Throughout the last academic year, the University continued to focus its efforts on quality, curriculum reform and student success. This work culminated in spring 2012 when faculty members approved a reform proposal for the new University Studies Program. This framework was the result of several years of campus wide discussions, faculty forum events and summits, and workgroup sessions about liberal education reform. The new program, aligned to the LEAP essential learning outcomes, is informed by research and best practices associated with student success such as learning communities, common intellectual experiences, community engagement and a capstone experience. Promoting student success was also at the forefront of collaborative efforts and campus wide inquiries about factors that influence success. The University continues to prioritize its work by integrating liberal education, quality and inclusive excellence into its ongoing initiatives and programs. These priorities guide the campus plans and processes associated with accomplishing the goals of the Growth Agenda’s More Graduates for Wisconsin on the university campuses in the UW system.
During the 2011-2012 academic year, the University participated in national and state initiatives related to liberal education reform and student success in order to inform our emerging reform proposals and to share results and insights from campus research projects. Faculty members and staff participated in an AAC&U Survey on the LEAP essential learning outcomes that focuses on understanding and implementation of the outcomes. Students and staff also participated in a national research project that is a follow up to the Give Students a Compass Project to look at representational equity across student participation in high impact practices. Together, with other system institutions, UW Oshkosh faculty, staff and administration are participants in the AAC&U and Lumina Foundation Quality Collaboratives project looking at ways that two and four-year campuses can collaborate to promote transfer students success on key learning outcomes. A team of UW Oshkosh staff from the Provost’s office attended the national AAC&U meeting in Washington D.C. to present findings on a study involving the Titan Transfer Center. A campus leadership team is collaborating with the Educational Advisory Board to study campus wide topics of interest such as retention, financial models, and student success and curriculum reform.
At the state level, the campus is engaged in implementing several state level grants to study the efficacy of new practices. For the second year the campus was awarded a Closing the Achievement Gap Grant to increase representational equity among students participating in academic support services in the Center for Academic Resources and the Writing Center. The University also received a COBE grant to pilot a transfer center with two UW Colleges. The University continued to make progress on achieving its goals in the Prior Learning Assessment Grant. Lastly, the campus is engaged in comprehensive curriculum reform supported by a UW System grant called Promoting Student Success Through Curriculum Reform. This work supports the design of courses and assessments that are a part of the new University Studies Program.
During the past year, Academic Affairs continued to focus on addressing two significant strategic challenges from our initial Academic Program Plan. The first of these was: Curriculum Structure, Program Planning and Program Review. The following initiatives, programs and reform efforts specifically addressed this challenge:
Programmatic Strategies for Liberal Education Reform
General Education Reform achieved a significant milestone during the last academic year with the Faculty Senate approval of the University Studies Program. The new program addresses both quality and student success through the integration of high impact practices, smaller class sizes and embedded assessment strategies. The program provides the University with a solid response to issues related to reaccreditation as well as enhanced curriculum quality. The reform effort required significant effort from faculty members and staff who collaborated in the many reform dialogues, meetings and forums focusing on the design of the new program. In addition to participating in general education reform, faculty members continued to engage in dialogues about student learning needs through the Gateway Success group.
Throughout the 2011-2012 academic year, the faculty convened several meetings with the purpose of discussing liberal education reform ultimately resulting in the approval of the University Studies Program in May 2012. Campus-wide efforts for this work drew upon the collective expertise of all faculty and staff from all departments, the members of Faculty Senate and Senate for Academic Staff, APGES, the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Leadership Team and the leadership team for General Education Reform. The leadership team for general education presented a framework for general education in order to solicit feedback at a June 2011 meeting where faculty members and staff worked to develop the components of the framework. During summer 2011, work teams refined components of the proposal for discussion at the Provost’s Teaching and Learning Summit in October 2011. The leadership team integrated input from the summit to refine the General Education Reform proposal for the governance groups to consider. During spring 2012, faculty discussed the proposal at department meetings, University wide meetings, chair meetings and forums for faculty, staff and students prior to the affirming Faculty Senate vote in May 2012. During summer 2012, the faculty members participated in a variety of professional development opportunities to develop Quest I courses related to the signature questions of sustainability, intercultural knowledge and civic knowledge and civic engagement. Faculty submitted new courses for approval in fall 2012. The program will be formally implemented in fall 2013. The University and Office of the Provost will continue to support the necessary faculty development required to implement this program. The University was awarded a Growth Agenda Institutional Change Grant to support the implementation activities associated with the University Studies Program.
Graduate Studies celebrates its 50th anniversary year in 2012 with renewed vigor and focus. Dr. Susan Cramer was appointed Dean of Graduate Studies, effective July 1, 2012. This appointment was a direct result of the aggressive strategic planning effort initiated in fall 2008 and emanating from the plan approved in May 2010. All graduate education initiatives will now be tied directly to the Graduate Education Strategic Plan that has as its vision “The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will be recognized as the premier provider of graduate education north of Madison.” The mission of Graduate Studies is as follows: “Graduate education at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh fosters scholarly activities that develop leaders who think creatively and analytically. Our graduate students and alumni contribute to the intellectual vitality of their communities by not only creating knowledge but by applying that knowledge.” Within this context graduate education is defined as “post-baccalaureate education delivered within the context of programs leading to degrees, certificates, and/or professional credentials… [and] is typically offered in areas in which we have strong faculty credentials and we have authorization to grant degrees and certificates or to recommend licensure.” A wide variety of opportunities and challenges were identified during the planning process. They were then synthesized down into five opportunities:
- Increase visibility of graduate education on campus,
- communicate our scholarly, leadership and research expertise,
- enhance external relationships,
- go forth (expand program delivery) and
- strengthen graduate enrollment.
Activities underway to address these opportunities and address concerns identified in the 2007 HLC report include:
- Collaborating with the Educational Advisory Board to understand how other graduate schools are addressing graduate enrollment management questions.
- Developing individual program and overall Graduate Studies Office enrollment projection plans to address enrollment projections, recruitment and retention.
- Developing a Graduate Studies marketing plan to more effectively market graduate education.
- Intensively reviewing all dual level courses to ensure differentiation between graduate and undergraduate expectations.
- More precisely defining graduate faculty to comply with HLC expectations.
- Examining current program array including enrollment patterns, needs data and informal conversations with a variety of stakeholders to begin identifying potential changes in program offerings, offering formats, etc.
- Collaborating with faculty on the development of new programs and implementation of newly approved programs including the MS sustainable management program and Executive MBA.
- Celebrating Graduate Studies 50th Anniversary developing a 50th Anniversary website complete with alumni interviews, maps identifying where alumni reside now and a timeline of important Graduate Studies events.
- Increasing our visibility by participating in Opening Day’s Taste of Oshkosh Homecoming’s Tent City, fall and spring GradSchool Fest (held in conjunction with Celebration of Scholarship in the spring), and seeking to be included in Provost/Chancellor speeches on Opening Day and Graduation.
Entitled programs to take before the Board of Regents during the next academic year, and the approximate date you plan to have the authorization proposal ready.
- Master of Science in Sustainable Management: To BOR August 2012
- Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science: To BOR August 2012
- Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology: To BOR by Dec. 2012
- Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology: To BOR by Dec. 2012
- Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering Technology: To BOR by Dec. 2012
- Master of Science in Transnational Human Service Leadership: To BOR Spring 2013
New academic programs in the initial planning stage or under consideration for the future.
- Management Major, College of Business
- Insurance Major, College of Business
- Emphasis in Public Safety, Bachelor’s in Applied Studies
- Emphasis in Hotel/Hospitality Management, Bachelor’s in Applied Studies
Program changes that occurred in 2011-12:
- New Degree Programs
- BBA Interactive Web Management
- BA Interactive Web Management
- BS Interactive Web Management
- Renamed Majors/Degrees/Sub-majors
- College of Business: Operations Management Major changed name to “Supply Chain Management”
- College of Business: Operations Management Emphasis changed name to “Supply Chain Management”
- Suspended Degrees/Majors/Sub-majors 1) Sub Major: Foreign Language Technology
- New Majors/Degrees/Sub-majors
- New Certificate: Center for New Learning – Leadership and Organizational Studies
- New Certificate: Center for New Learning – Organizational Administration
- New Certificate: Center for New Learning – Leadership Development
- New Certificate: College of Letters and Science – Geographic Information Science (GIS)
- New Graduate Certificate: College of Education and Human Services – 316 Bilingual Reading Teacher Certificate
- New Minor: College of Business – Sustainable Management
- New Emphasis: Center for New Learning – Aviation Management
- New Emphasis: Center for New Learning – Organizational Studies
- New Emphasis: College of Business – Sales Emphasis
- Eliminated Majors/Degrees/Sub Majors
- College of Letters and Science: Geography Major – Eliminate three Emphases: GIS, Global Insights and Environmental Analysis Management
- New General Education Program: University Studies Program
- College of Business: New Program, “Business Scholars”
- College of Business: Deleted department of Supply Chain Management
- Renamed Marketing Department to “Marketing and Supply Chain Management”
During the 2011-2012 year, UW Oshkosh implemented several activities associated with a COBE grant to create the Titan Transfer Center. The main goal of the center is to assist students in their integration into the University through an augmented student transfer advising process. At the same time, this will allow transfer students to become better aware of university academic and student support services and the availability of high impact practices at the University. Discussions continue regarding a more seamless transfer of credits. The new general education reform group collaborated with personnel associated with the transfer center to begin to design a transfer student experience and course to more fully integrate transfer students into the academic programs and campus life at UW Oshkosh.
The second significant strategic challenge identified by our initial Academic Program Plan and addressed during the 2011-2012 year was the Changing Student Profile: Implications for Recruitment, Retention and Mix. The following programs, initiatives and activities highlight the work toward meeting this challenge:
- Retention: Closing the Achievement Gap
UW Oshkosh advanced several programs and strategies aimed at closing the achievement gap and assisting the University in reaching its goals for the More Graduates for Wisconsin Plan. For the second year in a row, the University was awarded a Closing the Achievement Gap grant by UW system in order to create a new model of student support in the Center for Academic Resources. The grant provided for expanded Supplemental Instruction offerings, as well as professional development for all learning support services personnel. The expansion of the Peer Educator model and outreach efforts to all students of color were also included in the new grant activities for year two. The addition of an assessment analyst in the Office of Institutional Research assisted the University to promote further inquiry regarding specific aspects of students support programs and the results on student retention and students success. Collaborative efforts among the learning support areas and the Office of Institutional Research continue to refine the processes used to collect and analyze data about student success as it related to the Early Alert and academic support pathways.
- Gateway Success Faculty Discussions
The College of Letters and Science continues to support efforts to identify challenges and best practices related to students’ success. In particular, faculty members continue to identify barriers to success for its students, especially its students of color. Specialized mentoring and academic success programs are being enhanced and developed to address the needs of students of color. An Associate Dean from Letters and Science is leading faculty efforts to work with diverse student populations and to lead Diversity Dialogues in support of our underserved student population.
- Early Alert Program
An Early Alert program provides information about students who do not demonstrate academic progress and/or may not be attending classes. Students are referred to academic resources such as tutoring, supplemental instruction and the Academic Check-up. The University is currently conducting an analysis of how Early Alert students follow up on the alert to receive help. The aim of the program is to provide students with information about their academic progress early enough in the semester so that the University can assist at-risk students, and increase retention. All faculty are invited to participate in the Early Alert program. The University Studies Program included early assessments as a part of its approach to support student success.
- Titan Advantage Program (TAP)
The Titan Advantage Program provides students identified as high-risk with the advantage of becoming oriented to campus life and resources while getting a head start on their academic careers. TAP students not only earn general education credit, but they are also provided with foundations in mathematics, writing, and reading study skills. Enrollment in this summer-before-college program expanded to fifty students. Initial follow-up studies demonstrate that TAP students continue to be successful as they continue their programs at UW Oshkosh.
- Multicultural Retention Programs (MRP)
The MRP provide services that support recruitment, enrollment, retention and graduation of multicultural students. This is accomplished through counseling/advising, specialized tutoring in math and writing, and personal, financial and career counseling. Assessment measures include persistence rates, academic standing and graduation rates. These programs endeavor to close the gap in educational achievement by bringing retention and graduation rates for underserved students in line with those of the student body as a whole. A new program, the Multicultural Retention Programs Tracker provides faculty, students and CASD staff with up to date information about student achievement and any possible academic crisis a student may be encountering. The overall goal of the program is to close the achievement gap and to raise the level of academic performance of multicultural students at UW Oshkosh.
- Student Titan Employment Program (STEP)
For the third year, the STEP program continued to provide students with employment opportunities that allow them to earn the equivalent of one semester of tuition while working with faculty and staff in their areas of specialization. Internships and off-campus employment are also being developed to assist students in earning valuable experience and the money they need to help pay for their educations. Academic components are not the only factors in retention. Efforts to increase the number of underserved students in the STEP program are seen as ways to build connections and to build upon what we know about the value of high-impact practices and retention of at-risk students.
- Core Programs for Faculty and Staff
Significant numbers of faculty members and staff engaged in campus wide discussions about the University Studies Program proposal throughout the academic year sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL). The Center sponsored numerous workshops and sessions to assist faculty members to prepare new courses and to adapt existing courses for the new University Studies Program. Programs included the Provost’s Summit on Teaching and Learning, panel discussions, forums and workshops. The Center continues to engage with other campus offices to assist faculty and staff to explore new ways to engage students for success. Work will continue to implement best practices and address obstacles identified by the University data about student achievement.
- Gateway Courses: Student Success Discussions
For a third year, the College of Letters and Science faculty members who teach gateway courses are examining data from the Equity Scorecard Project and other institutional data focusing on the academic progress of underserved students. Data related to student activity in the academic learning support programs allow faculty to track student success. These data, as well as retention and graduation data, provide a background for discussion about how students of color are performing while at UW Oshkosh and if they are taking advantage of the many learning resources that are available on campus. Continued professional development and discussion of issues of inclusive excellence are included in the strategic direction of the college. The following strategic challenges were also identified or addressed throughout the 2011-2012 academic year:
- Financial Support
In order to accomplish the initiatives outlined for curriculum and student retention, the following financial challenges must be met:
- Reallocated resources to continue to support the following: TAP, STEP, SI, Early Warning Program, U-Matter and the Academic Check-up;
- Assistance from UW System in the development and approval of high-demand academic degree programs;
- UW System support of faculty and staff development in the areas of retention, academic support, Inclusive Excellence and course delivery methods;
- Future financial support for new or expanded student retention programs and services; and
- Future financial support for faculty to deliver new academic programs and ensure that seats are available to meet the considerable expected enrollment increases and funding decreases.
- Outreach Adult Access
A final challenge and opportunity for the campus is the expansion of outreach, adult student access, community engagement and summer session programs. Adult nontraditional students make up the fastest growing segment of the higher education market in the United States. The competition for this market segment is intense due to flat or declining population growth among traditional college-bound high school graduates. However, barriers to the growth of these programs remain evident in campus readiness to serve nontraditional students. Faculty involvement, student services, course scheduling and the compensation structure for teaching all pose problems for growth in these areas. The delivery of credit and non-credit education to adults will require better coordination, acceptance, and integration into the fabric of the University. Initiatives to increase the numbers of adult nontraditional students at UW Oshkosh include increasing flexibility in scheduling to include online and hybrid course offerings, extending services to evening and weekend hours, increasing partnerships and articulation agreement with other institutions.
- Services, programs, marketing and delivery for nontraditional students must be improved, including more flexibility in course delivery in terms of time of course offerings and increased evening and weekend options to meet adult schedules and for the campus to be more welcoming to nontraditional students. There has been an increase in courses and programs that are offered online to provide maximum flexibility.
- Collaboration with other institutions in the area to expand credit transfer options needs to be increased. Transfer of credits between institutions, credit for prior learning and articulation agreements with technical college programs are critical factors in access for adult nontraditional students. The University received a renewal of a grant to support Prior Learning Assessment and a coordinator is working with departments to familiarize faculty with the process. There has been an increase in the number of articulation agreements with area technical and community colleges.
- Access to high-interest majors must be increased among adult students, and help provided to develop an alternative nontraditional version of those majors. UW Oshkosh will be part of a consortium to offer a Master of Sustainable Management Degree in fall 2012.
- Cohort-based and off-campus courses need to be expanded, as do combinations of the courses and certificate programs delivered to targeted employees and professional and civic groups.
- Credit and noncredit educational packages designed for specific professional and career groups should be created and expanded.
- The Faculty Senate approved a request to change the 72-credit rule for transfer students to 90 credits (for students enrolled in Center for New Learning Degree Programs) in Fall 2011.
Academic Programming Priorities
Finally, as a result of the strategic planning process, the four colleges of the University and the Center for New Learning (CNL, focuses on adult learners), have identified four strategic academic priorities that their individual plans and missions have in common.
In keeping with the principles of liberal education and inclusive excellence, learning will involve engagement with real-life challenges and address issues of diversity. Each of the colleges and the Center for New Learning provide students with multiple opportunities to experience learning that is reflects liberal education principles. In addition to business-related clubs, organizations and internships, the College of Business (COB) provides courses that integrate real word projects into each major in the BBA and MBA curricula. The College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) continues to increase the level of student involvement in nontraditional student teaching experiences such as the urban environment, rural schools and tribal schools. In collaboration with the EXCEL Center, the Department of Curriculum and Instruction will develop a new alternative licensure program in non-STEM content areas. The College of Letters and Science (COLS) engages students through high-impact practices, such as undergraduate research, service, and community -based internships in a number of areas. The College’s Gateway Success Initiative provides faculty, staff, and students with opportunities to explore issues related to student success. The College of Nursing (CON) engages in continuous evaluation and responsive change processes based on input from students, faculty and community interest. Graduate nursing programs impact communities around the state. Life Long Learning and Community Engagement increases business training initiatives with credit or non-credit options and continues its relationship with UW Extension to develop additional cooperative baccalaureate and masters degree programs.
Globalization and Diversity
The Colleges and University continue to prioritize creating a campus environment that reflects quality programming and increased recruitment, retention, and graduation of multicultural and disadvantaged students. Continuing efforts are underway across the campus to enrich the curriculum and provide faculty development so that cultural diversity becomes a prominent and pervasive trait campus-wide. The COB provides faculty members and students with international internships and study opportunities. The COEHS continues to work on developing an inner-city cooperative in Milwaukee for intern and clinical experiences. New programs such as the ESL/Bilingual certification provide for more cooperative experiences with urban school districts in the state. Research associated with COLS is conducted at international sites on every continent. Aspects of globalization and diversity are incorporated into many classes within COLS programs. The CON provides opportunities for students and faculty to participate in international student and clinical experiences. Practicum experiences also provide students with opportunities in diverse settings. The Division of Life Long Learning and Community Engagement collaborates with International Studies to design international opportunities for LLCE students.
As a part of the UW system core strategy of building stronger communities, the University is committed to developing outreach activities such as partnerships and collaborative programs that serve the community and the institution. The COB consistently provides development and consulting to small businesses and family businesses through the Small Business Development Center. The Business Success Center provides non-credit business education and consulting services to the community and student organizations and service clubs provide service to the community. COEHS assists and supports statewide rural education initiatives and works with CESAs to develop a virtual rural education center. The COLS has a number of community collaborative projects including research, service and professional partnerships in both the arts and sciences. The College of Nursing is engaged with community partners through a partnership in providing primary care services for uninsured of Winnebago County at the Living Healthy Community Clinic. Continuing Education provides non-credit community programs and CNL collaborates with a number of two-year colleges through articulation agreements as a part of its commitment to community engagement. Continuing Education also engages the larger community through national and regional conferences.
All academic units across the University recognize the need to have our students develop to their full potential. Participants in campus wide general education reform initiatives center on student success and best practice. The University Studies Program is based on a solid foundation of high impact practices and learning experiences that are research based. The COB offers recently improved its Assurance of Learning processes to enhance program quality through the use of rubrics for the development of essential knowledge and skills. The COEHS improved its assessment programs through an alignment with accreditation agencies and implemented assessment plans through data retreats. The COLS measured the impact of changes in gateway courses on the performance of students of color supported by an OPID grant for SoTL scholars. The Student Success discussions and the Diversity Dialogues are other ways that COLS demonstrates that student excellence is a priority. The CON expanded assessment strategies to meet benchmarks of excellence and supports graduate student efforts to achieve a 100 percent pass rate on national exams. CNL is enhancing its programs and its student assessment component based on the results of a recent program review. CNL also promotes student excellence through its national honor society, Alpha Sigma Lambda.