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Preparing for the Class of 2020

Preparing for the Class of 2020

Posted: May 10, 2016

While this year’s Pedagogical Institute offers faculty and staff the opportunity to develop new skills and reflect on well-established classroom practices, Amitra Wall, assistant dean of intellectual foundations and first-year programs, hopes that participants gain something much more—new techniques for interacting with incoming students.

Wall is coordinating this year’s Pedagogical Institute, which offers on-campus sessions from Monday, May 16, through Friday, May 20. Some presentations focus on promoting the academic success of first-year students. “We want to provide faculty with additional tools to meet incoming students where they are and help them adjust to the demands of college,” said Wall. “We’re pleased to discuss ways in which high-impact practices like service learning can be incorporated in first- and second- year courses, for example.”

One out of 68 children born in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is estimated that only about 20 percent of college students with ASD will graduate. “Working with Students Who Are on the Spectrum” will help participants recognize ASD characteristics and develop ways to help students with autism succeed.

However, not all the workshops focus on interactions with students. “Modeling Community and Collaboration” is a workshop intended to help participants develop collaborative processes in the workplace. “Greater Expectations” allows the participants to take an inward look at what is done to aid in students’ academic success. “Integrating Shakespeare’s Sonnets into the Curriculum” promises to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death by suggesting ways to use the sonnets to examine everything from aging to working for yourself.

Ann Emo, associate professor and chair of theater, has attended sessions at the Pedagogical Institute for several years. “Sometimes I get new ideas,” she said, “and other times the sessions reinforce my own practices. It’s valuable to know that others have found similar ways to help connect students to Buffalo State, their professors, and the community. I’m looking forward to attending this year.”

Provost Melanie Perreault will kick off the Pedagogical Institute with opening remarks on Monday, May 16, at 9:30 a.m. in the Campbell Student Union Assembly Hall. The institute closes with a campuswide conversation about first-year students and the use of supplemental instruction on Friday, May 20, at 9:30 a.m. in Bishop Hall 115. 

“It’s appropriate that, after celebrating our 2016 graduates, we start preparing for the class of 2020 who will 'Roar in Four!,'” said Wall.

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