Emporia State University has started a high-impact learning initiative across campus. It is doing this because according to the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) studies show that students who take part in this type of learning increase their retention rates and student engagement.
The Department of Mathematics and Economics faculty has incorporated these practices and methods of teaching into their classrooms for some time now, but they are expanding those practices and are encouraging students to get involved in other high-impact learning experiences available to them outside of the classroom too.
Below are some of the high-impact learning experiences Mathematics and Economics students can take advantage of while at ESU:
Many classes are incorporating more hands-on work into the classroom experience rather than the traditional lecture. Faculty are using new programming tools, 3-D printers, virtual reality software and equipment, and light board videos to teach in their classrooms. Students not only get to see how this technology works, but they actually get to work with it hands-on too. The Department’s thriving online graduate program also allows undergraduates to take a wider variety of upper-level courses and interact with our diverse online student population.
Classes are working together with area community leaders and business owners to find solutions to problems that in turn make the area a better place to live. Faculty also encourage and help students find ways to be involved in the community on a volunteer basis.
The department houses eight different STEM outreach programs for middle school and high school students. Many of these programs focus on Hispanic and female students, who tend to be underrepresented in STEM careers, in hopes of bringing more diversity to those fields. ESU students can get involved with any of these programs by volunteering their time and talents by sharing their love of science and mathematics with these younger students.
Kappa Mu Epsilon:
Students can take advantage of honing their leadership skills by becoming active in Kappa Mu Epsilon (KME). It is a national mathematics honor society whose goal is to promote interest in mathematics among undergraduate students. Leaders of ESU’s chapter are responsible for taking care of the business side of the chapter with initiations and conventions as well as the social side of the chapter with field trips and other social activities.
Students have the opportunity to attend and even present research they have worked on with a faculty member at KME and NCTM local and national conventions throughout the year. They gain research and presentation experiences on a student level before they become part of the workforce.
Students have the opportunity to put their problem-solving skills to the test by competing in national competitions where they work as a team to come up with a solution to a problem and present their findings. Awards are given out to the top teams.