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Tuesday, May 31 • 5:00pm - 5:15pm
Citizen-Scholar: Honors Students and Community Partnerships

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Honors education has recently shifted to focus on the notion of the "citizen-scholar," to challenge students to apply their academic achievement outside of the classroom for greater impact. The Loras College Honors program intentionally links academic research with community-based learning, through a three year project. Students work in interdisciplinary teams with a faculty mentor to address a problem in a community, and work with community partners to develop solutions. The program is in its third year and students have secured sustainability grants, worked with youth on issues ranging from mental health to maker-space technology, promoted STEM education and veterans' initiatives, and studied microfinance in developing countries. In the sophomore year, students choose a topic or problem of study and begin a process of discernment through macro level and micro level research, community outreach, cultural competency training, and regular reflection and public presentation of progress. The project lasts six semesters, culminating in the spring of their senior year. Throughout the program, students learn to direct problem solving based on inquiry, experiential learning, and reflection. We currently have 14 projects running, with five new projects beginning each year. This session covers the way we deliver our Honors curriculum, examples of personal and professional development for students, and community impact and effects. In addition, brief case studies of projects will be shared, as well as strategies for retention and faculty involvement.


Erin VanLaningham

Associate Professor of English/Director of Honors, Loras College
Honors Programs, Community Partnerships, Food

Tuesday May 31, 2016 5:00pm - 5:15pm CDT
Penn State Room 337