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Service-Learning Coordinator Cynthia
Lynch; and Humanities and Social Sciences
, supervised by Professor of History
David Kalivas.
The target group includes first-time students
enrolled in two or more courses in the
Liberal Arts & Sciences (LAS), Psychology
(LAS), Liberal Studies, Business
Administration Transfer, and Business
Administration Career programs of study.
Recognizing the value of peer leaders and
mentoring, trained student peer leaders assist
in the delivery of all courses, except Service-
"The courses offer creative ways for students
to acclimate to college, integrate into the
campus community, and enjoy academic
success. In the fall, we plan to offer several
sections of each course on both campuses,
days and evenings, so all students can
participate," said Andreadis.
The First-Year Experience Seminar is linked
with a three-credit introductory college-level
course (or a six-credit college-level Learning
Community) to form a First-Year Experience
Learning Community
. Students learn essential
student success skills, behaviors and habits
they can then apply to increase their success
in the linked course(s). With an emphasis on
self-assessment and reflection, students work
with advisors to generate a personalized
academic and financial plan for their years at
MCC and beyond.
"We are trying to bridge the gap between
passing the MCAS and graduating from high
school, and doing college-level work," said
Andreadis. "Numerous national research
studies have shown that programs like this
definitely enhance student success."
In the Humanities and Social Sciences Research
course, students engage in research projects
under the guidance of individual faculty
members. Experimental design, literature
review, the scientific method, structured
inquiry, the fostering of teamwork, and
technical communication of discipline-based
research methods will be developed within a
general framework for a research project.
"We're really trying to transform the first-
year education experience by incorporating
high-impact practices to keep students
engaged and in school," said Matthew Olson,
Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences,
who is involved administratively in both the
Service-Learning and Humanities and Social
Sciences Research
courses. "In this pilot year,
we are running six research sections, all well
attended. Students are getting the
opportunity to meet professors in a different
way. They choose their topics and learn how
to do research by doing it. Many find they
really enjoy it."
Rebecca Newell oversees the Leadership
course, which is designed to teach students
how to be leaders in an evolving world with
complex issues. Leadership styles and skills
are explored, and students have
opportunities to learn about their own values
and identity, and how these intersect with
group and community values. The course
content integrates theory with experiential
learning. Students must get involved in the
college in some way and reflect in writing
about their experiences, Newell explained.
"Research has shown that being more
involved in their college helps students get
better grades and stay in school," said
Newell. "Our feedback has been very
positive. Students like the class, and we will
try to have the course become a feeder to
student leadership positions at the college."
Cynthia Lynch supervises the Service-
course. One section is being co-
taught by two representatives from a local
nonprofit community partner. The course
gives students an opportunity to extend and
deepen learning through service to the
community, combined with in-depth
reflective practices. Students complete 22
hours of service, attend in-class discussion
sessions, maintain a reflective journal, and
complete an end-of- semester project.
"We need to marry the needs present in the
community with learning objectives
occurring in class," said Lynch. "We plan to
develop additional theme-based, one-credit
sections designed to reach a broader range of
students' interests and identified community
Deborah Kearney
High-impact Practices = Student Success
High-impact practices (HIPs) are teaching and learning experiences, and techniques that positively impact
student success. Educational research suggests that students who engage in HIPs experience increased
rates of student retention and student engagement. HIPs include:
Source: American Association of Colleges & Universities
First-Year Seminars & Experiences
Learning Communities
Writing-Intensive Courses
Collaborative Assignments & Projects
Undergraduate Research
Diversity/Global Learning
Capstone Courses & Projects
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