Seminars in Advanced Interdisciplinary Learning (SAIL)

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A new video offers insights from faculty who have participated in ACM-sponsored professional development.

The Seminars in Advanced Interdisciplinary Learning (SAIL) is a series of annual learning communities built around integrative place-based learning that have enabled faculty from ACM colleges to explore a salient topic and collaborate to develop curricular resources.

By immersing faculty in settings that encourage multiple perspectives and collaboration across disciplines, the seminars built the foundation for the participants to develop innovative, integrative advanced-level coursework.

Funded by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the SAIL program sponsored six annual seminars. Each of the seminars included an intensive 10-day, on-site seminar at a site that offers rich resources for multidisciplinary lessons about the topic. The off-campus sites included both domestic and international locations.

Following the on-site learning experiences, the faculty developed innovative, interdisciplinary curricular resources for advanced undergraduates. Participants in the final SAIL seminar, Wilderness in the Anthropocene, have been completing their curricular projects in 2017-18.

SAIL Conference

A final SAIL conference to be held in early 2019 is being planned.

View our database of past projects to explore curricular materials created by SAIL participants!

SAIL Seminars

SAIL Seminar Goals

In effect, SAIL established temporary research centers at sites around the globe, challenging participants to leave their physical and intellectual comfort zones and explore big questions through new methodologies and perspectives.

Each SAIL seminar:

  • Engaged 15 ACM faculty across all divisions — math and natural sciences, arts and humanities, and social sciences — as leaders and participants;
  • Examined a broad, enduring topic in multidisciplinary contexts;
  • Fostered the development of innovative, integrative curricular resources to enhance the ability of advanced undergraduates to analyze complex problems from multi-disciplinary perspectives;
  • Traveled to a site that would be propitious for exploring the topic from various disciplinary perspectives;
  • Enlisted a faculty leadership team representing the three disciplinary divisions to design the intellectual content and direct the seminar;
  • Benefited individual faculty and the advanced students who study with them.

Visit the SAIL Overview for details about the program.

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