Minutes from the 12-8 QEP Meeting




Alan Griffith, Terry Kennedy, Anand Rao, Gwen Hale, Courtney Clayton, Rosemary Arneson, Christina Eggenberger, Stephen Davies, Jason Matzke, Tim O'Donnell, Rosemary Barra, Lynne Richardson, Steve Thomas, Courtney Thomas, Katherine Lister, Fred Pierce, Katie Locke, Doug Searcy

The group outlined the work done by the three groups.

First Year Academics

Gwen started by discussing the First Year Academics proposal (FAST Track to Success). The proposal was distributed (see online attachment). After looking at some of the outcomes, the group decided to increase support for the Speaking and Writing Centers, and the Library. Three new coordinators would be hired to work in these areas to help coordinate with the FSEM instructors, as well as more consultants to work in the Speaking and Writing Centers. The group worked on a proposal that would not overburden the FSEM instructors, but would work to supplement current resources on campus. The group also recommended a one hour recitation session for each FSEM (likely scheduled MWF between 4-6pm, to provide times for all students). The recitations would be led by upper-class students, serving as academic mentors (perhaps the same students who could serve as advising mentors). The proposal also includes additional support for information literacy outcomes. Additional support services were discussed (Speaking and Writing Fellows, Coordinators, FSEM for ESL, instructional modules, UMW manual). Gwen then outlined some of the necessary resources identified by the group, such as adjunct-conversions to support first year courses, coordinators for the three project areas, additional consultants for the writing and speaking centers, and resources to support the other initiatives outlined.

There was discussion about the UMW manual (paper vs. electronic delivery), departmental buy-in (with the adjunct-conversion incentive), and how instructional resources could be developed for courses taken by first-year students across the curriculum.

Student Affairs

Christina Eggenberger outlined the document produced by the Students Affairs Group. She first outlined the programs that are currently in place, including the new orientation program, FYE Residence Life program, Living Learned Communities, Rise Mentor Program, and the Leadership Conference. Christina discussed some of the programs that the group suggested for development (see online attachment). Rosemary Barra raised a concern about how FSEM is referenced, and prompted some discussion about a common reading program, and how it might/might not fit with the FSEM model of courses with different topics. The common reading plan, as outlined by the group, would be incorporated into orientation, and could be used to provide a common reference point at the beginning of the semester. A number of different common reading experiences from other schools were discussed.

Main reason that people are transferring is often because they have not made friends and don’t feel a connection. Fred said that if the common reading is done, then what we want in class to happen will more likely be created. Rosemay Barra wondered if this common reading program should be part of first year advising. Doug Searcy asked if we talked about a welcome to UMW kind of course rather than just academic.

Christina talked about common service project through Orientation. Students would sign up for what they wanted to do in terms of project. This would be an option for students at the moment, like the Habitat for Humanity. Idea of fiscal responsibility – financial literacy also came up as an important point.

First Year Advising

Alan presented on this. Students’ identifying needs and then how to address those needs. General theme of what he put together was changing FYA program so that it is more focused than it is now. Focused ideas and tasks along the way. For example, identifying initial issues, needs, etc.

All the components we have been discussing include mentors, and we need to decide what we want them to do. Can mentors do both academics and advising, and do we have enough students to do both of those things. They could be part of the early warning systems and be liaisons between students and their advisers. Work with FYAs on navigating websites with students, etc. Some universities have satellite programs around the campus; like a desk in certain places after 5pm. Doesn’t necessarily have to be a desk but could be that they will be in the library cafe from 5-7 etc.

Things could stem out of FYA groups – could organize students to go to co-curricular events or to go to speakers on campus to help them understand the broader experiences they could have on campus.

Next Steps

Alan will be putting together a type of curriculum map to show where we are addressing the particular outcomes in particular areas and/or programs. Alan passed out a document with a typical outline of a QEP report. We now need to start producing draft chapters of this document.

Chapter on identification of topic will be done by Nina Mikhalevsky.

We have outcomes and focus statement and data that has led us to those outcomes. He has asked someone to do that. Will be asking several people to put together literature review and best practices.

Leaves sections on: actions to be implemented, timeline, organizational structure, resources, and assessment. Alan proposed that we work in new groups in these main areas. One group would be: 1) actions to be implemented and timeline; 2) structure and resources; 3) assessment which is comprehensive evaluation plan.

Groups should try and get together to work on these areas by next meeting on January 12th.

Wanted to talk about idea of mentors. Mentors would be those as formally assigned to certain groups of students. Suggestion was to have one group of mentors to do both jobs.

Marsha said that we roll this out over five years, so what if we start training sophomores first, and then keep going. Recitation hour was being viewed as enrichment – self-paced modules, meeting with student mentor, etc. If we had to, mentors could meet once a week with different groups of students over three weeks, etc.

Taiwo suggested to table this discussion. We start making changes, etc, and then insert those in documents developed by the three groups.

Alan will talk to Gwen about putting together timeline and resources, etc. Rosemary said to assign groups and we will make it work. Marsha said that if there are concerns that there weren’t be enough resources, to think long-term.

Meeting adjourned at 5:45pm