Shimer is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Illinois Institute of Technology and CAHMCP, the Chicago Area Health and Medical Careers Program, commonly called “Champ.” An initiative funded by the State of Illinois, Champ seeks to increase the number of qualified minority applicants and matriculants to medical and other health professional schools.
Through an agreement with IIT, Shimer is currently offering courses in science and math for participating Champ students, who are from Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.The Champ program at Shimer College runs from June 16 to August 1.
Barbara Stone, Dean of the College at Shimer, says, “We are delighted to welcome this new group of Champ students to our campus. It’s been a great experience to bring the mission of Shimer and Champ together and develop this new, enriching learning opportunity. So far everyone is working hard and having a great time.”
The Champ courses, like all courses at Shimer, are based on a dialogic model of learning, which holds that discussion improved students’ content knowledge and critical thinking skills. Stuart Patterson, a Shimer professor who is teaching the math course for Champ, says, “It’s still not typical for STEM teachers, in particular, to use discussion as a teaching method, though many are realizing that lectures alone are simply not effective teaching. But at Shimer we’ve been using discussion to teach math and science for more that fifty years. It not only helps students grasp the material but shifts the responsibility for the entire enterprise of learning from the teacher to the student.” Patterson is also running a workshop this summer that trains high school teachers in math and science in dialogic teaching methods.
The partnership between Shimer College and Champ is part of a new initiative at Shimer College to expand its network of partnerships with area colleges, universities, and high schools that are interested in discussion-based learning.