The School of Graduate Studies
Annual Report 2008 – 2009
I. Program Development
Began seventh Teacher Initiative for Leadership in Education (TILE) cohort in
Continued development of courses offered at community colleges and other off-campus
Continued support for development of online courses/programs.
Enrolled second cohorts in two master’s programs offered online: Library Media Studies and
Technology in Education programs. Both programs offered larger numbers of course sections
than ever before.
Signed agreements with numerous Chinese universities for students to pursue graduate
programs at Salem State. Hosted the first group of four graduate students (two from Inner
Mongolia and two from Henan). Two students graduated from the Salem State College MAT in
Teaching English as a Second Language program and will complete their dual degrees in China
in June 2010.
Gained internal approval through our governance process of the following new graduate
programs: Graduate Certificate in Business, Master of Arts in Teaching Middle School
Mathematics with Initial Licensure, Master of Science in Nursing Nurse Practitioner Track, and
Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Fluency in Information Technology Program.
Launched first cohort of Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology students.
Continued support for AACSB accreditation activities including comprehensive revision of the
Master of Business Administration program.
Secured Quinn Bill status for MS in Criminal Justice program.
Completed proposals for Ph.D. in Nursing and Ed.D. in Teaching, Learning and Leadership
proposals, and awaiting possible submission to the Massachusetts Department of Higher
Hosted consultant Deborah Arfken, who served as Dean of the Graduate School at the University
of Tennessee-Chattanooga when doctoral programs were implemented.
II. Research Support
Worked with faculty, deans, and administrators to develop strategies to support research of both
faculty and graduate students.
Gained approval to implement two new faculty research grant types: summer research grants
Awarded four summer research grants, one seed money grant, and 14 mini-grants.
Introduced one new grant to support graduate student research.
Hosted Graduate Research Day, which included capstone research presentations from an
increased number of degree programs and faculty panels and involved more than 200 students
Proposed Research Committee presentation for Opening Day panel was accepted.
Produced updated edition of Faculty Research Handbook, listing faculty publications and
Collaborated with Academic Affairs and the Library to present the Academic Colloquium.
III. Student Services
Funded part-time employee in Financial Aid Office who specializes in graduate financial aid.
Conducted and supported professional development, academic development and recognition
events (e.g., Graduate Research Day, Spring Honors Banquet, etc.), and supported numerous
program-specific faculty and/or student events.
Began formulating needs assessment for planned enhancement and expansion of graduate
Initiated a new grant process to support graduate student research.
Awarded 44 graduate assistantships.
IV. Enrollment Management
Conferred approximately 600 master’s degrees and graduate certificates at the May 2009
Continued to increase Fall 2008 and Spring 2009 enrollments and credit hours (ca. 10 percent
increase in credit hours during the Spring 2009 semester).
Completed all required tasks for new website launch.
Completed required tasks and phases for college rebranding project. Began transitioning all
collateral material to the new brand.
Supported Open Houses for Bertolon MBA, MSW, graduate education, and graduate psychology
Participated in transition meetings and activities with new graduate enrollment management area.
Funded and supported i3results initiative for Bertolon MBA program.
V. Internal Processes
Completed the PeopleSoft 9.0 upgrade and training.
Improved process for comprehensive exams by implementing clear, more frequent
communication with faculty and students. A focus on deadlines and consistency in information
also contributed to improving these processes.
Continued programming for Advanced Placement Summer Institutes.
Made significant progress toward the establishment of an Institutional Animal Care and Usage
Committee by signing a contract with Charles River Laboratories for technical assistance.
Reactivated and published two issues of the Graduate Voice online newsletter that highlight
accomplishments of students and faculty.
VI. Space and Staffing
Proposed new organizational structure and submitted revised job descriptions.
Added three additional advising spaces and two spaces for part-time employees.
I. Program Development
New program development is challenging because a number of departments have to decide
between strengthening their undergraduate programs and developing new graduate programs.
Increasingly, departments appear to be opting for strengthening their undergraduate programs.
Need to devote administrative resources to developing and implementing rigorous, consistent
review process and program development and assessment plan.
Supporting the costs of doctoral programs; developing policies, procedures, and processes
related to doctoral programs; developing sufficient staffing to support a new level of programming;
and allocating increased funding and related staff resources to support research activities will be
challenging if the College is able to and chooses to go forward with doctoral programs.
II. Student Services
Insufficient financial aid funding for graduate students.
No on-campus housing available for graduate students impedes recruitment of international
III. Enrollment Management
Need to collect and examine data to determine competition from a number of graduate program
providers as well as online program providers recruiting in the North Shore of Boston market.
Schools include Lesley University, Cambridge College, UMass-Lowell, Endicott College, and the
University of Phoenix. American International College has now also very aggressively entered
the North Shore and is establishing many cohorts of graduate students.
IV. Internal Processes
Lack of formal, centralized training plan for existing and new technologies.
Need support from other departments to improve new website navigation and graduate program
V. Space and Staffing
Insufficient and inadequate physical space in School of Graduate Studies suite to accommodate
advising, conferencing, reception, and graduate assistants. Although the August 2008 expansion
of the Sullivan Building space offered some immediate relief, the division desperately needs
better professional space to compete in the highly competitive market for advanced professional
education. Open cubicles are not conducive to high-quality and confidential advising.
Loss of three of six School of Graduate Studies administrators during FY09.
Loss of two support positions and turnover in two support positions in FY09 due to restructuring
and “bumping” into our unit.
Increasing the diversity of the graduate school student body has been a long-term goal. Need to
coordinate with new graduate admissions division on recruiting initiatives.
Need to create student support initiatives that help retain diverse students.
Need to develop financial resources to support diversity initiatives.
Need to recruit faculty and staff who mirror changing student population.
I. Program Development
Launch initial offerings of the Online Teaching English as a Second Language Certificate, IT
Fluency Certificate, Certificate in Business, and Nurse Practitioner Concentration in the Direct
Develop needs analyses, cost/revenue projections, and initial planning for possible new
programs, including: BS/MS in Environmental Geology program, Master of Fine Arts in Writing,
Master of Public Administration or Public Policy, Certificate and Masters Degree programs in
Tourism, Certificate in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate
articulating with the Master of Education in Special Education program, MAT in Physical
Education with Initial Licensure, Certificate in Educational Economics, Applied Behavioral
Analysis Certificate, and Applied Ethics Certificate.
Develop five-year baccalaureate+master’s degree programs in a variety of disciplines including
English (MAT) and Criminal Justice (MS).
Participate in the review of all graduate and undergraduate academic programs the College will
initiate during the 2009-2010 academic year.
Continue development of online courses and programs
Expand courses and programs offered at North Shore, Northern Essex, Middlesex,
and Cape Cod Community Colleges.
Continue support for accreditation of programs.
Continue to offer structured, well-publicized grant programs that support both faculty and student
Develop strategies to support faculty research.
II. Student Services
Complete needs assessment. Write plan for enhancement and expansion of graduate student
services and tie to budget.
Develop multiple sources of support and policy information.
Work with offices across campus (Financial Aid, Registrar, Office for Students with Disabilities,
Counseling and Health Services, Career Services, etc.) to develop improved processes for and
communication strategies to graduate students.
Develop overall communication plan to graduate students.
Assess, develop and implement professional development, academic development and personal
Further refine emergency procedures for students and faculty in evening and weekend classes.
Offer writing and statistics support.
Foster development of new honors organizations and recognitions.
III. Enrollment Management
Liaison with new graduate enrollment management team.
Complete transition tasks.
Develop data sets to assess course offerings to support timely progress to degree; develop multi-
year course scheduling plan.
IV. Space and Staffing
Finish auditing positions, responsibilities, and work flow. Have organizational structure and
revised job descriptions finalized and approved.
Develop comprehensive guidelines for the remuneration of graduate program coordinators.
Secure improved space for the School of Graduate Studies.
Expand cross-training and professional development for all staff.
V. Diversity Initiatives
Develop program specific strategies to increase minority enrollment of students, faculty and
Seek financial aid resources for minority students.
Conduct and compile information from focus groups with minority graduate students and use that
information in future planning.
Continue development of cooperative relationships, recruitment strategies, and retention activities
for international students.
Seek resources to house and support potential international students.
VI. Civic Engagement
Partner with graduate programs to offer courses and other services to the region.
Partner with schools, colleges, and other agencies to offer courses, programs, and other services
in the region.
Work with graduate program coordinators to determine satisfaction with services provided by the
School of Graduate Studies and new services needed, if any.
Conduct needs assessment and other relevant assessments related to graduate student
Assess current graduate programs in context of institutional strengths and resources and
community needs and review academic programs currently in development.
Selected Highlights from 2009 Graduate Program Coordinator Annual Reports
I. Improving Quality and Rigor of Graduate Programs
Graduate coordinators, with their graduate faculty and departments, pursued a variety of strategies to
improve the rigor and quality of their programs. For many programs, this took the form of re-evaluating
either the capstone experience itself, or its role in relation to a more clearly-structured set of educational
experiences and goals. In some cases these changes were also designed to provide a higher level of
professional development experiences for students. In others, changes were made to meet accreditation
or licensure standards.
The MA English program devised a more structured curriculum with gateway and capstone courses, a
requirement that students present their work either at one of the department “Shop Talks” or at Graduate
Research Day, and instituted greater academic rigor through the refinement of the thesis and language
The MS Mathematics program is considering a thesis option.
The M.Ed. Middle School Humanities program is developing an action research capstone piece.
A number of programs report substantial revisions to their curriculum as a result of 1) accreditation drives,
2) need to align with licensure requirements, or 3) changing needs of students or job market.
II. Multiple Uses of Technology
Program reports reveal the increasing integration of various technologies into on-going functions such as
recruiting, advising, teaching, and the creation of communities. The range and expansion of uses
underscore the need for continued training in and support for the full range of technology at the college.
There are increasing instances of graduate students incorporating technology in their projects. One
example among many is the MAT Spanish student who presented a paper at MAFLA on the pedagogical
application of technology developed in SPN752 Methods, Techniques and Strategies for Teaching
Several programs have used technologies to create extended interest communities for professional,
intellectual support and recruiting. Some examples include two MAT Spanish listservs, one for Spanish
teachers and prospective MAT students and another for current and graduated MAT Spanish students.
Both include announcements, job postings, questions, comments and the MA English program’s use of
Facebook to build an electronic social network for community building and recruiting and use of an
electronic student newsletter. M.Ed. Educational Leadership, TILE, and CAGS programs make
innovative use of on-line forum technology to build program coherence as well as to assess student
The recent external review of the History department noted the “rich variety of electronic resources and
digitized documents” and the “remarkable collection of primary sources, lesson plans, web-links, and
other materials” that the department, through the federal grants, has created to serve as a resource to
area school teachers.
In other cases, entire programs or certificates are offered on-line or through a combination of online and
face-to-face delivery. In addition to the successful new Library Media Studies online program, the MAT
in English as a Second Language has developed an online graduate certificate program for international
outreach. The M.Ed. Technology in Education program, primarily online, is interested in developing a
“blend” approach that would include a week on campus in the summer to cover online portfolios and other
The MAT in Middle School Mathematics surveyed current and former students using Survey Monkey to
get a sense of satisfaction and needs.
The web and email are noted repeatedly in this year’s reports as key factors in recruiting as well as
advising students. For example, M.Ed. Reading notes that much advising is efficiently conducted through
email, and the MSN program logged 400+ email inquiries, 72 voice messages, and 78 in-person
III. Assessing Programs
Programs demonstrated commitment to assessing a variety of program factors through a variety of
strategies. The introduction of iStrategies will be a welcomed as adding to an array of assessment tools.
Notably, MS Counseling and Psychological Services conducted a survey that will be used to guide future
development of programs. They surveyed undergraduate and graduate students, local employers and
internship sites, as well as distributing and collecting 106 surveys to students in classes.
The Direct Entry/MSN program is beginning to study the variables that affect success in the program,
such as age, gender, GPA, science grades, and so forth.
Other programs, such as the MSW program, have been engaged in extensive assessment as part of their
IV. Student Achievements
The School of Graduate Studies supports and recognizes student research, professional development,
and achievement through several programs: Flibbert Graduate Student Paper Awards, Fall Honors
Program, Spring Honors Banquet, and Graduate Research Day, at which an increasing number of
students present capstone projects. CAGS in Education, Nursing, MAT Spanish, and GIS have required
students to present; Social Work joined the program this year. This year the school offered a new grant to
support graduate student research. Graduate research assistantships provided students with
One MAT English student presented at and another chaired a panel at the national conference of the
American Literary Association.
MAT ESL alumna named ESL teacher of the year by MATSOL.
Eight MAT Spanish students presented research at the MAFLA Conference and ten contributed to articles
in the MAFLA newsletter. Two received awards at the MAFLA conference.
Eight TILE students assumed positions as either principals or assistant principals.
A student in the M.Ed. Higher Education in Student Affairs program had two presentations accepted at
the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) national convention. Another was named Chair of
the Committee on Graduate Students and New Professionals in the ACPA.
Three graduates of the MS Criminal Justice program were inducted into the Eta Eta Chapter, Alpha Phi
Sigma; two current students were inducted into Phi Kappa Phi. Another student in that program
presented at the Massachusetts state colleges annual research symposium.
A MS Geo-Information Science student who interned with the Army corps of engineers is now a full-time
employee there. Other students from the program interned with NSTAR and the City of Boston. A
student presented at the Annual Association of American Geographers.
Three MSW students were selected to present their research at an upcoming national conference; one
was awarded the very competitive Veteran’s Administration Forensic Mental Health post-graduate