Faculty-Student Collaborations Foster Learning, Mentoring, Achievement
But beyond the value of benefiting resumes and curricula vitae, these experiences offer students opportunities to take lead roles in exploring, discovering, examining and synthesizing as they pursue new areas of inquiry and problem solving through real-world projects.
A series of initiatives under an umbrella program called Faculty-Student Collaborative Scholarship (FSCS), the focus is to provide students with learning-based opportunities for rational, empirical and creative exploration and application.
For students, the program offers diverse opportunities for them to enhance insights and competencies, as well as design individual projects that may be pursued as part of a credit-bearing FSC course.
They can participate in projects within their major areas of study and/or delve into related and even unrelated fields in an effort to expand their knowledge and skill base. Encompassing a spectrum of opportunities, FSCS includes the social and physical sciences, arts and humanities, business, education and more.
In some cases, the projects may include precise laboratory work as students and faculty probe complex scientific issues through research studies—the findings of which may later be published in scholarly journals and/or be presented at prestigious conferences.
Other projects may involve students and faculty collaborating in the creation of original work, which may be utilized for theatre productions, art shows, Conservatory programs or similar activities.
Students also may go off campus to engage in real-world field studies—with topics ranging from developing violence intervention programs for elementary school students to identifying invertebrate species on a nature preserve.
FSCS offers opportunities year-round. Summer Scholars is a 10-week program held in May-July that enables students to pursue a project of their own design under the supervision of a faculty mentor.
Through FSCS, students can:
- Build competencies at the undergraduate level that sometimes can be likened to those gained at graduate school.
- Integrate classroom teaching with co-curricular activities as a way to build knowledge and skills and boost rational, empirical and creative application.
- Utilize collaborative and collective approaches to inquiry-based learning that simulate real-world situations where teamwork can be crucial to success.
- Invigorate their studies by encouraging them to be motivated leaders who seek opportunities in college and then later in graduate school and in their careers.
- Clarify personal, professional and career goals by enabling them to sample tracks of study.
- Increase their level of self-reliance, confidence and skills (e.g., critical thinking, communication, interpersonal and professional, among others).
- Foster ongoing opportunities for faculty-student mentoring—a relationship that can be beneficial as a student progresses through BW and then seeks employment and/or graduate school admittance.