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Community Initiatives

Summer 2008 National Issues Forums: Achieving the Dream at UHD

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On June 24, 2008, the UHD Center for Public Deliberation held a one-time forum to discuss Achieving the Dream at UHD. One of the most notable outcomes of this forum was the request by participants for more opportunities for deliberation.

Background
In the Spring of 2008, a series of focus groups were conducted to explore the perceptions and experiences of both faculty/staff and students surrounding academic success and failure at UHD. Among the findings was the discovery that perceptions about the causes for and approaches to academic failure were dissonant between students, faculty, staff, and administration. Each group had developed a distinct set of attributions for academic failure that blamed the other, and most perspectives were drawn from limited personal experience rather than from collected evidence or extended dialogue. Clearly, there exists a broad and dissonant array of beliefs about issues related to student academic success, and little influence of those beliefs from open discussion with the other groups.

The formation of the UHD Center for Public Deliberation (CPD) in Fall of 2007 created an opportunity to utilize collective deliberation and dialogue as way of addressing the dissonance among UHD stakeholders. A National Issues Forums (NIF) discussion on closing the achievement gap had already been established by the deliberative community and offered a foundation for a more localized discussion for the UHD community.

Goals of the Forum

  • To increase knowledge and awareness about the Achieving the Dream initiative across the UHD community of students, faculty, staff, and administration
  • To share diverse perspectives and experiences across groups and individuals in the UHD community regarding academic success and failure at UHD.
  • To decrease the misperceptions and misattributions across stakeholder groups at UHD regarding academic success and failure.
  • To establish a culture of dialogue across and among various groups within the UHD community.

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Last updated or reviewed on 6/15/10

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