Diffusion of SENCER: Leading Change on Campus

DonnaJean Fredeen – Southern Connecticut State University


We chose the academy as our profession because of our commitment to the furthering and creation of knowledge. We want our students to be deeply engaged in their learning, to have the highest quality education possible, to appreciate the ideals of a liberal education, and to truly be on the path of the intentional life-long learner. If we could have total control over the division of our labor, these are the issues with which we would occupy our time for these are the truly important. We need as much support and help as possible to diffuse SENCER across the school, for diffusion of SENCER focuses the faculty on these truly important issues and can eventually reach into every corner of the school. By adding your voice to this effort, we can make science education model the very best of what we know about how people learn. – From the essay’s conclusion

Topics of Interest to the SENCER Community

Provides account of how the SENCER ideals were applied to large-scale reform at an urban state university

  • A look at adaptation of the SENCER approach to general education courses, honors college courses, and later, first-year and other programs.
  • Development of partnerships and pilot programs.

Discusses application of diffusion of innovation theory to changing pedagogical approaches at colleges and universities.

  • How administrators can encourage change in general education and other large-scale reform situations.
  • How faculty can be engaged in infusing a new approach into the curriculum.
  • How faculty can initiate change, and ways to approach administrators about an innovation.

Provides examples of how to acclimate new faculty to an environment supportive of and in the midst of innovation.

Selecting assessment methods that are appropriate to measure innovative approaches.

Full Report

Diffusion of SENCER: Leading Change on Campus

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About the Author

DonnaJean Fredeen

DonnaJean Fredeen
Southern Connecticut State University

DonnaJean Fredeen is dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Southern Connecticut State University. She earned her B.A. in chemistry from McMurry College and doctorate in chemistry from Texas A&M University. She joined the chemistry department faculty at Southern Connecticut in the fall of 1987 as an assistant professor and was appointed department chairperson in 1994. In spring of 1998, she was appointed dean of the School of Arts & Sciences. As dean, DonnaJean strategically positioned the school as the cornerstone of the university and has championed the role of liberal education in higher education, the revision of the Honors College and general education programs, and the implementation of the SENCER ideals throughout campus. She has actively supported science and mathematics outreach programs in the greater New Haven community. Through her efforts, the Connecticut State University Board of Trustees established the Center for Excellence in Mathematics and Science at Southern Connecticut State University. She is a co-director of the SCI-New England and a SENCER Leadership Fellow.