Summaries to Questions About Learning Beyond the Classroom From the Fifth Stakeholder Conference
3. What concerns, if any, do you have about it?
Responses for Option #1 (integrating learning beyond the classroom into the general education curriculum):
The Gen Ed curriculum, is, in some cases, not the first priority of departments and faculty. Such an emphasis would require professional development but would also open avenues for interdisciplinary collaboration.
Who/what office is the "keeper" to follow up and measure for success?
Option #1 might feel like a top-down approach to faculty if not handled properly. There would be a need to create opportunities for inclusiveness to foster buy-in.
"Out of classroom experience" potentially is more meaningful when it is connected to the student's major and so it is critical to also have the relevance of out-of-classroom experience as a part of the major.
Can the program can be made relevant to all students, regardless of major?
Responses for Option #2 (integrating learning beyond the classroom into the major):
Some programs will be much stronger than others, if there is not central control over what's provided; however, this weakness could even prove to become a strength as various departments "compete" with other departments to develop the strongest experiential learning program.
Poses a challenge in terms of extra departmental workload.
That insufficient positions would be available and that it would be too restrictive, negating the possibilities for liberal arts majors in the business world.
Some department/majors will embrace this option rigorously and creatively, while others may not have the desire/will to do so. Some professional and other programs have majors that are fairly structured (nursing, for example, etc) which may make it difficult for them to adjust their major accordingly.
Difficulty of getting department chairs, students, and everyone in each individual major to move implement "learning beyond the classroom" because of traditional mind sets.
That some students will not have experiences early and essentially opt out. That some experiences won't be well-implemented and students won't learn.
Responses for Option #3 (integrating learning beyond the classroom through a menu of options):
Finding something for all.
Will need effective marketing program.
Difficulty of designing a meaningful form of assessment.
How to determine what options make it on the list and how to to prioritize them?
Difficulty of attracting faculty interest across the university when they have to manage a 4/4 teaching load.
Difficulties already associated with experiential transcript will be compounded with the menu of options.
Without structure that exists in the majors or other areas of the curriculum, this option might become sidelined and may become a meaningless add-on that students see as simply another set of requirements to "check off.".
Constraints of current degree and hour requirements may make it difficult to sustain this option.
May pose problems to integrate with enrollment process, be hard to track, and pose difficulties for effective advisement since program is not tied to major.
Difficulties of accommodating transfer students.
May be most complex and expensive option.
Need to decide on scope of menu (Atlanta four-star menu vs. Milledgeville Applebee's), consistency of menu options, and how to determine how menu options will be weighed so that students get consistent experiences that are academically relevant.
Need to determine where program would be housed and divisions of labor/responsibilities.