Comments and Questions from Listening Session with Bruce
Undergraduate Education Staff
The Center for Service Learning (CSL) is going very well. Nationwide CSL programs have been moving to centers for civic engagement. Good for fundraising. Services more needed in recession. Usually involves being engaged with student affairs and foundation. The Center is ready to do more.
The opportunity and interest in the Teaching and learning Academy (TLA) is also up. We’re very involved in connecting departments. There is a lot of misunderstanding about how much (or little) money is in the effort. (ie not much)
The CSL is creating an advisory board in Jan. Interested in making sure that CSL is aligned with university priorities.
Concern is with first quarter students – this year the students who came in with no credits had trouble getting classes and it is likely to be worse next year. There are serious problems in offering classes students want.
We are responsible for freshmen retention – so we’re critically aware of the shortcomings. Can’t get into Spanish, for example. Course availability is a big problem. Several of the UE staff are teaching without compensation to increase the offerings.
Sophomore retention is very important. We aren’t on top of sophomore data, and we don’t offer targeted programs. They don’t come into the writing center because they’re in big classes where they don’t do much writing.
Tuition increases are a big concern of students. It will be difficult not to increase tuition, but students are scared to death.
There is a statutory limit on tuition increase.
We teach in many places outside the traditional classroom, but they don’t all count for SCH. Writing center doesn’t produce credit, but there is very important teaching going on.
I teach 75 students in a Shakespeare class and still teach them writing. We do need to think about how we teach to make sure that SCH is not the only way of thinking about funding of courses and core mission.
The opportunities through service learning can help students finance college (w federally funded programs), also service has been shown to increase learning outcomes and retention.
Concerned about faculty retention (especially with the lack of professional development funds)
When faculty get really involved in the community, as they do through service learning, they tend to want to stay in the community. (true for students too) Washington Campus Compact is launching study of that sense.
The cohort of Service learning fellows continues to work together and do scholarship together, etc. That program therefore has a big bang for the buck.
The model is a good one because it doesn’t require new staff for training – the mentorship is self perpetuating.
The university goal is to become the best of our type – but action toward that goal hasn’t been part of planning at all levels.
Thank you for the memos about what’s going on.
It is good to know even what you don’t know – helps manage fear and rumors.
We’re being very proactive in finding ways to support faculty and students through this crisis; supporting faculty who may have to teach larger classes, for example.
One of great untapped resources is the grad programs and use of TAs for good things. The same is true for using seniors to support the educational process.( 15)