Midwest Great Plains News

Midwest Great Plains Summer Regional Conference 2020

The MWGP summer conference will be virtual this year and held on July 14, July 21, and July 29, 2020.  For more information and to register please visit:  https://pulse-community.org/mwgp2020conf

Midwest Great Plains Sub-Regional News 2019-20

Upper Great Plains Workshop

Augustana University in Sioux Falls hosted a PULSE MWGP workshop for schools from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota on April 27, 2019.  Despite a late season snowstorm, we had fifteen participants from six different institutions in attendance.    

Iowa State Workshop

Forty-six people from seventeen Iowa institutions attended the first Iowa PULSE meeting on May 18, 2019.  The meeting was held on the Iowa State University campus.  The keynote speaker, Brian Couch, engaged the group in discussions of how to assess student understanding of core concepts in Biology.  Participants shared their experiences with PULSE and other resources, and then worked in groups to develop action plans to support student success in Iowa undergraduate Biology courses and curricula. 

Minneapolis Area Workshop

The University of Minnesota hosted a sub-regional meeting for institutions in eastern Minnesota and Western Wisconsin on May 21, 2019. Fifty seven faculty and post-docs from 16 institutions attended. Themes included curriculum alignment, assessment, and undergraduate research. A primary goal was to facilitate interactions between 2-year and 4-year institutions. Participants used the PULSE Snapshot Rubric to reflect on the status of their departments, and worked in groups to develop collaborative action plans to enhance their programs.

Kansas/Nebraska Workshop

On July 18, 2019, 39 participants from 12 institutions from the Kansas, Nebraska, and Western Missouri met at the Boy Scout’s Camp Cornhusker in Dubois, Nebraska.   Teams from these institutions worked on identifying key issues in our network and then forming groups to create action plans to move forward.  A key theme was partnerships between two and four-year institutions.  Example action plans that were created at this workshop included:

  • Regional training and opportunities to share-through organizing a network in both Nebraska and Kansas, to provide faculty development sharing techniques tools, resources with participants developing deliveries.
  • Increasing implementation of active learning-through internal discussion, bringing in an outside influencer, and hands on tutorial.
  • Development of a system that integrates longitudinal data and institutional demographic data in order to receive relevant assessment data from students and individuals.
  • Virtual journal club to create community and share ideas for implementation and accountability for reading literature.

Upcoming Sub Regional Workshops (Scheduling may be adjusted due to the COVID-19 Pandemic)

St. Louis Region

The STL sub-hub is in the process of planning for a one-day workshop.  Kathy Miller (WashU, emeritus), Michael Kelrick (Truman State, emeritus), Allison Albee (Lindenwood), Monica Hall-Woods (St. Charles Community College), and Elena Bray Speth (St. Louis University) are part of the planning team.  We’ll be posting more details soon!

In the Chicago Region 

The Chicago regional workshop is being planned for early 2021.