Volume IV: What works, what matters, what lasts

May 21 - Models of programs, serving non-majors, connecting across disciplines

Essays, Stories & Reports:

  • What works: A PKAL essay
    Disciplinary challenges to setting general learning goals
    - Bernard L. Madison, Professor of Mathematics, Department of Mathematical Sciences- University of Arkansas
    Faculty are challenged faculty to think about their personal responsibility to connect to other disciplines. As a mathematician, the author's comments suggest continued attention to the initiatives within the math community posted in the May 7th postings of Volume IV.

  • What lasts: A PKAL essay
    Planning, implementing and assessing An integrated math and science curriculum
    - Donald G. Deeds, Professor of Biology- Drury College
    - Charles S. Allen, Professor of Mathematics- Drury College
    - Bruce W. Callen, Associate Professor of Physics- Drury College
    - Mark D. Wood, Assistant Professor of Chemistry- Drury College
    This essay describes the assessment protocols through which Drury University monitored the impact of a multi-disciplinary curriculum for all students developed collectively by their STEM faculty. The full description of the ten-year development and evolution of their curriculum is presented in an essay in the Journal of College Science Teaching. That reformers need to be in it for the long-haul is one lesson learned from the Drury experience.

Resources from PKAL:

  • What works: Case studies
    Roles and responsibilities of senior administrators in nurturing strong ERE programs
    - James Howard, Dean College of Natural Resources and Sciences- Humboldt State University
    - Marlene Moore, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences & Professor of Biology- University of Portland
    - Gary Reiness, Dean of Mathematical and Natural Sciences & Professor of Biology- Lewis and Clark College
    Presented are three short, role-playing case studies that could be used in a curriculum planning retreat to understand the barriers and opportunities that faculty and administrators must face in developing interdisciplinary programs. These were prepared for the PKAL assembly in Portland, Oregon last year by James Howard of Humboldt State University, Marlene Moore of the University of Portland, and C. Gary Reiness of Lewis and Clark College. Although the specific theme is environmental science/studies programs, the issues raised in these case studies are generic to efforts to build and sustain all kinds of programs that cut across disciplines.

Resources from other sources:

  • What lasts: A resource
    Programs that develop and strengthen interdisciplinary connections
    Presented are recent awards from the National Science Foundation's Course, Curriculum & Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) program supporting curricular change focused on "connections," broadly defined (this is not a vetted list, assuming that NSF has done the vetting). Each project focuses in a different way on building connections within the undergraduate curriculum: some reports are about cross-, multi-, or interdisciplinary programs; others describe curricular reforms designed to help students connect what they are learning in the classroom to the world beyond the campus, and connect their lives as learners and as citizens.

    Faculty considering submitting to the CCLI program for the 2004 deadlines might find this a starting point from which to identify models to adapt for their own campus. For more information, visit the NSF CCLI website at:


TIP: Take an hour or so with four or five colleagues and play out one or more of the case studies.