ShenCoSKILLS Taskforce Membership
Courtney Reilly, Vice-Chair
Katie Ballou ’21 (B.M. in Music Education)
Maclaren Remy ’23 (B.F.A. in Theatre Design & Production)
This taskforce is the result of a core recommendation made by the Futures Group. This group recommended that ShenCoSKILLS (formerly referred to as CONS 101) will replace Performance Forum with a thoughtfully designed sequence of courses and learning activities spanning two years. Responding to faculty concern that undergraduate students need increased connection to Shenandoah Conservatory community, this task force seeks to develop student knowledge and skills impacting their academic and professional success.
General Orientation & Core Responsibility
It has become increasingly clear that Shenandoah Conservatory has a significant and pressing opportunity to supplement current general education (GenEd) and conservatory coursework in order to help entering undergraduate conservatory students become further knowledgeable and skilled in key areas impacting their overall wellbeing, and academic and professional success.
Charge for 2019
COURSE SEQUENCE & CONTENT that is SIMPLE, CLEAR AND POWERFUL
The ShenCoSKILLS Taskforce is charged to build a 2-, 3- or 4-semester sequence (of a 0.5 credit semesterly course, replacing Performance Forum) for entering undergraduates. That sequence should be complete with creatively shaped content that enables undergraduate students to be further prepared for success in Shenandoah Conservatory and beyond, specifically by helping them achieve the following learning outcomes:
- Further acculturation to the full conservatory community (with its special commitment to collaboration), enabling them to
- experience the full range of performing arts
- connect with conservatory students across undergraduate degree programs, and
- further build their skills around collaboration
- Further strengthen their understanding of resources and practices that can strengthen their overall wellbeing (see Being Well Together Taskforce priorities); and
- Gain further knowledge and understanding of skills and habits that can additionally support their academic progress and professional success.
The recommended sequence of courses, together with included content, should meet the following criteria:
- Includes incorporation of key priorities/goals from the Being Well Together Taskforce (preferably in the first semester)
- Strategically supplements General Education (GenEd) and conservatory courses
- Prepares students for successful collaborative work (such as that needed for ShenCoLAB)
- Is financially frugal (does not require substantial new resources or large annual budget) — thus employs a teaching staff and requires a teaching load that represents minimal possible expense
- Cleverly connects students with the richness of programming across the conservatory
- Ensures cohorts of students are from across conservatory disciplines
- Incorporates ongoing assessment and evaluation (illuminating student feedback regarding perceived relevance and value)
By September 15
- Provide a final statement of charge/purpose (that has been approved by the Dean) to the ShenCoSKILLS Taskforce, for their use in the new course proposal description provided by end of September
December 9 (during December 9 Conservatory Full Faculty Meeting)
- Present a draft recommendation to Shenandoah Conservatory community, soliciting feedback not only at end of presentation, but also via a confidential emailed survey directly after presentation.
- The recommendation should include a confirmation of outcomes related to the three wellbeing domains for each of the three populations, and provide a list of co-curricular conservatory events or initiatives proposed for inclusion and funding in the 2020/21 academic year. (Events or initiatives which can make an especially outsized impact on students, faculty, and staff.)
Continue program design of final 3 classes (CONS 102, 201, and 202)
Engage a program coordinator who will begin working with the ShenCoSKILLS leadership team as soon as possible.
Prepare for the first rollout of the ShenCoSKILLS sequence in the fall of 2020. The sequence will begin with incoming freshman and transfer students in fall 2020. Only CONS 101 will run at this time, which means that the first class to experience the ShenCoSKILLS sequence will be the class of 2024
- CONS 101 will run for the first time with freshman and incoming transfers
- ShenCoSKILLS leadership and program coordinator will work to prepare for the rollout of CONS 102 in the spring of 2020 and will also continue preparing CONS 201 and CONS 202 to run in the following year.
A full recommendation for faculty review
- Strategically supplements and complements Shenandoah University resources
- Increases collaboration/partnership with relevant university resources
- Is financially frugal (does not require substantial new resources or large annual budget)
- Builds on awareness of best practice in the higher education field
- Incorporates Shenandoah Conservatory specific needs through conducting ongoing assessment and evaluation
May 2020 Update
The ShenCoSKILLS leadership team has identified interested conservatory faculty for the fall semester. We are narrowing our search down to 5 and will be in touch with those faculty as soon as possible about the fall semester and the roll-out of the CONS 101 class. As a reminder, only the CONS 101 class will run in the fall, and so the incoming freshman class will be the first to go through every class (101, 102, 201, 202). Additionally, the leadership team has been working with Dean Michael Stepniak to identify and engage a ShenCoSKILLS coordinator who would work alongside Carolyn Coulson to implement the program and course sequence.