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The Center for Immersive Learning and Engaged Teaching

An excerpt from CC's strategic plan: Building on the Block

To support our faculty and students as they experience the full potential of the Block Plan, we will create a Center for Immersive Learning and Engaged Teaching to be a focal place for academic support. The Center will be a dynamic place where students, faculty, staff, and alumni come together, where resources are available to discover and share best practices and support new ideas.

Bringing together our current academic support programs under one roof; the Center will include the offices of sustainability, community engagement, international programs, and academic technology as well as the Help Desk, the Crown Center for Faculty Development, and the Colket Center for Academic Excellence. The Center will also provide a home for new resources such as an Office for Field Study, which will model our successful Office of International Programs and support and assist faculty in all disciplines as they design and implement local and regional field trips. We also envision the Center including support for undergraduate research and students writing theses and fellowship proposals, where faculty from across the disciplines will mentor thesis and summer research students in an interdisciplinary workshop for writing. 

Need help organizing your block abroad or field trip? Want to flip your classroom (or just find out what it means)? Want to do a community-based research project for your senior thesis? Want to Skype in for a class discussion with an alumnus who served in Vietnam? Want to offer your expertise as a class speaker? Go to the Center!

One strength of the Block Plan is its condensed schedule, which enables distinguished scholars and practitioners to come to CC to teach for all or part of a block. To take better advantage of these opportunities, our new Center will build on the block and extend our reach with in-residence programs for artists, scholars, social entrepreneurs, journalists, postdocs, filmmakers, and others. To fully engage our alumni and parents who are experts in their fields and interested in sharing their experiences with students, we will embed someone from the Alumni Office in the Center to help faculty identify and build connections with these wonderful resources.

Finally, our new Center will develop a higher profile for the Block Plan by delving deeper into its unique academic experience and sharing our findings with others. Not only is there internal demand for research related to pedagogy, but we routinely receive inquiries from other institutions, particularly high schools and institutions offering a J-term or Maymester, that are interested in how the plan supports student learning. We’d like to be able to share sound research both internally and externally.

To boost the pedagogical approach of the Block Plan, the Center might feature visits from higher education scholars who want to study learning on the block, a national conference on language immersion study, a journal on innovative pedagogical approaches, a workshop on teaching summer and January courses for colleagues at other institutions, and a workshop on best practices in teaching in the field. 

Action team members

  • Anne Hyde, Chair
    [Director of the Crown Faculty Center]
  • Inger Bull
    Director of International Programs
  • Drew Cavin
    Director of Field Study
  • David Harker
    Director of the Collaborative for Community Engagement
  • Jared Richman
    Assistant Professor of English
  • Tomi-Ann Roberts
    Professor of Psychology
  • Carrie Ruiz
    Assistant Professor of Spanish
  • Tracy Santa
    Director of the Writing Center
  • Chad Schonewill 
    Help Desk Team Lead
  • Kris Stanec
    Lecturer in Education
  • Naomi Wood
    Assistant Professor of Spanish

Staffed by Caitlin Apigian, President’s Office