Shorter University’s Tracy Batchelor to speak at Georgia College Personnel Association (GCPA) Conference
February 23, 2011 – Shorter University staff member Tracy Batchelor will present “Road Trip! A journey of Learning Community development for both Student and Academic Affairs” at the 42nd Annual Georgia College Personnel Association (GCPA) Conference at theUniversity of Georgia on Thursday, Feb. 24. Batchelor serves as assistant director of Student Engagement & Success and First-Year Coordinator at Shorter.
The program, to be presented as part of the Encompassing Student Affairs track, will seek to provide practical experiences and applicable scenarios to other institutions looking to develop Learning Communities as part of their freshman curriculum.
Batchelor explains that Learning Communities build connections -- connections between students and their classmates, students and professors, students and Shorter University, and student interests with their class schedules. Learning Communities, as the name implies, are classes centered around small groups or “communities” of students who share similar interests. The students are enrolled together in three common courses including their Freshman Seminar course and two core classes. All three classes are linked together with a common theme.
Examples of Shorter’s current Learning Communities include “Faith and Films,” “Springtime in Paris,” and “Building a Foundation.” Shorter University began instituting Learning Communities in the fall of 2008.
“I want to share Shorter’s journey of Learning Community development and how it has impacted both Student and Academic Affairs,” said Batchelor. “We hope to provide guidance and encouragement to other student affairs professionals who may not yet be involved with Learning Communities on their campuses.”
In November 2010, Batchelor along with Dr. John Head, vice president of enrollment management, and Melissa Tarrant, Shorter University’s registrar, presented a similar program titled “Shorter University Learning Community Development as a Transformational Travel Experience” at the National Learning Communities Conference in Bay City, Mich.
Founded in 1873, Shorter University is a Christian college committed to excellence in education. Since 2003, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Shorter among the South’s best baccalaureate colleges, and the Princeton Review annually includes Shorter on its lists of best value and best Southeastern colleges. The university offers traditional bachelor’s degrees in 48 major areas as well as undergraduate degree programs for working adults, the Master of Business Administration, the Master of Education and the Master of Arts in Leadership. General education and calculus courses are offered in an online format, and Shorter recently launched online programs that lead toward the Associate of Science, the Bachelor of Business Administration, and the Master of Accountancy degrees. For more information, visit www.shorter.edu.