A unique opportunity exists within Michigan State University for undergraduates to be valued members of a community of student and faculty scholars dedicated to lifelong learning. With the motto, "college is a journey, not a guided tour," the Bailey Scholars Program encourages students to take charge of their learning, with plenty of assistance and resources available. The program offers students a chance to tailor their education or degree toward particular interests. Bailey provides a comfortable environment to learn however is appropriate for the topic, creating a space where scholars become interdependent and gain a sense of community. Many of the core classes involve field trips, guest speakers, projects and discussions developed by the students. Along with the actual learning experiences, the student scholars with a class determine assessment and evaluation. Classes are generally small, bringing students and conveners together at a round table. In the first of three core classes, there is a chance for student conveners to facilitate in the course. The role of a student convener is similar to that of faculty conveners. Student conveners experience the ideal practice of peer leadership; the confidence gained from being a valued member of the convener community can encourage student scholars to take the lead and initiate ideas and conversation without dominating class dynamics.
Bodner, Lindsay R.; Daniels, Megan E.; Kucher, Kile R.; Harper, Patricia A.; Dann, Shari L.; Kieren, Deidre F.; and Robinson, Carole F.
"Trading places: Learning from the student perspective,"
Natural Resources and Environmental Issues: Vol. 12
, Article 12.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nrei/vol12/iss1/12