NAGT > Professional Development > Traveling Workshops Program > Cross-campus Environmental and Sustainability Programs > Example Programs

Example Program

2-Day Workshop Program

Preparation for the workshop participants

Review your program's founding document, policies, and procedures and complete the "ideal student" exercise.

Day 1

Opening Session: Envisioning Your Program

8:00–8:30 AM - Participant introductions

8:30–9:30 AM - Introduction to the Characteristics of Strong Programs with a discussion of what the program thinks it does well.

9:30–10:30 AM - Planning for Change:The facilitators will lead the group through a Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) analysis in the context of current challenges and the future envisioned in the previous activity.

10:30–11:30 AM - Strategic Foci for Action Planning: A primary outcome of the workshop will be an action plan for the program developed by the group through the workshop activities. The first section of this plan presents the strategic foci for the plan. Reflect on the opening workshop activities as well as the reasons for requesting this workshop, then convert the list of key ideas into a final list of strategic foci for departmental action and record in the first section of the Action Plan.

11:30 AM–12:30 PM Lunch

Foundation Session: Program Design & Structure

12:30 PM–2:30 PM - Identifying Skills, Experiences, Content, and Values: What do you want your students to be able to do? Participants will develop a list of goals for their students, first individually and then collectively. The session will produce a set of measurable and assessable program-level learning outcomes.

  • Activity: Participants spend 10-15 minutes in small groups discussing the pipelines for students into your program: introductory courses, transfer students, students "captured" from other programs? What are the challenges in attracting students from diverse backgrounds and facilitating their success?
  • Activity: Participants spend 5-10 minutes individually writing out goals for their students on individual post-it notes. What should they be able to do when they graduate? Then everyone puts their notes onto a board and the group organizes the whole set into clumps. Synthesizing what these clumps have in common point the way to "goal-like objects" (GLOs).
  • Activity: Discuss the suite of GLOs in the context of the Envisioning and SWOT activities from the Opening Session.
    • Do they reflect the program's context and strategic foci?
    • Do they collectively serve the range of students that you serve today and into the future?
    • Are you happy with these GLOs or is additional work or discussion needed?
  • Activity: Are administrative structures serving the needs of the program? Participants review extant models. Participants use provided resources to summarize attributes, advantages and disadvantages of these models. Present them in gallery walk.
  • Return to the Action Plan and record any future actions that are needed.

2:30-3:30 PM - Program Matrices: How do students meet the program goals? Building a program matrix can help the department visualize where students are or could be building their knowledge, skills, and values.

  • Introduce an example: Matrix Approaches to Program and Curriculum Design
  • Activity: Starting with the Blank Matrix Template (Excel 51kB Sep4 14), the new list of GLOs, and the list of curricular and co-curricular activities generated as homework, participants construct the X and Y axes of their Program Matrix. Then they pick at least one of their GLOs and complete, at minimum, one row of the Matrix, isolating where and to what degree different program elements present students with the opportunity to gain mastery as well as where and how their progress is assessed. Upload file to the Session Work Page.
  • Discussion: Record notes on the Session Work Page
    • How does the program use both curricular and co-curricular opportunities to address the goal?
    • What type of things make sense on the x axis (e.g. electives?)
    • What is the right granularity and number of GLOs?
    • How do we use the Matrix approach to reach the goals that we've set for the program?

3:30-5:00 PM - Using the Matrix: The program matrix is a powerful tool for asking questions about where students are getting the important experiences we want for them as well as for hypothesis testing when student outcomes are not what we anticipate. This process is analogous to what scientists do all the time - generate a hypothesis, test it, and then using that information to feed back into the next round of hypothesis generation.

  • Activity: Generating Hypotheses About Student Learning
    Small Group Work: In small groups, use the matrix that you have developed so far to consider for one GLO -
    • Reflecting on the variety of ways in which students move through the program, do the offerings give appropriate scaffolding to the development of knowledge, skills and values that support mastery of the goal?
    • What mentoring, advising or other supports are needed to ensure that all students can access the learning opportunities?
    • How would you know if the program was succeeding in supporting students to meet the GLO?
    • What evidence do you currently have that students are meeting all or some of this goal?
    • Do you have hypotheses as to why some or all students fail to meet the GLO?
    • What would you recommend to strengthen the program in this area? This could include
      • revising or sharpening the GLO
      • changing the program
      • changing the support structure
      • Keep in mind that you would like to maximize work, do things that can be accomplished, minimize work, and promote significant synergistic effects
    • Report and Discussion: Return to the whole group and present 1 strategic recommendation per group. Discuss lessons learned through this process. Return to the action plan and record any needed actions that follow from this exercise.
  • Closing thoughts: Reflect on the program design session as a whole. What have you learned about the process? about your program? Are there additional ideas that need to be recorded? Actions for the action plan?

Evening activities

Day 2

Recap of Day 1 and plan for Day 2

8:00–10:00 AM - Assessment and Closing the Loop: Making the leap from a "goal-like-object" to an assessable program outcome.

  • Discussion: Open a discussion of program assessment and the needs of the program – both internal needs for formative feedback and institutional needs for accreditation or reporting.
  • Activity:
    • Develop an example of a program level assessment that will help your department understand and improve its ability to address a strategic priority.
    • Use the matrix to identify the assessment points for that goal, using it to find mismatches between outcomes and that goal.
    • discuss appropriate assessment ideas and introduce resources on assessment
    • develop an appropriate assessment
    • discuss potential results from the assessment and what actions they would prompt
  • Reflect on discussion: What further action is needed regarding assessment, evaluation and closing the loop to meet your strategic priorities? Record action items in the action plan.

BREAK – 15 Min.

10:15 AM – noon: Preparing Students for Careers From Day One

How can you best help your students prepare for careers and/or graduate school in and beyond your curriculum? Participants will leave the session with a plan for integrating students' development as self-directed environmental/sustainability professionals into their program. Using a four-stage model (below), this session explores ways to obtain feedback about career preparation from employers and graduates that can be used to develop more effective curriculum and program activities to prepare students better for employment opportunities. In addition, we will identify sources outside your department that can be used in the workforce preparation process. Finally, participants will determine methods to assess any changes they plan to implement to help prepare students for the workforce.

  1. Knowledge of Careers and Career Paths - Building knowledge of careers begins in introductory courses and extends throughout the curricula. Awareness is built via images of a variety of careers incorporated in class presentations and students are familiarized with various resources.
  2. Exploration of Careers in more detail - Students build a more in-depth knowledge of careers that interest them by means of informational interviews, externships, shadowing programs, alumni panel discussions and conversations with individual alumni.
  3. Developing Skills Employers Want - Throughout their undergraduate years, students build skills that employers desire (e.g., communication, team work, professionalism, professional ethics, etc.). Skills and experiences are developed in courses, co-curricular experiences, internships, teaching experiences (e.g., TA, outreach, tutoring), research experiences and relevant summer jobs. Many students will go onto roles where they interface with the public and decision makers from other disciplines. Where will they receive training to handle issues that require listening and perspective taking? Will they receive training that helps them understand worldview and cultural perspectives on issues?
  4. Helping Students with the Job Search Process - Faculty assist students in the job search by building skills, critiquing resumes, accessing alumni connections, and recommending informational interviews as well as optimal utilization of the college's Career Center.

Learn more on this topic: Strengthen Workforce Preparation in your Program

12:00–1:00 PM - Lunch: Facilitators meet with students in the program

1:00–2:00 PM - Facilitators meet with the Dean/Provost

Closing Session: Action Planning and Program Management

1:00–3:30 PM - Complete Action Plan: prioritize action items, assign a point person or team, and determine a schedule for completion.

3:30–4:00M - Reflect on process and its outcomes: What lessons have you learned for working as a departmental team?
  • Individual reflection on process and its outcomes: What did you learn?
  • Voluntary sharing and discussion
4:00–4:30 PM - Discuss management strategies: how to self monitor and motivate progress; role/modification of action plan as actions unfold
  • Maintaining enthusiasm and momentum
  • Carving time for action priorities out of busy schedules
  • Case study

4:30–5:00 PM - Workshop Wrap-Up