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Fall Faculty Workshop 2003

"Deepening our Commitment: Advising for a Liberal Education at UMM."

AUGUST 18-19, 2003

The 2003 Fall Faculty Retreat will be held on Monday, August 18, and the morning of Tuesday, August 19, at Peter's Sunset Beach Resort in Glenwood, MN (see Once again, UMM faculty members have the opportunity to gather at picturesque Peter's Resort on the eastern shore of Lake Minnewaska.  A scenic setting, comfortable accommodations and good food promote a collegial beginning to the new academic year.  Returning faculty members have the opportunity to share their summer experiences, greet new additions to the faculty and welcome them into the UMM community.  We do so while probing an issue or theme toward the end of strengthening our claim to be one of the nation's best public liberal arts colleges. The theme for this fall is "Deepening our Commitment: Advising for a Liberal Education at UMM." Unlike at larger universities, UMM faculty serve as academic advisers to the students, supported by a small but highly able professional staff. At its best, such advising is at the core of a liberal education. Advisers do much more than approve student course selection. They help students articulate their educational goals, discover a wider range of possibilities for learning and life, and facilitate the transformative experience that should characterize undergraduate education.Achieving that ideal is not easy. A significant obstacle is our lack of formal education in being advisers. While we at UMM include advising as part of the instructional responsibilities of the faculty, we must recognize that our course of preparation gave much less, if any, attention to advising relative to classroom instruction and scholarship. Helping students achieve the goals of the major in our discipline is a challenge. Even more demanding is to help students move beyond their initial, limited expectations of an education to become life-long learners, with a breadth and depth of understandings that enable them to build a successful lives for themselves and their communities. Many faculty do become excellent advisers, but we have only recently begun formal evaluation of advising in order to provide more systematic guidance to improving our abilities in this area.The Faculty Development Committee invites UMM faculty to join in a stimulating exploration of the state of Academic Advising at UMM. Our keynote speaker will address creating a culture of advising at a liberal arts college. Following that we will have interactive sessions, led by panels of faculty and staff, addressing questions ranging from such broad topics as advising for the liberal arts to narrower issues, including study abroad, research partnerships, and internships. One session will address ways of recognizing and rewarding effective advising. In the closing session, we will hear from some of our students about their experiences as advisees. The workshop design will provide for hands-on applied knowledge (e.g.,  how do I help a student design an area of concentration) to more free-ranging discussions (such as what do we understand the liberal arts to be). Good food, time for unstructured conversations, opportunities to meet new colleagues and re-connect with long-time friends and associates, and recreational options will surround the formal program.

Look for your invitation and the RSVP form sometime in mid-June