3. E.2. The institution engages its students and contributes to their educational experience through other activities related to its mission, such as research, community engagement, service learning, religious or spiritual purpose, economic development, or others.
The College fulfills its claims for an enriched educational environment through complementary classroom activities and by creating opportunities related to students’ educational interests. Co-curricular programs reflect the College’s mission by sending students out into the community to collect information for classroom projects as well as to provide service to the community. Co-curricular is defined as “related but only complementary to the official curriculum, as a civic or service activity outside the classroom” (Dictionary.com, 2012). This suits Miller College’s mission well, which is to “graduate students who exhibit a high level of competence in their area of study and demonstrate service to the community. The College values student learning, critical thinking, oral and written communication skills and an understanding of a globally oriented world” (See College Catalog). The following examples address the mission emphasis of creating graduates who understand the complexity of a globally-oriented world. An example would be the SOCI 310: Human Diversity class is a core course requiring community involvement through action research. An example assignment is as follows: “Address the question, ‘How much do you know about the other religions’? By conducting your own internet research about what are the fundamental religious beliefs of a major non-Judeo-Christian religion? Then, verify your research by visiting a person or place of worship for that religious group. Learn enough of the tenets that you can accurately explain them to others” (Understanding Human Diversity, p. 161). Another example assignment includes the following: “How do elementary, middle, and secondary school textbooks present racial issues? Locate textbooks in your curriculum library or at a local school district textbook center. Select a grade level and/or subject, such as language arts, history or social studies. Examine the text to see how race is represented” (p. 207). These examples address the mission emphasis of creating graduates who understand the complexity of a globally-oriented world. Additional vehicles to expanding this awareness include BUSN 420: Global Business Seminar; EDUC 302: Diversity and Inclusion I; EDUC 303: Diversity and Inclusion II; EDUC 329: Politics of Developing Countries. Curriculums in other courses, like COMM 310: Organizational and Group Dynamics; MATH 330: Statistics, and SCIE 330: Research Methods include units of instruction requiring students to collect information from the community and beyond. PSYC 310: Organizational and Group Dynamics, involves students in community projects requiring students to attend public meetings to observe oral communication processes and to write and reflect on the experience. The BSRN 300: Community Health projects sends nurses into the community to gain local understanding of peoples’ health needs.
Additional complementary programs include internships that take place in community programs, schools, and businesses (See Criterion Four).
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