ERIC Identifier: ED432940
Publication Date: 1999-00-00
Author: Kellogg, Karen
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education Washington DC.| George Washington Univ. Washington DC. Graduate School of Education and Human Development.
Collaboration: Student Affairs and Academic Affairs Working Together To Promote Student Learning. ERIC Digest.
In the colonial colleges, the faculty was responsible for the intellectual, social, and spiritual development of students. As faculty found less time to focus on the social and personal development of their students, student affairs professionals emerged to fulfill that need. Increasingly throughout the history of American higher education, the gap between the roles of faculty and student affairs professionals has widened (Bloland et al, 1994, 1996). The incorrect perceptions and lack of knowledge about each other's jobs, the alienating and confusing jargon, the increased specialization and the financial competition between these two groups has led to misunderstandings between faculty and student affairs professionals (Knefelkamp, 1991; Kuh et al, 1994; Love & Love, 1995). The need for integration of these roles, and an attempt to change the culture of learning from separatist to seamless, has been a recent focus of higher education administrators.
THE NEED FOR COLLABORATION
The entire academic community must work together to place more of an emphasis on student learning and to create a seamless learning environment between in- and out-of-class experiences for students. In a seamless learning environment, students will have opportunities for learning both in the classroom and out-of-the classroom through co-curricular activities. Students will work with and get to know faculty and staff while taking courses and participating in non-classroom learning activities. All of these learning experiences will contribute to personal growth and development in students. In order for seamless learning to become a reality, increased collaboration and cooperation between faculty and staff must exist so that the communication and organization of learning activities is enhanced (ACPA, 1994; Bloland et al, 1996; Hyman, 1995; Kuh et al, 1994; Kuh, 1996).
"According to the Student Learning Imperative (ACPA, 1994), ... "students benefit from many and varied experiences during college and learning and personal development are cumulative, mutually shaping processes that occur over an extended period of time in many different settings. The more students are involved in a variety of activities inside and outside the classroom, the more they gain. Student affairs professionals attempt to make 'seamless' what are often perceived by students to be disjointed, unconnected experiences by bridging organizational boundaries and forging collaborative partnerships with faculty and others to enhance student learning."
Student affairs associations and researchers have written extensively about the need for collaboration. The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) (1997) has published as two of their seven Principles of Good Practice for Student Affairs that administrators should "engage students in active learning" and "forge educational partnerships that advance student learning." Likewise, the American College Personnel Association (1999) has listed as two of their eight trends for the next century, "Learning and Teaching in the 21st Century" and "Collaboration and Partnerships." In a combined effort, the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE), ACPA and NASPA (1998) have published the report, "Powerful Partnerships: A Shared Responsibility for Learning." This report contains ten principles about learning and collaboration and provides examples of institutions that have found success through collaboration.
Higher education administrators hope that this increased collaboration will better fulfill the institution's mission, improve retention, and improve the total college experience for students (ACPA, 1994; Hyman, 1995; Kuh, 1996).
George Kuh (1996) used the tenets in the SLI to develop six principles to guide institutions to integrate the curriculum and extra-curriculum: generate enthusiasm for institutional renewal; create a common vision of learning; develop a common language; foster collaboration and cross-functional dialogue; examine the influence of student cultures on student learning; and focus on systematic change. The common element in each of the six principles is campus-wide collaboration. This collaboration is crucial to creating common goals with which to provide a seamless learning environment for students.
MAKING COLLABORATION A REALITY
OUTCOMES OF COLLABORATION
American Association for Higher Education, American College Personnel Association, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (1998). Powerful partnerships: A shared responsibility for learning. Washington, DC: Author.
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American College Personnel Association (ACPA). (1999). Higher education trends for the next century: A research agenda for student success. (C. S. Johnson & H. E. Cheatham, Eds.) Washington, DC.
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Kuh, G. D., Douglas, K. B., Lund, J. P., & Ramin Gyurmek, J. (1994). Student learning outside the classroom: Transcending artificial boundaries. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, No. 8. Washington, D.C.: The George Washington University, Graduate School of Education and Human Development. ED 394 444.
Kuh, G. D. (1996). Guiding principles for creating seamless learning environments for undergraduates. Journal of College Student Development (37)2, 135-148. EJ 527 218.
Love, P. G., & Love, A. G. (1995). Enhancing student learning: Intellectual, social, and emotional integration. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, No. 4. Washington, D.C.: The George Washington University, Graduate School of Education and Human Development. ED 400 742.
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