During the week of June 20th, Guttman Community College hosted its FYE Summer Institute, an immersive professional development series for faculty and staff aligned with the college’s First Year Experience (FYE). Titled “Experiential Learning, Learning Through Experience,” the 2022 Summer Institute centered on assessment of and critical reflection about the current first-year model and its practices, with an eye toward revitalization, revision, and reifying the program’s deeply rooted stance in best practices like learning communities, culturally responsive pedagogy, and experiential learning—all with an eye toward diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in the classroom and beyond.
In addition to workshops led by Guttman experts, the FYE community met with several notable guests. Alexandra Hamlett led the group in work geared toward “Using Experiential Learning to Deepen Information Literacy.” As a Guttman information literacy librarian and in her published research, Alexandra Hamlett helps students learn essential research skills, skills that include finding, evaluating, and using multiple information types in order for students to be able to access credible information for their academic and personal information needs.
Gabrielle Kahn gave instruction on “Language Learners in Learning Communities: Lessons Learned from The Field.” Gabrielle Kahn, Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Kingsborough Community College and coordinator of the Intensive ESL Learning Community Program, has taught ESL students at all levels, and has led a Faculty Interest Group at the Kingsborough Center for Teaching and Learning, Strategies for Success with ESL Students Across the Curriculum.
Finally, Matthew Pfifer laid out the plan for “Expanding Experiential Learning with Community Partners: Discussion with Henry Street Settlement. Phifer serves as Henry Street Settlement’s Vice President for Education & Employment Services, where he has worked as the coordinator for the Summer Youth Employment Program, Director of Adolescent Education Services, and currently oversees Henry Street’s adolescent, early childhood and after-school elementary educational services, which provide results-driven academic enrichment programming to more than 2000 youth annually.
Guttman’s FYE Summer Institute was invigorating and forward-thinking, and the college ended the year with big plans for academic year 22-23 and beyond.