Archive for the ‘Shop Talk — (Institutional Program news)’ Category

Anti-Racism Training at St. Cloud State

May 10, 2008

 

For the past several years, St Cloud State University’s Center for Continuing Studies has offered non-credit training and workshops to the St Cloud and surrounding community in anti-racism education. 

 

The Community Anti-Racism Education (CARE) training has been a staple of diversity training at SCSU for the past 4 or 5 years.  The mission of the CARE group is to build a lasting anti-racist university and community.

 

The Center’s Dean, John Burgeson holds a strong belief in the value of equality and anti-racism.  As a result of leadership initiatives at the university, John has invited several members of the CARE team to staff meetings to provide an open forum for staff to discuss the ideas of anti-racism and determine how we can all embrace these ideals within our unit.

 

With John’s support in terms of time and funding, the Center’s 20+ staff will have the opportunity to attend a 20-hour anti-racism training this summer.  The Center for Continuing Studies is making a concerted effort to “change the face of continuing education” at SCSU in terms of how we market our programs, serve our students and hire our staff.. We are excited to share the results of our experiences with the CE community across the country. 

 

For more information on the Minnesota Collaborative Anti-Racism Initiative (MCARI), see http://www.mcari.org/

 

Patricia Aceves

 

MU High’s Driver Education Course

May 10, 2008

 The University of Missouri High School (MU High) is pleased to announce the opening of its interactive online driver education course.

 

Driver Education, one-half unit, was produced in cooperation with the University’s Law Enforcement Training Institute (LETI). LETI’s certified defensive driving personnel reviewed and contributed content to this new MU High School course offering. Both MU High School and the Law Enforcement Training Institute are units of University of Missouri Extension.

 

Driver Education utilizes an interactive CD-ROM, as well as online student activities. While the course cannot provide behind the wheel experience, it is designed to prepare students for conditions and situations they may encounter while driving. Lessons covered in the course include highway safety, laws, signs and signals, vehicle control, driving maneuvers, emergencies, driving conditions, and travel planning. An all new unit on the dangers of distracted driving—an increasing concern with the widespread use of cell phones and text messaging by today’s teens—has also been added.

 

Students may earn one-half unit of high school credit, or the equivalent of one semester, upon successful completion of coursework. Although the first lesson is targeted for Missouri drivers, students in schools throughout both the state and country may use MU High’s Driver Education as transfer credit at their local high school.

 

State representative Judy Baker of Columbia, the location of the University of Missouri, has long been an advocate for teen safety and defensive driving in the state.  Following discussions with MU High School personnel, Rep. Baker filed HB2046 this legislative session which would require every school district in Missouri to offer driver education—a requirement that could be met by using MU High School’s online course.

 

In fact, Rep. Baker’s legislation includes a clause for the establishment of a state appropriated “driver education fund.” Should HB2046 pass, “money in the fund shall be used by the department of elementary and secondary education or the University of Missouri Online High School to provide the driver’s education course. . .to students who qualify for reduced price lunch at no cost to the students or his or her parents or legal guardians.”

 

(retrieved 4/9/08 from http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills081/biltxt/intro/HB2046I.htm)

 

–Kristi Smalley

Mizzou’s Cinematic Major and Minor

May 10, 2008

In 1942, Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland starred in The Major and the Minor, little knowing how film and business would, in the new millennium, affect … independent study. 

 

We all know that independent study provides opportunities for students when classes are closed to enrollment on campus, but how often do we get to help with majors or minors?

 

At the University of Missouri, Film Studies is a program and a minor, but not yet department or a major. Missouri’s CDIS has commissioned and opened two Film Studies courses, with one recent minor revision, in the last 3 years.

 

 

Another is looming on the horizon, and several related literature or religion courses feature films rentable from national online services. The chair has been very supportive, having written the first course and part of an upcoming civilization course. Further, he has solicited enrollment and financial information from CDIS to send on to the dean’s office in hopes of making the program into a degree-awarding department. Time will tell the outcome, but fortunately, there are about 130 students in the first Film Studies course, Introduction to Film Analysis, making it one of our highest-enrolling courses and offsetting some of the losses incurred from certain other courses closing at inopportune times. The course grader is rather busy, needless to say.

 

On the minor front, CDIS has been helping with the Business Minor—by request from that college! In July 2006, Business asked us to help with overflow in classes, knowing we already had offerings in Accountancy, Economics (under Arts and Science but applicable to the minor), Management, and Marketing. This has not only led to increased enrollments in some courses but also to commissioning of new or rewritten courses in Management, Economics, and Finance. In most cases, the authors have been adjuncts due to fiscal need and to correlation with online summer offerings. Some of the courses have taken us outside the box, utilizing audio or streaming video, while others were much more linear and textbook- or lecture-note-based.

 

Luckily, both Film Studies and Business fit right into the Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree completion program, which includes Humanities and Business components—areas of concentration worth 15 credits each. Thus developing these courses helps more than one curricular niche.

 

Stay tuned in future years for updates on “the major and the minor.”

 

 

Evan Smith