Centre College faculty receive Teagle Foundation grant

Posted by Centre News in Academics, News 15 Jun 2015

old centre sealCentre College and three other members of the Associated Colleges of the South have received a $50,000 grant from the Teagle Foundation to fund the “Making Curricular Coherence Explicit for Students: Enhancing Faculty Communication as Teachers and Advisors” project.

The grant will be used over two years to support collaborative faculty working groups that will enhance attention to and articulation of curricular connections between student learning outcomes gained in general education courses and courses in the majors, as well as their relevance for lives of learning, service and work after graduation.

Centre shares the grant funds in collaboration with three other ACS liberal arts colleges—Millsaps College in Mississippi, Rollins College in Florida and Sewanee: The University of the South in Tennessee. Each school will work on an independent project pertinent to their campus in addition to the larger group work on general education programs.

The colleges’ deans have appointed faculty delegates to carry out the project on campus. The faculty members representing Centre are Dr. Sarah Lashley, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and assistant professor of environmental studies, and Dr. John Wilson, Stodghill Professor of Mathematics. Dr. Lashley will serve as the project’s director for all four schools.

“With this funding, working groups of faculty volunteers will be formed to devise methods that we, as faculty members and advisors, can utilize to point out the value of a liberal arts education to our students,” explains Wilson, who will oversee Centre’s portion of the grant.

Wilson has appointed two faculty “working groups” at Centre, chaired by Dr. Mary Gulley, assistant dean for advising and assistant professor of psychology, and Dr. Chris Paskewich, assistant professor of politics and international studies.

Faculty and staff delegates recently attended a seminar led by guest speaker Dr. David Paris, vice president of Integrative Liberal Learning and the Global Commons at the Association of American Colleges and Universities. According to Lashley, they then met to “review the goals of the collaboration, the scope of the grant and relevant resources related to the value of a liberal arts education, curricular coherence and the relationship between post-secondary education and careers.”

“We hope to gain ideas for how we can communicate with faculty, staff, students, family members and potential employers about the development and transferability of knowledge and skills developed throughout our curriculums,” she continues. “We also hope to develop the personal relationships among campus partners that are needed to sustain a long-term and largely virtual collaboration.”

The faculty coordinators and deans will meet several more times during the duration of the grant to discuss what they have learned from the experience.

“We hope that our participation in this grant will augment both the coherence of our curriculum and our ability to more effectively and intentionally advise our students as they move through their four years and beyond,” says Dr. Stephanie Fabritius, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college.

by Hayley Hoffman ‘16
June 15, 2015

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