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									                                 Pittsburg State University

              Unit Level Strategic Planning and Effectiveness Document

Instructions: Using the format below, please complete for the next fiscal year. Limit
              Goals to five (5), Objectives. Strategies and Performance Measures are
              unlimited. Performance Measures should document progress towards
              achieving your goals. Links to last year’s documents on the Institutional
              Effectiveness Committee Webpage are provided to assist you. When
              completed, please save and submit the Word document to Dr. Bob
              Wilkinson at

               For those units/departments that have a student learning component or
               function, at least one goal must address the assessment and improvement
               of student learning.

Department: Social Sciences

The Department of Social Sciences is unique among all the academic units of Pittsburg
State University in the range, variety and scope of its degree programs and support
activities. In addition to offering a multitude of discipline-specific curricula, the
department also provides a range of service courses both for General Education and to
support other departments’ cognate requirements. The department’s programs include
traditional liberal arts, professional, and pre-professional curricula. Faculty within the
department educate as well as train, equipping students to pursue rewarding careers and
cultivating their capacity for critical thought, moral reflection, and active citizenship. The
department offers majors in Geography, Justice Studies, Political Science, Social Work,
and Sociology, and minors in Multicultural Studies and Philosophy. The department’s
service and continuing education activities provide a further essential contribution to the
well being of the regional community. The department recognizes, however, if it is to
meet its aspirations, it must continually engage in self-examination and assessment in
order to successfully adapt to new issues and the needs of an increasingly diverse student

Vision Statement:
The Department of Social Sciences intends to build upon its disciplinary diversity to meet
the educational challenges of the future. To fulfill its vision, the Department of Social
Science will encourage interdisciplinary cooperation, seek creative ways to promote
research and foster community outreach as it explores new ways to serve the university
community. To insure the continuing quality and constant improvement of its curricula,
the department=s assessment and evaluation efforts will encourage effective teaching,
scholarship and service. It will provide an intellectual and administrative climate that

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                                Pittsburg State University

fosters collegiality, free expression and professional and intellectual development for
faculty and students alike.

How Your Unit Supports the Academic Mission of the University:
The Department of Social Sciences supports the University’s academic mission through
the provision of general education classes that promote student development as rational
and humane persons. The various major and minor programs in the department also
provide students an opportunity to satisfy their intellectual curiosity by exploring the
fields of study that interest them, as well as, giving them the knowledge base and critical
thinking skills to successfully pursue professional and post-graduate education and to
become life-long learners. Finally, the department provides programs and faculty who
are linked to community service and the people of Kansas. The Department of Social
Sciences is an integral part of the education of students who matriculate at Pittsburg State

Please describe your unit’s efforts in the area of sustainability.
During the past year, the department has actively participated in the university’s
recycling efforts, including establishing department drop-off points for paper, cardboard,
plastic bottles, and cans. We also collect and recycle printer cartridges and batteries for
disposal, as well as, participating in the university’s secure disposal program through
CINTAS. We are increasingly employing electronic in the place of paper files. For
example, instead of storing faculty syllabi in file cabinets we have digitized the files and
now request that faculty send their syllabi in electronic form. Faculty also are encouraged
to use Angel to distribute syllabi and other course material and to insure that lights and
electronic equipment are turned-off when not in use.

Goal 1:        Make sure that each departmental program has internalized a culture of

University Goal and Objective: Enhance Learner Success.

Objective:     Each program in the department passes program review.

Budget Implication: The most direct consequence is the cost of Major Field Tests, which
run the department around $1,000 a year and the cost of maintaining accreditation with
the Council of Social Work Education that runs around $2,400 annually. There are
substantial indirect costs in terms of faculty time to fully assess student learning
outcomes. Currently, the department does not provide any form of compensation for
faculty responsible for collecting assessment data and preparing reports.

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                               Pittsburg State University

Strategies:   Work with the Office of Analysis, Planning, and Assessment (OAA) to
              insure the Program Review Committee’s criticisms of particular programs
              are met.
Strategies:   Communicate with the faculty about the nature and importance of student
              learning assessment, involving them fully in the assessment process.

Performance Measure: The Program Review committee accepts the program reports.
Performance Measure:
Performance Measure:
Progress Summary: Faculty have been apprised of the importance of review and in
specific programs are aware of the deficiencies in their submitted assessment process.
The department is working with OAA to refine the deficient reports and to insure that the
results of the effort will meet the objections of the Program Review Committee.

Objective:      Develop and implement a systematic way to survey graduates to assess the
value of their degrees in order to insure that programs remain relevant to student

Budget Implication: The postage costs are estimated to run less than $100 a year.

Strategies:   Use both electronic and hard surveys to insure the greatest response rate.

Performance Measure: Present the graduate survey to OAA for approval.
Performance Measure: Conduct the approved survey, collect and report on the results in
the annual department assessment review process. Use the survey data to meet the
concerns of the Program Review Committee that particular programs do not adequately
track graduates nor respond to student vocational needs.
Performance Measure:
Progress Summary: A survey has been submitted to OAA for its review and
consideration. If accepted, program-based surveys will conducted this academic year.

Goal 2:       Respond affirmatively to the increasing demand for career relevant

University Goal and Objective: Enhance Learner Success; Enhance Discovery and
Research; Enhance Engagement and Interaction with External Stakeholders to Stimulate
Cooperative and Progressive Growth and Development.

Objective: Build new degree programs reflecting student career interests.

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                                Pittsburg State University

Budget Implication: There are almost no immediate direct costs rather this calls for
curricular and program flexibility in response to changes in student needs and vocational
choices. Indirectly, faculty adaptation to new demands will require time and effort and
there may be reassigned time costs.

Strategies: Use the Integrated Studies Degree program to build new programs using
extant classes.

Performance Measure: The development of one or more integrated studies degree
Performance Measure: Survey data and discuss with relevant employers the viability of
particular degree program. Cooperation with potential employers will facilitate possible
internship opportunities as well as future employment.
Performance Measure:
Progress Summary: Currently, the department has floated a draft program centered on
Accounting and Justice Studies. There are discussions and work being done on majors in
long term care and environmental studies. The Justice Studies program in conjunction
with the Accounting department brought the Internal Revenue Service’s national
recruitment program to campus, generating publicity and informing us on what are the
educational requirements to be an IRS special agent. We are using this information to
build an integrated degree program.

Objective: Promote experiential learning opportunities for students.

Budget Implication: There are no real budget implications for this objective other than
faculty time in setting up and maintaining internships.

Strategies: Maintain and develop the City of Pittsburg- Geography partnership that
currently can generate up-to 8 internships a year.
Strategies: Encourage students via advising and perhaps through curricular requirements
to participate in internship experiences and other forms of experiential learning.

Performance Measure: The number of students who engage in internships and
practicums should remain relatively consistent or increase over time.
Performance Measure:
Performance Measure:
Progress Summary: Faculty continue to encourage internships, even though they
represent overloads, including recently participating in Senator Brownback’s efforts to
recruit interns for his Washington office. Currently, a proposal is being considered to
develop a more robust internship experience in Justice Studies centered on the criminal
justice emphasis area. Over the last two years, some 95 students (49 in 2008 AY and 46
in 2009 AY) have taken internships or practicums, with the bulk of the students coming
from social work and sociology that require a practicum for all or most of their majors.
Also, students have been taken on field trips and have had the opportunity to hear

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                                Pittsburg State University

external speakers, thereby, increasing exposure to non-traditional learning. Programs that
do not require practicums, i.e., GEOG, POLS, and JUST average in total about 7-8
internships a year. For GEOG, the number of internships for the partnership with the
City of Pittsburg averages about 6 per year.

Goal 3: Enhance Social Sciences computer and other physical resources in facilitate
student learning and faculty classroom success.

University Goal and Objective: Enhance Leaner Success; Enhance Discovery and
Research; Embrace Emerging Technologies.

Objective: Provide the technology and training necessary to faculty to effectively teach
and lead student research as well as exposing students to technology-based learning.

Budget Implication: The ability to replace old equipment will remain a drain on
department OOE, especially if the technology fee money is no longer available. The real
crunch will be when entire laboratories become obsolete and there will be no way the
department can replace all of the computers (e.g., the laptop laboratory) at once.

Strategies: Maintain and update computer laboratories
Strategies: Encourage use of computer laboratories in classes.
Strategies: Maintain mediated classrooms.

Performance Measure: The department will continue to monitor and replace equipment
as necessary. It will ask for additional funds from university sources when laboratories
become obsolete.
Performance Measure: The department will maintain a schedule to replace equipment in
mediated classrooms, funds permitting.
Performance Measure:
Progress Summary: We added a laptop laboratory to allow faculty to bring computers to
the classroom. Further, we were able to use department funds to replace to tower
computers with laptops while university funding allowed for three more faculty laptop
work stations to be added. Also, the geography laboratory was able to add five new work
stations to improve the ability of students to do research. We were able to replace a
projector, two computers, and two document cameras last year to maintain our mediated
classrooms. Faculty in social work, sociology, and geography continue to use both the
laptop and tower computer laboratories. Also, the department continues to add to its film
library believing that this form of non-traditional instruction can be effective in the


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                                Pittsburg State University


Performance Measure:
Performance Measure:
Performance Measure:
Progress Summary:

Goal 4: Enhance the professional development of the faculty.

University Goal and Objective: Enhance Learner Success; Enhance Discovery and


Budget Implication: The cost of professional travel continues to escalate and often
dwarfs the funds available to compensate faculty travel expenses.

Strategies: Continue to have faculty request supplemental funding from Faculty Affairs
Committee and other university sources to cover professional travel expenses.

Strategies: Ensure faculty understand that research and professional development are
integral to success in the department.

Strategies: In the light of travel costs, encourage faculty to use electronic
communications to advance their research agendas and professional development.

Performance Measure: A set of department guidelines that explain the importance of
scholarship and professional development is available to faculty.
Performance Measure: Faculty travel for professional purposes, presenting papers and
attending conferences.
Performance Measure: Develop a better data base of annual faculty accomplishments.

Progress Summary: The social work practicum director uses email and phone
conversations to reduce her travel this past year. The department’s tenure and promotion
guidelines have been distributed to faculty and are available on-line. Tenure earning
faculty have continued to be professionally active, in an incomplete survey, one
geographer attended two conferences, made two presentations, and received a faculty
mini-grant while another had a paper published in a national journal, a book review in a
computer science journal, along with presentations at two national conferences; one
sociologist had two papers presented and attended 3 meetings while the other two tenure
earning sociologists successfully collaborated on a paper/poster presentation and had a
national publication, even though one of them was on a year-long sabbatical; one political
scientist received a PSU internationalization grant, presented an invited paper in
Salzburg, Austria, and had an article published; another political scientist was an invited

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                               Pittsburg State University

TV analyst but even more significantly had a textbook published by a major publisher,
and a third political scientist used his scholarship to improve his teaching receiving an
Outstanding Teacher Award from Student Government; and a justice studies faculty
member had 3 national presentations and was selected to Vanderbilt University’s
leadership program. [The department is still in the process of developing a better data
base on annual accomplishments. The important aspect of this result is that the faculty
appreciate the importance of scholarly activity to the department.] In sum, based on what
was reported (several faculty are on sabbatical or phased retirement and had reported
nothing), the faculty reported (the information includes joint or co-authored elements):
1 Book
4 Scholarly Articles Published
1 Published Review
12 Paper Presentations
2 PSU Grants
2 Awards
12 Conferences attended


Budget Implication:


Performance Measure:
Performance Measure:
Performance Measure:
Progress Summary:

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                                 Pittsburg State University

Goal 5:

University Goal and Objective:


Budget Implication:


Performance Measure:
Performance Measure:
Performance Measure:
Progress Summary:


Budget Implication:


Performance Measure:
Performance Measure:
Performance Measure:
Progress Summary:

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