QEP to call for ‘Active Learning’

For the next five years, Northern Kentucky University will be working to improve as part of the Quality Enhancement Program, which marks NKU as an accredited university.
Vice Provost of University Programs Patrick Moynahan briefed the Student Government Association over this process at its meeting Feb. 9.

Moynahan said he is excied about the QEP.

‘It has the potential to transfer and energize the general education curriculum,’ he said.
During his presentation, Moynahan said ‘the Quality Enhancement Plan focuses on the idea that active learning inside and outside of the classroom fosters deep learning. It’s an active learning component embedded in the course content fashioned by the faculty.’

He added that NKU promotes a student-centered, active learning environment that emphasizes social responsibility, critical thinking/analytical reasoning, problem solving and effective communication skills.

But does NKU meet what they promote? This is why NKU is re-evaluating their active learning process in the classroom.

By involving the students, faculty and staff in the student engagement process, the university will be well-rounded, Moynahan said.
In the Fall of 2010 all general education courses will include the QEP goals and student learning outcomes, he added.

During his presentation, Moynahan stated ‘instead of classes being mainly lecture classes, students will be more hands-on by writing intensive assignments, completing collaborative projects along with research projects. Furthermore, students will experience diversity-global learning and service learning based on the High-Impact Educational Practices.’

The QEP absolutely has potential to energize and transform the general education requirements, Moynahan said. According to Moynahan NKU will cross measures of what students expect to get out of a curriculum and the faculty.
Students sometimes look at general education courses as a chore to do, but in reality they are designed to connect to a career interest and connect the students outside of school.

NKU has already taken the first steps to the QEP and is currently looking for insight on how to connect classes to the students. For the next two years he will be teaching the faculty how to use the active learning strategies.

‘We need to improve what we say we are about,’ Moynahan said.

The rally for higher education held in Frankfort did not take place Feb. 4 due to the weather. However, there is a text book affordability bill that is in the House.

‘This rally is the beginning of a movement,’ SGA President, Gabe Cronon said.
Finally, in the SGA meeting, the resolution to increase the number of plants in the common areas inside of the buildings on campus was passed.

According to the resolution, ‘by having the increase, plants will clean the air by filtering out carcinogens and removing toxins. Research shows that plants also help to reduce background noise levels inside of buildings.’

The resolution also noted that NKU is the first campus in the United States to be awarded the Tree Campus USA status, which includes a $1 million grant for outdoor plants.
SGA unanimously voted to pass the resolution.

In the SGA meeting, tuition was briefly spoken about. The increase of NKU’s tuition is still in discussion,but keep in mind the tuition increase is not in the hands of NKU. It’s out of the hands of President Votruba and Governor Beshear.
An idea on a resolution for tuition from Dennis Cheney was motioned to not be heard during the meeting.

‘We have to let those in power do what they do and we need to do what we do,’ Cronon said.

President Votruba will be at the SGA meeting Feb. 16 to shed more light on the tuition increase.