Case Western Reserve University's Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship (SAGES) is one of 13 college programs featured in a recent report celebrating innovative teaching approaches in higher education. SAGES, which emphasizes the development of strong communications skills, is featured in the Association of American Colleges and Universities report "Assessment in Cycles of Improvement: Faculty Designs for Essential Learning Outcomes," written by Ross Miller.
The report describes how selected colleges and universities "foster and assess student learning in 12 liberal education outcome areas, including writing, quantitative literacy, critical thinking, ethics, intercultural knowledge and information literacy.
SAGES is featured as a program that addresses intellectual and practical skills, especially oral communication.
"In SAGES seminars, students refine their ability to speak persuasively," explains Peter Whiting, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and director of SAGES. "Persuasion can happen in informal discussion as well as in more formal oral presentations.
The SAGES approach represents a shift away from lecture-based lessons, relying instead on interactive learning and collaboration. The SAGES curriculum interweaves communications throughout a four-year sequence of seminars. Each student selects:
Since, as Miller notes, SAGES is "not just a first-year seminar program," students are continually developing their analytical, collaborative and communications skills. After they complete their senior capstone project—the culmination of the SAGES experience—they share their findings in a public oral presentation. "In this way," Miller writes, "Case builds a culture of communication across the entire undergraduate degree program."
Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.