Friday, February 19, 2010

Learner Pathways - Feb 10 discussion group summary

Meg Stainsby facilitated our second themed discussion group on the subject of Learner Pathways at New Westminster. She provides this summary of the discussion. Please feel free to comment on what you read here. --Scott

Learner Pathways discussion group summary - from Meg Stainsby, English Instructor and Department Chair

This was a highly energized and animated discussion. Participants identified problems with learner pathways for Douglas students at all levels.

Incoming high school students could be better attracted by clear and well-articulated pathways into Douglas, promoted to them as early as grade 10, to ensure appropriate course-selection and readiness.

Current Douglas students could be better served (and retained) by the elimination of barriers to their changing educational goals and life-plans, which often prompt them to want to change credential streams once at the College.

And students studying at Douglas as a first-step to another institution could be far better served (attracted and retained) if we could offer specific, concrete pathways and related advising information, in particular to chosen degree-granting universities such as UBC and SFU, even U of T.

To improve our development, advising and promotion of learner pathways, we need to tackle and decide upon several other related issues:

a) how best to keep advising up-to-date—whether to maintain centralized advising or move to a more distributed advising model

b) how to encourage disciplines and programs to reduce or eliminate barriers to credit-recognition for Douglas students who want to change majors/programs within the College

c) how to encourage more disciplines/programs to pursue “flexible pre-major” agreements

d) how to identify key receiving institutions for which we should invest in developing and marketing detailed, specific learner pathways, so students entering Douglas College know before they come in our doors precisely how they are going to make their way to that BA in Anthropology at SFU, or that Law degree at UBC.

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What do you think? We welcome your comments on the Learner Pathways discussion.

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