The School of Graduate Studies Annual Report 2008 – 2009 Accomplishments I. Program Development Began seventh Teacher Initiative for Leadership in Education (TILE) cohort in Salem/Beverly/Danvers. Continued development of courses offered at community colleges and other off-campus locations. 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 Education. 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 and mini-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 and faculty. Proposed Research Committee presentation for Opening Day panel was accepted. Produced updated edition of Faculty Research Handbook, listing faculty publications and presentations 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 student services. 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 commencement ceremony. 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 programs. 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. Challenges 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 students. 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 listings. 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. VI. Diversity 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. Goals 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 Entry Program. 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 research. 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 development activities. 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 administrators. 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. VII. Assessment 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 services. Assess current graduate programs in context of institutional strengths and resources and community needs and review academic programs currently in development. Appendix 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 requirements. 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 Spanish course. 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 learning. 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 technology issues. 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 interviews. 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 accreditation processes. 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 professional experience. 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 fellowship.
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