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From CUNY Academic Commons

Student Learning Goals:
1) Students will develop a basic understanding of the central questions / ways of knowing of two or three areas of study.

2)  Students will analyze various city-based case studies.

3) Students will articulate an informed decision about their choice of a college major and their career aspirations.

4) Students will develop an understanding of their role as ethical and civil actors with responsibilities in their communities.

Learning Outcomes for the City Seminar (what we had been calling “benchmarks”)

Students will complete one “genre-based” project at the end of each semester that demonstrates their growing understanding of a field of study:

(Possible Projects / “Genres” that represent college-level learning)

  1. Community Needs Assessment: local neighborhood
  2. Public Service Announcement (audio, visual, story-boarding…)
  3. Theatre/Film/Arts Review
  4. Visual Mapping of Institutions/Fields/Actors: Students will be able to create a model of professions and present a map (visual representation) depicting the relationships between institutions and actors.
  5. Annotated Bibliography and Decimal Outline
  6. Political Speech: for a city or state official
  7. Technology Review
  8. Lesson Plan
  9. Funding Proposal
  10. Lab Report
  11. Researched Paper
  12. Oral Presentation

Project design will increase in complexity as the year progresses.  For example, early projects will support the development of skill in reading, paraphrasing, summarizing and interpreting, comparing and contrasting academic and trade texts.  Later projects will build on these skills and require students to engage in more research and to become proficient in locating, evaluating and citing sources.

Projects can be mapped onto a single college credit or a # of credits (e.g. one project = 2 credits), with the potential application to various Gen Ed fields. For example, a student creating a health class lesson plan might represent learning in the social sciences writ large; whereas, a lesson plan around NYC water quality would equate with the natural sciences. With guidance from faculty, students would pursue projects across the 3 general areas: humanities, social sciences, physical & life sciences. Moreover, students would have to demonstrate a mix of communications skills: written, oral, visual. The objectives are loosely arranged above to demonstrate a progression of skills, although students may choose to complete projects in different order across the 2 semesters.

Learning Outcomes for Professional Studies

  1. Workplace ethnography: an exploration of the culture and activities of a NYC workplace.
  2. Selecting a major: a presentation comparing several fields of study and arguing for the selection of a major. 
    a.   Students will be able to identify the relationships between how knowledge is organized and the world of work.
    b.   Students will create a schema (frame of reference) about a discipline or body of knowledge and be able to use their schema when organizing knowledge and thinking about how to apply it to professional settings.

Components of the City Seminar & Professional Studies
1) Each module/block is built around a case study, whereby students will learn and apply the tools associated with areas of study to explore all aspects of a case.

2) When exploring cases, students will be able to obtain relevant information to make an informed decision about the case. 
     a. Develop skills to gather, assess and analyze data

     b. Distinguish between fact and opinion and learn to evaluate research and literature.

     c. Develop skills to annotate research studies

     d. Apply quantitative reasoning skills around a specific case study in the area of budget, workload, statistical   

     information, etc. and report the results in writing and/or presentations

     e. Use data to crate a project (speech, report, outline, group project, PSA, lesson plan, proposal etc.) 

3) Students will create an e-portfolio to show their collection of projects to demonstrate their progression in intellectual and practical skills.

4) Students will use e-portfolio projects to see decision points throughout their college careers and reflect on how they have changed.