On April 25, 2018, Guttman Community College hosted the university’s third annual Experiential Learning Symposium. The day-long event featured a panel discussion among practitioners of experiential learning, as well as a full program of 15 presentations by CUNY faculty, staff, and collaborating organizations. The program was organized around three tracks: (1) learning and development, (2) equity and inclusion, and (3) impactful practices. Below are session descriptions and some presentation materials. For fully accessible versions of the materials, please contact Bindi Patel at bindi.patel@guttman.cuny.edu.

A Mentor to the Mentors: How to Use Experienced Peer Mentors to Support Newer Ones

This workshop will focus on the ways Senior Peer Mentors in a Peer Mentoring Program work to define their roles as “Mentors to the Peer Mentors.” Senior mentors work with professional staff to design a mentor training curriculum for the new Peer Mentors, as well as guide them through their first semester working as a peer mentor. In our workshop, we will discuss the design, implementation, and outcomes of the training curriculum. We will highlight the ways that the training curriculum has evolved over time to be more responsive to the changing needs of each group of new mentors.

Presenters: George Hill, Coordinator, Opening Doors, Kingsborough Community College, Anna Maria La Franceschina, Senior Peer Mentor, Opening Doors Learning Communities, Kingsborough Community College, Dr. Paula Risolo, Case Manager & Adjunct Assistant Professor, Opening Doors Learning Communities, Kingsborough Community College
Presentation materials

Service-Learning and the Future of Public Service and Law Enforcement in New York City

This presentation will explore how experiential-learning can impact students that aspire to careers within law enforcement and public service. Students in the APPLE Corps (Academic Preparation Program for Law Enforcement) program at John Jay College apply because they are interested in law enforcement, public service, and social justice. Many students are excited by the possibility of becoming officers with the NYPD, working within the FBI, being a crime scene investigator, and other law enforcement-adjacent positions. Our service-learning program provides our students the opportunity to work directly with people that have been incarcerated, or have had other involvement with the criminal justice system. We hope that this work will have an impact that extends beyond our students to the broader community within New York City.

Presenters: Claire Sternberg, Service-Learning Specialist, John Jay College, Megil Patterson, APPLE Corps, Cohort 1, Domenica Ramirez Tola, APPLE Corps, Cohort 1
Presentation materials

Student Veterans: Continuation of Service – Mentoring, Leadership and Inclusion on Campus

The structure of military service often requires military personnel to become leaders who mentor junior personnel promoting inclusion throughout the ranks.  This cultivates cohesion and support to achieve mission success.  Student veterans can provide much of the same to their peers and other students on college campuses.  This presentation and panel discussion will address how a student veteran peer mentorship program can support the transition of military veterans as they enter higher education, and how this model can be replicated to serve other students populations.

Presenters: Wilfred Cotto, Student Life Specialist – Veterans Services, Borough of Manhattan Community College; Diego Changa, Team Leader, Marine Corps Veteran, BMCC, Rodin Peguero, Student, Navy Veteran, BMCC, Kate Dorlan, Student, Army Veteran, BMCC, Brittney Jackson, Student, Marine Corps Reserves, BMCC, Kevin Murriell, Student, Air Force Veteran, BMCC, Melinda Myers, Student, Army Veteran, BMCC, Elizabeth Vasquez, College Assistant, Navy Veteran, BMCC, Angela Eilers, Student, VA Work Study, BMCC
Presentation materials

CUNY 360: A Multi-Sector Internship & Mentoring Program for LGBTQI Students

This session will introduce “CUNY 360,” a new internship concept for LGBTQI students. Relying on robust mentoring—both on-campus and off-campus—faculty members and network professionals will guide students as they explore the overlapping efforts of policy advocates working on LGBTQI causes. Students will participate in multi-sector and unified internships in the offices of elected officials, non-profit organizations, and philanthropic outfits—followed by capstone experiences in a self-identified sector, under the guidance of academic and professional mentors.

Presenters: Anthony Maniscalco, Ph.D., Director, CUNY ETR Internship Program in Government and Public Affairs, Mitchell Draizin, President, Longview Capital Advisors, Inc.
Presentation materials

Developing High Fidelity Peer-to-Peer College Retention Programs

How can the power of young people be harnessed to improve persistence through college? This presentation will outline best practices for training college students to serve as College Persistence Peer Leaders, supporting other students through the obstacles to college retention. College Access: Research & Action (CARA) has developed a 60+ hour training program to prepare college students to support college retention efforts, as well as a set of tools to help supervisors integrate peer mentors into retention programming. Presentation will be co-facilitated with experienced peer mentors from across CUNY campuses.

Presenters: Lori Chajet, Co-Director, College Access: Research & Action (CARA), Shalema Henderson, Director of College Allies, CARA
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Direct Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes in Student Services & Experiential Learning

Standard IV of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation, 13th Edition, states: “If offered, athletic, student life, and other extracurricular activities that are regulated by the same academic, fiscal, and administrative principles and procedures that govern all other programs.” Under these new standards, student services including experiential learning are expected to show direct evidence of student learning. As practitioners in student services, we will need to provide compelling and measurable evidence of exactly what our students learn or do not learn in our orientation programs, workshops, trainings, tours, etc. This presentation will provide techniques, rubrics and examples of direct student learning outcomes that can be used on any campus.

Presenters: Michael C. Sachs, Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, John Jay College
Presentation materials

Global Guttman Fellows Program: Broadening the Impact of Study Abroad

The Study Abroad programs at Guttman Community College occur in Spring 1 or Spring 2 each year and a significant portion of the students are rising second-year students, therefore they continue their studies at Guttman after travel. The Global Guttman students have transformative experiences from which they extrapolate deep learning after they return. Emboldened by their global experiences, students discover greater self-confidence and an expanded global perspective. The Global Guttman Fellows program was conceptualized to leverage the potential Global Guttman alumni have to impact their peers the year after return. This session will explore the impact of this pilot program.

Presenters: Niesha Ziehmke, Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Guttman Community College, Katie Wilson, Lecturer and Coordinator of Global Guttman, Guttman Community College, Jenesia Jordan, Student, Guttman Community College, Giorby Suero, Student, Guttman Community College. Touseef Jagi, Student, Guttman Community College, Fatou Jobe, Student, Guttman Community College

Mentoring Non-Science Majors with Experiential Learning Experience

Teaching non-science majors is a challenging task in a chemistry course.  Our main goals are to 1) using experiential teaching to turn students into life-long active learners; 2) teaching responsible environmental stewardship so they will take this experience back to their community.  In our introductory chemistry course for non-science majors, research-based learning module is introduced to convert waste cooking oil to biodiesel.  The students research the benefits, collect waste cooking oil, and develop methods to produce biodiesel.  Students become active learners.  A deep approach to learning helps students appreciate sciences in a positive way, increase conceptual learning, and become responsible citizens.

Presenters: Jihyun Kim, Assistant Professor, Guttman Community College, Kizzy Nelson, Student, Guttman Community College
Presentation materials

Mentoring Transfer Students

This interactive session explores the challenges and opportunities in peer mentoring transfer students, focusing on the TransferNation program as a model approach for serving the diverse needs of first semester transfer students.  TransferNation was created especially to meet the different needs of first semester transfer student to Brooklyn College.  Presenters will discuss the philosophy behind the program, the development of its various components including “virtual mentoring,” its outcome goals, and how ongoing assessment is used to enhance the format of the program.  The presentation also explores the role, training, and professional development TranferNation mentors receive.

Presenters: Lisa Schwebel, Director, Peer Mentoring, Brooklyn College, Catherine Green, Program Coordinator, Peer Mentoring, Brooklyn College

Practice Makes Perfect: The #CUNYCodes Program and the Impact of Practice-Based Mentorship in Experiential Learning

#CUNYCodes, an applied software development experiential learning program managed by the CUNY Office of Workforce Partnerships, integrates both alumni peer and industry professional mentors to support students technical and professional skills development as they complete our intensive, practical “app dev” experience. Boasting a 70% placement rate for its participants in internships and jobs, this “practice-based mentorship” is a key component of the program’s success. In this interactive session, we will explain why #CUNYCodes chose this model for its mentorship component, explain how it works in the context of the program (ie how mentors are recruited, assigned to student teams, the differences between alumni peer mentors vs industry mentors, etc), and discuss its impact on student learning.

Presenters: John Enyame, Assistant Director, CUNY Office of Workforce Partnerships, Nikki Evans, Director, CUNY Office of Workforce Partnerships
Presentation materials

Teaching Students Evidence Based Practice through the Human Services Field Placement Experience: Uncovering Challenges and Opportunities

This presentation offers a snapshot of an upcoming investigation to identify the challenges and opportunities of integrating the process of evidence based practice for Human Services students into the mentorship offered through field placement and through the field seminar course. We will explore the key issues and challenges faced by field supervisors, faculty and students through a review of the literature, our hypotheses, and through a students’ perspective on her field placement experience. A description of data collection and analysis will be offered.

Presenters: Anya Spector, Assistant Professor, Guttman Community College, Krimili Infante, Student, Human Services, Guttman Community College
Presentation materials

Tracking: The Next Generation, The History and Future of ELO Categorization and Criteria at CUNY (Closing Panel)

In recent years, CUNY’s Central Office has guided the university’s response to New York State legislation that called for expanding the availability of experiential learning opportunities for students. Tracking has been a significant—and at times confounding—component of this work. CUNYfirst is now equipped with attributes that allow colleges to identify credit-bearing experiential opportunities, but implementation has been slow and the system is not yet useful as a university-wide resource.

With career preparedness as a key focus of CUNY’s new strategic framework, there is renewed interest in understanding the scope and reach of experiential opportunities that hone skills that will serve students beyond graduation—and which also tend to be crucial components of the mentorship experiences at the heart of today’s symposium. In this session, CUNY’s Office of Academic Affairs and Workforce Development will facilitate discussion about the next phase of tracking experiential learning across the university, models from other institutions, and the way that mentorship programs, specifically, must be considered in this evolving process.

Presenters: Alyssa Vine, Associate Director of Communications, Office of Academic Affairs, CUNY, Kafui Kouakou, Assistant Director, Continuing Education and Workforce Programs, CUNY
Presentation materials

Transfer Bridge: Supporting Students Beyond the Community College Experience

This interactive session will explore the role of the Transfer Peer Mentor and structure and outcomes of Guttman’s Transfer Bridge Program. We will provide an overview of our competency-based curriculum and share lessons learned during the first year of program implementation. Transfer Peer Mentors will be present to discuss the impact of the program from their vantage point as Guttman Graduate and senior college student. We encourage participants from community colleges and/or senior colleges who work with similar support initiatives or who wish to launch a Transfer Bridge program of their own.

Presenters: Daniel Ambrose, Director of Mentoring & Student Success, Guttman Community College, Isabelle Sanginario, Guttman Transfer Peer Mentor, Brooklyn College Student
Presentation materials

Virtual-Mentored-Internships: Scaling and Accelerating Students into Jobs via New Career Pathways They Didn’t Even Know Existed

The issues of volume, scalability, distance, diversity, inclusion and location in mentoring and internships are no longer choke points in experiential learning and career pathway entry ramps. They have been solved through an advanced experiential learning platform and Virtual-Mentorships™. The real-world workplace is beamed into the classroom where learners participate in team-based problem-solving challenges, mentored from anywhere in the world. CUNY colleges have graduated over 400 Cybersecurity workforce ready candidates for Cybersecurity roles using this model. In this session, Student, Academic and Industry stakeholders will share the impacts of the turnkey model, which can be implemented at any College.

Presenters: Dennis O’Connell, Director, Cybersecurity Workforce Alliance (CWA), iQ4 Corp, Teresa DuRocher, VP, Information Security — Identity and Access Management — Corporate Security & Resilience, Nicole JeNaye, Director, Flashpoint Intelligence, Joy Nuga, CWA Alumni, CUNY Macaulay Honors College
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What Research Work Tells Us

Where do we go beyond academic success and securing fellowships? What do our students need and what is lacking to continue this momentum of success? Since there is a dearth of support for our students doing research work, SEEK Research Fellows (SRF) was created.  We currently have the commitment of researchers from electroencephalogram studies; cognitive neuroscience; trauma specialization; neuropharmacology; computer science; and civil, mechanical, chemical, electrical engineering, and computer science.  See what our first cohort has done!

Presenter: Hawai Kwok, Higher Educational Associate/Adjunct, SEEK, The City College of New York
Presentation materials