June 8, 2012
Embedded support vs. remediation
In Connecticut, there is a fierce battle brewing over education reform. There is also a lesser-known, but associated, movement to change course requirements in college. The Connecticut legislature is proposing to do away with remedial courses in colleges, and replace the remedial courses with embedded support for students who score below a preset threshold on placement tests. This proposal has potential implications for academic support, which includes both componants of remedial instruction and embedded support. The obvious caveat when comparing the proposed legislation and law school ASP is that there are many, many differences between college-level preparedness and law school preparedness, and significant differences between law school ASP and remedial courses at the undergraduate level. However, I think there are things we can learn from the movement to end remedial courses.
I am most interested in the difference in student perception; do students prefer classes or embedded support? Why do student succeed with one method, but not the other?
Embedded support: how do they plan on implementing this without making the class too slow for those who have mastered basic skills? Do you lose students who are more skilled if they are bored in classes that spend too much time on support for student who do not have basic skills?
Cost structure: embedded support across the curriculum costs money; how do they plan on funding this legislation in a time of budget cuts? Will embedded support pay for itself when fewer students drop out?\
These are things that I am mulling as this debate continues in the state. (RCF)
June 6, 2012
UNLV: ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF THE ACADEMIC SUCCESS PROGRAM
Willliam S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, invites applications for the Assistant Director of the Academic Success Program.
ROLE OF THE POSITION
The Assistant Director of the Academic Success Program will be responsible for providing support for Program and counseling 20-30 students per week in order to assist them with their legal studies. The Assistant Director will monitor and train student mentors, assist in curriculum development for the bar passage program, counsel current students and alumni on bar passage issues, and conduct seminars for the first year class.
The position reports to the Director of the Academic Success Program and works closely with and actively collaborates with the Law School faculty and senior administrators.
PROFILE OF THE LAW SCHOOL
The School of Law is now building on its record of success during its first decade as the public law school of Nevada. We are a new school with a diverse alumni base of just under 1500. The School of Law has 477 students enrolled (347 full-time, 130 part-time) and 44 full-time faculty, and enjoys state-of-the-art facilities at the center of the UNLV campus. For more information about the Boyd School of Law, please refer to our website at http://www.law.unlv.edu/.
PROFILE OF THE UNIVERSITY
UNLV is a premier metropolitan research university with 27,000 students and more than 1000 full-time faculty. With more than 120 graduate programs, including 38 doctoral and professional programs, UNLV is Nevada’s largest comprehensive doctoral degree granting institution. It provides traditional and professional academic programs for a diverse student body and encourages innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to teaching, learning, and scholarship. For more information about the University, please refer to the UNLV website at http://www.unlv.edu. Las Vegas is a diverse and entrepreneurial city that boasts unparalleled access to world-class restaurants and entertainment, all within a short drive to some of the nation’s premier outdoor attractions.
Requirements: J.D. degree and related professional experience. Candidates should possess superior interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills; effectiveness in working with students and alumni, administrators, and faculty.
To apply, submit a letter which includes work experience, resume, and list of references via on-line application at https://hrsearch.unlv.edu. For assistance with UNLV’s on-line applicant portal, contact UNLV Employment Services at (702) 895-2894 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Application review will begin immediately, and we will continue to consider applications until the position is filled. For more information, contact Jennifer Carr, Director of the Academic Success Program at Jennifer.email@example.com.
UNLV is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity educator and employer committed to excellence through diversity.
June 5, 2012
Congratulations on finishing your first year! Now what?
Amy and guests have recently written some fabulous posts for graduating law students. I am going to address students who can celebrate a different accomplishment: finishing their first year of law school. In many ways, the first year of law school is the toughest year. Students are learning new material, presented in a new format, from an unfamiliar type of book (since most colleges use textbooks, not casebooks). Here is a list of thought questions for students who have finished their first year of law school.
1) Did I meet my own goals?
It's easy to go on autopilot during the 1L year. Getting through the day, the week, and the semester are important short-term goals. However, everyone comes to law school with certain long-term goals. The time after 1L exams, but before 2L classes begin, is the ideal time to evaluate your long-term goals. Law school is an expensive, life-altering commitment. Are you meeting your own goals? If not, are these goals still in reach? What can you do to reach those goals next year? Are those goals reasonable? If your goals were reasonable and you did not reach them, should you be reworking your long-term plans?
2) What did I enjoy this year?
It's so easy to kvetch about what didn't go right. Almost no one does as well as they think they will or should do on exams. This is the time to consider what was enjoyable during the 1L year. Did you really enjoy a specific class? What did you enjoy about the class (was it the teacher, was it the material, or both?) Are there upper-division classes in this area of law or with this teacher? What are the employment prospects in this area of law? What type of clinical, externship, or volunteer experiences will I need if I want to work in this area of law? If you really liked the teacher, does the teacher employ RA's during the school year? If what you really enjoyed was something outside the classroom, how are you going to nurture that part of your life next year?
3) What should I think about changing for next year?
This is the time to really evaluate your successes and your failures. Evaluating your actions is not the same as judging yourself. don't beat up on yourself if you did not reach all your goals; figure out how to change so you can reach those goals next year. Evaluate how close you came to your goals if you did not reach them, and think about what it will take to reach them next year. If you succeeded, break down what you can replicate for the future. (RCF)