Standard 6: Unit Governance and Resources
The unit has the leadership, authority, budget, personnel, facilities, and resources, including information technology resources, for the preparation of candidates to meet professional, state, and institutional standards.
6.1 How does the unit's governance system and resources contribute to adequately preparing candidates to meet professional, state, and institutional standards?
6a. Unit Leadership and Authority
Pittsburg State University (PSU) and the College of Education (COE) operate within a well-defined system of governance that ensures broad involvement in decision making. The Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) is the policy board for the six public universities in Kansas. PSU also operates under a negotiated agreement between PSU/KNEA and KBOR. The President of PSU serves as the chief executive officer of the institution and is appointed by the KBOR. As indicated on the organizational chart for the university (6.2a), the President oversees the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for Administration and Campus Life, and the Vice President for Advancement. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs is responsible for oversight of the deans and faculty of the four academic colleges of the university, the Dean of Learning Resources, and the Dean of Continuing and Graduate Studies.
The College of Education and the Unit derive authority and exert leadership via a well-defined governance and administrative structure. (6.2b) The College of Education's governance is designed to interface with the University's campus-wide governance and committee structure. The composition of the Unit's governance activities are described in detail in the College of Education Constitution. (6.1) The Professional Education Unit at PSU is composed of College of Education faculty as well as faculty from the other two colleges that are responsible for the courses required for PK-12 and secondary licensure programs. The Unit is responsible for all initial and advanced education licensure and endorsement programs at Pittsburg State University. The dean of the college is recognized as the Unit head and provides the leadership for all professional education preparation programs. These duties include the coordination of all accreditation and state program approval activities and the legislation of all curriculum and policy changes for the Unit. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, in consultation with the Unit faculty, appoints the Dean. The Dean is evaluated annually by the Provost. The Dean works closely with the Provost, the other university deans, and appropriate department chairs and directors to assure that the mission and programs of the Unit are developed, delivered, and evaluated successfully.
The Unit engages in a number of duties in an effort to attract and retain Competent, Committed, Caring candidates. The Unit actively participates in all campus-wide recruitment events throughout the year and holds its own minority recruitment event in the fall of each year. (6.4a). Admission policies for admittance to teacher education, the professional semester, and all advanced programs are readily available in the university catalog, teacher education handbook, and professional semester handbook. (6.4b, 6.5b, 6.5j, 6.5k) University calendars, catalogs, publications and grading policies as well as Unit newsletters now utilize an electronic format. (6.5a, 6.5c, 6.5d, 6.5e, 6.5f, 6.5g, 6.5h, 6.5l) Academic advisement is an important component of the COE's efforts. All students at Pittsburg State University are assigned an academic advisor upon admission to the University. Once a student declares a major in education, he/she is assigned an advisor who is an identified member of the Teacher Education Unit faculty. Candidates assess their advisors each semester on-line prior to enrollment and advisors have access to the aggregated results of their advisee's responses. (6.3c, 6.3d) Also the university provides a number of support services for students including health and counseling as well as a Center for Student Accommodations that assists students with learning disabilities. (6.3a, 6.3b) Finally, the Unit utilizes an external advisory committee, the College of Education Advisory Council, comprised of PK-12 educators and business leaders and the College of Education Student Advisory Council to gain ideas and feedback for continuous improvement of programs and services. Additionally, the dean meets formally and informally with the faculty throughout the year to keep them apprised of issues within the COE and to receive advice and counsel on the needs of the faculty, students, and college.
6b. Unit Budget
Funds for salaries, wages and capital outlay, across the University, are distributed via the University budget allocation process. Funds for Other Operating Expenditures (OOE), student work hours, instructional equipment, and travel are allocated to the appropriate dean's office and then passed on to academic departments. OOE funds are the primary source of support for academic units used for copying, telephone, travel, supplies, and instructional materials. Funds to support the Office of Teacher of Education come from the dean's budget. The dean's office also receives an allotment each year to support instructional equipment and technology. Finally, the dean's office and departments that offer classes and programs off-campus also receive funds from the dean of continuing and graduate studies which can be used for professional development of faculty. The budget adequately supports on-campus and clinical work. (6.6)
The Unit receives sufficient budget allocations in proportion to other units on campus. (6.7) Allocations for the College of Technology exceed those of the COE due in large part to a number of very expensive programs. Because of the recession over the past two years, the university has experienced a 12 percent reduction in its state aid and all sectors of the university have had to make proportional cuts. However, some of the original cuts have been restored, and the university has made a commitment to affect academic programs only as a last resort.
The university and the Unit have made the ongoing professional development of faculty and staff a priority. As such, each faculty member is allotted $500 for travel each year and can receive an additional $875 if presenting at a national conference. Also, funds have been made available by the dean's office to assist faculty with research projects and by the departments for additional support of professional development.
The contract negotiated between PSU/KNEA and KBOR serves as the official document for the terms of employment which are deemed negotiable. These include class load, the performance appraisal process, grievance procedures, sick leave, and other important terms of employment. In addition, guidelines for writing individual professional goals in the areas of teaching, service, and scholarship are set forth in the contract. (pages 52-57, 6.8)
Faculty assignments are made in accordance with the Unit's load formula set forth in the contract. Workload at the undergraduate level considers many variables, but in general, it is interpreted as 12 hours per academic semester. Graduate workload is traditionally interpreted at 9 hours per academic semester. On-line courses are counted as in-load. Faculty load reports are generated following the twentieth day of each semester. (6.9) The dean and the appropriate department chair review these reports. Faculty meet with the department chair to determine professional goals for each year and a performance review is conducted by the department chair with each faculty member assessing teaching, scholarship and service. An instructional support consultant, a technology support consultant, student workers, and graduate assistants are used to ensure adequate support for Unit faculty and programs.
The Unit has sufficient numbers of full-time faculty to deliver and support its initial and advanced programs. In the 2009-10 school year, there were 36 full-time tenured and/or tenure-earning faculty in the COE, 9 full-time non-tenure earning faculty in the COE, and 33 faculty in other colleges that taught methods courses and/or supervised candidates during their professional semester for the COE as part of their load. (5.1) Department chairs typically teach three to six hours per semester. Additionally, the COE employed part-time, adjunct faculty who were directly involved with the education of teacher education candidates. Adjunct faculty are approved, by a formal process through the Graduate Council, as having the proper credentials necessary to enrich the program with current experiences and expertise. In order to better ensure alignment of expectations of adjunct faculty with the CF Knowledge Base and expectations of the Unit, an Adjunct Handbook was developed in 2009. (6.5i)
6d. Unit Facilities
The campus is located on 233 acres and has 58 academic, support and resident buildings. The offices and classrooms used by the COE are housed in three separate university buildings. The Dean's office, Office of Teacher Education, and the departments of Curriculum and Instruction, and Special Services and Leadership Studies are located in Hughes Hall. The department of Psychology and Counseling is located in Whitesitt Hall, and the department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation is housed in the Student Recreation Center. The COE also has an Instructional Resource Center which is housed in Hughes Hall. Hughes Hall and Whitesitt Hall each have computer labs. Additionally, some COE programs are offered through the university's Kansas City Metro Center. (6.10)
Other facilities that candidates in initial and advanced programs utilize include: Axe Library, a well-equipped and well-funded modern library facility; the Kansas Technology Center with state of the art programs in a variety of technical fields; the Bryant Student Health Center which houses student health and counseling services and the center for student accommodations; and a new Student Recreation Center which includes a wide variety of fitness, recreation, and leisure areas.
6e. Unit Resources Including Technology
The Unit enjoys a variety of resources to help ensure the development of Competent, Committed, Caring Professionals. The Unit uses its Educational Resources Committee to help identify resource needs. To support the Unit assessment system, two programmers from the office of information systems are assigned to the COE to help in the development of systems to collect and summarize data for use by faculty and leadership. Additionally, the Office of Teacher Education has a full-time assessment coordinator who works with the director of teacher education in collection and representation of data for analysis by faculty and leadership. Further, the Office of Continuing and Graduate Studies coordinates data systems with the advanced programs to collect and report needed data. Also, the Office of Institutional Research provides additional support in the collection and analysis of Unit data. Finally, the Unit is planning to implement LiveText, a new assessment management system, beginning in the fall of 2010.
Candidates and faculty regularly use the Axe Library which maintains a wide variety of materials that support the COE and its programs. The library has continually upgraded its materials, and electronic access ensures ease of use. Currently, the library is planning for the transition to a new library system and hopes to have this in place within the next year. Candidates and faculty also use the Instructional Resource Center located in Hughes Hall which houses a variety of print and media resources specific to COE programs. (6.11a., 6.11b.) The Unit also receives approximately $103,000 annually for instructional technology. This has enabled the Unit to provide computers, scanners, and printers in each of the labs. Also, all classrooms are mediated and have whiteboards. Additionally, some classrooms are equipped with Smart Boards and document imaging cameras. Further, these funds are used to purchase instructional software requested by faculty. Finally, these funds have been used to upgrade distance learning capabilities in Hughes Hall.
Each faculty member has a laptop for use in communication and as an instructional tool. Remote access is available so faculty members can work from anywhere at any time. An instructional technology consultant and a hardware consultant are available to provide professional development and hardware/software support. A variety of professional development opportunities are provided to faculty by the instructional support consultant and through the newly created Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology. These include support for developing online courses, use of Angel course management software, use of Microsoft Office, Smartboard training, and Tegrity training. Also, many of the COE departments now have the instructional support consultant provide technology overviews during department meetings. Webinars on various issues such as copyright, fair use and hybrid courses are also available to faculty. (6.12)
6.2 Briefly summarize the most significant changes related to Standard 6 that have led to continuous improvement.
Three major leadership changes have occurred at Pittsburg State University in the past year. Dr. Steve Scott, former dean of the College of Education who then assumed the position of Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, became president of Pittsburg State University in July of 2009. Also, Dr. Lynette Olson, former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, was selected as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs in March of 2010. Finally, Dr. Howard Smith, former assistant to the president who then became interim chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, was selected to become dean of the College of Education in April of 2010.
There have been several significant changes in personnel. First, the Unit has been able to recruit two minority faculty, one who teaches elementary reading and one who serves as a supervisor of student teachers. Also, three of the unit faculty have received their terminal degrees and two others are currently finishing their dissertations. Additionally, the Unit hired an instructional support consultant that is shared with the College of Business. The consultant is available for individual as well as group professional development.
A number of facility improvements have been made that have enabled the COE to continuously improve its programs for and support to candidates. In the summer of 2007, room 316 in Hughes Hall underwent a total renovation allowing for a place for the Unit faculty, student groups, other campus groups, and external groups to meet and host workshops and meetings. This is a state-of-the-art room with technology such as a projector, Smart Board, computer, and two additional flat screen LCD monitors for added visibility. The room also has a kitchenette that allows for the ability to prepare and serve snacks and meals. In the fall of 2008, the university opened the Student Recreation Center. Besides providing fitness, recreation, and leisure opportunities for students, it also houses the Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation and includes mediated classrooms and state-of-the-art labs. In the fall of 2009, the university opened the Bryant Student Health Center. The center is an outpatient, ambulatory care facility, directed by a physician and a nursing staff and provides counseling services as well. It also houses the Center for Student Accommodations which provides support for students with disabilities. This facility is designed to provide high quality, convenient and cost-effective health, counseling, and special accommodation services for PSU's approximate 7,200 students.
One of the newest resources added by the university that supports the Unit is the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology. The director was added in 2008, and remodeling of the center facility was completed in the spring of 2010. The center was created to respond to the professional development needs across the university and to help coordinate the work of the instructional support consultants. One of the newest initiatives of the center has been the implementation of Tegrity, a lecture capture tool. Faculty who have used this new tool and their students have found it to be a real benefit for students in both face-to-face and online instruction. Also, in the past three years, the university began providing funds for faculty laptop computers and ensuring replacement of faculty computers at least every three to four years. Also, a professional development program has been developed to help faculty prepare for teaching online. Further, an Adjunct Handbook has been developed to ensure alignment of program and CF Knowledge Base expectations. Finally, the Unit has developed an assessment system that collects data from a variety of electronic resources to provide useful information for faculty and leadership to use in analyzing and making program improvements. On-campus data sources include support from the Office of Information Services and Continuing and Graduate Studies. An electronic assessment management system, LiveText, is scheduled to be implemented in the fall of 2010 to assist in collecting program assessment data.