CONNECT! provides real experience
Program aims for originality in students
Published: Friday, September 27, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2013 16:09
The Department of Communication and Mass Media and the Department of Philosophy and Political Science are giving their students the opportunity to travel and learn within their field through the CONNECT! Program.
“My students got back from a learning excursion in Austin last week. We went to the Texas court of criminal appeals and heard oral argument,” Assistant Professor of Communications Dr. Adria Battaglia said. “The CONNECT! Program paid for that experience, so the money allows us to think about what we can do outside of San Angelo. Also, what can we do inside San Angelo and how can we connect our students to those kinds of opportunities?”
Students at ASU are building their resume with the CONNECT! Campus and Community program by participating in in-service-learning opportunities, internships and community-based research projects that give them real world experience before graduation.
Faculty and staff at ASU received a grant in 2010 as part of their Quality Education Plan (QEP.) The QEP board argued that graduates should enter careers or further education with knowledge and skills associated with the education received at ASU. The program gives faculty funding to attend conferences, workshops and to bring guest speakers to the classroom.
The Communications and Mass Media Department and the Political Science and Philosophy Department, which have been designated as part of the CONNECT! Program, offer ASU community-engaged classes that can be found on the CONNECT! website. These allow students and faculty to partner with community businesses and ASU organizations to study their field in a real-world setting, Battaglia said. Under their submitted QEP, the faulty board included intercultural competence, knowledge of civic responsibility and the ability to engage effectively in the regional, national and global communities as goals of the CONNECT! Program, and department faculties have planned activities to make these real.
Associate Professor of Philosophy Dr. Susana Badiola said the Philosophy Club partnered with the Multicultural Center and the African Student Association to bring African dancers and drummers to campus. Assistant Professor of Political Science Dr. Matthew Gritter and Career Development plan to bring a U.S. Diplomat from Central Texas to speak to political science classes about international policy and the challenges of the occupation.
“I think it’s pretty cool that different teaching styles and methods are being implemented,” senior Sally Gore said. “Not everyone can learn just through straight lecture, note taking, and testing. Drilling us for information gets repetitive and stale. Students might be better able to retain information about any given subject by actually doing something and learning from experience.”
CONNECT! recognize the faculty members who implement activities into their courses and encourage students to present their own ideas. Courses will be marked as CONNECT Courses on the registration page in the future, but until then an updated list of the courses can be found on the school website.