Stephen F. Austin State University

Past Projects

FLC I Project Descriptions

FLC II Project Descriptions

FLC III Project Descriptions

FLC IV Project Descriptions

FLC V Project Descriptions

FLC I (Fall 2011 Implementation) Collaborative Learning
Dr. Brian Beavers
College of Sciences and Mathematics
Department of Mathematics

Name of Project: Investigating Issues in Higher Education
Project Idea: In the current economic downturn, colleges and universities have faced intense financial pressure. There is considerable pressure on institutions of higher education to reduce the cost of a college education dramatically while dealing with significant state budget cuts. In this climate of increasing need to justify the practices, costs, and value of college education, it is especially important that our students learn about these issues so that they can develop into clear-thinking, positively-contributing citizens. The groups will create a presentation in Google Docs to present to the class at the end of the semester. The document will be made publicly available.

Dr. Tim Clipson
College of Business
Department of Business Communication and Legal Studies/Program Coordinator of SFA 101

Name of Project: Lie Cheat and Steal
Project Idea: The lack of personal ethics and integrity has led to the destruction of businesses and professional careers. Business/College students face situations that challenge their personal integrity. Character is developed or destroyed by the decisions made. How these decisions affect who we are and what we become in our personal and professional life may lay the foundation to success or failure. Groups will have the opportunity to develop a presentation related to this issue.


Dr. Dianne Dentice
College of Liberal and Applied Arts
Department of Social and Cultural Analysis

Name of Project: Coping with Stres
Project Idea: Many first time college students find themselves in stressful situations. They may have problems managing their time, money, and/or relationships as they navigate their way into adulthood and become acclimated to the college community. Being away from home for the first time may present challenges such as whether to drink alcohol in excess and to take drugs. College students are also at risk for stress related illnesses such as depression that is brought on by internal and external pressures to succeed. Freshmen students, both male and female, are a particularly vulnerable group and that is why they are the target for this SFA101 project. Groups will create a poster presenting information on how to cope with stress.


Dr. Chuck Lopez
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for Support Services

Name of Project: Emerging Issues - Being the Change
Project Idea: Students will discuss critical issues that related to our society. As college students these issue have an impact on them or their future. However, college students also have the ability and a responsibility to guide and shape their future society. Students will select a critical issue to research and develop a plan for being part of the change in our society. Each group with make a final presentation of their issue, what they did to be a part of the change and what they learned.


Dr. Heather Olson-Beal
College of Education
Department of Secondary Education

Name of Project: Understanding Diversity thru Personal Interviews
Project Idea: Students in this SFA section are preparing to become teachers in diverse middle and high school environments. It is critical for teachers to develop some skills for learning to appreciate and embrace (not just "tolerate") people who are different from them. One important way to accomplish this is by listening to or reading personal narratives/stories/interviews. The final project will be an interview that students will conduct with someone different from them (in any number of ways) in conjunction with the Story Corps' National Day of Listening (Nov. 26, 2011). After completing the interviews, students will post their name and interviewee on the Wall of Listening (http://nationaldayoflistening.org/share/wall-of-listening/).


Emily Payne
College of Forestry and Agriculture
Department of Agriculture

Name of Project: Academic Integrity
Project Idea: College students are faced with academic integrity decisions throughout their college career that they may not realize are "against the rules". If students do not realize what is considered academic dishonesty/cheating/plagiarism, then they are more likely to commit these "crimes". College freshman are particularly vulnerable because of academic strains while getting adjusted to college/campus life. Understanding "the rules" will hopefully cause them to think more clearly before making the wrong decision. Each group will prepare a presentation of their choice (PP, poster, website, etc.) to present to the class as well as the campus community. This will take place during Dead Week.


Dr. Hollie Gammel-Smith
Assistant Dean Student Affairs for Programs

Name of Project: Service Learning Project
Project Idea: Students will have the opportunity to work with community members and classmates to understand a social issue in the Nacogdoches community. This service learning project will provide the students with opportunities to apply the leadership and SFA 101 curriculum they are learning in the classroom to a "real world" issue in the Nacogdoches community. It will be structured in the form of a collaborative, closed-ended project. The project will ensure a balance between student learning and the needs addressed by service sites.


Dr. Robert Stewart
College of Sciences and Mathematics
Department of Biology

Name of Project: SFA 101 Instructor Handbook Revision
Project Idea: SFA 101 is essential for new student retention and there is significant turnover of faculty year to year. Consequently, there is heavy reliance on the SFA 101 Faculty Handbook as a resource. While the Handbook is frequently updated it has had limited student input. The purpose of this project is to have SFA 101 students revise the Handbook based on their assessment of value to an entering freshman.


Dr. Janet Tareilo
College of Education
Department of Secondary Education

Name of Project: Understanding Social Justice
Project Idea: The concept of social justice impacts the lives of college students on a daily basis. However, many of them do not understand what it is or, how it occurs, or what they can do to prevent injustice. This project will focus on social justice issues that impact college life and the way in which the students can be advocates for equity, democracy, and the acceptance of diversity. Each group will present a poster collection detailing social justice issues found on the campus. Each group will also create advertising messages to be placed on the SFA message board.

FLC II (Spring 2012 Implementation) Mentored Undergraduate Scholarship
Dr. Leslie Cecil
College of Liberal and Applied Arts
Department of Social and Cultural Analysis

Course: ANT 251 Introduction to Archaeology
Name of Project: What makes an artifact?
Project Idea: In this section of laboratory exercises, students will learn what artifacts are, how archaeologists classify artifacts into different categories, and they will use experimental techniques to better understand how lithic artifacts are made. They will understand and practice the difference between emic (the way a culture classifies something) and etic (the way an archaeologist classifies something). Each group will present their findings about emic and etic classifications as well as the methodology for making lithic artifacts.
Name of Project: How do archaeologists date sites and artifacts?
Project Idea: In this section of laboratory exercises, students will experience the techniques that archaeologists use to date artifacts and sites. They will conduct two types of seriation (frequency and observed) using grave markers at Oak Grove Cemetery and bottle iconography, they will conduct stratigraphic analysis and dendrochronology, and will learn how to read those dates. Each group will present their findings about dating methodologies and which ones are more effective than others.
Name of Project: How do archaeologists survey and map archaeological sites?
Project Idea: In this section of laboratory exercises, students will learn how to conduct a ground survey, map buildings using the pace method, map artifacts in a three dimensional manner, and will learn the different sampling methodologies. Each group will present their findings from the cereal survey to the class. We will also make 1m X 1m maps in groups.


Dr. Mikhail Kouliavtsev
Nelson Rusche College of Business
Department of Economics and Finance

Course: ECO 339 Applied Statistical Analysis
Name of Project: Data Analysis Using Regression Techniques
Project Idea: Students (in groups) will determine a topic of interest to them, but one that has business and/or economics applications. They will gather original data or find reliable data sources to investigate the topic using regression analysis - a statistical technique which measures the effects of independent variables on a dependent variable (the variable of interest). Students will present findings to the class and create a formal report (a research manuscript).

Robin Williams and Marthea Turnage
Steen Library

Course: Internships and Independent Studies-Research Skills
Name of Project: Exploring Research
Project Idea: Our proposal is the result of the research we have been conducting for the last two years with SFA 101 students regarding students' basic research readiness when they arrive at SFA. A majority of students arrive without even a basic comprehension of the vocabulary that they need to understand a research assignment, and certainly without the skill to successfully complete one. While the library is creating online modules to enable faculty to help students address this deficiency without using class time, we believe that field specific information created from a student perspective will make the modules more valuable. This process will allow students to evaluate their own research abilities, while collaboration will allow students to understand similarities and differences in discipline specific research methods. Through the activities in this course, the student will create a product (paper, pamphlet, web page, PowerPoint, poster) that will help other students in their fields acquire the skills necessary for success.


Dr. Chris Sams
College of Liberal and Applied Arts
Department of English

Course: ENG 440 Advanced Linguistic Theory and ENG 495 Independent Studies
Name of Project: Linguistics Research for Conference Presentations, Posters, and Publications: From Beginning to End.
Project Idea: Students in the ENG 440 Advanced Linguistic Theory course have all had ENG 341 Introduction to Linguistics. The ENG 440 will focus on how words and sentences are formed in languages (morphosyntax) and semantics, and 3 students have elected to do Independent Studies to participate in this project as they want to focus on a different topic. The students will pick a topic on which to write a paper, do background reading, form a hypothesis, test the hypothesis, and report their results in a conference paper or poster. In class, we will cover writing an abstract (which they will be required to submit). Many of the students have already submitted their abstracts of ideas to conference for the spring and will be submitting for fall 2012 as well. Students will present their work to the class the last few weeks of the semester.


Dr. David Kulhavy
Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture
Department of Forestry

Course: FOR 313 Forest Insects and Diseases
Name of Project: Interactive Performances in Forest Insects and Diseases
Project Idea: In Forest Insects and Diseases, a junior level forestry course, students will combine knowledge into synthesis and creativity by creating a booklet of a forest insect or disease from either A Forest Insect Alphabet by David Kulhavy and Charles Jones or Edge of Life: Forest Pathology Art by Michelle Rozic and David Kulhavy into an interactive student guide with knowledge skills, reflection, activities and synthesis. Students will present a 20 x 20 PowerPoint (20 slides, 20 seconds per slide) and an interactive performance with their booklets. Students will use small group discussion, interactive questions and answers and reviews to complete their final products.


Dr. Ryan Phelps
Nelson Rusche College of Business
Department of Economics and Finance

Course: ECO 339 Applied Statistics Analysis
Name of Project: Applied Regression Analysis Group Project
Project Idea: The issue that the project is meant to mitigate is the conceptual difficulty of regression analysis as a data analysis tool. I have found that if students can apply the process to something that they are familiar and interested in, then they will walk away with a better understanding of the material. The student is assigned to come up with a dependent variable or a question that interests her. Eventually this question will lead to a model of the following format: Y= f(a,b,c,d). Where Y is the variable that they are attempting to explain and a-d are variables that can be used to explain Y. In the rare event that students fail to come up with a workable model, I will present them with data sets to choose from.

Dr. Brent Burt
College of Sciences and Mathematics
Department of Biology

Course: BIO 470 Senior Seminar
Name of Project: Testing Hypotheses of Adaptive Function of Facial Patterns in Birds.
Project Idea: Facial stripes and bill coloration in birds may evolve due to different ecological and sexual selection pressures. Students will read and discuss primary literature on this topic and will then collect data on different lineages of birds to test hypotheses for the evolution of these traits. Students will be collecting and analyzing real scientific data and must be willing to bring serious effort to this endeavor.


Dr. Jessie Sams
College of Liberal and Applied Arts
Department of English

Course: ENG 344-002 Structures of English
Name of Project: Applying Linguistic Concepts across Disciplines
Project Idea: Students in the ENG 344-002 course will be divided into groups based on their majors and interests, including potential groups for speech therapists, English teachers, creative writers, and educators for the deaf. Each group will be responsible for leading a fishbowl discussion with a professional who is currently working in their field, focusing on how the concepts we are learning in class come into play in their professions. The end result is that the students will use this information to create an individual applied project in their field; for instance, a future English teacher might create a lesson plan for teaching their students grammatical concepts, and a future speech therapist might create a list of words to use to test a child's ability to produce specific phonemes of English in different phonological contexts. The groups will then synthesize the information from their individual projects and present how their field utilizes linguistic concepts in a group poster. At the end of the semester, all groups will present their work to their classmates in a poster session accompanied by an oral presentation. The posters will then be put on display in the Department of English.

Dr. Hope Wilson
James I. Perkins College of Education
Department of Elementary Education

Course: ELE 351 Learning, Planning, and Instruction
Name of Project: Curriculum and Instruction Research
Project Idea: In this project, students will do structured observations of various PK-6 classrooms, collecting data about effective pedagogy and instructional techniques and reflecting on these observations. They will work in small groups or pairs to compile the data and write a report and complete a poster.

FLC III (Fall 2012 Implementation) Collaborative Learning

Dr. Michelle Williams
James I. Perkins College of Education
Department of Elementary Education

Name of Project: Introduction to the University and Elementary Education
Project Idea: Students will collaborate to pose problems, research potential solutions, and evaluate those solutions as they learn about university life and the elementary education program.
Students will work together in groups to build community, solve problems, research relevant topics, and present information to the class.
Students will work together as a class to plan and implement at service learning project involving elementary aged students.


Sherry Williford
College of Liberal and Applied Arts
Department of Communication and Contemporary Culture/Global Media

Name of Project: SFA Student Survival Public Service Announcements (PSAs)
Project Idea: Provide survival tips for SFA students especially for first year students to help maintain student retention here at SFA through public service announcements to air on KSAU, the campus radio station.

Dr. Karen Migl and Dr. Rose Powell
College of Sciences and Mathematics-Richard and Lucille DeWitt School of Nursing

Name of Project: Understanding Health Promotion through Service Learning (SL)
Project Idea: The concept of health promotion impacts college students on a daily basis. Many of the college students new to collegiate life, and added stressors tend not to seek healthier choices. This service learning project will focus on health promotion that impacts college life.

Nancy Fox
College of Liberal and Applied Arts
Department of English

Name of Project: Freshman Orientation to SFA campus policies and activities which increase college success
Project Idea: Create an inviting home-like atmosphere that serves as a crucible for freshman success; students will understand their learning style and abilities along with the style and abilities of their peers; this knowledge embraces diversity, self-exploration, and coping strategies for strengths and weaknesses.

Dr. Matthew McBroom
Arthur Temple College of Forestry
Department of Forestry

Name of Project: Freshman Success Handbook
Project Idea: The class will collaboratively develop a handbook with ideas on how freshmen can succeed in college. Groups will be assigned sub-sections. They will present these ideas to the class and they will accumulate them into a handbook.


Jeremy Higgins
Director of Environment Health, Safety, and Risk Management

Name of Project: Freshman Success Manual
Project Idea: The students will engage in a semester long group project to develop a Freshmen Success Manual. Groups of 4-5 individuals will work together to research a topic relating to freshmen success. Topics may include: time management, testing strategies, sexual assault, alcohol and drugs, etc. Each group will present their topic to the class at the end of the semester and will be responsible for providing the instructor with a 1-2 page information sheet. The students will then put each group's information together into one document to complete the manual and present to future incoming freshmen.

Amanda Horne
Student Affairs-Student Activities

Name of Project: W-Curve Mock Rock Project
Project Idea: The first year of college can be a whirlwind of emotions and shock for a student. For many, this is their first time away from home, first time to share a room and/or bathroom and the first time to even study. In 1993, Zeller and Mosier published the article "Culture Shock and the First-Year Experience" to describe the culture shock and highs and lows students experience during their first year of college. The W-Curve Mock Rock Project will be a collaborative effort among students to apply the 5 stages of culture shock and SFA curriculum they are learning in the classroom to a mock concert to be performed to their families, fellow SFA 101 students, faculty and staff. The project is twofold to help students understand the importance of collaborative learning and identify and gain an understanding of the emotions they could/are experience(ing) their first year of college.

Debra Kiesel
Director: Academic Advising Center

Name of Project: The Quest
Project Idea: The "quest" theme reflects the course focus on exploration for students who have not chosen a major. Each student will seek a plan of study to fit his/her interests, abilities, personal goals and priorities. They will be assigned to collaborative teams for a number of activities that all will complete. These will include research about majors/career paths identified in assessments; crafting a personal plan to incorporate extracurricular activities and involvement to support their goals and learning; and researching/presenting components of course content for the entire class.

Angela Bacarisse
College of Fine Arts
School of Theater-Design/Technology

Name of Project: A Box of Devised Theater
Project Idea: Students in this section are preparing to become professionals in diverse areas of the arts and will need to learn to work together with many styles and types of artists. Students will write, design, direct and perform a theatre event. The script will include reflection on how their knowledge of Theatre and themselves has changed during their first semester experiences.

FLC IV (Spring 2013 Implementation) Field-Based Learning

Dr. Charlotte Allen

Nelson Rusche College of Business

Department of Management, Marketing, and International Business

Course: MKT 425 Systems and Internet Marketing

Name of Project: Social Media Plan for College of Business (COB)

Project Idea: To give marketing students hands on experience in creating a social media marketing plan which provides them with skills critical to their professional success. The major project for this semester will be a group project in which each group will design a social media marketing plan for the College of Business for 2014. The class will need to divide itself into groups of five students. Each group will need to then turn in a project memo to Dr. Allen which identifies the group members and a group name, if the group decides to name itself.

Dr. Chris Sams

College of Liberal and Applied Arts

Department of English/Linguistics

Course: ENG 411 Teaching English as a Second Language

Name of Project: Teaching English as a Second Language: Pedagogy and Field-Based Practicum

Project Idea: Students in ENG 411 come from fields such as Linguistics, Education, Foreign Languages, and Speech Language Pathology. The first month of the course will introduce the students to the pedagogy of teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) emphasizing the sound structure, word formation processes, sentence formation, pragmatics (e.g., formality), information structure, and conversation analysis of the English language. We will discuss linguistic typology (how languages from other language families differ) from English to identify where there will be problem spots for second language learners of English. We will discuss second language acquisition, language and culture, and language testing and assessment. After the first month, students will be paired with a student from the Office of International Program's English Language Institute who is a non-native English speaker and will meet with the student weekly for 22.5 hours. We will still meet as a class once a week to discuss progress and allow students to help each other to see if common issues are arising and brainstorm solutions. Each 411 student will create an initial language profile of the native language of their speaker and attempt to predict where interference or developmental issues will occur, make an initial assessment of their speaker's abilities, develop a plan of action, implement the plan of action, and create a final assessment.

Dr. DawnElla Rust

James I. Perkins College of Education

Department of Kinesiology and Health Science

Course: HSC 475-004 Worksite Health Promotion

Name of Project: Healthy Nacogdoches Coalition Lighten Up

Project Idea: According to the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) Selected Health Facts 2010, the mortality rates in Nacogdoches County due to certain chronic diseases related to obesity and physical inactivity are significantly higher than the state mortality rates. HSC 475 will support the efforts of the Healthy Nacogdoches Coalition's program titled Lighten Up. Lighten Up is an 18 county weight loss competition. The activities in HSC 475 will act as a resource for Lighten Up participants.

Dr. Marlene Kahla

Nelson Rusche College of Business

Department of Management, Marketing, and International Business

Course: MKT 352 Advertising and Promotion

Name of Project: Advertising and Promotion Plan for Civil Air Patrol Nacogdoches

Project Idea: Civil Air Patrol (CAP) contacted Dr. Kahla in Fall 2012 to seek the MKT 352 001 students in Spring 2013 Semester to prepare an Advertising and Promotion Plan for the CAP with its additional location just recently acquired in Nacogdoches County: Issue: CAP owns a new location in Nacogdoches County and wants the community to learn more about the acquisition, the mission and presence of CAP. Overall, the advertising and promotion plans book is designed to increase awareness of CAP in Nacogdoches County by at least 25% within one year of implementation.

Dr. Matthew Kwiatkowski

College of Sciences and Mathematics

Department of Biology

Course: BIO 437 Herpetology

Name of Project: Effects of Student Research Projects on Higher Order Thinking Skills

Project Idea: Higher order thinking skills are inherent in the scientific method, where observations lead to hypotheses that can be tested through data collection. Unfortunately, students in Biology rarely get the opportunity to actually practice the scientific method. Hence, higher order thinking skills may suffer as a consequence. I will investigate whether research experience helps students understand the scientific method and develop higher order thinking skills. Students will help design and conduct two studies. Grey Treefrogs. Students will investigate whether a previously unstudied color patch is associated with call variables that are known indicators of male genetic quality. Snake Facial Stripes. Students will investigate whether dark facial stripes act as predator warning signals using plasticine models.

Sally Ann Swearingen and Ron Watson

James I. Perkins College of Education and Physical Plant

School of Human Sciences-Interior Design and Assistant Director: Physical Plant

Course: HMS 414 and HMS 414L Commercial II

Name of Project: Standardization of Classrooms for SFA

Project Idea: Involve students in evaluating, ranking classrooms spaces on SFA Campus and generating standards (paint, floorcovering, wall covering, ceiling, lighting and furniture) for each academic building on campus. Collaborate with faculty on campus to explain how classroom spaces are used and the methodology of how they teach. Collaborate with researchers outside of the campus to share research on innovative classrooms of today and the future. Meet with the top manufacturers of furniture of universities. Generating a standard classroom package of furniture and finishes that can be submitted to SFA to utilize in the academic classrooms.

Dr. Jannah Nerren

James I. Perkins College of Education

Department of Elementary Education

Course: ELE 351-401 EC-4 Learners-Planning Instruction in the Classroom Environment

Name of Project: Service Learning with Peer Evaluation Circles for Practicum I Students

Project Idea: Many students in East Texas rural schools are from low SES families and struggle academically because of limited resources and lack of support systems. Teacher candidates will take part in a Service Learning Project in rural school settings to provide support by mentoring students. They will work to identify areas of academic need and implement strategies to reduce these deficits.

Teacher candidates enrolled in ELE 351 will be assigned a student from an elementary classroom in grades K-3 at Huntington Elementary School. The teacher candidate is responsible for collaborating with the student's classroom teacher to schedule times when the pair will interact. The teacher candidate is responsible for mentoring the student a minimum of 45 minutes (in a single block of time) weekly. The teacher candidate is responsible for maintaining effective communication with the classroom teacher to discuss the student's needs and progress.

Teacher candidates will also engage in Peer Support Systems to collaborate about the project, the students' needs, and effective strategies.

Dr. Mary Catherine Niño-Breen

James I. Perkins College of Education

Department of Secondary Education

Course: SED 372 Reading and Information Literacy

Name of Project: Urban Experiences in Teaching

Project Idea: Preservice teaching candidates have preconceived notions of urban teaching and learning. Additionally, preservice teachers have preconceived notions of the types of students who are able to access higher order thinking and engage in rigorous learning. Discussing the possibility of diverse students achieving high expectations does not have enough impact for preservice candidates to change their perspectives. Service learning in KIPP Sunnyside in Houston will engage preservice teachers in authentic contexts in which they can apply methods designed to engage students in higher order thinking.

Dr. Robin Johnson

James I. Perkins College of Education

Department of Elementary Education

Course: ECH 332 Cognitive/Language Development of Young Children

Name of Project: Promoting Oral Language Development in an Early Childhood Classroom: From Theory to Practice

Project Idea: ECH 332 students will learn the theories of language acquisition and their connection to the development of literacy skills in school (reading, writing, listening, and speaking). Based on those theories, their knowledge of child development, and the state standards for K-2 classrooms in Texas, students will design, create, and implement multiple hands on activities that promote oral language and literacy development throughout all subject areas in an early childhood classroom. Students will be paired with either a kindergarten, 1st, or 2nd grade classroom in an elementary school in Nacogdoches ISD where they will engage in field based service learning with the teachers and the children. To complete the components of this project, the students will:

• Learn the theories of language acquisition through collaboration, use of technology, and discussion.

• Observe children and their use of language in a classroom setting; record the use of language with a rubric, and evaluate needed steps for increasing the use of oral language

• Evaluate oral language activities that are commercially produced, including manipulatives and technology applications

• Demonstrate knowledge and application of state standards for an early childhood classroom by matching oral language and literacy activities to the correct grade level and subject area.

• Demonstrate knowledge and application of choosing appropriate grade level children's books that are beneficial for increasing oral language development.

• Design and create 5 activities to implement in an early childhood classroom setting: book souvenirs, book with props, a social studies learning center, a science learning center, and trail games.

• Communicate with their partner classroom teacher about the activities and skills they already use with their children to increase oral language.

• Present the activities created in multiple ways: in the field with students, in class with technology, published on a web sharing site, and through poster presentations Reflect on the value, the impact, and the application of the activities in relation to increasing oral language and literacy skills.

Dr. Daniel Scognamillo

Arthur Temple College of Forestry

Department of Forestry/Spatial Sciences

Course: GIS 415 Spatial Analysis

Name of Project: Spatial Analysis

Project Idea: Elements, entities, and events occupy a given geographic location in the real world. We can ask questions about spatial relationships between those entities considering their location.

Some examples of those questions are:

• What is the best location for a new police station based on the location of crimes?

• What is the best location for a Fire Department based on location of emergencies?

• Where is more likely to find suitable habitat for certain endangered species based on known locations for that species?

We try to answer questions that have a spatial component every day in our life. Once the question has been identified, the challenge is to define and collect the necessary data and appropriate statistical tools for their analysis. In this course students will be exposed to real world situations, they will be asked to identify problems and issues, develop research questions, and select and apply the right analytical tools to help find answers to those questions.

Dr. Carolyn Stufft

James I. Perkins College of Education

Department of Elementary Education

Course: ELE 450 EC-6 Practicum II

Name of Project: Writing-Enhanced Peer Learning Communities

Project Idea: Practicum II students spend 3 hours a day, 4 days a week in K-5 classrooms during the semester. Practicum II students teach whole group lessons and interact with their mentor teacher and students on a daily basis during the field-based experience but do not generally have the opportunity to interact and debrief with other Practicum II students. In past semesters, students have been responsible for submitting lesson plans and lesson reflections for math, science, and social studies lessons directly to the instructor. Students also have completed weekly double-entry journal assignments based on a math textbook and have submitted the assignments to the instructor. One aspect of the Practicum II experience that has been missing is the presence of a learning community to promote students' reflection of their daily teaching experiences by sharing information with and interacting with other Practicum II students. This project seeks to promote students' peer interactions and to enhance peer-instructor interactions through small focus groups whose members will support one another and share ideas, challenges, and questions throughout the semester. Students will each be responsible for maintaining a reflection journal that includes individual and group reflection activities.

Dr. Kelly Noe

Nelson Rusche College of Business

Gerald W. Schlief School of Accountancy

Course: ACC 453 Accounting Information Systems

Name of Project: Atkinson Candy

Project Idea: Students will spend the first 6 weeks of the semester learning about and how to flowchart the Revenue, Expenditure, and Payroll of the Accounting System. Students will be assigned to groups. The students will meet in groups with 8 accounting professionals at Atkinson Candy and create a flowchart of each "desk" of the accounting professionals. The term "desk" refers to the documents that cross the professional's desk related to the Accounting Information System. The students will spend the next 6 weeks in the field working with the professionals, each other in the group as well as me in documenting and developing the flowchart for the tasks. Students will document the duties and then present them in flowchart form.

Phyllis Gilbert

James I. Perkins College of Education

School of Human Sciences-Child Development Family Living

Course: HMS 420 Practicum

Name of Project: Grant Writing: Understanding and Measuring the Needs of an Agency as an Intern

Project Idea: Interns in this course will work with a variety of public and private agencies with diverse needs. During the internship, students will investigate the challenges, goals, and needs of their agencies. The field-based learning experience will direct interns through the grant writing process: identifying a potential donor, researching measurable goals for the agency, and writing the grant. Students will submit the grant upon completion of their internship. CDFL students need grant writing skills for their professional careers.

Dr. Jessie Sams

College of Liberal and Applied Arts

Department of English/Linguistics

Course: ENG 440 Invented Languages

Name of Project: Tapping into Creativity to Learn Linguistic Concepts

Project Idea: In the ENG 440 course, students will learn features of natural languages and analyze existing constructed languages in order to invent a language of their own. Each student will be paired with a client who has a specific need for an invented language (the clients range from authors to video game developers). Students will have to collect information from their client and assimilate what their client wants with what we are learning in the classroom about features of languages. Their final project will be a written mini-grammar of their language, which will be presented to the client; they will also be required to participate in a conference at the end of the semester by presenting a poster or interactive presentation based on their experience.

FLC V (Fall 2013 Implementation) Collaborative Learning

Dr. Hollie Smith

Student Affairs

Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for Programs

Name of Project: Servant Leadership Project

Project Idea: Students will have the opportunity to work with community members and classmates to understand a social issue. This service learning project will provide the students with opportunities to apply leadership and SFA 101 curriculum they are learning in the classroom to a "real world" issue. It will be structured in the form of a collaborative, closed-ended project. The project will ensure a balance between student learning and the needs addressed by service sites. Students will also actively engage in discussion from two different readings, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and Habitudes. Both books and project will promote student leadership development. Instructor will propose that the students plan and facilitate a 5k run that will benefit a non-profit agency. The students, under the direction of the instructor and student instructor, will be responsible for the promotion, logistics, registration, awards, and other duties required to successfully plan a 5k. The students will be broken up into committees and be expected to provide reports on work progress.

Dr. Anthony Duben

College of Sciences and Mathematics

Department of Chemistry

Name of Project: Metacognition

Project Idea: Teaching study skills and time management techniques is only the minimum starting point in the pursuit of academic success. Basic good study and time management skills are necessary conditions on academic success, not sufficient. It is important for students to develop introspection into the process of their own learning including discovering what works and what does not work, evaluating strategies, and taking responsibility for their own learning. Should have long term impact on life-long learning that will necessarily require individual responsibility for learning new things.

Nancy Fox

College of Liberal and Applied Arts

Department of English

Name of Project: High-Impact Practices

Project Idea: ISSUE - Retention: When given the proper tools, incoming freshman become more successful in academics and college life. SFA 101 teaches students that their involvement on campus, their relationship with faculty and peers, and their conduct in course work strongly impacts their level of success. Students are more successful while earning their degrees when they are taught how to meet and conquer expectations in and out of the academic environment. CHALLENGE - Through the combination of individual and collective pressures, students will experience a variety of chances to integrate and utilize course work; our challenge is make this knowledge applicable in all course work INVESTIGATION - Will these pressures or inductions induce greater self and collective knowledge that transfer into student success? SCENARIO - Team-Based learning : all course work is "front-loaded"; this expects students to study and prepare prior to class; they will be tested individually and tested within their academic team for daily points; assessment is active and timely while in class PROBLEM - Will TBL increase students' retention of course work, and will this method transfer to Higher Order of Thinking Skills beyond the freshman seminar classroom?

Dr. Janet Tareilo

James I. Perkins College of Education

Department of Secondary Education/Educational Leadership

Name of Project: Making the First Year Matter

Project Idea: First-year college students face a myriad of decisions to make for their personal and professional success. In connection, first-year teachers face similar challenges as they make their way through their teaching assignments. The project will focus on the skills and dispositions that impact the lives of college freshman and correlate those skills with skills and strategies first-year teachers need to survive in their first classroom settings.

Emily Payne

Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture

Department of Agriculture

Name of Project: Team Based Learning Project

Project Idea: I will be using Team Based Learning throughout the semester. Team based learning is an approach that should enhance student learning by positive incorporation of teamwork through team based learning groups. Group work is key to exposing students to key course concepts, as they will be able to discuss their own opinions as well as listen and understand opinions of others in their group. The TBL groups are designed so that the students are involved in multiple "mini lessons" where they will work together to build on their own knowledge as well as help each other understand the course content more fully. Students will be strategically placed into semester long groups and must first work to learn the most they can about each other so that the group cohesiveness emerges early on, which can more positively affect group performance.

Dr. J. Kevin Langford

College of Sciences and Mathematics

Department of Biology/Pre-health Professions

Name of Project: FLC V Collaborative Learning SFA 101

Project Idea: Using group projects and asking questions that stimulate higher order thinking through collaborative learning, I will convey the information below while developing the freshman pre health students in SFA 101 to utilize cognitive skills and refine their collaborative practices in ways that will benefit them throughout their college experience and their future careers.

Brooke Holmes

Student Affairs

Director, Orientation Programs

Name of Project: First Year Photo Project

Project Idea: Using group projects and asking questions that stimulate higher order thinking through collaborative learning, I will convey the information below while developing the freshman pre health students in SFA 101 to utilize cognitive skills and refine their collaborative practices in ways that will benefit them throughout their college experience and their future careers.

Dr. Mary Catherine Niño-Breen

James I. Perkins College of Education

Department of Secondary Education/Educational Leadership

Name of Project: Gear Up Mentoring/Team Based Learning

Project Idea: SFA 101 university freshman will mentor East Texas GEAR UP high school freshman in socio-academic areas. GEAR UP freshman will gain understanding of the value of a college education and college readiness skills. SFA 101 freshman will apply information from SFA 101 in a real-life, service-learning situation. SFA 101 students will experience team-based learning for the topics in SFA 101. SFA 101 students will also engage in project-based learning as they design an experiential learning activity that engages high school freshman in higher order thinking and problem solving as an entry event into the mentoring experience.

Dr. R. Tyler Spradley

College of Liberal and Applied Arts

Department of Languages, Cultures, and Communication

Name of Project: Using Community-Building Exercises to Enhance Collaborative Learning in SFA 101

Project Idea: As an attempt to enhance student retention and success through teaching and engaging Freshmen with college success and SFA assimilation strategies, SFA 101 has demonstrated continued effectiveness. However, to truly establish identification with SFA and a passion to succeed, students must experience a sense of community in the classroom. This study will seek to enhance collaborative learning through outdoor education and service learning strategies to build a sense of community in the SFA 101 classroom.