Summit Experience


Summit Experience

Goals and Rationale

Why do Students take Summit Experiences?

Summit Experiences provide advanced college students the opportunity to apply and integrate their knowledge and skills.  Summits can ask students to demonstrate their ability to write, speak, and otherwise communicate ideas, to use knowledge, to solve problems, and to apply a variety of skills/competencies, both general and discipline-specific. Summit Experiences have been identified by the AAC&U (Association of American Colleges and Universities) as a high impact educational practice. Summits can be designed in a variety of ways. Regardless of the form of a Summit Experience, the demonstrative student outcome integrates knowledge from discipline specific and general education courses in a unique way. The Summit Experience allows students to synthesize skill development at the culmination of their undergraduate education. Summit experiences encourage general communication skills development, related to public speaking/presenting, interpersonal (one to one) and/or group communication, or digital, visual, and performance media. 

Summit Experiences are a part of the Compass Goals approved by faculty in 2010.

1) Evaluate and Create

Students will develop intellectual and practical skills central to investigation, creative pursuits, and problem solving. Students will gather, understand, analyze, and evaluate information as well as synthesize that information in order to create and articulate new ideas. This area includes:

  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Quantitative and qualitative reasoning
  • Information literacy
  • Communication: reading, writing, speaking, and listening

2) Act and Interact

Students will cultivate self-awareness and understanding of their impact—locally, nationally, and globally. Students will be prepared to participate effectively in a society that encompasses diverse experiences, perspectives, and realities. This area includes:

  • Responsibility—personal, civic, and social
  • Engagement—creative, collaborative, artistic, and innovative

Outcomes and Requirements

Summit Experiences help students learn:

  • Critical or creative thinking.
  • Quantitative or Qualitative reasoning.
  • Communication (public speaking/presenting, interpersonal (one to one) and/or group communication, or digital, visual, and performance media.)
  • Core ethical principles in the discipline.

Essential Learning Outcomes:

  • Gather, critically analyze and evaluate quantitative information within relevant disciplinary contexts.
  • Gather, critically analyze and evaluate qualitative information within relevant disciplinary contexts.
  • Communicate through a prepared, purposeful, presentation or goal-oriented interpersonal or group interaction.
  • Demonstrate the core ethical principles and responsible methods of your discipline.

All Summit Experiences should:

  • bridge general education goals with discipline objectives resulting in an enriching and culminating experience in a student’s undergraduate education
  • include a focus on core ethical principles of the discipline
  • require students to demonstrate their skills and knowledge through both speaking and writing