Author: Henderson, Kristi

LTE at UConn: An Open Forum

 

LTE at UConn: An Open Forum

Friday, Dec. 10, 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Virtual event, RSVP not required

If you require an accommodation to participate please email lte@uconn.edu.

What is LTE at UConn and how does it seek to transform the undergraduate student experience? All faculty and staff are invited to this forum to learn more about the work that has taken place so far and how individuals and offices can be involved in leading this exciting initiative forward.

LTE Speaker Series: Reshaping Student Success Through a Life-Transformative Education

 

LTE Speaker Series: Reshaping Student Success Through a Life-Transformative Education

Dr. Tadarrayl Starke, Associate Vice Provost of the Institute for Student Success, University of Connecticut

Thursday, October 21, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Virtual event, RSVP not required

If you require an accommodation to participate please email lte@uconn.edu.

For over 20 years, Dr. Tadarrayl Starke has been committed to student success, with an emphasis in serving students traditionally underrepresented in higher education like himself. At the University of Connecticut, he serves as Associate Vice Provost of the Institute for Student Success

Dr. Starke has a Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education, Master of Science degree in Higher Education with a focus on Student Affairs, and Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in African American Studies. He also earned a Certificate in Institutional Research and a Certificate in College Teaching. Dr. Starke has over 15 years of work with retention and academic support programs for students in a higher educational setting, both at the community college and 4-year university levels. In total, he has over 20 years of programming experience in educational access, equity, and success in higher education.

LTE Speaker Series: A Discussion with Dr. Pam Eddinger

event flier with photo of Dr. Pam Eddinger

 

LTE Speaker Series: A Discussion with Dr. Pam Eddinger

Friday, April 9, 9 to 11 a.m.

Virtual event, RSVP not required

If you require an accommodation to participate please email lte@uconn.edu.

Pam Eddinger is president of Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC), the largest of 15 community colleges in Massachusetts.  Dr. Eddinger began her tenure at BHCC in 2013 and previously served as president of Moorpark College in Southern California from 2008.

Dr. Eddinger’s service in the Community College movement spans more than 25 years, with senior posts in academics and student affairs, communications and policy, and executive leadership. Dr. Eddinger serves on a number of boards and commissions, including the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), GBH Boston, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Boston Foundation (TBF), the Massachusetts Workforce Development Board, the Boston Private Industry Council, Achieving the Dream (ATD), the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy, and the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU). Dr. Eddinger was honored in 2016 by the Obama White House as a Champion of Change. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Barnard College and her master’s and doctorate in Japanese Literature from Columbia University.

 

LTE Task Force publishes first report, Fall 2019 to February 2021

In November of 2019, UConn President Tom Katsouleas charged a Task Force to begin the work of creating a culture and infrastructure that ensures each student has the access and encouragement necessary to engage in their education as a life-transformative experience. The Life-Transformative Education Task Force has issued its first report, covering activities and findings from Fall 2019 to February 2021. The full report is available to view as a PDF

The report finds that UConn’s challenge is not a lack of life-transformative educational experiences. Individual professors and programs are deeply committed to this type of educational experience. The grand challenge is to effectively extend and scale life-transformative educational experiences to every single one of our 24,000 undergraduate students by their graduation.

Below are selected highlights from this initial report:

Pedagogical pathways
Under the leadership of the Authentic and Inclusive Learning working group, the Task Force identified seven pedagogical approaches that underscore authentic and inclusive learning, 

  • Social-emotional learning
  • Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs)
  • Experiential and Action Learning
  • Service Learning
  • Social Justice Education and Dialogue-Based Learning
  • Human Rights Education
  • Intercultural Citizenship and Competencies for Democratic Culture

Advising and mentoring
The Advising and Mentoring group examined the role of advising and mentoring as a crucial pillar in students’ ability to fully engage in their education as a life-transforming experience. The group identified challenges and created suggestions related to providing emotionally supportive mentorship for all UConn undergraduates.

One initial pilot being launched through the LTE initiative at UConn is a mentoring program for students who are identified as at-risk of discontinuing their education. Faculty and staff volunteers are being trained this semester and will be paired with students to help them navigate challenges impeding their success.

Moving forward, the group will continue to explore these key areas into next academic year:

  • Assessment of advising, including job duties and reward structure: What does “quality advising” look like?
  • Advising roles, expectations, and support for faculty, staff, and students.
  • Advising models, scaling, and structures, across schools/ colleges/ departments and between faculty and staff advisors.
  • Barriers to effective and equitable advising and mentoring.

Engaging and expanding a network of LTE champions
One of the successes of the LTE project so far has been the bringing together of faculty and staff to envisage a transformative process in relation to campus culture, which has been advanced through:

  • LTE task force and five working groups
  • Cultivate kick-off workshop to energize LTE champions
  • LTE speaker series

Several hundred faculty and staff have been engaged in these activities so far, with plans to expand the network of LTE champions in future academic years.

Next steps
To go from good to great, we have to catalyze our culture in gradual and not-so-gradual ways. We have to expand the quantity and variety of our best existing programs. We have to develop new programs by “listening louder” to our students, our alumni, our communities, and converting what we hear into actionable reciprocal impacts for those involved.

Moving into the spring of 2021, the LTE Working Groups have been restructured and received new charges to consider initiatives at various scales of implementation ease and resource needs, as well as how to infuse those activities with LTE’s core values. 

Why is LTE so important?
Never has the importance of Life-Transformative Education been more clear than now, amid a global pandemic and its economic repercussions, a nationwide reckoning with anti-Black racism and white supremacy, and the changed models of education as online teaching became a necessity.

Life-Transformative Education differs from past educational initiatives in three important ways:

  1. It is focused on success as measured by well-being and work engagement outcomes long after graduation, rather than completion of college;
  2. It moves mental health from an auxiliary service to a part of the core mission;
  3. It is inclusive from day one with a goal of reaching every student.
Cover image of LTE report PDF

LTE Speaker Series: Panel on Transformational Learning

Transformational Learning Panel Presentation

 

LTE Speaker Series: Featuring a Live Panel Discussion on Transformational Learning at UConn

Friday, February 12, 9 to 11 a.m.

Virtual event, RSVP not required

If you require an accommodation to participate please email lte@uconn.edu.

UConn’s Life-Transformative Education Task Force is pleased to announce a live panel discussion on transformational learning at UConn. Sessions for Spring 2021 will focus on issues such as creating equitable faculty advising structures, faculty-staff cooperation, and building inclusive experiential learning opportunities in the classroom.

Panelists include:

  • Oscar Guerra, Department of Digital Media and Design
  • Caroline McGuire, Enrichment Programs, Office of Undergraduate Research
  • Fiona Vernal, Department of History
  • Julia Yakovich, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
  • Steve Zinn, Department of Animal Science

LTE Speaker Series: Dr. Frank Tuitt, Realizing a Life-Transformative Education in Challenging Times

Realizing a Life-Transformative Education in Challenging Times: Implications for Making Excellence Inclusive at UConn

LTE Speaker Series: Featuring Dr. Frank Tuitt, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at UConn

Friday, November 13
9 to 10 a.m., virtual event

UConn’s Life-Transformative Education Task Force is pleased to announce the kick-off of its monthly LTE speaker series with a talk by Dr. Frank Tuitt, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at UConn. Dr. Tuitt arrived at UConn in 2020 from the University of Denver, where he was a faculty member and Chief Diversity Officer from 2015-19. Dr. Tuitt will speak on how to ensure that the values of LTE – identity, agency, and purpose – are available to all students, particularly students of color.

Sessions for Spring 2021 will focus on issues such as creating equitable faculty advising structures, faculty-staff cooperation, and building inclusive experiential learning opportunities in the classroom.

Cultivate Workshop, September 25, 2020

Cultivate flier for September 25, 2020 event

CULTIVATE - Life Transformative Education

A workshop to inspire, develop, and empower Life-Transformative Educators at UConn

Friday, September 25
8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., virtual event

Email lte@uconn.edu for more information.

On September 25th, the University of Connecticut hosted more than 150 faculty and staff from all corners of our sometimes disconnected University (14 schools and colleges spread across five regional campuses) in a day-long program of ideation and conversation around issues of life-transformative education. Titled “Cultivate,” the event served to introduce LTE to key stakeholders at the University and spur them to future engagement and involvement in UConn’s LTE efforts. Facilitated by culture change professionals from The Design Gym, Cultivate included a mix of short, intensive working sessions that put participants into more than 20 small breakout groups and large plenary sessions led by UConn President Tom Katsouleas and UConn Provost Carl Lejuez. The event concluded with summary remarks by CLTE Steering Committee Chair, Rick Miller. Along the way, the assembled brain trust collected more than 2500 individual ideas for promoting life-transformative education at UConn.

Cultivate was guided by two principles. The first was “Listening Louder.” Instead of bombarding participants with external ideas, Cultivate aimed to use the event to bring together already life-transformative educators – the people already doing the necessary work – and challenge them to think about how to extend and scale their practices to the entire university community. The primary role for higher administration in the Cultivate event was to listen and learn. The second was “Empowering Ideas.” For those portions of the program that were less participatory (for example, Rick Miller’s talk), speakers were encouraged not to lecture, but to provide scaffolding ideas that could help the grassroots community realize its own vision. The goal was that this initial cohort of life-transformative educators would leave Cultivate excited at the possibilities for expanding their work at UConn and for spreading their approaches to their peers.

Cultivate was intended as the kick-off for UConn’s LTE efforts over the course of the academic year, which will include a monthly speaker series; a series of “rapid response” projects proposed by faculty and staff and designed to respond to opportunities to extend LTE at UConn as they emerge; and continued research, assessment, and outreach work by UConn’s LTE Task Force