New Century College Chosen for National Boyer Center Project

Posted: March 24, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

How do the Living and Learning Communities at George Mason contribute to the academic excellence of the students? How does the university incorporate student life into classroom learning, and how do student activities promote learning and study?

These are questions that members of the Boyer Partnership Assessment Project (BPAP) at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., will attempt to answer as they examine New Century College (NCC) in George Mason’s College of Arts and Sciences as one of eight programs across the country that has a strong relationship between academic affairs and student affairs.

The Boyer Center will conduct an assessment of academic affairs and student affairs partnership programs that directly affect student learning at various institutions across the country. Funded by a grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE), the project will focus on student learning, perceptions of faculty and student affairs professionals, and the social history of the partnership.

George Mason has been asked to participate in the second phase of the three-year project along with seven other institutions, including DePaul University’s Chicago Quarter Program, Virginia Tech’s Residential Leadership Community Program, and Barnard College’s Residential First-Year Seminar Program. The project’s first phase involved an assessment of 10 other institutions.

Janette Muir, NCC associate dean, will travel to an orientation meeting this summer to meet with the heads of the other programs and discuss the study.

“We are delighted that New Century College was chosen for this project,” says Muir. “This choice speaks directly to the importance we give to combining academic subjects with student programming. The ability to engage students outside the classroom with the subject matter they are learning is important for all kinds of reasons, such as student retention, academic growth, and career development.”

The assessment will take place throughout the 2003-04 academic year and includes two site visits from BPAP staff members. The results will be entered into a database that will become a resource for successful partnership programs across the country.

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