Foundations of Excellence:
Implementing the Path Toward
Excellence for First-Year Students
Scott E. Evenbeck
October 2, 2009
University of Colorado, Denver
Contact
Scott E. Evenbeck, Dean
IUPUI University College
815 West Michigan Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
317.274.5032
[email protected]
www.universitycollege.iupui.edu
“The campus environment--how an institution
structures the new student experience-plays an important role in determining how
students spend their time, how they engage
in learning, and whether they decide to
return for the second year or even the next
term. Yet campus assessment often focuses
primarily on student characteristics rather
than the institution's policies, practices, and
procedures.”
Think Back…
Can you remember your first semester in
college?
Why did you stay or why did you
leave?
Outline


The National Picture
Centering on Learning
◦ LEAP Student Learning Outcomes
◦ LEAP Principles of Excellence


Foundations of Excellence
An Example
◦ First Year Seminar

National Learning Communities
◦ Data

The Challenge – Providing a Context for
Student Success
The National Picture
300
Total
250
• The future of American higher
education will be increasingly
influenced by urban universities –
clear urbanization trends
200
U.S. Population
(in millions)
Urban
150
100
• Universities have become
increasingly more engaged with
communities – land grant tradition
began with Morrill Act (1862) – must
now have a strong forward-thinking
advocate for urban grants
• Improve the social, educational,
economic, cultural, health sectors
of the community
Rural
50
0
1750
1800
1850
100%
1900
1950
2000
2050
Population Percentages
90%
Urban
Rural
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
1750
1800
1850
1900
Source: Sukhatme, U. “University College IUPUI Academic Plan.” University College Faculty Retreat, September , 2009.
1950
2000
2050
Source: Academic Dean’s Retreat 2009
Centering on Learning
Comparing Educational Paradigms
Mission and Purposes
The Instruction Paradigm
The Learning Paradigm
Provide/deliver instruction
Produce learning
Transfer knowledge from faculty
to students
Elicit student discovery and
construction of knowledge
Offer courses and programs
Create powerful learning
environments
Improve the quality of instruction
Improve the quality of learning
Achieve access for diverse
students
Achieve success for diverse students
Source: Barr, R. B. & Tagg, J. (1995). From teaching to learning---A paradigm for undergraduate education, Change, 27, 12-25.
Comparing Educational Paradigms
Criteria for Success
The Instruction Paradigm
The Learning Paradigm
Inputs, resources
Learning and student-success
outcomes
Quality of entering students
Quality of exiting students
Curriculum development, expansion
Learning technologies development,
expansion
Quantity and quality of resources
Quantity and quality of outcomes
Enrollment, revenue growth
Aggregate learning growth, efficiency
Quality of faculty, instruction
Quality of students, learning
Source: Barr, R. B. & Tagg, J. (1995). From teaching to learning---A paradigm for undergraduate education, Change, 27, 12-25.
Comparing Educational Paradigms
Teaching/Learning Structures
The Instruction Paradigm
The Learning Paradigm
Atomistic; parts prior to whole
Holistic; whole prior to parts
Time held constant, learning varies
Learning held constant, time varies
50-minute lecture, 3-unit course
Learning environments
Classes start/end at same time
Environment ready when student is
One teacher, one classroom
Whatever learning experience works
Independent disciplines, departments
Cross discipline/department
collaboration
Covering material
Specified learning results
End-of-course assessment
Pre/during/post assessments
Grading within classes by instructors
External evaluations of learning
Private assessment
Public assessment
Degree equals accumulated credit
hours
Degree equals demonstrated
knowledge and skills
Source: Barr, R. B. & Tagg, J. (1995). From teaching to learning---A paradigm for undergraduate education, Change, 27, 12-25.
Comparing Educational Paradigms
Learning Theory
The Instruction Paradigm
The Learning Paradigm
Knowledge exists “out there”
Knowledge exists in each person’s mind and
is shaped by individual experience
Knowledge comes in “chunks” and “bits”
delivered by instructors
Knowledge is constructed, created, and
“gotten”
Learning cumulative and linear
Learning is a nesting and interacting of
frameworks
Fits the storehouse of knowledge metaphor
Fits learning how to ride a bicycle metaphor
Learning is teacher centered and controlled
Learning is student centered and controlled
“Live” teacher, “live” students required
“Active” learner required, but not “live”
teacher
The classroom and learning are competitive
and individualistic
Learning environments and learning are
cooperative, collaborative, and supportive
Talent and ability are rare
Talent and ability are abundant
Source: Barr, R. B. & Tagg, J. (1995). From teaching to learning---A paradigm for undergraduate education, Change, 27, 12-25.
Comparing Educational Paradigms
Productivity/Funding
The Instruction Paradigm
The Learning Paradigm
Definition of productivity: cost per
hour of instruction per student
Definition of productivity: cost per
unit of learning per student
Funding for hours of instruction
Funding for learning outcomes
Source: Barr, R. B. & Tagg, J. (1995). From teaching to learning---A paradigm for undergraduate education, Change, 27, 12-25.
Comparing Educational Paradigms
Nature of Roles
The Instruction Paradigm
Faculty are primarily lecturers
The Learning Paradigm
Faculty are primarily designers of
learning methods and environments
Faculty and students act independently Faculty and students work in teams
and in isolation
with each other and other staff
Teachers classify and sort students
Teachers develop every student’s
competencies
Staff serve/support faculty and the
process of instruction
All staff are educators who produce
student learning and success
Any expert can teach
Empowering learning is challenging
and complex
Line governance; independent actors
Shared governance; teamwork
Source: Barr, R. B. & Tagg, J. (1995). From teaching to learning---A paradigm for undergraduate education, Change, 27, 12-25.
Centering on Learning

Liberal Education and America’s Promise
(LEAP) of Association of American
Colleges and Universities (AACU)
Liberal Education and America’s
Promise (LEAP)
 The Essential Learning Outcomes
 The Principles of Excellence
Source: Association of American Colleges and
Universities. (2007). College Learning for the New
Century.
Essential Learning Outcomes
Beginning in school, and
continuing at successively higher
levels across their college studies,
students should prepare for
twenty-first century challenges by
gaining:
Essential Learning Outcomes
Knowledge of Human Cultures
and the Physical and Natural World
 Through study in the science and
mathematics, social sciences,
humanities, histories, languages, and
the arts
Essential Learning Outcomes
Intellectual and Practical Skills
Inquiry and analysis
Critical and creative thinking
Written and oral communication
Quantitative literacy
Information literacy
Teamwork and problem solving
Essential Learning Outcomes
Personal and Social Responsibility
Civic knowledge and engagement
—local and global
Intercultural knowledge and competence
Ethical reasoning and action
Foundations and skills for lifelong
learning
Essential Learning Outcomes
Integrative Learning
Synthesis and advanced accomplishment
across general and specialized studies
Principles of Excellence
Principle One:
Aim High and Make Excellence
Inclusive
Make the Essential Learning
Outcomes a framework for the entire
educational experience, connecting
school, college, work, and life
Principles of Excellence
Principle Two:
Give Students a Compass
Focus each student’s plan of study on
achieving the Essential Learning
Outcomes and assess progress
Principles of Excellence
Principle Three:
Teach the Arts of Inquiry and
Innovation
Immerse all students in analysis,
discovery, problem solving, and
communication, beginning in school
and advancing in college
Principles of Excellence
Principle Four:
Engage the Big Questions
Teach through the curriculum to farreaching issues—contemporary and
enduring—in science and society,
cultures and values, global
interdependence, the changing
economy, and human dignity and
freedom
Principles of Excellence
Principle Five:
Connect Knowledge with Choices and
Action
Prepare students for citizenship and
work through engaged and guided
learning on “real-world” problems
Principles of Excellence
Principle Six:
Foster Civic, Intercultural, and Ethical
Learning
Emphasize personal and social
responsibility, in every field of study
Principles of Excellence
Principle Seven:
Assess Students’ Ability to Apply
Learning to Complex Problems
Use assessment to deepen learning
and to establish a culture of shared
purpose and continuous improvement
Foundations of Excellence
Philosophy
Dimension
Approach the first year in ways that are
intentional and based on a
philosophy/rationale of the first year that
informs relevant institutional policies and
practices.
The philosophy/rationale is explicit, clear and easily
understood, consistent with the institutional mission,
widely disseminated, and, as appropriate, reflects a
consensus of campus constituencies. The
philosophy/rationale is also the basis for first-year
organizational policies, practices, structures,
leadership, department/unit philosophies, and
resource allocation.
Source: http://www.fyfoundations.org/4year.aspx
University of Colorado, Denver
First-Year Philosophy
Disseminate the UC Denver philosophy developed under the FoE program
Responsible Unit: Quality Undergraduate Education
Resources Required: Minimal (for marketing and brochures)
While many of the UC Denver campus units have mission statements, prior to FoE there was no
overall philosophy statement for the first-year experience. The UC Denver philosophy statement
recommendation is given in the Philosophy Dimension Committee summary report (see Appendix).
Inherent in the introduction of a FYE philosophy for UC Denver is the widespread dissemination of the
philosophy focused on creating a new culture and new traditions around the FYE. The Philosophy
Dimension Committee recommends the utilization of the philosophy statement in:
• communication with students and parents
• first-year student orientation
• first-year seminar courses
• student “road maps” that identify key milestones and campus resources
• learning and living communities • student support offices
• new faculty and staff orientations
Until such time that the proposed FYE Steering Committee is implemented, it will be the responsibility of the Quality
Undergraduate Education committee to review, approve, and disseminate the UC Denver FY philosophy statement.
Organization
Dimension
Create organizational structures and
policies that provide a comprehensive,
integrated, and coordinated approach to
the first year.
These structures and policies provide oversight
and alignment of all first-year efforts. A coherent
first-year experience is realized and maintained
through effective partnerships among academic
affairs, student affairs, and other administrative
units and is enhanced by ongoing faculty and staff
development activities and appropriate budgetary
arrangements.
http://www.fyfoundations.org/4year.aspx
If it is not someone’s work,
it is no one’s work.
How can you develop
a
community of practice?
Learning
Dimension
Deliver intentional curricular and co-curricular
learning experiences that engage students in
order to develop knowledge, skills, attitudes, and
behaviors consistent with the desired outcomes
of higher education and the institution’s
philosophy and mission.
Whether in or out of the classroom, learning also
promotes increased competence in critical thinking,
ethical development, and the lifelong pursuit of
knowledge.
Source: http://www.fyfoundations.org/4year.aspx
Might the Campus Articulate
Learning Outcomes Across the
Curriculum?
Faculty
Dimension
Make the first college year a high
priority for the faculty.
These instructions are characterized
by a culture of faculty responsibility for
the first year that is realized through
high-quality instruction in first-year
classes and substantial interaction
between faculty and first-year students
both inside and outside the classroom.
This culture of responsibility is
nurtured by chief academic officers,
deans, and department chairs and
supported by the institutions’ reward
systems.
Source: http://www.fyfoundations.org/4year.aspx
Faculty have to be at the
center
Transitions
Dimension
Facilitate appropriate student
transitions through policies and
practices that are intentional and
aligned with institutional mission.
Beginning with recruitment and
admissions and continuing through the
first year, institutions communicate clear
curricular and co-curricular expectations
and provide appropriate support for
educational success. They are forthright
about their responsibilities to students as
well as students’ responsibilities to
themselves and the institution. They
create and maintain curricular alignments
with secondary schools and linkages with
secondary school personnel, families, and
other sources of support, as appropriate.
Source: http://www.fyfoundations.org/4year.aspx
It’s the right thing to establish a one-stop
first-year student services/orientation
center.
It’s right to have a seamless FYE
w/orientation, seminars, and advising.
Orientation must be required.
All Students
Dimension
Serve all first-year students
according to their varied needs.
The process of anticipating, diagnosing,
and addressing needs is ongoing and is
subject to assessment and adjustment
throughout the first year. Institutions
provide services with respect for the
students’ abilities, backgrounds, interests,
and experiences. Institutions also ensure a
campus environment that is inclusive and
safe for all students.
Source: http://www.fyfoundations.org/4year.aspx
 Mentoring Works
 Research Works
Diversity
Dimension
Ensure that all first-year students
experience diverse ideas, worldviews, and
cultures as a means of enhancing their
learning and preparing them to become
members of pluralistic communities.
Whatever their demographic composition,
institutions structure experiences in which
students interact in an open and civil community
with people from backgrounds and cultures
different from their own, reflect on ideas and
values different from those they currently hold,
and explore their own cultures and the cultures of
others.
Source: http://www.fyfoundations.org/4year.aspx
Stress Diversity
Roles and Purposes
Dimension
Promote student understanding of the various
roles and purposes of higher education, both for
the individual and for society.
These roles and purposes include knowledge acquisition
for personal growth, learning to prepare for future
employment, learning to become engaged citizens, and
learning to serve the public good. Institutions
encourage first-year students to examine systematically
their motivation and goals with regard to higher
education in general and to their own college/university.
Students are exposed to the value of general education
as well as to the value of more focused, in-depth study
of a field or fields of knowledge (i.e. the major).
Source: http://www.fyfoundations.org/4year.aspx
Careers are important
 Experiential education works
 Preparing citizens

Improvement
Dimension
Conduct assessment and maintain associations
with other institutions and relevant professional
organizations in order to achieve ongoing firstyear improvement.
This assessment is specific to the first year as a unit of
analysis—a distinct time period and set of experiences,
academic and otherwise, in the lives of students. It is
also linked systemically to the institutions’ overall
assessment. Assessment results are an integral part of
institutional planning, resource allocation, decisionmaking, and ongoing improvement of programs and
policies as they affect first-year students. As part of the
enhancement process and as a way to achieve ongoing
improvement, institutions are familiar with current
practices at other institutions as well as with research
and scholarship on the first college year.
Source: http://www.fyfoundations.org/4year.aspx
University College Three-Phase
Assessment Framework
Assessment Framework
Needs
Entering Student Survey
Processes
Qualitative Research
Outcomes
Retention and Persistence
Satisfaction Surveys
Focus groups
Academic Performance
Enrollment Reports
Interviews
Learning Outcomes
Questionnaires
Student Satisfaction
Non-Returning Survey
Faculty Fellowships
Program Participation Rates
Student Engagement
Gateway Course Forums
NSSE
External Reviews
Faculty Fellows
Instructional Teams
University College Outcome Assessment Framework:
Employment of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods
Satisfaction
Surveys
Focus
Groups
Interviews
Academic
Performance
(GPAs; DFWs)
Satisfaction
Portfolios
Survey Self-Reports
Standardized Tests
Learning
Outcomes
GPAs
CATs
Accountability
and Impacts
National Survey of
Student
Engagement
Student
Engagement
Retention
Graduation
Rates
Degree
Attainment
Campus Climate for
Diversity Survey
Focus Groups
Interviews
UC Strategic Planning/Assessment Template
G eneral
O utco m e
G oal or
O bjective
E xpected
im p rovem ents
or changes
Im ple m entation
strategies (w hat
is being don e to
achieve the
outco m e goal or
objective)
M easures (w hat
m easures,
w ould provide
evidence of
w hether the
changes have
occurred)
M ethodology
(H ow is
inform ation
being
collected,
analyzed, and
dissem inated)
F indings
(w hat are
the
results? )
Im provem ents
(w hat has been
or is being
done to adjust
processes
based on
findings? )
Bringing It To Campus –
What Can We Do?

First Year Seminars

Learning Communities

Themed Learning Communities (TLC)

Bridge

Bridge + TLC
IUPUI: Profile
 Downtown Indianapolis
 Public comprehensive four year institution
 Over 200 academic programs
 Doctoral/Research Intensive
Student Profile:
18,857 full-time students
11,443 part-time students
56.9% female; 43.1% male
Students from 50 states; 122 countries; all 92 Indiana
counties
63% under 25 years of age
More than 60% are first generation
Around 70% work more than 30 hours a week
First Year Seminars
Instructional Team

Faculty

Academic Advisor

Student Mentor

Librarian
Learning Outcomes
Students will begin to develop a
comprehensive perspective on
higher education.
Learning Outcomes
Students will have the opportunity to
experience a safe, supportive, and
positive university learning
experience, which includes the
establishment of a network of staff,
faculty, and other students.
Learning Outcomes
Students will understand and begin to
practice basic communication skills
appropriate to the academic setting.
Learning Outcomes
Students will begin the process of
understanding critical thinking in the
university context.
Learning Outcomes
Students should begin to develop a
knowledge of their own abilities, skills,
and life demands so that they can
develop these more effectively in
pursuit of their academic goals.
Learning Outcomes
Students should understand the role
and make full use of IUPUI
resources and services which
support their learning and campus
connections.
Learning Communities
A wide variety of educational programs have the
“learning community” label. In general, most
learning communities consist of a cohort of
students who take one or more courses together.
Frequently, the courses are organized around a
common theme and many learning communities
require students to be involved in out-of-class
activities. Some learning communities include a
residential component. Even though they may be
different features, participating in a learning
community has generally been consistently linked
to higher levels of student achievement, learning,
and success (Taylor, Moore, MacGregor &
Lindblad, 2003).
Learning Communities

Cohort Groups

First Year Seminar
◦ One of the courses
Themed Learning Communities
(TLC)
What is a Themed Learning
Community (TLC)?

3 or more linked courses including an integrative first year
seminar connected through an interdisciplinary theme.

First year seminar is taught by an instructional team
including a faculty member, academic advisor, librarian and
student mentor

Faculty and instructional team members work together to
integrate the curricula

Involve exciting opportunities for experiential learning (cocurricular/service learning experiences)
Examples of TLCs
Non-major Specific:

Major Specific:
School of Education
 Urban Community Past and Present
For Love AND Money
(English, Psychology, Math & Career Exploration
Seminar)

Push it to the Limit: African
American Perspectives and
Expressions on Power in
American Society
(Sociology, Public Speaking & First Year Seminar)

Can’t We All Just Get Along?
(Examining Self as Teacher, History, English, First Year Seminar)
School of Nursing
 So…You Say You Want to Be a Nurse
(Sociology, English Composition & Nursing Success Seminar)









Herron School of Art
Business
Engineering
Technology
Psychology
Forensic Science
SPEA
Social Work
Liberal Arts
(Anthropology, Psychology, English and First Year
Seminar)
Complete listings and descriptions:
http://tlc.iupui.edu/2007/index.html
TLC Experiential Learning Examples
Themed Learning Community Students
learn through:

Museums (Eiteljorg, IMA, Indiana State Museum,

Plays
Freedom Center)
(at the Madame Walker Theater, IRT and more)


Festivals
Service Learning (community agencies, local

Meeting with NCAA president

Visiting a local mosque during Ramadan

Participating in a live global discussion
with Israel

Interviewing with Channel 8 News
schools, shelters, Juvenile Detention Center)
Summer Academy Bridge Program

What is the Bridge Program?
 A two week program designed to transition
students from high school to college
 Free to students
 Chance to meet other students and make
college friends
 A way to learn skills and information to prepare
for college success
 Joint program with University College and
academic schools
Summer Academy Bridge Program

“Jump-Start Academic Careers”
 Sharpen skills in math, writing & communications
 Prepared & ready to start first semester college
 Get to know campus & resources
 Form connections with faculty, academic advisors &
student mentors
 Create friendships
The Results
Impact of Participation in a First-Year
Fall 2007 Seminar: One-Year Retention
Type of
Admit
First-Year
Seminar
N
Regular
Admits
Non-Participants
175
69%
69%
Participants
1458
74%
74%
Overall
1633
74%
Non-Participants
65
46%
49%
Participants
608
61%
60%
Overall
673
59%
Conditional
Admits
Retention Rate Adjusted Rate
Six-Year Graduation Rate - IUPUI (IN only) First-Time, Full-Time Cohort
Dual Admits
UC Regular Admits
UC Conditional Admits
Pct. Completed any
Official Six-Year Degree or Certificate
Graduation Rate1
within Six Years2
44%
45%
39%
48%
Cohort
Year
1999
First Term Learning
Community Status
Participant
Non-participant
n
274
110
Ave. SAT
1094
1085
Ave.
HS%ile
76
73
2000
Participant
Non-participant
268
144
1089
1107
76
74
47%
46%
47%
48%
1999
Participant
Non-participant
362
122
1026
1028
73
71
45%
38%
48%
39%
2000
Participant
Non-participant
344
108
1025
1025
72
75
42%
39%
45%
39%
1999
Participant
Non-participant
1167
270
881
891
42
42
17%
11%
19%
14%
2000
Participant
Non-participant
1065
334
904
899
45
45
21%
13%
23%
14%
1The
official six-year rate is based on completion of the degree or certificate within 150% of usual time to degree (e.g. 6 years for
bachelors, 3 for associate).
2Completed
any degree or certificate within six years.
GPA and First Year Retention in the
TLCs
2007 First Semester GPA
TLC Participants
Non-Participants
Adjusted GPA*
2.79
2.55
2007 First Year Retention
Adjusted Retention*
TLC Participants
Non-Participants
76%
67%
Comparison group – students who participated in a
freshman seminar or learning community.
*adjusted to control for significant covariates
including: course load, gender, ethnicity,
SAT scores, high school percentile ranks,
units of high school math, and firstgeneration students.
Summer Bridge (Two-Week)
Student Questionnaire Results
98% of students surveyed said
they would recommend the
Summer Bridge program to
other first-year students.
2008 = 98%
2007 = 98%
2006 = 99%
2005 = 96%,
2004 = 98%
2007 Results
Bridge - Longer Term Impacts
Beginning Freshman Year
Fall
%
Fall
%
Fall
%
Fall
%
Fall
%
Fall
%
2001 Retained 2002 Retained 2003 Retained 2004 Retained 2005 Retained 2006 Retained
Original Number of Bridge Students
16
1-Year Retention
14
0
14
12
0
12
11
0
11
9
1
10
5
4
9
1
6
7
2-Year Retention
3-Year Retention
4-Year Retention
5-Year Retention
6-Year Retention
Enrolled
Graduated
Total Retained
Enrolled
Graduated
Total Retained
Enrolled
Graduated
Total Retained
Enrolled
Graduated
Total Retained
Enrolled
Graduated
Total Retained
Enrolled
Graduated
Total Retained
78
88%
0%
88%
75%
0%
75%
69%
0%
69%
56%
6%
63%
31%
25%
56%
6%
38%
44%
62
0
62
46
0
46
39
1
40
40
2
42
10
28*
38*
187
79%
0%
79%
59%
0%
59%
50%
1%
51%
51%
3%
54%
13%
36%
49%*
142
0
142
121
0
121
110
0
110
87
18*
105*
172
76%
0%
76%
65%
0%
65%
59%
0%
59%
47%
10%
56%*
130
0
130
114
1**
115**
101
2**
103**
173
76%
0%
76%
66%
1%**
67%**
59%
1%**
60%**
133
0
133
113
0
113
266
77%
0%
77%
65%
0%
65%
189
0
189
71%
0%
71%
TLCs + Bridge
 11 TLC + Bridge
Sections
 33% of 2009
TLCs include
Bridge
 58% of 2009
Bridge sections
include a TLC
The Linking of Two Initiatives:
--Summer Academy + TLC--
“Case Study”
Communicating Today’s Health Science
Culture
2007 Bridge-Themed Learning Community
Combination has Positive Effects
N
Avg.
Fall
GPA
Avg.
Predicte
d GPA
Differenc
e
% below DFW
a 2.0
Rate
GPA
BridgeTLC
200
2.96
2.86
0.11
11%
13.13%
TLC
354
2.71
2.69
0.03
16%
18.16%
What Do Participants Tell Us?
Comments from TLC Faculty
A TLC affords many opportunities for both students and faculty,
and among the greatest of these is the coordination and
collaboration among instructors to implement the theme
across the courses such that students can acquire a deeper
understanding of the theme via various modes and different
perspectives. For example, our TLC theme deals with the
issue of social justice, and students are able to examine social
justice as it relates to education, service-learning, history, and
writing. As students experience their instructors working
together toward this end they come to appreciate the
significance of, in this case, social justice issues and consider
and reflect upon their own values as they relate to these
issues. (Deborah Biss Keller, Ph.D., IU School of Education at
Indianapolis/University College)
Comments from TLC Faculty
What amazes me about my TLC students is how deeply
they engage in the theme and class activities. Months
after a TLC is over, I will learn that students formed a
Facebook site named after the TLC, or that groups of
students revisited a field trip site together, like the art
museum or a restaurant. Often, students email
articles to me or stop by my office to talk about
subsequent experiences that reminded them of the
TLC. Last year, a student applied to participate in a
filmmaker’s trip to Thailand after our TLC viewed a
film about preventing child prostitution in that
country. The students seem to incorporate the
theme, and the knowledge gained in TLC classes, into
their future lives. (Francia Kissel, TLC Faculty)
Comments from TLC Faculty



The TLC helps students begin to see their
academic work from multiple perspectives.
The integration of disciplinary concepts and
assignments in the TLC allows students
to take part in a more holistic learning
experience.
Students often find comfort in attending
most of their classes with the same students
in the TLC, which is not an easy feat on a
campus of 30,000 students. (David Sabol,
TLC Faculty)
2007 Responses to “What impact has participating in the TLCs
had on your teaching and personal or professional growth?”:

Joan Pedersen: “ I have enjoyed developing creative assignments and engaging activities to
teach my subject in a new way”

Robert Brown; “ Participating in the TLCs has made me a better listener to all of my
students. It has also changed the way that I teach and explain things to students”

Deb Keller: “It has provided me with an opportunity to work with faculty outside my
discipline. In addition, as I result of working in the TLCs, I have written and submitted for
publication an article with a colleague in my school on civic engagement in the first year of
college; and I have presented at a conference with another colleague in my school… on
learning communities”

Bev Linde: “More satisfaction. Research opportunities. Shared colleagues from related but
different disciplines. Enjoyed adding Sociology to the mix.”

Bob Osgood: “Reinforced beliefs in integrated curr(iculum). Strengthened bonds with
students as a group & indiv(iduals). Kept me interested in first-year students. Allowed SL
(service learning).”
Comments from TLC Advisor

It was amazing to watch Mary Price, as she taught fall semester 2008’s SLA-S 100. The
class was quiet, and many seemed to have a narrow set of life experiences thus far. Mary
meets the student where they are, yet she requires them to stretch beyond their
academic (and social!) comfort zones. Our course was linked with History and a Speech
course. One morning, Mary brought in croissants and explained to the class the historical
significance and the representations of the shape, etc. She showed how something so
common, something that we take for granted, could have a deeper history, if we bothered
to research, learn, and seek out that history. It was a transformative experience.

Serving as a instructional team member of a Bridge Themed Learning Community was one
of the highlights of my 13 year advising career. As faculty, staff and students, we sang, we
cried, we worked hard together and it all paid off. As I see the students around campus, I
see proof of our bond- our superior communication and collaboration. The group of
students was stellar and they will continue to be, due to their positive start.

The service learning experiences that my Themed Learning Community participated in left
an indelible impression on my life and on my students. Often times, more is gained from
stepping outside of ourselves to help others. We, then, view our own lives through a
slightly different lens. This new perspective makes us better community members, better
students or staff members. All IUPUI students should take the time to serve! (Shannon
Kelley, TLC Advisor)
Some Student Quotes From
Evaluations:

It taught me about the community and enhanced my global view of
the world.

The pairing of the classes really emphasized how different academic
disciplines influence one another

All classes were connected- so at times we were learning diff
aspects of one subject

It helped the instructors focus more on me as an individual I didn't
feel like just another number in a classroom

The TLC experience contributed to my learning through being with
the same students which in return allowed me to become
comfortable with speaking openly in public as well as express my
opinion.
National Research
Research has found that participating in
a learning community

Helps to facilitate the transition from high school to college;

Is positively related to high levels engagement during college;

Positive educational outcomes, including grades;

Desired learning outcomes;

Satisfaction with college;

Persistence and graduation rates;

Greater openness to diversity; and

Lower levels of binge drinking behaviors
Indirect Effects of Learning
Communities
Research has provided strong, consistent
support for this premise, finding that
engagement is positively related to
learning outcomes
Contingent Effects of Learning
Communities
Learning communities with courses or
discussion groups that were intended to
help students integrate course material,
and learning communities that required
student to participate in out-of-class
activities, had consistent positive
relationships with a wide range of student
engagement and learning outcomes
(National Survey of Student Engagement,
2007).
Study by Pike, Kuh and McCormick,
shows that 
First and foremost, participating in a learning
community has little direct effect on learning
outcomes.

Learning community membership was directly
associated with higher levels of student
engagement.

Learning community faculty members and other
institutional personnel would be well advised to
focus on what students will do to learn, rather
than simply what students will learn.
Conceptual Model of Learning
Community Participation
What did George Kuh and his colleagues say after
the first ten years of the NSSE?
“I say make it possible for every student to
participate in at least two high impact activities
during their undergraduate program, one in the
first year, and one later related to their major
field. The obvious choices for the first year are
first-year seminars, learning communities, and
service learning. A common intellectual
experience should be a non-negotiable
organizing principle for these early college
activities. In the later years of college, study
abroad, internships and other field experiences,
and a culminating experience are all possible.”
High Impact Activities
 First-Year Seminars and Experiences
 Common Intellectual Experiences
 Learning Communities
 Writing-Intensive Courses
 Collaborative Assignments and Projects
 Undergraduate Research
 Diversity/Global Learning
 Service Learning, Community-Based
Learning
 Internships
 Capstone Courses and Projects
Source: Kinzie & Evenbeck, “Setting up Learning Communities That Connect with Other High Impact Practices,” Washington Center, Learning Community
Summer Institute.
Community Summer Institute.
NSSE Finding:Value of High-Impact
Practices
Source: Kinzie & Evenbeck, “Setting up Learning Communities That Connect with Other High Impact Practices,”
Washington Center, Learning Community Summer Institute.
Effects of Participating in High-Impact Practices
on Deep/Integrative Learning and Gains
Deep
Gains
Gains
Gains
Learning General Personal Practical
First-Year
Learning Communities
Service Learning
+++
+++
++
++
++
+++
++
++
Senior
Study Abroad
Student-Faculty Research
++
+++
+
++
++
++
++
Internship
++
++
++
++
Service Learning
Senior Culminating Experience
+++
++
++
++
+++
++
++
++
+ p < .001, ++ p < .001 & Unstd B > .10, +++ p < .001 & Unstd B > .30
Source: Kinzie & Evenbeck, “Setting up Learning Communities That Connect with Other High Impact Practices,”
Washington Center, Learning Community Summer Institute.
Marked by 6 Conditions
1.
Time on Task

Activities demand students devote considerable time &
effort to purposeful tasks.

Most require daily decisions that deepen students’
investment in the activity.
2.
Faculty and Peer Interaction

Nature of activities puts students in circumstances that
essentially demand interaction with faculty and peers about
substantive matters over a period of time.
Source: Kinzie & Evenbeck, “Setting up Learning Communities That Connect with Other High Impact Practices,”
Washington Center, Learning Community Summer Institute.
Marked by 6 Conditions
3.
Interaction with Diversity

Participation increases the likelihood that students will
experience diversity through interaction with people who
are different from themselves. Students are challenged to
develop new ways of thinking & responding to novel
circumstances.
4.
Frequent Feedback

May be faculty, internship supervisors, peers, others. Close
proximity may provide opportunities for nearly continuous
feedback.
Source: Kinzie & Evenbeck, “Setting up Learning Communities That Connect with Other High Impact Practices,”
Washington Center, Learning Community Summer Institute.
Marked by 6 Conditions
5.
Connections between learning context and realworld settings

Opportunities for students to see how what they are
learning works in on and off campus settings.
6.
Occur in context of Coherent, Academically
Challenging Curriculum

Infused with opportunities for active, collaborative learning.
Students better understand themselves in relation to
others and the larger world.
Source: Kinzie & Evenbeck, “Setting up Learning Communities That Connect with Other High Impact Practices,”
Washington Center, Learning Community Summer Institute.
Results: Engagement & Retention
1. Engagement in the first year is essential to student persistence
& success
2. Some students appear to benefit more than others from the
same educational programs or practices
Source: Kinzie & Evenbeck, “Setting up Learning Communities That Connect with Other High Impact Practices,”
Washington Center, Learning Community Summer Institute.
Effect of Engagement on FY
GPA by ACT Scores
Source: Kinzie & Evenbeck, “Setting up Learning Communities That Connect with Other High Impact
Practices,”
Washington Center, Learning Community Summer Institute.
Source: Kinzie & Evenbeck, “Setting up Learning Communities That Connect with Other High Impact
Practices,” Washington Center, Learning Community Summer Institute.
Adelman
20 Hours
 Summer

20 Hours
Hours Completed in First Year for First-time, Full-Time Bachelor's Degree-Seeking Students
Entry Year
Hours Completed in
First Year
Number in Cohort
Percentage by Hours Completed
Percentage with 1st Year GPA of 2.0+
Percentage Enrolled for 2nd Semester
Percentage Enrolled for 2nd Year
Six-Year Graduation Rate
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
918
1118
1041
985
744
659
644
708
804
814
762
20 or More
1012
1125
1223
1219
1276
1305
1426
1336
1415
1550
1832
Less than 20
48%
50%
46%
45%
37%
34%
31%
35%
36%
34%
29%
20 or More
52%
50%
54%
55%
63%
66%
69%
65%
64%
66%
71%
Less than 20
32%
31%
30%
29%
32%
34%
31%
32%
26%
25%
23%
20 or More
93%
92%
92%
93%
93%
93%
91%
93%
92%
93%
91%
Less than 20
35%
39%
39%
39%
41%
39%
39%
40%
42%
39%
42%
20 or More
99%
99%
98%
99%
98%
99%
99%
99%
99%
99%
100%
Less than 20
34%
34%
29%
30%
30%
34%
27%
28%
26%
26%
na
20 or More
84%
85%
84%
87%
86%
84%
84%
86%
85%
87%
na
3%
4%
4%
6%
5%
41%
40%
44%
45%
47%
Less than 20
Less than 20
20 or More
Note: Hours completed includes all hours (IU, test, special, etc.) on the students record at the beginning of the 2nd year.
Figures prior to 2007 are impacted by grade replacment.
Percentage Enrolled 2nd Semester
Percentage Enrolled 2nd Year
20 or More
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
0%
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
Less than 20
20 or More
2001
20%
2000
40%
1999
60%
100%
90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
1997
80%
1997
20 or More
Six-Year Graduation Rate
100%
20 or More
2000
Less than 20
Percentage with 1st Year GPA of 2.0 or
Higher
Less than 20
1999
1998
1997
2007
2006
2005
100%
90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
1998
Less than 20
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
100%
90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Adelman
Of 1992 12th-graders who started their postsecondary careers in four-year colleges,
percentage who earned bachelor’s degrees by December 2000, by number of
credits earned in summer terms, by race/ethnicity
Percentage earning bachelor’s degrees by December 2000
Race/ethnicity
All
White
African-American
Latino
Asian
Number of summer-term credits
None
1–4
More than 4
56.2 (1.99)
68.1 (2.78)
79.7 (1.29)
59.8 (2.22)
74.2 (2.58)
82.2 (1.19)
21.2 (4.59)
42.5 (10.3)
78.2 (4.12)
48.6 (7.14)
28.3 (7.15)
56.4 (6.21)
66.8 (10.3)
70.0 (13.0)
77.9 (7.08)
NOTES: Standard errors are in parentheses. Weighted N=1.14M.
SOURCE: National Center for Education Statistics: NELS:88/2000 postsecondary transcript files (NCES 2003-402 and Supplement).
Source: http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/toolboxrevisit/toolbox.pdf
Going Back To My Question – How Can We
Provide A Context For Student Success?
Comprehensive, Mandatory
Placement Testing
 Orientation
 Bridge
 Learning Community (Including First Year
Seminar) with Instructional Team
 Early Warning
 Administrative Withdrawal
 Limit on W’s
 Academic Support


Assessment and Improvement
Discussion
Resources

Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education
National Learning Community Institute
(http://www.evergreen.edu/washcenter/home.asp)

Conference: National Learning Communities Conference, November 12-14, 2009, Marietta, GA
(http://www.kennesaw.edu/fyp/learning_communities/nlcc/2009/index.html)

Journal of Learning Communities Research
(http://www.kennesaw.edu/jlcr/)

Networks





Atlantic
California Learning Communities Consortium – (http://www.callearn.org/)
Illinois Consortium of Learning Communities
Southern
Websites





Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) – (http://www.aacu.org/)
Lumina Foundation for Education - (http://www.luminafoundation.org/)
National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition -(http://www.sc.edu/fye/)
Foundations of Excellence in the First College Year – (http://www.fyfoundations.org/)
The Association of Deans and Directors of University Colleges and Undergraduate Studies –
(http://www.bsu.edu/web/adandd/index.html)
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