Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Jeff Cramer

Second Advisor

Scott Gaier

Third Advisor

Todd Ream

Abstract

This study sought to explore general education professors’ and residence hall directors’ efforts to address liberal learning objectives and draw connections between various learning opportunities in the curriculum and co-curriculum. Previous research assessed the contributions residence life and other co-curricular learning opportunities make to students’ overall development in college. Additionally, general education courses educate students broadly in a variety of disciplines. Researchers also emphasized the importance of all learning opportunities focusing on a shared institutional mission. In this study, eight general education professors and four residence hall directors participated in interviews regarding their practices related to both topics in their respective educational environments. The results evidenced educators’ efforts to foster holistic development through a focus on liberal learning objectives and connections between learning opportunities. The educators tended to address a broad range of learning objectives in residence halls and general education courses. Additionally, while educators could grow by increasing the number and depth of connections, all participants either drew connections among different learning opportunities or articulated the importance of these connections. Many connections linked curricular and co-curricular learning. Interview results also emphasized time and opportunities for collaboration as resources to help focus on learning objectives and connect with different learning opportunities. Implications for practice included providing these resources and educating staff and faculty members about the efforts of other educators on their campuses.

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