Sunday, December 11, 2011

Transformational Learning Update for 2011

Transformational learning anchors the university's social justice mission in the classroom, allows students to reach out into the community as part of their coursework, and helps students become engaged citizens who have the tools to promote social change.  The unique and innovative model of service learning that we have developed at Roosevelt University actively involves students in addressing social problems as it allows them to help individuals in our neighborhoods.

We are happy to share that the use of transformational learning has dramatically expanded at Roosevelt over the past two years.  Many instructors have started to use service learning as part of the Mansfield Institute's work in interrupting the "cradle to prison pipeline."  Others faculty have embraced service learning through new partnerships between the MISJT and other units at the university.

Consider this quick comparison that reflects the growth in transformational learning.  In Fall 2009, instructors offered 16 classes that included transformational learning, with a total enrollment of 169 students.  In Fall 2011, this number is now 42 sections, enrolling 623 students.

Transformational learning has been infused as an option within the general educational curriculum.  Jan Bone's section of LIBS 201 (Writing Social Justice) is one innovative illustration.  This growth has encompassed virtually all sectors of the university.

We are pleased to expand our support of social justice-oriented courses and programs within the Heller College of Business, including their social entrepreneurship undergraduate business major and MBA concentration, internship programming, and applied opportunities to address chronic social issues (such as poverty and food security) through firm-level solutions.  We are similarly happy to report that transformational learning has become emblematic of particular departments at Roosevelt: 18% of undergraduate classes offered by the Department of Psychology during Spring 2012 will have a transformational learning component.

The Mansfield Institute has been able to support this work by providing grants, teaching assistants, and guidance about how to include service learning into coursework.  We have deepened partnerships with community organizations that address social inequality to facilitate the placement process for students.  These successes reflect the dedication of Roosevelt University faculty to the social justice mission and illustrate their commitment to using effective teaching methods that help transform students into socially-conscious individuals.

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