will you all tell me prompt me if I forget or repeat the question if I forget because sometimes I I do that it’s warm in here 600 sophomores were here heating up the place but I hope it will be alright for us we’re going to spend about 50 minutes in QA and then we will have you go upstairs to meet with your sons and daughters and then go out and about on the Boston University campus and get a better sense of how things are going. the first thing I’m going to do we’ve assembled a team remember this morning I talked about our team structure. we wanted to get you to have a kind of visual impression of what a team looks like we’ve assembled a team plus a few more folks and some have these people introduce themselves where are you from where you where you grew up what you teach what your research field is you know the drill mat carpet all right hi and welcome my name is Matt Parfitt I’m chair of the rhetoric division and I teach freshman rhetoric on an actual team that would be two of me as there are two rhetoric instructors on each freshman team I was born in the UK but emigrated to Canada when I was just eight years old and grew up in Montreal came down here in 1985 I think. I’ve been down here a long time teaching at be use for 21 years i think my research is in composition studies chiefly and secondarily literature of the world war one period good afternoon my name is Peter butcher and I’m the chair of the Division of Natural Sciences and mathematics here in the college I’m originally from San Francisco and grew up there and lived out there for how about half of my life and then i emigrated back east to Boston and I’ve been here the other half I’ve been here longer than matt has but less than J has. they put me in between him because I represent kind of the middle ground I I’m a biologist by training mammalian ecologist and I’ve spent most of my professional life studying beaver behavior population dynamics in biology good afternoon my name is Jake Lauren I’m from International Falls Minnesota and I moved here not only for the culture of Boston but for the weather above all I am chairman of the division of the social sciences I’m trained as a historian I’m an intellectual historian I focus on the intersection of politics and religion and my writing and research and in the social science division we offer a course that is interdisciplinary in the social sciences which includes economics history anthropology and sociology thank you and welcome my name is Adam Sweeting I am the acting chair of the humanities division right now I grew up in a small town in the hudson river valley called Dobbs Ferry Dobbs Ferry New York I studied philosophy as an undergraduate at Clark University out in Worcester and then American literature in American Studies at New York University I’ve been teaching here at Boston University since 1996 and my as chair of the humanities Department I’ve been teaching in the sophomore program for the last several years which is a philosophy based course the freshman humanities course is more of a literature and art history based course and my field of interest as a researcher is in American environmental writing and environment American environmental thought in the history of these of these fields. welcome hi again Stacy god Nick here the associate dean for student academic life I hail from the great garden state of New Jersey from which we have I think a pretty large representation today went to gettysburg college and got my degree in sociology worked for a few years and got my masters and hired men at nyu and started here in 1988 and I as I said earlier I’m responsible for the academic advising program here. we have a staff of six professional advisors and who will be working one-on-one with your sons and daughters throughout their stay here beginning at orientation hi I’m Natalie McKnight I’m. glad you could make it here today I’m associate dean for faculty research and development and director of our fairly new center for interdisciplinary teaching and learning my chief area of publication is 19th century British fiction I focus mostly on Dickens I teach humanities courses freshman and sophomore sometimes I’ve taught rhetoric as well and normally I say that i am from pittsburgh because i was born in pittsburgh and i lived there for 14 years but i have lived here and worked at boston university for 23 years and in the last two weeks I’ve never been prouder to be a Bostonian. i’m going to say today I’m from Boston the best city on the planet good afternoon everyone my name is Meg Andrews I am originally from Plymouth Massachusetts and I am a 2009 college a general studies alum 2011 College of Communication alum I’m currently enrolled part-time in the school of education higher education administration program and I work full-time for the university as the parents program coordinator. hope you’ll get to know a lot of you over the next four years hello again my name is Rachel Boyle I’m an assistant director in the office of admissions I’m from Concord Massachusetts and I actually just finished my masters in the School of Education here at Boston University perfect. if Adam would hold the mic because remember those of you as we answer questions you need to be for the folks on line you need to have the mic when you answer the question we are going to I’ve teed up the handful of slides about pathways to degrees because I know you’ll have some questions about that the curriculum again which is in your folder for those people who are joining us online all of these things are on our website. if obviously if you can’t see what we’re talking about right the moment you’ll be able to access it on our website. let’s start with the questions you’re going to represent yourself in yourselves and you’re also going to ask questions for these folks who are silent out there on the webcast and what they might have and usually the questions will cover the kinds of things that that most people are seeking to learn. who would like to begin scared of being on television yes sir go ahead good thank you. condolences offered thank you. much i began our capstone award ceremony with a moment of silence because i felt like i had to place it in some kind of context is it’s a hugely celebratory day for our sophomores and I didn’t want to diminish that but at the same time one doesn’t know how to respond to ordinary circumstances given the extraordinary circumstances of the last week. thank you for that the question has to do with how do students transition from the college of general studies to their to the junior year. let me say and I’m going to pass this to Meg because meg you’re the student who did it but before while she’s getting the mic I’m going to say something I didn’t say this morning which is by no preconceived quota no college says oh we can only take 80 of your students this year students continue into the College of their choice as they’ve been prepared for that in the work with their advising but their advisors that being said our pattern for many many years is about a third of our students go on to the College of Arts and Sciences about a third of them go to the College of Communication about eighteen to twenty percent to the school of management but they continue as well to the end these are smaller programs for shirts the sergeant College of Health and rehabilitation sciences hospitality administration School of Education am I forgetting one in anyone Stacey’s i mentioned sergeant yep not engineering absolute engineering not as i said this morning the college of fine arts as an automatic continuation. Meg why don’t you talk about your transition well first and foremost I think the most important thing and I think this was said before to was that relationship with your advisor as freshman I think the most important relationship you have is that with your advisor it’s really important to have open communication with them to let them know right off the bat what you’re thinking about studying and because really they’re the experts in the areas of to tell you what elective courses to be taking what gateway courses you should be taking in order to make that transition with that said it’s kind of as simple as you know registering for those gateway courses making sure you know you’re participating in class and kind of getting the most out of your academic journey here at the college of general studies while also being enrolled in those elective elective classes in those schools and colleges you wish to transition into and I can say it was a really easy transition for me I transitioned into the college of communication and just based on the foundation I had here with the relationships I had with my professors with that open relationship with my advisor I felt extremely prepared you know I had made sure I took the elective courses I needed to take in order to do. it was a very easy transition and you know I got a lot out of the College of Communication once I was there too I was that much more open to participating in class and developing relationship with my professors but yeah it really starts with that relationship with the advisor and they will really really help students to determine what courses are most important and they should be thinking about taking their their first two years here the the the. specifically the matter of remember we have the second moment you don’t you’re not going to remember this because I didn’t say it this morning we have the second largest freshman class in the university who starts in the college of general studies. we’ll have about five 150 or. freshman who start with us and therefore we send in any given year 300 students the College of Arts and Sciences 200 the College of Communication 80 or. to the School of Management your question was specifically about SMG School of Management. Stacey why don’t you talk about that a little bit in addition to the academic piece which Meg hit you know right on in terms of the connection with the advisor is critically important is is the co-curricular aspect too. students are not at the college of general studies in a bubble. if I know Meg was a member of the public relations PR ssss say something. so and and. she was involved with that freshman year on and we have students who were doing on the radio station films and management the marketing association. that that’s a key piece of making the transition quite seamless and for the school of management as for the other schools and professional schools and colleges there are prescribed courses that your sons and daughters will take in accordance with the advisor usually for management it’s calculus or microeconomics and again if there’s a pee coming in we can talk about other electives that the student would take in management. it really begins and then the transition into the junior year is simply you’re half way through after the college of general studies and then you continue on to the school of management in the other schools and you you finish with a degree or diploma says a Bachelors of Science in business management and. you’re finishing and taking the courses that students who began in management are taking Stacy maybe keep the mic for one second. I put up the continuation the pathway sheet for the school of management again as I said these are all on our website we have 60 years of well-trod paths to all of these schools and colleges you should also be aware that students throughout the university are making a fair number of changes themselves they might have started the College of Arts and Sciences but decide they want to transfer the school of management or start an engineering decide they want to go to communication. there’s a there’s a good bit of this that’s happening the the CGS students tend to stay can affected very much with their faculty and with their advisors over there for years for one thing. I want to say that also remember I put up the curriculum and Stacey talk a little bit about the School of Management what what role the electives play in getting students with prepared for that through their gateway courses whether they’re at school CGS or elsewhere but we’re talking about CGS and again you know before I do that I just wanted to bring up another point is that the other piece here is that we’re advising your sons and daughters but we are also we’re serving this unique position where we have them for two and then we send them off although many stay in touch and keep connected but we are connecting them with the advising you know one of my main roles is to is to cultivate that relationship with the other schools and colleges and the folks there who do what we do here. we’re connecting students with the advisors before they become juniors in these other schools and colleges. you want me to talk about talk about the gateway courses but right. the freshman year for management you’re taking calculus and economics in the second year you’re starting to take the management course the foundation course that the students must earn a b-minus in and that’s business society and ethics and a finance class and then after that they’ll take accounting in the second semester the sophomore year and again if students are coming in with AP calculus or micro we can push those the SMG courses to the spring of the freshman year may I say also that some students just one second that some students some parents the students often ask how many of your students are undecided and I say about ninety-eight percent of them but they don’t know it yet that is to say that one of the things about the college of general studies is that they have the array of schools and colleges to continue to as juniors but it’s really important to start to talk to your advisor about what do you imagine and to talk with other students remember sophomores juniors seniors some of the best contacts your sons and daughters will make will be in the residence halls and you know somebody who’s in biomedical engineering and the student I say well tell me about that. the the way that they’re going to find their major is not just in a one-to-one relationship their advisor it’s a it’s coming from multiple perspectives how this is follow-up question okay the question has to do with AP courses how those are evaluated how the student progresses with AP how those get I’m gonna have Stacey pick up the question of assessment remember that students who start in the College of General Studies must complete the two year curriculum they don’t go forward until their junior year. that’s one thing but that being said there are some ways that ap can assist a student in terms of more elective possibilities. talk about how the assessment I’ll talking again specific questions I we can talk afterwards button generally. advanced placement the University accept scores of four and five and essentially for our curriculum if your sons and daughters get a four in the English Lit they have the opportunity to replace humanities 101 and 102 s look at credit for humanities 101 102 and replace it with an elective that that is ostensibly towards their major or exploring what have you we also accept European history for the social science 102 curriculum core and then bio biology for the first biology and the sophomore year. that that’s it now of course many of your sons and daughters are taking psychology economics of the things like that and the university again grants credit towards psych 101 for example for scores of four and five yes ma’am go ahead. the question is specifically about sergeant college which is health and rehabilitation sciences occupational therapy therapy communication disorders those those fields but I think more broad would they when they go as juniors do they have to play catch-up but I think that is probably on the minds of all of you not necessarily about sergeant college. against a conf you answer that essentially it’s it’s it’s it’s for years except unless you’re in one of the programs in sergeant that is Dietetics which is five years PT which is six or seven but the but it’s it’s if it’s essentially four years and if that’s exactly right you know we are front loading with the foundational liberal arts courses where as students on the other schools and colleges may weave them through the four years but it’s all in the end the same package yes sir. the question is to do are their disadvantages and starting here as opposed to starting in one of the other schools and colleges well we’re not reliable narrators about that because we are fairly dedicated to this curriculum let me just say the the other part of that and then we can we can see if meg or somebody else would have some ideas about is there a perception of disadvantage you have to understand this is a fixed curriculum as I said this morning all students at Boston University one-third of their bachelor’s degree will be in what we call general education foundation in liberal arts the other colleges offer it in a different format and it may be closer to what some of you took divisional studies you did a list to from column a to meet your humanity’s requirements to from column B to meet your social science requirements they may have been good courses but there was no linkage there was we happen to think this is a more powerful pedagogy and our alumni tell us that all the time we happen to think that being able to think from multiple perspectives to bring to bear different disciplines on the problems of the world is a more powerful pedagogy. oh I will say I’m not the most reliable narrator on what are the disadvantages but a Meg do you want to say something that you might Jay has the mic he’s gonna he’s going to trump you meg and then he’ll pass it will pass it down I don’t think there are any disadvantages in fact I would say there are advantages in that we’re offering courses here that have to be taken anyway at the University and the courses that have to be taken at the University that your sons or daughters will select will be selected on the basis of convenience when they’re offered but they wouldn’t all cohere to any meaningful pedagogical or theoretical model in other words it’s like a smorgasbord and if you eat too much at a smorgasbord you get indigestion we offer the whole meal here we work together all year as a team of teachers to make sure that our courses integrate. by the time the students finish they have a very solid grounding in the liberal arts which allows them to move seamlessly throughout the university when they encounter other courses that deal with somewhat the same subjects. our courses are integrated in a very meaningful way for a full two years and since we do team teaching we meet each week to discuss how we’re going to make things work and we can offer interdisciplinary writing assignments and. forth. it’s a it’s a much more coherent package that we offer here and we’re very proud of it gosh I really put Meg on the spot disadvantages um the one disadvantage I can think of which actually very much turned into an advantage is the fact that your professors know who you are. that’s kind of scary as an incoming student to know that oh my goodness I actually need to raise my hand in class and I need to participate in this discussion because if not they’re they’re going to notice and that’s part of that integration you know policy in that that that mission of what the College of General Studies is is that idea that your professors are getting together and they’re having conversations about the students in their classes and you know they’re going to notice if you’re not participating in that but that is that it became such a huge advantage for me because it pushed me I worked very very hard. that’s another thing to students need to come into the college of general studies realizing they’re going to be challenged they’re going to be pushed and they’re going to work very very hard and it’s going to make a huge difference in the long run once I transitioned into the college of communication and now even now now that I’ve graduated I’ve really realized that I’ve got those that foundation of wanting to build relationships with professors and with staff members and with my colleagues based on that foundation that I got here meg what about anything co-curricular residence halls anything that you saw as you maybe talk a little bit about what that life is like yeah I know that tends to be a huge concern is this idea of our you know called general studies students in this bubble are they only living amongst CGS students and that’s really not the case I lived in west campus in sleeper hall which is where you ate lunch today and yes my roommate was in CGS however you know the girls that live beside us were in the school of education in the College of Arts and Sciences as dean gading mentioned I was involved with the public relations student Society of America starting as a freshman. I had that opportunity to get involved in co-curricular activities outside of the college of general studies which which is is key and yes students are going to have to put themselves out there and get involved and you know not be afraid to meet people but I think that goes across the board at any college at any university in any program that’s what college is about is getting yourself out there and kind of stepping out of your comfort zone but I don’t think that was necessarily unique to CGS I felt very much integrated with the rest of my freshman class through those programs and opportunities that I experienced yes ma’am go ahead we have a ninety-three percent retention rate we are and about that. we have a retention rate equal to or slightly better than the College of Arts and Sciences probably in part because of this connection and our graduation rate at the students who start in the college of general studies graduate at the same rates as the rest of the university we’re about eighty four percent graduation rate i think at boston university right now we’d like for it to be just a little bit higher but the students who start here they’re Zoomers like everybody else yes ma’am mm-hmm mm-hmm sure sure. I’m forgive me for those folks who are coming to us from online the question had to do with what is the retention rate. I anticipated also graduation rate in my answer and this question has to do with the team structure and how does it work you will remember that this morning I actually showed you a schematic of three faculty members an advisor representing a freshman team mix them up change it sophomore year different faculty and an advisor. does anyone want to pick up the question of how the team works beyond that yes. actually I think well why don’t we start with the student perspective and then we can go to the faculty perspective. the question has to do with how does this team structure work from the student perspective and then from the faculty perspective.
I can kind of just give you a picture to kind of I don’t know I’m a visual learner. that helps me um. teams are made up of about correct me if I’m wrong about 9,200 students 18 hours i would think maybe 80 okay when I was here 100 um and yes you have those those three faculty members. it’s the three faculty members and advisor and a team of about 80 students. the way it works is when you’re going to team lecture. for social science and humanities and Natural Science you will have a team lecture a week and. you’ll be with your entire team for that lecture however then those are those classes are also made up of discussion classes which make up about 20 students again students within your team that you’ll be in class with and those discussion classes they might be with you know this group of 20 students for this humanities discussion but this group of 20 students for this natural science discussion. it varies however you stick with your team of 80 students from a student perspective it was I loved it i mean i love CGS obviously i wouldn’t be sitting here if I didn’t but it was just a really awesome way to get to know my classmates and it was nice to know that we could honestly one of the biggest perks was studying together that was a huge thing was to get together for group study periods because we were taking the same exams and we were in all the same classes. we had that opportunity to do that and we also have that opportunity to kind of develop with each other and to learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses and I think that’s it’s really kind of a cool thing to take advantage of we had the whole entire year to get to know one another and again that kind of played into part come the capstone project that’s huge was that you had this opportunity to build these relationships with students that are in three of your four classes you your whole year and then kind of like I said use those strengths and weaknesses to your advantage let’s take one of the faculty members but as they’re passing the mic let me just say that it’s a little bit puzzling maybe because be aware the faculty teach a discrete course Matt teaches rhetoric Peter teaches the natural science course Jay teaches the social science course Adam teaches the humanities course there isn’t team teaching on a daily basis in terms of all of it being blended the the main thing is that they share the same students. that each week people meet in a team meeting with their advisor and can talk about students who are really progressing and shining and students who have certain interests and. there’s a wait it’s it’s as much a social unit as anything else from the students point of view. it’s sort of what we say by a college within a college within a university there will be six freshmen teams starting in the fall and those the way that sometimes people ask well how do how do we select people for those teams we don’t select students they come to summer orientation three people make friends they say let’s try to get on the same team that’s how scientific it is and then one will defect because he will say no I really am pre-med and I’ve got to get this one schedule that fits better for chemistry 101. I’ve got to choose would I rather be with you people or would I rather take chemistry. that’s the kind of thing that goes on that’s how it works. maybe a faculty would like to comment also about what is it like from a faculty / special about it from a faculty perspective the the team alignment the team structure is ideal we work with the students over the course of a whole year. we really get to see the the intellectual development and maturing process of these students that I mean what I always say is the difference between labor day and memorial day is profound and you know we see it over the course of the year we as Dean well said we do meet together like this is my team right now this year these the three of us are a team and yeah thank you yes and Dean god Nick as our advisor which is an important aspect of it and we all meet once a week and you know it’s we know who’s doing well who’s not doing well I know if somebody’s not attending professor Koren’s class or if she or she is not attending my class but really it’s it rather than that sort of kind of disciplinary stuff it’s it’s a way to just share ideas what’s happening in your class you know is there something i’m reading in my class that we can bring into into context in your class professor butcher and i led a group of students out on a field trip to Walden Pond this year. it just allows for that kind of of interchange and interplay which we we all believe facilitates and enhances the the undergraduate general education experience and as Dean god Nick sort of elbowed me here a key aspect of this really is the advising the the team structure allows the advising to happen at a very intimate and very efficient way. that the advisors are hearing directly from their students faculty how is this student doing in natural science or social science and we can provide immediate feedback which is then helpful i would say essential for the for the advisors to bring back to the students. it’s it all works together it’s all of a piece. yeah hi I think the teen system is really what makes this such a powerful pedagogical model really in no other general education structure that I know of in this whole country would a group of three people with PhDs who are doing research in their field spend the entire year with a single group of freshmen you know talking about the movie week together and designing joint projects. that the courses reinforce one another that to me is the secret of the success it’s not like you take one class and and then you go to another class and it has nothing to do with the first class and then you go to a third class and it has nothing to do with the first two classes our classes reinforce one another. I think you learn more and the learning comes in a package that your brain can hold on to and it you can pull from later on and you can use for problem solving and really I think it’s it’s a good model for how people have to perform in graduate school and in the professions very few people work in isolation out in the professional world they have to work on teams they have to they have to pull knowledge from different disciplines different areas in order to solve a problem we start that kind of thinking here with the team model that we have my colleagues have really been talking about connections connections in terms of the courses we offer in connections with our students and we write numerous letters of recommendation and it’s sometimes strange when freshman ask us to write letters a recommendation for graduate school or professional reasons because they usually would generally ask professors they’ve taken courses with at the upper divisional levels. we always have to explain in our letters of recommendation that were asked because we know them. well I had a student who wrote to me last year who was my student 25 years ago and he was changing professions and he asked me for a letter of recommendation I remembered him I just went back and dragged up the letter of recommendation I had written for him 25 years ago and I added a few things because I stayed in touch with him but those are the kinds of connections that we can offer here because of the way in which our whole program is set up we know our students very well and we treasured they’re wonderful yes go ahead yeah. the question is why do we have this particular structure the questioner was commenting that her son has a team structure like this at his high school and I have to say that they got the idea from us and and the reason I say that is this College has been around for 60 years. we just celebrate our 60th anniversary this fall and our founding fathers are credited in the literature with establishing the idea of team teaching in this case higher education but you have seen some examples of it sometimes in other schools like sometimes middle schools get organized around I’m I’m not kidding when I say that we founded it. we exist for that reason because the our founding fathers thought that this would be a good model I will tell you we were established original didn’t talk too much this morning about the history of Boston University we were established as a division of the general college now if you know about general education higher education from Columbia and University of Chicago those especially university of chicago i think are their fingerprints all over our curriculum because in the 30s and 40s the idea of general education really caught fire and. we had a very large general college at boston university and it was thought of as sort of the Honors Program of liberal arts and on this similar model and our founding fathers in 52 primarily to recruit World War two and Korean War veterans on the GI Bill established this notion of this PhD faculty small cohorts staying together for the two years all of that and over the years boston university under john silber and going forward boston university has become such a highly selective university yet there is a way that we are able to adapt to that changing model of we say what I quoted you this morning Michael Solana who went on to University Professors program this curriculum adds up to something we believe that this is the foundation of a liberal arts degree and uh and that the major if even in the professional school sit on top of it. that’s why we exist we had a contingent from Drexel University who came to us this year to take a look at our model and they had scouted around quite a lot and said very complimentary things about thinking that what we the way we approach things that they thought we were the best there are a couple of other models that research one universities that are similar to us that we consider our peers Oxford College of Emory and NYU’s Liberal Studies programs fact I was just on the an external review at NYU with the deans and looking at the NYU programs. there are a few models like it but it’s not easy to it’s not easy to get it started in 2013 if you know how higher education gets organized around departments of liberal arts and turf and and that kind of thing. we haven’t seen a lot of other programs start up we are just 60 years old that’s why we exist yes sir go ahead yes okay okay. so the question has to do with advising we have. the advisor on the team is what we call a professional advisor the faculty function as a they function as mentors in terms of talking with students about okay if I’m going to be an American Studies major what will that mean. the faculty often talk content but the specifics of how the advising works on the team Stacy I’m going to let you take that sure sure. if that’s a timely question because we just at the end of the year we survey our students about three or four questions takes five minutes what they think of advising and predominantly all of the answers are positive our advisors were very informed and helpful and things like that but in terms of any recommend and future recommendations which witch is which is interesting there were many that said we should have more mandatory meetings with our advisors which I found very interesting because you can see your advisor as many times as you want. the advisor that is there full time job folks they are there for that group of 80 to 100 students freshman and then they have a sophomore team. in terms of mandatory there’s one mandatory at the beginning of the year and then there’s one when they have to register but there is a ton of outreach that the advisors do to to the students to say come on in let’s chat we have information sessions the other schools and colleges in the fall will come here and we’ll have information sessions about what does it mean to continue to the College of Arts and Sciences or school of management etc. these students you get your sons and daughters can be with them once a week if they wanted to the issue is that that many of them don’t the ones who do and I suspect Meg would attest to this it’s a much more qualitative and complete experience when you do meet with your advisor your advisors are connecting you to resources at the university example I just met with a student about a month ago she’s looking for an advertising internship I know Eva Cantor has a job she graduated last year she’s with an advertising small advertising agency in Boston this student has a meeting with her this weekend to do an internship this weekend this the summer. it’s that type of connecting. in addition to having the sort of transactional advising where you take this course to get here and we map out the two and then the four years there’s also that that other piece of it that that that that there’s a benefit to meeting with the advisor the connecting piece and the resource piece if your sons and daughters enroll the line you must learn when they call you see your advisor they because that’s the place to begin and then the advisor can do a lot of communication now sometimes students will just come into a faculty member and you have a paper due and they’ve come in for an office hour with you and you’re talking through it and then they begin to talk about some things that that you know say they’re having some roommate challenges or whatever I might talk them through it but uh the advisor is certainly set up to help them as Stacey said to find resources throughout the university and how to resolve these kinds of things and one more note about that you know years ago we had mandatory meetings and the students you know sort of complained that oh it’s a mandatory meeting and many of them didn’t show up. we really we really see they’re adults and we we see them you know we open the door provide the resources and they have to step step through that door and that’s a message they will get repeatedly at orientation and from us but it really is a matter of them owning and they own their education here they certainly you know you guys are financing that they’re the owners of it and and they’ve got to then take take you know step through that that threshold I would just add to that the the formal advising that Dean god Nick is talking about is is is vital but the informal advising that the faculty because precisely because the faculty get to know your sons and daughters. well I you know it’s I could I couldn’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve had a student come into my office to talk about what seems like an academic issue but becomes something else because they feel comfortable because they know me and if this is the same for all of my colleagues and it’s just it really helps in a lot of different ways. there’s this really strong formal and also very strong informal advising piece that goes again it’s all of a piece.
I want to come in a little bit on that as well but I just got back yesterday from Chicago as its well publicized on the website I’m stepping down from the deanship at the end this year after 33 years at Boston University and. I’m out there on the Tina Turner farewell tour and. I was in Chicago I saw some of my former students from years ago back 30 years ago but there were two lumps who were there and they don’t know it yet but Adams Victor Fuentes came up to me who just graduated in 2004 and he said is Professor Sweeting still there I said oh yes and he wanted me to be remembered to him and then another young woman who was an abridgment who was the and she wrote a card to you yo. okay. we stay connected with our students and that’s why the advising piece whether it be advisors or faculty that’s kind of the thrill of working here all the way to the back yeah. the question has to do with how do professors teach a course that starts an ancient with ancient Greece and has also film history or any number of pieces and that’s true across all the divisions. let me just say in in the big picture we hire people with PhDs who are specialists who have to become generous we’re fairly broadly educated I will say my PhD is in 20th century British and American literature but when I came here to interview for a job in nineteen eighty I have a distributed minor in film and in philosophy and I thought well they’re interviewing me to teach the first year course in the literature core in film and they began asking a lot of questions about Plato and Aristotle and it became fairly apparent to me that they were really thinking I was going to teach the second year history of ethical philosophy I will tell you which I did for years all the way through capstone I will tell you one of the things that happens and I said we’re fairly broadly educated for one thing we’re teaching general education to first and second year students I’m not teaching graduate students in who are studying and writing a dissertation and can’t and that the perspectives we bring to it are across a lot of different fields we also are talk about collaboration people help each other a great deal and maybe Jay or some other folks can talk about how it works on a divisional meeting how you get together to talk about how you’re going to teach the content yes we meet once a week in the division of the social sciences to discuss pedagogy how we’re going to teach something and since we hire specialists it means that those who are hired you have to realize first of all have PhDs they’ve gone through hell getting a PhD. they know how to learn things fast and they have to learn quickly and we work together as a team to help folks make that transition we assign a mentor to each new faculty member that person sits in on classes and helps the person make that transition we help each other we have a collective file that we can turn to that deals with the kinds of matters that we’re going to be discussing each week in our meetings. we work collectively as a team of teachers in order to figure out how to make this general education program work and we all have to learn when we get here but we’re all good learners that’s why we have PhD. it’s a stretch for us but once we make that stretch it’s a home run really is and we continue to grow and develop as we exchange ideas with faculty that come from a multitude of different disciplines and that in the long run in richins what we do oh well I was just since I think you did ask specifically about the humanities professor corn was talking about the social science but it’s the same sort of model I mean I work with the faculty in my division we meet once every two weeks or. we’re oh I always ask somewhere what are you teaching in your class right now what are you teaching and we get these ideas this college that we share and openly share it’s a very collaborative effort there’s no question about it all of us are trained in in as you know this is the requirements of a PhD and it seems to be getting narrower an hour or we think that for teaching undergraduate general education courses the best teachers are those who are consorte of in a sense of step out of that that that specialty they may still work on that in there in the research but for their teaching and we we reward good teaching that’s what we everyone here is an accomplished scholar but our faculty are really evaluated as well and if not even more. on on the quality of their teaching and the teachers who are able the faculty who are able to sort of step out of that really small small area of specialty and to become generalists and who are you know fist you know have the facility to move in and out of historical errors because our students aren’t necessarily going to be in historical errors and I I think that but that our job is to help them move through historical eras and different genres different approaches different methods of inquiry and that’s that’s what we’re looking for in our teachers and that’s what we reward in our hiring our promotion and and salaries and what have you yes or go ahead. so the question has to do with how does a student continued into engineering and that is one of the continuation schools I will tell you with in Boston University there aren’t huge numbers of students trying to get into engineering they’re often a fair number going in the other direction but we have had a students every year or CGS who come to us and develop because they talk to other students they begun to think about engineering to think about the college of engineering as a continuation and. I know and I’m and we’re going to answer your question I don’t have Stacey pick it up specifically but you’re going if you have very specific questions about specific you know what about pre-med or what about those things we’re going to stay after and you can come up and ask us individual questions about those kinds of things as well but Stacey talk a little bit about what we did around engineering yes. so engineering is is pretty compressed and it’s it’s it’s doable in four years and requires depending on the program and engineering a server a couple of summers at least summer work we do have in the instance of engineering the opportunity for students to have an early transfer. as Dean well said two year program but we do have these two schools fine arts and engineering where by which students can transfer early qualify in qualifying. fine arts it would be based on a portfolio audition engineering it would be based on the students academic performance in calculus the freshman year as well as required summer work in the sciences the summer between freshman and sophomore year. they have bees and those prerequisite courses and they pass a mathematics diagnostic then they they will be able to transfer early to engineering. the main thing again i would say that student knee needs to be in touch with the advising because we want to start from summer orientation talking to students about what are your plans and how can we make sure that you’re going in the in the direction that suits you in terms of your aptitude and in terms of your interests and what happens if they think they’re going down one path school of management for example and say take the first gateway course and say not for me. that’s why it’s really important to keep working with the advisor and how do you make kind of a detour and make a different turn. that you go right on as a junior and complete now I’m going to make sure that everybody has a shot to ask first question I’m going to take a couple more I’m going to give you a three-minute warning and then as I said we will stay here and answer any of your individual questions yes sir okay okay. as I said you 600 sophomores came today to deliver their 50 page policy papers in here and they will. they research and write a 50-page policy paper on a real world problem in groups of about six or seven and we hope they’re still friends after that sometimes not. much and they have four weeks to do it and then they come in on what we call capstone submission day turning the capstones and then they over the next two weeks these faculty will be having oral exams with the students they take each group has a two-hour oral exam with their team of professors examining the problem as its put forward and the solutions as they have rendered it as a group as a group as a group and by the way the notion of capstone we have something called capstone that has been in place and called that for 40 years in this college and now you suddenly hear lots of things about capstone but that has been in this in place here for a very long time uh okay go ahead Peter I was just trying to make sure that we get a few more questions and go ahead but just I just want to say one thing from a faculty point of view that the capstone project is the true assessment of the worth of our program what we see come out of this project is polish scholars I believe it or not now I’m not saying that if you read these that the language is always perfect but these are polished scholars and were they present it to they sit with us in an oral examination for two hours we ask them the most challenging questions about all aspects from the humanities Social Sciences and even sciences and many of these projects and it is unbelievable to see the growth in these students and that’s really it’s truthfully the most meaningful thing that I go through I think my calm and I think for them for when you think of six sophomores who know virtually nothing about the specifics of a topic and in four weeks have become experts on it and that’s why we believe it really is incredible preparation for their lives because they are going to have to problem-solve do massive amounts of research move through data synthesize suggest a solution and at the same time manage interpersonal relationships a conflict resolution what happens if four people say and I think this is the solution to the problem I mean there there’s a lot that goes into that’s not just the writing of the paper of the capstone process we consider it that’s why we say this is something that it all adds up to something and capstone is that very thing the capstone someone back here had a question also yes sir okay. the question is how do we measure success as you’ve been listening to this analysis of the program of course we have metrics on the typical kinds of things of retention rates graduation rates grade point averages all of those things back for decades in this college and that’s one measure of success i would say another measure of success is something that I alluded to of being in touch with students back to the very first year I say I was a think I was a good teaching fellow and I got my PhD at the University of Wisconsin but I’m not in touch with any student I’ve ever taught at the University of Wisconsin and I am partly because that’s not the life of a graduate student you’re looking for finishing your dissertation and moving on getting a tenure-track position but I am in touch with students that I head back to my very first year and getting to hear their stories we have we have I am old enough to have students whose children have finished at this college and Jay will say grandparents. that’s another measure but Matt would you like to add something to I’ll mention there are multiple ways that we measure success I think and some are more formal and some are more informal I’m going to mention two and then I thought I’d hand it over to Dean McKnight because she’s really responsible for the more formal assessment of the program. in informal ways mean one of the ways we measure success is by reading student evaluations and and as chair I read all the student evaluations. hundreds and hundreds and we evaluate both the 101 course and the 102 course I read them all but I’m not just reading them to find out how much students like the professor or even like the material I’m reading them to figure out okay what are the strengths and weaknesses of this course if a student says it’s not challenging enough how can we address that if a student says that you know that the students in her class or his class we’re not always doing the reading that’s something we need to address etc. evaluations are one way I think another way it’s even more informal but you know we have our students for a whole year and from sep tember to april i can see how these students have grown right now my students are doing research papers using you know the full resources of a university library all the things that I was teaching them back in September about how to structure a paper and how to formulate a paper at the college level these are things that they’re doing pretty much naturally by rote now without my having to talk about those elements at all and they’re they’re building in a whole lot of new skills that I’ve been teaching this semester and. you know I can see a lot of growth there. it’s not formal assessment but I’m very confident that I can see it and I think the other faculty in my division are looking at those things all the time as well.
I’ll just hand it over and we’re going to ignite have the last no don’t be rushed I just want to give a heads up that when we conclude we will sign off with the online folks and then we’ll stay up here to answer any questions that you have because some of you still have questions to be asked Natalie thanks. I’m glad you asked about assessment because I do think it’s important and we do have a formal assessment project that’s going on right now and has been for a couple years funded by two generous grants from the Davis Educational Foundation. we have all of our students archive all of their formal work on eportfolios these are electronic portfolios it’s basically like an academic facebook. we have a record of everything they’ve done while they’ve been here with us and then we’ve trained this group of 10 faculty members and myself to evaluate their writing and their projects using a rubric that we’ve designed together and if you want to see our rubric somebody else mentioned Boober girlier it’s on our website. if you go to WWE d you / CGS /ci tl4 center for disciplinary teaching and learning you can look under eportfolio an assessment and see more about it but we use this rubric we’ve trained these faculty actually really for two years now. that we can establish inter-rater reliability and let me just get down to the brass tacks here after Collette you know looking at about a hundred and twenty m students eportfolios last year and using this rubric which has quantitative values we can show that our students progress between twenty two percent and thirty percent in all of the competency areas that we look at and national collegiate learning assessment tests are showing at most about seven percent in most colleges. and we’re going to go into another summer of collecting assessment data and we will be continuing this for years. this is you know these are early results but very promising. we have numbers and happy to share them with you thank you for asking that. folks it is one minute after two and you are supposed to be meeting your sons and daughters they’ve been upstairs as i said to you listening to the reliable narrations from our students we want you to enjoy the boston university campus for those online we’re thank you for joining us we’re going to end the telecast at this point and those who are still in the room who want to ask us questions please come forward thank you. much and again congratulations to your sons and daughters