New Century College: First Year and Beyond


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A presentation giving with Janette Muir as part of the workshop Strategies for First-Generation Students: Integrative and Applied Learning—Students Doing What They Know with Marcia Mentkowski, Mancy Murray, and Gret Antilla at the Association of American Colleges and Universities Annual Meeting, January 20, 2010 in Washington, DC.

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New Century College: First Year and Beyond

  1. 1. New Century College: First Year and Beyond Janette Kenner Muir Darren Cambridge New Century College George Mason University New Century College Connecting the Classroom To the World
  2. 2. Overview to NCC <ul><li>Mission Statement </li></ul><ul><li>New Century College is committed to integrating interdisciplinary knowledge with lifelong learning by offering experiential, hands-on learning that connects the classroom to the world. Our community encourages students to engage in active learning, independent inquiry, and research that respond to the needs and opportunities of a diverse society while preparing them for responsible leadership and citizenship. </li></ul><ul><li>Overall Structure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First Year Learning Communities – Cornerstones </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrative Studies Degrees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinary Minors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiential Learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Competency Based Learning </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Mason Cornerstones <ul><li>The Mason Cornerstones program offers </li></ul><ul><li>first-year students an exciting and innovative </li></ul><ul><li>way to earn most of their university-wide </li></ul><ul><li>general education requirements while working </li></ul><ul><li>closely with faculty in discussion-based </li></ul><ul><li>seminars and hands-on learning experiences. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Cornerstones: The NCC FYE <ul><li>New design builds on a model developed 1994-2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Fulfill multiple general education requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Approximately 150 students with wide range of intended majors </li></ul><ul><li>Four six-credit learning communities </li></ul><ul><li>Run sequentially in the Fall and concurrently in the Spring </li></ul><ul><li>Team taught by faculty from multiple disciplines </li></ul>
  5. 5. Cornerstone Learning Communities <ul><li>NCLC 101: Narratives of Identity </li></ul><ul><li>NCLC 102: Global Networks and Communities: Food and Sovereignty </li></ul><ul><li>NCLC 103: Human Creativity: Science & Art </li></ul><ul><li>NCLC 203: Inquiry to Action: Facilitating Change </li></ul>
  6. 6. Common Elements <ul><li>Seminars, workshops, and field experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Writing and research intensive </li></ul><ul><li>Competency-informed </li></ul><ul><li>Experiential learning </li></ul><ul><li>Reflective practice </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital storytelling </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Foundations of Learning assignments </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Integrative Studies Degree <ul><li>Personalized approaches to teaching and learning </li></ul><ul><li>The integration of discovery, theory and practice to develop creative solutions to contemporary problems </li></ul><ul><li>Active learning that connects the classroom and community </li></ul><ul><li>Competency-building in areas such as critical thinking, group collaboration and information technology </li></ul>
  8. 8. Degree Requirements <ul><li>Integrative Studies students complete a minimum of 120 credits (45 credits of which must be upper-level) with a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA. These credits must include the following degree requirements: </li></ul><ul><li>34 credits of lower-division general education </li></ul><ul><li>24 credits of learning communities </li></ul><ul><li>30+ credit in the concentration </li></ul><ul><li>12 credits of experiential learning </li></ul><ul><li>3 credits of NCLC 491 Senior Capstone </li></ul><ul><li>Approximately 15 – 21 credits or elective or minor coursework </li></ul>
  9. 9. Integrative Studies Concentrations <ul><li>Some areas of focus: </li></ul><ul><li>pre-professional studies (education, law, and life sciences) </li></ul><ul><li>information & society </li></ul><ul><li>arts and culture </li></ul><ul><li>conservation studies </li></ul><ul><li>organizational administration </li></ul><ul><li>leadership studies </li></ul><ul><li>international studies </li></ul><ul><li>child & family studies </li></ul><ul><li>public & community engagement. </li></ul><ul><li>Individual concentrations can also be customized to meet unique academic and career goals, and interests. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Some Career Pathways <ul><li>Teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Consultants </li></ul><ul><li>Public Service – Peace Corps, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Conservationists </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Lawyers </li></ul><ul><li>Doctors </li></ul>