Formalizing a Student Leadership Role for Academic Issues

Project Overview:

In the Spring of 2011, as a second attempt to better organize student representatives on Olin College’s academic committees, CORe, Olin’s student government organization, it was decided to formalize an elected position that would act as the focal point for academic initiatives at Olin from the student perspective.
### Project Motivation:

The motivation for this project came out of a long-term interest in formalizing, or institutionalizing at Olin College student interest in curricular innovation, discussion, and most importantly student empowerment through “personal ownership” of their learning experience at Olin. This interest materialized out of Olin’s practice of a regular “Curriculum Review,” which involved “throwing out the curriculum” and reevaluating everything every 5 years. For more on the history of Olin’s curricular development, see Olin’s academic history page. For further visual details about Olin’s curriculum see this post on Olin’s Curricular Vision. The overarching trajectory for this project had three primary phases, starting with an initial Education Group Research Project in the Spring of 2008. The other parts of this initiative included a reorganization of the Academic Committee Representation discussed in a separate post, as well as formalizing this student leadership role: CORe Academic Director.
### Formalizing CORe’s Academic Director Role

The goal for formalizing this role through CORe is to directly connect student representation on academic Faculty committees with someone whose role it is to coordinate student interest in curricular innovation and other academic issues. While this role was piloted unofficially this year we felt it was more meaningful and helpful to elect someone passionate about the vision of the academic organization cause. The following is the description for the position we included in the 2010-2011 election cycle:

The CORe Academic Director is responsible for leading all academic student initiatives. This requires insuring the efficacy of student representation on academic committees. Additionally, the AcademicDirector should serve as the liaison to the faculty and encourage student/faculty interaction. The Academic Director is a non-voting member of the CORe Representative assembly.

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