Campus Community Invited to CSU Teaching and Learning Symposium

San Jose State University is hosting the 2016 California State University (CSU) Teaching and Learning Symposium, Oct. 21 and 22. Faculty, students and staff are invited to attend. The theme this year is “Promoting Student Success Through Innovation, Creativity, Diversity and Teamwork.”

Registration for the conference is $50. The Office of Diversity, Inclusiveness and Equity has offered to cover the cost of attendance for the first 30  community members who respond to the Center of Faculty Development invitation to register. Call or email Gina Marin at or call 408-924-2303 for more information.

Conference registration is available online and the $50 fee includes:

  • Hands-on workshops, pre-conference sessions and a welcome reception, on Friday, Oct. 21, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • A keynote address by Kathryn Plank, Otterbein University, as well as dozens of symposia, paper sessions, posters and lightning talks, on Saturday, Oct. 22, from 8 am. To 4:30 p.m.
  • Meals and refreshments both days.

The conference is open to participants from all 23 CSU campuses. Attendees will have a chance to talk with colleagues from throughout the CSU as well as other higher education institutions. Visit the conference website for more information or contact Gina Marin with questions ( or 408-924-2303).


Committee works on new GE pathways


Freshmen attend orientation to learn about SJSU.

Freshmen attend orientation to learn about SJSU.

A group of San Jose State faculty, students and staff are looking at a new way to offer general education courses to Spartans in their first two years on campus as part of the Educational Excellence and Student Experience priority. Katherine Cushing, an associate professor of environmental studies, got involved in the discussions about creating general education pathways around themes last spring.

As a professor of water resource management, she said she was interested in working on a pathway related to sustainability. The other potential themes include creativity and global citizenship. Cushing said the University Sustainability Board members spoke at freshmen orientations over the summer to increase awareness of activities on campus and also mentioned some of the sustainability-related lower division general education courses.

Joyce Lum, a business major, is also part of the committee focused on general education pathways. As an Associated Student Board of Director, she said she made an effort to get involved in committees to be a voice for students.

As a business major she took GE courses in her first two years that related to globalization and sustainability.

“When I took classes that were related to each other, I found it a lot easier to pay attention in class because I could actually connect what I previously learned with what I was currently learning,” she said.

Lum said she wants to change the perspective students have of general education courses as she has heard negative comments from some students.

“It’s disheartening to hear this because I know the professors that teach these courses are very passionate about teaching and knowledgeable about their subjects,” she said.

The group working on the sustainability pathways has identified three clusters of courses that include climate change, sustainability policy and ethics, and art and sustainability.

“We’re still in the beginning stages of coordinating these pathways, but I can’t wait to see it implemented,” Lum said.