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Students  // Browsing posts in Students

A Meaningful Global Experience

A Meaningful Global Experience

We’re still refining our strategic plan, so what I’m writing about now may change a bit. But one concise goal that seems to resonate well involves pledging a “meaningful global experience” for every undergraduate. Even though we have a decent start on this goal already, it’s a major innovation, writ large in this fashion, and […]

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Changed My Mind

Changed My Mind

As we discuss strategies for Mason’s future, I’ve been thinking about some assumptions I brought to my job 13 and a half years ago, and how I’ve rethought them. Some of the issues surface actively in discussing new goals, mainly in terms of our stance toward conventional (outdated?) status symbols. When I came to Mason, […]

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Revisiting the Global Problem Solving Consortium

Revisiting the Global Problem Solving Consortium

I’ve written on this before, but the project is gaining momentum so an update may be in order. The idea of the consortium stems from several impulses: first, improving levels of global awareness for students; second and more specifically, turning universities more explicitly toward exploring and possibly even alleviating various global problems; and third, as […]

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09 Jun Posted by in Academics, Faculty, Students | 1 comment

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

One of the most challenging aspects of higher education, particularly in the current skeptical climate, is figuring out what value we add. The pressure to improve assessment, now at least two decades old, is actually quite justifiable, but hard to satisfy without resorting to the kind of testing we don’t want in colleges—testing that would […]

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19 May Posted by in Observations, Students | 4 comments

Changing the World

Changing the World

This is an adaptation of some brief graduation remarks I recently offered, so meant to be in the spirit of the season. I watch a good bit of college basketball, and in the process see a lot of university ads. They’re mostly fairly awful, and it would be a service to have a good faith […]

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Inclusiveness

Inclusiveness

As many of my readers know, we have a new strategic vision for the University that includes a number of interesting elements. One feature, which I’ve written about before, implies a commitment to growth which we’re now trying to translate into more specific strategic planning. A related feature involves inclusiveness. Our President notes publicly that […]

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Multiplicity University

Multiplicity University

One of the odd aspects of many current discussions of American university futures involves a certain all-or-nothing quality—either everything is going to change, as the existing model is fully outmoded—or nothing much should. What’s often missing, though there are exceptions, is an understanding that our most likely near future, and possibly even long-term future, will […]

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27 Jan Posted by in Faculty, Students | 2 comments

Caring for Students

Caring for Students

The topic seems apt as we launch a new semester… I was intrigued by a report a few weeks back on what college students value most in their teachers. This was not just a Mason survey, but I certainly assume it applies to us too. The winner by a considerable margin: teachers who care about […]

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02 Jan Posted by in Academics, Faculty, Students | Comments

Mason Students

Mason Students

Writing the first blog of the new year is a bit of a challenge. Obviously one wants to make it interesting. On the other hand, we emerge from a week where — professionally — not a lot has been happening (for which we are profoundly grateful). So let me talk a bit about aspects of […]

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16 Dec Posted by in Academics, Faculty, Students | 1 comment

NSSE: How Our Students Are Doing

NSSE: How Our Students Are Doing

We’ve received National Survey of Student Engagement data for Mason for 2012, and while further reports will be issued by beginning of spring semester, from our peerless Office of Institutional Assessment, some preliminary results are worth attention. NSSE is a national survey that asks students to reflect on learning activities that relate to student success. […]

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