Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Community of Engaged Learners...for Dummies

A year ago Jack Christianson was in charge of looking after the spiritual education of UVSC's sizable Mormon population. But last summer he left his post at the Orem LDS Institute and took the job as director of the newly created Center for Engaged Learning. He has been at his new position for just over six months and has already given out plenty of grants through the new initiative.

UVSC promotes engagement model (Daily Herald, February 10 2008)

And while most agree the program has been doing some good work, others worry that the Christianson group lacks the organization and oversight that will be able to show good results. A member of the CEL screening committe told The Pipeline recently that he fears that the grants have been given out frivilously, and that policies are weak. Without good oversight and accountability the CEL might have a tough time proving that they are getting real results.

President Bill Sederburg has given the CEL plenty of freedom and cash to throw around, and hopes a good program will come out of this experiment. On more than one occasion he has mentioned that the program is like learning to fly while building the plane. There have been complaints from proposal screeners that there aren't enough guidelines and as such money has gone to students and faculty members for projects that are weak.

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