Engagement & Transformative Learning: Equity where it Matters

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Written by Sunshine Cowan, Ph.D., MPH, MCHES®, Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies –

I had the good fortune this past summer to join a team from the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) attending the Institute of High Impact Practices and Student Success, sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). The Institute focused on equity in higher education, and our team concentrated on ways that UCO could develop an equity mindset on campus. In the words of Dr. Sharra Hynes, we wanted to lay the groundwork to be a “student-ready” campus. This phrase became a goal: What needed to be accomplished so that we were ready when students arrived? What could we do better to meet the needs of the students who choose UCO (rather than banking on outdated expectations of who our students “should” be)? How could we provide opportunities to engage first-generation, low income, and minority students in order to retain them and serve our state and respective fields with career-ready graduates?picture of colorful raised hands . . .  read more