Course Project Overview: Effective Education Practices

Course Project Overview: Effective Education Practices

This course explores the changing student population and introduces key concepts surrounding their persistence and achievement. This body of research has serious implications for the success of higher education as a whole. Researchers at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) (Horn, Peter, & Rooney, 2002) have identified 7 significant “ risk attributes” that have a negative impact on whether students stay in college and attain their degrees. These factors characterize an increasing number of today’s undergraduates. They include:

· Delayed post-secondary enrollment (by one or more years)

· Part-time or full-time employment

· Financial independence

· Parenthood (or custody of other dependents—especially single parenthood

· High school dropout or GED status

Your Course Project: Effective Education Practices described below requires you to investigate learning and development challenges for a particular subgroup of students. Also, you will look at research on learning environments that promote student engagement, and you will recommend an educationally effective practice for a subgroup of students at your institution.

Consider this scenario:

The Board of Regional U. has charged the University President with increasing the number of students who graduate each year. Regional U. boasts a very diverse student body, and the Board has observed that graduation rates seem to vary among different student groups. Leaders of the University have decided that the best and most equitable way to improve the general graduation rate is to improve graduation rates for those subgroups.

As a first step in the process, the University President has convened a Taskforce to gather information on the different student groups and present the findings at a joint faculty/staff training session. She has appointed 10 members to the Taskforce, including you. Each member is charged with recommending an educational practice that will promote the success of a particular subgroup.

To accomplish this task, you will need to research learning/development challenges for the subgroup and educationally effective practices that have been implemented at other universities. You will deliver your recommendation (with supporting references) in the form of a PowerPoint presentation at a joint faculty/staff training session.

You’ll have the opportunity to work on pieces of this project throughout this course. More detailed instructions for each piece will be provided in the appropriate week. You will not need to submit something to your Instructor each week; in some cases, you’ll work on a piece one week and submit it in a later week.

Here is an outline of the major project elements:

Week 1: Select a student group for further research based on descriptive and demographic data.

Week 2: Research the learning and development challenges facing your group. Create a 3- to 4-page Annotated Bibliography in which you cite and describe at least 6 resources. Include a 1-page critical summary of the research (to be submitted in Week 4).

Week 3: Register with a social bookmarking site. Locate and bookmark online resources dealing with social identity development. Share your bookmarks with your peers and include appropriate resources in your Annotated Bibliography.

Week 4: Submit your Annotated Bibliography and Critical Summary via the submission link (5 pages).

Week 5: Research institutional practices that support student success. Describe at least three “Best Practices” in a 2- to 3-page paper to be submitted in Week 6.

Week 6: Submit your “Best Practices” paper via the submission link (2–3 pages).

Week 7: Based on your research, present a practice that will enhance the success of your student group. Describe the practice in a PowerPoint presentation designed for a joint faculty/staff training session. Include a title slide, introduction, and references (from your Annotated Bibliography, Best Practices, and others). Upload the PowerPoint presentation (approximately 12 slides) to DocSharing for peer review and to the submission link for evaluation by the Instructor.

Week 8: Review presentations on recommended practices for at least two other student groups. Discuss similarities and differences with your peers.

Assignment: Selecting a Student Population

For this week’s assignment, read the “Student Diversity” course document and visit the National Center for Education Statistics “Fast Facts” Web page at Click on More info under the “Back 2 School Stats” image and scroll down to “College and University Education”. Click on source after each fact to learn more about trends in the gender, age, and race/ethnicity of U.S. college students.

Based on your review of these resources and on your personal/professional experience, select a student population for your research. Submit your selection to the Instructor, explaining why the group demands further research. Based on the Instructor’s feedback, you will begin gathering information on the group for next week’s assignment

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