With state support, some local schools have jumped on board in paving new paths toward student retention. Among these are the history departments at Pikes Peak Community College and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Thanks to a grant from the Colorado Community College System, in the fall of 2013 both schools will kick off "Reacting to the Past," the immersive, flipped-classroom-environment curriculum started at New York's Barnard College.
UCCS assistant professor Roger Martinez and PPCC assistant professor Glenn Rohlfing label the program as "a web of relationships." Dynamic situations, set in the past and known as "games," are created wherein students can improve on literacy, math, science, social studies, and humanities, as well as develop learning and behavior skills such as critical thinking, information technology, creativity, cultural awareness, civic engagement, work ethic, personal responsibility, communication and collaboration.
The professors add that "Reacting to the Past" has allowed dialogue between schools — even between their schools, which is beneficial in many ways.
Strong ties between the two local schools have led to a large number of transfer students from PPCC to UCCS — some 400 to 500 a year, according to UCCS professor Wayne Artis.
"In a lot of respects, at least in the history departments, our transfer program has become a circle, instead of a straight line," Artis says. He adds that many of these transfer students later return to PPCC as staff members, and that PPCC transfer students at UCCS have generally been more successful than other transfer students.