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E&S Home > Vol. 5, Iss. 2 > Art. 26 > Abstract Open Access Publishing 
Reflections on Integration, Interaction, and Community: the Science One Program and Beyond

Jülyet Aksiyote Benbasat, University of British Columbia
Clifton Lee Gass, University of British Columbia

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Abstract

We describe three interrelated programs in interdisciplinary, undergraduate science education, two at the first-year level and the third an upper-division degree program. They are administered through the Faculty of Science, rather than through individual departments, and are taught by multidisciplinary teams of professors from various departments.

In contrast to many programs discussed in the literature, these programs are intended for majors and honors students in all scientific disciplines. They aim to develop transferable skills and a broad outlook on science, in addition to a rigorous foundation in disciplinary knowledge. Interactive engagement and integration of content across disciplines are at the core of the approach.

Each program brings together a strong community of scholars that includes students, faculty, staff, and administrators. We explore the benefits of these communities to students and describe the attraction and challenges for the faculty and students who work in them. In that context, we discuss institutional challenges that we faced in creating and sustaining those communities, and in disseminating the ideas on which they are based. In conclusion, we consider the general problem of designing and implementing cross-disciplinary programs.

Key words

Integrated Sciences program, Science One program, University of British Columbia, diffusion of innovation, integration of knowledge, interactive engagement, interdisciplinary programs, interdisciplinary science education, learning community, university administration
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087