CQ Goals, Structures, Processes

CQ Goals:  Experience College Without Borders, an Adventure in Learning

CQ is designed to foster intellectual and literal border-crossings at the University of Akron…to work with faculty across campus interested in challenging our students to engage in learning as an exciting adventure in real world problem solving…to work with our entire community to encourage our students to experience college as a life-long quest without borders, an individual and shared journey to become a more globally aware, responsible, and productive democratic citizen.

CQ challenges us all to participate in a structured, co-curricular, and faculty-driven series of activities, ranging from lectures to study abroad, that are identified by the CQ Committee each year to enhance cross-disciplinary, internationally-focused, integrated and applied scholarly inquiry.

The Specific Goals of the Culture Quest are:

  • To encourage students to discover and explore meaningful connections between scholarly insights and real world problem solving through their sustained and active participation in selected lectures, exhibits, performances, and scientific talks;
  • To stimulate students to participate in events that will move them from more familiar communities to explore and experience intellectually challenging intersections with and within less familiar communities;
  • To transform campus culture by enhancing collaborations—among faculty, staff, students, and communities—that are concrete, cross-disciplinary, global and local.

How Will CQ Contribute to Improving Our Campus Culture?

As we work to create a climate for serious interdisciplinary and international intellectual engagement, CQ will, for instance, encourage a music major to improve her understanding of fracking through a Geology symposium, or field school experience.  Or a future teacher might deepen his appreciation for the challenges involved in teaching about race through Rethinking Race or experience more innovative approaches to teaching earth science from an inquiry-based presentation that is part of the STEMM Speaker Series

As we work to internationalize our campus and curriculum, CQ will, for instance, encourage a Biology student to learn about water pollution in China at a China Week presentation broadcast via DL from Beijing or explore connections between science and art at a Synapse exhibit or ballet at an EJ Thomas event.  

As we work to recognize diversity as a strength, CQ will encourage Muslim students from Saudi Arabia and Christian students from Uniontown, College Republicans and Democrats, volunteers from Habitat for Humanity, community elders and the AK Rowdies to all thoughtfully engage with each other as members of our campus community around the central scholarly questions driving the arts, sciences, and humanities today. 

CQ Committee Structures and Process: Overview

CQ is a set of co-curricular activities intentionally designed to foster intellectual and literal border-crossings, from art to science, local to global, Christian to Muslim, white to black and beyond.  Working with faculty across campus interested in challenging our students to engage in learning as an exciting adventure in real world problem solving, CQ is one tool to encourage us all to experience college as a life-long quest without borders, an individual and shared journey toward becoming a more globally aware, responsible, and productive democratic citizen.

Who is on the CQ Committee and what will they do?

The CQ Committee will be comprised of the UA faculty and staff who show up at the organizational meetings and will select two faculty co-chairs for that year’s CQ.  The faculty on the CQ committee will identify a set of campus activities for the coming academic year designed to broaden and deepen the educational experience of every UA student.  This committee will decide to either spotlight existing activities (e.g., Biomimicry, Rethinking Race), catalyze a new or existing activity (e.g., expanding or adding a forum or Face2Face to an existing activity), or invent a new initiative. The committee will ensure that activities in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities & Letters are included, with a priority for events that highlight interdisciplinary and international interconnections across these three areas of inquiry. 

The faculty co-chairs will operate like an executive committee after the full committee has made its recommendations.  In that capacity, while unable to change a decision the full committee made, the co-chairs can still recommend additions to CQ list of events to the Akron Experience director for approval.  In most cases this will mean acting on the full committee’s decision to put aside funds to be used for unanticipated Spring term events.  To change specific recommendations made by the full committee on which events to include as CQ events, the co-chairs must get the approval of the full committee.

What is the role of the President’s Office and Faculty in Defining Culture Quest?

CQ will be a resource to support thoughtful and timely campus programming—integrating academic and experiential learning—in collaboration with departments and colleges.  It will combine centralized committee formation and resources (President’s Office role) with a decentralized decision making process (faculty-driven CQ Committee role) that starts early enough each year to allow faculty to integrate relevant events into syllabi as meaningful assignments linked to concrete student learning outcomes.  CQ will allow academic unit leaders to better anticipate costs and opportunities—to more intentionally align or integrate additional disciplinary perspectives with the CQ initiative or with individual CQ events.  

What is CQ’s place in the UA structure?

CQ is one part of the Akron Experience and a sub-category of the Co-Curricular Transcript, institutionalized through the approval of the President’s Office.

CQ Structure and Process 

Each year President’s Office will form a new CQ committee with two faculty co-chairs selected by those who attend the first organizational meeting.  Decisions about every aspect of this program, from annual themes to what to include and how to allocate the CQ budget, will made by the CQ committee within the minimal guidelines outlined here. 

The CQ Committee is required to structure its deliberations such that selected events will manifestly speak to and engage with our arts, science, humanities & letters communities locally and globally, ideally engaging in ways that cut across these boundaries as seen in initiatives like Rethinking Race.  The first CQ Committee did this by establishing two faculty co-chairs for each section (arts, science, humanities & letters), but each committee is free to develop its own mechanism for ensuring broad and interdisciplinary intellectual engagement.  It is critically important that the CQ Committee work closely with the EJ director to ensure coordination with EJ and UArts initiatives on campus. 

Required Permanent Structural Components of Each CQ Committee:  While the committee is free to decide how to accomplish many of the objectives outlined here and in the CQ Goals Statement, there are basic structures of CQ that cannot be altered by any individual CQ Committee, and these are:

  1. Electing two faculty co-chairs is a permanent structure of CQ;  as is
  2. Identifying a number of Main Events that all must be attended for a student to complete the CQ for that semester and including ‘or a study abroad experience’ as an additional option for each semester; and
  3. Adhering to the timeline outlined below to maximize the possibility that events will be integrated into syllabi; and
  4. Manifestly prioritizing events that achieve the CQ Goals outlined on this web page and, in particular, those events that cut across the boundaries of art, science, and humanities to meaningfully highlight both global and local cultural connections.

The committee is expected to manifestly prioritize spotlighting, catalyzing or inventing co-curricular activities that cut across the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities AND that meaningfully highlight both local and global cultural connections.  The committee will identify at least four Main Events per term (at least one per term in partnership with EJ).  Any student who completes the main events, or a semester of study abroad, for the given term has completed that term’s CQ. 

Faculty might then choose to make completing that term’s CQ an assignment for a course and a list of that faculty members’ students who attend the CQ events will be made available to that faculty member.  The CQ landing page will also provide a list of Additional Recommended Events for each term, with illustrative assignments, suggestions on how the faculty member might verify attendance at recommended events, and other resources available to faculty who are encouraged to develop assignments that incorporate these events into their course syllabi as well.   

An Engaging Campus Culture of Exploration

As we work to create a climate for serious interdisciplinary intellectual engagement, CQ will, for instance, encourage a music major to improve her understanding of fracking through a Geology symposium, or field school experience.  Or a future teacher might deepen his appreciation for the challenges involved in teaching about race through Rethinking Race or experience more innovative approaches to teaching earth science from an inquiry-based presentation through the STEMM Speaker Series

As we work to internationalize our campus and curriculum, CQ will, for instance, encourage a Biology student to learn about water pollution in China at a China Week presentation broadcast via DL from Beijing or explore connections between science and art at a Synapse exhibit or ballet at an EJ Thomas event.  

Diverse groups such as Muslim students from Saudi Arabia and Christian students from Uniontown, College Republicans, volunteers from Habitat for Humanity, community elders and the AK Rowdies will all be encouraged to thoughtfully engage with other members of our community around the central scholarly questions driving the arts, sciences, and humanities today.  Using various tools, such as community-based research and service-learning, faculty will facilitate this engagement.

Template: Request for CQ Proposals

Completed Requests are Due to the CQ Committee by a date TBD by each CQ Committee

For Inclusion as a CQ Event

All Proposals Should: (maximum length 1 page for sections 1 and 2)

  1. Describe the event/activity
    1. Actual or anticipated venue, date, and time
    2. Brief summary for the website (max. 300 characters plus image)
    3. Amount requested from CQ as matching funds:
    4. Explain academic integration and how the activity aligns with the Specific Goals of the CQ
    5. Identify the organizer(s) (contact info)
    6. List actual or potential collaborators/partners (contact info) and total costs
    7. Target Audiences: List groups you hope to reach with this activity
    8. In what concrete ways will you support the CQ Program at your event?
    9. How will you assess and report on learning related to your event.

For Support as a CQ Event

Proposal Type: (1) Spotlight (Publicize) Existing Event; (2) Catalyze (Augment beyond simply publicizing) Existing Event; (3) Invent New Event

All Proposals Should: (maximum length 2 pages for sections 1-3)

  1. Explain specific support requested           
  2. Describe the event/activity
    1. Actual or anticipated venue, date, and time
    2. Brief summary for the website (max. 300 characters plus image)
    3. Amount requested from CQ as matching funds:
    4. Explain academic integration and how the activity aligns with the Specific Goals of the CQ
    5. Identify the organizer(s) (contact info)
    6. List actual or potential collaborators/partners (contact info) and total costs
    7. List actual or potential matching resources
    8. Target Audiences: List groups you hope to reach with this activity
    9. If funded, in what concrete ways will you support the CQ Program at your event?
    10. How will you assess and report on learning related to your event.

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