ACADEMIC PLANNING COUNCIL
Minutes of October 28, 2002
3 p.m., Holmes Student Center Ė HSC 505
Present: Aase, Cassidy, Deskis, Dillman, Goldenberg, Griffiths, House, Jeris, Legg, Munroe, Payvar, Rintala, Thompson, Weilbaker, Wheeler
Guests: Donna Askins, Research Associate, Office
of the Provost; Craig Barnard, Assessment Coordinator, Office of the Provost;
Sally Conklin, health
education program, Department of Counseling, Adult and Health Education; Diane Jackman, Associate Dean, College of Education; Jorge Jeria, adult
continuing education programs, Department of Counseling, Adult and Health Education; Robert Mason, RE/ACE Office; Amy Rose, Chair,
Department of Counseling, Adult and Health Education; Christine Sorenson, Dean, College of Education; Toni Tollerud, counseling programs,
Department of Counseling, Adult and Health Education
The meeting was called to order at 3:05 p.m. It was moved and seconded to approve the minutes of October 14, 2002, with revisions, and the motion passed unanimously.
Legg introduced Christine Sorenson, Dean, College of Education; Diane Jackman, Associate Dean, College of Education; Amy Rose, Chair, Department of Counseling, Adult and Health Education; Sally Conklin, health education program representative; Jorge Jeria, adult continuing education programs representative; Toni Tollerud, counseling programs representative; and Robert Mason, RE/ACE Office.
Legg turned the meeting over to Aase for the discussion of the subcommittee report. Aase said that the new program review format shorten the review. He thanked the college and department representatives and the subcommittee members for their hard work in reviewing this document. The Department of Counseling, Adult and Health Education has five programs and three offices. The strengths of the programs fall in line with the programs best practices. The programs have excellent outreach activities and provide a large amount of public service. The programs have relationships with education offices, public schools, and community based organizations.
Aase said that many of the departmentís strengths highlight all three program areas. They are all involved in the northern Illinois region, and Aase asked each of the program representatives to highlight some of their activities. The counseling programs offer courses off-campus and currently have two cohort partnerships with regional educational offices. Tollerud said that there are many internship sites, and to reciprocate for the placement of students at the sites the faculty provide workshops to these groups. Conklin said that teaching certification students are placed in area schools for their clinical experiences. Approximately half of the students are graduate students, and they are seeking health education endorsement. Jeria added that adult education has historically provided outreach. Aase noted that other strengths of the department were the strong international experience for faculty and students, the departmentís diversity, the mix of tenure/tenure-track faculty, and classroom technology.
Aase turned to some of the discussion points at the department level. The format does not allow the department to tie together certain things. The limited number of SPS is unable to support the department workload and resources do not allow for future growth. Rose wondered what this statement referred to. She added that there is a half-time SPS person who does recruitment in Lake County, and we could also do more recruiting. She explained that the department was short on support staff, faculty, and secretaries. Sorensen said that she thought this statement referred to Operating Staff rather than Supportive Professional Staff positions. Cassidy added that the review indicated that during the reorganization secretarial positions were lost. Aase stated that the faculty numbers in the adult continuing education programs have dropped since the last review, and this restricts program growth. Rose said that there are two positions for which searches are being conducted for the adult continuing education programs. Sorensen added that the adult continuing education programs were hit hard during the reorganization; the faculty were scattered into many different areas. The overall number of faculty positions in the college is down. Aase added that if the department wanted to grow any of their programs, they would need more faculty. Sorensen stated that this was true of all areas in the college. Aase said that there is a large part-time faculty pool. Sorensen said that the College of Education does have the largest number of part-time faculty in the university. Deskis asked why this was the case. Sorensen replied that it has to do with resources. Deskis stated that the department made the decision to hire more part-time faculty, rather than not meet demand. Sorensen added that we are still not meeting the demand, and other areas of the college are not as well off as this program. We have 115 full-time faculty in the college, 175 part-time faculty, and 5,000 students. Rose stated that adult continuing education has a few temporary faculty, and health education is short faculty and was suppose to get a fifth person. Health education serves a large number of students in general education, and many temporary faculty teach in this area. The counseling program could also grow, especially in terms of partnerships. They are now offering the program to cohorts, and regular faculty are teaching the cohorts. Cassidy asked if the health education program has the largest number of part-time faculty. Rose replied that she is not sure about this but the fifth health education faculty position has not been filled; counseling also has a number of part-time faculty. Aase stated that there was also a large faculty turnover in 1996-1999.
Aase said that the recommendation for the future is to examine the job duties assigned to the secretarial staff. Deskis said that in the review when you talk about secretarial duties, you mention that secretaries type manuscripts. Canít the individuals in the department type their own manuscripts? Rose responded that there are still a few people who do not.
Aase said that he would highlight some of the areas that pertain to all five programs. He stated that some of the strengths are that all of the programs communicate well with each other, the assessment plans and feedback received are used to enhance the programs, they provide a large proportion of the credit hours in the state, and the demand for graduates is strong. Counseling has a 100 percent placement record. Another strength identified by the subcommittee was the benchmarking activity that identified state and nationally recognized programs, and our programs compared quite well against these programs. The programs have a solid plan for the future and have identified goals and set deadlines.
Aase stated that some of the discussion points that apply to all five programs include the fact that all the assessment plans that have been implemented are ahead of what has been written. A recommendation is that all the assessment plans be brought up to date in regard to what currently is being done and what needs to be done. You also need to include direct measures in the plans. In the Institutional Research tables it does not give any indication of what the numbers mean. Rose responded that the information was explained in the narrative after the table. Deskis added that basically the subcommittee members wanted the tables labeled better. Cassidy said that this is not the departmentís fault, the tables report on alumni data and the issue has been taken care of for next year.
Aase stated that some of the strengths of the M.S.Ed. in Counseling program noted in the subcommitteeís report are: 100 percent student placement, steady enrollment, faculty diversity, studentsí academic performance and skill development is monitored closely and very well structured, and students have a good publication and presentation record. Griffiths asked if the discussion on scholarship should be in the M.S.Ed. review. Tollerud responded that it should be in the review because both M.S.Ed. and Ed.D. students publish. Griffiths said that this is required in the doctoral program, but asked about the masterís program. Tollerud explained that it is not required at the masterís level, but students are encouraged to publish.
Aase said that some of the discussion points for the masterís program include the low alumni survey response rate, updating of physical resources, and faculty turnover (1996-99). Rose responded that in general alumni surveys have low response rates, but this is not an indication of how our students connect with the program. Tollerud added that she didnít know why students loyally send back surveys to the department and college but not the university. Students are also engaged in demanding jobs, which places demands on their time. Legg added that sending the surveys from the department level might help with getting a better response. Barnard said that this was tried last year, and the responses are now just starting to come back so we will see how this works. Sorensen added that these are long surveys. Barnard stated that we are also looking at putting the departmental surveys on-line. This year the students who did on-line surveys did not do the departmental surveys. Goldenberg added that having the information come from a person who used to advise the student might increase the response rate. Deskis added that the survey also needs to provide anonymity. Barnard said that we are trying to do everything we can to make sure the response rate goes up, including the removal of social security numbers from the surveys.
Aase turned to the Ed.D. in Counseling and said that the comments were similar to those for the masterís program. The strengths of the program include the program design that is closely aligned to learning outcomes, CACREP accreditation, steady enrollment, a sound publication record, and the employer survey. Cassidy stated that advisory groups are another way to get feedback from employers and alumni groups, and many departments have advisory committees provide feedback on curriculum. Tollerud responded that this is done; the program is required to do this. The group meets every year.
Aase said that some of the discussion points include the low alumni survey response rate and, in the past, the high faculty turnover that seemed to have adversely affected the program completion time and rate. He said that recommendations for the future include the revision of the assessment plan to reflect the changes that have been implemented (including measures for student outcomes) and elimination of some comments in section I., A., of the review per the summer meeting. Griffiths asked how many students are involved in major research projects. Tollerud responded that at least 15 percent are involved in research in the department. Four students went to a national counseling conference and presented collaborative work with faculty. Griffiths stated that the student faculty ratio seems high in terms of dissertations. You also talk about doctoral students being involved in the admission of masterís students. Tollerud replied that students that review masterís applications are ABD, and therefore would not be taking classes with newly admitted masterís students. There is risk in doing it this way, but these students are being prepared to be teachers, and participation in admission decisions provides them with good experience for this role. Griffiths asked if students were required to submit grants. Tollerud responded that the doctoral students are required to submit a proposal, but masterís level students discuss grants in the community health area.
Aase turned to the review of the M.S.Ed. in adult continuing education, and noted there is strong demand for this program. The strengths of the program include the assessment of learning outcomes, diversity, the well-structured student advancement process, positive alumni feedback, and strong employer satisfaction. In response to a question about the proportion of students electing the thesis versus non-thesis option Rose stated that most students chose to do the take-home comprehensive exam instead of the thesis or proctored comprehensive exam. Cassidy asked if students interested in doctoral studies are encouraged to do a thesis. Rose responded that these students are encouraged to do a thesis. Cassidy noted that one point made in the demand section was that students in this program worked with ESL individuals or literacy specialists, and asked why would students in this area not be in the literacy program? Rose responded that traditionally ESL has been an important aspect of adult education and that the entire field is rooted in and developed from these areas. Jeria added that working with immigrants who do not have English as their first language is a traditional area of adult continuing education. He added that there are many ESL programs in community colleges that serve a large ESL population. Cassidy stated that this creates some confusion about the boundaries between adult continuing education and literacy education. Rose added that the ESL courses are cross-listed between the two departments and were originally adult education courses. If students were interested in working in a school setting, they would be in the literacy program. If students are interested in working with adults, program development, or administration, they would select the adult education program. This is also how we advise students. Cassidy added that the structure in both programs would allow students to use electives in both areas; if students are interested primarily in literacy they could elect courses in adult continuing education. Sorensen said that when the title of the program in reading changes, this should help clarify this point. Jackman added that the masterís degree in reading will be changed to a masterís degree in literacy education. This could change the whole nature of the program, and this is in the curricular process right now. Rose stated that we do not train teachers in ESL; our ESL students are on an administrative track. Cassidy asked why these students would not be in the educational administration program. Rose said this is not related to educational administration, which is based in K-12 administration, but deals with community based and other forms of adult education administration.
Aase noted that no method exists for reporting on placement data, there are no accreditation or licensure exams to motivate program enhancements, there is a large part-time student body, and there is unused capacity in masterís classes that the subcommittee identified as discussion points. He said there is no central database on alumni placements. Rose responded that this is being worked on. Cassidy asked if the programs have worked with Alumni Services on gathering information about alumni. Rose replied that they are starting to look at what we want, and then we will go to Alumni Services. Sorensen noted that many of our students are already employed full-time, and we see the large number of part-time students as a strength of the programs.
Cassidy said that both of the adult continuing education reviews talk about requirements of the Commission of Professionals of Adult Education, and it would be helpful to give an explanation about what this means. Rose responded that basically the Commission of Professionals of Adult Education has guideline areas and most of these are concerned with the philosophy and history of adult continuing education program administration, load, number of supervised dissertations, and so forth. Cassidy said the broad areas should be described in the reviews.
Aase turned to the review of the Ed.D. in Adult Continuing Education. One strength of the program is that future demand appears strong and stable. Rose added that at the last program review we were told to reduce the number of students. Cassidy said that point was made in the review that the right size of the masterís program would be 100 students, and you also talk about offering masterís courses at several off-campus sites. Rose stated there is a rotation at the off-campus sites. Cassidy asked if this program is too widely scattered. Rose replied that it is hard to find where to stretch, but we are not too scattered in terms of recruitment. Our off-campus sites are Lake County, Chicago, Naperville, and Hoffman Estates. We are thinking about combining the rotation at Lake County and Hoffman Estates. The naval base wants us to offer more course work there. Cassidy asked why there was unused capacity in the classes if demand was so high. Mason responded that the size of the programs doesnít seem to hurt us at the masterís level because we donít have to supervise dissertations, but it is hard at the doctoral level. The enrollments in the masterís courses could be increased to 30 students. Rose indicated that the department has been talking about developing cohorts to deliver the masterís program. Maybe we decreased enrollment too much.
Wheeler said that is that the college has a concentration in higher education and is offering doctoral work in higher education. Preparation in higher education is an area of strong interest, particularly for those in community colleges. There have been some comments about combining adult education and higher education. Sorensen responded that the concentration in higher education was moved last summer to the Department of Counseling, Adult and Health Education. The course work in higher education offered by curriculum and instruction has also been moved to this department. Plans are underway to change the name of the masterís and doctoral programs to adult and higher education because students have complained that the degree did not reflect their interest in higher education. I think we will see more student interest in higher education now that the concentration is in this department. Rose added that the department did develop a joint masterís program in higher education and student affairs that has been tabled for now due to the budget situation. Jackman added that the creation of graduate certificates is also being investigated.
Cassidy asked what expertise was being sought in the two new faculty hires. Rose said they are planning on hiring an individual with a community and popular education expertise and one with higher education expertise. Cassidy noted that the adult education programs seem to touch every sub-discipline in the field from ESL to human resource development with only nine faculty members. Rose replied that the programs are hoping to increase the number of faculty in this area. We are doing a study of our priorities and looking at how adult education programs are offered nationally.
Griffiths said the review mentioned additional course work to assist students with oral communication and asked if students were making presentations. Rose said this applied to internships; otherwise no. Griffiths said from the way the feedback from internship supervisors is presented it is difficult to tell if some of the comments are positive or negative. Cassidy asked if this reflects an area for improvement. Rose said that the information addresses the areas where there is value added. Griffiths said the review should include information about where students publish, and added that it would be good to have additional courses or brown bag sessions to encourage publishing.
Aase noted that some other strengths of the Ed.D. in Adult Continuing Education were the program diversity, strong student publication records, strong student ratings of faculty and course work, and the breadth of the curriculum. Cassidy said that the curriculum section indicates that students need to have a cognate area outside adult continuing education, and the curriculum requires that students be both generalists and specialists in adult continuing education. There are no specific number of hours required for the cognate area or for the specialized area. How would someone know if she/he was a specialist in a particular area and what role does the cognate play in the preparation of students? Rose replied that the cognate is used in many different ways. If someone is in administration, course work might focus on adult education, administrative evaluation, diversity, or a few other areas. This would be the general part of the adult education program. Then a student could focus on administration in the cognate, taking additional coursework outside of adult education. Other students do philosophy as a cognate (just to name one example). There is a wide range of cognate options.
Aase said that students stalling out of dissertation work, the large part-time student population that tends to extend completion time, and the heavy dissertation advising load are all discussion points that the subcommittee raised. Sorensen added that the college limit on a dissertation load is 12. Aase stated that on average the faculty said they had six doctoral students who they advised. Griffiths said that the reviews mention a research seminar course, and asked if this was required. Rose replied that it is not required, but we are considering making this a requirement. Cassidy asked if students enroll in it for only one semester. Rose replied that it can be repeated, but after students complete their comprehensive examinations, they move to enrollment in dissertation hours. We offer two courses, but they are not required, and most student take both courses. Griffiths asked if the statement about publishing nine articles refers to nine total articles during the five-year review period. He observed that this does not seem like a large number of publications for a program of this size. Rose responded that this is just an example of publications and the department does not have a way to gather this information systematically. Thompson asked if these were doctoral students. Rose replied that this information is not collected, but we could try to collect it. Thompson said that if students use NIU as an affiliation, who looks at what the students are submitting. Rose stated that there is no control over submissions, but most students use their place of work as their affiliation. Griffiths said the work of the Responsible Conduct for Scholarship Committee should address part of this issue. He also averred that the external review of dissertations and the deanís designate reports indicate a range of quality in dissertations, and this is a concern. You are strongly encouraged to continue working on the quality of the dissertations. Part of the problem is the large number of students in the program. Rose added that most of the dissertationsí quality is high and the reports were positive, but the faculty is working on the issue. We now have made attending conferences for students a priority so they are exposed to what is being done in the field. We also touch on this issue in our student retreat. Cassidy said she was very concerned about shortcomings noted in many of the external reviews, and the shortcomings addressed basic methodological issues. The number of doctoral students given the faculty size is also a concern; there are currently 84 students enrolled in dissertation hours, and this is something that must be addressed. The review notes that many students take up to nine years to finish the degree and they are only enrolling in one semester hour of dissertation course work. This enrollment pattern is also having a very adverse affect on your costs. Your program costs are 70 percent above the college graduate II credit hour costs. Rose stated that the biggest problem is that students do not enroll in dissertation hours. Griffiths said that continuous enrollment in dissertation is a Graduate School requirement. Rose responded they often skip semesters and register retroactively. The program is looking at this matter, and is planning to register students automatically in three hours dissertation after the first enrollment in the course. Students would then have to withdraw from the course or enroll for fewer hours. Students are not enrolling in dissertation, and then they have to make up the hours . Cassidy asked what affect this had on the quality of a studentís work if they are not engaged in their research. Rose replied that faculty do keep working with them, but some students do not work on their research continuously during this time. Griffiths said supervising 12 doctoral dissertations seems high. Cassidy added that 135 doctoral students with nine faculty members is a very high student to faculty ratio.
Aase said that one of the recommendations for the future was to develop a plan that allows students to develop dissertation topics early in the program. Rose stated that part-time students move in and out of the program. Deskis asked if it would be feasible to require that students complete a chapter of their dissertation each year. If students do not meet this requirement they could be placed on probation or something like that. Rose replied that this is something the program could think about. Deskis added that this would be a way to keep the studentsí engaged. Rose stated that engagement is not the only problem; another problem is students working full-time. Legg said that he is quite disappointed by these data because they say something about the overall quality of the degree. Rose said that she would disagree that the dissertations were weak. There are some weak dissertations, but overall they are not weak. Griffiths added that there are positives and negatives received whenever dissertations undergo an external review, but there are more shortcomings for these than in most programs. In response to the question about how frequently dissertations were sent out for external review, Griffiths replied once during the program review cycle and he informed the APC about the process used for seeking external reviews. Legg asked if this was a common practice. Griffiths replied that one reviewer said that it was refreshing that we were doing this type of thing, so I donít think it is that common. Legg said that having students who publish may help address some of these issues, and you would have a studentís record of where they publish. Griffiths added that submitting articles for publication also provides good feedback to students. Rose stated that many of the students in this program do publish, but it is, of course, the weaker ones who do not. Cassidy indicated that another round of external reviews could be done before the next full review of the program, and a follow-up report on the results should be submitted to the council. Sorensen added that there is a deanís designate who comes to almost all of the defenses. Cassidy noted that the external reviewers were experts in the field in which they are asked to review. Griffiths concurred, but indicated that the deanís designates are not.
Cassidy said that another issue is the number of students in the program. Increasing the size of the masterís program, as has been suggested, needs to be looked at very closely. Even though doctoral enrollments were reduced following the last review, they should probably be reduced further especially in light of the departmentís suggestion to increase enrollments in the masterís program. Griffiths stated that he agreed with this statement, and noted that this is a very large program. Rose said that there is enormous demand for this doctorate. Thompson asked in regard to costs if you cut enrollment numbers, would this make costs increase. Cassidy replied that it could, but students not moving through the program increases costs especially if they are enrolled in one hour of course work for a long period of time increases costs. The faculty allocation of effort on the service report versus the number of semester hours being produced in dissertation hours should be examined. Legg said that a one-hour minimum of enrollment in dissertation is too low even for part-time students. Cassidy stated that continuous enrollment for three semester hours should be monitored closely, and students should not be allowed to withdraw or reduce the hours of enrollment without good reason. The program needs to reduce its graduate II credit hour costs. Rose said this is a problem we did recognize, and we will work on this. Rintala said if the program gets more selective, would it create conflict with the IBHE expectation that NIU provides a public education. This seems to go against the IBHE initiative and is a trade off. Cassidy added that it is a delicate balance. Griffith said if a program is too large, students are not getting the proper preparation. Legg said that the university currently has 25,000 students and our faculty numbers are low. We need to design some type of enrollment control, but we are under pressure on both sides. Sorensen added that this is not the only program in the college with these numbers. The adult continuing education program should be recognized for the fact the NIU is number seven in the nation for preparing African-Americans at the doctoral level.
Wheeler asked if it was true that we had cohort groups in the past, and now this is not the case. Rose said that the program is exploring cohorts under the new model of program delivery.
Cassidy said the review mentioned a plan to seek off-campus degree authority, and asked at what location. Rose replied in Chicago. Cassidy asked if this program should be offered completely off-campus like the M.B.A. program. Rose responded that she did not think this would be a good approach because we have a number of students who come here for this program. We have students who move to DeKalb to enroll in this program. We also have international students and they would not be able to complete the program off campus.
Aase turned to the B.S.Ed. in Health Education review. The strengths of the program include the strong occupational demand, a large minority representation, a half-time advisor, and a good benchmarking process. Students in the program have received a variety of scholarships and awards and they actively participate in a variety of public service activities. This is a relatively young program and it is continually revising the curriculum based on assessment results.
Aase said that the alumni survey has a poor response rate. Sorensen explained that the degree had only been in existence for five years. Cassidy added that the CIP code originally assigned to this program on campus was incorrect, and the data could not be disaggregated from the degrees in kinesiology and physical education. This situation has been taken care of, and the program will be able to track data in the future.
Aase noted one of the recommendations for the future is to clarify how this program differs from a community health degree; the focus of this program is on teaching methods and content in the public secondary school setting. Conklin responded that students do take a nutrition course offered by the College of Health and Human Sciences. The health education program has both drug education and sexuality education components that focus on teaching this content to adolescents, while the College of Health and Human Sciences would have courses that address those topics across the life cycle. Our program is methods based. Cassidy said that there is a logic in having a health education program in a college of health and human sciences. Conklin replied that she looked into this matter, and found that there are a significant number of these types of programs offered in colleges of education nationally. Legg said it is still necessary to have a content; you cannot teach without content. Conklin responded yes, and some of the courses in the program are taken outside the college.
Cassidy said the minor in health education is constructed in such a way that students can meet the certification requirements. Conklin replied that they could meet the endorsement requirement if they have certification in another teaching area. Students enter the degree program for initial teacher certification. We currently have 50 undergraduate majors and 32 graduate students in the program seeking initial teacher certification. Our other students already have teacher certification and are seeking an endorsement in health education. Cassidy asked if we needed a degree program if students can get the endorsement by completing the minor. Conklin replied that the catalog encourages students to get an endorsement in addition to teacher certification. Rose added that not all of the students have a teaching degree. Conklin stated that we would not be filling the need for health education teachers in the State of Illinois if we did not offer this program. You could teach, but it would not be your primary area. Teachers should not be teaching a full load if it is not their primary area. Cassidy asked how common it was that someone would teach only health. Conklin responded the there are several openings that are full-time health education positions in large school districts. Rose added that this is a program that is growing. We have had no trouble placing our students. They have an active advisory board, and this is a strong program. If we could get a masterís program, it would make the program area stronger. Cassidy asked if post-baccalaureate students come back to meet the requirements for endorsement. Conklin replied yes, if a student has an undergraduate degree in a non-teaching field, they come into the program seeking teaching certification. All 24 of the endorsement hours could be applied to a masterís degree if they are taken selectively. Legg asked what these students take when they come back. Conklin said that they follow all the requirements of the undergraduate teacher certification program. Legg indicated that there appears to be overlap between the College of Health and Human Sciences and what this program is offering. During this period of tight resources, we need to look at duplication. Rose added that since the reorganization we have tried to work closely with the College of Health and Human Sciences. We now meet regularly with individuals in the college. Deskis asked if they were trying to share resources. Rose said that this is being talked about, and we have also been looking at a joint masterís program. This discussion has already started. Legg said that the program should take an intense look at the matter of duplication after this meeting. Conklin added that several courses have just been approved that health and human sciences students are going to be allowed to take. Wheeler asked if they were cross-listed courses. Conklin responded no.
Deskis reported that the strengths of the Office of Health Promotion are the objective to provide research-based educational activities and its sound history of receiving grants. There are currently no resources allocated to this office. The recommendation for the future is to provide the APC with a follow-up report during spring 2005 with a plan to make this office a viable entity or dissolve the office. Rose said the office is looking into joint ventures with the School of Allied Health Professions, and we would like to keep it viable because of its grant history, which has been very helpful. Legg asked if the office was working on health career opportunity grants. Rose replied yes, in collaborative effort with the College of Health and Human Sciences.
Deskis indicated that some of the strengths of the Office of Human Resource Development and Workforce Preparation include the amount of externally funded grants, there is no general revenue support currently required, it has a detailed plan for the future, and the stability of the office. The only discussion point is that the current director does not receive extra compensation or course release. What will happened when the current director retires from this position; this is a matter of planning. Cassidy said it would be wise to have a follow-up report on the status of the office in 2005.
Deskis informed the APC that the RE/ACE Office no longer exists.
The meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.
Carolyn A. Cradduck