Responding to a Changing Student Body

As much as our students differ from us, they also differ from each other. These differences are not always visible. As the population of traditionally aged students continues to decline, we are going to see greater variations among our students in terms of age, background, prior experiences and a host of other factors. How are faculty responding? The opening remarks and concurrent sessions will provide context as well as practical strategies to engage a wide range of students.

Please join us for this important conversation and to reconnect with your colleagues around teaching and learning.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Eberhard Conference Center

8:30 - 9:00am     
Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 10:45am     
Opening Session
Provost Gayle Davis
Jay Cooper, College of Education
Kathleen Bailey, School of Criminal Justice
Christine Yalda, School of Criminal Justice
"Good Enough" Teaching in Changing Times
Teaching excellence at GVSU requires effective teaching that facilitates student learning in part by “challenging and engaging students, by supporting their academic and professional growth, and by establishing and maintaining high academic standards” (Administrative Handbook, Section 2.9.1.A). Faculty development efforts have embraced these liberal education ideals in many ways, including offering faculty tools to improve content delivery, develop student critical thinking skills, and create effective learning environments. The growing diversity of our student body, coupled with the rising popular/political demand for relevant (read: practical) education, invites us to continue to investigate new pedagogical approaches. This presentation draws on the work of British psychologist D.W. Winnicott to introduce GVSU faculty to the idea of “good enough” teaching. Together we will explore how faculty might use this relational approach to facilitate students’ abilities to succeed in increasingly fluid social and employment settings, thus providing lasting benefits beyond the classroom.

11:00 - 12:00pm     
Concurrent Sessions I (Session Descriptions (PDF))

12:00 - 1:00pm      
Lunch and Student Panel
1:15 - 2:15pm      
Concurrent Sessions II (Session Descriptions (PDF))


The Conference Program is now available.

A ScholarWorks site is in the process of being created for ease of access to supporting materials. Throughout the coming academic year, look for additional opportunities to engage with this topic. In addition, resources and citations will be added to the conference website for your reference.  



(1) Knocking at the College Door: Projections of High School Graduates by State and Race/Ethnicity, 1992-2022, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, March 2008.
(2) Complete to Compete: Michigan Higher Education Data Dashboard, National Governors Association Center for Best Practices.
(3) Closing the College Participation Gap: Michigan State Profile, Education Commission of the States, 2003.
(4) Michigan's Forgotten Middle-Skill Jobs: Meeting the Demands of a 21st Century Economy, The Workforce Alliance, October 2009.

(5) The Future Workforce of Michigan, ACT, 2008.

(6) The College of 2020: Students, Chronicle Research Services, June 2009.

(7) Research on Adult Learners: Supporting the Needs of a Student Population that Is No Longer Nontraditional, J. M. Ross-Gordon, Peer Review, Winter 2011, Vol. 13, No. 1.

(8) Changing Students, Faculty, and Institutions in the Twenty-First Century, L. Hainline, et al. Peer Review, Summer 2010, Vol. 12, No. 3.

(9) A Vision of Students Today, a YouTube video created at Kansas State University


Page last modified June 29, 2012