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Amy Lebo
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Emailalebo@bw.edu

Institution: Baldwin Wallace University

Location: Berea, OH

Phone:440-826-2266

Institution Type: Four-Year, Private, comprehensive university (3,000 undergraduate enrollment)

Program Type: Institution-wide, 4-year program involving general education as well as research opportunities and requirements in
the major. We are currently also developing an Honors in the Major program that would be administrated through the
Honors Program.

Program Enrollment: 289

Present Position: Honors Program Director and Associate Professor of Philosophy

Previous Honors Positions: Honors faculty at BW (we don't actually designate Honors faculty as a title, but I taught regularly for the honors program)

NCHC Member Since: 2013 


Program Reviews and Consultation:


NCHC Activities Related to Honors Program/College Assessment & Evaluation:

At the national NCHC conferences, I have made a point over the years to seek out sessions on assessment in honors and as soon as I learned about NCHC program reviewers at my first national conference I determined to apply for a grant and bring in a reviewer. That is precisely what happened, and I have been immensely grateful for the opportunity to work with that consultant (John Woell) in the early years of getting established as the program director at BW. In preparation for the visit, I read NCHC monographs on assessment and evaluation and prepared an extensive self-study based on those documents. Following the visit, John and I lead a round-table discussion at the Chicago NCHC discussing our experience with the visit and how I have been able to accomplish goals derived from the report. 


Activities in other areas or organizations related to assessment or site visits, workshops, etc.:

I have been involved in assessment work and assessment conferences both related to my role in Honors and for the larger university. I have presented at assessment and e-portfolio conferences and written for the Taskstream (our electronic assessment/portfolio platform) blog about combining curricular and co-curricular assessment in honors. Additionally, I was chosen to represent the university at a Teagle Workshop on Institutional Assessment at Wabash University's Center for Inquiry into the Liberal Arts in 2015. Our team was tasked with developing a new protocol for assessment of our university general education program.

I have also spent the past three years working on our university Higher Learning Commission reaccreditation team. I was the lead writer for the third criterion of our reaffirmation report, which dealt with the broad environment of teaching and learning including student support services and co-curricular opportunities. BW has just had our site visit with the team from HLC, during which there was a central focus on this criterion and I had several opportunities to engage with the site visitors.


Self-Identified Areas of Special Interest and Experience

  • Alignment of mission, learning outcomes, and assessment
  • Recruitment of students
  • Incorporation of co-curricular experiences into honors requirements or opportunities
  • Summer programs for high school students

    Other activities relevant to those seeking honors program/college site visitors: 

    A few years into directing the BW program, I was approached by the program director and Assistant Provost at Arcadia University who asked if I would be willing to do a program review for them. The experience was great and certainly left me with the sense that I would like to continue to contribute to the honors community in this way.

  • The Role of an NCHC-Qualified Site Visitor
    The primary roles of an NCHC program reviewer are twofold—offer concrete help and advice to programs and colleges about how to move forward and advocate for that movement on behalf of the program or college on campus.  Having had an NCHC consultation in my second year of directing the program at Baldwin Wallace University, having acted as a program reviewer independently of NCHC for Arcadia University, and having now attended the NCHC site visitor training has all reinforced and clarified the meaning and value of these two roles.

    Site visits are an important way that honors programs and colleges clarify a vision for their future directions.  In some instances, a program or college might be seeking small suggestions for refining the successful things they are already doing.  At other times, a program or college might be looking to make major changes like substantial alterations in size, facilities, or mission.  Either way, site visitors provide advice and suggestions based on the realities on the ground for that institution, the desired outcomes, and the best practices advocated for by NCHC.  Site visitors should be able to offer more than one way of accomplishing new goals or addressing the challenges faced by the institutions they visit, suggestions and ideas informed by direct experience as well as being well-read in the honors literature.  They should encourage and help establish or sharpen basic practices like good record-keeping and assessment, clarity in mission and learning outcomes, and the creation of uniquely valuable learning environments.  All honors programs and colleges should be working towards or accomplishing these outcomes, though they will do so differently according to their unique environment and goals.

    When I had NCHC program reviewer John Woell visit BW in my second year of directing the program, I was indeed looking for some advice and direction, but even more importantly at the time I was looking for an outside voice to come and act as an advocate for the program on campus.  John brought some fresh ideas to the table—things I was not even considering changing but which had a major impact on my agenda moving forward—but he also heard my needs about staffing and facilities and my interest in international service and he spent the two days he was on campus championing those issues to the administration.  Bringing John to the table as an “outside expert” gave those issues more weight than I was able to produce as a new director and a voice like so many others on campus asking for more support.  Many of the recommendations John made were able to be achieved in the ensuing years in part because they appeared in an official report from an external consultant.

    Ultimately, a site visitor is a representative of NCHC and is on campus to strengthen and promote honors education.  Site visitors should be strong believers in the benefits of honors education, not only for those students identified as honors but for whole campuses which can be invigorated by a robust honors program or college that promotes innovation in education, strengthens recruitment and retention of students, and engages faculty in rewarding pedagogical experiences. 
     
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    5/21/2018 » 5/27/2018
    Partners in the Parks: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

    5/31/2018 » 6/5/2018
    Faculty Institute: Yellowstone Border Towns

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