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The Value of Scholarship to the Whole University

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by Jenny Shanahan on 17 January 2014

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Transcript of The Value of Scholarship to the Whole University

The Value of Scholarship to the Whole University
Universitas = whole
They said bachelor's-degree holders lack basic skills:
oral & written communication
ability to solve complex problems
applying knowledge to new situations
Those who do graduate face the worst job market in generations.
Yet half of
employers surveyed last year had trouble finding college grads
qualified to fill open positions.
Only 46 percent of American students complete college once they start.
(Harvard Graduate School of Education, “Pathways to Prosperity," 2011)
Big Problem #2
"Shortchanged" Students
"There is evidence of a serious communication problem between state officials and higher education advocates."
"We’re going to tie our funding in our University of Wisconsin System into performance and say
if you want money, we need you to perform
...
In higher education, that means not only degrees, but are young people getting degrees in jobs that are open and needed today, not just the jobs that the universities want to give us?"
–Gov. Scott Walker
We are facing some significant challenges in public higher education.
"Public colleges and universities are confronting the most politically polarized state-government environment in a generation."
(American Association of State Colleges & Universities, 2013)

(Inside Higher Ed, 2013)
"
Tuition and fees are growing at a rate well above that of inflation
. Today's students are paying--in real dollars--more than twice as much to go to college as their parents did. At the same time, parents, employers, and educators are increasingly
skeptical of the quality
of the degrees students are receiving."
The term "university" refers to the association of the whole campus community.
Socio-Political Context
"Access to a liberal arts education is being eroded at public institutions."
Universities were founded on the belief that
society would benefit
from the
scholarly expertise
generated in institutions of higher education.
Rather than to make despair convincing, our job
[as academics]
is to
make hope possible
.
--Raymond Williams
Our Shared Purpose

Improve Outcomes for our
Students

The role of scholarship, in all its varieties, in the life of the campus--and how undergraduate research can enhance the lives of our students
and our own
How does
everyone on campus
support student learning and scholarship?
Not only faculty, but also classified staff, non-instructional academic staff, etc.
How does ongoing scholarship help us perform better in our jobs at the university?

What does it bring out in us that we, in turn, pass on to our students?
What do we know
needs to change
?
What do
we care about
? What can
we do
?
What do we care about?
Transforming Individual Students
...and Entire Institutions
“When I am asked, what’s one thing we can do to enhance
student engagement
and increase
student success
? I now have an answer: make it possible for every student to participate in at least two
high-impact
activities during his or her undergraduate program”
What can we do?
Writing Across the Curriculum
Diversity & Global Learning
Service Learning
Capstone Courses & Projects
Undergraduate Research, Scholarship & Creative Activity
Engagement in high-impact practices positively correlates with:

+
Higher GPAs

+
Higher retention

+
Persistence to graduation
+
Positive undergraduate experience

+
Commitment to "meaningful philosophy of life"
+
Leadership skills
+
Communication skills

The benefits of URSCA are most pronounced for students who have been underrepresented in higher education:

students of color and
low-income & first-generation students.
(Astin, Brownell & Swaner, Kuh, Tinto)

(Burke, McKeen, and McKenna; González; Whiteley, Dougherty, and Dreher)

“Colleges and universities should support rich experiential opportunities that truly
integrate the liberal arts with real-world learning
, such as communication skills and problem-solving skills. These are in high demand, seen as lacking, and seen as a college’s responsibility to teach.”
(The Role of Higher Education in Career Development, 2013)

Mentored
(Crane, 2011)
(Kuh, 2008)
Empowering our Students to Participate in the Creation and Sharing of Knowledge
Faculty Scholarship: The cutting-edge insights that advance our fields
Making decisions informed by the perspectives of all stakeholders
Scholarly Work
asking questions
investigating ideas
establishing facts
considering alternatives
reaching thoughtful conclusions
sharing results
The power of everything we do in our work

Approaching complex problems with openness and a spirit of inquiry

Proposing solutions based on evidence & reflection
The power of the scholarship of teaching & learning
First-Year Seminars & Experiences
"These studies…often explore ‘difficult differences’ such as racial, ethnic, and gender inequality, or continuing struggles around the globe for human rights, freedom, and power”
“The goal [of URSCA] is to involve students with
actively contested questions...
and the
sense of excitement
that comes from working to answer them.”
(Kuh, 2008)
Every choice made in this community that helps create an environment fertile for exploration, collaboration, and innovation advances the common purpose.
Every one of us
is needed
to help address them.
An inquiry or investigation conducted
by an undergraduate student that is...

Original & Meaningful
to the Student

Appropriate for the Discipline
Disseminated/
Shared
URSCA is social justice work
The ability of all people to realize their potential
"What we have in higher education is a restricted view of scholarship: academics conduct research, publish, and perhaps convey their knowledge to students."
--Ernest Boyer, "Scholarship Reconsidered," 1990
"A more
comprehensive
, more
dynamic
understanding of scholarship can be considered...
There is
readiness to rethink scholarship
." (Boyer)
Scholarship of Integration: Interdisciplinary work, putting ideas in new contexts, "illuminating data" in ways that are clear to "non-experts"
Scholarship of Application or Scholarly Service: Knowledge Applied to Intractable Problems
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

"Knowing and learning are communal acts."
--Parker Palmer
(Fischer, 2013)
(Fischer, 2013)
(Morris, 2011)
Jenny Shanahan, Ph.D.
Presented at UW-Superior
Jan. 15, 2014
See the full transcript