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Lately, Arcadia has kickstarted several initiatives to improve life on campus. One such initiative is the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Mentoring (CTLM), directed by Ellen Skilton.
Created in 2020, the CTLM connects students and faculty to improve the educational experience. I spoke to student fellow Ryan Hiemenz, who has worked with CTLM since the beginning, who explained that the Center’s goal “is to have a community in which everyone helps everyone, and we get the best learning experience out of it.” To do this, CTLM has launched several projects that help faculty gain a better understanding of students' points of view.
One of their biggest projects is the LOVE Pilot Program, which I served on for a year. My job was to facilitate weekly discussions on race and discrimination and help faculty better understand the injustices occurring on campus. The LOVE Pilot launches projects based on race to raise awareness in the Arcadia community.
The CTLM also heads Professional Learning Communities, which, Ryan explains, “is a meeting where faculty members come together to talk about how they teach. They share what worked and what things didn’t, so that other professors could adopt new strategies or know what to avoid.” These groups provide a collaborative environment for students and faculty to learn from each other and apply feedback to their teaching practices in the future.
As a college student, I often feel like faculty don’t really understand the student experience and could benefit from hearing directly from students. It’s so important to realize that both faculty and students are learning all the time, and we all have the capacity to learn from one another if the framework is set up to accommodate open and effective communication.