2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 34-3
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


KIRK, Karin B., Freelance Educational Writer, Bozeman, MT 59715, KULICK, Katherine M., Modern Languages and Literatures Department, College of William and Mary, PO Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795, DEFUR, Sharon H., School of Education, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23187, MCDARIS, John R., Science Education Research Center, Carleton College, 1 North College St, Northfield, MN 55057, BAER, Eric M.D., Geology, Highline College, MS-29-3, 2400 S 240th St, Des Moines, WA 98198 and MACDONALD, R. Heather, Department of Geology, College of William and Mary, PO Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187, karin@kirkframeworks.com

Students arrive in our classrooms with a variety of backgrounds, strengths, beliefs, phobias, and reasons for enrolling in a particular course. While this mix can present challenges for students and faculty alike, it also offers rewarding opportunities to engage with students from many walks of life. The SAGE 2YC program provides web resources to support student academic success by helping faculty to understand the needs of diverse student populations. While we designed these materials to help faculty teaching first-generation students, English-language learners, and students with disabilities, the insights and instructional strategies have utility beyond these specific student populations and beyond the two-year college setting.

The concept of validation affirms that all students bring value to the learning community, are worthy of being there, and are capable of success. Strategies to improve validation and improve student performance can be used without altering course structure or content. Self-regulated learning techniques can promote student engagement in the planning, execution, and evaluation of their learning. Students practicing self-regulated learning can improve their academic performance, find value in their learning process, and continue learning effectively when they enter the workforce. Supporting the success of English language learners includes an awareness of cultural influences on the classroom expectations and behaviors of both students and instructors (differing communication and narrative styles; alternate concepts of time), and an understanding of language skills development. The consistent use of appropriate scaffolding techniques enhances student comprehension and retention of course content. Supporting students with disabilities includes addressing academic, social-emotional, and logistical issues. Strategies include examining personal beliefs about disabilities, establishing inclusive and safe classrooms and labs, respecting self-determination, and applying Universal Design for Learning, a framework to optimize learning for all.

These approaches and others are presented on the SAGE 2YC website (serc.carleton.edu/sage2yc/), with the goal of improving academic support for broad communities of students.