Back to School

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My university had its official opening workshop today, so even though classes don't start for another week, we are back to school.  During the workshop, we did a strategic planning process, one of those groan-inducing participatory exercises that actually work pretty well.  Mixed groups of students, faculty, and staff met and generated ideas related to mission and direction. 

I brought up my concern, underprepared students and how we help them, and one of my breakout groups got into a good discussion about it.  However, my perception was that this is not the most exciting of topics for my colleagues.  People get more excited about making our shuttles hybrids so our campus can be a model of green-ness, or expanding our footprint into the downtown of our small city and thus helping to revitalize it, or winning a big grant for campus technology.   

I wonder if there's a way to make developmental education as exciting as a hybrid shuttle or a student's avatar? 

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In my group, as well, some of us brought up the challenges of teaching students with such a wide range of readiness for college, but that wasn't one of the points that got written up as a "top concern" and presented to the main group, but tutoring center, writing center, admissions, student life, and those of us who regularly teach freshman are probably more acutely aware of the issue.

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