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Block 3 Committee Meeting #1

Extending Our Reach Committee Meeting

29 October 2012

Attendees: Claire Garcia, Mary Frances Kerr, Mark Lee, Elliot Mamet, Jess Meyer, Ken Ralph, Carrie Ruiz, Corinne Scheiner, Andrew Streight, Mike Taber, Fred Tinsley

Discussion of draft goals and rationales.

Diversity.  We have come up with a lot of reasons why diversity is important as we move forward, but we did not come up with a lot of reasons why diversity falls under the our committee’s purview and not that of Engaged Teaching and Learning.  As a result, we will treat diversity as a guiding principle, but not as an explicit goal.  We will pass on our draft goal to Engaged Teaching and Learning.  Our committee should remember that we have been asked to build upon our existing strengths.  However, that does not mean we will not work towards goals and initiatives that will increase the college’s diversity.

Internationalization.  Is the idea of a “bi-lateral international exchange” something that should be a goal or a guiding principle?  We have been hearing in our outreach that we should be educating our students to become “global citizens.” Indeed, this idea appears as part of the college’s mission.  But, are we marketing this value to the extent that we should be?  The last initiative in this subcommittee’s section on the draft goals handout is probably the closest thing to a goal that we should continue working on in this area.  It was mentioned that short-term study is what might attract others to come to CC since it allows for others to use the flexibility of the Block Plan.

Satellite campus.  One of our committee’s questions is “should we consider establishing a physical location in another part of the U.S. or the world?”  Based on the discussions of which we have been a part, it appears that the answer is a qualified “no.”  What may happen at an institution that establishes a satellite campus is that faculty and advisors may feel obligated to encourage students to go and study at the one international campus for the college instead of pursuing other studying abroad routes.  Rather than establish an international or domestic campus of our own, we are interested in pursuing ways of collaborating with institutions that have international and/or domestic campuses, in joining consortia, and in reaching out to institutions that have similar or complementary academic schedules (J-term or quarter system.)  We want to work on bringing others to campus as well.  International students are attracted to CC by our location and by the Block Plan.  Bi-directionality is key.

Community.  Based on what we have been hearing in our outreach, it seems that goal should be for CC to be a center for civic and critical engagement with the Southwest including but not limited to Colorado Springs.  When we get to the initiative stage, we will want to discuss whether or not we want build a physical center.  For the goal stage, we want to articulate what we mean by each aspect of this goal: civic engagement; critical engagement; the Southwest.  With respect to the actual language of this draft goal, we could expand on what “collaborative” means.  Civic engagement seems to be the “why” behind this goal.  Need to keep in mind the importance of the difference between collaboration and engagement with the Southwest.   We could provide services and resources to education in Colorado Springs, but does this mean collaboration or engagement?  How do we leverage our location to craft solutions to bigger problems?  What issues are dramatically affecting the Southwest?  We want to avoid establishing CC as solely a regional school and we do not want to get locked into being a Southwestern school.  Should water law be the area we focus on in a center like this?

Reputation.  We do not know who we are as an institution, so how can we expect others to know us? We should be able to answer prospective parents’ question, “why would I want to spend 52,000 dollars a year to send my student to CC?”  One answer is “I’ve never been at a place where students learn more and are more actively engaged in their education.”  We also have to remember in our outreach with alumni that there are two different kinds of alumni: pre-Block Plan alumni and post-Block Plan alumni.

Part of this committee’s goal, then, is to come to a clear and deep understanding of the identity of Colorado College.  What is unique about this place?  We should have a goal that says we want to be known for the Block Plan, but what does the Block Plan mean?  We need to be better at explaining why the Block Plan is so great.   It is characterized by flexibility and independence.  We should not limit our discussion of the Block Plan to its academic advantages; there are certainly some social and cultural advantages of the Block Plan about which we could tell others.  Alumni are looking for a way to become involved in CC community life that is not financially related, how can we make this happen?

Next Steps

Three subcommittees (reputation; block plan; Southwest) will craft draft goals and rationales in their areas for discussion at our next meeting.