Optional Pre-Conference Workshops: Thursday, November 9, 2017 from 5:00pm- 7:00pm
Architects of Community and Collaboration: Action Planning Learning Communities for Academically At-Risk Students
Presenters: Richie Gebauer and Michelle Filling-Brown, Cabrini University
As colleges and universities continue to adapt to meet the academic needs of incoming first-year students, more students are entering institutions with underprepared reading comprehension, writing, and mathematical skill sets. Cognizant of the increasing percentage of developmental or at-risk learners entering 2 and 4-year institutions, intentionally designed learning communities offering curriculum and co-curriculum to support at-risk learners can effectively address the growing needs of this population. This workshop will assist participants to identify strategies to better support these students on their campuses while erasing the stigma associated with developmental coursework. This interactive, action-planning pre-conference workshop is designed for administrators, faculty, or staff interested in developing or enhancing existing learning communities/living and learning communities for incoming, academically at-risk populations. This workshop will challenge participants to explore strategies and innovative approaches to offer an integrated curricular and co-curricular experience that connects developmental with content coursework while maintaining the appropriate level of academic intensity. Participants will develop a plan for potential growth and sustainability, will consider how to market developmental learning opportunities to prospective students through the larger promotion of the institution’s LC program, and will leave this workshop with concrete strategies mapped out and resources in hand as they return to campus.
Intentional Integration of High-Impact Educational Practices in Learning Communities
Presenters: Chelsie Hawkinson, Michele Major Riley, Anthony Zocolillo, and Rita Sperry, Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi
The Learning Communities Program (FYLCP) at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi (TAMUCC) is largely influenced by established work on high-impact practices. According to Kuh, O’Donnell, and Reed (2013), when a student encounters two or more high-impact practices, their likelihood of persistence increases tremendously. The inherent structure of the FYLCP incorporates two high-impact practices simultaneously, learning communities and first-year seminars, while students in some learning communities are engaged with three or more. Drawing on Kuh et al. (2013), TAMUCC’s first-year seminars and learning communities are “organized in ways that more effectively compel students to reach high standards of performance while providing ample feedback along the way from peers as well as teachers” (p. 2).
As noted by Kuh and O’Donnell (2013), not all HIPs are created and implemented equally and often a HIP offered at the same institution can produce extremely inconsistent results. Therefore, it is necessary to intentionally include specific practices to ensure that HIPs are effective for all students. First-year students at TAMUCC can select to enroll in a learning community (LC) connecting psychology, writing and rhetoric, and first-year seminar. The faculties involved in this LC approach the classroom and projects in a way that employs the key features of high-impact practices (HIPs).
During the first part of the workshop, presenters will discuss the eight key features of high-impact educational practices as identified by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Next, team members from the psychology-based LC will guide the audience through their project sequence by highlighting how each component fits in with the key features of HIPs as defined by Kuh and O’Donnell (2013) including high expectations, significant time and effort over an extended period of time, faculty/student interaction, experiences with diversity, frequent and timely feedback, metacognitive opportunities, real world application, and public demonstration of competence. Finally, workshop participants will be asked to reflect on how their institutions incorporate the key features of HIPs and make plans for how they might incorporate more key features into their already existing practices.
Kuh, G.D, O’Donnell, K., & Reed, S. (2013). Ensuring quality and taking high-impact practices to scale. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.