The Undergraduate Experience: Focusing Institutions on What Matters Most

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A clear, practical framework for getting higher education back on track

The Undergraduate Experience is a guide for significantly improving student learning and institutional performance in the rapidly changing world of higher education. Written by recognized experts in undergraduate education, this book encourages college and university leaders to rethink current practices that fragment the student experience, and to focus on creating powerful, integrated undergraduate learning for all students. Drawing from their own deep experience and the latest research, the authors reveal key principles that enable institutional change and enhance student outcomes in any higher education setting. Coverage includes high-impact practices for engagement, the importance of strategic leadership, the necessity of setting and maintaining high expectations, and insight on fostering excellence through systematic planning.

Through its core themes and action principles, this book can be a valuable resource for faculty, staff, administrators, and governing boards at all types of postsecondary institutions. The book provides a practical framework for achieving excellence in undergraduate education by focusing on:

  • Learning
  • Relationships
  • Expectations
  • Alignment
  • Improvement
  • Leadership

The value of an undergraduate education is under greater scrutiny than ever before, and campus leaders must be able to convey the value of their institutions to students, boards, donors, and legislators. Is a college or university degree worth the increasing cost? Are today's students academically adrift? What's the difference between a degree and an education? Responding to these questions requires focused action by individuals and institutions. The Undergraduate Experience offers practical guidance for creating and sustaining excellence in the face of disruption and change in higher education.

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About the author

THE AUTHORS

PETER FELTEN is executive director of the Center for Engaged Learning, assistant provost for teaching and learning, and professor of history at Elon University.

JOHN N. GARDNER is senior fellow and distinguished professor emeritus at the University of South Carolina and president of the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education.

CHARLES C. SCHROEDER is a past president of ACPA–College Student Educators International and former vice chancellor for student affairs and professor of educational leadership and policy analysis at the University of Missouri.

LEO M. LAMBERT is in his eighteenth year as president of Elon University.

BETSY O. BAREFOOT is cofounder and senior scholar of the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, and coeditor of New Directions for Higher Education.

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Additional Information

Publisher
John Wiley & Sons
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Published on
Apr 22, 2016
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781119051190
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / General
Education / Higher
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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The definitive career guide for grad students, adjuncts, post-docs and anyone else eager to get tenure or turn their Ph.D.  into their ideal job
 
Each year tens of thousands of students will, after years of hard work and enormous amounts of money, earn their Ph.D. And each year only a small percentage of them will land a job that justifies and rewards their investment. For every comfortably tenured professor or well-paid former academic, there are countless underpaid and overworked adjuncts, and many more who simply give up in frustration.
 
Those who do make it share an important asset that separates them from the pack: they have a plan. They understand exactly what they need to do to set themselves up for success.  They know what really moves the needle in academic job searches, how to avoid the all-too-common mistakes that sink so many of their peers, and how to decide when to point their Ph.D. toward other, non-academic options.
 
Karen Kelsky has made it her mission to help readers join the select few who get the most out of their Ph.D. As a former tenured professor and department head who oversaw numerous academic job searches, she knows from experience exactly what gets an academic applicant a job. And as the creator of the popular and widely respected advice site The Professor is In, she has helped countless Ph.D.’s turn themselves into stronger applicants and land their dream careers.
 
Now, for the first time ever, Karen has poured all her best advice into a single handy guide that addresses the most important issues facing any Ph.D., including:
 
-When, where, and what to publish
-Writing a foolproof grant application
-Cultivating references and crafting the perfect CV
-Acing the job talk and campus interview
-Avoiding the adjunct trap
-Making the leap to nonacademic work, when the time is right
 
The Professor Is In addresses all of these issues, and many more.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
A groundbreaking manifesto about what our nation’s top schools should be—but aren’t—providing: “The ex-Yale professor effectively skewers elite colleges, their brainy but soulless students (those ‘sheep’), pushy parents, and admissions mayhem” (People).

As a professor at Yale, William Deresiewicz saw something that troubled him deeply. His students, some of the nation’s brightest minds, were adrift when it came to the big questions: how to think critically and creatively and how to find a sense of purpose. Now he argues that elite colleges are turning out conformists without a compass.

Excellent Sheep takes a sharp look at the high-pressure conveyor belt that begins with parents and counselors who demand perfect grades and culminates in the skewed applications Deresiewicz saw firsthand as a member of Yale’s admissions committee. As schools shift focus from the humanities to “practical” subjects like economics, students are losing the ability to think independently. It is essential, says Deresiewicz, that college be a time for self-discovery, when students can establish their own values and measures of success in order to forge their own paths. He features quotes from real students and graduates he has corresponded with over the years, candidly exposing where the system is broken and offering clear solutions on how to fix it.

“Excellent Sheep is likely to make…a lasting mark….He takes aim at just about the entirety of upper-middle-class life in America….Mr. Deresiewicz’s book is packed full of what he wants more of in American life: passionate weirdness” (The New York Times).
Colleges and universities silo diversity and inclusion by creating specific courses to address them, or programs to welcome and support people with a range of identities, whereas in reality students, faculty and staff do not encounter diversity in the fractured ways that match the organizational structures of our institutions. We all simultaneously embody a variety of identities with different saliency in different circumstances and times.

This book offers models for institutions to move intentionally toward intersections – of study abroad and multiculturalism, of race and gender and religion, and of other essential aspects of our educational programs and our students’ identities – to open doors to new possibilities that better prepare our students for life in a diverse world, and that allow our institutions to become more efficient and effective as we strive to not simply do things better in our own separate spheres, but to do better things by working together across difference.

Each chapter offers action-oriented analysis focusing on particular campus intersections, rather than attending to specific demographic groups. Chapter authors also build on their own local expertise of doing this work on campuses that often do not have deep pockets or rich histories of such efforts.

The book is organized into three sections:
* People focuses on diversity broadly defined, considering questions about how we recruit and engage the students, faculty, and staff in the campus community, and how we work with governing boards and others to promote inclusive excellence.
* Environment focuses on inclusion, including residence life, the local community, the working and learning environment, and external factors and events such as national and international news or town gown relationships.
* Learning focuses on perspective taking and learning about difference in the core curriculum, the disciplines, and the co-curriculum, as well as professional development for faculty and staff.

This ground reaking book helps readers, no matter what position they occupy on campus, to develop the knowledge and capacities necessary to create inclusive classrooms and is premised on the understanding that identity, oppression, power and marginalization cannot be addressed by looking solely at single identities.
Praise for Developing and Sustaining Successful First-YearPrograms

"An essential guide to the thorny task of not only developingsuccessful first-year programs, the critical building blocks forstudent college completion, but also sustaining them over time. Itshould be at the top of the reading list of all faculty, staff, andadministrators concerned with making substantial improvements instudent success in the first year of college."
—Vincent Tinto, Distinguished University Professor,Syracuse University

"Grounded in scholarly literature and higher education theory,Developing and Sustaining Successful First-Year Programsprovides a much-needed next-generation resource to advance acomprehensive, integrated, and multi-faceted first-year experienceas well as practical guidance to educators who want to become moreeffective first-year student advocates."
—Jillian Kinzie, associate director, Indiana UniversityCenter for Postsecondary Research, NSSE Institute

"The authors do an excellent job both of providing a conceptualframework for the first year and of grounding their programdescriptions in the work of a diverse range of campuses, providingexemplars of good practice, centered on assessment, in enhancingstudent academic achievement and persistence. The book will be ofuse both to policy makers and administrators focused on enhancingstudent success and to practitioners who will make good use ofexcellent observations and recommendations."
—Scott Evenbeck, president, The New Community Collegeat CUNY

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