2007 TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award Winner : University of Wyoming 

January 2007

Synergy Program

The University of Wyoming was selected as the 2007 Hesburgh winner in recognition of its Synergy Program, which offers structured first-year support for underprivileged and under-prepared students. The following four independent judges, all with distinguished backgrounds in higher education, reviewed this year’s entries and selected the Synergy Program as the winner: G. Edward Haring, President, Kellogg Community College; Margaret Miller (Chair), Professor, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia; Mary Deane Sorcinelli, Associate Provost, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and Gordon Watts, Executive Vice President, National Park Community College.
First implemented in 2001, the Synergy Program is a first-year, classroom-based program for provisionally admitted students (those with low ACT or high school GPA scores) designed to help them build relationships with peers and faculty, and succeed in their coursework. According to the University of Wyoming and national statistics, provisionally admitted students are at significantly greater risk for academic failure or departure than other students. Synergy instructors work collaboratively throughout the year to integrate thematic, text and assignment-based connections among writing, research and reading, public speaking and government courses. In addition to learning democratic and community-based pedagogical approaches, instructors learn strategies for meaningfully integrating speaking, writing, reading and citizenship literacies.

For additional information, contact:

April Heaney
Synergy Program Director
University of Wyoming
Department 3353
Hoyt Hall Room 201
1000 E. University Avenue
Laramie, WY 82071
1 307 745-8672

2007 TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Certificate of Excellence Recipient
Columbia College of South Carolina

In 1999, Columbia College launched a redesigned core curriculum based on several years’ analysis of its goals for liberal learning. At the center are two required interdisciplinary courses, Liberal Arts 101 and 102, designed to help students make connections across disciplines and to improve skills in critical thinking, writing and speaking. This reform has engaged almost half of the faculty in comprehensive, rigorous faculty development events. Workshops, training sessions for teaching the courses, and weekly faculty meetings have begun radically to alter the philosophy and caliber and teaching and learning at Columbia College. Stressing the constant goals of collaboration, interdisciplinarity, and the fundamental value of the liberal arts, faculty development efforts have helped reorient faculty to concentrating on deepening students’ learning and figuring out ways of encouraging students to become self-motivated critical thinkers and active learners.

For additional information, contact:

Dr. Vivia Fowler
Director, Center for Engaged Learning
Columbia College
1301 Columbia College Drive
Columbia, SC 29203
1 803 786-3776

Read the complete brochure for more information about the winning programs.

© 2014 and prior years, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF), New York, NY 10017