I just wrapped up teaching a brand new course in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at UW-Madison titled, "Cultural and critical approaches to college student employability," and it was one of the best and most unpredictable learning experiences of my life. While the overall structure of the syllabus that I'd lovingly crafted remained mostly intact over the 28 weeks of the course, some critical pieces - such as daily activities, readings, and especially the final project - were jettisoned in favor of an unanticipated set of issues, questions, and insights that the students brought to the classroom.
Aerial view of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus
Ceding authority and control in a small, experimental course
It was an exercise in my relinquishing, over time, the power and control that many educators feel is essential in the classroom, where the instructor is the ultimate and final arbiter of knowledge, the primary authority who controls the content and form of classroo...
Last week on Friday September 28th our Center held the 1st Annual Symposium on College Internship Research at UW-Madison. It was a great success, with over 100 researchers, students, career services professionals, employers, and policymakers in the room. We're still wading through the evaluations and hearing back from attendees, but here are 3 quick thoughts about the proceedings and what they mean for the multi-disciplinary community of people engaged in the world of internships.
A group of UW-Madison and Madison College students talk about their internship experiences
1. Empirical research on internships is growing across the disciplines
The day started off with 20-minute presentations by a handful of fantastic scholars who represent the fields and arenas of sociology, program evaluation, economics, and management. We had sociologist Carrie Shandra discuss preliminary results of a mixed methods study of internships in New York, program evaluator Liz Zachry Rutschow report findin...