Initial Publication Date: November 16, 2016

Making Change Happen

Part of the InTeGrate Claflin University Program Model

Advice for Future Implementations »

Faculty Reflections and Stories »

High-Level Project Timeline

Year 1, Summer 2015 August 14 Introductory faculty meeting

  • Overview of InTeGrate

Year 1, Fall 2015 November 17 faculty meeting

  • went over module and discussed materials

Year 2, Spring 2016 March 4 faculty meeting

  • finalized the selection of the most appropriate materials from the InTeGrate site
  • discussed challenges encountered or anticipated by the infusion team in regards to teaching the selected InTeGrate materials
  • adapted the selected InTeGrate materials based on CU classroom environment (available technology, student cultural background, discipline specific backgrounds, etc.)
  • selected and incorporated new and relevant materials into the InTeGrate module
  • finalized the evaluation materials for both students and faculty and,
  • discussed the possibility of student rewards at the end of the two weeks (e.g. badges).

Meeting agenda from Year 1 Geofest conference agenda (Acrobat (PDF) 150kB Oct18 16)

Year 2, Summer 2016 June 15

  • assessment of the InTeGrate course infusion and team reporting

Year 2, Summer 2016 July 13

  • reviewed report summaries;
  • open discussion on what went wrong and what was successful.

Year 2, Fall 2016

  • finalized format of future "infusion" (to be replaced by 8 hr. certificate training)
  • discussed institutionalization of an 8-hour certificate
  • decided co-teaching approach for future implementation.


Key Aspects of the Program

  • The administration (especially the President) has already made bold commitments to sustainability actions by appointing the Sustainability Committee and organizing several recycling events. A significant step was made when the institution changed the CU logo in 2014 to "Your future is orange, maroon and green!" (orange and maroon being CU's colors).
  • Several other CU externally funded projects have also emphasized the need to build cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary faculty teams as well as field-based students' experiences, reinforcing this approach as one of the priorities for the University.
  • Several InTeGrate team members already held leadership roles within the institution which facilitated support of the initiative at different levels.
  • As a hybrid geographer teaching in Social Sciences and conducting research or advising students in the Natural Sciences, the team lead was connected to both worlds which enabled her to bring together a highly interdisciplinary team.
  • While located in a predominantly rural area and a small city, the institution is still less than an hour away from University of South Carolina which has become a great partner during this past year, supporting several activities that involved technology and know-how not currently available at CU.

Sustaining Change

After the infusion, the faculty team met again to compile and analyze results, after which they made decisions on how to modify the format of the infusion for future implementation to address some of the identified challenges.

The uniqueness of this project lies in the fact that it involves a highly cross-disciplinary and cross-departmental faculty team. While such approach significantly augments the benefits through wider campus outreach and enhanced faculty partnerships, it also brings significant challenges in terms of preserving the established team bond, insuring a certain level of uniformity in teaching across disciplines, especially for non-STEM areas, and further promoting Earth Sciences content connections beyond the established InTeGrate team.

Therefore, based on team observations and discussions, a few changes were performed to the current infusion format with the purpose to allow the benefits of the program to continue and increase after the end of the grant period (see Table of Contents section). In addition, the team is going to work on attracting additional funding that would complement teaching and support student more hands-on extra-curricular activities (classroom trips, campus speakers, involvement in community oriented sustainability activities, etc.).

For now, the program is well integrated into Campus-wide sustainability initiatives (Sustainability Committee), Claflin University's Career Pathways Initiative, and University's certificate programs offering.