Research, Scholarship, and creative activity @ Oak Valley College
Scholarship is defined as academic study at a high-level. At Oak Valley College, you will frequently hear professors ask students to struggle with the question, dig deeper into the material (and their own thinking), to practice patience of thought, and to express themselves in ways that demonstrate they have considered the discipline and not just gone on the Internet to find the solution.
The value is found when scholarship is rooted in theory and requires deeper exploration than the everyday practical orientation of the discipline.
For students and faculty, Oak Valley College is a community where students consistently struggle with the deeper meaning of the topics they explore in class everyday. Scholarship is rooted in research and discussion of how theories apply to practical application. Students are encouraged to do this through experience and challenged to perform a variety of creative exercises and activities in order to demonstrate they learn, develop competency, and through study and practice (praxis), move toward mastery of the subject matter.
Of course, mastery is often a subjective goal, and few students may demonstrate true mastery of any discipline, thus, administrators and faculty are to help students develop an appreciation of lifelong learning throughout their studies at Oak Valley College. Scholarship, after all, is not an attainable standard, but it is rather an active engagement in the discipline, and an opportunity to practice learning at that high-level described by each professor in each course.
Each professor provides students with a detailed course syllabus, which discuss scholarship in practical terms. Within the syllabus are learning outcomes, assignments, and objectives that articulate activities and standards for scholarship.
Creative activities range from course to course. In one course, students may make presentations, perform a play, or conduct a field study to demonstrate their scholarship. In other courses, students may work on a team project, a series of reflection papers, or journal about their learning. The assignments often reflect the personality of the professor.
The academic freedom afforded each professor at Oak Valley College is to allow his/her voice of wisdom and experience to reach every student in a unique and powerful way. The only constraints to that freedom lie in the learning outcomes for the course, which have been carefully considered as part of the program learning outcomes for the degree, and the overall standards and practices found in the Employee and Faculty Handbook, which serve to uphold and maintain the Christian character of the organization along with the laws and regulations of the State of California.