• Transformative Learning
    Vol 29 No 3 (2018)

    Transformative learning, like the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU), has experienced substantial growth during the past few decades. The original research conducted by Mezirow (1975), who is considered the originator of the transformative learning theory, was focused on individual change: women who had been out of the workforce and were reentering. The experience was challenging in many ways, as issues of self-concept, existing frames of reference, and assumptions were beginning to change. Mezirow described the process as a structural reorganization: something that necessitates reconceiving concepts of self and one’s relationships (Mezirow, 1978).

    Students in higher education are voluntarily placing themselves in an environment they hope is safe and that provides them with paths to a better life. At its simplest level, for the traditional student, the transformation would be from adolescence to adulthood. If that is not a “disruptive dilemma” as Mezirow terms it, then what is? Older, non-traditional students, though, are often seeking a career change of some sort, such as the women reentering the workforce who Mezirow focused on for his initial research.

    Mezirow’s work is often viewed as being psychological in orientation and hence not seen as addressing social change, but this can become a “chicken or the egg” discussion. Which comes first, personal change or social change? What the authors in this volume do is present strategies in which both the community and the individuals involved have equal opportunity for transformation.

    George Kuh (2008) came to the idea of High Impact Practices from the perspective of student engagement. Recognizing that not all student learning occurs in the confines of the classroom or lab, Kuh identified ten particular engagement activities that helped students’ learning (some now number these at 11, with the addition of e-portfolios to the list; Watson et al., 2016). Amongst these activities are service learning/community-based learning, internships, and capstone projects. All of these approaches to student development, learning, and success can and do connect strongly with the city and regional areas served by metropolitan universities. Kuh’s concepts fit well with the concept of transformative learning. They suggest that student learning benefits by participation in activities that take students out of the classroom and into the community in some fashion.

    The early work of Mezirow is now viewed more broadly and links with the activities that carry students to learn outside of the classroom. For this issue of Metropolitan Universities, we focus on how institutions are helping large numbers of students to transform from adolescents to professionals in a field, or to re-design their lives through formal education.

  • The Urban Advantage: The 2017 CUMU Annual Conference Issue (Denver, CO)
    Vol 29 No 2 (2018)

    Just as urban and metropolitan universities and colleges serve an important role in their communities, cities serve important roles in students’ academic and personal growth. Urban institutions provide them with the resources to grow and thrive in a fast-paced environment. With better opportunities for experiential learning, research and development, creative activity, and partnerships that create immediate and substantive impact on communities, this urban advantage was the focus of the 23rd Annual CUMU Conference “The Urban Advantage” (CUMU, 2017). The conference was held in Denver, Colorado in October 2017. Presentations explored the unique learning opportunities provided by urban universities known to improve student persistence and successful career development (AAC&U, n.d.). Scholars and activists called for urban IHEs to consider how they might engage with their surrounding communities more effectively to solve problems, improve the local economy, and educate a professional 21st century-relevant workforce. Finally, they underscored the imperative that metropolitan colleges and universities stay true to their public mission.

    Guest Editor: Vicki L. Golich, Ph.D., Metropolitan State University of Denver

  • Equity and Inclusion: Expanding the Urban Ecosystem
    Vol 29 No 1 (2018)

    Urban and metropolitan universities have for many years been addressing the needs and interests of increasingly diverse communities and a more diverse group of students, all of whom seek a welcoming environment when they join a campus community. We will explore what we are learning about how to bring the concepts of equity and inclusion to life on college and university campuses. We will explore how these issues are unfolding, what we can learn from our experiences, what questions we should think about and what assumptions we should explore as we seek to create educational environments that are shaped by a deep commitment to equity and inclusion.

    Guest Editors: Tia McNair, EdD, Association of American Colleges & Universities and Judith Ramaley, PhD, Portland State University

  • Collective Impact Strategies
    Vol 28 No 4 (2017)

    Building upon early definitions of collective impact, this issue is dedicated to exploring the phenomenon and practice of collective impact to promote social change, specifically from the perspective of universities.

    Guest Editor: Joe Allen, PhD, University of Nebraska Omaha

  • Student Peer Mentoring
    Vol 28 No 3 (2017)

    While a 21st century education provides exceptional benefits, it can also present challenges. An increasingly diverse student population coming from complex societies coupled with tightening of resources leave universities from across the country asking, “How can we better meet the needs of our students?” Peer mentoring is a remedy for schools lacking sufficient external resources to support student bodies that are increasingly diverse and complex in educational needs.

    Guest Editor: Peter Collier, PhD, Portland State University

  • Charting the Future of Metropolitan Universities: The 2016 Washington, D.C. Conference Issue
    Vol 28 No 2 (2017)

    At the height of pre-election anxieties and amid conversation among faculty and higher education administrators about how post-election policies would impact the efforts of higher education, the 2016 Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) held its annual meeting in Washington DC. Focused, as always, on higher education and community engagement, the 2016 conference gave particular emphasis to future needs and issues. These conversations are especially critical now, as urban and metropolitan institutions, regardless of type or size, increasingly face new social justice challenges both on their campus and in their local communities. These societal and structural disparities range from access to services due to rising costs of living to the impact of the national tone of racial and citizenship inequities that continue to deeply divide our nation.

    Guest Editor: Mary Ann Villarreal, PhD, California State University, Fullerton

  • Urban Food Networks
    Vol 28 No 1 (2017)

    This issue of Metropolitan Universities journal illustrates how urban universities lead and contribute to food system teaching and learning; research and innovation; outreach and engagement; and resource stewardship. Common themes emerging in this issue include the essential approach of collaboration; the value of diverse voices and perspectives; the influence of distinct urban contexts; and the complexity of food security and other system issues.

    Guest Editor: Julie M. Fox, PhD, The Ohio State University

  • Campus and Community in Shared Spaces
    Vol 27 No 3 (2016)

    Engaging with communities to focus on urban issues represents one way that higher education institutions are transforming into the 21st century. The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) member institutions have made intentional and innovative investments in place-based and shared learning spaces. There is growing attention to the role that physical and practical spaces plays in our interactions with communities, particularly as we work to deepen those interactions and search for effective approaches to urban opportunities and challenges. Understanding how we share space calls attention to (and aids in moving away from) transactional or episodic work toward sustained work with measurable results. And, our institutions have both distinctive and common approaches in our design, purpose and operations of spaces intended to enhance shared work and interaction between campus and communities.

    The articles crafted for this issue on shared spaces describe the structure, operations and funding for multiple ways of approaching the idea of shared space for shared work. In addition, those who contributed their stories have reflected deeply on impacts, successes, and challenges.

    Guest Editor: Heidi Lasley Barajas, PhD, University of Minnesota

  • Recognizing Engaged Scholarship in Faculty Reward Structures: Challenges and Progress
    Vol 27 No 2 (2016)

    This special issue of Metropolitan Universities aims to examine institutional approaches to the recognition of community-engaged scholarship in faculty RPT policies and processes. The papers that comprise this volume provide a snapshot of policies, practices, and strategies for achieving change across a range of institutions. In the first three papers, we see efforts focused at a different organizational levels and institutional types: college (within a large comprehensive university), university (within a doctoral granting, research-intensive university), and the system (within a large state university system). In each of these cases, authors address both the need to change and align policies, and the need for culture change to support implementation.

    Guest Editor: Claire C. Cavallaro, PhD, California State University, Fullerton

  • Love of Place: The Metropolitan University Advantage (2015 CUMU Annual Conference, Omaha, NE)
    Vol 27 No 1 (2016)

    The theme for the 2015 CUMU Annual Conference in Omaha, NE was “Love of Place: The Metropolitan University Advantage”.  This theme celebrates the identity of metropolitan universities as places where opportunities for students, faculty, and the community are realized and achieved. Specifically, the notion of stewardship is essential to the theme and promotes the general identity that metropolitan universities care for the communities they dwell in and seek to lift those they serve in the community. This special issue of the Metropolitan Universities Journal provides an overview of the stewardship displayed at the Omaha conference and includes articles from many faculty and staff members making this work happen every day at their respective institutions.

    Guest Editors: Joseph A. Allen, PhD; Kelly A. Prange, PhD; Deborah Smith-Howell, PhD; Sara Woods, PhD; and B. J. Reed, PhD; University of Nebraska at Omaha

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