Theme 1

Advancing Liberal Education in the 21st Century

Act of Determination 4 -- Developing Strategies for Engaged Learning and Merit Scholarships

Recruiting and retaining high-ability students is fundamental to Baylor’s strategic vision. Arts & Sciences guides and supports engaged learning activities in ways that enhance our academic programs. Thus far, we have done so primarily through workshops and presentations made on behalf of educating high-ability students and their departmental leaders regarding national and international scholarships. Such competitions demand that students become involved in intense engaged learning activities throughout Arts & Sciences, with the resulting self-awareness and leadership skills that enable students to be competitive for these prestigious awards. Another key component of this initiative is faculty mentoring, including supervision and engagement of undergraduate students in thesis writing or independent research, as appropriate.

Action Steps:
  • By Fall 2014 the Dean will form a taskforce to assess the feasibility of expanding the duties of the Associate Dean for Special Programs. The taskforce will consider the following activities under the umbrella of the Special Programs Office:
    • availability of engaged learning and merit scholarships;
    • improved advisement for scholarly and engaged learning experiences; and
    • creation of a dynamic model for intense engaged learning experiences open to all students.
  • By Fall 2014 the taskforce will assess the status of undergraduate research activities and ways to better coordinate and promote this important activity. The taskforce will consider, among other initiatives, the following:
    • integration of undergraduate research into the curriculum;
    • strategies for greater student access to undergraduate research opportunities, including more faculty participation in the mentoring of undergraduate students; and
    • the effectiveness of the new Arts & Sciences "Summer Research Program for Entering Freshmen."
  • By Spring 2015 the taskforce will present recommendations to the Council of Chairs.