September 20th Provisions Session Summary: “How To Incorporate Mission Into Our Pedagogy”


** To access the audio recording of this session, click here! **

Our first Provisions session of the 2016-2017 year explored the theme of “How We Incorporate Mission into Our Pedagogy. Presenters shared experience and expertise with the various topics pertaining to the theme, in which sought to improve success for a diverse range of college students. An audience of approximately 25 faculty and staff members attended to hear presentations from Sean Peters, Director of Mission Experience, Angela Gordon, School of Business, and Jeff Marlett, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.

Sister Sean Peters, the Director of Mission Experience, kicked started the session by discussing a brief history about the College of Saint Rose. Sister Sean discussed how the college is essentially an organization that is about 360 years old, which began when it was founded by the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet. In 1650, the 6 sisters gathered in France and started a hospital (social services in those days). During this time, there were some wealthy people but the majority of people lived in poverty, experiencing illnesses like the plague. The sisters were concerned with the “needs of the times” and convened to discuss the resources they had and what they could do to respond to the needs of the community. During this time, lace was worn by all (men, women and children) so the sisters decided to teach young women how to make lace, thus making enemies of the wealthy. Following the French Revolution, religion was suppressed and the sisters were split up. In 1810, Mother Saint John sent the sisters to the United States, where they started a school for deaf children in Carondelet, Saint Louis. Sister Sean ended her presentation by reiterating  the theme that “we can do better together than we can do separately” which encompasses the values of the college of Saint Rose. “We have the resources to respond to the needs of the time, to educate the whole person, and we can always to things more effectively and efficiently together.”

Nest to present was Angela Gordon from the School of Business, on “Incorporating Mission into the First Year Experience.” Angela began by discussing the first assignment in the  ‘Business 101’ course, which requires the students to connect with the values of Saint Rose’s mission statement in a one-page essay. Angela then discussed a semester long assignment  in which students construct their own business plans using organizational awareness.  As part of the course, the students are taken on a field trip to downtown Albany (Pearl Street, State Street, Broadway), where they are instructed to “think of the population” and decide “what does this population need?” The students are then asked to create a developmental business plan that allows them to engage with urban environment. In doing this, the students will create a document proposing the set-up of a their businesses. The students will then be able to present their business ideas (on November 30th) to faculty and staff of the college, thus promoting involvement in and connection with the community.

Jeff Marlett, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, wrapped up the presentations by discussing his experiences with incorporating mission into teaching. Jeff discussed how he incorporates the values of the mission statement indirectly by teaching principles of catholic social justice-human dignity, common good, and solidarity (we are all part of the human family). Jeff emphasized the importance of solidarity and helping out others in need. In using the example of the flooding in Louisiana (“we are in solidarity with them”), Jeff described the overall principle of how local solutions work better first, and then larger services can be sought out when necessary. Jeff discussed how these principles then become the foundation for talking about the mission statement across disciplines. Jeff ended with emphasis on how it is important for educators and students to know the identity of Saint Rose, and why Saint Rose is different than other catholic campuses.

Following the brief presentations, the floor was opened up for discussion and questions from the audience. Here are a few points and observations that arose from the discussion:

  • The architecture that make a community are meaningless without understanding the core values
  • How to get students to consider how they fit at the college
    • Visit buildings to know what resources are available
  • Encourage students to understand the connection between mission/values and why they are attending Saint Rose
  • Research is important in deciding if you’re a good fit for a particular job/organization
  • How to foster an inclusive community

September 20th Session: “How We Incorporate Mission into Our Pedagogy”

“How We Incorporate Mission into Our Pedagogy”


“The College of Saint Rose community engages highly motivated undergraduate and graduate students in rigorous educational experiences. In the progressive tradition of the founding Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, we welcome men and women from all religious and cultural backgrounds. In addition to developing their intellectual capacities, students have the opportunity to cultivate their creative and spiritual gifts in a diverse learning community that fosters integrity, interdependence, and mutual respect. The College delivers distinctive and comprehensive liberal arts and professional programs that inspire our graduates to be productive adults, critical thinkers, and motivated, caring citizens. Our engagement with the urban environment expands the setting for educational opportunities and encourages the Saint Rose community’s energetic involvement and effective leadership in society.”

-The College of Saint Rose

The question remains… how do we incorporate mission into our pedagogy?

The article, “Supporting Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Learners in English Education,” explains various methods for creating a supportive learning environment for a diverse range of students. The article provides specific beliefs that contribute to creating  a supportive context for diverse students within the classroom. To create a supportive leaning environment, educators must be prepared to:

  1. Respect students of all races, cultures, and ethnicities, while continuing to  respect their own cultural beliefs and practices
  2. Find ways to incorporate each students’ “funds of knowledge”, otherwise known as student knowledge learned from their communities that can be connected to course content
  3. Learn about their students through formative assessment in order to modify their instruction to best fit all students within the classroom
  4. Empower students to learn through encouragement, opportunities for engagement in the curriculum, and providing meaningful activities
  5. Model ways of examining one’s own learning using self-regulatory skills, such as self-evaluation and self-monitoring
  6. Allow students to maintain their own languages while teaching various aspects of the English language
  7.  Advocate for equality and social justice for all students

InHow to Become and Remain a Transformational Teacher,” David Cutler describes several methods for improving teaching and student-teacher relationships through professional development. To remain an effective and transformational teacher, David suggests to:

  • Share effective practices with colleagues
  • Choose a successful colleague as a mentor
  • Observe fellow teachers’ instructional strategies
  • Find new routines to avoid burnout
  • Model the practicality and usefulness of what you are teaching
  • Demonstrate care for your students beyond the classroom

Please join us for our upcoming Tuesday, September 20th session on “ How We Incorporate Mission into Our Pedagogy.” Our esteemed presenters for the September 20th session include:

Angela Gordon-School of Business
Jeff Marlett-Philosophy and Religious Studies
Sean Peters-Director of Mission Experience

Provisions’ sessions are held from 12:00-1:15 in Standish A&B. All are welcome and no reservations are required. Free lunch and refreshments will be available! Hope to see you all there!! 🙂