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Tuesday, October 10 • 10:45am - 11:15am
Classes, Cohorts, Community, and the City: the Urban Advantage (30 mins)

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In the University of Nebraska Omaha’s University Honors Program, we designed and implemented two separate learning community cohorts in fall 2016. One cohort took three general education classes together, while the other cohort experienced a partnership of two classes. All the instructors coordinated student learning outcomes, subject matter (as possible), and assignments in order to build a shared learning opportunity for each cohort. The cohorts were extended (in partnered classes) in spring, and will continue throughout the students’ course of study; we are building our incoming cohorts for this fall currently.
While we thus designed and implemented on-campus community, we also encouraged urban engagement since students stepped outside of the classroom to explore the experience of other target populations in Omaha. Our urban advantage shone through in the ways in which we thus connnected the academic undertaking with the surrounding city through service learning activities, including interacting with elderly refugees so that they could develop their stories; students also worked with a local non-profit to map neighborhoods locally as part of an effort to prevent brain drain.
We will share our funding efforts, plans and their implementation. The lessons we have learned about the challenges and successes of such undertakings might help other Universities to undertake similar efforts. Indeed, we hope our example will grow across our own institution. Joined in academic experiences, cultural and social events, and enhanced by service learning engagement, we have added value and character to our students’ first-year experience—and beyond.


Lucy Morrison

Director of the University Honors Program, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Matt Patton

Instructor, University Honors Program, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Tuesday October 10, 2017 10:45am - 11:15am MDT
Colorado J

Attendees (5)