Adjust. Explore. Achieve. These are the goals that 80 incoming first-year Wright State students pursued at Raider Academy with the help of four library staff members, along with faculty, staff and student leaders from a variety of disciplines. Raider Academy is a two-week residential experience designed for first-year students. Participants build academic foundations in math, writing and critical thinking, while being introduced to campus resources and the Wright State community. The program is a mix of work and play with three academic sessions daily, and weekend and evening community service and social events.
Library staff members Mandy Shannon, Head, Instruction & Research Services, Holly Jackson, Humanities Librarian, Maureen Barry, First-Year Experience Librarian and David Reyes, Student Technology Assistance Center (STAC) Coordinator provided information and digital literacy instruction for the students as they worked toward their culminating project. The final project was to propose a solution to a problem and present it either as a pitch [think Shark Tank] or at a poster session. Each group of students selected a problem to which they would need to propose a solution. Problems for which the students proposed solutions ranged from food waste to foster care neglect. They developed their research and writing skills, and learned how to create attractive presentations and posters that effectively conveyed their research.
The University Libraries have provided instruction to Raider Academy in both years it has been offered. Last summer, library staff provided a stand-alone Information Literacy track with 27 hours of instruction leading toward the creation of a video or web site, separate from the “Shark Tank” pitch to solve a problem. This summer, the information literacy instruction and writing track integrated with the problem solving project.
Raider Academy students’ projects are available in CORE Scholar [http://corescholar.libraries.wright.edu/raider_academy/].