Curricular and Co-curricular Engagement

Curricular and Co-curricular Engagement:
The Role that Student Affairs & Academic
Affairs Play in Engaging Students in
Academic Purposeful Activities
Aaron Brower & Jillian Kinzie
CSU Student Affairs Assessment & Research Symposium 2012
This morning’s session
1. The changing landscape of higher
2. A vision for higher education
3. How can we best help students
4. Being transparent and accountable
Changing Landscape of Higher Education
President Obama’s 2020 College Completion Goal
“By 2020 America will once again
have the highest proportion of
college graduates in the world”
The Formula:
Increase postsecondary
Improve quality
Accelerate college
Assessment & Accountability:
Colleges and Universities
 Increased assessment activity; greater
attention to demands of accreditation
 Emphasis on assessing student learning
 More emphasis on engaged learning practices:
first year experience programs that support
transition, service-learning, internships, and
undergraduate research
 Avoidance of, or reluctant, transparency
(Ewell, 2008, 2011; Maki, 2004; Trends in Learning Outcomes, General
Education, and Assessment, AAC&U, 2009)
Vision for Higher Education
Learning as a
comprehensive, holistic,
transformative activity
that integrates academic
learning and student
development, processes
that have often been
considered separate, and
even independent of each
Learning Reconsidered (2004)
What We Know About Student
Learning and Success
Educators must be concerned with
the learning environment – in and
outside the classroom, socio-cultural
aspects and physical settings – in
which students interact with peers,
the content, educators and others,
and the implementation of strategies
that help guide the student toward
the intended outcomes.
Commitment to Quality Student Learning
Requires institutions to…
Set clear goals for student achievement
Regularly measure performance against
these goals
Report evidence of success
Continuously work to improve results
Committing to Quality: Guidelines for Assessment and Accountability in Higher Education
(2012). New Leadership Alliance for Student Learning & Accountability
Essential Learning Outcomes
Four essential learning outcomes for all
graduating students – representing learning
beyond the expected professional, technical,
and disciplinary expertise – are associated with
a high-quality collegiate education.
1. integrative learning
2. personal and social responsibility
3. intellectual and practical skills
4. and knowledge of human cultures and
the physical and natural world
Designing for Student Learning
and Success
No matter what
program or practice a
college implements, it
is likely to have a
greater impact if its
design incorporates
the following
Design Principles for
Student Success
A Strong Start
 Institutional publications accurately describe
what students experience
 Ensure students’ earliest contacts and first
weeks incorporate experiences that will foster
personal connections and enhance their
chances of success
 Structured Orientation, First Year Experience
Design Principles for
Student Success
Clearly Marked Pathways
 The many choices students face as they
navigate college can create unnecessary
confusion – create coherent pathways
 Make plain to students the resources and
services available to help them succeed
 Redundant early warning systems and safety
Design Principles for
Student Success
Integrated Support
 Connect with students where they are most
likely to be: the classroom -- build support,
such as skills development & supplemental
instruction, into courses rather than referring
students to services separate from the
learning experience
 Require use of support services (writing
center, math tutors)
Design Principles for
Student Success
High Expectations &
High Support
 Students do their best when the bar is high
but within reach. Setting a high standard and
then giving students the necessary support —
academic planning, academic support,
financial aid, and so on — makes the
standard attainable.
Design Principles for Student
Learning and Success
Intensive Student Engagement
 Promoting student engagement is the
overarching feature
 Make engagement inescapable for students
Value of High Impact Practices
High-Impact Practices
Educational experiences that make
a significant difference to student
persistence, learning outcomes,
and student success.
1. Educational practices
for all students
2. Structural Features
High Impact Pedagogical Practices
1. Engagement in effective educational
activities in the first year is essential
to student persistence & success
Effective Educational Practices in the First Year
Asked questions in class or contributed to class discussions
Made a class presentation
Prepared two or more drafts of a paper or assignment
Worked with other students on projects during class
Worked with classmates outside of class on assignments
Tutored or taught other students (paid or voluntary)
Participated in a community-based project as part of course
Talked about career plans with a faculty member or advisor
Discussed ideas from readings/classes with faculty outside class
Received prompt feedback on your academic performance
Worked harder than you thought
Worked with faculty on activities outside coursework
(committees, student life, etc.)
• Discussed ideas from readings/classes with others
• Had serious conversations with students of a different race or
ethnicity and those who differ from you - religious beliefs,
political opinions, or personal values
High Impact Pedagogical Practices
1. Engagement in the first year is
essential to student persistence & success
2. “Compensatory Effect” – historically
underserved students benefit more
than others from the same educational
High Impact Activities
 First-Year Seminars and Experiences
 Common Intellectual Experiences
 Learning Communities
 Writing-Intensive Courses
 Collaborative Assignments and Projects
 Undergraduate Research
 Diversity/Global Learning
 Service Learning,
Community-Based Learning
 Internships
 Capstone Courses/Projects
HIPs Benefits & Outcomes
High Impact practices
positively associated with:
• Persistence and GPA
• “Deep approaches to learning”
• Higher rates of student-faculty interaction
• Increases in critical thinking, writing skills,
• Greater appreciation for diversity
• Higher student engagement overall, and
Bronwell, J & Swaner, L (2010);
“compensatory effects”
NSSE, (2007); Kuh (2008)
HIPs: A Shared Responsibility
• HIPs facilitated by
a robust
between academic
& student affairs
Be Intentional about Exposing
Students to Educationally
Effective Practice
Make it possible for every student to
participate in at least two high impact
 One in First Year
FY seminars
Learning communities
Service learning
 One Later in Major
Study abroad
Student-faculty research
Field placement or internship
Capstone project
Educationally Effective Institutions
and High Impact Practices
• Introduce HIPs to students early – pre-school
and orientation - and reinforce in advising
• Weave experiences into courses, and require
• Craft short term study abroad, “mini-HIPs”
• Emphasize HIPs relevant to the educational
environment – i.e., Urban institutions emphasize
• Encourage pilots & support faculty development
• Bridge curriculum and co-curriculum
University of Louisville
Expand effective educational practices to enhance
student engagement and success
• Goal: Retain more students; Address their
unique needs with intentional programming at
each stage of their educational career
• Identified existing “high-impact
practices” & assessed their efficacy for revision
and/or possible expansion
• Created Office of Civic Engagement, Leadership
and Service - the hub for leadership
development, service-learning, and civic
engagement activities
Inventory and Promote HIPs
University of Wisconsin Madison
HIPs that have generated demonstrable student outcomes:
• In the first year:
– FIGS (First-Year Interest Groups)
– RLCs (Residential Learning Communities
– URS (Undergraduate Research Scholars)
• Available Throughout College:
Study Abroad
Service Learning/Community-based Research
Undergrad Research
Student Leadership (in class, such as Peer Mentoring, and out of class,
through student organizations)
• Some aspects of Gen Ed requirements (Comm A & B, QR-A & B; options
for Ethnic Studies Requirement); Honors courses
• In the final year(s):
– Capstones
-- Internships
-- Senior Thesis
Promote HIPs
University of Wisconsin Madison
• Intentional promotion of HIPs in Summer
Orientation, Advising and Registration (SOAR)
• Ensured that Advisors asked students about their
interest and intentions about HIPs
• Saw increase in number of students making
inquiries into study abroad, undergraduate
Themed Learning Communities
 3 or more linked courses including integrative
first-year seminar connected through an
interdisciplinary theme
TLC Ex: “It’s Not Easy Being Green”
First-year students conduct research on
environmental issue in Indianapolis.
 Faculty and instructional team members work
together to integrate the curricula
 Exciting opportunities to integrate high impact
programs in meaningful way in first-year
Examples of Undergraduate
Research in TLCs
 “Our Chemical World”
 First-year students paired with science faculty
conducting research.
 “It’s Not Easy Being Green”
 First-year students conduct
research project on environmental
issue in Indianapolis under the
guidance of faculty researchers.
Service Learning in TLCs
33% Include
Service Learning
3 Education TLCs
3 Nursing TLCs
2 University College
1 Liberal Arts TLC
24% Include One Time
Service Projects
 2 Engineering TLCs
 2 Liberal Arts TLCs
 2 Psychology TLCs
 2 University College
Impact of HIPs:
CSU Northridge
Conclusion: Multiple
HIPs distributed
through Gen Ed and
majors would,
“require only small
curricular changes.”
Such “modest
change” can yield a
significant increase in
student success and
• Institutions had more
than enough actionable
assessment, yet little
• Many steps are needed
to train campus leaders
to use data – Change
something see what
Emphasize Action & Improvement
Use Evidence on Hand!
• For assessment to be successful: put aside the
question, “What’s the best possible knowledge?”
and instead ask, “Do we have good enough
knowledge to try something different that
might benefit our students?”
• “The most fruitful way to learn if the
conclusions that we have drawn from
assessment data are correct is to try to
change something and see what happens.”
Blaich & Wise, 2011, NILOA publication
Share Evidence and Collaborate on
Promising Practices
Create sustained conversations about assessment
data and engage in sense-making activities on
campus, with colleagues, and across institutions
To Discuss
1. How has/is your job changing?
2. What effective educational practices, or
high-impact practices (HIPs), are most
important to your unit? What could be
3. What are the benefits and challenges of
collaboration between student and
academic affairs at CSU?

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