President's Office

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Presidential Task Force on the Senior Year Experience

Reflection Sub-Committee Meeting, 11/17/06

Present: Marjorie Hass, Chair, Deb Kipp, Alan Tjeltveit, Keri Colabroy, Tom Craigin, Peter Bredlau, Cailin Pachter, Sharon Albert, Carol Shiner Wilson (scribe), Christine Davies (by phone). Not Present: Ryan Campbell, Trevor Wade, Jeff Rudski

The group first discussed the meaning(s) of the term reflection and what some current opportunities for students to reflect are. The group noted course evaluations, written or oral events to connect among courses and outside experiences, and working with a faculty or staff mentor. Portfolios based on professional competencies (critical thinking, teamwork, etc.) were also noted. The group brainstormed and articulated the following aims of reflection:

Intellectual and personal growth
Articulation of identity (Who am I? Who have I become?)
Understanding of meaningful relationships, in particular faculty and staff
Critical thinking and feeling
Connection among academics (courses, GARs) and beyond (citizenship)
A sense of progress to the future, a coherent narrative arc

The group then discussed various means of reflection, including mentorships, portfolios, a Senior Week retreat, and a web-based anthology that might include words of wisdom from alumni, fundamental issues about which to think, and the William Cronon article on liberal arts. All students would have access to the anthology. Mentorships could be arranged around: re-formed First-Year Seminars, natural groups already existing such as majors or community service, a mentor, or a topic. Student choice of a mentoring group would be essential. Incentives would also be essential for commitment. Students are very busy, so not all students would be expected to participate in a mentoring group. Workshops for group mentors would be helpful in articulating goals and boundaries.

Working groups then formed. They will post information on the SYE task force site for discussion at the next meeting, The goal is to have materials for discussion to the SYE Steering Committee by December 10.

Mission: Margie, Sharon, Alan Carol
Mentorship: Peter, Tom, Sharon, Christine, Jeff
Anthology: Keri, Trevor, Cailin
Current events for reflection; building something in: Deb, Ryan

Next Meeting:
Friday, December 1
Hofmann House
12:00-2:00