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Faculty Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

President Ivory Nelson called the meeting to order shortly after 10 AM
in the Dickey Hall Auditorium.

President’s Report:

  • Dr. Nelson reported that 6,000 chairs will be set up for graduation on Sunday, in addition to grandstand.
  • Dr. Nelson reported on recent Middle States visit.  Two standards were not met: institutional assessment and student learning outcomes assessment. Key word in evaluation is “systemic.”  He has written a draft document of how to take a look at institutional assessment.  He hopes to end up with a chart that will show what we do, how and when we do it, who collects data, etc.  On student learning outcome side, it is so diverse the way individual faculty measure student learning outcomes, but somehow we must come up with institutional approach.
  • Dr. Nelson referred to MAPP, an ETS document, “Manual of Academic Proficiency and Progress” (see ETS website, click "Assessments" under Education Topics, then click "Directory of Assessments," scroll down to MAPP).
  • He pointed out that on the MAPP document, two things are required: pre-test for freshmen; post-test for seniors. Dr. Nelson summed up that we need to put together an overall plan that ties together what faculty is doing in the classroom and that allows us to collect data in a systematic fashion.
  • Discussion followed on the issue of hiring an assessment expert.  Faculty members expressed the opinion that someone should be hired to work with the faculty in addressing the problem.
  • Safro Kwame: handed out a document and asked faculty to study it for discussion. (See Appendix A)
  • Assessment committee will start working on the problem. 

Minutes April 1:

  • Dr. D. Zizwe Poe offered a correction: although he brought his division’s slate to faculty, they were not his nominees. He simply was the messenger; the slate was nominated by the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
  • The minutes were approved as revised.

Registrar’s graduate list: 

  • The list is organized by major rather than by school.  If student is omitted, grades did not turn out, faculty may have disapproved graduation, or student failed to meet university requirements. 
  • The list was approved, subject to corrections.

Announcements:

  • Bylaws committee chair has announced that as they go through Bylaws they are seeking recommendations from 4 committees, as they relate to bylaws.  Charges are written on list. Items and issues to work on as a faculty, come September.
  • A handout was distributed listing issues that came out of Self Study have been assigned to specific committees as charges.  The Middle States Steering Committee already presented these and faculty agreed to address them, come September. 

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:15 AM.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan Gunn Pevar, Faculty Secretary

Appendix A: Safro Kwame’s handout

A PROPOSAL FOR ASSESSMENT

According to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education's evaluation team, Lincoln University has failed to meet the standards of excellence on assessment.

Please consider this proposal for adoption and/or discussion at the next faculty meeting:

We should (1) stop doing what we have been doing about assessment or significantly improve upon it, and (2) immediately implement the Middle States evaluation team's suggestions and recommendations on assessment:

Middle States Evaluation Team's Suggestion: The University should expand the current institutional assessment plan to include clear realistic data collection and documentation guidelines and a time-table for assessment, a mechanism for supporting written and documented assessment results to a central coordinating body, and provision of support services to assist faculty, staff and administration in sustaining an ongoing assessment program. 
Middle States Evaluation Team's Recommendation: Faculty should bear primary responsibility for promoting, facilitating, assuring and evaluating student learning, and the University should identify a central coordinating unit for assessment of student learning -- at a sufficiently high level within the organization --  to support the assessment and improving of student learning in core courses, academic major programs, and co-curricular areas.

According to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, "When submitting information on their assessment efforts to the Commission, institutions are expected to document: 1. clear statements of key goals, including expected student learning outcomes; 2. an organized and sustained assessment process (referred to in some Commission documents as an "assessment plan"); 3. assessment results demonstrating that the institution and its students are achieving key institutional and program goals; and 4. uses of assessment results to improve student learning and advance the institution." "Effective assessments are simple rather than elaborate." MSCHE, 2005.

Example for Consideration: Each instructor may, accordingly, design a simple test of student learning outcomes which could be electronically scored or graded and automatically processed and analyzed for program, department, school and university characteristics and recommendations. Thus, in addition to submitting a gradesheet at the end of each semester, each instructor can turn in an assessment sheet or report at the end of each semester (after grades have been submitted).

Middle States Report to Lincoln University about Institutional Assessment, April 16, 2008
Suggestions: (1) Expand current institutional assessment plan to include clear realistic data collection and documentation guidelines and a time-table for assessment, a mechanism for supporting written and documented assessment results to a central coordinating body and provision of support services to assist faculty, staff and administration in sustaining an ongoing assessment program. (2) Incorporate into strategic planning process, periodic evaluation of effectiveness and comprehensiveness of institutional assessment plan to ensure that it is attainable, supported by faculty, staff and administration, and has sufficient quality that these results can be used with confidence to inform decisions. Recommendation: Implement systematic, sustained and thorough collection, analysis and utilization of multiple quantitative and/or qualitative data within each unit, and to fully document in writing the analysis and utilization of these data for institutional improvement in keeping with a well-defined time-table for submission of assessment reports to a central unit.

Middle States Recommendations to Lincoln University about Student Learning, April 16, 2008
Faculty bear primary responsibility for promoting, facilitating, assuring and evaluating student learning.
(a) Identify a central coordinating unit for assessment of student learning at a sufficiently high level within the organization to support the assessment and improving of student learning in core courses, academic major programs, and co-curricular areas. (b) Fully implement assessment of student learning in the core curriculum, the major and co-curricular areas, through use of existing data and information, collection and analysis of new data and information, clear and purposeful linkage of data to the goals they are assessing, and use of these results with confidence to inform decision-making, planning and improvement of student learning. (c) This systematic, sustained and thorough use of multiple quantitative and/or qualitative measures be fully documented in writing in keeping with a well-defined time-table for systematic submission of assessment reports and results.

Safro Kwame, 29th April 2008.

 


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