College Committees – Undergraduate Studies – End of Year Report
Chair of Committee: Sam Nutile
Committee Members: Jalaa Hoblos, Travis Yates, Erin Dick, Grace Galinato, Ruth Pflueger, Xiawa Wu, Ying Cao, Frederique Marty
Meeting Dates: 10/22/2021, 1/28/2022, 4/15/2022
Charges: (Include the status/progress of each charge)
1. Review and recommend teaching and advising award recipients. (Standing Charge)
- Dr. Ihad Ragai nominated for Guy W. Wilson Excellence in Academic Advising Award.
- Dr. Lynne Beaty nominated for Council of Fellows Excellence in Teaching Award.
2. Work with Student Life to brainstorm student retention ideas.
- Members of the Undergraduate Studies Committee (Sam Nutile, Travis Yates, Jalaa Hoblos, Erin Dick, Grace Galinato, Ying Cao, Xiawa Wu) met with Kelly Shrout of Student Life on January 28 to brainstorm ideas for student retention.
- We discussed the means by which Student Life works with students to aid in retention and the role of faculty in this process.
- Student life has noticed retention issues related to COVID but changing demographics were responsible for reduced class sizes prior to COVID.
- The CARE Team associated with student life works with students that have been flagged as having a difficult time adjusting to college life.
- Student life is also starting First 6 Weeks initiative that is focused on helping first- and second-year students adjust to life in college.
- Kelly Shrout pointed out the importance of Starfish flags in identifying students that may be struggling in their courses.
- Through Starfish, faculty have the ability to flag students that may be struggling or failing to participate in their courses.
- These flags are sent to Student Life and the Learning Resource Center (LRC), which then reach out to the students to provide assistance as needed.
- The importance of faculty in this process cannot be understated. It was determined; however, that many emails are already sent regarding early and mid-semester progress reports in Starfish and additional emails are unlikely to improve faculty participation.
- Sharing information through word of mouth may be a more important mechanism by which to improve faculty participation in Starfish.
- Kelly also shared that many students feel frustrated by the lack of consistent use of Canvas by faculty.
- Some faculty use Canvas, while others do not. Those faculty that do use Canvas may set up their Canvas pages differently, which can cause confusion and frustration among students.
- Dr. Qi Dunsworth provides Canvas workshops through CTI, which may help faculty that do not use Canvas.
- The possibility of implementing department standards for Canvas use and formatting was discussed as a potential solution.
3. In conjunction with Ruth Pflueger and LRC, revisit and publish the statement of good writing.
- In progress.
- Dan Schank and Ruth Pflueger completed the statement of good writing. It remains unclear where and how this statement will be implemented.
4. Continue working with ACPC and begin coordinating with Academic Advising Committee to finalize plans for General Education Checklist forms for each department to help with advising students on revised requirements.
- The Undergraduate Studies Committee discussed this charge on 10/22/2021 and it was decided that no further action was required. As the new general education requirements have now been in place for the past 4 years, faculty have become adjusted to the new requirements and ample resources already exist to facilitate faculty in advising students in courses required to complete the General Education curriculum.
5. Work with Academic Advising Committee and School Directors to discuss the possibility of creating a position for a General Education Coordinator to help with advising students on revised requirements.
6. Develop a short training for Gen Ed Education Coordinator to ensure these individuals feel comfortable advising students on required Gen Ed courses.
- These charges were deemed unnecessary based on the conclusions arrived at for Charge 4. The logistics of the additional faculty role within each department were too complicated, and the role is already filled in many departments by the Undergraduate Coordinator.
Suggested Charge(s) For Next Year:
- Review and recommend teaching and advising award recipients (Standing Charge).
- Work with individual departments to help standardize Canvas use by faculty.
- Work with individual departments to increase Starfish use and disseminate information on how Starfish is used in retention of students by LRC and Student Life.