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Small Changes, Big Rewards: Integrating the Disparate Threads of Undergraduate Education to Create a Learning-Centered Institution Carol Burton, Assistant.

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Presentation on theme: "Small Changes, Big Rewards: Integrating the Disparate Threads of Undergraduate Education to Create a Learning-Centered Institution Carol Burton, Assistant."— Presentation transcript:

1 Small Changes, Big Rewards: Integrating the Disparate Threads of Undergraduate Education to Create a Learning-Centered Institution Carol Burton, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Undergraduate Studies Melissa Canady Wargo, Director, Assessment Western Carolina University AASCU July 24-27, 2008

2 WCU 2 Introduction Our roles at WCU Our roles in developing & implementing integrated learning at WCU Synthesis: A pathway to intentional learning

3 WCU 3 Overarching Goal To empower students to integrate knowledge and skills from their academic and co-curricular experiences to become intentional participants in their own learning.

4 WCU 4 Objectives Outline process used to develop and refine model for integrated learning Describe organizational changes Discuss assessment framework Share lessons learned

5 WCU 5 Western Carolina University 9,000 students Rural, WNC 480 full-time faculty 130 degree programs UNC System Public, Regional Boyer Model Endowed Professors (25+) Honors College (1250+) Regional Stewardship Civic Engagement

6 WCU 6 Integrated Learning at WCU

7 WCU 7 Learning Relationships Source: Dr. L. Dee Fink Courses within their Major Other Courses at the University Co-Curricular Activities Other Life Experiences A B C D

8 WCU 8 Process-Development of Theme Early Stage: Broad-based involvement; iterative 2-year data collection and data review Mid Stage: Narrow focus and further refinement; 9 month institutional conversation Late Stage: Development of plan and institutional buy-in; 6 month drafting and revising

9 WCU 9 Process - Implementation Pilot Phase: 3 – 5 years Program Assessment: 5 – 6 years Full Implementation: 6 – 10 years

10 WCU 10 Organizational Structure QEP Steering Committee QEP Technology Committee QEP Assessment Committee Liberal Studies Committee Council on Undergraduates’ Early Experiences Strategic Planning Committee

11 WCU 11 Alignment with Nat’l Trends AAC&U Integrative Learning: Opportunities to connect (2007) AAC&U/Carnegie Statement on Integrative Learning (2004) Keeling Learning Reconsidered (2004) AAC&U Greater Expectations: A new vision for learning as a nation goes to college (2002) Boyer Scholarship of Engagement (1995)

12 WCU 12 Office of Undergraduate Studies QEP Oversight Service Learning Liberal Studies American Democracy Project Undergraduates’ Early Experiences

13 WCU 13 Implementation Academic units: Chemistry Recreation Therapy History Health Information Administration Examples of non-academic units: Coulter Faculty Center Residential Living Mountain Heritage Center

14 WCU 14 Assessment Framework Learning Domains Understanding of self Intellectual flexibility and versatility, and Integrated learning

15 WCU 15 Assessment Framework Learning Outcomes Integrate information from a variety of contexts Solve complex problems Communicate effectively and responsibly Practice civic engagement Clarify and act on purpose and values

16 WCU 16 Assessment Framework Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4 CatWalk Orientation Writing Comp First Year Seminar Transition to College course Advisor Session Major Program Gateway Course Advisor Session Service Learning Mid-major course/experience Advisor Session Career Services Service Learning UG Research Int’l Experience Capstone or Internship Advisor Session Career Services Service Learning Graduation Application

17 WCU 17 Assessment Framework Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4 BCSSE NSSE ASSIST CLA Sample Work Advisor Evaluation Sample Work Sophomore Survey Advisor Evaluation Sample Work Advisor Evaluation Sample Work NSSE CLA Senior Survey

18 WCU 18 Assessment Framework Dimensions of assessment Process evaluation; evaluation of institutional support and effort (Inputs) Student Learning Outcomes assessment (Outputs)

19 WCU 19 Assessment Framework Goals of assessment Students’ ability to integrate information across content and context Effectiveness of program/service Impact of formative and analytic mechanisms to guide improvements

20 WCU 20 Lessons Learned… Incorporate student learning outcomes Project a realistic budget and accompanying timeline for implementation Include faculty rewards/development to support plan Carefully define terms, e.g., “engaged learning,” for all constituents Do homework; build grassroots support Connect plan to strategic, other key plans

21 WCU 21 Lessons Learned…cont’d Create an effective, realistic, assessment plan at outset Learning goals should drive assessment Use assessment to show successes Include student voice in any plan Student learning is not limited to the classroom

22 WCU 22 Questions

23 WCU 23 Contact Us Carol Burton: Melissa Canady Wargo:


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