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Slocum-Schaffer participating in partnership to facilitate transition from two- to four-year colleges

ISSUED: 5 May 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University political science professor Dr. Stephanie Slocum-Schaffer is participating in a Peer-to-Peer Pedagogical Partnership that was awarded a $31,000 grant from the American Political Science Association (APSA). The partnership, which includes Shepherd, Hagerstown Community College, University of Maryland, American University, and Montgomery College, aims to facilitate the successful transition and educational achievement of students transferring from two-year to four-year institutions.

Slocum-Schaffer said there are two main goals—to help faculty learn from each other about political science methods and the best approaches to teaching students from a variety of backgrounds and to develop cutting-edge teaching materials to enable more methods instruction and preparation at two-year institutions and pedagogical innovation at four-year institutions.

“I am really excited about the partnering that we are doing on this grant,” Slocum-Schaffer said. “Research methods is the course in political science that students find most challenging and intimidating, so I am excited to share things that I have been doing to help students overcome that, as well as to learn some new techniques for helping my students at Shepherd learn these cutting-edge methods more easily. In particular, the grant aims to help faculty at four-year institutions like Shepherd be better prepared to help transfer students from community colleges.”

Slocum-Schaffer said the group, one of two receiving peer-to-peer grants this year, will have two big workshops with faculty from a variety of different institutions to share knowledge and techniques. In addition, the materials produced through these projects will be made available to APSA members through the organization’s new teaching and learning website, APSA Educate.

“I would like to congratulate the Peer-to-Peer Pedagogical Partnership recipients,” said Steven Rathgeb Smith, APSA executive director. “These projects represent vital collaborations among faculty across institutions and have great potential to advance political science teaching and learning. I commend the scholars for their dedication and commitment to their students and to the discipline.”

The peer-to-peer program is an initiative of the APSA Presidential Task Force on New Partnerships and the grants are made possible thanks to support of the Ivywood Foundation.

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