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Curricular Innovations: Experiential Learning & Community Engagement from First Year to Capstone Dr. Jacqueline Smith-Mason & Prof. Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead Honors College Virginia Commonwealth University HERU, University of Utah, May 2019
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Page 1: Curricular Innovations: Experiential Learning & Community ...heru2019utah.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Curricular-Innovations... · Curricular Innovations: Experiential Learning

Curricular Innovations: Experiential Learning &

Community Engagement from First Year to Capstone

Dr. Jacqueline Smith-Mason &

Prof. Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead

Honors College

Virginia Commonwealth UniversityHERU, University of Utah, May 2019

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Virginia Commonwealth University

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Make It Real

Every student must have an experiential learning experience.

New Position - Vice Provost for Relevant Experiential Applied Learning (REAL)

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Honors College Alignment

● Strategic plan ● Defining

Experience ● Quickly adapt● Model - Scale Up

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Honors College - Culture Shift

Old Curriculum

GenEd replacement

Lacked flexibility

Unpopular

No capstone

Box checkers

New Curriculum

Experiential

First year experience

Capstone

Cohorts

Engagement points

Reflects student input

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New Curriculum - SnapshotFirst Year - Cohorts

HONR 200 - Rhetoric

HONR 250 - Expository Writing

HONR 150 - Flourishing

HONR 170 - Humans of

RVA & VCU

HONR 171 - Investigative Inquiry

2nd & 3rd Year

9 credits - honors topic

4th Year - Cohorts

Capstone/Symposium

Engagement

25 points per year

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Engaging the Community

● Capital Region Collaborative● Nonprofit Organizations● United Way● Chamber of Commerce● Community Members

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CRC Priority Areas

Education Job Creation Workforce Develop. Healthy Community Transportation Social Stability James River Quality of Life Demographics

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21st Century Workforce Skills

● Critical thinking

● Creativity

● Collaboration

● Communication

● Information literacy

● Media literacy

● Technology literacy

● Flexibility

● Leadership

● Initiative

● Productivity

● Social skills

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21st Century Workforce Skills

● Critical thinking

● Creativity

● Collaboration

● Communication

● Information literacy

● Media literacy

● Technology literacy

● Flexibility

● Leadership

● Initiative

● Productivity

● Social skills

● Cultural Competency

● Grant Writing

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*340 students *1 full time

instructor/coordinator

*17 sections *4 adjunct instructors

*55 diverse cohorts *2 social media platforms

*10 student interns *1 course blog

Humans of RVA & VCU

By the Numbers

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Sample Cohort Assignment:

Neighborhood Visit

Choose a Richmond city neighborhood to visit, preferably one

that you’re not familiar with. Use the map in the blog if you

need help brainstorming neighborhoods. Walk around the

neighborhood; spend time there. Make observations and take

notes on what you observe. Respond to what you see and feel.

Do not censor yourself...

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Neighborhood Visit

~What are your initial reactions/first impressions of the

neighborhood?

~What are your sensory responses, i.e. what do you see, smell,

hear, touch, and taste in this place? (Respond to all that are

applicable.)

~What emotions do you feel while spending time here?

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~Describe this neighborhood in three words.

~If you could make a wish for this neighborhood and its residents,

what would it be? (Keep in mind that the residents may not have

the same wish for themselves. We’ll discuss this in class.)

~Are the residents of this neighborhood a community? Why or

why not?

Neighborhood Visit

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Investigative Inquiry

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Investigative Inquiry

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Best Practices

*research/prep work *student prep work

*collaboration *interns

*pilot course

*speaker series

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Challenges/Lessons Learned

*75 minutes/week

*cohort size

*student workload(1 credit) *# of students

*my workload

*town/gown

relationship

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Challenges/Lessons Learned

*Management

Fall & Spring Admissions

Overseeing projects - incentives

*Cohorts

Students cycle in/out- GPA

Graduate early

*Transportation

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Programming Between First Year & Capstone

*Berglund Seminars

*Mocktails

*Capstone Fair

*Topic Courses

*Co-curricular, Explore Richmond

*Humans of RVA & VCU International

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Student Interests - Snapshot

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Follow Us!Humans of RVA & VCU


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