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2016 Sun Conference Focuses on Experiential Learning

Higher education faculty from the region and beyond will be among those who share and learn about innovations during the 13th International Sun Conference on Teaching and Learning March 17-18 at The University of Texas at El Paso.

“Teaching and Learning Experientially” is the theme of the 2016 conference that will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days and take place in UTEP’s Tomás Rivera Conference Center and other rooms on the third floor of UTEP’s Union Building East. Educators also may participate in a workshop in UTEP’s state-of-the-art SCALE UP classroom in the basement of the Chemistry and Computer Science Building on Hawthorne Street.

More than 200 attendees who represent industry and all levels of education will attend the event, said Larry Lesser, Ph.D., director of UTEP’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETaL), which organized the conference. He added that participants will represent institutions of higher education from the region, Mexico, Croatia and Taiwan.

“The fact that we attract many from outside the region attests to the conference’s reputation for its high quality,” Lesser said. “This year’s event is arguably the most timely Sun Conference ever because it offers instructors information and inspiration on experiential learning a mere month after the release of UTEP’s Quality Enhancement Plan whose related theme of ‘Integrative and Applied Learning’ will set the tone for UTEP’s next decade.”

The conference’s 90-plus sessions include a keynote presentation by Scott Wurdinger, Ph.D., professor of Experiential Education and Leadership Studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He will talk about “The Power of Experiential Learning: From Discussion to Field Experience.” Experiential learning is educating through first-hand experience outside the classroom such as field trips, internships, study abroad and service learning.

Among the conference’s goals are to build camaraderie among peers from different disciplines and introduce them to innovative tools and methods that will help them in the classroom. UTEP’s record-tying 10 2015 University of Texas System Board of Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award recipients will be recognized during the March 17 luncheon.

Since 2002, this event has served as the region’s premier post-secondary education conference because it offers this area’s instructors a unique opportunity for professional development without having to leave town.

For information about registration, conference schedule, keynote presentations and special workshops, please visit http://cetal.utep.edu/sun

Discounted online registration will continue through March 11, 2016.

What: 13th International Sun Conference on Teaching and Learning

When: March 17-18, 2016

Where: Union Building East, third floor, UTEP campus

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