From: Dr. Brian Doore
To: The Unity College Community

Dear Unity Community,

The First Two Years phase one project team continues to work hard to complete its charge for the first phase of work.  Specifically, this group was asked to:

 Phase 1: Develop the content and morphology of the curriculum and align it with a revised academic calendar.

Summary of current work:

Since June, this group has made considerable progress in identifying the structure for curriculum delivery, revised learning outcomes to fit this model, and created a proposed calendar for this initiative.  As shared in recent updates, the project team has recommended Expeditionary Learning as the organizational and pedagogical model for F2Y.  This model offers students the best opportunity for diverse, and engaged learning.  It also provides faculty and staff with incredible flexibility in how to design and provide intensive and meaningful curriculum.  The group has also identified the 10 week schedule as the best fit for this type of educational intervention.  As the working group has designed this framework, several areas of focus for its successful implementation have been identified:

  1. Student Experience; Dean of Students Ray Phinney, coordinator; members: Director of Residence Life/Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Stephen S. Nason, Director of Wellness and Athletics Tim Lecrone, Director of the Outdoor Adventure Center Jessica Steele; charge: design principles of expeditionary learning and how to integrate them with student life;
  2. Internship & partnerships; Rachel Khan, coordinator; Director of Career Services Sharon Bannon & Coordinator Community-Based Learning and Internships Reeta Largen; charge: To examine the types of outcomes that employers, grad schools, and other partners are seeking.
  3. Cultural literacy; Dr. Josh Kercsmar, coordinator; Dr. Jennifer Cartier, Dean of Students Ray  Phinney, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Rana Johnson; charge: to identify issues and opportunities related to diversity and inclusion across the F2Y experience
  4. Socio-emotional literacy; Dr. Brian Doore, coordinator; members:  Director of Health Services Anna McGalliard, Dean of Academic Support Bobbi Thomas, Director of Wellness and Athletics Tim Lecrone, Heather Bryant, Counselor; charge: how would we build and support the socio-emotional literacy across the expeditionary curriculum?
  5. Academic learning outcomes;  Josh Kercsmar, coordinator; members: Dr. Dillan Dillaway, Dr. Aimee Phillippi, Dr. Jennifer Cartier; charge: To coordinate faculty weighing in on integrating learning outcomes into plan.

As mentioned in previous updates, the group has also worked with Dr. Ron Muhurin of Stamats to develop a web-survey designed to understand the needs and interests of a national audience of students.  Specifically, this survey seeks to understand the types of learning experiences that these potential students (rising high school Seniors) are most interested in pursuing upon graduation.  We are pleased to announce that the survey received over 400 responses from a cross section of students.  Once available, these results will be shared through upcoming communications from the F2Y leadership team.

Next Steps:

The Phase I working group will be summarizing the work assigned to the five small groups described above to provide guidance to future design and implementation groups as they plan expeditions.  They are also busy designing the professional development experiences that they will be leading at our upcoming employee professional development days.  As the Phase I working groups nears the end of its charge at the end of August, we are looking forward to the next steps in the development of the F2Y initiative.

The remaining Phases of work include:

Phase 2: Construct a viable financial model and build connections with external partners (Beginning September, 2018)

Phase 3: Design an implementation plan that explicitly includes consideration of employee training needs and areas that will require augmentation

Phase 4: Launch marketing efforts and professional training sessions

As always, if you have questions please feel free to contact either CAO Latty or myself.