Woodbury University Invited to AAC&U Summer Institutes at Vanderbilt, U. of Vermont

Six from Woodbury to Participate in Programs at University of Vermont and Vanderbilt University; Watchword is ‘WISE – From Innovation to Intention’

Online PR News – 08-June-2014 – LOS ANGELES – LOS ANGELES (June 5, 2014) -- The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has invited Woodbury University (www.woodbury.edu) to two of its 2014 summer institutes, the university announced today. A six-member team from Woodbury is attending the Institute on General Education and Assessment at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont (June 3–7), and will attend the Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee (June 17–21).

The Woodbury contingent will include Dr. Phyllis Cremer, VP Office of Student Development (OSD); Evelyn Alfaro, OSD; Jeanine Centuori, Chair of Architecture, Los Angeles; Jesse Gilbert, Chair of Media Technology; Richard Matzen, Professor of Writing; and Randy Stauffer, Associate VP of Academic Affairs. Participants will work to redesign and develop assessment plans for general education programs, and develop and expand high-impact educational practices.

“The 2014 AAC&U summer institutes will bring together teams to focus on exactly how institutions can ensure that all students achieve liberal education outcomes that are so essential for success in the twenty-first century,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider. “The teams will work together to advance implementation of high-impact educational practices and faculty leadership for general and liberal education and its assessment.” All AAC&U institutes offer campus teams a time and place for sustained collaborative work on a project of importance to their campus along with a curriculum focused on important trends, research and best practices, and a resident faculty of educational experts.

“Over the past two years, we have been developing a program called Woodbury Integrative Student Experience (WISE),” said Woodbury’s Stauffer. “WISE proposes the establishment of five High Impact Practices (HIPS) as part of the students’ experience at Woodbury University, adding value to their academic experience and engaging them in learning that relies on the benefit of HIPS. The five components of WISE consist of Leadership, Internship/Work Experience, Civic Engagement, Study Away and Undergraduate Research.” According to Stauffer, all of the components currently exist in Woodbury’s curricular and co-curricular portfolio of student opportunities in innovative ways, but emerge from bottom-up entrepreneurial activities of faculty and student development staff.

“Our campus has historically valued pedagogies that take the learning experience out of the classroom,” noted Dr. Cremer. “The professionally-based programs believe strongly in the liberal education model, the integration of student development, and the inclusion of real world innovative practice with a deep understanding of theoretical models. Many of the team members cross these disciplinary and methodological boundaries and will bring their experience to the Institutes.”

The Woodbury team consists of leaders in Student Development and Academic Affairs in an effort to strengthen the partnership between the two. The team includes faculty from three of the university’s four schools, and a staff member from Office of Student Development, in the area of academic support. One team member is also an alumnus and will provide insight into the student experience.

For 24 years, AAC&U’s Institute on General Education and Assessment (IGEA) has provided campus teams with opportunities to refine and advance general education programs and their assessment. The Institute focuses on building a campus learning culture that supports the design and implementation of intentional, well-defined, and meaningfully assessed general education curricula that engage increasingly diverse students and faculty.

The Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success is designed for institutions at various stages of work and addresses ambitious goals for improving both completion rates and the quality of student learning. Participant teams address barriers to student success and devise integrative learning-centered plans—making intentional use of Essential Learning Outcomes and high-impact educational practices. Highlighting the success of students from groups that have historically been underserved, the program supports work to make excellence inclusive.

About Woodbury University
Founded in 1884, Woodbury University is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Southern California. Woodbury offers bachelor's degrees from the School of Architecture, School of Business, School of Media, Culture & Design, and Institute of Transdisciplinary Studies, along with an MBA program, Master of Architecture (MArch), Master of Science in Architecture (MSArch), and Master of Organizational Leadership. A San Diego campus offers Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Real Estate Development for Architects (MRED), and Master of Science in Architecture, Landscape, and Urbanism degrees. Visit www.woodbury.edu for more information, and Reflections on Excellence, the new twice-monthly blog written by Woodbury University President Luis Maria R. Calingo, Ph.D.

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