Desert of My Real Life

Category: Integrated Clusters

Advocating for “Open”

Because NH students have the highest student loan debt in the country, I think every instructor in public higher education in the state has an obligation to minimize student expenses in whatever way we can. One of the things faculty can individually control is our choice of educational materials. To me, this means that faculty…

Integrated Clusters, General Education, and the Creative Commons

Plymouth State University's president came to campus three years ago with a vision that, at the time, he called "Strategic Clusters" (which has since been rebranded as "Integrated Clusters"). I thought (and still think) the vision is exactly the direction that higher education should move in. As we have begun to implement this vision at…

Why is PSU Moving to Clusters?

President Birx wrote a blog post (which I've referenced more times than I can count) about the Four Tools of Clusters. It's important to note that three of the four tools are directly related to the General Education program at Plymouth State University. I am starting to take on my responsibilities as the new (first!)…

The New Education: First Year Seminar

I've been busy for the last month or so IndieWebifying my web site. That's been really fun. But  I've also been started planning for my new position as Coordinator of General Education. Accepted students will start coming to campus this week for orientation which means that First Year Seminar is on my mind. Because of…

The New Education

I recently read The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University and Prepare Students For a World in Flux by Cathy N. Davidson. Davidson has long been an academic hero of mine for, among her many accomplishments, co-founding of HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory), a community of folks interested in "changing…

Students’ Signature Work: Conference Debrief

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the Davis Educational Foundation sponsored a one day institute in Boston this weekend for institutions of higher education who want to learn more about "signature work." What is signature work? Here's what AAC&U says: In Signature Work, a student uses his or her cumulative learning to…

Assessment That Works

We at Plymouth State University have been talking about appropriate assessment of our General Education program for most of the 20 years that I have been here. When we instituted our "new" Gen Ed program in 2005, we developed a General Education Handbook which identified some administrative goals for the new program, including: "A General…

Guest Post from Alex Richard

A couple of weeks ago, my First Year Seminar (FYS) classes discussed ways that we might assess the learning outcome in our class related to General Education. In particular, at the end of FYS, students should understand the purpose of general education and make connections between general education and major coursework. The class brainstormed ideas…