Campus Compass Projects
UW-Eau Claire is working to infuse the curriculum with High Impact Practices so that all students are served equitably and succeed equally. The several elements of curricular reform include the redesign its General Education program as well as other university graduation requirements. The Compass team has conducted close analysis of student data, disaggregated for particular courses and student populations, that reveals with precision the gaps in access to and participation in HIPs for the campus’s underserved students. The Compass project is working to develop interventions to address these gaps, including the relation of student advising to HIPs access, which will take place in concert with the expected launching of the revised General Education curriculum.
Under the umbrella of the LEAP initiative, UW-Milwaukee is engaged in reviewing and improving many aspects of the undergraduate curriculum and experience. The campus’s Compass project involves the formulation, adoption, and implementation of a new set of General Education requirements, with inclusive excellence embedded in the new structure. The current requirements (dating from 1984) include competencies (English, math, foreign language), breadth (arts, humanities, natural science, social science), and cultural diversity. In designing the new requirements, the Compass team is using the framework of student learning outcomes to make connections across disciplines and between the first year and the majors, and with a focus on the following high impact practices: freshman seminars, learning communities, study abroad, and undergraduate research.
The overarching goal of the UW-Oshkosh Compass project is to examine retention efforts in terms of student participation and performance in high impact practices. To that end, the project has two specific goals and an action plan guides the Compass team through an inquiry-based model. Goal one is to increase participation of underserved students in high impact practices to enhance inclusive excellence on the Oshkosh campus. The high impact practices under review for the grant project are First Year Experience, Writing Based Inquiry Studies, the Honors Program, Undergraduate Research, and Study Abroad programs. These high impact practices were selected based on the varying degrees of student selectivity for participation. The second goal for the Compass project is to assist the university’s student and academic support programs to meet the distinct needs of transfer and underserved students so that they may be successfully integrated into the university. For the purpose of this grant, underserved students are defined as transfer, minority, and first-generation students. These populations were selected because of the high number of transfer and first-generation students at UW-Oshkosh and because minority students remain the necessary focus of many campus-wide efforts to improve access and retention.