notes from group 1: piloting high-impact practices across transfer

Co-Facilitators: Debra David, San José State University and Savander Parker, Evergreen Valley College
Recorder: Kevin Baaske, Compass Project Steering Committee

We Seek to Foster Collaborative & Experiential Learning in GE

Our goal is to incorporate experiential learning in lower division GE. Such learning ought to focus on collaborative project-based experiences.  Achieving the relevant experiential SLOs requires the integration of knowledge.  This experiential learning would constitute a milestone that would be encouraged by both, and occur at either, institutional system.  Such learning would constitute a milestone that would be recognized as an achievement in a student portfolio or transcript.  We would need to make such learning attractive enough/sexy enough/valuable enough that students choose to engage in these experiences.  Such learning experiences would get students to focus on the problems that we face and teach a sense of social responsibility.

To facilitate the establishment of these learning experiences, we suggest the creation of collaborative faculty councils linking a local CSU and its feeder CCC (if there is an existing, functional body this could be used instead).  The role of such bodies is to map the GE SLOs for students across the 2 & 4 year institutions (one might say, giving the students a compass).  Students would see how the LEAP SLOs they achieve in GE (as documented by assessment) would lead to SLOs in their major and the SLOs for their institutions.  Such faculty councils would also facilitate cooperation between the faculty of the respective institutions.  The faculty councils, in their mapping, ought to also include conversations with employers, students and the community.  This might also help students to locate the HIPs as they occur as they move along their path toward achieving their degrees.  A key focus is alignment of the SLOs between institutions and how HIPs are incorporated within their course/programs so that they can trickle up or down between the CCC and CSU.  The intent is to help students to see how the dots are connected.

We identified two examples of how this might occur: 

(A) Use CSU students as tutors or supplementary instructors for K-12 and CCC institutions.  This might be accomplished through service learning or an internship, but both would include intensive reflective writing.  Perhaps campuses could modify a student’s loans into work-study to help pay for these activities.  Benefits include instilling a sense of personal/social responsibility and leadership in the CSU student, creating a pathway to transfer and achieving a bachelor’s degree that students can visualize, peer mentoring itself is probably a HIP itself, connecting the institutions, student teachers benefit from refining their knowledge and student learners also benefit from having peers explain/tutor learning;

(B) Alternatively, this learning might occur, for example, in American Institutions courses where students might work with state & local governments, with school boards, and with employers and would include intensive reflective writing.  Faculty collaborative councils would be necessary to identify the SLOs and adoption and adaption these experiences. Part of this is also educating employers to see that SLOs are hierarchical—GE is perhaps broader and learning in the major are more specialized—and that students might move back and forth between work and educational institutions.

We recognize that we need to educate faculty that achievement of SLOs is the key indicator of learning, rather than seat time.  Experiential learning might also free up faculty time to permit them to supervise the student experiences. Funding is a challenge, but faculty need to be paid stipends for the additional work involved.  We might be able to garner funding from the private/public sector and student loans might be converted to work study to pay the students for this work.

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