Contact UsStudent Engagement and Enrollment Services
535 Watson Drive
Claremont, CA 91711 Location: Building 535
Phone: (909) 607-8590
Fax: (909) 607-8086
Email: admissions[at symbol]kgi.edu
The Minerva Schools at KGI (MSKGI) focus on the success of our students. We provide active learning in an all-seminar program because this form of pedagogy has been shown to be superior to traditional lecture-based instruction. Our students learn to work as individuals and as members of teams, and learn habits of mind and foundational concepts that will serve them in good stead for a lifetime. We also support co-curricular and extracurricular opportunities and provide robust student support services to assist students through challenges they may face while enrolled in our programs.
Our first class of students arrived in fall 2014 and will graduate in spring 2019, along with the members of the fall 2015 entering class. We will post information on enrollment/demographics, learning outcomes, retention/completion and other indicators of achievement annually, at the end of each academic year.
Below is information on demographics of students in the first class, which will graduate in 2019; retention data; institutional and program student learning outcomes and learning results as of summer 2015.
One of the key characteristics of MSKGI is its global character. Students come to Minerva from all over the world, and study and live in seven major world capitals during the four-year undergraduate program. All students are full-time.
The first two entering classes will begin their sophomore year in fall 2016, studying in Berlin and proceeding to Buenos Aires to study in spring 2017. This combined class started with a total of 138 students, from 33 different countries with no one country having more than 15 percent of the students. Forty-seven percent are men and 53 percent are women.
Only one of 28 students in the fall 2015 entering class did not finish the freshman year, for a retention rate that year of greater than 96 percent. In the current class, only four of 111 entering students did not or will not finish the freshman year, for a retention rate of 96 percent. As of April 1, 2016, 130 students are registered for fall 2016, yielding a fall-to-fall retention rate of 93.5 percent.
Institutional Learning Objectives
Minerva expects all undergraduate students to meet the following Institutional Learning Objectives (ILOs). These ILOs are introduced in the first-year Cornerstone courses, and consist of "habits of mind" and "foundational concepts," which are threaded and assessed throughout the four years of study. A habit of mind is a mental skill that comes to be triggered automatically, with practice; a foundational concept is fundamental knowledge that is broadly applicable, which typically does require deliberation. To be included, the habit of mind (H) or foundational concept (C) must:
- be derived from an aspect of one of the four core competencies we teach: thinking critically, thinking creatively, communicating effectively, and interacting effectively;
- lead students to be able to do something that is useful in ordinary life after graduation (specialized knowledge comes later in the curriculum);
- be broadly applicable, as indicated by the fact that it is used in courses offered in at least two of Minerva's majors;
- be justified either by empirical findings, proofs, or well-established best practices;
- lead to specific behaviors that can be evaluated with rubrics; a H or C cannot be so general or vague that it cannot be systematically and reliably evaluated; and,
- help students develop an ethical, global worldview.
Each of the following four core competencies has been broken down into more specific aspects, and each of these aspects in turn includes a set of habits of mind and foundational concepts.
- Distill complex arguments, identifying and analyzing premises and conclusions.
- Use principles of information literacy
- Use estimation techniques to determine whether quantitative claims are plausible.
- Distinguish between scientific and nonscientific statements
- Evaluate probabilities and sampling appropriately
- Evaluate and employ statistics appropriately
- Use formal deductive logic appropriately
- Identify and mitigate the consequences of logical fallacies.
- Use inductive reasoning appropriately; recognize that more than one generalization is always possible
- Identify biases (unreasoned tendencies) that affect inferences in attention, perception and memory
- Identify biases that affect inferences drawn from different forms of communication, and react accordingly
- Situate a work in its relevant context (e.g., historical, disciplinary, cultural)
- Identify, analyze, and organize characteristics of a work, and use these to interpret modes of communication
- Describe interactions among events or characteristics at different levels of analysis to generate interpretations of phenomena
- Use knowledge about the characteristics of a complex system to understand the whole, and vice versa
- Perform cost-benefit analyses for all stakeholders
- Identify the difference between risk and uncertainty; mitigate or exploit risk
- Use "Broad Framing" when making decisions
- Interpret and analyze decision-support tools to explore the consequences of decisions
- Identify decision biases that arise from emotional states and respond appropriately
- Learn to generate hypotheses and informed conjectures
- Use underlying concepts of research methods to conceive of ways to make discoveries
- Characterize the nature of the problem.
- Use analogies in problem solving appropriately.
- Identify and apply constraint satisfaction as a way to solve problems.
- Evaluate and apply optimization techniques appropriately.
- Use problem solving techniques:
- Select and deploy formal representations of a problem
- Apply algorithmic strategies to solve real-world problems.
- Identify biases resulting from availability, representativeness, and other problem solving heuristics and learn to correct errors
- Use effective strategies to teach yourself specific types of material.
Creating products, processes and services
- Identify gaps (in knowledge, in market offerings, in a range of ideas, etc.) that reveal where a creative solution is required.
- Apply iterative design thinking to conceive and refine products or solutions
- Use heuristics to find creative solutions to problems and to formulate new products and processes.
- Given a solution to a particular problem, reverse engineer the strategy or process that solved it.
Using language effectively
- Write and speak clearly
- Tailor oral and written work for the context and the audience
Using nonverbal communication effectively
- Identify and analyze facial expressions
- Interpret body language and use body language appropriately
- Use principles of perception and cognition in design (including those for oral and multimedia presentations)
- Combine modalities in a presentation to reinforce, not compete, with each other
- Present views and work with an appropriate level of confidence
Negotiating, mediating and persuading
- Negotiate and mediate, including looking for mutual gains
- Use principles of effective debating.
- Use persuasion techniques
Working effectively with others
- Use principles and styles of effective leadership
- Work effectively as a member of a team
- Discover and assess your own strengths and weaknesses
Resolving ethical dilemmas and having social consciousness
- Evaluate ethical dilemmas, framing the dilemma in a way that will help to resolve it.
- Resolve conflicts between ethical principles by using the context to prioritize.
- Recognize and work to mitigate unfair practices.
- Follow through on commitments.
Program Learning Objectives
In addition to mastering the Institutional Learning Objectives, students are expected to master field-specific Program Learning Objectives. These objectives are intended to provide the foundations for further study in a discipline, such as would take place in graduate or professional schools.
College of Arts and Humanities
- Master multi-modal communications.
- Use principles of human creativity and emotional expression.
- Explain principles of philosophy and ethics.
- Use principles and practices of historical analysis.
College of Computational Sciences
- Design, develop and use formal and computational models to solve problems.
- Evaluate and analyze data and information.
- Design, develop and use decision-support tools.
- Think algorithmically and create algorithms to solve problems.
College of Natural Sciences
- Characterize the predictive value of a scientific claim.
- Explain and utilize methods of ideation for problems requiring natural science expertise.
- Utilize natural sciences in the design of technological solutions.
- Explain the nature of emergent behavior that may limit prediction or control of a system.
College of Social Sciences
- Master complex systems analysis, which requires knowing how to use statistical tools, understand how network theory reveals aspects of social structure.
- Explain principles of individual human behavior, including those that govern motivation, emotion, learning, memory, perception and language and those that underlie psychopathology.
- Identify principles of human group behavior, such as understanding what is known about group dynamics, sociological principles, economic laws, and political systems.
- Explain principles and practices of cultural variation, contemporary and historical.
College of Business
- Design, develop and use formal and computational models to solve problems.
- Evaluate and analyze data and information.
- Understand and analyze businesses and market analysis.
- Understand and engage in effective group dynamics.
Results of Assessments
The pilot of the first year curriculum of the MSKGI undergraduate program was conducted in 2014-15. The following is a summary of key learning data from this pilot year, which was intended to refine the Active Learning Forum (the proprietary technology platform on which the students take their courses), the curriculum and lesson plans for the four required, yearlong foundational Cornerstone courses, and the co-curricular and extracurricular activities that create a unique Minerva Schools' experience.
The Deans met every week to discuss the Cornerstone courses, review student progress and feedback, and plan for the future. In addition, the Deans revised the Cornerstone courses for the 2015-16 academic year. In order to do so, they considered multiple types of data, including rubric scores on class performance and written assessments as well as student survey responses collected after each class session. Students received feedback on performance each week in two forms: review of class performance and weekly graded written assignments. To assess class performance, all sessions are video-recorded by the Active Learning Forum. After class the faculty members reviewed each session and identified moments when a student used one of the Habits of Mind or Foundational Concepts (HCs) that were the learning objectives. These student contributions were assessed using a rubric specifically designed to assess the identified HC. These weekly HC assessments also included written comments with suggestions for improvement. This information was sent to each student at the end of each week. The faculty used the same rubrics to assess weekly written assignments and also provided written comments; both rubric scores and comments were sent to students as formative feedback.
Collegiate Learning Assessment+ (CLA+)
Minerva administered the CLA+ three times during the pilot year: during student orientation in the fall, at the beginning of the second semester, and at the end of the academic year in the spring. The fall administration of the CLA+ provides evidence for the effectiveness of the Minerva admissions process, which is intended to identify high-performing and talented students from all over the world. The Minerva Founding Class scored in the 99th percentile compared to freshmen at other institutions. Because our students performed so well at the outset, we had to compare them to college seniors in order to assess learning gains over the year. Between the fall and spring administrations of the CLA+, Minerva students' rank increased from the 94th/95th percentile to the 99th percentile when compared to the outcomes of seniors at other institutions. This level of performance provides evidence for the effectiveness of the Cornerstone curriculum and supports our contention that our courses and expectations for student learning are set at the upper-division level; we do not offer typical freshman-level courses.
One concern highlighted by these results is how to measure improvement over the full four-year curriculum at Minerva. A different-we hope more challenging--set of assessments are being used during the 2015-16 academic year, in the hopes of gaining room for growth on the upper end of the scoring scale. This assessment tool includes the California Critical Thinking Skills Test and the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory.
Year-end Assessments of Habits of Mind and Foundational Concepts
At the end of the pilot year, the HC rubric scores were aggregated and used to assign provisional cornerstone course grades to each student. The HC mean scores fell into the expected range for Minerva Freshmen -- between 2 and 4 out of 5 points. This range provided evidence of the effectiveness of the rubrics for measuring knowledge and skill improvement over the next three years of instruction. These data were used to establish grading benchmarks.
Student Perceptions and Satisfaction
MSKGI and Minerva Project conducted extensive student surveys and held open forums with students in 2014-15 to learn about students' perceptions of their own learning and their satisfaction with the platform, curriculum, teaching methods, assignments, residence halls, and out-of-class activities. We regularly solicited ideas and suggestions to refine these areas. The students took their responsibilities as "founders" very seriously and made extremely useful and worthwhile recommendations, many of which were utilized as we engaged in a rapid evaluation and improvement cycle throughout the year, refined the learning objectives and lesson plans, and prepared during the summer for the Inaugural Class that entered in fall 2016.
At the end of the pilot year, Minerva conducted a year-end survey of the Founding Class. The survey had two components: a set of written questions and structured one-on-one interviews with each student. The survey collected both general feedback and specific feedback on academics, student experience, student services, and technology. These data were used to make improvements across Minerva. Some examples included the need to provide easier access to assessment data on the Active Learning Forum; refinements to faculty grading guidelines and training; greater alignment between student interests and Minerva-organized city immersion programs; and additional support to utilize the city as a campus.