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College Explores New Pre-First Year Study Abroad Seminar in Quebec
08.28.13 |
Dr. Tacelosky in Quebec
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Students entering LVC in the fall of 2014 may benefit from a current project supported by a President’s Innovation Fund grant. One of the goals of the fund is to “develop new courses and program ideas.” Dr. Kathleen Tacelosky, chair of languages and associate professor of Spanish, jumped at the opportunity with an innovative idea for experiential learning that put her back in the classroom—as a student—this summer.

Tacelosky attended a five-week summer program at the Université Laval in Quebec, Canada. “Working with some of my colleagues in the Languages Department and with those in the offices of admission and study abroad, we will design a program for students who have recently graduated from high school and are entering their first year of full-time study at LVC in fall 2014,” noted Tacelosky. “The program will hopefully be the first of many pre-college study abroad seminars that the College will offer in the future.”

Why Canada? LVC offers study abroad programs in 13 countries, but this is the College’s first academic venture into Canada. “We want to offer incoming students an experience in which they can connect with future classmates and faculty before beginning college,” Tacelosky said. “There will be a pre-departure orientation on campus where the students can talk about their hopes and fears regarding specifics of the travel seminar or college life in general.”

The program will be offered to all incoming first-year students who have studied any level of French in high school, not just those who plan to major in the language. “However, if students decide to take more language classes or declares a major or minor, all the better!” Tacelosky added. She also hopes to inspire more LVC students to study abroad during their four years at the Valley.

Although very few other colleges have study abroad programs the summer before college, those who offer this transformative experience have observed that students who participate tend to want more. “By having faculty lead these short-term study abroad seminars, more of our students will be motivated to add a full-term study abroad experience before they graduate,” Tacelosky said.

“We hope this model will catch on and be the first of many that will open students’ eyes to new global perspectives and career opportunities that they may never have considered, or even imagined.”

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