Sent on Behalf of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs:
ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PROVOST – April 4, 2014
Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues:
Welcome back to Spring quarter 2014! I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with some news and updates.
GENERAL EDUCATION REVISION
On March 11, 2014, after months of deliberation, the Academic Senate passed a ground-breaking policy on the Definition, Philosophy, Student Learning Outcomes and Criteria for General Education Breadth Requirements. President Covino approved the policy on March 19, 2014, and it will be effective Fall of 2016 with a semester calendar. With distinctive and innovative features, such as a new civic/service learning requirement, an enhanced writing component, and an integrated and interdisciplinary science option, the new outcomes-based GE program is closely aligned with the University Strategic Plan, and has the potential to transform undergraduate education at Cal State L.A. Congratulations to the GE Revision Committee (GERC) for its two years of hard work, to the Senate for its productive deliberations, and to all faculty members for their support!
We plan to disseminate the work of the GERC in the form of publications and/or presentations at conferences regionally and nationally.
The Q2S Conversion project comprises three major phases—curriculum conversion and transformation, university business practices transformation and IT conversion, and transition student advising. We are on schedule to meet our December 19, 2014, deadline to have completed all university approvals of curricular conversions, revisions, and additions. In addition we have begun preliminary planning for transition student advising.
On April 1st we formally kicked off phase two—the transformation of university business practices and the conversion of IT systems. Partnering with us in this phase are ERP Analysts, consultants hired by the Chancellor’s Office “to provide their expertise and experience to identify the technical and functional detailed activities (including business requirements, dependencies, and risks), [and] to complete the project on-time and within budget against the project milestones.” In the spirit of President Covino’s plan to use the three years of conversion as the beginning phase of our efforts to innovate and transform the University, these consultants will be working with us and Cal State Bakersfield over the next sixty days to perform a detailed fit gap analysis of what it will take to effectively transform our operations into an efficiently operating semester university.
Every step we take toward the completion of the Q2S Project presents us with the opportunity to enhance the communication, collaboration, and innovation that will transform our university into one of the flagship campuses of the CSU.
Please keep visiting the Q2S website for information and regular up-to-date postings: (http://web.calstatela.edu/academic/aa/semester/index.php)
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This past fall we enrolled over 23,200 students and exceed 18,700 FTES. This is the largest number of students we have served since 1978. These large numbers are in part due to a significantly higher yield from the admit pool than in the past, and in part due to our approach of meeting student demand fully. Undergraduate student average unit loads are the highest they have been since 1996. With each subsequent quarter, we have opened much needed sections of GE and required courses so that students remain on the path to graduation. I appreciate the collaborative work of the deans, chairs, and faculty in ensuring that our students are getting the classes they need to make timely progress to degree.
For the next two years while we convert to semesters, Cal State L.A. has been exempt from typical campus enrollment caps. We are taking this opportunity to grow our enrollments aggressively in the event that we see a dip in enrollment during the first year on semesters (2016-17). At a time when across the nation, access to a quality education is at risk and the path to social mobility is getting steeper, we are fulfilling California’s promise of serving the public good.
At the same time we are responsible for ensuring that the students we admit and enroll are graduating in a timely manner. We recognize that the students who choose to come here have varying levels of preparation. Some are college-ready, some are STEM-ready, but a significant percentage are not quite college-ready. For the latter group, a four-year roadmap is unrealistic and perhaps even a six-year time to graduation is a challenge. But if they persist, as so many of our students do, we must find a way to facilitate their graduation. Moreover, we need to educate our state legislators that getting our students across the finish line, and ensuring they are career and workforce ready is our contribution to the social good. Persistence – that is what we value and that is what we must find a way to reward!
PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES UPDATE
Pilot Faculty Fellows Program with the Office of Institutional Research
This year’s pilot program resulted in 5 Faculty Fellow programs awards. The purpose of this pilot program was to focus on the need to better understand students and the various factors that contribute or affect student retention, so that timely interventions to help them succeed can be developed, implemented and evaluated. The program awards to develop student success tools will address the following topics:
- Evaluation of the Impact of English Early Start Courses on Freshman Student Outcomes (Anne Hafner and Christopher Harris)
- Effects of Specialized On-campus Support Programs to Promote Student Academic Success and Retention (Rebecca Joseph)
- Ethnographic Project to Examine Students’ Successes and Struggles in Learning at CSULA (ChorSwang Ngin)
- Develop the RSCA Database linked to S4 Database as a Service Learning Project (Ming Wang)
- Use of Data Mining Techniques to Discover Unknown and Actionable Patterns, and to Develop Tools to Incorporate These Findings into the Advisement Processes at Various Levels (Chengyu Sun)
We look forward to learning more about their research and how these tools can be used to increase student retention and contribute to student success. Dissemination of their work will occur in the Fall.
The third Parent Academy session of the 2013-14 academic year will take place on Saturday April 26. Parent Academy provides information to the parents of freshmen that will help them better understand what their son/daughter is experiencing as a college student and learn ways of supporting them. The fall program focused on the transition from high school to college, and the winter program focused on paying for college. The April program will focus on how parents can help their son/daughter use the summer to make connections between school and future careers, and to prepare for a successful second year in college. President Covino will attend the April 26th program, and present Certificates of Completion to parents who have attended all three Parent Academy programs (for more information visit: http://web.calstatela.edu/parentacademy/).
Investing in Our People
With change comes the challenge of managing and thriving in an unpredictable environment. With that in mind, CETL launched a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) for department chairs last fall. FLC members include Gretchen Peterson (Sociology), James Garrett (English), Hengchun Ye (Geosciences and Environment), Melina Abdullah (Pan-African Studies), Michael Willard (Office of Community Engagement), Angela Young (Management), and Mika Cho (Art). This FLC focuses on issues chairs face and offers resources on positive academic leadership, succession planning, decision making, and departmental culture. The reading book for this FLC is Jon Wergin’s Department’s that work: Building and sustaining cultures of excellence in academic programs (Jossey-Bass, 2002). Members will make recommendations to the Provost on best practices for chair development and improvement of work flow at the conclusion of the (FLC).
This past Winter we launched an informal leadership development program for associate deans facilitated by Ellie Ferguson-Marshalleck, past Associate Dean of the College of Health and Human Service. This program will foster the development of the associate deans to successfully manage change and expectations as their role evolves, enhance their leadership abilities, and explore the skill sets and tools that are needed to effectively execute their roles. The uniqueness of this development program is that it allows for, and integration of, formal knowledge with engagement and practical applications tailored to each of the colleges. There is opportunity for structure reflection and exchange of experiences that common across colleges, as well as, idiosyncratic to each college. Most importantly, it creates a safe setting wherein the Associate Deans group can build a cohesive and collaborative support culture with meaningful opportunities for networking.
We are also continuing to engage the SSP Advisors in professional development opportunities so that they continue to effectively complement the work of the faculty in our student success efforts. Moving forward, CETL Director Catherine Haras will attend a conference on designing high-impact campus leadership development programs this July. The session will help us design advanced leadership programming for faculty who want to explore and develop their leadership skills.
This past Winter we welcomed
1. Eric Bullard, Dean of the College of Extended Studies & International Programs
2. Farrel Webb, Associate Dean of the College of Health and Human Services
We would also like to welcome the following AA staff:
Jenell Bier, Administrative Support Assistant; Mathematics Department, NSS
Nelly Carrillo, Administrative Support Assistant; School of Social Work, HHS
Evelyn Chicas, Student Services Professional; A&L
Londa Davis, Administrative Support Assistant; Biological Sciences Department, NSS
Erin Doolittle, Administrative Analyst/Specialist; Deans Office, CBE
Anjelica Fegan, Instructional Designer/Trainer; CETL
Jacob Garrison, Research Technician; Applied & Advanced Studies in Education, CCOE
Jeffrey Grant, Instructional Designer/Trainer; CETL
Joanna Grey-Perez, Administrative Support Coordinator; Office of Student Services, CCOE
Hieu Le Ngo, Administrative Analyst/Specialist; Dean’s Office, NSS
Denise Urena, Administrative Support Assistant; School of Social Work, HHS
UPCOMING EVENTS AND IMPORTANT DATES
April 24 – Campus Conversation (details will be forthcoming)
April 25 – Honors Convocation
May 9 – Investiture of President William A. Covino
May 16 – Campus-wide forum on Quarter to Semester
June 13, 14, 15 – Commencement