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					Program Area: Academic Records

Adequate service hours/availability
Does the area meet the needs of the community? Is the office open when students/faculty/staff
need the service? How do we know?

         Task Force Response: The Records Office appears to be meeting the service hour needs
of the faculty/staff; however, no information is available to suggest that hours are adequate for
student needs.

 Director:      The sign in front of the Records Office lists the year-around office hours
from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., as well as ―All other hours by appointment. (To include
evenings & weekends)‖. Students rarely schedule appointments for evenings (beyond 5 or
5:30 p.m.) and weekends and have not done so for a few years. This suggests that current
office hours are adequate for student needs. Further, the office is open at 7:00 a.m. on day
one of senior, junior, sophomore, and all others days of registration.

Program/service compares favorably with ―best practices‖ or model program
Does the area have the structure and resources necessary to excel? Are programs, activities,
events, services delivered according to best practice? (To answer this question, please take time to
study response to Item 4a in the packet.)
         Task Force Response: The Records Office relies on outdated systems and procedures to
accomplish its goals.

Director:      Are outdated procedures directly related to the outdated (computer) system
or are there procedures which can be improved immediately with our existing
administrative computer system and staffing? Suggestions for improvement are always
welcome.

Program/service maximizes potential of available campus technology
Are web pages interactive? Can students/employees get information and complete requests
online? Or are forms download only? Are any programs/services delivered using the Thiel
network? Are resources expanded through technology? Are multimedia resources incorporated?
Does the area have knowledgeable staff who can implement new technologies? Is technology
used to improve record keeping and dissemination of reports and institutional data? Is technology
used to increase response time to inquiries? To reduce costs?
         Task Force Response: The outdated administrative computing system is a major
impediment to improvement in Academic Records. The Office should be a leader in advancing
technology-based student services; unfortunately, the severe lack of resources required to update
the Records function has placed the College at a disadvantage with regard to scheduling, advising
and recruitment.
         The TF observes that those working in the Records Office may not feel comfortable with
new technologies. More opportunities for training may alleviate staff concerns and spark an
interest in new solutions.

Director:       Please be assured that Records Office staff will be ―comfortable with new
technologies‖ if adequate training and an appropriate time line for implementation is
provided for technological change and improvement.
Program Area: Academic Services Center

Quality of program, service or product
Do outcomes demonstrate that this area positively impacts student learning? Does this area meet
the quality standards expressed in the professional standards? Do students/clients report that a
useful or beneficial service is being offered? What are the participation rates?
        Task Force Response: In order to adequately evaluate the ASC on this criterion,
information is needed on the persistence and graduation rate of program participants. The Task
Force would also like more information about faculty perceptions about the success of the
Supplemental Instruction Program.
For Fall 1997, graduation after 4 years was 06.84%, 5 years was 12.32% and after 6 years 05.48%
For Fall 1998, graduation after 4 years was 08.57%, 5 years was 11.42%
For Fall 1999, graduation after 4 years was 17.80%
For Fall 2000, graduation after 4 years was 21.64%
(4 year graduation rates have improved significantly for ASC students)
Average retention rate after 1 year is 53.92%
Average retention rate after 2 years is 34.88%
Average retention rate after 3 years is 28.55%
Average retention rate after 4 years is 18.22%
Fall 2001 withdrawals/transfers in good standing 14, poor standing 16, suspensions 18
Spring 2002 withdrawals/transfers in good standing 16, poor standing 11, suspensions 10
Fall 2002 withdrawals/transfers in good standing 26, poor standing 20, suspensions 13
Spring 2003 withdrawals/transfers in good standing 25, poor standing 17, suspensions 10
Fall 2003 withdrawals/transfers in good standing 14, poor standing 15, suspensions 9
(Loss of students from ASC programs is not totally the result of poor academic performance)
   Supplemental Instruction: Surveys were administered to 12 faculty members who had
used SI support for their courses. Ten surveys were returned. All respondents found SI to
be helpful to their students who regularly attended the sessions, were very satisfied with
peer leaders, and appreciated the added benefit that participation in SI improved students’
attitudes toward the course. A concern running throughout the surveys was that more
students needed to take advantage of SI sessions. One professor’s comment serves as a
representation of this repeated concern: ―Despite the overwhelming amount of [SI]
advertising/publicity, our student body is such that there are always students who will be
unaware of the program because they don’t regularly attend class and they lack the
responsibility, time management, and motivation to take charge of their learning/academic
success.‖ Another comment is similar: ―This is an important program that helps students
who are motivated to take advantage of the help.‖ Thus, the program is perceived as
successful in improving student success, a perception which is supported by statistical
outcomes which appear in another response below, and faculty would like to see greater
participation.

Quality of program/service communication
How does this area communicate with students/faculty/staff and the outside community? What is
the quality of its web pages? Are they up-to-date? Are they informative? Does this area
effectively utilize Thiel media – Info Channel, Thielensian, T-notes, bulletin boards, ICM, etc.?
Is the communication easy to understand, accessible to all?
         Task Force Response: We encourage the ASC staff to continue with web page
development and with proactive communication efforts with students. More information could
be distributed during Orientation, in residence halls, via campus bulletin boards, and through the
Information Channel.
Academic Services provides a list of services to students during Orientation as well as pens
printed with the name of the office and its location. ASC brochures and bookmarks (with
telephone numbers and location) have been made available for placement in residence hall
resource rooms, and signs are sent to RD’s for posting in those halls to inform students of
tutoring services taking place in residence halls and other campus locations. Designed by
ASC specifically for the Admissions Office, a special brochure is mailed to all students
placed in the ASC program with an accompanying letter from the ASC director telling
students that they are in the program and explaining the services available to them.
Another letter is sent to parents with similar information. Campus areas which permit
posting of signs are utilized, and campus-wide mailings are frequently used to inform both
faculty and students of available services and to encourage their use. Math instructors,
Humanities instructors, and faculty at large are sent flyers on tutoring lab hours and SI
sessions so that these can be announced in classes. SI Leaders visit classes to explain how SI
works and to hand out schedules of sessions. Bookmarks listing services and location have
been placed in the campus bookstore, library, and post office for students to pick up. All
program students take the Freshman Study Skills course which is taught by ASC counselors
who make services known to students during class meetings. Another specially designed
brochure has been developed to make services known to disabilities students through the
cooperation of the Office of Special Needs. Academic Services regrets that the college has
made changes so that ASC is no longer included to the degree it once was in pre-registration
and visit days. Academic Services appreciates the suggestion about taking advantage of the
Information Channel which had been overlooked.

Quality of facilities/office
Does the area maintain an attractive, welcoming office or facility? Does it meet standards for
safety, for access, for confidentiality? Does the area meet employee work needs for health and
wellness?
          Task Force Response: The ASC team does an excellent job of maintaining the current
facilities; however, the College should consider issues of general access and visibility, the size of
the counselor‘s individual offices, and the need for a sound-proof room for confidential services.
While small, all offices currently in use do allow for confidentiality. However, the need for
a sound-proof room is most crucial with regard to testing. ASC lacks space to
accommodate the numbers of students who need quiet areas for testing, and the business of
the main office is hampered when staff must whisper or postpone talking to each other
while testing is taking place. Communicating with visitors to the Center and student
workers is also compromised under these conditions, and tutoring sessions cannot be
conducted while students are testing. Security concerns are another issue. While we have
the use of an old Psychology lab across the hall from the Center, it is not a good use of staff
time to sit in that room and proctor exams when we need to be in our offices at our desks,
telephones, and computers and to counsel students. However, many faculty are
uncomfortable with work study students proctoring exams, so that necessitates placing
more students in the main office. Another problem is CLEP testing which must be done in
a staff member’s office which forces her to work in the outer office away from her desk,
telephone, and computer when someone is taking a CLEP test. For security reasons, the
College Board requires us to put the CLEP test on a secure computer which cannot be in an
open, common area. Increasing numbers of students with learning disabilities who require
testing accommodations of various types will continue to make a viable testing center a
crucial need for the College.

Adequate service hours/availability
Does the area meet the needs of the community? Is the office open when students/faculty/staff
need the service? How do we know?
        Task Force Response: The TF was unable to provide a higher score due to lack of
information from students. We are not sure if the current operation is meeting student needs. We
hope to gain greater insight on this issue during the focus group session.
For the last four years, Academic Services has worked very hard to bring tutoring and
other services to the students instead of forcing the students to come to the Center for
services. There are currently several labs on campus—Humanities, Math, Spanish, and
Writing—which provide tutoring during the evenings and weekends in a variety of campus
locations, and Supplemental Instruction sessions also meet at various times to accommodate
students’ schedules. One-on-one tutoring can also take place at any time and at any campus
location as arranged by tutor and tutee, unlike several years ago when all tutoring had to
take place in the ASC during office hours. New literature racks have been mounted in the
second floor hallways of the Academic Center with handout materials on test-taking, test
anxiety, stress management, time management and other topics of concern to students. Our
new mentoring program also provides students with peer mentoring services at times when
the office is closed. We are not aware of any faculty or students needing to see us outside of
normal office hours, and Academic Services is open a half hour earlier and a half hour later
than other campus offices.

Quality of personnel-client interactions
Do the users of this area report satisfaction with the way they are greeted and treated? Are the
employees responsive, friendly, willing to help? How do we know?
         Task Force Response: The score reflects results from the recent Thiel Work Culture
Survey and the information provided in the ASC report. Additional information is needed about
student perceptions of their interactions with counselors. In particular, information from those
students who choose not to participate in counseling sessions is needed. The TF anticipates
gaining a better understanding of this issue after it conducts the functional interview of ASC.
Based on evaluations of their counseling sessions, students are extremely satisfied with their
interactions with counselors. Comments are universally positive, and students express
appreciation for the assistance they receive. In the fall of 2004, 67 evaluations were
completed with 59 students marking ―very satisfied‖ (the highest category) and 8 students
marking ―satisfied‖ (second highest category) to the question asking them if their counselor
was helpful. While we do not have data on why some students choose not to use services,
years of experience indicate that it is usually the students who need services the most who
choose not to participate. Research indicates that many of these students come from
backgrounds where academics are not stressed, and both they and their families do not fully
understand that low grades in college are a more serious matter than low grades in high
school. Disabilities students will often tell us that they thought they would be OK without
any help their first semester, and other students express self-consciousness about being
―dumb‖ if they need to ask for help. There is a perception that the ASC is only for at-risk
or failing students which we try to overcome by stressing in our brochures and handouts
that the ASC is for ALL Thiel students including those who would like to turn a B into an
A. Finally and most importantly, a large number of at-risk students at Thiel are also facing
an inordinate number of personal, non-academic issues which negatively impact their
participation and performance. Serious financial strains which require them to work more
hours than they should, drug problems, and family difficulties of various sorts not only
distract these students and cause them to miss classes but also create stresses which can
place academic work—and doing something about it—low on their list of priorities.

Quality of environment/atmosphere
Is this a comfortable environment for students—are the doors open, are walk-ins welcome- is this
a gathering place? Is this a place that employees avoid? Is this a place where employees like to
work? Why? How do we know?
          Task Force Response: The location within the Academic Center is not conducive to
student gathering. The problem may be associated with its size, the need for the room to be a
quiet study area or other issues.
The exact nature of this as a problem isn‘t quite clear. Actually, some students do come to the
ASC to study together, to visit with student workers, or to have a tutoring session. We do not
have a large number of students who come just to ―hang out,‖ but I‘m not sure that for the types
of services provided by a learning center such gatherings would be appropriate. The door is
always open and walk-ins are not only welcome but encouraged to just walk in anytime—candy
is blatantly exposed in a basket near the door as a lure. Because of the Act 101 grant, we have
been able to provide some attractive furnishings and an overall comfortable environment. The
major problem is a need for more space, a college testing center, and perhaps a location which
provides greater visibility.

Program/service has used assessment results for decision-making or improvements
Has the program/service taken the results of its Middle States assessment to revise how it serves
students/faculty/staff? For example, if student participation at mid-year was lower than expected,
did they try new delivery methods or survey students to determine weaknesses in program
offerings?
        Task Force Response: Additional information is needed about how the Director utilizes
assessment data to improve services. For example, given the low participation rate among
students assigned to the program, what efforts have been made to modify Center hours,
appointment locations, etc.?
Again based on many years of experience and talking with students, we do not believe that
participation is a matter of hours or location but of student attitudes, perceptions, and non-
academic issues. Furthermore, as indicated above, some services are provided evenings and
weekends. However, it is possible that having appointments in other campus locations
could be a means for reaching more students. This possibility has never been considered
because the Act 101 grant stipulations require counseling sessions to be totally confidential;
thus, the consequent assumption has been that appointments should take place in
counselors’ private offices behind closed doors. Assessment data is analyzed by the
Director for improving tutoring in terms of enhancing tutor performance so that tutees
receive the best tutoring possible. Such data have resulted in a training program which was
implemented for the 2004-2005 academic year and which will continue in a revised format
in the future. Assessment data (from the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory and other
tools) are also used to measure student improvement in attitudes and behaviors which affect
their academic success so that what is covered in counseling sessions and the Freshman
Studies Skills class can be adjusted to better meet student needs. Evaluations of the Study
Skills course have also resulted in an effort on the Director’s part to increase the credit
hours from 1 to 3 and to add course content addressing cognitive development which
students need to meet the demands of their college course work. Because of concerns about
the extra time involved in preparing for and teaching an enhanced course, the counselors
have not been readily receptive to this idea since counseling hours could be compromised.
Therefore, the submission of a proposal to Curriculum Study for a revised course is still
tentative.

Program/service meets stated goals
Does the area meet the self-reported goals in Middle States Grid? If the goal is to reduce
operation costs – have they done it? If the goal is to increase student graduation rates – have they
done it? (Answering this question requires a comparison of column one with column four on the
Report Grid.)
         Task Force Response: The TF only has information about those students who regularly
attend their counseling sessions – what about those who have chosen not to attend?
As indicated above, some at-risk students resist help because they do not want to
acknowledge that they need help, and many have serious personal and financial issues
which take priority over academics. However, it should be remembered that all such
students met with their counselors at least once during fall 2004, and all program students
are required to take the Freshman Study Skills class which provides academic support. Of
those students who attended fewer than one half of their counseling sessions, 50% were
placed on probation and 12.5% were suspended, with the remainder in good academic
standing at the end of fall 2004. To compare, of those students who attended more than half
of their appointments, 19% were placed on probation and 8.5% were suspended, with the
remaining students in good standing. This success can be only partly attributed to the
appointments themselves since the students with greater degrees of participation could have
greater motivation to succeed, different family dynamics, and different personal issues. An
additional problem is that some of the students lack technology skills and have not
developed habits for taking responsibility for their needs. Some of these students cannot
use their voice mail, leading to full mail boxes and our inability to get in touch with them.
Some of the students never check their campus mail, and some students use only their
private e-mail accounts and do not remember to check their Thiel e-mail.

Program/service has assessed campus/client needs
Has this area conducted individual student inventories, group surveys, employee surveys and/or
interviews to determine what services, programs, events or activities are needed? Does it use
extant data to shape programs? For example, does the area offer a particular intervention
program because the CIRP data indicates a need, the first year profile suggests a problem area or
placement tests indicate specific deficiencies? Does the food service area or bookstore add menu
items or stock certain supplies based on info they‘ve gathered from a marketing survey or student
committee?
        Task Force Response: Does the ASC team utilize aggregate data from instruments such
as the CIRP, NSSE, and CSI to determine specific cohort trends or needs?
Academic Services did make use of the CSI data in order to better understand student
needs and to determine appropriate interventions for students who appeared to have a high
degree of risk for dropping out. Increased efforts to provide interventions were also
implemented for those students indicating a high degree of receptivity for receiving
assistance. The office would be very happy to use other aggregate data such as CIRP or
NSSE, but, unlike the CSI, this data has not been made readily available to us. While the
data may be available online or through some other means, we have not been made aware
of how to access it, nor have we been encouraged to use it or advised as to how that data
might be useful to our program. Time constraints and Act 101 grant responsibilities
sometimes make it difficult for staff to have the think time necessary for seeking out
additional data and analyzing its implications.

Staff members are qualified for positions held
Considering the Professional Standards for this area, does the leadership and staff meet the
recommended criteria for advanced degrees, special training and/or experience?
        Task Force Response: More training in the area of developmental education is suggested.
The Director has discussed this need with the Academic Dean who advised adding the
expense for attendance at the Kellogg Institute to the proposed ASC budget for next year.
The Director is also organizing a Developmental Education Committee on campus in order
to provide some integration and coherence to the developmental efforts on campus. Such a
group will provide opportunities for exchange so that those faculty who teach
developmental classes and academic support staff who work with under-prepared students
can meet to discuss issues relevant to developmental education: student characteristics and
needs, appropriate teaching strategies, research in developmental education, trends, and
other concerns. This committee will have its first meeting on February 9, 2005. During the
last three years, the Director has also reallocated Act 101 grant funds to make professional
development activities, such as attending conferences, more available to staff. Staff
members are strongly urged to attend conferences and are readily provided with support
when they express an interest in professional development. We have also increased
purchases of books and manuals to enhance our knowledge in the field of developmental
education.

Program/service compares favorably with ―best practices‖ or model program
Does the area have the structure and resources necessary to excel? Are programs, activities,
events, services delivered according to best practice? (To answer this question, please take time to
study response to Item 4a in the packet.)
         Task Force Response: We encourage the ASC Director to consider ways to diversify the
staff. Of particular concern is the need for diversity among the counselors who have direct
contact with students. Employing another male advisor and at least one African-American
advisor could have a positive impact on student participation.
         We also urge greater coordination between ASC and the individual departments
delivering the remedial courses. We agree with the statement in the report that it would be
beneficial to incorporate study skills components into the development reading, English and math
courses. The Task Force agrees with the Director that more resources should be allocated for
training of faculty who teach developmental students. Are there opportunities for the ASC
counselors to team teach with the faculty of developmental courses?
         The TF suggests that there be a consequence for those students not attending ASC
sessions. We urge the Director to develop a proposal to address this issue.
         Other colleges employ more proactive advising models. What would it take to develop a
―retention specialist‖ model at Thiel? What are the costs and benefits of having a counselor
dedicated to a more intrusive type of advising?
         We also wish to know how the focus of the advising sessions changes as the student
progresses through the Thiel experience. May the student leave the program if he/she achieves a
minimum grade point average?
    In order to promote future possibilities for team teaching and incorporation of study
skills into developmental courses, the Director, with the approval of the Academic Dean,
has organized a Developmental Education Committee. Because essential changes in course
delivery and content require the acceptance and cooperation of numerous constituencies,
these possibilities need to be discussed and developed through appropriate individuals
representing such constituencies. These changes will take some time. The committee is
made up of academic support staff and faculty teaching developmental courses, the
Academic Dean, the FYE Task Force Chair, the Director of Residence Life, and the
Coordinator of Special Needs, and members of the Education Department. The first
meeting will take place on February 9, 2005.
    As for consequences for those students not keeping appointments or meeting other
obligations, all program students sign a contract which lists the following sanctions for
failure to comply with program requirements: a) suspension from the college, b) reduction
in financial aid provided by the college, c) early probation, and d) denial of permission to
register for classes for the following semester. With the exception of early probation, no
other consequences have been enforced. This is partly due to the extra record keeping that
would be involved and a reluctance to take such measures against students since doing so
could have a negative impact on institutional enrollment. Furthermore, some students do
succeed without assistance, and it would be illogical to enforce consequences in those cases.
Consequences are also a vexed issue. The counselors were not enthusiastic about
consequences in general because of the philosophy that the office is supposed to help
students, and they felt that consequences of any type would not constitute ―helping.‖ Of a
different opinion, the director felt that some consequences might help students to recognize
their need for assistance and the seriousness of their commitment to the program. With the
cooperation and endorsements of the Enrollment Management Committee and the Act 101
Advisory Board, the Director was successful in listing consequences on student contracts
and did arrange, through the Academic Dean’s Office, for students below a 2.0 at midterm
who were not keeping appointments to be placed on early probation. Early probation does
catch some students’ attention and brings more of them into the office; however, in some
cases, attitudes are not entirely enthusiastic.
      While I am familiar with the model of ―retention specialist,‖ I do not have any data on
how successful such approaches are. In some cases, the specialist is a male African-
American who makes a concerted effort to intervene with athletes; however, many of our
unsuccessful students do not fit into the male, African-American, athlete categories.
Obviously, there would be the additional expense of a new hire, and while a specialist who
engages in more aggressive intervention could have a positive impact on students who don’t
think they need help, it is important to remember that intervention of an assertive nature
can be alienating and thus cause some students to rebel and feel resentment. Academic
Services would certainly be willing to gather data on how many students might be helped by
such an approach.
      Because getting off to a good start is often crucial to completing a degree, Academic
Services programs are freshmen intensive. Freshmen are expected to meet with a counselor
at least every other week, take the Freshman Study Skills class, and participate in tutoring,
SI, and other services as needed. After the freshman year, students on probation are
expected to meet similar criteria, but other upper-class program students in good academic
standing are under no further obligations. Because Act 101 stipulates that ―once Act 101,
always Act 101,‖ ASC had operated in the same way with all ASC students. It is possible
that telling students they can leave the program if they have a minimum GPA could provide
some incentive to do well; however, in doing this, students remaining in the program could
feel even more stigmatized. In addition, the program would have fewer students to
celebrate at the required Act 101 recognition events, and there would be fewer role models
within the program for other program students. Removing students from the program
would also break the bonds they have developed with the counselors and might have a
negative impact on their desires to become tutors and mentors.

Program/service costs align with number of students students/clients served
What is the investment per student? Per event, activity or program? If the program spends half of
its budget on one event, are participation rates high enough to support the investment? How do
investments/per student compare with those of other institutions?
         Task Force Response: Given the existing structure for student intervention, the Task
Force is not sure if participation rates are high enough to support the current level of investment.
We recommend further investigation into the reasons why students are not actively engaged in
services offered.
A certain level of non-participation for at-risk students is a problem of long standing and
not unique to any one institution. At-risk students are partly identifiable by this reluctance
to seek or take advantage of help, and Thiel is at a disadvantage in having a higher number
of such students than many other institutions. Thiel’s Act 101 program also has more
students with low income levels and twice as many males as other Act 101 programs in the
state. Low income is a known risk factor, often requiring more work hours than advisable
for an at-risk student, and research indicates that males have lower persistence rates and
are less likely to seek help. Another contributing factor to lack of participation, mentioned
above, involves family and personal issues which become priorities. Furthermore, because
Thiel is small with a teaching emphasis, some faculty members discourage tutoring and
prefer students to meet with the professor during office hours. While this faculty attention
is laudable, faculty should remember that struggling students are understandably reluctant
to let their professors know that they are having problems for a variety of reasons—one
major example which we encounter frequently is that some students fear their professor
might think that they are ―dumb‖ and grade accordingly. Research reveals that some
students can feel a bit intimidated by their professors and that a peer tutor can provide a
non-threatening learning environment.
    As indicated earlier, all freshman program students meet with counselors at least once
during a semester and are required to take the Freshman Study Skills class which ensures
some degree of participation. Counselors provide follow-up for all students who miss
appointments through campus mail notes, e-mails, telephone calls to students, and
telephone calls to coaches, advisors, and professors—and have even waited outside
classrooms to catch students as they leave class. Many students do not know how to use
their voice mail, fail to check their campus mail, and ignore their Thiel e-mail. ASC also
provides tutoring and peer tutor labs evenings and weekends, and their availability is
announced by instructors in their classes. Act 101 recognizes that any at-risk student who
succeeds is cause for celebration since none of these students are expected to do so.
Maturity, responsibility, and adjustment issues can be problematical for any college
students, but such problems are intensified for the at-risk student.
     As for the investment, in addition to providing these services for officially designated
program students, Academic Services also provides counseling, tutoring, handouts and
other forms of assistance to non-program students on campus:
   Supplemental Instruction Fall 2004—56 program students attended; 93 non-program
        Microsociology—16 program students; 13 non-program
        Accounting I—13 program students; 27 non-program
        (one section mean final grade 3.0 with SI versus 2.5 without
         another section mean final grade 3.6 with SI versus 2.3 without)
        Spanish 150—11 program students; 15 non-program
        Statistics—3 program students; 11 non-program
        (one section 3.2 with SI versus 2.5 without)
        General Psych—9 program students; 17 non-program
        (one section 3.2 with SI versus 2.7 without)
        Computer Programming—4 program students; 10 non-program
        (one section 2.9 with SI versus 2.0 without)
  Academic Success Workshop for students on probation
        Spring 2004—14 program students; 16 non-program
        Spring 2005—16 program students; 25 non-program
  Tutoring Services including one-on-one and Peer Math, Humanities, Writing Labs
        Requests for peer tutoring in Fall of 2004—140; 64 program students; 49 non-program
        Total # of hours documented on tutor time sheets—306 ¾ hours
        Upper level classes—105 hours
        Math Lab (including upper level math)—125 hours
                 15 program students with documented sessions; 21 non-program
        Western Humanities Lab—23 program students with documented mtgs.; 30 non-program
        Writing Lab—11 program students; 38 non-program
        Special Needs Tutoring—65 ½ hours
Tutoring and mentoring opportunities also contribute to the development of our stronger
students on campus, allowing them to enhance interpersonal, communication, and
professional skills. These activities provide valuable work experience which can be placed
on resumes, increasing students’ opportunities for procuring desired jobs.
  Again in terms of investment, the college would perhaps be in some ways diminished
without the following achievements of program students:
        Dean‘s List Fall 2004            26 program students Spring 2004 21
        Number of Graduates Fall 2004 13 program students Spring 2004 32
        GPA of 3.0 or higher Fall 2004 77 program students Spring 2004 74
        Haller Enterprise 2005 Scholarship Recipients—2 upper class ASC, 3 freshmen ASC
        Qualified for Chi Alpha Epsilon:
                Spring 2005 14 students Spring 2004 8 Spring 2003 7 Spring 2002 5

Program/service maximizes potential of its human resources
Are staff members recognized for their individual talents, skills, and expertise and utilized in the
department according to these abilities? Or are staff talents hidden or restricted by the structure of
the department, by leadership, by lack of financial resources? (This is not a question about the
busyness of staff – we assume that will be assessed through individual performance evaluations.)
         Task Force Response: We believe that the potential of the individual counselors – their
talents, skills and expertise-- is inhibited by the current structure of the ASC. The counselors
need more opportunities to be involved in the life of the college. They need to be more visible
and recognized as resource persons.
During the last three years, the Director has sought to make use of the special talents of
each counselor by assigning special programs to each. Carol Jones was made head of the
Supplemental Instruction program which involves her in working closely with faculty who
use SI for their courses. Carol also trains SI student leaders, maintains records and
compiles data for the national headquarters, and promotes the SI program on campus. She
has done an excellent job. SI has greatly increased her involvement in the life of the college
and her visibility. As a result of this assignment, Carol is now on a first-name basis with
many faculty members. Diane Donnelly has been made head of the Academic Success
Workshop for students on probation. She is responsible for working with the Dean’s office
and with the Records office in identifying students eligible for this program and making
sure they are notified of workshop dates and requirements. In addition to teaching the
workshops, Diane must also coordinate counseling assignments for these students and
maintain records and data for the Academic Standing Committee which takes student
participation in this program into consideration. She has also done an excellent job, and
her duties have increased her college involvement. Amy Petrucci-Effinite has been made
head of the ASC Mentoring Program which involves her in identifying and training
program students who qualify as mentors, supervising those mentors throughout the
semester, organizing mentoring schedules, and keeping data on mentoring outcomes. Amy
is also the writer of the ASC Newsletter sent to all campus constituencies and to the parents
of program students. Her duties, especially as Newsletter writer and editor, have increased
her visibility as well. Amy has also done an excellent job.
    In addition to the above responsibilities, two of the counselors are members of the FYE
Task Force and the New Program Evaluation and Prioritization Task Force. The
counselors will also be involved in the new Developmental Education Committee which will
increase their visibility, contact with faculty, and their professional development. The
Director also hopes that the counselors will eventually agree to an expanded Freshman
Study Skills course which will include measures to address student cognitive development.
A revised course meeting cognitive needs would involve the counselors working more
closely with faculty to gather syllabi, sample textbook readings from various courses, old
exams for student practice and application of skills, discussion of departmental
requirements, and other key inputs to help students to learn study strategies appropriate to
different disciplines. The committee involvement and an expanded skills course could lead
to future possibilities such as team teaching or paired courses which would further broaden
the counselors’ involvement in the life of the college.
     Other staff members have also been given additional responsibilities to exercise their
talents. Susan Breckenridge, Reading and Writing Specialist, was encouraged by the
Director to propose the College Reading course so that we could ensure that students
received crucial reading assistance. The previous model of a Reading Lab was not
successful in getting students into the Center to improve their reading capabilities. Since
the College admits students who are reading below 8th grade reading levels—sometimes 3rd
and 4th grade—we felt that these students’ needs must be addressed in a more effective,
accountable manner. There were 53 students who were required to take the course in the
Fall of 2003 and 47 students in the Fall of 2004.
     Brad Skippon, who works primarily with ESL students, has also been encouraged to
take on some counseling responsibilities and has been enthusiastic about working with non-
international students and developing his expertise in the academic counseling area.
     Our secretary Barb Samson has had a major change in her activities as well. Formerly,
Barb had been responsible for typing all of the counselors’ notes on their meetings with
students, and these notes were placed in the students’ master files. However, Act 101 does
not require typed notes and is interested primarily in the number of contacts a student has
had with a counselor and what types of topics were discussed. This information can easily
be provided with a check sheet. Therefore, in an effort to meet Middle States guidelines,
Barb has now become the office statistician, keeping extensive data on student performance,
compiling numerous survey results, tracking tutoring assignments along with the use of
other services, and providing other data to help us understand what is working well and
what needs to be modified.

Program/service maximizes potential of available campus facilities
Assuming that the campus belongs to all programs and services, does this area consider all
options when delivering services, programs, events or activities? For example, would it make
sense to hold a student wellness program in the Glen Johnson Community building closer to
student living areas rather than in the HMSC? Would it make sense to have a food service point
of delivery on West Campus? Has the area experimented with different locations for activities?
Does the current assigned space meet operational needs and is it organized effectively?
         Task Force Response: We encourage the ASC team to consider alternative venues for the
delivery of tutoring, study skills and other individual and group sessions. We believe that Thiel
venues, especially those available on the west campus, are underutilized.
Academic Services has already employed alternative venues for the delivery of tutoring and
study strategies. The Math Lab is located in a student tutoring /study lounge on the first
floor of the Academic Center, downstairs from the ASC. The room has been outfitted with
a dry erase board, graph paper, pencils, handouts, and other aids conducive to providing
math assistance. The Humanities Labs are located in residence halls, and the Writing
tutors conduct sessions in the library, the Weyer’s Lounge, the Bistro, residence hall
lounges, theme houses, and other suitable places on campus. The model for Supplemental
Instruction requires that sessions be conducted in an academic area, preferably close to the
department of the course receiving SI support. The purpose of this is to emphasize the
academic nature of the SI sessions. On previous occasions when we have tried to utilize the
west campus facilities for other types of sessions, we were locked out. The lack of access
and concerns for security with regard to the west campus facilities would be an impediment
to tutors and tutees, and the location would not fit the SI parameters. However, if the
college could remove the locked-door difficulty, ASC would certainly consider that venue
for tutoring and peer labs.

Program/service expenditures align with outcomes
Are goals being met? If so does the financial investment seem adequate, excessive? If goals are
not being met is it due to lack of financial support? How does the current investment in this area
compare with other institutions?
         Task Force Response: As stated in other areas of this report, the TF is concerned that the
ASC reaches only 56% of those students assigned to the program.
While some students do not meet frequently with a counselor, nearly all freshmen (99%) do
have at least one meeting, and all program students do take the Freshman Study Skills
course which provides academic support in a group setting. I would need further
clarification as to where the 56% figure came from. Again, the Act 101 and general ASC
programs are freshmen intensive, so the program seeks to achieve as much freshman
participation as possible. Once students achieve upper class status, their participation is
voluntary. However, upper class students on probation are notified that they should meet
regularly with their counselor and take advantage of tutoring. Thanks to the new Academic
Success Workshops, about half the students on probation (both program and non-program)
are using our services. Additional students are added to our program through referrals
from the Academic Standing Committee, but some of these students have had no prior
contact with a counselor and do not always follow up on the letter they receive from the
Academic Dean advising them to take advantage of ASC services. Because many of our
upper class students are in good academic standing, they do not require regular meetings
with counselors but do know that they are welcome to drop in or make an appointment any
time they have questions or need assistance.

Budget decisions are data driven
What evidence is available to suggest that programs have changed, services modified based on
input from students/clients, annual reports, national trends, etc. For example, if student surveys
suggest that evening hours are needed, has this program reduced morning service hours and
extended evening/weekend options? Or if student performance suggests that there is a problem
with a particular first year course on campus are ASC, library, student services responding by
adding SI, or more learning resources?
         Task Force Response: What steps has the ASC team taken to redirect financial resources
into new programs or approaches? Have funds been redirected to experiment with ways to
correct the low participation rate?
As previously mentioned, peer tutoring labs (in math, Humanities, and writing) have been
provided to make tutoring services more readily available at different times and locations,
and the labs also have the added feature of group study on some occasions, allowing
students to learn from each other. Funds have also been redirected into Supplemental
Instruction, Academic Success Workshops for probation students, and the Mentoring
Program for all program freshmen who are required to take the Freshman Study Skills
class. The Task Force should take note that, despite the Act 101 grant, ASC monies for
tutoring, mentoring, and other services are barely enough and that more and more funds
are going into meeting the needs of disabilities students. Some of these students require
tutors for each of their courses, and several require the taping of textbooks, many of which
are not available through organizations such as those for the blind or Books on Tape.
Reading time, piles of cassettes which must be purchased and duplicated, and purchasing
textbooks from the campus bookstore to read from are all very expensive. Some of the
disabilities students also require notetakers who need to be paid a small compensation for
taking more careful notes than they might otherwise, bringing those notes to the ASC for
photo copying, and then picking up their notes if the copier is down or if no one is available
to copy them on the spot. Disabilities students can also require more counseling time and
careful coordination of their accommodations. In some cases, disabilities students are
taking up a disproportionate number of dollars and services.

Program/service maximizes potential of available campus technology
Are web pages interactive? Can students/employees get information and complete requests
online? Or are forms download only? Are any programs/services delivered using the Thiel
network? Are resources expanded through technology? Are multimedia resources incorporated?
Does the area have knowledgeable staff who can implement new technologies? Is technology
used to improve record keeping and dissemination of reports and institutional data? Is technology
used to increase response time to inquiries? To reduce costs?
         Task Force Response: We encourage the ASC team to investigate self-directed
remediation models, hybrid courses and other technology-driven developmental and supplemental
programs. The incorporation of current web-based software such as Blackboard may serve as a
useful way to keep in contact with students, develop electronic portfolios, and conduct program
assessments through the easy-to-use survey tools.
Academic Services has made a several efforts to employ technology as part of our services.
In conjunction with the Math Department, software is available to students to review for
quizzes and exams and to serve as a tutorial if students are having difficulty with their
homework. The software covers Algebra, Trigonometry, and Calculus, and the ASC has
designed a pamphlet to guide students’ use of this software. The ASC has also written a
handout to enhance students’ use of the website for the Western Humanities course. The
handout explains how to get the most out of the website by explaining how the materials on
the web can be used for class preparation, supplementing lecture notes, preparing for
exams, and so on. Both guidelines are designed to help students use these technology aids
effectively, and tutors are encouraged to make use of both handouts and the web when
tutoring students in math and Humanities. In addition, the Center has also employed an
electronic version of the Leaning and Study Strategies Inventory (E-LASSI) which is
recognized by developmental educators as the standard for assessing students’ strengths
and weaknesses at the beginning of the semester and then measuring their improvement at
the end. This assessment tool has been administered to all freshmen, and printouts have
been used during counseling sessions to help students understand areas they need to work
on and then later to demonstrate their progress. While the E-LASSI was not used in 2004-
2005 because of the counselors’ concerns about getting students to the Media Center and
the lack of ―fit‖ between this assessment tool and what they do in the current study skills
class, a revision of the class which incorporates cognitive development strategies should
allow the ASC to employ the E-LASSI in the future.
   Using Blackboard as a method for keeping in touch with students is a possibility that
ASC is willing to pursue, although we have discovered that many of students have difficulty
using Blackboard. However, a revised Study Skills class could incorporate a technology
component. Integrating technology into the course content would help to address
developmental students’ technology deficits which even affect students’ use of voice mail.
Remedial programs and other technology aids can be helpful; however, software is often
expensive and does not address the issue of how a student can remediate and stay in step
with the course syllabus at the same time.

Program/service demonstrates flexible delivery
This item can relate to location, hours of service, use of staff, employment of new technologies,
willingness to modify types of programs, etc. What evidence do we have that this area is willing
to change if needed?
         Task Force Response: What information can the ASC provide about attempts to modify
the one-on-one counseling model to improve student participation?
Two attempts have been made to modify the present counseling model in order to reach
more students, and a third is undergoing consideration. The new Academic Success
Workshops for students on probation provide a group counseling situation to help students
share and understand the behaviors contributing to a lack of success. Students develop a
personalized plan to help them get back on track, and they are then assigned to professional
counselors for one-on-one sessions throughout the spring semester. The peer mentoring
program, which utilizes program students who have succeeded, provides peer counseling to
students taking the Freshman Study Skills class. Peer mentoring is an accepted strategy for
reaching those program students who are more inclined to be receptive to peer counseling
than they are to professional counseling. ASC is also planning to incorporate peer
mentoring into the Academic Success probation program. Because the Freshman Study
Skills class is required of all program students, the Director would like to increase the
number of contact hours the counselors have with students in the classroom environment—
a minimum of two hours a week throughout the entire fall semester in contrast to the
current two hours a week for seven weeks. This is a sure-fire way of reaching our entire
cohort of at-risk freshmen and expanding their participation in academic support. As
mentioned earlier, an expanded study skills course could address students’ cognitive
development while also providing group counseling opportunities whereby students can
share some of their academic issues, realize that they are not the only ones experiencing
difficulties, and benefit from strategies that some of their peers have used to solve
problems—all with the counselors’ guidance. Because the counselors’ are committed to the
one-on-one model, do not want additional classroom responsibilities to take away from one-
on-one counseling time, and feel that the students who do participate appreciate the
personal attention, it has been difficult for the Director to produce enthusiasm for change.
However, after a series of individual meetings with each counselor and some discussion of
current research, we are perhaps getting closer to a resolution. Sometimes over-reliance on
years of experience without attention to theoretical changes in the field can set up
roadblocks to new approaches and reluctance to take direction, especially from a director
who is still relatively new.

Program/service demonstrates innovation
Has the area been recognized for leadership in the field? Has it changed the way
programs/services are delivered in recent years? Does it use campus resources in creative ways?
Does it try new things and ask for student/client evaluation?
         Task Force Response: We commend the ASC team for developing the Supplemental
Instruction Program at Thiel and encourage further innovation.
As mentioned at several points above, Academic Services has not only developed the
Supplemental Instruction Program but has also developed an Academic Success program
for students on probation and a Peer Mentoring program connected with the Freshman
Study Skills class. Thiel’s Peer Mentoring program was recognized through the acceptance
of proposal for a presentation on this program at a regional conference of the National
Academic Advising Association. This presentation was so well received at the regional
conference that Carol Jones and Amy Petrucci-Effinite, who had team taught the Study
Skills class with the mentoring component, were invited to present their information at the
national conference of this same organization. Academic Services has also implemented
what is referred to as a ―Tutoring in the Dorms‖ program by making peer tutoring labs
available in the residence halls. Thiel is somewhat unusual in making tutoring so widely
available to students since many colleges and universities restrict tutoring to the learning
center facilities during regular office hours. The director has also established a chapter of
Chi Alpha Epsilon on the Thiel campus to recognize students who have overcome challenges
and achieved academic success. Academic Services also has an arrangement with the
English Department to use Sigma Tau Delta members who are writing lab tutors as
classroom assistants in the Basic English and Oral and Written Expression classes. This
program not only assists faculty members who have difficulty answering all their students
questions on peer editing days, but it also helps the students who need answers as well as the
assistants who are developing leadership abilities while enhancing their communication
skills and knowledge of writing techniques. The director also works with the Records
Office to provide an Early-Alert system for the college. A form is sent to faculty from the
Records Office requesting information on students who are not attending classes or whose
performance is weak. The director receives the completed forms and then contacts faculty
advisors and informs the ASC counselors concerning those students who need interventions.
With the cooperation of staff, the director hopes to bring additional innovations to the
Academic Services Center.
Program Area: Advancement
The following recommendations, questions and comments are offered by the Task Force:

      It was difficult to conduct an in-depth evaluation of the advancement operation
       because all functions were combined into one report. We understand that this was
       the way that your goals were originally established. However, we encourage you
       to discuss your report format with the Middle States Committee. That group may
       wish to see individual goals and assessment by program area for the upcoming
       institutional study.
      Advancement was instructed by the Task Force to prepare our report according to
       the Middle States goals, which we did. Advancement functions as a team and
       while each of us is responsible for our own area within the division, we are
       intertwined in our work and depend upon each other to achieve our goals.

      We commend the Advancement Team on the current cost to raise a dollar. It is in
       line with the national mean.
      Thank you!

      The TF is unclear about the short and long-term goals for fundraising. Have
       institutional goals been set using the Strategic Plan and Key Strategic Directions
       documents? Is there a comprehensive plan that aligns with institutional priorities?
       Our sense is that fundraising efforts are being guided by donor interests more than
       college needs. We also believe that the Advancement team could assist the
       College in developing more ―focus and discipline‖ necessary to adhere to a
       fundraising plan.
      Within the last six years, the Advancement Division executed our fundraising
       plan culminating in receipt of two national CASE Circle of Excellence Awards
       for Fundraising Improvement (1999 and 2002). These awards are highly sought
       after and selective. Currently, we are working with the Advancement Committee
       of the Board of Trustees on a comprehensive plan, and have developed a timeline
       covering the remainder of the decade. Information is needed from all of the
       review committees prior to submission of a final plan to the Board of Trustees for
       approval, then for wider distribution.

      Concern was expressed that some special project campaigns have not included
       realistic budget projections. In some cases, this has caused the College to take on
       more financial risk than originally anticipated. The TF recommends that more
       thorough planning be undertaken prior to making a commitment to a special
       project campaign. Also, new capital projects should include endowment support
       for the operation and maintenance of new facilities.
      Agreed, and a college-wide approach to this should be undertaken.

      The TF is concerned about the amount of attention being paid to our young
       alumni. Does the Advancement team have specific ideas for ―friend-building‖
       among our recent grads? Is there a plan in place to strengthen young alumni
       communication and involvement?
      Already in place: We coordinate the Senior Class gift and assist in the
       development of this student committee. Each graduation class elects a member to
    the Alumni Board who can serve for up to six years. Thus, out of the 24 Board
    members, six are from the last six graduating classes. Class agents are selected
    from each graduating class to communicate a minimum of twice a year with their
    classmates outside of the usual college-wide alumni publications. A Young
    Alumni Award is given at Homecoming. We plan geographic events that appeal
    to younger alumni.

   The TF recommends that the College Advancement team place greater emphasis
    on ―engaging students where they are‖. By this we mean giving fresh attention to
    building an enduring commitment to the College among current students.
    Suggestions included building stronger links with alumni and promoting Thiel
    traditions among current students.
   Already in place: Alumni Services works with several departments on campus
    planning and coordinating events for students including Music, home of the Thiel
    Choir, Performing Arts, home of the Thiel Players, Career Services, and Student
    Services to plan/coordinate student-alumni events. The Alumni Association
    welcomes freshman during orientation. Alumni Services works with admissions
    to plan events, uses alumni to work events, utilizes alumni-referred admissions
    applications, works regional College fairs w/admissions, campus visit days and
    orientations w/admissions, Go Bananas w/career services, Career Roadshows
    w/career services, Senior Salute, Alumni Career Fair at Thiel as well as other
    Career Fairs/activities, Senior Alumni Board picnic, Senior Seminars, Alumni E-
    mentors, Business Internship Partnerships, Class Agents, Alumni Board,
    events/trips both on and off campus and coordinate events with advancement,
    admissions, athletics, student services and career services. The Annual Fund
    employs approximately 20 – 30 student callers for the fall and spring Annual
    Fund phonathons.

   We recognize that most of the dollars raised are restricted for special projects.
    Can more effort be placed on raising unrestricted support?
   These are often the hardest dollars to raise. We have increased our Annual Fund
    goal from $625,000 last fiscal year to $650,000 for the current fiscal year in
    concert with the Advancement Committee. We have increased the number of
    potential donor contacts during the fall and spring phonathons. We have solicited
    through the mail more potential donors than ever before and are currently in our
    second year of soliciting alumni through year end email correspondence. We also
    solicit campus family (employees) for unrestricted gifts, and would like to see
    annual fund giving rise from the current low 20‘s percentage participation rate,
    and from the current low 30‘s to all funds at Thiel .

   The lack of an integrated marketing plan for the College negatively impacts our
    ability to ―friend-raise‖. In this report and in others the TF has strongly
    recommended that a marketing plan be developed.
   Agreed.

   The TF recommends that members of the College Advancement team become
    more visible on campus and participate more fully in the life of the college so that
    the role of College Advancement can be more fully understood and appreciated
    by the Thiel community.
      Already in place: Advancement plays a role in all major campus events.
       Members of the Advancement staff attend and participate as needed in the
       Orientation/Gala, Homecoming, FYE, Honors Convocation, Tapestry Events,
       Christmas Events, Founder‘s Day, Haller Enterprise Institute Events, Senior
       Business Seminars, Commencement, Synod Assemblies and etc. Advancement
       members also participate on the following committees: FYE, Planning & Budget,
       Title III, Environmental Scanning, Haller Board, Support Program Review Task
       Force, New Non-Academic Program Task Force, Alumni Board, Board of
       Associates, Thiel Family Council, Chapel Committee, and the Advancement
       Committee of the Board of Trustees as well as others. All Advancement
       functions have invited the campus community to ―Get to Know Sessions‖, which
       have been advertised in T-Notes and held in various venues.

     The TF suggests that a Special Gifts Officer be appointed if the College plans to
      launch a major capital campaign. If the college intends to continue with its
      schedule of smaller, special projects, perhaps the Officer‘s salary could be shared
      among those fundraising budgets.
    Agreed! In fact, this office has, for each of the last five years, requested that the
      Special Gifts position be filled, only to have it relegated to ―later consideration‖
      by Cabinet due to budget challenges. The current Vice President last held this
      office in 1998, and Advancement clearly recognizes the importance of ―sowing
      seeds now, in order to harvest more and greater gifts during a larger campaign.‖
The Officer‘s salary would best be ―budget-assisted‖ during a larger campaign as
opposed to smaller special projects.



FEEDBACK FROM ATHLETICS
The Task Force offers the following comments, questions and recommendations:

      The TF wishes to congratulate the athletics program for their effective use of marginal
       facilities. We commend the coaches for their ability to recruit student-athletes in spite of
       these significant impediments and underscore the need for new and expanded athletic
       facilities.
      TF is interested in knowing about any plans for maximizing the use of the new Alumni
       Stadium. For example, can the playing field be enhanced with additional lighting and
       seats so that Thiel could host PIAA events?
       Lighting would be a big enhancement for Alumni Stadium. This would allow Thiel‘s
       teams and students much more access to the field. We could possibly host PIAA soccer
       events, but it would be unlikely that Thiel could host PIAA football. We would have to
       have significantly more seating, since high school football attracts large crowds in
       Western PA. Also, with Slippery Rock and other large stadiums now having turf, the
       PIAA is using those sights for playoffs. In addition, the lack of locker rooms at the
       stadium and insufficient press box space would make this facility less attractive to the
       PIAA for football. The best way to maximize use of the stadium would be to install a
       bubble for the winter months. This would give Thiel a second indoor facility, it would
       allow our students a space for many activities, and it could be rented by outside
       organizations.
      The TF would like to know about the specific impediments that relate to low rankings in
       the PAC. What specific factors other than poor facilities can be identified?
       Due to the facilities, salaries, and secondary coaching responsibilities Thiel has a difficult
       time attracting head coaches with experience. We currently have 11 head coaches
    handling 21 sports. Of these 11 coaches, only one had college-head coaching experience
    prior to coming to Thiel. For comparison, W&J has 23 sports and 15 head coaches.
    Westminster has 20 sports and 14 head coaches. The coaching jobs at Thiel College are
    filled with young, inexperienced coaches. Those that are successful will move on to
    schools with better salaries, better facilities, and fewer duties. Many of the coaches are
    not prepared to be a head coach and they are replaced with another young, inexperienced
    person. The lack of assistant coaches at Thiel College puts even more pressure on these
    inexperienced head coaches. Recruiting is the most important part of college athletics,
    and it is very difficult for one person to recruit for two sports without any help.
   The TF wishes to know why certain programs must seek additional funding from the
    community for special trips. For example, why is it necessary for the Track & Field
    program to raise additional support?
    All of the fall and winter sports at Thiel College have enough money in their budget to
    play the maximum number of contests permitted by the NCAA. Due to the climate here,
    the spring sports must go south during spring break in order to play the NCAA maximum
    number of contests. Without going south in March, the spring sports are limited to 4-6
    weeks of decent weather for their season, which does not allow enough time for all of the
    allowable contests. The trips south are very expensive and these sports do not have the
    money in their budget to cover this trip. Fundraising is necessary for these teams to play a
    large percentage of their season. Some of the other sports raise money to provide extra
    things for their athletes, such as shoes and travel suits.
   The TF is concerned about student safety as it relates to practice space. Is it wise for the
    cheer and dance teams to practice in the LHR or on the stage of the Passavant Center? Is
    it safe for the track team to run on the cement floor of the Passavant Center?
    There are safety concerns with all practice space. Since we don‘t have an indoor track,
    our track teams have no place else to go. Is it safe to run in Passavant, probably not.
    Many of our teams have to run the streets of Greenville in the snow and ice due to the
    lack of an indoor facility. This is not safe, but we have no other option. With only one
    small indoor facility, we don‘t have enough time during the winter months to meet every
    group‘s demands. This issue was raised at the time that competitive cheer and dance was
    being added. We had these time and space problems before adding two more teams to
    mix.
   The TF wonders about the wild possibility of working in partnership with GALSA to
    build an all-season enclosure over the Greenville Park pool. Has this ever been
    considered?
    I believed it was talked about when Thiel made the decision to eliminate the pool. If you
    want my opinion, I don‘t think this is a wise investment for Thiel College. Our students
    did not use the pool when we had one on campus, so I really doubt that they would use
    the Greenville Park pool. This is common at many colleges that have an indoor pool. The
    students don‘t use the pools enough to justify the high cost of building and maintaining a
    pool. Now a bubble over the football field, would be a good investment.
   We commend the coaches for the caring, one-to-one mentorship that they provide our
    student-athletes. We recognize that coaches often have greater influence than faculty
    advisors when addressing important issues with students. In recognition of this valuable
    contribution to student development, we urge the athletics department to initiate a formal
    conversation with the VP for Academic Services on the topic of advising. Some faculty
    report that students value the coaches‘ opinion more than those of faculty. This is a
    problem when the advice given relates to academic issues which are best addressed by
    faculty. Is there an opportunity to strengthen the quality of advising by developing a
    shared agenda between faculty and coaches?
    The coaches would welcome the opportunity to do this.
Program Area: Counseling Center
The Task Force offers the following comments, questions and recommendations:
The TF noted that the Counseling Center is still in its first year of operations under its current
structure, because of which there was little material upon which to prepare an evaluation.
Nevertheless, the TF raises the following questions/suggestions pertaining to the Counseling
Center:

    1. Overall, Thiel College needs to do a better job of introducing new employees to the
       campus community. In the case of the Counseling Center, service to the campus might
       be strengthened by greater campus awareness of Dr. Martin and by greater visibility of
       Dr. Martin among faculty and staff.
    2. The TF noted that a disadvantage of the current structure under which the Counseling
       Center operates is that it provides little if any opportunity and resource for campus
       programming related to social and mental health issues. The counseling load precludes
       such programming.
    3. The TF inquired about data that might indicate whether students prefer the current
       structure of the Counseling Center to the previous arrangement (i.e., one full-time
       professional in the employ of the College compared to three part-time counselors in the
       employ of a local health organization). In connection with that question, the TF also
       recommends that the Counseling Center conduct appropriate assessments of client
       satisfaction.
    4. Might the Counseling Center provide an annual report about the types of problems it
       treats? Might such information be useful to other service areas?

RESPONSE:
As a developing program, I would agree that it is important to increase the awareness
of the Counseling Center on campus. Currently, this outreach has focused on frequent
presentations in residence halls, Greek houses, etc. and teaching as a visiting faculty in
several classes on campus. I have met with several academic departments on campus
and a growing number of faculty have referred students to me as well as using
counseling services for their own personal growth as needed. My client load has grown
substantially in just one semester. At the present time, my client load is considerably
more than what is considered a full load (20 clients per week) according to national
standards.
While outreach is critical for any program, it is also important to realize that creating a
market that has no additional resources can be problematic. Approximately 20% of
adults have a serious mental disorder requiring treatment in any given year and college
campuses typically reflect those same numbers and type of disorders. That same
number does not include adjustment issues such as homesickness or even many types
of acute crises. My concern is not that there will be substantial clients using the Center
but that Thiel will be able to provide services to all students that desire and need those
services. I do not believe that Thiel will benefit if we have to create a waiting list for
students who desire services. Unfortunately, these waiting lists are prevalent at many
colleges. I mention these dilemmas because outreach in student mental health services
must be calculated because there are ethical as well as health issues where the welfare
of students is critical. Outreach in a counseling center is very different than other
student service units in approach and content.
Having a full time counselor within a student affairs unit not only provides important
health services but it is a critical link in recruitment and retention. Many parents and
students have become quite sophisticated regarding the services they desire and they
recognize that access to a counseling center is important when making a college choice
or they assume that these services are readily available. In addition, many students will
leave a college based on emotional reasons particularly in the first or second year or
psychological issues can significantly impair the academic success of students. These
issues can often be placed in a developmental or therapeutic context by a skilled
counselor. Finally, institutions can face liability issues due to neglect or ignorance
regarding impaired student or faculty behavior particularly when they do not have full
time staff familiar with the academic setting dedicated to student mental health issues.

 The Counseling Center is indeed a “work in progress”. Because services in the past
were provided by outside part time practitioners with little commitment to the
institution or the student affairs unit, there were no basic structures in place whether
counseling policies, legal paperwork ,past student records, outreach activities, referral
sources, and numerous other infrastructure details. For example, presently I am
creating a web-link and hope to have something substantial in place by the end of this
school year. Much of my time in fall semester was spent creating a large number of
needed documents that are required by state boards in case of liability claims.

As recommended, The Counseling Center is currently developing a satisfaction survey
to be completed by students who visited the Counseling Center during the last academic
year. I have been profiling the types of problems students identify and I will provide a
detailed report at the year end. In fact, this basic data gathering is required in Centers
that are nationally accredited and I hope to meet these same standards. My goal will be
to gather this information and, at the same time, protect the confidentiality rights of the
students and staff.

I believe Thiel College made an important step in improving the student affairs
program and the campus climate when it created the counseling center. I am pleased
that I am a part of that process and I hope that I can make substantial contributions
and that the Center will expand in offerings and staff as Thiel College continues to
grow. I agree that there will be limitations in my abilities to meet all the needs of the
campus community particularly because I will most likely have a significant case load
that will be a top priority in retaining students and providing for their well being. As
mentioned in your analysis, part time staff without a background in student affairs will
only be able to minimally provide mental health services to students without any type of
connection to the Thiel community or to the academic and social lives of our students.
These providers are indebted to their employers not Thiel College and that can
compromise student health particularly when these providers are often required to
refer clients to their own facilities for long term care. I believe a Counseling Center
makes Thiel College competitive with its peer institutions. It will be my responsibility to
make our Center the best among these similar institutions.
                                      MEMORANDUM


                                                 February 13, 2005



TO:             Members of the Support Program Review and Prioritization Task Force

FROM:           M. Scott Hartle, Chief Financial Officer

RE:             Response to Review Findings for Financial Services


Thank you for your review of, and comments regarding, the Financial Services Division. We
have had occasion to collect additional data and further reflect on the division‘s performance
since submitting our self-evaluation. Let me try to respond in the order of your comments.

Operating Hours and Client Service
As stated in the self-evaluation, I believe that client service has not been an emphasis of this
division (excluding Financial Aid) in the past, but that is changing. Part of our service is
operating hours. Please note the following:
    1)       Since 1998, enrollment has increased 31% (from 948 to 1,245) and staff dedicated to
             student accounts has decreased 50% (from 2 to 1).
    2)       We attempted to add one FTE staff to be split between student accounts and financial
             aid, but that person was abruptly thrown into the role of full-time student accounts
             coordinator by the earlier-than-expected medical leave of the incumbent.
    3)       Anecdotal information gained from discussions with several other schools suggests
             that student to staff ratios for the student accounting function run from 400 to 600
             students per FTE staff versus our 1,245 to 1 ratio.
    4)       The FSD stated office hours are 9am to 3pm. However, the office is typically staffed
             from 7am to 6pm.
    5)       The reason for the shortened span of office hours is to allow those people that are
             most affected by ―walk-in‖ clients an opportunity to complete work that cannot be
             accomplished while servicing the front counter.
    6)       I have never witnessed anyone being turned away because they attempted to enter the
             office outside of the 9am to 3pm window.
    7)       During peak periods of activity, hours are extended. As examples:
             a. the FSD office was open indefinitely during freshmen orientation to
                  accommodate student and parent inquiries,
             b. hours during the first days of class in the fall semester were 7am to 7pm to allow
                  students ample opportunity to resolve billing and payment issues,
             c. FSD staff was on hand during the weekends of fall sports team return and
                  continuing student return.
We are currently working on a means to deliver on-line bill payment service to our students and
their families as a bridge to the implementation of a new administrative system that will greatly
enhance on-line access to billing and payment information.

Our service commitment also includes the rest of the campus community. Given that, on average,
14% of the employees completing the work culture survey were dissatisfied with the quality and
timeliness of all college departments as a whole, I don‘t know that the 18% dissatisfaction rate is
statistically significant. It has been my experience in 19 years as a financial management
professional that finance and accounting functions in organizations do not typically rank highly
when surveyed to employees. Specialists in workplace behavior have suggested this stems from
the perception that finance and accounting functions are inflexible because they are often
responsible for setting and enforcing unpopular policies and procedures. However, I do
recognize that we are below the median in the survey and believe that changes we have made to
identify and communicate priorities for staff within the FSD will benefit our service to
employees.

Current Structure
The question is not clear, but I take it to ask whether the priority of the structure in the FSD is in
the interest of the client or the staff of the FSD.

Our decisions are ―client first,‖ within reason. For example, when Financial Aid was realigned to
fall within the FSD, it was a decision based on feedback received from parents and students who
preferred a ―one stop‖ approach to dealing with the challenges of paying for higher education. In
addition, it provided needed separation from the ―sales force‖ (Admissions) so that pricing
decisions were not made in the same arm of the organization as the decision to admit.

If there are further questions or if the task force requires more detail, please advise.

Processing Time
It would be helpful for the task force to identify what an appropriate amount of processing time
is, and what are deemed simple tasks. I will draw some conclusions and try to respond.

With regard to the specific example of issuing a check, I hope that the task force and community
realize that the FSD staff member responsible for issuing checks is also responsible for
processing invoices, reconciling general ledger, issuing purchase orders, reviewing credit and
purchase card expenditures, maintaining vendor documentation, running and distributing ledger
and budget reports, and acting as a back-up at the front counter when activity dictates. Shortly
after my arrival here, I questioned why we processed checks two times per week but left other
tasks undone or behind schedule. We altered our procedure to produce checks once each week on
Mondays. We communicated this across campus and asked that requests for check be submitted
no later than Friday at noon. For the most part, this new process has been accepted. The
accounts payable coordinator still processes 5 to 10 ―special‖ requests per week, primarily
because the requesting party did not see fit to plan ahead. Forgive the generalization, but it seems
as though the FSD bears the brunt of others failure to organize and plan their business.

In addition, simple requests are often supported by better technology than is available at Thiel.
As an example, we have no on-line optical archival of transaction data that would allow a
department head to answer questions regarding activity in his or her own department. All
research functions of this nature are handled manually in the FSD.

Again, we are establishing standards for returning first calls to the FSD, but we may not always
be in a position to meet perceived acceptable turnaround times.

Budget and Management Information
The budget process at Thiel covers a reasonable period of time relative to other organizations of
equal size and complexity. Although schedule modifications are being contemplated to better
incorporate input from the Planning and Budget Committee, the process generally begins in late
January and culminates with presentations to the Finance and Investment Committee of the
Board, the Executive Committee of the Board, and the entire Board of Trustees from Mid-April
through early May.

This past year the process was compressed into a shorter period due to my late arrival. What I
found out quickly was that our administrative system was not conducive to simple planning, let
alone annual budgeting. As a result, I constructed a series of Excel files that accomplish data
capture, assumption modeling, sensitivity analysis and ―what if‖ scenario evaluation. In addition,
we were able to create a departmental budget output file that allowed us to distribute approved
budgets to department heads by mid-May.

I have not investigated specific budgeting methods at other colleges other than to determine that
those asked do not make significant investments in planning systems and software. Given Thiel‘s
limited financial resources, I must concentrate on the proper set-up of the new administrative
system and continue to utilize Excel models.

Budget Affects on Maintenance Projects
To my knowledge, the budget process has not been an impediment to completion of summer
renovation and maintenance projects. The College‘s cash flow cycle has been the impediment.
Given the timing of cash inflows from tuition and fees, we often times suspend work in the spring
and early summer until payments are received for the fall semester. This has nothing to do with
the budget but is instead directly related to the academic schedule and related student billings.

Purchasing / Shipping / Receiving
The suggestion of a centralized purchasing function is a good one, and is also not a new one. The
FSD is looking at the benefits of having a purchasing manager and warehouse of common
supplies. There has been resistance from some on campus for a variety of reasons. One common
claim is that a purchasing manager would not be qualified to make decisions for specialized areas
of the College e.g. supplies for the various science labs. It has also been suggested that savings
arising from centralized purchasing would not be significant enough to offset the cost of creating
the purchasing manager‘s position.

We concur with the task force‘s observation and continue to pursue a solution. It is obvious that
the existing purchase card strategy is highly inefficient and lacks proper internal controls. There
has not been enough research at this time to draw a conclusion or provide a definitive completion
date.

Endowment Management and Growth
The size of the College‘s endowment is dependent on:
   1)        The amount of money added as a result of fund raising activities
   2)        The accumulation of earnings as a result of interest, dividends and net gains
   3)        The portion of the endowment expended to support specific projects and current
             operations
Let me work in reverse and address item 3 first. The College has had a practice in recent years of
drawing the maximum amount allowed by law to fund operations (7%). In those same years, the
total earnings were depressed as a result of the performance of the stock market and generally
lower market rates of interest. It was the explicit intent of the FSD to steadily reduce the draw on
the endowment to a more acceptable range (4% to 5%). Beginning with the 2004-05 budget the
draw was reduced and the early projection for 2005-06 is to reduce the draw further.

Fund raising efforts, although successful, have not been geared toward growing the endowment in
recent years. Instead, most fund raising has gone to support operations (annual fund) or have
been used to address facilities issues that were identified as critical to the College‘s operations.
Growth of the endowment has been secondary. Based on the current posture of the Advancement
Group and Board of Trustees, the majority of fund raising in the foreseeable future will continue
to be geared toward facilities / physical plant issues.

Earnings generated from the existing corpus of the endowment reflect, in part, the state of the
economy, and bond and equities markets. The FSD worked this past year with the Finance and
Investment Committee of the board to enhance the allocation of invested assets and engage
money managers proficient in specific areas of the asset allocation model. As a result, the
endowment is now managed by six managers with specialties in large cap equity, small cap
equity, international equity and fixed income management. The change occurred in August 2004
and it is too early to gauge results, but early indications are that it will have positive results and
drive performance to exceed related indices.

Conclusion
I commend the task force on their review of the financial management of the College. Many of
your questions were appropriate and insightful. There are also issues the FSD confronts that did
not appear in the report. Please understand that underlying issues of accounting policy and
internal controls below the radar of the task force, but represent competing priorities for the staff
of the FSD. I stated in the self evaluation and earlier in this memorandum that clien service has
taken a back seat over the years and that we intend to change that. The rapidity by which changes
occur must be tempered against the need to achieve and sustain sufficient record keeping, provide
adequate management information and maintain security over the financial resources of the
institution.
Program Area: Food Services
The following comments, questions and recommendations are offered by the Task Force:
    Overall we find the Food Services division to be well-managed. We commend
       the staff for the attention given to quality service. Thank you.
    According to the recent Student Satisfaction Survey, Thiel students are
       dissatisfied with the ―selection of food available in the cafeteria.‖ The
       performance gap on this question is fairly high at 2.14. Does the staff have any
       input on why this gap is so high? It is challenging to respond to a ranking of
       which we are unaware. The results from the Student Satisfaction Survey have not
       been provided to us; we would think this should happen as a matter of course to
       anyone whose area is included in any given survey. While our most recent
       Customer Satisfaction Survey does not address selection individually, it does
       query many aspects. We did find that our ranking was not as high as we would
       like in comparison to the national results from customers about the food. We did
       not have the disparity that the survey you quote states. As with any needed or
       desired improvement, there is an investment to be made. The college made a
       large investment in staff and in food expenses in the two years following the
       renovation of the Dining Hall. Those increases permitted us to add two
       operations, transform from a two entrée traditional serving line to a multiple-
       choices-per-meal servery, provide a deli line, offer a dessert assortment,
       significantly increase operating hours, provide access to meal plans at various
       locations, and nearly triple the number of special events catered by the
       department. All of these improvements increased the percentage of meals eaten
       by students. We have already served 9000 more meals this year than at this time
       last year without any increase in staff. For the last three years our requests for the
       staff needed to prepare, serve, and cleanup additional offerings, for the line item
       increases to purchase additional food items, and for the equipment and space
       required to serve those items have not been granted. It would be our hope and
       fervent wish that this process will provide the motivation to address this concern
       with the appropriate level of funds. We are poised with ideas ready to implement
       to improve the selection of offerings for our students.
    There appears to be another gap between the cost of meal plans and student
       satisfaction with those plans. We are charging students a significant amount for
       their meals, yet they continue to report high levels of dissatisfaction with the
       options available. What efforts are underway to address this issue? Will it ever
       be possible for students residing in apartments to purchase a reduced meal plan?
       Again, the data to which you are referring has not been made available to us. I
       can again share that our survey does indicate a somewhat greater level of
       discontent that the national norm. The committee does need to understand that
       the price of meal plans is not determined or decided by the Food Services
       Department. Also, only a relatively low percentage of the revenue generated from
       meal plans is used for the delivery of food services to the student. The data from
       the Operating Performance Benchmarking Survey provided to the committee
       clearly shows that the percentage of board revenue spent by Thiel‘s Food
       Services, at 53.9%, is significantly below every other benchmark in the survey.
       Other respondents range from 76% to 85%. Food Services has worked with
       students to identify ways to increase options, and we are ready to fully research
       and propose reduced meal plans. The decision to adjust the percentage of board
       revenue used to support the student‘s options is simply not one we as a
       department make.
   Is the college getting an adequate return on its current level of investment of
    approximately $1.4 million? Investment implies a level of funds used to generate
    a return. As indicated in our NACUFS Operating Performance Benchmarking
    information that was provided to the committee our peers ―invest‖ from 76% to
    85% of revenue back into the department. We believe our 54% qualifies simply
    as a cost of providing basic services. Perhaps if the committee visited other
    schools it would have a better concept of what is possible. We would be glad to
    suggest schools to visit that would show a lower standard as well as a
    commitment by the College to truly ―invest‖. Is it necessary for Food Services to
    strive to be ―award-winning‖? Food Services has been encouraged by President
    Masters to make every attempt to secure an award for the College. At other
    schools, being ―Award Winning‖ has been very successful in recruitment and
    retention of students. Of everything else at College, what else do students do and
    where else do they go at least three times a day? If the College can secure an
    award, the perception of current students will improve. This does take a
    commitment by the College. If the appropriate percentage of revenues cannot
    support that attempt perhaps it would be better left alone; again, that decision
    would not be ours alone. Should it focus on improving basic services rather than
    investing in extravagances like Starbucks? Starbucks may be viewed by the
    committee as an extravagance but is a self-supporting, revenue-generating venue.
    The increased cost of the product is paid by the end user. The product is not
    offered in the Dining Hall where there is no opportunity for an increase in return.
    Eliminating Starbucks would reduce the price charged for coffee, thereby
    reducing revenue. How important are these ―extras‖ to our students? Would
    meal plan options be more important? These questions are comparing apples to
    oranges. Should we decide to discontinue Starbucks or other ―extras‖, cash
    revenues from the Bistro and catering revenue would decrease accordingly. Our
    feedback from students is that they ―LOVE‖ Starbucks and the Rotunda Bistro.
    Indeed, they are proud that Starbucks is at such a small school. Improving meal
    options is certainly a goal, and will require additional budgetary support.
   If the College continues to invest in Food Services at this level, we suggest that it
    explore expansion of campus catering services and the development of west
    campus conferencing facilities in partnership with Special Events. We welcome
    the opportunity to expand. In fact, five years ago, we did not do any catering for
    outside groups. This year, we have several weddings, receptions, fundraisers, etc.
    from both private individuals and organized groups. Some things to consider
    before actively pursuing these events are concerns with town-gown relations and
    issues with not-for-profit status. The college must decide if it is willing and able
    to dedicate the financial resources to invest in the expansion with the needed staff,
    equipment, and supplies. This expansion would not happen in a vacuum. Other
    departments such as Housekeeping, Maintenance, Public Relations, and Special
    Events would be impacted and would also require investment.
   Food safety issues must be addressed. The poor condition of the walk-in freezer
    poses significant risks for student health, lost revenue, energy loss, high
    maintenance costs, etc.
   We encourage the College to support more full-time rather than part-time
    positions in food service. This may ease the turnover problem.
   Can the College offer discounted meal plans to employees? This may encourage
    greater interaction among faculty, staff and students. This has been a suggestion
    for as long as I have been here and it is a good one. It is very effective at other
       schools. With additional seating in the dining hall, and additional staff to set up
       sufficient number of serving areas, this area could be addressed. Currently
       students are concerned with the lack of available seating and the amount of time it
       takes to get through the line.
      We recommend that the College to investigate the benefits of outsourcing its Food
       Services operations. It is sound business practice to continually explore options.
       We do it as a matter of course with our venders and providers. We have provided
       assistance in the past to the beginning of the process. We would strongly
       encourage that Food Service be involved from the beginning if such a process
       were to take place again. It would be reasonable to expect the College to consider
       the increased investment that a contractor would require and what the current
       management and staff could and would do with such a financial input. The
       College would need to strongly consider the impact that may not be easily visible
       in a cost analysis. We do question how this recommendation arises from the first
       comment ―Overall we find the Food Services division to be well-managed.‖
      We encourage the Food Services department to open some type of Food Service
       option on the west campus – perhaps an Options II convenience store. We are
       eager to do so. Again the College must make the decision to support such a venue
       with the appropriate financial commitment.
      Are software issues described in the report being addressed by the IT department?
       We are in contact with IT and they do work with us regarding issues. This is
       another area where investment by the College must be made to resolve issues.
      We recommend that the Food Services and Financial Services divisions review
       the internal billing policies. Is this system necessary? We believe a system is
       vital to the financial reporting of all. It is not Food Service‘s duty to accept or
       decline events based on budgetary constraints. Each department that may order
       events must be accountable to the College for the cost of the event. If such a
       system is needed, we urge Food Services to simplify the process by developing a
       standard catering menu and a clearly defined price schedule. It should be possible
       for a Food Service bill to be handed to the sponsoring employee on the day of the
       event. We agree that the current process is cumbersome and slow. With our
       turnover in management staff (4 key members in less than 16 months) our focus
       has been on the basics of operation. We are addressing a catering review and will
       have a proposal for Cabinet in the spring.

We are perplexed by the lack of rationales given for the following scoring. Indeed there
are no comments underneath any despite the statement above saying that for each
developing score ―A specific recommendation for enhancement is included by the Task Force.‖
We again find it difficult to respond when there are so many variables and no indication
of which impacted the committee‘s resultant score.
Program Area: Human Resources
The Task Force offers the following comments, questions and recommendations:
       The TF recommends that HR develop an orientation program for all new employees
        that extends beyond an introduction to policies and procedures toward a greater
        understanding and appreciation for the mission and core values of the College.
A more comprehensive orientation program remains a goal of the Human Resources department.
A copy of the College’s Identity, Mission and Vision Statements is given to each new employee,
and a shared effort with the Campus Pastor resulted in development and presentation of
orientation sessions on these key statements. HR continues to research cost-effective means of
delivering various orientation and training programs and the Director has initiated a discussion
with the Communication Studies department to develop some programming in-house.

        The TF recommends that HR provide greater access to the TC Handbook.
         Employees indicate a need for access to the publication from their home computers.
         Can copies of the handbook be made available in the individual departments? How
         are employees currently notified about the existence of a handbook? Or of revisions
         to the handbook?
Please provide additional definition of “greater access” regarding the Employee Handbook.
Each new employee is given a copy of the current handbook, so I guess this is how they are
notified of its existence! This has been the practice at least since the current director was
appointed in 1999, and I believe for past directors as well, so I have difficulty understanding the
lack of knowledge of the existence of a handbook. HR has also provided copies of the handbook
upon request from employees who have misplaced an earlier copy or have not updated an earlier
version.

Revisions are posted, as they are approved by Cabinet, to the HR handbook page on the college
website, and are incorporated into the hard copy version for distribution. Employees are also
notified of changes via T-Notes, and via the “HR Notes” link on the home page of the College
website. HR is mindful of the fact that many employees (particularly in large groups such as
housekeeping, food services and maintenance), do not utilize computers at work and/or at home,
and depend upon non-electronic methods to obtain information.

The Task Force should also be aware that all handbook sections are undergoing review as part
of an outsourced revision effort. When this project is finished, the complete text will be posted to
the handbook link of the HR site.


       Can the HR director provide leadership to address the policy and procedural
        inconsistencies that are apparent between and among departments? For example,
        are the vice presidents on the same page when communicating how vacation policies
        work and how raises are allocated, etc.? We also wish to know if the Director has
        specific concerns about inconsistencies in vacancy posting and hiring procedures
        among the various divisions?

Policies are intended to be consistent throughout College departments. Some procedural
differences are to be expected among departments, just as departmental functions vary. There
are no departmental variances regarding vacation and other benefits; however, overall
differences exist among classes of employees (Exempt, 12-month positions; Exempt, less-than-12
month positions; Non-Exempt positions at 12- and less-than-12-month status; and Faculty). Vice
Presidents are aware that their divisions are composed of various members of these different
groups. Details of current vacation policies are available in that section of the handbook, both
online and hard copy.
Over the last several budget cycles, Vice Presidents have determined the level of discretion they
will use in allocating available funds for salary increases to exempt staff. Raises to non-exempt
staff have been applied consistently over all divisions.

The Director strives for consistency in posting all vacancies of which the HR department is made
aware, but recognizes that administration has the prerogative to make employment decisions that
it deems are in the best interest of the College.

      Greater emphasis on equity issues is suggested in employee training. For example,
       how are formal policies concerning sexual harassment communicated to new
       employees?
A campus-wide committee developed a No Harassment Policy a few years ago, which was
incorporated into our general handbook policies and is posted on our website. Again, all new
employees receive a copy of the formal policy upon hire. This policy will be of high priority as
we develop our formal orientation program.

       The TF has the impression that the HR operation is often reactive rather than
        proactive. If so, what steps must be taken for the HR director to take a greater
        leadership role as an employee advocate? Or as a problem-solver? If this is not the
        case, would you please provide instances in which a significant proactive effort has
        been made with regard to employee advocacy and problem solving?

The director has been in a reactive mode when issues are presented regarding grievances and
complaints; however, these types of issues are unique to each situation and difficult to anticipate.
Attempting to serve 350+ employees with little or no assistance in the early years contributed to
backlogs of projects and recordkeeping. But in addition to completing those most urgent tasks
and meeting current requirements regarding benefit updates, maintaining employee records, and
budgeting for salaries and benefits, the director has attempted to offer creative suggestions and
solutions in the areas of benefit design, employee classification, policy review and revision,
employee events and training, and salary administration. The annual Employee Benefit Fair was
implemented, regular visits from TIAA have been established, and initial training and
educational programs have been offered (interviewing skills, the evaluation process, retirement
planning sessions, etc.). These events are well publicized, and offer a great opportunity for
information sharing, yet attendance is often below desired levels. A disappointing number of
employees attend information sessions each fall on our health insurance offerings, necessitating
HR staff to hold repetitive individual sessions to educate employees on these issues. Yet that is
our role as a service department, and we attempt to accommodate the needs of our employees.

The director has taken an active role in supporting safety efforts campus wide and has served as
chair of the Safety Committee for the past three years. A new Campus Wellness Committee
begins its work at Thiel on February 22, 2005, on the basis of survey information gathered at the
Fall 2004 Employee Benefit Fair. The director has also hosted a gathering of several other
regional colleges to pursue participation in a health care insurance consortium. In 2004, the
director served a greater role in campus-wide risk management efforts. In addition, the director
oversees the operation of the campus post office and, most recently the payroll function at Thiel,
and will continue to seek ways to improve these services to the campus.

The department will continue its attempt to identify those programs most interesting and
beneficial to our employees. HR will continue to provide service and support to our employees
whenever it is requested to do so. The director remains committed to serving as an employee
advocate, while also supporting College administration in its attempts to make the best decisions
for the institution as a whole.
       Has the Director received the advanced training necessary to handle the
        complexities of the HR position? Are requests for professional development
        supported?

The director has sought additional training through various government and agency program
offerings. Support is provided by the two primary professional memberships (CUPA and SHRM),
but the best opportunities for professional development have been presented through networking
with HR directors of other institutions. Much information sharing occurs at an annual event held
on the campus of our host college each year, for the cost of travel only. Speakers, breakout
sessions, and much fruitful discussion are included at the event, and discussion continues
throughout the year via an active email network. The director hopes to attend a CUPA regional
conference in the coming year. Requests for professional development opportunities are always
supported, but staff size and event timing have limited those events the director is able to pursue.

       We understand that the antiquated administrative computing system presents
        problems for all areas of the College. How will a new system address the need for
        greater expediency in response to employee requests for information? What
        improvements can be made prior to the introduction of the new system?

A new administrative computing system, or a new HR-Payroll system, will allow us to combine
recordkeeping and activities related to personnel information and payroll processing that are
now maintained on separate systems or manually. We hope to acquire the capability of tracking
benefit and leave time; evaluation scheduling and anticipated wage increases. In addition to
maintaining a position history for each employee, we’d like to record professional development
achievements and monitor required safety training at the employee level. Ideally, we’ll develop
reporting and feedback to provide useful information for managers as well as for HR purposes.
We would also like to offer online employee access to personal and payroll information,
including benefit choices, payroll deduction changes, and historical information from the
personnel files.
PROGRAM AREA: Health Center

The Task Force offers the following comments, questions and recommendations:
    The TF urges the Director to regularly assess program goals and to more fully investigate
       best practices at other colleges. (The required review grid was not included in the report
       package, so it was difficult for the TF to know whether program goals and best practices
       were being met. Therefore, some scores may be lower than expected.)
    This grid was provided as a separate document and would have been provided if I had
       been notified of its absence. Best practices, as I indicated in my report, are established by
       the ANA (American Nurse‘s Association) and the American College Health Association
       and are followed within the parameters of operations at Thiel (fiscal, physical and
       personnel parameters). I am no longer permitted to provide services, other than
       emergency first aid, to staff and faculty; this is because I am not legally insured to
       provide these services. Many of the questions given under the responses listed staff and
       faculty and therefore are not applicable.
    We encourage the College to integrate the health center and counseling center services
       and to provide more resources both (financial and human) for comprehensive wellness
       programming.
    I fully support this recommendation. Thank you.
    Will the health center eventually be relocated to the second floor of the HMSC?
    I am told that this relocation is a future goal of the college. The Bistro is to be expanded
       necessitating the relocation of the Health Center. My hope is that I will be part of the
       discussions regarding placement, space, and facility requirements (i.e., appropriate
       waiting area to ensure confidentiality of students with whom I am dealing, readily
       accessible hygiene facilities, proper storage facilities for supplies as well as records, etc).

       Is it possible to engage in a partnership with a local physician so that students can receive
        care on campus?
       I am in the process of becoming a certified Family Nurse Practicitoner and then will be
        able to provide care on campus. However, this transformation will not happen without a
        great deal of financial investment (appropriate facilities, services of collaborating
        physician, increase in liability coverage, increase in operating budget). The partnership
        with a local physician is a very expensive proposition. Many small schools with which I
        am in contact are re-examining this arrangement and are looking for alternative ways to
        provide health services to their students. We are very fortunate to have such a good
        working relationship with the Greenville Medical Center. Schools are calling me to find
        out how we are doing things at Thiel!! Expanding my education is a definite plus.

Program Area: International Students
The Task Force offers the following comments, questions and recommendations:
    What is the Director‘s role in the international student recruitment process?

        Just recently, I have become responsible for the international students once they have
        applied to Thiel College. I assist them throughout the application/admissions process. In
        April, I will begin training to become a Designated School Official (DSO) for the school.
        This will allow me to issue I-20‘s to our applicants so that they can receive their student
        visa‘s and become successfully enrolled at Thiel.

       What is the Director‘s role or responsibility in developing a summer ESL or cultural
        immersion program? Have any steps been taken in this regard?

        An ESL summer program proposal is currently being researched by our department.

       The TF suggests that the Director investigate the advantages of establishing a big
        brother/big sister (American students with International students) program to ease the
        transition for international students. Could a senior work-study student serve as the
        manager of this program?

        I am currently researching different types of mentoring possibilities for the fall of 2005.

       The TF suggests that the Director offer specific training and informational resources for
        Thiel faculty on international student issues.

        I agree and I am open to this suggestion.

       Has the Director investigated the benefits of services provided by embassy offices? One
        TF member described another college that has regular interaction with embassy offices.
        These interactions have resulted in new cultural and educational resources for the college.

       The TF encourages the Director to continue to find ways to incorporate international
        students into the mainstream of college life.

        I will be facilitating more campus programming in the fall of 2005. I will also offer mini
        workshops as a means of education.

       The TF recommends that the Director regularly assess international student satisfaction
        and needs and use these data to modify the program and services.

        I agree.

       Finally, the TF recognizes that the Director is new to the position and that her
        responsibilities have recently been expanded; therefore, most of the program scores are in
        the ―developing‖ range.

        I thank you for that recognition and your constructive feedback. I am working very
        diligently to insure the best experience for our international student population, as well as
        for the Thiel community.

       We encourage an investment in professional development for the Director.

        I will be attending a training class in the end of April. I hope to be given more
        opportunities for continuing education, I welcome them.

Program Area: Institutional Research

Frequency of program/service communication
Does this area communicate regularly with our campus community? Without the support of this
report would you have known what was happening in this area? How?
        Task Force Response: The TF encourages more frequent communication about surveys
being conducted and the outcomes of institutional research.

IR, in conjunction with the Environmental Scanning Committee, is currently planning to
list on its website all the data available to the college community.

Staff members are qualified for positions held
Considering the Professional Standards for this area, does the leadership and staff meet the
recommended criteria for advanced degrees, special training and/or experience?
        Task Force Response: Has the Director been provided opportunities for advanced
training?
Each year, money is placed in the IR budget for continuing education. The Director uses
that money to attend workshops, seminars, or professional meetings. The following is a
partial list of the programs she has attended.
     Northeastern Association of Institutional Research (NEAIR) Annual Conference –
        attended a one day pre-conference seminar for new institutional researchers
        November, 1998
     NEAIR Annual Conference              November, 1999
     Attended a three day institute on, ―Assessment‖        February, 2000
     NEAIR Annual Conference              November, 2000
     Attended a one day workshop on, ―Institutional Strategic Planning‖ February,
        2001
     Attended a four day institute on, ―Applied Statistics for Institutional Research,
        Planning & Management‖          August, 2001
     Attended a three day seminar on, ―Developing Databases to Analyze Students &
        Curricula‖ and ― MIS for Strategic Planning and Decision making‖ April, 2002
     Attended a four and one-half day institute on, ―Information Technology‖        July,
        2004

The director has a master of arts in Speech Communication with an emphasis on
organizations. In graduate school, she conducted primary research in her field and has
published a paper in the Ohio Speech Journal. She is also a member of the American
Association of Institutional Research and the Northeastern Association of Institutional
Research.

Program/service costs align with number of students students/clients served
What is the investment per student? Per event, activity or program? If the program spends half of
its budget on one event, are participation rates high enough to support the investment? How do
investments/per student compare with those of other institutions?
        Task Force Response: The TF does not have detailed information about costs per survey
or research study. It is difficult to know if the research is being used by enough campus
operations to warrant current costs.

Please see attached spreadsheet that lists the surveys and their costs. IR helps coordinate
and process data for other surveys but the cost of these does not come out of the IR budget.

Program/service expenditures align with outcomes
Are goals being met? If so does the financial investment seem adequate, excessive? If goals are
not being met is it due to lack of financial support? How does the current investment in this area
compare with other institutions?

Each year IR submits a budget that reflects the needs of the department based on what has
been spent the previous year. The budget and how it was spent for the fiscal year 2004-2004
is attached.

Program/service maximizes potential of available campus technology
Are web pages interactive? Can students/employees get information and complete requests
online? Or are forms download only? Are any programs/services delivered using the Thiel
network? Are resources expanded through technology? Are multimedia resources incorporated?
Does the area have knowledgeable staff who can implement new technologies? Is technology
used to improve record keeping and dissemination of reports and institutional data? Is technology
used to increase response time to inquiries? To reduce costs?

IR makes use of a lot of campus technology. Data is processed using the administrative
computing system, Excel, Access, and SPSS (statistical software). Power Point is used to
create slides for presentations (especially during strategic planning). Currently, focus
groups are being audio taped and content analysis is being done on these scripts.

The director knows how to use all this technology.

Program/service provides staff training to improve delivery
Are program directors and staff encouraged to attend professional conferences, training
workshops? Are other educational opportunities available? How frequent are these offered? Are
opportunities equally distributed among staff?
       Task Force: What opportunities for training are available to the Director?

Please see ―staff members are qualified for positions held‖ under Effectiveness.

Program /service develops leaders
Does this area encourage the development of leadership skills among students and staff? Does it
provide opportunities for students to manage operations, lead meetings, plan events? Does it
provide opportunities for employees to try new things or test ideas? Is this area demonstrate a
team approach to its operations?

Many of the things that IR does are team related. For example, serving on the Support
Program and Prioritization TF or strategic planning committees. Each of these is very
team oriented.
Program Area: IT- Non-Administrative
The Task Force offers the following comments, questions and recommendations:
    The Work Culture Survey reveals dissatisfaction among faculty and staff with the
      services of IT-NonAdministrative. Of those surveyed, only 61% agree that
      responses are timely and 78% agree that it is a quality service.
    Can the IT staff work to develop ―problem-solving‖ skills among employees? We
      believe that a greater emphasis on IT staff as teachers would be beneficial. When
      assisting an individual employee can they take the time to demonstrate how to fix
      the problem if it occurs again? Can specific training sessions be offered during
      the slower times of the academic year on topics such as managing your email
      account, using PowerPoint, Excel, etc.?
   At this time the IT Department has a position open for a Technology Trainer however due to
   budget constraints we cannot fill this position.
   The IT Department is understaffed and would need to sacrifice other services to take time to
   help develop “problem-solving” skills on an individual employee basis.
   In the future, when funding permits, providing both of these services would be possible and I
   believe necessary.
   The IT Department does not incur a slow period. When classes are in session we are busy
   servicing the many problems of the students, faculty and staff and during class breaks we
   make repairs, improvements, and implement new technologies throughout the campus.
      The TF encourages the College to consider appointing one person as web
       manager. This individual should possess the communication, marketing, design
       and technical skills necessary to manage the total operation. We believe that the
       current division of responsibilities between IT and PR may not be optimal.
   The current Thiel College website consists of approximately 3500 active pages of 8500 total
   pages; it would not be possible for one person to maintain the current technical aspects of the
   website. At this time, we are considering ways to restructure the website processes to be
   more efficient and standardized by creating a web team who would maintain and develop
   Thiel’s web presence.
      What is the status of the web redesign? What are the goals of the new Web
       Design Committee?
   The goals of the web design committee are to redesign the current website and to make
   administration more concise with set policies and direct the viewer to the information they
   desire easily.
      More emphasis on routine assessment is recommended. For example, it is
       important for the College to understand more fully the impact of the Notebook
       Initiative, the Smart Classrooms and Blackboard from a student, faculty and fiscal
       perspective.
Program Area: Library

Timely response to student/client needs
Is there evidence that this department is providing feedback to students on their progress,
answering phone inquiries from students and/or campus colleagues, offering
advice/service/programs when students need it or providing information to colleagues to support
their work?
         Task Force Response: This score is based on results from the recent Thiel Work Culture
Survey. Additional evidence from student patrons is needed.
         The Library has a student survey in the drafting stage; I‘m hoping to talk with one or
more faculty members for some guidance in the design, and plan to make student surveys a
regular element of data-gathering.

Quality of program, service or product
Do outcomes demonstrate that this area positively impacts student learning? Does this area meet
the quality standards expressed in the professional standards? Do students/clients report that a
useful or beneficial service is being offered? What are the participation rates?
        Task Force Response: The Task Force wishes to know more about student satisfaction
with Library services and resources.
        We need to fully establish a mechanism to gather faculty data on changes in student
learning. Monitoring the quality component involves developing and maintaining support from
others outside the Library.

Quality of program/service communication
How does this area communicate with students/faculty/staff and the outside community? What is
the quality of its web pages? Are they up-to-date? Are they informative? Does this area
effectively utilize Thiel media – Info Channel, Thielensian, T-notes, bulletin boards, ICM, etc.?
Is the communication easy to understand, accessible to all?
         Task Force Response: The TF encourages continued development of the Library web
pages. More interactive web features should be considered such as renewing books online,
asking research questions, etc.
         We are in the process of adding several more informative elements to the Library Web
page, and are examining additional instructional elements. One of our staff is scheduled to attend
a workshop on library instructional design in March. Interactive elements such as book renewal
cannot be supported until the Library‘s automated system is internet-accessible.

Quality of facilities/office
Does the area maintain an attractive, welcoming office or facility? Does it meet standards for
safety, for access, for confidentiality? Does the area meet employee work needs for health and
wellness?
          Task Force Response: The Library staff does what it can to maintain an attractive
facility; however, the TF has concerns about ADA access, safety of the stacks, roof leaks and
inadequate lighting for reading and research.
          The Library staff fully agrees with the Task Force, and is limited to requesting/nagging
about the major improvements needed. We have worked within authority/responsibility/financial
parameters.

Adequate service hours/availability
Does the area meet the needs of the community? Is the office open when students/faculty/staff
need the service? How do we know?
         Task Force Response: The TF is unable to provide a higher score for this criterion due to
the lack of information from students.
         Student demand has to be balanced with resources, comparison with other campus
service hours, and actual use. We have limited staff (reduced by ½ person as of January 2005).
Our hours compare favorably with other campus services. We have established a gate count to
document incoming traffic movement

Quality of personnel-client interactions
Do the users of this area report satisfaction with the way they are greeted and treated? Are the
employees responsive, friendly, willing to help? How do we know?
         Task Force Response: The score reflects results from the recent Thiel Work Culture
Survey. Additional information is needed about student perceptions of their interactions with
library staff.
         We do plan to continue a survey schedule.

Frequency of program/service communication
Does this area communicate regularly with our campus community? Without the support of this
report would you have known what was happening in this area? How?
        Task Force Response: The TF encourages the Library to pursue reinstatement of a
campus-wide Library committee.
        The original Library committee was established (and discontinued) as a faculty
committee. We‘re currently exploring, in an informal manner, what kind of committee, with what
functions, would be feasible.

Quality of environment/atmosphere
       Is this a comfortable environment for students—are the doors open, are walk-ins
welcome- is this a gathering place? Is this a place that employees avoid? Is this a place where
employees like to work? Why? How do we know?
       Task Force Response: The TF encourages the Library staff to investigate ways to
enhance library use and to improve its status as a student/faculty gathering place.
       We will continue to encourage use of the Library as an academic resource and to provide
meeting space for committees and classes.

Program/service has conducted self-assessment as described in Middle States
Is there evidence that this area has conducted any of the surveys or self-reflection described in the
Middle States Grid? (Available on L: drive) For example if the program goal is to improve
student participation by 20%, does the program area give information about how they tracked
student participation? How did they measure it? If the program said they were going to improve
response time – how did they monitor it?
         Task Force Response: Have faculty reports been collected? How and when is feedback
information gathered from OWE students and faculty?
         We‘ve been remiss on collecting data; as a first step, we‘re now working on a short-form
faculty comments document to assess class tour/instruction events.

Program/service has used assessment results for decision-making or improvements
Has the program/service taken the results of its Middle States assessment to revise how it serves
students/faculty/staff? For example, if student participation at mid-year was lower than expected,
did they try new delivery methods or survey students to determine weaknesses in program
offerings?
        Task Force Response: The TF did not find enough evidence of assessment being
conducted or of those results being used for decision making.
        Please see previous response

Program/service collaborates effectively with campus partners
Does the area provide evidence that they are seeking advice/opinions of campus partners? Does
this area co-sponsor programs with other areas? Does the area have a campus advisory group that
provides input/feedback? Does this area consult other directors before making major policy shifts
that impact the campus?
        Task Force Response: More communication between the Library and other campus
operations is needed. Reinstatement of a campus library committee is encouraged. More
proactive solicitation of faculty library needs is required.
        Is there an opportunity for the Thiel Library to take a leadership role in solving the
Greenville Community Library problems?
        The Library agrees with the TF and intends to address the proactive element; we feel,
with time and duty constraints on faculty, that short face-to-face meetings may be more
productive than impersonal forms of communication (i.e., those easier to postpone or ignore). The
Library Committee, as mentioned, was a function of the faculty; we‘re revisiting the possibilities,
building a base and considering new forms.
        The relationship with the Greenville Community Library has been examined in the past
and we were previously advised that the differences in funding and governing practices work
against a formal relationship. We have always offered informal assistance and cooperation.

Program/service meets professional standards for excellence
Is the area in compliance with published professional standards –at every level, most or some?
For example does that area meet recommendations for staff training or education? For
confidentiality of services? For adequate budget? For leadership?
         (Answering this question requires a thorough review of Item 8 in the packet.)
         Task Force Response: The TF encourages the library staff members to find ways to
enhance their roles as educators and classroom instructors. At many colleges librarians are given
faculty status. The library collection needs to be brought on line to meet current professional
operating standards.
         The library staff has offered, and continues to offer, supplementary instruction. As a staff,
we do not have the numbers to field any but the most basic of courses. We are examining ways to
increase our instructional programs, but we do not have the authority to impose them. As you
said, some librarians ―are given‖ faculty status. As a side note, meaningful faculty status must
include faculty rank and its accompaniments.

Program/service meets stated goals
Does the area meet the self-reported goals in Middle States Grid? If the goal is to reduce
operation costs – have they done it? If the goal is to increase student graduation rates – have they
done it? (Answering this question requires a comparison of column one with column four on the
Report Grid.)
         Task Force Response: Greater emphasis on measuring student learning outcomes as they
relate to ―planning, information gathering, analyzing and presenting conclusions‖ is needed.
         We agree.

Program/service has assessed campus/client needs
Has this area conducted individual student inventories, group surveys, employee surveys and/or
interviews to determine what services, programs, events or activities are needed? Does it use
extant data to shape programs? For example, does the area offer a particular intervention
program because the CIRP data indicates a need, the first year profile suggests a problem area or
placement tests indicate specific deficiencies? Does the food service area or bookstore add menu
items or stock certain supplies based on info they‘ve gathered from a marketing survey or student
committee?
        Task Force Response: More information about student and faculty needs and
expectations is required. We encourage the Library to find a way to routinely conduct this type of
assessment.
        As mentioned, we are working on this.

Staff members are qualified for positions held
Considering the Professional Standards for this area, does the leadership and staff meet the
recommended criteria for advanced degrees, special training and/or experience?
        Task Force Response: The library staff could benefit from more training in the areas of
information literacy and instructional design.
        We‘re adding workshops and conferences to our schedule in a limited way -- limited
because of budget and staffing constraints. We‘ve pared our continuing education line rather than
our service/resource lines.

Program/service compares favorably with ―best practices‖ or model program
Does the area have the structure and resources necessary to excel? Are programs, activities,
events, services delivered according to best practice? (To answer this question, please take time to
study response to Item 4a in the packet.)
         Task Force Response: Library staff needs additional training to advance information
literacy instruction. Current financial support from the annual operating budget is not adequate to
cover routine expenses. The interest income provided by restricted endowment funds is not
sufficient to cover anticipated increases let alone major investments such as bringing the
collection online.
         Agreed.

Program/service expenditures align with outputs
Does the range of service, variety of programs, activities and events fit with the institutional
investment? Are we getting enough back on our investment?
         Task Force Response: The Library staff does an excellent job of providing a wide range
of services and resources within its very limited college budget.
         Thank you.

Program/service costs align with number of students students/clients served
What is the investment per student? Per event, activity or program? If the program spends half of
its budget on one event, are participation rates high enough to support the investment? How do
investments/per student compare with those of other institutions?
        Task Force Response: The Thiel Library is funded at a much lower level compared to
other colleges who reported IPEDS data. We encourage further investigation by the Library staff
on funding levels at peer and aspirant institutions. We also would like to review a five year
history of institutional budget allocations for the library – has support increased or decreased?
        We‘ll keep this in mind and cooperate as much as possible.

Program/service maximizes potential of its human resources
Are staff members recognized for their individual talents, skills, and expertise and utilized in the
department according to these abilities? Or are staff talents hidden or restricted by the structure of
the department, by leadership, by lack of financial resources? (This is not a question about the
busyness of staff – we assume that will be assessed through individual performance evaluations.)
         Task Force Response: Greater emphasis on instruction both in the library and the
traditional classroom is needed.
         We‘ve been looking at and working on information literacy and its implications for
several years. To be successful, this concept has to be built on a framework of
faculty/administrative cooperation and respect.

Program/service maximizes potential of available campus facilities
Assuming that the campus belongs to all programs and services, does this area consider all
options when delivering services, programs, events or activities? For example, would it make
sense to hold a student wellness program in the Glen Johnson Community building closer to
student living areas rather than in the HMSC? Would it make sense to have a food service point
of delivery on West Campus? Has the area experimented with different locations for activities?
Does the current assigned space meet operational needs and is it organized effectively?
        We intend to reinforce the Library‘s commitment to providing space for a variety of
programs, concentrating on the academic arena.
Program/service expenditures align with outcomes
Are goals being met? If so does the financial investment seem adequate, excessive? If goals are
not being met is it due to lack of financial support? How does the current investment in this area
compare with other institutions?
        Task Force Response: The TF needs more complete historical budget information from
the Thiel Business Office and better comparative data.
        Agreed.

Budget decisions are data driven
What evidence is available to suggest that programs have changed, services modified based on
input from students/clients, annual reports, national trends, etc. For example, if student surveys
suggest that evening hours are needed, has this program reduced morning service hours and
extended evening/weekend options? Or if student performance suggests that there is a problem
with a particular first year course on campus are ASC, library, student services responding by
adding SI, or more learning resources?
         Task Force Response: How does the Library make decisions about its and allocation of
resources?
         The process has to be reviewed, especially with recent changes in personnel assignments.

Program/service maximizes potential of available campus technology
Are web pages interactive? Can students/employees get information and complete requests
online? Or are forms download only? Are any programs/services delivered using the Thiel
network? Are resources expanded through technology? Are multimedia resources incorporated?
Does the area have knowledgeable staff who can implement new technologies? Is technology
used to improve record keeping and dissemination of reports and institutional data? Is technology
used to increase response time to inquiries? To reduce costs?
         Task Force Response: The Thiel web pages could be more interactive and more personal
by adding features like ―ask a librarian‖ ―meet a librarian‖. As stated earlier, students, faculty
and staff need to have network access to the Thiel collection.
         Agreed, and as noted above, some of the elements for which the Library staff has
authority are currently in progress.

Program/service demonstrates flexible delivery
This item can relate to location, hours of service, use of staff, employment of new technologies,
willingness to modify types of programs, etc. What evidence do we have that this area is willing
to change if needed?
         Task Force Response: The Library staff has demonstrated an interest in becoming more
involved in instruction and a willingness to work with faculty on courseware development.
         Staff willingness to adapt to change and to new ideas is the most valuable asset we
possess.

Program/service provides staff training to improve delivery
Are program directors and staff encouraged to attend professional conferences, training
workshops? Are other educational opportunities available? How frequent are these offered? Are
opportunities equally distributed among staff?
        Task Force Response: In order for the Library to meet the changing needs of students
and faculty, more financial support and released time for staff training must be made available.
        The provision of release time may sometimes depend on staffing levels; first priority
remains scheduled library hours.

Program/service is essential to a core service
Does a core service rely on this area for successful delivery?
        Task Force Response: The TF believes the Library is at the center of mission and is
essential for many, if not all core services.
        We believe in the value of libraries, and of this library, and will continue to seek ways in
which it can support the College.
Program Area: MIMC
The Task Force offers the following comments, questions and recommendations:
      The report from MIMC was thorough and well-organized.
      We encourage the director to develop a regular schedule for the assessment of student
       needs. For example, it is important to know if service hours are adequate and if the
       students feel they compete for the resources when classes are held in the MIMC.
      The TF believes that the director‘s current office space is unacceptable. Are there ways
       to reconfigure the facility to offer more reasonable or appropriate office space?
      I know that the office space is cramped and lacking in storage and work space. Having
       my office here also prevents A-V staff members from getting keys, their coats, or office
       supplies without going around through the lab; video viewers tend to block their way
       through. However, we have so many activities going on and so little space.
      It is important that I be near both A-V and the lab in order to deal with crisis or answer
       questions, yet I need to be apart a lot of the time so that I can get some work done.
      The two ‗recording rooms‘ were poorly designed for recording. They are not sound
       proof, etc. They are about 6.5‘ x 9.5‘; of that space, the built-in counter cuts out over two
       feet, the register and the door cut into the space, too. We will study the idea of fitting my
       desk and other items into one of them, or the possibility of cutting out some of the wall
       that separates them.
      We need to move the shelves and cabinet from behind Ms. Jones‘ desk, too. At present,
       she has to move so that students can get projectors, laptops conduits, etc. She is often
       creating tests, etc., too; students should not be having access to her screen.
      We could continue the media library items into what used to be my office, put the
       cabinets and some of the equipment shelves there, and figure out what to do with all the
       office supplies.
      (If the ASC were to move to the library, perhaps we could add their main office area and
       then reshuffle some of our work spaces and offices. For example, one of the offices
       could be her office; the other would be great as a small viewing area for 3-6 people. The
       main area has more room for neater storage of equipment, supplies, etc. This room opens
       into AC-236, as does the lab.)
      We encourage MIMC to have discussions with the Library and IT about more the
       possibilities of functioning as an integrated unit.
      Given the MIMC‘s new relationship with IT, could the MIMC play a greater role in
       faculty and staff training on technology issues?
      We are hoping that we will be able to do just that. In fact, I‘m hoping that IT will offer a
       number of workshops and/or training sessions, and that each member will teach
       something to those who are interested.
      What role does the MIMC play in the Notebook Initiative?
      1-The MIMC had nothing to do with the Notebook Initiative in the beginning. I was able
       to give an hour or two to help ‗un-box‘ the laptops and assemble the items the students
       would carry away with them. (We were swamped at that time, too, so I couldn‘t spend
       more time helping). The junior IT staff members (or people in IT and Student Services)
       used our color printer to help with the enormous job of printing the instruction manuals
       they‘d created.
       2- We wanted to purchase one of the same laptops for loan, but we were told that there
       were not enough; we were told to wait until students dropped out.
       3-Around the second week of school, students began bringing their laptops in to us to get
       help with printing or burning CD‘s. We got some instructions so that we could help with
       their problems, and made instructions for our staff so that they could help students who
       were in a hurry to print a paper. Quite a few students have come for assistance…(our
       student workers, who have laptops of their own, are more proficient than Erika and I.)
Program Area:          Office of Special Needs
Task Force Response:
The TF recognizes that the Office of Special Needs is a new program. Consequently, most scores
are in the limited or developing range. We acknowledge the enormous responsibility of this area
and hope that the College will find a way to provide more resources and support for these
important student services.
The TF recommends the following:
      A greater emphasis on technology in the delivery of services
      Expanding the director‘s position to a full-time, 12-month position
      Expanding service hours including evening office hours.
      Improving office and testing space to accommodate issues of confidentiality
      Integration of the Special Needs with the Academic Services Center to allow for
                  maximum coordination of support services.
      Strengthening communication between the Special Needs Office, Admissions and
         Student Services
      Assessing student satisfaction with the Special Needs Office services and resources

The TF requests the following:
    More information about the make-up and role of the Special Needs Committee

   The Special Needs Committee is made of faculty and staff representing various aspects of
   campus life. Meetings are held monthly or as needed. The role of this committee is to work
   in collaboration to support and meet the needs of the disability students on campus. During
   the meeting issues, policies, and procedures are discussed for the purpose of developing
   effective services on campus.
   The following is a listing of departments represented on this Committee and their ongoing
   contributions to the overall operations of the Special Needs Office.
   Admissions:
       Postcards are included in Admissions Packets for student self-identification
       Admission Counselors send returned postcards and inquiries plus any documentation to
        the OSN
       Admission Counselors consult the OSN regarding matching services to student‘s needs
       Placement testing with accommodations is made available to qualified students
   Information Technology:
       Assistance is given with computer set up for textHelf gold software
       Advised on the use of Relay Telephone Assistance for the hearing impaired
       Maintain computer software for spell check and word processing used in
       Accommodations.
       Staff is utilized as a resource for additional software to meet students‘ needs
       Maintains web page for the OSN
   Campus Safety:
       Oversees the installation & maintenance of safety devices/aids in residence halls
       Assist is the ongoing evaluation of campus building accessibility
       Additional Handicap Parking made available
       Security phones in various lots on campus
   Maintenance:
       Assist in the ongoing evaluation of campus building accessibility
       Oversees new building for ADA compliance
       Oversees campus renovations for ADA compliance
   Student Services:
       Assigns appropriate housing for students with disabilities
       Refers students for assistance when disability related problems arise
       Consults with the OSN for ADA compliance
       Acts as liaison for Behavioral Health issues
   Health Services:
      Works closely with Student Services to identify and refer disability students to the OSN
      Keeps Health Records for campus students
   Faculty:
      Includes Disability Statement in all course syllabi
      Encourages students to self-identify with OSN
      Consults with OSN regarding implementation of accommodations and clarification of
      student needs.
      Implements accommodations with students to achieve course requirements
      Takes part in ADA educational programs offered by the OSN
Academic Services Center:
      Works directly and closely with the OSN to provide accommodations for students, i.e.
      note takers, scribes, tutors, facilities for extended test time, test readers, quiet
      environment for testing, books on tape.
      Oversees the academic progress of disability students
      Serves as a liaison between faculty and OSN
      Refers students to the OSN when appropriate
      Works with the OSN to identify and obtain resources to assist students
      Acts as a resource for academic disability issues on campus
Academic Deans Office:
      Establishes the operational a budget of the OSN
      Approves all policies and procedures of the OSN
      Is a Standing member of the Special Needs Committee
      Acts as a resource for academic disability issues on campus

Please note: The above are contributions and issues to date and this listing is not inclusive. Our
needs fluctuate with our student population and every effort is made to meet the student‘s needs.

       Evidence of student success. At what level are Special Needs‘ students retained and how
               does this compare with overall persistence rates?

The only records I have for statistics begin in the Fall of 2002. Since that time 94 Students have
self-identified with the Office of Special Needs. As of Spring 2005 the following statistics apply:
         10 Students have Graduated from Thiel
         49 Students are present students at Thiel
         35 Students have left Thiel for various reasons
This calculates to:
          66% Retention
         37% Withdraws

Academic Year 2004-2005 Statistics for Accommodation Letters

Fall semester 2004
32 Students qualified and received letters of accommodation from the OSN
Spring semester 2005
20 Students qualified and received letters of accommodation from the OSN

Out of the 32 students who received letters of accommodation in Fall semester 10 students left
Thiel and 2 students did not present themselves for accommodations this semester.

Of those 10 who did not return Spring Semester: 3 left in good academic standing, 4 left in poor
academic standing, 1 was suspended, and 2 are on medical leave from Thiel.
Program Area: Orientation – Response from Roseanne Gill-Jacobson, Marianne
Calenda, Heather Achenbach, Mike McKinney, Peggy Miller and Barbara Blue.

The TF raised the following suggestions/questions pertaining to Orientation:

   5. Should Orientation continue to be a five-day event? How does this compare to
       Best Practices? What are the consequences, positive and negative, of holding a
       five-day event? What might be the consequences, positive and negative, of
       holding a shorter event, e.g., of three days?
       The Orientation Committee is willing to consider an abbreviated Orientation
   schedule. However, it wishes to convey to the TF that Orientation has grown from a
   half-day event to a meaningful 5-day experience in an effort to meet student needs. It
   is extremely difficult to compact all the important information and introductions into
   a shorter time period.
   6. Is it wise to remove students from the Thiel campus and the Greenville
       community for two days during their Orientation to Thiel/Greenville?
       The Orientation Committee is willing to investigate other options for small group
   bonding that may not involve extensive travel away from campus.
   7. Should the rafting trip be continued? The TF noted that the trip is expensive in
       terms of both dollars and time. Are there data to justify those expenses in terms
       of the Thiel College mission? Can we show, for example, that the rafting trip aids
       in our retention efforts? Might the trip in fact harm our retention efforts by
       raising false expectations about the Thiel experience? While the trip seems to
       help students bond with one another, does it help them to bond with Thiel?
       There is no evidence to indicate whether the whitewater rafting trip positively or
   negatively impacts retention. The College has experimented with so many different
   approaches to orientation over the last six years that it would be impossible to
   conduct a factor analysis to measure the specific impact of the whitewater trip.
   Anecdotal information suggests that the students enjoy the rafting activity.
   Furthermore, if we modify the trip for the 2005 cohort we may be breaking a promise
   already made by the admissions team. We understand that our admissions counselors
   have been promoting the trip in recruitment materials and conversations with
   prospective students. We recognize that the trip is a very time consuming and
   personnel-intensive project. If it continues, the Orientation committee will need even
   more help from colleagues in other departments including the first-year faculty
   advisors. (It is essential for the FYE groups to be supported by their advisors while on
   the trip.) The Committee is considering the timing of the trip. It may be more
   beneficial to place the trip at the end of Orientation and perhaps reduce the trip to a
   one-day activity instead of an overnight trip.
   8. Should the gala continue to be offered as it has been? The TF noted that the gala,
       like the rafting trip, is expensive. Are there data to justify that expense in terms of
       the Thiel College mission? Can we show that the gala helps students to engage
       effectively with Thiel and aids our efforts in retention? Does the gala, and the
       menu in particular, ―meet students where they are‖? Do students want it? Like
       it? Appreciate it? Does the gala raise false expectations about the food service
       and the dining experience at Thiel?
       The Orientation Committee believes that the gala is an important part of
   Orientation. It helps to set a more formal tone and communicates to our students and
   their parents that we are willing to roll out the red carpet for them. We intend to
   continue this tradition; however, we are willing to investigate other menu options and
   different catering services.
   9. The TF recommends that the formation of a student-based Orientation committee
       become part of Orientation itself; i.e., at the end of Orientation, a group of
       students who have just participated in the program be convened to evaluate their
       experience and propose changes for the following year.
       We agree with the TF and will invite students to participate in this year‘s planning
   committee. We also intend to modify the committee structure to ensure greater
   representation by the admissions staff.
Program Area: Residence Life
The Task Force offers the following comments, recommendations and questions:
    The Residence Life report was thorough and well-organized.
    We recognize that improvements to housing facilities are not under the direct
      control of the residence life director; however, we are interested in knowing from
      the director if he is aware of specific issues that may be contributing to student
      dissatisfaction.
           o The primary concern that I have gotten from students is due to heat problems
              within the buildings. The buildings and rooms are either too hot or too cold.
              This problem could be partially a result of some of the windows in the buildings.
              However, this is something that should be looked at immediately.
           o The primary complaint I get from students about problems in the residence halls
              is that it takes too long for things to be fixed.
           o Some of the other facility improvements that I would suggest is the addition of
              study areas to buildings, new windows and/or security screens on the
              appropriate buildings, better laundry machines within the halls, and a coin
              machine to be placed on campus to support the need for quarters while
              doing laundry. It would also be convenient and beneficial to have housekeeping
              available on the weekend.
    Is it possible for students to participate more fully in the development of community
      living regulations? What suggestions can the Director offer on this topic?
           o I believe that this is a possibility. This is actually one reason for our theme
              housing and hall council programs. We do need to concentrate some time and
              energy on strengthening our hall council program, and establishing more power
              for these councils. This may be one way to better include the students in the
              development of community living regulations.

       We commend the Director for trying to strengthen partnerships between residence
        life and academic affairs.

       The TF suggests that the College reevaluate the compensation package for resident
        assistants. Is it possible to offer a full waiver for the room charges? Would this
        allow the Director to attract and retain the most qualified candidates? We believe
        that the RAs should be allowed to hold a regular work-study position in addition to
        receiving the full room waiver.
         o Currently I am in the process of working on a stronger compensation
            package. I too believe that this would attract and retain the most qualified
            candidates. I will look into the possibility of offering a full waiver for the
            room charges as well.
Program Area: Student Activities
The Task Force offers the following comments, questions and recommendations:
Noting a comment in the self-audit materials prepared by Student Activities, the TF wondered
how the Student Activities staff might want to adjust the team approach to their area of service.
The TF was also interested to know how well staff members get along together as a team. In
addition, the following questions/suggestions were raised:
Since writing our report, the Activities Team has adjusted our approach.
    1. Might there be value in the formation of a campus-wide activities council? Activities are
       created by students, for students with the assistance of the activities professionals.
    2. What data might result from a cost analysis of student activities? What is the cost per
       student for each activity, and is that cost justifiable in terms of the College mission? Our
       costs come directly from the student activities fees that each student pays each year. The
       students know this is one of the reasons why they pay that fee, they know we are willing
       to provide activities they request, and the activities are always open to the entire student
       body. Therefore, the cost is justifiable. Student attendance has been extremely high at
       our events this year and each week we have students stopping by our offices to tell us
       how much they enjoy the activities we have planned. We feel that also makes the cost
       justifiable.
    3. Are there data to indicate whether student activities are meeting the stated goals of
       encouraging students to remain on campus during weekends and to engage in alternatives
       to drinking and other destructive activities? The data we have to show that our goals are
       being met and students are staying on weekends for events is the increase in student
       involvement at events. Most events have over 150 students in attendance, we have had
       many student groups approach us to co-sponsor events with us, and we have multiple
       requests to repeat events that we have held this year. Therefore, we feel that we are
       providing a positive alternative to drinking and other destructive activities.

Finally, the TF was eager to commend Student Activities for their efforts to solicit student input
and feedback; in this regard, Student Activities provides a model of effective assessment. We
appreciate the positive feedback and plan to continue to serve the students in the ways they ask.

				
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