Presentation on theme: "Framing a Quality Enhancement Plan for Lamar University."— Presentation transcript:
Framing a Quality Enhancement Plan for Lamar University
Defining our perceived strengths… At Lamar, students enjoy small classes taught by well qualified faculty who maintain good rapport with students, who make themselves available to students, and who are committed to student success. At Lamar, students have opportunities for hands-on learning experiences, including research, internships, and study abroad.
More perceived strengths … Lamar has a lively and livable campus environment. Lamar makes information technology available. Lamar has diverse academic programs meeting the needs of a diverse student body.
And our perceived weaknesses … Lamar’s academic standards are too low and our academic culture is not as conducive to learning as it could be. Lamar lags in educational technology. Lamar’s academic programs, faculty, and staff do not reflect the diversity of our student body.
What NSSE data tell us … Lamar freshmen scored markedly below LU seniors and below students at comparable institutions on: Active and collaborative learning. Student-faculty interaction. Enriching educational experiences.
Why the freshman/senior gap? Maybe we are only retaining the more engaged students. Maybe we do a better job of engaging upper level students. Maybe our incoming freshmen are changing.
How our freshmen have changed…
How our FRESHMEN compare to those at our peer NSSE institutions… Age distribution is about the same. We have a higher proportion of African-Americans Part-time students First generation in college Off campus workers Providers of care for dependents
These freshmen define the future of Lamar University. We must enhance the learning experience of the students that we have and that we are likely to continue to enroll.
National 2006 NSSE Report " Students who participate in collaborative learning and educational activities outside the classroom and who interact more with faculty members get better grades, are more satisfied with their education, and are more likely to remain in college. But the gains from those practices are even greater for students from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds, or who come to college less prepared than their peers." -- Chronicle of Higher Education, our emphasis
Additional observations … We already have as perceived strengths Strong faculty-student relations Opportunities for hands-on learning experiences A high level of diversity This offers a strong foundation for a QEP focused on student engagement and experiential learning.
Our QEP could address … Student to student engagement Student to faculty engagement Student engagement with academic content Student engagement with the learning process Long-term engagement with one’s community and profession
Student to student engagement Collaborative learning projects Service learning Peer mentoring Learning communities ??
Student to faculty engagement Undergraduate research Summer bridge programs Enhanced use of technology for distance learners Service learning involving faculty ??
Student engagement with academic content Course redesign Inquiry based learning (problem based) Undergraduate research Authentic assessment/ multiple assessment Experiential/ applied learning ??
Student engagement with the learning process Course redesign Experiential learning Undergraduate research ??
Long-term engagement with one’s community and profession Service learning Internships Study abroad ??
The “Learning Nexus” - The "nexus" concept takes "engagement" to another level, emphasizing multi- dimensionality, the linkage of diverse groups of students, faculty, disciplines, and the process of learning itself in dynamic communication. The object is to construct a project that will be the basis of ongoing constructive engagement – i.e., self-sustaining and generative of more and stronger linkages within the nexus.
Things we CANNOT do… Additional course requirements Mandates to faculty One size fits all approach Just attack perceived weaknesses