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PROGRAMS COMMITTEE

Minutes of
March 16th, 2007

MEMBERS PRESENT: Rita Arras, Gary Denue for Jay Starratt, Daniel Dooly, Steve Hansen, Jean Harrison, Shunfu Hu, John Hunt, Steve Kerber, Steve McCommas, Michael Shaw, Chair, Duff Wrobbel.

MEMBERS EXCUSED: Scott Belobrajdic, Stephanie McAndrews, Michael Moore, Barbara O'Donnell, Allen Otsuka, Melissa Thomaczek

GUESTS: Roger Boyd, Assistant Professor, Social Work
Jackie Clement, Graduate Program Director, Nursing
Keqin Gu, Chair, Mechanical Engineering
Christa Johnson, Assistant Dean, Graduate School
Myunghee Kim, Assistant Professor, Political Science
Yuliang Liu, Graduate Program Director, Instructional Design Learning Technologies
Majid Molki, Graduate Program Director, Mechanical Engineering
Linda Morice, Graduate Program Director, Educational Administration
Xudong Yu, Graduate Program Director, Computer Science

I. Announcements

There were no announcements.

II. Minutes of January 19th, 2007

The minutes were accepted as submitted.

III. Form 91A - Social Work

The program wishes to change its retention standard from "one C grade and below 3.0 GPA" to "Below 3.0 GPA." The rationale is that receiving one "C" grade was "too onerous a burden; as long as the GPA remains 3.0 or better students should be able to proceed." The retention standards are not listed in the graduate catalog.

Duff Wrobbel made a motion to approve the request; Rita Arras seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

IV. Form 91A - Nursing: Nurse Educator MS

The graduate program wishes to add two new courses, PAPA 412 (SPSS) and 420 (Quantitative Analysis), and eliminate the 595/599 (thesis option). It also rearranged the content in courses that were kept active for this degree. The requirement of 36 credit hours remained the same.

Rita Arras made a motion to approve the request; Shunfu Hu seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

V. Form 91A - Nursing: Nurse Educator Post-Master's Certificate

The graduate program wishes to change the Post-Master's Certificate to reflect similar changes in the MS program. For consistency, the 13 hours of core courses required for the certificate and the 10 hours of advanced practice core courses must be taken or have been completed in the master's degree program.

Steve McCommas made a motion to approve the request; Shunfu Hu seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

VI. Form 91A - Educational Administration: Superintendent

Currently the Specialist Degree in Educational Administration (EdSD) consists of eleven 3-hour courses, two of which are electives. The program wishes to replace the electives with two required courses, EDAD 563 (School and Community Relations) and EDAD 573 (Educational Facilities Planning and Management). These courses are vital to the training of students pursuing the superintendent track.

John Hunt made a motion to approve the request; Steve McCommas seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

VII. Form 91A - Instructional Design and Learning Technologies Name Change

The graduate program wishes to change its name back to Instructional Technology to take advantage of marketing opportunities, since Instructional Technology is the most popular program name in this field.

Shunfu Hu made a motion to approve the request; Duff Wrobbel seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

VIII. Program Review Update: Instructional Design and Learning Technologies

The graduate program responded to four issues that arose during its regular program review cycle in the spring of 2004. Those issues were: 1) What has the program done to substantially increase the standards and rigor of the plan of study? 2) The graduate program needs to clarify its purpose and goals; 3) What can the program do to better monitor the quality of instruction by adjuncts? and 4) What is the program's assessment of the new curriculum it implemented in the Fall of 2003?

The IDLT program increased rigor by completing an audit of all courses based on "The International Society for Technology in Education's Technology Facilitator eight standards." The faculty also wished to ensure that content was consistent "across various instructors." The program also clarified the purpose and goal that it would prepare individuals for a variety of instructional development and technology-related positions in education, business, and industry. The graduate program also met NCATE report requirements, and improved its Educational Technologies Option. It revised the student handbook and tried to increase enrollment with more assertive marketing strategies. The graduate program also clarified issues related to admission and retention, and balanced out theories and applications. The program also moved its evening course start time from 4:30 to 5:30 to help out evening students. The program solved the problem of monitoring adjunct faculty by ceasing the hiring of adjuncts. All courses are now taught by program area faculty. The graduate program has used surveys as assessment tools, as well as a second assessment rubric with a 5-point scale for the new program. The results indicate that the IDLT program "seems successful." Reasons include "many hands-on projects and professional collaborations between students and faculty."

John Hunt made a motion to accept the report; Shunfu Hu seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

IX. Program Review Report: Computer Science

The subcommittee, comprised of Stephen Kerber, Chair, Shunfu Hu, and John Hunt, regards the graduate program as worthwhile, productive, of high quality, and possessed of considerable potential for improvement and growth. It recommends the continuation of the program and review on the normal schedule.

Its findings indicated that although students are learning, there is room for improvement. A newly revised assessment plan has been implemented to help work toward this goal. Changes made since the program's inception include a new graduate seminar course, CS 500, which as been established to introduce "students to the faculty and their research interests, to the norms and practice of the computer science discipline, to ethical issues, and to the entire process of developing a research project." There seems to be sufficient rigor in the course content. Most students elect to use the Topic Paper (CS 598) as the capstone experience, which includes writing a paper 4,000 to 6,000 words long, presenting the paper orally, and undergoing an oral examination. The graduate students have sufficient immersion in the discipline through their course work and projects. The laboratory access is good, however, there is no lab that is dedicated to the use of computer science graduate students. The graduate program director handles advisement of all graduate students. Regarding demand for the program, enrollment has been "rather volatile." Faculty expect enrollment to stabilize at twenty to thirty students per year. The majority of students are international students. Seventy-five percent of the faculty are either actively or moderately engage in research, however twenty-five percent are not engaged in research at all.

The subcommittee had three recommendations:

1. Recruitment.

The committee suggests that the program continue to take steps to formulate and to implement a recruitment strategy tailored to the reality that most computer science graduate students are international in origin and come to SIUE from universities/departments whose academic practices, standards, and rankings are sometimes obscure to us.

2. Data about graduates.

The committee suggests that the program continue to take steps to formulate and implement a strategy designed to maintain contact with and gather feedback from graduates.

3. Employers.

The committee suggests that the program take steps to formulate and implement a strategy designed to maintain contact with and to gather feedback about graduates.

Dean Sevim objected to the word "obscure" in recommendation #1. The subcommittee agreed to remove it. Regarding the committee's assertion that the School of Engineering values conference presentations more than published articles, Sevim stated that that is not true. After discussion, the subcommittee agreed to write "Some faculty perceive …" at the beginning of that comment on page 4 to clarify that the subcommittee was trying to represent those faculty who were concerned about this issue, rather that stating something that they concluded on their own.

Rita Arras made a motion to accept the report as amended; Dan Dooly seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

X. Program Review Report: Mechanical Engineering

The subcommittee, which consisted of Michael E. Moore, Chair, Melissa Thomeczek, and Myunghee Kim, felt that the graduate program has a "clearly defined and rigorous core of courses." About 80% of students are from India, and there are "quite a few female students in the program." The number of applications to the program has dropped sharply during the past four years, however that may be due to the strengthening of admission requirements. The department has a limited number of assistantships and has begun to use internships in industry to provide some financial support for students' research projects. The graduate program "appears to be doing a good job in the entire range of SIUE's "Goals of Graduate Education."" There is considerable support for the graduate program from the library. There appear to be some problems with advisement. Although the "qualifications of current faculty are exceptional," the subcommittee feels that the department needs to hire another one or two additional faculty with fluid mechanics expertise. The program "has achieve a good balance between" teaching theory and practice.

The subcommittee had six recommendations:

Recommendation #1: The department should try to find a better balance in the distribution of teaching duties. Some faculty had very high numbers of students. Although there is a need for broader coverage and more courses, the faculty is already stretched thin

Recommendation #2: There is a pressing need for new faculty, a problem noted on every hand: by the Program Director, the faculty and students. The discipline of any new hire should complement and expand the current course offerings. There is an imbalance in the program area between fluid and solid mechanics. The hiring of one or two additional faculty members with fluid mechanics background would balance that program area and hopefully attract a wider range of students.

Recommendation #3: The department might further emphasize advisement. A student handbook might assist in the orientation of students; however the program appears to be streamlined and easy to understand.

Recommendation #4: Looking farther into the future, the addition of a Ph.D. program might open new areas of funding, with a corresponding increase of internships, assistantships; and further student (and faculty) research opportunities. Connections to industry and sponsored research may prove to be a more immediate and practical solution of the need for support and practical application of student research.

Recommendation #5: The presence of experimental research equipment (i.e. photo stress optical technique) would be a significant draw for the program, but may not be possible due to space and financial constraints. Currently, there is insufficient money for maintenance or replacement of equipment. Additional monies to assist in replacing and maintaining existing equipment would help improve the attractiveness of the program. During the program review process, it was suggested that a tuition surcharge might be a feasible way to deal with this issue.

Recommendation #6: The addition of Graduate Teaching Assistantships could help lure more high quality students to the ME program. Although the program does currently have assistantships, they are not competitive with other universities. An increase TA budget would help the ME program compete with other institutions and lure higher quality students into their program.

In response to these issues, Professors Molki and Gu stated that the graduate program is working on item #1, the graduate faculty are hiring one new faculty member, and they will work on putting together an advisement handbook. Dean Hansen asked Professor Kim whether the request for new fluid mechanic specialists was to keep balance in the program or whether it was based on demand for the specialty. Kim replied that it was due to both faculty needs and due to a heavy workload of the current faculty. She added that there is an imbalance in the faculty load due to offering larger classes by fewer expert faculty in that field. The committee pointed out that there are mistakes in the table on page 6.

Jean Harrison made a motion to accept the report as amended; Shunfu Hu seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

XI. Old Business

There was no old business.

XII. New Business

There was no new business.

XIII. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 12:00 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stephen L. Hansen
Associate Provost for Research and
Dean, Graduate School

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