General Education

Bridging the Colleges Project

Bridging the Colleges - Lehman College with Bronx Community College and Hostos Community College

Bridging the Colleges: Faculty Development Seminar for Community and Senior College Faculty, Building Bridges for General Education Across the Curriculum

Report for 2005-2006 [PDF]

Report for 2006-2007 [PDF]

Application Materials for 2009-2010


Small workshop/seminar of senior college and community college faculty from the three CUNY Bronx campuses (4 from each, total 12) conducted by joint chair/facilitators (one from a senior, one from a junior college).

Seminar composition: composition: Lehman College ­ Bronx Community College - Hostos Community College

Seminar meetings with shared readings, inquiries, writing based on the teaching of General Education. In six sessions and a final presentation session the participants will jointly investigate knowledge, skills, and values across the disciplines and among colleges.

Joint exchange classroom visits that combine shared assignments and student writing projects are one of the over-all purposes of the seminar meetings.

Final Colloquium in May 2010 to share BTC outcomes with the General Education Forum.

The seminars will have a recorder at the meetings to document the proceedings and to produce the final presentation of the results of the pilot experience.

Guiding Principles

Cross-College Learning

Co-leading seminars in community/senior college pairs encourages active participation by both community and senior college faculty and develops the view of teaching that spans students' development from one phase of their college careers to another, from one CUNY college to another.

Community and senior college instructors across the disciplines possess tacit knowledge of use to themselves, each other, and the broader community of CUNY faculty of which they are a part. Providing opportunities for instructors to articulate, discuss, and reflect upon this knowledge will strengthen the experience for the students they teach.

Visiting each other's colleges and classrooms provides personal and practical insights into different contexts for and experiences of teaching and learning, and therefore has the potential to affect teaching practice.

Exploring the kinds of academic literacies students need to succeed within general education provides examples or illustrations of how they might be reinforced. (Academic literacies include writing, reading, speaking, reasoning, synthesizing, translating, quantitative/qualitative reasoning, research, information literacy, etc.)

Professional Development as Inquiry

Organizing seminars as inquiries into complex issues of students’ development, curriculum and pedagogy enables participants to examine their teaching practice more deeply, and thus has greater potential for impact than administrative approaches to student achievement.

Discussing theoretical readings helps instructors to understand their students as general and life-long learners and draw implications for their own practice.

Investigating Faculty Teaching and Student Learning

Presenting syllabi and specific assignments enables faculty to give concrete expression to their expectations for students, their values for General Education , and their theories about teaching and learning; such presentations also provide teachers with new approaches for their teaching repertoire, and provide them the opportunity for reflective practice.

Presenting student work enables teachers to see students as individuals, identify what particular students are able to learn in their courses, and recommend next steps for teachers to take in order to assist students as learners.


Structural Model

This project draws upon successful University faculty development initiatives, especially Writing Across the Curriculum, but also Looking Both Ways. Most significantly, it draws upon the resources and experience of the General Education Project as a model for the seminars and inter-college collaborative work.

In this second year of the project, members from the previous year will be invited to an early meeting to share experiences from the first seminar.

Faculty Development

Increasing understanding of faculty teaching and student learning.

Establishing contacts and points of understanding between faculty on different campuses.

Beginning a network of teaching activists to initiate and foster change in local curricular settings.

Individual faculty presentations, including research and publications, based on discoveries from the seminar.


Summer 2009: Organizational work by BTC seminar leaders, including definition of tasks and interactivity, logistics.

September-October 2009: Campus development, i.e. recruitment of the seminar participants, and assignment of tasks, reading and preparation (seminar members prepare proposals, materials).

October-May 2009-2010: Seven seminar meetings: one each month (except January); inter-College visits to share classes and class assignments; and preparation of findings.

May 2010: final presentations, perhaps at the CUNY Gen Ed Forum, including a final report, outcomes (portfolios, course syllabi, evaluations).

Summer 2010: Organizational work for the next round of seminars.

Seminar Content

Seminar leaders begin by setting a series of tasks and joint experiences for the first seminar, whose purpose is to help the participants learn of each other's experiences and objectives in order to lead to the forming of compatible cross-campus teams.

Seminar meetings combine reports on prepared assignments with tasks (writing, analysis, course/syllabus creation) that take place in the meeting and are shared, recorded, subsequently developed.

One goal of the fall term seminar meetings is for teams of participants to identify compatible courses for which they can develop some shared assignment or activity.

The shared visits and tasks by teams between or among campuses would take place in February. The March and April seminar sessions would yield interim conclusions and suggestions for innovation and change.

The final meeting of the seminar will be a presentation which will include, in addition to outcomes, both suggestions for revision of the project and invitations for further participation in the next year.

Material Resources

Funding is provided by a grant from CUNY, from the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies and from Lehman CUE funds.

Faculty participants will be provided stipends of $1,500 for work in the seminar.

Outcomes over Time

Consideration of General Education issues concerning the transition between and the relationship among CUNY colleges.

Clarification of teaching and learning goals in complementary Colleges and of the methods to achieve them.

Collection of materials on Gen Ed courses, exemplifying cross-disciplinary and inter-College practices.

Investigation of the relationship between "majors" and general education courses across CUNY campuses.

Examination of the relationship between lower and upper division, both within a college and as experienced by transfer students in moving within CUNY.


Begin a systematic, CUNY-wide program of similar seminars to establish awareness, understanding, sharing of experiences among community and senior colleges.

Provide a practical laboratory for curricular concepts and classroom initiatives, and for scholarship in teaching and learning.

Generate initiatives to identify, study, and better serve the transfer population that is continually crossing the bridges between CUNY colleges.

Last modified: Aug 2, 2017

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