Registration open for virtual Student Engagement Summit workshop for educators

The first session of ‘Reimagining Penn State Engagement in Times of Change’ will be held on May 12.

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The 2021 Student Engagement Summit will feature a three-part virtual workshop to generate conversations among Penn State educators about student engagement. Sessions are scheduled for May 12, 26 and June 9.

Penn State educators and professionals — including faculty, staff and graduate students — can register now for the 2021 Student Engagement Summit by visiting sensummit.psu.edu. Registration will be limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline to register is April 2. After registration, attendees will be asked to complete prework for the first session, which will be available in canvas.

Hosted by the Student Engagement Network (SEN), the summit will be a chance for the Penn State community to learn and discuss the nature of student engagement in an era of global pandemic, social unrest, economic downturn and environmental crisis.

Tom Hogan, professor of practice in human resource management in the School of Labor and Employment Relations, is a faculty scholar in the SEN Engagement Academy and a summit presenter. He said the conversations among the planning team were influenced specifically by events in 2020 and 2021, such as the racial equity and social justice movements, the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol Building and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These events shaped the lens we used to examine student engagement and engaged scholarship, and they contributed to the development of our theme for the Summit,” Hogan said.

Hogan, who was the keynote speaker at the 2019 Engagement Summit, said student engagement is a prerequisite for student learning, growth and development. “The summit will share perspectives, approaches and practices for promoting curiosity, openness and a beginner’s mindset among students.”

The first session, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on May 12, will give participants the chance to learn about the 10 student engagement types, as defined by SEN, and identify which types of engagement opportunities they provide or support. Participants will also receive help analyzing their own student engagement landscape for “anchors and sails” to recognize opportunities and barriers to student engagement at the University.

In session two, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on May 26, participants will have the opportunity to develop competencies for reflective practice regarding personal, social and institutional positionality concerning engagement activities; identify opportunities, successes and challenges that arise during societal crises for cultivating open mindsets and transforming perspectives; and articulate how engagement priorities and objectives might have changed or become clarified after 2020.

The third session, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on June 9, will explore three potential alternative future scenarios for higher education. Participants will identify and discuss the potential impacts — promises and perils — of key technologies that will impact higher education and the classroom of the future, focusing on student engagement and engaged scholarship. The session will also present an innovative approach to promoting a more civil and just society in a prototype classroom of the future.

“Ultimately, the goal is to promote personal and professional growth and the development of responsible members of society and global citizens,” Hogan said.

The Student Engagement Network is a joint initiative between Undergraduate EducationStudent Affairs and Outreach and Online Education. The mission of the Student Engagement Network is to advance the power of participation by connecting students with experiences that empower them to make a positive impact as citizens and leaders of the world.

March 10, 2021