“See the World, Serve the World” – Transformative Learning and Short-Term Study Abroad

Written by Jarrett Jobe, PhD, Executive Director, Leadership Central — 

One of the positive impacts of globalization over the past 25 years has been the tremendous growth of international study abroad programs and experiences in higher education. During this time, colleges and universities have expanded their international study opportunities to students, which include multi-disciplinary academic programs at new global destinations not previously offered to students.  These programs have also expanded their learning outcomes from focusing solely on global/cultural competencies to service learning, leadership, and business/entrepreneurship. Students return from these experiences with new perspectives and an understanding of a diverse world, a deeper appreciation of varied cultural practices and beliefs, and expanded knowledge of their place in their own communities. NAFSA finds that study abroad and its impacts on students are significant in the following learning outcomes: improved grades, retention, graduation rates, language learning, intercultural understanding, enlightened nationalism, and employability.[1] NAFSA recommends more research on the topic, but emerging evidence is clear on the benefits of these experiences for students’ growth and development. Yet these results have focused primarily on long term (6 months or more) international experiences and there is a growing number of higher education experiences that fit into the short-term (less than a month) description. The small amount of research that has been conducted has been positive, reporting results consistent with longer programs, but also continues to call for additional research.[2] . . .  read more

Providing Transformative Experiences through Student Engagement

Students in UCO chapter of Wildlife Society

Written by Vicki Jackson, PhD, Associate Professor, Biology — 

One of my favorite things about being a professor is working with students to find opportunities for them to gain not only content knowledge and skills but also “soft skills”.  Soft skills are those like communication skills, work ethic, and positive attitudes that will allow them to be successful no matter what career they pursue upon graduation.  Scientists tend to focus on hard skill and knowledge acquisition in class and research; it is within our student organizations that we can provide opportunities to go beyond class room and laboratory experiences. . . .  read more

Week 6 Blog-Ken Parker

Ken Parker mentioned leadership is teachable and discussed how the concept of “change” can take different tenses and the power of today’s changing technology. How will you, a digital native, stay engaged with progressing technology while continuing to learn as a civilized and ethical leader?

Debate and the Central Six

Debate and the Central Six

The University of Central Oklahoma’s debate represents the school’s commitment to transformative learning. As traditional universities seek to provide meaningful educational experiences for their students, many have been engaged in practices of transformative learning from the very beginning. The University of Central Oklahoma has maintained a debate team since the 1890s. Like UCO, debate has changed a great deal since the days of the Territorial Normal School, and these changes have allowed debate to evolve into one of the strongest examples of transformative learning on the UCO campus. Transformative learning is a holistic process that revolves around the “Central Six.” The debate team at UCO provides student with experiences with each of the “Central Six.” . . .  read more