Update from the 'CU101' Task Force – April 12, 2007


(1) Active Members of the Task Force: Elizabeth Bradley, Professor, Computer Science; Angela Bryan, Associate Professor, Psychology; Dipankar Chakravarti, Professor, Marketing, The Ortloff Professor of Business; Michael Grant, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, AVC for Undergraduate Education, (T.F. chair); Janet Jacobs, Professor, Sociology, Director Farrand RAP; Richard Jessor, Distinguished Professor, Psychology; Alphonse Keasley, Director, MASP and Assistant Professor Attendant, Honors Program; Lori Lander, Assistant Director, Residence Life; Jane Menken, Distinguished Professor, Sociology; Uriel Nauenberg, Professor, Physics; Rolf Norgaard, Senior Instructor, PWR; Elease Robbins, Dean of Students, AVC for Student Affairs; Darin Toohey, Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Director, Baker RAP; Gardiner Tucker, Director, Residence Life; Christie Yoshinaga-Itano, Professor, Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences and Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Equity; plus several others on occasional basis, including students.


(2)  Four sections of The Contemporary Research University and Student-Citizens were offered to students in either Baker or Farrand Residential Academic Programs {RAP} this past fall as a 2-credit hour A&S elective.  The course was part of the Phase I pilot effort aimed at accelerating the cognitive and affective development of new students to enhance their ability to succeed as contributing and learning citizens of UC-Boulder, as well as devising a way to improve our students' abilities to find their niche on this large, complex campus.  The two primary goals for the course were (1) to advance entering first-year students’ knowledge of the university community as a site for intellectual and ethical development and (2) to develop a multifaceted understanding of human differences as experienced in and around the university context.  The four classes were taught by Vanessa Baird, Associate Professor, Political Science; Meloni Rudolph, Instructor, Farrand RAP; Valerio Fermi, Associate Professor, French and Italian; Carol Kearns, Senior Instructor, Baker RAP.


(3) An extensive effort is being made to extract as much information as possible from this very small initial effort (31 students) with the aim of providing guidance with respect to improvements via modification and change.  The four instructors provided detailed personal perspectives, and the curriculum/instructor coordinator (Alphonse Keasley) provided analysis. All of the CU 101 students were surveyed in a 'before' and 'after' design using three different survey instruments. Two additional student groups were also surveyed in this style: a self-selected group in another RAP program but not in 'CU101', and a second self-selected group neither in any RAP nor in 'CU101'.  After the pilot semester, fifteen of the CU 101 students (and 16 from the other two groups) were extensively interviewed, (and more were) surveyed and then analyzed by an external professional research firm.


(4)  The Task Force is presently working up a comprehensive report on the Phase I pilot which we anticipate being available for each Task Force member’s critique and comment before the end of April 2007.  The Task Force is awaiting the formal report from the external research firm.


(5)  Following submission of the comprehensive Phase I report to the Provost and the campus as a whole, a decision will need to be made about whether or not a Phase II pilot should be implemented for the next academic year.  The Task Force has been working diligently to prepare for Phase II in advance due to the large lead times of certain tasks, so that the groundwork is prepared, if indeed, there is a decision to go forward with Phase II.