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SIUE News Archives August 2011

August 2011

SIUE Housing Resident Assistants Give Back to the Campus Community

25 August 2011, 10:20 am

More than 80 members of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville University Housing staff recently spent the morning volunteering at The Gardens at SIUE as part of the fall training schedule.

The group included 74 resident assistants, six community directors, five assistant community directors and the associate director of residence life. It was the single largest group to volunteer at one time at The Gardens.

"We decided to incorporate this event into our training schedule in order to provide an opportunity to give back to the larger campus community," said Kyle Rice, assistant director of training and development. "We are excited to provide opportunities to help our student staff see themselves as people who can make a difference as leaders outside of just their residential area."

Volunteers worked on several projects, including preparing a walking path, pulling brush and weeding. For additional information on The Gardens at SIUE, contact Julie Conley at

SIUE to Implement MAP-Works for Fourth Consecutive Year

25 August 2011, 10:15 am

This fall will mark the fourth consecutive year that Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will participate in MAP (Making Achievement Possible)-Works, a comprehensive program than enables colleges and universities to improve student retention. With a commitment to student success, University Housing first introduced MAP-Works to all residence hall freshmen in fall 2008.

MAP-Works is gaining national attention for providing an "early warning system" for students who are at risk for a variety of reasons beyond academic difficulty. SIUE is one of only 100 institutions currently using MAP-Works to identify at-risk students. The MAP-Works Retention Platform is built on a core concept supported by research and experience; that successful retention is driven by the early, systematic, and comprehensive identification of student issues.

Michael Schultz, Director of University Housing, comments on the impact of MAP-Works on student retention, "In the past three years University Housing has been able to be intentional with our students based on the data that MAP-Works has provided. We know we have been able to retain some students and make a difference in their lives. We are dedicated to finding new ways to use MAP-Works to increase the retention of SIUE students."

Retention is a team effort, facilitated by communication across units. At SIUE, a number of units are actively participating in MAP-Works intervention, including: University Housing, Athletics, Academic Advising, Disability Support Services, and Student Opportunities for Academic Results (SOAR).

The MAP-Works data reveals to administrators a wealth of information about their students that is more accurate and more current than they could otherwise collect. Schools can then adjust their retention efforts to target students in need. As a result, MAP-Works positively impacts student success and retention by arming schools with a clear picture of their students.

Kathleen Gardner, Associate Director of Residence Life and MAP-Works Campus Administrator, states, "MAP-Works enables University Housing staff to be proactive in our approach to student success. We are able to intervene with students struggling with their transition to college earlier in the semester and connect them to campus resources before they make the decision to withdraw or before they end up on academic probation."

For additional information on MAP-Works at SIUE, contact Kathleen Gardner, Associate Director of Residence Life at 618-650-4251 or

Construction Department Adds High-Tech Tools To Its Toolbox

25 August 2011, 9:59 am

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering's Department of Construction recently was awarded a donation from the Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program (SICAP) to acquire high-tech tools to add to the department's education and research toolbox. The $25,500 gift will be used to acquire a heavy equipment simulator and a thermal camera.

Chris Gordon, assistant professor of construction and chair of that department, said: "SICAP has assisted us at several formative points in our department's history by helping us launch new programs, such as the Construction Leadership Institute and Land Surveying Specialization, and by supporting our top-notch faculty team with leading edge equipment.

"SICAP's generous support helps us sustain our department's strength in technology-supported education and research. Our students' successes are at the highest level to date, and we continue to provide an excellent learning environment, thanks to support from our industry."

SICAP was founded in 1992 to support the advancement of the construction industry through safety, education, and economic development programs. Several area construction companies are contributing members of this not-for-profit organization.

D. Snyder Is August EOM

24 August 2011, 5:18 pm

Congratulations: Dawn Snyder, a building service worker in the Morris University Center, is the August recipient of the University's Employee Recognition Award. In the photo, Vice Chancellor for Administration Kenn Neher is shown presenting Snyder with the award. In addition to the plaque, Snyder was awarded a $25 gift certificate to the SIUE Bookstore, two complimentary lunch coupons to the University Restaurant or other Dining Services location, and recognition on the flat screen monitors throughout campus. (SIUE Photo by Denise Macdonald)

Music, Food & Fun Await SIUE Students, Community At Block Party

23 August 2011, 10:48 am

The sounds of rock music, the aroma of hot dogs and funnel cakes and the laughter of children and students at play are on tap for 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26 when Southern Illinois University Edwardsville welcomes students back with its 12th Annual Block Party.

The University and the city of Edwardsville will host the event from 6 p.m. to midnight at the intersection of Second and St. Louis streets in Edwardsville's downtown. SIUE students, faculty, staff and community are invited to attend the party with no admission charge.

This year's band is a local favorite: The UltraViolets. The UltraViolets play a wide variety of music from the '70s, '80s, '90s and today. The five-member, high energy band performs classics from such artists as The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Bon Jovi, Shania Twain, AC/DC, Madonna and new music by Katy Perry, P!nk and Lady GaGa. A D.J. will play music from 6-8 p.m., and The UltraViolets will rock the stage from 8 p.m. to close.

Partygoers will enjoy several inflatables, including a giant slide and a bounce house. A favorite from years ago, a rock wall, also will be among the entertaining equipment featured. Carnival games, spin art and air brush tattoos will round out the amusement for participants.

Eight food vendors will line the downtown streets, along with 16 non-food vendors offering products, services and information.

"This is a great way for our new and returning students to become acquainted with the downtown Edwardsville business district," said Michelle Welter, assistant director for campus programming at the Kimmel Leadership Center. "There will be Edwardsville restaurants and shops with food and clothing booths at the Block Party to give students a taste of Edwardsville.

The Block Party has grown since it began in 2000, with about 3,000 people attending last year. This year, Welter is expecting about the same numbers, if not more.

The event is sponsored by the city of Edwardsville, SIUE, Associated Bank, PNC Bank, the SIUE Campus Activities Board and Student Government, the Edwardsville-Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce, the Edwardsville Intelligencer, SIUE Marketing and Communications, and SIUE University Relations.

SIUE Engineering Students Place Second In National Design Competition

19 August 2011, 2:46 pm

Students from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's School of Engineering placed second recently for their design of an adjustable-blade ceiling fan in the 2011 Design for Digital Manufacturing (DDM) Competition.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) announced the results of the competition this week. According to the SME website, the DDM Competition is held annually to feature the work of students from around the nation. The site continued, students are "encouraged to submit unique products that are made utilizing DDM techniques and materials."

It stated: "This year's contestants had to design a product intended to be, or be part of, a system that utilizes direct digital manufacturing. The product must be able to be used in another assembly and the design should represent a fully functioning prototype. The competition is conducted by SME's Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing Community (RTAM) community whose goal is to illustrate the impacts and benefits of direct digital manufacturing.

For more information, visit

P. Connaway Is EOM For July

17 August 2011, 10:47 am

Congratulations: Pat Connaway, an office support specialist in Library and Information Services, is the July recipient of the University's Employee Recognition Award. In the photo, Vice Chancellor for Administration Kenn Neher, who awarded the plaque, is shown with Connaway (holding the award); her supervisor, Laura Scaturro (second from right), who submitted the nomination; and Lora Miles, a member of the award selection committee. In addition to the plaque, Connaway was awarded a $25 gift certificate to the SIUE Bookstore, two complimentary lunch coupons to the University Restaurant or other Dining Services location, and recognition on the flat screen monitors throughout campus. (SIUE Photo by Denise Macdonald)

IERC Report Shows More Principal Training, Mentoring Needed For Illinois To Meet Reform Goals, Boost Student Achievement

15 August 2011, 3:06 pm

Changing demographics and new reform laws will require Illinois public school districts to provide principals with new kinds of support and training if they want principals to successfully implement new reform laws and boost student achievement.

This is one of the findings in a new, comprehensive report on Illinois' 3,600 public school principals. The report documents shifting demographic and turnover trends among elementary and high school principals; the areas in which principals are having a direct impact on student performance; and principals' own beliefs about their strengths and weaknesses as administrators. The report, released today by the Illinois Education Research Council (IERC), Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, also makes recommendations to help Illinois public school officials secure and retain high quality principals.

"Although principals play a vital role as school leaders, most research to date has focused on how teachers affect student learning rather than on the role of principals. This report will help policymakers and practitioners better understand how principals impact student achievement and the adjustments districts will need to make in the face of changing demographics and principal attitudes and beliefs," said Brad White, a senior researcher with the IERC.

Key Findings from The Principal Report: The State of School Leadership in Illinois, include:

Principal Demographics are Shifting Rapidly

  • Younger and more turnover. Overall, the average age of principals is decreasing, due to a retiring baby boom generation. This age shift has resulted in greater principal turnover system-wide and a drop in the percentage (from 38 to 28 percent) of principals occupying their current school six years or more.
  • More diversity. The proportion of female principals doubled between 1990 and 2008, and more women than men have led Illinois schools since 2005. The number of minorities serving as principals is also growing. Nevertheless, principals outside of Chicago and its suburbs still tend to be largely white and male.
  • Certain Principal Experiences Correlate Closely with Higher Student Performance
  • More Assistant Principal (AP) experience. The number of principals with previous experience as AP at their current school nearly doubled statewide since 2001 and increased fivefold in Chicago. IERC's analyses of this data confirms for the Illinois' elementary and middle schools what other recent research suggests: that principals who served as AP at their current school tend to show greater gains in student achievement
  • Better academic preparation. The research also shows that principals who earned master's or doctoral degrees from more academically rigorous institutions tended to work in schools with higher student achievement and helped to recruit teachers who also had stronger academic backgrounds.

Student Growth on Standardized Tests Currently Plays Small Role in Evaluating or Hiring Teachers

  • Principals rate other factors higher. Many Illinois principals report that they fundamentally disagree with using student test scores and gains as central measures of school and teacher success.

Principals surveyed were more likely to cite factors such as school climate, student attendance and quality of teacher applicants than student growth on test scores as important measures of school success. Even fewer principals said absolute student test scores were a very important measure of school success.

Principals Struggle to Prioritize Tasks and Feel Less Effective at Tasks Research Suggests are Most Important

  • More than half of principals ranked instruction-related tasks like coaching teachers as their most important work, but less than a third felt very effective at doing it. A majority of principals felt effective at building internal relations, but only 13 percent ranked it as very important. Less than half of all principals felt effective hiring teachers or setting budgets, two tasks that research suggests are two roles where principal effectiveness is crucial to raising student achievement.

These findings, IERC representatives say, clearly point the need for more support to principals whose jobs are universally demanding and difficult. Among the report's recommendations:

  • Support and training to implement new teacher evaluation standards mandated by Illinois' Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA).
  • More training in research-based practices for teacher hiring.
  • Principal mentoring and other programs to help new principals hit the ground running.
  • Encourage retention of principals by helping them create positive school cultures and by giving them the authority and autonomy to run their schools.
  • Professional development in self-reported areas they identified as needing improvement, including data analysis and coaching teachers.

The Principal Report: The State of School Leadership in Illinois analyzed demographic and employment trends among more than 7,100 individuals serving as Illinois public school principals between 2001 and 2008, statistically modeled principal impact on student achievement and teacher qualification in over 3,600 Illinois public schools and surveyed more than one in five active public school principals in the 2010-2011 school year. Only charter schools were excluded from the analysis because their personnel are not consistently included in state records of educator employment.

The Illinois Education Research Council was established in 2000 at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to provide Illinois with education research to support P-20 education policy making and program development. The IERC undertakes independent research and policy analysis, often in collaboration with other researchers that informs and strengthens Illinois' commitment to providing a seamless system of educational opportunities for its citizens.

SWIC, SIUE Offer Dual Admission Program Open House

5 August 2011, 1:13 pm

An open house will take place from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9 at Southwestern Illinois College's Belleville Campus highlighting a Dual Admission Program between SWIC and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Current SWIC students interested in transferring to SIUE upon completion of an associate degree or general education core curriculum can find out if they are eligible for the Dual Admission Program. Students who have completed fewer than 30 credit hours at SWIC and have earned a minimum 2.0 GPA can qualify.

The Dual Admission Program helps students in their first year of study at SWIC transfer as seamlessly to SIUE as possible when the time comes. Benefits of the program include general admission to the University, a waiver of the $30 application fee and an increased likelihood of completing associate and bachelor's degrees in a timely manner, said Darlene Wagen, coordinator of the program at SIUE.

To learn more about the program, students are encouraged to attend the open house session or visit

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