Highlights from the TERRAIN Implementation Team: April 15-19, 2019

What is the Team Up To?

During the meetings this week the Student Life team engaged the rest of the TERRAIN participants in thoughtful discussion about the Living Learning Community (LLC) component of the program. A living learning community is a themed residential housing environment based on a common major, interest, or program. We discussed many options and opportunities and have decided to associate each LLC with a Maine river valley. This will enable us to connect rich learning opportunities within LLCs to diverse regions and issues across Maine. Our initial description of proposed LLCs follows:

LLC Theme Regional Focus Description
Sustainable Leadership Kennebec River Valley Our Sustainable Leadership LLC will allow residents to explore aspects of sustainability (People, Planet, and Profit) as well as improve on their leadership skills. The LLC will focus on the Kennebec River Valley, which goes through Waterville, Augusta, Gardiner, and Bath. Residents in the LLC will develop a strong relationship with Augusta Maine’s state capital through engagement and interaction with state policy and legislators. There they will explore firsthand the impact that their role as leaders can have for the environment.
Maine Outdoors and Wildlife Moose River Valley Home to Unity’s Sky Lodge, the Moose River Valley expands across a vast wilderness of inland waters, mountains, and a large and ecologically diverse international boundary between Canada and the United States. Residents in the Moose River Valley LLC will explore the heritage of outdoor recreation and resource-based economies at play in a rural Maine community through outdoor excursions and experiential inquiry. Residents will draw critical links between the ways that environment, industry, and history intersect. They will also learn about the unique issues and problems facing communities of the Moose River Valley.
Civic Engagement and Action Penobscot River Valley The mighty Penobscot River, the largest watershed in the state of Maine, has been the lifeblood of Maine communities beginning with the first peoples of the Penobscot Nation. Residents of the Penobscot River Valley LLC will explore a diverse geographic area that permeates urban and rural communities including vast wilderness areas, while working to understand the challenges associated with the places that define this area. Through a hands-on approach, residents will explore the myriad ways that service and social advocacy contribute to equity, social justice, and cultural competency.
Art and Global Communities Presumpscot and Stroudwater River Valleys In the Art and Global Communities LLC, focused on the Presumpscot River Valley, students will travel to and attend events associated with the vibrant arts, international cultures, and history within the region. The Presumpscot River Valley is over 25 miles long starting a Sebago Lake and traveling through Cumberland County, to its end at Casco Bay. Our presence in Portland Maine, an epicenter of global arts and culture in Maine, will be a central focal point of this LLC. Within this LLC students will gain a broader knowledge of global art and history and have a chance to explore it first hand while tackling some of the deeper questions associated with population migration and cultural expression.


The Advancement team continued preparations for Accepted Student Day (April 20th): Members of FIT will join Erica and Brian Hull at the TERRAIN table throughout the morning, answering questions from students and visitors. Melik (with a little help from me) will present TERRAIN to the participants of ASD immediately after he welcomes them to campus. We will take this opportunity to distribute postcards for students and visitors to provide us with some quick feedback about what they found most interesting about TERRAIN and how likely they are to apply to participate in the program. Students and visitors can also indicate if they’d like us to contact them with additional information.


The Advancement team reports that, as a result of their e-mail campaign that began last week, 11 students have applied to participate in TERRAIN in the fall.


The Academic team continued to refine the Scope & Sequence for Years 1 & 2, concentrating on developing sample degree major pathways and identifying potential short courses.


How is the Campus Community Engaging in the Work?

Members of the Academic team have continued to meet with faculty and staff to discuss various elements of the curricular design, including pathways and strategies for integrating Nova outcomes and programming within Year 1 expeditions.


I presented an overview of the most recent draft of the TERRAIN Scope & Sequence, as well as a staffing model for Year 1 expeditions, during Faculty Meeting on Thursday (4.18). Next week (Thursday, 4.25), faculty will brainstorm topics/themes for Year 1 expeditions, identify key learning outcomes to address in those contexts, and propose short courses for Year 1 and Year 2. Further discussion of the staffing model will occur in a future Strategic Academic Leadership Team meeting as well.


We had a substantial and productive discussion about degree major pathways during the Academic Leadership Team meeting today. Once again, I’d like to encourage everyone to reach out to TERRAIN folks and schedule a time to map out your degree pathway if you have not already done so. This will be an enormous help to us as we prepare for some efficient use of PD time in May!



— 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