2nd National Bridging Conference

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 4:00am to Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 10:00am
Bridging Institutional Divides: Practical Applications for Strengthening Campus Cultures for Learning, Civic Engagement and Psychosocial Well-being
Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) encourages colleges and universities to reassert their core purposes as educational institutions, not only to advance learning and discovery, but to advance the potential and well-being of each individual student, and to advance higher education as a public good that sustains a civic society.
Over the past decade, extending support to hundreds of institutions, BTtoP has noticed patterns of campus divide and dissonance that restrain the full expression of those core purposes. These patterns include: academic and student affairs cultural silos; the increasing space between institutional mission and actual practice; acceptance of a compartmentalized and non-integrated view of the student; and an inhibition toward change.
The conference’s bridging themes addressed these patterns, as well as practical strategies for maximizing campus resources to more directly connect mission to action and attend to strengthening campus cultures for learning, civic development and psychosocial well-being of students.
Campus teams of 3-5 (composed of faculty, student affairs professionals, administrators, students, community partners, and others) were encouraged to attend. The conference provided an opportunity for discussions between campus team representatives, as well as for engaging with colleagues from diverse institutional types to learn from their experiences.
Campus teams helped to shape the discussion by responding to framing questions before panelists, presenters and others do so. Panelists and presenters were from those BTtoP campuses that had “traversed the themed bridges” as well as from those who brought fresh perspectives to the architecture needed for any bridge to be successful and sustainable.
Bridging Themes
Framing questions characterize the bridging themes. Presentations, panels and participant suggestions informed the discussions for each session.
A.     Bridging Campus Cultures
How can we bridge academic and student affairs structure and culture to create a single, more cohesive educational experience for students?
B.     Bridging Islands of Innovation
How can we balance the full dimensions of an institutional mission with practice?
C.    Bridging Epistemic and Eudemonic Development of Students
How can we more intentionally integrate the higher educational experience so that all of our students can flourish?
D.    Bridging Higher Education to the Future
How can we create bridges that help us to navigate the changes (bothpredictable and unpredictable) to higher education currently and in the future?