Standard Two - Educational Program and Its Effectiveness

The first sections identify general policies and practices that are common to all undergraduate and graduate programs. Following the general policies are summaries for each college and their respective programs.

Undergraduate Programs

Overview

Our degree programs are housed in six colleges and one school: College of Applied Science and Technology, Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts and Humanities, John B. Goddard School of Business and Economics, Jerry and Vickie Moyes College of Education, Dr. Ezekiel R. Dumke College of Health Professions, College of Science, and College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. We also offer a Bachelor of Integrated Studies and an Honors Program. We have had a strong historical emphasis on professional and vocational programs, with nearly two-thirds of our current students majoring in programs in Applied Science and Technology, Business and Economics, Education, and Health Professions.

Curriculum and Credits (2.A.4, 2.A.7, 2.A.11, 2.A.12)

Each program’s curriculum is developed by the program faculty and subsequently reviewed and approved by faculty at the college and university levels. Routine curriculum changes, such as modifications of courses and programs, are made consistent with policies and procedures established by the University Curriculum and General Education Committee and approved by the Faculty Senate and Board of Trustees. Although program closures have been rare, when degree programs are eliminated, enrolled students are informed of impending program closures and are provided with ample time to complete degree requirements.

All of our degree programs must meet credit hour limits established by the Board of Regents or receive approval from the Board of Regents to exceed these guidelines. Further, our professional programs must meet external agency standards. Our degree designations are consistent with the program content.

Academic Program Review (2.B.1)

For more than 20 years, we have had in place a regular and systematic review of our academic programs. Program review is a comprehensive examination of a program’s mission statement, curriculum, student learning outcomes, faculty and staff support and evaluation, student academic advising and enrollment patterns, library and equipment support, and strategic goals. Program reviews include outside evaluators and occur at least once every five years with the goals of identifying both areas of strength and areas that need to be improved. Academic areas that have professional accreditation may substitute that review for the regular university process.

Outcomes Assessment (2.B.2, 2.B.3, Policy 2.2)

As discussed in earlier sections of this report we have systematically assessed student learning outcomes throughout the Division of Academic Affairs since 1995. The processes that we have used for these assessments and the methods of review and analysis have been regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that the analyses we appropriately informing student learning and academic program design. (http://www.weber.edu/Assessment/reports_data.html)

General Education and Other Required Courses (2.C, Policy 2.1)

We offer several types of undergraduate degrees that include a general education program with both core requirements (American Institutions, Composition, Computer and Information Literacy and Quantitative Literacy) and breadth requirements (Humanities and Creative Arts, Physical Sciences & Life Sciences, Diversity and Social Sciences). Our general education and other required courses are taught by appropriately qualified faculty, the majority of whom have terminal degrees. Our general education program is in compliance with NWCCU Policy 2.1 on General Education/Related Instruction Requirements. (http://www.weber.edu/AcademicAffairs/gened.html)

General Policies and Procedures (2.A, 2.B, 2.C)

Calendar and Scheduling (2.A.6)

On October 22, 2008, the President's Council approved a new academic calendar for Weber State University. This concluded a two year study and discussion on the best academic calendar for our institution. As part of this approval, we passed a 7-year calendar to allow the campus community to plan for the future. The calendar provides for a three semester model with 67 to 71 instructional days in each semester. For further information please see: http://departments.weber.edu/registrar/2009-10_academic_calendar.htm.

Tuition and Fees (Policy B-12)

Our tuition rates are determined annually in a process that is linked very tightly with our overall budgeting process. Effective fiscal year 2001-02, we implemented a tuition schedule that includes two tiers of tuition. Students pay one amount for tuition which is then separated by the university into general fund (first-tier tuition) or to support specific institutional needs (second-tier tuition).

Experiential Credit (Policy 2.3)

Our departments award credit for experiential learning consistent with our policies and guidelines. Departments which award experiential credit must have written criteria to assure its academic equivalency. Prior to being awarded experiential credit, students must provide evidence of a satisfactory learning pattern. Our institutional policies on experiential credit are in compliance with NWCCU Policy 2.3 on Credit for Prior Experiential Learning.

Transfer Credit (2.C.4, Policy 2.5)

We have articulation agreements, consistent with university policy and reviewed on a regular basis, with all two- and four-year Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) institutions to ensure smooth transfer of credit for students. Our transfer policies and procedures are in compliance with NWCCU Policy 2.5 on Transfer and Award of Academic Credit.

Developmental Credit (2.C.6)

Students are not allowed to register for upper division courses (with some exceptions) and must complete developmental English and/or math courses, depending upon their standardized test scores in those content areas. Developmental courses are not included in the calculation of a student’s grade point average and are not counted toward the total hours required for graduation. Once College Tier students have successfully met the English and math competency requirements and have completed 20 semester credits with a grade point average of 2.25 or better, they are moved to the University Tier.

Academic Advising (2.C.5)

We have both a centralized and decentralized academic advising process. Centralized advising is provided through the Student Success Center for students who do not have a declared major. Although advising is not mandatory for undeclared students who are in good academic standing, our Center staff members have designed and implemented proactive advising programs which provide both group and individual student advising sessions in a variety of formats, including via the internet. Decentralized advising occurs when students declare their program of study (e.g., major, minor). At this point, they become the advising responsibility of the faculty and staff within academic departments, along with professional advisors.

Graduate Programs Graduate Programs (2.D, 2.E, 2.F)

Programs

We offer eight masters-level degree programs: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Accountancy (MAcc), Master of Education (MED), Master of Arts in English (MAE), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT), Master of Criminal Justice (MSC) and Master of Health Administration (MHA) and two graduate level certificates: Health Science Administration Graduate Certificate and Information Systems and Technologies Graduate Certificate. Each of these programs has developed entrance requirements and coursework that differentiate them from their undergraduate program counterparts. (http://www.weber.edu/graduateprograms/) Our graduate program curricula ensure that students achieve a greater depth of study and increased development of intellectual and creative capacities. In 2008-2009 graduate students accounted for 3% of all WSU enrollments and 5% of all WSU degrees awarded.

Graduate Program Development, Review and Assessment (2.D)

Graduate program curricular additions and changes are subject to the same faculty review and approval procedures as are undergraduate programs. Our graduate programs are assessed by an evolving matrix of assessment methods reflected in each program’s online assessment materials.

Graduate Faculty and Related Resources (2.E)

Faculty who teach graduate courses are fully qualified based on their educational degrees, specialized knowledge, teaching excellence, and research and/or professional experience. Funds are allocated to the academic units/departments that house the graduate program. Approval for graduate programs is granted only when adequate financial resources are available.

For program administration, each graduate program has a faculty director and dedicated support staff. To some degree, program support personnel have been stretched as enrollments have grown in the MBA, MSCJ, and MEd programs. In response to increased enrollments, a new staff position was added to the MBA program in Fall 2003. Other programs will continue to review their evolving needs and budgetary situations.

To ensure communication and coordination among all graduate programs, the faculty directors hold meetings on a monthly basis to discuss issues of common concern to all graduate programs. These meetings often include the participation of relevant university personnel.

Physical Resources for Graduate Programs (2.E.1, 2.E.2)

All graduate programs are offered at either WSU Ogden or WSU Davis, where regular faculty, staff, and administrative personnel are fully involved in the programs. The MEd program has offered a few courses at off-campus locations, and these courses also have been administered and taught by the same full-time faculty as on-campus offerings. No satellite or other off-campus graduate degree programs are offered.

Graduate programs use WSU facilities in common with undergraduate programs. Our facilities and other physical resources are described in detail earlier in this Standard and in Standard 8. Many of the facilities used for the graduate programs are either new or recently renovated: the new Elizabeth Hall building houses the Masters of English, WSU Davis, completed in 2003-04, houses the MBA program and the recently renovated MacKay Education Building houses the Master of Education Program.

Graduate Library and Information Resources (2.E.1, 2.E.2)

A library faculty member is assigned to work as a liaison with each college’s graduate and undergraduate programs. As part of the approval process for graduate programs and courses, these library liaisons review all curriculum proposals to assess the adequacy of library resources and arrange for additional resources, if needed, to support the graduate program or course. The liaisons also regularly present workshops for the MEd, MBA, and MSCJ programs and have developed guides and online resources specific to each of the graduate programs. As detailed in Standard 5, the library has greatly expanded its online resources, providing convenient on- and off-campus access to extensive information resources for students and faculty in our professional graduate programs.

Admissions Policies and Practices (2.F.1, 2.F.2, 2.F.3)

Graduate program admissions policies and procedures are published in the printed and online versions of our catalog and in each program’s brochures and web pages. Admission to a graduate program is based upon criteria determined by the faculty involved in the program and the program’s director. Each program has defined requirements and policies for graduation that have been formulated and approved by relevant faculty members. In designing the depth and breadth of their curricula, the graduate programs meet the guidelines of their respective accrediting bodies.

Graduate Credit (Policies 2.F.5, 2.F.6)

Faculty in each graduate program have formulated and approved policies for the acceptance of transfer credit that are in compliance with NWCCU Policy 2.4 on Transfer and Award of Academic Credit. In compliance with NWCCU Policy 2.3 on Credit for Prior Experiential Learning, none of our graduate programs grant credit for prior experiential learning or other learning experiences external to the student’s formal graduate program. The admissions policies and procedures for all graduate programs are published in the printed and online versions of our catalog and in each program’s brochures and web pages. These materials are publicly available to prospective applicants, admitted graduate students, and other interested persons.

Graduation Requirements and Policies (2.F.4)

Each program has defined requirements and policies for graduation that have been formulated and approved by relevant faculty members.

Strengths and Challenges

Strengths include:

  • Strong academic programs
  • Qualified faculty
  • Strong enrollments in graduate programs
  • Accessible and convenient program offerings

Challenges include:

  • Maintaining adequate faculty numbers and balanced teaching loads for faculty teaching in graduate programs, particularly in MBA and MSCJ programs
  • Maintaining adequate support staff in graduate programs with growing enrollments
  • Keeping programs aligned with changing specialized accreditation standards
  • Maintaining adequate student information systems for program management

Next Steps/ Action Items

  • Apply results of assessment and continue augmentation of assessment activities
  • Review faculty needs and budgets in all graduate programs
  • Identify opportunities for increased coordination in processes and policies among the graduate programs and implement as appropriate through the existing mechanism of regular council meetings of graduate program directors
  • Plan and carry out joint activities to publicize graduate programs through web site, printed advertisement, open house meetings, and other means.

College Summaries

College of Applied Science & Technology

College Mission and Goals
Mission

The vision of the College of Applied Science &Technology is to be the leader in the state in technology and technology-related programs through service to our students and the businesses and industries in our region.

The mission of the College of Applied Science & Technology is to serve the citizens of northern Utah and the State of Utah by:

  • Preparing students for employment upon graduation and ensuring that they are productive.
  • Engaging in scholarly activities that expand the technological education our students receive and provide a service to business and industry.
  • Utilizing the school’s resources and faculty expertise to benefit students, business, industry, education, government, and society in general.

Goals

  • Evaluate the viability of our Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) and pre-engineering programs to see if they should be retained, and if so, what can be done to make them stronger.
  • Continue our program assessment efforts including collecting the necessary data and making program improvements based on that data.
  • Continue to expand our online course offerings, particularly in Computer Science.
  • Integrate a welding option into our Manufacturing Engineering Technology program and work with Utah State University to transfer their students to our program.
  • Continue to look at new programs for the college, particularly in light of the new Utah College of Applied Technology.

College-Wide Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates from the College of Applied Science & Technology will:

  • Acquire the skills and knowledge to prepare them for employment upon graduation
  • Gain an appropriate mastery of the knowledge, techniques, skills, and tools of their discipline
  • Understand the need for and develop the ability to engage in lifelong learning
  • Develop the ability to function effectively on teams

Faculty Review

Faculty are reviewed by the college and their department. We have combined promotion and tenure into a single policy for the whole college with a common set of criteria for both. This way, we are able to combine both the evaluation for promotion and the evaluation for tenure and do these simultaneously where applicable.

Mentoring and professional development throughout the college includes peer evaluation committees, yearly retreat, mentoring by an experienced faculty member, evaluation through student questionnaires, and evaluation by a department chair.

Advisement

The College of Applied Science and Technology has one full-time advisor and the Computer Science Department has one full-time advisor. We provide multiple advising resources for students and advisors. In addition to advising services, we provide math tutoring for students in our college, which is used extensively by our students and located in one of our buildings. We also work with the Communication Department to provide a special section of Interpersonal and Small Group Communication with special emphasis on workplace communications.

Budget

In addition to legislative appropriations, we are supported by endowments, externally funded grants and gifts, and course fees.

The reports of the individual programs in The College of Applied Science and Technology are found in Appendix X.

Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities

College Mission and Goals
Mission

The College of Arts & Humanities offers comprehensive programs encompassing the visual and performing arts, language, literature, and communications. The programs of the college are designed to help students gain a thorough understanding of their cultural and aesthetic heritage and to prepare them for employment opportunities that will take advantage of the special skills developed through rigorous study of the humanities. The educational and cultural programs of the departments are valuable to both major and non-major students.

The curriculum of the College of Arts & Humanities is enriched by special lectures, exhibitions, and dramatic and musical productions. Many nationally known artists perform each year before audiences drawn from the campus and the community.

Goals

  • Meet course needs of students as enrollments increase with a static budget for wages and operations.
  • Increase upper division course enrollments and attracting majors and minors.
  • Develop external financing for departments and programs from grants, donors, and foundations.
  • Examine general education in arts and humanities.
  • Publicize, more broadly and with more contemporary media, the work of our college departments; become more visible to the public at large in order to do a better job recruiting audience members to our events and students into our classes.
  • Engage more fully with the Ogden community in mutually-beneficial projects. The Venture Project is a start; the goal is to get even more faculty and students involved in community outreach.
  • Wage convincing arguments about the value of arts and humanities coursework to individuals and communities.

College-Wide Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates from the College of Arts &Humanities:

  • Gain an understanding of humanity’s cultural and aesthetic heritage
  • Develop critical-thinking abilities
  • Become informed world citizens
  • Acquire knowledge of the history, theories, foundations, and principles of specific disciplines
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively orally, in writing, and visually
  • Interpret texts and performances from cultures other than their own across time and place

Departments/Programs

Centers and Outreach Programs

Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science
    • Communication
    • English
    • Foreign Languages
    • Musical Theatre
    • Theatre Arts
    • Visual Arts
  • Bachelor of Arts
    • Music
    • Dance
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts
    • Visual Arts
  • Bachelor of Music
    • Music Education
    • Music Performance
    • Music Pedagogy
  • Teaching Majors
    • Communication
    • Dance
    • English
    • French
    • German
    • Music
    • Spanish
    • Theatre Arts
    • Visual Arts
  • Master of Arts in English

Interdisciplinary Studies

Budget

In addition to legislative appropriations, we are supported by endowments, externally funded grants and gifts, and course fees.

Faculty

Appendix XI contains tables showing:

  1. The number of full- and part-time faculty and staff,
  2. Patterns of faculty evaluation and,
  3. College advising responsibilities.

Significant Changes Since 2004
Significant changes include:

  • New leadership – Dean June Phillips retired in 2007 and was replaced by Dean Madonne Miner.
  • New name – the college official became the Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts and Humanities in 2008.
  • New facility – Elizabeth Hall, housing the departments of Communication, English and Foreign Languages opened in January 2009.
  • New program – the Department of English began their Master of Arts in English program in 2006.
  • New advisor – The College of Arts & Humanities hired a full-time academic advisor in January 2008.
  • New newsletter – began online publishing of A&H News in 2008.
  • Utah Musical Theatre, which was a semiprofessional company, produced their final season in 2006.
  • Weber: The Contemporary West has been reduced to two issues per year due to budgetary constraints.

The Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts and Humanities departmental reports are in Appendix XII.

John B. Goddard School of Business & Economics

College Mission and Goals
Mission

The Goddard School creates a synergy between business and economic theory and contemporary practice to prepare working professionals and full-time students for careers in a global, culturally diverse, information-driven economy.

Three principles are central to our mission:

  • Education: The first, and foremost, is fostering learning through excellent teaching, individual attention, and scholarship, which develops, assesses, and disseminates good practice.
  • Research: The second is the application of theory to practice through applied research and scholarship, and the utilization of applied research to further learning in the classroom and through co-curricular activities.
  • Community: The third is advancing contemporary practice and creating learning opportunities by contributing to business and economic development of the community.

Goals

  • Engage in a regular planning process, regularly review the mission of the Goddard School, establish goals, and allocate resources in accordance with the plan.
  • Attract undergraduate students consistent with the University Mission and attract MBA students with outstanding academic qualities and leadership potential.
  • Continuously improve curricula and assess student learning.
  • Foster student placement and cultivate employer relations.
  • Foster the faculty’s ability to conduct basic, applied, and instructional research and support the dissemination of research efforts.
  • Attain external support and recognition for the school.

College-Wide Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates from the School of Business & Economics will be able to:

  • Communicate effectively and analyze and present quantitative information.
  • Competently use current information technology and keep pace with changing technology.
  • Have mastered the key competencies of their major discipline.
  • Pursue meaningful, post-graduate employment or to pursue further education at the graduate level.
  • Advance to positions of increasing responsibility.
  • Manage their own lifelong careers and advance to positions of leadership.

Advising

The Goddard School of Business has one advisor with the faculty and staff advising majors within each department. For more specific information on advising in each department, see the individual department self studies in Appendix XIII. In this college, all departments have a staff advisor. In two departments, faculty advisors are available. Other departments also involve the secretary and chair in advising procedures.

Budget

In addition to legislative appropriations, we are supported by endowments, externally funded grants and gifts, and course fees. We also raise funds through an annual golf tournament.

Reports for the departments and programs within the Goddard School of Business are found in Appendix XIII.

Jerry and Vickie Moyes College of Education

College Mission and Goals
Mission

The Jerry and Vickie Moyes College of Education is committed to developing and maintaining healthy and responsible individuals, families, and schools in a global and diverse society through roles related to the preparation and support of practitioners and educators, service to the campus and community, and the discovery and advancement of knowledge. Our purpose is two-fold. The first is to provide professional programs and personal growth experiences for the preparation of undergraduate students to serve in a variety of settings: 1) public schools, business, industry, and government; 2) career and personal roles related to marriage, family, and young children; and 3) professions involved in promoting health and enhancing human performance.

The second is to provide courses for graduate students that extend the professional knowledge, skills, and attitudes of educators, including those in schools, business, industry, and higher education.

Goals

  • Work with departments in the alignment of department, college, and university outcomes.
  • Continue to strengthen the assessment process with particular emphasis on moving to outcome-based assessment in all program areas.
  • Complete an evaluation process with each department chair.

College-Wide Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates from the College of Education will demonstrate:

  • Mastery of the essential knowledge and skills related to their respective major or minor
  • Appropriate dispositions with regard to professional behavior, ethics, diversity, and respect for self and others
  • Knowledge of health and wellness issues, an understanding of how this knowledge applies to program planning, and the impact of this knowledge on the changing world
  • The ability to utilize appropriate technologies
  • Creative and critical thinking skills in real-world situations
  • Application of appropriate assessment and evaluation tools and techniques
  • Lifelong learning attributes

Budget

In addition to legislative appropriations, we are supported by endowments, externally funded grants and gifts, and course fees. The school’s endowment commitment totals almost $7,000,000, which is to be used to supplement funding of our academic mission. Tuition, fees, USDA food grants, and Head Start also fund the Melba S. Lehner Children’s School.

Advising

The Jerry and Vickie Moyes College of Education has three full-time advisors and one part-time advisor.

In this college, all departments have a staff advisor. In two departments, faculty advisors are available. Other departments also involve the secretary and chair in advising procedures.

Appendix XIV contains the reports for the departments and programs within the Moyes College of Education.

Dr. Ezekiel R. Dumke College of Health Professions

College Mission and Goals
Mission

The Weber State University Dr. Ezekiel R. Dumke College of Health Professions, in cooperation with affiliated clinical facilities and other departments on campus, offers an expanding program for the education and training of health care professionals. The programs emphasize an integration of basic sciences, discipline-specific skills and knowledge, clinical experiences, and liberal arts, which enable the graduate to make a maximum contribution to patient care as a member of the health care team.

Through the organization of the health science educational programs in one college, a common core curriculum is operational which fosters the team concept of health care and the integration and application of the basic biomedical sciences to meet patient needs.

Goals

  • Further improve the visibility of the Dumke College of Health Professions
  • Maintain the most current technology available
  • Increase the number of upper-division students in the college
  • Increase funding available to the Dumke College of Health Professions and its individual departments
  • Increase faculty scholarship endeavors
  • Remain in the forefront as a leader of online distance learning in the health professions.

Advising

We have an Academic Advising Center liaison as well as two full-time college advisors (one with a 12-month appointment and one with a 9-month appointment). We also have an advising secretary and several student workers. Advising occurs by two different processes, depending on whether the student has been accepted into one of our programs:

Students who have not yet been accepted go to our Office of Admissions Advisement (staffed as noted above). Here they are advised, their transcript is evaluated, and articulation issues are discussed, (such as what previous courses satisfy current requirements). The Admissions Advisement Office assists throughout the application process and ultimately collects student applications and forwards those to the appropriate program.

Faculty in those programs advises students who have been accepted into DCHP programs. In most programs, faculty is assigned specific advisees. Our nursing program, as of March 2003, has its own advisor to assist nursing faculty with their large number of students. In addition to standard advising duties, all advisors are careful to provide off-campus students with services that are equivalent to those received by on-campus students.

College-Wide Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Dumke College will:

  • Be respectful of all colleagues and patients regardless of ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.
  • Maintain the highest ethical standards, personal integrity, and compassion in the practice of their profession.
  • Demonstrate basic competence in their specific professions including cognitive and psychomotor skills, critical thinking, and a commitment to lifelong learning.
  • Be capable of working in a collegial manner with all members of the health care team as well as patients and their families.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge and judgment necessary to become leaders in their respective professions.
  • Have excellent personal, integrative, written, and oral communication skills.

Budget

In addition to state legislative appropriations, we are supported by federal appropriations, student fees, student lab fees, private, corporate, and governmental donations, internal and external grants, and endowments.

Appendix XV contains the program reports for the departments and programs within the Dr. Ezekiel R. Dumke College of Health Professions.

College of Science

College Mission and Goals
Mission

The College of Science has as its highest priority the goal of providing the best education possible for all of our students, including those enrolled in general education (QL, PS, LS, DV, and SI) courses, support courses, and major and minor courses. The College of Science also works very closely with many of its students who are obtaining majors and/or minors in the college by providing undergraduate research opportunities of high quality. Our students routinely present the results of their research at local, regional, national and even international conferences, and/or co-author publications with faculty in regional, national, or international journals.

The faculty in the College of Science are also strongly encouraged to be actively engaged in research and scholarly activities in their disciplines. As a result, many faculty have presented research results at professional meetings, published their work in prestigious, refereed journals, been engaged in grant writing, served as consultants, or written textbooks in their fields.

Budget Cuts

The College of Science is not without its significant challenges. The obvious challenge is significantly reduced funding in 2008 – 2009 due to the seriously weakened economy. This situation will be even worse in 2009 – 2010, and potentially catastrophic in 2010 – 2011. However, the possibility of increased enrollments and increased tuition may mitigate the impact somewhat.

Space Issues

The challenges associated with an aging Science Laboratory building continue to become more significant. Although Facilities Management is continuing to stay on top of many of the maintenance issues (including three water-line breaks in the past year), the inherent limitations of the building are affecting faculty productivity and undergraduate research. Departments are pointing out the significant challenges in finding areas for research and even places to install new instrumentation. For example, the installation of the new scanning electron microscope that arrived this spring necessitated the division of a space previously dedicated to an adjunct and visiting faculty office into a space half the size; the other half became a new, albeit very small, additional research space. The College of Science offers a comprehensive array of courses, programs, and undergraduate degrees encompassing the biological sciences, earth sciences, physical sciences, and mathematics.

Courses are offered through three life science departments: Botany, Microbiology, and Zoology; three physical sciences departments: Chemistry, Geosciences, and Physics; and the department of mathematics. Programs are available in four undergraduate curricular offering categories: Professional, Science Education, Mathematics Education, and general education.

Goals

  • Attract, hire, and retain high-caliber faculty
  • Support and reward faculty activity and achievement
  • Attract, retain, and graduate high quality students
  • Improve instruction through better lab equipment and appropriate new technologies
  • Support and encourage student research
  • Gain better financial support
  • Obtain space and the facilities which are needed to accomplish our goals
  • Improve faculty and staff salaries
  • Develop and enhance community relationships and partnerships
  • Improve the quality and effectiveness of recruiting, advising, and placing of students
  • Place greater emphasis on the use of scientific knowledge to make the world a better place
  • Assess programs, improve curriculum, and track graduates
  • Assist with the national effort to significantly improve the quality of science and mathematics education which is taking place in the public and private schools, K-12
  • Address the needs of the developmental mathematics program in a systemic way

College-Wide Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates from the College of Science will be able to demonstrate:

  • A strong understanding of the discipline in which they major
  • A high-level ability to solve problems
  • Appropriate laboratory understanding and skills in the courses required for their majors
  • Critical thinking skills and abilitie
  • Effective communication skills
  • Effective skills in the use of technology, including computers

Advising

The College of Science has a part-time general advisor who assists students in this college, primarily regarding general education. In the majority of departments in the college, the chairs advise students regarding majors and minors programs. In addition, in some departments, students are assigned advisors in specialty areas; for instance, in the physics department, a faculty member advises teaching majors, and in the geosciences and zoology departments, students are assigned advisors based on pre-professional, career, or other special interests.

Budget

In addition to legislative appropriations, we are supported by student fees; private, corporate, and governmental donations; internal and external grants; and receipts from the Ott Planetarium.

Appendix XVI contains the reports for the departments and programs within the College of Science.

College of Social & Behavioral Sciences

College Mission and Goals
Mission

The College of Social & Behavioral Sciences provides several avenues to academic, professional, and vocational competence. Besides specific courses preparing students for a broad variety of occupational categories, general education classes furnish an extensive breadth of knowledge and a keen appreciation for moral, intellectual, and aesthetic values. Although stressing breadth of education, curricula of the college afford enough specialization and career education to prepare students for enrollment in professional schools and graduate programs or for participation in various occupational classifications immediately upon graduation.

COLLEGE GOALS for the 2008-2009 year including the following:

  1. Continue efforts on program and general education assessment
  2. Continue to improve advisement in the college
  3. Promote a learner/student centered educational assessment
  4. Evaluate and improve major and minor offerings in the evenings and off campus
  5. Identify areas for online courses and develop quality online courses and programs
  6. Build more upper division hours into the programs of the college
  7. Strengthen efforts in Davis County
  8. Continued efforts improving technology in the college including multi media centers and classrooms, training faculty concerning new technology, and the acquisition of equipment to keep faculty and staff up to date
  9. Assistance and mentoring for those in the rank and tenure process
  10. Continued activity and effort in the area of Development
  11. Efforts to have budget cuts have minimal effects on the programs of the college
  12. Assist faculty in professional areas including teaching, scholarship, and service

Advising Process

The College of Social & Behavioral Sciences has a full-time general college advisor who assists students in the college. Since the Student Success Center does not advise any student once he/she has declared a major, the college advisor is responsible for taking care of the general academic needs of students who have declared their major in one of the departments housed within the college. This individual handles everything from waivers, transfer credit, general education and university requirements. The advising strategy for the college is two-fold. The college advisor handles all the general education/university requirements and the program faculty advisor works with the specific major or minor requirement and graduate school admissions.

Faculty and Staff

  • Provide training in multimedia to faculty and staff
  • Continue to acquire technology equipment to keep faculty and staff up to date
  • Continue efforts to hire quality faculty and staff within budget constraints
  • Assess ways to assist faculty and staff with professional development
  • Fund Raising
  • Continue and evaluate fund-raising efforts
  • Evaluate fund-raising success and failures with an eye on improving development efforts in the college

College-Wide Student Learning Outcomes

  • Graduates from the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences will gain and/or increase:
  • Appreciation for the variety of cultural forms and ways of thinking throughout the United States and the world
  • Appreciation for cultural similarities and differences in diverse societies
  • Vocabulary and knowledge related to the various disciplines of the social sciences
  • Knowledge which will assist them in comparing and contrasting individuals, societies, ideas, and issues
  • Understanding of the use and development of such learning tools as maps, graphs, charts, historical documents, primary sources, laws, and statistics
  • Knowledge and appreciation of past and present societies and cultures including the diversity of human experience
  • Basic abilities in critical thinking and reasoning
  • Abilities to write, speak, and communicate about issues in the social and behavioral sciences
  • Ability to distinguish between fantasy, myth, folklore, and reality
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to evaluate the ideas in major social and political debates among scholars and the general public
  • Experience in doing research and writing about research

Appendix XVII contains reports for the departments and programs within the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences.

Interdisciplinary Studies Programs

The Bachelor of Integrated Studies and the Honors Program report to the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and receive funds from the Office of Academic Affairs.

Appendix XVIII contains the Bachelor of Integrated Studies and Honors Program reports.

Continuing Education

Credit and Special Learning Activities (2.G., 2.H)
I. Purpose/Description
Overview (2.G.1)

We have a strong commitment to lifelong learning and serving the educational needs of Utah by:

  • Helping students adapt throughout their lives to a changing world
  • Preparing students for immediate employment or further study
  • Offering innovative and conventional instruction as well as public service activities
  • Developing learning-oriented partnerships with the community

We fulfill these mission priorities by offering credit and non-credit courses and programs in a variety of formats and locations. In sum, we provide lifelong learning opportunities to time and place-bound students, anywhere at any time.

Organizational and Administrative Structure (2.G.1, 2.G.2, 2.G.3, 2.G.4)

We are a multi-campus university that offers a variety of continuing education and special learning activities in numerous locations and formats. We have multiple physical campuses, various university centers, and a strong Internet and distance learning presence.

WSU Davis has one building that was completed in the fall of 2003. WSU Davis does not meet the definition of a branch campus as outlined by NWCCU criteria. This campus does not have its own faculty, administrative organization, budget, or hiring authority. The WSU Davis director, who also serves as Vice Provost, reports to the provost, and the faculty and staff who are employed on that campus report to their division chairs.

Administratively, all continuing education and special learning activities are housed within the Division of Academic Affairs and faculty in existing university departments are responsible for the curriculum.

Continuing Education and Community Services (CE/CS) serves a facilitating role by assisting academic departments with hiring faculty and scheduling courses:

  • At our Ogden campus and in local public high schools in the evening
  • At WSU Davis (in conjunction with the WSU Davis director), university centers, and on other Utah college campuses during the day and evening
  • Via the Internet and distance learning and at off-campus locations at work places CE/CS is also responsible for managing noncredit offerings in a variety of locations and formats

Mission Statement

Continuing Education and Community Services Mission Statement:

Continuing Education and Community Services provides leadership in the development and delivery of quality lifelong learning opportunities that respond to community needs through strategic partnerships employing resources of the university and partners in a fiscally prudent manner.

Funding (2.G.2)

Most of the funding for our continuing education and special activities comes from legislatively appropriated monies (tax funds and student tuition). These funds support courses and programs that are considered budget-related because they are the basis for our legislative allocations.

In addition, continuing education and special learning activities operate with "self-support" funding that is generated when students pay for courses or programs that are not funded by state-appropriated monies.

Assessment (2.G.1)

Assessment occurs in two main ways for our continuing education and special learning activities. First, we solicit student feedback on the CE/CS-scheduled courses they complete, including face-to-face and online courses, both credit and non-credit. This feedback is provided to both the course instructor and to the chair of the academic department that houses the course. We have paid particular attention to gathering student feedback from our online courses and programs since this is a growing and important part of our university. Faculty helped design a form to gather student feedback on the quality of instruction in online courses as well as feedback on the quality of the technical support provided by our online staff. We now cater to college and/or department level needs for online assessment and are able to provide unique assessment instruments at either level.

Academic Credit Courses and Programs (2.G.5, 2.G.6, 2.G.7, 2.G.8, 2.G.9, 2.G.10, 2.G.11, 2.G.12, Policy A-6, Policy A-7, Policy 2.3, Policy 2.4, Policy 2.6)

Approximately 44% of the budget-related student credit hours and full-time equivalent (FTE) student enrollments at Weber State are generated by CE/CS-scheduled courses. CE/CS-scheduled and/or funded credit-classes are taught at numerous locations (WSU Ogden, WSU Davis, Hill Air Force Base, university centers, other college campuses, local high schools, abroad), at various times (day, evening, weekends), with multiple delivery methods (face-to-face, online, independent study/correspondence, interactive audio/video), and to different audiences (high school students, post-high school degree and non-degree seeking students).

We do not lend our accreditation prestige or authority to any non-regionally accredited organization for any of our credit offerings regardless of the location or modality of these offerings. WSU is in compliance with NWCCU Policy A-6 Contractual Relationships with Organizations Not Regionally Accredited.

The awarding of credit was described earlier in Standard 2; credit attached to courses scheduled by CE/CS is awarded according to established Utah State Board of Regents and WSU policies and guidelines; these guidelines are consistent with NWCCU standards. For face-to-face courses, a minimum of 15 contact hours is required for one hour of credit. Credit may also be awarded as a result of successful performance on standardized exams (CLEP, AP), on special departmental examinations, and by petition.

When credit is measured by outcomes alone or other nontraditional means, the demonstrated student learning is believed to be comparable in breadth, depth, and quality to the results of traditional instructional practice. (http://documents.weber.edu/ppm/4-21a.htm) WSU is in compliance with NWCCU policy 2.3 Credit for Prior Experiential Learning.

Tuition, Fees, and Refunds (2.G.6)

The budget-related tuition and fees that are attached to CE/CS-scheduled credit courses are consistent with Utah State Board Regents guidelines. Self-support course tuition and fees vary depending on the cost of delivering the courses or programs. We follow established institutional guidelines for refunding tuition and fees for both budget-related and self-support courses and programs.

Distance Delivery of Courses and Programs (2.G.5, 2.G.10, Policy 2.6)

We offer external degree programs via traditional distance education delivery methods and via the internet. Our distance delivery and online academic programs are established and approved by faculty, have a clearly defined purpose, and are consistent with our institutional mission and purpose. Traditional CE delivered courses have been modified for Internet delivery. This improves communication and turn-around between students and instructors. Each course and program complies with NWCCU Policy 2.6 Distance Delivery of Courses, Certificate and Degree Programs. In each instance:

  • These were existing degree programs at WSU at the time we sought approval to offer them online or via distance education.
  • The curriculum was designed and has ongoing review by our faculty.
  • The courses are designed to promote optimal faculty/student interaction.
  • We offer training and support services for faculty to develop and teach distance delivery and online courses. Of special note is a program developed in 2006 to provide experience online instructors with advanced technology skills with a focus on pedagogical application. Cohorts of faculty participate for an entire academic year to learn about proper application of technology and to share experiences and best practices.
  • We have existing copyright policies in place that clarify intellectual property ownership and fair use practices.
  • We provide student support services for distance and online students, including admissions, registration, advising, and tutoring (See Standard 3).
  • We provide student access to extensive online library resources (http://library.weber.edu/ -see Standard 5).
  • We have current and appropriate technology to support our online course offerings, and this technology is largely funded through the use of distance education student fees.
  • We have ongoing assessment processes in place for distance education and online programs.

To provide additional clarification on our expectations for online and hybrid courses, our faculty have developed a document entitled "Standards of Good Practice and Review of Online/Hybrid Courses." This document contains criteria that must be met as online/hybrid courses are developed, including use of a/an:

  • Common home page format
  • Complete syllabus
  • Course orientation module
  • Interactive learning community
  • Timely feedback to students
  • Appropriate electronic media
  • Course equivalence with face-to-face courses

As each online course is developed, it is reviewed and approved by a faculty committee for online delivery. This doesn't occur universally; faculty are encouraged to have their course peer-reviewed, but there are no measures to mandate this.

For our independent study and correspondence courses, we also have a faculty handbook that contains standards of good practice for developing and teaching these courses. These courses are being redeveloped from the traditional paper/pencil format to the online format. They are distinctive from regular online courses only in their open entry format and six month completion requirement.

WSU is in compliance with NWCCU policy 2.6 Distance Delivery of Courses, Certificate and Degree Programs.

Study Abroad (2.G.12, Policy 2.4, Policy A- 6, Policy A-7)

Our study abroad programs are budget-related, credit-generating academic experiences that include travel to another country that is organized and/or sponsored by one of our academic departments and is related to a university-approved program of study.

Our study abroad programs meet the same academic standards, award similar credits, and are subject to the same institutional controls as are academic programs offered on our campuses. A proposal to offer a study abroad program must be submitted to and approved by the relevant academic department chair and dean before it can be offered. Study abroad manuals are available online and in print for our faculty and students to ensure that these programs follow university policies (http://departments.weber.edu/ce/studyabroad/).

Specifically, our study abroad guidelines require these programs to:

  • Have a clear academic focus and purpose
  • Be led by one of our current faculty members
  • State expected student learning outcomes and assessment criteria
  • Specify required student selection criteria
  • Provide a pre-departure orientation and debriefing at the conclusion of the program
  • Identify risk management issues and an emergency management plan
  • Describe the budget and payment and refund policies

Non-credit Programs and Courses (2.H.1, 2.H.2, 2.H.3, Policy A-9)

In addition to providing a wide array of credit courses and programs through CE/CS, we also offer multiple non-credit courses and programs. The majority of our non-credit activities are self-supported (versus budget-related), and they are managed by CE/CS. A small number of non-credit programs are offered through our Small Business Center and the Technology Assistance Center. Prior to offering a non-credit course or program, the respective department must approve the course and instructor.

These activities include professional development programs, conferences, workshops, and travel programs. The focus of professional development programs is to help individuals improve their job performance or advance their careers through instruction in such content areas as customer service, human resource management, leadership and supervision, and manufacturing and quality control.

Conferences and workshops are often connected with our academic departments, and include our Families Alive Conference, National Undergraduate Literature Conference, Western Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, and Storytelling Festival. Our travel programs (as distinguished from our study abroad programs) are designed primarily to provide non-credit travel opportunities for community members. These programs may be associated with an academic department, our Alumni Relations Office, or an external vendor.

II. Strengths and Challenges
Strengths include:

  • Strong role played by off-campus programs in our overall budget-related enrollments
  • Growth in distance learning and online degree programs
  • CE/CS is respected regionally and nationally
  • In-house developed, secure testing application that supports both online and traditional courses.

Challenges include:

  • Determining the future course management system platform that will best serve the needs of faculty and students, for online, hybrid, and tech-enhanced courses 
  • Non-credit program student data
  • Intellectual property policies that directly relate to online courses
  • Outcomes assessment procedures

III. Next Steps/ Action Items

  • Review of course management system options and determination of next steps
  • Create online course intellectual property policies
  • Implement procedures to more accurately capture non-credit student data
  • Refine outcomes assessment procedures within CE/CS