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Cover Sheet

Carl DuPont, carldupont@gmail.com

Jeanmarie Higgins, jhiggi16@uncc.edu
Jonathan Mayhorn, jpmayhor@uncc.edu

Draft date:
February 6, 2016

More information will be added under Evolution/Story for SLO3 Cultural Awareness
Second Case Study for SLO3 Cultural Awareness

How to Do Prospect
Commitment to Success
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte seeks to leverage its position as the states
urban research university to provide a robust intellectual environment that values social and
cultural diversity, free expression, collegiality, integrity, and mutual respect (University of North
Carolina at Charlotte). In order to achieve this goal successfully, the University seeks to engage
incoming students in their first semester through the Prospect for Success (PFS) courses in order
to integrate these principles into their own concept of success for the students, as well as the
institution that seeks to serve them. The SLO slogan is Commitment to Success.

According to the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) successful students will be able to:
set specific and realistic goals,
identify strategies for achieving those goals,
identify support networks for achieving those goals, and
take responsibility for achieving success (QEP).

Engaged students capable of setting goals, strategizing, and achieving those goals will form a
student body with higher academic achievement in the freshman year, and a high likelihood to
graduate in a timely fashion (QEP). In this respect, the academic goals of the individual student
and the institutional should coalesce. Ultimately, performance outcomes will be charted as
performance metrics reported annually to the University of North Carolina system and success
will be measured through:
one-year retention rate,
four-year graduation rate,
six-year graduation rate, and
attempted hours per baccalaureate degree (QEP).
In order for students to succeed they must develop intellectual and academic competence
(Ishler & Upcraft). Two important ways to define that success are favorable grade point averages
of completed courses, and progressing to the second year of enrollment (Ishler & Upcraft).

Retention is an important metric for the University. Research shows that in order for firstyear students to persist into their second year, they need to feel incorporated into the intellectual
and social communities of the institution (Ishler & Upcraft). The PFS courses are intended as one
of the myriad of communities that students encounter, however is specifically geared to foster a
scholarly community in a student body that is increasingly demographically diverse and is
capable of vastly differing conceptions of how such a group should behave (Ishler & Upcraft).
For the benefit of the students, the structure of the PFS course is adaptable in order to be
institution specific and discipline specific. Yet, systematic in order to communicate the ideals of
academia, and guide students towards practical methods of establishing and achieving. This
entails equipping students with functional skills to navigate college life, complete assignments,
and conceptualize their course of study. As well as directing students to the resources available at
the University so they know somebody will be there to support them when they experience
personal, mental, social and academic challenges.
Students who are active partners in the learning experience are intentional; they are able
to identify what they want to achieve and have the skills, knowledge, and motivation needed to
accomplish those goals (QEP).

3 = Goals are specific and


CHANGE - Adaptation with experience
3 = Articulates several (3+) specific
3 = Recognizes and specifically describes
strategies for achieving goals
the need to make changes in light of

2 =Goals are somewhat

specific and realistic

2 = Articulates a few (1-2) specific

strategies for achieving goals

1 = Goals stated by are not

specific or realistic

1 = Articulates only vague strategies for 1 = Shows limited recognition of the need to
achieving goals
make changes in light of experience

0 = No evidence

0 = No evidence

2 = Recognizes the need to make changes in

light of experience

0 = No evidence

Case Studies:
Example 1
Foundations in Dance: SETTING PERSONAL GOALS Project
At the beginning of the semester:
1) Write a one-paragraph biography as you imagine yourself in ten years.
What will your job be?
What education will you have attained?
2) Write a one-paragraph biography that presents you as a young professional.
List five or six goals for yourself at different stages:
for ten years from today. What do you want to achieve?
for the second semester of your senior year. What do you want to achieve?
for the end of this academic year. What do you want to achieve?
for the end of this semester. What do you want to achieve?
3) Underneath each goal, write 4-5 strategic actions you will take to achieve your goals.

At the end of the semester:

4) At the end of the semester, write a one or two paragraph reflection:

What did I learn about myself as a self-directed goal setter this semester?
Example 2
Commitment to Success College of Engineering First Semester PFS Assignment
In the William States Lee College of Engineering our PFS-based assignment in the Introduction
to Engineering Practices and Principles I (ENGR 1201) and the Introduction to Engineering
Technology (ETGR 1201) courses, begins by reminding students that
the Engineering, Engineering Technology, and Construction Management majors are not
exclusively about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Also, that the
careers that come from them will force them to engage a very wide variety of people, and
communications, decision making, and the practice of their profession are typically done
in a very open and observable way.
To help students model their success, they are asked to develop a personal growth plan based on
the Whole Life Concepts Model (see below). The goal of the Whole Life Concepts Project is for
students to:
develop an understanding of their personal passion and how it came to be,

identify short-term, long-term, and career goals and strategies, and the impacts they could
make, and
understand the nature and extent of technical and non-technical skills and knowledge.
Also, the professional development activities, skills, and knowledge that will be required
to achieve their stated goals and objectives.

This Whole Life Concepts Project is intended to be a research, and writing-intensive project that
requires significant self-reflection. The outcomes should serve as a compass for how a student
thinks and acts as a professional-in-training, and provide students with a basis for understanding
why it is that they are willing to work so hard to earn a degree. As students complete the project,
they are reminded that if they find their passion to be inconsistent with the impact that they want
to make, now is the time to change course.

Figure 1. Whole Life Concepts Model Outline

Figure 2. Whole Life Concepts Model Details

UNC-Charlotte students experience inquiry as an open-ended process that explores evidence and
approaches to generate ideas and conclusions. Students who are active partners in the educational
experience are often curious. They understand that knowledge should be attained through their
academic journey rather than received like a gift. As they leave the prospect for success based
classes they will be on their way to mastering the process of inquiry, which allows them to
construct knowledge in their continued academic journey.
2. Documentation/Theory/Strategies

Student learning outcomes for inquiry are evaluated via a reflective writing assignment in the
discipline-specific freshman course. These courses typically require students to learn a specific
tool or skill, and complete projects in their specific discipline over the course of the semester.
The assignment given provides a valuable component of the 1st year curriculum for students to
reflect what they learned that semester. Inquiry instructors grade their student assignments on
three dimensions: exploratory process, evidence/approaches, and originality as shown in the
rubric below.

3 = Discussion and/or results
indicate that the focus of
inquiry evolved

3 = Discussion and/or results indicate

substantial exploration of appropriate
evidence or approaches

3 = Strong evidence of
originality in discussion or
results of inquiry

2 = Discussion and/or results

indicate that the focus of
inquiry evolved a little

2 =Discussion and/or results indicate

some exploration of appropriate
evidence or approaches

2 = Some evidence of originality

in discussion or results of

1 = Discussion and/or results

indicate that the focus of
inquiry was static and
narrowly focused
0 = No evidence

1 = Discussion and/or results indicate

limited exploration of appropriate
evidence or approaches

1 = Limited evidence of
originality in discussion or
results of inquiry

0 = No evidence

0 = No evidence



Table 1: Inquiry Grading Rubric

A. Some Example Strategies
Some example strategies that have been used by instructors to develop the outcome of inquiry
are outlined here:
1) A short writing assignment asking the student to describe what motivates them to learn or to be
curious. They would have to give an example of going above and beyond the minimum
requirements on an assignment. Further explaining how this assignment fueled their curiosity
about a particular topic of interest.
2) A short writing assignment that allows the student to reflect on what they have learned in a
course and how they will utilize that knowledge in their future academic or professional career.
B. Case Studies
For the first case study, a PFS (Prospect for Success) course uses team based projects that guide
students through a methodology that allows them to generate ideas, evaluate those ideas, design a
solution and implement that solution. The instructor then follows up with a short memo
assignment to ask a few questions about inquiry such as:

a) How can you connect the knowledge and skills learned from this project to your future academic
or professional career?
b) Using the methodology within this project you were allowed to generate knowledge through
critical thinking rather than being given the answer. How was this methodology similar and
different than your traditional homework assignments that require you to just memorize
c) Now that you have been exposed to this project, what are some of the topics you are curious to
learn more about over the next few years and why do you want to learn more about them?
For a second case study, the Prospect for Success instructor has students write short forum posts
each week in Moodle that are between 250 and 300 words. These forum posts ask the students to
reflect on what they learned in class that week and how they will apply what they have learned to
their future academic or professional career. An example rubric used to grade the forum posts in
Moodle is shown below.
Forum Post Rubric:
25% - 250-300 Words
25% - Answer the question
25% - Demonstrate personal awareness
25% - Free of grammatical and spelling errors
Then, at the end of the semester the students are asked to write a one page memo reflecting on
everything they learned over the semester, and how it is connected to their lives now and in the
future. Students are well prepared to write these final memos in a concise and impactful manner
since the 14 weeks of forum posts have prepared them for the assignment. The inquiry grading
rubric mentioned in Table 1 above is used to assess the outcomes of this assignment.

Cultural Awareness
Cultural Awareness is the understanding of yourself and that of others whose world view and
experiences differ.

3 = Strong awareness of how
culture and experience shape
own perspectives and
2 = Some awareness of how


3 = Strong awareness of
how culture and
experience shape others'
perspectives and capacities
2 = Some awareness of

OPENNESS to multiple
points of view
3 = Strong consideration of
multiple points of view
2 = Some consideration of

culture and experience shape

own perspectives and
1 = Limited awareness of
how culture and experience
shape own perspectives and
0 = No evidence


how culture and

experience shape others'
perspectives and capacities
1 = Limited awareness of
how culture and
experience shape others'
perspectives and capacities
0 = No evidence

multiple points of view

1 = Limited consideration of
multiple points of view
0 = No evidence

Case Studies

The following PFS assignment is from the Theatre department. The Performance Tradition
Presentation is a 3-4 minute team presentation about a performance tradition unfamiliar to
students. Students work in pairs to research, create and present an introduction to a performance
tradition. In addition to teaching research and presentation skills, these collective presentations
become study materials for course exams in theatre history.
The Course:
The Theatre Experience is an introduction to performance, technology, and history for new
theatre majors. Students complete many assignments, such as writing a short play, directing a
scene, and serving on a department running crew for a theatre production. Introductions to
theatre history courses are usually large classes, and usually provide little opportunity for
individual projects. Not so much for The Theatre Experience since The Prospect for Success
provides an opportunity to assign presentation projects in an area of theatre history. Further,
adapting to the SLO of Cultural Awareness focuses this project in a useful way.
Outside of content mastery, the Performance Tradition Presentation aligns with three key theatre
department goals: to develop presentation skills (a skill especially needed by directors and
designers), to understand that performance happens in many ways and in many places, and to
work effectively as a member of a team.
The Assignment:
Each pair of students is assigned a different performance tradition; examples include New
Orleans Carnival, Japanese Kabuki Theatre, or Italian Commedia Dellarte. This assignment also
integrates the Inquiry SLO. Students are asked to consult three sources--their textbook, a theatre
encyclopedia, and one or more books that they physically check out or download as ebooks from
the library (we reserve class time for this field trip).

Students are directed to use a few peer-reviewed resources in order to research their topic.
Further, they are limited to three minutes to make their presentation. To focus their
energies further, they are required to use no fewer than five and no more than ten slides,
none of which have any text.

This assignment yields a few key artifacts--the presentation slides themselves, a single
authored one-paragraph reflective essay, and a rewrite of this same reflective essay in an

exam setting (2-3 paragraphs). The reflective essay asks students to answer questions
about their research process (and so relates to the Inquiry SLO).
The Assignment Given to Students:
Write a 2-3 paragraph essay (each student must write his or her own essay) that addresses the
answers to the following questions, expanding on the essay you wrote for the Performance
Tradition Presentation assignment:
What did you know about your topic before reading Chapter 5 of Think Theatre?
What did you learn from the chapter about your topic?
What additional sources did you consult? How did they contribute to your understanding of your
What additional/interesting/surprising things do you know about your topic now?
A rewrite of the essay measures SLO 3, Cultural Awareness: The assignment continues:
How might you apply knowledge of this new form into your own theatre practice, either directly
or indirectly?
Compare and contrast this performance form with one you were already familiar with
specifically, a football game, or musical theatre, or a cheerleading performance: what similarities
and differences are there between the two?
How do these similarities and differences reflect the cultures or societies that practice these

Ishler, J. L. C. (2005). Todays first-year students. In M. L. Upcraft, J. N. Gardner, and B.O.
Barefott (Eds.) Challenging and supporting the first-year student (27-46). San Francisco: JosseyBass.
Ishler, J. L. C, & Upcraft, M. L. (2005). The keys of first-year student persistence. In M. L.
Upcraft, J. N. Gardner, and B.O. Barefott (Eds.) Challenging and supporting the first-year
student (27-46). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte (2013). Quality Enhancement Plan. Retrieved from

IV. How To Do This (Implementation and


What has worked and what has not?
Pilots and Initial Implementation
Disciplinary Based: Introduction to
Pre-existing vs. New
Credit Hour Assignments
What are the tensions? (Will be discussed in greater depth in the Working With University
Partners section)
What are the challenges? (Will be discussed in greater depth in the Working With University
Partners section)

Overview of recent literature relating to challenges of first year students and how first year
seminars can impact their academic careers.
Identify the primary challenges and approaches being taken to help or mitigate issues.
Case Studies
Two Video Testimonials of students and their advisors (would these specifically be students who
experienced a PFS course as a freshmen?)
First generation college student
Legacy college student
Student Practices
Case study reflection
Instructor Practices
Common strategies and practices
Visual (Jeanmarie will be adding to this section) case study - creating visual artifacts
Kinesthetic case study - creating hands-on projects
Integrating your Prospect course into disciplinary goals (beyond the first year)
Flipping the classroom (Information out of class, Application in class)

V. Working with University Partners


International Students Organization
How to effectively utilize preceptors within a course to support the prospect for success initiative