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Faculty Receive Grants for Projects to Strengthen Experiential Learning

Faculty Receive Grants for Projects to Strengthen Experiential Learning June 15, 2017
Faculty Receive Grants for Projects to Strengthen Experiential Learning

Five projects designed to enhance experiential and community-based learning and strengthen departmental curriculum at ACM colleges were awarded Faculty Career Enhancement (FaCE) grants in the program’s spring 2017 funding cycle.

Overall, the funded projects involve 35 faculty and staff from 12 ACM colleges as leaders and the grant awards totaled $84,054. In their grant proposals, the project leaders cited the important role that collaboration among colleagues across multiple ACM campuses will play in achieving their project goals. 

In one of the projects, a multidisciplinary group of faculty and staff aims to maximize the impact of off-campus experiential learning activities — such as study away, community engagement, and internships — by developing students’ metacognitive and reflective skills.

Another project team will explore ways to counter the so-called “sophomore slump” and foster students’ growth as learners during that critical time in their college careers. Building capacity for faculty, staff, and students to study immigration, especially in the types of rural areas where most ACM colleges are located, is the focus of a third project.

In discipline-focused collaborations, French departments at two colleges will join forces to offer their students opportunities to apply their language skills in pre-professional settings in the local community, and seven ACM sociology departments will share knowledge to assess and strengthen curricula.

FaCE grants, awarded in fall and spring cycles each academic year, fund joint research projects, teaching and learning collaborations, collaboratively organized events, reading groups, and other cooperative initiatives to enhance teaching and learning at ACM colleges.

The fall 2017 funding cycle will begin on September 15-16 with the annual FaCE conference, this year on the theme of Collaborative Faculty Development to Integrate Off-Campus Study and On-Campus Learning. To apply for a FaCE grant in this cycle, faculty must submit pre-proposals by October 13, 2017.

The FaCE Program is supported by generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Projects funded by FaCE in spring 2017

Making the Most of Immersion: Engaging Faculty to Maximize the Impact of Off-Campus Experiential Learning

Project focus: Develop a pair of workshops and other resources to prepare faculty to more effectively facilitate students’ learning from off-campus experiences, such as study away programs, internships, and community engagement activities.

Leaders: Kenneth Abrams (psychology, Carleton College), Elizabeth Brewer (international education, Beloit College), Dana Gross (psychology, St. Olaf College), Mary Titus (English, St. Olaf College), Debby Walser-Kuntz (biology, Carleton College), and Carol Wickersham (sociology, Beloit College)

Summit on the Sophomore Year Experience

Project focus: Exploring ways to help faculty across the ACM identify factors that can lead to student malaise and develop and assess appropriate sophomore year interventions that foster students’ growth and maturity as learners.

Leaders: Molly Wilker (chemistry, Luther College), Jeff Wilkerson (physics and associate dean, Luther College), Teresa Leopold, (Associate Dean of Students, Beloit College), Catherine Orr (critical identity studies, Beloit College), Dani Arroyo-Rodriguez (Spanish, Colorado College), and Traci Freeman (Director of the Colket Learning Center, Colorado College)

Sharing Expertise in Community-Based Learning & Research Addressing Immigration

Project focus: Collaboration among faculty to use interdisciplinary community-based learning and research (CBL&R) pedagogies to engage students in immigration studies, particularly related to the rural areas where most of the ACM colleges are located.

Leaders: Katherine Tegtmeyer Pak (political science, St. Olaf College), Adrienne Falcon (sociology, Carleton College), Emily A. Bowman (sociology, Coe College), Catherine Denial (history, Knox College), Xavier Escandell (sociology, Grinnell College), Robin Johnson (political science, Monmouth College), Eric Popkin (sociology, Colorado College), Jason Paul (research librarian, St. Olaf College), and Celeste Sharpe (academic technologist, Carleton College)

Locally Francophone: Community-Based Applied and Pre-Professional French

Project focus: French departments at Coe and Cornell Colleges will collaborate to offer community-based, pre-professional experiences in the Cedar Rapids area for students to use French in service learning, volunteer opportunities, and internships.

Leaders: from Cornell College – Devan Baty (French), Brooke Bergantzel, (instructional technology librarian), and Rebecca Wines (French); from Coe College – Benedicte Corbett (French), Joyce Janca-Aji (French), Kayla Lyftogt (community engagement), and Lisa Stroschine (instructional technology librarian)

Building Community and Curriculum in a 21st Century Liberal Arts Major: Curriculum Mapping in Sociology as a Means to Collaborate and Innovate

Project focus: Sociology faculty at seven ACM colleges will create curriculum maps to assess their programs’ strengths and compliance with national standards, and then gather at a consortial conference to build stronger cross-campus relationships.

Leaders: Susan Ferguson (Grinnell College), David Boden (Lake Forest College), Erin Davis (Cornell College), Charlotte Kunkel (Luther College), Erik Larson (Macalester College), Kate Linnenberg (Beloit College), and Wade Roberts (Colorado College)




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