STRATEGIC PLANNING DOCUMENT DATE: March 1, 2003 ACADEMIC UNIT: English Department CHAIRPERSON: Dr. Stephen E. Meats Mission The English Department provides bachelors degree programs in literature, technical/professional and creative writing, and the teaching of English, and masters degree programs in literature, professional writing and rhetoric, and community college teaching. The Department serves the University’s overall academic program by offering support courses in technical writing and general education and by providing faculty and students with a variety of teaching and learning programs, services, and activities beyond the classroom. The Department also provides and supports programs that offer educational and aesthetic enrichment opportunities for public school students and teachers and for members of the Pittsburg community and the Southeast Kansas region. All Department programs and activities are consistent with the mission of Pittsburg State University as a comprehensive regional university. Vision The Department is committed to offering degree programs of high quality, including appropriate use of media and instructional technology. The Department is also committed to the growth of these programs in a manner consistent with the mission and resources of the University and its leadership role in the Southeast Kansas higher education community. To meet its commitments, the Department strives to develop programs in literature, language, and writing that provide students with optimum opportunities for intellectual development; aesthetic, creative, ethical, emotional, and social growth; enhanced gender, ethnic, and multicultural awareness; enhanced technological knowledge and skill; career preparation; and freedom of expression. To provide these opportunities, the Department engages in a continuous process of assessment of educational programs and student outcomes with the purpose of improving student learning. The Department also strives to support the efforts of its faculty in their pursuit of excellence in teaching, scholarly/creative endeavor, and service to the University, to the profession of English studies, and to society at large. How This Unit Supports the Academic Mission of the University: The Department offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs and services in its areas of specialty to the citizens of southeast Kansas and to others who seek them. Excellence in teaching, supported by important research and service initiatives, is the primary focus of the Department. The Department also encourages and supports the efforts of its students, staff, and faculty to achieve their potentials for personal and professional development and for multicultural and international awareness. Unit Goals Goal 1. To decrease the department’s need each year to recruit part-time instructors from a small and declining pool. Objective 1.1. To add one full-time master’s level lecturer position to teach three sections of Technical Writing and one section of General Literature. Strategy 1.1. To demonstrate to the Dean and VPAA that a full-time lecturer in Technical Writing will both decrease dependence on part-time instructors and help maintain the quality of the program. Performance measure 1.1. The Dean and VPAA will approve the temporary full-time technical writing instructor position. Progress: The Dean and VPAA have been made aware, but we have made no additional progress toward creation of this position. However, we have made progress in the past two years toward reducing the Department’s need for part-time instructors by reallocating part- time funds to increase graduate assistant stipends so that we could increase the teaching load of graduate assistants from two courses each per year to four. Because this goal is also closely tied to an increase in the number of graduate teaching assistantships, see Objective 2.1 below. Goal 2. To enhance the size and quality of the English graduate program. Objective 2.1. To increase the number of graduate teaching assistantships allocated to the Department by two (from eight to ten). Strategy 2.1. To demonstrate to the Dean and VPAA that an increase in the number of graduate assistants is possible through additional reallocation of part-time salary money in a way that will further reduce the Department’s dependency on part-time instructors. Performance measure 2.1. The Dean and VPAA will approve an increase in the number of English graduate assistantships. Progress: The Dean and VPAA have been made aware, and we may be close to accomplishing this goal. Reallocation of part-time funds to graduate assistant positions has already been used to increase the graduate assistantship stipend and can also help fund these two additional assistantships. The only remaining obstacle is to cover the additional cost of remission of tuition for these two positions. Objective 2.2. To implement an aggressive plan for recruiting graduate students. Strategy 2.2.1. To make mail and telephone contacts with regional English teachers and colleges and with colleges from which we have successfully recruited students in the past. Performance measure 2.2.1. The number of applicants for graduate assistantship positions will increase. Progress: The Department contacted all recent graduates of our own program suggesting the possibility of pursuing a masters in English. The number of applicants for assistantships increased slightly in 2002, which reversed a trend of steady decline over the past five years. Objective 2.3. To improve the quality of the masters program by revising the preliminary and comprehensive graduate examinations. Strategy 2.3.1. To devise preliminary and comprehensive examinations that integrate closely with the knowledge bases of the three areas of emphasis in the English masters program. Performance measure 2.3.1. Students will better perceive the relationship between their chosen courses of study and the system of graduate examinations. Performance measure 2.3.2. Faculty in all areas of instruction will participate equally in devising and grading graduate examinations. Performance measure 2.3.3. Student performance on graduate examinations will improve. Progress: The Department completed a thorough redefinition and restructuring of its reading lists and comprehensive examination procedure. Except for Performance Measure 2.3.3., we consider this objective accomplished. The Department will begin assessing progress on the final Performance measure when the first masters students take exams under the new system in Spring 2003. Goal 3. To enhance departmental outreach programs. Objective 3.1. To develop stronger relationships with area community colleges to facilitate the English masters program emphasis in Community College Teaching and to improve recruiting of undergraduate students. Strategy 3.1.1. To initiate a series of visits to area community college campuses by the Department community college liaison and/or chairperson to discuss teaching internship possibilities and academic program compatibility. Performance measure 3.1.1. Teaching internship agreements will be established with community college departments and undergraduate transfer concerns will be addressed and revised as needed. Progress: The Department community college liaison officer visited with English faculty at three community college campuses in Spring 2002. In Fall 2002, community college faculty came to P. S. U. for two workshops on teaching in the community college for masters students in that areas of emphasis. The community college liaison officer has scheduled visits to several area community colleges in Spring 2003. Objective 3.2. To improve relationships with English teachers at area public schools and to enhance opportunities for students to have contact with the Department and the University. Strategy 3.2.1. To establish a program of workshops on the use of computers in the teaching of writing to be offered at area public schools as an in- service professional development opportunity for teachers. Performance measure 3.2.1. Computers-and-Writing workshops for teachers will be offered to and held at area public schools. Strategy3.2.2. To improve the program for the annual High School English Festival to attract more participation by area schools. Performance measure 3.2.2. Participation of area schools in the annual High School English Festival will increase. Progress: English Education faculty have become more active in visiting area schools. One faculty member devoted his sabbatical in Fall 2002 to interviewing graduates of our program, cooperating teachers, and principals to find out ways department-school relations can be improved. The English Festival for high school students was reinstituted in Spring 2003 after a one-year hiatus. Eleven area schools registered to participate. Two English faculty received faculty development grants for 2002 to research and develop a grant proposal for a summer workshop in which area high school and community college teachers would learn to use local history, literature, etc., in their schools’ curricula. This grant proposal was submitted to a national grants organization but no result has been received yet. No further computer workshops have been offered. Objective 3.3. To encourage students to participate in educational, enrichment, and service activities outside the classroom. Strategy 3.3.1. To establish relationships with campus and community organizations that could offer opportunities for internships and other types of student participation. Strategy 3.3.2. To offer financial support to students for travel to and participation in professional conferences and other similar activities. Performance measure 3.3.1. The number of students participating in educational, enrichment, and service activities outside the classroom will increase. Progress: Internships with campus and community organizations have become a standard feature for undergraduates and graduates in technical/professional writing. We are still seeking to develop internship opportunities for graduate students in community college teaching. English Education students volunteered for national library day at a local high school. A number of undergraduate and graduate English students delivered papers at state, regional, and national professional conferences. Women’s Studies students in Fall 2002 volunteered in several community service organizations, activities, and projects. International students in English classes were taken on field trips in the local area, Kansas City, and locations in New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Washington, D. C., and New York. Goal 4. To continue to develop and enhance departmental computer capabilities. Objective 4.1. To develop computer-enhanced components to existing and new classes. Strategy 4.1.1. To offer incentives to faculty in annual performance appraisals for developing computer components for their classes. Performance measure 4.1.1 The number of faculty developing computer components for their classes will increase. Objective 4.2. To provide for the maintenance and replacement of current departmental instructional equipment facilities (computers). Objective 4.3. To establish a second computer classroom in Grubbs Hall. Objective 4.4. To provide networked computers in the Writing Center to support its expanding role in the WAC Program and student activities (new in 2003). Strategy 4.2 & 3.1. To demonstrate to the Dean and VPAA that an instructional equipment support fund be established and funded, either through student fee, state appropriation, or other sources, to provide for the cost of maintaining and replacing existing departmental computers/printers/scanners/instructional software, and also to establish a second computer classroom, which is needed, first, to accommodate the increasing demands of the heavily computer- intensive Technical Writing program and the large number of regular composition courses, and second, to provide more open computer lab accessibility for Arts & Sciences programs and students. Performance measure 4.2 & 3.1. The Dean and VPAA will agree to find a way to fund the maintenance and replacement of instructional equipment and the establishment of a second computer classroom. Progress: One faculty member set up approximately a dozen web sites as enrichment to her classes. These web sites have registered thousands of hits not only from students in her classes but from teachers and students across the country and around the world. She has received dozens of emails praising the web sites. One of her web sites won a national award for literary/historical/artistic web sites dealing with the 1920s. One graduate student set up a web site for use by her composition students. The Department is modifying its web sites to meet standards of ADA accessibility. No progress has been made toward establishing a second Grubbs Hall Computer Classroom. Goal 5. To assess Department degree programs and student outcomes for the purpose of improving student learning. Objective 5.1. To revise the senior capstone course, ENGL 699. Strategy 5.1.1. To devise assessment methods that accurately reflect student achievement in satisfaction with departmental B. A. and B. E. Ed. degree programs. Strategy 5.1.2 To enhance the career component of the course to increase students’ knowledge of and preparation for the job market. Objective 5.2. To gather information that reflects the effectiveness of departmental programs in preparing graduates for careers. Strategy 5.2.1. To conduct an annual survey of graduates regarding how well departmental programs prepared them for their careers. Performance measure 5.1 & 2.1. Assessment information from the capstone course and the annual survey of graduates will be regularly used in revising departmental academic programs to meet the needs of students. Progress: Two Department faculty received assessment grants for Spring 2003, one to study ways to improve assessment methods for ENGL 699, including the electronic portfolio, and the other to study the application of portfolio assessment methods to literature classes. The annual survey of graduates conducted for the past five years shows that English graduates report being satisfied with their educational experiences at PSU and well-prepared for their careers. Information from ENGL 699 exit essays and the annual survey of graduates has been helpful in shaping majors and minors to meet the needs of students.
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