Sixth Statewide Summit of the North Dakota General Education Council
The Office of Instructional Development and the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs are sponsoring Reflecting on Teaching: An All-Campus Colloquium on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL), to be held on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1, 2011 at the UND Memorial Union. The colloquium provides an opportunity for faculty from across campus and the Northern Plains region to engage in discussion about their research on teaching and learning in concurrent panel discussions, forums, workshops, round tables, and individual presentations. UND is pleased to announce that the 2011 Reflecting on Teaching Colloquium will be held in conjunction with the Sixth Statewide Summit of the North Dakota General Education Council (you will find a brief history of the NDGEC here). Faculty from across the state’s tribal, private and public institutions will be joining the conversation on teaching and student learning. To register for the Summit use the registration link below.
Pre-registration is now closed however onsite registration will be available on the second floor of the Union Friday, Sept. 30, for colloquium events (excepting meals).
For information on the Statewide Summit of the North Dakota General Education Council contact:
Tom Steen, Office of Essential Studies (701-777-4434)
For information on the Reflecting on Teaching Colloquium contact:
Anne Kelsch, Office of Instructional Development (701-777-4233)
Melinda Leach, Anthropology (701-777-3697)
In the summer of 2010, North Dakota became the 6th LEAP State in the U.S., and in spring of 2011, eleven of the state’s 18 colleges and universities agreed to join and initiate the ND General Education Council. These two events were the culmination of the joint efforts of the state’s higher educators to collaborate for the betterment of undergraduate general education for North Dakota college students.
The collaboration was sparked in the fall of 2008 at a meeting of the ND Humanities Summit in Bismarck, where Larry Peterson (NDSU) led a panel discussion on the improvement of undergraduate learning and the national directions in general education. Mike Hillman (NDUS Associate Chancellor) was in the audience and challenged the panel to think statewide; he also offered support from the system office to plan an event that would bring the state’s institutions together.
Thus, in spring of 2009, the first “General Education Summit” was held in Grand Forks (UND). Representatives of all of the state system’s public institutions participated. Plans developed there included further collaboration—what can we do together to improve GE statewide?—and future GE Summits to act as gathering points for more conversation and planning.
In the fall of 2009 GE Summit II, held at Minot State University, expanded the effort to include the tribal colleges and the private institutions. At that Summit, Susan Albertine (AAC&U), national leader in systemwide collaboration, suggested that a) ND has tremendous potential to be a national leader, especially by bringing all of higher education “to the table.”, and that b) we had everything in place to become a LEAP State (“Liberal Education/America’s Promise” is a national initiative sponsored by the American Association of Colleges and Universities).
Successive GE Summits included discussion of common learning outcomes for general education across all the campuses (Summit III at the ND State College of Science in Wahpeton), and organizing a formal body for GE—the NDGE Council (Summit III and IV at Bismarck State College). As the Summits moved ahead, more schools participated so that at Summit IV, 16 of the 18 campuses sent representatives.
In spring of 2011, Summit V moved off the campus and was hosted by Microsoft (and NDSU) in Fargo. Owing to the ratification of the NDGE Council, Chancellor William Goetz (NDUS) congratulated the participants for the collaborative “grass roots” efforts and encouraged further growth and development. Unlike previous Summits, this event focused on presentations from “the outside.” Panels from business, community service, K-12 education, and higher education leadership presented their perspective of what today’s college graduate needs to know and be able to do when they graduate.
Summit VI extends the work in two important ways. One is the theme: teaching. Teaching is at the heart of the learning process. While discussion, plans, and transfer agreement are all vital to improvement in general education, at the heart of better, deeper learning is good teaching. Toward that end, Summit VI features special sessions on the scholarship of teaching, assessment of student learning, and high impact practices in teaching and learning. The second goal of Summit VI is growing the conversation by connecting with more people and by program improvement planning. Summit VI features opportunities for campus teams to join together—to build bridges between units and disciplines to raise the standard of undergraduate learning across the state and on every campus.
For further information see “The North Dakota Story: One State’s Path toward Collaboration and LEAP” by T. Steen, L. Peterson, A. Donovan, R. Pitcher and B. Tews in Peer Review 13:2 (Spring 2011), 26-28.