Prepared for the ACS Strategic Planning Committee
by Amanda Hagood, Director of Blended Learning, Associated Colleges of the South, and Grace Pang, Program Officer, National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education
This primer was developed from a study of sixteen case studies in digitally-mediated collaboration and the liberal arts published by the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) and the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE) in the summer of 2014. Though the case studies covered topics as diverse as designing and implementing a hybrid course in Asian Studies or launching a program in digital humanities, each provided a fascinating example of how small institutions can marshal their oftentimes limited resources and personnel to achieve extraordinary things. The key to each project’s success lies in the strategy of collaboration—though, as we will demonstrate, collaboration exists along a continuum consisting of many different modalities for working together. This primer, drawn from a thoroughgoing analysis of these projects, will present four exemplary projects and will ask you to consider how their goals, strategies, and tactics reflect upon the goals, strategies, and tactics that should appear in the ACS’s 2020 Vision.
The aims of this primer are threefold:
- To report why and how faculty and staff within and across ACS institutions are collaborating
- To explore how the goals, strategies, and tactics used by these practitioners align with the ACS’s mission to support the liberal arts by creating collaborative opportunities that improve the quality, while reducing the cost, of liberal arts education.
- To stimulate the Strategic Planning Committee’s thinking about why and how our member institutions could collaborate.
Jana Mathews, Assistant Professor of English, Rollins College
Dr. Mathews earned her Ph.D. from Duke University. Her research and teaching focus on digital humanities and the intersections between the Middle Ages and contemporary culture. A vocal advocate for career and life planning initiatives, Mathews was co-chair of the Career and Life Planning Committee at Rollins College and currently co-teaches (with Anne Meehan) career and life planning courses. In 2013, Mathews was awarded the Arthur Vining Davis Award; currently, she holds the distinction of being the most junior recipient of the Cornell Distinguished Faculty Award at Rollins.
Anne Meehan, Assistant Director, Office of Career Services, Rollins College
Anne Meehan earned her B.S. in family and child development from Virginia Tech and earned her M.Ed. in counseling psychology with a concentration in college student personnel administration from James Madison University. She has worked at James Madison University, Virginia Tech, the University of Richmond, Stetson University, and Rollins College in both associate director and assistant director roles. Anne has developed and taught career courses at several universities, and she currently co-teaches (with Dr. Jana Mathews) career and life planning courses at Rollins.
Beth Chancy, Assistant Director, Office of Alumni and Career Services, University of Richmond
Beth Chancy earned her B.A. in English from the College of William and Mary and earned her M.S. in human development, counseling and family studies with a concentration in college student personnel from the University of Rhode Island. She has worked at Virginia Commonwealth University, the College of William and Mary, the University of Denver, and the University of Rhode Island. She has taught a career class at the University of Richmond for six years.
In UCLA’s 2012 national survey of college freshmen, 87.9% of respondents named “getting a job” as their top reason for going to college. While the current economic climate has put all institutions of higher learning under increased pressure to make the case for the marketability of their curriculum, the mission and values of liberal arts colleges currently are subject to some of the most intense and public scrutiny. This project proposes an innovative and inter-institutional approach to preparing liberal arts students for life beyond graduation. Specifically, it combines the faculty and technological resources of two distinguished liberal arts institutions who are also members of the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) consortium—Rollins College and the University of Richmond—to generate several blended learning modules designed to develop and hone students’ skills in personal branding, professional networking, and interviewing.