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Ohio Northern Hosts Lima Senior High School Students from Multiple Intelligence

MI Ready Summer RetreatThis summer, a large number of Lima Senior High School students came to Ohio Northern for the MI Ready Retreat. They toured campus, met with university representatives, and participated in classes. They also took part in leadership activities and learned what to expect in college courses.

The MI Ready students chose to attend three different workshops: technological studies, ornithology and graphic design.

In the graphic design workshop, students explored the design process, the importance of creativity and play, criteria and values, basic composition and the work of famous designers. The capstone project engaged students in a thoughtful, community-based responses to sustainability and community. Students designed banners for the City of Lima’s Urban Forest Project. An initiative developed by AIGA (The Professional Association for Design) and the Worldstudio Foundation, this message had to emphasize the importance of planting trees to sustain a natural environment for present wildlife.

MI Ready Summer RetreatLima Senior High School has initiated a small schools concept, funded in part by the Gates Foundation, as a way to encourage academic success for students in an urban district. One of these small schools is the MI (Multiple Intelligences) school, which seeks to enrich the students’ learning experiences and to prepare them for post high school education.

The leader of the MI school is Jeff McClellan, ’99 A&S. He explains the MI concept as “doing away with the definition of ‘smart.’ It’s not who is smart, but how are you smart.” The concept recognizes eight forms of intelligences and learning styles and the MI small school tries to find multiple ways to help students understand their academic material.

In addition to academic enrichment, the program stresses social skills and the kinds of time management and critical thinking needed for college success. MI students take part in weekly assessments, spend two extra hours a week after normal classroom hours in enrichment programs, and take part in an annual retreat. In additional, each MI student is expected to mentor a younger student.

These activities reflect the small school philosophy of building academic success through rigor, relevance and relationships.

The retreat was a success with all these diverse students, explained Sharyn Zembower, the ONU coordinator of nontraditional programs and director of ONU’s efforts related to the MI Ready Retreat. “It was an eye-opening experience for these kids to see what college is about and to get a taste of it, to get into a college classroom and have an experience with a college professor when they are still in high school.”

McClellan added, “It was set up to be challenging but at the same time to make the students feel safe, not intimidated.”

Ohio Northern, Ohio State and Rhodes State College are all working with the MI students to help them envision their futures.

The 2010–11 academic year marks the 50th anniversary of the art major at Ohio Northern University. Growing from a single-discipline school, the department offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts with concentrations in two-dimensions, three-dimensions and art therapy. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is also recognized in the second edition of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design or the University’s 2010-11 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.

images: MI Ready students working on concepts for the Urban Forest Project in Lima; a student comprehensive for one of the banners to be hung along Main Street.

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