Plymouth State University (PSU) was recently awarded nearly $215,000 to support faculty who teach in the general education program as they learn to engage students in the institution’s Integrated Cluster education model. The grant was awarded by the Davis Educational Foundation established by Stanton and Elizabeth Davis after Mr. Davis’s retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc.
An innovative way to help students connect with the learning process, PSU’s Integrated Cluster education model encourages collaboration between disciplines, between faculty and students, and with people and organizations in the broader community. The approach focuses on collaborative, interdisciplinary ‘real world’ projects and activities that extend beyond the walls of the classroom.
“Plymouth State University is broadening the educational experience through our Integrated Clusters model, and supporting instructors with pioneering professional development opportunities is integral to our approach,” said Cathie LeBlanc, Ph.D., Professor of Digital Media and General Education Coordinator, Plymouth State University. “The clusters approach expands the educational experience by giving students unique opportunities to add value to – and have an impact on – the wider world and prepare them for success after graduation.”
PSU’s Integrated Clusters model was hailed by the Davis Educational Foundation as a “bold approach to reimagining the University structure and student experience.” The professional development supported by this grant will include multi-day events led by off-campus experts that focus on a specific aspect of the new educational model, such as project-based learning and developing external audiences. In addition, faculty will participate in shorter professional development activities led by PSU faculty and staff throughout the year.