Highlights from the F2Y Implementation Team: February 1-8, 2019

What is the Team Up To?

This week’s team meetings were focused on discussing the most recent Scope and Sequence draft produced by the academic design team. Comments and suggestions for further development included:

  • As we develop Pathways, it will be important to articulate the learning  opportunities and goals we have for the co-curricular components of those Pathways (that is, we need to be clear about how the co-curricular components provide unique opportunities to develop key skills, dispositions, and/or understandings). This will help us to make good choices about the options to offer students.
  • The digital portfolio will provide a context within which students can both document their engagement in Pathway components and reflect on how these opportunities have helped them to learn/grow. It will also provide a context within which multiple mentors or advisers can interact with students, evaluate portfolio entries, give guidance, etc. We will need to clarify how/when students will receive feedback in this tool and who will be giving that feedback.
  • When we build the financial model for the program, we want to explore the feasibility of providing students with “professional development” funds that they can use to participate in OAC trainings/certifications or other opportunities that will enable them to make clear progress toward career or Pathway goals.

 

The academic team also shared an initial model describing the basis for which students might earn credit for individual units within Learning Expeditions:

F2Y

In order to earn credit for (“pass”) a unit within an expedition, students must demonstrate knowledge, skills, and behaviors at an appropriate level of competency. Instructors will provide students with a clear description of the requirements for satisfactory completion at the outset of each unit. For some of the units in our sample learning expedition above, requirements might include the following:

Comments on this initial draft were positive. Specifically, FIT members liked the explicitness of evaluation criteria and the inclusion of both disciplinary knowledge and skills and broader dispositions/skills (e.g., reliable attendance, etc.). They also liked the explicit alignment with measures and the use of rubrics available within the digital portfolio.

Plans for our trip west to visit SAMI and the University of Puget Sound in early March are advancing. Team members who will be participating in this trip are Pieter deHart, Ray Phinney, Brian Hull, Kate Coseo, and Josh Kercsmar. Unfortunately, we will not be able to visit Montana Western University on this same trip, but we are exploring alternative opportunities to learn about their Experience One program and how it can inform our design work at Unity.

The marketing and advancement team continued to work with external marketers to provide feedback on the proposed program and develop strategies for marketing it. The leadership team (Doore, Khoury, Latty, with Cartier and Hutchinson) will be meeting with the marketing group in the next two weeks to determine next steps.

Marketing and advancement is also finalizing their recruitment plan for the fall 2019 testbed.

In addition to this ongoing work, FIT read and discussed the Aspen Institute reportThe Brain Basis for Integrated Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (attached). We were encouraged to note that many of the proposed design features of F2Y are consistent with recommendations within this report. The report also noted the importance of faculty and staff mental health and social emotional skills in order to effectively support student learning. To this end, I am continuing to talk with Dr. Deborah Donahue-Keegan about her work with faculty at Tufts University and explore opportunities for her (or her colleagues) to provide professional development support for us moving forward.

How is the Campus Community Engaging in the Work?

Considerable time in Thursday’s Faculty Meeting was devoted to a discussion of F2Y in the broader context of growing instability within the institution of higher education.

Members of the academic design team (Coseo, Fox, Kercsmar, and Whittaker) invited faculty to schedule 90-minute meetings with them over the next week to discuss the proposed general education core curriculum and implications for program-specific curriculum in years 3 and 4.

During SALT and ALT meetings this week, we will be asking committee members to collaborate on aspects of the design work, specifically the development of professional development strategies and drafts of degree major Pathways.

Please reach out to any member of FIT if you have questions or ideas. We really want to hear from you!

Respectfully,

— Jen

Jennifer L. Cartier, Ph.D.

Director of Curricular Innovation

Associate Professor of Education

Unity College

Unity, Maine 04998

(412) 215-6511

 

Office: Unity House, Room 2

F2Y Office: Constable Hall