Highlights from the TERRAIN Implementation Team


Wrapping up the Spring Term

Throughout the spring term, the TERRAIN implementation team addressed its charge and accomplished several goals. Below I summarize this work and provide details of the goings-on since our last TERRAIN update.


Summary of work led by the academic team during spring and next steps for summer:

  • The academic team designed a fall testbed expedition, Wildlife and Place, and identified an instructional team (Ellen Batchelder, Randy Colvin, Kate Coseo, and Josh Kercsmar) who will implement this curriculum with incoming first-year students in fall, 2019. Members of the student life team, led by Ray Phinney, have been working closely with Kate Coseo (TERRAIN testbed lead instructor for fall 2019) to plan co-curricular elements of the Wildlife and Place expedition. This work will continue throughout the summer.


  • Members of the academic team worked with faculty throughout the term to develop pathways – curriculum plans for first- and second-year students to prepare them for enrollment in each of our degree major programs as third-year students. Part of this work involved identifying topics and themes for Year 1 expeditions, planning specific modules to support those expeditions, and targeting specific skills and outcomes that will be “packaged” into short courses in the first or second year of TERRAIN. As leader of this team, I presented this “Scope and Sequence” work to the Unity College community during spring professional development (May 15th), along with Brian Doore, Erica Hutchinson, Ray Phinney, and Kate Coseo. Following a subsequent discussion, the faculty voted (77% in favor) to endorse the TERRAIN design plan, including the quarter calendar system and the design of Year 1 expeditions and short courses.


  • The degree major pathways provided the blueprint for curriculum design work undertaken by 20 faculty members during summer 2019. The curriculum work began with a Design Institute on June 3-4. During this institute, faculty members refined learning outcome goals for Year 1 expeditions and short courses and worked with Dr. Paula Quinn and Dr. Kristine Wobbe, both of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, to develop pedagogical approaches and tools for supporting Problem-Based Learning (PBL). Currently (June-July, 2019), there are teams designing 9 different Year 1 expeditions (across all four curricular lenses) and faculty members designing an additional 11 Year 1 short courses. As Director of Curricular Innovation, I am overseeing this work, with support from CAO Erika Latty.


Summary of work led by the student life team during spring and next steps for summer:

  • The student life team designed four Living Learning Communities, each anchored in a geographical region of Maine and focused on a particular theme (e.g., sustainable leadership).


  • The student life team has also worked hard to articulate key learning outcomes addressed throughout current co-curricular programming, Unity Experience, and New Student Orientation and to create varied opportunities to integrate opportunities for students to achieve these outcomes within the planned Expeditions and LLCs. As noted above, the work of integrating design and delivery of programming across academic and co-curricular contexts is ongoing.


  • Throughout the summer, Dean Phinney will be working with Chief Facilities Officer Jim Kauppila to prepare Wood Hall to welcome TERRAIN students and staff in the fall.


Summary of work led by the advancement team during spring and next steps for summer:

  • The advancement team worked with external consultants to characterize the interests and goals of potential partners, with an emphasis on informing the design of Year 2 practicum opportunities. Kristine McCallister, Internship Coordinator, will be working closely with others in the TERRAIN team to build on this groundwork throughout the coming year.


  • Advancement also developed  and implemented a recruitment plan for the fall TERRAIN testbed. Their recruitment efforts have resulted in an overwhelmingly positive response from students. To meet the demand from incoming Year 1 students, we will be offering two sections ofWildlife and Place in fall 2019. Both cohorts will reside in Wood Hall, enabling us to provide a coherent Living Learning Community experience for all of the TERRAIN students.


  • The Advancement department has identified opportunities with private foundations for potential support.  One grant has been submitted and a second is in process for submission.


  • Throughout the summer, the advancement team will be continuing to develop marketing and recruitment materials for TERRAIN.



I would like to close by thanking everyone for a very productive spring term. Any change can be challenging,  but change of this magnitude – impacting so many of our day-to-day experiences – can be particularly thorny. I am encouraged to see our community rising to this challenge and confident that what we are building will have an immensely positive impact on our students moving forward. I look forward to continued collaboration with all of you.







Jennifer L. Cartier, Ph.D. (she, her, hers)

Director of Curricular Innovation 

Professor of Education

Unity College

Unity, Maine 04998

(412) 215-6511


Office: Unity House, Room 2

TERRAIN Office: Constable Hall