Final proposals are due April 19, 2021
ACS is seeking collaborators to join the projects proposed below. These preproposals cover a wide range of disciplines and interests and fall under the categories of innovative curriculum, collaborative instruction, or diversity and inclusion. The project leads seek collaborative partners to enhance the work and extend it across ACS campuses.
If you are interested in collaborating on any of these projects, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by March 10, 2021, and we will facilitate connection.
Note: These preproposals are in development and not yet funded. Click here to learn more about our grant guidelines.
BUSN 395: Sustainable Development for Environmental Stewardship
Lead: Barbara Davis, Ph.D., Dean, Frost. School of Business, Centenary College
This project is based on the Mission Statement for the Foundation for Environmental Stewardship. Their mission is “to educate and empower youth to create a more inclusive, fair, prosperous, and sustainable future.” The Foundation is “a youth-led, youth-serving sustainable development organization.” It is a not-for-profit corporation accredited by the United Nations with a special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
The United Nations established 17 sustainable development goals addressing the goals as “the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace, and justice.”
Per the Foundation for Environmental Stewardship, on September 25, 2015, 193 countries adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by framing their agendas and political policies over the next 15 years to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.
The Foundation has a virtual program designed for delivery to college and university students. I would like to bring this program to interested students at Centenary. The course would be open to all students no matter their major or minor: business, political science, sociology, psychology, or any other major.
INITIAL GOALS: The course goals include: 1) Education – Review the history of sustainable development, the structure of the SDGs, and examples of the 17 SDGs implemented by a variety of entities. 2) Engagement – A United Nations staff member will participate and share how their department implemented the SDGs in partnership with communities. 3) Implementation – The class will design and implement a project around one or more of the 17 SDGs.
METHODOLOGY: (How I hope to do it.) The course provided by the Foundation for Environmental Stewardship will be launched by a Centenary Professor. The Professor will work with the students in meeting course goals including planning and implementing a community project.
DESIRED OUTCOMES: (What I hope to see as a result.) The main objective is to empower and equip future leaders with the skills necessary to make a difference in the world in which they live. I hope to see students engaged and excited with the understanding of what they can do individually to embrace and generate change. The desired outcome is to see a final class project where the students initiate a community project designed around one or more SDGs (as mentioned under Initial Goals: 3) above).
This course is perfect for a collaboration with students from other ACS institutions. I do not have a specific institution or individual in mind, but I am willing to work with another institution to make this opportunity available for their students.
Integrating Democratic Deliberation into the Classroom:
An Interdisciplinary, Cross-Campus Curricular Innovation Project
Lead: Graham Bullock and Dan Layman, Associate Professor/Political Science and Assistant Professor/Philosophy
This In our many classrooms, students collectively address questions that we set before them. Many courses provide opportunities for students to respond to such questions by way of class discussion. But such discussions, especially those where disagreements emerge, can be challenging both for students and instructors. Rarely these days have our students witnessed or experienced disagreement as a constructive event. Often disagreements in the public sphere become agonistic contests of wills and words in which one’s “opponent” is to be vanquished rather than understood.
Deliberation provides an alternative to such dynamics. Valued since classical times as a key mode for political interaction in the face of disagreements about how best to address problems in our common world, deliberation is a vital liberal arts practice for collaborative and egalitarian decision-making and inclusive inquiry into the arenas of experiential, humanistic, scientific, artistic, and sociologic knowledge.
We propose to deeply embed such deliberation in a new interdisciplinary course we are developing – Ethics and Policymaking. Co-taught by a philosophy professor and political science professor and designed to be a requirement for a new interdisciplinary policy studies major at Davidson College, this course will introduce students to a range of ethical frameworks –utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics, pragmatism, and more. Students will then be asked to apply these frameworks to contested and complex policy issues, from abortion to gun control to climate change. Throughout the course, students will deliberate among themselves about different ethical claims related to these topics.
In order to deepen the value of these deliberations, we will build on insights and work done by Davidson’s Deliberative Citizenship Initiative, which is dedicated to creating opportunities for people to engage with one another on difficult but important issues. The project has hosted a range of deliberative events and developed training manuals, deliberative guides, and pedagogical materials that we will utilize in developing the deliberation component of the course, along with other resources related to learner-based and deliberative pedagogy, learning outcome assessment, and inclusivity.
Following the development of this course, we will host and invite faculty from all ACS institutions to participate in a cross-campus Deliberative Pedagogy Learning Community. It will begin with a day-long workshop to introduce participants to the concepts and practices of deliberative pedagogy and our course as a case study will be held in August 2021. Then monthly check-in meetings will be held throughout the academic year. The goal for the year will be for all participants to integrate deliberation into one of their Spring 2022 courses, with relevant learning outcomes, readings, assignments, classroom activities, and assessment methods. Faculty members will be assigned to pairs with faculty from other institutions where possible, and these pairs will also meet monthly to discuss their progress towards this goal. Books such as Deliberative Pedagogy and Creating Space for Democracy: A Primer on Dialogue and Deliberation in Higher Education will be provided as resources for all participants.
This is an important curricular innovation for several reasons. First, students should understand deliberation as a necessary component of scholarly activity, a process that (like research itself) enhances the production of reports, analyses, and arguments in nearly all academic disciplines. Second, deliberation is a fundamental skill and activity of citizens in a democracy, one that has atrophied severely in recent years. And third, deliberation promises to enhance the learning of subject matter in any course, as students engage with it more deeply, collaboratively, and earnestly –together.
Integrating Multi-Institutional Increasing Retention and Inclusion in STEM mentoring program
Lead: Laura MacDonald, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology and Health Sciences, Hendrix College
Women, first generation college students, socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals, individuals of color, and LGBTQ+ students are often underrepresented and can face additional challenges when pursuing opportunities in STEM fields. To support these students at Hendrix College, the Increasing Retention and Inclusion peer mentoring program was developed, in which student participants and their student mentors worked collaboratively in weekly sessions to develop a sense of community and belonging through workshops that address specific topics including approaches for academic success, successful attainment of research and internship opportunities, scientific communication, perseverance, stereotype threat, and empowerment through the examination of identity contingencies. The culminating project for members of IRIS is to develop an action plan for change on campus, and each student member commits to a specific action to create inclusive community across their specific subdisciplines. Based on successful implementation of this program on the Hendrix College campus, this project seeks to expand the work to include students and faculty from other schools across the Associated Colleges of the South, thereby creating a multi-institutional mentoring program in which students from three institutions work together as part of weekly mentoring and workshop sessions to partake in activities that foster a sense of belonging, resilience, and community. The primary objective is for students and faculty at each institution to form a core coalition to celebrate and empower diversity in the scientific disciplines through shared success. Additionally, this project will provide faculty participants with the framework and planning tools necessary to implement programming in subsequent years. If funded, project leaders will spend the summer of 2021 developing the programming schedule, assessment strategies, and recruitment approaches at their home institutions. Programming will occur through either zoom or Microsoft Teams platforms in early October and will run throughout the spring 2022 semester. Assessment of the programming will be built in throughout each session and through interviews, which will be transcribed for analysis.
By the end of this project, student participants will be able to:
- Have a toolkit of strategies for managing personal and professional challenges.
- Develop a supportive network of individuals at their home institution and across institutions that they can rely on to help them achieve their long-term goals in the STEM disciplines.
- Develop cultural competence that allows them to be advocates for themselves and others.
- Create inclusive communities within the scientific disciplines on their campuses.
By the end of this project, faculty participants will be able to:
- Plan programming to support underrepresented students in the scientific disciplines.
- Assess programming to support underrepresented students in the scientific disciplines.
- Participate in the publication of results in a discipline-based education research journal.
Institutional Impact: Students across the scientific disciplines at Hendrix College have become active participants in shaping conversations pertaining to social justice. Faculty have reported that IRIS students can and do act as allies for one another. The development of inclusive community within the scientific disciplines, especially in early year courses, has the capacity to positively impact long-term retention of students and creates opportunity for dialogue between students and faculty necessary to create equitable learning systems within institutions.
Diversity and Inclusion
ACS Diversity Friday Forums
Lead: Peter Friedrich, Ph.D., Chair, Theatre, Millsaps College
This project aims to channel our newfound fluency in virtual platforming toward a bi-monthly series of ACS-wide engagements between BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) students and accomplished BIPOC ACS alumni.
Like many instructors during the pandemic, I have found success not only in virtual teaching but in virtual gathering students on a range of interests. Results have pulled in more than students; everyone’s new relative ease with virtual meetings, combined with the exponentially lower cost, has unlocked access to professionals around the world. The experts I have worked with did not consider themselves professional speakers. Still, they delivered very popular engagements and were much more open to interaction with students than a typical high-dollar presenter.
1. Higher visibility of prominent ACS BIPOC alumni in line with student career goals
2. Presenting multiple high-achieving career options to BIPOC students as they weigh different fields of study
Desired Long-Term Outcomes:
1. Initiating an elite ACS alumni network for people of color
2. Introducing networking skills to the involved students while still in college
Methodology Used: Zoom with a high-audience upgrade, plus facilitation methods of guests and faculty committee
The project would use a faculty committee of collaborators charged with forming a roster of roughly fourteen virtual guests from across the disciplines based on nominations from ACS faculty, staff (perhaps alumni relations in particular), coaches, students, and student organizations. Twice per month, or roughly 14 times per academic year, a faculty committee would invite these national and international guests to attend a virtual gathering with students of color.
Even with the reduced costs of virtual gatherings, a single celebrity speaker could charge $50,000.00 and higher. Fortunately, the project’s desired outcomes require a different category of guests who, while highly accomplished, are accessible to students and amenable to networking with students after the engagement. Guests would also be open to expanding the speech model with Q &A to include facilitated exercises in areas including problem-solving with breakout groups and discussion.
Innovations in Teaching and Learning: Social Justice Pedagogy as Intentional Inclusive Praxis
Lead: Monique Earl-Lewis, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Africana Studies/Director, Faculty Development, Teaching and Advising Center
This project invites interested faculty to participate in an active learning community designed to engage/explore/expand the use of social justice pedagogy as an intentional, instructional and interdisciplinary practice. Participating ACS faculty will work with an interdisciplinary faculty team to explore, adopt and/or broaden current use of technology and service-learning to achieve course outcomes.
1.Introduce faculty to a techno-cultural pedagogical framework that achieves student learning outcomes while promoting diversity and inclusive instructional practice.
2.Provide faculty with pedagogical tools, instructional strategies and faculty-friendly technologies that foster and facilitate student learning.
3.Guide faculty in developing interdisciplinary, intra/inter-institutional collaborations that foster inclusivity through peer-learning and peer review.
4.Increase faculty confidence, competency and proficiency in the identification and application of instructional tools and technologies that promote diversity and inclusivity across the curriculum.
5.Assist faculty in the development and/or redesign of courses that promote social justice pedagogy utilizing technology and service-learning.
1.Selected faculty will self-select a course for redesign engaging the social justice framework.
2.Selected faculty will complete a pre-assessment of the (a) learning structure;(b) course design; and (c) current use of/opportunity for/access to technology resources service-learning activities.
3.Faculty will participate in all guided learning activities, synchronous and asynchronous sessions and training workshops.
4.Faculty will present/share a poster presentation of the faculty learning and completed course redesign at the completion of the project.
1.Faculty will incorporate the use of social justice pedagogical practice into the selected course.
2.Faculty will identify, select and incorporate instructional technologies that promote diversity and inclusion in instructional practice to achieve student learning outcomes.
3.Faculty will adopt/expand service-learning activities that promote diversity and inclusion in instructional practice to achieve student learning outcomes.
4.Faculty will increase interdisciplinary collaborations across the ACS network.
Anti-Racism Advisor Training
Lead: Tiffany Griffin, Director, Academic Advising and Support Services, Rollins
White professional advisors and faculty advisors can face a knowledge gap when advising students of color. This knowledge gap creates “unique challenges for students from historically marginalized communities, particularly black students, attending predominantly white institutions” (Lee, 2018). The goal of this project is to create a sustainable pedagogical approach to anti-racism advising training for ACS faculty and staff. Using a train-the-trainer model, faculty and professional advisors will understand critical race theory, critical race feminism theory, and appreciative advising theory and apply this knowledge as advisors on their college campuses. Increasing advisors’ cultural competence and development as anti-racist advisors will ensure increased support and inclusion for advisees of color.
Every institution of higher education has a culture that perpetuates an advising model. A “culture guides the way individuals and groups in an organization interact with one another and with parties outside it” (Serrat, 2017). Rollins is a predominantly white institution (PWI) in the south with a decentralized faculty advising model. Rollins’ most recent Student Campus Climate Report (2017) demonstrated the importance of promoting diversity and inclusion to the student body: “two-thirds of respondents indicated that it was essential, and another 19% reported that it was somewhat important.” 49% of students reported that they strongly agreed that the college should require more faculty and staff training on diversity and inclusion. This report demonstrates need and readiness for this diversity and inclusion work.
Methodology and Work Plan
In order to first gain a better insight into the possibilities for improvement for students of color, we will conduct target focus groups of advisees of color. Interviews will be conducted in small groups (6-8 students) and last approximately 60 minutes. Answers will be recorded through note taking and an anonymous survey, comprised of questions from Appreciative Advising Inquiry and the Culture Campus Climate Survey. The project leadership team will then use this qualitative data as a framework to develop an advisor training module that will be provided to a core group of 10 lead faculty advisors (across all divisions). Lead faculty advisors will then provide training to all advisors within their departments/divisions. Advisor trainings will include pre and post surveys of participants (advisors), and advisees will be recruited to fill out an anonymous survey on their advising sessions with advisors who have completed training.
- Develop culturally significant Anti-Racism Advisor training for PWI advisors
- Provide continuing education “train the trainer” to existing highly trained/experienced advisors to deliver anti-racism training on the departmental/divisional level
- Every new academic advisor will complete anti-racism advisor training
- Every existing advisor will complete continuing education on anti-racism advising
- Engage white faculty and staff in co-creating a sustainable inclusive culture of anti-racism on campus
- Share the knowledge and pedagogical approach with other ACS schools and NACADA