Breakout Session #1
10:40 – 11:55 a.m.
Storytelling: Communicating the Impact of Student Engagement
- Haley Sankey, Assistant Teaching Professor of the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute
- Tom Hogan, Professor of Practice in Human Resource Management
Student engagement fosters conditions of learning and involvement that result in a transformation in student understanding, teaching practices, and community outreach. While there are an increasing number of stories to share and opportunities to showcase, communicating the value and impact of student engagement remains an important priority for the University. In this session we ask participants to share their successes and failures in requiring students to journal about their engagement experiences. We’ll also discuss the limitations of journaling as an assessment tool. Additionally we’ll share ways that the performing arts can assist students in self-examination and communicating the value of their engagement experiences.
- What tools do students, faculty/staff, and community partners need to enhance the story-telling capabilities that would demonstrate growth as a result of student engagement experiences?
- What messages are most important to Penn State regarding student engagement, and how do we best communicate these messages, and to which audiences?
- How can student connect with the right experiences?
Resources: Building the Toolbox for Empowered Student Engagement Practices
- Caitlin Ting, Interim Director of the University Fellowships Office
- Brian Patchcoski, Director of the LGBTQA Resource Center
Student Engagement comes with challenges, and planning for sustainable engagement models can be time consuming and difficult. Resources can also be scarce, decentralized, or under developed. In an effort to add both scale and rigor to student engagement practices, strategies (whether critical thinking and reflection on one’s identity, developing an understanding of different advising approaches, or other) need to be identified and/or adopted. In this session, we ask what practices can faculty/staff/community partners leverage to better promote growth areas as part of their mentorship of students? Aside from financial resources, what strategies can encourage more partners to participate in student engagement experiences? What other practices will make the range of engagement experiences more accessible for all students?
- What does belonging and connection look like for students in different areas of the student experience?
- How do we foster deeper and more intricate ways of understanding engagement?
- What tools can we add to our toolbox to meet students where they are at and where they hope to grow?
- How might we challenge existing systems to encourage broader engagement?
Technology: The Role Technology Plays in Student Engagement
- Daren Coudriet, Nittany AI Challenge Director & Entrepreneur in Residence
- Kira Hamman, Teaching Professor of Mathematics & Director of the Honors Program at Penn State Mont Alto
Technology plays a key role in defining the student experience and can influence how students find and reflect on engagement opportunities and experiences. It can also break down the silos that exist at large, geographically-dispersed institutions like Penn State. In this session, we will discuss how technology can be used at Penn State to reduce the silo effect, match students with engagement opportunities, and share results of student engagement projects with local communities and the world.
- How do we best engage students in helping to construct a portal that they will use and will best serve them?
- How do we ensure every Penn State student across the Commonwealth has an opportunity to pursue engagements, independent of where an engagement originates or takes place?
- What are early technology challenges and barriers that must be overcome?
- What are key trends we can focus on to build the best system for our students?
- How can technology be used to allow students to enrich and reflect on their learning?
- How can we use technology to maximize the impact of student engagement outside of the academy?
Finding Your Why: The Societal Impact of Student Engagement
- David Smith, Associate Dean for Advising & Executive Director of the Division of Undergraduate Studies
- Dana Naughton, Director of the Global Health Minor & Assistant Teaching Professor of Biobehavioral Health
This session asks participants to reflect on what actions instructors can take to foster students’ examination of their desire, if not calling to engage in experiences that may disturb, disrupt, and challenge their status quo. Transformative experiences, often expressed in study abroad experiences are touted as pivotal and sometimes even life-changing learning events for students. With such outcomes at stake, how do instructors help students examine, support, and act on the challenge that these experiences can offer?
- How do we prepare students to go into the field (e.g. abroad?) in an informed way?
- How do we construct experiences & activities that shift students’ thinking from categorizing opportunities as “career building” and help them focus on the importance of gaining a variety of experience?
- What is our (faculty) role of fostering students’ capacity to see themselves as change agents? How do we do this?
- How do we help students scale up reflection?
Breakout Session #2
1:10 – 2:25 p.m.
Collaboration: Building Partnerships
- Tim Kerchinski, Innovation Team Lead for Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program
- Jackie Edmondson, Chancellor & Chief Academic Office at Penn State Greater Allegheny
Successful student engagement depends on the interplay and relationships between people; with support and encouragement from the learning institution, the community, economics, and the imperative to create change. In this session, presenters will demonstrate a key to relationship building as well as examples of challenging and successful partnerships.
- What can I do to promote the development of an increased number of mutually-beneficial student engagement opportunities and partnerships within my campus and surrounding community?
- What kinds of engagement opportunities are best suited to enhance student learning and provide benefit to organizations that participate?
Planning the Student Journey: The Roles of Staff, Faculty, and Community Partners in Guiding Students
- Bob Orndorff, Senior Director of Career Services & Affiliate Associate Professor in Counselor Education
- Jennifer Eury, Assistant Professor of Management and Organization & Affiliate Faculty Member of the Rock Ethics Institute
The student journey is full of twists and turns. As students are challenged to balance their courses, activities, jobs, personal lives, and career preparation, their character development and life skills become increasingly important. In this session, we explore the role faculty and staff can play in the student leadership/career journey.
- How do the expectations of students involved in engagement experiences change as they move through their undergraduate years?
- How can student engagement partners most effectively assist students develop in growth areas (i.e. multicultural awareness, civic responsibility, ethical reasoning, systems thinking, and professional skills) as they complete an engagement experience?
Discovery: Designing the Scholarship of Engagement
- Nicholas Rowland, Associate Professor of Sociology & Environmental Studies at Penn State Altoona
- Hailley Fargo, Student Engagement & Outreach Librarian for Penn State University Libraries
This session will raise critical issues for the Penn State community regarding scholarly student engagement. The presenters will discuss institutional matters of concern related to the role of the curriculum, transformation of processes associated with Promotion and Tenure, and the future of the Engaged Scholarship Academy for faculty. This session will also provide practical, concrete options for faculty and staff to increase their level of student engagement. The presenters discuss unlocking the potential for radical expansion of student engagement through collaboration between students, faculty, and staff in interdisciplinary contexts, they describe various ways to contribute to student engagement in everyday life professional activities like teaching, advising, and related activities, and then conclude by discussing how best to manage the recruitment and retention of engaged students over the long haul. On the whole, the goal of this is session is to share a coherent set of definitions, engage matters of true value and concern for the Penn State community, and provide members of the audience with actionable thinking to make a difference in the design of scholarship and engagement at all of Penn State’s many locations.
- How does your unit or department stay informed about changes to the University and our curriculum associated with student engagement?
- How could Promotion and Tenure processes be strategically utilized to promote and incentivize student engagement?
- How could you and your colleagues get involved in the Engaged Scholarship Academy?
- What are the benefits and barriers to interdisciplinary collaboration that intentionally includes students and student engagement?
- In what ways do you or your colleagues already showcase student engagement in your teaching, advising, and other related activities?
- What resources are needed in order to scale-up student engagement in your unit or department?
Assessment: Measuring Impact of Engagement
- Adam Christensen, Director of Student Affairs Research & Assessment
- Denice Wardrop, Associate Professor of Geography and Ecology, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; Associate Director, Riparia (formerly the Cooperative Wetlands Project), Penn State University
This session will focus on current assessment practices that will help guide Penn State toward a more unified effort to measure student engagement across four areas: student impact/learning, institutional growth, the scholarship of engagement, and impact on the community. Presenters will share examples of assessment practices and challenge participants to think about the best ways to assess individual student growth, program effectiveness, community impact and more.
- What are current practices that will help guide us toward a more unified effort to assess student impact/learning, institutional growth, the scholarship of engagement, and impact on the community
- What are the best ways to assess individual student growth and program effectiveness?
- Should Penn State measure employability or create indexes on career readiness? How?
2:30 – 3:15 p.m.
Furthering Student Engagement at Penn State
- Darcy Rameker, Student Affairs, Director of Student Engagement Programs
- Donna Chambers, Director of Academic Affairs, Penn State Berks
- Peter Aeschbacher, Faculty in A&A
- Tom Fountaine, State College Borough Manager
- Nicholas Rowland, Associate Professor of Sociology & Environmental Studies at Penn State Altoona
A 21st century college education is dynamic, multi-faceted, and global. It begins in the classroom, but doesn’t end there as students test their knowledge in internships, broaden their perspectives through study abroad, serve their communities by volunteering, extend their leadership skills in student organizations, launch their own start-up companies, and more. Out-of-classroom learning like this accelerates students’ development and enhances their preparation for life after graduation. Penn State is committed to making student engagement a central part of the undergraduate experience, with more students involved in a wider range of learning opportunities than ever before. This discussion will focus on the comprehensive initiative the University is launching to promote student engagement across all Penn State campuses.
- What does student engagement mean to you? How would you describe it?
- How has an experience impacted you? How did it change you?
- What is a feature of the Penn State student engagement network you believe will help build capacity and enrich the skills for students, staff, and faculty?
- What does Penn State need to do to build capacity? To enrich the learning experience? To create a meaningful impact?