What an exciting time to be at Mason, and supporting undergraduate student scholarship, creative activities, and research! We are moving beyond writing a Quality Enhancement Plan into making the Students as Scholars initiative an integral part of the Mason experience.
As we have met with faculty, staff, students, and talked with colleagues at other institutions, we have refined many of the details of the Students as Scholars initiative. In this and the next few posts, I will outline some of new and expanded opportunities available to the Mason community during this first year of implementation.
- All faculty will soon receive the 2011 Update to the Faculty Guide, which will cover much of the same information as is outlined here. UPDATED: All faculty should have received the Update - please contact us for additional copies. PDF versions are also available.
- A Student Guide to the Students as Scholars Initiative will be available in the fall. UPDATE: The Student Guides have arrived (pdf version) - please contact us if you would like copies to distribute.
- The Students as Scholars initiative will be administered from the newly created Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR). We are designing a space for the OSCAR in the Johnson Center, which will hopefully be open by the end of the fall semester (look for an open house invitation!). UPDATE: As with all construction, we're probably looking at opening by the start of the spring semester.
- We will be introducing the Students as Scholars website at oscar.gmu.edu (currently that address re-routes readers to our QEP website, which has links back to this blog) in fall.
- The Students as Scholars QEP Leadership Council, and three associated subcommittees, will start meeting in the fall to help guide our efforts. The Leadership Council will build on work of the QEP Planning Committee whose members devoted so much time and energy to helping us launch this initiative.
- Mason is now an Enhanced Institutional Member of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), which includes unlimited memberships for any interested faculty, staff, and students (direction for signing up are here).
- Over the summer, we have refined our student learning objectives and created a new rubric to help faculty design courses, activities, and assignments that align with the student learning objects.
- Scholarship Development Grants are designed for departments to create courses and other experiences for undergraduate students to learn about scholarship and its role at Mason, actively engage in scholarship, and participate in the generation of knowledge.
- The Research and Scholarship Intensive courses will engage students in the process of scholarship and creation of disciplinary-appropriate products. Courses at the Discovery of Scholarship and Scholarly Inquiry levels will also be supported by the Scholarship Development Grants.
- The Undergraduate Research Scholars Program is currently evolving out of the Undergraduate Apprenticeship Program, and will support students and faculty in individualized scholarship experiences. The fall program is currently accepting applications, and we encourage students and faculty to apply!
- Undergraduate Student Travel Grants will be available starting mid-October for students who need to travel to present the results of their scholarship at conferences or other applicable events. UPDATED with date and link.
- The Students as Scholars project database, being created in HireMason with the help of University Career Services, is currently being tested and should be available to faculty and student in the fall semester. UPDATE: You can now add projects - see the post for more details.
- OSCAR Fellows, experienced undergraduate scholars, will be the student outreach group of OSCAR.
- Celebration of Student Scholarship will be held at the end of the academic year.
Please contact Dr. Bethany M. Usher, Director of the Students as Scholars initiative, with questions or comments at OSCAR@gmu.edu.