DST Faculty Attend Reacting to the Past Training

Dr. Amy Baldwin pleads with Congress to accept the Food Pyramid as is without significant changes.

Three members of the Department of Student Transitions participated in Reacting to the Past (RTTP) training on Tuesday, Janary 7, 2020. The full-day workshop provided faculty participants with the opportunity to learn about this pedagogical strategy for engaging students in the learning process. According to the Barnard College website that hosts information about RTTP, “Reacting to the Past is an active learning pedagogy of role-playing games designed for higher education. In Reacting to the Past games, students are assigned character roles with specific goals and must communicate, collaborate, and compete effectively to advance their objectives. Reacting promotes engagement with big ideas, and improves intellectual and academic skills.”

Dr. Amanda Martin, Dr. Ron Novy, and Dr. Amy Baldwin portrayed real-life characters from the 1991 Food Pyramid Congressional hearings. Dr. Martin played a cattle lobbyist while Drs. Novy and Baldwin were representatives of the US Department of Agriculture. Each participant received a role sheet and game book to guide them through the game. Although yesterday’s Congressional representatives voted to reject the Food Pyramid and to take away the charge of nutritional guidance from the USDA, Congress in 1991 voted to approve the Food Pyramid and keep the USDA in charge of nutritional guidelines. For more information about RTTP, visit Barnard College’s website.

Dr. Amanda Martin discusses strategy with other lobbyists.

Dr. Ron Novy strategizes with another member of the USDA.

DST Faculty Receive Recognition in Teaching First-Year Students

Faculty from the Department of Student Transitions were recently recognized for their participation in the Teaching First-Year Students recognition track through the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE). This CTE recognition track provides faculty with opportunities to deepen their understanding of first-year students and enhance their teaching skills. Specifically, the program goals include the following: Encourage growth in teaching effectiveness & address the unique needs of first-year students, guide faculty members through a systematic professional development process, and provide a campus-wide distinction of commitment to teaching first-year students.

Ms. Vicki Parish, Mr. Adriian Gardner, Mr. Carl Olds, and Dr. Ron Novy successfully completed the year-long program and were honored at a reception on April 17, 2019.

UCA’s Co-requisite Course Success Highlighted in Dana Center Publication

Leslie Gomes, Lecturer II in the Department of Student Transitions, works with her student in a co-requisite course.

The good work in the Department of Student Transitions has gained national attention. After years of offering stand-alone developmental math courses and after a few years of offering modular-based Progressive Mathematics, the Department of Student Transitions began the process of piloting, refining, and expanding co-requisite courses that pair a transitional math class with a college-level math class. The results have been a stunning success.

The University of Texas as Austin’s Charles A. Dana Center recently profiled UCA’s co-requisite developmental math successes in their publication Notes from the Field (No. 4, 2018). In their article “Scaling Co-Requisite Supports at the University of Central Arkansas: Perspective from a Four-Year Higher Education Institution,” they describe the challenges, solutions, and results of the department’s co-requisite Foundations of College Algebra and Foundations of Quantitative Literacy. In particular, they highlighted the department’s success rates by ACT mathematics subscores. Students who earned a ACT subscore of 16, for example, had a 90% completion rate in Foundations of Quantitative Literacy and an 85% completion rate in Foundations of College Algebra.

According to the article, Dr. Kurt Boniecki, Associate Provost for Instructional Support, “understood that math faculty who had worked on the Progressive Math implementation were understandably disappointed by the decision to transition to full-scale, co-requisite math courses. Boniecki credits their willingness to make a data-driven decision because ‘math faculty…trust the numbers.” Overall, the article shared what worked for the math faculty and their students and how the department has adapted the co-requisite model over the past few years so that more students are served.

The Dana Center highlighted UCA’s co-requisite developmental math program in its most recent publication.

Faculty Shares Information about UCA’s Autism Support Resources at Parents’ Event

Becky Bogoslavsky, writing faculty in the Department of Student Transitions, co-presented with Amy Baldwin to parents of students with autism at an event that highlighted postsecondary options for their young adults on the campus of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock on Saturday, April 28, 2018. Several colleges and universities provided information about their support programs for students on the autism spectrum and shared with the families what they can do now to prepare their students for going to college.

Becky talked about the department’s specially-designated Journeys to Success (ACAD 1300) course that focuses on neurodiversity and learning strategies for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as well as the forthcoming low-sensory lounge that will allow students to hang out and socialize.

Becky Bogoslavsky talks to parents and students about postsecondary options for students with autism.

Other presenters shared additional information about vocational and workforce training programs across the state. In collaboration with the Disability Resource Center, the Office of Student Success, and the Honors College, Becky has created a list of resources for parents and students and serves a contact person for ASD students who need additional support.

Faculty Given the Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Award

Adriian Gardner, a faculty member of the Department of Student Transitions, received the Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Award on April 17, 2018, at the 65th Annual Service Awards ceremony in the UCA Student Center. Mr. Gardner “exemplifies the care and commitment necessary for using the whole-person approach to his teaching, outreach, advocacy, and research.” Gardner has been described as “a mentor for several marginalized populations on campus. He works to ensure that his students are prepared for college-level success, particularly his students in the Black Male Achievement Challenge (B-MAC).” As a member of the department, he works tirelessly to serve the college at large through his teaching, scholarship, and service.

Adriian Gardner receives the Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Award at the 65th Annual Service Awards

Black Male Focus Group Data Shared at National Conference

Adriian Gardner along with faculty from the School of Communication presented focus group findings at the Conference on College Composition and Communication in Kansas City, Missouri, March 14-17. After reviewing institutional data regarding the completion rates for black males in high-enrollment classes, Gardner and his colleagues deployed focus groups with black male students who were enrolled in first-year writing and communication courses to gather qualitative data about their experiences in the classroom and on campus.  The title of the presentation at the conference

Adriian Gardner presents his focus group data at CCCC in Kansas City, MO

was “Listening, Learning, Reflecting, and Transforming: How UCA Faculty Are Using Focus Groups to Change Traditional Learning Environments through Radical Pedagogy.”

Math Faculty Shares Co-Req Success in Texas

Dr. Keith Pachlhofer shares UCA’s co-requisites math success in Austin, Texas.

On Friday, February 16, 2018, Dr. Keith Pachlhofer shared data from UCA’s co-requisite math program with educators from the state of Texas in Austin.  In Texas, House Bill 2223 stipulates the remediation strategy for institutions for higher education.  Currently, about 25% of all developmental education in the state is offered as a co-requisite program. By 2020, however, Texas institutions will be required to offer only co-requisite developmental education for students in need of remediation.  Influenced by HB 2223, Texas institutions and educators invited faculty and administrators who have developed successful co-requisite developmental programs to the state to share their successes.  Dr. Pachlhofer presented on the development of, challenges within, and improvements to UCA’s co-requisite math courses.  For more information about UCA’s co-requisite math courses, contact Dr. Keith Pachlhofer (keithp@uca.edu).

Math Faculty Presents in Belgium

Math faculty Mary Wood co-presented with her husband Charlie Wood at the International Leadership Association Conference in Brussels, Belgium, October 12-15, 2017.

The presentation focused on regression analysis to try to explain vast differences in murder rates across the United States. Over 100 variables were tested for possible correlation with murder rates. The Woods included variables from broad categories: demographic, population/area/density data, many education, economic status, lifestyle and cultural indicators, family structure, religion, drug and alcohol usage, crime data, gun ownership, laws, and political affiliations.

In their research, the Woods found that the strongest correlation with murder  was with single parent homes. Murder rises consistently as the percentage of single parent homes rises. Economic variables such as poverty rates or income gap played a minor role.

University College Writing Faculty Presents at International Conferences

On May 12, 2017, Flora Salyers and Elaine Corum presented at The Asian Conference on Language Learning in Kobe, Japan. Their presentation was titled “The American Male Social Deficit Model,” and it focused on the theory that American males forsake the friendship of other males in order to gain advantages in their profession, sports, or romantic interests.

Elaine Corum and friends enjoy the day in Kyoto.

Ms. Corum and Ms. Salyers also presented at the  2017 Conference of the International Congress on Education in Learning, which was held at the Università delle Tre Età Unitre in Milan, Italy, June 14-16, 2017. They presented their paper “The American Male Deficit Model:  Its Effect on International Male Students,” which discussed current research in the area and offers some suggestions for those working with international males who face this problem.

Celebrating Failure Week at UCA

Fail Forward Week was September 25th-29th, 2017.

University College in collaboration with the Office of Student Success, Learning Communities, and the Norbert O. Schedler Honors College developed and supported our first Fail Forward Week September 25-29, 2017. Fail Forward Week is a time to stop and reflect on the positive outcomes of failure and the necessity of failure in life.

University College placed a Fail Board on the 1st floor of Main Hall.

The week of acknowledging and celebrating failures as a process for learning included Fail Boards around campus. These boards allowed students, faculty, and staff to record their failures as a way to normalize the experience.
Other resources for sharing and supporting our failures were posted here: https://uca.edu/studentsuccess/fail-forward//