AAC&U 2018 General Education and Assessment Conference Presenters: Andrea Brenner and Izzi Stern

Foundations for Democracy - February 2018 - Philadelphia, PA

Presentation Title: Interactive Teaching Strategies for a First-Year Class Focused on Race & Identity

Description: Session facilitators will introduce American University's new mandatory general education course, the American University Experience II (AUx2), that creates a platform for small-group discussion and learning about race and social identity. The course was created by the university to respond to a demographically changing student body and to help entering students begin a discussion across social identity lines. AUx2 sections are taught by a faculty or staff instructor and supported by an upper-class student peer leader. Teaching strategies that address the common touchstones of cross-cultural exploration and civil debate related to bias, privilege, structural discrimination, and allyship in past and present society will be introduced. Participants will learn how students are taught about historical and sociological events and concepts focused on race, gender, sexual expression, class, religion, disability, and other identities. They will identify new techniques for teaching first-year students about diversity, bias, and privilege and assess how these teaching activities and discussions can be reimagined for an alternative general education instructional model or cohort experience.

37th Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience Presenters: Andrea Brenner and Izzi Stern

2018 Annual Conference - February 2018 - San Antonio, TX

Presentation Title: AUx: Development and Impact of a Unique First-Year Experience Course

Description: In Fall 2018, every American University first-year student will complete a full-year general education course designed to ensure that diversity, inclusion, and free speech are part of the core curriculum. This presentation explains the class themes, assessment, and plan to roll out the course to nearly 1,800 students in 2018-2019. Attendees will learn insights into making the case for, and ultimately creating and implementing a course designed to help students transition to college, in doing so becoming part of a community of learners from a variety of backgrounds and with a range of experiences.

2018 Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) Annual Meeting Presenters: Andrea Brenner and Jimmy Ellis

Can Higher Education Recapture the Elusive American Dream? - January 2018 - Washington, DC

Presentation Title: AUx: The Need, Development, and Impact of a Unique First-Year Experience Course

Description: In fall 2018, every American University (AU) first-year student will complete a full-year general education course designed to ensure that diversity, inclusion, free speech, and freedom of expression are part of the core curriculum of the university. This presentation shares the powerful call to action by AU students, staff, and faculty that led to the design of the course, reports assessment from a 2016 research project that randomly assigned students to the course, and shares the road map for how AU plans to roll out the course to nearly 1,800 students. Attendees will learn insights into what it takes to make the case for, and ultimately create and implement, a course designed to help students transition to college and become part of a community of learners whose members come from a variety of backgrounds and bring with them a range of experiences.

2018 Ann Ferren Conference on Teaching, Research, and Learning Presenters: Andrea Brenner, Randa Serhan, Briana Weadock, and Izzi Stern

Reimagining the Educator for the 21st Century - January 2018 - American University

Presentation Title: AUx2: A Pipeline of Student Learning for Your Courses and Campus Involvement

Description: This session will introduce AUx2, AU's new mandatory Core requirement that creates a platform for small-group discussion and introductory learning about inequality and social identity. The presentation will acquaint participants with the AUx2 curriculum and help them examine how their courses, workshops, and departmental programming can serve as next steps in students' learning.

2017 Ann Ferren Conference on Teaching, Research, and Learning Presenters: Andrea Brenner, Izzi Stern, Jimmy Ellis, & Briana Weadock

28th Annual Conference- January 13 - American University

Presentation Title: Students in Transition: The American University Experience (AUx)

Description: This panel presentation will update attendees on the first fall pilot of the American University Experience (AUx1), American University's new mandatory transition class for first year students. Excerpts from students' written reflections and experiential assignments from the first pilot will spark a discussion on the diverse experiences and skills that first year students are bringing to American University. Following a brief introduction to Student Development Theory, the foundational discipline of the course, the panel will discuss how AUx1 has provided a supportive atmosphere for first year students to grow and develop academically, socially and culturally. The scope of the AUx1 pilot, the course description, and the learning goals will be shared and examples of instructional videos, readings, the Blackboard course site, and class assignments will be shown. A preliminary pilot assessment will also be included.