Big Blue Pantry: New Resource for Students

Big Blue PantryThis just in from UK Student Affairs:

The Center for Community Outreach is excited to announce the formation of a new service for students, the Big Blue Pantry. The Big Blue Pantry is a food pantry that will offer an accessible, compassionate and dignified environment for University of Kentucky students to supplement their nutritional and basic needs.

Serving the Nation's Students: College and University Food Bank Alliance

UK is now a member of the College and University Food Bank Alliance (CUFBA).

One of the main goals of the Big Blue Pantry is to raise awareness about food insecurity among college students and to address the issue among members of the UK community. This is in line with campus trends and food pantries formation at other colleges and universities across the United States.

The CCO is asking for your help to refer students in need to the Big Blue Pantry. Located on the second floor of Alumni Gym (Room 103), the pantry is completely confidential and easily accessible for students in need.

To refer students, encourage them to find the Big Blue Pantry on social media: @BigBluePantry (on Twitter) or for our current operating hours. Email questions to or come to 103 Alumni Gym where volunteers will assist them.

To access the food pantry, students need to present their Wildcard Student ID. While students will need to fill out an intake form, there are no additional criteria they must meet to access food.

For more information go to or

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Information on Ebola and UK resources for questions or concerns

A message to the UK Campus Community from University Health Services and Division of Student Affairs:

ebola virus (magnified)As we welcome students back to Lexington and to the University of Kentucky campus, we know there has been increasing attention and public concern over the Ebola crisis in West Africa.  Although the likelihood of an outbreak in the U.S. is extremely low, we have been working with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, University Health Service and UK HealthCare’s Department of Infection Prevention and Control to monitor updates from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) as well as reviewing our practices to ensure safety.

The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are always of utmost importance at the University of Kentucky. Although there is no significant risk at this time, we are providing the following links to the CDC’s Ebola information page and University Health Service for those who have questions or concerns.

Robert Mock                                                  Ann Hays
Vice President, Student Affairs                     Medical Director, University Health Service

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Black Latino Male Initiative at University of Kentucky

As part of the Kentucky Public Postsecondary Education Diversity Policy and Framework for Institution Diversity Plan Development, the University of Kentucky is required to address four strategic areas in student success: Student Body Diversity; Closing the Achievement Gap; Workforce Diversity, and; Campus Climate. The University of Kentucky 2011-2015 Diversity Plan established Black or African American and Hispanic or Latino student enrollment, retention and graduation goals.

In 2012-2013, undergraduate enrollment records were set across all areas of underrepresented student enrollment. The University of Kentucky set records in the number of African-American and Hispanic/Latino undergraduate student enrollment. Black or African American accounts for 7.7 percent of the state population. Hispanic or Latino, the most rapidly growing segment of the state, accounts for 2.7 percent of the Kentucky population.  At the undergraduate level, the number of Black or African American and Hispanic or Latino students increased. Likewise, the gap between the state demographic population and enrollment for Black or African American reduced from 0.3 percent to 0.2 percent. The gap between Hispanic or Latino also declined from 0.5 percent to 0.0 percent or equivalent to the Kentucky demographic population. There were more American Indian/Alaskan Native undergraduates in 2012 than 2011. The undergraduate international student population also increased. By expanding recruitment efforts towards underrepresented students, the University continues to make progress in all areas of undergraduate enrollment.

For the 2011-2015 Diversity Plan, the University’s objective is to reduce and eventually eliminate differences in achievement for Black or African American and Hispanic or Latino students in comparison to White students’ retention. The first year to second year retention gap between Black or African American and White students increased from 0.9 percent in cohort 2010 to 8.4 percent in cohort 2011. For Hispanic or Latino students, the gap decreased from 4.5 percent in 2010 to 0.9 percent in 2011. Black or African American student retention declined, Hispanic or Latino student retention increased, and the overall UK First- to Second-Year Retention Rate slightly declined.The total non-White population has grown to 23.8 percent (excluding Unknown or Missing) from 17.2 percent in 2003-04, and 21.9 percent in 2011-12. (Source: 2011-2012 to 2012-2013 Annual Diversity Plan Assessment for Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education Committee on Equal Opportunities, November 2013)

Chart of Retention of Black Males at UKSource: “Black and Latino Male Initiative, University of Kentucky” slides for presentation by Dr. Steve Alvarez, Dr. Quentin Tyler and Mr. Kahlil Baker, presented at OSU’s National Conference on Diversity, Race And Learning (NCDRL) and at Kentucky Association for Blacks in Higher Education (KABHE) statewide conference 2014.

Several student support units on campus have taken the lead on addressing the issues of race and ethnic disparity in student success University-wide on a regular basis here at the University of Kentucky:  in particular, the Center for Academic Resources and Enrichment Services (CARES), Student Support Services (SSS) and the Office of First Generation Initiatives. While there have been overall increases in degree production, there has only been marginal progress in graduating undergraduate students of color. The low number of undergraduate males of color that are retained after the first year is complicated by many factors and requires additional attention by the University as we seek to address issues surrounding UK’s continued low graduation rate compared to benchmark institutions. So, in addition to the work already undertaken by many across campus, Mr. Kahlil Baker of the Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Center has partnered with Dr. Steve Alvarez (College of Arts and Sciences) and Dr. Quentin Tyler (College of Agriculture) to lead the UK Black Latino Male Initiative (BLMI).

The BLMI provides an opportunity for participating young men at the University of Kentucky to connect with other students, faculty and staff. They engage with leaders from the greater community of Lexington. Ultimately the goal is to collectively devise strategies that support their persisting and pursuing excellence at the University of Kentucky and beyond. Dialogues are offered in the Martin Luther King Center to allow participants to discuss news topics of the day, social and economic issues, leadership, academic excellence, social responsibility, and to provide a forum for these students to express themselves and their concerns in relation to the world around them. The overarching focus of the BLMI is to promote academic success and leadership among these student populations.

The BLMI Dialogues Model

The dialogues model enacted by BLMI is guided by three related objectives. The first objective is to identify the meanings Black and Latino males articulate through dialogue as the value of a college education. The focus is to identify the educational outcomes and dialogues that engage Black and Latino men attending the university, and to build community. This is important because although graduation rates appear to be on the rise, completion of high school in some rural states such as Kentucky may still be regarded as a challenge and some students give little thought to college enrollment. Parents and educators in many rural areas still argue about the value of physical, laboring work versus technical and professional careers. In states such as Kentucky, vocational involvement increases the likelihood of dropping out of high school, thus significantly decreasing college attendance. The dialogues also question and critique what the BLMI participants view as to what it means to be a Black or Latino man and if this outlook affects their educational perceptions. Dialogues around masculinity and education are important because many Black and Latino males have  pressures from peers who believe that being a high achiever and being intelligent are not masculine and may conflict with cultural requirements of Black and Latino communities.

Activities and Events

The BLMI offers many different activities and events, including speakers, film series, joint events with Majestic Unity, community service projects as well as monthly meetings (Thursday evenings at 6 p.m.).

Why Participating in BLMI is Important and Meaningful

BLMI is both important and meaningful for young men of color to come together to establish and connect with community and learning about being university students. As a safe space, it offers students open access to speak freely with mentors, and to dialogue about issues affecting university life and larger social issues. Intergenerational dialogues bring awareness of and attention to strengths, values, and practices that contribute to understanding Black and Latino males’ perceptions of education.

Here are some students’ comments about BLMI at UK:

  • “It was meaningful to me to see other Black males in the same room, dealing with the same insecurities as I am. Also seeing other Black males who succeed and overcame the same problems I faced.”
  • “Having the opportunity to be with and learn from such a diverse group of Black men. I hope that I have been able to contribute as much as what I have taken away from this experience.”
  • “It is meaningful because it offers an atmosphere for us to talk about the struggles, problems and situations that wouldn’t get talked about in normal conversation.”
  • “Personally, it is fuel for me to get my degree and to quit worrying about loans.”

Ways the UK Community Can Help to Make BLMI Stronger

The UK community can offer BLMI support by becoming involved and attending our meetings. Dedicated faculty male mentors are vital role models BLMI participants can develop connections to. BLMI would also be interested in partnering or collaborating with campus or community groups promoting diversity, particularly connecting BLMI students with younger men of color in Lexington.

For more information, please contact:

  • Dr. Steven Alvarez, Assistant Professor, Writing Rhetoric and Digital Media; and,
    Latin America Studies, College of Arts & Sciences, 218-0958
  • Mr. Kahlil G. Baker, Director, Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Center, 257-4130
  • Dr. Quentin Tyler, Assistant Dean and Director for Diversity, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, 257-3482
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New Ombud, Michael P. Healy of the College of Law

Professor Michael P. Healy

Professor Michael P. Healy

Michael P. Healy, Wendell H. Ford Professor of Law, is our new Academic Ombud. Professor Healy came to UK in 1990 and is an attorney interested in the areas of administrative law, environmental law, international environmental law, and statutory interpretation. He has servied on the University Appeals Board, lectured for undergraduates interested in environmental or mineral law, and served on the Internationalization Task Force in 2007-09.

The Ombud handles issues related to student academic rights — see the Dean of Students’ site on Student Rights and Responsibilities. You should encourage your students to contact the Office of the Academic Ombud Services for counsel and support when faced with issues such as these found on the Ombud’s website (NOTE: this list of issues they handle is for suggestion and is not complete):

  • Grade disputes
  • Admission/registration problems
  • Disciplinary matters
  • Perceived favoritism
  • Fear of retaliation
  • Charges of and sanctions resulting from plagiarism or other academic offenses
  • Disability accommodation issues
  • Cross-cultural misunderstandings & personality conflicts

There are many other ways that the Ombud works for our students as “an advocate for fairness and equity.” Be sure and become familiar with all the Ombud can do for your students’ success here at the University of Kentucky.

We in the Division of Undergraduate Education welcome Professor Healy to his new role, and we look forward to working with him on our Academic Integrity initiative this coming year!

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Sign up to be a FUSION site advisor – participate in KY’s largest single-day community service event

Help make this year’s UK FUSION (For Unity and Service In Our Neighborhoods) a success! Help serve as a site advisor for students doing their volunteer project for the Lexington community on Monday, August 25, 2014. Led by the Center for Community Outreach, the FUSION team is asking for UK faculty and staff to volunteer to help organize the 1,000+ UK students serving at nearly 100 community and neighborhood organizations.

Each small group of student volunteers is led by one or two student site leaders and a site advisor. Site advisors are faculty or staff who help provide risk management, assist with group dynamics and serve as positive role models for the student volunteers.

Site advisors will work from 8:45 a.m. to around 3 p.m. on August 25th, although times may vary depending on specific sites. To sign up to volunteer as a site advisor follow these steps:

  1. Visit
  2. In the top right corner select “Register / Sign in.”
  3. Select “Create an account now!” in the light blue box in the middle of the page.
  4. Enter and confirm your email.
  5. Complete the personal information form and create an account.
  6. In the “Search For” box, type “FUSION.”
  7. In the “Opportunities Near” box, type “Lexington, KY.”
  8. Click the “Faculty/Staff Advisor FUSION 2014″ event.
  9. Click sign-up.

After completing these steps, a screen saying “you have successfully signed up for the project” will appear.  You should receive a confirmation email. If you do not, please email

UK FUSION swagFor more information about FUSION or the site advisor opportunity, contact or

Connect with FUSION on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Living Learning Program Task Force Report offers 20 recommendations

Living Learning Program Task Force ReportThe Office of the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs are collaborating with the colleges to expand the Living Learning Program (LLP) as the University builds new residential space for students. In 2013, the Provost charged the undergraduate community to increase the number of students living in Living Learning Communities to 60% and appointed a task force to lay out the standards for quality for the Living Learning Communities (LLC). This task force comprised primarily of deans and academic associate deans was led by Ike Adams, Dean of the College of Social Work and Dan O’Hair, Dean of the College of Communication and Information. The LLP Task Force is to be reconstituted into the UK LLP Steering Committee with representation from the colleges and from Student Affairs as well as administration.

The LLP Task Force Report was submitted to the Provost earlier this spring and the full report is available for download from the Provost’s website. Twenty recommendations for addressing UK’s LLP quality were organized into four key areas: academic standards, assessment and measurement, staffing and structure, and financial issues.

Academic Standards

  • each LLC should require courses embedded within formal academic settings with standards linked to UK’s strategic plan and competencies established for UK Core
  • LLC academic outcomes should, when feasible, be linked to those of the college or department for which the LLP is designed
  • pursue and promote active learning as well as account for a variety of UK’s student needs
  • recognize the diversity of the student population and address those needs through a mix of residential environments
  • collaborate across multiple units, especially academic units, Student Affairs and Admissions

Assessment and Measurement

  • each LLC should have a comprehensive assessment strategy that includes measures of student success (demographics, environmental and engagement measures) as well as student-oriented data to rank perceived learning experiences and development
  • LLCs should be assessed both at the macro (program) and micro (individual) levels
  • collaboration between partner units should be assessed with help from the Assessment Office
  • LLCs need strong partnerships with campus experts to plan assessment
  • each LLC should develop a “report card” that assesses outcomes frequently and to measure progress toward expected outcomes

Staffing and Structure

  • create a University-wide LLP Steering Committee
  • create a LLP External Advisory Board to review the LLCs annually
  • assessment is the responsibility of the colleges and the Assessment Office
  • UK should host a periodic, regional LLP conference
  • colleges need to develop external relations/development campaigns and win sponsorships for their LLCs
  • new positions in the colleges should be created to accommodate LLC growth, e.g., LLP director, academic director, recruiter, academic advisors and graduate assistants

Financial Issues

  • clarity is needed about financial support for the Living Learning Program at UK
  • a mixed-model funding approach that benefits both the University’s goals and the college’s/unit’s capacity for funding expansion of LLCs
  • requests for new LLCs or continuance/growth of existing ones should be based on income projections calculated on expected revenue from the LLC
  • baseline costs, services and amenities need to be established since these vary widely among current LLCs

You can see the list of UK Living Learning Communities on the UK Campus Housing website:

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Get Your Student Leaders Involved in K Week

K week - see you in August!Faculty and staff who work with student groups on campus can help build up their students’ leadership roles by encouraging them to get involved in K Week. Some events are already filled and ready to go. However, there are plenty of other opportunities during K Week where your students can join in and take a leadership role:

  • Campus Ruckus
    SAB Under The Sea, Campus Ruckus 2014! Join the Student Activities Board for a night of t-shirts, food, fun, & featuring YOUR student organization. Campus Ruckus will be on August 23, 2014, following Big Blue U.  To sign up for a table, click the link for a webform. Email for questions. Deadline to sign up: August 8.
  • RSA Block Party
    Resident Student Association is hosting our annual Move-In Block Party. This will take place on Friday, August 29th from 9pm until midnight. We would like to offer other student organizations the opportunity to have a table and speak to students. Student Organizations should sign up to participate at this webform. Tables and chairs will be provided for all student orgs who register by the deadline. More details can be found at the above link or by contacting Tiera Mason at Deadline to sign up: August 15.
  • Student Involvement Fair
    Student Government Association would like to invite all registered student organizations to participate in the 2014 Student Involvement Fair. The Fair will be held on August 27th August 28 from 11am-2pm on the walkway in front of Whitehall Classroom Building. To sign up, please use this webform.

Space is limited and spots will be given on a first come first serve basis. If you have any questions, please feel free to place them into the designated slot on the form or contact Deadline to sign up: first come first serve basis.

For questions, please contact the respective organizations as overviewed above, email, or contact:

Annie Kelly
Assistant Director of New Student & Parent Programs
Division of Student Affairs
University of Kentucky
518 Patterson Office Tower
Lexington, KY 40506-0027
Phone: (859) 257-6597

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UK Admissions Offers a College Readiness and ACT Prep Workshop for Kentucky High Schoolers

ACT logoDid you know that starting in 2015, students who take the ACT test will also receive new readiness scores that will show preparedness for college and career? The new readiness scores and indicators will include:

  • STEM Score: overall performance on the science and math portions of the exam
  • Progress Toward Career Readiness Indicator: indicator of future performance on the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate
  • English Language Arts Score: overall performance on English, reading and writing
  • Text Complexity Progress Indicator: showing students if they are making sufficient progress toward understanding complex text they will encounter in college

The University of Kentucky Undergraduate Admissions Office is helping students get ready. Shelley Sizemore, Assistant Director of Admissions for Recruitment, has put together a college readiness program for Kentucky high schoolers. The College Readiness Workshop will take place all day on Friday, July 25th in the UK Student Center. This is an interactive program that provides an in-depth educational experience about the college admissions process. It is designed to not only make high school students aware of how the process works and what colleges are looking for, but also to teach students how to become highly-recruited prospects. In partnership with Kaplan, Inc., UK will provide students with information on what admissions officers what to see in applicants as well as various tips and techniques that will help them with taking the ACT. In addition, the students who complete the practice test will receive a UK Admissions application fee waiver for the 2015-2016 school year.

While the students are in those sessions, parents and guests will be invited to a voluntary Parent Session which will cover admission, scholarship, financial aid, and housing information. They will learn how to prepare their students to navigate a college search from investigating schools to securing finances.

After lunch, two guest speakers will present on college student life: Dr. Robert Mock, Vice President for Student Affairs, and Dr. Randolph Hollingsworth, Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education. Then student participants will take the practice ACT, proctored by Kaplan, Inc. Families will be encouraged to explore the campus and the city at their own leisure until their student(s) complete the ACT practice test.

The Road Ahead: Why is the ACT important?See Dr. Hollingsworth’s presentation “The Road Ahead: College Readiness in Kentucky and the ACT” (Prezi) here:



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Two New General Chemistry Courses – assist students struggling with CHE 105

Stephen Testa

Dr. Stephen Testa

From Dr. Stephen Testa of the UK Chemistry Department:

There are students who need CHE 105 for their majors – and who qualify to take CHE 105 – but who struggle with the material. Therefore, the Chemistry Department is offering two new general chemistry courses, CHE 109 and CHE 110, which together serve as a direct replacement for CHE 105.

CHE 109 will be offered in fall semesters and CHE 110 in spring semesters. CHE 109 and CHE 110 (together) will cover the same material as CHE 105, but will give the students twice the time to learn the material, thereby allowing for time and instruction to overcome background deficiencies.


  • CHE 109: Math ACT of 23 or above; or math placement test; or MA 109; or the KCTCS course CHM 100 or CHE 102R. These are the same prerequisites as for CHE 105.
  • CHE 110: CHE 109 with a grade of C or better, or CHE 104 with a grade of C or better.
  • CHE 111: Prerequisite or corequisite of CHE 110. A student cannot take CHE 109 and CHE 111 at the same time, as material in the CHE 110 lectures is required for the second half of the CHE 111 labs.

General Education Credit

In order for this sequence to count towards general education credit (UKCore), students must take all three courses: CHE 109, CHE 110, and CHE 111.

Course Capacity

Sixty seats will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis through regular registration, and sixty seats will be reserved for CHE 105 drop-down students after the first CHE 105 exam.

Please contact Professor Stephen Testa with any questions at:

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GEAR UP Kentucky Summer Academy@UK

GEAR UP Kentucky SUMMER ACADEMY@UK was a summer of learning and fun on the campus of the University of Kentucky and sponsored by the GEAR UP Kentucky program. For three weeks, from June 22 through July 12, 2014, twenty courses taught by UK instructors across the curriculum gave 63 high school students the opportunity to see what skills and attitudes are critical for learning at the state’s premier research university.

Fourteen teaching assistants, supervised by Dr. Laurie Henry, participated in each of the courses as they were offered. In addition, seven student development advisors accompanied the students to and from Blanding IV Residence Hall each day. The courses were presented in a hybrid mode, using the free and open Canvas Instructure learning system alongside the face-to-face classes. An online Homeroom for the students and their student development advisors and residence advisors offered tutorials, a centralized calendar and announcements to the students. The instructors and GEAR UP KY staff had been working in the online Instructors Lounge to prepare for the Academy@UK, and continued to use that site for regular updates and keeping communications regular. For example, the online discussion group “How did it go today?” allowed for the instructors to alert the teaching assistants or student development advisors to help with reinforcing certain ideas or behaviors back in the dorm or over the weekend.

GeneralStudiesCoreAll students took the General Studies Core courses that included research skills, information literacy, argumentative writing and public speaking, visual literacy, digital citizenship, video editing and web publishing. This rich core of learning experiences was a collaboration between a dozen different faculty and staff instructors from the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Communication & Information, and Education. In addition, staff from the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT), Kentucky Educational Television (KET) Media Lab, UK Libraries Special Collections, and the Office of Sustainability supported the student learning outcomes for the General Studies Core digital badge.

In addition, students  were offered the opportunity to choose elective courses that were modeled on college courses taught here at UK to our undergraduates.

ArtsCreativityIntellectual Inquiry in Arts and Creativity
Based on courses offered at UK for general education credit, these introductory level classes ask students to focus on exploring the many different parts of a good question, determine when additional information is needed and find information efficiently using a variety of reference sources as well as seeking multiple and complex answers to questions and issues related to arts and creativity.

  • Performing world music: A combined lecture-performance class that includes world music ensemble work in steel band, African drumming and other Afro-diasporic forms. No musical experience is necessary.
  • Creativity and the art of acting: Presence, or a focus on being “in the moment”, is the key to performance. In this course students focus on presence as a foundation for creativity and the art of acting. You will explore recent and current trends of theatre as well as examine the ways you can interpret language, literature, poetry and dramatic texts in communicating your ideas in performance ensembles. No acting experience is necessary.
  • Introduction to photographic literacy and image analysis: An introduction through both the study of its history and the practice of making of photographs. You will be introduced to image analysis through various styles, genres and technical aspects of the medium.

Visual LiteracyVisual Literacy
These courses expand on the work undertaken in the General Studies Core and allow for more time spent on crucial skills in digital media publication, communication, collaboration and visual literacy.

  • Art Out of the Box!: as you explore the power of the visual arts to communicate and idea or concept, you will create a three-dimensional artifact from a two-dimensional team drawing
  • Artifacts-In-Action: object-based learning with hands-on activities focusing on the visual study of artifacts at the UK Art Museum, at the UK Outdoor Sculpture Garden, and at UK Arts in HealthCare (Albert B. Chandler Hospital)
  • ITIQ Digital Design and Fabrication Technologies: collect, fuse, analyze, visual and present artifacts and data graphically on-screen, including printing of 3D artifacts using digital fabrication technologies common to desktop manufacturing processes used in business and industry
  • ITIQ Remix Audio/Video: assemble multiple tracks of audio as well as capture digital video and edit the video content with iPad applications while learning about copyright and intellectual property issues

GlobalCitizenshipGlobal Citizenship
Intercultural workshops, basic language classes, field trips and film festivals – a different culture each week – students attend all activities scheduled in the theme-based week to earn a badge

  • Russian Language and Culture
  • Arabic Language and Muslim Cultures
  • Japanese Language and Culture

SocialSciences-SciencesIntellectual Inquiry in Social Sciences and in the Natural, Physical and Mathematical Sciences
These introductory level classes ask students to focus on exploring the many different parts of a good question, determine when additional information is needed and find information efficiently using a variety of reference sources as well as seeking multiple and complex answers to questions and issues related to social sciences and to the sciences.

  • Introduction to Business and Economics: short courses in leadership, business disciplines, and the global economy through the use of case studies and class discussions
  • Following our Food, Learning to Lead: develop leadership skills in settings related to the sciences associated with agriculture, food and environment and spend three afternoons on field trips to local sites such as Winchester Dairy, Ale-8-One, Food Chain and Seed Leaf
  • Problem-solving Utilizing the Tools of Science: biological questions are proposed and students use the tools of chemistry, physics, math and deduction/reasoning to reach solutions; group work will focus on the four systems of the human body using biological models and other scientific equipment

QuantitativeQuantitative Reasoning
Students learn how fundamental elements of mathematical, logical and statistical knowledge are applied to solve real-world problems

  • Overview of Engineering and Autonomous Systems: students are introduced to the engineering profession and the engineering design cycle; they work in teams to design, build, program and test an autonomous system (robot) using mathematics and servomechanisms.
  • Scratch Programming: an introduction to computational thinking, students learn a free and open-source multimedia authoring tool for creating interactive stories, games and animations using coding principles in design goals and solutions for fixing programming “bugs”

In addition to the above courses, students participated in the College Cafe, co-curricular programming in the residence hall. This important college/career readiness component to the curriculum took place in the evening or on the weekends to give students the opportunity to discuss the culture of college in a fun, relaxed setting. Activities and discussions led by Kelsey Carew (UK First Gen Initiatives), GUK Academy student development advisors and guest speakers focused on the everyday life of the college student, such as the importance of time management, multiculturalism on a college campus, and getting involved in the campus community. Casey Shaddix of the College of Health Sciences led a career day exploration session about the various degrees they offer and how important that preparations for a STEM major at UK start early. On the 4th of July, Damarias Moore, an instructor from the UK French department in partnership with the International Center, led a series of activities that helped students understand the connections between the French and American Revolutions before they went to participate in the festivals in downtown Lexington. Similar to UK undergraduates, Summer Academy@UK included a UK FUSION (UK For Unity and Service In Our Neighborhood) service event, a Common Reading Experience with book groups all discussing the same book, and Sustainability tours of the campus led by Shane Tedder and members of the Office of Sustainability. Students who had signed waivers from their parents/guardians were allowed to use the Aquatics Center (see the UKAquatics-WaiverofLiability-AssumptionofRiskIndemnity) and to borrow bicycles from Wildcat Wheels (see the Waiver-WildcatWheels-GUK2014).

Summer Academy@UK strove to prepare students academically and personally for college by introducing them to the UK Core general education program required of all graduates of UK. By the end of the Summer 2014 three-week residential experience, students were expected to be able to demonstrate:

  • increased college readiness by using written, oral and visual communication skills to produce and present original research-based projects;
  • an increase in the academic and professional skills necessary to succeed in college and the workforce such as practicing self-discipline, inclusivity, and civic engagement; and,
  • appropriate social behavior and self-awareness and be able to express confidence in their ability to succeed in college and navigate the complexities of campus life.

Students reflected on what they had been learning with a journal app on their mini-iPad, and some posted blog entries. Successful completers of the courses earned digital badges that were certified by UK instructors and archived for display through the Open Passport badge system. Students can see the badges they have earned and show them to their friends, teachers or employers by pointing to their Passport profile (as part of an online and mobile portfolio or published as a Mozilla Open Badges) or by sharing the badges on other platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn.

digital badgesSome basic numbers about the Summer Academy@UK:

  • Staff included 30 instructors, 14 teaching assistants, 7 student development advisors, 2 residence advisors, 4 GEAR UP Kentucky staff from CPE, 2 UGE staff
  • Of the 85 students assigned to the University of Kentucky by GEAR UP Kentucky, 72 students actually signed in at Blanding IV on Sunday, June 22nd
  • Of the 71 students who stayed the first night on campus, 18 were male
  • Of the 8 students who left before the last day of the Academy@UK:
    • 1 left on 23 June (here for 1 day)
    • 3 left on 24 June (here for 2 days)
    • 1 left on 25 June (here for 3 days)
    • 1 left on 30 June (here for 8 days)
    • 1 left on 1 July (here for 9 days)
  • 61 students (out of the 63 who persisted all three weeks) earned the right to keep their mini-iPads (i.e., successfully completed all their courses and earned the digital badges for the courses they took)
  • Summer Academy@UK students earned, on average, a little more than 9 digital badges each
  • Mallory Smith from Madison Central High School earned the most badges (11)
  • A total of 576 digital badges were awarded by the instructors of the GUK Summer Academy@UK 2014.
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