Three GE Projects at SJSU • Compass Project • Stephen Branz & Maureen Scharberg • (Debra David) • GE Program Assessment • Stephen Branz & Scot Guenter • Integrated Team-Taught Multi-Semester GE Course Sequences • Scot Guenter & Stephen Branz
Compass ProjectSJSU & Evergreen Valley College • Part of the Association of American Colleges & Universities’ “Give Students a Compass” Initiative. Its main goals are: • 1) To redesign GE to help students, especially underrepresented ones, be more successful in achieving liberal education outcomes; • 2) To help state systems become generative “catalysts” for change.
Compass ProjectTransfer Students – Why? • Transfer students are “underrepresented” on several levels: • They complete lower division GE at a community college, which may not be a good match with GE expectations at the CSU campus and may make their GE experience especially disjointed. • They are more likely to come from educationally disadvantaged populations. • They experience unique transition issues.
Compass ProjectTransfer Students – Partnerships • Promoting transfer student success involves partnerships across state systems: • Community colleges • In California, both CSU and UC systems are 4-year “stakeholder” institutions. • There is considerable autonomy at the campus level within each system.
Compass ProjectProject Goal • To promote a meaningful and successful transfer experience through: • Focus on liberal education “essential learning outcomes” (especially written communication) • Increased participation in high-impact practices (e.g., service-learning, learning communities, internships, study abroad)
Compass ProjectProject Components • “Transfer-year experience” partnership between SJSU and Evergreen Valley • Second semester English composition prior to transfer, with service-learning • Peer mentoring before & after transfer • Expanded advising • Co-curricular activities
Compass ProjectWhat Has Worked Well • Strong support from faculty and administrators at both SJSU and EVC • EVC English 1B taught at SJSU with supplementary orientation to campus resources, policies, and procedures • Service Learning – Writing Partners with local 6th grade students • Peer Mentors (e.g., Robert Corpus)
Compass ProjectChallenges • Cohort was not primarily Fall 2010 transfers (as had been anticipated) • Not all SJSU resources were fully accessible to EVC students (eg, library) • 2nd semester composition content and articulation not a good match • EVC class size 35+ (SJSU would have been 20-25)
GE Program AssessmentWhy? • Course level assessment of GE Area Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) well established, but no direct assessment of Program Learning Objectives (PLOs) • Integrative learning is more than the sum of the parts; culminating assessment • Supports WASC accreditation, EO 1033 expectations, and SJSU Mission
GE Program AssessmentPilot Project Design • Nine PLOs in the SJSU GE Guidelines were mapped to the 4 AAC&U LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes • #1 – Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World • AAC&U VALUE Rubrics may be used for assessment of LEAP Outcomes 2, 3, & 4 • #2 – Intellectual & Practical Skills • #3 – Personal & Social Responsibility • #4 – Integrative Learning
GE Program AssessmentPilot Project Working Groups • Working groups of 5-6 faculty each for the 3 upper division GE Areas (approximately Science, Social Science, & Humanities) • Multiple colleges represented on each working group • Decide upon assignments & rubrics to assess PLOs, then all read anonymous student work • Facilitator = Steve Branz
GE Program AssessmentProgress Report • Fall 2009 – Working Groups recruited • Spring 2010 – Working Groups meeting regularly have selected one GE area SLO and 3-4 PLOs • Matched assignments to SLO/PLOs • Devised and/or modified rubrics as needed • Preliminary look at student work • Fall 2010 – full implementation with same Working Groups
Integrated Team-Taught GEThree Models at SJSU • What the models share • Multi-semester sequence (two or four) • Cohort model (with priority registration after first semester) • True interdisciplinary (as opposed to multidisciplinary) structure • True team-teaching (not a “hand-off” model) • Emphasis on Integrative Learning
Integrated Team-Taught GEHumanities Honors – structure • 24 units of lower division GE over a 4-semester cycle (6 units per semester) • Double count of 6 units of CA State American Institutions requirement • Large group lecture followed by breakout seminars • 3-4 faculty & 90-120 students per team
Integrated Team-Taught GEHumanities Honors – content • Globally inclusive, humanities centered, interdisciplinary survey • Humanities 1A/B: Foundations of Western Culture & Society • Humanities 2A/B: Modern Cultural & Social Institutions
Integrated Team-Taught GEAmerican Civilization – structure • 12 units of lower division GE over a 2-semester cycle (6 units per semester) • Double count of 6 units of CA State American Institutions requirement • Large group lecture followed by breakout seminars • 3 faculty & 90 students per team
Integrated Team-Taught GEAmerican Civilization – content • American culture examined through political, literary, artistic, economic, and social development • American values, ideas, and institutions from popular culture as well as traditional sources
Integrated Team-Taught GEGlobal Climate Change – structure • 9 units of upper division GE over a 2-semester cycle (6 units Fall, 3 units Spring) • Double count of 3 units of CA State (Jr. level writing) requirement • Faculty from different disciplines jointly create lectures and assignments • 3 faculty & 75 students
Integrated Team-Taught GEGlobal Climate Change – content • Current faculty from Communication Studies, Environmental Studies, & Science (Meteorology or Geology) • Essential service learning component • Culminating “Community Action Project” & class presentations in 2nd semester • Best are presented at Public Forum
Integrated Team-Taught GEWhat all three models create • Cohort teaching and learning creates a strong sense of community at a large, primarily commuter university • Student success – improved retention and graduation