Hispanic Families in Transition: An Engaged Learning Group
SOE faculty participated in and led one of the first Engaged Learning Groups, a university-wide initiative developed during the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools re-accreditation 10-year review.
Engaged Learning Groups (ELGs) combine interdisciplinary teams of faculty with cohorts of entering freshman to participate in three semesters of study and work around a thematic focus. Goals for the ELG program include increasing interactions between freshman students and Baylor faculty; supporting students’ initial transition to University life; developing active learning that connects classroom experiences to current issues; and encouraging undergraduate research opportunities.
The School of Education houses the Hispanic Families in Transition ELG, one of three ELG s initiated in fall 2007, with leadership from Dr. Randy Wood, director and professor of curriculum and instruction; Dr. Doug Rogers, SOE associate dean for student and information services; and Dr. Mona Choucair, senior lecturer in English.
The Hispanic Families in Transition ELG explores the “front page” issue of immigration, the urgent need for immigrants to learn English, and the significant force of the educated Hispanic population in Texas and across the United States. Students who complete the three-semester course receive English 1304 credit. ELG students also receive community service credit, CCS 1100, for their participation in the nationally recognized Learning English Among Friends (LEAF ) adult literacy program at three local middle schools.
“The opportunity to build a family unit and study at the same time is a great way to start my college education,” Caleb Henrichsen, an ELG participant, said. The class meets weekly to discuss literature readings, research documents, and articles related to immigration, literacy, minority education, and poverty. Developing good research and writing skills will help freshmen be better equipped for the duration of their Baylor experience.