Join us for the 20th Annual National Bike Summit at a new venue in Crystal City, VA!  

Back To Schedule
Monday, March 11 • 10:15am - 11:00am
Bicycling Across College Curriculum: Multiple Pathways for Incorporating Bicycling in Higher Education

Log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Feedback form is now closed.
Though they are driving fewer cars, college students are an untapped community for supporting bicycle transportation. This session explores the academic programs at several higher ed institutions across the country where college students are learning about bicycling in the classroom, in their community, and beyond.

Margot Higgins, University of Wisconsin La Crosse, Lecturer:
“Having taught three bicycle-based field courses for Macalester College, the University of Wisconsin, and the Wild Rockies Field Institute, I have been struck by the transformational impact bicycling as a course topic can have on college students. I design my bicycle courses to provide intellectual and active engagement with bicycling. Throughout these courses, the community functions as a classroom and we spend a good amount of time engaging in it. We bicycle while we learn, and along the way we meet with decision-makers, transportation planners, and community activists to gain insight into the politics of bicycle transportation. These field trips are designed to help college students understand transportation politics, equity, bicycle culture, local, national, and global trends in bicycling, and what needs to be accomplished to increase mode share of bicycling locally and globally. Among the assignments I have included are attending public meetings, writing op-eds, performing bicycle counts, and developing bicycle assessments for particular communities. My presentation aims to share my experience of designing bicycle field courses, and to inspire the creation of new curriculum and engagement.”

Jonathan Hunt, University of San Francisco, Associate Professor:
“This presentation showcases two implementations of college-level bicycle courses in required first-year curricula and invites participants to brainstorm “Bicycles Across the Curriculum.” Integrating bicycle history, culture, policy, and science into existing courses and curricula at the university level may cultivate new generations of partners for bicycle advocates.  For many years in writing studies, advocates of the “Across the Curriculum” model have argued that writing should not be taught in separate courses required of incoming first-year students. A substantial body of research on literacy has shown, rather, that complex communication skills are more effectively acquired if students study and practice writing in many different contexts and environments. This “Writing Across the Curriculum” (WAC) model has been adopted by other fields: e.g. technology across the curriculum, sustainability across the curriculum, math across the curriculum, character across the curriculum… and next, bicycles across the curriculum? Two implementations of bike-themed courses will be described, one in a first-year writing course at Stanford University and another in a first-year public speaking course at the University of San Francisco. In each case, bicycle case studies and bicycle experiences were the means to explore the primary content of the courses, which was written and oral communication.”

Sharon Brown, Transylvania University, Professor of Exercise Science:
“A Bicycle Friendly University program can be a key player in facilitating and supporting bike-centered curriculum opportunities for faculty and students. In this presentation, I will highlight several ways that our campus bike program has impacted curricular development at Transylvania University. In a team-taught interdisciplinary course held on campus in the US and in the Netherlands, students examined a number of differences in public health policies in the two countries, covering such topics as euthanasia, health care, drug use, prostitution, and disease prevention. As part of the course, students embarked on a 10-day cycling trip where they used active transport to move from one city to the next and to get to course activities and social events. Special attention was given to cycling infrastructure in the Netherlands, including a full day workshop at the Dutch Cycling Embassy in Delft. In addition to the Netherlands course, a 200-mile bike domestic travel course with a focus on local sustainability and public health has been offered to be more inclusive of students who do not have the finical option to travel abroad. Finally, I will briefly discuss an ongoing research project that is being done with a senior seminar research methods course. Here students are conducting an intercept study on a multi-use trail in conjunction with the city's bike and pedestrian committee.”

avatar for Sharon Brown

Sharon Brown

Professor of Health and Exercise Science, Transylvania University
avatar for Jonathan Hunt

Jonathan Hunt

Associate Professor, Rhetoric & Language, University of San Francisco

Margot Higgins

Lecturer, University of Wisconsin La Crosse

Monday March 11, 2019 10:15am - 11:00am EDT
Kennedy 3rd Floor