Chapter 7:  Criterion Three, Student Learning and Effective Teaching

The organization provides evidence of student learning and teaching effectiveness that demonstrates it is fulfilling its educational mission.

 

Background on formal assessment:

  • Chadron State College has been involved in formal academic assessment since 1991.   
  • In the fall of 2002, the college required that student-learning outcomes be developed for each course offered by the college and published in the course syllabi; most syllabi are in compliance. (RR70)  These outcomes were aligned with the development of overall student outcomes for each academic program.  
  • In 2003, each academic program and all student and support services units on campus were required to develop or modify existing yearly assessment plans to reflect each program’s or unit’s contribution to student learning and student learning outcomes. 
  • In 2003, the college sent a team of eight people, including the Academic Vice President, the two academic Deans, the Assistant Vice President for Extended Campus Programs, the Director of Institutional Research and three faculty members, to the American Association of Higher Education (AAHE) assessment workshop in Omaha, NE. 
  • In November of 2004, the college sent a team of eight people, including the two academic Deans, and six faculty, to the AAHE and HLC sponsored “Making a Difference in Student Learning: Assessment as a Core Strategy” workshop in Lisle, Illinois.  The overall goal of our team was to align program assessments with the new HLC standards on assessment of student learning by developing a critical mass of faculty who were capable of presenting campus-wide workshops on assessment.  The concept was to move the campus from compliance to a culture of assessment by providing professional development opportunities in assessment on campus over a period of months.  During the winter of that year and spring of 2005 the college held one all-day and one half-day workshop on the basics of assessment.  This allowed a majority of the campus personnel to share a common language and vision for assessment, which greatly facilitated the refinement of unit assessment plans.
  • Also in 2004, the previous Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs extensively studied and reviewed the assessment function of the college.  The complete report from this office may be reviewed at http://www.csc.edu/vpaa/csc_assessment_final.doc.  The conclusions of this assessment report indicated the following status of campus assessment:
    • Program assessments were in various stages of implementation
    • Program assessments were not well articulated
    • Program assessments did not regularly look at program improvement, but rather at program status quo as compared to a standard
    • Student outcomes were not identified in many cases within the academic programs
    • Student outcomes were not related to the discipline standards
    • Feedback loops in many cases were weak

Recommendations for improvement of the assessment process were also included in this report.  Some of these recommendations have been implemented, but most have not due to the resignations of the college’s president and academic vice president at the end of the 2004-05 academic year.

·    In the 2004-05 and 2005-06 academic years, the Faculty Senate Academic Review Committee, charged with the overseeing of academic programs and their assessments, worked to develop a new assessment plan for General Studies based on student learning outcomes.  This process took two years of conversations and meetings among the committee as well as faculty who teach in the various categories within General Studies.  At this point, student-learning outcomes have been identified and faculty members are currently developing course-embedded assessments and a system to share and analyze results.  Please see the 2007-09 General Catalog for the program’s student learning outcomes. (RR57)

·        In the fall of 2006, Chadron State College was accepted into the “pioneer cohort” for the new Higher Learning Commission Academy for the Assessment of Student Learning. (RR41)  The college began its four-year participation in the Assessment Academy by sending a team of ten faculty and administrators to the three-day Assessment Academy roundtable in November 2006 in Lisle, Illinois.  Detailed plans for the college’s improvement in assessment over the next four years were developed at the Roundtable, and are posted on the HLC website, as well as on the college’s assessment website.

·        Another important development with regard to assessment is the CSC Data Warehouse, a collaborative project between Institutional Research and Computer Services.  It was initiated in July 2005 to support planning and assessment of student enrollment and student services.  However, specific institutional research extractions are currently being used for internal and external data tracking.  Future plans for the warehouse include additional testing to refine the extraction process, as well as Internet accessible reports and queries.  

 

Core Component 3a:  The organization’s goals for the student learning outcomes are clearly stated for each department and make effective assessment possible.

 

Evaluative Statement for all of Component 3a

Similar to many institutions, CSC has a varied track record on creating effective assessment.  The academic programs have assessment tools identified.  CSC is making progress in developing a culture of assessment and improvement at the program levels.  Each program has widely-known learning objectives and well more than half of them collect some sort of assessment data.  There are three academic programs with specialized accreditations, requiring them to submit assessment information for disciplinary accreditation.  There is a regular seven-year cycle of program review that is effective in assessing the viability and effectiveness of existing programs.  Additionally all new programs are required to complete the program review process prior to approval.

 

Evidence cited:

1.      Student Learning Outcomes

2.      Review of the assessment instruments used at CSC.

3.      Review of the academic departments’ assessment status and feedback loop.

4.      Review of the non-academic units’ assessment status.

5.      Explanation of CSC’s program review process

6.      Examination of three CSC academic units’ Special Accreditation

7.      Results of the National Survey of Student Engagement 2004.

 

Discussion of 1st item of evidenceStudent Learning Outcomes

·        All academic programs of study at CSC have program assessment plans based on student learning outcomes. (RR138)   Course syllabi include specific learning outcomes that are subsets of the program learning outcomes.  Academic programs have their learning outcomes printed in the 2007-2009 College General Catalog.

·        A variety of direct and indirect methods of assessment are utilized by the academic departments.  “Assessment Day” is the first day of final exam week when no exams are given during the day.  This allows faculty to conduct assessments of graduating seniors, as well as time to meet with colleagues to discuss and analyze data.  Assessment reports for the previous academic year are due on October 1 each year.

·        During the past three years, the Faculty Senate Academic Review Committee has reviewed the General Studies requirements and each of the courses in the General Studies offerings.  During the past year the committee worked with faculty who teach courses in each of the twelve areas to develop student learning outcomes and measurable performance criteria for each area.  These learning outcomes and performance criteria are now printed in the new 2007-2009 General Catalog and will be appearing in all course syllabi in each area of General Studies. (RR70)  Course embedded assessments will be used in each course and faculty in each area will meet each semester to share results and discuss areas of improvement.  This process is part of the college’s plan for participation in the HLC Academy for the Assessment of Student Learning.  It will allow the General Studies faculty members to create assessment instruments, collect and share data, and implement changes within the General Studies program as indicated by their analysis.    

 

Discussion of 2nd item of evidenceReview of the assessment tools used at CSC

There are 13 academic departments and 17 program areas, including General Studies and Honors that provide academic instruction at CSC.  All together, these 17 units use 13 assessment tools.  These tools are:

    1. Assessments embedded in coursework and aligned with student learning outcomes.
    2. Employer views of students’ performance via surveys or internship reports.
    3. Exit interviews.
    4. Externally created standardized examinations.
    5. Faculty reported subjective assessment of learning.
    6. Oral examinations.
    7. Presentations or papers.
    8. Pre-tests and post-tests.
    9. Portfolios.
    10. Rubrics for assessment of learning.
    11. Satisfaction surveys of alumni
    12. Student reflections on learning.
    13. Supervisors’ reports on student teachers/teacher candidates.

 

The link below will show the assessment tools used by each department, or program:

Academic Programs

 

These tools include direct and indirect measures, and are used at a variety of points throughout the undergraduate program. Detailed plans for each academic unit are on file electronically and in hardcopy form in the college’s virtual resource room. 

 

Discussion of 3rd item of evidence - Review of the academic departments’ assessment status and feedback loop

 

Each of the 14 academic departments and two academic support units were assessed using the HLC Assessment Culture Matrix available on the HLC website at http://www.ncahlc.org/download/AssessMatrix03.pdf.  

 

The chart below shows the status of assessment for each academic department and academic support units as evaluated using the HLC Assessment Culture matrix above.  Dr. Thomas Swanke, Assistant Professor of Finance, provided the detailed analysis, and met with the individual academic departments and their academic deans to discuss the results of his analysis, and areas in need of improvement during the fall 2006 semester.

 

Program

Has Objectives

Culture of Assessment Implementation Stage*

Areas of Strength

Areas For Improvement

Applied Sciences

Yes

(5.83)

Shared Values

Student Involvement

Business and Economics

Yes

(4)

Structures

Shared Values/Student Involvement

Communications Arts

Yes

(3.5)

Structures

Student Involvement

Counseling, Psychology and Social Work

Yes

(6.3)

Shared Values and learning outcomes

Student Involvement

Education

Yes

(7.83)

Learning outcomes and Structures

Students

General Studies

Yes

(2.67)

Shared Values

Mission and Structures

Health, Physical Education and Recreation

Yes

(3.5)

Shared Values

Mission and students

Honors

Yes

No data

No data

No data

Justice Studies

Yes

(6.5)

Learning outcomes

Student Involvement and Structures

English

Yes (none for Spanish)

(4)

Shared Values

Learning outcomes (fix Spanish)

Library Media Program

Yes

(2.6)

Learning outcomes

Structures

Mathematical Sciences

Yes

(6.83)

Shared Values

Student Involvement

Music

Yes

(6.3)

Shared Values

Learning outcomes and Student Involvement

Physical and Life Sciences

Yes

(2.83)

Shared Values

Learning outcomes

Social Sciences

Yes

(3.3)

Learning outcomes

Shared Values (three sub units did not report)

Visual and Performing Arts

Yes

(2.83)

Learning outcomes

Faculty and Structures

Extended Campus

Yes

(3.8)

Shared Values and learning outcomes.

Student Involvement and Structures

* 1 to 3.99 – beginning of implementation; 4 to 6.99 – making progress in implementation; 7 to 9 – maturing stages of implementation

 

·        The departments’/units’ “overall” average assessment culture score and the whole academic average assessment culture score are:

 

            All Academic Programs                                    Academic Departments Only

            Average                       4.41 (out of 9)              Average 4.5 (out of 9)

            Standard Deviation       1.948                           Standard Deviation 1.98

·        The distribution is bimodal with five of the sixteen programs only scoring 2 out of 9.  Most of these were due to incomplete answers, poorly structured learning outcomes, or inexperience as a unit.  These new units are in the beginning implementation of the culture of assessment.  On the other hand, six of the sixteen units scored above 5.5.  Most programs are making progress on the culture of assessment, or are in the mature stages.

·        This evidence supports the first part of the assertion that Chadron State College is making progress in implementing a culture of assessment.  Both the score for academic departments and units, as well as departments only, are in the “making progress” range of 4 to 6.99.

Feedback Loops

Of the 17 academic programs that reported, eight have evidence of closing the loop and four are limited or in the beginning stages of feedback loops, while five units have not used assessment.  A detailed analysis of academic program assessment is available in the resource room (RR102).  Specific examples of programs that have “closed the loop” are as follows:

·        Counseling, Psychology, & Social Work: With the use of pre-test/post-test surveys, graduate counseling program exit exams and oral examinations, a portfolio rubric, and the National Counseling Exam, Counseling, Psychology, & Social has made program modifications including the following:

§         Implementation of materials that address weaknesses in standardized knowledge and skills including research and statistics and specific professional identity issues.  This includes the change of PSYC 536, Study of the Individual, to COUN 536, Foundations of Professional Identity.

§         Program adjustments including the dropping of the Substance Abuse minor in the 2007-2009 General Catalog due to changing regional requirements.  Much of the coursework will be required at the graduate level.

§         Modifications of individual courses to incorporate areas of concern from assessment reports.  These include students in Cognitive Psychology conducting online experiments, examining individual and group data, and making conclusions in order to demonstrate classic experiments and concepts.

·        Education:  Tools of assessment for the Education Department include supervisor and graduate surveys, research, shortage reports, and NCATE standards.  The following changes illustrate how data and research have been used to improve programs:

§         The teacher Intern Checklist (RR103) was revised based on supervisor surveys and changes in conceptual framework.  Content area supervisors, Education Department supervisors, and P-12 school cooperating teachers participated in the revision.

§         The name “student teaching” was changed to “Teacher Internship” to better reflect the emerging professionalism of candidates in the final field-based experience.

§         As a result of feedback from graduates, the Secondary Teacher Intern Guidebook (RR104) was developed and adopted to better prepare graduates for initial employment. 

§         The Teacher Work Sample (TWS) (RR105) was adopted and piloted as a result of research into best practices.  TWS process and rubrics were then revised to better reflect actual practice based on field testing and teacher feedback.

§         Due to the shortage report from the Nebraska Department of Education about certified teachers in public schools, an alternative certification process for bachelor’s degree-holding individuals was developed and implemented.

§         After a review determined that GRE data had a limited value for selecting applicants to the Graduate Program, the GRE requirement was dropped.

·        Justice Studies:  Rubrics for student oral presentations, essays, term papers, research projects, internship portfolios, and journals, along with faculty reflection statements and feedback from alumni, employers, internship supervisors, and exit exams have resulted in:

§         Revisions of the program’s assessment plans.

§         Re-writing of course descriptions for the 2007-2009 General Catalog.

§         The addition of a new focus area in Criminal Justice, the Forensic Science component.

§         The rearrangement of course offerings in Legal Studies such as adding to LS 232, Litigation, to the core, and splitting LS 338, Legal Research & Writing, into LS 238, Legal Research & Writing I and LS 338, Legal Research & Writing II.

·        English: Using self-reporting assessment tools such as exit surveys and graduate surveys, the English & Humanities Department can address specific concerns, such as:

§         Limited course offerings and diversity of choices, especially in genres and topics led to the expansion of offerings in topics courses.  For instance, Gothic Literature was offered in the fall of 2006 and a course, Angling in Literature, which will explore the theme of fishing in various genres of literature, has been proposed.

§         A lack of course emphasis on teacher preparation was addressed in the hiring of an English Education professor in the fall 2005.  She has constructed her syllabi to meet all NCATE standards and has added more literary criticism to Adolescent Literature course.

§         Grammar and writing deficiencies were addressed by the development of common student learning outcomes among Composition faculty along with the use of the Writing Center as part of their pedagogy.

·        Physical & Life Sciences:  Pre-test/Post-test, laboratory courses, and the capstone series of seminars and research have enabled Physical & Life Sciences to improve learning and teaching by:

§         Redesigning courses in which scores are less than acceptable on pre- and post-tests in order to increase student understanding and fundamental principle retention.

§         Adjusting experimental techniques used in labs to improve students’ abilities to effectively collect data in manners consistent with current scientific standards.

§         Adding preparation of laboratory notebooks to several laboratory courses to improve students’ ability to collect and analyze data and communicate the results in a more scholarly manner.

·        Social Sciences:  After five years since its first implementation of assessment plans, in the spring of 2007, Social Sciences will begin surveys of 2002 graduates in order to ascertain how well the department prepared students for their careers.  Based on the results and analysis, alterations may be made to course offerings, course requirements, and other program elements.

 

Discussion of 4th item of evidence - Review of the non-academic units’ assessment status

Ten of the student services areas that reported were assessed using the Assessment Culture Matrix described previously.  This chart shows the status of assessment for each of the reporting non-academic units:

 

Unit

Has Objectives

Culture of Assessment Implementation Stage *

Areas of Strength

Areas For Improvement

Admissions

No

(3.167)

Students and Structure (the Ambassadors)

Institutional Culture (both shared values and objectives) and shared responsibility of staff.

Advising

Yes

(2)

Structures (the Advising Center exists)

Better explanations for almost every question.

Athletics

Yes

(3.67)

Structures and Staff

Shared Values (no evidence given)

Financial Aid

Yes

(3.3)

Structures

Institutional Culture (no evidence provided).

Health Services

Yes

(5.67)

Institutional Culture and Staff

Student involvement in assessment

Housing and Residence Life

Yes

(2.3)

Staff and Structure

Institutional Culture and Student involvement

International Student Program

Yes

(2)

International students add breadth for student life

Clearly answer the questions given and tell your story

Office of Student Activities/Campus Activities Board

Yes

(3.85)

Student learning outcomes

Evidence of shared responsibility not reported

Transfer Student Guides

Yes

(2.5)

Structures

Explain better almost every question

TRIO Program

Yes

(5.83)

Structure and Mission

Staff shared responsibility

Tutoring Program

Yes

(5.157)

Shared responsibility for staff/tutors

Mission

* 1 to 3.99 – beginning of implementation; 4 to 6.99 – making progress in implementation; 7 to 9 – maturing stages of implementation

 

The units’ overall average assessment culture score is 3.585 with a standard deviation of 1.417.  The distribution is bimodal with four of the eleven units only scoring two out of nine, and four more units only scoring three.  Most of these were due to incomplete answers, lack of a mission statement or inexperience as a unit.  These units are in the beginning implementation of the culture of assessment.  On the other hand, there are three of the eleven units that scored five or above.  In general, they are classified as making progress on the culture of assessment.  This evidence supports the above assertion that the non-academic units are just beginning to adopt a culture of assessment.  The average score for the non-academic units is in the beginning range.

 

Case Studies

A few of the non-academic units are doing well in creating a culture of assessment.  Comments about these units and their assessment plans and reports follow in alphabetical order.

·        Health Services:  This unit has very good, measurable, goals.  Further, the tools used to measure these goals are clearly laid out, and changes resulting from assessment are well explained.   An understanding of the relationships among goals, assessment tools, and the use of data to suggest appropriate changes is evident.

·        TRIO – Project Strive Program:  This unit provides another example of the clear relationships between goals, measurement tools, assessment of the data, and changes resulting from assessment.

  • Peer Tutoring Program:  This unit provides clear program outcomes related to student learning.  Assessment results have a discernible impact on program improvement.

 

Discussion of 5th item of evidence - Explanation of CSC‘s program review process

 

As a member of the Nebraska State College System, CSC is subject to the policies of that system.  Policies 4100 (RR106), 4200 (RR107), and 4210 (RR108) specify the procedures for approving a new program and for reviewing the viability of a program.  These three polices show that programs desired by the students and stakeholders of CSC are created and maintained.

 

New Programs

·        Policy 4100, Program Approval, outlines the process for creating a new program in an academic department.  The department, or a sub-committee within that department, does a thorough analysis of the demand, for the new program, examining the expected numbers of students who might be interested in the area.  They estimate the number of employers interested in students with the kind of skills that the new program can create.  Lastly, they assess the impact of the proposed program on the resources of the department, and the school in which it will be housed. 

·        The department votes on whether to suggest the new program.  If the department approves the addition of the new program, the proposal is sent to the academic dean of the affected school.  The dean performs an analysis which is similar to the one performed at the department level.  If the dean approves the new program, the proposal is sent to the Academic Review Committee, a committee of the Faculty Senate, for approval.  A new graduate program also requires the approval of Graduate Council.

·        Upon approval from the Academic Review Committee, the proposal is sent to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.  If after considering the results of the previous analyses, the Vice President approves the program, it is forwarded to the President of CSC. 

·        If the President approves the new program, it is submitted to the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees of the Nebraska State College System (NSCS).  Working with the Board’s Academic Affairs Subcommittee, the Chancellor formulates a recommendation for the Board respecting the proposed program.

·        Upon Board approval, the proposal for the new program is submitted to Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education (CCPE).  The CCPE is charged with approving all new programs and reviewing all existing programs on a seven-year cycle for the colleges and universities in Nebraska.  In addition, the commission mandates service regions for all state colleges and universities.  The CCPE makes these decisions based on the Comprehensive Statewide Plan for Postsecondary Education at http://www.ccpe.state.ne.us/publicdoc/ccpe/compplan.asp.  If the program is approved by the CCPE, it is then implemented.

 

Program Review

·        On a rotating seven-year cycle set up by the CCPE, CSC reviews each of its existing academic programs.  The purpose of the review is to determine the quality and effectiveness of each program, the efficiency with which each is delivered, and the avoidance of unnecessary duplication in state college and university services.  The program review process includes department and campus review, review by the NSCS Board of Trustees, and finally review by the CCPE.  These reviews incorporate viability standards for programs that have been previously established by the CCPE.

·        The review is conducted using the same steps as described above for new programs, and it addresses the following four issues about the program:

1.      Its centrality to the role and mission of the College.

2.      Its consistency with the Comprehensive Statewide Plan for Postsecondary Education.

3.      The objective evidence of need and demand for the program.

4.      The adequacy of available and anticipated resources to support the program and indicators of program quality.

·        The review includes: a summary of the strengths and weaknesses of the program; determination of the continuing need for the program; student demand for the program; appropriateness of the program, given the goals of the institution and system; goals for the next five years, which are designed to promote the program quality; recommendations for program reductions or program discontinuations.

·        In the event that a program does not meet all of the above-mentioned criteria, CSC shall provide the Board with recommendations for terminating the program, or for taking corrective action that will improve and justify continuance of the program.

The source of this information is http://www.nscs.edu/Policy Manual.html.

 

Discussion of 6th item of evidence - Examination of three CSC academic units’ Special Accreditation

 

Three of CSC’s programs have discipline-specific accreditation.  These include Business, Education, and Social Work.  A short summary of each of their specialized accreditations is provided below.  Complete documents concerning each of these accreditations are available in hardcopy and electronic format in the college’s resource room.  

 

Business and Economics

The Department of Business & Economics applied for first-time accreditation with the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) in 2002, based on a self-study of the department in the 2000-2001 academic year.  Accreditation was granted with yearly follow-up reports required through 2006 for two conditions, including one related to program assessment.  One of the conditions was removed in 2005, and the condition on assessment was removed in January 2007 based on the follow-up report submitted in the fall of 2006.  The program is now accredited through 2013 with no conditions. (RR109) 

 

Education

The Department of Education applied for re-accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) in spring of 2006.  On October 27, 2006, CSC President Janie Park received a letter from NCATE informing her of the Unit Accreditation Board’s decision to continue accreditation, with conditions related to standards two and six, at the initial teacher preparation and advanced preparation levels of the Department of Education at CSC.  Standard two is related to program assessment, and the college will need to host a follow-up focus visit no later than the fall 2008 to address this standard.  Also, improvement of the Education assessment plan for both undergraduate and graduate programs is included as part of the college’s participation in the HLC Assessment Academy described previously.  Standard six involves governance, and has since been resolved by the administrative restructuring of the academic schools.  The Dean of the School of Education, Human Performance, Counseling, Psychology & Social Work is a state-certified educator who is also designated as the head of the Education unit.  Because the dean has oversight for budgets and personnel decisions, the governance issue with regard to Standard six is now resolved. (RR110)

 

Social Work

The Social Work Program applied for re-accreditation from The Council on Social Work Education in the spring 2006, based on a self-study about the program’s activities between academic years 1997 and 2005.  The CSC Social Work Program is the only baccalaureate Social Work program within 300 miles.  The program seeks to graduate competent, generalist social work professionals who practice ethically, and who have the knowledge, values and skills to work effectively with systems at all levels.  Further, the Social Work Program strives to graduate students who can think analytically and critically about processes and dynamics, and who are concerned about continued learning.  These students are prepared to influence public policies, and advocate on behalf of those who are oppressed. 

 

On October 14, 2006, CSC President Janie Park received a letter from the Council on Social Work Education informing her of the Commission on Accreditation’s decision to reaffirm the program’s accreditation for eight years.  In taking this action, the Commission identified three areas of concern:  Accreditation Standard 2.0, Educational Policies 4.2 and 4.3, and Accreditation Standard 30.1.3.  All three areas of concern have been resolved, and the college will file a report in July 2007 that demonstrates this fact. (RR111)

 

Discussion of 7th item of evidence - Results of the National Survey of Student Engagement 2004.

 

In 2004 CSC participated in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) (PRR12A).  There were only 50 first-year respondents and 145 senior-year respondents for each question from CSC and this greatly increased sampling error.  Although strengths and weaknesses were analyzed, (RR135) they have limited usefulness due to the low participation rate (RR136).  The college is again participating in NSSE in the spring of 2007.  Using the two years of data, CSC will try to establish longitudinal data with regard to student perceptions.

 

Core Component 3b: The organization values and supports effective teaching.

 

Evaluative Statement for all of Component 3b.

Since the establishment of CSC as a state normal school in 1911, teaching has been the heart of its mission.  Excellence and experience in instruction are emphasized on advertisements for faculty positions, and job descriptions reveal that 80% of faculty time is devoted to teaching and contributing to student academic development.  CSC faculty members participate in many professional development activities relating to both content knowledge and pedagogy.

 

Evidence cited:

1.      The college’s annual faculty evaluation, promotion, and tenure processes are largely driven by teaching considerations.

2.      CSC provides significant time and resources for faculty professional development.

3.      Qualified faculty members determine curricular content and changes in curriculum.

 

Discussion of 1st item of evidence - The college’s annual faculty evaluation, promotion, and tenure processes are largely driven by teaching considerations.

 

Faculty Evaluations

  • CSC has four types of faculty appointments which are described in the CSC Faculty Handbook, pages 54 – 57, available on the college’s Human Resources website.  The faculty appointments are as follows:  Probationary/Tenure Track Appointment, a yearly appointment for up to seven probationary years, with no presumption that the appointment will automatically be renewed; Special Appointment, used for a variety of appointments related to short-term special needs, Term Appointment, used for non-tenure track appointments, and Tenured Appointment, an academic appointment terminated only for adequate cause.
  • Vacancy announcements for faculty positions emphasize the learning-centered nature of the college.  Search committees are comprised of faculty within the academic discipline, as well as several faculty members from across the campus.  Interviews of candidates by the search committee, the academic dean, and academic vice president emphasize the significance of quality teaching, as does the proposed job description for the vacancy.
  • In the first year of probationary/tenure track appointment, faculty members have their academic dean observe their classes.  Class observations are followed by private meetings with the dean to discuss the observations and plans for improvement of instruction.  All faculty members, regardless of rank or tenure status, have student ratings completed in at least two classes each fall.Any continuing faculty member experiencing teaching difficulties is subject to observation and mentoring by the academic dean who may require additional student ratings.  The college also employs a faculty member who is qualified to provide one-on-one coaching to faculty colleagues using a professional program called TABS (Teaching Analysis By Students).Every faculty member, regardless of rank or tenure status, prepares an annual report documenting her, or his, teaching accomplishments, and analyzing the results of the student ratings of teaching.  As part of the annual evaluation process, the dean of the school reviews this report.  If teaching deficits are evident, the faculty member works with the dean to develop specific teaching goals for the next academic year.
  • The Vice President of Academic Affairs and the President review the dean’s evaluation of the faculty member and make comments and recommendations.

 Promotion & Tenure

  • When probationary/tenure track faculty members are eligible to apply for a tenured position, normally in the sixth year of probationary service, they prepare a comprehensive portfolio documenting contributions made to the college.  The process for promotion to a higher rank is identical to that followed for tenure.  The guidelines for the portfolio and the criteria for promotion and tenure are outlined in the Faculty Handbook, 2006, pages 64-75, as listed on the CSC Human Resources website.  Portfolios are submitted to the faculty member’s academic dean in January. 
  • The dean of the school then evaluates the candidate’s portfolio and takes special care to evaluate the candidate’s teaching effectiveness and efforts toward improvement.  Specifically, the dean assesses:

§         Demonstrated ability to teach and contribute to students’ academic growth and development, which may include, but not be limited to, the faculty member’s:

-knowledge of subject matter;  -effectiveness in communicating such knowledge;-assisting students to think critically and creatively;-encouraging continued study;-mentoring and advising students in the academic major; and

-supporting student participation in field activities and professional activities.

  • A letter stating the dean’s view of the candidate’s value to the college, including an evaluation of the candidate’s teaching, is included in the portfolio.  The portfolio is then forwarded to the Promotion and Tenure Committee of the Faculty Senate.  Portfolios also include letters of support or non-support from members of the candidate’s academic department.
  • The Faculty Senate’s Promotion and Tenure Committee evaluates the portfolio using the same criteria, again with a special emphasis on the quality of teaching, and forwards its recommendation to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.  The VPAA also evaluates the candidate’s teaching and, based on recommendations from the academic dean and the Promotion and Tenure Committee, submits a final recommendation to the college president.  The president makes the final decision with regard to promotion or tenure, and this decision is subject to approval by the NSCS Board of Trustees.

 Discussion of 2nd item of evidence - CSC provides significant time and resources for faculty professional development. Faculty Resources and Support:

  • Resources provided to faculty include $500 per faculty member per year for travel to conferences and professional development activities.  This sum may be supplemented by discretionary money from the academic deans or the academic vice president upon request by the individual faculty member.  In addition, the Faculty Senate Professional Development Committee has $16,000 per year, which it distributes to faculty for attending and presenting at conferences.  The normal distribution by this committee is $500 for a presentation and $400 for an attendance to defray travel and conference expenses.  In the fall of 2006, 27 faculty members received support from this fund, including 12 who were presenting at conferences and 15 who were attending conferences.  Forty-eight percent of those funded were assistant professors; 37 percent were associate professors, and 15 percent were professors.  College vehicles are provided for use by faculty or faculty with groups of students.  Each academic school is provided with an annual mileage budget for these vehicles, which may be used for a variety of instructional and professional development travel needs.  This further reduces the cost of professional development for faculty in terms of regional opportunities that are within reasonable driving distance. The Faculty Senate Research Institute Committee (RIC) distributes $23,000 per year in seed money for research projects to faculty. (RR42)  Grants may be used for operations, equipment, travel and student research assistant stipends.  The RIC funding has been constant at $23,000 for the past five years, despite the several years of severe budget reductions due to reduction in state appropriations.  As state funding stabilizes and increases, efforts will be made to increase this support. Each year the college awards a minimum of two sabbaticals or personal leave requests for faculty based on meritorious proposals.  More requests are funded if sufficient worthwhile proposals are submitted.  Faculty work with their academic dean to create a proposal that is then approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the President.  Leaves are also subject to approval by the Board of Trustees.  Sabbaticals for tenured faculty and personal leaves for non-tenured faculty are available at full pay for one semester or half pay for two semesters.  Detailed information about sabbaticals and personal leaves is in the Faculty Handbook (RR96), the Board of Trustees Policy Manual (RR3), and the NSCEA negotiated agreement (RR5).  During the 2006-07 academic year, the college has approved a one-year sabbatical for a tenured associate professor to increase her scholarship, a one-year personal leave for an untenured assistant professor to complete a terminal Ph.D. in preparation for promotion and tenure next year, and a one-semester sabbatical for a professor to engage in literary research that will be incorporated into several humanities and literature courses. The Vice President for Academic Affairs, working in conjunction with a task force from the Faculty Senate, has created a new program which will take effect in the 2007-08 academic year. The program, called Mini-sabbaticals In Situ, allows tenured and non-tenured faculty to apply for three to four hours of reassigned time in a given semester to pursue special scholarship projects.  These activities may include, but are not limited to research, major writing projects, creative projects based on academic discipline, development of new courses and improvement of existing courses with technology or improved pedagogy.  Applications for the 2007-08 academic year will be received, reviewed and approved in the spring of 2007. (RR112)CSC provides permanent reassigned time to faculty who engage in important activities and services for the campus.  Reassigned time varies from 25 to 50 percent release from teaching assignments, depending on the nature of the activities.  A sample of these faculty assignments include:
    • Director of Health Professions – three credits each semester – heads the faculty HP advisory board, coordinates activities and applications for the Rural Health Opportunities Program, and serves as CSC liaison to the University of Nebraska Medical Center campuses in Omaha and Scottsbluff.Faculty Coordinator of the Writing Center – three credits each semester – works with the Tutoring Center Director to provide support specifically for the Writing Center, provides seminars to faculty and classes with regard to Writing Center services, trains student mentors for the Writing Center, serves on the English & Humanities Department’s General Studies Composition committee, and assists the Dean of Arts & Science with General Studies assessment in composition.Director of the Child Development Center – receives six credits each semester – oversees the operations of the CSC Child Development Center and supervises the Assistant Director and Head Teacher, submits state required reports, assures continuing accreditation of the facility, facilitates an early childhood network among instructors at all of the community colleges and CSC, and plans and directs the annual Excellence in Early Childhood Education Conference, hosted by CSC each spring for faculty, students and practitioners from around the region.Director of the Nebraska Business Development Center – three credits each semester – directs the NBDC on the CSC campus and supervises faculty, graduate students and office staff associated with the center, submits funding proposals to the state of Nebraska, manages the client base and budget, and conducts regional outreach seminars and services for rural small business entrepreneurs.Department Chairs – three credits each semester and one credit in the summer – The college’s thirteen academic departments are headed by full-time faculty who serve as “first among equals.”  The chairs are part of the faculty bargaining unit, are not considered administrators, and do not conduct faculty evaluations.  However, they hold department meetings, and organize the plans of work for a variety of department initiatives including program assessment and improvement, student recruitment and retention, teaching assignments and class schedules. 
    • Other areas for reassigned time include:  Teacher Certification Officer, Director of Field Experiences in Social Work, Director of Social Work program, Creative Director of Theatre Performances, Technical Director of Theatre Performances, and Memorial Hall Auditorium Technician.

·        All employees of Chadron State College may take college courses utilizing faculty and staff tuition waivers.  These waivers cover the cost of tuition, and the employee pays $1 plus fees.  During the current academic year, 59 faculty and staff have taken or are currently enrolled in courses.  The reduction in tuition revenue to the college represents an investment in its people of $23,595.  Additionally CSC provides staff dependent waivers for members of the immediate families of employees.  The college provides a fifty percent reduction in tuition.  This year 69 dependents of employees are enrolled in courses; this employee benefit represents a reduction in tuition revenue of $39,510.  The college invests in the education of its employees and their families because of its belief in a life of learning.  Many of the faculty members, who are working on terminal graduate degrees at other institutions, take courses at CSC which are then transferred into their doctoral programs.
·       
In order for faculty to provide excellent and cutting-edge experiences for the college’s students, it is necessary for them to be active professionally.  The following charts show the depth of faculty involvement in professional development activities during the years of 2005, 2004, 2003.  The vast majority of activities are centered on professional teaching presentations, conference attendances and organizational memberships.  (PRR13)

2005 Summary of Faculty Professional Development Activity by Department
2004 Summary of Faculty Professional Development Activity by Department
2003 Summary of Faculty Professional Development Activity by Department

Discussion of 3rd item of evidence - Qualified faculty determine curricular content and changes in curriculum.

 

As described in detail in Chapter 6, Core Component 2a, Discussion of 5th item of evidence, the Faculty Senate Academic Review Committee is responsible for review of academic programs.  The committee is comprised of representatives from each of the 13 academic departments, and two members of the Student Senate.  It is chaired by the Vice President for Academic Affairs as an ex-officio member.

 

Core Component 3c:  The organization creates an effective learning environment.

 Evaluative Statement for all of Component 3c:  The college has an extensive network of support services to assist students in their success.  In addition CSC has federal monies, as well as college funding, to support its TRIO program, Project Strive, for 163 at-risk students.  For the Foundations of Excellence program, the college did a thorough self-study of the activities and projects it provides for first-year students, and developed a strategic plan to create a more coherent first-year experience for CSC students.  Given the emphasis that the college places on teaching, many faculty members are involved in creative and innovative instructional initiatives.  Evidence cited:

1.  Student Services
2.  TRIO/Project Strive
3.  Foundations of Excellence/First Year Learning Experience Program
4.  Teaching Initiatives

 

Discussion of 1st item of evidence - Student Services

 An array of programs are available for students whether they are first-generation or non-traditional students or students facing academic difficulties.

·        SASS sponsors the First Year Seminar Course (COLG 121).  COLG 121 was started in 1972, and it emphasizes academic success, personal development, the latest technology, campus resources, and getting involved in the campus.
·       
The Non-Traditional Lab provides academic and career counseling, support systems, a computer lab and study room, and resource information for Non-Traditional students.
·       
Early Alerts.  These notices allow instructors to inform the students of their grade status and provide students with sources of help, so that they can improve their academic performance.
·       
Tutoring/Supplemental Instruction.  The nationally-certified Peer Tutoring Program offers student academic support through a Writing Center and a Speaking Center,  Supplemental Instruction, and one-on-one tutoring in a wide array of subjects.

§         The peer tutors are recommended by faculty.  They must have earned a B or better in the classes that they tutor, have a favorable interview with the Tutor Coordinator, communicate well, and have a minimum 2.5 G.P.A.

§         Tutors have ten responsibilities, eighteen points in their code of ethics, and must follow the nine Tutor Center General Policies.

§         Tutors must perform a self-assessment of their tutoring skills and interpersonal skills twice each semester.  Tutors also evaluate their training and are evaluated by their clients.

§         The Writing Center helps students find strategies to improve their organization, sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation.  An English faculty member with a specialization in writing and rhetoric receives three credits of reassigned time each semester to work with the Tutoring Center Coordinator on writing programs for faculty and students.

§         The Speaking Center provides assistance in all aspects of speaking, including selecting a topic, researching it, and developing it into a speech.  Faculty members in Communication Arts serve as consultants for this center.

§         Supplemental Instruction (SI) is provided to support student success.  A trained instructor attends the class sessions of the course in which he or she is assisting.  Then, he or she holds special sessions for the members of the class to help them learn the ways to recognize the important points.  SI is offered each semester in foundational courses that are recognized as critical for student success in a variety of majors.  These courses include General and Organic Chemistry and College Algebra. 

§         In fall 2006 the Tutoring Center added Smarthinking to its array of services.  Smarthinking provides 24/7 online tutoring in a wide variety of foundational courses in mathematics, science, business, English, and Spanish.  This service also provides online writing assistance for compositions to supplement the services of the residential Writing Center on campus.  While Smarthinking targets the college’s growing population of distance learners, residential students enjoy the benefits of its flexible hours as well.

 Disussion of 2nd item of evidence - TRIO/Project Strive 

·        The Project Strive/TRIO program helps qualifying students overcome class, social, and cultural barriers to higher education.  The Director, the Student Intervention Coordinator, and the Student Support Coordinator work together to provide each student a Student Education Plan.

·        Project Strive uses three assessments, including the Strong Interest Inventory, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) to help indicate areas in which students can improve.  Participants are required to meet with their Student Support Advisors twice a semester (at the beginning and the end) to monitor their progress.  Each participant must also attend at least two Student Success Seminars each semester.

·        In 2004-2005 fourteen different services were provided:

§         Academic Success Seminars and Cultural & Social Learning Opportunities
§        
Videotaped seminars available for checkout to program participants who could not attend the live event.
§        
Academic Success Seminars offered via interactive television to program participants at extended sites
§        
Peer Mentor programs available to all new program participants.
§        
STRIVE Awards, Recognition Ceremony, and other activities that recognize achievement by program participants
§        
Computer lab available for use exclusively by program participants.
§        
Textbook Loan Program available for low-income students in good standing with Project Strive/TRIO
§        
Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) available for checkout by program participants.
§        
Academic and career reference books available for checkout by program participants.
§        
Personal, career, and study skills counseling.
§        
Supplemental Grant Aid for low income program participants in their first or second year of college.
§        
Financial Aid/FAFSA application assistance.
§        
Graduate school application assistance.
§        
Distribution of items supportive of student success in the academic environment (Project Strive/TRIO day planners; calculators; flash/jump drives; school and office supplies

·        Since the inception of Project Strive/TRIO, all performance objectives for the program have been achieved.  These include: student retention, academic achievement, graduation rates, and financial need.   

 

Discussion of 3rd item of evidence - Foundations of Excellence in the First Year Learning Experience Program 

·        CSC was chosen to be a participant in the second year of the American Association for State College and Universities (AASCU) Foundations of Excellence in the First Year Learning Experience Program.  CSC was selected after participating in discussions about the First Year Experience with 258 other AASCU schools.  Then CSC participated in a double blind selection process for the second year program, conducted by an external review board.
·       
The Foundations established nine characteristics, called Foundational Dimensions of Institutional Effectiveness.  These included: “creating organizational structures and polices that provide a comprehensive, integrated, and coordinated approach to the first year,” and serving the varied needs of all first-year students.  Details about the program are available on its website at www.fyfoundations.org.
·       
Based on data collected regarding a campus inventory of services during the 2003-2004 academic year, the Foundations of Excellence taskforce identified objectives for campus’ engagement in the First Year Program, along with strengths, and areas of focus.  A philosophy statement was also developed.
·       
CSC created assessments, activities, and plans for each of the following Foundational Dimensions of Excellence:  Philosophy; Organization; Transitions; Faculty; All Students; Engagement; Diversity; Roles, and Purposes; and Improvement.
·       
Each of these Dimensions listed included strengths, areas of focus, implemented actions, and opportunities for future implementation.  Some of these activities have been implemented, and others have been delayed due to the resignation of the Dean of Students, and the administrative restructuring mentioned elsewhere. See the First Year Experience document (Foundations of Excellence Strategic Plan) for more information. (RR137)

 

Discussion of 4th item of evidence - Teaching Initiatives

 

     ·        Outside the Lines – Lee Miller: Outside the Lines * is a collection of student essays composed for various classes at Chadron State College and compiled into a single publication.  The purpose of this initiative is to provide students with a way to exhibit their work, and to supply professors on campus with concrete examples of writing that they can show to their classes.  In Fall 2005 Mr. Miller suggested the project at a departmental meeting, and funding was provided by Vision 2011.  In its first year 20 students submitted essays for publication.  This number is expected to rise to around 40 students per year as the publication becomes better known.  A copy of Outside the Lines is in the physical resource room. (PRR14) ·        Mexico/Spain Trips – Dr. Alison Krőgel: The Mexico/Spain Trips were introduced as part of the former Spanish major and current minor program.  These are language-intensive trips which allow students to immerse themselves in various Spanish-speaking cultures by visiting different countries and staying in the homes of residents.  Chadron State students have been participating in this program for the past 12 years under Dr. Hilda Lopez-Laval and will continue to visit new destinations under newly-hired Spanish professor, Dr. Allison Krőgel.    Brochures, fliers, and posters from previous trips are included in the resource room. (PRR15)
·       
Biomedical Ethics – Dr. Brad Wilburn: The class PHIL 433:  Biomedical Ethics was introduced to provide more options for all students, but primarily to provide a way for students in the pre-health professional fields of study to fulfill the “Reasons and Values” General Studies requirement.  This class was proposed during the 2005-2006 academic year and implemented at the beginning of the 2006-2007 academic year.  An average of 15 students enroll in the class each semester, but this number is projected to rise as soon as the course is included in the new General Catalog.  Professors involved in Health Professions helped to generate interest by introducing the class to its target audience last spring.  Copies of the course proposal and syllabus are available in the physical resource room. (RR113)
·       
Forensics Lab – Mr. Loren Zimmerman: The Forensics Lab is designed for students to develop skills needed in crime scene investigation.  The lab contains various tools such as cameras with some external flashes, tripods, chemicals used for developing latent finger prints, and plaster casting equipment for collecting shoe and tire prints.  It includes an Interviewing and Interrogation Room and a room that will eventually house a Comparison Microscope.  Thirty-eight students have used the lab through different forensic courses offered on campus.  This number is projected to rise as a greater variety of courses are offered in criminalistics. 
·       
Commercial Music/NAMBI – Dr. Sandy Schaefer: The Commercial Music major at Chadron State College was created for students who wish to work in the music products industry rather than music education or performance.  Chadron State College is one of only 28 colleges recognized as a member of the National Association of Music Business Institutions (NAMBI).  See www.nambi.org for additional details.  The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), which created NAMBI, provides students the opportunity to view the music production industry from the inside out.  Students travel to the NAMM Winter Showcase at the Anaheim Convention Center where they are able to make valuable contacts within the music industry.  This major has been available to students since 2002, and, on average, there are twenty commercial music business majors.  There is a copy of the NAMBI convention show directory in the physical evidence room.  Additional information is available at http://www.csc.edu/music/degrees/comm.htm . 
·       
Lighting Lab – Mr. Scott Cavin: The Lighting Lab allows students to work with different theatrical lighting scenarios and play with different light angles so that they can learn about how various light angles reflect on the human form.  This lab was created in 2002 after the renovation of Memorial Hall.  On average, 20 students take advantage of the lab each semester either for different performing arts classes or for school theatrical productions.
·       
Applied History Minor – Ms. Sarah Polak: This minor was introduced in the fall of 2005 and approved by Academic Review in spring 2006 after students expressed an interest in this minor.  Currently there are about four students per year who will benefit from this minor, but this number is expected to increase after the minor is formally introduced in the 2007-09 General Catalog.
·       
Costa Rica Trips – Dr. Mike Leite: The Costa Rica Trip, www2.csc.edu/news/list.pl/page~14/list.;l/article~1381 , is part of a series of interdisciplinary science trips in which professors from several fields of science cooperate to involve students in an integrated experience. This particular trip evolved from local and national trips in biology and geology that have been occurring for the past 30 years.  Students traveled to the jungles of Costa Rica to study at the La Selva Biological Station during the inter-term between the fall and spring semesters. 
·       
Environmental Management in cooperation with Range Management – Dr. Ron Weedon: The cooperation between environmental and range management addresses the needs of Chadron State College students studying in both of these fields.  A void in the program was noticed when graduates were not being hired for the jobs for which they had prepared and studied.  CSC faculty members met with personnel of the U.S. Forest Service and the Nebraska Game and Parks Agency to determine how to improve the educational experience of the college’s students for positions in these agencies.  Four additional courses in wildlife management were added to existing courses and a new certificate was created.  This program has been very successful, and, on average, 20 students benefit from this program each year. 
·       
CSC Powwow – Dr. Joel Hyer: The Chadron State College Powwow is a Native American Powwow with drum groups and dancers.  It was suggested by Native American students in the White Buffalo Club in fall 2001, and the first Powwow was held in 2002.  It is now an annual event at Chadron State College.  Funding for this event comes from the Helen Peterson Bequest, the Dean of Arts & Sciences, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Multicultural Services.
·       
Physical Science Major – Dr. Tim Keith: The purpose of the new physical science major was to combine the three majors of chemistry, physics, and geosciences.  It is a major with a common core that allows students to specialize while experiencing additional applications through the integration of all three fields.  It was introduced in 2002-2003 academic year, and, on average there are thirty to forty students participating in this major with at least ten students graduating each year. 
·       
Interactive Audience Response System – Dr. Tracy Nobiling: The Interactive Audience Response System *  is a fully interactive learning experience that allows professors to ask questions and see the student responses on the computer screens in the mediated classrooms.  Both the students and the professor see how well the class understands the material as it is covered in class and to make mid-course corrections for additional clarification.  This initiative was suggested in November 2005 and has been in place at Chadron State College since fall 2006. 
·       
The Business Academy – Dr. Tim Anderson: The Business Academy is a new method of accelerated program delivery intended to address the needs of non-traditional students and to expose traditional, on-campus students to the “real” world of demanding business schedules.  It was developed and matured from an initial program design that Dr. Tim Donahue had used at his previous institution to attract and meet the needs of non-traditional students.  Courses are delivered in an eight-week format using both face-to-face and online instruction.  Its final format was approved by the Department of Business & Economics in April 2006, and it was implemented in January 2007. 
·       
Debate Forums – Mr. Luke Perry: The Debate Forums were introduced at Chadron State College to promote political dialogue by providing a forum to express opinions and to enhance student critical thinking.  This initiative was introduced in fall 2005 by Mr. Perry.  There is one forum per semester in which students of similar academic levels present both sides of a current political issue.  Last year, almost 30 students were directly involved in the debates while more than 200 students attended. 
·       
WETMAAP – Dr. Catherine Lockwood: Wetland Education Through Mapping And Arial Photography (WETMAAP) introduces educators to wetland habitats’ functions and values, and to wetland mapping, digital databases, and GIS technology.  It assists educators with the integration of wetland issues into existing curricula, and promotes public awareness of wetland loss issues and the cause and effect of wetland change.  Dr. Lockwood was working on the prototype in 1996 when she was employed at Chadron State College.  Funding comes from multiple sources including NASA, AIMS, National Parks Service, U.S.G.S. and Chadron State College.  On average seven to 10 teachers are actively involved in WETMAAP each year.  Additional information is available in at www.wetmaap.org .
·       
2+2 Program – Dr. Lisette Leesch: The 2+2 Program is a cooperative initiative between Chadron State College and Laramie County Community College (LCCC) in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  This program was implemented in the fall of 2005 to enable students enrolled at LCCC to receive Bachelor of Arts degrees from Chadron State College.  This program was approved by the HLC in 2002. 
·       
Public Relations – Dr. Kathleen Kirsch: The new Communication Arts program, established in 2005, is a comprehensive major that provides students with the skills necessary to be successful in the current job market.  The program combines a common core with options in communications, journalism, and public relations.  Some courses are shared by both Communication Arts and Business.  In a short year the number of majors has grown to over a dozen.     ·        Health Professions – Dr. Brad Fillmore: In collaboration with the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska, CSC offers the Rural Health Opportunities Program (RHOP).  The program was designed to address the shortage of healthcare professionals in rural Nebraska, by recruiting and educating rural students who will return to practice in the rural areas of the state.  RHOP was implemented in 1989-1990, and includes options in medicine, dentistry, dental hygiene, pharmacy, medical technology, physical therapy, nursing, physician assistant, and radiography. 
·       
Graphic Design Lab – Mary Donahue: The Graphic Design Lab * is a state-of-the-art classroom, fully mediated for large-scale viewing of VCR, DVD, Internet, and computer images, along with twenty-five computer stations and industry-standard software.  The lab supports the Graphic Design option in the comprehensive Art major, and allows students to move from introductory commercial art to specialized areas in graphic design. The lab was completed in the fall of 2005 with funding from Vision 2011 as well as department funds. 

                                                               

Core Component 3d:  The organization’s learning resources support student learning and effective teaching. 

Evaluative Statement for all of Component 3d:

The college has committed substantial resources to support student learning and effective teaching.  Campus facilities have been mentioned throughout this self-study, and some additional examples are sited below. 

Discussion of 1st item of evidence - Facilities support student learning and effective teaching

 

·        In addition to the programs listed in support of core component 3c, CSC provides the following resources to support student learning and effective teaching.

·        The Chadron State College residential campus, occupying two hundred eighty-one acres, is bound on the south by the tall, pine-clad buttes of the Pine Ridge.  Twenty-five major buildings with more than one million square feet of floor space provide state-of-the-art facilities for residential students.  Five buildings have been completely renovated in the past six years, and another is currently being remodeled.  These include Memorial Hall for visual and performing arts, Miller Hall for advanced technology in teaching, Edna Work residence hall, the Burkhiser complex for Business, Economics, and Applied Sciences, and the former Carnegie library building as the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center.  Sparks Hall is currently undergoing renovations to be completed in the summer 2007, and will house administrative and foundation offices.  This will result in the current administration building being remodeled in 2007 and 2008 as an instructional building with high tech classrooms, faculty offices, and facilities for five academic departments as well as offices for the Dean of Arts & Sciences. 
·       
The Nelson Physical Activity Center (PAC) contains specialized rooms for indoor track, basketball, cardiovascular exercise, weight training, racquetball, dance and gymnastics. Programming in the PAC includes academic programming for health, physical education, and recreation; athletics; student intramurals; student health and wellness; and employee and public health and wellness.  The Ross Armstrong Gymnasium houses a basketball court, swimming pool, athletic offices, and specialized varsity weight rooms for student athletes.  The Student Center houses the Eagle Pride Bookstore, the Eagle Grille snack bar, pool tables and giant TV, a ballroom, meeting rooms, student cafeteria, offices for student government, and a video conferencing room.  It also includes a wireless environment for laptop use. *  The Student Senate and Campus Activities Board maintain offices in this revenue bond building.    
·       
The Reta E. King Library contains over 500,000 print and microform volumes and 532 periodical subscriptions, complemented by other print and electronic resources.  It also houses a new student computer lab, electronically-mediated classroom, student meeting and seminar rooms, and a coffee café.  The library also boasts wireless laptop computers for checkout *  and student use throughout the facility.  Library materials are accessible by students via on-site and Internet communications.  The computerized Nebraska State College Library catalog, reached via the King Library web page, identifies books in the Chadron, Wayne, and Peru State College libraries and acts as a gateway to the libraries at the three campuses of the University of Nebraska.  On-line, web-based periodical indexes and articles provide an electronic catalog of the world’s library collections.  Recently JSTOR Online Periodicals *  was added to the library.  This resource provides over 100 online, full-text periodicals available via the Internet for distance learners as well as the campus’s residential students.  Library staff members provide instruction in information literacy for students and faculty.  They recently developed an Information Literacy unit that is currently taught in the freshman composition classes.

     ·        Other important and unique campus facilities include the High Plains Herbarium and Pharmacognsy Collection, the Black Box Theatre, the “hot glass” glass-blowing facility in Memorial Hall, and the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) operated by the Department of Business & Economics.  

     ·        The Post Playhouse is a summer repertory theatre that presents a broad spectrum of theatrical productions through the summer.  Students from the college are involved in both the production and logistical aspects of the Playhouse summer events, and this experience assists them in obtaining full-time employment after graduation in theatres across the country.  Melodrama, comedies, dramas, and musicals are performed for 13,000 visitors a year.  The Post Playhouse is housed at the historic Fort Robinson State Park, 27 miles west of Chadron.  Chadron State College, The Post Playhouse, and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission are the co-sponsors.

·        CSC Child Development Center: The services of this state-accredited early childhood learning laboratory are available for children of working parents and students at Chadron State College.  The center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for children 2 through 12 years of age. It is located in the Burkhiser Technology Complex.  The Center is also an important learning laboratory for numerous courses in early childhood education, family and consumer sciences, and counseling and psychology.  Each year the Center provides the college’s students with 3,800 hours of observation time, 4,825 hours of intermediate participation time, and 675 of highly interactive time in the center to plan and deliver curriculum, practice assessment strategies, and apply new knowledge and skills in a natural and inclusive environment. ·        The Eleanor Barbour Cook Museum of Geology is located in the Mathematics and Science Building.  The Museum is named for the first professor of Earth Science at Chadron State College.  Centrally located in a region rich in paleontology, the Museum has many interesting specimens on display.  Group and individual tours may be arranged by contacting the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.  Undergraduate and graduate students majoring in Geosciences are able to conduct field research for new museum specimens, and to gain valuable curatorial skills in the preparation of existing specimens and new exhibits.

    ·        The CSC campus provides an array of up-to-date computer labs.  These include five general use labs, six multi-purpose labs used for instruction as well as student use, and eleven specialized labs.  The specialized labs provide industry-standard software packages such as Creative Suites for desktop publishing, and ArcView for geographic information systems.  Scanners and high-end computers are utilized in the labs for the college newspaper, The Eagle, as well as the newly renovated graphic design lab for the Art program in Memorial Hall.

·        The Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center contains exhibits, artifacts, and a library focusing on the study of Nebraska and High Plains culture, literature and history.  The Center supports the academic programs of CSC, and is a learning laboratory focusing on museum and archival studies, language and literature, natural history, and the social and cultural aspects of the high plains.  Each year the Center sponsors the annual Mari Sandoz Heritage Society conference that includes presentations based on a particular theme by historians and authors from around the high plains region.  This year the conference will center on Crazy Horse.  The society was instrumental in having the governor and the Nebraska Humanities Council name Mari Sandoz’s book, Crazy Horse, as the official book for the statewide “One Book, One Nebraska” program http://www.onebookonenebraska.org/.  Students and professors in the English and History departments of CSC attend the conference and also serve as presenters and assistants.

  • The Planetarium is located in the Math-Science Building and employs and trains undergraduate students in the use and operation of the star projector and in techniques for working with large school groups. The student employees present more than one-hundred seasonal shows and programs each year to K-12 schools, youth organizations, home-school associations, and other interested groups.

 Findings on Criterion Three Strengths

      1.      All academic programs have student learning outcomes-based assessment plans.
2.      Seventy percent of academic units are at least in the process of implementing the feedback loop in assessment.  Sixty-seven percent of these are able to detail this implementation.
3.      The college is making progress on creating a culture of assessment.  Its participation in the HLC Assessment Academy over the next four years is important in this effort.
4.      Three specialized accreditations in Business, Education, and Social Work ensure that students graduating from those programs are effectively prepared for their chosen professions.
5.      There are substantial and sustained efforts to create, value, and support effective teaching.  Faculty across campus are involved in innovative teaching initiatives.
6.      A system is in place for regular program review that involves faculty, administration, and the boards of the NSCS and the CCPE.
7.      Student Services offers a wide array of programs to assist students in their success, whether they are first-generation students, or in need of assistance with study skills, tutoring, supplemental instruction, counseling, internships, or career placement.
8.      CSC has a long tradition of distance learning at the edge of technological innovation. These innovations open opportunities for the expansion of student enrollment.

 Areas for Improvement

  1. Some courses do not have their learning outcomes tied to program outcomes.
  2. Some multiple sections of the same course taught by different instructors use the same learning outcomes while others do not.  Common rubrics are generally not used.
  3. The First Year Experience program has been temporarily delayed due to resignations of the deans of students.  The newly created position of Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Services will allow attention to this critical area at the level of the Presidential Cabinet. 
  4. Non-academic units are generally only beginning to formulate assessment strategies and/or collect assessment data.  Thus the assessment feedback loop has not been widely implemented.
  5. The results of the 2004 National Survey of Student Engagement were not useful due to the low number of respondents.  The college will participate again this spring and try to establish longitudinal data with regard to student perceptions.
  6. Many academic programs still rely heavily on measures for senior students with fewer measures being applied at earlier stages in the students’ academic careers.
  7. Students are not fully informed or aware of the student services they may need.

 

Plan of Improvement

1.      Successfully complete the HLC Assessment Academy.
2.     
Enrolled for the 2006-07 academic year NSSE survey for students and the FSSE survey for faculty.  These results will be received in the fall 2007 and will be analyzed to determine consistency with the 2004 results in determining relevant plans for improvement in student engagement.  A new presidential committee, Student Growth and Retention is responsible for data analysis and development of the plan. 
3.     
Continue to insure that course and department outcomes are congruent, and all multiple-professor courses have the same learning outcomes by offering on-campus assessment workshops.
4.     
Increase faculty participation in faculty professional development through Mini-sabbaticals In Situ . 
5.     
Bring in assessment consultants to work with individual academic departments and non-academic units to better develop the feedback loop.
6.     
Change from voluntary to mandatory orientation before classes begin in fall for freshmen.  To be implemented fall 2007.
7.     
Improve communication about available student services.
8.     
Provide more support for innovative teaching