Foundations of Excellence

First-Year Council Subcommittees (2009-2010)

Sub-Committees’ Charge

Review relevant recommendation/s from Foundations of Excellence report, and develop a plan for implementation for consideration by the First-Year Council. Given the complexities of the recommendations, it is understood that implementation will likely occur in phases. Committees are encouraged to develop plans based on a 2-3 year window of implementation by describing intended actions by semester.

Sub-committees will first present a conceptual plan to the Council for approval followed by the development of a more specific plan including: a timeline for implementation; a proposed budget; and an assessment plan. Group also will select a chair (excluding April and Jon).

In addition, committees will involve other individuals and/or units in developing implementation plans. In some cases, the Council may elect to lead implementation on specific initiatives or may assign specific tasks to other individuals or departments or create a new work group where appropriate. In cases where activities are assigned outside the Council, sub-committees will develop a plan for units to provide progress reports to the relevant sub-committee or the Council as a whole.

Assessing Student Needs sub-committee
Jon Buse
Dave Marchesani
Inez Murtha
Paul Shand
Kristin Woods

Relevant recommendation: Develop a systematic process to define, identify, and assess the needs of first-year students, especially underserved populations.

  1. Move from an intuitive model of decision making to a data-driven process that identifies the unique needs of students.
  2. Develop interventions to meet the needs of specific students based on those identified needs through the implementation of an early warning system (e.g., MAP-Works; http://www.map-works.com/) and enhanced communication and outreach (e.g., improved online resources).
  3. Determine responsibility for the coordination and implementation of interventions for specific sub-populations of students.

Cornerstone Experience sub-committee
April Chatham-Carpenter
Linda Corbin
Adam Haselhuhn
Jo Loonan
Lyn Redington

Relevant recommendation: Task the First-Year Council to develop a first-year cornerstone experience for all first-year students.

  1. The experience should provide time for students to learn about academic expectations, critical inquiry, student services and other resources, and to discuss and reflect upon their personal experiences, personal development, and the purpose of higher education.
  2. It should be developed in concert with the implementation of a more systematic evaluation of student needs.
  3. Collaboration between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs in developing and facilitating this course should be emphasized.

Faculty Development sub-committee
Ken Brown
Jon Buse
Pierre-Damien Mvuyekure
Chris Neuhaus
Linda Walsh

Relevant recommendation: Develop a comprehensive plan for faculty development.

  1. Educate the faculty about first-year students, the importance of a positive first-year experience, and how they can participate in ensuring a positive first-year experience.
  2. Development of the plan should be an organized effort, developed with faculty and student affairs input.
  3. Create a subsection of the summer fellowship award to include a 4-week summer fellowship option specifically reserved for those who want to submit proposals to engage in substantial curricula or pedagogical enhancement or development. The first few years of this award could be targeted to first-year teaching, and could broaden after that to include other teaching enhancement or development projects.

Learning Outcomes sub-committee
Maria Basom
April Chatham-Carpenter
Lyn Countryman
Melissa Payne
Donna Vinton

Relevant recommendation: Develop a first-year philosophy statement and first-year learning outcomes.

  1. Implement the draft philosophy statement (see table 4.2 in Chapter 4 of the HLC report) developed by the philosophy committee.
  2. Ensure that the ideals described in the first-year philosophy statement are integrated into future institutional strategic planning efforts.
  3. Charge the First-Year Council to develop a list of specific first-year student learning outcomes through broad campus-wide input and in close collaboration with the Liberal Arts Core and University Curriculum Committees.