Syracuse University professors receive $996,000 grant to study the impact of learning communities, collaborative learning strategies on under-prepared students
Syracuse University professors receive $996,000 grant to study the impact of learning communities, collaborative learning strategies on under-prepared studentsSeptember 16, 2002Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
The Higher Education Program at Syracuse University recently received a $996,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation for Education to carry out a three-year study of the impact of learning communities and collaborative learning strategies on under-prepared students in urban community and state colleges.
The study will be co-directed by Vincent Tinto, Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Higher Education, and Cathy McHugh Engstrom, associate professor and coordinator of the Higher Education Master’s Degree Program. Through the study, Tinto and Engstrom aim to produce evidence of preparation and transfer programs that work, and reshape current policy debates about developmental education programs in higher education.
“The project brings together our program’s long-standing involvement in issues of educational reform, in particular a national project on learning communities, and our work on issues of access and equity,” Tinto says. “It provides us with a forum to argue for a national rethinking of the ways in which colleges and universities address the learning needs of under-prepared college students.”
“What I find so exciting about this project is how it integrates so beautifully the strengths and long-standing commitments of the Higher Education Program and the School of Education,” Engstrom says. “Specifically, our graduate students will be immersed with faculty in cutting edge scholarship intimately tied to policy and practice. We will be engaged in promoting issues of access to and equity in higher education, examining innovative pedagogies that are more responsive to students of today and utilizing multi-method approaches to investigate and understand complex phenomena.”
Tinto and Engstrom are currently seeking three doctoral research assistants to work with them during all phases of the research. This is the first major grant that Tinto and Engstrom have received from the Lumina Foundation for Education, a private, independent foundation that strives to help people achieve their potential by expanding access and success in education beyond high school.
The School of Education at Syracuse University prepares students to become professional educators by effectively blending research, teaching and service into the curriculum. Students benefit from a wide range of opportunities to perfect their professional skills in on-campus clinics and off-campus student teaching assignments. Nationally prominent researchers and scholars, such as Tinto and Engstrom, and innovative professional programs have placed Syracuse among the top-ranked education schools in the country.
Officially chartered in 1870 as a private, coeducational institution of higher education, Syracuse University is a leading student-centered research university. Syracuse’s 11 schools and colleges share a common mission: to promote learning through teaching, research, scholarship, creative accomplishment and service while embracing the core values of quality, caring, diversity, innovation and service. The 680-acre campus is home to more than 18,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and 90 countries.