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May 2017 Academic Affairs, C2

C2, Exemplify Experiential Learning as Core to Stetson University:

The 2016 Stetson Showcase included 182 presentations by more than 300 students representing poster and oral presentations, musical performances and creative art expressions from CAS, SOM and SOBA. The event culminated with a community-wide reception and awards banquet. A faculty group has been meeting over the course of the academic year to evaluate how experiences by students are laddered to provide the best outcomes of the student capstone requirement.

WORLD: The David and Leighan Rinker Center for International Learning awarded 26 student scholarships to study abroad during spring/summer 2017; assisted the development of faculty-led study abroad programs to Serbia, Scotland and Spain; and helped faculty participate in international faculty development seminars in France and England. WORLD hosted an Immigration Forum and Clinic at the DeLand campus on April 1, 2017, featuring immigration attorney Arturo Rios of Rios Immigration Law Firm, alumnus and adjunct professor at Stetson College of Law.

Recent experiential learning initiatives in our schools and colleges include the items below.

  • As an outcome of last week’s Flash Forum on water testing at Stetson, we are partnering with the City of DeLand in an experiential learning project. A group of our students have volunteered to be trained to collect water samples and to be involved in analysis of samples at the city’s Public Services laboratory facilities. They will be trained by Keith D. Riger, P.E., City of DeLand Public Services director and Alex Konoval, deputy director of Environmental Compliance for the city.
  • We have established a partnership with the Good Samaritan Clinic in DeLand where counselor education students involved in their practicum see clients free of charge under the supervision of a faculty member.
  • Pamela Cappas-Toro’s SPAN 313 incorporates experiential learning through La Casita Cultural Latina, where students will complete 35 hours of service learning through different community sites while learning about diverse social issues and concerns of Latinos in the United States. Topics explored include: education, bilingualism, health issues, the distinct causes of Latino migration, the persistence of poverty, hardships caused by citizenship status, policing, incarceration, and racial and generational differences within and between Latina/o communities.
  • Our students from the M.E. Rinker Institute of Tax and Accountancy in the School of Business provide voluntary income tax assistance each year for low- to moderate-income families in our community. Bonnie Holloway, of the School of Business Administration faculty leads a team of students to provide this program and receives assistance from local Stetson accounting alumni including George Shierling who operates a CPA firm in DeLand.
  • The College of Law created a new medical-legal partnership, working with the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, Bay Area Legal Services, and Gulfcoast Legal Services to provide veterans with access to free services. This medical-legal partnership is the 13th in the United States and the first to involve a law school. Working with legal aid providers, Stetson students will be housed at the Bay Pines Medical Center to provide legal assistance to veterans in non-criminal cases.
  • Ten students at the College of Law participated in a class designed to assist the 2014 Clemency Project, an initiative to review the sentences of federal prisoners who were given lengthy sentences for non-violent offenses. The criteria for clemency included prisoners who had served 10 years or more in prison, were convicted of non-violent crimes, and if sentenced today, their sentences would be substantially lower. One of the 1,300 clemency grants out of a total of 16,000 petitions was prepared by Stetson Law students in the class with Professor Ellen Podgor and working closely with Donna Elm, the lead federal public defender for the Middle District of Florida. In addition to a grant of clemency as part of the class, President Obama also granted clemency in a petition by a Stetson student who participated in the project after the class ended. Stetson alumni had petitions granted by President Obama in more than 50 cases.
  • Stetson Symphonic Band travelled to Tampa where it was featured at the annual Florida Music Educators Association (FMEA) in January and at The Peabody Auditorium in Daytona Beach in March where they performed a concert of the music of John Phillip Sousa.
  • During the March spring break, the Stetson Concert Choir flew to Minneapolis to perform as a juried, invited ensemble at the annual national meeting of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). Selected from over 100 submissions from choirs throughout the nation, the Concert Choir gave four performances at the conference to wide acclaim.
  • The School of Music is again sponsoring a faculty led trip to Germany and the United Kingdom for 16 students and Tim Peter in an experiential learning class on the Sacred Works of J. S. Bach and G. F. Handel. All students are supported in their travel by the Apgar Foundation and their funds for the study of sacred music for students at Stetson.
  • More than 50 voice students at the School of Music traveled to Atlanta for the regional NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) competition and Stetson’s students had a very impressive showing with three of Stetson’s 10 finalists taking a First Place in their category.
  • There has been significant progress on the Certified Legal Intern program that allows law students to appear in court under the supervision of a licensed practitioner. The Young Lawyers Division of the Florida Bar passed a proposal based on the COL outline of a streamlined process that has been subsequently endorsed by the Florida Bar and is now before the Florida Supreme Court for action. The matter continues to be pending as of April 2017.
  • The COL continues to expand experiential learning with over 30 clinics and externship programs with 60 hosting organizations and more than 400 slots available each year to assist students in transitioning from classroom learning to the practice of law. Currently, there is a clinic or externship opportunity available for every eligible student.
  • The College of Law submitted a grant application to become an Equal Justice Works (EJW) site to provide salary funding for an EJW Fellow for two years. We did not receive the grant.