Sean Scanlan: Shared Reading across the Professions

Who's reading the New York Times?

Who’s reading the New York Times?

Recently, Professor Sean Scanlan’s ENG 1101 English Composition class participated in a learning community with two courses in the Hospitality department (Perspectives of Hospitality Management-HGMT 1101 taught by Professor Karen Goodlad and Food and Beverage Management-HGMT 1102 by Professor John Akana).  The learning community shared readings, shared their experience of the Brooklyn waterfront, and even shared a meal in CityTech’s Janet Leffler Dining Room. This ambitious endeavor helped create a unified experience for first-year students and linked the three classes on the OpenLab. A common goal for all was to raise student awareness of the connections between different courses, in essence, one of the critical aims of General Education. But how does one assess Gen Ed in the classroom? within the curriculum? across the college? Assessment begins by asking the right questions, and asking the right questions begins by opening the discourse on Gen Ed to students and faculty. Professor Scanlan starts the dialogue in his classroom and on the class website, on which he dedicates a section to Gen Ed, beginning with a question “Is English 1101 a General Education course?” As Professor Scanlan notes, ENG 1101’s emphasis on reading, writing, and critical thinking makes the course fall firmly within the broad parameters of Gen Ed.  Moreover, Professor Scanlan raises important questions on the impact of our digital age on General Education and to this end, he posts an amusing video “The Machine is Us/ing Us” for us to reflect on.

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