Welcome to the sixteenth issue of Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education — a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal that serves as a forum for the reflective work of college faculty and students working together to explore and enact effective classroom practice. Teaching and Learning Together in Higher Education is premised on the centrality to successful pedagogy of dialogue and collaboration — among faculty and between faculty and students — in explorations and revisions of approaches to teaching and learning in higher education. The journal has several aims:

  • To include student voices in analyses and revisions of educational practice at the post-secondary level
  • To offer windows into the development of pedagogical insights that faculty and students gain when they collaborate on explorations of classroom practice and systematically reflect on that collaboration
  • To create forums for dialogue between faculty and students whose work is featured in this journal and others engaged in similar work at other colleges and universities.


I.Introduction: Developing Student-Faculty Partnerships at Bridgewater State University,in which Lee Torda, Assistant Professor of English, Writing Program Administrator and Co-Chairperson of the Faculty Development Leadership Group at Bridgewater State University, and Karen Pagnano Richardson, Professor of Physical Education and Co-Chairperson of the Faculty Development Leadership Group at Bridgewater State University, frame the essays included in this issue as developing student-faculty partnerships with a range of collaborative relationships. The first three essays explore partnerships that are program-based partnerships. The next four essays explore various kinds of student-faculty partnerships that unfold within classroom-focused experiences. In the final section, three essays that focus on partnerships beyond the boundaries of the classroom and the campus are shared. All ten essays contribute to chronicling multiple versions of the development of student-faculty partnerships at Bridgewater State University.


II.Peer Assisted Learning: Unexpected Benefits for all Stakeholders – Students, Peer Leaders & Faculty in which MaryBeth Tobin, Assistant Professor, Department of Accounting and Finance, Bridgewater State University, and Caitlin Golden, Assistant Professor, Department of Accounting and Finance, Bridgewater State University, share their experience in co-leading a peer-leader program and the unexpected benefits that inure to students, faculty and especially, peer leaders. They share the value of peer leader feedback in their efforts to continually improve the program and in informing their own pedagogy in an entry-level financial accounting course.

III. “Learner Empowerment: A Collaborative Approach to Peer-Assisted Learning in Global Languages,” in which Minae Savas, Associate Professor, Japanese, Foreign Languages, Bridgewater State University, Dorie AuCoin, Assistant Director, Academic Achievement Center, Bridgewater State University, and Fernanda Ferreira, Professor, Spanish and Portuguese, Foreign Languages, Bridgewater State University, share the trajectory of the Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL) program in the Foreign Languages Department, which has undertaken a series of projects to build an encouraging and non-judgmental learning environment, specifically in language learning, and to incorporate a partnership between learners, tutors, supervisors and professors.

IV. “Learning to SOAR: Partnering with Underrepresented Students in Research,” in which Jennifer Manak, Associate Professor, Elementary Education, Bridgewater State University, and Jenny Olin Shanahan, Director of Undergraduate Research, Bridgewater State University, examine the mentor relationships that developed within the SOAR (Student Opportunities as Apprentice Researchers) program. The program matches underrepresented students with faculty in research partnerships that facilitate faculty scholarship and improve the retention and success of students from underserved groups.


V. “Sharing Power to Promote Deeper Learning,” in which Maura Rosenthal, Professor, Department of Movement Arts, Health Promotion and Leisure Studies, Bridgewater State University, explores her partnership with an entire class during the semester to solve a problem in the book club learning activities she had planned. She addresses her experience of sharing power with students and how doing so alleviated the “tug-o-war” she had previously experienced between pulling students towards learning course content and their resistance.

VI. “Creating a Learning Environment with Shared Responsibility for Assessment,” in which Anne E. Doyle, Professor, Department of English, Bridgewater State University, focuses on her work with her Introduction to Linguistics course. She shares her journey as she discovered that her goals were best served when she maximized the possibilities in her classes for partnership through inviting discussion about the focus and purposes of key assessment in the course.

VII. “Using Student Feedback to Fuel the Family Project,” in which Susan Eliason, Assistant Professor, Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Bridgewater State University, shares her desire to create with students more authentic assignments that enhance learning through the use of the project approach.

VIII. “Students as Partners with Faculty in a Teacher Education Programin which Karen Pagnano Richardson, Professor, Deborah Sheehy, Associate Professor, and Misti Neutling, Assistant Professor all in the Department of Movement Arts, Health Promotion and Leisure Studies, Bridgewater State University, share their experiences of working with student partners within a Physical Education Teacher Education Program. Through partnership they more deeply understand how their role as professor was a barrier to open and honest student-faculty communication.


IX. “Chaos in the Promiseland: Mentorship as Partnership in Undergraduate Research,” in which Lee Torda, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English and Writing Program Administrator, Bridgewater State University, Marjorie Howe, Bridgewater State University, Class of 2017, and Kirsten Ridlen, Bridgewater State University, Class of 2015, write about their experience co-creating a writing and travel experience in Israel. They explore how they all negotiated respective expertise and inexperience while traveling, reading, and writing in a study abroad/undergraduate research opportunity.

X. “Co-creating Equity and Justice: Student and Employee Partnerships for Racial Justice,” in which Judith S. Willison, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Bridgewater State University; Laura Boutwell, Faculty Associate, Office of Institutional Diversity, Bridgewater State University; Mark Conrad, Director, Bridge Partnership Program, Bridgewater State University; Sabrina Gentlewarrior, Vice President of Student Success and Diversity, Bridgewater State University; Richardson Pierre-Louis, Resident Director, Bridgewater State University; Colleen Rua, Assistant Professor, Theater Department, Bridgewater State University; Jeff Saint Dic, Resident Director, Bridgewater State University; and current Bridgewater State University Undergraduate students: Jessie Barbosa, Ye Chen, Ruby Lila De La Rosa, Marvin Ezhan, Danielle Marie Galstian, Frank Iaquinta, Tashima Point du jour, Brian Owusu,  Marina Smoske, Jovan Taylor; Bridgewater State University Alumni, Class of 2015: James Gouzias, Kasheida Hector, Julian Millan, Michael Molyneaux, Jamaal Rodney-Bonnette,  share reflections on partnerships between campus staff, faculty and students to put on three specific social justice events designed to initiate discussion and raise awareness about racial justice.

XI. “Refreshed & Humbled: Altered Assumptions about Power and Payoffs, in which Roben Torosyan, Director of the Teaching and Learning Center & Part-time Faculty, Department of Philosophy at Bridgewater State University, starts with a focus on a long-term, shifting relationship with work-study students serving as students consultants in his class then takes an outward turn as he describes how he included graduate student voices from around the country as he wrote an external grant to support partnerships between research and teaching intensive institutions.