CRITERION III: Accomplishments
Evidence of effective delivery of educational and other services to the
Division of Continuing Education and Special Programs
Continuing Education Credit Programs
As the University has become more diversified in recent years, its off-campus
efforts have expanded beyond teacher needs. UNI currently offers off-campus
programs in business, industrial technology, and public relations to serve
A core value for delivery of off-campus education at UNI is that the quality
of education offered off-campus should be the equivalent of that being
offered on-campus. The curriculum/courses offered off-campus are the same
as those offered on-campus, and full-time campus-based faculty members
do most of the off-campus teaching, much of it as part of their regular
teaching loads. While Continuing Education administers off-campus courses
and programs, it does not have the freedom to offer courses or credit
without the approval of the appropriate academic department. To assure
that off-campus students have sufficient resources, the Rod Library provides
electronic and other access options for distance education students. A
library staff member is available to assist distance education students
with their needs.
Continuing Education off-campus credit enrollments have increased steadily
over the past decade. Using a variety of delivery methods, including off-campus
on-site courses, Iowa Communication Network (ICN) courses, print-based
and web-based correspondence study courses and semester based on-line
courses; off-campus credit enrollments have grown from 5,049 in 1991-1992
to 8,171 in 1998-1999.
The ICN is a live, fully interactive instructional television system in
use in the State since Fall 1993. Between 20 and 30 courses are offered
via the ICN each semester, allowing multi-site delivery and assisting
the University in serving students at remote areas of the state. Largely
because of the ICN, UNI was able to offer at least one course in 109 different
Iowa communities during 1998-1999. The television system means that fewer
faculty members must drive or fly to remote Iowa communities to teach.
It also has provided a method of incorporating on-campus instruction with
off-campus instruction, because on- and off-campus students are in class
together. Of the 17 off-campus graduate program cohorts, 16 offer part
or all of the program over the ICN; the one exception is the MBA program
offered in the Cedar Falls/Waterloo metropolitan area.
Increasingly the World Wide Web is being used in distance learning for
courses that lend themselves to this type of delivery. Some of the correspondence
courses are available via both the on-line and print-based methods. Also,
some courses are offered on-line using the semester-based model. Several
of the off-campus graduate programs have at least one course available
over the web. As well as teaching students the course content, web delivery
familiarizes the students with the latest technology and is available
to students without time and place constraints. In some cases, WebCT is
used to supplement ICN and other distance instruction. This technology
assists instructors primarily in making materials available to students,
in allowing students to send assignments via the web, and in facilitating
communication among students and instructors.
In summary, UNI strives to offer quality distance education. The primary
distance-education need across Iowa seems to be graduate education for
employed, part-time, students who wish to advance within their professions.
As some of UNI's graduate programs have a relatively small on-campus enrollment,
the University has the capacity to serve distant students, especially
since much off-campus instruction has been incorporated with on-campus
instruction through the use of the ICN as noted above. The strength of
UNI distance education efforts continues to be its integration with the
on-campus curriculum and faculty, making sure that the University's off-campus
programs are the same as its on-campus programs.
Continuing Education Credit Programs also administers the Bachelor of
Liberal Studies (BLS) degree program. The BLS is an external degree offered
jointly with the University of Iowa and Iowa State University and, with
its liberal transfer policy and no residency requirement, serves as an
excellent opportunity for nontraditional students and anyone who is unable
to complete a college degree through on-campus attendance. UNI serves
these students through correspondence study, World Wide Web classes, telecourses,
ICN courses and other distance education opportunities. The program currently
has about one hundred students, many of whom are graduates of one of Iowa's
community colleges who are place-bound, or returning UNI students who,
for whatever reasons, left the University without completing a degree.
Providing professional development opportunities in various disciplines
is one objective of non-credit programming. These opportunities are designed
to provide up-to-date information on techniques and practices for professional
groups. A second objective is to provide for the educational development
of professional educators and educational leaders of Iowa. This is consistent
with the University of Northern Iowa's commitment to enhancing its premier
status in teacher education.
The offering and delivery of professional and educational development
opportunities is accomplished via conferences, seminars, institutes and
workshops offered in time arrangements consisting of one day to two weeks.
Another mode of delivery is via customized contract training programs
offered to Iowa business and industries. During the summer and academic
year of June 1, 1998 Ü May 31, 1999, the Non-Credit Programs Office provided
educational opportunities for 14,143 participants.
Two additional educational opportunities provided by Non-Credit Programs
include: International Short-Term Study Abroad Programs and Elderhostel
Programs. The International component has included study in the countries
of Poland and France. Another project is being planned for Vietnam. Elderhostel
is a successful, on-going activity for the Non-Credit Programs Office.
Participants have given high rating to low-cost, short-term academic programs
offered for adults who are 55 years of age and older. Each summer during
June and July, UNI sponsors a week of Elderhostel with an enrollment of
35 Ü 50 participants. Also during the last two years, UNI has sponsored
two weeks of Elderhostel/Habitat programming. Twelve participants were
enrolled for each of these events.
Museums and Collections
The UNI Museums contribute to the education, research and public service
missions of the University through educational programming, exhibition,
collection, and preservation. For the campus and the general public, the
Museums foster life-long learning, the exchange of ideas, and a respect
for our natural resources and the human heritage of the world. The educational
programming and exhibition initiatives of the Museums are supported by
a collection of 105,563 items covering primarily the disciplines of history,
biology, geology, and anthropology.
Established in 1892 as an educational resource for students, the University
Museums' collection was built through individual collecting of specimens
and artifacts by the faculty. The Museum has the distinction of being
among the ten percent of museums in this country that are accredited by
the American Association of Museums. Because of the scarcity of natural
history museums within Iowa, particularly those with international collections,
the University Museum takes a broad global view in collecting. This strategy
also meets the University's goal of heightening student and public awareness
of the value of environmental and cultural diversity. These goals are
particularly important because of the geographic location of the state
and because of the importance of exposure to other ethnic groups. The
University Museums' collecting, programming, and exhibiting are a vital
component in the campus' mission to broaden student perspective and experience.
The Marshall Center School was built in 1893 and moved to the UNI campus
in 1988 to commemorate Iowa's long history of high-quality education and
the campus' role in this proud tradition. The School is one of the most
authentically restored rural school museums in Iowa. Because there is
no central repository for early education memorabilia in Iowa, the Museums
have become, with the blessing of the State Historical Society of Iowa,
the unofficial repository for pieces related to the history of rural schools
Campus students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as students of other
regional colleges regularly visit the UNI Museums. Other visitors include
regional elementary school groups, youth groups, adult organizations,
and the general public. For all of these audiences, museum educators oversee
class projects, supervise student internships, and present hands-on activities,
lectures and tours at the Museums. The internship program provides experiential
learning opportunities for students in a wide range of academic programs,
from business management and anthropology to textile design and communications.
Attendance at the two museums during the last fiscal year was 18,062.
Due to a strong changing exhibits program, a wide variety of educational
activities, and an aggressive marketing and public relations campaign,
museum attendance has grown by approximately ten percent each year for
the past five years. That growth has also been seen in donor support.
Endowments since 1997 have increased by $150,000. Memberships and the
level of membership support have doubled since 1994. The professional
staff has tripled since 1992, as have the number of student interns and
Future plans for the Museums include the acquisition of a larger facility,
greater accessibility to our collection and educational programs through
web-based technology, the creation of educational programming based on
first-person interpretation, and a revamping of the exhibition program
around an interdisciplinary approach.
Individual Studies Program
Approved by the Board of Regents in 1974, the General Studies major is
designed for students who desire a well-rounded liberal arts education.
General Studies majors take a wide variety of courses from many different
departments. The 45-semester-hour major requires a minimum of 15 semester
hours of upper-level coursework from each of three of the five colleges
of instruction. The emphasis of this major is on distribution rather than
concentration. Each student is encouraged to develop a program of study
according to his/her own needs, interests and career goals.
At the present time, 307 students are pursuing a degree in General Studies
compared to 48 students in 1980. One reason for the increase may be the
grade-point average (GPA) requirement for entry into certain majors such
as communication studies, business, and teaching. Individuals who do not
meet the GPA requirements may select General Studies as an alternative.
Although the General Studies major was originally designed for the nontraditional
student, currently two-thirds of the majors are under 25 years of age.
The purpose of the Individual Studies major is twofold: 1) to enable a
student to design an individualized major by selecting courses from several
academic departments, and 2) to explore interdisciplinary areas of study
before those areas are formally adopted as departmental or interdepartmental
majors. All Individual Studies majors must complete an undergraduate thesis/project
for six credit hours.
UNI is a member of the National Student Exchange (NSE) consortium, a network
of over 155 state colleges and universities located throughout the United
States. NSE enables sophomores and juniors with a 2.75 or higher grade-point
average to study for one or two semesters at the school of their choice
while paying UNI tuition. The NSE program provides Northern Iowa students
an opportunity to become better acquainted with different social and educational
patterns in other parts of the United States. It also encourages students
to experience new life and learning styles, learn more about themselves
and others, and broaden their educational backgrounds through specialized
courses or unique programs which may not be available at UNI. During 1998-1999,
UNI hosted three NSE scholars and placed 33 students at 24 colleges and
Educational Opportunity Programs/Special
University of Northern Iowa Center for Urban Education
UNI-CUE's mission is to provide a positive environment for lifetime learning.
Individuals may pursue their educational goals and prepare for careers.
UNI-CUE personnel collaborate with other campus departments and community
programs to match the Center's resources with community needs. The various
programs available benefit both the participants and the University students
who participate in the opportunity to do field experience in an urban
for Academic Achievement
In addition, Academic Achievement teaches a course, Community Service:
Academic Skills Achievement Center (200:180). In this course, University
students are trained to provide community service and to tutor children
and youth in a variety of educational settings, including low-performing
elementary and middle schools, a Mesquakie reservation, and correctional
Educational Opportunity Center
The Educational Opportunity Center also coordinates job and college fairs
and provides promotional information on educational and career topics
to community media. The EOC is located at UNI-CUE.
Educational Talent Search
Student Support Services
The Student Support Services program has three primary goals:
1. to identify and select participants who meet
eligibility requirements and demonstrate an academic need for services
in order to succeed at UNI
2. to improve or at least maintain the academic
performance of each participant to meet or exceed the minimum performance
required by the University for continued persistence and graduation
3. to enhance the intellectual, cultural, and social
development of participating students.
To achieve these goals, Student Support Services personnel provide academic
advising and assistance with course selection, educational and long-range
planning; tutoring; career advising; academic and cultural activities
that enhance students' personal and intellectual development; and admissions
assistance for enrollment in graduate and professional programs. The Student
Support Services program is located in the Student Services Center.
Two components, the academic year program and the summer enrichment program,
comprise Classic Upward Bound at UNI. During the academic year, Classic
Upward Bound serves 75 students in after-school supplemental instruction
and tutorials in their high schools. The academic year program also includes
academic advising and counseling, career exploration, college tours, study
skills development workshops, leadership conferences, and other activities.
During the summer program, Classic Upward Bound serves 60 students who
spend six weeks at the University of Northern Iowa. These students live
in a residence hall and attend enrichment courses in mathematics (algebra
and pre-calculus), English (literature and composition), science (biology
and physics), modern languages (Spanish or French), economics, and computer
science. In addition to their coursework, students participate in cultural
After Classic Upward Bound students successfully graduate from high school,
they are enrolled in UNI summer-session courses, all of which are transferable
to the college or university that students will attend in the fall. These
participants live in residence halls with other UNI students during the
The Upward Bound Math and Science program serves 45 students from Iowa.
During the summer, participants live in a residence hall at UNI and for
six weeks attend classes in physics, chemistry, biology, earth science,
mathematics, Spanish, and technical writing. On weekends, they take field
trips featuring applications of math and science. During the following
academic year, students are required to meet monthly with a mentor in
their community and to complete two scientific projects.
Each program administered by Educational Opportunity Programs and Special Community Services provides educational services to our local, regional, or state communities, primarily by improving access to and retention in our educational programs. The programs administered by Continuing Education and Special Programs also provide educational services locally, regionally, or across the state, extending the offerings of the University far beyond our campus in Cedar Falls. Every department and division of UNI provides community service in a variety of ways, but these two divisions of Academic Affairs are fulfilling a special charge to take our programs to the broader community.
Last Modified: 02/14/01