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Innovation & Inquiry for Student Learning

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Alverno College has received a three-year grant from Lumina Foundation that supports the Innovation and Inquiry for Student Learning consortium of community and technical colleges. The Lumina Foundation granted supplemental funds to the project in July 2008, allowing for its continuation through 2010. The 24 founding member institutions of the consortium have worked with Alverno in workshops and/or consultations during recent years and are actively engaged in fostering student learning outcomes on their campuses. In early 2008, 19 new institution joined the consortium. The consortium is exploring a range of best practices at member institutions as they search for ways to further improve student learning, retention, and degree completion. The primary activities of the project include the following:

  • A team from each institution gathered in Spring of 2006 to respond to a set of questions developed by the Educational Research and Evaluation (ERE) department at Alverno. Their focus was on articulating innovations, best practices, and challenges in using student learning outcomes in the institution to become more student learning-centered. Teams from the new member institutions completed this process in spring 2008.
  • ERE at Alverno summarized survey responses to support collaborative inquiry at the level of the consortium for the summer 2006 and summer 2008 meetings at Alverno which included representatives from each of the participating institutions.
  • The 2006–2008 years involved ongoing inquiry with additional institutions, with at-a-distance discussions, workshops, and further synthesis of what institutions are learning from one another.
  • Consortium members have and will continue to collaborate to develop workshops for other two-year institutions that will be offered during the summer of 2009 at Alverno, which will share identified strategies for fostering student learning and persistence at two-year colleges.
  • The 2008–2010 years will provide an opportunity for the new consortium institutions to meet and discuss pressing issues for two-year institutions, present their continuing efforts to their colleagues, and exchange feedback and progress on their project goals.
  • The 2009–2010 years will also be devoted to developing materials for dissemination, evaluation of the project, plans for future collaboration, and presentations at professional meetings.

This project, which is funded by Lumina Foundation for Education, is titled Enhancing the Impact of Ability-Based Curricular Innovations at Community and Technical Colleges. Lumina Foundation is an Indianapolis-based, private, independent foundation that strives to help people achieve their potential by expanding access and success in education beyond high school. Lumina Foundation addresses issues that affect access and educational attainment among all students, particularly underserved student groups, including adult learners. The Foundation bases its mission on the belief that post-secondary education remains one of the most beneficial investments that individuals can make in themselves and that society can make in its people. For more details on the Foundation, visit Lumina Foundation.

 

 


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