President's Newsletter October 2013

News Flashes

Following approval of (and high praise for) our self-study design by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in May, preparations for the research process of the self-study are in full swing. The Provost’s Office and the Steering Committee approved membership in the 14 research groups engaging more than 127 faculty and staff in the self-study process. It is a demanding process, requiring much time from many, but we aim for a successful result and hope for a ten-year reprieve from more reports! 

A new website called “Middle States” was developed in the Faculty and Staff section of the MyAlvernia portal. It serves both as a repository for data and documentation as well as a communication platform for all research groups and the campus community. Currently, more than 1,800 documents have been uploaded on the self-study workspace.

Sub-committees are working on the next phase of the General Education revision with emphasis on the revised First Year Seminar, the link to COM 101/100, interdisciplinary studies, integrated learning with the co-curriculum, writing intensive classes, mid-degree program requirements, capstones and general education assessment. This work is due to be finished by December to provide ample time for faculty review, revision (if needed), and approval prior to the March deadline for Board review. 

Our proposed new Doctor of Physical Therapy program will undergo initial accreditation review this spring. Athletic training will also be hosting its on-site continuing accreditation visit. In addition, the nursing and education programs are also in self-study mode. Never a shortage of accreditation reports! 

The Educational Planning Center unveiled a new early alert system to help students succeed. The system allows faculty to identify concerns about students’ academic performance so advisors and others can address them. In the first week of the system’s operation, more than 80 alerts were generated. 

Led by Beth Aracena, we are developing a series of interrelated international education initiatives. Priorities for this year include strengthening the partnership with the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters in the Dominican Republic, exploring possible partnerships in China, and incorporating global themes and international emphases in general education. Those faculty with international backgrounds and/or expertise on global subjects are invaluable resources. 

Nearly 40 students are now active in two cohorts of the new Ignite Student Leadership program. Led by the student activities team, with sessions conducted by residence life and coordinated with the O’Pake Institute, students are progressing through a weekly series of leadership development experiences in this first year of what will become a four-year, progressive leadership model.

> Continue to COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT section

president's newsletter october 2013

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