list of information/data that we would like to assess in future meetings. Finally, we began to discuss some of the administrative and documentation concerns that we had about the study abroad process. Over the upcoming weeks, we also hope to talk to more students, staff, and faculty who have experience in the study abroad process, perhaps gathering a group of students to describe their experiences with the process.
TRUMAN’S DISTINCTIVENESS SUBGROUP
Zac Burden, Brad Chambers, Ted Frushour, Janet Gooch, Michelle Horvath, and Amanda Langendoerfer
Met on April 2, 2015 and we discussed the following:
• The recognition that while Truman once was the leader in promoting distinctive experiences, right now, “on-paper,” we are not providing anything that any other school cannot provide
• When we decide how to distinguish Truman from other schools, we will need to ensure that our students hold the University accountable for that what is being advertised/promised to them; this accountability can also come from a renewed commitment to using data and analytics
• One way that Truman can regain its distinctive is to guarantee access to a high-impact experience; if this was guaranteed, a definition, resources, and infrastructure (such as a centralized office) would be required
o There was discussion at this point of our meeting about providing a high-impact experience both as a career/next-step enhancement but also a second one to create a tie to the mission; that a truly high-impact experience that we would want for our students would create “a life-long love of learning” and produce “liberal arts warriors”
o No matter what the experience, the student would have to reflect before and after the experience, contingent on the student being able to actually recognize the experience as being a high-impact experience
To help students recognize the experience as being a high-impact experience, the following were suggested: strongly incorporating the concept into orientation and Truman Week; assigning an adviser to each student for their entire tenure at Truman; and, revamping the portfolio project and possibly include prompts for students throughout their studies at Truman
To help ensure that the experience continues to resonate, it would be important for a sense of community to be preserved and reiterated beyond the actual action of the experience
• The language the we use to describe students, faculty, and staff, and the connection we want to each to make to Truman; that we while we remain a University committed to nurturing the potential and supporting each of these constituencies, we may be miss-labeling one of Truman’s most distinctive features—that we strive to be a collegial environment in the most idealized term of the word.
Our next meeting is TBD.
High Impact Practices Meeting 3-17-15
Present: Renne Baharaeen, Zac Burden, Sal Costa, Matthew Derezinski, Meg Edwards, Sarah Hass, Michelle Horvath, Brian Lamp, Amanda Langendoerfer, Chad Montgomery, Gina Morin, Judy Mullins, John Nash, Bev Perrachione, Lloyd Pflueger Stephanie Powelson, Tammy Roberts, Erika Sterup, Stacy Tucker-Potter.
Absent: Monica Barron, Brad Chambers, Kyra Cooper, Ted Frushour, Amber Johnson, Huping Ling, Jason Luscier, Liz Jorn, Melody Jennings, Polly Matteson, Shelby Sims.
Meeting started at 4:00. Members introduced themselves.
Brief introduction of the committee, the charge, etc. (PowerPoint attached).
Discussion on how to proceed:
Terminology – we need to define some of the terms important to our action group “Service Learning” “Internship” vs. “Field Experience”, “Capstone”, etc.
It is difficult to understand why so few of our students are reporting on the NSSE that they have a capstone experience (portfolio) when they are required to submit the University portfolio and take a capstone course. The terms need to be more explicit to the students.
A brief discussion about internships and the different types/versions we have on campus. How they should be defined. Do they need to be paid to be called an “internship”? The difference between an internship and a field experience, etc. The discussion reinforced the idea that we may need to define these terms for both faculty and students.
“Requiring” a high impact experience of all students vs. the idea of “Guaranteeing access”. Sometimes “requiring” something makes a student NOT want to do what is required.
We need to consider the co-curricular in high impact practices/experiences and not just curricular opportunities (clubs, work study, scholarship hours, etc.).
We need to keep in mind that part of our charge is to “regain Truman’s distinctiveness”. How will we do that? It’s not just about adding more of these opportunities. Every institution has study abroad, undergrad research, etc. How do we package what we are doing to make it so that what we do distinguishes Truman?
We need to make students aware of the high impact experiences we have to offer. How can you make these experiences available to everyone?
Designation of courses with a code that lets students know what high impact practices are embedded in the course. Add courses that have research embedded in them and designate them “research enhanced” courses just as we have writing enhanced. If we did something like this as a University we could create a “standard” or level of expectation in regard to learning outcomes for the course.
The suggestion was made to have courses in which students take the initiative and develop the “high impact experience”- to create their own community based project, field experience, etc.
We need to embrace High Impact Experiences at the advisor level. Faculty should help students pick the right “high impact experience” for them. Begin talking about this during Truman Week.
There are some universities that have fees that are associated with high impact experiences. For example, University of WI, Eau Clair charges students a high impact experience fee that is put into a collective “pot” and faculty can then apply for funds to help support a field experience opportunity or other high impact experience.
Suggestion that the term “applied” be used in discussing High Impact Experiences so that we are reinforcing the value of a Liberal Arts and Sciences Education (overlap with Dean Gering’s Group – Developing the LAS through the 3 Pillars. Related to this idea, it was suggested that we focus on students’ “personal development” and the importance of high impact experiences in the personal development of students.
All of these considerations regarding terminology and how we “speak” about and package High Impact Experiences will be important to consider from multiple perspectives: in talking to students, parents, and external constituents.
The group decided to break into subgroups that would focus on specific high impact experiences plus a few additional areas that the group felt were important to the group’s work. The following subgroups were established with the following people volunteering to serve.
1. Learning Communities: Stacy Tucker-Potter, Michelle Horvath, Gina Morin, Brian Lamp
2. Field Experiences: Chad Montgomery, Lloyd Pflueger, Stephanie Powelson
3. Internship: Sal Costa, Judy Mullins, Matthew Derezinski
4. Culminating Experience: Amanda Langendoerfer, Matthew Derezinski
5. Study Abroad: Ranee Bahareen, Tammy Roberts, Meg Edwards, John Nash, Gina Morin
6. Research and Scholarly Endeavors: Chad Montgomery, Meg Edwards, Amanda
7. Outside Classroom/Co-Curricular: Erika Sterup, Sarah Hass, Zac Burden, John Nash, Stacy Tucker-Potter
8. Truman’s Distinctiveness: Janet Gooch, Amanda Langendoerfer, Michelle Horvath, Zac Burden
The next meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, March 25th at 4:30 in VH 1010.