Dear Unity Community,

I wanted to share an update from the F2Y Implementation team as our final update for 2018. On behalf of CAO Latty, President Khoury and I also wanted to commend DCI Cartier, CADO Hutchinson, DOS Phinney, and the rest of the F2Y team for all of their hardwork over the course of this year. They really have made remarkable progress. We hope you have a wonderful winter break, and we are all looking forward to seeing the progress of this group in the New Year.



FIT update appears below:

Digital Portfolios. The working group (Cartier, deHart, Gilbert) has continued to develop familiarity with the capabilities of various digital portfolio and assessment data tools. This work has included attendance at webinars and one-on-one zoom meetings with product vendors. They have investigated several potential products (including Watermark products, Digication, Portfolium, SPOL, WEAVE, and jenzabar) and have focused on learning about three in greater detail (Taskstream by Watermark, Digication, and Portfolium). Considering the needs of various users (students, faculty, data managers), the team worked with Bert Audette to articulate specific requirements in language appropriate for software developers. They have subsequently provided this information to a subset of vendors and scheduled follow-up zoom meetings in early January to discuss the extent to which each platform meets our requirements. In the next few weeks, the team will continue to look into a few more potential platforms (including foliotek). They have also scheduled several telephone meetings with staff at various small private colleges who use each of these tools in an effort to learn more about the products and firsthand experiences with adoption. They are hoping to recommend a specific digital portfolio platform to FIT by mid- to late January.

Curricular Scope & Sequence. Building on work started in the Phase 1 team (summer 2018) and continued by CAPC (fall 2018), the academic working group has begun to identify specific learning goals (core skills and understandings) that will form the basis of Year 1 learning expeditions. This work will be a primary focus of the group when faculty members return in January following the holiday break.

Student Support and “Onboarding”. The student support working group (with participation from members of the academic working group) have continued to map out a comprehensive program for providing first-semester students with important information about the college (e.g., using the LMS, availability of resources, etc.) and skills to navigate the challenges (personal, residential, and academic) of college life. The team is reviewing research literature related to Social Emotional Learning, mindfulness, and resilience in order to inform program design.

Professional Development. Jen has been working with CAO Latty and consulting with various FIT members to plan sessions for faculty during January professional development. She has also been identifying potential collaborators/consultants who might provide professional development (related to developing multidisciplinary learning blocks, Social Emotional learning, etc.) for faculty in future.