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PROGRAMS COMMITTEE

MINUTES

February 19th, 2010

MEMBERS PRESENT: Shakti Banwat, Scott Belobrajdic, Dean Cody for Linda Carlisle, Steffany Chleboun, Carole Frick, Jane Gillespie, Chair, Steve Hansen, John Hunt, Matthew Johnson, Urszula Ledzewicz, Michael Shaw, Greg Sierra, Ken Witt

MEMBERS EXCUSED: Laura Fowler, Valerie Yancey

GUESTS: Isaac Blankson, Chair, Speech Communication
Wai Cheah, Graduate Program Director, Speech Communication
Shelly Goebl-Parker, Assistant Professor, Art and Design
Eva Ferguson, Professor, Psychology
Joel Hardman, Graduate Program Director, English Language and Literature
Larry LaFond, Chair, English Language and Literature
Yuliang Liu, Associate Professor, Educational Leadership
Lynn Maurer, Associate Dean, Graduate School
Paul Rose, Chair, Psychology
Carl Springer, Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

I. Announcements

There were no announcements.

II. Minutes of January 22nd, 2010

Dean Cody made a motion to accept the minutes; Carole Frick seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

III. Program Review: Art Therapy Counseling

The program review committee consisted of Kathy Bushrow, Curriculum and Instruction, Dean Cody, Library Information Services, Eva Ferguson, Psychology, and Paul Rose (Chair), Psychology. Professor Rose summarized the program review results. Art Therapy Counseling is an excellent, resilient, and rigorous program by which the graduate students feel challenged. Recommendations from the Internal Review Report, written by the committee:

"Recommendation #1: Increase the size of the program faculty, with a minimum of one tenure-track Assistant Professor (PhD preferred so that this person can ably supervise student research projects) and preferably two. (Four full-time faculty would raise the level of critical and scholarly dialog to which students are exposed.) Running a graduate program with only two-tenure track faculty has detrimental effects on student learning (e.g., the amount and quality of supervision they receive for their research projects) and exposes the program to considerable risk (e.g., if one of the two faculty experiences a serious accident and must take a leave). Accreditation through the Council of Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs, which would add prestige to the program and help out-of-state students gain licensure, requires a minimum of three PhD-level faculty. For this reason it would be preferable to add two PhD-level faculty to the program, but the addition of one faculty member with sufficient research skills to supervise student research projects is crucial.

Recommendation #2: Enlist the support of faculty from outside the program for students' research project committees. The program director has noted that "the [student research project] committee is comprised of the director of the art therapy counseling program… and two other graduate art therapy faculty members who are either the Chair or second reader. Additional readers can be from other departments…" We can expect the quality of student research projects to improve as the number of program faculty grows and students receive more thorough supervision. However, even a program with three faculty will struggle without the occasional participation of committee members from outside the program.

Recommendation #3: Assess whether library resources are adequate or not and communicate with the library concerning any needs that become apparent during this assessment. Students expressed mixed opinions about available library resources and it is not clear whether the frustrations expressed (only by first-year students) arose from genuinely inadequate resources or the students' lack of experience.

Recommendation #4: Improve the space available for classes and other meetings with students and work toward a geographical reunion of the Art and Design department. The noise problems in the divided classroom are detrimental to student learning, as are classrooms left messy by students in other art programs. In addition, the last program review noted that the school dean and department chair should "work closely with the program director to eliminate the lingering perception of separation (physical and psychological) that still appears to trouble those associated with the Art Therapy Counseling program and the department faculty". Since the last review, no material progress has been made to reduce this separation."

Rose stated that the most important need was for at least one additional faculty member. Urszula Ledzewicz expressed concern that the three year graduate program is being run by only two faculty. Gussie Klorer explained that the graduate program is a three year sixty-hour program because of licensing and accreditation requirements. Admission to the program is extremely competitive. Currently, the graduate program has forty applications for ten openings. She added that the program has repeatedly requested a fourth faculty position. Klorer stated that the most difficult part of the heavy teaching load is in supervising research. Students work 1,000 hours in the field. Regarding the separation from the rest of the Art and Design department, Klorer said that the architects wish to add a wing to the Art and Design building to house the Art Therapy Counseling program as well as Art History and Art Education.

Steffany Chleboun asked about the discrepancy in needing doctorally-prepared faculty for accreditation as opposed to the expectations of hiring a new faculty member with a master's degree. Klorer said the reality is that the program will not be accredited because there are too few doctorally-prepared faculty. Belobrajdic asked if the program turns away qualified student applicants. Klorer replied that the program turns away six or seven qualified applicants each year because without more faculty they cannot manage more students. She added that they get applicants who choose SIUE over other institutions because of the program's strong reputation.

Stephen Hansen congratulated the internal review committee on a job well done. He said that the faculty in the graduate program are outstanding, and that Art Therapy Counseling is a very good program. He advised Klorer and Goebl-Parker not to disregard the possibility of obtaining Ph.D.-prepared faculty. He added that the Graduate School and SIUE should support and strengthen strong programs such as Art Therapy Counseling.

Mike Shaw made a motion to approve the report; Matthew Johnson seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

IV. Program Review: English

The program review committee consisted of Wai Cheah (Chair), Speech Communication, Juliet Kerico, Library Information Services, and Lynn Maurer, Political Science. The committee wrote in its internal review report, "Overall, the four specializations [in American and English Literature, Teaching of English as a Second Language, Teaching of Writing and Creative Writing] are dynamic programs that have ample enrollment, committed faculty with expertise, and active and eager students. The committee rates the Graduate Program in the Department of English Language and Literature as "Exemplary."" The committee had eight recommendations:

"Recommendation #1: Upon the approval of these changes [of the assessment plans], the new or revised assessment plans (including exit requirements) in affected programs should be communicated to the students to ensure success in the completion of degree requirements.

Recommendation #2: Given that students will likely change advisors during their course of study, the graduate faculty (in each specialization) must familiarize themselves with these changes to ensure consistent information is communicated to the advisees.

Recommendation #3: The A&EL program faculty may want to discuss whether it is desirable to convert certain electives to required courses. They should also explore the student desire for more course choice and earlier communication on the website regarding course offerings.

Recommendation #4: As there is some feeling among both faculty and students that rigor can be enhanced, the faculty should discuss ways to achieve this.

Recommendation #5: Hold faculty discussion regarding suggestions given by faculty in our interviews to provide more colloquia in Literature, require a practicum experience in TESL, and explore opportunities for student travel to professional conferences. We acknowledge that these discussions may already be underway.

Recommendation #6: The department chair should continue working with the Dean of the College through established procedures to prioritize requests for more SMART classrooms, and is encouraged to resubmit requests that are not granted.

Recommendation #7: The department as a whole should work with the chair to establish funding priorities for expanding opportunities for graduate student to engage in critical dialogue outside the classroom.

Recommendation #8: The committee recommends that the English department faculty increase contact with the Subject Librarian for the humanities to develop a prioritized list for purchasing more materials in these areas."

Larry LaFond stated that he was gratified by the findings and thanked the committee for their hard work. He said that enrollment is healthy, and that the recommendations are useful. Urszula Ledzewicz asked what students do after graduation. LaFond replied that they have had success in job placement. TESL graduates did well in job placement while TOW student did "very well." AEL is a tougher field to measure, but graduates have success getting into PhD programs. Joel Hardman added that a lot of English students are full time teachers seeking to improve their skills and secure advancement. Stephen Hansen asked whether any of the recommendations were essential to maintain the quality of the graduate program. LaFond replied that they need to replace Ron Schaefer in the TESL program. Professor Schaefer recently took an administrative appointment. The department also needs an additional TOW faculty member.

Mike Shaw made a motion to approve the report; John Hunt seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

V. Program Review: Speech Communication

The program review committee consisted of Susan Hume, Geography, Stacie Kirk, Special Education and Communication Disorders, and Yuliang Liu (Chair), Educational Leadership. Their recommendations are:

Recommendation #1. Review the impact of the recent program revisions implemented in Fall 2009. Effective Fall 2009, Speech Communication graduate program is implementing four important program changes mentioned in Section C. The committee thinks it will be beneficial to review the impact of the recent program revisions at least once a year. One faculty member even commented that this is a "Very awkward time for review due to so much ongoing transition right now."

Recommendation #2. Offer more 500 level courses in the Speech Communication graduate program. Currently, the program does not have many electives for students to take. Some students seek courses specifically to fit their own plan of study. For instance, one student commented "At this point, I would just say that more classes dealing specifically with interpersonal communications would be great." One faculty member also commented that "Lack of available courses for students to take who have come from undergraduate program - many have taken some courses already, especially students interested in area of Public Relations (PR) - need to take initiative to bridge the gap to fill in the number of courses that students need without the duplication of courses taken as undergraduates."

Recommendation #3. Survey graduate students at the conclusion of SPC500 Seminar in Communication Theory and through the graduate program's exit survey regarding whether they received sufficient exposure to a wide range of theory in the discipline to enable them to complete their degree. Graduate students who did not receive undergraduate degrees from SIUE in speech communication have expressed the need to read and discuss more theory in the SPC500 Seminar in Communication Theory course. This is despite the fact that students who enter the program without an undergraduate degree in Speech Communication are required to take SPC330 Communication Theory prior to SPC500. Also, currently there is the assumption that a student who enters the graduate program with an undergraduate degree in Speech Communication from another university has sufficient grounding in the discipline's theory. This may or may not be the case. Therefore, more information is needed about graduate students' perspectives on their theoretical grounding. The graduate faculty can use this additional information from students to decide whether the faculty needs to review the curriculum for SPC500 Seminar in Communication Theory and make any adjustments. Ultimately, all of the program's graduate students need comparable knowledge of the discipline's theories in preparation for pursuing a thesis or taking written examinations.

Recommendation #4. Continue to encourage grantsmanship among faculty. This recommendation is two-fold: 1) doing this will promote the value of internal and external applications as scholarly activity and 2) the ability to apply for and receive research funding may provide additional support for Graduate Assistants. While the department has noted that there is an increase in the scholarly activity of faculty, there continued to be a need to encourage and support the writing and submission of both internal and external grant applications. In doing so, not only would the importance of this work become a stronger area within the department, but it may also serve to provide additional support for existing and future Graduate Assistants, as this was an additional area of improvement noted across several faculty during the interview process.

Recommendation #5. Collaborate with the College of Arts and Science to develop a needs assessment to demonstrate the need for faculty with an emphasis in the area of Public Relations. Both faculty and students identified the need for additional faculty with an emphasis in the area of Public Relations. However, it was noted that there is great difficulty in recruiting qualified individuals due to the large discrepancy in salary offered in the field and that offered in academia. Therefore, to further establish the need and challenges the department faces in filling this gap, a needs assessment should be compiled to demonstrate rationale for a possible increase in salary, starting position (associate, full professor) or other incentives that may be offered to potential candidates.

Recommendation #6. Provide more real world work opportunities for students who came directly from the undergraduate Speech Communication majors at SIUE. Some students who came from the undergraduate Speech Communication majors at SIUE expressed that they don't have work experiences and it's not easy for them to apply theories into real world situations. One faculty member also commented that they should "increase faculty relationships/connections to 'outside' world to help students entering the field." Therefore, the committee encourages continued emphasis on enrollment in the internship elective course for 3 credit hours. This is in addition to participation in independent study and research projects with faculty. This would be an excellent opportunity for all students, but particularly those who may have difficulty finding electives in which to enroll, to enhance their skill set as they prepare to enter the field.

Recommendation #7. Seek more institutional support to fund graduate student travel to regional and national professional meetings. Whereas the Graduate School will provide matching travel funds for graduate students to present research papers at one professional meeting per academic year, both graduate students and faculty cite this as the greatest need for improved institutional support.

Recommendation #8. Survey graduate teaching assistants regarding their workspace needs and develop a plan to address these needs. All of the department's TAs currently share a small workspace and a single computer workstation with internet access. The TAs' ability to serve the department's undergraduates would be improved with a more sufficient workspace.

Recommendation #9. Survey current graduate students regarding their desire for a common space and develop a plan to create a graduate student or department commons. Both graduate students and a faculty member expressed the need for graduate students to have a common space in the department to work and socialize together in order to build a stronger sense of community and morale in the program.

Recommendation #10. Develop a recruitment plan that seeks to achieve a balance between graduate students who come to the program with practical work experience in speech communications and graduate students who matriculate directly from the department's undergraduate program. Advanced graduate students have expressed the importance of having some classmates with speech communication work experience to enrich discussion, particularly in the specialty area courses. All students can benefit from their practice work experience, and their presence may provide networking opportunities for classmates looking for internships or employment.

Recommendation #11. Develop a plan to work toward recruitment of a more diverse student body, both in ethnicity and gender. It was noted during the interview process that while the students in the graduate program closely mirror the demographic characteristics of the SIUE student population, there is a need to recruit a more diverse group of students to the graduate program. In particular, additional recruitment of male students would help create a more balanced student body.

Recommendation #12. Collaborate with the Graduate School to update the program's marketing materials to include the new structure of having three areas of emphasis from which students may choose. Currently, the Graduate School is using outdated marketing materials (brochures, etc). These brochures do not include the program new structure of three areas of emphasis, thus reflecting old information regarding options within the graduate program. Also, the new marketing materials should include how the new structure to the graduate program, particularly the new Health Communication option, align with the Provost's vision of creating a Health Sciences campus.

Recommendation #13. Explore to develop a post-baccalaureate certificate program by collaboratively working with other programs such as Nursing and Pharmacy at SIUE . The Speech Communication graduate program currently has a strong option related to Health Communication. To collaboratively work with other programs such as the School of Nursing and School of Pharmacy at SIUE and to develop a post-baccalaureate certificate program related to Health Communication may attract more students into the Speech Communication graduate program in the future.

The external reviewer, Dr. Isabelle Bauman, Department of Communication, Missouri State University, made this recommendation:

"Recommendation: Improve the quality of faculty instruction in the graduate program. The quality of faculty instruction is the one problem area identified by students that is not already addressed in recent program changes. The program also recognizes instructional quality as an area for improvement in their self-study document. It seems like some more data needs to be collected as to what faculty practices in the classroom are detracting from quality instruction or what classroom practices need to be added to improve the quality of instruction. Given increased information a more strategic response can be made by faculty members to address student instructional needs."

Yuliang Liu encouraged the program faculty to try to collaborate with other schools, and to explore an emphasis in health communication to complement a potential future interdisciplinary degree in health sciences. Isaac Blankson responded to some of the recommendations by pointing out that the department does not have room for faculty, so finding space for a graduate student lounge is a low priority. He also stated that the gender imbalance is discipline-wide.

Hansen asked Blankson about his reaction to the external reviewer's recommendation to "improve the quality of faculty instruction in the graduate program." This issue was serious and required careful consideration by the department. Blankson said the department is taking the comment seriously. Wai Cheah added that the department wishes to bring in external observers to evaluate teaching. Blankson assured the committee that the students were receiving quality instruction, but the program will work on ways to improve instruction.

Matthew Johnson made a motion to approve the report; Carole Frick seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

VI. Continuing Business

There was no continuing business.

VII. New Business

Next month's Programs Committee meeting will begin at 2:30 PM to accommodate the schedules of the faculty who will attend on behalf of the Art Studio graduate program.

VIII. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 3:17

Respectfully submitted,

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

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