Two FHSU professors present at conference
02/28/2008

Two faculty members from the Department of Political Science at Fort Hays State University recently presented at the American Political Science Association Teaching and Learning Conference in San Jose, Calif.

Dr. Shala Mills, chair of the department, and Dr. Bryan Bennett, an assistant professor, presented "y cant they rite?" on results from the Year of the Department reevaluation that was conducted last year.

"This is really a conference that focuses on how we can be better teachers, how we can better promote learning on our campuses," Mills said.

The presentation covered a key area of Year of the Department -- how undergraduate writing is lacking -- and how the department changed its curriculum to be more writing intensive. Through five courses graded to a common standard, political science students at FHSU are able to gain writing experience and review their progress.

"We're hoping that will really help students understand how writing is going to be important to them, not just while they're here as students, but as they go on out into their professions and on to graduate school," Mills said. "What good does it do to know your discipline if you can't communicate it to others?"

The conference is organized in a working-group model where participants from political science departments attend one themed track throughout the conference. Mills and Bennett presented at the program assessment track.

"It's really a valuable conference even if you don't present, because you get to participate in the discussion and share your own experiences," Mills said.


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