Thi Pham was not excited to attend IUPUI.
Though she lived on campus her first semester, she just went to classes and then returned to her room in her residence hall. She hardly knew anyone, and making connections proved difficult as she continued to search for engagement opportunities throughout campus.
"I knew I wasn't taking advantage of all that campus had to offer, and it was boring," Pham said. "I thought to myself -- I'm here and need to make it a good experience, so how can I do that."
Involvement found her the following spring, and Pham dove in headfirst. She applied to be a leader in the Asian Student Union at the suggestion of a friend, and now she's the president. She also applied for the Life-Health Sciences Internship program and the Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Institute, and she was accepted to both.
What Pham didn't realize was that she was participating in what IUPUI refers to as "engaged learning," which are student learning opportunities -- in or out of the classroom -- centered around high-impact practices.
And IUPUI was in the middle of creating a new opportunity for students like Pham to more easily connect with programs and not only feel like they are consistently learning new skills but also finding a sense of belonging on campus.
The Institute for Engaged Learning was born with the goal of connecting students with at least four engaged learning experiences by the time they graduate. First-Year Seminar kicks it off, and the student's capstone course culminates it -- so what are the other two opportunities?
Well, that's up to each student.
"Study abroad, undergraduate research, working on campus, service learning and internships are all engaged learning opportunities," said Jerry Daday, executive associate dean for the Institute for Engaged Learning at IUPUI. "Our goal is for students to participate in transformative experiences that shape them personally and prepare them professionally for what's next -- whether that's their career, graduate school or civic engagement work in their community."
The Institute for Engaged Learning directly provides six programs and centers:
- First-Year Experience.
- Gateway Learning Academy.
- ePortfolio Initiative.
- Center for Service and Learning.
- Center for Research and Learning.
Beyond that, the institute is responsible for connecting students to those other opportunities and helping them find, apply for and participate in engaged learning wherever it is on campus.
"We are the one-stop shop for students to learn about all the opportunities we have on campus," Daday said. "If you want to get connected to some of these programs or are curious where to go, visit us, and we'll connect you."
Pham has already participated in four opportunities offered by the Institute for Engaged Learning, and she is only a junior.
"I've learned how to critically think for myself, learned how to communicate in a professional work setting, increased my awareness of global issues, improved my written communication and learned how to effectively work with a team," Pham said. "Engaged learning is learning beyond the content, applying it and reflecting back on it."
Pham noted she has learned and grown a lot more by participating in these programs and leadership opportunities, and it has greatly enhanced her IUPUI experience.
Students can connect with the Institute for Engaged Learning to learn about and get involved with the hundreds of opportunities available across campus. You can find it in Hine Hall 241, or you can contact the institute online to set up a meeting.
Description of the following video:
[Words appear in upper-left corner: IUPUI presents]
[Video: An animated video begins with movable graphics. A university is depicted by a campus building. A cityscape can be seen behind the building. There are trees around and next to the building, and students in front of it, standing around and sitting on the steps and under a tree. The background of the screen is teal. Text first appears above the campus building, and then later below it.]
[Words appear above the building: The mission of the]
[Words appear below the building: Institute for Engaged Learning]
Jerry Daday, the executive associate dean for the Institute for Engaged Learning, speaks in voiceover: The mission of the Institute for Engaged Learning is to ensure that there is equitable access to engaged learning experiences for IUPUI undergraduate students.
[Video: The scene is divided. The left side of the video displays a blue background with a graphic on it. The graphic is a hand holding a blue-and-white globe. Each continent can be seen on the globe, with yellow lines connecting them from a center point. The right side of the video displays a green background with white text appearing on it.]
[Words appear: is to ensure access to engaged learning experiences at IUPUI.]
[Video: Three photographs appear, one at a time. The first is a picture of IUPUI students sorting canned goods and nonperishable items. The students are wearing hairnets. The second picture is of an IUPUI student who is painting something on a table. She is wearing a hijab and is holding a paintbrush and a cup of paint. The third is a picture of an IUPUI student talking to a group of friends. He is smiling and holding the straps of his backpack.]
[Video: A dark green background appears. A white, animated brain appears on the right side of the screen. The brain slowly fills with an orange color. The numbers 1 through 4 can later be seen consecutively in the center of the brain in white text; the numbers stop at 4. Text appears, first above the brain, and then later below it.]
Daday speaks in voiceover: What that really means is, we want all undergraduate students at IUPUI to have access to four engaged learning experiences, four high-impact practices, before they graduate, about one per year.
[Words appear above the brain: IEL gives students access to]
[Words appear below the brain: engaged learning experiences.]
[Video: Two photographs appear, one at a time. The first is a picture of IUPUI students participating in a Habit for Humanity build. Several students are helping lift the frame of the house. The second is a picture of an IUPUI student sorting tomatoes. She is wearing a yellow safety vest.]
[Video: An orange background appears. In the center-right of the screen appears a cartoon student. The female student can be seen from the chest up; she is wearing a graduation cap. To the left of the graphic is white text.]
[Words appear: 1 per year]
[Video: The scene is divided. The left side of the video displays a photograph of two female IUPUI students talking. One can be seen from the front, and one can be seen from the back. The right side of the video displays a green background with white text appearing on it.]
[Words appear: Every first-year participates in First-Year Experience.]
Daday speaks in voiceover: Every first-year student participates in our First-Year Experience or our first-year seminar. There's study abroad opportunities; there's undergraduate research; there are internship opportunities; there are service learning and civic engagement opportunities for our students, as well as capstone experiences in the schools.
[Video: A photograph appears. The picture is of five students standing on the Great Wall of China. After a few seconds, a red rectangle with rounded corners, which looks like a horizontal capsule, appears in the top-right corner. White text later appears in the center of it.]
[Words appear: Study abroad opportunities]
[Video: A photograph appears. The picture is of a male IUPUI student repairing the internal pieces of a computer. After a few seconds, a red rounded rectangle appears in the bottom-left corner. White text later appears in the center of it.]
[Words appear: Undergraduate research]
[Video: A photograph appears. The picture is of a male IUPUI student shaking hands with a female individual at a career fair on IUPUI's campus. After a few seconds, a red rounded rectangle appears in the bottom-right corner. White text later appears in the center of it.]
[Words appear: Internship opportunities]
[Video: A photograph appears. The picture is of a female IUPUI student using a screwdriver on a construction project. The weather is cold, as she is wearing a heavy puffer coat and an ear cover. After a few seconds, a red rounded rectangle appears in the top-right corner. White text later appears in the center of it.]
[Words appear: Service learning]
[Video: A photograph appears. The picture is of a female IUPUI student sitting at a table, working on her homework. Other students are chatting in the background or working at other tables. She is holding a pen, and a notebook is in front of her. After a few seconds, a red rounded rectangle appears in the top-left corner. White text later appears in the center of it.]
[Words appear: Capstone experiences]
[Video: Two photographs appear, one at a time. The first is a picture of an IUPUI student raking leaves in downtown Indianapolis. Old National Centre and the Athenaeum can be seen behind him. The second is a picture of an IUPUI student cleaning a bridge near campus. She is using a paint roller to scrub the sidewalks.]
[Video: A dark gray background appears. Scattered throughout the background are small white dots that are blinking. In the bottom-center of the screen is an animated lightbulb. It grows to a bright yellow after it appears. Above the lightbulb is white text.]
[Words appear: Help bring opportunities together.]
[Video: Three photographs appear, one at a time. The first is of an IUPUI student petting a cat at an animal shelter. The second is of an IUPUI student participating in a Habit for Humanity build. He is using a nail gun on the outside of the house. The third is of a group of 11 IUPUI students participating in the annual Day of Caring event. Some are holding rakes and other gardening tools. They are smiling and posing for the camera]
Daday speaks in voiceover: So engaged learning is already pervasive on our campus, and what the institute's role is, is to help bring those opportunities together in a way where they make sense to students -- so that students know these opportunities exist, they can identify them, apply for them, and see the connections that exist between them.
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[IU trident appears on a red tab]
[Words appear below trident: IUPUI]
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