1 STANDARD 1: MISSION AND GOALS Introduction From its normal school beginnings more than 150 years ago to its status today as a multipurpose university, California University of Pennsylvania has focused on the Mission of “Building Character, Building Careers.” In response to a recommendation in 2000 of a Middle States reaccreditation team, the University’s Council of Trustees in June 2003 approved an updated Mission Statement. Many months of work preceded that approval. An ad hoc Mission Statement Committee and the Administrative Council first drafted a Mission Statement. By January 2002, after focus group and public meetings, members of the University community commented on key elements of the Mission Statement during Mission Day III (Thompson, 2005, pp. 5-6). After that, University staff conducted a survey, publicized the Mission Statement to the University community while seeking further comment, submitted a revised draft to participants at Mission Day IV in February 2003, then submitted a revised Mission Statement to the University Forum. Forum members discussed the revised draft and approved the Mission Statement in April 2003. Finally, University President Angelo Armenti, Jr. presented the Mission Statement to the trustees, who approved it on June 4, 2003. (See “Updating the University’s Mission Statement,” February 17, 2003, p. 4, for a more detailed chronology of the development of the Mission Statement.) The Mission Statement is posted on the University’s Web site and found in many University documents (“California University of Pennsylvania Mission Statement,” 2003). The University community also approved a Strategic Plan, a Master Plan, a list of Goals and Objectives, a list of Core Values, and a list of Students’ Rights and Responsibilities. All of these 2 documents are posted on the University’s Web site (“About Us,” 2009). The core values of integrity, civility, responsibility, are vital components of the University’s Mission to build character and careers. Mission Statement: Updating It and Keeping It Aligned The University’s Mission Statement is: To advance its ultimate Mission of building the character and careers of students, the University shall focus its efforts on three goals: Student achievement and success, institutional excellence, and community service. These interrelated ends will be facilitated by the following means: High quality faculty, students, programs, and facilities. These means, in turn, will be funded through an energetic program of resource acquisition and stewardship. (“California University of Pennsylvania Mission Statement,” 2003). The Mission Statement is reviewed every 10 years; however, it may be reviewed sooner, if necessary. The University’s strategic planning process also involves regularly reviewing the Mission. During the annual Mission Day, the University community examines how well the University is adhering to its Mission and explores future directions. University governing groups, such as the University Forum and Faculty Senate, regularly discuss issues facing the University and how to solve them while staying committed to the University’s Mission. The Forum meets once a month from September through April (at least six times each academic year) and is composed of 12 students, 12 faculty, 12 administrators, five staff, two alumni, and one presiding officer (“Constitution of the California University of Pennsylvania Forum,” 2000). The Faculty Senate meets the first Thursday of every month (“Faculty Senate,” 2003). 3 As one of the 14 schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), Cal U strives to align its Mission with that of the state system. The state system’s Mission is to: “increase the intellectual wealth of the Commonwealth, to prepare students at all levels for personal and professional success in their lives, and to contribute to the economic, social, and cultural development of Pennsylvania’s communities, the Commonwealth, and the nation” (“Mission,” n.d.) Cal U’s programs and departments align their Mission Statements with those of the University and PASSHE through program reviews, accreditation visits, and approval by the appropriate vice president. For example, in April 2007, the Internship Center conducted a program review. The reviewers recommended that the relatively new Internship Center develop a Mission Statement (True, 2007, p. 2). The Internship Center now has a Mission “to foster relationships and internship experiences that assist students in building character and careers” (“Cal U: Internship Center,” 2009). The Internship Center Faculty Advisory Committee and the University provost approved the Internship Center’s Mission Statement. Career Services also developed a Mission Statement that aligns with the University’s Mission Statement: The office of Career Services supports the Mission of California University of Pennsylvania in building character and building careers by providing services and resources that facilitate the lifelong career development process. Using the Career Advantage Program as a framework, we partner with our stakeholders: students, alumni, employers, university faculty and staff, and parents to provide these mutually beneficial services. (“Cal U: Mission Statement – Career Services,” July 14, 2008). 4 The Mission and the Academic Curriculum Academic programs are aligned with the University’s Mission by focusing on student achievement and success, institutional excellence, and community service. The General Education program is one of many academic offerings aligned with the Mission. All baccalaureate degree-seeking students are required to take 49-51 credits of liberal arts classes because: California University of Pennsylvania believes that a liberal education is essential for all students, regardless of the profession for which they may be preparing. The goals, objectives, and courses that comprise the General Education program are designed to provide students with the knowledge, understanding, and skills they will need to pursue their careers and to lead productive and rewarding lives. (“Cal U University Catalogs: General Education,” 2003). Students take liberal arts courses in several areas, including critical thinking, public speaking, social sciences, humanities, fine arts, multicultural awareness, values, and health and wellness. The University also pursues its academic Mission by providing state-of-the-art classrooms. Science and math teaching has become more hands-on. The Studio Physics lab, the Studio Chemistry lab, and the Mathematics Computing lab in the New Science Building, were dedicated on Sept. 23, 2008 (Wald, October 13, 2008, p. 2). “Smart Classrooms” are provided in such classrooms as Keystone Hall 205, where the seating is much like that in a movie theater, and where there are four screens, speakers, and a Smart Board. There also are smart classrooms in Eberly Science and Technology Center, Duda Hall, Manderino Library, the Learning Resource Center, Gallagher Hall, Hamer Hall, the Watkins 5 Building. President Armenti stated that he “wants to make as many Smart Classrooms as possible in the next five years” (Rippel, 2009, pp. 1-2). Through the Department of Applied Engineering and Technology, and the Department of Defense-funded Robotics Initiative: National Center for Robotics Engineering Technology Education (NCRETE), Cal U has become a center for robotics outreach, technology education and promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) awareness. Teacher training, robotics camps, and competitions are conducted in collaboration with regional K-12 schools and industry sponsors. Cal U also offers one of the biggest technology education programs in the country (“President’s Perspective,” Summer 2008, pp. 1-6). Community Outreach: Experiential Education Ties to the Mission Many University programs reach out to the community, offering opportunities for community members to build character and career skills. The Office of Lifelong Learning, during two weeks in summer, conducts the Summer Educational Enrichment for Kids (SEEK) program for students in grades 1-8. Children participate in hands-on, interactive activities in such courses as “Incredible, Edible Math,” “Crazy Chemistry,” and “Edible Biology” (“Cal U: Seek,” June 8, 2009). Students from the Earth Sciences and Communication Studies departments sponsor the annual StormFest program for elementary school students, in cooperation with the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh. Attendees take part in such hands-on activities as “Edible Landfills,” “Lemon Battery,” and “Homemade Paper” (“StormFest 2009,” January 30-31, 2009). Cal U students gain experience working in their desired fields through cooperative education, 6 field experiences, internships, practicums, and student teaching. Cal U student interns have served at sites, such as the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the Environmental Protection Agency, “Late Show with David Letterman,” the Constituency for Africa, Nickelodeon, and hundreds of other public and private sector entities. The Career Advantage Program offered by Career Services helps students make career decisions through a series of self-assessment activities. Cal U students are encouraged to build resumes using such software as eDiscover, and have the opportunity to participate in career fairs, mock-interviews, and job shadowing. Career Services collaborates with workforce development boards to encourage employers to participate in University programs, on-site visits and recruitment opportunities (“Cal U: About Career Services,” 2003). Professional Development Ties to the Mission The University encourages faculty and staff, as well as students, to grow professionally. The Faculty Professional Development Committee (FPDC) offers workshops, financial awards, and other help to faculty. The Mission of FPDC is to “promote and support teaching, scholarship, service, appropriate use of technology, and the University's core values of civility, responsibility, and integrity” (“Cal U: Faculty Professional Development Committee,” June 18, 2009). The goals of the FPDC are to promote scholarly activity for faculty and provide small grants and awards to assist in these scholarly pursuits. FPDC offers workshops each year on subjects ranging from how to use Blackboard course management software to how to respond to students in crisis. 7 The University provides training opportunities for staff and administrators, as well, and frequently supports their attendance at professional development conferences. All fulltime employees and their immediate families are eligible for tuition remission. Assessing Alignment With the Mission The University has many processes for assessing the effectiveness of programs and their adherence to the Mission Statement. The Strategic Plan, for example, is continuously reviewed in relation to the Mission Statement. Either can be revised if warranted. Assessment is conducted at all levels of the university, including institutional, divisional, departmental and instructional. (See Chapter 14 for additional information on student assessment.) The vice presidents of the University are responsible for an assessment model in their respective divisions and set goals and objectives in alignment with the University’s Mission. The vice presidents submit a quarterly report of activities from their respective areas to the Council of Trustees, addressing student achievement and success, institutional excellence, and community service. Under the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost, all academic departments are responsible for Outcomes Assessment and provide this information to the academic deans and provost. Twenty-one academic programs are accredited at Cal U. The academic programs that have received accreditation have rigorous internal and external evaluations to maintain the academic standards mandated by the accrediting bodies, as well as by California University of Pennsylvania. 8 The Counselor Education Department is an example of an accredited academic program that uses multiple methods of assessment. Two assessment tools are used in each of nine curricular areas: professional identity, social and cultural diversity, human growth and development, career development, helping relationships, group work, assessment, research and program development, and clinical experience. The two assessment tools used include the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE), developed by the Center for Credentialing and Education, and the Site Supervisor’s Evaluation of Student Counselor’s Performance Inventory, developed by Cal U’s Counselor Education Department (California University of Pennsylvania Department of Counselor Education Student Handbook, Fall 2007, pp. 7-12). Service departments such as Student Development and Services also assess how well they adhere to the University’s Mission by reviewing each of their 23 departments through an annual end-of-year report that reflects the program’s goals and measurable outcomes (“Student Development Divisional Assessment Model,” 2009). Each area submits an assessment plan that requires it to demonstrate how its efforts trace back to the Mission. The departments are on a cycle for program review every five years and use the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education standards as one of their tools. Student Development and Services assesses students’ needs, satisfaction, cultures and campus environments, and learning outcomes, as well as programs’ alignment to national standards, cost-effectiveness, and comparisons to programs of similar institutions (“Student Development Divisional Assessment Model,” 2009). Communicating the Mission California University of Pennsylvania uses many strategies to communicate its Mission Statement to those inside and outside the University community. The Office of University 9 Relations includes the departments of Public Relations and Marketing and oversees the University Web site, catalogs, press releases and television and radio commercials. All of these media are used to state and explain the University’s Mission. While the University’s Mission can be viewed on Cal U’s Web site, so can the Mission Statements of many departments and programs. For example, the Mission Statement for the Master of Science Program in Exercise Science and Health Promotion reads: Aligned with the University’s core values of Integrity, Civility and Responsibility, and the Mission of Building Character and Careers, the Master of Science degree program in Exercise Science and Health Promotion provides a high quality educational experience via online delivery using student-centered learning methods. (“Health Science and Sports Studies, Global Online,” November 14, 2008). Faculty, staff and students receive copies of the Mission Statement at twice-yearly convocations and at the annual Mission Day. As stated in the 2005 “Executive Summary,” “Our Mission Statement influences everything that occurs at California University of Pennsylvania.” Faculty, staff and students also receive printed materials promoting Cal U’s Mission in the University catalogs (both undergraduate and graduate studies), Cal U Review (a quarterly magazine for faculty, staff and alumni), Cal Times (a weekly student newspaper), and The California University Journal (a twice-a-month newsletter for faculty and staff). The Mission Statement also appears on posters promoting the University, in student handbooks and recruitment material, and on University letterhead and business cards. Those not affiliated with the University learn about Cal U’s Mission Statement through 10 commercials, on the University’s television station (CUTV), on the University’s Web site, and in brochures from the Admissions Office and graduate programs. Some Evidence of Mission Success California University of Pennsylvania has successfully pursued its Mission of building character and careers by focusing on its goals of attaining student achievement and success, institutional excellence, and community service. Student Achievement and Success The average SAT score continues to increase: The average SAT score, in 2000, was 962; in 2005, it rose to 987; and, in 2008, it increased to 1028 (Kline, March 6, 2009, “Total”). (See Chapter 2 for additional information on SAT scores.) The University has a robust honors program with approximately 200 students enrolled and a new director as of July 2008. As the Undergraduate Catalog points out, honors students seek to “pursue intellectual and creative growth beyond the usual requirements of their major field of study and intend to cultivate their individual and personal aspirations to learn” (“Cal U: University Catalogs – Honors Program,” 2003). Honors students take enriched honors courses. Scholarships are available for two Cal U honors students to attend a summer abroad program sponsored by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Cal U honors students also participate in artistic, scholarly, professional, and community service activities outside the classroom (“Cal U: University Catalogs – Honors Program,” 2003). 11 Forty-nine students are enrolled in the Leadership Studies minor and participate in leadership-building exercises, in addition to their classes. Students must earn 21 credits for this minor, including an internship (K. Satifka, personal communication, 2009). Institutional Excellence Twenty-one programs are accredited. The Program Accreditation Reports reflect these programs’ alignment with the University’s Mission. More than three-fourths of the faculty hold doctorates or other terminal degrees (“Applications Up,” January 2009). Departments complete a five-year internal and/or external program review. The five-year program reviews display evidence of student learning and an assessment of department goals and objectives. The Provost’s Office keeps the Assessment of Student Learning Year-End Reports, Department Annual Reports, and Five-Year Reviews. College deans or other appropriate coordinators also keep these records. The Chancellor’s Office in Harrisburg also receives copies of the Five-Year Reviews. Academic departments submit Outcomes Assessment reports for General Education classes they offer and for classes in their majors when the programs are undergoing review. (See Chapter 14 for information on Outcomes Assessment.) Cal U offers Seven Habits of Highly Effective People workshops and has trained 1,960 staff, faculty, administrators, students, corporation staff, and community members since 1999 (R. Paul, personal communication, Spring 2009). 12 Cal U has been named to US News and World Report’s “Best Colleges” list (“Cal U Named to Best Colleges List,” 2006, August 28). The Princeton Review also chose Cal U as one of “The Best Northeastern Colleges” (“Cal U in the Princeton Review College Guide,” August 26, 2005). Cal U has received the highest ranking in Performance Indicators by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (“Performance Funding Allocations and Evaluations by University and Sub-Measure, 2008-09,” 2009). The University strives to increase the diversity of its student body and its employees. The Frederick Douglass Institute and Multicultural Center promote understanding, appreciation, and celebration of multiculturalism among the University community. Community Service Faculty members are evaluated on their community service during their tenure-track evaluations, tenure, promotion and five-year evaluations. (See Chapter 10 for details on tenure and promotion requirements.) Staff report on their community service through the System Accountability Plan. The Accountability Matrix measures the following: Serving the Common Good, Fostering Citizenship, Social Responsibility, Diversity, and Practicing Stewardship (“Accountability Matrix,” 2008). Student clubs and organizations and their faculty and staff advisors serve the community by participating in such organizations and events as the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity, United Way, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the 13 American Heart Association (System Accountability Report, 2008). Martin Luther King Day has become a day of service at Cal U and University students, faculty and staff are encouraged to provide service to others on that day (“System Accountability Report,” 2008). Analysis The Mission Statement serves as the underpinning for all facets of university life, including academics, extracurricular activities, service projects, and administrative decisions. Its message is repeated in printed and electronic materials and communicated in classrooms and offices. The Mission Statement is tantamount to a living document, as all faculty, administrators, and staff are expected to help students build character and careers, as well as lead by example. All students, regardless of major, receive a well-rounded liberal arts education that includes taking courses in values, multiculturalism, humanities, fine arts, and public speaking. Students, upon graduation, have the skills necessary to do well in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Programs, such as the one offered by Career Services, help students by offering opportunities to fine tune resumes, participate in mock interviews, and attend job fairs. California University of Pennsylvania is dedicated to helping students become productive members of society who are imbued with a sense of civic duty. 14 Conclusion Developing character and careers always has been a Mission of California University of Pennsylvania. However, since 2003, when the Council of Trustees adopted the University’s Mission Statement, Cal U has demonstrated in a myriad of ways its commitment to its Mission. The Mission is a mantra that informs the work and lives of the University’s students, faculty and staff. The University is starting to reap the benefits of its focus on realizable goals by attracting students with higher SAT scores, faculty with outstanding backgrounds, and the respect of accrediting agencies and others who judge the quality of education the University provides. Recommendations A specific method to evaluate character and careers must be institutionalized. Many offices collect data, some of which is anecdotal, on building careers. There is some evidence of this, such as Career Services programming, investments in smart classrooms and technological equipment, and program accreditation; however, this information needs to be quantified. Similarly, there is anecdotal evidence of character-building, but this needs to be demonstrated clearly and concisely.1 1 The Recommendation Progress Report/Action Plan is contained in the cover letter. 15 STANDARD 2: PLANNING, RESOURCE ALLOCATION AND INSTITUTIONAL RENEWAL Introduction The underlying theme of everything California University of Pennsylvania does in planning, resource allocation and institutional renewal comes from President Armenti’s paper, “Declining Public Support for Public Higher Education” (April 7, 2008). The study asserts that because of a significant cutback in state funding over the last 25 years, Cal U, a public institution, is “being privatized without a plan” (Armenti, April 7, 2008, p. 1). There has been no public acknowledgement of this problem and no statewide plan for privatization. There also has been no relaxation of the state’s rules and policies that limit the University’s flexibility, and which private institutions do not always have to meet. The administration has recognized these problems, and committed the University to not simply surviving until it withers, but rather, developing an institutional plan to allow it to compete and thrive. The University is: (1) changing the way it operates, by becoming more productive, effective, and entrepreneurial, (2) improving the campus’s physical appearance and following a master plan that includes state-of-the-art residence halls, (3) striving to offer students a high-quality education by pursuing accreditation for every eligible program, employing a high-quality faculty, helping students to graduate in four years and to follow a Career Advantage program that will help them find employment, and (4) pursuing additional resources, such as world-class partners and committed donors. Following these strategies, Cal U is implementing a unique plan to thrive while public higher education support continues to decline. Strategic Plan/Planning The University’s Strategic Plan for 2009-2012 is the result of a yearlong University-wide 16 study process. Members of the University community discussed the University’s opportunities and challenges, strengths and areas for improvement. They also considered Stephen Covey’s framework for developing a strategic plan, the “Four Disciplines of Execution” model. The four disciplines that should increase an organization’s effectiveness include: (1) Identifying Wildly Important Goals With Line of Sight throughout the organization and with partners, (2) Determining and Acting on Lead Measures, (3) Keeping Compelling Scoreboards, and (4) Creating a Cadence of Accountability throughout the organization. This framework can be seen in the Strategic Plan, with its measurable goals/objectives and clearly defined and measurable criteria for success. Members of the University community were asked multiple times by e-mail and in other ways to read and comment on drafts of the Strategic Plan. The various University governing bodies also had a chance to make recommendations about the plan. The process, starting in July 2008 and culminating with the plan distributed and publicized in August 2009, is detailed in “Chronology of California University of Pennsylvania Strategic Plan” (August 4, 2008; September 6, 2008). All seven of the major goals of the 2005-2008 plan continue “to incorporate continuous improvement into all programs and activities, University-wide, to ensure competitive excellence” (“Strategic Plan 2009-12, Draft 3,” April 17, 2009). Goal Four was modified slightly and a Goal Eight was added to “foster civic engagement, that is, a commitment to accept and perform the duties and obligations of belonging to a community, a Commonwealth, a nation, and the world” (“Strategic Plan 2009-12, Draft 3,” April 17, 2009). Although the seven major goals were retained, new activities/objectives were added for each as well as new success criteria. The new University Strategic Plan is a roadmap for planning, resource allocation and institutional renewal 17 at Cal U as it strives to be recognized, as its Vision Statement says, “as the best comprehensive public university in America” (“California University of Pennsylvania Mission Statement: Vision,” June 4, 2003). Members of the University community evaluated whether Cal U had met the goals and objectives of its 2005-2008 Strategic Plan. This “report card” shows the University successfully completed 94 percent of the goals and objectives in its 2005-2008 Strategic Plan (“Report Card for the Strategic Plan for Cal U 2005-2008,” 2009). The completion rate was: Goal One –“to increase University academic excellence at both the undergraduate and graduate levels” – 95 percent; Goal Two –“to continue to enhance the quality of student life” – 98 percent; Goal Three – “to enhance diversity, as broadly defined, at California University” – 95 percent; Goal Four – “[to] continue operation of a centralized Office of Continuous Improvement” – 75 percent; Goal Five – “to continue to improve the infrastructure of California University of Pennsylvania – 100 percent; Goal Six – “to serve the region, the Commonwealth and the nation” – 96 percent; and Goal Seven – “to enhance the use of existing resources and develop/increase new sources of revenue” – 100 percent (“Strategic Plan 2005,” January 26, 2009). “To be effective in planning, Cal U needs to align its Mission and goals with those of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). The Mission of PASSHE is “to be among the nation’s leading systems of public universities, recognized for (1) excellence in undergraduate education and (2) responsiveness to state, regional, and national needs through quality graduate and undergraduate programs, research and service” (“Mission,” n.d.) The Mission of Cal U is: . . . building the character and careers of students . . . [by focusing on] student achievement and success, institutional excellence, and community service. These 18 interrelated ends are accomplished by the following means: high quality faculty, students, programs, and facilities. These means, in turn, will be funded through an energetic program of resource acquisition and stewardship. (“California University of Pennsylvania Mission Statement,” June 4, 2003). Clearly, the two Missions are connected. There also is a clear line of sight between the goals of PASSHE and those of Cal U. When Cal U meets and completes its goals, the University helps PASSHE meet the PASSHE goals of attaining: (1) Student Achievement and Success, (2) University and System Excellence, (3) Commonwealth Service, (4) Resource Development and Stewardship, and (5) Public Leadership (Leading the Way, 2003). A few examples of the line of sight between Cal U’s and PASSHE’s Missions and goals include: PASSHE each year evaluates the 14 state universities in the system using 23 Performance Indicators. Universities are measured against their own baseline, or historical performance; against a benchmark performance by five-to-seven similar, peer universities from across the country; and against the system average. Some of the “Performance Indicator” categories are: degrees awarded, second year persistence, graduation rates, faculty productivity, employee diversity, personnel ratio, instructional costs and faculty terminal degrees. Cal U met or exceeded its baseline for all these indicators for all categories except four, which dealt with minorities’ persistence and graduation rates. Cal U also did well against the benchmark universities, and against the PASSHE system averages (Performance Funding Allocations and Evaluations by University and SubMeasure 2008-09 Report, 2009). Cal U received the highest level of performance funding 19 of the 14 system universities, even though five of the 14 are larger, some almost double the size of Cal U.1 PASSHE has a goal of providing high quality academic programs in its system universities and strongly encourages the universities to seek national accreditation for all programs that are eligible. Cal U has the goal of getting 80 percent of its eligible programs accredited by 2012 (“Strategic Plan 2009-12, Draft 3,” April 17, 2009, p. 8). PASSHE wants to manage growth to ensure access. Cal U has an enrollment management plan that has helped increase enrollment in the past four years. The University also has committed significant resources (human and fiscal) to the development of Cal U Global Online, a worldwide, Web-based distance education program, serving the needs of the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world. PASSHE wants to provide all students with opportunities leading to active citizenship, social responsibility and lifelong learning. Goal Eight of the Cal U strategic plan identifies methods to foster civic engagement, including such programs as the American Democracy Project, Issue Expos, Campaign Watch, Election Analysis Forums, the development of an Office for Community Service, and nationally recognized speakers on such global issues as energy, the environment, health, trade, conservation, current events and social responsibility. PASSHE values and promotes diversity and so does Cal U. The University defines diversity broadly to include not only race, ethnicity and gender, but also geographic diversity. Goal Three of the Strategic Plan identifies the following methods of promoting diversity: Expansion of study abroad opportunities; recruitment/retention of students and 20 faculty of diverse backgrounds; promotion of a culture of civility, tolerance and inclusiveness; and expansion of programming in the new campus Multicultural Center. PASSHE has a goal for Resource Development and Stewardship as does Cal U. The University has a partnership with FranklinCovey to offer leadership development training to organizations, with the proceeds going to create endowed scholarships for University students. Moreover, the University kicks off its second Capital Campaign in June 2009, with a goal of raising $35 million, just one part of a comprehensive fundraising/ friend-raising program. Cal U also ranks first in PASSHE for faculty productivity. Public Leadership is another of PASSHE’s strategic goals. Cal U’s Goal Six in the Strategic Plan aligns with PASSHE’s goal by identifying and partnering with such world-renowned organizations as The Smithsonian Institution, The National Gallery of Art, The National Building Museum, and the Library of Congress. The University also helps with regional disaster planning, intends to use the new Convocation Center (to be completed in 2011) as a site for regional, state, and national conferences and events, and provides a professional speakers’ bureau list for regional, state, and national organizations. Cal U makes available to the community the services of the University’s Institutes for Homeland Security, Criminological and Forensic Sciences, Crime Mapping, Child and Family Studies, and Tourism Research. Maintaining and Improving the Quality The drive to sustain and strengthen Cal U is because the Cal U administration believes the University is “being privatized without a plan” and must create its own plan to not only survive, but flourish. At one time, the state provided almost 100 percent of the budget to run the state universities. Over the past 25 years, the dollars the legislature allocates to the universities has 21 dropped. Cal U received just 37 percent of its budget from the state appropriation in 2007-2008. The rest of the revenue comes from tuition and other sources (Armenti, April 7, 2008, p. 4). Thus, increasing enrollment, as well as private fundraising, are critical goals for Cal U. SAT Scores Although increasing enrollment is important, it is equally essential to Cal U to continuously improve its quality. It would seem these goals are mutually exclusive; however, to increase enrollments of higher quality students, it is necessary to increase both the number of inquiries and the number of applications so there is a greater pool of students from whom to choose. From 2004 to 2008, the number of undergraduate inquiries increased by 33.5 percent, from 13,585 to 18,168. During this same time period, the number of undergraduate applications increased by 60 percent, from 3,968 to 6,342. The number of undergraduate acceptances increased by 34 percent, from 3,064 to 4,103, and the number of undergraduate enrollments increased by 35 percent, from 1,629 to 2,202 (Hasbrouck, September 2008). Cal U has implemented an enrollment management plan that is setting a higher bar for the minimum acceptable SAT score. From 2004-05 to 2008-09, enrollment increased 35.8 percent. During the same period, the average SAT score for incoming freshmen enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program increased by 4 percent from 988 in 2004 to 1,028 in 2008. Since 1983, the average SAT score has increased by 13 percent from 907 in 1983 to 1,028 in 2008. The University Strategic Plan sets a goal of an average SAT score of 1045 by 2012. The median SAT score for incoming freshmen enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program increased by 3 percent between 2004 and 2008, from 970 in 2004 to 1,000 in 2008. Since 1983, the median SAT score has increased by 11 percent, from 900 in 1983 to 1,000 in 2008 (Kline, March 6, 2009, “Total”). 22 Accreditation One measure of a university’s quality is the number of its programs that are accredited. Cal U is committed to obtain national accreditation for all of its programs that are eligible for accreditation. There is a plan to maintain accreditation for those programs that have it and to develop a schedule for gaining accreditation for the remaining eligible programs (“Strategic Plan 2009-12, Draft 3,” April 17, 2009, p. 8). This includes finding the resources to pay for faculty, to develop classroom and office space, to acquire equipment and appropriate technology, and to obtain library materials. The University’s goal is to increase the percentage of eligible accredited programs from the current 68 percent to 80 percent within the next three years, while maintaining existing accreditations (“Strategic Plan 2009-12, Draft 3,” April 17, 2009, p. 8). Faculty Terminal Degrees Another measure of quality is the number of faculty with terminal degrees. The University has made great strides in this measure. The PASSHE performance target is 90 percent. In Fall 1998, Cal U was at 61.18 percent of faculty having terminal degrees. By 2007, that number had increased to 77.45 percent of the faculty having terminal degrees (N. Hasbrouck, personal communication, 2009). The “Strategic Plan for 2009-2012” calls for the number of faculty with terminal degrees to be 90 percent in 2012 (April 17, 2009, p. 11). Strategies for Attracting Students The University has worked hard to be more competitive with the private and state-related universities in the state, as well as with the other 13 state system universities. For example, Cal U’s enrollment was up 3.8 percent in Fall 2008 (“Cal U Enrollment Rises Again,” September 23, 2008), but the enrollment increase for the PASSHE schools overall was just 2 percent. (“PASSHE Universities Report Record Enrollment,” October 22, 2008). 23 This growth has occurred even though tuition has increased yearly and the number of 18year-olds in western Pennsylvania is expected to fall. Nationally, the number of high school graduates increased 7.1 percent from 2004 through 2008, from 2.91 million to 3.18 million, while there was an estimated 3.8 percent increase in the number of Pennsylvania high school graduates – approximately 5,476 graduates. However, the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Educational Statistics predicts that nationally, from 2008 through 2014, the number of high school graduates is expected to decrease 4.4 percent (from 3.18 million to 3.04 million), while the drop in Pennsylvania high school graduates will be much steeper during this period, with an expected decrease of 11 percent from 146,529 to 130,517 (National Center for Education Statistics, n.d.). The Cal U administration, for many years, has been aware of this data and developed a strategy to attract students from outside the traditional six-county region surrounding the University. Cal U demolished its antiquated residence halls and built state-of-the-art housing suites to attract students from the eastern part of Pennsylvania, as well as from the border states of New York, New Jersey, and Maryland, where, the data indicate, there will be a double digit increase in the number of 18-24 year olds over the next decade. Freshmen surveyed. The University also surveyed 944 incoming freshmen in August 2007 to determine why they believe students “should” and “do” attend Cal U. The top six reasons include: (1) “The residence halls are new,” (1) “The campus looks beautiful,” (3) The opportunity to pursue a specific major,” (4) “The school has a friendly environment,” (5) “The campus is expanding,” and (6) “To get opportunities to meet new people” (Sweeney, November 6, 2007, p. 3). College visits. An article, “Campus Visit Drives College Choice,” by Richard A. Hesel, 24 reports that a survey of students showed that 65 percent said campus visits were influential in their application decision (January 29, 2004). This response was substantially higher than the other categories that the prospective students identified as influential in their decision of where to apply for college. The other categories identified by those surveyed were: advice from parents or other family members (39 percent), current students or graduates of the school (33 percent), Web sites of the colleges and universities (26 percent), and, catalogs, view books, and print materials from schools (25 percent). Based on these data, Cal U has implemented an aggressive campus beautification plan, in accordance with its Campus Master Plan and Campus Landscaping Plan. The University makes every effort to help students and parents feel that Cal U has a warm, friendly atmosphere and is a visually appealing campus. The University is competitive with the state’s private colleges and universities in this regard. Parents and prospective students attending the University’s Discovery Days frequently say that Cal U “looks more like a private college” than a public university. Targeting guidance counselors. In addition to developing an attractive mail stream of marketing materials, the University also works with high school guidance counselors to inform them of the positive changes happening at Cal U. These counselors play an important role in a student’s selection of a college or university. With its “Guidance Counselor Postcard Campaign,” Cal U provided guidance counselors across the state with updated evidence of the growth and quality of the University in an attractive and easy-to-read manner. Another strategy in the current University plan is to develop and implement a Guidance Counselor Portal on the University Web site that will give counselors direct access to information about students from their schools who have inquired or applied to Cal U. With this easy access to real-time data, counselors should be able to do their jobs a little more easily. The University also is developing a 25 Parent/Family Web portal to engage and connect parents with the University, since parents have considerable influence on where their students enroll. Web site redesign. To increase and enhance its marketing/outreach efforts, the University is upgrading and revamping its Web site by partnering with Barkley/REI, a Pittsburgh and Philadelphia-based interactive media group. The administration recognizes that the Web site is the most important media choice for reaching prospective students and will be a source of pride for current students and alumni. In a related effort to meet potential students where they are, the University is promoting itself via YouTube and Facebook and other social media sources. Media campaign. To make more people aware of what Cal U is and does, the University has initiated a media campaign to make Cal U more competitive in regional and national markets. While continuing to maintain close ties with local news media, the University has shared some of Cal U’s most compelling stories with readers far beyond southwestern Pennsylvania. In the past 18 months, news of Cal U has appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Wall Street Journal’s online MarketWatch, and the Harrisburg Patriot-News, just to name a few media outlets. The University’s commercial, “Graduating with a Degree of Honor,” which emphasizes the Mission of building character and building careers, aired on the pre-game show of the Super Bowl in 2009. The University also was the only university in the world to be included in the yearlong National Building Museum’s “Green Community” exhibition in Washington, D.C. This exhibition will tour schools and communities across the United States. High school students. Identifying, and marketing to new groups of high-quality high school students, is also part of the University’s strategy to increase both enrollments and quality. These targeted groups include Early Admit High Schools, Honors students, and Advanced Standing students through the Cal U in the High School Program. From 2004 to 2008, the number of area 26 high school students participating in the Cal U in the High School program increased by 166 percent (from 1,615 to 2,682). In 1997, when the program began, 28 students enrolled in Cal U in the High School and 50 percent (14) later enrolled at Cal U. By 2008, there were 2,682 students in Cal U in the High School and 209 of these students later enrolled at Cal U (Crofcheck, February 20, 2009). Nontraditional students. Cal U also reaches out to nontraditional students, those who are 25 and older. The number of undergraduate nontraditional students increased from 17.10 percent of the overall enrollment in 2004 to 18.14 percent in 2008. Because the number of undergraduate nontraditional students has increased just slightly over the past five years, Cal U is intensifying its recruitment of these students. In 2008, the Office of Lifelong Learning hired a recruiter of adult students who works with businesses and community colleges, among other sources, to encourage nontraditional students to consider Cal U. Lifelong Learning operates on the main campus from the Eberly Science and Technology Center and reports to the executive vice president. It handles degree and nondegree and noncredit programming and provides programming for people of all ages from small children through senior citizens. Evening College, Summer College, Character Education, Conference Services, University Staff Training/Development, and children’s programming is all done through the Office of Lifelong Learning. The Southpointe Center is a separate entity and reports through the Provost’s Office. Its primary mission is currently workforce development/training, although it also offers some credit classes at the site (Kline, March 6, 2009, “Nontraditional”). Summer School Web classes. The University’s Summer College also plays a role in increasing recruitment and improving quality. Web classes were added to the Summer College schedule in 2003 for both graduate and undergraduate students. Students can take classes from 27 their homes, which helps the students stay on schedule to graduate in four years, or even earlier. The Web classes also reach a potentially new population of students from other colleges, some of whom transferred to Cal U after getting to know Cal U through their summer Web class or classes. The online summer class strategy enabled the university to increase enrollments by 13.8 percent in Summer 2006 over the enrollment of Summer 2005, and increase enrollment by 16.9 percent in Summer 2007, over Summer 2006. Enrollments in Summer 2008 were up 3.8 percent (Gavazzi, February 20, 2009). Cal U Global Online and GO Army. The University launched Cal U GO (Global Online) to expand its potential student pool worldwide. Enrollments rose from 15 students in the Spring of 2003 to 1,485 students in Fall 2008 (technically, a growth of 9,800 percent). One of the largest sources of potential students is through the GOArmy.edu portal, run by the United States Army. This program allows active duty military men and women to pursue an education in a unique way. Cal U is one of just 61 schools on this portal. Cal U was “onboarded” by GoArmy in the Spring of 2009 and has seven approved programs of study available (S. Powers, personal communication, Spring 2009; “Cal U GO Armed Forces,” March 15, 2009). The Uniqueness of California University of Pennsylvania Cal U is unique in many ways. The way it plans, the way it uses its resources, and the way it functions is intentionally designed to promote uniqueness. In the words of President Armenti, “We are not timid.” The University has set the precedent, and in many cases the bar, among the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) schools for new initiatives. The administration practices the principles of Stephen Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” which is unusual in higher education. 28 Among the 14 PASSHE institutions: Cal U is the first to replace all of its residence halls in a unique public/private partnership arrangement that not only provides state-of-the-art housing but also generates scholarship dollars (“Selling Students on Sustainable Living,” Fall 2007, pp. 12-13), Cal U is a pioneer in the state system by investing $1.75 million in geothermal technology in the new residence halls. Cal U’s incorporation of Green Concepts and energy management into all its campus facilities operations, planning and construction has made it unique. Cal U uses approximately 57 percent less energy than the average PASSHE university and has saved more than $6 million in energy – the equivalent of four years of free energy at the current rate of consumption – allowing for these savings to be reinvested in additional new initiatives and scholarships (“Cal U’s Energy Management Efforts Recognized in Green Report,” Fall 2007, pp. 10-11). Cal U is the first and only PASSHE institution to become a Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Show (SITES) partner, which brings high quality exhibitions to the University. The exhibitions are available to the University community, the general public, and students and teachers from regional middle and high schools. The Smithsonian program is linked to the Pennsylvania Department of Education standards and includes lesson plans and activities that help area teachers turn a class field trip into a meaningful educational experience. The Smithsonian programs led to 10,000 visits to the Manderino Fine Arts Gallery in one year 29 (“More Than 500 ‘Squid Kids,’” December 1, 2008; “Booming Out,” August 17, 2007; C. Kindle, personal communication, 2009). Cal U is the first to create a University Master Plan and planning process that the Society of College and University Planners considered for a top award (J. Hanley, personal communication, Spring 2009). Cal U the first to develop and promote core values and Rights and Responsibilities documents (J. Hanley, personal communication, Spring 2009). Cal U is the only one to develop a Character Education Institution and implement FranklinCovey Leadership development training for all its employees and students for free, as part of its mission of building character and building careers (J. Hanley, personal communication, Spring 2009). Cal U the first to provide corporate training and use the revenues to create endowed scholarships for students through its partnership with FranklinCovey, an international leadership development organization (J. Hanley, personal communication, Spring 2009). Cal U is the first to conceive and implement a 100 percent Gender Equity Plan in Athletics, using the three-prong test of the National College Athletic Association, a plan which will be fully implemented by 2011. This plan provides for enough staff to generate the athletic scholarship dollars necessary to offer additional opportunities for female athletes, while not taking away opportunities away from male athletes (J. Hanley, personal communication, Spring 2009). 30 Cal U is the first to implement a University-wide Mission Day, held yearly and focusing on a high-priority issue related to the University’s long-term success (J. Hanley, personal communication, Spring 2009). Cal U is the first to air live football broadcasts on Fox Sports Network (FSN), allowing it to reach out to alumni and friends across the country. Cal U also was the first state system school to partner with B2 Networks, allowing it to stream live athletic contests from any of its athletic venues. Cal U alumni, fans and friends, with Internet access, can now watch the schools’ teams from anywhere in the world. In 2007-2008, five Cal U athletic teams won NCAA Regional Championships. The combined grade point averages of the 323 athletes in the Athletic Department that year was 3.0 (“Cal Football on FSN Pittsburgh,” 2009; R. Kline, personal communication, Spring 2009). Cal U is the only one to receive a Department of Defense multimillion dollar grant to develop the nation’s first two-tier degree program in Robotics Engineering Technology – an associate’s program that transfers into a bachelor’s degree in Mechatronics Engineering Technology. This program is linked to a multimilliondollar emerging industry, in which Pennsylvania is playing a leading role (“Multiyear Project,” Fall 2007, pp. 6-7; Rodi, February 19, 2009; S. Komacek, personal communication, February 18, 2009, “Robotics Engineering Technology Program Sheet,” n.d.). It also has a “shovel-ready” plan for an Indoor Multi-Sport Field House that will provide the only 300-meter indoor competition track in the state of Pennsylvania. The facility also will generate additional revenue sources for athletic scholarships 31 and enable the athletic department reach its goal of 100 percent gender equity, by providing locker room facilities for all of its sports teams. (“Athletics Master Plan,” September 17, 2007”; J. Hanley, personal communication, Spring 2009). Covey Theory and Planning The University leadership has a strong commitment to working in “Quadrant II” (Q2), a Stephen Covey description of the need for preparation and planning (J. Hanley, personal communication, Spring 2009). Although working in this “quadrant” is critical to the core mission of an organization, some organizations do not always value working in this area, and instead, concentrate on putting out “fires” and handling crisis events, activities that Covey says occur in Quadrant I (Q1). The theory is that if an organization spends its time in crisis management (Q1), handling only the most urgent and seemingly most important activities, it will not have time to spend planning and preparing (Q2) the activities that allow the organization to move forward. By refusing to spend time in Quadrant IV (Q4), which includes not important/not urgent activities and spending less time in Quadrant III (Q3), which are urgent/not important activities, an organization creates more time for planning/preparation (Q2). Furthermore, if an organization makes more time to plan and prepare, it automatically reduces the amount of time it spends in crisis management. Most of the initiatives the University has developed and implemented to make it unique were not projects that happened overnight. They required long-term planning and a commitment to resource planning and allocation, even during difficult financial periods. Administrators attended weekly Q2 meetings to provide “a cadence of accountability” and to make sure there was progress (J. Hanley, personal communication, Spring 2009). 32 Renewing the Vision; Continuous Improvement The University’s Mission Statement and three-year Strategic Plan inspire and drive the efforts to acquire and allocate resources. Planners focus on goals and objectives that are critical to the core of Cal U’s Mission. Because the University’s administrators recognize that public support for higher education continues to decline, they know that developing new resources is paramount to the University now and in the future. They also know that flexibility and agility are key to future success. Budgeting, Finding Resources The University’s budgeting systems are flexible and allow managers to place their dollars where the need is the greatest and where those dollars will produce the greatest return on investment, such as program accreditation, and changes to facilities to increase productivity and learning. The University has developed a University Endowment Fund through careful budgeting. Despite many lean years when the University would begin the fiscal year in the red and have to “catch up” throughout the year, Cal U has started its past three budget years in the “black” through planning and through new programs that are earning revenue beyond expenses. Performance Indicator Funds The Department of Art and Design is an example of how flexibility in using resources at Cal U has been effective. An accreditation and self-study team identified areas the Art and Design Department should upgrade to earn accreditation. The department submitted a full-scale proposal to the administration to upgrade facilities and the administrators were able to give the department $200,000 of Cal U’s state Performance Indicator funds (J. Hanley, personal communication, Spring 2009; R. Pandrock, personal communication, Spring 2009). By continuously monitoring 33 faculty Fulltime Equivalencies and Student/Faculty Ratios, Cal U consistently ranks No. 1 on the state’s performance indicator for faculty productivity. The Cal U departments then receive a portion of performance funding for their special projects, which, in turn, improves teaching and learning. Cal U Global Online Cal U Global Online is a new revenue source that is earning a profit because of significant enrollment increases over the last five years. Although there was an initial investment to develop and launch the program, Cal U Global Online has paid for itself. Fundraising A study of Cal U’s capacity to plan for and conduct a capital campaign led to the reorganization of the University Advancement area, splitting University Advancement into University Relations and University Development, each with its own vice president, and a number of new staff to effectively conduct a full-scale fundraising program, like the Capital Campaign. Grants The University has increased staff in the Office of Contracts and Grants and, in turn, there has been an increase in grant activity and funding. For Fiscal Year 2007-08, there were 92 projects totaling $3,706,395. This represents a 7 percent increase in the number of grants/contracts, compared to Fiscal Year 2006-07. During Fiscal Year 2007-08, 69 faculty and staff submitted proposals and administered grant-funded projects. Of these participants, 27 were first-time applicants at the University (“Office of Grants and Contracts,” 2008, p. 2). Cal U for Life Another new plan to raise funds, “Cal U for Life,” was instituted in Fall 2009 with the goal of 34 increasing alumni and student philanthropy. It is important that students learn early how essential it is for them to “pay it forward.” This program will educate students about institutional funding, donor participation and its impact on them, and how they can contribute time, talent and treasure to the University now and over their lifetimes (“Creating a Culture of Student Philanthropy” workshop, January 23, 2009). Renewing, Improving Physical Resources The University started, in 1992, to develop and implement a Master Plan for the campus, which includes a separate Landscape Plan. The last piece of the original Master Plan will be completed with the Convocation Center in 2011. A new Master Plan has been developed and approved through 2023. As part of the development of the physical campus, the University has partnered with corporations and the federal government to be a test site for a Magnetic Levitation transportation system (Maglev). This $250-million project will transport students, employees and the public from the stadium and upper campus to the main campus (“Cal’s Maglev Fits Stimulus Plan Criteria,” January 19, 2009; J. Hanley, personal communication, Spring 2009). Parking Parking is an issue on most campuses and a significant one for Cal U because there is little unused land available. In 2007, the University hired a consulting firm to do a parking study. The consultants found that the overall supply of parking is adequate now but that improvements are needed if there is future development. The University’s Council of Trustees voted that Cal U may seek a bond issue, not to exceed $20 million, to expand parking options. A plan to improve parking starts in Summer 2009 and will be completed in 2010 (Chance Management Advisors, January, 2008; J. Hanley, personal communication, Spring 2009). 35 Technology Technology is key for both the learning that takes place at a University and for administering the University. Thus, Cal U has a new vice president of Information Technology, who fills a newly created position. He is developing a three-year strategic plan to address “smart” technology in all University classrooms and to set up a way to acquire and replace resources. Developing Human Resources The human resources of the University also need to be renewed on a regular basis and this is done through staff training and development programs. The University funds the Faculty Professional Development Center, which holds workshops for faculty each semester that cover a range of topics. The bronze marker in front of the Natali Student Center detailing the Rights and Responsibilities of all members of the University community is but one example of the importance and value the University places on everyone at the University having the opportunity to live up to his or her potential. Using Data to Manage Cal U is a data-driven organization. Organizations that are not effectively measuring themselves are not effectively managing themselves. The University uses both “lead” and “lag” measures and scorecards, to know where it is at all times. Feedback from the campus community is important to know what Cal U is doing and how well it is doing it. Surveys The Office of Continuous Improvement administers the American College Testing (ACT) program’s survey of student opinion to all Cal U undergraduate students who have earned 30 or more credits at Cal U. The survey seeks students’ ranking of various programs, services, and aspects of campus life. The Faculty Survey of Student Engagement asks faculty for feedback, 36 and the National Survey of Student Engagement seeks feedback from first-year and senior-year students. The data from these surveys allow the University to know how it compares to other universities since the surveys are nationally normed. Cal U administrators review the data and decide what needs to be remedied. The data show Cal U has improved in all areas surveyed over the last several years (ACT Surveys Folder, 2009; NSSE-FSSE Folder, 2009). Electronic Suggestion Box The University has an electronic suggestion box to solicit comments and suggestions about things concerning the University community. This is another method to continuously improve the University. All comments are reviewed by the president, who assigns each complaint to someone in his Cabinet to handle. Everyone submitting a suggestion receives a response or resolution to the issue (S. Sarra, personal communication, 2009). Analysis California University of Pennsylvania is a school that makes every effort to adhere to its Mission, be guided by its Strategic Plan, and use data when making decisions. Knowing that enrollments were likely to drop unless it took action, the University administration developed many strategies to attract students, including beautifying the campus, increasing marketing efforts, and developing such new programs as Cal U Global Online. The efforts have paid off and enrollment continues to climb while incoming freshmen’s SAT scores continue to rise. Cal U distinguishes itself from other schools by offering state-of-the-art residence halls that are heated with geothermal energy, hosting traveling Smithsonian exhibits, broadcasting its football games on Fox Sports Network, committing itself to true gender equity in athletics, developing a robotics program at the associate’s and bachelor’s level, and committing itself to the FranklinCovey “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” program, among other 37 distinctions. The University consistently scores near the top in receiving state Performance Funding and regularly comes in first for faculty productivity. Conclusion California University of Pennsylvania is committed to continuous improvement. Its management style is flexible enough to adapt to changing conditions. By adhering to the University’s Mission and Strategic Plan, the administration has increased enrollment and become more selective in admitting students. The University seems poised to compete in a larger academic arena. The current planning, resource allocation, and institutional renewal plans have enabled the university to produce unprecedented growth and success. It is recommended that the university continue to follow the course of action it has set in its Strategic Plan, Enrollment Management Plan and Master Plan. Recommendations The Strategic Plan and Middle State Self-Study should be combined into one process. There should be one person responsible for collecting and archiving outcomes assessment data for the entire university. He or she should work closely with Institutional Research, but be responsible for managing the Middle States Self-Study.2 1 The latest PASSHE Performance Indicators may be found in Appendix 2A. 2 The Recommendation Progress Report/Action Plan is contained in the cover letter. 38 STANDARD 3: INSTITUTIONAL RESOURCES Introduction Even though public support for public higher education in Pennsylvania has steadily declined over the last 25 years, California University of Pennsylvania has maintained its commitment to its Mission of building characters and careers by making the most of existing resources while finding new revenue sources. President Armenti outlined the problem in a paper, “Declining Public Support for Public Higher Education in Pennsylvania,” which he presented, in April 2008, at the national conference of the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining and the Professions. It has become increasingly important that Cal U become more productive and more efficient in carrying out the University’s Mission. The Problem: Decreasing State Funding In President Armenti’s paper, he discussed how “California University of Pennsylvania is being privatized without a plan” (Armenti, April 7, 2008, p. 1) and that public financial support for public higher education has dropped over the last 25 years in Pennsylvania. In 1984, the state funded 64 percent of universities’ budgets, compared to 37 percent in 2008. At the same time, tuition, fees, and other revenues as a percent of state universities’ budgets increased from 37 percent in 1984 to 64 percent in 2008 (Armenti,” April 7, 2008, p. 4). Cal U and other state universities now are asking students to pay more than half of the universities’ budgets. However, the official Mission of PASSHE is “to provide high quality education at the lowest possible cost to the students” (Armenti, April 7, 2008, p. 9). The state budget priorities have shifted and the state now pays more for Medicaid and correctional facilities than previously. Public higher education has suffered, with a 43 percent decline in funding from seven percent to four percent over a 16-year period (Armenti, April 7, 39 2008, p. 7). There is no evidence this trend will improve. As the effects of declining state funding became clear and began to directly impact the operating revenue and capital funding at California University of Pennsylvania, the administration realized that educational quality would suffer and academically qualified, but low income students, would be denied a college education. Therefore, it was imperative that Cal U and similar schools “begin functioning more and more like private universities” (Armenti, April 7, 2008, p. 10). Cal U administrators and staff have worked hard to increase operating revenues, scholarship money, and capital match dollars. Cal U has aggressively marketed itself. It has expanded its Web-based academic offerings, resulting in increased enrollment and operating funds. Yet, because the state universities are “state agencies,” they face restrictions in what they do with their money. For example, they cannot offer discounted tuition in the form of a scholarship (Armenti, April 7, 2008, p. 10). As President Armenti concluded, “We can only hope — before we become totally privatized, i.e., reach zero state funding, that the ‘state agency’ restrictions that deny us desperately needed flexibility will be lifted” (Armenti, April 7, 2008, p. 10). State Funding; Traditional and Performance-Based Each year, the Pennsylvania State Legislature appropriates money to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). From the base “Educational and General” allocation, the PASSHE Board of Governors sets aside a percentage – 8 percent in 2008-2009 and 8 percent in 2009-2010 -- to award to the 14 state universities based on each school’s performance (Board of Governors, October 23, 2008). The universities receive money from this Performance Funding Allocation based on how many Performance Indicators they meet or exceed. Cal U’s base “Educational and General” appropriation from the state has remained consistent with the 13 40 other state schools. However, Cal U’s share of the Performance Funding Allocation has steadily increased. In fact, for Fiscal Year 2008-09, Cal U received the most money of any PASSHE school, $5,248,598. Cal U received $3,936,466 for educational and general purposes and $1,312,132 for library materials and accreditation efforts (Cavanaugh, September 8, 2008). The educational and general purposes amount was $184,000 more that the next highest performer, West Chester University, which is a significantly larger school. West Chester received total funding of $5,003,381. Cal U achieved this financial advantage over the competition because of increased productivity and more efficient use of resources, two Performance Indicators that are part of the Performance Funding Allocation formula (“PASSHE Formula Appropriation,” 2008). Cal U cut its personnel costs over the three years ending in 2007-2008 by 4.32 percent. The personnel cost, as a percentage of Cal U’s Educational and General budget, was 73.35 percent in 2005-06, 72.12 percent in 2006-07, and 69.03 percent in 2007-08. At the end of the 2006-2007 academic year, Cal U led the State System in faculty productivity with a 24.52 student/faculty ratio. The next most productive university had a 20.75 student/faculty ratio. Cal U also led the State System with a student/personnel ratio of 10.01. The next most productive school had a ratio of 8.98 (R. Kline, personal communication, Spring 2009). By committing itself to being more efficient and productive, Cal U is dealing with the everdecreasing level of state funding while make sure it receives the largest amount of money possible. At the same time, the University has launched an aggressive marketing campaign, built new state-of-the-art student housing, and added many Web-based classes to its Cal U Global Online program. As a result, enrollments have increased dramatically, yielding increased operating revenue. The University thus is able to meet its Mission and goals and to funnel revenue into 41 areas needing more funding – such as SMART classrooms, campus beautification, and new academic programs that keep pace with a changing economy. Cal U Global Online Enrollments in the Cal U Global Online program have significantly contributed to the school’s increased operating revenue. The revenue from this program not only helps fund existing operations across the University, but also supports new initiatives. An analysis was done for the Fall and Spring semesters of Fiscal Year 2006-07 and 2007-08 to track the “break-even point” and determine an estimated “net profit” for each of the Global Online programs (“Global Online Break-Even Cost Analysis, Fall 2006 and Spring 2007”; “Global Online Break-Even Cost Analysis, Fall 2007 and Spring 2008.”) The report shows an estimated net profit of $3,350,953 for Fiscal Year 2006-2007, and $4,914,926 for Fiscal Year 2007-2008. This is not just revenue generated from tuition and fees from the Cal U Global Online programs. It is the estimated net profit from this revenue, less operating expenses associated with each of the programs. Office of Grants and Contracts The Office of Grants and Contracts pursues external funding for sponsored projects and thus produces revenue for the University. The office provides support to faculty and staff pursuing grants. There is a link listing grant winners during 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 on the office’s Web page (“Laude, 2007; “Laude, 2008,” January 28, 2009). Grants support such innovative activities as Robotics Technology Training and state grants for customized job training. All of these activities enhance the Mission of the University and produce revenue. Comparison to Peer Institutions The majority of Cal U’s funding is generated through tuition revenue, unlike its peer 42 institutions, which receive a greater percentage of funding from a state appropriation. Table 3.1 indicates that in Fiscal Year 2006-2007, Cal U was the only school among its peer institutions to receive more funding per Fulltime Equivalent from tuition revenue than from appropriation. See “CA Peer Institution Comparison” for a comparison of the peer institutions since 2000-2001 (2009). Table 3.1 2006-2007 Comparative Data on Appropriations and FTE Funding California Univ. of PA Frostburg State – MD SUNY Cortland SUNYOswego Appropriations $33,353,910 $29,667,299 $48,661,320 $51,124,517 Tuition $40,007,972 $24,609,682 $26,699,383 $27,816,170 Total $73,361,882 $54,276,981 $75,360,703 $78,940,687 FTE 6,850.00 4,434.00 6,358.33 7,409.67 Appropriations/FTE Tuition/FTE Total/FTE $4,869.18 $5,840.58 $10,709.76 $6,690.87 $5,550.22 $12,241.09 $7,653.16 $4,199.12 $11,852.28 $6,899.70 $3,754.04 $10,653.74 Source: G. Coleman, Manager of Budget Planning and Analysis, PASSHE Office of the Chancellor. Receiving Funding Input The University Forum The California University Council of Trustees created the University Forum at its meeting December 6, 2000, as a means of sharing governance among the members of the California community and to help ensure that Cal U’s resources are used to support the institution’s Mission. (California University Council of Trustees, 2000). 43 The Forum has “senators” representing faculty, staff, administrators, students, and alumni with “the power to recommend University policy in University-wide matters” (“Constitution of the California University Forum,” December 6, 2000, p. 3). Specifically, Article III, Section 3 of the Forum Constitution calls for the formation of the Forum “Budget Committee,” which “shall have a role in the formulation of the annual budget, and the California University Forum shall have authority to review and comment upon the University budget prior to its submission to the Office of the Chancellor of the State System of Higher Education” (“Constitution of the California University Forum,” December 6, 2000, p. 4). Under Article VIII, Section 4, the composition of this committee is outlined, along with a detailed description of the committee’s duties and responsibilities (“Constitution of the California University Forum,” December 6, 2000, p. 14). The president, his cabinet, his Administrative Council, and the Forum Budget Committee are to ensure the University uses its resources wisely and with the University’s Mission Statement and Strategic Plan in mind. Mission Day For the past 10 years, the University has held its annual Mission Day to bring the University community together to discuss issues involving the University’s Mission. Participants have an opportunity to suggest how best to align the University with its Mission, including how best to use the University’s resources. Other Groups, Meetings There are many venues in which members of the University can propose how best to use the University’s resources. During University Forum, Cabinet, Administrative Council, Deans’ Council, Provost’s Council, and other group meetings, participants are encouraged to discuss their area’s need for facilities, infrastructure, and equipment so that the president, his cabinet, 44 and the Administrative Council can determine and set priorities in accordance with the Master Plan, Mission, goals, and Strategic Plan of the University. Keeping the Budget Aligned With the Strategic Plan In 1998, the Strategic Planning Committee recommended linking strategic objectives to allocations and budgeting to resource allocation. The process works by first having the president and the Administrative Council, which includes the vice presidents, associate vice presidents, deans, associate deans, and pertinent managers, develop program initiatives. They do this after receiving input from department chairs, faculty and managers, who work through their area dean or vice president. Once those developing budget plans decide an initiative is valid and that it promotes the University’s Mission and Strategic Plan, the president may approve the initiative and it is incorporated in the annual budget process. Using budget guidelines from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, Cal U’s budget director compiles an annual budget request in September of each year for the next fiscal year. This request is based on those programs that have been linked to the Strategic Plan, mandatory expenses for personnel, maintenance, utilities, and other expenses, as well as on the University’s estimated revenue from all sources, including tuition, fees, investment income, projected legislative appropriations and performance funding. PASSHE prepares its budget request to the Pennsylvania State Legislature, based on the requests of the 14 state universities. PASSHE presents this request to the legislature’s Appropriation committees in March every year. The Pennsylvania governor presents his budget proposal to the legislature, usually in late spring, and the legislature approves the state budget around June 30 of each year. When PASSHE learns how much money it is receiving from the state budget, it asks the PASSHE Board of Governors for a tuition increase (or decrease) for the 45 upcoming academic year. The Board of Governors usually sets the tuition rate in July (R. Pandrok, personal communication, Spring 2009). Once the University knows how much money it is receiving from the state budget appropriation and what the tuition rates are, Cal U’s budget director begins rebudgeting to accommodate expenses based on the revenues the University actually will receive. The president approves this rebudgeting plan and the money is distributed where it needs to go. The budgets are in place no later than September 1. The budget director also submits periodic budget reports to the president and PASSHE for review (R. Pandrok, personal communication, Spring 2009). After the budget is finalized and approved, staff enter budget allocations into the SAP financial software program. All departments, programs, and other areas that are considered “cost centers” can access their budget information at all times. Staff are trained to use the SAP system, and training sessions continue so that all who need to are able to track the budget and expenditure activity in their cost centers. Data are live and current, eliminating the need for monthly budget printouts. Printouts are available, as well as other information, as needed. (A copy of the “Budget Control System Training Manual” is on Cal U’s Middle States computer drive, “SAP,” November 2008). Analysis Since 1984, the state of Pennsylvania has decreased the percentage of support it gives the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. In 2008, Cal U received just 37 percent of its budget from the state’s annual allocation. The remainder of the budget came from student tuition and fees, outside revenue, and other sources. To adjust to the changing financial picture, the University has adopted a vigorous marketing plan and beautified the campus to help increase enrollment by constructing new dorms and other facilities. The University has built its Cal U 46 Global Online program, which has brought new students to Cal U. As the program’s financial success helps support other campus initiatives, it is important to create additional online niche programs and increase student enrollments. Cal U’s challenge, not unlike what other colleges and universities are facing, is to find outside revenue sources through grants and private donors. The University links the Strategic Plan with budgeting through SAP computer software. It is important that Cal U continue to hold SAP training sessions at least once or twice per semester so every department, program, and other areas that needs to access the budget knows how to obtain pertinent information, including how to process “paperwork.” Conclusion President Armenti and his staff recognize that the state universities are being “privatized without a plan” because of state budget cutbacks. Cal U has responded by developing its own plan to add Web programs, heavily marketing the campus, beautifying the campus to attract more students, pursuing state Performance Funding dollars so Cal U earns the most money it can, and seeking private donors. The University is adapting to changing conditions and not only is staying in the game, but winning some of the Performance Funding and enrollment contests. Recommendations Continue staff SAP training on a biannual basis. Develop a task force, which includes representatives from administration, faculty, staff, students, and alumni to brainstorm initiatives to acquire funding and support development.1 1 The Recommendation Progress Report/Action Plan is contained in the cover letter. 47 STANDARD 4: LEADERSHIP AND GOVERNANCE Introduction In 2000, with the goal of giving more members of the University community a voice in how the University is run, the University’s Council of Trustees approved a shared governance plan and created the California University of Pennsylvania Forum. Specifically, the Forum was instituted in order “to enable greater participation in the decision-making process of the University for faculty members, students, administrators, staff and alumni” (“Constitution of the California University of Pennsylvania Forum, December 6, 2000, p. 3). Although there are many other groups representing the various campus constituencies, the Forum is the one group that represents, as a whole, the workers, students, and alumni who are not among the primary decision makers, but who nevertheless have a deep interest in the University’s affairs. Although the Forum’s goal is grounded in the tradition of grassroots American democracy, its accomplishments have been mixed. The Forum has created new avenues for voices to be heard and should be commended for this. However, Forum members have yet to develop the most effective way for those voices to count. Role, Composition, Competition The Forum is an advisory group. It makes recommendations to the president and Council of Trustees on academic issues that affect more than one college and that are not already bound by collective bargaining agreements. It also makes recommendations in areas of student life that affect the University as a whole (“Constitution of the California University of Pennsylvania Forum,” December 6, 2000, pp. 4, 17). The Forum may make recommendations on the budget, on long-range goals, on construction priorities, on priorities for fundraising, and on areas of “safety, social concern and sensitivity” (pp. 4-5). It may make recommendations on athletic 48 policy, on the University’s core values, and on any matter of interest to the University community (p. 5); however, the Constitution makes it clear that the Forum cannot take action that legally binds the University, and that the Council of Trustees and president retain their authority to act independently (p. 3). The Forum Constitution states that “policy implementation shall remain the sole prerogative of the administration” (p. 17). After making a recommendation, the Forum sends its resolution to the president who has 30 days to “acknowledge, accept, accept in part, or reject in entirety the resolution in question” (p. 18). Thus, the Forum’s power is that of influence. In addition to the faculty, staff, administrators, students, and alumni who have seats on the Forum, emeriti faculty sit on the Communication, Core Values, and Safety/Social Equity committees (“Constitution of the California University of Pennsylvania Forum,” December 6, 2000, pp. 14-15). Representatives of the Association of Federal, State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF), President’s Cabinet, Administrative Council, Academic Affairs Council, APSCUF Executive Council, Faculty Senate, Chairs Forum, and Curriculum Committee also hold seats on the Forum. These groups are listed in the “2000 Self-Evaluation Report” (2000), which was prepared when the Forum was created. Sometimes their agendas may not coincide with those of the Forum’s. There are other campus governing groups, including councils in each of the colleges, University-wide committees and boards (e.g., the General Education Committee and Institutional Review Board), APSCUF University-wide committees (e.g., Tenure, Promotion, Sabbatical, and Grievance), Faculty Professional Development, and Student Government. 49 Effectiveness Since its inception, the Forum has passed 82 motions; of those, the University administration has implemented 74 for a 90 percent success rate. Those motions resulted in 45 policies created or revised (“History of Motions Passed,” 2000-2009). (See Appendix 4A for a summary of the number of motions passed.) Of the 82 motions, six were referred to the Council of Trustees. Five of the six involved constitutional amendments and one was a specific recommendation, which had to be reviewed. The Trustees approved all six motions (“History of Motions Passed,” 2000-2009). Although the numbers imply that the Forum plays an important role in University policy making, it nonetheless faces several challenges. Structure The structure of the group can make it difficult for any one point of view to prevail. This is both a strength and weakness. With equal representation of faculty, administration, and students, a smaller amount of representation of staff, and even less for alumni, the Forum has a structure to ensure that no group dominates and that all groups have a voice. Although the structure creates a good check-and-balance system, the many competing constituencies have the potential to create gridlock. At times, it is difficult to get work done, as majorities are needed to take action. Moreover, members of some of the constituent groups have inconsistent attendance; in fact, some Forum meetings have been canceled for lack of a quorum. (See Appendix 4B for the composition of the Forum committees and 4C for a tally of Forum attendance. Biennial Review According to the Forum’s Constitution, the Executive Committee has “the authority and responsibility” to review the Forum, which may be done on a biennial basis (“Constitution of the 50 California University of Pennsylvania Forum,” December 6, 2000, p. 11). In March 2006, the Executive Committee approved conducting a formal review (“California University Forum Executive Committee [minutes],” March 7, 2006); and, later that year, the Forum approved the action (“History of Motions Passed, 2000-2009,” p. 25). President Armenti responded by writing that the Executive Committee had the power to conduct the review, and returned the motion to the Executive Committee (“History of Motions Passed,” 2000-2009, p. 25). The minutes indicate that the group agreed to contact an external review consultant in February 2008; however, the review process remains in limbo. Fall 2002, a Forum ad hoc committee was formed to suggest amendments to the Constitution, which were subsequently approved. The amendments appear to make the Forum more functional. (See Appendix 4D for a record of the efforts to conduct an internal/external evaluation of the Forum, and Appendix 4E for a list of the amended sections of the Forum’s Constitution.) Collective Bargaining Because the Forum’s Constitution prevents it from recommending policy in areas covered by existing collective bargaining agreements, discussion sometimes is curtailed or cut short when faculty, staff, and others have legitimate concerns about certain issues. Two examples illustrate this problem. At the Forum’s October 1, 2002, meeting, a motion was introduced for the University to support domestic partner benefits, “even though it cannot now provide those benefits.” Another motion recommend that the administration “communicate its support of domestic partner benefits to the State System of Higher Education” (“California University Forum Approved Minutes,” October 1, 2002, pp. 5-6). 51 The minutes reflect that Senator Burrell Brown responded by distributing a memo stating the proposal was a “contract issue and to permit the Forum to make recommendations on a contract issue would be a violation of both the Forum and APSCUF procedures” (“California University Forum Approved Minutes,” October 1, 2002, pp. 5-6). Forum Chairman Douglas Hoover, when asked for clarification, cited the Constitution, which provides: Appropriate agenda items for the California University Forum shall include University-wide matters on any subject and academic issues that involve more than one college, provided that these matters and issues are not already covered by an existing collective bargaining agreement to which the University is bound. (“California University Forum Approved Minutes,” October 1, 2002, pp. 5-6). The Forum then voted to postpone the items indefinitely. On December 7, 2004, Dr. Nick Ford asked the Forum to consider granting faculty administrative access to their office computers. Faculty are prevented from downloading software, installing printers, and doing other similar tasks on their office computers. Computer technicians, represented by AFSCME, perform these functions. The Forum’s Technology Committee met and discussed the topic several times. At the February 24, 2005, meeting, Rebecca Nichols, the University’s computer systems manager, handed the committee a letter stating that she viewed the issue as a potential conflict with AFSCME collective bargaining unit work. At the September 23, 2005, Technology Committee meeting, Debra Cochran, the Forum’s AFSCME representative, said she believed AFSCME would view the matter as a collective bargaining issue if faculty installed software. The Technology Committee decided it had no choice but to suspend discussion on the matter. Loring 52 Prest, who chaired the Technology Committee, wrote a memo to the Forum stating, “We believe that the Forum is constitutionally unable to consider Dr. Ford’s request” (Prest, October 20, 2005,”Memo”). Communication The University community may learn about decisions made by the University leadership, including the Forum, in the print sources the University publishes, on the University’s Web site, and on the University’s television station. (See Appendix 4F for a list of several print and electronic sources that cover Cal U news. See Appendix 4G for an analysis of whether the source is a push technology (initiated by the publisher) or is a pull technology (requested by the reader/viewer). Students say they do not receive information direct from the source on a regular basis, and would like to have a sophisticated system to receive RSS feeds (D. Hoover, personal communication, Spring 2009). Analysis California University of Pennsylvania has made strides in providing a voice to many groups that comprise the Cal U community; however, some voices are not always heard due to structural, constitutional, collective bargaining, or other impediments. For example, the virtual ban on discussing collective bargaining issues has prevented debate on several topics of interest to various constituent groups in the University community. Many voices are not heard due to spotty attendance. Instituting and enforcing an attendance policy may help correct the situation. As important, the Forum can only recommend policies, not prescribe or implement them. Shared governance should provide a broader basis for making decisions. The University president decides the outcome of most of the Forum’s recommendations. Records indicate that the president takes only those Forum motions to the Council of Trustees 53 that members are required to see, namely, constitutional amendments and related motions. He has not exercised his discretionary power to take other Forum resolutions to the Trustees (“History of Motions,” 2000-2009). Most matters originating in the Forum may be too particular for the Council of Trustees to decide, as the Trustees oversee the University Forum in a somewhat distant capacity; thus, the Trustees’ level of involvement in Forum decisions seems appropriate. The decision making structure, itself, works well. Most problem areas can best be addressed through a formal review of the Forum. Conclusion The University Forum, which was established in 2000, provides a place for many groups – faculty, staff, students, administrators, and alumni – to work together for the good of the University. The Forum is a relatively new group, created to provide a way for various constituencies to share in governing the University. Although structural, constitutional, and other problems sometimes mute these voices, the Forum has been the catalyst for 45 policy changes, which may not have occurred without the Forum. The Forum serves an important function within the governing structure, and has the potential to be an even greater recommending body if all members fulfilled their obligations by attending meetings and impediments for discussing certain concerns were removed. Recommendations Institute an attendance policy. Consider moving the Forum meeting time to Common Hour to facilitate and increase attendance. 54 Address restrictions on the discussion of issues that may encroach on collective bargaining turf.1 1 The Recommendation Progress Report/Action Plan is contained in the cover letter. 55 STANDARD 5: ADMINISTRATION Introduction Under the leadership of California University of Pennsylvania President Angelo Armenti, Jr., Cal U has increased its enrollment by 45 percent in a decade (B. Schackner, June 21, 2009). It was the first of the 14 schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education to replace its traditional dorms with state-of-the-art residential suites. It has developed the rapidly growing Cal U Global Online program, which has 27 Web-based offerings, including 15 leading to masters of arts and master of science degrees (Schackner, June 21, 2009). New liberal arts and science buildings have been constructed and new science labs have been added to existing facilities. The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Convocation Center is set for early August 2009. In 2008-2009, the University led the 14 state schools in receiving state “performance funding” ($5.2 million), based in great measure on faculty productivity (“Convocation Highlights Success,” January 26, 2009). The president’s salary ($220,670) is second only to that of Dr. Tony Atwater, president of the largest university in the state system, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Staff and Wire Reports, November 12, 2008). Cal U is the fifth largest school in the state, up from ninth largest a decade ago (Schackner, June 21, 2009). These data suggest that Cal U’s president and administration are making astute decisions. They are paying attention to the University’s Mission to build character and careers, especially by focusing on the goals of building institutional excellence; helping students achieve success by providing new academic programs and an aesthetically pleasing campus; and, serving the community by not only offering more educational opportunities than in the past, but also by attracting more attention to southwestern Pennsylvania. Although it is difficult to find fault with Cal U administrators, especially given the University’s performance in challenging economic times, there is, at least, one questionable 56 practice that needs mention. National searches, with the exception of a few new hires, have not been conducted for several top management positions; however, balanced against the administration’s stellar record, the practice seems to not have any significant impact on policies and procedures. The Administration Since 1992, President Armenti has served as the chief executive officer of California University of Pennsylvania. He earned a bachelor of science degree in physics at Villanova University; a master of arts degree in physics with a specialization in special relativity, from Temple University; and, a doctor of philosophy degree in physics with a specialization in general relativity from Temple University. He served at Villanova University for 20 years in various capacities: professor of Physics, chair of the Physics Department, dean, and director of planning. His book, The Physics of Sports, was commissioned by the American Institute of Physics. The administrators who report to him directly and are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the University are: (1) Dr. Joyce Hanley, Executive Vice President, and five vice presidents, (2) Ms. Geraldine Jones, Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs, (3) Dr. Lenora Angelone, Vice President of Student Development and Services, (4) Mr. Eric Larmi, Interim Vice President for Administration and Finance, (5) Dr. Charles Mance, Vice President for Information Technology (a newly created post), and ( 6) Ms. Angela Burrows, Vice President for University Development/University Advancement. These individuals also serve as the President’s Cabinet. Also reporting directly to the president are the Athletic Development, Office of Continuous Improvement, the Office of Social Equity, and University Forum. (See Appendix 5A for an organizational map of Cal U’s administrative structure. Please note that the Office of 57 University Development/University Advancement and Office of Information Technology are currently undergoing changes. Responsibilities of Vice Presidents Executive Vice President Hanley serves as President Armenti’s lead liaison to the University community. Cabinet members report directly to the president, but also meet with the executive vice president. The Character Education Institute and Office of Lifelong Learning report directly to the executive vice president. University Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs Jones oversees the 44 academic departments of the University, as well as Academic Records, Admissions, the American Democracy Project, Articulation and Transfer Evaluation, the Calling Center, Career Services, the Faculty Professional Development Center, the University Honors Program, the Internship Center, Louis L. Manderino Library, the off-campus centers of Somerset and Southpointe, the Student Retention/Placement Testing Center, the University-Wide Peer Mentoring Program, the Welcome Center/Student Orientation Programs, and the Office of Women’s Studies. Twentyone individuals, who supervise a total of 100 employees, report directly to the provost. The 44 academic departments have 37 department chairs who supervise 459 employees (R. Klein, personal communication, May 2009). Serving under Provost Jones are Dr. Michael Hummel, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Dr. Kevin Koury, acting dean of the College of Education and Human Services, Dr. Leonard Colelli, dean of the Eberly College of Science and Technology, Dr. John Cencich, acting dean of the Graduate School, and Mr. Douglas Hoover, dean of Library Services. Department chairs serve under the deans and the faculty under the chairs. Vice President of Student Development and Services Angelone oversees Athletics, Wellness, 58 the Counseling Center, International Student Services, Multi-Cultural Affairs, Student Health Services, the Office of Students with Disabilities, the Women’s Center/P.E.A.C.E. Project/Student Sexual Assault Rape Crisis Team, Veteran’s Affairs, Housing and Residence Life, University Conference Services, the Student Association, Inc. (SAI), AVI Food Services, Cal U Bookstore, SAI Web Development, Student Government, Vulcan Village, the Student Center and Operations, and Recreation Services. The vice president has two deans, four associate deans, and three assistant deans. She has 19 people reporting to her who supervise 118 employees (R. Klein, personal communication, May 2009). Interim Vice President of Administration and Finance Larmi supervises the Office of Accounting, University Bursar, Environmental Health and Safety, Financial Aid, Personnel/Human Resources, Inventory and Fixed Assets, Informational Technology and Computing Services, Networking Systems, Payroll, the Physical Plant, Public Safety, Purchasing, Central Receiving/Storeroom, the Mailroom, and the Switchboard/Copy Center. Fourteen employees directly report to the vice president and there are 153 employees (R. Klein, personal communication, May 2009). Vice President of University Development/University Advancement Burrows is overseeing a reorganization of her office. The office is to strengthen relationships among the University and alumni, friends, the general public, policy makers, business people and students. In addition, Burrows oversees the University’s marketing and public affairs efforts, alumni relations, the Government Agency Coordination Office, and the Office of the Webmaster. The office also works with the University Foundation. The vice president has 15 people directly reporting to her and 33 employees (R. Klein, personal communication, May 2009. Vice President of Information Technology Mance started his newly created job on March 17, 59 2009, and is to develop a plan to meet the technology needs of students, faculty and staff, according to a University press release. The number of people who report to him is in flux (“California University Names Vice President for IT,” March 18, 2009). The Administration’s Avenues of Communication to the University Community The administration communicates to the rest of the University community through a number of vehicles, including: (1) mass meetings and forums, (2) University publications and the campus radio and television stations, (3) other University electronic systems, including e-mail, text messages, and the University Web site, and (4) a “chain of command” reporting system, in which Cabinet members inform those employees who report to them, and those employees inform their staff. Mass Meetings and Forums The president conducts at least three forums for the University community each semester, including the Faculty Convocation, Staff Convocation, and Student Convocation. Each is held early in the semester and serves as Cal U’s version of the State of the Union Address. President Armenti discusses recent campus happenings and gives his views of the University’s future. The president entertains questions at the end of the sessions. In addition, a member of the cabinet or the president attends the monthly meeting of the University Forum. Campus Publications and Campus Radio and Television Stations The administration attempts to keep employees, students, and alumni informed through information published in campus publications and broadcasts on the campus radio and television stations. The California University Journal is a weekly publication that each employee receives. Published by the Office of Communications and Public Relations, The Journal contains information about recent campus events, policy changes, employee achievements, and campus 60 recognitions. The Journal also publishes minutes of the University Forum. The weekly student newspaper, The Cal Times, frequently publishes University press releases similar to those that appear in The Journal. The student-staffed campus radio and television stations receive the same press releases so often repeat the information. “Under the Towers” is a monthly e-mail that Cal U alumni and friends of the University receive. It contains information similar to what appears in The Journal, but emphasizes alumni happenings. Employees and alumni also receive the quarterly Cal U Review, a polished magazine highlighting campus developments and the achievements of employees and alumni. Other University Electronic Systems The administration, as well as faculty and staff, use the campus e-mail system to send announcements to University employees and students about upcoming events, policy changes, and other information. The Cal U Web site has links to the University’s programs and departments, as well as to the University Undergraduate Catalog and Graduate Catalog and the Faculty Handbook. Campus policies are posted on the Web site. The home page highlights current events on campus. The University catalogs, both print and electronic versions, are updated each year and also contain University policies. The University, some departments and faculty, and various programs reach targeted audiences, especially current and prospective students, via YouTube and Facebook. Since the Virginia Tech shootings, Cal U has offered an emergency text messaging alert system, Cal U Alerts, which is available to anyone on the campus e-mail system who signs up for the service. The alerts are sent to users’ computer e-mail systems, as well as to their cell phones. Cal U Alerts also informs employees and students when there is a snow day. This 61 information also is posted on the University’s Web site. Chain of Command/Meetings State policies and Council of Trustees’ actions. When the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Board of Governors, the chancellor of the state system, or the California University of Pennsylvania Council of Trustees approve policies, President Armenti and his Cabinet send the policies to the appropriate vice president for analysis and implementation. For example, a policy dealing with fees is sent to the vice president of Administration and Finance, who, in turn, works with the Bursar’s Office and other appropriate offices. Meetings. Probably everyone who works at Cal U attends more meetings than he or she would choose; nonetheless, meetings are one vital way that administrators and employees communicate. For example, under the provost, there is a Provost’s Council, the Administrative Council, councils for each of the academic colleges, an Academic Affairs Committee, the General Education Committee, the Faculty Professional Development Committee, and more. Most of these groups have subcommittees. Each academic department as well, as other campus departments, has its own staff and committee meetings. Additional Methods by which the Administration Receives Input and Feedback The administration makes many efforts to hear from the University community through meetings, the campus media, and the chain-of-command organization with the top staff from each major campus area directly reporting to the president. Other structures, such as APSCUF Meet-and-Discuss (the faculty union), also facilitate the flow of information upward. However, similar to many large organizations, there are those who perceive a breakdown in communications at the top level. Some of the criticism may be the result of information technology whereby “breaking news” is the norm. 62 The Office of Continuous Improvement The Office of Continuous Improvement surveys the University’s faculty, staff, students, alumni and others to help in decision-making. The office also analyzes University work processes and procedures to improve efficiency, performance, and user satisfaction. The office is directed by Norman Hasbrouck, Special Assistant to the President, who reports directly to the president (“Office of Continuous Improvement,” April 16, 2009). Electronic Suggestion Box The Office of Continuous Improvement also administers the Electronic Suggestion Box, by which faculty, staff, students and others can e-mail a suggestion about how to improve a University policy or procedure (“Electronic Suggestion Box,” April 9, 2009). The information is shared with the president, and contributors receive a timely response to their input. It is not unusual for the president to answer e-mail, particularly those ideas generated by students. Other Forms of Feedback As mentioned in Chapter 4, the president ultimately decides on resolutions that the University Forum approves. A member of the President’s Cabinet sits on the Forum. During Mission Day, faculty, staff and students gather to discuss an element of the University’s Mission and to brainstorm ways for the University to improve. (See Chapter 1 for a discussion of Mission Day.) The president and administration review this information, and report at the next Mission Day which recommendations were implemented (“Report Card From Mission Day 2007,” October 21, 2008). The administration also participates in and receives feedback during collective bargaining negotiations, as well as when grievances and other union issues arise. The administration receives information and input from the state University system’s Board of Governors, the 63 University’s Council of Trustees, the Student Association, Inc., Student Government, the University Foundation Board, the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, and the Emeriti Faculty Association. The administration receives informal counsel from the Board of Presidential Advisors, a group of business leaders (“Cal U Honors,” March 26, 2008). Furthermore, the administration asks students to participate in the annual national Student Opinion Survey, conducted by the American College Testing (ACT) service, and in the National Survey of Student Engagement, conducted by Indiana University-Bloomington. Faculty are surveyed in the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (See “ACT Surveys” folder, 2009, and “NSSE and FSEE” folder, 2009). Performance Reviews PASSHE Performance Indicators. California University of Pennsylvania, and hence the administration, is judged against its own data, the performance of the other 13 schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), and peer institutions. PASSHE awards bonus money when state schools meet or exceed state “performance funding indicators” in categories ranging from “Numbers of Bachelors’ Degrees Awarded,” to “Number of Enrollments in Internship Classes.” (See, for example, “CA Without SPTs 2008” August 22, 2008, and “System Accountability Report: Performance Outcomes: 2007-2008,” 2009.) As mentioned previously, Cal U led the 14 state schools in 2008-2009 when it received $5.2 million in state “performance funding.” For a list of the non-PASSHE schools against which Cal U is benchmarked, see “CA Peers 2008” (2009). Presidential Leadership Review. After Cal U’s Council of Trustees conducts an annual Presidential Leadership Review, the members decide whether to extend the chief executive officer’s contract. In September 2008, after conducting the review, Council Chairman Leo 64 Krantz said, “It’s phenomenal how far we’ve come.” He continued: “Nine years ago when I got involved with the Trustees, it was like a packet of problems. . . . It is not a packet of problems anymore; it’s simply a packet of accomplishments that is overwhelming” (“Trustees Review President’s Contract,” Sept. 15, 2008). Administrators’ Performance Reviews. The president reviews top administrators’ performances. Many middle managers are represented by the State College and University Professional Association (SCUPA) and include offices, such as assistant and associate directors of Admissions, Financial Aid, and Student Activities. Their performance is evaluated under terms contained in their collective bargaining agreement (“Who Is SCUPA?” December 13, 2000). It seems the number of Cal U staff is adequate to support the University’s Mission, although there have been many personnel changes in Academic Affairs and the colleges during the past four years. There have been four provosts and six deans, all of whom have been promoted from the faculty ranks. Nevertheless, or perhaps, because of, these changes, the administration seems to have stayed focused on the University’s Mission. Five-Year Program Review: Diversity and Synergy Issues. The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education requires its 14 state universities to submit a Five-Year Program Review. Those Cal U administrators who write Cal U’s report apply standards from the Council for Advancement of Standards in Higher Education when they show, in the report, how Cal’s programs promote diversity (L. Angelone, personal communication, April 2009). Cal U, like other schools, reports the number of faculty/staff employed by sex, race and other categories to a number of state and federal agencies. For example, in Fall 2000, female constituted 31.85 percent of fulltime faculty. By Fall 2007, the number increased to 43.01 percent (“CA With 65 SPTs 2008,” p. 23). Of the executive vice president and five vice presidents in the President’s Cabinet, four are women, one of whom is black. As reported in Chapter 2, Cal U offers such synergistic opportunities as free Stephen Covey workshops for students, faculty, and staff. By attending this training, participants learn ways to resolve problems and improve the University. Martin Luther King Day has become a day of service, in which students, faculty and staff volunteer in the community. Mission Day is a day when the entire campus comes together to reflect on ways to improve the University and further its Mission. Participants learn to look beyond each others’ differences so that all can reach shared goals to improve themselves, the campus, and the community. Analysis The University has many success stories, but to help it remain competitive in an era of dwindling resources, the administration decided to reorganize the Office of University Development/University Advancement and add a vice president to oversee informational technology issues. The vice president of University Development/Advancement will oversee the design and implementation of even stronger efforts to market and “brand” Cal U, increase contributions to the University, and build student, staff, and alumni loyalty. She also charged with encouraging businesses to lend their expertise to the University. She, along with the vice president for Information Technology, is overseeing a transition of Cal U’s Web site domain name from cup.edu to calu.edu so it corresponds to the existing “nickname” for the school. The Web site is being redesigned to better appeal to prospective and current students (A. Burrows, personal communication, May 13, 2009). This reorganization should help Cal U’s marketing and fundraising efforts. 66 The addition of a vice president for Information Technology should help Cal U grow with the times by having someone responsible for all aspects digital technology: computer network security, staff computer training, computer labs and facilities, uniform and integrated computer and other digital purchases, trend-watching, and other matters. The administration communicates with the campus community in many ways. Much information flows at Cal U, which is commendable; however, the flip side is information overload. The Provost’s Council discussed the issue at a recent meeting. Administrators, midlevel managers, and faculty, spend hours each month in meetings. Attendance at the University Forum is often low, which results in postponing discussions and decisions due to the lack of a quorum. Sometimes, mid-level meetings, such as the Provost’s Council and college council meetings, are canceled because members have overlapping commitments. As a result, communications often get garbled or break down as ideas and information get passed up and down the ranks for lack of a structured discussion and a record that documents it. Perhaps creating work groups or ad hoc committees to study a problem and report to the full committee would alleviate some of overload. Prioritizing action items for mid-level meetings could help facilitate the resolution of pressing issues. Similarly, a more prudent use of universitywide e-mails should be discussed, although placing limits on them may be counter to the University’s policy of making information easily available. Finally, although there are faculty and student handbooks, there is not an equivalent publication for staff. A publication spelling out University policies and procedures, especially as they apply to these employees, would be useful. Cal U’s administration, managers and professional staff, by all counts, are doing exemplary work; however, it is unclear how they are evaluated in their periodic reviews. 67 Given the turnover in some positions, knowing the indicators would shed some light on these decisions. It also would provide individuals who aspire to administrative posts an idea of the expectations associated with job. Conclusion President Armenti continues to find ways for the University to remain competitive and grow during a period of budgetary constraints. The president is reorganizing two of his top posts to better respond to new challenges facing higher education. Although some question the practice of promoting from within for several top management and administrative positions, it is difficult to argue with success. Several recent high level appointees, such as the vice presidents of University Development/University Advancement and Information Technology were hired through a competitive search process. New perspectives are essential to the health of an organization, as is the ability to “hit the ground running.” Cal U appears to have a good mix. Recommendations Create a work group or ad hoc committee to study an issue relevant to specific administrative meeting rather than a hold continuous discussion. Prioritize action items for mid-level meetings to facilitate the resolution of pressing issues. Develop a more prudent use of university-wide e-mails, specifically as they pertain to announcements. Develop and distribute a staff handbook. A publication that spells out University policies and procedures as they apply to staff would be useful. 68 Provide and post a transparent evaluation process with regard to how managers are evaluated in their periodic reviews.1 1 The Recommendation Progress Report/Action Plan is contained in the cover letter. 69 STANDARD 6: INTEGRITY Introduction In 1991, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education urged the system’s universities to make values a priority in a report, “Emphasis on Values.” California University of Pennsylvania responded by developing, in 1995, a Character Education Institute: 1) to provide character development training for regional organizations, 2) to serve as a resource to the University’s colleges, departments, and student organizations as they contribute to the moral development of California University students, 3) to provide a resource center to help prepare education majors for their unavoidable role as character educators, and 4) to provide assistance to school districts and local organizations that seek to contribute to the moral development of the citizens in their communities. (Character Education Institute, January 8, 2009). By January 1998, the John Templeton Foundation named Cal U to its 1997-1998 Honor Roll for Character-Building Colleges. In Spring 1998, a Cal U Character Education Institute Task Force identified “integrity,” “civility,” and “responsibility,” as the University’s core values, which the Council of Trustees subsequently approved (Huffman, 1998). The definition of these values may be found position paper by Burns and Lackner (1997). “Integrity,” for example, is defined as a value that “involves reflections on moral principles in order to discern what is right and wrong. But it also requires a careful analysis of our emotions and our conscience, as guided by official moral and legal standards” (Burns and Lackner, 1997). On June 4, 2003, the Council of Trustees adopted Cal U’s Mission Statement of “Building Character and Careers.” Both the Mission Statement and core values are included on the 70 University’s stationery, Web site, and promotional materials; however, they are more than just slogans. Many academic programs, classes, and support services make this focus on character and values central to their mission. There also is a list of Student Rights and Responsibilities posted on the University’s Web site: We have the right to safety and security. We have the responsibility to ensure the safety and security of others. We have the right to be treated with respect. We have the responsibility to treat others with respect. We have the right to expect the best. We have the responsibility to give our best. We have the right to be treated fairly. We have the responsibility to treat others fairly. (“Rights and Responsibilities,” January 26, 2009). Academic Areas In the Classroom Faculty teach integrity in their classrooms and state their academic honesty policies in course syllabi. Some departments, such as Special Education and Counselor Education, have a departmental statement on academic integrity placed in department handbooks, on syllabi, and on departmental Web pages. For example, the academic integrity policy of the Elementary/Early Childhood Education Department is: We, the faculty of the Elementary/Early Childhood Education department, expect our students to do their own work, and to do it well. Cheating on exams, written 71 assignments, portfolio documentation, or class activities is not tolerated. The department recognizes as cheating the behaviors listed below; however, this list is not exclusive: • Copying in part or whole someone’s work without proper citation and/or permission (plagiarizing). • Including handouts from coursework in your portfolios or other academic work without giving proper credit to the author of the handout. • Forging signatures. • Cheating on exams. • Turning in samples of children’s work that have been “written” by someone other than the child or children with whom you worked. • Misrepresenting any part of your work. Evidence of cheating will result in the following disciplinary action taken by the department: First offense: Student is reprimanded verbally and in writing, and fails the course in which the behavior occurred. A copy of the reprimand letter will be placed on file in the Elementary Education/Early Childhood office. Second offense: Student is dismissed from the certification program, and may not enter the Services program. Additionally, the student is referred to the University Provost for possible dismissal from the university. (“Figure 2 Academic Integrity Policy,” 2009). The College of Education and Human Services is the only college at Cal U that has its own “Ethics Policy.” It defines how “integrity,” “responsibility,” and “civility” apply to education 72 students, and spells out how students can resolve and appeal professors’ academic integrity decisions (“Figure 1 Education Ethics Committee, 2009). The College of Liberal Arts, the Eberly College of Science and Technology, and the Graduate School and the departments within these units rely on academic integrity policies specified in the undergraduate and graduate catalogs. Many professors include these statements in their syllabi. The Undergraduate Catalog states: Truth and honesty are necessary prerequisites for all education, and students who attempt to improve their grades or class standing through any form of academic dishonesty may be penalized by disciplinary action, ranging from a verbal reprimand to a failing grade in the course or dismissal from the University. If the situation appears to merit a severe penalty, the professor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean or to the provost. The student may appeal the penalty as outlined above, with the Academic Integrity Committee hearing appeals above the level of dean. (“Cheating and Plagiarism: Academic Integrity,” 2003). The Graduate Catalog’s statement on “Cheating and Plagiarism” is similar (November 25, 2005). The Graduate School also has a policy on “Cohorts’ Rights and Responsibilities” that states students in a “cohort’’ (a group of students admitted to a program at the same time) have a responsibility to take courses in a prescribed sequence, while the University has the responsibility to offer the classes in a timely fashion (“Cohorts – Rights and Responsibilities,” November 29, 2005). Classes That Address Integrity, Ethics, and Responsibility Many courses are offered that deal in whole or part with ethics issues. The classes range from “The Philosophy of Professional Nursing” (NUR 450) to “Ethics in Sport Management” (SPT 305). (See the Middle States Standard 6 hard-copy syllabi binders for examples). 73 Undergraduates are expected to take one “Values” class among the required 49-to-51 General Education credits. Approved courses range from “Global, Economic, Social, and Ethical Issues in Computing” (CSC 352) to “Press Law and Ethics” (ENG 306). (“Values 3 Credits,” 2003). Students in professional training are expected to abide by the ethics codes of their respective professions. Students in Counseling Education, for example, are expected to know and understand “the ethical standards of ACA [American Counseling Association] and related entities, and applications of ethical and legal considerations in professional counseling” (California University of Pennsylvania Department of Counselor Education Student Handbook, (Fall 2007, p. 7). Teacher education programs in the College of Education and Human Services assess teacher candidates for “professional disposition.” All teacher candidates, by the time of licensure, are to demonstrate the following: 1) Integrity – Demonstrates truthfulness to one’s self and to others, demonstrates professional behavior and trustworthiness. 2) Civility – The ability to honor, value, and demonstrate consideration and regard to one’s self and others. 3) Responsibility – Acts independently and demonstrates accountability, reliability, and sound judgment. 4) Professionalism/Maturity – Demonstrates situational appropriate behavior, and 5) Professional Development and Lifelong Learning – Demonstrates a commitment to professional development and to lifelong learning. (“Appendix G: Candidate Professional Disposition Instrument, 2008-2009,” p. 27). The source in which Appendix G is found also contains a copy of “Pennsylvania’s Code of 74 Professional Practice and Conduct for Educators” (“California University of Pennsylvania Teacher Education Program,” 2008-2009, pp. 33-34). First Year Seminar, Summer Orientation and Other Educational Avenues Academic deans first introduce the concept of academic integrity in summer orientation sessions for incoming students. Students also learn about academic integrity in First Year Seminar classes. In freshman composition classes and other introductory courses, they are taught and repeatedly warned about the pitfalls of plagiarism. (Samples of English Composition syllabi are located in the “English Composition Syllabi” folder on the Middle States dedicated computer drive.) When conducting research that needs Institutional Review Board approval, students must take an online ethics training course offered by the National Institute of Health. The Student Handbook also specifies what academic integrity involves. Specialized Academic Integrity and Character Education Venues The California University Character Education Institute. The Institute offers Stephen Covey training to community businesses and organizations, as well as to Cal U faculty, students, and staff. Since 1999, Cal U has trained 1,960 employees, students, and community members in Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Successful People.” The Institute also offers character education resources on its Web page (Character Education Institute, January 8, 2009). Its Character Education Library is housed in Manderino Library. The Character Education Institute also raises student scholarship funds. During 2007-2008, the Institute raised $90,000 in scholarship money, an increase of 543 percent from the previous year. At the end of the 2007-2008 fiscal year, the Institute had raised $134,000 in scholarships through organizational partnerships (R. Paul, personal communication, 2009). The Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources. Teacher candidates and in-service 75 teachers are trained to use Library of Congress online sources many ways, including methods to supervise activities associated with some aspect of American culture. The questions raised during the activities frequently lead to discussions about integrity, character building and ethics. Information about the program is on its Web page (“The Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources,” June 4, 2009). Special events. Faculty in the College of Education and Human Services obtained a small grant in 2008 from the University’s Faculty Professional Development Committee to host a Multicultural Learning Community (“2007-2008 Academic Excellence Learning Community Awards,” May 9, 2008, p. 4). In April 2008, the learning community conducted a miniconference associated with Academic Excellence Days, featuring guest speakers and breakout sessions on diversity, professional responsibility, and integrity. In March 2009, a second workshop was offered. The Special Education faculty received funding for day-long autism conferences in Spring 2008 and Spring 2009. (“Intermediate Unit 1,” May 28, 2009). Education and health science students who attended the conference enhanced their knowledge about acting with integrity when working with the autistic. Departments in the College of Liberal Arts sponsor many events that provide opportunities for inquiry and dialogue. For example, faculty in the Department of History and Political Science assist in designing and coordinating events under the American Democracy Project (ADP) umbrella. The campus ADP is housed in Academic Affairs and operates under the auspices of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Programming includes annual events, such as Constitution Day and topical issue forums. Its goal is to help imbue students with a sense of civic responsibility (“National Experts to Discuss Election Outcomes,” October 28, 2008). 76 Through the ADP, the History and Political Science Department, as well as Cal Campaign Consultants, College Democrats, and College Republicans, also sponsored Debate Watch, Campaign Watch, Election Watch, candidate debates, and election analysis forums. Each year, the Department of Justice, Law, and Society sponsors a conference on Corporate and Homeland Security. The Women’s Studies Program sponsors the annual Audrey-Beth Fitch Women’s Studies Conference, and the Frederick Douglass Institute and Multicultural Center collaborate on a month-long series of events marking Black History Month. Many outstanding speakers have visited campus in recent years, including Coretta Scott King, Kweisi Mfume, Thomas Friedman, Juan Williams, Naomi Tutu, Mary Frances Berry, Donna Brazile, Tommy Smith, and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Some speakers come as part of the Noss Lecture Series and others through Frederick Douglass Institute and American Democracy Project funding. Accreditation Cal U has 21 accredited programs. A Strategic Plan goal is to seek accreditation for every program eligible for the recognition (Strategic Plan 2009-12, Draft 3, April 17, 2009). Accreditation of programs contributes to the University’s reputation for academic excellence. Also, programs generally need to address an ethical dimension to meet professional accreditation standards. Other Resources Faculty Professional Development Committee The Faculty Professional Development Committee (FPDC) mission is to “promote and support teaching, scholarship, service, appropriate use of technology, and the University’s core 77 values of civility, responsibility, and integrity” (Faculty Professional Development Committee, n.d., “Mission and Objectives”). Faculty development “is a process in which faculty members try to: • improve teaching and learning • add to their discipline’s body of knowledge • enhance the quality of life through community outreach • integrate the three developmental activities (Faculty Professional Development Committee, n.d., “Philosophy”). The FPDC further holds that faculty development at Cal U “may be thought of as individual professional growth that is consistent with personal goals, departmental goals, University missions, and the state system's 2000 document, ‘Imperatives Affirmed’” (Faculty Professional Development Committee, n.d., “Philosophy”). FPDC sponsors the annual Academic Excellence Days, which is a three-to-four-day event highlighting what faculty, students, and staff have been studying and creating. FPDC also offers faculty workshops on many topics and provides travel, study, and other grants. It gives annual Merit Awards to faculty members in the areas of teaching, service, research, technology, and grants. Institutional Review Board The Institutional Review Board (IRB) “is responsible for ensuring that the rights and welfare of human research participants are protected,” the board’s Web page states (“Frequently Asked Questions,” February 12, 2009). Any research involving human subjects must first be cleared with the board. The failure to get prior IRB review “will be considered serious misconduct, subject to sanctions, including possible recommendations for termination of faculty appointment, 78 student enrollment, or other affiliation with California University of Pennsylvania” (“Frequently Asked Questions,” February 12, 2009). Office of Social Equity The director of the Office of Social Equity serves as the University’s ombudswoman and investigates harassment complaints. The office is responsible for making sure the University is in compliance with federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations, including how it conducts faculty searches. Its mission includes “fostering a learning environment in which all rights are respected” and promoting “understanding, tolerance, and respect for others” (Office of Social Equity, n.d., “Mission”). Faculty Publications College of Education and Human Services faculty have produced over 50 publications, workshops, or grant proposals on subjects, such as character development, student integrity, diversity, gender equity, codes of ethics, integrity in online learning environments, and student support: Department of Applied Engineering and Technology (3), Department of Counselor Education (7), Department of Educational Administration and Leadership (6), Department of Elementary/Early Childhood Education (8), Department of Health Science and Sports Studies (12), Department of Social Work (8), and Department of Special Education (9) (“California University of Pennsylvania College of Education and Human Services Faculty Publications, 2005-2008,” 2008). Information from the other University colleges for similar publications, workshops, and grant applications is not immediately available. Faculty Awards In addition to the Faculty Professional Development Merit Awards previously mentioned, there is the Vargo Award, which recognizes faculty who have served at Cal U for at least 10 79 years and are judged “outstanding” in at least two of the three areas of teaching and learning, scholarly growth, and service and service learning. Winners must demonstrate “significant achievement” in the other area (Faculty Professional Development Committee, n.d., “The Vargo Award”). There also are Presidential Gala Awards for exemplary Teaching, Research, and Service. An annual Lillian M. Bassi Core Values Award is given to an alumnus or alumna who embodies the three core values: integrity, civility, and responsibility. The first College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Alumnus Award was presented in April 2008. The College of Education and Human Services presents an Alumnus Award, as well. Student Clubs and Organizations Many student clubs and organizations help socialize students to the ethics of their desired professions and provide opportunities for students to serve their communities. More than 100 clubs are listed on the Student Association, Inc.’s Web page. Additional clubs, such as honors and Greek societies, also give students many opportunities to develop leadership skills and provide service to others. An informal survey of some of the group’s names indicates that many are dedicated to the University’s core values: 7 Habits Club, Best Buddies, Cal Campaign Consultants, H.E.A.R.T. (Health Education Awareness Resource Team), Habitat for Humanity, the Law and Justice Society, Men Against Violence, and the Peace Studies Club. There are campus chapters of professional organizations, such as the Public Relations Student Society of America, the Social Work Association, Society of Professional Journalists, the Student Counseling Association, the Student Marketing Association, the Technical Education Association of California, the Student Nurses Association, and many more (“Clubs and Organizations – Complete Listing,” 2004). 80 Student Workers Work-study students are trained in ethics and integrity. Community assistants, who work in residence halls, receive values and ethics training. They, in turn, encourage residents to develop a personal value system. Students in the Counseling Center and Health Center are trained about confidentiality and about patient rights and responsibilities. Student Leadership The Student Leadership Department offers workshops to emerging student leaders primarily during their freshman year. Students practice public speaking, team-building, goal-setting, and event-planning skills: Programs are designed to promote an understanding of leadership theory and research, skills and competencies that support leadership effectiveness, a more fully developed code of personal ethics, and an enhanced sense of lifelong commitment to social responsibility and citizenship (“Student Leadership Development,” 2003). Alumni Many departments keep in touch with their alumni and welcome them back to campus to speak. For example, Jim Lokay, a traffic reporter for KDKA in Pittsburgh, and Thea Kalcevic, a production assistant for Worldwide Pants (the production company for the David Letterman Show), are alumni of the Communication Studies Department and have spoken to students about their career success. Many other alumni serve as guest speakers in classes and forums. Several more recent graduates hold area public offices, including the California Borough mayor, the Washington County district attorney, a Connellsville city councilman, and the Robinson Township city manager. Three have spoken to students about public service. 81 Enforcing Academic Integrity Perhaps the best way to learn about integrity is through role-modeling. If civility and responsibility are not demonstrated to students on a daily basis, there is not much instructors can do to teach them to be civil and responsible. Some professors say they are explicit about their expectations for civility in the classroom. One history professor, for example, tells his survey course that the students may express any opinion they wish, as long as it is put forth politely, in a civil manner. Academic Integrity Committee Sometimes a professor’s, administrator’s, or staff person’s best efforts are not enough to prevent incivility, dishonesty, or cheating in the classroom, office, or elsewhere on campus. Many infractions among employees can be handled through disciplinary measures spelled out in collective bargaining agreements. However, when the problem is between a professor and a student, or another employee and a student, the matter may be handled through the Academic Integrity Committee. If the problem is serious enough, it may be handled by campus or local police. If a professor decides a student should be penalized for plagiarism, he or she may assign the student an “F” for the course. If the student disputes the grade, the procedure is for him or her to first speak with the instructor, next the chair, and finally, the dean of the appropriate college. If the student is still disagrees with the decision, he or she may appeal the matter to the Academic Integrity Committee. In 1998, the Academic Integrity Committee adopted a document that defines academic integrity and describes how academic integrity appeals are handled. The document is more detailed than the academic integrity statements in the college catalogs (“Academic Integrity 82 Policies and Procedures”). In 2002, the committee passed several recommendations, one of which suggested that both students and faculty receive more uniform training in academic integrity (“Academic Integrity Committee Recommendations,” 2002). The committee also recommended that the committee play a more active role in academic integrity cases. The recommendations have yet to be implemented. Software Software, such as Turnitin, is available to faculty for checking for plagiarism. Some professors are concerned that the software can produce too many false positives, but for students to know that the software is available may be a deterrent against plagiarism. Additional Codes of Conduct Although the college catalogs and student handbook specify what academic integrity is and the penalties for when students cheat, plagiarize, or otherwise violate the University’s core values, some campus departments also have spelled out the behavior they expect of students and the penalties for infractions. The University Library, for example, has developed the “Manderino Library Code of Conduct.” The code’s purpose is to ensure that “all patrons of the Manderino Library experience an environment that fosters integrity, civility, and responsibility” (February 11, 2009, p. 1). The code discusses disruptive behavior, misuse of library property, drugs and alcohol, and unsupervised electronic use by minors. It states that penalties may include “verbal warnings from library staff, removal from the building, loss of library privileges, referral to the Office of Student Conduct, police involvement, and/or legal action” (“Manderino Library Code,” February 11, 2009, p. 1). Analysis Although statements regarding academic integrity and information about the University’s 83 core values are on the Web site, in the Student Handbook, in course syllabi – seemingly everywhere – the College of Education and Human Services is the only college with a collegewide ethics policy. Similarly, only a few departments have specific academic integrity policies. It would be worthwhile for all colleges and departments to follow suit. A centralized approach could be counterproductive; however, an academic integrity policy statement that is inserted into all syllabi, much like the policy statement regarding students with disabilities, may reinforce the message that values undergird the Cal U experience. Many classes are offered that provide ethics discussion and training. Requiring undergraduates to take a “Values” classes as part of their General Education preparation not only complies with the Board of Governor’s policy, but is an essential part of any college education. Students can see by perusing the courses on the “Values” menu that ethics training cuts across all disciplines. Cal U has a plethora of specialized educational offerings that provide training in character building and integrity. The Character Education Institute, Frederick Douglass Institute, and American Democracy Project provide a wealth of opportunities for all members of the University community to learn how to become contributing members to the community writ large. Cal U’s core values underlie the work done at the University. Faculty receive grants and awards in recognition of their dedication to the University’s Mission. Students join clubs that give service to the community, or join a leadership program that helps them develop a lifelong commitment to be socially responsible. The University should maintain a database of the events, projects, and service, highlighting some the activities on its Web site. This also would provide a means to demonstrate its commitment to character building, as well as archive information for 84 reports. Conclusion Students, faculty and staff at California University of Pennsylvania have a bounty of opportunities to develop their characters. The University’s focus on its core values of integrity, civility, and responsibility, is evident in the classroom, in leisure activities, and in the University’s publicity material. By developing a stronger Academic Integrity Committee and more uniform academic integrity policies, the University will be fully in sync with its Mission to build character and careers. Recommendations • Have a fully functional Academic Integrity Committee. • All colleges should adopt an academic integrity policy, which is specified in its materials. • Departments should consider including academic integrity statements on all syllabi. • Consider instituting a university-wide “Civility Project.” • Document events, programs, publications, and organizational work that contain integrity components.1 1 The Recommendation Progress Report/Action Plan is contained in the cover letter. 85 STANDARD 7: INSTITUTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS Introduction The collection and evaluation of data is an ongoing process, as the University gauges the extent to which it is meeting its own goals and those set by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The Office of Continuous Improvement, under the supervision of Mr. Norman Hasbrouck, also conducts surveys to help assess how well the University is meeting its objectives. The administration plans its work, taking into consideration the University’s strategic plan and the state’s directives. Each year, President Angelo Armenti, Jr. asks the University’s Council of Trustees to approve Cal U’s institutional goals, and gives the trustees quarterly updates on how well the University is meeting select ones. Assessment Strategic Plan California University of Pennsylvania’s institutional assessment begins with continuous monitoring of the University’s Strategic Plan. Cal U’s Strategic Plan is aligned with the Strategic Plan of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The goals and objectives of the state’s strategic plan are: (1) Student success and achievement, (2) Excellence in educational quality, (3) Service to the Commonwealth, (4) Resource stewardship, and (5) Public leadership (“Leading the Way: PASSHE’s Strategic Plan,” 2003). The eight goals of Cal U’s Strategic plan for 2009-2012 are: Goal One: To continue to increase academic excellence at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Goal Two: To continue to enhance the quality of student life. 86 Goal Three: To continue to enhance diversity, as broadly defined, at California University. Goal Four: To continue to incorporate continuous improvement into all programs and activities, University-wide, to ensure competitive excellence. Goal Five: To continue to improve the infrastructure of California University of Pennsylvania. Goal Six: To continue to serve the region, the Commonwealth, and the Nation. Goal Seven: To continue to enhance the use of existing resources and develop/ increase new sources of revenue. Goal Eight: To foster civic engagement, that is, a commitment to accept and perform the duties and obligations of belonging to a community, a Commonwealth, a Nation, and the World. (“Strategic Plan 2009-12, Draft 3,” April 17, 2009). Some of the efforts the University is making to reach these goals include: seeking and maintaining national accreditation for every academic program for which accreditation is available, expanding Cal U Global Online to provide revenue, fundraising in the community to generate money for scholarships, and fundraising in the private sector for money to help pay for capital projects. (J. Hanley, personal communication, Spring 2009). Performance Indicators, System Accountability Plan, Baselines, Benchmark Since 2000, universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education have been 87 assessed on how well they perform on a set of standardized indicators and are rewarded on how much they improve and how well they do. The schools submit Performance Funding Reports, as well as information for the System Accountability Report to the state system each year. There are 17 Performance Indicators, and the state system considers performance in eight of the areas when distributing system performance funding. (See Appendix 7A for a list of the 17 performance indicators; See System Accountability Report: Performance Outcomes 2007-2008 for details on how Performance Funding works; also, “PASSHE Measures Performance,” n.d.) In 2008-2009, Cal U won the most performance funding ($5.2 million) of any state school (“Faculty Convocation,” January 26, 2009). Performance funding accounts for approximately eight percent of the state’s appropriation to the state universities (“PASSHE Measures Performance,” n.d.) Cal U administrators judge the institution’s success on how close it comes to reaching the state system’s “targets” and on how well it does in receiving performance funding, as compared to the other state schools. The administration also compares Cal U to the institution’s own historical trends (“baselines”). (See “CA Baseline Dashboard 2007-2008,” 2008, in “Performance Funding Reports” folder on Middle States dedicated computer drive for an example.) The University also is compared against schools of similar size and makeup across the United States (“benchmarks”). (See “CA Peers 2008” in “Performance Funding Reports” folder on Middle States dedicated computer drive for a list of institutions against which Cal U in compared.) Surveys, Continuous Improvement Efforts Among the surveys that the Office of Continuous Improvement oversees is the American College Testing Service’s “Student Opinion Surveys,” which Cal U students take each year. The 88 data may be compared over time, using Cal U’s historical data, or it can be compared with national statistics. (See the “ACT Surveys” folder on the Middle States dedicated computer drive for examples of the surveys.) The Office of Continuous Improvement, responding to student needs, helped the Office of Articulation and Transfer expand its role to provide timely services (N. Hasbrouck, personal communication, Spring 2009). The University also has assessed and responded to student needs in many other ways, including: (1) moving the Math Lab, Writing Center, and Advising and Placement-Testing Center into one building, (2) enhancing the role of Student Orientation leaders by creating links between Student Orientation and the Student Mentoring program and giving Student Orientation a key role in the University’s new Welcome Center, and (3) encouraging the Student Success Committee to create plans to help students develop academic and career goals. These examples are cross-campus efforts to better use existing resources through collaboration, integration, and synergy. Academic programs, meanwhile, engage in their own version of continuous improvement through annual Outcomes Assessment of the courses they offer on the General Education menu. They also assess classes in their majors during program reviews. (See Chapter 14 for further discussion of Outcomes Assessment.) Program Reviews The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education requires academic and student support programs to conduct five-year reviews. The University administration also uses these reports in assessing how all the parts of the University are performing and in making adjustments. These reports are sent to the state Chancellor’s Office. (See the “Program Review Summaries” folder on the Middle States dedicated computer drive for examples.) 89 Middle States The Middle States Commission on Higher Education decides every 10 years whether to reaccredit California University of Pennsylvania. The University analyzes its performance over the past decade and prepares a self-evaluation report for the Middle States assessment team. Mission Day During the annual Mission Day, faculty, students and staff gather to brainstorm ways to improve the University. The administration implements many of the suggestions and issues an annual scorecard of the changes that result from the suggestions. (See Appendix 7B for the 2007 Scorecard those attending Mission Day 2008 viewed.) Accreditation National accrediting groups in academic and program disciplines periodically decide whether Cal U’s programs deserve to be accredited or reaccredited. (See Appendix 7C for a list of the 21 programs accredited at California University of Pennsylvania of the 32 that are eligible to be accredited.) Decision-Making, Advisory Groups, Data The President’s Cabinet includes the executive vice president (a new position in 2007), and vice presidents for Administration and Finance, Student Development and Services, University Advancement (an office undergoing reorganization), Academic Affairs/Provost, and Informational Technology (a new position in 2009). The Cabinet meets regularly, and its members advise the president about developments in their respective areas, on annual goals, and on results from assessments. The Administrative Council is a 32-member advisory board to the president and helps develop annual institutional goals and reviews reports that assess the goals. 90 The University Forum is another advisory group, representing faculty, administration, staff, students, and alumni. Although the president has the authority to accept or reject the Forum’s recommendations, 90 percent of all referrals have been instituted (“History of Motions Passed,” 2000-2009). (See Chapter 4 for a detailed discussion of the University Forum and Appendix 4A for a summary of the number of motions passed.) Other groups that make recommendations or advise the administration include: the Academic Affairs Council, college councils, Graduate Council, Faculty Senate, Student Government, unions, campus-wide committees, such as the University-Wide Curriculum and General Education committees, and many other bodies. The University’s Council of Trustees and various groups in the State System of Higher Education, including the Chancellor’s Office, also advise the administration. Data Although many people advise and help the administration with decision making, most of the decisions rely on data to assess how well programs are performing and what needs to be done. Since 2004, the University’s “Data Group” has been collecting and analyzing data and advising the president. Mr. Norman Hasbrouck, special assistant to the president for special projects and director of the Office of Continuous Improvement, heads the data group. Members include the director of institutional research, the internal auditor, a representative from the Office of the Vice President for Administration and Finance, the registrar, a representative from informational technology, representatives from payroll and personnel, and the director of Cal U in the High School. Communicating Assessment Results As discussed in Chapter 5, the administration has many effective ways for sharing information 91 with the University community. Campus-wide e-mails, The Journal articles, as well as other campus media, press releases, and the Web site are just some of the ways the administration disseminates information. The Campus-Wide Intranet System (CWIS), especially the “Public Folders” portion of it, is another place with information about the University. It has minutes of the University Forum, some program review and performance measures, a version of the Strategic Plan, information from the Curriculum and General Education committees, a list of topics and actions from previous Mission Days, and other information. Budget information, other than that in the Strategic Plan or in performance measures, is not available. However, the information in CWIS is not methodically updated. Analysis The administration at California University of California relies on the University’s Strategic Report, as well as many other reports and data, and many groups to make decisions. The University’s effectiveness is reported in such documents as “Performance Funding Reports” and the information that Cal U submits to the state for the System Accountability Report. In 20082009, Cal U received the most Performance Funding ($5.2 million) of all the 14 schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The state system has rewarded Cal U for operating effectively and showing improvement on measures that promote the state system’s goals. Several adjustments may help Cal U perform at an even more efficient level than it does at present. It is sometimes difficult for those not involved to know who is responsible for collecting data, what is available, and where to find it. It would be advisable for the University to develop an institutional assessment structure, both operationally and on paper, similar to the 92 organizational charts found in the Faculty Handbook. The structure and charts would integrate and depict institutional assessment activities, links and relationships. The Campus-Wide Intranet System does not seem to be updated on a regularly scheduled basis. All the information on the system should be reviewed and updated or removed twice a year. However, the University may want to rethink the usefulness of the Intranet System, especially Public Folders, as the best place to keep campus information and communicate with the Cal U community. Web pages may be a more effective way to communicate. A directory of the University’s Web pages also would be a useful tool in tracking down campus information. Comprehensive budget information is not easily accessible to casual inquirers. Budget decisions are made at the Cabinet level and the four academic deans are included in the Cabinet’s budget discussions. The University Forum has a Budget Committee, but it is not actively involved in budget analysis, deliberation, and recommendations. As competition, both externally and internally, for shrinking funds becomes more acute, it becomes advisable for more members of the University community to have access to budget information. (See Chapter 3 for a discussion pertaining to accessing budget information.) Twenty-one Cal U programs are accredited. It would be advisable for the University to develop a central database of accreditation reports of the accredited programs, of those going through accreditation, and of those applying for reaccreditation. Conclusion The administration at California University of Pennsylvania runs a fairly tight ship. The State System of Higher Education has rewarded Cal U for its efficiency and continual improvement with more performance money than any other state system school received in 2008-2009. By tightening up a few areas, like the way information, especially budget information, is made 93 available to the University community, and clarifying who is responsible for the record-keeping, Cal U can continue to lead the state system as an efficient, effective institution. Recommendations The University should develop an institutional assessment structure, both operationally and on paper, similar to the organizational charts found in the Faculty Handbook. The structure and charts should integrate and depict institutional assessment activities, links, and relationships. The University should develop, maintain, and appropriately staff a central repository that would house, collect, evaluate, analyze, and integrate all university-wide assessments. The Campus-Wide Intranet System does not seem to be updated on a regularly scheduled basis. All the information on the system should be reviewed and updated or removed twice a year. The University should consider the usefulness of the Intranet System, especially Public Folders, as the best place to keep campus information and communicate with the Cal U community. Web pages may be a more effective way to communicate. A directory of the University’s Web pages also would be a useful tool in tracking campus information. As competition, both externally and internally, for shrinking funds becomes more acute, it becomes advisable for more members of the University community to have access to budget information. Develop a central database of accreditation reports of the accredited programs, of those going through accreditation, and of those applying for accreditation. 94 STANDARD 8: STUDENT ADMISSIONS AND RETENTION Introduction The pool of southwestern Pennsylvania high school graduates continues to dwindle; nonetheless, enrollments are up at California University of Pennsylvania. As important, the University has attracted more students while, at the same time, raising the minimum requirements. Average Grade Point Average (GPA) and standardized test scores of new students continue to increase. Through planning, persistence, and focusing on the University’s Strategic Plan, Cal U’s admissions, retention, and marketing staff, as well as top administrators, have worked together to meet challenges. Goal One of the Strategic Plan is to “Increase University academic excellence at both the undergraduate and graduate levels” (“Goal One,” March 26, 2007). One way to achieve this goal is “to [f]oster increasingly higher admissions criteria, academic quality and scholarly expectations” (“Goal One,” March 26, 2007). The University has done just that. Student Enrollment Increases In Fall 2004, before the University implemented its Strategic Plan, 1,095 entering freshmen were counted on the sixteenth day of the semester, the day traditionally used for reporting enrollment. There were 526 transfer students that fall, bringing undergraduate enrollment to 5,455 (“Fall 2004 – 16th Day of Class,” September 21, 2004). By Fall 2008, there were 1,395 entering freshmen and 683 transfer students, for a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,925 (“Sixteenth Day Enrollments – Fall 2008 [System Census],” 2008.) Thus, there was a 27.4 percent increase from Fall 2004 to Fall 2008 in entering freshmen; a 29.8 percent increase in entering transfer students; and, a total enrollment increase of 26.95 percent. 95 Admissions Criteria: Grade Point Averages and Standardized Test Scores In Fall 2004, before the University implemented its Strategic Plan, it admitted students based on a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale, a minimum SAT score of 840 (critical reading and math only), an ACT composite score of 18, a paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 450, or computer-based TOEFL score of 133. (See Appendix 8A for Fall 2004 undergraduate admissions categories.) By Fall 2005, the University increased the minimum requirements for SAT results for entering freshmen to 850. The scores for the other standardized tests stayed the same, as did the GPA minimum requirement, which stayed at 2.0. (See Appendix 8B for Fall 2005 undergraduate admissions categories.) For Fall 2006 and Fall 2007, Cal U increased the minimum GPA to 2.3, from 2.0. The University also raised the minimum SAT score to 890, from 850 (in critical reading and math only). The minimum ACT composite score increased to 19, from 18, and the paper-based TOEFL increased to 500, from 450. The computer-based TOEFL increased to 173, from 133, and the Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT) was set at 61. (See Appendix 8C and Appendix 8D for Fall 2006 and Fall 2007 undergraduate admissions categories, respectively.) By Fall 2008, the minimum SAT score was bumped up to 910 (critical reading and math only); however, the minimum GPA stayed at 2.3, the minimum ACT composite score stayed at 19, the minimum paper-based TOEFL score stayed at 500, the minimum TOEFL computerbased score stayed at 173, and minimum TOEFL Internet-based score stayed at 61. (See Appendix 8E for Fall 2008 undergraduate admissions categories.) The average entering freshman SAT score in Fall 2004 was 988. By Fall 2008, the average entering freshman SAT score was 1,028 (R. Kline, personal communication, 2009). 96 Decreasing Numbers of High School Graduates The western counties of Pennsylvania will start experiencing drops in high school graduates by 2009; and, by 2016, nearly every county in the state will have fewer high school graduates than in 2008, according to the Fact Book, 2007-’08, published by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (p. 6). For example, Allegheny County is within the University’s local recruitment territory and, in 2004, 13,541 students graduated from high school there. The number of high school graduates projected for 2016 is expected to drop to 10,560, a 22 percent decrease (Fact Book, 2007-’08, Table A.2, p. 12). With the exception of Fayette County, which is expected to experience a 6 percent increase of high school graduates, from 1,343 graduates in 2004 to 1,425 in 2016, (Fact Book, 2007-’08, Table A.2, p. 12), other counties that have traditionally contributed students to Cal U are expected to have fewer high school graduates. The figures show that Greene County is expected to have a 22.4 percent decrease, from 455 high school graduates in 2004 to 343 in 2016; Washington County, down 7.7 percent, from 2,148 in 2004 to 1,983 in 2016; and, Westmoreland County, down 14.5 percent, from 4,311 in 2004 to 3,684 in 2016 (Fact Book, 2007-’08, Table A.2, pp. 12-13). Cal U’s Response to Decreasing Numbers of High School Graduates: Add Programs, Increase Recruitment, Improve Retention The state system’s Fact Book projects that to respond to the expected enrollment drops, the state schools “will need to increase the recruitment of nontraditional populations (including transfers), distance education enrollments, and/or increase retention to offset the loss of traditionally aged students” (p. 6). Cal U’s administration has been mindful of the enrollment projections. In 2005, the University’s Council of Trustees adopted Cal U’s Strategic Plan, which addresses some ways the 97 University can adapt to the state system’s suggestion to pay more attention to nontraditional populations. Goal Three of the Strategic Plan calls on the University to enhance diversity by recruiting and retaining a “talented, diverse and highly motivated student body” (“Goal Three,” August 10, 2005). Objective III.1 of the plan is to “Enhance Geographic Diversity,” and the methods for doing that are: Method A: Continue to expand California University in the High School throughout the five county area and beyond, and specifically, to Philadelphia. Method B: Investigate the use of distance learning for high school students. Method C: Recruit students world-wide to courses on Cal U Global Online. Method D: Increase the number and percentage of out-of-state students. Method E: Add programs in which students can receive degrees or certification by attending classes entirely during weekends or evenings. Method F: Increase the number and percentage of international students. (“Goal Three,” August 10, 2005). Adding programs. The University has developed and continues to develop programs in the above areas. The Cal U Global Online program is particularly successful. Launched in 2005, the program now has 1,355 students, 27 offerings and 15 master’s degree-programs (Schackner, June 21, 2009, pp. A1, A12). Increasing recruitment efforts. The Admissions Office has expanded its recruitment territory to include the eastern portion of Pennsylvania, as well as New York, New Jersey, and Delaware. The four assistant directors of Admissions each schedule a minimum of 80 high school visits 98 every fall. The assistant directors also attend national college fairs and college day/college night programs. The assistant directors return to campus with completed inquiry cards. Many students seek information about Cal U via the Web. The University receives approximately 16,000 inquiries a year. It sends seven recruitment brochures on an eight-day mailing cycle to those who inquire about the University (W. Edmonds, personal communication, Spring 2009). The University also has 10 large and 88 small billboards promoting its Discovery Days and Open House programs, as well as “image” billboards at Route 51 and Interstate 43, and at the exit of the Liberty Tunnels in Pittsburgh. Twenty posters are placed at bus and transit shelters. Discovery Days are sponsored by the Welcome Center and introduce prospective students to campus, take them on tours, let them sit in on classes, and give the students information about Cal U (“Cal U Welcome Center: Fall Discovery Day,” January 9, 2009). The Welcome Center and Student Orientation. The Welcome Center and Student Orientation provide such programs to prospective and accepted students as Spring Open House, Fall Discovery Days, Accepted Student Receptions, Monday through Friday individual tours, PreSenior Open House, Honors Open House, and Summer Registration. The Welcome Center, which was dedicated in Fall 2003, has been expanding its programs and the number of students with whom it has contact. It also tries to individualize tours so visitors get the information they need and talk to the people who most can help them. As an example of how its programs have grown, in 2004, the Welcome Center conducted three Spring Open Houses and welcomed 597 prospective students. By 2008, the center welcomed 766 prospective students during Open Houses, an increase of 28.4 percent since 2004. The number of visitors the center has welcomed has increased 83.2 percent, from 738 student visitors in 2004 to 99 1,352 student visitors in 2008 (K. Eggleston, personal communication, Spring 2009). In Summer 2007, the Welcome Center and Office of Student Retention and Success teamed up for student orientations. This gave Student Success staff a chance to inform students about academic challenges, support systems, policies and procedures in a uniform manner. Beginning in Summer 2009, the orientation was extended to four days. Communicating with prospective students by using technology. Typically, a prospective student begins the enrollment process by completing an inquiry card. Students may complete the inquiry card on paper or on the Web. In Fall 2004, the total inquiry count was14,858 (“Fall 2004 Student Profile Data Final”); in Fall 2005, 16,316 (“Fall 2005 Student Profile Data Final”); in Fall 2006, 19,135 (“Fall 2006 Student Profile Data Final”); in Fall 2007, 16,727 (“Fall 2007 Student Profile Data Basic”); and, in Fall 2008, 14,200 (“Fall 2008 Student Profile Data,” August 25, 2008). The number of inquiries on the Web was 731 for Fall 2004; 1,491 for Fall 2005; 1,385 for Fall 2006; 1,345 for Fall 2007, and 1,262 for Fall 2008 (SIS FOCEXC Am INQCOUNT Report, March 2009). This amounts to a 73 percent increase in Web inquiries from Fall 2004 to Fall 2008. Cal U is using electronic scanners at national college fairs to capture inquiries. They were used for the first time, in 2009, at the Pittsburgh National College Fair, a site that the National Association of College and Admissions Counselors chose to introduce this technology. At Pittsburgh National College Fairs, from 2004 to 2008, Cal U captured an average 592 students using paper inquiry cards. In 2009, the ShowLeads Portable Scanner captured 1,156 inquiries for Cal U and the University also received 203 paper inquiries (W. Edmonds, personal communication, Spring 2009). 100 Using the Web to apply for admission. Since Fall 2004, students have been able to apply online for admission to Cal U. By Fall 2008, the University had received more Web applications than paper applications. In Fall 2004, the University received 391 Web applications and 3,340 paper applications; for Fall 2005, 1,445 Web applications and 2,886 paper applications; for Fall 2006, 1,870 Web applications and 2,832 paper applications; for Fall 2007, 2,404 Web applications and 2,473 paper applications; and, for Fall 2008, 3,164 Web applications and 2,308 paper applications. The increase of online applications from 2004 to 2008 is 709.21 percent (W. Edmonds, personal communication, Spring 2009). The Admissions Web site also can be used to pay the application fee and check on the application status. Plans are underway to target students by using Facebook, blogging, podcasts and Short Message Service (SMS) text messaging. The University also put a link on the Articulation and Transfer Web page to PA TRAC, a service that helps students evaluate which of their courses will transfer to any PASSHE school. (The online service also includes Pennsylvania state-related universities and private colleges, which have opted into the program.) Southpointe and Admissions. Cal U offers some programs at its Southpointe Center in Canonsburg. Because of low enrollments, the RET site in Pittsburgh closed on July 1, 2009. Distance education programs and most of the faculty for Cal U Global Online are based at Southpointe (Hanley, personal communication, July 15, 2009). Most of the students who attend classes at Southpointe are nontraditional students. Cal U’s policy is that two years after high school graduation, the ACT/SAT admissions policy is waived. Those fitting this nontraditional category are evaluated based on their high school transcript, or, in many cases, a college transcript. Southpointe offers undergraduate bachelor of science degrees in Nursing and Business 101 Administration and master of science degrees in Business Administration and Elementary Education (with certification) (“Programs,” June 15, 2009). The RET site’s programs were online and will continue through Cal U Global Online. Cal U’s Response to Decreasing Numbers of High School Graduates: Beautify Campus The administration also has recognized the need to beautify the campus to attract and retain students in the traditional age group who want to have a traditional educational experience living in a residence hall and attending classes on campus. The University has built six state-of-the art residence halls that can accommodate approximately 1,500 students. There also is an apartment complex approximately one mile from campus; Vulcan Village can house about 800 students (“Housing and Residence Life,” June 12, 2009). The Herron Recreation Center was recently renovated into a modern fitness center. In 2007, the University dedicated the new Duda Hall with its “smart classrooms” (“Building for the Future: Cal U Welcomes a State-of-the-Art Duda,” April 23, 2007). In 2008, it dedicated the Studio Physics, Studio Chemistry, and Mathematics Computing labs (“Classrooms Made for Hands-On Teaching,” October 13, 2008). In January 2009, the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education approved funding for a $54 million Convocation Center, which will include a 6,000seat arena – the largest indoor performance and activity site between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Morgantown, West Virginia – as well as smart classrooms and athletic facilities. The center will be able to accommodate conferences (“PASSHE OKs Convocation Center,” January 26, 2009). A campus parking garage also under construction. 102 Student Retention Retention Results The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education evaluates its 14 universities for performance funding on many measures, including how well they retain students. According to Table 3.5 of the System Accountability Report for 2007-2008, the number of first-year students who continued into their second year at Cal U was 78.5 percent, meaning Cal U exceeded its “baseline” or historic performance, exceeded its “benchmark,” or comparison to similar universities, and met its state performance “target.” Although Cal U performed well in the majority of retention areas, one of the areas in which it did not reach its target was in retaining black students (System Accountability Report, Table 3.5, January 6, 2009, p. 72). Office of Student Retention and Success The Office of Student Retention was created in October 1996, and an associate provost was appointed to help implement a “Five-Part Plan for Student Retention.” Each year, the office staff develops a “Retention Initiatives” statement, declaring how they will maintain and improve student retention. Some of the main ways the University tries to keep students in school until they graduate are: First Year Seminar. This one-credit course, required of all new students and transfer students with fewer than 24 credits, helps students with such topics as: time management; campus life issues; library use; writing, reading, math and study skills; financial aid; academic and career plans; health issues; and help for individual issues. The University’s Curriculum Committee has approved a syllabus for the course. Yearly enrollment has been: 2000 – 1,012; 2001 – 1,166; 2002 – 1,035; 2003 – 1,129; 2004 – 1,169; 2005 – 1,352; 2006 – 1,447; 2007 – 1,422; and, 2008 – 1,519 (R. Kline, personal communication, Spring 2009). 103 The Office of Student Retention and Success conducts student evaluations of First Year Seminar sections each semester, and for Fall 2008, 95 percent of the student respondents said they knew “a great deal about this topic” or “something about this topic” after taking First Year Seminar (“FYS Pre- and Post-Evaluation Manual” 2008). Academic Scheduling and Placement-Testing Center. The Academic Scheduling and Placement-Testing Center oversees: placement testing, the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), and the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST). The center also helps entering and existing students develop their schedules; monitors how students in developmental classes are doing; and, oversees such procedures as the Early Warnings messages sent to students who are not performing well in their classes and the system for putting students on a Needs List for blocked or filled classes. The office also supervises the Midterm Grade Report system, presents orientations and workshops, and operates the Web Advisor whereby students can ask advice about academic or other matters. The office has about 12,000 student contacts annually. The annual figures for student placement-testing activity are: 2000 – 871; 2001 – 867; 2002 – 1,018; 2003 – 849; 2004 – 934; 2005 – 1,013; 2006 – 1,139; 2007 – 1,098; and, 2008 – 1,016 (H. Langley, personal communication, Spring 2009). Probationary Assistance Program (PASS). Students who are on First Academic Probation, as well as students who have been dismissed for academic reasons but, subsequently, are readmitted, are required to meet weekly for a half-hour with a graduate assistant. These PASS sessions are to reinforce life/academic goals, and help students develop time-management and study skills, learn about campus resources, learn about their responsibilities in seeking academic advice, and help them with the registration and appeal process. Students take pre- and postsurveys that evaluate the program. About 100 students who graduate each year have participated 104 in the PASS Program during their time at Cal U. Annual student enrollment figures for the PASS Program are: 2000 – 608; 2001 – 567; 2002 – 525; 2003 – 549; 2004 – 586; 2005 – 510; 2006 – 609; 2007 – 570; and, 2008 – 549 (H. Langley, personal communication, Spring 2009). Learning resources. The University offers many opportunities for students to strengthen their academic skills. The Office of Academic Development Services. Students can seek tutoring in many entry-level courses through the Office of Academic Development Services. (See Standard 9 for a more detailed discussion of the Tutoring Center.) Tutors review lecture notes with students, check and review the students’ knowledge of textbook and course materials, and offer individual and group study sessions. Supplemental instruction is also offered in selected courses. The number of tutoring sessions from 2001 to 2007 is: 2000 – 635; 2001 – 650; 2002 – 738; 2003 – 830; 2004 – 857; 2005 – 809; 2006 – 1,237; and, 2007 – 1,424 (M. Sally, personal communication, Spring 2009). Students also can get help from the following campus sites: Writing Center. The Writing Center provides free, individualized, supplementary help to students, staff, and faculty who request assistance in composing and revising written texts. Student tutors are trained in a collaborative method. Since 2001, Dr. Kurt Kearcher, an English professor, has directed the center. The number of tutoring sessions is: 2001 – 695; 2002 – 741; 2003 – 858; 2004 – 702; 2005 – 545; 2006 – 842; 2007 – 546; and, 2008 (Fall) – 435 (K. Kearcher, personal communication, Spring 2009). Mathematics Lab. The Math Lab offers personal tutoring, Web-based tutoring, video tutorials, and help with math anxiety. Dr. Paul Williams, a math professor, has directed the lab since 1986. He completes an annual report, “Math Lab Activity.” The number of tutorial sessions at the math lab is: 2000 – 1,195; 2001 – 1,159; 2002 – 986; 2003 – 1,062; 2004 – 903; 2005 – 589; 2006 – 105 937; 2007 – 995; and 2008 (Fall) – 661 (P. Williams, personal communication, Spring 2009). Reading Clinic. The Reading Clinic offers free, one-hour tutoring sessions to all students. and is staffed by a faculty member and two work-study students. Patricia Johnson, the director, helps students improve their reading comprehension and vocabulary. The Reading Clinic also helps students prepare for PRAXIS exams and improve their reading speed. The numbers of students participating do not necessarily reflect the need for the services. The staff is limited and hours abbreviated. The number of tutorial sessions is: 2000 – 245; 2001 – 216; 2002 – 196; 2003 – 207; 2004 – 240; 2005 – 230; 2006 – 195; 2007- 499; and, 2008 – 562 (P. Johnson, personal communication, Spring 2009). Developmental education. All new freshmen who are attending college for the first time and some transfer students may take placement tests before they first register for required English Composition and Math classes. Students who do not perform at what is judged “college level” must enroll in developmental courses. These courses, English Language Skills (ENG 100), and Introductory Algebra (DMA 092), are preparatory to the beginning college level courses; thus, the credits earned in the development classes do not count toward graduation credit nor can these classes be used to fulfill General Education requirements. However, the grades from these classes are computed into the student’s Grade Point Average, class standing, eligibility for financial aid, and eligibility for participation in co-curricular activities. The numbers for the two courses are: Introductory Algebra, 2000 -- 385; 2001 - 364; 2002 – 390; 2003 --321; 2004 -- 264; 2005 -- 308; 2006 -- 322; and, 2007 – 338 and English Language Skills, 2000 -- 393; 2001 -399; 2002 -- 295; 2003 – 199; 2004 – 260; 2005 – 323; 2006 -- 369; and, 2007 – 466 (R. Kline, personal communication, Spring 2009). Assistance also is offered through the Office of Student Retention and Success. Staff help 106 students who “need information and/or general assistance, or who encounter difficulties with processes, procedures or personalities on campus” (“Ombudsperson,” September 6, 2007). About 60 of the ombudsperson contacts each year will result in multiple meetings and some intervention (L. Angelone, personal communication, Spring 2009). The Office of Student Retention and Success developed a series of goals based on the results of the program review completed in 2003. Three priority goals are to: (1) move the Reading Clinic, Writing Lab, and Math Lab into one building, (2) develop online advising/ mentoring, and (3) create an online First Year Seminar (“Office of Student Retention’s 5-Year Program Review,” 2003). The next five-year program review, done in 2008, documented the progress on the goals: The two clinics and one lab are now housed in one building; online advising/mentoring is in place; and, the creation of an online First Year Seminar is in the developmental stage (“Office of Student Retention’s 5-Year Program Review,” May 2008). Analysis California University of Pennsylvania has responded to the decreasing numbers of traditionalaged high school graduates and the potentially negative effects this trend could have on enrollment by intensifying recruitment methods and student retention efforts, and by developing new programs. At the same time, it has raised admissions standards to stay aligned with its Strategic Plan of improving academic excellence. Because of its many-pronged efforts, enrollment has grown. Some of the ways the University has enhanced recruiting include expanding Cal U’s traditional recruitment territory; improving advertising, marketing, and technology to reach potential students; opening a Welcome Center to help personalize students’ orientation to 107 campus; and, beautifying and modernizing the campus by building six state-of-the-art residence halls and new classroom buildings, refurbishing the fitness center, and winning approval to add a Convocation Center, which will have a 6,000-seat arena, large enough to attract major speakers, sports activities and performers. The Convocation Center also will be available for conferences. Once students are enrolled, the University has many methods to help them stay in school and succeed. The Office of Student Retention and Success oversees the First Year Seminar program, placement testing services, tutoring activities, Outcomes Assessment and the Student Ombudsman program, all of which strive to help students perform and succeed in college-level classes. The University also offers development classes in mathematics and English to help students prepare for college math and English composition classes. Cal U has exceeded its historic performance (baseline) and the performance of similar universities (benchmarks) in retaining students and having them graduate. It has met the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s target for student retention; however, Cal U has not met its target in retaining black students. It will need to work harder in retaining black students, and having them graduate. (See Chapter 9 for further discussion on some of the efforts the Division of Student Development and Services is making to retain a diverse mix of students. Conclusion California University of Pennsylvania has taken a proactive approach to counter the trend of fewer students graduating each year from southwestern Pennsylvania schools. It is reaching out to new groups of students, it is beautifying its campus, and it is working hard to keep the students it has, enrolled. It must increase its efforts to learn to do what it needs to do – and then do it – to help minority and other nontraditional student groups succeed. If a University has the courage to increase its admissions standards, as Cal U did, while the pool of traditional students 108 grows ever smaller, then it must have the will to develop ways for all of its students, at least those who want to, to succeed. Recommendation Develop a task force comprised of administrators, faculty, staff and students to address the projected decline in traditional college age student enrollment. Brainstorm recruitment and program structures that will facilitate the recruitment of nontraditional students and develop programs that will address their needs.1 1 The Recommendation Progress Report/Action Plan is contained in the cover letter. 109 STANDARD 9: STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES Introduction The Office of Student Development and Services oversees many programs that help round out a student’s academic experience, such as student organizations, student recreation, and multicultural offices and groups. Academic support programs, many of which fall under the jurisdiction of the Office of Academic Affairs/Provost, provide academic advising, tutoring and mentoring for students. Other programs, like Career Services, also under the provost’s supervision, provide support services for students, as well. The Division of Student Development and Services Student Development and Services, similar to other divisions at the University, is committed to the University’s Mission of building character and careers. The programs supervised by the vice president include: Athletics, Wellness, the Counseling Center, International Student Services, Multicultural Affairs, Student Health Services, the Office of Students with Disabilities, the Women’s Center/P.E.A.C.E. Project/Student Sexual Assault Rape Crisis Team, Veteran’s Affairs, Housing and Residence Life, University Conference Services, the Student Association, Inc. (SAI), AVI Food Services, Cal U Bookstore, SAI Web Development, Student Government, Vulcan Village, the Student Center and Operations, and Recreation Services. A full list of the programs and departments is on the University’s Web site (Student Development & Services, n.d. “Departmental Directory”). The division’s Web page notes that the focus of Student Development and Services is: “the personalization of the University experience, with concern for individual intellectual development and personal, social, leadership, and physical development. The division is committed to recognizing and assisting in the full realization of student potential” (“Student 110 Development and Services: Our Mission,” n.d.). To that end, the Office of Student Development and Services and the Student Association, Inc. participate in Open Houses, Discovery Days, Registration and Orientation events. The Department of Academic Development Services office oversees First Year Seminar, which, in part, is used to remind students of the services that are available to them. It maintains a Web page (http://sai.cup.edu/index.jsp) and has brochures for its individual areas. The Web site is used extensively by University community members to find the information about Student Services programs. In a 2007 survey, 56.8 percent of the respondents found the Web site to be good, very good, or excellent for ease of use and navigation; however, some respondents said they would like an easier way to find student services and SAI information, with easy links to clubs and organizations, easy access to the Cal U Bookstore, a First Year Seminar link, a portal for parents, a new name for the Office for Students With Disabilities and an easier link to it, Gold Rush menus, and other items. Of those who responded, 65.3 percent were students; 10 percent were staff; 9.4 percent were faculty; and, 5.5 percent were alumni (“Web Site 2007 Survey,” December 14, 2007). It is being redesigned under the direction of Cal U’s vice presidents of University Development/University Advancement and Information Systems. Students, faculty, and staff also receive e-mail announcements about events, programs, and support services, and students are reminded about student services at various campus events and activities. For example, the student group BACCHUS (Boost Alcohol Consciousness Concerning the Health of University Students) runs the Thursday night coffee house at the Underground Café. BACCHUS members use the café to provide drug and alcohol information to students, as well as information on Counseling, Wellness and Health Center services (L Angelone, personal communication, Spring 2009). 111 Student Activities Transcript Cal U awards students an activities transcript that recognizes participation and service in campus and community groups and events. Students update their own transcripts, entering information about their “extracurricular activities, accomplishments, and learning experiences” (“University Catalogs, Activities Transcript,” 2003). The information is verified by the faculty advisor for the program. Students can include copies of their activities transcript with their resumes and academic transcripts when applying for employment or graduate school (“University Catalogs, Activities Transcript,” 2003). Student Development and Services’ Focus on Multiculturalism According to data from Fall 2008, 5.56 percent of Cal U students are black; .22 percent are Native American; .49 percent are Asian; 1.17 percent are Hispanic; 74.74 percent are white; 16.53 percent are unknown; and, 1.28 percent are nonresident aliens. (See Appendix 9A for further details.) The vice president of Student Development and Services charged the division with making diversity a divisional goal in 2008-2009 (L. Angelone, personal communication, Spring 2009). The Multicultural Center. The University’s Multicultural Center opened in Fall 2007, bringing together under one organizational roof the Women’s Center, Black Student Union, the Hispanic Student Association, the Safe Zone, and the International Club. Each of these areas works independently; however, sometimes the groups collaborate on programming. The center is guided by the principle of “infinite diversity in infinite combinations” and tries to promote greater awareness and understanding of the cultures that comprise Cal U (L. Angelone, personal communication, Spring 2009). When the Multicultural Center opened, LaDonna Harris, founder of Americans for Indian 112 Opportunity, spoke at the dedication (“LaDonna Harris Shares Her Values With Cal U Community” (September 17, 2007). The Multicultural Center is one of the sponsors of the Day of Service, held on Martin Luther King Day. The Day of Service is a time when Cal U students, faculty, and staff participate in service activities (“Cal U Sponsors Day of Service,” January 28, 2008, p. 1). The Multicultural Center’s member groups are heavily involved in planning annual events, such as Black History Month activities (Black Student Union), Women’s History Month activities (Women’s Center), and the International Club Dinner. Before the Multicultural Center opened, multicultural programming had been done piecemeal, with different areas in the University addressing certain issues or staging events, but with no real coordination among the groups. Bringing the groups under one umbrella should help promote synergy among the groups. During the summer of 2008, staff members from the Office of Student Development and Services, and the Student Association, Inc., attended a day-long training on multiculturalism. The Multicultural Affairs Office, the International Student Advisor, and Admissions Office staff are seeking financial support to develop a retention program for multicultural students. The goal is to retain 100 percent of the 50 freshman students receiving a Board of Governors’ Scholarship (L. Angelone, personal communication, Spring 2009). For the Board of Governors’ Scholarships, each campus in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education may waive basic fees or tuition for up to two percent of the school’s fulltime equivalent enrollment and grant at least some of the scholarship aid to students from “underserved school districts” (“PA State System of Higher Education Board of Governors,” January 11, 2001). The scholarships are to go to help fulfill “desegregation plan commitments,” 113 “academics,” “leadership, and performing arts.” They also may go to “minority students” (Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Board of Governors, January 11, 2001). The vice president of Student Development and Services also established as goal for Fall 2009, the retention of all 10 freshman International Students who enrolled in Fall 2008 (L. Angelone, personal communication, Spring 2009). In 2008-2009, the Office of Multicultural Affairs petitioned President Armenti for its own department budget and he agreed to partial funding. The University already supports the Frederick Douglass Institute, which promotes the hiring of visiting minority faculty, sponsors lectures featuring distinguished minority leaders, and also promotes programs during Black History month. The Black Student Union. The Black Student Union is a student organization funded by the Student Association, Inc., and stresses that it is open to everyone. BSU stands for “Building Student Union” (“Black Student Union” n.d.) Some of the events it recently helped sponsor include an African dance workshop, a formal dance, a brown bag lunch during Black History month, and a picnic. The Student Association, Inc., granted the Black Student Union $27,500 in 2008-2009 (Student Association, Inc., 2009). The Hispanic Student Association. The Hispanic Student Association, also funded by SAI, stresses that it is open to all students. Its mission is to offer “support, cultural activities and a sense of community to all students interested in Spanish and Latin American cultures” (“Hispanic Student Association,” n.d.) Members have taken a trip to Central America, dined in Spanish/Mexican restaurants, attended a performance of the Ballet Folklorico do Mexico, and participated in other activities. SAI allocated the Hispanic Student Association $8,500 in 20082009 (Student Association, Inc., 2009). 114 The International Student Services Office. In addition to providing space to the International Student Club, the Multicultural Center also houses the International Student Services Office. The office helps the approximately 50 to 60 international students who annually attend Cal U. The office assists with immigration and enrollment questions and problems. The assistant dean who advises international students also is advisor to the International Club. Approximately 75 percent of the international students receive significant financial assistance, and most receive full tuition waivers while they are in school. The waivers are granted by the University president. International students are required to maintain a grade point average of 2.5, work 10 hours per week on campus, and actively participate in the International Club (J. Watkins, personal communication, Spring 2009). Nearly all international students earn degrees at Cal U, save for one or two who exit the University prior to completing their studies. The Fall 2008 Grade Point Average for international students was 3.29 (J. Watkins, personal communication, 2009). The International Club. The International Club hosts an annual dinner for the University community that is planned and promoted by the international students. Club members take trips to various spots around the United States and design a T-shirts that promote the international orientation of Cal U. Although the majority of the 60 to 70 club members are international students, some American students also participate. SAI allocated the International Club $7,000 for 2008-2009 (Student Association, Inc., 2009). In addition to SAI funding, the University president grants the club $2,000 to $4,000 annually (J. Watkins, personal communication, Spring 2009). The Women’s Center. The Women’s Center’s objectives are: “advocacy, empowerment, educational programming, collaboration with existing groups and leadership” (“University 115 Catalogs, Women’s Center,” 2003). Although mostly women participate in its programs and activities, all students are welcome. The Women’s Center provides advocacy and support for women, books, magazines, and videos. It welcomes drop-ins. During new student orientation, members of the Women’s Center inform students about issues of sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking. The center provides advocacy for victims of violent crimes and has conducted educational programming for the University community on such issues as breast cancer, heart disease and eating disorders. The director of the Women’s Center is also director of the P.E.A.C.E. Project. The P.E.A.C.E. Project (Prevention, Education, Advocacy, for Change and Empowerment) is a program funded by a U.S. Justice Department grant to raise awareness about sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking (“The P.E.A.C.E. Project,” January 21, 2009). Fall 2009, the Women’s Center director has plans to conduct a “campus climate survey” for women to identify students’ needs. The director also would like to seek funding for a program to mentor minority women, and to create an “emergency fund” for nontraditional female students (M. McClintock-Comeaux, personal communication, Spring 2009). The Women’s Center was housed in the Natali Student Union before the recent move to the Multicultural Center. Faculty, students, and staff interviewed at the center said there is not a place to “hang out” in the new offices, which makes them less likely to go there. Those interviewed said the offices are inadequate to provide privacy for victims of sexual assault or relationship violence (Posa, McClintock, and Trynock, May 2008, p. 8). In 2008-2009, SAI allocated the Women’s Center $14,750 (Student Association, Inc., 2009). A program review team noted, in 2008, that the Women’s Center has not had a “consistent, transparent operating budget from Student Development,” a budget that does not rely upon 116 funding from the Student Association, Inc. The center is a student service, not a student group (Posa, McClintock and Trynock, May 2008, p. 7). The Safe Zone. The Safe Zone also is housed in the Multicultural Center, and provides support and visibility to Cal U’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Members make presentations during freshmen orientation, as well as to First Year Seminar classes, and in a few classrooms. The related student organization is the Rainbow Alliance. The Safe Zone conducts annual workshops for faculty, administrators and staff interested in providing “safe zones” for students. The Safe Zone also sponsors guest speakers, brown-bag lunches and forums. In 2008-2009, SAI allocated the Rainbow Alliance $5,500 (Student Association, Inc., 2009). The Safe Zone does not have a dedicated budget, although the Student Development and Services budget has funded brochures, speakers, conference attendance, and purchase of documentaries, movies, and books. The Safe Zone director also works full time as the University’s residence hall director and director of residence hall publications (S. Webb, personal communication, Spring2009). Women’s Studies. Women’s Studies is an academic department, not part of the Multicultural Center. Its director is a faculty member in the Department of Law, Justice and Society (“Dr. Marta McClintock-Comeaux,” March 21, 2008). The program sponsors events and activities of interest to women, as well as the greater Cal U community. Its signature event is the AudreyBeth Fitch Women’s Studies Conference, a one-day program of panel discussions, educational sessions, cultural events, and evening lecture. Women’s Studies generally offers brown-bag workshops once a month during the year and once a week during Women’s History month. Each year, two undergraduate students attend the weeklong NEW Leadership Pennsylvania program 117 of the Pennsylvania Center for Women, Politics, and Public Policy at Chatham University in Pittsburgh. The Office of Academic Affairs pays the students’ tuition (M. McClintock-Comeaux, personal communication, Spring 2009). In Fall 2007, the program had only two minors; a year later, it had 22 declared minors (K. Satifka, personal communication, Spring 2009). The program has been revised; and, for the first time, in Spring 2009, a 400-level Women’s Studies course was offered. The inaugural class, which had 19 students, was taught previously as independent study. (R. Kline, personal communication, Spring 2009). The possibility of offering a Women’s Studies major is being explored (M. McClintock-Comeaux, personal communication, Spring 2009). Women’s Studies has an advisory board; however, the director functions as the “chair” of the one-person program. She is responsible for all reports and administrative tasks, finding and writing grants, and running the annual conference. In addition, she teaches three classes. Women’s Studies has a graduate assistant to help with tasks, such as coordinating events and confirming guest speakers. Academic Support Services Student Advisement Academic advising is done by faculty, and Academic Scheduling and Placement-Testing Center assists in the process. In addition to the assistant director and three Student Success Facilitators (schedulers), a management technician tracks student progress. Since 1997, Student Retention and Success, which oversees the Academic Scheduling and Placement-Testing Center, assists new students with scheduling. Students are first introduced to advising and scheduling during Summer Orientation, then learn more about advising and scheduling during First Year Seminar. Faculty Professional Development offers advising workshops for faculty; however, 118 many do not take advantage of the opportunities (P. Pathak, personal communication, Spring 2009). Tutoring The Tutoring Program in the Department of Academic Development Services provides free tutoring services in a large number of academic areas, including business, fine arts, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences. It also offers tutoring in study skills, and notetaking (P. Johnson, personal communication, Spring 2009). Evening hours for tutoring sessions are available. Tutors are junior and senior work-study students with a Grade Point Average of 3.5 or higher. They are trained by a tutorial coordinator, who is certified with the National Tutoring Association. The student tutors continue to be trained throughout the semester. Tutors for Organic Chemistry, U. S. History, and Chemistry for the Everyday World receive supplemental instruction. Tutors attend class with their “tutees,” and meet with them three times a week to go over information, answer questions, emphasize study skills, reinforce study guides provided by the professor, and share helpful suggestions provided by the professor. The state-of-the-art Tutoring Center is in Manderino Library 430 (P. Johnson, personal communication, Spring 2009). The Tutoring Program is evaluated at the end of each academic semester by those receiving tutoring and the tutors themselves. The Fall 2008 evaluations indicate that students were satisfied with the service (P. Johnson, personal communication, Spring 2009). The coordinator of the Tutoring Center is conducting research on exemplary tutoring centers in higher education, and will use the findings to help decide what improvements are needed at the Cal U Tutoring Center. The Department of Academic Development Services offers some online tutoring, and the Office for Student Retention is exploring the possibility of offering 119 online tutoring services (P. Johnson, personal communication, Spring 2009). Mentoring Program The University Mentoring Program (1,000 students and 700 peer mentors) supports the Tutoring Center. Mentors recommend their “protégés” to seek tutoring services in the Math Lab, Writing Center, Reading Clinic, or Tutoring Center when deemed necessary. A peer mentor is a junior or senior who is assigned a first-semester student with the same declared major. According to the program’s Web page, the mentor serves as a “support and resource person who provides information, encouragement and guidance during a student’s first year at Cal U. It is the goal of the mentoring program that the mentoring relationship will enhance the new student’s transition to the University” (“Peer Mentoring,” June 8, 2009). Cal U freshmen who have mentors move into their second year of college at a 10 percent higher rate than those freshmen without mentors (Posa, 2008). In October 2008, the protégés were surveyed about their mentors and 93 percent were satisfied with them. Those who were unhappy with their mentors were contacted and assigned new mentors (Posa, 2008). Office for Students With Disabilities The Office for Students With Disabilities does not operate a formal program of services but works to make sure that students with disabilities have appropriate equal access to and participation in University academics and life. The office assists with providing accommodations for disabled students who participate in on-campus classes, Blackboard or Cal U Global Online computer activities, or at off-campus sites, like the Southpointe Center. The office also provides training for faculty and staff on disability issues. The Office for Students With Disabilities has much basic information on its Web page, as well as “starter” forms (“Office for Students With Disabilities,” March 3, 2009) The office 120 usually offers at least one registration meeting after hours each semester. During the summer, registration with the office is scheduled on an individual basis for all students. The office has an e-mail account that is checked throughout the day ([email protected]). The office arranges conference calls on specific days and at specific times with students. Sometimes, the Office for Students With Disabilities teams with another office to provide services to students with disabilities who take evening classes or classes at Southpointe. For example, the Office for Students With Disabilities has worked with Public Safety to drop off and pick up materials. Web-based students provide some challenges for the office. Working with these students often involves much collaboration with campus technology employees or with faculty who may not be on campus regularly. One indication that the Office for Students With Disabilities is succeeding is that no disability discrimination reports were filed through the Office of Social Equity from 2000 to 2008 (L. Angelone, personal communication, March 27, 2009). Transfer Students The Office of Student Retention and Success helps transfer students with 24 credits or less (approximately 36 percent of the transfer student population each semester) to schedule for classes. The advising and scheduling needs of the remaining 64 percent of the transfer students may not always be met because faculty are not in their offices during semester breaks or during the summer. When needed, the Office of Student Retention and Success will help those transfer students with over 24 credits to develop schedules (H. Langley, personal communication, Spring 2009). . The state requires the Office of Articulation and Transfer to maintain accurate information in a variety of electronic formats that are not compatible with each other. Therefore, each transfer 121 equivalency system has to be maintained separately, which takes more time away from student customer service. On occasion, if credits are not entered into the Student Information System computer system, students are scheduled for similar courses to those they already took and for which they later will receive credit. Sometimes, these problems are not noticed until the semester when the student would like to graduate (B. Smith, personal communication, Spring 2009). The Office of Student Retention and Success is moving toward using a computerized “degree audit” that updates students’ progress toward their degrees automatically, instead of relying on paper advisement sheets. These audits will be available for faculty and secretaries to view, as well as students, and should help in the advising process. The Commuter Center The Commuter Center provides commuters with a place to study or relax and offers lockers, computers, printers, a microwave and refrigerator, a water dispenser, and a television. Students learn about the Commuter Center during Summer Orientation and First Year Seminar. Cal U Global Online Cal U Global Online students have specialized needs. Some students are in different time zones. Some are overseas. They need such information about how to be admitted and enrolled, apply for financial aid, add and drop classes, get transfer credit, pay tuition and fees, log into classes, and obtain information about Web classes. The Global Online Web page has much of the information students will need, and there is a link for potential students to try a “test run” in either the eCollege or Blackboard software platforms. Global Online has a direct e-mail account, as well as phone numbers, including a toll-free number with voicemail (California University of Pennsylvania Global Online, July 2, 2009). The Global Online staff keeps a computer log of all contacts with students. When a staff 122 member works with student, he or she can view all previous communication. The Global Online staff meet frequently with top University administrators and the marketing staff to make sure there is a collective decision on how best to meet students’ needs and keep focused on the University’s Mission (M. Rodriguez, personal communication, Spring 2009). Orientation of On-Campus Graduate Students Graduate students who attend classes on campus do not receive much information about student services available to them. A graduate student orientation was phased out several years ago because of low attendance. Graduate students recently have brought this need to the attention of Student Development and Services, and plans are under way to develop a graduate student Web site with much helpful information and links to other Cal U programs and services (L. Angelone, personal communication, Spring 2009). Career Services Career Services is defined by the Career Advantage Program, which is a comprehensive plan that helps students and alumni discover a career path best suited to their skills, interests, and values. The University’s Mission of building character and careers undergirds the training provided by the service (“Goal Two, Objective II.6, Student Personal [Career] Success, Method A; August 11, 2005). Personalized services for students include help choosing a major even before the freshman year begins via career assessments and career planning resources, individualized appointments with Career Services staff, informational interviews and networking with Cal U alumni and employers via the CAL U Career Network and other networking events, job-shadowing and company tours, Co-op (paid career-related experience) and internship opportunities (Internship 123 Center); job/resume postings online (College Central Network), job fairs and workshops, and mock Interviews and Resume Reviews. (Career Services, n.d.). Students learn about the Career Advantage Program at Student Orientation and in First Year Seminar. First Year Seminar students take the Strong Investment Inventory, a career interest assessment/test funded by the Office of the President (Gifford, personal communication, Spring 2009). Career Services provides lifelong services at no cost for alumni who are job seekers via an Alumni Career Counselor (services are listed above), and is increasing alumni and employer connections via an Employer Development Coordinator and an Employer Relations Coordinator (1/2 time). Alumni visit campus to recruit for their organizations, participate in the mock networking reception and etiquette dinner, and conduct classroom presentations. Alumni are asked to provide job shadowing experiences, and to network with students via the CAL U Career Network and CAL U Linked In alumni site (R. Gifford, personal communication, Spring 2009). Over the past five years, participation in the Cal U Career Network has grown from 20 to 224 volunteers; and, the number of alumni registered on College Central Network has increased from 25 to 998 (R. Gifford, personal communication, Spring 2009). (See Appendix 9B for figures on the number of participants in Career Services programs during 2007-2008.) Career Services sees a steady flow of students as a result of a variety of marketing efforts via faculty and student leaders, during orientation programs and classes, and a variety of advertising media. In 2007-2008, the department had 114,349 Web site hits and more than 1,700 student appointments (in person and via e-mail). There were 497 students who registered for the Career Advantage Program, 2,046 students who registered with the College Center Network (a 124 job/resume bank), and 146 students who attended a mock networking reception/etiquette dinner. The Career Services staff gave 151 presentations or workshops. (See Appendix 9B for a detailed account.) Analysis California University of Pennsylvania offers an impressive array of services to students to take care of their academic, social, career, and physical needs. There are many ways students learn about these services, including all forms of media. Some of the most effective means seem to be through the University’s Web site, Student Orientation and First Year Seminar. By creating a Multicultural Center and housing the various programs that provide multicultural services under one roof, the University has established a site that should lead to interesting, synergistic programming and services. The Multicultural Center is just two years old and its member groups still are providing much of the same services as they formerly did, without coordinating much other member groups or the center. This is likely to change as the center develops its own identity. In order for this to happen, clear, direct method of funding needs to be established. On the one hand, it is refreshing that the Student Association, Inc., has the foresight to provide funds to the Multicultural Center’s member groups. On the other hand, it would seem departments such as the Women’s Center and International Student Center, the Safe Zone Program, as well as the Multicultural Center, itself, should be line items in the Division of Student Development and Services budget. Perhaps, with budget shortages, receiving funding both through the University administration and Student Activities maximizes the amount of money available. Nevertheless, without a solid commitment from the administration, it seems these programs are looked upon as less significant than others, when they are essential for responding to the needs of the increasingly diverse student body. As the Women’s Studies 125 program continues to grow, additional staff will be needed. Finally, more space needs to be made available so students feel comfortable dropping in at the Multicultural Center and have places to hang out with friends, as well as private spaces where they can speak with staff. Students need to feel this is their space, their home-away-from-home. The Academic Scheduling Center, under the auspices of the Office of Student Retention and Success, does an admirable job advising students with few staff. Another staff person would be desirable. Although many faculty do not attend advisor training sessions, faculty are responsible for advising students, according to their Collective Bargaining Agreement. There are few incentives for faculty to make advising a priority, and they have many other tasks to perform. Perhaps an accurate, fully operational, computerized degree audit system would make advising easier. Some faculty who were informally interviewed say they find that the degree audit from Student Retention and Success and the advisement sheets that departmental secretaries and deans’ offices maintain do not always correspond. Getting everyone to agree on a student’s record is a first step toward effective advising. Another problem with advising, faculty say, is that it is not mandatory that students see an advisor in most programs. Faculty do not necessarily want it to be mandatory, and students like to be able to register for classes by themselves without having to seek permission from faculty. However, the system creates problems when students do not register when they should for classes that are offered only infrequently. It is not unusual for departments to offer independent study classes to these students, when better advising would have prevented the problem. Perhaps a committee of faculty and members of the Office of Student Retention could brainstorm some methods to make advising more effective. The Tutoring and Mentoring programs seem to function well to help retain students and help them succeed. Offering free tutoring for a broad spectrum of classes and providing mentoring 126 “buddies” to new freshmen seem to be methods by which the University demonstrates it has integrity, cares about students, and truly wants them to succeed. Transfer students do not always have the easiest time at Cal U. Although the efforts of the Office of Student Retention and Success are directed toward helping students who transfer with 24 credits or less, as well as new students, the office will help those students with over 24 transfer credits. Because transfer students are some of the last to register, they often find that courses they would like to take are filled. Faculty are not available during the summer to advise them. Again, a committee representing faculty and the Office of Student Retention and Success might consider some ways to improve advising services to transfer students. There also should be more staff in the Office of Student Retention and Success to advise transfer students. The Cal U Global Online staff have pulled off a minor miracle by getting their programs up and running and winning positive evaluations from the majority of students. A more efficient campus-wide computer system to process “paperwork” and make it easily available to all who need to see it is essential. More ways to reach out to graduate students and make them aware of all the University services open to them is needed. An information technology employee who specializes in adaptive technologies for disabled students also would be most helpful. As Cal U Global Online grows, more staff in several different areas will be needed. Career Services goes the extra mile to reach students. By teaming with Alumni Relations and counting on alumni to help Cal U students gain job shadowing, mentoring, and other job-related experience before they graduate, Cal U is ensuring that its graduates are at the starting line, and probably yards down the track, when they leave the University. The advantage of the partnership is that many graduates never will entirely “leave” the school but will continue to help Cal U students and the University grow and prosper. Career Services, like many other departments, 127 could be even more effective if more money were available. Conclusion California University of Pennsylvania has found many ways to support and personalize students’ experiences at Cal U. Help for academic and personal problems, activities for one’s leisure time, and friendships are available in many forms. By developing a Multicultural Center, the University is demonstrating it values diversity. The new center has the potential to become a strong recruiting tool for the University as it tries to attract more diverse students. Although many of the support programs could use more staff, they are offering many caring and innovative ways to help students feel at home at Cal U. Recommendations Retain solid commitment from administration with regard to mission and budget for such programs as the Women’s Center, International Student Center, the Safe Zone Program, and the Multicultural Center. It seems these programs are looked upon as less significant than others, when they are essential for responding to the needs of the increasingly diverse student body. Secure additional staff for the Women’s Studies program to match its growth. Provide more space needs to be made available in the Women’s Center for students to interact with friends and to converse privately with staff, when needed. Students need to feel this is their space, their home-away-from-home. Consider the addition of a staff position whose responsibility would include continuous advisement so that students who are unable to meet with their assigned faculty advisor could readily access a knowledgeable scheduling facilitator. 128 Improve the accuracy and function of the computerized degree audit system. Some faculty who were informally interviewed say they find that the degree audit from Student Retention and Success and the advisement sheets that departmental secretaries and deans’ offices maintain do not always correspond. Getting everyone to agree on a student’s record is a first step toward effective advising. Offer free tutoring for a broad spectrum of classes and providing mentoring “buddies” to new freshmen. These seem to be methods by which the University demonstrates it has integrity, cares about students, and truly wants them to succeed. Develop a committee representing faculty and the Office of Student Retention and Success to consider methods to improve advising services for transfer students as they are often some of the last to register and often find that courses they would like to take are filled. Develop a more efficient campus-wide computer system to process “paperwork” and make it easily available to all who need to see it is essential. Provide more ways to reach out to graduate students and make them aware of all the University services that are open to them. Employ an information technology employee who specializes in adaptive technologies for disabled students.1 1 The Recommendation Progress Report/Action Plan is contained in the cover letter. 129 STANDARD 10: FACULTY Introduction Faculty at California University of Pennsylvania and at the 13 other schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education are represented by the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF). Thus, many of the policies and procedures regarding faculty are spelled out in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between APSCUF and the state system. Other policies, such as how faculty searches are conducted and who is hired, are informed by federal equal opportunity, disability, and veterans’ guidelines. Faculty at Cal U enjoy salaries slightly higher than those at other master’s level institutions but lower than the average fulltime professor’s salary for all schools (June, April 27, 2009). Cal U faculty teach four classes during the fall and spring semesters and are paid over a 40-week period, although they can choose to have their pay spread over the full year. Summer teaching assignments are available for some, and faculty are paid an additional amount for these courses. Cal U faculty hold degrees from universities from across the country and world, including the University of Jordan, University of Delhi, University of Calgary, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Texas A&M University, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Purdue University, University of Minnesota, University of Southern Mississippi; University of Kentucky, University of Tennessee, University of South Florida, and Yale University. Many others hold degrees from surrounding schools, such as West Virginia University, The Ohio State University, University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, Robert Morris University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Penn State University. A fair share earned undergraduate degrees from Cal U. The faculty teach in about 60 baccalaureate-degree-granting programs, as well as in graduate programs, 130 associate degree programs, concentrations within majors, and in General Education and developmental classes. They are a diverse group. The Makeup of the Faculty According to Cal U’s director of Institutional Research, the number of tenure-track faculty with terminal degrees has grown from 71 percent in 2000 to 78 percent in 2008. The numbers are: 2000 – 71 percent; 2001, 72 percent; 2002 – 70 percent; 2003 – 70 percent; 2004 – 70 percent; 2005 – 71 percent; 2006 – 73 percent; 2007 – 76 percent; and, 2008 – 78 percent (R. Kline, personal communication, Spring 2009). (See Appendix 10A for a list of faculty terminal degrees.) The percentage of female and minority tenure-track professors also has increased. In 2000, there were 169 male professors and 82 (33 percent) female. In 2008, there were 159 male and 120 (44 percent) female professors (R. Kline, personal communication, Spring 2009). The number of minorities increased slightly, from 17 black (6.8 percent) 7 Asian (2.8 percent), 2 Hispanic (1 percent), and 225 white professors (89.6 percent) in 2000, to 19 black (6.8 percent), 10 Asian (3.8 percent), 4 Hispanic (1 percent), and, 247 white (88.2 percent) professors in 2008. (See Appendix 10B for a year-by-year breakdown of professors by gender and race.) Recruiting and Retaining Faculty When a department receives approval to conduct a faculty search, it follows a University timeline for forming a department hiring committee, advertising the position, screening the candidates, interviewing the candidates, and recommending a candidate (“Faculty Search Process for Fall 2006 Tenure-Track Hires,” September 12, 2006, p. 72.) 131 The timeline is followed for posting ads, taking out ads in relevant journals, and for all the steps up to offering a position to a candidate. The University’s “Guide to Tenure-Track Faculty Searches” contains the steps to be taken (August 27, 2008). Efforts are made to recruit candidates from underrepresented groups. The Office of Social Equity lists on its Web page an array of media sources aimed at general and specialized audiences (“Advertising Resources Available to Search Committees,” April 6, 2009). Some disciplines may have women and minority organizations to which ads can be sent. Tenure-track positions are advertised at the rank of assistant professor. However, the president has the authority to determine the candidate’s rank, and the provost decides the step in the pay scale at which the candidate is hired (“FAQ Regarding the Tenure-Track Hiring Process,” April 6, 2009). Whether a doctorate is required is decided by a department hiring committee in consultation with the department and the college dean and provost. Should the department decide a doctorate or terminal degree is required, the wording for the job announcement will be: "Ph.D. (or listing of the appropriate terminal degree) required." When it is decided that a terminal degree is not required, the announcement will state: “Masters required, Ph.D. (or listing of the appropriate terminal degree) preferred." Or, "Ph.D. (or listing of the appropriate terminal degree) preferred, ABD acceptable if candidate actively involved in the completion of dissertation" (“FAQ Regarding the Tenure-Track Hiring Process,” April 6, 2009). The final applicant pool for each job posting will contain three names and, ideally, five candidates will be interviewed for each position. The appropriate dean and provost, as well as the departments, interview the candidates (“FAQ Regarding the Tenure-Track Hiring Process,” April 6, 2009). 132 Use of Temporary Faculty California University of Pennsylvania relied slightly more on temporary (part-time) faculty in 2008 than it did in 2000. In 2008, 82 percent of the faculty were fulltime-equivalent, tenure-track faculty, down from the 84 percent who were fulltime-equivalent, tenure-track faculty in 2000. The numbers of fulltime-equivalent tenure track faculty for 2000 through 2008 were: 2000 – 250.5 (84 percent); 2001 – 250.50 (86 percent); 2002 – 255.5 (82 percent); 2003 – 241.50 (80 percent); 2004 – 243.5 (78 percent); 2005 – 257.5 (80 percent); 2006 – 265.5 (79 percent); 2007 – 278.5 (80 percent); and, 2008 – 279.5 (82 percent) (R. Kline, personal communication, Spring 2009). Under the APSCUF collective bargaining agreement, “the fulltime equivalent of temporary and regular part-time faculty shall not exceed 25 percent of the fulltime equivalent of all faculty members employed at that University as of October 31 of the previous year” (“Agreement,” 2007, p. 21). Cal U is observing the collective bargaining agreement in keeping under the 25 percent limit. Faculty Involvement in New Program Development and Improvement When a department or individual faculty member wants to develop a new program, the proposal must win approval at both the campus and state system level. To get courses or programs approved at the campus level, the faculty member gets his or her department to approve the proposal then takes it through his appropriate college council, the University Curriculum Committee, the provost, and the president (“Part III,” 2008, p. 62). The University-Wide Curriculum Committee requires the professor to provide, among other things, course syllabi, a list of who will be teaching the courses, and an estimate of cost (“California University of Pennsylvania Guidelines for New Course Proposals,” February 26, 133 2006, pp. 63-64). The professor also will have to identify the core curriculum and electives, and coordinate the program with general education and upper division credit requirements. Once all involved at Cal U approve a proposed program, the professor then notifies the state system’s Academic and Student Affairs office that he or she is submitting a new program proposal. The state is not notified if the professor is only adding a new course. The state’s chief academic officers discuss the proposal when they meet and then Academic and Student Affairs notifies the professor if the program was approved or not. If the program is approved by Academic and Student Affairs, the state system’s Board of Governors then votes on the proposal (“New Academic Program Proposal Process,” October 28, 2002). Faculty Professional Development Workshops are offered each year on how to propose new courses and topics that may improve existing courses, for example, “Integrating Technology into the Classroom,” “Problem-Based Learning,” and “Teaching Millennial Students.” According to University-Wide Curriculum Committee minutes from Fall 2004 to Spring 2009, the committee approved five of seven new programs, three of which were graduate-level programs. The committee approved the one program revision proposal it received. Changes to advisement sheets -- the sheets that spell out the classes needed in a major, minor, or concentration -- were approved 134 of 137 times, and 48 of 51 revisions to advisement sheets were approved. Four of four proposed online graduate level programs also were approved (“Cal U: University Curriculum Committee,” June 10, 2009). It appears the system is responding to professors’ desires to update the curriculum. The process for getting Web-based programs and course proposals approved is the same. Additionally, Web-based faculty must be certified by either eCollege or Blackboard to teach 134 Web-based classes. There are 208 Cal U faculty who are certified in at least one of the platforms (S. Powers, personal communication, Spring 2009). Faculty Professional Development One of the duties and responsibilities that faculty are expected to meet, as specified in the collective bargaining agreement, is “keeping current in their academic disciplines through continuing scholarly activity” (“Article 4: Duties and Responsibilities of Faculty Members,” 2007, p. 5). Faculty also are evaluated for tenure and promotion in the areas of teaching, research, and service. Travel Awards A way to remain current with developments in one’s field is by attending professional and scholarly conferences. The provost gives money to each dean to support professional development and travel. Each dean handles the funds differently. The dean of the Eberly College of Science and Technology includes the money as part of each department’s budget. (These professional development figures are unavailable.) However, the deans of Liberal Arts and Education and Human Services require departments to prioritize faculty requests for travel. The deans review the lists and notify their departments about which travel requests are funded and for how much. The two deans give priority to new, untenured faculty. The College of Education and Human Services provided data only for the travel that was approved. That college approved $20,541 for travel in 2005; $24,378 in 2006; and $21,406 in 2007. It can be assumed more money was requested than was awarded. From 2004 to 2007 in the College of Liberal Arts, faculty travel requests increased from $43,467 to $104,117 (a 140 percent increase), but the amount of money awarded for these requests only increased from $16,650 to $29,730 (a 79 percent increase, as shown in Figure 10.1. 135 In 2006, however, the College of Liberal Arts awarded more funds, $35,748, than in 2007. Figure 10.1. Dollar Difference between Funding Requests and Funding Approval for the College of Liberal Arts for the Years 2004 – 2007 120,000.00 100,000.00 80,000.00 60,000.00 Approved 40,000.00 Requested 20,000.00 0.00 2004 2005 2006 Approved 2007 Source: Data for Figure 10.1 provided by the Offices of Liberal Arts. Note: The table reflects the amount in real dollars requested and subsequently granted by the Dean of Liberal Arts. During this same period, requests to the Faculty Professional Development Committee (FPDC) for travel funding also increased. Tables 10.1 and 10.2, respectively, summarize the two forms of FPDC support for faculty travel: Irene/O’Brien Awards and Travel Awards. Because only the interest from the Irene O’Brien principal can be used, that award money is spent quickly. FPDC raised the amount of its general travel awards from $250 to $750 over the past four years, although it scaled back the award in May 2009 to $600 and no longer will cover conference registration fees and materials. FPDC also increased the amount budgeted for travel awards from $40,000 to $60,000 annually, starting July 1, 2009 (P. Pathak, personal communication, May 7, 2009). Faculty requests for FPDC travel funds have increased rather dramatically the past few years. Table 10.2 shows that FPDC made 14 travel awards in 2004 and, by 2007, had made 47 awards. As of April 1, 2009, 136 FPDC has made over 80 awards for the 2008-2009 academic year for more than $50,000 (“California University of Pennsylvania, Faculty Professional Development Center, 2008-2009 Annual Report,” 2009). Table 10.1 Irene O’Brien Travel Fund Requests and Allocations in Dollars Year Number of Requests Amount of Total Awards 2004 2005 2006 2007 4 5 5 7 940 1,026 1,093 1,715 Source: Faculty Professional Development Annual Reports 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. Table 10.2 FPD Travel Grant Fund Requests and Allocations in Dollars Year Number of Requests Amount of Total Awards 2004 2005 2006 2007 14 17 17 47 3,445 6,011 6,622 22,537 Source: Faculty Professional Development Annual Reports 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. The faculty from the Eberly College of Science and Technology have been leading the way in receiving FPDC travel awards, as shown in Table 10.3. 137 Table 10.3 FPD Travel Grant Awards by Undergraduate College between 2004 and 2007 Year 2004 2005 2006 2007 3 3 2 10 Number of Requests by faculty in Science and Technology 8 9 18 27 Number of requests by faculty in Education and Human Services 3 5 6 8 Number of Requests by in faculty in Liberal Arts Source: Faculty Professional Development Annual Reports 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. Note: The table reflects the number of individual awards by college. Small Grants Faculty also can apply to FPDC for up to $1,000 from the small grant program to cover the expenses of scholarly activities. Although the amount of money for small grants is not large, the number of faculty applying for the grants is not large either. In 2003-2004, four small grants were awarded and, by 2007-2008, five were awarded. More grants were awarded between these times, as shown in Table 10.4. Annual Internal Grants Since 1998, FPDC has sponsored an annual internal grant program mirroring an annual grant program sponsored by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The number of grants and the amount spent varies year to year, but generally, the amount spent per project is between $4,000 to $6,000. Since 2004, 27 annual grants have been awarded, totaling over $128,000 (“California University of Pennsylvania, Faculty Professional Development Center, 2003-2004, 138 2004-2005, 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008 Annual Reports”). The number of grants from 2003-2004 (four) to the number of grants in 2007-2008 (six), are shown in Table 10.5 Table 10.4 Small Research Grants Awarded between 2003 and 2008 Year 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 Research Subcommittee 0 0 2 1 0 Teaching Subcommittee 3 5 1 1 3 Service-Service Learning 1 1 0 3 1 Technology Subcommittee 0 1 1 1 1 Grants Subcommittee n/a n/a n/a 0 0 Total 4 7 4 6 5 Subcommittee Source: Faculty Professional Development Annual Reports 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. Note: The table reflects the number of individual awards by subcommittee. Continuing Excellence Award Faculty who need support for scholarly activities that exceed a year in length or faculty who have multiple-year professional commitments other than research that require continued support may apply to FPDC’s Continuing Excellence Fund. This is a fairly new program and faculty 139 have yet to tap it resources. Table 10.6 shows two faculty applied for Continuing Excellence funds in 2003-2004, but in 2007-2008, no one applied. Table 10.5 Internal Annual Grants Awarded between 2003 and 2008 by College Year 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 Liberal Arts 0 0 0 2 4 Eberly College 2 1 4 3 1 Education and Human 1 2 1 3 1 Student Development 1 0 0 0 0 Total 4 3 5 8 6 Services Source: Faculty Professional Development Annual Reports 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. Note: The Table reflects the number of individual awards by college. 140 Table 10.6 Continuing Excellence Fund Awards between 2003 and 2008 by College Year 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 Liberal Arts 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 Science and Technology 1 1 Education and Human 0 0 0 1 0 Student Development 0 0 0 0 0 Total 2 1 1 1 0 Services Source: Faculty Professional Development Annual Reports 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. Note: The table reflects the number of individual awards by college. Workshops During the academic year, FPDC sponsors an array of faculty-taught workshops for other faculty. (See Appendix 10C for a list of workshops from 2003 to 2007,) The data show the number of workshops ranged from 40 in 2003-2004 to 50 in 2007-2008. There has been an increase in workshops focusing on online classes, classroom technology, and pedagogy. In 2008, FPDC sponsored a new program, encouraging cross-discipline faculty collaboration: interdisciplinary-based Learning Communities. Learning Communities can receive up to $5,000 in funding. The FPDC approved three learning communities in 2007-2008, and three more in 2008-2009. 141 Academic Excellence Week Academic Excellence Week offers a chance for faculty to showcase their teaching, research and service projects and learn what other faculty are doing. Most of the Academic Excellence events are sponsored by Faculty Professional Development. Other Campus Opportunities Throughout the academic year, faculty have the opportunity to attend many campus events (lectures, panel discussions and workshops) sponsored by academic departments and programs. Committees as the Tenure, Promotions, Curriculum, and General Education committees sponsor workshops, as do the Office of Student Retention and Success, Manderino Library, and Student Counseling Services. Campus-wide events include the activities for Black History Month, Women’s History Month, the Audrey Beth Fitch Women’s History Conference, the Noss Lecture Series Program, and the American Democracy Project, as well as many performing arts and sports events. Faculty Duties and Responsibilities Teaching According to information in the CBA and tenure and promotion guidelines, faculty are responsible for, and evaluated in, three areas: teaching, research and service. The teaching responsibilities include: a. Keeping of students records, grading student material and reporting final grades, as well as reporting in a timely matter any other grades that the University or its Special or Athletic programs require. b. Maintaining and keeping student records for at least one semester after the completion of the course; incomplete grades must be maintained for one year. 142 c. Maintaining grade books and student records and delivering them to a faculty member’s college dean upon any leave or retirement from the University. d. Meeting with classes during the assigned time and at the designated location. Any change in location must be indicated to the department and college. e. Notifying the department chairperson when classes are cancelled and notifying students if a replacement faculty member is not available. f. Ordering course materials, including texts and other required materials. g. Maintaining current syllabi and providing a copy to the department and college; copies of syllabi also are kept in the Manderino Library. h. Using the most effective teaching resources, including technology; to this end: 1. Faculty are provided up-to-date computers and software, but do not have administrative privileges. 2. Smart classrooms have been added throughout University academic buildings. 3. Many student/faculty academic support resources are centrally located in Noss Hall and the library. 4. Faculty can borrow laptops and other technology from FPDC to support classroom, travel, and research efforts. 5. Other instructional services are provided through FPDC and the library. i. Advising and consulting with students, although students are responsible for their academic progress. j. Keeping a minimum of five office hours per week during at least three days 143 of the week. The office hours are to be clearly posted. k. Being responsible for high quality and current course content, for being familiar with effective pedagogical strategies, and for evaluating and assessing students. l. Serving as research and service mentors to students (not required, but encouraged). m. Developing new courses or programs if they see fit. n. Creating assessments that contribute to the department’s Outcome Assessments. (“Agreement,” 2007; “California University of Pennsylvania University-Wide Tenure Committee, Criteria for Tenure,” 1993; “California University of Pennsylvania Statement on Promotion Policies and Procedures,” May 11, 2006). Research The Faculty Professional Development Committee and Office of Grants and Contracts support faculty members’ travel to conferences and workshops, and their need for materials and other items. There is no formal method at Cal U for collecting information about the research and service that faculty do. Faculty members sometimes volunteer the information to the public relations staff, and non-tenured staff report their activities in annual reviews they prepare. Those applying for tenure or promotion also document their research activities in their dossiers. The Office of Grants and Contracts works with faculty to identify potential funding sources, as well as to help faculty craft portions of grant proposals, such as budgets. The office also regularly e-mails announcements to faculty about possible funding opportunities. According to the office’s annual report for 2005-2006, 52 faculty and staff submitted grant applications. Of these, 18 were first-time applicants. During 2005-2006, there were 95 grants or contracts, 144 totaling $3.4 million. (“OCG Annual Reports, Annual Report 2005-2006, February 10, 2009). By 2007-2008, 60 faculty and staff submitted and administered grant proposals, and, of those, 27 were first-time applicants. There were 92 grants/contracts, totaling $3.7 million. (“OCG Annual Reports, Annual Report 2007-2008, February 10, 2009). Service Faculty also are expected to give service to the University, to the greater community, and to their profession. According to the CBA, and tenure and promotion guidelines, faculty are to: a. Engage in community and University service that promotes the Mission of the University. b. Represent the University in accordance with the University Mission and the three core values of integrity, civility, and responsibility. (“Agreement,” 2007; “California University of Pennsylvania University-Wide Tenure Committee, Criteria for Tenure,” 1993; “California University of Pennsylvania Statement on Promotion Policies and Procedures,” May 11, 2006). Similar to faculty research activities, no formal process for documenting community service is in place. Faculty generally include information about their service projects in promotion and tenure dossiers. Recognition of Exemplary Work The University honors outstanding faculty work through the annual Faculty Professional Development Merit Awards, which recognizes faculty for outstanding teaching, research, service, the use of technology, and grantsmanship. The monetary awards may be used for travel, 145 research materials, or other academic purposes. The annual President’s Gala Awards also recognize three faculty members for excellence in teaching, research and service. Tenure and Promotion Every year, some faculty at California University of Pennsylvania win tenure, promotion, or both by following the guidelines in the CBA and in two guidebooks: “California University of Pennsylvania University-Wide Tenure Committee, Criteria for Tenure” (1993) and “California University of Pennsylvania Statement on Promotion Policies and Procedures” (May 11, 2006). Faculty with no fulltime teaching experience at the college level apply for tenure after completing five full years at Cal U. Without previous teaching experience, faculty may apply for promotion after completing six full years of teaching at Cal U. The tenure and promotion process, thus, are separate. Someone who is hired as an assistant professor and wins tenure could remain an assistant professor for his or her entire time at Cal U if the professor never applied for promotion or was denied promotion. Applying for tenure is mandatory in one’s fifth year, unless one applies earlier. Those with previous teaching experience may apply early for tenure upon winning the recommendation of the department and approval of the president (“Agreement,” 2007, p. 34). Faculty with previous teaching experience also can apply early for promotion. For example, an assistant professor with at least five years teaching experience, of which at least two were spent at Cal U, could apply to be an associate professor (“California University of Pennsylvania Statement on Promotion Policies and Procedures” (May 11, 2006). Mentoring Professors Through the Tenure and Promotion Process Each year, both the University-Wide Tenure Committee and the University-Wide Promotions Committee, working with the Faculty Professional Development Committee, offer workshops on 146 tenure and promotion. New professors also are assigned mentors or faculty who know some of the “ropes.” Departments are free, as long as they stay within the collective bargaining agreement guidelines, to mentor new professors, as well. Evaluating Faculty for Tenure and Promotion The process and qualifications to achieve tenure and earn promotion are specified in the CBA, specifically “Article 12: Performance Review and Evaluation,” “Article 15: Tenure,” and “Article 16: Promotion” (“Agreement,” 2007, pp. 23, 33, and 37). All tenure-track faculty follow the same process. Each semester, peers (other faculty) observe and evaluate new faculty. Students in their classes complete questionnaires about teachingrelated matters, such as knowledge about the subject and respect for differing viewpoints. New faculty also write a self-review each year. A department evaluation committee and the chair of the department write evaluations of the professor’s teaching, research, and service, as does the college dean. Each year, the president sends a letter to the new professor, stating whether his or her contract will be renewed. In the fifth year, (or earlier in some cases), the candidate applies for tenure in a process spelled out in “California University of Pennsylvania University-Wide Tenure Committee Criteria for Tenure” (1993). The department Tenure Committee, department chair, and college dean review the candidate and make separate recommendations to the University-Wide Tenure Committee. The University-Wide Tenure Committee then reviews the candidate’s record, and makes its recommendation to the University president. The president makes the final decision on whether to grant tenure. All faculty applying for promotion go through the process, which is outlined in the “California University of Pennsylvania Statement on Promotion Policies and Procedures” 147 (2006). The department Promotion Committee, department chair, and college dean do independent reviews of the candidate then make their recommendations to the University-Wide Promotions Committee. The Promotions Committee reviews all candidates, ranks them, and makes its recommendations to the president. The president then decides whether to grant promotion. Members of both the Tenure and Promotions committees are tenured faculty who serve twoyear terms. (See Appendix 10 D for a list of the procedures the University-Wide Tenure Committee follows in evaluating tenure applications. See Appendix 10E for a list of the procedures the University-Wide Promotions Committee follows in evaluating and ranking candidates.) While observing the guidelines, departments are free to determine the makeup of their department Tenure and Promotions committees and to decide when and how the committees will meet. Faculty Pay In 2007, the average nine-month salary for faculty of all ranks in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education was $71,986.00 (Office of the Chancellor, State System of Higher Education, 2008). The average nine-month faculty salaries for each rank were: instructors – $43,987; assistant professors – $60,108; associate professors – $74,804; and, full professors – $93,756. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the average nine-month salaries for California University of Pennsylvania faculty (AY 2007-2008) were: instructors – $44,100; assistant professors – $61,800; associate professors – $75,600; and, full professors – $94,700. California University of Pennsylvania faculty were compensated at slightly above the mean salary for PASSHE faculty in the designated ranks. 148 When compared with Carnegie Classification Category IIA institutions on a national basis, the PASSHE schools, in 2007, were at the 73rd percentile when assigning the weighted average salary across all faculty ranks (instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, and full professor). The weighted average is computed by taking the average salaries reported by the PASSHE to the AAUP and weighting each rank according to the current Full Time Equivalent (FTE) of faculty at each rank. Full professors’ salaries rank in the 80th percentile, and associate professors place in the 83rd percentile. Assistant professors and instructors ranked at the 71st and 53rd percentiles nationally (APSCUF, 2007; AAUP, 2007). When comparing the weighted average salary of California University of Pennsylvania to Category IIA institutions on a national basis, the average salary across all faculty ranks was slightly higher at the 81st percentile. Full professors and associate professors were compensated at the 84th and 83rd percentiles, respectively. In addition assistant professors were compensated at the 83rd percentile whereas instructors were compensated at the 48th percentile. Differences in mean annual salaries between California University of Pennsylvania and the 13 other PASSHE faculties, when compared to comparable Carnegie Classification Category IIA institutions, may be attributed, in part, to the collective bargaining process between APSCUF and the PASSHE system whereby faculty salaries at each faculty rank are contractually set for a fouryear time period. The current contract runs from 2007 to 2011. Additional factors that impact on salary differences include the state of the economy, political involvement, and job availability at the time the contract is negotiated. 149 A recent American Association of University Professors survey found large gender pay disparities at many public universities. In 2008-2009, the national figures for public institutions were: instructors (men – $45,542 and women – $44,188; assistant professors (men – $65,490 and women – $61,206; associate professors (men – $77,271 and women – $72,194); and, full professors (men – $107,728 and women – $95,344) (“The Faculty, What Professors Earn,” April 17, 2009). For the same time period, Cal U faculty salaries by gender were: instructors (men – $46,800 and women – $46,400); assistant professors, (men – $64,900 and women – $63,200); associate professors (men – $78,900 and women – $77,300); and, full professors (men – $98,500 and women – $93,200) (“Facts & Figures, AAUP Faculty Salary Survey, 2008-2009”). Cal U women faculty at all ranks, with the exception of full professor, earn above the national average but less than their male counterparts do. The salary gap within the university is greatest at the full professor rank. This most likely can be attributed to men having longer tenure than women. Analysis Faculty are evaluated in the areas of teaching, research, and service for promotion and tenure. Most faculty are pressed to keep pace with rapidly changing technologies in order to better serve students. A Technology Task Force of the University-Wide Curriculum Committee recommended the adoption of a five-year plan that projects the technological needs of faculty and students. Creating an instructional technology and design team under the new vice president for Informational Technology is certain to help faculty with unfamiliar and complex applications (“Technology Task Force Curriculum Committee Report,” January 2009). The Faculty Professional Development Committee (FPDC) and the college deans provide money for faculty travel to conferences, workshops and other professional development sites. 150 FPDC also funds small grants to purchase supplies or pursue research, and annual grants provide up to $6,000 for larger projects. There is more competition for travel money than there is money available. The University should be commended for supporting faculty through the Faculty Professional Development Committee, the faculty mentor program, and the Office of Grants and Contracts; however, additional funding for research and travel, such as attending professional meetings and workshops, would be helpful. FPDC also sponsors faculty workshops on a wide range of topics, such as online teaching and student advising.. The Office of Grants and Contracts assists faculty by identifying funding sources and helping them write grant proposals. Cal U faculty are unionized, similar to faculty at the other 13 state universities. The salaries, although competitive, may impact future recruiting efforts. The gender gap for wages is greatest for full professors, and can probably best be explained by length of employment. The faculty represent a mix of disciplines, geographic areas, and races. The largest group of minority professors – blacks – accounts for 6.8 percent of the faculty; 44 percent are women; and, 78 percent have terminal degrees. The University should continue its efforts to recruit more women and minority professors, and faculty with terminal degrees. Conclusion The faculty union contributes to the competitive wage structure and uniform evaluation standards for tenure and promotion. However, the campus-wide unionization of most staff creates some dissension, as evidenced by the controversy pertaining to whether faculty can have at least some administrative control over their office computers. (Chapter 4 addresses the 151 situation.) Nonetheless, the University is trying to meet increasing faculty and student needs in the area of technological information and delivery systems. The administration is supportive of faculty, particularly in terms of providing funding for professional development. Other ways it demonstrates support for faculty include merit awards, special recognition in University publications, and the willingness back innovative programming. Recommendations Increase efforts to recruit women and minority faculty with terminal degrees. Attempt to make faculty salaries more competitive. Continue encouraging faculty to develop new programs and revise curricula to meet marketplace needs. 1 Continue mentoring new faculty through the tenure and promotion processes. Document information regarding faculty research and service.1 The Recommendation Progress Report/Action Plan is contained in the cover letter. 152 STANDARD 11: EDUCATIONAL OFFERINGS Introduction California University of Pennsylvania, like many universities, is adjusting to a rapidly changing environment in higher education by increasing its online offerings, training more faculty to use technology, and deciding what courses to offer and how to most effectively teach them. The University trains students with skills and deep discipline knowledge that they can use in today’s marketplace, as well as provides them with a solid general education that prepares them to be lifelong learners and lovers of learning. The foundation will help graduates adjust as the global economy continues to place new demands on workers. Cal U currently offers 12 associate degree, 64 baccalaureate degree, and 17 graduate degree programs that cover a wide range of disciplines in education, health sciences, natural sciences, technology, and liberal arts. Courses Support Cal U’s Mission It is unlikely to find a course at Cal U that does not serve the University’s Mission of building character and careers. Twenty-one programs are accredited and others are undergoing accreditation. These programs must keep their standards high, not only to retain their accreditation but to serve their students by providing them solid skills and knowledge, and competitiveness in the job marketplace. Councils representing each of the colleges, as well as the University’s Curriculum and General Education committees, meet frequently to evaluate and assess course and program offerings to ensure they are aligned with the University’s Mission. Cal U students not only experience the University’s core values of integrity, civility and responsibility in their areas of specialization, but also in General Education classes. The Undergraduate Catalog states that Cal U: 153 believes that a liberal education is essential for all students, regardless of the profession for which they may be preparing. The goals, objectives and courses that comprise the General Education Program are designed to provide students with the knowledge, understanding and skills they will need to pursue their careers and to lead productive and rewarding lives. (“General Education,” 2003). Students at Cal U must take at least one course from each of the following General Education categories: First Year Seminar, Composition, Humanities, Fine Arts, Natural Science, Social Science, Critical Thinking Skills, Public Speaking, Mathematics, Multicultural Awareness, Values, Technological Literacy, and Health and Wellness. Students also are required to take a class with a Lab Component and two Upper Division Writing Intensive classes. (“Goals and Objectives,” 2003). The Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education requires that at least 40 percent of a bachelor’s degree be general education classes, and that 40 percent be upper division coursework “to assure that at least two-fifths of a student’s studies occur at the junior/senior level of difficulty” (“Policy 1990-06-A, Academic Degrees, October 18, 1990, p. 2) By adhering to these state standards, Cal U guarantees its students will be competitive in their chosen careers. Similarly, Cal U follows the established standard of Pennsylvania’s Transfer Advisory Oversight Committee that at least 80 percent of the requirements for courses accepted for transfer must be equivalent to a Cal U course (B. Smith, personal communication, 2009). Cal U thereby guarantees that all its graduates have the opportunity to get similar educations. The University’s Undergraduate Catalog and Graduate Catalog list course offerings and course descriptions, outline the sequence of course offerings, and list program requirements. 154 Career opportunities are listed for each program. The Office of Career Services publishes an annual report listing how Cal U graduates fared at finding jobs (“Career Services Class of 2008 Graduate Survey,” 2008). Keeping Current California University of Pennsylvania makes many efforts to bring its students, including those who are traditional, nontraditional, online, undergraduate and graduate, the most current information in the field, and to create ties for the students to community events, groups, businesses, services, and people. Some of these curriculum, career, and outreach efforts include advisory boards. Business/Industry Advisory Boards The University has advisory boards at the University, college and program levels. These boards help the administration and faculty learn if Cal U’s programs are aligned with the needs of employers. Board of Presidential Advisors. The board is a group of alumni, business leaders and friends of California University who offer informal counsel on issues and challenges facing the University. The group meets twice a year, in April (during Cal Pride Weekend) and in November. Career Advantage Advisory Board. The Office of Career Services established board to increase student participation in the Career Advantage Program and to improve the quality of cooperative education, internships, the job shadowing program and other career programs for Cal U students and employers. The board’s goals are to: (1) identify and implement five ways to integrate the Career Advantage Program into students’ experience, (2) build relationships with 30 new employers by June 2010, and (3) identify and implement three ways to use the Career 155 Advantage Program to assess student learning outcomes (R. Gifford, personal communication, Spring 2009). The advisory board helps Career Services identify ways to get students to participate in the Career Advantage Program, helps faculty and administrators gain a better understanding of the skills employers seek, and helps employers better understand the University culture. Services Advisory Board. Career Services has a second advisory group composed of approximately 75 employers, faculty, staff and students (about 40 attend the meetings). The board meets twice a year to advise the University about campus, career, and community issues (R. Gifford, personal communication, Spring 2009). Faculty Internship Advisory Committee. The committee includes faculty from the three undergraduate colleges and graduate school, and meets twice a year to make recommendations to ensure that Cal U internship programs are academically sound, follow University policies, and meet the best interests of students. The group recently has helped draft academic and administrative standards for internships, has contributed to the internship center’s marketing plan, and has helped develop an Internship Award scholarship fund (K. Primm, personal communication, Spring 2009). Teacher Education Advisory Board. The board includes school district administrators, teachers, and University faculty and administrators who meet the first Wednesday of October and the first week of March to discuss teacher education at Cal U. The College of Education and Human Services uses this group as a “sounding board” for new programs, or to discuss mandates from the Pennsylvania Department of Education or the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. (K. Koury, personal communication, Spring 2009). 156 The Professional Development School Governance Board. This is a smaller group of the Teacher Advisory Board that oversees professional development programs in the California, Charleroi, Belle Vernon, and Uniontown Area School Districts. This board also monitors the work of the California University of Pennsylvania Network for Accomplished Teachers, which supports teachers through the National Board Certification for Teachers Program. Program-level Advisory Boards. Many academic programs, particularly those accredited or in the process of earning accreditation, have program-level advisory boards that include Cal U program graduates and representatives of businesses and industries that employ Cal U program graduates. The board members usually help with the development of new programs, such as the associate of science program in Robotics Engineering Technology, or help with the revision of outdated programs like the bachelor of science degree in Information Technology that changed to a bachelor of science degree in Computer Information Systems (L. Colelli, personal communication, Spring 2009). The board members also help existing programs revise program goals, develop continuous improvement plans to assess student learning, help with facility upgrades, supervise interns, help evaluate student projects, hire graduates, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of Cal U graduates and programs. Of the 93 degree programs at Cal U, 17 (18 percent) have advisory boards. The boards represent: the bachelor’s and master’s of Social Work, the bachelor’s of Geography in GIS Emergency Management, the bachelor’s in Parks and Recreation Management, the associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in Electrical Engineering Technology, the associate’s degree and bachelor’s degrees in Computer Engineering Technology, the associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science, the associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in Computer Information Systems, the associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in Graphics/Multimedia Technology, the associate’s and 157 bachelor’s degrees in Industrial Technology, and the associate’s degree in Computer Aided Drafting/Design (L. Colelli, personal communication, Spring 2009; K. Koury, personal communication, Spring 2009; M. Hummel, personal communication, Spring 2009). The 19 elementary and secondary education programs, as well as two graduate programs (the master of arts degree in Teaching, and the master of education degree in School Administration), follow the standards of the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (K Koury, personal communication, Spring 2009). Assessment of Performance of Teaching Candidates and Adjustment to Conditions Cal U can judge how well its courses are preparing education students from the results of the standardized Praxis I and Praxis II tests. To be admitted to the Teacher Education program, students must pass the Praxis I exams (Reading, Writing and Mathematics). Table 11.1 shows the University’s 2006-2007 Praxis I results. In order to be recommended for student teaching, students must pass Praxis II exams. These exams measure the content knowledge in a candidate's certification area. Candidates not passing the exam may seek a degree in their subject area or a bachelor of science in General Education; however, in neither case will the students receive Pennsylvania Department of Education certification. Table 11.2 shows Cal U’s results on the Praxis II exam for 2006-2007. To assist in program improvement, each department receives a detailed Praxis report. In addition to the Praxis report, the Praxis coordinator meets with each department chair to discuss the Praxis scores of the department's education majors. They discuss possible strategies to improve Praxis test scores, including using Praxis data to modify curriculum and to develop assessment plans to relate to Praxis topics. In addition, departments are encouraged to offer 158 Praxis review workshops. Departments are to develop action plans to improve the Praxis test scores in their content area (K. Koury, personal communication, Spring 2009). Table 11.1 Praxis I Results (Cal U) 2006-2007 Test Number of National test takers mean Cal U mean Cal U % Pass 170 269 177 178 177 177 87 78 PPST Writing (PA pass score 173) Paper – Based Computer – Based 177 255 175 175 174 174 70 74 PPST Mathematics (PA pass score 173) Paper – Based Computer – Based 169 262 178 178 180 179 79 81 156 173 166 90 PPST Reading (PA pass score 172) Paper – Based Computer – Based Fundamental Subject: Content Knowledge (PA pass score 150) Source: California University of Pennsylvania Teacher Education Program: Cal U Pass, Praxis I report 2002-2007, p. 7. Report prepared by D. Joseph Zisk. 159 Table 11.2 Praxis II Results (Cal U) 2006-2007 Test Number of test takers 12 13 6 Nationa l mean Cal U Mean Cal U % Pass Art -PA pass score 161 170 168 75 Biology -PA pass score 147 160 160 85 Chemistry -PA pass score 154 159 159 67 Communications -PA pass score 530 Early Childhood -PA pass score 530 16 640 605 94 10 163 159 60 Earth and Space Science -PA pass score 157 Elementary -PA pass score 168 206 175 174 71 English -PA pass score 160 34 176 165 65 5 178 160 40 French -PA pass score 170 26 143 141 62 Mathematics -PA pass score 136 7 148 125 14 Physics -PA pass score 140 73 174 179 100 Special Education -PA pass score 136 36 165 160 72 Social Studies -PA pass score 157 8 174 155 38 Spanish -PA pass score 166 71 640 660 93 Technology Education PA pass score 620 Source: California University of Pennsylvania Teacher Education Program: Cal U Pass report for Praxis II 2003-07, p. 3. Report prepared by Dr. Joseph Zisk. External Workforce/Educational Organizations The University collaborates with regional economic and workforce development organizations, such as the Fayette and Washington County Keystone Innovation Zone sponsored by the Fay-Penn Economic Development Council and the Redevelopment Authority of Washington County. Keystone Innovation Zones are zones in areas with colleges or universities that are : … designed to foster innovation and create entrepreneurial opportunities. In the zones, business leaders, academic researchers and economic development officials are encouraged to blend their talents and resources to foster the success of new companies. 160 Partnerships will involve institutions of higher education, private business, business support organizations, commercial lending, venture capital groups, angel networks and foundations (“Fayette/Washington Keystone Innovation Zone,” n.d.) Cal U recently submitted a $400,000 “Innovation Grant” to the zone to create a Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) Institute. If awarded, the funds will be used to hire a tenure-track faculty member in a technical area that has been identified as a workforce need, namely Mechatronics Engineering Technology, and develop a Mechatronics Certification Training Facility to provide technical skills and knowledge for regional business and industry. A noncredit certification program and credit-bearing concentrations at the associate’s and bachelor’s level would be offered. The STEM Institute also would serve as an incubator for academic/business alliances. For example, faculty from Cal U’s Marketing, Computer Information Systems, and Graphics/Multimedia Technology programs could oversee student interns in the development of a Web-based retail division of a wholesale specialty product printing firm. Cal U also participates in such organizations as the Business and Education Stakeholders in Technology Industry Partnership and the Mon Valley Community Council, which have similar goals of aligning academic expertise and programs to industry needs. Program Accreditation The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education asks on the form for new academic programs that the applicants state their plan for seeking accreditation, if appropriate (“Format for New Academic Programs,” January 11, 2008). Cal U’s Strategic Plan also states it is a University goal that “all eligible programs achieve and maintain national accreditation” (“Goal One, Objective 1.1., March 26, 2007). 161 Twenty-one of the 32 academic programs eligible for accreditation are now accredited (65.6 percent of eligible programs). Of the 22 accredited programs recognized by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, 16 (72.7 percent) are accredited. Most accreditations require a plan for continuous improvement that includes follow-up surveys of graduates and employers of graduates. Table 11.3 is a list of accredited programs: Table 11.3 Cal U Accredited Programs Computer Engineering Technology – BS * Electrical Engineering Technology – BS* Industrial Technology – BS* Communication Disorders – MS* School Counseling – M Ed* Community Agency Counseling – MS* Computer Science – BS* School Psychology – MS Social Work – MSW* Theater – BA* Travel and Tourism – Geography-Tourism Studies - BA Parks and Recreation and Management – BA* Athletic Training – BS* Athletic Training - MS Sport Management - BS Physical Therapy Assistant– AAS* Nursing – BSN* Social Work – BSW* Applied Sociology – BA College of Education and Human Services – BS Ed* & M Ed* Source: California University of Pennsylvania, Complete List of Programs Eligible for Accreditation, 2008-2009. *Accredited programs recognized by PASSHE. Graduate Follow-Up Surveys (Employee and Employer) Accredited programs survey graduates annually or every other year. Graduates answer questions about how closely their jobs align to their academic programs, about their salaries, the job location, how pleased they are with what they studied at Cal U, their opinions about strengths and weaknesses in their Cal U program, and their recommendations on how to improve the program. Employers respond to similar questions about the effectiveness of Cal U graduates, their strengths and weaknesses, and the employers’ recommendations for how to improve the programs. The academic departments and program advisory boards use this data to decide whether to make changes or not as part of their attempts to continuously improve. 162 Career Services Survey The Office of Career Services Office does a phone survey, starting in January each year, of graduates of the preceding year. The graduates are asked whether they are working, if the work is related to their field of study, the name of their employer, job title, salary and whether they are continuing their education and where. They are asked if they found their job because of an internship. About 50 to 75 percent of the graduates who are contacted respond. Every five years when Career Services does a program review, it usually surveys employers about their needs. Career Services last did this survey in Spring 2008. Employers are asked to compare Cal U graduates against those from other universities (R. Gifford, personal communication, Spring 2009). Cal U Global Online Cal U Global Online surveys graduates every semester. They are asked service provided and software/platform-related questions, about the interaction with the instructor and timing of feedback, about program objectives and whether they were reached, and about their employer, whom Cal U may contact to gather the employer’s perception of the graduates after completing the Cal U programs (M. Rodriquez, personal communication, Spring 2009). Other Means for Staying Current Some faculty use less formal means to keep abreast of developments in their fields. For example, Social Work faculty developed an alumni association to help keep in touch with graduates. Technology Education faculty hold an annual alumni reception at their state professional association conference each November in Harrisburg. Usually, over 150 alumni and guests attend. The faculty of the Applied Engineering and Technology Department hold an annual Spring Technology Conference, in April, and invite alumni to participate in workshops, 163 presentations, and demonstrations. As a recruitment tool, the department encourages alumni to bring students, friends, and spouses to this conference. Grants/Contracts from Government, Private Foundations, and Business Collaborations Cisco Some Cal U professors and departments have received grants and contracts to help develop curricula that respond to employers’ needs. In 2006, for example, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation awarded Cal U a $68,000 grant to certify two faculty (one from Computer Information Systems and another from Electrical Engineering Technology) as Cisco trainers. Cisco Systems, Inc. provided networking for the Internet (“Fact Sheet, Corporate Overview,” 2009). The professors and others, in turn, provide free training as Certified Cisco Network Associates to Greene County interested parties. This experience led Cal U to develop four Cisco credit-bearing classes, one of which is required for the core curriculum in the bachelor of science program in Computer Information Systems. The others are electives in the program. Those supervising the program then asked President Armenti for a $45,000 match to the Benedum grant to renovate space in the Eberly Science and Technology Center to create a Cisco Systems networking facility for teaching these classes. This facility is now fully operational. Cal U students may be certified as Cisco Network Associates, as well as receive their university diploma (L. Colelli, personal communication, Spring 2009). Robotics In 2006, Cal U received a $1 million contract from the Department of Defense to collaborate with the Carnegie Mellon University National Robotics Engineering Center to develop four agile robotics classes, a related agile robotics certificate, and an associate’s degree in Robotics 164 Engineering Technology, which will launch in Fall 2009 (L. Colelli, personal communication, Spring 2009). Cal U has since received more than $3 million for the project and, subsequently, has created outreach programs to train public school teachers and military personnel in agile robotics. Work also is underway to develop a bachelor of science degree in Mechatronics Engineering Technology. These programs should serve as a pipeline to provide the technical workers needed to help the military reach its goal that 30 percent of its land-based vehicles will be unmanned – controlled remotely – by 2015 (L. Colelli, personal communication, Spring 2009). As of this writing, teachers have been trained to provide agile robotics instruction at the middle and high school levels at Beattie, Connellsville, McKeesport and Mercer to 77 students. The University is working on agreements with the schools to provide advanced standing to their students in Cal U’s degree programs (L. Colelli, personal communication, Spring 2009). STEM Institute As mentioned previously, the University also submitted a $400,000 grant proposal to the Fayette-Washington Keystone Innovation Zone to create a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Institute that will assist regional companies with contracts from the Department of Defense to produce the unmanned military vehicles. The Institute will help train their workers, in addition to helping other companies that produce products or provide services using automated manufacturing processes. It also plans to work with those involved in finding ways to use the large amount of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale Field, a geological area covering western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, eastern Ohio and southern New York (L. Colelli, personal communication, Spring 2009). 165 Nanofabrication Facility Cal U also has developed a partnership with the Pennsylvania State University Nanofabrication Facility at Penn State’s main campus in State College. The Penn State University Nanotechnology Manufacturing program is to prepare technicians and technologists for careers in pharmaceutical, biomedical, micro-electromechanical, opto-electronic, sensor, power electronic, and microelectronic industries (L. Colelli, personal communication, Spring 2009). Four of Cal U bachelor’s degree programs (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Industrial Technology) have been approved to offer optional 24-credit-hour Nanotechnology concentrations. Students in these concentrations pursue a six-course, 18-credit hour, hands-on “Nanofabrication Capstone Semester” at the Penn State Nanofabrication Facility at their convenience during the fall, spring, or summer term. Cal U students pay for the classes at the Cal U rate. Students receive financial assistance for room and board from grant programs provided by Penn State. When the students return to Cal U, they complete a six-credit nanotechnology internship in industry or a nanotechnology research project under the guidance of a Cal U professor trained at Penn State in nanotechnology techniques. The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education has pursued additional grants to pay for Cal U to acquire such nanotechnology instruments as an atomic force microscope, a tissue-grade visual and ultraviolet-fluorescence microscope with electro-optic data capture and AI-based tracking software, UV-visual spectrometry hardware and analysis software, and ultrasonic, thermal, and UV-based sample preparation equipment. (L. Colelli, personal communication, Spring 2009). 166 Professional Association Memberships Most academic programs have faculty who hold memberships or participate in leadership roles in state, national, or international discipline-related professional associations. Through these memberships, reading associated journals and newsletters, and participating in professional meetings and conferences, faculty learn about developments in their fields and about changing workforce needs. New Programs Seek Job Outlook Projections When new academic programs are proposed, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education asks those promoting the new programs to project the need for, or workforce demand for, the graduates of the proposed program. Program advocates include in their program application materials, such as state and regional labor reports, the Job Outlook Survey produced by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, high priority occupation forecasts produced by county Workforce Investment areas and economic development organizations, and the results of market analysis studies conducted by such professional market analysis agencies as Paskill, Stapleton & Lord, and Eduventures. Before faculty begin work on developing new program proposals, President Armenti asks them to a complete the “Preconditions” statement. The standards that must be met include: I. The program must be capable of being offered with a high degree of academic quality in a web-based environment; II. There must be high demand for the program—both for entering students and for graduates; III. The program must be capable of being offered with a high degree of student satisfaction in a web-based environment; 167 IV. The program must be capable of being offered at economically viable student/faculty ratios—approximately 30 students/cohort, and V. The program must be a ‘niche’ program having few or no real competitors. (“Preconditions For Developing New Web Based Programs,” n.d.). Academic programs are not approved until the “preconditions” are met and the “need” is satisfactorily demonstrated. Addressing the Needs of Nontraditional and Online Students A number of tools have been developed to address the needs of nontraditional and online students. Accelerated Formats Cal U offers accelerate courses in 10-week, eight-week, and five-week rotations, such as the bachelor of science programs in Legal Studies, Business Administration, and the master of science programs in Business Administration, and in Law and Public Policy/Homeland Security. The University also offers evening and weekend course rotations for degree, such as the bachelor of science in Nursing, and the bachelor of science and master in science in Business Administration. Web-based Asynchronous Instruction Through Web-based asynchronous programs, students can earn undergraduate degrees in areas such as Industrial Technology and Sports Management Studies, and graduate degrees in Business Administration and Legal Studies. Advanced Standing Credit Students who receive advanced standing credit through programs, such as Cal U in the High School, Tech Prep, Prior Learning Assessment, or other types of articulation agreements (e.g., 168 the associate of science degree in Industrial Technology, the associate’s and bachelor’s of science degree in Graphics Multimedia Technology, the associate’s and bachelor’s of science degree in Electrical Engineering Technology, the associate’s degree in Technical Studies, the bachelor’s of science degree in Science and Technology, and the bachelor’s of science degree in Nursing), are often able to earn baccalaureate degrees in a shortened timeframe. +2 BS Completion Programs The +2 BS completion programs allow similar associate degree programs to apply as the initial two years of the baccalaureate degree, including the bachelor of science degrees in Nursing, Industrial Technology, Legal Studies, Electrical Engineering Technology, Computer Engineering Technology, Graphics and Multimedia, and Science and Technology. Flexible Degree Programs Flexible degree programs include the associate’s of science degree in Technical Studies, the bachelor of science degree in Science and Technology, the bachelor of science degree in General Studies in Education, and the associate’s and bachelor’s of arts degrees in Liberal Arts. Students pursuing Technical Studies and Science and Technology degrees can apply life experience workforce credits, which are received for experiences and technical skills that do not match existing courses. “Flex” programs allow students to respond to industry needs or pursue specific interests. (See Chapter 13 for a detailed discussion about flexible degree programs.) Guaranteeing Parallel Content between Online and Traditional Classes The University is concerned that students in all classes, whether taught onsite or online, take similar, and equally as rigorous, courses. Cal U has procedures for evaluating online course delivery, as well as traditionally taught classes. Outcomes Assessment results should indicate if there are differences between onsite and online delivery if departments collect comparative data. 169 (An evaluation process for online classes is in place, and comparative data will be available shortly.) Content Once a course is approved by the University-Wide Curriculum Committee, its content remains standard, whether it is taught online or in a physical classroom. To get a course approved, a professor clears the proposal with his department, the college council, and the Curriculum Committee. The provost has final approval rights. Any course, which will be taught online, must have the teaching methodology and method of assessment spelled out in the syllabus. If there is a corresponding onsite class, the teaching methodology, manner of assessment, and supporting materials differ. One way the University assures that traditional classes are rigorous is through peer observation. According to Article 12 of the collective bargaining agreement, non-tenured faculty are observed twice a semester by a department’s Evaluation Committee and once a year by the chair. Tenured faculty are observed once a semester every fifth year by the department’s Evaluation Committee and once every fifth year by the chair. Temporary faculty are observed every semester (“Agreement,” 2007, p. 25, pp. 29-30). Many Cal U online courses are evaluated by a Quality Matters peer review team. Quality Matters is a program sponsored by MarylandOnline, which many universities use for evaluating online courses (“Quality Goes the Distance,” Winter 2009, p. 7). Student Surveys At the request of President Armenti, Cal U Global Online students are surveyed about their satisfaction with the program. Select results are: 170 Sport Management: Health and Wellness Track Registration Process: 100 percent at Good or Excellent Advisement: 92 percent Good or Excellent; 8 percent Fair Interactive Capabilities: 100 percent Good or Excellent Delivery Technology: 100 percent Good or Excellent Online Library Resources: 69 percent Good or Excellent; 31 percent Fair or No Opinion Overall Online Learning Experience: 100 percent Good or Excellent Constructive Feedback: 92 percent Good or Excellent; 8 percent Somewhat Disagree Interaction with Instructor: 77 percent Good or Excellent; 23 percent Somewhat Disagree Enhanced Student Knowledge: 85 percent Good or Excellent; 15 percent No Contribution or Neutral. (“Survey of the Sports Management Program,” 2008). Legal Studies Registration Process: 100 percent at Good or Excellent Advisement: 76 percent Good or Excellent Interactive Capabilities: 100 percent Good or Excellent Delivery Technology: 94 percent Good or Excellent; 6 percent Fair Online Library Resources: 88 percent Good or Excellent; 12 percent No Opinion or Fair Overall Online Learning Experience: 100 percent Good or Excellent Constructive Feedback: 88 percent Agree or Strongly Agree; 12 percent 171 Somewhat Disagree or No Opinion Interaction with Instructor: 82 percent Somewhat Agree or Strongly Agree; 18 percent Somewhat Disagree or No Opinion. (Survey of the Legal Studies Program, 2008). Outcomes Assessment All programs (majors and minors) and General Education courses must submit annual outcomes assessment reports to the Office of Student Retention and Success, in addition to fiveyear program reviews. According to the Outcomes Assessment Committee’s “Facilitator Guide” (2004), this process, “is a key determinant of whether or not the program makes the desired difference in student learning” (p. 1). Outcomes Assessment is performed on both traditional and online classes. The quantitative and qualitative measures gauge the success of students in reaching program and course goals. (See Chapter 14 for detailed discussion of outcomes assessment.) The General Education Committee began collecting data approximately two years ago for courses on its menus. (See Chapter 12 for a detailed discussion of the process.) Faculty Development and Training Faculty teaching online classes must be certified on either the eCollege platform or Blackboard platform. There are currently 201 Cal U faculty certified to teach in this format (S. Powers, personal communication, Spring 2009). The Faculty Professional Development Committee (FPDC) offers a variety of training opportunities. Through FPDC, faculty can “request consultation regarding their personal professional development needs through classroom visitations, a personal interview, as well as a classroom videotaping” (“Faculty Development Resources,” June 9, 2009). 172 Encouraging Students to Use a Variety of Information and Learning Resources Many faculty incorporate assignments into their courses that require students to use library resources. Librarians will scan a limited amount of reference material to be used as an electronic reference link. Although there is not a full course devoted to library research, each new student at Cal U with less than 24 credits must attend First Year Seminar. Visiting the Manderino Library is one of the components of the class. Library staff have developed a new curriculum for their portion of First Year Seminar to ensure that all seminar students receive the same “building blocks” of instruction. Several faculty schedule their respective liaison to speak with individual classes about using electronic databases, such as JSTOR and Lexis/Nexis, and print references. Cal U’s Library of Congress/Teaching With Primary Resources Program staff visit classes to teach students about using Library of Congress materials. All Cal U students, unless they have taken the classes elsewhere and have received transfer credit, or if they are allowed to substitute “Scientific and Technical Writing” for Composition II, are required to take English Composition I (ENG 101) and II (ENG 102). According to Dr. Madeline Smith, Department of English chair: ENG 102 takes freshmen through the research process and instructs students in how to write and document papers and/or reports. As part of their course activity, students are given bibliographical instruction (either by library staff or by their composition instructor), are taught how to access library materials (in-house and online) and are mentored in how to produce well-supported, cogent, and (one hopes) grammatically sound term papers. (M. Smith, personal communication, July 10, 2009). Dr. Smith said instructors in ENG 101 may introduce students to the research process; 173 however, the course protocol syllabus for ENG 102 calls for students to successfully complete a 10-page research paper or the equivalent. English Department composition instructors have asked librarians to provide library instruction for their classes since, at least 1987, said Ms. Marsha Nolf, recently retired chair of the library and professor emeritus (M. Noff, personal interview, June 18, 2009). (See “English Composition Syllabi” folder on the Middle States dedicated computer drive for examples of English Composition syllabi.) Assessment records indicate that many departments have explicit research goals and objectives in their outcomes assessment plans. For example, the Department of Philosophy sets the goal that students will be able to use library and Internet resources successfully. The Department of History and Political Sciences measures the extent to which majors are able to research and use a variety of primary information sources (M. Slavin, personal communication, Spring 2009). Technology The University keeps pace with technical needs, replacing computers on a three-year, purchasing new software and, most recently, hiring a vice president of Information Technology. Since 2001, students’ responses to American College Testing (ACT) surveys show a six percent increase in favorable opinions and University facilities and laboratories and a three percent rise in favorable opinion about library facilities and computer services (N. Hasbrouck, personal communication, Spring 2009). General Education Technology Requirement The University requires that students take two courses (six credit hours) from the General Education Technological Literacy menu (2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog, 2008, “Technological Literacy,” pp. 82-83). There are 44 courses on the menu mostly in Computing Sciences, Geography, Graphics and Multimedia, and Technology Education. 174 Other Technological Opportunities Blackboard is used for most online courses, although professors may choose to use a Learning Management System (LMS). Professors can provide students with course materials, discussion boards, a virtual chat spot, online quizzes, links to the library, and other resources by using a LMS. The degree to which a LMS is used in an onsite course varies widely, as some professors stay with more traditional forms of disseminating materials (e.g., printed handouts and library reserve). The Faculty Professional Development Committee also offers Blackboard workshops, as well as other technological training, every semester. The Instructional Computing Facility on the second floor of Noss Hall is the main location for students who want to use campus computers. Generally, the labs are open seven days a week during fall and spring semesters and five days a week during summer sessions. There are 111 computers available. Many departments have microcomputers for student and staff use. There are 1,130 computers in departments throughout the University. The Multimedia Access Center in the Natali Student Center, which is operated by SAI, has nine desktop computers and one laptop. The Commuter Center in the Student Center has 10 computers for students (R. Nichols, personal communication, Spring 2009). All Cal U teacher education candidates are required to purchase a LIVETEXT account. This software is an online portfolio that allows administrators at school districts to view information about graduating candidates. The Department of Secondary Education offers intensive training to students and faculty on using LIVETEXT. The Office of Lifelong Learning has a STARS program, Student Technical Assistance Resource Staff, who provide tutorials for faculty, staff and others who have questions about Microsoft products. 175 Since Spring 2008, the Student Success facilitators in the Office of Student Retention and Success have offered On-Course Degree Audit workshops for students. On-Course Degree Audit is an automated program that compares degree requirements with a student's actual and/or projected course of study. Integrating Internships Into the Disciplines The Internship Center began collecting data on student placements a year after it opened in 2004. Figure 11.1 shows the growth in experiential activities, including practicums, co-ops, internships, and student teaching. Figure 11.1: Total Experiential Learning: Breakdown by PASSHE Academic Year 2004-2009 Source: Primm, K., (2009). Cal U Internship Center Report. Varieties of Experiential Programs Some programs require students to work individually or in teams to complete a capstone or research project. For example, many of the science disciplines require junior or senior students to 176 apply the scientific method in a research study supervised by a faculty member or another student. Students may do field research, collect data, and then analyze it. Technology disciplines often require senior projects that apply computing, project management, or engineering methods. Small teams of students plan, build, and test software applications or physical products designed to solve specific problems. For example, Computer Information Systems students worked with the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh to develop a database for films from the Westinghouse Corporation. Computer Science students worked with the Mon Valley Hospital as a temporary expanded pool of help-desk operators when the hospital recently replaced a paper data retrieval system for physicians and staff with a system-wide digital database information retrieval system. Human service disciplines may require students to provide services, such as athletic training with local school districts or nursing and physical therapy assistant clinicals at hospitals. Arts disciplines may require students to participate in theatrical productions, display their work at art shows, or participate in musical productions, such as chorus, marching band, or symphony performances. Education disciplines require students to observe at schools in a variety of settings to gain a better perspective of their field of study before student teaching. All disciplines may require extracurricular public service activities. Internships The Internship Center administers internships and helps place students by keeping them informed about resources and deadlines. The two-person staff prepares them for what to expect from an internship and helps them navigate the University system. Faculty in academic departments approve, in consultation with the onsite supervisor and student, a description of duties and responsibilities for the student, keeping focused on the 177 internship’s learning objectives. The professor stays in touch with the student and the onsite supervisor. The professor contacts the supervisor a minimum of three times and does at least one onsite visit, if possible. At the end of the internship, the faculty member assigns the grade for the internship, based on contacts with the supervisor, the student’s reports, and the supervisor’s reports. Many departments require students to submit a journal that describes their duties and accomplishments on a day-by-day basis, a reflective essay in which the student demonstrates that the internship experience helped in achieving the learning objectives for the internship, and a professional portfolio of work produced as part of the internship. In each of these documents, the faculty member is looking for a clear demonstration that the student has achieved career and character development through the internship. Although each academic department has the freedom to structure the internship and to create its own evaluation tools, all internship courses include a course syllabus with clearly defined learning outcomes, and all internships require employer, student and faculty evaluations to measure success (K. Primm, personal communication, Spring 2009). Employers give overall positive reviews of Cal U’s students (California University of Pennsylvania Continuous Improvement Committee, 2008). Several success stories may be found on the Internship Center’s Web page (http://www.cup.edu/current/index.jsp?pageId1580830010421175181985681). Analysis Although every course at Cal U, in some way, advances the University’s Mission of building character and careers, it may be worthwhile to require a statement in all syllabi that describes how the course meets the University’s Mission and Goals. 178 There are established procedures for proposing courses and programs that everyone is expected to follow. Those who propose online courses follow the same basic course development procedures as those proposing onsite classes. If there is an onsite parallel of an online class, the content of the two classes is similar; usually just the method of delivery, means of assessment, and course materials differ. Although it seems Cal U online and onsite classes are parallel in structure and rigor, no outcomes assessment has been done for the graduate programs. The dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research announced, in January 2009, that outcomes assessment will be conducted in each graduate program, as well as in the undergraduate Global Online programs, which fall under his jurisdiction. Cal U faculty and administrators use a myriad of methods for staying current with developments in their disciplines and the needs of employers, including consulting advisory boards, doing surveys, attending professional conferences, and many other methods. There may be a real benefit to establishing advisory boards for the undergraduate colleges and graduate school. More program-level advisory boards also may be helpful. An Employer Development Program could be launched to find more employers with whom to build relationships. Career Services has set a goal of adding 30 new employers to Career Services’ bank of employers with whom the University has a relationship. The Internship Center director makes personal calls and visits to area businesses, seeking internship opportunities for Cal U students. The Manderino Library staff plays a critical role within the University community. Efforts are made to introduce students to library resources and services, including how best to use them. 179 New students learn about library services in the First Year Seminar and various classes. Library staff seek academic departments’ input on developing the library’s collection, and many do guest lectures for professors whose students need to polish their research skills for major papers and projects. It would be helpful if the library maintained a record of individual class presentations rather than rely on anecdotal information. Perhaps brief evaluation forms could be given to students at the end of the sessions to determine what did and did not help. The data could be used for multiple purposes: division reports, accreditation reports, librarians’ dossiers, and student feedback. Cal U provides many technical services to faculty, staff, and students, and has outfitted a large number of buildings and classrooms with state-of-art equipment. The new vice president for Information Technology, Dr. Charles Mance, explained that his goal “is to build a cohesive information technology department capable of providing a quality service to the University community.” He also is committed to creating “a secure technology environment” (“California University Names Vice President for IT, March 18, 2009). There would be great benefit to opening an Office of Instructional Technology for the purpose of providing the University community with advanced training and support. College deans noted in interviews that internships in accredited programs are more likely to meet National Society for Experiential Education’s Standards of Practice if there are orientation and training, reflection, and assessment and evaluations (“Internship Center Program Review,” 2007, p. 9). The Internship Center requires students to complete a series of online modules on topics, such as work ethics and personal security, prior to starting the job; however, there is no formal assessment of student learning with the exception of the faculty advisors’ evaluations (grades) of students’ work experience and course assignments. Career Services added questions 180 to its survey of Cal U graduates, asking whether they completed an internship and, if so, whether helped them find their current job. Conclusion California University of Pennsylvania’s educational offerings come in many forms. The University is involved in some exciting new ways to expand its traditional system of delivering classes. Through online courses and partnerships with local business innovation development zones, among many programs, Cal U is exploring ways to remain the leader in providing educational opportunities relevant to the lives of the people of southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond. Recommendations Graduates of all programs, not just accredited ones, should be surveyed to ascertain if the training and skills students received benefitted them in the job market or in graduate school. A record of faculty professional memberships should be maintained. Procedures for evaluating and comparing student learning in the onsite and online versions of identical courses should be instituted. All syllabi should indicate how the course meets the University’s mission of building character and careers. Student learning should be assessed in all graduate and Global Online programs. Establish advisory boards for all undergraduate disciplines and graduate programs. Launch an Employer Development Program to identify firms with which to build relationships. 181 Establish an Office of Instructional Technology to provide the university community with advanced technological training and support services.1 1 The Recommendation Progress Report/Action Plan is contained in the cover letter. 182 STANDARD 12: GENERAL EDUCATION Introduction Members of the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education declared that 40 percent of the credits that students earn toward their bachelor’s degrees be General Education courses in the humanities, fine arts, communication, social and behavioral sciences, mathematics and natural sciences Another 40 percent of coursework is to be upper level, advanced work, beyond the sophomore level (“Policy 1990-06-A: Academic Degrees,” October 18, 1990; revised, July 18, 1991, and April 11, 1992). The Board of Governors added “critical thinking,” “information literacy,” and “multicultural” understanding to the General Education policy in another action (“Policy 1993-01: General Education at State System of Higher Education Universities, January 21, 1993, pp. 3-4). California University of Pennsylvania complies with the Board of Governors’ policies by requiring Cal U students to take 49 to 51 General Education credits. Except for two, upperdivision writing intensive classes in the major, and three required General Education classes at the 300-to-400 level, most General Education classes are for freshmen and sophomores. Cal U’s General Education classes and the number of classes in each category are: First Year Seminar – 1; Critical Thinking – 88; Public Speaking – 4; Mathematics – 16; Multicultural Awareness – 84; Values – 62; Health and Wellness – 12; Humanities, 84; Fine Arts – 51; Natural Sciences – 33; Social Sciences – 96; Technological Literacy – 44; and, Laboratory – 30. Students also take two upper-division Writing Intensive classes in their majors (Advisement Sheets, 2008). From the General Education menu, students must take: First Year Seminar, one Public Speaking class, Composition I and II (some can take Scientific and Technical Writing in place of 183 Composition II), two Natural Science classes, one Laboratory course (this does not have to be in a Natural Science discipline), two Technological Literacy classes, one Mathematics class, two Social Science classes, one Humanities class, one Fine Arts class, one Critical Thinking class, one Multicultural Awareness class, one Values class, one Health and Wellness class, and the two upper-division Writing Intensive classes in their major (“Goals and Objectives,” 2003). The University Undergraduate Catalog and University Web site describe the General Education menus and requirements. A survey of advisement sheets shows that all program advisement sheets – sheets that list requirements for majors -- list the General Education requirements. The committee consists of five faculty representatives from each college of the University, as well as a representative from Student Services. The undergraduate college deans and provost are ex officio members. The General Education Committee votes on additions to the General Education menu, and makes its recommendations to the provost who has the authority to accept or reject them. Students learn about General Education classes at Student Orientation, First Year Seminar, during academic advising and when using the Academic Degree Audit program. Registering for General Education Classes During registration each semester, approximately 35 courses are blocked to juniors and seniors, most of which are General Education courses targeted at freshmen and sophomores. The classes are blocked to discourage upperclassmen from taking, as general electives, lower division classes they do not need. Juniors or seniors who must have the blocked classes to graduate can petition to schedule the class. There also is a Needs List. When students find classes are filled that they need for graduation or to progress toward graduation, they can add their name to a 184 Needs List, and thus petition to have the class added to the University’s class schedule. If enough students petition, the class may be added (H. Langley, personal communication, Spring 2009). There also are Late Start classes, which often are General Education classes that help students who are having trouble in one or more classes. Without adding the Late Start class, the students would fall below fulltime status after dropping their problem class or classes. The Late State classes help them prevent this (H. Langley, personal communication, Spring 2009). Assessment of General Education Classes In 2006, the General Education Committee created an Ad Hoc Outcomes Assessment Subcommittee, which fashioned a plan to assess a sample of General Education courses each semester, starting in Fall 2007 (Minutes, General Education Committee, 2007-2008). The Outcomes Assessment plan calls for 20 percent of the courses offered on each General Education menu to be randomly selected for Outcomes Assessment each semester. Each of the 12 menus of classes on the General Education Menu has goals and objectives, as established by the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. For example, the goals for General Education “Public Speaking” classes are for students to “have the ability to develop and present ideas. Communication skills include both ‘those required for effective reading, writing, speaking and listening,’ and an ‘awareness of the challenges of crosscultural communication’” (“Public Speaking,” 2003) The objectives for students taking Public Speaking classes are: To be able to demonstrate the theory and application of public speaking; To construct and arrange arguments, evidence, information and appeals in speeches designed to accomplish informative and persuasive communication goals; 185 To demonstrate the use of language in speeches designed to accomplish informative and persuasive communication goals; To prepare and deliver effective communication with audiences in the presentations of speeches; and To make critical and ethical evaluation of public speeches. (“Public Speaking,” 2003). When departments are notified that one or more of their courses on the General Education menus have been selected for General Education Outcomes Assessment, they submit Interim and Final Outcomes Assessment reports by specified dates. For each course selected, the department chooses at least two of the objectives from the pertinent General Education menu and the department creates two measures to assess how successful students in the course were at meeting the objective. One of the measures may be subjective. The Interim Report states which objectives will be assessed and which measures will be used. The Final Report summarizes the data collected and how the department will use the results for continuous improvement (P. Hettler, personal communication, Spring 2009). First Year Seminar and Composition classes follow their own, separate, Outcomes Assessment plans. During 2007-2008, the General Education Committee received complete Final Outcomes Assessment reports from 47 percent of the courses selected for assessment. At least six courses were sampled from all of the menus except Natural Sciences, Fine Arts, and Health and Wellness. Data are still being collected for the 2008-2009 academic year. The 2007-2008 data show that faculty chose a wide variety of measures to assess student achievement. Nearly all reports indicate that students met or exceeded the assessment standards chosen. 186 First Year Seminar has been evaluated through two, Five-Year Program Reviews for Student Retention and Success. It has received positive comments from internal and external reviewers. During 2007-2008, the Office of Continuous Improvement conducted a student survey of the effectiveness of First Year Seminar. The results were positive (H. Langley, personal communication, Spring 2009). In 2008-2009, Composition launched an Outcomes Assessment process that so far has been completed for one semester. The process included collecting and assessing many student compositions. The projected outcomes were: One, “Students will demonstrate a capacity to carry out the planning, drafting, revising, and editing stages of the writing proves,” with 85 percent of the students’ portfolios to score 15 or higher. Two, “Students will produce prose that is clear (clarity), coherent (unity and coherence), convincing (effectiveness), and correct (conventions),” with 85 percent of the portfolios to score 12 or higher. Sixteen sections of Composition turned in materials for review, or 47 percent of the sections that semester (M. Smith, personal communication, July 11, 2009). The Composition Outcomes Assessment program is new and did not get underway until the semester had started, making it difficult for some professors to comply with the terms of the assessment (M. Smith, personal communication, July 11, 2009). It is expected compliance will be higher when the program is fully operational. Assessing the General Education Program Cal U’s current General Education plan has been in effect since 1999. The General Education Committee is undergoing a Program Review and exploring alternative categories for the General Education menus. As previously noted, the compliance rate for General Education’s Outcomes Assessment in 2007-2008 was 47 percent. That was the first year outcomes assessment was done for General Education classes. Another reason the compliance rate was somewhat low was that 187 at the moment, there is no quick way to discover which General Education classes are offered in any given semester. It is necessary to search “by hand” through each semester’s course offerings to find the General Education classes being offered. Thus, some departments were not notified that some of their General Education classes were undergoing outcomes assessment until after the semester had started (P. Hettler, personal communication, Spring 2009).. One major change the General Education Committee made in recent years was adding a requirement that nine credits of General Education be 300-to-400 level classes. This responds to the Board of Governor’s requirement that 40 percent of the overall bachelor’s degree be in upper division classes. The General Education Committee also added a foreign language “wild card” so there now are foreign language classes on many of the General Education menus (P. Hettler, personal communication, Spring 2009). Last year, the 2008-2009 General Education menus had 294 upper-level classes. Each menu had 300-to-400-level General Education classes, except for Public Speaking (Advisement Sheets, 2008). There were 99 program sheets listing course requirements. Of those, 30 sheets specified which 300-to-400-level courses in General Education their students needed to take. The other 69 sheets required upper division General Education classes but did not specify which of those classes students needed to take. Most of the required General Education classes are in the College of Education and Human Services, where 26 of 29 program sheets require specific courses. The College of Liberal Arts does not have a single program that requires specific courses in General Education. All program sheets list the 300-to-400-level requirement (Advisement Sheets, 2008). 188 Eighty-two of the 99 programs have identified and approved writing intensive courses (General Education Writing Intensive List, 2008). Fifty-seven of the 99 programs require students take courses in their major that are listed in the General Education portion of their program advisement sheets. These include 28 of the 29 programs in the College of Education and Human Services; 29 of 34 programs in Science and Technology; and no programs in the College of Liberal Arts (Advisement Sheets, 2008). Analysis There are 607 classes listed on the General Education menus; however, some are listed on multiple menus, making the number of unique classes lower. Nonetheless, students have many classes from which to select in fulfilling their General Education requirement. The Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education has mandated that students at the 14 state schools select 40 percent of the courses for their bachelor’s degrees from General Education classes. Cal U is in compliance with the Board of Governors’ policy. Sometimes, General Education classes fill quickly and students have trouble getting into the ones they would like to take. There is a process of petitioning to be admitted, and one for getting on a Needs List; however, not every student is successful using these methods. The blocking of classes, petitioning, and Needs List process has become more essential with the University’s increasing focus on faculty productivity and its monitoring of the numbers of classes or sections offered each semester. This monitoring often means that General Education classes are the first ones cut when departments are asked to sacrifice a course for efficiency’s sake. The result is larger class sizes for the remaining General Education classes. The larger classes may offset the smaller sizes of many upper division classes within a major. General Education’s Outcomes Assessment program is two years old and still working out 189 some of the kinks. The General Education program is undergoing a Program Review and is looking at changing some of the menus and making other changes. One change expected is that each department will provide a five-year plan to assess General Education objectives of all the courses they offer on the General Education menu. This plan will be required before courses are accepted for the menu. Failure to comply may result in courses being removed from menus. One of the problems with the existing assessment plan is that it is difficult to know which General Education classes are being offered each semester without a “hand” search. Thus, some departments are not notified their classes are to be assessed until after the semester starts. If each department submits a five-year plan, it will be easier to keep track of when courses are to be assessed. A permanent General Education subcommittee should oversee the assessment process, and the committee’s graduate assistant should spend much of his or her time collecting and organizing the Outcomes Assessment data. Not every program is in compliance with the Writing Intensive requirement and efforts should be made to get all programs to comply. The University also may want to more closely evaluate whether transfer students are in compliance with the requirement that nine credits of General Education be in 300-to-400-level classes. Some transfer students may get General Education transfer credit for completing most, or even all, General Education coursework at the 100-to-200 level. Traditional programs and professional programs have taken different approaches to General Education. Professional programs, such as teacher education programs, and some programs in the sciences, require students to take prescribed General Education classes, often to meet the needs of accreditation. Students in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education are expected to complete 120 credits to earn a bachelor’s degree. Because 48 credits must be General 190 Education classes, students in some accredited programs cannot complete all required courses within the 120-credit limit unless some classes are placed on the General Education menus. Thus, some General Education classes are specific to certain majors and not available to all students at the University, although the classes do meet the objectives for inclusion on the menus. It may be advisable to assess student learning as it applies to General Education to gauge if requiring specific General Education classes affects student learning. The administration has supported General Education by approving a graduate assistant’s position to help with clerical matters, a job that has been filled since Fall 2008. However, it would be helpful if a faculty member served as a General Education “quasi-administrator” and receive a workload reduction. The members of the General Education Committee then would have less of an administrative burden and would be able to spend more time educating faculty about General Education requirements, overseeing the Outcomes Assessment process, analyzing data and performing other duties. It may be advisable to reduce the General Education curriculum to the minimum-mandated 48 credits to ease some of the pressure on accredited programs. Committee members should seriously consider how to revise the program to meet changing conditions at the University. Conclusion California University of Pennsylvania has a robust General Education program, which is currently undergoing a program review. General Education Committee members already have plans to modify the outcomes assessment process and get more programs to participate. General Education classes sometimes pay the price of productivity pressures. Those involved in the General Education program, however, seem to have embraced the University’s objective to maintain an ongoing system of self-evaluation and a commitment to continuous improvement. 191 Recommendations Institute a timely procedure for notifying departments which of their General Education courses are due to be evaluated. All departments should submit five-year plans to the General Education Committee in order to facilitate the selection of courses to be evaluated. All programs need to comply with the two-course Upper Division Writing Intensive Component requirement. A faculty member should receive a workload reduction to serve as a quasi-administrator of the General Education Committee in order to free committee members from performing many administrative tasks. The General Education Committee may want to make a recommendation to the provost to reduce the General Education curriculum to the minimum-mandated 48 credit hours to ease pressure on tightly structured accredited programs. Courses must meet General Education criteria to be included on the menu, but the Committee has yet to assess whether the courses actually meet student learning objectives. 1 The Committee should evaluate existing data as it is received.1 The Recommendation Progress Report/Action Plan is contained in the cover letter. 192 STANDARD 13: RELATED EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES Introduction Learning is not limited to the physical classroom on the main campus. The University, in response to varied needs of a diverse student population, instituted a number of programs to provide educational opportunities in venues other than the main campus. It also established several ways to monitor the academic progress of students who come to Cal U underprepared for college-level work. Helping Underprepared Students The University has a number of programs to help underprepared students before arrival, upon arrival, and after their first semester. Before Arrival During Academic Discovery Days and Open House Days, Student Success Facilitators from the Office of Student Retention and Success inform prospective students and their parents of the services offered through the Office of Student Retention, such as tutoring centers for reading, writing, and mathematics and assistance for students on academic probation. Students with low SAT scores are urged to take placement tests to help identify appropriate level classes in writing and mathematics. The Office of Student Retention and Success staff work with students to develop tentative schedules based on their SAT scores, placement scores, proposed majors, and other factors. Faculty advisors may review these schedules and propose changes. During Summer Orientation and registration, students meet with staff from Student Retention and Success, at which time they may revise their class schedules, re-test, explore other course options, and confirm their schedules for the fall term. Students soon learn that Noss Hall is the center for academic support. 193 Upon Arrival The Academic Scheduling Center staff assist students with selecting and registering for courses if they have not declared a major. Students who have declared a major are encouraged to consult with an advisor in their discipline, although Academic Scheduling staff are also available to help. All new students take First Year Seminar, which serves as an extended orientation to the University and covers topics, such as developing life goals, doing academic planning, managing one’s time, getting involved in extracurricular activities, learning about academic resources (e.g., the Math Lab, Reading Clinic, Writing Center, and Tutoring Center), applying for financial aid, and career planning. Student Progress Reports The Office of Student Retention and Success asks faculty to verify their class rosters soon after the semester gets underway. Those students who have poor attendance receive an “Early Warning,” and are told that the staff will help them drop or add classes, contact instructors, or take other appropriate action. Faculty are encouraged to notify the office if students are not attending class or are having difficulty. These students are sent an “Early Warning,” indicating the problem. Faculty are required to submit midterm grade reports for students. Those who are earning below a C receive an “Early Warning” from Student Retention with an offer to help. The University publicizes the deadline to drop classes both on its Web site and via e-mail announcements, and some faculty include the date on their course syllabi. The University offers Late Start classes as a means to help students who are failing and must a drop class, but by so doing, would jeopardize their fulltime enrollment status. 194 After the First Semester Students on probation are required to participate in the Probationary Assistance Program (PASS) in which they meet in small groups with graduate assistants who help them with study skills, time management, and other problems. Student Retention offers Degree Audit workshops so students learn how to monitor their own progress toward fulfilling degree requirements. The information is particularly valuable for students who choose not to meet with their faculty advisers on a regular basis. The Office of Student Retention and Success also maintains a database that can track entire cohorts. Information includes students who: (1) did not complete 15 credits per term successfully, (2) did not earn a 2.00 grade point average for a specific term, and (3) did not register early for the following semester or return to campus. Based on this information, University staff can intervene in an attempt to keep students on track for graduation (“5-Year Program Review of the Office of Student Retention,” 2003; “Four Year Graduation Plan – Continuous Improvement,” 2006; “New Course Proposals for Exercise Program,” 2005; “New Course Proposal for Health Program,” 2005; “2007-2008 5-Year Program Review of the Office of Student Retention,” 2008). Aligning Certificate Programs with the University’s Mission and Assessing Student Outcomes An overview of certificate program information indicates that program goals, objectives, and expectations of student learning are clearly stated, program requirements and curricular sequence are explained, a support system is in place, there are links to campus support services, and successfully completed courses may be transferred to degree programs. Materials from select undergraduate and graduate certificate programs (i.e., post-Bachelor of 195 Science in Nursing, Crime Mapping, Wildlife Biology, Geographical Information Systems, Facility and Event Management, Intercollegiate Athletic Administration, Advanced Study in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Sports Counseling, and Exercise Science and Health Promotion (three tracks) indicate: The credit-based certificate programs go through the same review process as degree programs. This includes winning approval by the department, college council, University-Wide Curriculum Committee, and provost. Each new course proposal for certificate programs includes an advisement sheet, which lists classes required for the certificate, clearly articulated course objectives, a catalog description, a course outline, a synopsis of teaching methodology, a recommended text, well-defined assessment activities of student performance in the classroom, and a statement about accommodating students with disabilities. Students in degree-seeking programs and students in certificate programs take the same courses and are taught by the same professors. Thus, it is not necessary for departments to further oversee whether the certificate classes will transfer into the degree programs. They do, as they are one and the same. The University adopted a new plan that all non-degree graduate certificate program proposals are to be reviewed by colleagues in the undergraduate colleges. Previously, all graduate program proposals (certificate and degree) went from the relevant academic department to the Graduate Council and then to the University Curriculum Committee. With the new process, the program proposal goes through the appropriate undergraduate college, both as a matter of courtesy and to ensure that experts in the field (including the dean), will have the chance to examine the documents and, thus, guarantee that all certificate programs are consistent with the University’s 196 Mission. The School of Graduate Studies and Research recently announced it will become more fully involved in academic Outcome Assessments for all graduate degree and certificate programs. This had not been the case previously, and the rate of completion of outcome assessment plans was not as high as it might have been. As this process develops, the Graduate School also may ask that program learning goals with national criteria be incorporated, when applicable (“New Course Proposal for Crime Mapping Certificate,” 2001; “New Course Proposal for Wildlife Biology Certificate,” 2001; “New Course Proposal for School of Nursing Certificate,” 2005; “New Course Proposal for Exercise Science Program,” 2005; “New Course Proposal for Health Program,” 2005; “New Course Proposal for Facility and Event Management,” 2007; “New Course Proposal for Intercollegiate Athletic Administration,” 2007; “New Course Proposal for Advanced Study of Autism Spectrum Disorders,” 2007; “New Course Proposal for Sports Counseling Certificate,” 2008). Experiential Learning Cal U awards credit for life learning through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and the military version of the test DSST (DANTES). Some of the earliest standards for this process were developed, in 1980, by the Department of Nursing. This process is still in place in the nursing program and involves a portfolio review. The student is awarded credit for General Education and for the clinical aspects of the program by the presentation of a formal portfolio, which is evaluated by department faculty. In 2003, Cal U also instituted a Prior Learning Assessment program with the assistance of a consultant from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning. The program consists of two tracks: One, a student may receive life experience equivalency credits for courses listed in the 197 University Undergraduate Catalog. Two, a student may earn life experience equivalency credits for experiences or technical skills that do not align with courses in the catalog. In the latter case, the University may award Workforce Development Special Topics credit. These may not exceed 30 credit hours, and students may apply them toward an associate of science degree in Technical Studies or a bachelor of science degree in Science and Technology. These two degrees often are referred to as flexible (flex) degrees that allow students to essentially design their own degree programs to better meet specific interests or needs of business or industry. The Eberly College of Science and Technology offers these degrees and also has programs to award Workforce Development credits for various industrial certifications. In addition to awarding credit through CLEP/DSST (DANTES) and other challenge examinations, certifications, apprenticeships, and similar programs may count toward a degree. This also holds for portfolios that demonstrate competencies equivalent to course objectives. In both cases, a faculty member or department chair evaluates the materials and the college dean determines if credit will be given. To date, the University has awarded credit for some certifications and, in two cases, has awarded credits for portfolios that demonstrated competency equivalent to course objectives. One person applied for graduate credit through the Prior Learning Assessment process. That application was turned down, because the policies in effect did not include graduate credit. However, it was recommended that the person’s prior experiences be compared to national standards. The matter will go before the Academic Affairs Council. The Academic Affairs Council may make a policy recommendation, which would be referred to the University Forum and then to President Armenti (“Prior Learning Assessment: Report,” 2004; “Prior Learning Assessment,” 2008; Council for Adult Experiential Learning, 2003). 198 Noncredit Offerings The University provides a number of noncredit opportunities through the Office of Lifelong Learning, Character Education Institute, and Southpointe Center. Individuals with relevant education, training, and experience oversee these programs, which are consistent with the University’s Mission and Goals. One program offered through the Office of Lifelong Learning is the SEEK (Summer Educational Enrichment for Kids) Program. The SEEK Program offers courses, during July and August, to students in Grades 1 through 8. The enrollments are highest in the lower-level grades. In 2005, SEEK data indicate that 80 courses were scheduled initially but only 60 were held. In 2008, 96 courses were offered but only 84 ran. Enrollments for the two years were 244 and 350 students, respectively. Average enrollment per class was 3.64 students, in 2005, and 4.17 in 2008. The program, which has generated a profit each year, is tuition-driven and self-sustaining (“Reports,” 2009; “Summer Educational Enrichment Program for Kids,” June 26, 2009). The Office of Lifelong Learning and Character Education Institute cooperate in providing training in Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” to the Cal U community. Over 1,000 students, faculty, and staff have attended free “Seven Habits” workshops. In Summer 2006, more than 60 employees from Monongahela Valley Hospital attended a reception at the Kara Alumni House to celebrate their completion of Covey training. Mon Valley Hospital subsequently sent 25 employees to Covey training, in 2007, and 22 in 2008. The hospital, in return, awarded the University a grant that became the Mon Valley Hospital Endowed Scholarship. Six other training sessions were held in Spring 2008 for 129 people from outside the University. These sessions provided an additional $71,000 for the scholarship endowment. Fall 2007, 1,600 individuals, including those from the surrounding region and campus 199 community attended a Stephen Covey seminar and expert presentations at no cost. October 2007, DeVerl Austin, a senior consultant at FranklinCovey, conducted a leadership session for the Administrative Council and for the “Seven Habits” facilitators. Mr. Austin also led the Administrative Council and Cabinet through a session of “The Four Disciplines of Execution” (“Character Education Institute,” January 8, 2009; “Reports,” 2009). July 29-30, 2009, Stephen Covey headlined “Education Summit 2009” for area educators, which included presentations by several “Seven Habits” experts. Lifelong Learning also oversees Summer School, as well as software training for staff, and helps non-degree-seeking members of the community register for University classes. It formerly offered non-credit classes for adults but has not done so, since 2000, because the nearby Center in the Woods offered similar programming. The Character Education Institute oversees a resource collection of character education materials in Manderino Library, and works with school districts that want to establish character education programs Off-Campus Sites Offering Credit and Noncredit Classes Until July 1, 2009, Cal U had two off-campus sites: one in the Regional Enterprise Tower (RET) in downtown Pittsburgh and the other at the Southpointe Center in Canonsburg. The centers were consolidated at Southpointe, because the RET programs transitioned from onsite classes to online delivery. Moreover, it was cost-effective to consolidate the separate operations. The offices for Cal U Global Online also relocated from California to Southpointe. Regional Enterprise Tower (RET) The Cal U Pittsburgh site, which was located in the Regional Enterprise Tower at 425 Sixth Avenue, Suite 430, was established to conduct training and other educational activities to those 200 pursuing upper level or graduate studies or who were employed professionals seeking additional education. RET offered both credit and noncredit classes and programs through traditional and distance education or online formats to serve working adults. There were a computer classroom, multimedia lab, and videoconferencing classroom/meeting space. The master of arts degree programs offered through the Pittsburgh location, which evolved into mostly online programs also available through the main campus, included: a master of arts in Social Science, master of science in Legal Studies, Law and Public Policy, and. a K-12 Administrative Program for principals with a master’s degree in Education. There also were three certificate programs, including a Certificate in Homeland Security, Superintendent Letter of Eligibility Program, and K-12 Administrative Program for Principal’s Certification. Cal U Executive Vice President Joyce Hanley said no programs will be cut as a result of closing the RET campus and moving operations to Southpointe (J. Hanley, personal communication,, July 14, 2009). Fall 2002, RET began offering customized job training through the state-sponsored WEDnetPA program (Workforce and Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania), which helps employers train workers for free (“WEDnetPA,” 2006). Over 10,174 individuals enrolled in classes to enhance worker performance. Ninety percent of those classes were at employee work sites throughout southwestern Pennsylvania and represented over 50 companies (“Report on Support to RET, 2002-2007, 2009). Southpointe Center Southpointe Center, located at 135 Technology Drive in Canonsburg, opened in January 1997 to reach adult learners. It offers programs geared to the needs of area residents and businesses. Master of science programs in Business Administration and Elementary Education with 201 Certification are offered at the site. The site has three computer labs, a library with electronic accessibility, and fiber optic connections for distance learning and video teleconferencing. Over $100,000 of distanceeducation equipment is in use. Southpointe also offers tailored training to workers through the WEDnetPA training program. Twenty to 25 companies participated in the program at Southpointe in each of the last four years. The number of classes increased from 68 in 2004-2005 to 355 classes in 2006-2007. The numbers dropped in 2007-2008 to 163 classes and 1,582 participants. Grant funding for the program was cut during 2007-2008. January 2008, Southpointe introduced 11 classes in an Executive Training Series. The program grew to 63 classes by Fall 2008 with an enrollment of 178 students. The total enrollment for the Building Instructor Training Program was 106 over a four-year period (2004 to 2008). Only one person participated in online Linux training” (“Report on Support to Southpointe,” 2009). Clarion University Partnership Through Interactive Television (ITV) Clarion Athletic Training students can attend their own University, while completing 25 credits from Cal U through Interactive Television. The students complete a degree in Athletic Training through Cal U that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, but earn a bachelor of science degree from Clarion. The 2008-2009 academic year was the ninth in which all enrolled students successfully completed the Board of Certification exam in Athletic Training. Clarion and Cal U share the tuition for these courses, but all other resources are separate. 202 Analysis The University’s Office of Student Retention and Success has developed a strong plan for helping underprepared students succeed at California University of Pennsylvania. The Office of Student Retention and Success plans to develop an umbrella, “upfront” program tailored for students who are identified at risk. This program will be available during the first semester an underprepared student is at Cal U. It would be noncredit and require graduate assistants or workstudy students to help it succeed. A program like this deserves support. Student Retention and Success also is considering expanding the Probationary Assistance Program to include anyone who does poorly at the midterm. This deserves exploration. Cal U’s certificate programs are aligned with the University’s Mission and appear to be rigorous, as many of the courses are the same that students in traditional undergraduate programs take. The University’s policies for awarding experiential credit seem to be working well; however, it has been a number of years since the policies were implemented. It may be time to review the entire process to ensure that Prior Learning Assessment credits are supported by credible evidence and awarded according to published policies and procedures. The Summer Educational Enrichment for Kids Program is an innovative mean to get children comfortable with being on a college campus and learning new things. An assessment of the classes should be offered and an analysis conducted to determine future offerings. Southpointe offers many training programs through the WEDnetPA program, and its new Executive Training Series appears to fill an important need in the business community; but, the site needs to work even harder to provide additional training and noncredit courses for corporations. Its location near Pittsburgh makes this feasible. Southpointe ought to explore 203 offering noncredit classes for the nearby community to fill the gap left when they were no longer offered on campus. Moving the RET program to Southpointe seems sensible and economical, as the RET program had evolved into an online program. The Character Education Institute should continue providing character education training and, perhaps, should explore finding other outside participants for its services. Finally, the administration should study the needs of contemporary adult noncredit learners who live in Cal U’s geographical vicinity. Conclusion California University of Pennsylvania has made many strides to retain underprepared students and is considering other measures. This demonstrates the University’s commitment to its core values of integrity, civility, and responsibility. It also shows the University is aware that in this time of economic uncertainty, every student is valuable. Retaining students is both the economically prudent and the ethical thing to do. While the University’s administrators, faculty, and staff focus on helping potential new and current students, there also is a need to develop programs that appeal to adult workers, people interested in noncredit classes, and those not in close proximity to campus. The University has developed many ways to reach these markets, including Cal U Global Online and Southpointe, the latter of which serves business needs for training employees and also helps adult learners get the education they need; however, it must continue to be innovative and visionary. Recommendations Establish programs that appeal to adult workers, such as those for which they can receive continuing education units. 204 Develop noncredit courses for individuals seeking personal enrichment, but not college credit.1 1 The Recommendation Progress Report/Action Plan is contained in the cover letter. 205 STANDARD 14: ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT LEARNING Introduction Assessment of student learning at California University of Pennsylvania is essential in providing students with a rigorous, competitive education and in measuring whether Cal U is fulfilling its Mission by building character and careers. The administration, faculty, and staff are committed to using student performance results to improve academic courses and programs, the General Education program, co-curricular programs, and other educational offerings. The Roots of Cal U Assessment Plan In 1989, the College of Science and Technology was the first to investigate Assessment of Student Learning (ASL). By 1990-91, a University-wide committee, after evaluating assessment on campus, concluded not enough was being done to measure what students learned or could do after taking classes or participating in other educational experiences. With the help of a small State System of Higher Education grant, the academic colleges met in 1992-1993 to design program-level assessment models. Those models included educational philosophies or mission statements tied to the University’s Mission Statement, educational goals (outcomes) and measurable educational objectives. Dr. Donald Farmer, a nationally recognized consultant in course-embedded assessment of student learning, evaluated the plan. The associate deans of the three undergraduate colleges initiated and monitored the assessment program. Dr. Gail Ditkoff, appointed interim provost in 1996, was to promote and advance the assessment of student learning. At the same time, the Board of Governors of the State System of Higher Education adopted its own policy, Assessing Student Learning Outcomes (Board of Governors, January 16, 1997) and Ditkoff worked with faculty to develop Cal U’s plan, based on the state plan. Cal U hosted a system-wide workshop on program-level assessment, and later, the University incorporated into its assessment strategy a model that Dr. James Nichols presented at 206 the workshop. Cal U’s Institutional Plan for Assessment of Student Learning included a Coordinating Committee and subcommittees for Undergraduate Academic Majors (programs), Graduate Programs, Developmental Skills in Mathematics, Reading, and Writing, General Education, and Co-Curricular Programs. By the end of the first year, the Undergraduate, Developmental, and General Education committees had results. Ditkoff returned to the faculty, however, and was not replaced. She recommended that a coordinator be named to oversee Cal U’s assessment plan and that the person have power to enforce compliance with the plan. She said a budget was needed to fund the program and reward participants. The associate provost for Student Retention, who was appointed in October 1996 and responsible for a new student retention policy, now also was to oversee assessment. From 1997-2000, Undergraduate and Developmental Academic programs participated in student assessment. In 1999, General Education introduced a new program after a review. Some graduate programs did program-level assessments. Student Affairs, with the associate provost for Student Retention, developed an assessment model that a Middle States Visiting Team of 2000 praised. Although commending some academic and nonacademic departments for their assessment strategies, Middle States evaluators found that Cal U’s assessment plan was in a development stage. The University’s Committee on Institutional Effectiveness and Outcomes submitted a Periodic Review Report, responding to issues arising in the 2000 Middle States report in Standard 14, Assessment of Student Learning. The report discussed the progress made between 2000-2005 and also described the assessment plan’s organizational structure. Plans for 20052010 were to integrate the Assessment of Student Learning with Five-Year Program Reviews, to publicize the use of data from the Five-Year Program Reviews, and to make these available to 207 the University Community through Mission Days and the University Forum, which would help in setting annual institutional goals. The plans also called for the University Forum Budget Committee to link assessment data to the budgeting process. The University was to produce a University Fact Book annually to distribute to the University Community. In a communication dated June 29, 2007, The Middle States Commission asked for documentation of progress in: (1) implementing a cohesive plan for Assessment of Student Learning, (2) using assessment results to improve student learning, and (3) linking planning and assessment to budgeting. Cal U’s response stated that: (1) the University had developed a plan to tie in with the Board of Governors’ assessment policy for the State System of Higher Education, (2) courses and curricula were adjusted because of assessment results, and (3) there was a proposal, which was described, to integrate program and student learning data with the budget process (Helldobler, 2007). As described above, the Institutional Plan for Assessment of Student Learning involves five major groups: A. The Developmental Studies Committee, consisting of the directors of the Mathematics Laboratory, the Reading Clinic and the Writing Center, as well as the associate provost for Student Retention and Success. B. The Graduate Committee on Program-Level Assessments, which originally consisted of the Graduate School Council and the dean. There have been five deans since 1997. There also has been an increase in graduate programs and enrollment, with much of this growth because of the new Cal U Global Online program. All faculty teaching online have to be certified by either the eCollege or Blackboard course platform providers that the instructor knows how to develop course content. The Global Online faculty have surveyed program graduates about the quality of the programs and teaching. Since Spring 2008, the Graduate 208 School has used software (Course Eval, Academic Management Systems) to conduct student evaluations of faculty. In 2007-2008, the new dean reemphasized the importance of determining what students learn (J. Cencich, personal communication, Spring 2009). (See Appendix 14A for an evaluation of Graduate Program Reports). C. The Undergraduate Committee on Program-Level Assessments consists of the college coordinators representing each undergraduate college and the associate provost for Student Retention. The associate deans, who first were responsible for implementing program-level assessment, were phased out in 1997-1998, requiring appointment of college coordinators. At first, the college coordinators received three-credit workload equivalencies for their assignments. Later, they lost the workload equivalency; however, each was allocated $3,500 per year from Faculty Professional Development funds. Each program has an Outcomes Assessment facilitator who works with the college coordinators to ensure compliance with Assessment of Student Learning (H. Langley, personal communication, Spring 2009). Each year, the associate provost publishes guidelines with a timeline for program-level assessments (Langley, September 12, 2008). Information also is available on the Campus-Wide Intranet System. A policy of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors requires the 14 state system universities to complete a Five-Year Program Review (Board of Governors, July 15, 1986; rev., October 17, 1991; rev., October 9, 1993). The plan was revised in 1993 “to include more emphasis on assessment data” (Middle States Periodic Report, 2005, p. 45). Cal U is now integrating the annual and five-year program reviews (Outcomes Assessment Committee, February 2, 2005). An electronic report form guide is available to explain the process and help new department facilitators (“Undergraduate-Graduate Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes Report Form,” 209 2006, Revised, September 12, 2008). Each year, the associate provost for Student Retention and Success provides a summary document that rates the academic program-level Assessments of Student Learning. The provost, college coordinators, and deans are among those who receive the ratings. (See Appendix 14B for the ratings of program assessments from 2000-2001 to 2007-2008.) D. The General Education Committee is randomly sampling courses from the General Education menus to determine if the courses demonstrate student learning tied to the objectives of General Education. Several years previously, a General Education Subcommittee on Assessment tried to evaluate student learning. E. The Co-Curricular Committee no longer exists, but the associate dean for Student Development and Services and his staff monitor program assessments and Five-Year Reviews for the departments in Student Development and Services. Academic Assessments Courses That Count Toward Graduation The University-Wide Curriculum Committee approves all courses. They must have a protocol syllabus that lists the course objectives and assessment activities tied to the learning objectives (“California University of Pennsylvania Guidelines for New Course Proposals,” February 27, 2006). The deans’ offices keep copies of the syllabi, as do the departments. Some departments, like the Mathematics and Computer Science Department, post syllabi on their Web pages. Professors give students a syllabus at the beginning of the semester. Some professors require students to sign statements that they have read and understand the syllabus. Others give quizzes on the syllabus or incorporate quiz questions about the syllabus into other exams. All non-tenured faculty are observed by peers each semester and by the chairperson once a 210 year, and students evaluate them every semester. Every five years, tenured faculty are observed by a peer each semester, and evaluated by students in one class each semester (Agreement Between Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, 2007, p. 25). Developmental Courses In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the University administration decided to reduce the number of developmental courses. Developmental courses carry University credit, but the content is below college level. The credits do not count toward graduation. Developmental Mathematics. In the late 1990s, a Developmental Math Committee in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science monitored the courses, an arithmetic class (MAT 098), Introductory Algebra (DMA 092), and Intermediate Algebra (DMA 094). In 1997, the department dropped MAT 098 from the schedule. Today, students who need help with basic arithmetic – the equivalent of fifth grade mathematics – must seek remedial help in the Math Laboratory before they can take additional math classes. In Fall 2001, the department also dropped DMA 094, a voluntary class for students who did not make sufficient progress in DMA 092. The department now offers just DMA 092. The mathematics faculty have developed a common syllabus and a common exit examination. The director of the Math Laboratory annually reports the assessment results for DMA 092. The course has been offered online since Fall 2003. Tutorial services are available through the Office of Student Retention. Data show students do as well or better in the online courses compared to the in-person classes. The University usually offers one late-start DMA 092 course for students having trouble with an online DMA 092 course (“Final Report-Outcomes Assessment for Introductory Algebra e.g. Algebra,” Fall 2006). 211 Developmental reading. Through Fall 2002, Cal U offered one developmental reading course, Reading, Studying and Listening Skills (EDE 100). After the administration decided to reduce developmental offerings, the reading faculty developed a college-level, three-credit class, Critical Thinking and Reading (EDU 110). The class is for those students who need help in reading, but the course also satisfies a General Education requirement for a class from the Critical Thinking Menu. EDU 110 was first offered in Fall 2003, and two classes per fall and spring semesters are offered. Students who need help with reading skills may visit the Reading Clinic on a noncredit basis. The director of the Reading Clinic teaches EDU 110 and assesses the course using the Nelsen Denny Reading and Vocabulary standardized assessment. The director collects data about the number of students the Reading Clinic serves and the help they receive. Developmental writing. There is one developmental writing course, English Language Skills (ENG 100). In the late 1990s, the director of Freshman Composition assessed student learning in ENG 100, 101, and 102. The current director of Freshman Composition also is director of the Writing Center. The assessments had not been done for awhile, but resumed in Fall 2008. According to a General Education Program Self-Study, “We know of no instance in which these two functions have been successfully combined under one director” (2004, p. 27). Academic support. The Mathematics Laboratory, Reading Clinic and the Writing Center provide students with support to succeed and even excel in coursework. For example, students who want to earn top grades in calculus, or in composition or literature courses, are encouraged to use the Math Lab or Writing Center, respectively. The centers also are prime sites for remediation. The Academic Scheduling and Placement Testing Center is responsible for placement testing, scheduling of new students, and scheduling of students who haven’t declared a major. The center 212 monitors student progress and helps students with their academic planning. In December 2006, the Math Lab, Reading Clinic, and Writing Center moved into offices in the Noss Building. This move was based on a plan, Consolidation of Learning Resources (2001). Each area is to assess its services annually. Academic Development Services, which is located on the fourth floor of Manderino Library, runs the Tutoring Center where students can get help for specific classes. The services are evaluated every year. Program-Level Assessments The administration has encouraged departments to link assessment with their Five-Year Program Reviews, which many are doing. By early December, the Assessment of Student Learning facilitators in each department meet with their college coordinators and, if appropriate, the associate provost for Student Retention and Success. Programs that link their assessments to their Five-Year Program Reviews do not need to file Interim Reports. Those that have not, are required to file Interim Reports by mid-December. The Interim Reports include items a-e on the following list; Year-End Reports also include items f-h. Thus, Final Reports include: a. The academic department and program being assessed. b. The departmental philosophy and a list of three to five learning goals. All goals must be evaluated. c. A list of 6 to 12 learning objectives clearly linked to the goals. d. A list of two objectives to be assessed in each academic year. All objectives are to be measured at least once in a five-year period. e. Two means of measuring each objective. One is to be an objective measure of student learning, producing data on what students learn as the result of a class or what they 213 can do. f. Year-End Reports are due in September for the previous academic year. g. The report must show evidence the department decided how to use the assessment results. h. The Year-End Report must identify at least two objectives for the forthcoming year. i. The college coordinators receive the reports and evaluate them. j. The college coordinators and the associate provost then reach group decisions on the evaluations. k. The evaluations are shared with departments, deans, and the provost. Figure 14.1 shows how Outcomes Assessment works at the program level. Figure 14.1. The Program-Level Model in Summary I. Departmental or program educational mission statement IV. Assessment Record Recommendations for: * no change * follow trend * collect more data * change II. Educational goals (3-5) IV. Assessment Record cont. d. Use of Results: Department or program-level review of results Annual Program-Level Assessment Cycle IV. Assessment Record cont. c. Assessment Results collected and analyzed for each means of assessment for each objective Source: Office of Student Retention and Success. III. Learning objectives (6-12) Linked to Goals, e.g. Obj. 1, Goal II IV. Assessment Record a. Two means of assessment for each Objective b. Criteria for success stated for each means of assessment 214 Supporting Materials Departmental facilitators receive, by e-mail, guidelines, a report form and a sheet for listing their five-year assessment plan. Other Assessment of Student Learning documents are available on the Campus-Wide Intranet System. They include: (1) a calendar and annual guidelines, (2) examples of verbs linked to Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning (knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation), (3) department examples, (4) frequently Asked Questions and the Mission Statement, (5) a tutorial on completing the form, (6) guidelines for preparing a Five-Year Program-Level Outcomes Assessment plan, (7) examples of measuring tools, (8) other tutorials, and (9) a list of the college coordinators and others in charge of Assessment of Student Learning and a description of what the departmental facilitator does. Job Duties for Outcomes Assessment Undergraduate College Coordinators. The coordinators work with the department facilitators to provide advice, editorial comments, and other help. They also work with the Undergraduate Committee on Assessment of Student Learning to approve departments’ Interim or Five-Year Assessment Plans. In addition, the coordinators assist facilitators to interpret or use results, and assess each Year-End Report in their college. A committee, consisting of the three coordinators and associate provost of Student Retention and Success – The University Committee on Program-Level Assessment of Student Learning -- can challenge or approve the proposed ratings. The coordinators give the ratings reports to their respective deans, and the associate provost of Student Retention sums the findings and gives the results to the provost. Undergraduate Department Facilitators and the Graduate Coordinator. In 2006-2007, there were 37 departmental facilitators: six for the College of Education and Human Services, 12 for the College of Liberal Arts, and 19 for the College of Science and Technology. There were 20 Graduate Program coordinators. These people are responsible for working with the faculty in 215 their programs to provide Interim, Annual, and Five-Year Assessment Plans. They oversee data collection and how the data are used to improve the program. At the undergraduate level, the facilitators seek help from their college coordinator. At the graduate level, the coordinators seek help from the undergraduate college coordinator or dean of the Graduate School. University Committee on Program-Level Assessment of Student Learning. This committee of the college coordinators and the associate provost for Student Retention and Success prepare final ratings of the Year-End Assessment reports. The ratings are: Approved. The reports have acceptable educational philosophy statements that are related to the University’s Mission of building character and careers. The educational goals are welldeveloped and stated appropriately. The educational objectives are measurable, stated appropriately, and linked to the goals. The measures of assessment and criteria for success are well-developed with the means of assessment clearly identified and the criteria for success clearly stated. At least one measurement must be a direct measure of what students have learned. The results are presented clearly. The numbers are identified. Where percentages are used, a number must be specified. There is an analysis of the data. There is evidence that the faculty in the department or program made a collective decision to: (1) make no changes, (2) watch for the trend over the next year, (3) accumulate more data, or (4) make program changes. Needs Improvement. The Year-End Report contains all the components, although at least one area is deficient and does not meet all the criteria of an “Approved” rating. For example, the measures of assessment are not clear, the criteria for success are not stated or are not clear, the data are not presented or analyzed, or the way the results were used is not specified. Making Progress. The department or program has made a legitimate attempt to implement the model; however, two or more areas lack substance. In some cases, there has been improvement over previous attempts. 216 No Progress. The department or program’s Year-End Assessment has not improved since the previous submission. There is no apparent progress and little or no evidence that the department considered previous recommendations. Not Submitted. The Year-End Report was not submitted. Not Evaluated: If there were no graduates from a program or if the program was phased out, there is no report to evaluate. Ratings Of the 45 undergraduate programs subject to evaluation in 2006-2007, 29 submitted Year-End Reports. Of the 29 submitted, the ratings were: Approved – 17, Needs Improvement – 3, Making Progress – 7, and No Progress – 2. In 2007-2008, there were 46 programs subject to evaluation. The ratings were: Approved – 15, Needs Improvement – 16, Making Progress – 2, and No Progress – 2 (H. Langley, personal communication, Spring 2009). (See Appendix 14B for the undergraduate program ratings from 2000-2001 to 2007-2008.) On the whole, the graduate programs have lagged behind the undergraduate programs in submitting Year-End Reports. A few areas, like Counselor Education, submitted completed reports each year (See Appendix 14A for a summary of the assessment reports that graduate programs submitted from 2001-2002 to 2007-2008.) Since 2000, 31 undergraduate programs received at least one “Approved” rating and another 12 have received at least one “Needs Improvement” rating. Until recently, only a few programs such as Nursing and Technology Education have consistently received “Approved” ratings. Consistency correlates positively with accreditation. Those programs that have accrediting agencies that emphasize assessment of student learning are more likely to receive consistent ratings from one year to the next. Some programs assess all learning objectives every year, such as Nursing and Counselor Education (H. Langley, personal communication, Spring 2009). 217 Some departments did not complete the Year-End Reports. Reasons include: (1) there are no real penalties for not doing the assessments, (2) there are modest and inconsistent rewards for completing the process satisfactorily, and (3) department facilitators change frequently and often are the most junior of faculty for whom the task is daunting. Return of Assessment Early on, those who supervise Assessment of Student Learning planned to establish an assessment process and fold it into the Annual and Five-Year Reports. The data would provide an ongoing evaluation of the process and effects of changing the curricula. The goal was to use the data to improve student learning. However, the Annual Reports were discontinued for several years. In 2007-2008, the Annual Reports were reintroduced. Once again, the Assessment of Student Learning data from the Annual Reports is supposed to inform assessment analyses for the Five-Year Reports (H. Langley, personal communication, Spring 2009). Program Level Assessments – Teacher Certification Four departments in the College of Education and Human Services that are responsible for Teacher Certification have common methods for assessing student learning. The methods comply with discipline accrediting agencies, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Educators (NCATE) and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Seven-Step Assessment System. The Initial Teacher Certification program and the Advanced Teacher Education programs use a seven-step assessment system. The students and professors collect and prepare data for this system throughout the year and the information is summarized and analyzed once a year. The LiveText system is software that allows data to be collected continuously and individual reports prepared (Jones, 2008). The Initial Certification Program uses this seven-step assessment system: 1. Praxis Series 218 a. Pre-Professional Skills Test – Reading b. Pre-Professional Skills Test – Writing c. Pre-Professional Skills Test Mathematics d. Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge e. Praxis II 2. Conceptual Framework Survey a. Level 1 b. Level 2 c. Level 3 3. Grade Point Average a. Overall Grade Point Average b. Content Grade Point Average (Secondary Education Majors) 4. Candidate Professional Disposition Index a. Level 1 b. Level 2 c. Level 3 5. Common Portfolio a. Performance Principles 6. Student Teaching a-g. Seven Categories and Overall Rating 7. Specialized Program Association Requirements a. These vary by program. Each program earns national recognition after review by a Specialized Professional Association. Table 14.1 lists the Specialized Program Associations. 219 As teacher education students move through the certification system, they reach certain “transition points” when their learning is assessed. Table 14.2 shows the transition points for students in Initial Certification Programs: 220 Table 14.1 Specialized Professional Associations (SPA) Program SPA Art NAEA National Art Education Association Early Childhood NAEYC National Association for the Education of Young Children Elementary AECI Association for Childhood Education International Foreign Language ACTFL American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages Special Education CEC Council for Exceptional Children Technology Education ITEA/CTTE International Technical Education Assoc./Council on Tech. Teacher Education Biology NSTA National Science Teachers Association Chemistry NSTA National Science Teachers Association Communications NCTE National Council of Teachers of English Earth and Space NSTA National Science Teachers Association English NCTE National Council of Teachers of English Mathematics NCTM National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Physics NSTA National Science Teachers Association Social Studies NCSS National Council for the Social Studies Source: Compiled by the College of Education and Human Services. As teacher education students move through the certification system, they reach certain “transition points” when their learning is assessed. Table 14.2 shows the transition points for students in Initial Certification Programs. 221 Table 14.2 Assessment Transition Points for Initial Certification Programs Decision Point Assessment 1. Admission GPA of 2.80, Completed 48 to 65 credits; Passing PRAXIS I exams (Reading, Writing and Mathematics); Act 34, Act 114, and Act 151 Clearances; Completed Speech & Hearing Test, Introductory course with a C or better, 6 credits of college level mathematics with a C or better, and 6 credits of composition/literature with a C or better; Attended 3 seminars or 1 conference, the Conceptual Framework Survey-Level 1, and the Self Rating Candidate Professional Disposition Instrument-Level 1; have a professor complete the Candidate Professional Disposition Instrument: Level 2; and have another person complete the Candidate professional Disposition Instrument: Level 2. 2. Entry to clinical practice Passing score on Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge PRAXIS exam (not required if seeking 7-12 certification), Passing score on the PRAXIS II Subject Assessment exam (s), Attended 6 seminars or 2 conferences, earned a C or better in all required courses in the major, possesses a 3.00 GPA, possess a passing score on the Performance Principles Portfolio Review on LiveText, Possess Act 34, 151, 114 Clearances that are valid through the end of the student teaching experience, and must have a $1,000,000 liability insurance policy. 3. Exit from clinical practice Passing score on the Pennsylvania Statewide Evaluation Form for Student Professional Knowledge and Practice (PA-430 form) with a score of “1” or higher in each category, receive a “Met” or higher rating on the Candidate Professional Disposition Instrument-Level 3, and pass a department exit interview. 4. Program completion Complete all required courses, graduation requirements, and the PDE 338C and PDE 338G forms. 5. After program completion Complete a recent program completer’s survey and have their employers complete a survey. Source: Compiled by the College of Education and Human Services. The Pennsylvania Department of Education sets the Grade Point Average, professional tests, and coursework requirements. The College of Education and Human Services requires seminar attendance, surveys, and disposition assessments to meet the recommendations of the Specialized Professional Associations, NCATE and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The college has remediation plans for students who do not meet the requirements. The Advanced Certifications follow the seven-step assessment system. Each program has 222 unique assessments. Table 14.3 shows the transition points for those seeking advanced degrees or certifications: Table 14.3 Assessment Transition Points for Advanced Degree and Certificate Programs Administration Principal 3.00 GPA, Letter of Endorsement, copy of all certifications held, statement of career goals and objectives. Completion of required coursework. Portfolio, Evaluation Maintain GPA, of Internship. Praxis II. Administration – Superintendent 3.00 GPA, Letter of Endorsement, copy of all certifications held, statement of career goals and objectives. Completion of required coursework. Successful completion of Internship experience. Reading Specialist 3.00 GPA, Act 34, 151, and 114 Clearances, PA Teaching Certificate. Completion of coursework. Completion of Case Study. School Psychologist 3.00 GPA, 15 credit hours in Psychology, letters of recommendation, autobiographical essay, Miller's Analogy, Interview. 3.00 GPA in coursework, Faculty Interview, Pre-Internship Competency Exam. Experience Logs, Satisfactory Supervisor Rating, Employer Praxis II, Portfolio. Diversity Project, 4 Surveys Consumer Satisfaction Surveys. 3.00 GPA, letters of recommendation, Pyscobibliography, Miller's Analogy, Interview. Pre-Professional Skills Test Reading, PreProfessional Skills Test Writing, Pre-Professional Skills Test Mathematics, 6 credits of college level mathematics, 6 credits of English and composition. 600 hours, Portfolio, 5 Reaction Papers, Mid-term and Final Evaluation Forms. School Counselor Employer Surveys Comprehensive Employer Exam, Pass Praxis Surveys Praxis II, Comprehensive Exam. Employer Surveys Passing score on Competency Exam, All required Employer coursework Surveys completed, Pass Praxis II. 223 Speech Language Impaired 3.00 GPA, B.S. in Speech Pathology/Audiology/Communication Disorders, GRE Score, letters of recommendation. Act 34, 151, and 114 Clearances, Completion of coursework 400 ASHA supervised hours GPA of 3.00 Maintain GPA Supervisor Recommendation. ASHA Certification 9 month OTJ Experience Elementary Education with Certification 3.00 GPA, ACT 34, 151 and 114 Completion of Clearances and passing score on PRAXIS I coursework Completion of coursework Pass PRAXIS II Employer Surveys Elementary Education Noncertification 3.00 GPA, Act 34, 151, and 114 Clearances. Completion of coursework Completion of coursework Passing Comprehensive Exam. Employer Surveys Secondary Education Noncertification Teacher Certification. Portfolio, Completion of Coursework, IRB Approval. Thesis approval, Advanced Survey. Technology Education NonCertification Bachelor's degree, 3.00 GPA. NA NA Maintain GPA Surveys 1 year after completion Surveys 1 year after completion NA Source: College of Education and Human Services NCATE Report 2008. The administrators and faculty of the Teacher Education program rely on a variety of external assessments to manage and improve the program. For example, reviews by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Educators, and the accrediting bodies of national discipline-related associations may comment on field experiences, programs, or other matters. Administrators and faculty use advising and course evaluations to improve the individual programs, as well as the overall program. Because of their concerns about fairness, accuracy, and consistency of assessment instruments, they: (1) use multiple assessments for each standard, (2) use analytical rubrics, (3) use multiple raters, and (4) provide training in using assessment instruments (K. Koury, personal communication, Spring 2009). 224 Assessing Co-Curricular Programs Student Development and Services The Division of Student Development and Services assesses in the following areas: tracking, needs, satisfaction, culture and campus environment, learning outcomes, national standards, costeffectiveness, and comparisons to programs at similar universities. To comply with polices of the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, departments do five-year internal reviews and 10-year external reviews. Departments also complete annual plans and End-of-Year Reports as part of the Program Review process. These documents tie together the departments’ assessment efforts, program review findings, and mission. The goal is ongoing improvement (P. Fazio, personal communication, Spring 2009). Documents Used Departments use the following documents to guide their assessment plans: (1) the Initial Department Assessment Proposal, used to draft the plan, (2) the Department Assessment Plan, which is the final, approved plan, and (3) the Assessment Summary Form, a two-to-three-page summary of the findings. Divisional Assessment Plan The various components of the divisional assessment plan include: Tracking. The Division keeps track each year of the numbers of programs offered and the numbers of students served. The division also describes the students by gender, race, ethnicity, age, university class standing, residence, and other demographic variables. Needs Assessment. The Division staff try to determine the kinds of services, programs, and facilities that students and others need, based on student and staff perceptions, institutional expectations, and research. For example, a needs assessment of the educational programs offered in the residence halls could determine if the programs met residents’ needs and suggest 225 the kinds of educational programs to offer. Needs assessment is part of the Five- and 10-Year Program Reviews. Satisfaction Assessment. The division surveys those who use its services and tries to determine their level of satisfaction. It attempts to discover what they view as strengths and weaknesses of a program, service or facility. For example, a satisfaction study of those who use recreational facilities may indicate whether the hours the facility is open are the hours when the users have discretionary time. Satisfaction assessment is part of the Five- and 10-Year Program Reviews. Student Cultures and Campus Environment Assessment. The Division may survey students and others to determine opinions on questions such as: What is the climate for women on this campus? What is the academic environment, both inside and outside the classroom? What is the overall quality of life in residence halls? What is the climate for students of color? Student Cultures and Campus Environment assessment is part of the Five- and 10-Year Program Reviews. Learning Outcomes Assessment. A Division may survey students who use a program’s services and facilities, to find if there is any effect on their learning, development, academic success or other student-learning outcomes, particularly when compared to nonusers. It also wants to know the effects of what the Division offers and if these are the intended ones. Learning Outcomes Assessment is part of the Five- and 10-Year Program Reviews. National Standards Assessment. The Division may research how its programs, services, and facilities compare to accepted national standards. The division uses Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) standards and guidelines to measure if departments meet minimal standards for their mission, goals, policies, funding, programs, services, and other items. A CAS Self-Study is part of the Five- and 10-Year Program Reviews. 226 Cost Effectiveness. The Division prepares a cost-effectiveness template to analyze the costs and benefits of its programs, services, and facilities. Cost effectiveness assessment is part of the Five- and 10-Year Program Reviews. Comparable Institution Assessment (Benchmarking). The Division may research how its services, programs, and facilities compare with the “best-in-class” comparable institutions. The key is to choose universities that have good assessment programs, rather than rely on anecdotal or reputation information. Sharing Assessment Information The departments in the Division of Student Development and Services give Division deans copies of mission statements, goals, strategic plans, and assessment plans in Annual End-of-Year Reports. The deans review this information with the departments and give them direction for the next year. The annual plans are aligned with the University Strategic Plan. Reports are stored in the office of the associate dean for Student Development and Services who coordinates the Five-Year Program Reviews for the departments in the Division and all assessment efforts. (See Appendix 14C for the Student Development and Services Program Review Timetable; Appendix 14D for a schedule of when Division departments conduct assessments; and, Appendix 14E (“Framework”) for results of departments on a “Desirable Student Learning and Development Outcomes” Assessment that the departments have used since 2006-2007 to assess student learning.) More emphasis needs to be placed on the Assessment of Student Learning component. General Education The current General Education curriculum was first offered to students in Fall 1999. The General Education Committee reports to the provost, and because the majority of the classes on the General Education menu are in liberal arts, the dean of the College of Liberal Arts serves as 227 the liaison between the committee and the provost. The Colleges of Education and Human Services and Science and Technology deans serve as ex officio committee members. Students are required to take 49 to 51 General Education credits. In Fall 2003, the General Education Syllabus Review Subcommittee started screening course syllabi of General Education classes to see if they complied with the goals and objectives of their menu area. The first Five-Year Program Review reported that 134 of 504 courses were reviewed. Of those, 85 percent were in compliance (“General Education Program Review,” 2004). The Outcomes Assessment Subcommittee of the General Education Committee developed an assessment plan for 2004-2009, and attempted to assess mathematics and writing. The attempts were not successful, and the 2004 “General Education Program Review” pointed to “the overwhelming logistics” involved in doing these assessments (p. 10). The subcommittee also proposed an Action Plan (December 2004) to develop a set of learning outcomes and a process for implementing assessment. The plan was to: (1) develop a five-year assessment plan (done in 2005-2006), (2) measure the impact of General Education on student achievement (done in 2006-2007), and (3) implement an annual process for Assessment of Student Learning with a review of appropriate measurements (done in Fall 2007) (“Academic Program Review Summary Form,” 2009). Currently, courses from the various menus are selected by a random sampling method. Data were collected in Fall 2007 and Fall 2008 and await collation and analysis (P. Hettler, personal communication, 2007, 2008). Managing the assessment process is time-consuming, and no one on the General Education Committee has release time to devote to the process. First Year Seminar is the one course that has been evaluated annually since its start. A faculty member oversees instruction and course content. There is a common syllabus for all who 228 teach the class, as well as an instructor’s handbook. There is a new faculty orientation, mentoring of faculty who need help, a textbook designed for Cal U, and opportunities for faculty to have input in the class. Students take pre- and post-tests to assess what they believe they have learned. Students comment on what they think worked best and what they liked least, among other items. Table 14.4 displays the results of pre- and post-tests for First Year Seminar in Fall 2008. The Office of Continuous Improvement surveyed students on the effectiveness of First-Year Seminar in 2007-2008. The results were positive. Five questions asked students how they felt about what they learned from the course, and average responses ranged from 3.79 to 4.27 on a 5point scale. When asked whether they would recommend the class to others, 88.4 percent answered, “Yes” (N. Hasbrouck, personal communication, 2008; H. Langley, personal communication, 2008). Building Character and Careers California University of Pennsylvania’s Mission is building character and careers. In Fall 2007, the provost called a meeting of the Performance Indicators Group on Student Persistence to discuss four-year graduation rates. The group chose three goals to pursue: (1) Building Character, (3) Building Careers, and (3) graduation in four years (a Performance Indicator for Performance Funding from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education). The group listed activities to accomplish for each goal (“Performance Indicators Group on Student Persistence, November 14, 2007). In Fall 2008, the new provost reconvened the group who decided that the Division of Academic Affairs, including Admissions, needed a comprehensive academic plan (“Strategic Plan, 2009-2012, Draft 3,” April 17, 2009). 229 Building Character The University’s core values of integrity, civility, and responsibility, promote the building of character. The University also has a list of Students’ Rights and Responsibilities that also addresses character issues (“Rights and Responsibilities,” January 26, 2009). Table 14.4 Evaluation of First-Year Seminar Topics, Fall 2008 Topic 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Test Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post 212 526 268 540 433 714 191 535 272 495 165 635 254 387 235 532 126 556 171 558 A Pre A In % 1 17 2 22 3 36 4 16 5 22 6 14 7 21 8 19 9 10 10 14 A = I know a great deal about this topic B = I know something about this topic C = I do not know anything about this topic Numbers and Percentages B 17% 885 73% 54% 427 44% 22% 753 62% 55% 413 42% 36% 669 55% 73% 252 26% 16% 747 62% 55% 400 41% 22% 652 54% 51% 451 46% 14% 592 49% 65% 306 31% 21% 677 56% 40% 501 51% 19% 758 63% 54% 415 42% 10% 678 56% 57% 379 39% 14% 626 52% 58% 362 37% Post A Pre A & B In % In % 54 90 55 84 73 90 55 77 51 76 65 63 40 77 54 82 57 67 58 66 Topics: (1) Academic Policies & Procedures (2) Health & Wellness (3) Time Management (4) Campus Life Issues (5) Manderino Library 118 20 192 23 116 10 273 36 287 28 451 31 284 85 215 32 405 43 416 48 C Post A & B In % 98 98 99 96 97 97 91 97 96 95 (6) 10% 2% 16% 2% 10% 1% 23% 4% 24% 3% 37% 3% 23% 9% 18% 3% 33% 4% 34% 5% N 1215 973 1213 976 1218 976 1211 971 1211 974 1208 972 1215 973 1208 979 1209 978 1213 968 N = 1,073 Campus Resources for Writing (7) Financial Aid (8) Career Options (9) Academic Advising (10) Scheduling, Registration 230 Academic Programs Academic programs specify how they build character in their mission statements, educational philosophies, and student learning goals and objectives. There also are programs that place a major emphasis on character development. Leadership minor. The College of Liberal Arts offers a Leadership Minor, consisting of 21 credits, including an internship and portfolio. School Psychologist and Counselor Education graduate programs. Students are assessed in the following area: (1) “Professional Identity,” using the ethical standards of the American Counseling Association (2) “Social and Cultural Diversity” on, for example, “cultural context of relationships, issues and trends in a multicultural and diverse society,” and (3) “Helping Relationships” by demonstrating counseling processes. Students also develop counseling skills by completing a 750-hour supervised clinical experience (K. Koury, personal communication, Spring 2009). Teacher Certification programs. All prospective teachers take the Candidate Professional Development Instrument, Level 1, which measures one’s disposition. Categories measured include: “Integrity,” “Civility,” “Responsibility,” “Professionalism/Maturity,” and “Professional Development and Lifelong Learning.” The Annual Academic Report for the Department of Secondary Education for 2007-2008 (Department of Secondary Education, 2008) shows the results for education students who took the Conceptual Framework Survey, Level 1. Students also took Level 2 of the Candidate Professional Development Instrument. Values menu. Students are required to take a three-credit “Values” class from the General Education menu. Academic integrity policy. The University’s Academic Integrity Committee wrote a policy 231 statement, in 1998, that covers students’ academic integrity including cheating in various forms. The Council of Trustees approved the policy, which states: Truth and honesty are necessary prerequisites for all education, and students who attempt to improve their grades or class standing through any form of academic dishonesty may be penalized by disciplinary action, ranging from a verbal reprimand to a failing grade in the course or dismissal from the University. If the situation appears to merit a severe penalty, the professor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean or to the provost. The student may appeal the penalty as outlined above, with the Academic Integrity Committee hearing appeals above the level of dean (“Cheating and Plagiarism: Academic Integrity,” 2003). From 1998 until Fall 2000, the committee that helped develop the plan served as its enforcer; however, no cases came before it. The committee became inactive, but it was reconstituted and expanded, in 2002, with Student Government leaders, faculty from each of the colleges, and a dean from Student Affairs joining the committee. The committee followed the Academic Integrity Assessment Guide from the Center for Academic Integrity at Duke University. In November 2002, the committee surveyed 41 classes, and 819 students took an Academic Integrity (AI) survey. Dr. McCabe from Rutgers University tabulated the results. Based on the results, the committee drafted recommendations that the committee submitted to the provost. A few of the recommendations were implemented, e.g. Student Retention and Success developed a brochure about Academic Integrity. New students receive the brochure in Orientation materials. First-Year Seminar instructors cover academic integrity, including cheating and plagiarism, during the ninth week of instruction (2006 First Year Seminar Instructor’s Guide). 232 The AI Committee was dormant for awhile then, in 2009, the new provost reactivated it with a charge to bring recommendations to her for implementing the educational component of the AI Policy (G. Jones, personal communication, Spring 2009), (“AIC Recommendations.doc,” 2003). Student Development and Services Student Code of Conduct. The Undergraduate Planner, given to all incoming students, as well as the Vulcan Adventure Student Handbook, available on the Cal U Web site, list and explain the Student Code of Conduct. Among the items included are: “Students’ Rights and Responsibilities,” a definition of the University’s core values, an explanation of pertinent laws, and a description of what happens for breaking campus policies or municipal ordinances (The Vulcan Adventure Student Handbook 2008-09; Undergraduate Planner, 2007-2008). Emerging Leaders Program. The program is offered to freshmen to “encourage growth in decision-making, planning and fulfillment of career and life goals; and to enhance the quality of the student experience with the University setting” (Undergraduate Planner, 2007-2008, p. 15). Student Association Inc. The Undergraduate Planner also describes the history and role of the Student Association, Inc. (2007-2008, pp. 74-79). Cal U Activities Transcript. Any student is able to document his or her extracurricular activities, including job shadowing, internships, and co-op experiences. The transcript includes: leadership activities, professional and educational development, honors, awards, recognition, participation, and community service. An organization representative must validate each activity (“Cal U Activities Transcript,” n.d). Clubs and organizations. More than 100 clubs and organizations provide opportunities for students to get involved, learn something new, lead a group, and participate in recreation (Undergraduate Planner, 2007-2008, pp. 97-99). 233 Other areas. In addition to academic and student development programs, other areas help students develop their characters, including: Character Education Institute. The Institute is responsible for training the campus community and surrounding area in FranklinCovey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” and in other Covey material. The “Seven Habits” training is free to all faculty, staff, and students. During 2007-2008, there were 151 participants in Covey workshops, including three percent staff, seven percent faculty and 84 percent students. September 2007, Dr. Stephen Covey visited campus, and spoke to more than 1,600 people. He headlined another workshop on campus in late July 2009. In October 2007, the members of the Administrative Council completed “Leadership: Great Leaders, Great Teams, Great Results.” In September 2008, members of the Administrative Council completed “Leading at the Speed of Trust.” Fourteen faculty and staff members are certified facilitators for “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” Five people are certified to teach “The Four Disciplines of Execution,” and five are certified to teach “Leadership: Great Leaders, Great Teams, Great Results” (Paul, 2008). Office of Social Equity. The Office of Social Equity is responsible for Cal U’s Affirmative Action Plan. During Student Orientation, students learn how to recognize sexual harassment, and how to handle various situations. Orientation. Among the information students receive during Student Orientation, they learn about the University’s Mission, Core Values, and students’ Rights and Responsibilities. Institutional Review Board. The Institutional Review Board evaluates all research project proposals that involve human subjects. All projects that require, for example, surveys, interviews, testing, and observation, must be approved prior to collecting data and information. Instructors who assign class projects using human subjects must apply for get prior IRB approval (“Institutional Review Board,” February 12, 2009). 234 Building Careers. All academic preparation leads to careers or admission to graduate and professional schools. Students have ample opportunity to take advantage of the many career-related services offered by the University. Career Advantage. In the mid-1990s, the Office of Career Services developed a Career Advantage Plan, which is a model for career assessment, exploration, and implementation. The challenge has been how to integrate the plan into the University curriculum and encourage students to develop individual plans. In 2002-2003, staff from the Office of Career Services worked closely with those from First Year Seminar. The Administrative Council and other councils were informed of the progress. The result is that First Year Seminar instructors now use Career Advantage material. A Campus Life Issues component has been restructured. Students now take the Strong Interest Inventory, and learn about the “Skills Employers Desire” and the Activities Transcript. Some of those involved in this project made a presentation at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Student Affair Conference in May 2005 (Langley, Delverne, Gifford, et al., May 2005). Students first learn about the Career Advantage plan through recruiting letters and orientation material. Academic scheduling focuses on selecting a major and includes placement testing, an introduction for students to the scheduling process, and scheduling of the first semester classes. Students may call upon Student Success Facilitators throughout the year. First Year Seminar emphasizes life planning, time management, and campus life issues, including organizational involvement to build skills, the Organization Fair for student clubs, and the Activities Transcript. The seminar also covers career exploration, including interpretation of the Strong Interest Inventory, the Career Advantage Plan (enrollment is tracked through the 235 Activities Transcript), and academic plan development and preparation for early registration the next term. Faculty in academic departments meet with majors and other students to explain course and program requirements. Faculty advisors help students register for classes, co-ops, and internships. They also encouraged students to join discipline-related student organizations. Students who are undeclared majors receive advising and scheduling assistance from the Academic Scheduling Center. Students are encouraged to take Career Exploration (XCP 194), a one-credit class that is designed to help them investigate interests compatible with their abilities. The Office of Career Services surveys graduates each year to find out what job offers they receive or whether they attend graduate school. The results are published on the Career Services Web page (Career Services Class of 2006 Graduate Survey). Career Services also files an annual report that shows the number of students taking advantage of Career Services and other data. The Internship Center. The director makes personal contacts with area businesses, nonprofits, and government offices to pinpoint internship opportunities for students. The two-person staff makes daily updates to its listing, and sends targeted e-mail to faculty who may have students in mind for particular jobs. For example, Department of History and Political Science faculty receive announcements for county government and political campaign internships. Students are encouraged to visit the center for assistance in finding internships and completing paperwork. All internships must be approved by the faculty advisor, the onsite person supervising and evaluating the student, the department chair, and the college dean. The Internship Center, similar to other programs, prepares a Five-Year Program Review. The center’s review from 2007 outlines a plan for reviewing the quality of internships and for assessing what students learn through their experiences (K. Primm, personal communication, Spring 2009). 236 Communicating about the Assessment of Student Learning Communicating about the assessment of student learning is necessary to create a “culture of assessment.” Courses -- Faculty The University-Wide Curriculum Committee approves new courses and changes to existing ones. The Curriculum Committee chair generally conducts an FPDC workshop on writing protocol syllabi and navigating the approval process. A syllabus template may be found in the Public Folders, along with information about proposal submission deadlines and other pertinent information. The committee makes sure that a course’s learning objectives are tied to measures of assessment. The California University of Pennsylvania Faculty Handbook serves as a guide to faculty about academic expectations, policies and procedures (rev., 2009). Professors who seek to have a course placed on a General Education menu submit a department-approved syllabus, which confirms the Curriculum Committee’s guidelines. The objectives of each General Education course must be aligned with the objectives of the specific General Education menu in which the course will be listed. Courses – Students Students learn about course expectations through the course syllabus. All protocol syllabi for a course are approved by the appropriate department and the University-Wide Curriculum Committee. During Student Orientation and registration, Academic Scheduling Center staff inform students about course expectations. The University catalogs also describe these expectations. The Vulcan Adventure Student Handbook (2008) describes academic policies. Mission Day 2007 was devoted to course-level assessment of student learning. Data from the first National Survey of Student Engagement indicate that Cal U students are less engaged in a “culminating senior experience” and spend less time “preparing for class” than their counterparts 237 nationally (“NSSE 1,” 2005; “NSSE 2,” 2005). The survey was to be administered in Spring 2009 to determine if emphasizing academic expectations during Orientation and class scheduling had an effect. Courses – Staff Staff learn about course expectations through department meetings, printed media, the University Forum, the Staff Convocations, and Mission Day. Programs – Faculty Faculty in disciplines with accrediting bodies learn about program-level expectations through accrediting agencies, and all faculty are given copies of the California University of Pennsylvania Faculty Handbook (rev., 2009). Groups that have accredited Cal U and its undergraduate programs are listed on the “Accreditations” Web page of the University Undergraduate Catalog (2003). Accredited graduate programs may be located by following the individual program links on the School of Graduate Studies and Research’s Web page (n.d.), “Program Information.” Each department develops program-level assessments of student learning using either accrediting agency guidelines or department-generated measures that are reviewed by the Assessment of Student Learning Committee. Departments and faculty are expected use assessment data to improve programs, course content, and instruction. Programs – Students Students learn about program expectations during Orientation and then during academic advisement in their departments. All departments have printed “advisement sheets” that list the courses required for a specific course of study, such as a major, minor, concentration, or certificate program. The college catalog and student planner also help students review program expectations. First Year Seminar also helps in this review. Extracurricular organizations associated with majors help to reinforce program-level expectations. Academic Scheduling 238 Center staff provide program-level information during scheduling of new students and registration of continuing students. Seventy-seven percent of first-year students rate the quality of academic advising as good or excellent (“NSSE 1,” 2005; “NSSE 2,” 2005). On the American College Testing Service’s “Student Opinion Survey from 2005, students rated the value of information provided by an adviser as 3.72 on a 5-point scale (ACT 05 Responses – 30 Local Questions, 2005). Programs – Staff Staff learn about program-level expectations through department meetings, printed media, University Forum, Staff Convocations, and Mission Day. Institutional Level – Faculty Faculty learn about institutional-level expectations through New Faculty Orientation, the Faculty Handbook, each department’s accrediting organization and the General Education curriculum. The Faculty Professional Development Committee sponsors workshops during the academic year to help communicate to faculty about teaching and learning, research, service, grants, and technology (Faculty Professional Development Center home page, July 23, 2009). Institutional Level – Students Students learn about institutional expectations during Orientation and the admissions process. The college catalog and Student Handbook outline what is expected of students. First Year Seminar covers academic policies and procedures, career exploration, advising, and developing academic plans. Students learn about General Education requirements from Academic Scheduling Center staff during summer scheduling, and current students are counseled about General Education requirements during registration. Degree Audit workshops help students stay on track with General Education and major course requirements (“On-Course Degree Audit,” May 22, 2007). 239 Institutional Level – Staff Staff learn about institutional-level expectations through department meetings, printed media, Staff Convocations, Mission Day, and University Forum. (Appendix 14F displays in chart form the ways the University informs students about the course, program and institutional expectations of learning. (Appendix 14G displays in chart form the ways that faculty and staff learn about the University’s expectations of student learning at the course, program and institutional levels.) Mission Day President Armenti approves the topic for the annual Mission Day, which is a time when administrators, faculty, staff, and students gather to reflect about an aspect of the University’s Mission. In Fall 2006, Alan Guskin presented a view of the future of higher education that included larger class sizes and increased faculty workload, which led participants to discuss ways to improve the lives of faculty, administration, staff and students (“Dr. Alan Guskin Addresses Mission Day Crowd,” October 30, 2006). Participants emphasized the importance of assessment to maintain quality as the University develops alternative means to aid instruction. In Fall 2007, Anne Fay, director for the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence at Carnegie Mellon University, presented information about the assessment of student learning at the course level. Participants discussed ways to improve course-level assessments. (“Mission Day X,” October 15, 2008). University Forum The University Forum represents various campus constituencies, including faculty, administrators, staff, students, and alumni. Although it is a recommending body, the majority of its policy recommendations have been instituted. (See Chapter 4 for a detailed discussion of the Forum.) Using Student Assessment Data 240 Student data are assessed at the course, program and institutional levels. Course Level At the course level, objectives are tied to assessment measures, and assessment measures are tied to grades. Faculty use assessment data to evaluate how effective the instruction is and what students learn. Students do student evaluations of professors and courses. Many professors use the quantitative and qualitative information to make adjustments to their courses. The Faculty Professional Development Committee and its Subcommittee on Teaching and Learning help faculty improve teaching through workshops and grants. The Office of Student Retention monitors students’ midterm and final grades. The office notifies students who have at least one grade below “C” at midterm about the academic support they may receive. Supplemental tutoring instruction is available in courses in which there are a high percentage of final grades below “C.” For students who are placed on probation, there is the Probationary Assistance (PASS) Program. The program was designed, in 1997, to offer students assistance with such things as goal-setting, study skills, and time management. In 2008, the program was redesigned, and students now receive small-group instruction in which the facilitators use constructivist teaching methods. The groups average 6 to 10 students each. Teacher Education programs identify students who do not have the expected grades and grade point averages that the programs require. These students are counseled through a remediation plan or advised to change their majors to non-certification areas. Program Level Assessment data help improve programs, the methods in which course material is delivered, and the emphasis on certain learning outcomes. Data have been used to justify hiring faculty members with special expertise, buying equipment, or supporting applications for accreditation. 241 Assessment data also are used in annual reports, Five-Year Program Reviews, and program accreditations (See Appendix 14H for the ways some program data have been used.) Institutional Level The University administers several national surveys on a rotational basis. The American College Testing programs Student Opinion Survey, been given every other year since 2001. Students take the National Survey of Student Engagement every four years, and faculty take the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement every four years. The data help University administrators decide if positive changes are occurring. The data also are sent to PASSHE, which uses it in calculating universities’ performance on the Performance Indicators and for evaluating the presidents of the state system. Every three years, the University also supervises the Cooperative Institution Research Program survey, in cooperation with the State System of Higher Education (N. Hasbrouck, personal communication, Spring 2009). The Office of Continuous Improvement surveys student, faculty and staff perceptions of campus services and issues to determine their level of satisfaction. Since 2001, the office has conducted 225 surveys, including those for other programs (N. Hasbrouck, personal communication, Spring 2009). Effectiveness of Assessment Models Used in Academic Affair and Student Services Members of the University Committee on Assessment of Student Learning, in addition to materials on the Campus-Wide Intranet System, help faculty with assessment. External consultants, such as Dr. Donald Farmer in 1993, Dr. James Nichols in 1997, Dr. Alan Guskin in 2006, and Dr. Anne Fay in 2007, as well as a number of program and unit consultants for national accreditation, have brought new ideas and perspectives to the assessment process (See Appendix 14I for a list of the assessment methods used at Cal U). In general, the assessment tools provide valuable information to faculty and staff; however, 242 more help and new methods are needed to help them respond to the changes in and expansion of the University’s assessment programs. Staff are responding to more students who require academic support services, and many faculty would like assistance in the design and administration of surveys, as well as the collation and analysis of data. The slightly more than 10 percent increase in the second-year persistence rate among students (65.66 percent in 1995-1996 to 74.97 percent in 2004-2005) may be attributed, in part, to using information from various student assessments. Since 1998-1999, the second-year persistence rates have been above the national level of 70.5 percent (“Performance Funding Reports” folder, 2009). The University has improved its four-year completion rate for institutions with similar admissions standards from 13.75 percent in 1994-1998 to 27.05 percent in 2001-2005. The sixyear graduation rates have increased from 39.94 percent from 1993-1999 to 46.45 percent from 2000-2006 (“Performance Funding Reports” folder, 2009). While the data are not readily comparable, the national five-year completion rate for institutions with Cal U’s admissions criteria is 35.8 percent (“ACT Institutional Data File,” 2007). Career Services conducts annual surveys about job placements and employer satisfaction with graduates. Overall, the survey results have been positive. (See Chapter 9 for a discussion of Career Services.) At the program level, many programs and departments have submitted acceptable annual reports and Five-Year Reviews. Twenty-one of 32 potential programs are nationally accredited. Every department is required to submit a Five-Year-Report, and programs that deal with student learning must include segments on Assessment of Student Learning in their Five-Year Reports. The reviews are sent to the Office of the Chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education with recommendations for program continuance. Assessing Student Learning: Requirements and Recognition 243 Requirements Departments were required to complete annual reports until the late 1990s. They had to summarize assessment of student learning results, including the way the results were used. The data were to aid deans and the provost in making decisions about budgets, equipment, the faculty complement, and other areas. However, because of the time it took to complete these, the provost discontinued them. Since 2007-2008, however, the reports have been reinstituted. A section in the annual report asks for data on assessment of student learning outcomes. Programlevel assessment data can be used for the annual reports (Barnhart, 2009). Since 1986, the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education requires every department at the University to do a Five-Year Program Review. The Board of Governors’ policy states: “The review process must be integrated with strategic-planning and budgetary processes, with regional and specialized accreditation processes, and with student learning outcomes assessment” (1986, rev. 1991, rev. 1993, p. 1). In 2003, the policy was amended with an “Administrative Procedure” that states: “Reviews of academic programs shall include analyses of data pertaining to the following criteria: Student Learning Outcomes – Describe the knowledge and skill outcomes and how they are assessed” (October 9, 2003). Accreditations The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education expects that each academic program with a nationally recognized accrediting agency secure accreditation; in addition, most national accrediting agencies require effective assessment of student learning. Program-level assessments have helped secure accreditation; conversely, when accreditations are required, program-level assessments are done well, independent of other extrinsic rewards. The departments have aligned their program-level assessments of student learning with the expectations of the 244 accrediting agencies (“Student Learning Objectives: An Essential Component of Accrediting,” March 25, 2003). Recognition There are intrinsic rewards in assessing learning. Faculty may initially oppose what seems to be an intrusion into their domain, although often realize that a well-developed assessment program of student learning at the program or institutional level gives coherence to the curriculum and improves student learning. There are extrinsic rewards, as well. When departments take assessment seriously, they have reliable data to include in their annual reports, Five-Year Reports, and accreditation applications. There also are financial incentives for doing assessments. In the early 1990s, academic budgets, already modest, were cut 50 percent. By 1998, the funds were partially reinstated. The associate provost for Student Retention and Success received $2,500 to help departments purchase standardized tests and other material. Since 1998, the academic deans or provost has given money to some programs that successfully complete assessment plans, especially those receiving ratings of “Approved” or “Needs Improvement” (H. Langley, personal communication, Spring 2009). In the last several years, the University has fared well in meeting its Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Productivity Targets, receiving productivity funding as a result. Some of the productivity money is used to help accreditation efforts, and some is given to programs based on assessment of student learning. For example, the dean of the College of Science and Technology set aside $13,449.42 for Student Learning Assessments in 2006-2007 and of that, Applied Engineering and Technology received $3,586.51; Nursing – $1,793.26; Math and Computer Science – $1,793.26; and, Earth Sciences – $6,276.39. In 2007-2008, the Science and Technology dean had $23,245.35 that he gave to eight departments, ranging from 245 $858.13 to $3,575.85 (Colelli, 2007-2008; Colelli, 2008-2009). The University recognizes achievement in assessment of student learning, but the “awards” depend mainly on Performance Funding from the state system. In addition to the financial incentive, each year, the Institutional Assessment Committee evaluates the program-level assessments and shares the results with the deans who then recognize the standout departments at the respective college Councils. The associate provost for Student Retention and Success has also recognized the programs and faculty who have done exemplary assessment work by holding awards ceremonies in the spring of 2002 and 2009. Each area presents its assessment model and how it uses the data. Analysis The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors’ policy on assessment guides California University of Pennsylvania’s assessment efforts. Assessment data help improve instruction and student learning at the course, program, unit and institutional levels. The support for assessment has been modest in tough budgetary times, as much effort has been focused on marketing programs, retaining students, and improving student graduation rates. The emphasis on getting programs accredited has positively affected assessment of student learning. Programs with accrediting agencies that emphasize student learning have developed model assessment processes and effectively demonstrated how assessment data can be used to improve teaching and learning. Data on assessment of student learning are available and located in a number of offices across campus. Although there is no central repository for data on assessment of student learning, the program-level assessments get summarized in both annual Year-End reports and Five-Year Program Reviews. The Five-Year Program Reviews should serve as a compilation of assessment of student learning. 246 Assessment of Student Learning plans must align with University’s Mission and state directives; valid measurements are necessary to gauge student learning; and, departments and programs need to use the results to strengthen their delivery (courses and services) to help ensure student success. Figure 14.2 shows the way assessment results flow. Figure 14.2. Flow of Use of Results of Assessment of Student Learning Course-Level Program-Level Institutional-Level Academic Courses Developmental Courses Program-Level content modification All Academic Programs Year-End Reports on Assessment of Student Learning Annual Reports Five-Year Program Reviews Co-Curricular Assessments General Education National Accreditations Character Education Institute Career Services/Internships Continuous Improvement Middle States Ten-Year Review Source: Office of Student Retention and Success The University responded to a Middles States communication, from 2007, by detailing a process to distribute funds based on Assessment of Student Learning results and their use (Helldobler, 2007). 247 Basically, a University-Wide Assessment of Student Learning Committee should be redesigned so it has representation from the following areas so it can be truly University-wide: Academic Affairs, the General Education Committee, Student Development and Services (cocurricular programs), undergraduate and graduate deans’ offices and faculty, the Character Education Institute, Career Services Offices, the Internship Center, the Office of Institutional Research, the Office of Continuous Improvement, and the Division of Informational Technology. The president should empower the committee, and the committee should report to the provost or the provost’s designee. The Assessment of Student Learning Committee should have a budget and a means to effectively monitor, evaluate and reward areas for exemplary practices of assessment of student learning. It also should ensure as much as possible, that measures of success and rewards for success are equitable. The committee should oversee the Institutional Plan for Assessment of Student Learning and help identify resources that can be shared and those resources still needed. An Assessment Resource Center research service could help faculty and staff design appropriate assessment methods for developing, administering and analyzing discipline-specific surveys, including alumni surveys, as well as create and analyze course-specific and programspecific research studies on student learning. The center would serve as a repository for data on student learning at all levels. Teacher Education programs effectively monitor student progress in the programs. The LiveText tool should be explored to see if all academic and student development programs could use it to track student progress. LiveText might be combined with the Activities Transcript, and thus there would be one tool for monitoring students’ progress in building character and careers. The faculty need assistance with instructional design, the effective use of technology in teaching and learning, and opportunities to enhance instructional skill in cooperative learning, 248 collaborative learning and other innovative instructional methodologies: The emphasis should be on improving the effectiveness of instruction and quality of student learning. Effective assessment of student learning ensures that changes in teaching methodology and delivery, in response to a variety of external forces, improve what students know and can do. These resources could be housed in the Assessment Resource Center, the Faculty Development Center or the library or a combination of these. Much is being done to support the ultimate mission of the University. However, more emphasis needs to be placed on alignment of the various activities and efforts. More emphasis needs to be placed on actual measures of what students know or can do as a result of exposure to a myriad of educational experiences, particularly in the area of character development. Mission Day is an annual opportunity for all members of the University to share ideas and concerns for the University. Emphasizing assessment of student learning at the course, program and institutional levels, and showcasing exemplary on-campus efforts, would help encourage, recognize and reward assessment efforts. Annual reports and Five-Year Program Reviews should have well-defined components that require evidence of assessment of student learning. There should be an emphasis on using the results to improve teaching and learning. A “Plan of Action” should include the costs estimated for using the results. Five-Year Program Reviews also should include evidence that the results actually were used. When appropriately structured, annual reports serve as a key step in developing Five-Year Program Reviews. Within each Program Review there is an Action Plan for the next five years. The action plan should be linked to budgetary projections for faculty and staff complement, facilities, equipment, and operational funds. This budget information then would be available to the deans, the president and his Cabinet. Conclusion 249 California University of Pennsylvania has come a long way since 1989, when the College of Science and Technology was the first to investigate Assessment of Student Learning (ASL). The institutional Plan for ASL is based on the BOG’s Policy of the State System of Higher Education: Annual ASL plans are linked to Five-Year Program Reviews for all academic departments. The General Education Committee has been assessing General Education courses, since 2007, and is revising the way it operates, in part, to improve assessment of student learning. Student Development is re-focusing on ASL within its assessment model. Information about ASL is available from many sources. Strong ASL, aligned to the University’s Mission and goals, helps the University realize its essential educational objectives, and retain students, provided that instructors and departments make effective use of the results. The University receives Performance Funding for retaining and graduating students. Thus, administrators and faculty are recognizing that assessment of student learning is a key component in retaining students and in the drive for continuous improvement. ASL, however, requires time, skill and money. Most areas of the University recognize the need for strong ASL, and now there needs to be a serious commitment to move assessment to the next and more structured level of excellence. Recommendations Redesign the Assessment of Student Learning Committee to make it truly Universitywide by adding representatives from the General Education Committee, Student Development and Services (co-curricular programs), undergraduate and graduate deans’ offices and faculty, the Character Institute, Careers Services office, Internship Center, Office of Institutional Research, office of Continuing Improvement, and Division of Informational Technology. The president should empower the committee, which would report to the provost or provost’s designee. 250 The Assessment of Student Learning Committee should have a budget and means to monitor, evaluate, and reward areas for exemplary practices of assessment of student learning. The Assessment of Student Learning Committee should oversee the Institutional Plan for Assessment of Student Learning. An Assessment Resource Center research service could help faculty and staff design appropriate assessment methods for developing, administering, and analyzing disciplinespecific and program-specific studies on student learning. It also could serve as a repository for data on student learning. Live Text could be considered as a tool for academic and student development programs to track student progress. It could be combined with the Activities Transcript to monitor students’ progress in building character and careers. Provide faculty with assistance in instructional design, the effective use of technology in teaching and learning, and opportunities to enhance instructional skill in cooperative learning. These services could be provided through the Assessment Resource Center (#4), the Faculty Professional Development Program, the library or a combination of these. Much is being done to support the University’s Mission, Building Character, Building Careers. However, more emphasis needs to be placed on alignment of the various activities and efforts. Periodically, Mission Day could be used as a vehicle to emphasize the assessment of student learning at the course, program, and institutional levels. Exemplary on-campus efforts should be showcased. 251 Annual reports and Five-Year Program Reviews should contain well-defined components that require evidence of assessment of student learning. An emphasis should be placed on analyzing and using the results to improve teaching and learning. A Plan of Action (within the Five-Year Program Review) should include the estimated cost of implementing the assessment recommendations. For example, action plans should be linked to budgetary projections for faculty and staff complements, facilities, equipment, and operational funds. The information would be shared with the deans and the president and his Cabinet.1 1 The Recommendation Progress Report/Action Plan is contained in the cover letter.
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