Academic Distinction

Approved SPC 4/29/04
Approved Faculty Senate 5/4/04
Download the Academic Distinction Goals and KPIs (PDF)

I. St. Cloud State University will strive to provide a quality educational experience for undergraduate and graduate students.

Goal A. The University will strive for excellence by providing a rich, diverse, and global curriculum. Classes and programs will integrate diverse and global perspectives.

Impact: High
Effort: Medium

KPI A1: Students will demonstrate competency in SCSU’s five core values as well as an understanding of diverse and global perspectives; departments/programs will establish baselines and determine targets, develop plans for improvement, and report improvement of these competencies.

Definition/Strategies/Action Plan: SCSU needs to collect some baseline data in order to set numeric goals for some of the KPIs developed. Perhaps surveys could collect data to set targets for general education. Course success would then be determined through assessment of student learning based on what faculty claim they are teaching. Ongoing data collection would then provide information for a continuous improvement cycle.

The General Education program will be assessed in accordance with guidelines established by NCA. Student competency will be determined relative to the five core values. General goals for the five core value areas follow:

Core Values 1 and 2: Students will construct and analyze written and oral discourse from a variety of theoretical perspectives as they pertain to their disciplines.
Core Value 3: Students will construct and analyze mathematical problems and provide solutions. Core Value 4: Students will use classical and modern logic and reasoning to formulate questions and provide arguments to support their answers.
Core Value 5: Students will define participatory democracy and integrate civic responsibility into their lives.

The global nature of courses in the general education program will be determined. Students will develop multicultural and global awareness through course content, readings, discussions, activities, and, when possible, through international experiences. Departments/programs will identify/define current diverse and global learning opportunities and will determine the ability for students to participate in these opportunities, i.e. part of curriculum for program of study, substitutes for elective courses in program, activity used to provide class discussion, etc. These opportunities are not restricted to traditional classroom experience. New opportunities should be identified and incorporated. NSSE (see questions as 1.e., 1.k., 7.a., 7.e., 7.f) might be used as an indirect measure of this KPI.

Data Responsible Parties Timeline

existing surveys or new internal surveys that evaluate diverse and global perspectives

appropriate quantitative and qualitative assessment

  • of General Education Program
  • of Racial Issues course
  • of Diversity classes

data collection about the

  • Number of courses that include 1-3 writing assignments
  • Number of courses that include 4 or more writing assignments
  • Number of courses that include an oral presentation
  • Number of courses that include two or more oral presentations
  • Number of courses that include construction or solution of mathematical problems
  • Number of courses that include a service learning component
  • Number of courses that include assignments to examine human values
  • Number of courses that include assignments that examine a variety of other cultures (domestic or international)
  • Number of courses that include assignments that examine one other culture (domestic or international)
  • Number of courses that include assignments relating two or more disciplines
  • Number of courses that include assignments using technology in ways common to or specific to the discipline
  • Number of courses that include assignments using common technology (such as word processing, email, internet searches, setting up web pages, etc.)
  • Number of courses that include assignments for student learning outside the classroom
  • Number of international experiences offered at SCSU
  • Number of non-Western international experiences offered at SCSU
  • Number of programs that directly offer international experiences
  • Number of courses that include assignments based on non-Western perspectives
  • Number of courses that include assignments based on Western non-US perspectives
  • Number of courses that include assignments requiring print or non-print research methodologies
  • Number of courses that include assignments requiring analysis of written materials
  • Number of courses that include assignments requiring analysis of visual materials
  • Number of courses that include assignments on underrepresented groups in America

NSSE (questions 1.e., 1.u., 1.v., 7.e., 7.f., and 11.l.)

Questions in the Annual Student Survey (Steve Frank's survey)

Departments/ programs offering General Education courses

General Education Assessment Committee

Racial Issues Colloquium

Dean of Undergraduate Studies

College Deans

Institutional Studies

Social Science Research Lab

 

Annual quantitative data collection and reporting on improvement in 3-5 years

Goal B. The University will strive for excellence in upper-division liberal arts and professional (majors and minors) and graduate programs.

Goal C. The University will strive for academic excellence in programs by either maintaining accreditation or following national guidelines and standards issued by professional associations.

Goal F. The University will strive to offer graduate programs that are integrated and supportive of our undergraduate programs. The university will strive to promote graduate level preparation to meet community needs.

Impact: High
Effort: Medium

KPI B/C/F1: Students will demonstrate discipline specific competency including basic knowledge and connection between theory and practice; departments/programs will establish baselines and determine targets, develop plans for improvement, and report improvement of these competencies.

Definition/Strategies/Action Plan: All major/minor and graduate programs will establish and undertake assessment plans that conform to NCA guidelines. Academic excellence is not confined by the discipline but needs to be anchored by specific student outcomes. Many professional societies and accrediting agencies have developed rigorous outcome-based continuous assessment. Programs are encouraged to incrementally implement the broadest of these learning objectives followed by more program-specific learning outcomes. Accreditation standards and/or national guidelines will be used where appropriate. Quality indicators are in place for graduate programs and should be used where appropriate.

Learning outcomes represent the principle knowledge a student must gain in an area of study. Each area of study may have distinctly different needs, but some aspects of all undergraduate programs may be universal. In general, students should demonstrate knowledge of their fields through a variety of assessments (i.e., tests, papers, presentations). The ability to access information and provide a synthesis of ideas in written or oral form is an important asset students acquire during their college experience, and students should analyze texts (in the broadest sense) from a variety of theoretical perspectives as they pertain to their disciplinary knowledge. Students should also be able to use technology appropriate to their disciplines. More specific content or skills competency would be required based on the discipline.

Students should demonstrate understanding of the connections between theories and practices and demonstrate understanding of these connections through a variety of experiences (i.e. projects, internships, community actions, performances). Students should conduct culminating research projects, analyze, contextualize, and report the results for an academic audience. Scholarly sources must be available to support students and faculty in their scholarly and creative activities. Written and oral communications are essential to all college graduates.

Data Responsible Parties Timeline

Appropriate quantitative and qualitative assessment of student learning

Departments

Programs

Annual quantitative data collection and reporting on improvement in 3-5 years

Goal D . The University will strive to produce an intellectual atmosphere conducive to a comprehensive learning experience by focusing on quality in-class and out-of-class experiences such as small class size, advising, mentoring, internships, performances, etc.

Goal E. The University will not only be a place for learning; it shall also strive to create knowledge through research within the programs. Faculty will use various models of pedagogy and scholarship to enhance the student’s experience both within and outside of the classroom.

Impact: High
Effort: Medium

KPI D/E1: The University through its units will increase opportunities for students to participate in a rich learning environment that provides for interaction, collaboration with faculty through scholarly and creative work; departments/programs will establish baselines and determine targets, develop plans for improvement, and report improvement in these opportunities.

Definition/Strategies/Action Plan: Goals D and E target the intellectual environment provided for students to develop and mature as scholars. At the university a specific component necessary to provide an intellectually challenging environment is creative and scholarly activity on the part of students and faculty.

Faculty, departments and programs should define intellectual environment, taking into account student and community members' needs and expectations. Evaluation should include the influence of faculty/student ratios, class size, advising, mentoring, internships, performances, research experiences, academic clubs, or other like activities. Faculty should develop professional standards such as those suggested in the Boyer model of scholarship and model these for students to promote an intellectually and academically rich and tolerant environment.

Data Responsible Parties Timeline

Appropriate qualitative and quantitative assessment, including data collection about the academic environment as well as student and faculty research and professionalizing experiences

Student/faculty ratios

Class sizes

Advising loads

Internships

Participation in student research colloquia

Participation in conferences (including presentations and attendance)

Departmental documentation of independent scholarly activities of students as well as those that are done collaboratively with other students and/or faculty

Student involvement in professional/academic organizations

Student performances

  • Numbers and types of forums at multiple levels within the university, from departments to university-wide forums
  • Numbers and types of discussions concerning current and critical issues

Surveys of satisfaction with university environment

Opportunities for discussions/readings across disciplines — FCTE and others

Number of regional, national, and international faculty awards, including Fulbrights

Numbers, percentages, and types of external grant applications and success in obtaining grants

Numbers and types of applied research projects/ contracts

Number awards of applications (OSP and elsewhere)

Number and types of publications and presentations; attendance at national and international meetings/conferences

Departments

Programs

Deans (faculty development)

Sponsored Programs

CETL

LRTS (faculty development)

Student Life and Development

Student Services

Student Government

Continuing Studies

 

Annual quantitative data collection and reporting on improvement in 3-5 years

Academic Distinction | Service Community
University Community Relations | Technology | Diversity and Social Justice

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