Criterion Two:  Preparing for the Future


Applied Sciences


  1. What planning process does your unit use in response to future needs?  Describe your planning process and how it impacts the way the budget is allocated to support initiatives.  How is planning connected to Vision 2011?


The Department of Applied Sciences is an immensely functional group of individuals that work well as a department and as individual program units.  The group meets as a department three times per month to develop and assess progress towards goals and objectives during the departmental meetings.  These goals and objectives are set by the majority of the people in the program, based on student feedback and departmental need, with a lead assigned to accomplish the desired outcome.  If appropriate feedback has been obtained from alumni and individuals and hiring organizations within the service region, these are brought forth, discussed, and implemented as appropriate.


Planning process is as described above.  Historically the ITE program has received a large portion of the budget due to the fact that the program is expensive.  It has a high computer and software requirement.  The program also requires large amounts of electronic and industrial supplies to be successful.  This last year the budget was evenly split between the three programs as the ITE program appeared to be well prepared for the year.  Equipment allocations are done on a rotational basis as need arises for office computers and equipment.  Media is allocated on a three year rotation among the programs.


The department as a group applied for four 2011 grants and received funding for all of them.  The first grant is focused on increasing the identity of the Applied Sciences department within the college and in the service region through an assessment of awareness of the programs and then marketing of the programs.  The second grant funded an effort to increase student retention through the development of a peer mentor group within each program.  The intent is to give incoming freshmen a senior mentor to go to for assistance in adapting to college life.  The third grant funded an effort to establish contacts with community colleges in the service region to allow them to have a better understanding of our programs to facilitate student transfers to Applied Sciences programs.  Another endeavor in this grant is to work with the community colleges to develop pre-ITE, pre-Ag/Range, and pre-FCS programs.  The fourth grant received by the department was a Campus/Community Partnership for Health (CCPH) has been developed between Chadron State College (FCS & HPER), Western Community Health Resources (Public Health Agency) and local businesses in an effort to address the health needs of the community.


  1. Describe how your unit assesses the success of plans and initiatives.  How has this assessment process and resulting data improved the functioning of your unit?  Are the results of your assessment shared with regional constituents or other campus units?  If so, how and with whom?  How is assessment data stored and accessed?


In example, assessment tools have been developed for each of these projects.  For the first grant a pre-marketing assessment has been conducted that will be re-administered following the deployment of the marketing effort.  The second grant will be assessed by comparing student retention pre-initiation of the mentoring program to the retention level following the implementation.  The third grant will be assessed by comparing transfer numbers of the pre-initiation of the program to the transfer numbers following the implementation.  Additionally this may be assessed by looking at the number of community colleges in the region that develop pre-programs similar to the ones offered by the Applied Sciences department.  For the fourth grant, assessment will look at the success of providing state of the art instruction from the campus, combined with the expertise of others from the community, the level on the wellness of the community by looking at participation in the program and the activity levels of individuals in the program through the use of pedometers.


As for other plans and initiatives success is measured by a developed set of rubrics that will provide meaningful input that can be utilized to adjust programs on an as needed basis.  Examples of these are professional exams, specific questions to recently graduated students and their employers.  This is also followed up by employment sites of these graduates to see what they are facing in real world employment settings.


These feedbacks are shared by members of the department to adjust program offerings, course content, and preparation of students in implicated areas of deficiencies.


Information is shared within the unit and where appropriate with the other programs within the department.  Information is shared with the college through assessment reports presented on a regular basis.  Hard copies of the assessment reports are on file in the department and school offices.


  1. Does your unit have any specific initiatives related to regional demographics, economic development, or regional needs?


The Department of Applied Sciences is very attuned to the rural agricultural base of its demographic region.  The Agriculture/Range Management program is one of the largest in the United States and is recognized as a strong applied program that educates students from ranching backgrounds and returns them to the ranch, various federal and state agencies, and conservation groups.  The FCS and ITE programs have a strong focus on educating primary and secondary educators for region school programs.  The FCS and Child Development Center is also instrumental in preparing early childhood educators in the region.


Business & Economics


  1. What planning process does your unit use in response to future needs? 


A.  The Department Strategic Planning Committee meets several times each school year in support of the development of comprehensive strategic plans.  This is currently a five member multi-discipline committee that facilitates the development of departmental and area planning.  The process is typically decentralized and advisory in nature out of respect for the various academic disciplines and teaching mission of the department.


B.   In 2005, the Chadron State College (CSC) the Department implemented a Business Advisory Board.  This board is composed of business leaders from the CSC service area meets regularly and maintains contact electronically.  The intent of this board is to give comprehensive and insightful real-world counsel as to strategic initiatives that should be integrated into the Department’s educational operations. 


Describe your planning process and how it impacts the way the budget is allocated to support initiatives. 


General operations budgets covering fixed, semi-variable, and variable costs are largely based on student credit hours and full time equivalent faculty (FTEs).  Faculty and staff requests for budget allocations are made through the appropriate administrative channels.  In most cases the Department Head will be the first point of contact, then Dean, Vice President, President, and Board of Trustees.  Capital items are generally long-term and will involve senior level financial administrators.  Strategic initiatives may be funded through several discretionary accounts; of course, high-dollar initiatives may take months or years of planning and approvals to gain funding. 


How is planning connected to Vision 2011?


Department planning is consistent with Vision 2011.  This is evidenced by framed Institutional Vision plaques hanging throughout the office area.  Department faculty support the vision by pursuing excellence in teaching, scholarship and service.  Department faculty support the mission by focusing on programs that “contribute significantly to the vitality and diversity of the region” (CSC, 2003).

Several specific examples of Department planning and results:


A.  Institutional Community:  The Department supports several organizations and clubs that support student and faculty achievement, e.g., Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE), Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), Omicron Delta Epsilon, Delta Mu Delta, and Phi Delta Kappa.


B.     Public Relations: Department faculty are active in numerous community public service organizations, some professional and some social because faculty also live in the service community, e.g., the Valentine Survey Project, business consulting, faculty members are on regional and state boards.


C.     Regional Service:  The Department is strategically moving toward Internet delivery of the MBA program and has targeted other courses for distance learning to reach additional constituents of the service area. Starting fall 2005, the MBA classes were all 8-week classes and delivered via the Internet.  The BA online course schedule lists the undergraduate courses that will be online over the next four years and their rotation. (Attached schedule)


D.     Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity:  All Department faculty are engaged in a variety of scholarly activities.  This may range from completing advanced coursework and seminars, to the production of research in the various business disciplines comprising the department, e.g., Thought & Action, Wendy Waugh and Barb Limbach.


E.      Resources and Facilities:  Department faculty are currently investigating expanding our non-traditional student base and degree completion instructional matrix models.  From a primarily facilities standpoint this will leverage our current capital assets and intellectual capital for the benefit of a broader demographic base within the service region,


F.   Teaching and Learning:  The online MBA is directly related to serve the region of 34,000 square miles. 


  1. Describe how your unit assesses the success of plans and initiatives. 


A.  A follow-up of graduates is conducted by the Department each year.  The results of the survey are distributed to the faculty and a master copy is maintained in the office of the Department Chair. Initiatives are evaluated, such as the World Food Day survey recording satisfaction of participants.


B.   An exit exam is given each student during their senior year prior to completion of their degree.  Summary data is available from the office of the Department Chair.


C.  A Business Advisory Board was established to serve as a link between the college and the business community that we are preparing our students for.


How has this assessment process and resulting data improved the functioning of your unit? 


The responses from the graduates, the exit exam results are analyzed, summarized and shared with the faculty.  This and other information is used to determine course offerings and catalog changes among other things, e.g., five mediated classrooms, increased computer use, CPA track.


Are the results of your assessment shared with regional constituents or other campus units?  If so, how and with whom?


A.  Results of the exit exam are shared with the staff, through the School Meeting, and through the Dean to multiple units.  In addition there is an exit survey conducted to determine the feeling of the students on how well they were prepared for the exam and what courses they feel they were deficient.


B.     As a result of ACBSP accrediting recommendation, an Advisory Board was established to assist our Department in maintaining current up-to-date curriculum. 


How is assessment data stored and accessed?


A.     Assessment data is maintained in the Office of the Chair.  This data is electronic on a ZIP disk entitled DATA, 1. Business Survey, 2. ETS, 3. Internship.  This data is also contained on the department office assistant’s computer.  Hard copies are kept in a file cabinet in a locked storage room.  The department chair can access this information.


B.   The minutes of the Advisory Board are on file with the office of the Chair.  The minutes are stored in the Office of the Chair and are available for review upon request.


  1. Does your unit have any specific initiatives related to regional demographics, economic development, or regional needs?


A.  Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC)–CSC Faculty and Dean met with Dr. Bob Bernier, State Director of NBDC and Ms. Kathleen Piper Assistant District Director for the Small Business Administration, Nebraska about bringing the NBDC back to Chadron. We have a meeting in February to begin talks between CSC, the SBA and the NE NBDC.


B.   What is NBDC? The Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) is a statewide network of business counseling offices available to small business owners or prospective owners in the state of Nebraska. Offices are located at Scottsbluff, North Platte, Kearney, Lincoln, Peru, Omaha, and Wayne. Since 1977 NBDC has been "Helping good businesses become better." The state-wide NBDC program provides more than 2,000 businesses with counseling assistance each year. The NBDC office is funded in a cooperative program with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and prospective State College.


      NBDC offices across Nebraska provide research, planning, loan packing assistance, and maintain reference and resource materials. Whether an existing business owner is looking for additional financing or strategic planning; or someone is looking to start up a new business, NBDC is available for confidential personalized assistance.


C.  Home Town Competitiveness - HTC - has developed a strategic alliance with Chadron State College.  The HTC Academy hosted a training session for future trainers and mentors to work with rural communities in our CSC region.


      The rationale for HTC is rooted in a clear opportunity for building more prosperous, dynamic and sustainable economies in rural America through entrepreneurship development. Energizing rural entrepreneurs is one important piece of this strategy. Creating entrepreneurship development systems that focus on supporting private entrepreneurs and building entrepreneurial communities is another important part of this strategy.  Active social and public entrepreneurs create an environment that supports private entrepreneurship and, as a result, there are significant opportunities to enhance the framework for private entrepreneurship through the active engagement of social and public entrepreneurs. The primary goal of HTC is to be the focal point for efforts to stimulate and support private and public entrepreneurship development in communities throughout Rural America


D.  Conference The Department Faculty worked with Congressman Tom Osborne’s staff to develop and host an Ag Entrepreneurs Conference. The conference was a success with over 200 participants (community and students) involved with the process. The day consisted with group discussions held around 12 tables. Each table was staffed by an individual supporting a certain area of community development or entrepreneurship in the area. 


E.   Research - The Department Faculty worked with the City of Valentine, NE on a community market research survey to assist them with a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). CSC Business faculty assisted with questionnaire design and review, had a student SIFE group enter the data, provided the data analysis and output, and prepared the final research document for the community. Results were presented to the City of Valentine.  Various Department faculty have used student teams to work with small businesses (profit and non-profit) in the community to help them with business and market planning.


F.      City & Community InvolvementVarious Department Faculty members serve on the boards of the Chadron Chamber of Commerce and the Nebraska Northwest Development Corporation (NNDC). Others help and assist community profit and non-profit small businesses with business assistance on a volunteer basis. Several Department Faculty serve on the City of Chadron’s LB840 Citizen Advisory Review Committee to help review plans for sales tax use for economic development.  Others have had tours of duty as school board members, city commissioners, board members, as well as other prominent duties.


Communication Arts


  1. What planning process does your unit use in response to future needs?  Describe your planning process and how it impacts the way the budget is allocated to support initiatives.  How is planning connected to Vision 2011?


Communication Arts program planning process is tied to the department’s Assessment Plan each year.  The faculty regularly meets throughout each semester to discuss the needs of their students and to plan curricular changes accordingly.  As the new Communication Arts comprehensive degree was planned the faculty used input from nationwide experts on trends in Communication, Public Relations and Journalism degree programs.  Materials from the National Communication Association, Public Relations Society of America, Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication and programs of study from colleges and universities within the region were consulted to prepare the program.  


The CA faculty recognizes much will be needed to keep our students up to date with current theories, practices and trends within the respective areas.  Dr. Blomstrom and Dr. Kirsch traveled with four students in April of 2006 to the Central States Communication Association Conference in Indianapolis, IN.  The students presented their public relations projects at this academic conference.  Faculty members in attendance at the conference were able to attend sessions to update knowledge on distance education trends in Communication, such as teaching an entire public speaking course online, updating the research methods course to reflect skills the students will need in the workplace and in graduate studies and networking with other PR and Communication faculty members to glean information on how other institutions are preparing their students for lifelong learning and careers.  Travel funding for this educational experience was provided by the Dean of Arts and Science office.  We hope to request Vision 2011 monies to continue to work with students as they present materials at academic conferences.


Communication Arts as a group has not had a budget.  The 2006-07 academic year will be the first year as a department and the first year that funds are at the discretion of CA faculty members to make decisions.  In the past we would create a wish list for equipment and then submit it to the LLCA department chair.  We have focused our monies on obtaining supplementary videos/DVDs to accompany courses.  CA had not really kept up to date on materials and has a huge gap to fill regarding audiovisual materials.  We also requested software for students to use such as Dreamweaver, iMovie and InDesign.  These are course specific materials that are needed to help keep our students up to date with programs as well as the theory behind the use of them. 


The Eagle newspaper has a separate budget from the CA budget.  Mrs. Dickinson has made sure students have up to date software, equipment (computers, cameras, etc.) to use  in the classroom and on assignment for the Eagle.  She has made the switch from film cameras to digital cameras in photojournalism.  She has discretion on how monies are spent for equipment; however, the majority of the budget is allocated for the printing of the Eagle newspaper.


It is clear there is a need for more strategic planning as Communication Arts develops as a department.  We need a clear plan for recruitment, retention, maintaining an up-to-date web presence for the department and the Eagle newspaper and the refinement of promotional materials.  In the past Communication Arts was reliant on a budget that was distributed across the largest department on campus.  The acquisition of a set budget for Communication Arts will allow us to plan monetarily as we plan programs and strategies for the future.


  1. Describe how your unit assesses the success of plans and initiatives.  How has this assessment process and resulting data improved the functioning of your unit?  Are the results of your assessment shared with regional constituents or other campus units?  If so, how and with whom?  How is assessment data stored and accessed?


The program is new and is only in its first year. We have revamped the old assessment of course CA 412 Senior Assessment Jury to include assessment as it is embedded in each course.  We have set forth two outcomes for Communication Arts.  Each outcome is tied to a subset, Interpersonal Communication, Groups and Team Communication, Public Address and Mass Communication year an outcome will be selected to be assessed and then a subset will be selected to be addressed.  For the 2005-06 Academic year Communication Arts assessed the first outcome and the subset of Public Address.  This subset was selected due to the course rotation.  A maximum number of courses focusing on some aspect of public address were offered during the school year. 


Our assessment did not go as planned.  Speeches were videotaped from a variety of the CA courses listed under the first outcome and the Public Address subset.  We met to evaluate these courses when we had a lively discussion on how the public presentations should be evaluated.  Much of a public address comes from gathering and organizing materials.  We found that each instructor was putting a different emphasis on gathering and organizing materials.  Some students had focus on this aspect as a majority of a grade while others had stylistic skills such as delivery as a focus for presentation.  When we met to assess the speeches we found that we needed a common rubric to evaluate the first outcome.  We worked with a rubric that was previously developed.  We feel that with this new rubric in place we will be able to assess the materials on the same level. 


In the past our assessment materials were shared with the LLCA department as well as the Assessment Committee at CSC.  We currently do not have constituents identified within the region with which we might share this material.  We have discussed developing an advisory board for Communication Arts and if this is done we would share this material. Assessment materials can also be shared by providing information on the website.  We currently do not have this information posted, but have discussed doing so in past CA unit meetings.


The assessment materials are currently stored in the office of the department chair of CA.  Now that we have separated from Language and Literature we will need a new system for filing syllabi, keeping assessment plans, course rotations, plans of study and data collected from assessments.


  1. Does your unit have any specific initiatives related to regional demographics, economic development, or regional needs?


Specific initiatives related to region:

·        Instructional video for Pine Ridge reservation on the topic of Baby Bottle Mouth.  This dental issue is a growing problem for babies on the Pine Ridge Reservation and was brought to our attention by Stacy Dayhoff, a dental hygienist at the Pine Ridge Complex.  Dr. Blomstrom worked continuously with Ms. Dayhoff to develop a short instructional video.  Public Relations students assisted Dr. Blomstrom when possible.  Dr. Blomstrom gathered and organized materials for the video, created storyboards and a script and found Dewayne Gimeson, CSC’s Publication Specialist, to donate time to film and edit the video.  No money was received for this effort.  Students participating in the project were exposed to issues related to Diversity and Health Communication.

·        Participation in the state/regional college newspaper competition

·        The Public Relations Club completed a survey to assess the need for a Boys and/or Girls Club in the Pine Ridge region

·        Students in CA 250: Introduction to Public Relations designed all of the promotional material for the Nebraska Museum Association.


Counseling, Psychology & Social Work


  1. What planning process does your unit use in response to future needs?  Describe your planning process and how it impacts the way the budget is allocated to support initiatives.  How is planning connected to Vision 2011?



Counseling faculty meet at least once a semester to review unit needs, progress and updates. Individual student progress is also reviewed at this time. Changes to the handbooks and communication information are reviewed and changes implemented for future progress.


Counseling Unit faculty participates in the total CPSW department bimonthly meetings to identify, discuss and assess issues in assessment, curricula and budget needs.


Budget planning is worked out with the Psychology unit faculty as we share the budget. Focus is on teaching needs, equipment and methods for communication in the allocation of current funds.


Planning connected with Vision 2011 is not overt. The fact that the unit works to meet the mission of unit and department which fit into CSC mission is the central connection.



Planning is done via departmental meetings. Program and department members discuss future needs on both a long and short term basis, and make joint decisions about the spending of budgets on equipment, films and so forth. The program makes money decisions jointly with the counseling program. Some of these program decisions involve the spending of the equipment budget. In 2005-2006, the $3000 equipment budget was used to purchase a computer for a faculty member, allowing a Graduate Assistant to use the other available department laptop. This enhanced faculty productivity and allowed the Graduate Assistant more access to a computer, enabling her to be more productive as well.


Allocation of other resources is also linked to program initiatives. Some department resources in the operating budget have been allocated to building video and library resources related to areas indicated by assessment. Although the CPSW department requested 2011 funding for multicultural speakers and field trips to the Oglala-Lakota College (OLC) and the Pine Ridge Reservation, we did not receive any funding for these ideas although the Vision 2011 Committee agreed that they were valuable ideas. The CPSW department (including the Psychology program) did incorporate these ideas on a smaller scale, including volunteer (rather than paid) speakers in individual classes and by faculty trips to OLC.


Connection to Vision 2011

In our program and department, several focus areas from Vision from 2011 were represented:


Regional service is represented through planned interactions with community groups and interaction with state and regional organizations. Faculty members have served on regional boards and advisories and have reviewed papers or moderated sessions at regional conferences. In some cases conference registrations and regional dues were allocated from department budgets.


Other regional service is seen in the offering of multiple course formats, including online and other distance learning alternatives for psychology major and minor completion. Considering the implementation of joint programs with Oglala-Lakota College is also being explored.


Research, scholarly and creative activity is represented in the planning of collaborative research among department members (counseling and psychology faculty have participated in joint research projects within the departments and have collaborated with people in other departments, at least at the design stage). The faculty in the Psychology Program developed a Psychology Research Initiative, with goals of encouraging student understanding of and participation in psychological research, both as participants, and as researchers. This goal should promote better regional understanding of psychology. This Research Initiative was implemented in the first Psychology Research Day, held on April 3, 2006 from 1-3 pm in the CSC Student Center.  Twelve student posters were presented and three faculty members presented posters.  Student involvement in research has been encouraged in PSYC 432: Research Design in Psychology and students have planned small research projects, some of which have been submitted to regional conferences. However, some students are place-bound and beginning a local forum for students to present their research helps us to better serve regional needs (see above).The CPSW department has also developed Foundation accounts, which may be used to support travel associated with student research, as there is currently limited funding.


The area of resources and facilities is represented though the development of shared resources (films, library resources and other teaching materials) to support student development. In addition, the program supports the maintenance of Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software in campus computer labs, and has encouraged computer services to find ways to make the software more accessible for students in terms of putting it in a lab that will be available for more hours. Purchase decisions are made in department meetings.


The area of teaching and learning is represented in terms of planned changes in program courses and catalog offerings to better represent distinction between counseling and psychology. More specifically, changes have been made to emphasize student understanding of psychology as a social science rather than a helping profession, as clinical and counseling psychology represent only a small portion of psychologists.


In addition, the inclusion of diversity speakers in classes has benefits for students in terms of learning about other cultures. This has been supplemented by a collection of videotapes representing cultural diversity. The department has also implemented distance learning programs. Assessment processes have been strengthened and the department is making progress on specifically integrating course learning outcomes and program learning outcomes.


Social Work

The Social Work Program has recently undergone significant program revision to remain compliant with the accreditation standards of the Council on Social Work Education.  The central planning issue has been to develop a logical, sequential and productive sequence of courses. Social Work faculty continually evaluate courses through student process evaluations, course evaluations of teaching, and objective attainment, peer reviews of teaching, assessment of written assignments, and tests of student learning. Based on the analysis of results from these assessments, the Social Work Program faculty members meet and discuss revisions for proposal to the Academic Review Committee of the College.  Upon approval, the changes are implemented.


Budget Allocations:  For the fiscal year 2005-2006, the Dean of the School of Professional and Graduate Studies developed an operations budget for the program.  The projected budget is based in part on the Department of Social Work’s budget allocations prior to 2003 with adjustments made by the Dean in Social Work allocations. For the fiscal year 2006-2007, the Social Work Program Director is developing the Program budget based on line items identified for operations, staff development, and student learning experiences. The Dean will base allocations to programs based on the 2005-2006 fiscal year and Departmental allocations for 2006-2007. The projected budget includes Student learning experiences such as attendance at the annual National Association of Social Workers Legislative Day in Lincoln. Based on the faculty analysis of assessment results, the Social Work Program faculty members meet annually to identify potential activities that will enhance student learning and staff development and include those items in the next budget period as allocations allow.


Vision 2011:


The Social Work Program seeks to prepare beginning professionals who can assume leadership in developing the region that is increasingly part of a globally oriented society. Social work knowledge in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities, combined with knowledge of policy processes, research, diversity, and oppression enhances the capacity of social work graduates to speak to the strengths and capacities of diverse peoples in systems of all sizes. These components of Social Work Program are consistent with the mission of the college to serve the diverse peoples of the region, particularly Native American and Latino populations and the purposes of social work education. The mission of CSC and the Social Work Program share a strong focus in preparing students to live and practice in a diverse world including, but not limited to culture, ethnicity, gender, age, abilities, religious and spiritual beliefs, family arrangements, income, opportunities, strengths, influence, and power. The CSC mission of developing strong diversity opportunities for students to attend workshops, speakers, and the integration of diversity issues in many courses provides opportunities for social work students to engage the greater college community. Social Work majors are required to take Human Diversity courses in other disciplines as well as SW 337 Diversity in the Rural Environment which is offered and required by the program. Diversity education is integrated into the entire curriculum for Social Work students as it is an integral part of the NASW Social Work Code of Ethics.


Social Work strives to encourage the development of human potential as a part of the value base of the profession. A Strengths Perspective is encouraged in all aspects of assessment and treatment for all populations and levels of service provision. There is a strong congruence with the countdown 2011 goal of assisting students, faculty, and staff to realize their potential and reach their goals.   Students are encouraged to achieve higher levels of scholarly creative and research activity. The addition of Research and Research Laboratory to the curriculum are anticipated to enhance student attainment in this focus area of Vision 2011. The longer-term goal of the Social Work Program is to engage students in research and presentations at professional conferences. In keeping with another focus goal of Vision 2011, the Social Work Program and Faculty are dedicated to improving the effectiveness of teaching and learning through assessment, student input, collaboration with regional agencies and professionals and self-assessment. By involvement with the community, volunteer efforts of students, Field Instructor Training, faculty serving on advisory boards and public presentations, the Program strives to build strong public and political support both for Social Work and for Chadron State College.


  1. Describe how your unit assesses the success of plans and initiatives.  How has this assessment process and resulting data improved the functioning of your unit?  Are the results of your assessment shared with regional constituents or other campus units?  If so, how and with whom?  How is assessment data stored and accessed?



a.       In the CPSW departmental meetings continuous review is ongoing to assess needs and changes.

b.      The semester unit meetings have improved communication, collaboration and focus for the faculty. It has brought the program into more congruency with the state and national standards for the Counseling profession.

c.       Improvement has been noted in the clarification of the student interview process and the setting of standard dates for the process.

d.      The results of the progress and change in the unit are consistently shared with the larger department, school, and college within the reports filed for various committees and administrators within CSC.

e.       The department is still in progress with formalizing the data and assessment results storage with the Office Assistant and identifying the space required.




Major Initiative


Impact and Information Dissemination

Online program options for major and minors

Enrollment in classes


Long term assessment in graduate assessment data

Enrollment for online classes is high, although some students are still uncomfortable with online techniques and required technology.


Potential implementation of online readiness questionnaire at department level to prepare students for demands of online courses.


Impact on faculty load and course offerings addressed in faculty meetings


Psychology Program Template matched to Extended Campus Templates in terms of course offerings


Student Research Initiative

The first Psychology Research Day was held on April 3, 2006.  It might be assessed by number of student submissions, student and faculty attendance

Twelve student posters were presented.  Three faculty members also participated.  Relatively low attendance.  Consider requiring attendance and/or participation.


  • Formalized assessment plan developed and implemented
  • Incorporation of non-matched pre-test as part of assessment
  • Alumni survey

Completion of plan and yearly assessment reports


Pre-test administered in Spring 2006.  Data will be incorporated into 2005-06 assessment report.


Alumni survey is under development, drafts shared at department meetings

Information shared with department members and at administrative level, but not with public at this point


Storage of assessment data currently needs to be updated, and processes formalized, but will be kept with departmental office assistant


Department members examining program assessment and considering links of program learning outcomes to specific classes

Psychology Program Handbook and Webpage Development

  • Incorporate information about learning objectives and mission
  • Incorporate information about career and graduate school options
  • Serve as an advising resource for students and faculty

These initiatives are still in development, but impact might be assessed in terms of hits on website, surveys of students and so forth

This is more for department and program use than for external users




Social Work

Faculty conducted the following assessments:

1.      Longitudinal Assessment of Social Work student graduates’ (1998-2004) ratings of student preparation for practice

2.      Longitudinal Assessment of Employers’ of Social Work graduates (1998-2004) ratings of student preparation for practice 

3.      Longitudinal Assessment of Field Instructors’ Ratings of Student Performance on Program Objective at the Conclusion of Practicum Experience

4.      Students’ Ratings of Learning Attainment on Course-based Learning Objectives and Students’ Narratives on how Students Attained the Learning Objectives

5.      Summary of Exit Interview with Graduating Seniors in the Social Work Program (12/04)

6.      Social Work Faculty Reflections on Content, Teaching Approaches, and Assignments for Courses Taught (Fall 2005 – Spring 2006)

7.      Social Work Club – Students’ Evaluations of Strengths and Weaknesses of the Social Work Program and the Social Work Club


Sequencing of Assessments



Attainment of Learning


Faculty Narrative Assessment

Program and SW Club Assess

Student Field Evalua-tions

Senior Focus Group


Graduate & Employer Longitud-inal Study

Timing of Assessment

End of each Course

End of each Course

End of each Academic Year

End of Final Semester of Field Practicum

End of Undergraduate Education

1-3 years after graduating from SW Program


Students --

Freshmen through Seniors


Social Work Club Members

Senior Social Workers & Professional Field Instructors

Graduating Seniors

Student Graduates and Employers

Nature of Assessment

Ratings on Attainment of Course Learning Outcomes & Narratives on How Attained

Written Self Assessment of Course Content, Sequencing and Assignments

Focus Group Discus-sion of Strengths & Weak-nesses of Social Work Program & Social Work Club

Ratings of Student Attainment of & Performance with Program Objectives


Focus Group Exit Interviews on Content, Values, Skills, Knowledge, & Process issues

Ratings of Student/ Employee Knowledge, Skill, & Values Preparations to Practice Social Work


Synopsis of Recommendations from Assessments

1.      Develop avenues for students to access open social work positions within the region.

2.      Pursue collaborative relationships or develop collaboration in order to continue offering students access to MSW graduate education within the region.

3.      Examine and clarify how content on Social Work in rural settings is integrated into the social work curriculum.

4.      Enhance opportunities for students to understand and work with gay men and lesbian women, Latino peoples, and African American peoples.

5.      Enhance student understanding and skills in leadership and exercising influence in policy arenas with elected public officials and agency decision-makers.

6.      Enhance student knowledge and skills in most areas of policy practice.

7.      Enhance student knowledge and skills in most areas of social work research.


Integration of Findings

·        Faculty use self-reflection, class feedback, and class-based assessment tools.

·        Faculty discuss the results of student ratings on attainment of learning objectives for each of the courses.

·        Faculty discuss the results of field instructor evaluations of student performance in field placements.

·        Faculty discuss the results of graduating student exit interviews.

·        Faculty discuss the results of longitudinal assessments of student graduates and employers.

·        Faculty discuss the Social Work Club’s annual written assessment of the SW Program and the Club.


Synopsis of Recommendations to Social Work Program from Assessments

 by Students, Graduates, Employers, Constituents


1.  Develop avenues for students to access open social work positions within the region and for human service employers to let students know of social work vacancies. (General)

2.  Pursue collaborative relationships or develop collaboration in order to continue offering students access to MSW graduate education within the region. (Student Graduates)

3. Examine and clarify how content on rural is integrated into the social work curriculum since 75% of graduates report working in rural areas after graduation. (General)

4. Enhance opportunities for students to understand and work with Gay Men and Lesbian Women, Latino Peoples, and African American Peoples. (Student graduates, employers, exit interviews)

5. Enhance student understanding and skills in critical reasoning (field instructors, employers)

6. Enhance students’ knowledge and skills in leadership and exercising influence in policy arenas with elected public officials and agency decision-makers. (Student graduates & employers)

7. Enhance student skills in communicating their understandings of mechanisms of oppression that operate within agencies, communities, and larger society. (Student graduates & employers)

8. Enhance student skills in demonstrating theoretical knowledge and skills in conducting psychosocial assessments and interventions with clients. (Employers, field instructors, & exit interviews)

9. Enhance student theoretical knowledge and skills in group processes, assessments and interventions. (Student graduates, employers, & field instructors)

10. Enhance student theoretical knowledge and skills in initiating change in organizations (student graduates, employers, field instructors, exit interviews)

11. Enhance student skills in assuming leadership of change efforts in communities (student graduates, employers, field instructors, & exit interviews)

12. Enhance student knowledge and skills in most areas of policy practice (student graduates & employers)

13. Enhance student knowledge and skills in most area of social work research. (Student graduates, employers, & field instructors)


The findings have prompted the following actions within the Social Work Program


1.   Added requirement that students complete pre-requisite courses prior to entering the professional social work program.  Intent: students to gain a broader liberal arts experience prior to entering social work courses, to expose students to a greater range of perspectives on the human experience, and allow additional time for students to mature in thinking ability prior to entering social work program. (Most Recommendations)


2.  Added requirement that students complete a course in American Government. Intent:  to enhance student understanding of how the government operates, the role and function of government decision-making, to provide a greater foundation for policy studies and social work history. {Recommendations #6, #12 above)


3.  Added requirement that students complete courses in Psychology and Sociology. Intent: to enhance student understanding of perspectives and theories of human, group, organization, and community behavior. (Recommendations #8, #10 above)


4.  Moving Social Welfare History and Implementation, Human Behavior in the Social Environment, and Professional Social Work to pre-requisite courses prior to entering the Professional Social Work Program.  Intent: These three courses provide a strong knowledge base of social work history and the evolution of the social welfare systems, ideological issues and values, the range and nature of social work practice, theoretical understanding of human behavior in the social environment over the life span, including in organizations and communities. Content on mechanisms of oppression and interaction with identify included. (Recommendations #7, #10, #11, #12 above)


5.  Added requirement that students to complete a course in statistics prior to entering the Professional Social Work Program. Intent: to increase analytical and critical reasoning and provide a beginning understanding of concepts related to quantitative research and mathematical language. {Recommendations #5, #13 above)


6.  Added requirement that students complete a lab course in interpersonal relationship skills (attending, feedback and dealing with intimidation, power differentials, etc) related to work with individuals, groups, communities and organizations. Intent: provide students with greater interpersonal skills and confidence in using themselves in a variety of situations, including ability to use influence and persuasion. {Recommendations #6, #8, #9, #10, #11above)


7.  Added requirement that students complete a lab course in research methods where students will develop skills in using software, applying statistical processes to data, and enhancing understanding of research concepts. Intent: enhance understanding and ability to use empirical information, contribute to knowledge and skills in evaluating own practice, and contribute to analytical reasoning skills. {Recommendations #5, #13 above)


8.  Brought into the Social Work Program a Research Methods course Intent: to provide social work students with classroom information and knowledge specific to understanding and engaging in social work research processes, including single subject designs, survey research, and qualitative study. (Recommendation #13 above)


9.  Integrated curriculum on human behavior in organizations and communities into the Human Behavior Social Environment course and expanded it to four credit hours. Intent: greater exposure to content on organizations and communities. (Recommendations #10, #11above)


10. Included a semester long project in descriptive analysis of human service delivery systems and increased content of social welfare history in Social Welfare History and Service Delivery Systems. Intent: to expand student knowledge of functioning of service delivery systems and organizations and to expand awareness of policy implementation issues. {Recommendations #6, #7, #10, #12 above)


11. Added a 2-credit seminar course, Methods: Integrative Seminar. Intent: to provide students with opportunity to use empirical information to aid in doing multi-level assessments and in designing multi-level interventions. Provide students with greater understanding of applied theory. {Recommendations #5, #8, #11above)


12. Process Improvement: Added a 1 credit pre-field course. Intent: provide students with opportunity to develop advanced relationships with field instructors and agencies. Intent: to negotiate learning contracts prior to students entering field placements in order to clarity student and field instructor understanding of specific learning tasks and responsibilities that students in field placement needs to undertake and complete. Enhance the pace in which students engage in applying knowledge and acquire higher order skills while in the practicum placement. (Most Recommendations)


13. Included a semester long project in policy analysis of major social issues using comparative, historical, content, etc. analysis. Intent: provide students with the experience of integrating policy understanding and theory with actual experience.  Engage students in contact with agency leaders, information sources, political processes so that they are able to conduct policy analysis, recommend policy directions, and identify strategies to implement policy recommendations. {Recommendations #5, #6, #7, #12)


14. Integrated the use of intentional student groups in completion of assignments with discussion of group problem solving and dynamics discussed in relation to group projects.  Some groups require students to elect group leaders and others are naturally developed. In addition, Methods II course to incorporate more applied experiential opportunities for students to facilitate and participate in different types of groups (Recommendation #8)


15. Redesigned Social Work curriculum to ensure that student accepted into the Professional Social Work Program can take only social work courses and a maximum of 12 credits during the last 3 semesters.  Intent: to support raising the standards and expectations of student performance in social work courses and to permit the arranging and timing of social work courses to accommodate the needs of a greater number of working and distant students. (Most Recommendations)


16. Process Improvement: Developed an internal Social Work Gatekeeping Process. Intent: to develop an avenue for addressing grievance within the Social Work Program and to involve students and community professionals in the resolution of interpersonal issues. (General)


17. Changed the admission standards to the Professional Social Work Program from a 2.0 overall to include a 2.75 in the pre-requisite social work courses. Intent: to raise the expectations for students entering the Professional Social Work Program. (General)


18. Process Improvement:  Developed an application process to the social work program that requires students to engage in written work, references, and interviews.  Intent: to provide students with exposure to professional processes associated with future work and employment. (Professional Confidence and Voice)


19. Mission Integration: Clarified and integrated additional readings on gay men and lesbian women, Latino and African American Peoples into Professional Social Work, Social Welfare History and Service Delivery Systems, Diversity in the Rural Environment, Methods courses, Research, and Policy Analysis and Advocacy. Intent: to provide students with additional knowledge and skills in working with these populations. {Recommendations #4, #7)


Sharing of Assessment Data with Social Work Advisory Board, regional constituents, students and other campus units:


The Social Work Program has continued and ongoing collegial discussions with agencies in the region.  The program makes a concerted effort to engage service providers with the Field Educational Program. Trainings for Field Instructors and Task Supervisors from regional agencies are regularly scheduled.


Assessment data and resulting Social Work Program process and curriculum revisions have been shared with students in class, at the Social Work Club, and by individual advising. Graduates and employers who responded to the longitudinal study of alumni and who requested results were send a letter and summary of findings in May of 2006. The Social Work Program Advisory Board was presented a copy of the results of the longitudinal Field Program Assessment data in January and February 2006. Subsequent to the Site Visit by the Council on Social Work Education, community agencies and the Advisory Board members were sent a summation report by e-mail in May 2006. Students had the opportunity to meet with the Site Visitors in person in their final session on campus.


The distance education coordinators in Scottsbluff, Alliance, North Platte, and Sydney are notified by e-mail of changes in the Program process and curriculum. Revisions of the student handbook are provided to the students and distance education sites both by e-mail and by hand delivery by the Field Education Director. In addition, the Registrar, Student Advising Center, Student Support Services and other academic programs on campus that interface with the Social Work Program are provided updates by e-mail. Faculty members have also presented at All Campus Meetings.


Storage of Social Work Program Assessment Data:

Assessment data is stored in hard copy in locked files of the Social Work Program, in the CSWE Self Study Document and in computerized form with the Social Work Program Director and Field Director.


  1. Does your unit have any specific initiatives related to regional demographics, economic development, or regional needs?



·        Converted four additional courses to online in order to meet long distance student needs

·        Provided more off-site courses in practicum

·        Provided more off sites courses in  internship

·        Increased student participation in online courses

·        Sponsoring Nebraska School Academy at CSC

·        Applying for accreditation with Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) for the community counseling program



·        Development of online classes and program designed to fit regional needs

·        Visit to Oglala Lakota College (OLC) to explore the development of joint programs

·        Special topics classes developed to meet needs of community providers and schools

·        Development and implementation of Student Research Day on campus to provide students who are unable to travel to conferences an opportunity to present their research (based on Psychology Program Research Initiative)


Social Work

·        To respond to recommendations and concerns identified by the Site Visit Team and the Commissioners of the Council on Social Work Education in response to the Self Study completed in April 2006. The Commissioners response to the Self Study will be received in October 2006.

·        Increase enrollment via active recruitment of students

·        To continue to increase service to Social Work student cohorts in the more distant areas of the High Plains Region by offering interactive television and compressed courses, and thereby facilitating education for nontraditional and distant site students.

·        Further the professional development of students through participation in the Social Work Club, Legislative Day, volunteerism, and presentation at conferences.

·        Visit to Oglala Lakota College (OLC) Social Work Program to explore the potential for collaborative courses, student activities and programs.




  1. What planning process does your unit use in response to future needs?  Describe your planning process and how it impacts the way the budget is allocated to support initiatives.  How is planning connected to Vision 2011?


Embedded throughout all licensure, endorsement, and related degree programs, the Visionary Leader Model provides an important context on the basis of which the Unit Head is able to work with Chairs, Directors, Program Coordinators, other College curriculum leaders, and P-12 colleagues to make decisions about such matters as program and faculty quality, relationships and interactions with colleagues across campus and in P-12 schools, allocation of resources, professional development opportunities, and strategic planning.


One unifying purpose for developing the Education Unit Conceptual Framework, "Developing Visionary Leaders for Lifelong Learning", was to provide a coherent connection and overriding philosophy between the Education Department and those departments offering specialty studies programming (i.e., Natural Science Field Endorsement program).  These content area units meet together monthly in what is called, “The Teacher Education Committee.”  This committee serves as a planning and recommending body for governance and policy issues pertaining to the teacher education program at CSC.  At the graduate level a similar committee, The Graduate Council, serves to meet graduate program needs.  These committees are comprised of faculty, student, and community (public school) representatives, and work to make recommendations to the Dean and Head of Teacher Education.   The Dean of the School is responsible for requesting and overseeing the distribution of funds to each of the academic units.


In addition to the Teacher Education Committee and Graduate Council, several standing governance committees directly assist the Unit Head and the Dean with operating a coherent system of planning, delivering, and operating programs; these committees are: Academic Review Committee; Unit Screening Committee; and the Graduate Initial Review Committee (Faculty Senate By-laws; Education Unit By-laws)


Over the past five years, state-appropriated funding for faculty, curriculum, instruction, clinical work, scholarship, and involvement with P-12 schools has decreased substantially.  The State of Nebraska has seen a dramatic loss of revenue that has resulted in reduced appropriations for higher education, and Chadron State College by approximately thirteen percent (13%).  The budget for the Education Department has also decreased.  Allocated funding provides the resources for support of on-going programs, program initiatives and assessment, technology, and outreach activities. Although the budget has seen decreases, through other funding available, the Education Unit has been able to function effectively. 


To some degree the Unit has benefited from revenue generated from foundation development fund-raising activities. (e.g., donations from alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the College) grants and contracts procured by faculty, and delivery of our regional outreach programs.  These funds have been used for program initiatives, development of new technology resources, professional development and program enhancement.


Two four-year grant programs were awarded to the Education Unit in the year 2000, in cooperation with the Nebraska Department of Education.  These grants dollars have greatly assisted the Unit in meeting its goals during these trying times.  The federal Title II funded Nebraska Partnership for Quality Teacher Education Grant was awarded to the Unit in December of 2000, which provided funding for the Unit to improve the recruitment, preparation, and support of new teachers.  In total, this grant brought to the CSC Education Unit a total close to $147,000. In addition to this grant, in October of 2000 the Unit received another large grant in the amount of $85,000, also in collaboration with the Nebraska Department of Education.  This four-year grant, a Nebraska Catalyst Project Grant, was administered through the Nebraska Department of Education, and funded through Title III of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act Program.


In February of 2001 the Education Unit was fortunate again in receiving yet another grant award. The Panhandle Unified Rural Education Project (PURE) was funded through the Nebraska SCRIPT Project in the amount of $156,774.   This state sponsored initiative was funded through the Nebraska Department of Education and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services under the U.S.  Individuals with Disability Education Act, Part C and Part B, Section 619.  The focus of this grant project was to promote teacher educator training and candidate preparation in early childhood and early intervention personnel, in the fields of special education and early childhood education. One result of this grant was the development, promotion, and eventual approval of the Early Childhood Unified Endorsement program (Birth-Grade 3).  This endorsement allows the holder to serve as a special education and/or regular classroom teacher in grades K-3 in Nebraska Public Schools, or work with special needs children at the infant (Birth) to preschool level.  Chadron State College is the only Nebraska state college to offer this progressive endorsement program.  Two other Unified endorsement programs exist at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and Kearney


Through the CSC Vision 2011 Strategic Planning Initiative, funds were made available to units through a grant application process.  This program ties the CSC Strategic Plan and Mission directly to proposed Unit endeavors. Education Department proposals submitted over three grant cycles have yielded the following three proposal awards—totaling approximately $1,600:

1) Native American Welcome Day Grant - $630

2) Education Unit Advisory Committee Grant - $ 400.00

3) Special Education Inclusive Activities Materials Grant - $570.00


Both state-appropriated and grant funding has enabled the Education Unit to provide faculty and candidate training, state of the art technology instruction, and resources for our candidates.


  1. Describe how your unit assesses the success of plans and initiatives.  How has this assessment process and resulting data improved the functioning of your unit?  Are the results of your assessment shared with regional constituents or other campus units?  If so, how and with whom?  How is assessment data stored and accessed?


The Education Unit’s focus is grounded in producing Visionary Leaders who stimulate and inspire the students they serve as they enter the world of the future, while preparing our candidates to succeed in the changing educational world.  Candidate progress in meeting program outcome measures are measured and assessed at the following specific program gateways:

Gateway 1: Admission to Chadron State College (e.g., ACT Score, English requirement);

Gateway 2: Application to Teacher Education Program (e.g., GPA requirement, Criminal Conviction Statement, course completion);

Gateway 3: Admission to Teacher Education Program (e.g., GPA in content area, GPA in Education core courses, passing of PPST, “C” grade in English Composition);

Gateway 4: Admission to Professional Year (e.g., GPA, faculty recommendations, department approval/recommendation, course completion, portfolio, completion of O&P.);

Gateway 5: Graduation, Certification, Entry to Profession

(e.g., complete student teaching experience, cooperating teacher evaluations, supervising professor evaluations, teacher work sample completion, complete degree requirements);

Graduate Follow-up: employer follow-up questionnaire data, Program Completer questionnaire data.


All data collected via questionnaires and evaluations are analyzed, aggregated and evaluated in order to gauge student and program success.  Assessment-informed decisions are made which constantly guide our learning-centered programs.  To provide this information, assessment is undertaken through multiple means and at various points (see above listed gateways) in each program.  Data gathered is purposeful, collected in a structured manner, and analyzed.  Results are then applied to desired outcomes in order to measure success, find strengths and weaknesses, identify individual challenges, and find ways to meet candidate needs.  Candidate learning, faculty development, and program effectiveness are all examined through assessment, and specific program changes have resulted.


Some specific program changes include:

• Changing special education course content to include study of gifted and talented student special needs.

• Providing a professional development workshop to Block students on mandatory special education inclusionary practices, special education referral and testing process, and Individual Education Program (IEP) Team Development and Participation.

• Inclusion of a multicultural field experience for O & P students

• Migrating Unit course delivery modes from face-to-face to on-line format.

• Developing and promoting the new MS Degree in Organization and Management.

• Providing options in the delivery of the Middle Grades Endorsement program.

• Designing and instituting the Post-Baccalaureate Alternative Teacher Certification Program.

• IVY Project initiative – a collaborative agreement between the Education Unit – Math Endorsement Program, to deliver online education course programs to preservice students at IVY Technical College, Indianapolis, IN

Our assessment system is structured to align with state, regional, and national standards.  In the 2000 standards, instituted for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), assessment takes its rightful place as a truly critical component of program success.  The assessment system of Chadron State College’s Education Unit is an on-going process, always under review for ways to affect improved candidate learning success.  Program changes made as a result of assessment generated data, has worked to greatly improve the quality of the teaching and learning taking place within the Education Unit.  We continue to examine methods for strengthening our curriculum, examining the evaluation and comprehension of data, ever watchful for opportunities to achieve excellence.


Resulting program changes are shared via the Teacher Education Committee and the Graduate Council.  These changes are then reflected in the next CSC General Bulletin, and in Unit publications and promotional information. 


Data gathered, as a result of Unit assessment measures, is stored and accessed via the personal computer system of the Unit Assessment Coordinator.  Recently, a graduate assistant has been assigned to help in this effort.


Further detail is outlined in the attached matrices depicting the undergraduate and advanced program gateways, assessments, and feedback processes.  In depth information regarding our assessment system is provided under the Standard 2 section of the Education Unit’s NCATE Institutional Report.


  1. Does your unit have any specific initiatives related to regional demographics, economic development, or regional needs?


Yes, the Education Unit has implemented the following initiatives as a result of the ever-changing demands of the region:


      • Native American Welcome Day initiative – via Vision 2011 Grant

      • IVY Project initiative – a collaborative agreement between the Education Unit and the Math Endorsement Program, to deliver online education course programs to preservice students at IVY Technical College, Indianapolis, IN

      • Alternative Teacher Certification Program—an alternative delivery format for non-traditional students to obtain a teaching degree from CSC.

      • Middle Grades Endorsement Program – with the option of going through our Elementary, Secondary, or Alternative Certification program routes.

      • Organization and Management MS Degree program, resulting from regional needs.


English & Humanities


  1. What planning process does your unit use in response to future needs?  Describe your planning process and how it impacts the way the budget is allocated to support initiatives.  How is planning connected to Vision 2011?


Language and Literature


The English program’s planning process is tied to the department’s Assessment Plan each year.  The faculty has recently developed common student learning outcomes for all of the Composition courses and meets regularly to discuss assessment strategies for those outcomes.  They have also designated a faculty member (through hiring) whose main responsibility is to oversee the Composition component of the English program and to manage the Writing Center as an integral part of writing assessment. 


The Writing Center is a collaborative learning program dedicated to working one-on-one with student writers. Students come to the center for help at various stages of the writing process.  In a writing session, tutors encourage students to discuss ways to improve their writing. They help students clarify their thinking and develop their ideas.  Tutors also help students find strategies for improving organization, sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation. The Writing Center also provides a library of handouts and style manuals, a collection of handouts about writing, and comfortable places to sit, read, and write. Their requests for budget, equipment and program revision are all reported in the feedback loop embedded in the department’s assessment strategies.


At the beginning of each academic year, the department meets to discuss ongoing and newly proposed Vision 2011 initiatives.  Many of these initiatives involve our writing program.  Examples include the Writing Center and a newly approved journal that will feature examples of critical writing by CSC students.




The Spanish program has only one faculty member, so the planning process for the program is integrated with other programs as well as with the department’s assessment plan. 


  1. Describe how your unit assesses the success of plans and initiatives.  How has this assessment process and resulting data improved the functioning of your unit?  Are the results of your assessment shared with regional constituents or other campus units?  If so, how and with whom?  How is assessment data stored and accessed?




The principal means of assessing the success of various department plans and initiatives is through regularly scheduled department meetings where these initiatives are discussed.  These meetings keep every faculty member informed and ensure that each one has a voice.  The detailed minutes of each department meeting is shared with the School Dean and are available to anyone who wishes to examine them.




Same as English above.


  1. Does your unit have any specific initiatives related to regional demographics, economic development, or regional needs?




Specific initiatives related to region:

·        Annual student publication (essays) titled Outside the Lines established in Spring 2006.  The first issue was published in the early fall of 2006. (A copy is available in the HLC evidence room.)

·        Annual student publication (creative writing) titled Tenth Street Miscellany (a copy is available in the HLC evidence room.

·        Two faculty members on the Mari Sandoz Society Board.

·        One faculty member who is Director of the Nebraska Book Festival.

·        Scholastic Day competition.




No Child Left Behind (Topics courses aimed at professions)


Health, Physical Education & Recreation


  1. What planning process does your unit use in response to future needs?  Describe your planning process and how it impacts the way the budget is allocated to support initiatives.  How is planning connected to Vision 2011?


The HPER department submits requests from the Dean, Vice President, Vision 2011 committee, and President to develop and fund the major initiatives of the department.  The department, through consultation with the Dean, develops long range initiatives which will enhance the College.  The initiatives are primarily student oriented and fulfill the mission of the College by enhancing the recruitment of future students as well as development of innovative learning opportunities, e.g. development of climbing wall, ropes course.


  1. Describe how your unit assesses the success of plans and initiatives.  How has this assessment process and resulting data improved the functioning of your unit?  Are the results of your assessment shared with regional constituents or other campus units?  If so, how and with whom?  How is assessment data stored and accessed?


The HPER department continually evaluates the proposals and initiatives which have been developed.  Based on the feedback, the HPER department develops strategies for modifications as well as documentation of success, i.e., advising success with advising plans.  The resulting information is submitted to our Dean for review.  The departmental information regarding initiatives is developed by the three sub-units which are then made available on-line. 



  1. Does your unit have any specific initiatives related to regional demographics, economic development, or regional needs?


The HPER Department has proposed the implementation of a climbing wall and ropes course to be utilized by both the College as a whole and a variety of regional entities.  A climbing wall and ropes course will serve the region by providing an innovative teaching environment for off campus entities.  In addition, the HPER Department has enhanced the Challenge Days with a health component to educate all local K-4 students regarding specific health behaviors.


Justice Studies


  1. What planning process does your unit use in response to future needs?  Describe your planning process and how it impacts the way the budget is allocated to support initiatives.  How is planning connected to Vision 2011?


While "future needs" are always a bit nebulous, we are always striving to determine our personnel and financial needs as well as our students’ academic, coursework, and skills needs.  In essence, planning revolves around a combination of the following: regular department meetings where federal, state, and agency law and regulations are discussed in relation to our department, a revised and implemented assessment plan (with the plan itself being built on student learning outcomes that are a product of collaboration with constituents, students, and future employers), equipment needs and rotation plans, four year advance planning course rotation plans, four year course of study plans for students, a regular review of faculty load reports, faculty review of library and IRC collections for future needs, regular attendance at national and regional professional organization meetings where trends are studied, participation in and reliance on advisory boards, active participation in submitting Vision 2011 proposals that fund innovative programs that further discipline, department and institutional missions.


  1. Describe how your unit assesses the success of plans and initiatives.  How has this assessment process and resulting data improved the functioning of your unit?  Are the results of your assessment shared with regional constituents or other campus units?  If so, how and with whom?  How is assessment data stored and accessed?


The Justice Studies Department has a variety of goals or objectives.  These goals span a range, from recruiting students, implementing 2+2 programs, incorporating technology in the classroom, exploring various methods of course delivery, collaborating with community colleges, locating funds for initiatives, pursuing accreditation from national organizations, reviewing catalogue offerings, to guiding students towards attainment of departmental and course learning outcomes.  As such, a general discussion of "assessing plans and initiatives" is beyond the scope of this project.  In terms of assessing student learning, Justice Studies attempts to measure assessment with the following tools:


·        Assessment plans (incorporating a variety of tools)

·        Employer and Internship supervisor feedback

·        Student feedback

·        Catalogue revisions/new outcomes, courses, mission statements


Assessment has lead to changes in Justice Studies.  An in-depth understanding of this change requires the reader to review Justice Studies’ assessment reports and planning reports.  Several specific examples of change include the recent addition of a new focus area (forensics) in the Criminal Justice major and the Legal Studies change requiring students to acquire additional training in Legal Research and Writing.


Specific results of Justice Studies assessment testing is not shared with regional constituents.  Informal discussions are regularly had with employers, alumni, and internship supervisors.


·        Data storage is not yet centralized in the sense that the data is not on one computer.  That type of information is largely maintained on computers within Justice Studies.  Individual and annual standardized testing results are maintained in a secure Justice Studies faculty office.  We also now have evidence files where class outcomes and faculty reflection are collected.


  1. Does your unit have any specific initiatives related to regional demographics, economic development, or regional needs?


·        We have a new Community College Collaboration Initiative. One purpose of this initiative is to encourage and facilitate the transfer of community college students to Chadron State College.

·        We have an ongoing involvement in developing 2+2 programs.  One purpose of this initiative is to allow community college students to complete their degree from CSC by taking CSC courses offered in their community.

·        We are offering Inter-Distance Learning (IDL) and online courses.

·        We organize training workshops for regional professionals.

·        We require students to participate in service learning projects.

·        Vision 2011 "Student Response System" also known as an "interactive audience response system," this initiative allows students to participate in ongoing class discussions.  Each student has a "clicker" and can respond to questions posed during class.  Instructors then have a way to quickly assess student opinions and/or understanding of the topic being covered.

·        Vision 2011 Justice Studies Web Based Placement Service.  This initiative is intended to assist students in learning about career and employment opportunities available to them.  In cooperation with other student services available at CSC, this initiative will serve as the basis for developing tools that assist Justice Studies students in their job search and application process.


Library Media Program


  1. What planning process does your unit use in response to future needs?  Describe your planning process and how it impacts the way the budget is allocated to support initiatives.  How is planning connected to Vision 2011?


The Department meets informally at the end of the school year, or as needed, to review the previous year and plan for the future. Planning considerations include feedback from students, curriculum changes/needs, any changes in Nebraska State Department of Education Rule 24, and concerns of the library instructors, taking into consideration Vision 2011 goals.


For example, in 2006 we met to discuss any changes needed before presenting the LMS Program at Academic Review on February 28 and March 14.  The major change was in revising the name of the non-teaching program.  It was Information Resource Management and now is Library Information Management.  The minor also has the same name. To distinguish the teaching minor from the non teaching minor the name was changed to Library Media Specialist (K-8)


We also met in 2006 to discuss possible collaboration with the UNO Library Science Department to offer a Masters of Education in Library Media with both CSC and UNO teaching 6 classes.  This is still in the discussion phase but has been approved by the CSC Graduate Council.  Estimated start date is fall 2007.  This collaboration is related to the Teaching and Learning goal and the Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity goal of Vision 2011.


In the fall of 2005 the decision was made to produce a brochure about the library media program.  This brochure was included in the registration packet at the Nebraska Library Association meeting in Lincoln NE.  This action relates to the Public Relations goal of Vision 2011.


  1. Describe how your unit assesses the success of plans and initiatives.  How has this assessment process and resulting data improved the functioning of your unit?  Are the results of your assessment shared with regional constituents or other campus units?  If so, how and with whom?  How is assessment data stored and accessed?


The Department evaluates the program by using data from class enrollment, the Oral Interview/Dialogue Score Sheet and student comments about the program.


In 2003 enrollment figures indicated a change was necessary for the program to continue.  Working with the Vice President for Extended Campus Programs resulted in the decision to put the Library Media Program online. Since then the enrollment figures have increased.


At present the assessment reports are only shared with other campus units and are not made available to regional constituents.  The results of assessment are shared at staff meetings, in reports to the Senior Vice President and at the School of Professional and Graduate Studies Chairs Meetings. The assessment data is stored as hardcopy in a file cabinet in the library office.


  1. Does your unit have any specific initiatives related to regional demographics, economic development, or regional needs?


In the fall of 2003 the Library Media Program was changed to online delivery using Blackboard. Now students from all over the region can take our library media classes.


Mathematical Sciences


  1. What planning process does your unit use in response to future needs?  Describe your planning process and how it impacts the way the budget is allocated to support initiatives.  How is planning connected to Vision 2011?


Reflection documents are prepared at the end of each course offering, describing the grade profile, what works, what did not work, and potential improvements.  Discussion of assessment methods and results is an agenda item at each department meeting.  On a semester basis, the department meeting (example) focuses on issues at greater depth, and an annual procurement plan is formed each October.  Vision 2011 goals are considered in planning, and use of associated funds is considered and, if appropriate, funds related to Vision 2011 are requested.  Attached is an example of a collaboration and recruitment project that was funded with Vision 2011 funds.


  1. Describe how your unit assesses the success of plans and initiatives.  How has this assessment process and resulting data improved the functioning of your unit?  Are the results of your assessment shared with regional constituents or other campus units?  If so, how and with whom?  How is assessment data stored and accessed?


The program standards and initiatives of the Mathematics Association of America serve as goals in departmental planning and changes.  The Assessment Plan uses embedded, pre-selected exam items to measure attainment of Learning Outcomes, and semi-annual discussion focuses on results.  On an on-going basis, outcomes of program/course/pedagogy changes are discussed in department meetings.  Results of assessment are shared with Academic Review and administrators.  Program changes are discussed in departmental newsletters, which are mailed to regional stakeholders.


  1. Does your unit have any specific initiatives related to regional demographics, economic development, or regional needs?


As the shortage of mathematics teachers becomes more acute, the availability of courses online has allowed teachers seeking a mathematics endorsement to complete content courses and become authentically “highly qualified”.  As regional demographic shifts result in a decrease in traditional students, the online program has gained distance students to replace lost numbers in the traditional category.    




  1. What planning process does your unit use in response to future needs?  Describe your planning process and how it impacts the way the budget is allocated to support initiatives.  How is planning connected to Vision 2011?


Future planning revolves around recruiting students and instrument purchases. The department has created two new programs (Music Business and Piano Studio Operations) to attract students to careers other than education. The department has a long-term musical instrument purchase plan; however instruments are purchased from A&S and CSC equipment funds. Budget allocations support general operations, purchase of music, and musical tours designed to recruit students.


            Our planning is connected to Vision 2011 by:

f.        Building strong public and political support through our efforts in public performance through touring and innovative programs.

g.       Our commitment to achieve higher levels of creativity through performance, innovative teaching and musical writing.

h.       Our goal of expanding our financial resources for touring musical ensembles and technology acquisition.

i.         Meeting often, both formally and informally, to discuss teaching effectiveness and student development.

j.        Routinely participating in professional development through attendance at professional meetings and personal practice time.

k.      Recognizing and celebrating student accomplishment at Music Educators National Conference (MENC) award ceremony and Alumni Hall of Fame.

l.         Our commitment to student retention through individual advisement and programs like Music Theory Help Session MUS 101.


  1. Describe how your unit assesses the success of plans and initiatives.  How has this assessment process and resulting data improved the functioning of your unit?  Are the results of your assessment shared with regional constituents or other campus units?  If so, how and with whom?  How is assessment data stored and accessed?


The Music department assesses student progress as a window to the effectiveness of music planning and initiatives.  Student development/program effectiveness is assessed through:

1.      Individual lessons (.5-1 hour per week in MUS 115/315)

2.      Semester performances at Student Recital MUS 101

3.      Semester end exam called a “jury”

4.      Senior Recital MUS 415

5.      Performance Ensembles MUS 102/302 through MUS 110/310

6.      Sophomore Qualifying Performance


Student notational skills are assessed in MUS 131, 132, 231, 232.

Music faculty use this data to make mid-course corrections in student learning.


The department has made several large program changes as a result of assessing our effectiveness in serving our region.  Additions of Music Business and Piano Studio Operations Emphasis within the BA in Music are good examples.  This year a recording class was added to the curriculum.


Our assessment results are shared with our Dean and the Vice President of Academic Affairs.  In our department the assessment results are stored in student files and in an “evidence drawer” located in the Music Office.


  1. Does your unit have any specific initiatives related to regional demographics, economic development, or regional needs?


·         The music program supplies public school educators, currently in short supply, to our region

·         High Plains Band & Choir Festival, which is a two day workshop for students to work with clinicians

·         High Plains Jazz Festival 

·         Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir, Men’s Vocal Ensemble, Women’s Vocal Ensemble, and Jazz Ensemble

·         The performance of at least two concerts per semester

·         Jazz Birds numerous performances throughout the region

·         The touring of our Woodwind Ensembles through area schools

·         The music faculty perform with High School bands in the region and put on clinics

·         The encouragement of students to form independent musical ensembles to entertain within the region


Physical & Life Sciences


  1. What planning process does your unit use in response to future needs?  Describe your planning process and how it impacts the way the budget is allocated to support initiatives.  How is planning connected to Vision 2011?


Assessment data is collected to determine student competencies in the areas of content knowledge, scientific application, and scientific communication.  From this data annual assessment reports are prepared.  Based on the findings presented in the annual assessment report weaknesses in the areas of content, scientific application and communication are identified.  The department then using the steps below determines the necessary changes to the program required to alleviate the weaknesses identified.


·         Regular departmental meetings to address curriculum in majors

·         Regular departmental meetings to address equipment needs for effective teaching

·         Informal discussions with employers to determine future competencies needed by graduates

·         Annual assessment report prepared by department to assess short term and long term changes and their effectiveness


This process is connected to Vision 2011 in the following areas; Institutional Community – it aides the students and faculty in realizing their potential and reaching their aspirations by providing well developed curriculum with plenty of opportunities for scientific discovery, Regional Service – it improves the quality of services to the western High Plains by supplying a well qualified work force in the areas of science and health care, Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity – it encourages research activity through the acquisition and use of discipline related scientific equipment, Resources and Facilities – it improves the efficiency and effectiveness of facility use by prioritizing equipment purchases partially on the basis of  it ability to be used in multiple settings i.e. several classes, and or research applications, Teaching and Learning – it improves the effectiveness of teaching and learning by providing students the opportunity to acquire the competencies or skills required by employers, graduate programs, and professional schools.           


  1. Describe how your unit assesses the success of plans and initiatives.  How has this assessment process and resulting data improved the functioning of your unit?  Are the results of your assessment shared with regional constituents or other campus units?  If so, how and with whom?  How is assessment data stored and accessed?


The Department of Physical and Life Sciences assesses its programs through the use of the following tools:

a.       Subject knowledge assessed through examination processes

b.      Evaluation of Seminar/Capstone scientific presentations

c.       Surveys of graduates and their employers (yet to be developed and implemented)

d.      Assessment data is compiled in an annual assessment report shared with faculty and administrators

e.       Assessment reports are compared to the previous years data to determine the success of implemented changes


The results of previous assessments have identified weaknesses in areas of subject content, application of knowledge, and communications.  This has resulted in the development of new courses to teach content and skills in newly developing fields, increasing the amount of subject matter covered in existing courses, the purchase of specialized equipment to be used in laboratory courses to develop student competencies required in the work force, increased the student utilization of laboratory equipment, and stressing use of scientific communication in various forms at all levels of the curriculum.  The results of the assessment are shared with the administration at Chadron State College and informally with colleagues at sister institutions during conversations at regional or national meetings.


  1. Does your unit have any specific initiatives related to regional demographics, economic development, or regional needs?


a.       RHOP/HPHOP (Rural Health Opportunities Program/High Plains Health Opportunities Program) programs - recruit rural students for careers in health science

b.      Scholastics Day science competitions

c.       Conduct the annual Health Professions Day

d.      Planetarium shows for local schools and organizations

e.       Eleanor Barbour Cook Museum of Geology (housed in the Math and Science building of  Chadron State College) tours for local schools and organizations


Social Sciences


  1. What planning process does your unit use in response to future needs?  Describe your planning process and how it impacts the way the budget is allocated to support initiatives.  How is planning connected to Vision 2011?


Applied History

As there is currently only one instructor for the Applied History/Museum Studies programs, the instructor is also allowed to work autonomously in the implementation and development of the program within departmental and institutional goals. This autonomy also allows for a quick response to issues and changes in the field.  The small department size lends itself to working in collaboration with other departments and institutions. Outside constituents are often visited and discussed in course work.


There is currently no financial allocation specifically for the program; therefore, the planning and budgetary priorities are non-existent. When planning and budgetary decisions are discussed it is in the context of the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center and the Social Science and Justice Studies Department.


As there is currently only one instructor for the Applied History/Museum Studies programs, the instructor must work with outside constituents in assessing the needs of the future profession. The instructor has started discussions with specialized graduate programs, such as the University of Oklahoma, to see what courses, knowledge, and skills graduate programs are looking for from incoming students. The instructor is also involved with the Nebraska Museums Association (NMA) and the Mountain-Plains Museums Association (MPMA). MPMA is a ten state regional association. The instructor is continually looking at job postings in the museum field within Nebraska and the MPMA region to see what types of jobs are being offered and what skills are needed to fill these jobs.


The instructor and Chadron State are members of several of the American Association of Museums’ (AAM) Standing Professional Committees. These committees include the Committee on Museum Professional Training (COMPT) and the Committee on Education (EdCom).  The Committee on Museum Professional Training serves as a forum for the discussion, study, and dissemination of knowledge on professional training and opportunities/options, provides direction to all museum professionals seeking enrichment, and develops and advocates training standards and ethics. The Committee on Education brings together museum educators and other museum professionals to advance the purpose of museums as places of learning, to serve as advocates for audiences, and to promote professional standards and excellence in the practice of museum education. As members of these committees and as a member of the Association of College and University Museums and Galleries (ACUMG), the instructor is connected to others in the museum profession that are looking at learning, assessment, and issues relating to the future of the museum profession.


Looking at internal planning processes, the instructor works with the Department Chair to assess course rotation and resources currently available and needed for the program. A majority of the financial resources from the program come from the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center, as the instructor is also the director of the Center. Acquisition of materials for the library and instructional resource center come from the Department; equipment, such as computers and scientific instruments, come from the Center.


The addition of a Museum Studies minor is in response to the requests of our students and to the marketplace. In these first few years of the program, three students had taken all museum courses offered, excluding internship, and could not receive credit for them as a distinct course of study. The courses would appear on their transcripts, but only as electives. The students did not want to change their primary major to Applied History, but wanted to see the addition of an Applied History/Museum Studies minor. The students had already earned enough credits to equal a minor, but could not receive credit for them as such. The instructor began looking at issues of recruitment and at the marketplace. The instructor noticed from advertisements and personal experience, that employers are looking for someone with a content specialty and experience in and with museums. By developing the Museum Studies minor, students will be able to expand their career choices beyond Applied History/Museum Studies to other career avenues such as art and antiquities appraisal, art gallery ownership/director, object/art transportation, and cultural property legislation to name a few.


Looking at the long-term needs of the program, the instructor would like to add adjunct faculty, either on campus or via distance-learning modalities, to increase diversity of instruction and to create more offerings for Chadron State. Several professionals around the region, including archivists from the Nebraska State Historical Society, have offered to work with Chadron State in providing courses. Chadron State has also begun conversations with Oglala-Lakota College on the Pine Ridge Reservation to offer a course in the care of Native-American cultural property. So far funding has not been available at this time to facilitate these initiatives. We are hoping that with increased enrollments in the program those additional financial resources will be available.


Planning for the Applied History program is very much tied to Vision 2011. The establishment of the Applied History program is an illustration of the innovative ways that Chadron State is working to provide service to the region. One of the ways that the Applied History program has worked to be responsive to the region is by offering assistance to the Sallows Military Museum in Alliance following a devastating fire in the spring of 2005.  The Center has provided interns to several local museums including the Museum of the Fur Trade and Fort Robinson Museum. Students in the Applied History program are given a tour of the library by a Resource Librarian on the first day of class. This tour will help them locate the information and information literacy they will need, in multiple formats, to be successful in their course.


History & Social Science

The history and social science programs are preparing for the future in a few ways.  First of all, both programs are maintaining current course rotations, so that students (and faculty) can know which courses are offered and when.  Four-year plans of study permit students to plan their schedules out well in advance.  Together, course rotations and four-year plans of study enable students to complete their history or social science program in a quick and efficient manner. 


Second, the programs are seeking to utilize new faculty to their full potential.  For instance, because of the recent hire of history faculty, Dr. Randall Austin, the history program can now offer new courses, including “U.S. Political History in the 20th Century,” “Civil Rights and the Vietnam War,” “Turn of the Century America,” and “World War I.”  Expanding our course offerings and utilizing qualified faculty to teach such courses only enhance both programs.  Another example of this is the decision of Mr. Luke Perry, a recently hired political science professor, to teach a special topics course on foreign policy during fall semester 2006.  This is advantageous to the social science program for two reasons.  First, Professor Perry is well-qualified to teach this course.  Second, Dr. Hyer will have just taught the “American Diplomatic History” course the previous semester.  By offering two courses on United States foreign policy over two consecutive semesters—and being taught from two different perspectives—the social science program will provide students with diverse and unique insights into this critical topic.  It is the intention of the social science program to offer similar possibilities in the future.


Third, both programs will continue to evolve as we commence receiving feedback from alumni in spring 2007.  From then on, once a year, both programs will solicit comments from individuals who graduated five years prior from either one of the programs and ascertain how much they were prepared for their respective careers and what suggestions they might have regarding improving the history or social science programs.


All three strategies should contribute to the overall vitality of both programs.  As far as Vision 2011 is concerned, the history and social science programs are seeking to improve teaching and learning within the two programs.  The programs have hired individuals who can teach students using technology and other innovative methods.   Vision 2011 forms the foundation of planning program needs and priorities.  For instance, in order to continue to build bridges between the college and the general public, the department continues to assist in Native American Welcome Day, which was explained in Criterion One, section four.  In addition, department members for the past twenty or so years have sponsored the Oktoberfest Fundraiser.  Oktoberfest typically draws between 250 and 350 people, including members of the campus community and the general public.  Furthermore, the department sponsors other events, such as History Day.  All of these activities assist the college in improving its relations with the public, and at varying levels, serve as recruitment tools.


  1. Describe how your unit assesses the success of plans and initiatives.  How has this assessment process and resulting data improved the functioning of your unit?  Are the results of your assessment shared with regional constituents or other campus units?  If so, how and with whom?  How is assessment data stored and accessed?


Applied History

The Applied History/Museum Studies program is relatively new at Chadron State College; thus, historical documentation is scarce at this time for tracking the program. The first graduates from the program completed their degrees in May of 2006. These graduates will be the best gauge of the program and its ability to meet the current needs of the marketplace. We plan to assess the success of our planning and initiatives by the ability of our graduates to enter graduate school and the workplace. We plan to do this by working with the Internship and Career Services Office and with the Alumni Office to track our graduates. One of the most immediate ways we plan to evaluate our success is by measuring enrollments. With the introduction of new courses and different instructors, we can gauge the interests of our students by enrollment and by using the different assessment tools that the different instructors will use.


We will use the resulting data to evaluate the modality of course delivery and teaching techniques. This data may also help us work with graduate school partners and other departments at Chadron State in helping to refine the course of study. It could be the case where our students are having difficulty in getting into graduate school. After contacting the school we may find that the Chadron State students do not have enough chemistry courses. We could then work with the Chemistry department to see how best to meet this need. As mentioned earlier, there are several national organizations that look at museum education programs. By comparing our findings with those of other institutions, we will be able to compare the success of our programs with that of older, more established programs.


We anticipate sharing this information with constituents and on campus via the College’s web-site. We also hope to be able to share our information with regional and national museum organizations through publication and presentations.


Assessment data will be stored in both paper and electronic formats. Tests and grading rubrics are currently stored in the instructor’s office. With the addition of new technologies, digital materials may need to be stored as well. Examples of this would be digital presentations prepared by students, RefWorks bibliographies, and digital pictures. We anticipate keeping these on CD/DVDs and storing those with the paper documents. Once data collection has begun, we would like to post composite assessment data on the College’s web-site. The individual assessment documentation will be kept at the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center when appropriate. These documents may also be kept by the Alumni Office or the Internship and Career Services Office.


History & Social Science

The assessment process, as noted above, requires that both programs solicit feedback from alumni regarding the programs.  That feedback will continue to influence the makeup of the two programs.  That data will be stored with the faculty member who oversees the two programs, in this case, Dr. Joel Hyer.  Regarding the Native American Welcome Day described earlier, its success is judged by how many perspective students attend the event and most importantly how many Native students are enrolled in classes at the college the following year.  In the past, we have gained access to the numbers of Native students enrolled at the college from Mr. Carl Cousins, the Student Services Counselor.


  1. Does your unit have any specific initiatives related to regional demographics, economic development, or regional needs?


Applied History

The establishment of the Applied History program is tied to regional demographics. According to the American Association of Museums (AAM)’s national statistics, one in 480 Americans age 18 and older is a museum volunteer. In the state of Nebraska there are 1,341,836 individuals are over the age of 18, according to the 2000 census. Using the statistics listed above, 2,795 are volunteers at museums and five Chadron State College students are volunteers as well (using the same equation and using the enrollment number of 1,966 students provided by T. Dawson on 7/25/2006.) Most of the non-traditional students that have enrolled in the Applied History courses have been volunteers at local museums. These courses are helping these volunteers to develop the skills that are needed to be more effective in their institutions and bring greater professionalism to the many small institutions in the region.


The establishment of the Applied History program is also tied directly to regional needs and economic development.


According to the American Association of Museums (AAM)’s national statistics, nine out of ten counties in the United States have at least one museum. Twenty-nine museums in Chadron State’s fourteen county service region are members of the Nebraska Museums Association (NMA). The instructor knows from personal experience that there are many other museums that are not part of NMA.  These institutions, whether or not they are part of an association, are part of the billion dollar Heritage Tourism industry.


Heritage Tourism is defined as traveling to experience the places, artifacts and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present, including cultural, historic and natural resources. According to a 2003 national research study (The Historic/Cultural Traveler by the Travel Industry Association and Smithsonian Magazine) 81% (118 million) U.S. adults who traveled in 2002 were considered cultural heritage travelers. These travelers included historical or cultural activities on almost 217 million person trips last year, up 13 percent from 192 million in 1996.Visitors to historic sites and cultural attractions stay longer and spend more money than other kinds of tourists. Cultural and heritage visitors spend, on average, $623 per trip compared to $457 for all U.S. travelers excluding the cost of transportation. 30% of cultural heritage travelers report that their destination choice was influenced by a specific historic or cultural event or activity. (Source: 2003 The Historic/Cultural Traveler, TIA). Perhaps the biggest benefits of cultural heritage tourism, though, are diversification of local economies and preservation of a community’s unique character. (

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, which among its federally designated duties is to advise the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy, emphasizes that heritage tourism can be an important agent in promoting community pride and enhancing quality of life. As communities focus on presenting their heritage assets to tourists, they gain increased appreciation for such resources.


With this increased appreciation is the need for professionals educated in the care of these resources. From 1998 to 2000, there were almost 500 nationally advertised director/CEO openings in Aviso, AAM’s monthly newsletter.(Arts Insights e-newsletter, February 2002.) Again these are nationally advertised positions for director/CEO, most of the museums in Nebraska and the region will conduct statewide searches, making the number of open positions much larger. The presented figure does not include the number of curators, educators, and exhibit professionals that were needed during this period either. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics states that employment of archivists, curators, and museum technicians is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2014. Jobs are expected to grow as public and private organizations emphasize establishing archives and organizing records and information and as public interest in science, art, history, and technology increases. Museum and zoo attendance has experienced a drop in recent years because of a weak economy, but the long-term trend has been a rise in attendance, and this trend is expected to continue. There is healthy public and private support for and interest in museums, which will generate demand for archivists, curators, and museum technicians. With this type of job growth potential, Chadron State College is innovatively creating new job opportunities for its graduates.


History & Social Science

Both the history and social science programs have several initiatives related to regional demographics and regional needs.  Here are a few examples.  First of all, since spring 2003, the history program has hosted the annual History Day for western Nebraska.  Students from middle schools and high schools in Harrison, Alliance, Valentine, and other communities come to the college to compete in various categories.  History Day tends to attract roughly fifty participants, excluding parents and other supporters. 


Second, since fall 2002, the college has hosted an annual powwow; over the past four years, between 250 and 350 individuals have participated in the festivities.  This appears to be one of the stronger outreach programs directed at Native Americans in Chadron, other communities in the vicinity, and Pine Ridge Reservation.  This is one way that the college is attempting to increase Native American enrollment rates.  If Native youth attend the college powwow on an annual basis, then perhaps the college will be an attractive choice for them if they decide to pursue a degree after high school.


Third, Native American Welcome Day is another initiative directed at regional demographics.  Unlike the others, it is funded through a Vision 2011 grant.  It is discussed in more detail in criterion one, point four.


Visual & Performing Arts


  1. What planning process does your unit use in response to future needs?  Describe your planning process and how it impacts the way the budget is allocated to support initiatives.  How is planning connected to Vision 2011?



The Art Department planning process is all tied to our Assessment Plan each year.  It takes two directions based on the demands of the market place and the demands of our current student needs.  We as faculty meet on a weekly basis to discuss and plan the direction we must take to meet these two needs. 


Our requests for budget, equipment and program revision are all reported in our feedback loop of our assessment.  All our efforts and resources are directed to the areas of greatest need.


Institutional Community:  We discuss how to relate our courses with other courses offered throughout the institution. We create the same student learning outcome categories for each course we offer. As faculty we make ourselves accessible to our colleagues and students in other disciplines (such as meeting with entomology students and helping them hone the skills to draw as well as offering input in the design of science student’s posters).


Public Relations:  All of our art exhibits create public relations.  They also create accessibility to college administrators, local benefactors, RSVP volunteers, and local audiences.  We are currently working with the Foundation to establish a permanent art collection.  It is our intention that the funding will come from donations from alumni, members of the community, and industry.  Through this project we will be building bridges, handshakes, and avenues of connection that will greatly benefit the art department and by extension the college in the future.


Regional Service:  We provide educational opportunities in a sparse region.  We are the central point of contact for all art shows and exhibits in Western Nebraska; we have school groups that come in to view them; we conduct workshops for public schools; we put on numerous demonstrations every year for church groups, city groups, boy scouts, girl scouts, senior citizens, and private businesses.  We also developed a group of senior level students who can gain practical experience while working with businesses who have approached the department needing design assistance or project development.


Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity:  This is accomplished in the creation, display, and distribution of our own artwork.  We all try, with our limited time, to work on our own craft and produce artwork that can be exhibited in the area and the region as well as across the United States.  The best supporters of this endeavor is our adjuncts who do a considerable amount of work that is shown across the United States, which casts a positive light on not only our Art Department but also Chadron State College as a whole.  Our adjuncts provide an invaluable outreach into our community through their art production and often act as a bridge to our outside audience and create a network of connections that greatly benefit the Art Department.


Resources and Facilities:   Memorial Hall sustained a total remodel in 2001-02.  Everything was brought up to every standard possible.  Since the remodel, we have added a full graphic design studio and fully mediated both lab and classroom spaces (an ongoing project).  We are already thinking long-term about expansion of the sculpture, glass, and art storage space for the department with tie-ins to the theatre department’s scene shop. We hope to expand in the next two years the joint ventures in the industrial arts area in art and somewhat combine the use of facilities, faculty and such.  Long-term planning is an on-going process in our department.


Teaching and Learning:  Improving effectiveness of teaching and learning is a continual process utilizing assessment results.



We consider demographic trends, theatrical arts trends, technical trends, professional and industry trends as well as close examination of recruitment, retention, and the regions most likely to provide future students and population basis.  Our budget allocation is based on criteria each directly related to Vision 2011.

·        What are the needs in equipment and facilities needed to stay current on technical trends?

·        What is the cultural value for the service region and our audience?

·        Which and what kind of theatrical projects would most benefit the greatest number of students in the program?

·        What are the classroom equipment and procedures necessary to maximize competencies in the outcomes for the greatest number of students?


  1. Describe how your unit assesses the success of plans and initiatives.  How has this assessment process and resulting data improved the functioning of your unit?  Are the results of your assessment shared with regional constituents or other campus units?  If so, how and with whom?  How is assessment data stored and accessed?



All assessment data is stored each year and compared to previous years’ information.  Our success of plans and initiatives is looked at each year to see if our changes in curriculum and equipment have improved the outcomes of our students in course work.  We also look at previous years to see if our art shows have improved our students’ awareness in art as reflected in their own work.  An annual Assessment Report is created          and examined by faculty and administration.


With the addition of two new full-time faculty members we are developing a plan to centralize the hard copy and electronic storage of our assessment results and hope to implement it soon.



Under the revised plan, our program assessment would come from.

·        Data and evaluation from inside the classroom

·        Senior portfolio review                      

·        Theatre Faculty assessing student performance, design, and directing.

·        CSC interdepartmental  faculty assessing production values and competencies

·        Audiences assessing effectiveness

·        KCTF Respondents (outside peer Theatre Faculty) assessing CSC productions and quality

·        Theatre Majors  assessing instructors and facilities

·        Success of our students in the field


Assessment data is stored digitally by the program coordinator and in a master file with the OAII for the program, where it is reviewed annually and revised for greater effectiveness.  Much of program assessment as well as assessment of student outcomes are accomplished through DAILY meetings (2 discussions daily on average) by the two faculty members.  Virtually every day this is discussed, analyzed and evaluated.


  1. Does your unit have any specific initiatives related to regional demographics, economic development, or regional needs?



Specific initiatives related to region:

·        2 – 3 all-day art workshops for High Schools

·        Scholastic Day art competitions

·        18+ art shows per year in two galleries

·        A growing Permanent Art Collection always on display

·        Tours, lectures and workshops



Specific initiatives are:

·         Theatre Days (2 per year for regional high schools)

·         Productions (4 per year for cultural outreach for regional audiences including young audience development)

·         Touring Children’s Theatre ( every third year for  regional elementary schools)

·         Encouraging and preparing students to participate as high school adjudicators

·         Encouraging students to participate in community-based performance

·         Providing performances for Library Board for all elementary students in the county

·         Providing performances in cooperation with local organizations, i.e. selections from The Vagina Monologues at the request of Family Rescue Services and the Ministries in Higher Education Association for Domestic Partner Violence Awareness