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Curriculum Design and Student Writing Cooperating to Facilitate Assessment in Community Engagement, Student Learning, and Civic Awareness  

William McCauley PhDPresenter:

William McCauley PhD:, Professor of English, University of Nevada, Reno

Bill Macauley is professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno, where ha has directed both WAC/WID and writing center programs. Bill has worked consistently with the development of UNR's new Silver Core, curriculum and course development, and assessment across the University.

Russell Stone PhD Presenter:

Russell Stone PhD: Assistant Vice Provost, University Assessment & Accreditation, University of Nevada, Reno

Dr. Stone serves as Accreditation Liaison Officer for UNR and has overseen institutional effectiveness at the university for the last several years. He recently led the university’s successful efforts to attain the Carnegie-Community Engagement classification. He is also a fellow in the Mission Fulfillment program of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and is currently researching the role of high-impact practices in aligning curricular and co-curricular learning, with an emphasis on civic engagement. Trained as a medievalist at the University of Toronto and UCLA, he has published widely on the influence of classical literature in Western Europe.


Higher education curricula continue to address two challenges beyond general education and the major: developing civic/community engagement and promoting students’ employability. These curricular efforts do not always fit neatly into curricular infrastructure, including assessment, because of their often fluid and uniquely-experiential nature. While there is often intentional clarity, operational certainty remains a challenge. Students, faculty, curriculum designers, administrators, and learning assessors can contribute in meaningful ways to the development of both civic and career awareness (and the assessment thereof) at multiple levels, both in informing their articulation in practice, ongoing development, and outcomes assessments. While it is often difficult to capture a sense of the relationships between student learning and curricular experiences incorporating community, this workshop will examine the role of student writing in aligning individual learning, curricular design, and community engagement. Student writing is present at so many levels and in so many disciplines that what might seem familiar can be used in new ways to inform the development of service-learning, civic-engagement, entrepreneurial, and several other types of `new’ engaged off-campus curricula. These efforts can begin at the individual assignment level and expand to inform institutional curricular planning.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify intersections of these curricula and their outcomes;
  2. Explore and develop local activations and assessments for these curricula;
  3. Develop student writing as a rich and available means of assessing such programs in their development, their actuation, and their outcomes.