SACS Fifth Year Compliance 2014 Report

The Fifth-Year Compliance Certification

1. The number of full-time faculty members is adequate to support the mission of the institution and to ensure the quality and integrity of each of its academic programs. (Core Requirement 2.8)

Compliance

Narrative

The following analysis first presents the total number of full-time faculty and then demonstrates that the number of full-time faculty is adequate to support the university mission and to assure the quality and integrity of the institution’s academic programs across modes of instruction and location.

Definitions of Faculty

Georgia State University (GSU), in compliance with the Board of Regents’ policy, has adopted the following specific definitions for various categories of faculty. Full-Time University Faculty have a contract for employment on a 100% workload basis for two out of every three consecutive academic terms. The full-time faculty consists of the following categories:

Full-Time Faculty are tenured and tenure-track faculty with the titles of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor.

Non-Tenured Faculty are faculty who have duties and responsibilities in at least one of the following: teaching; research, scholarly and creative activities; and/or service; with titles of:
•Clinical Faculty (Clinical Instructor, Clinical Assistant Professor, Clinical Associate Professor, Clinical Professor)
•Lecturer (Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Principal Lecturer)
•Academic Professional (Academic Professional Associate, Academic Professional, Senior Academic Professional)
•Research Faculty (Research Assistant Professor, Research Associate Professor, Research Professor)
•Librarian
•College of Law Library (Librarian I, Librarian II, Librarian III, Librarian IV)
•University Library (Librarian Instructor, Librarian Assistant Professor, Librarian Associate Professor, Librarian Professor)

Part-Time Faculty are employed for the academic year. They do not earn probationary credit toward tenure and are non-tenure track. They may hold a contract for any portion of the 12-month fiscal year. Temporary faculty and visiting faculty are included when employed at less than full-time.

Part-Time Instructor (PTI’s) teach on a per-course/per-semester basis. They have Board approval to teach within a designated academic department(s). All individuals in this category are in non-tenure track positions. PTI’s are reappointed each year.

Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA’s) teach on a per-course/per-semester basis. They are enrolled at the graduate level and have Board approval and/or the Chancellor’s administrative approval to teach within a designated academic department.

Adjunct Faculty hold one of the Board approved adjunct faculty ranks and are authorized to teach within a designated academic department. Adjunct faculty are not paid for instructional duties although they may be employed by the University. All individuals in this category are in non-tenure track positions.

Emeritus Faculty is a title conferred by the president to faculty members who at the time of retirement, had ten (10) or more years of honorable and distinguished USG service.

Total Number of Full-Time Faculty

For the Fall Semester, 2012, the University’s faculty (including full-time, part-time, adjuncts, and emeriti) totaled 2,157. Of those 2,157 faculty members, 1,303 (60%) were full-time.

Number of Full-Time Faculty, Fall 2012

Georgia State University

Total Faculty By Category

Fall 2012

Faculty Category

# Faculty

Full-Time Faculty

   Tenured/on Tenure-Track Faculty

834

   Non Tenure Track Faculty

      Academic Professionals

39

      Administrators not on tenure track

5

      Clinical

130

      Librarians

40

      Limited Term

64

      Research

8

      Other with faculty rank
          Professor

1

          Associate Professor

7

          Assistant Professor

11

          Instructor

22

          Senior Lecturer

36

          Lecturer

106

   Total Full-Time Faculty

1,303

Part-Time Faculty
      Adjunct

53

      Graduate Teaching Assistants

415

      Partial Contracts

34

      Part-Time instructors

352

   Total Part-Time Faculty

854

Total Faculty

2,157

 

The distribution of these 2,157 faculty across colleges can be seen in Table 2. below

 

Number of Full-Time Faculty by College, Fall 2012

GSU Number Of Full-Time Faculty By School/College

Fall 2012

School/College

# Faculty

College of Arts & Sciences

677

Robinson College of Business

191

College of Education

163

College of Law

50

Lewis School of Nursing & Health Professions

60

Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

95

School of Public Health

22

Other

45

Total Full-Time Instructional Faculty

1,303

The departmental distribution of the 1,303 can be seen in the attached Table 3 Full Time Faculty By Tenure Status By College Department (2008-2013)

 

Full-Time Faculty By Tenure Status By School/College, Fall 20012

Georgia State University

Full-Time Faculty By Tenure Status By School/College

Fall 2012

Tenured

School/College

On Track

Nontenure Track

Total

College Of Arts & Sciences

472

205

677

Robinson College Of Business

111

80

191

College Of Education

108

55

163

College Of Law

40

10

50

Lewis School Of Nursing & Health Professions

22

38

60

Andrew Young School Of Policy Studies

68

27

95

School Of Public Health

11

11

22

Other (Click Link To See Previous Table For Detail)

2

43

45

Total Full-Time Faculty

834

469

1,303

 

In analyzing the adequacy of these 1,303 full-time faculty to meet the University’s teaching, research, and service needs, it is important to note that these full-time faculty are supported by a highly-qualified cadre of part-time faculty.

Because of the tripartite mission of teaching, research, and service, it is critical that the time of the full-time faculty is allocated among these three areas in a manner that assures each part of the mission is met. Section 3.12s Guidelines for Appointment, Promotion and Tenure. GSU Promotion and Tenure Manual For Tenured and Tenure Track Professors.

Candidates for promotion and tenure must submit a dossier that includes their achievements in each of the three areas, teaching, research, and service. The allocation of effort among the three areas of responsibility is determined by a faculty member’s unit head in consultation with the faculty member and is reflected in the University’s budgeting system as a percentage of the faculty member’s time, through the Effort Reporting System. The specific expectations for research and service productivity per faculty vary across disciplines as the specific types of research and service activities vary considerably. Within the broad guidelines established by the University System of Georgia, and by Georgia State University, each of the colleges has developed a college specific workload policy. (e.g.College of Education, College of Arts and Sciences, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.

Multiple Methods Used to Analyze Adequacy of Full-Time Faculty

Adequacy of full-time faculty is commonly measured by a direct comparison of the number of full-time faculty with the number of students. The numbers of full-time faculty employed and total number of students enrolled at Georgia State University during the past 5 years can be found in the table below. For the Fall Semester 2012, the University recorded an enrollment of 32,092 as compared with the 1,303 full-time faculty and 2,157 total faculty.

Number Of Full-Time Faculty And Number Of Students By Level, Fall 20012

Georgia State University

Number Of Full-Time Faculty And Number Of Students By Level

Fall 2008 – Fall 2012

Full-Time Faculty

Total Students

Tenured/

Non Tenure

Total

Total

Fall Term

On Track

Track

Fac

Undergraduate

Graduate

Students

2008

833

404

1,237

20,846

7,392

28,238

2009

830

392

1,222

22,384

8,047

30,431

2010

826

460

1,286

23,486

8,052

31,538

2011

827

476

1,303

24,101

7,921

32,022

2012

834

469

1,303

24,665

7,427

32,092

 

Another common method used to analyze the adequacy of faculty to support the instructional mission is a comparison of the student FTE (Full-Time Equivalent) to faculty FTE in order to calculate a ratio. Using that method, the University’s ratio of 21, places the institution at the average of its peer comparators and within the range of its aspirational comparators.

Peer Comparison Of FTE Student/Teacher Ratio*

Georgia State University

Peer Comparison Of FTE Student/Teacher Ratio*

Fall 2008 – Fall 2012

Fall 2008

Fall 2009

Fall 2010

Fall 2011

Fall 2012

Institution

Georgia State University

17.0

19.0

20.0

21.0

21.0

Comparator Peers

George Mason University

15.1

15.5

15.8

16.0

15.6

Old Dominion University

16.9

21.0

21.0

21.0

21.0

San Diego State University

20.0

22.0

21.0

22.0

23.0

Temple University

16.7

16.0

18.6

15.0

15.0

University Of Central Florida

29.9

30.9

31.0

31.7

31.5

University Of Nevada, Las Vegas

20.0

21.0

22.0

22.0

21.0

University Of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

20.0

21.0

20.0

20.0

20.0

Indiana University, Purdue University

18.0

16.0

16.0

18.0

17.0

University Of Houston

22.0

22.0

23.0

23.0

22.0

University Of Louisville

19.0

18.0

18.0

16.0

17.0

University Of Missouri

19.0

19.0

20.0

20.0

20.0

University Of Texas, Arlington

20.0

23.0

24.0

23.0

23.0

University Of Texas, Dallas

19.0

20.0

19.0

21.0

21.0

Virginia Commonwealth University

18.0

18.0

18.0

19.0

18.0

Comparator Peers Average

20.5

20.9

21.1

21.3

21.0

Aspirational Peers

Arizona State University

22.0

23.0

23.7

24.0

23.0

University Of Alabama

20.0

20.0

19.0

19.0

20.0

University Of Delaware

12.0

12.0

15.0

13.0

13.0

University Of Oregon

21.0

20.0

20.0

20.0

19.0

Aspirational Peers Average

18.8

18.8

19.4

19.0

17.9

Source: IPEDS

* For a small number of peers, comparable data were not available.  These institutions were removed from the table.

A related method is the calculation of a ratio making a comparison of the absolute number of full-time faculty to the absolute number of students. Using this approach, the University has a lower ratio than the average for its peer comparators, and falls within the range of its aspirational comparators.

Peer Comparison Of Ratio Of Total Student Enrollment To Full-Time Instructional Faculty Fall 20012

Peer Comparison Of Ratio Of Total Student Enrollment To Full-Time Instructional Faculty

Fall 2012

Stu/

Institution

# Ft Instr Fac

Ft

Pt

Total

Fac

Georgia State University

1,174

23,177

8,915

32,092

27.3

Comparator Peers

George Mason University

1,210

20,297

12,664

32,961

27.2

Old Dominion University

757

16,826

7,844

24,670

32.6

San Diego State University

742

26,260

5,337

31,597

42.6

Temple University

1,451

31,089

5,655

36,744

25.3

University Of Central Florida

1,318

41,046

18,721

59,767

45.3

University Of Nevada, Las Vegas

830

18,175

9,227

27,402

33.0

University Of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

1,073

22,398

6,716

29,114

27.1

Wichita State University

459

9,933

4,960

14,893

32.4

Indiana University, Purdue University

2,247

20,223

10,228

30,451

13.6

University Of Houston

1,383

29,182

11,565

40,747

29.5

University Of Louisville

1,668

16,138

5,104

21,242

12.7

University Of Missouri

1,369

30,304

4,444

34,748

25.4

University Of Texas, Arlington

845

19,327

13,912

33,239

39.3

University Of Texas, Dallas

664

14,309

5,418

19,727

29.7

Virginia Commonwealth University

2,048

25,157

6,595

31,752

15.5

Comparator Average

28.8

Aspirational Peers

Arizona State University

2,546

59,062

14,316

73,378

28.8

Drexel University

Na

Na

Na

Na

Na

Northeastern University

1,100

22,091

2,449

24,540

22.3

University Of Alabama

1,202

28,758

4,745

33,503

27.9

University Of California, Riverside

751

20,494

511

21,005

28.0

University Of Delaware

1,190

18,712

1,651

20,363

17.1

University Of Oregon

1,039

21,914

2,604

24,518

23.6

Aspirational Average

24.6

 

Average class size comparisons with peer and aspirational institutions are yet another measure of the adequacy of the number of full-time faculty for the University’s instructional mission. During the Fall 2012 semester, only 14% of University undergraduate classes enrolled more than 50 students as compared with an average of 16% for peer institutions and 16.1% for aspirational institutions.

Peer Comparison Of Undergraduate Class Size

Georgia State University

Peer Comparison Of Undergraduate Class Size

Fall 2012

NUMBER

PERCENTAGE

Institution

<20

20-49

50+

TOTAL

<20

20-49

50+

Georgia State University

421

1,564

323

2,308

18.2%

67.8%

14.0%

Comparator Peers

George Mason University

762

1,330

326

2,418

31.5%

55.0%

13.5%

Old Dominion University

897

1,344

286

2,527

35.5%

53.2%

11.3%

San Diego State University

694

1,230

689

2,613

26.6%

47.1%

26.4%

Temple University

1,599

2,503

324

4,426

36.1%

56.6%

7.3%

University Of Central Florida

928

1,620

810

3,358

27.6%

48.2%

24.1%

University Of Nevada, Las Vegas

555

1,112

380

2,047

27.1%

54.3%

18.6%

University Of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

1,161

1,341

323

2,825

41.1%

47.5%

11.4%

Wichita State University

758

741

186

1,685

45.0%

44.0%

11.0%

Indiana University, Purdue University

961

1,390

263

2,614

36.8%

53.2%

10.1%

University Of Houston

759

1,053

504

2,316

32.8%

45.5%

21.8%

University Of Louisville

666

1,375

232

2,273

29.3%

60.5%

10.2%

University Of Missouri

1,427

1,227

457

3,111

45.9%

39.4%

14.7%

University Of Texas, Arlington

502

978

583

2,063

24.3%

47.4%

28.3%

University Of Texas, Dallas

323

643

322

1,288

25.1%

49.9%

25.0%

Virginia Commonwealth University

898

1,171

420

2,489

36.1%

47.0%

16.9%

Comparator Average

33.9%

50.1%

16.0%

Aspirational Peers

Arizona State University

2,393

2,290

957

5,640

42.4%

40.6%

17.0%

Drexel University

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Northeastern University

1,698

819

183

2,700

62.9%

30.3%

6.8%

University Of Alabama

1,313

1,181

542

3,036

43.2%

38.9%

17.9%

University Of California, Riverside

352

506

340

1,198

29.4%

42.2%

28.4%

University Of Delaware

759

1,089

349

2,197

34.5%

49.6%

15.9%

University Of Oregon

862

851

329

2,042

42.2%

41.7%

16.1%

Aspirational Average

43.9%

40.1%

16.1%

 

In order to provide a context for the above analysis, it is important also to consider the support available to faculty to carry out the University’s teaching mission. Full-time faculty engaged in the instructional mission of the University are supported by the CII Center for Instructional Innovation and THE EXCHANGE. The function of the CII is to improve student learning through teaching initiatives undertaken directly with schools, colleges, and individual faculty members. The Center fosters the use of evidence-based learning pedagogies and funds Georgia State faculty to engage in classroom-based research. The Exchange a one-stop shop for Georgia State instructors seeking instructional design support, project consulting, equipment and more. The Exchange also offers technical training workshops that are open to the entire Georgia state community, including faculty, staff, and students.

In order to further enhance the effectiveness of faculty in the classroom, the University provides support to both faculty and students in the form of advisors, other academic support personnel, and a number of programs designed to enhance teaching and learning as described more fully in the University’s response to Principle 2.10.

Adequacy of full-time faculty to support the University mission is further demonstrated by examining the percentage of total credit hours taught by full-time faculty in each college. This percentage varies among colleges and schools due to the unique pedagogical needs of each area and is adequate in all areas. Overall, full-time faculty teach 70.7% of the total credit hours delivered.

Hours Taught by Tenured Full-Time Faculty Fall 2012

Tenured Ft Faculty

School/College

Hours Taught

Undergraduate

Graduate

Total

N

%

N

%

N

%

Arts & Sciences

48,122

23.3%

27,783

87.6%

75,904

31.8%

Business Administration

8,693

19.6%

9,948

51.0%

18,640

29.2%

Education

3,952

20.1%

7,310

54.8%

11,262

34.1%

Law

7,406

84.8%

7,406

84.8%

Nursing & Health Professions

1,767

19.5%

1,360

25.1%

3,127

21.6%

Policy Studies

7,590

37.0%

6,022

83.2%

13,612

49.1%

Public Health

1,767

73.8%

1,767

62.5%

Other

6

0.4%

0.0%

6

0.4%

Total

70,129

23.2%

61,595

69.6%

131,724

33.7%

 

Hours Taught by Non Tenured Full-Time Faculty Fall 2012

Non-Tenured Ft Faculty

School/College

Hours Taught

Undergraduate

Graduate

Total

N

%

N

%

N

%

Arts & Sciences

89,390

43.2%

2,637

8.3%

92,027

38.6%

Business Administration

19,624

44.3%

6,640

34.0%

26,264

41.2%

Education

4,266

21.7%

3,222

24.2%

7,488

22.7%

Law

605

6.9%

605

6.9%

Nursing & Health Professions

5,314

58.7%

3,176

58.7%

8,490

58.7%

Policy Studies

7,731

37.7%

799

11.0%

8,530

30.7%

Public Health

192

44.1%

342

14.3%

534

18.9%

Other

642

41.2%

642

37.8%

Total

127,157

42.1%

17,421

19.7%

144,578

37.0%

 

Hours Taught by Total Full-Time Faculty Fall 2012

Total Ft Faculty
School/College Hours Taught
Undergraduate Graduate Total
N % N % N %
Arts & Sciences 137,511 66.5% 30,420 95.9% 167,931 70.4%
Business Administration 28,317 64.0% 16,587 85.0% 44,904 70.4%
Education 8,218 41.8% 10,532 79.0% 18,751 56.8%
Law 8,011 91.7% 8,011 91.7%
Nursing & Health Professions 7,081 78.2% 4,536 83.8% 11,616 80.3%
Policy Studies 15,321 74.7% 6,821 94.3% 22,142 79.8%
Public Health 192 44.1% 2,109 88.1% 2,301 81.3%
Other 648 41.6% 648 38.2%
Total 197,286 65.2% 79,015 89.3% 276,302 70.7%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes: Includes courses taught in all curricular programs.

Credit hours are organized based on school/college providing the instructional funding

Other includes university administrators.

The above credit-hour analysis at the level of individual academic departments further demonstrates the adequacy of full-time faculty. The University’s large size and the number of degree programs it offers lead to variations among these departments because of unique pedagogical needs in each area. For example, use of qualified graduate assistants to assist with certain courses (e.g., larger sections of lower-division physical science courses) is a sound teaching strategy. Similarly, use of part-time faculty with unique skills in other areas (e.g., lower-division language courses, clinical nursing) is an effective approach. Although variations exist, this examination clearly demonstrates the adequacy of full-time faculty to provide oversight and leadership of these many degree programs in a manner assuring that the teaching of the University is carried out effectively.

Off Campus and Online Faculty

In order to address the adequacy of the faculty, it is also important to address off campus and online teaching responsibilities. The tables linked below show credit hours generated by program, mode and location for each college (the Honors College currently has no off campus nor online programming and is thus excluded). it is important to make a distinction at this juncture between online courses, many of which are offered throughout the institution, and fully online programs, that is those programs were more than 50% of the student credits are earned online. GSU has only a handful (see details below) of fully online programs. The analysis in the following tables includes all online courses, not just those taught in the fully online programs.

Of the 241,562 credit hours generated by the College of Arts and Sciences in the Fall Semester of 2013, only 0.2% (588) were taught off-campus, typically these are study abroad programs; in addition fewer than 0.7% (1,730) were taught online. These credit hours were taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus and were integrated into their normal workload consistent with the College’s Workload policy.

College of Arts and Sciences Credit hours by program, mode, and location

 

Of the 62,150 credit hours generated by the J. Mack Robinson College of Business in the Fall Semester of 2013, some 15.1% (9,370) were taught off-campus, the vast majority of these hours were generated in the Buckhead Executive Center just a few miles north of the main GSU campus; in addition some 4.1% (2520) were taught online. These credit hours were taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus and were integrated into their normal workload consistent with the College’s Workload policy.

Robinson College of Business Credit hours by program, mode, and location

 

Of the 29,941 credit hours generated by the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies in the Fall Semester of 2013, only 2.8% (315) were taught off-campus typically these are study abroad programs; in addition only 0.8% (243) were taught online. These credit hours were taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus and were integrated into their normal workload consistent with the College’s Workload policy.

Andrew Young School of Policy Studies Credit hours by program, mode, and location

 

Of the 8,714 credit hours generated by the College of Law in the Fall Semester of 2013, only 9 were taught off-campus, typically these are study abroad programs; no credit hours were generated online.

College of Law Credit hours by program, mode, and location

 

Of the 32,680 credit hours generated by the College of Education in the Fall Semester of 2013, only 2.2% (714) were taught off-campus typically these are study abroad programs; in addition 30% (9,645) were taught online. The College of Education offers several online programs:

Master of Arts for Teachers with a Major in Reading, Language, and Literacy Alternative

Master of Education Mathematics Education

Master of Education Reading, Language and Literacy Education

Master of Education Science Education

Master of Science in Educational Research all offered through Georgia ONmyLINE

and the Master of Science Program in Instructional Technology offered through the Learning Technologies Division of the College of Education.

These credit hours were taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus and were integrated into their normal workload consistent with the College’s Workload policy.

College of Education Credit hours by program, mode, and location

 

Of the 14,207 credit hours generated by the Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions in the Fall Semester of 2013, none were taught off-campus though some 22.9% (3,251) were taught online. These credit hours were taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus and were integrated into their normal workload consistent with the College’s Workload policy.

Lewis School of Nursing and health professions Credit hours by program, mode, and location

 

Of the 3,762 credit hours generated by the School of Public Health in the Fall Semester of 2013, none were taught off-campus and 7.7% (291) were taught online. These credit hours were taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus and were integrated into their normal workload consistent with the College’s Workload policy.

School of Public Health Credit hours by program, mode, and location

 

In summary, of the 394,555 credit hours generated by Georgia State University in the Fall Semester of 2013, only 2.8% (10,995) were taught off-campus; in addition some 4.5% (17,680) were taught online. Across all of the colleges these credit hours were taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus and were integrated into their normal workload consistent with the respective College’s Workload policy.

Total University Credit hours by mode and location

 

Research

As a doctoral research institution the University has research as a core element of its mission. The University’s classification in this area, as described below, demonstrates the adequacy of the full-time faculty to support this element of the mission.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching  classifies Georgia State University as RU/VH, a research university with very high research activity. In order to assure the continued adequacy in this area, virtually all tenured or tenure-track faculty have some effort allocated for research activities.

In addition, the University provides research support to faculty to further assure adequacy in this area. Specifically, full-time faculty engaged in the research mission of the University are supported by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (OVPRED). The mission of the OVPRED is to create and maintain an environment in which Georgia State research can develop to a position of enhanced national prominence. OVPRED is responsible also for all non-financial research compliance areas, including human subjects research, animal care and use, biosafety, and other federal- and sponsor-based regulatory regimes. OVPRED is also charged with the identification, protection, and development of intellectual property for societal benefit. The ability of the University to maintain this research productivity and status demonstrates the adequacy of full-time faculty to support its research mission.

Processes to Continually Assure Adequacy of Full-Time Faculty

A series of processes exist at the University for continually assessing the adequacy of numbers of faculty, the allocation of their time, and faculty performance. The sum of these processes ensures the continued adequacy of both faculty quantity and quality.

Academic Program Review

All academic units undergo a comprehensive program review  on a seven-year cycle. A faculty committee, the Academic Program Review Committee, a subcommittee of the University Senate Committee on Academic Programs, oversees the process and is supported by the University’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness. Reviews include evaluation of all aspects of the unit and its programs, including the adequacy of faculty to support the mission of the unit. Data evaluated in each review includes trends in numbers of faculty as well as trends in faculty workload allocations among the mission-related functions.

Each unit review includes an internal analysis of:
•Success in recruitment and retention of top faculty in the field,
•The number of faculty promoted and/or tenured,
•The number and ratio of faculty at all ranks,
•Average time in rank,
•Recruiting and hiring history of the department.
•Student/faculty ratio data
•Credit hour generation data

Promotion and Tenure Review, Post Tenure Review, and Graduate Faculty Review

Promotion and tenure review as well as post tenure review are other processes that allow for the ongoing consideration of adequacy of full-time faculty. Candidates for promotion and tenure review must include descriptions of their work assignments, including percentage of time devoted to teaching. The post tenure review process requires documentation of accomplishments during the previous five-year period, including teaching responsibilities.

New Program Approval Process

In order to ensure that the number of faculty is adequate to support new programs as they are developed, Georgia State University has a process for approving new programs. Faculty, University, and state governance mandate that each proposal address faculty adequacy. University policy requires that each program proposal addresses the issue of faculty workload, and adequacy of faculty quantity and quality. The policy for new program approval specifies: If existing faculty will be used to deliver the new program, include a detailed faculty load analysis that explains how additional courses in the new program will be covered and what impact the new courses will have on faculty current workloads. (For example, if program faculty are currently teaching full loads, explain how the new course offerings will be accommodated.)

Specialized Accreditations

As described in the institutional response to Standard 3.13.1, numerous Georgia Sate University programs are accredited by specialized accrediting bodies such as AACSB (business), NCATE (education), ABA (law), APA (Counseling, Clinical Psychology), NASAD (art), CSWE (social work). The cyclical process to renew these accreditations includes, in almost all cases, a rigorous evaluation to ensure adequate full time faculty are in place to offer the programs at the high level of quality expected by these professional and specialized organizations.

Commitment to Continued Hiring of Adequate Numbers of Quality Faculty

The Second Century Initiative (2CI) in its fourth year at Georgia State University. The 2CI is expected to add at least 100 new (not replacement) faculty between 2010-2015. Its primary goal is to build nationally and/or internationally recognized strength and critical mass around common research themes to enhance Georgia State University’s overall quality, interdisciplinary richness, and competitiveness. It is designed to build upon the University’s strategic plan, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration. An expected outcome is the acceleration of collaborative faculty research to support the expansion of new knowledge, scholarship and research activities. The initiative is also intended to increase our level of competitive, federally funded research and to elevate GSU’s overall recognition for excellence in research.

The University’s newly adopted Strategic Plan continues the institution’s long-standing commitment to hiring and retaining adequate numbers of qualified faculty. The Plan’s vision for Georgia State University calls for GSU to:

Become a national model for undergraduate education by demonstrating that students from all backgrounds can achieve academic and career success at high rates.

To this end Georgia State University was recognized as the national leader in efforts to dramatically increase graduation rates by the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) Tuesday (Nov. 12, 2013).The association, named Georgia State the inaugural winner of its Most Visible Progress Trailblazer Award for “its exceptional progress with increasing retention toward or completion of a bachelor’s degree during the last three years.”

Performance on External Examinations

Another measure of the adequacy of the University faculty is the impact they have on student performance as measured by success on external examinations. Georgia State University tracks students’ performance on several disciplinary external examinations, including state and national licensing exams. The following are examples of data tracked for individual programs

The College of Education tracks Georgia Association for the Certification of Educators (GACE) pass rates for GSU program completers seeking licensure in Georgia.

GACE Pass Rate

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

Total pass rate

99%

97%

96%

 

The Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions pass rates on licensing examinations are shown in the tables below.

National Board for Respiratory Care

 

 EXAM:  CRT

Year

Tested

Total

Passing %

Passing

First Time %

Passing

Repeaters

2012

32

32

100%

32

100%

0

0%

2011

29

29

100%

29

100%

0

0%

2010

33

33

100%

33

100%

0

0%

2009

35

35

100%

35

100%

0

0%

2008

36

36

100%

33

91.7%

3

8.3%

2007

32

31

96.9%

31

96.9%

0

0%

 EXAM:  Clinical Simulation Examination

Year

Tested

Total

Passing %

Passing

First Time %

Passing

Repeaters

2012

32

32

100%

25

78.1%

7

21.9%

2011

29

29

100%

27

93.1%

2

6.9%

2010

33

33

100%

26

78.8%

7

21.2%

2009

35

35

100%

31

88.6%

4

11.4%

2008

36

34

94.4%

23

63.9%

11

30.6%

2007

32

32

100%

25

78.1%

7

21.9%

 EXAM:  Written Registry Respiratory Therapy

Year

Tested

Total

Passing %

Passing

First Time %

Passing

Repeaters

2012

32

32

100%

31

96.9%

1

3.1%

2011

29

29

100%

28

96.6%

1

3.4%

2010

33

33

100%

32

97.0%

1

3.0%

2009

35

35

100%

34

97.1%

1

2.9%

2008

36

36

100%

32

88.9%

4

11.1%

2007

33

33

100%

29

87.9%

4

12.1%

 

 

Nursing NCLEX and NP Specialty Exams

 

EXAM

2010

#Took

#Pass

%Pass

NCLEX

117

107

91%

Family NP

19

19

100%

Adult NP

NA

NA

NA

Women’s Health NP

7

6

86%

Pediatric NP

9

9

100%

Clinical Nurse Spec.

NA

NA

NA

Psychiatric MH NP

NA

NA

NA

EXAM

2011

#Took

#Pass

%Pass

NCLEX

130

125

96%

Family NP

22

21

95%

Adult NP

1

1

100%

Women’s Health NP

4

4

100%

Pediatric NP

9

9

100%

Clinical Nurse Spec.

1

1

100%

Psychiatric MH NP

NA

NA

NA

EXAM

2012

3 YR AVG

#Took

#Pass

%Pass

NCLEX

129

124

96%

94%

Family NP

31

30

97%

97%

Adult NP

20

20

100%

100%

Women’s Health NP

4

4

100%

93%

Pediatric NP

14

14

100%

100%

Clinical Nurse Spec.

4

4

100%

100%

Psychiatric MH NP

6

6

100%

100%

 

Physical Therapy National Board Exam

Exam

2010

2011

2012

Physical Therapy National Board Exam

99%

99%

99%

 

 

Graduates of the Georgia State University College of Law continue to pass the State Bar Examination at very high rates, as indicated in the table below.

Bar Date 

All applicants

First timers

Average MBE

#Took

#Pass

%Pass

#Took

#Pass

%Pass

July 2013

154

145

94.1

152

144

94.7

149.8

February 2013

31

28

90.3

26

24

92.3

150.7

July 2012

162

153

94.4

160

152

95.0

149.3

February 2012

032

028

87.5

24

23

95.8

144.7

July 2011

149

138

92.6

145

136

93.7

149.5

February 2011

39

37

94.8

28

27

96.4

148.0

 

 

 

 

 

A very high percentage of graduates from the doctoral program in clinical psychology become licensed doctoral psychologists, as indicated by the table below.

OUTCOME

   AY2003 – AY2010

Total number of students with doctoral degrees conferred on transcripts

58

Number of students with doctoral degrees conferred on transcripts who became licensed doctoral psychologists

56

Licensure percentage

  97%

The performance of Georgia State graduates on the external examinations shown above represents another series of indicators of the adequacy of the faculty.

In other measures of student performance, Georgia State has increased its graduation rates by 22 points in the last 10 years, the most dramatic rise in the nation. AS described above the APLU noted Georgia State’s student success programs that have had a major impact on increasing the university’s graduation rates. Georgia State also received the first Student Success Award in collaboration with the Education Advisory Board in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 8, 2013. The university was cited for its leading contributions to national efforts to increase college completion. In addition, the institution was named one of six universities highlighted as models of national higher education reform by the New America Foundation. The foundation cited Georgia State as a “Next Generation University“ for its rapid increases in graduation rates and its ability to hold down costs. These and other student successes are markers of the adequacy of the GSU faculty.

Conclusion

The above analysis demonstrates the University’s long-time commitment to assuring adequacy of full-time faculty to accomplish its mission; the success of the University in meeting that objective; and the planning and commitment necessary to meet that objective in the future.

The Fifth-Year Compliance Certification

2. The institution provides student support programs, services, and activities consistent with its mission that are intended to promote student learning and enhance the development of its students. (Core Requirement 2.10)

Compliance

Narrative

The Mission Statement for GSU reads:

Georgia State University, a doctoral research institution, offers educational opportunities for traditional and nontraditional students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels by blending the best of theoretical and applied inquiry, scholarly and professional pursuits, and scientific and artistic expression. As an urban research university with strong disciplinary-based departments and a wide array of problem-oriented interdisciplinary programs, the goal of Georgia State is to develop, transmit and utilize knowledge in order to provide access to quality education for diverse groups of students, to educate leaders for the State of Georgia and the nation, and to prepare citizens for lifelong learning in a global society.

All of the following services are offered to GSU students as a means to ensure their success and consistent with the spirit and goals of the institutional mission.

The Division of Student Affairs provides innovative quality programs, services, and environments to facilitate student success, learning, citizenship, and involvement at Georgia State University.

The Office of Black Student Achievement focuses on the growth, development and progression of under-represented students, particularly students who consider themselves to be African American or of African descent. The overall intent of the office is to assist students in their efforts to navigate a large, public institution of higher education. The office focuses on two essential areas in student development: 1) Academic Coaching and Tutorial; and 2) Cultural Awareness and Leadership Development. The office provides university-wide services and programs that target such areas as academic and social programming, cultural enrichment, racial and ethnic awareness, leadership training, and student organizational development.

The Office of Civic Engagement promotes and encourages opportunities for community service and service-learning that will enhance student learning and advance community development while responding to societal issues and concerns.  While the primary focus of the OCE is volunteering and service learning, the office supports the University in its efforts to develop student leaders who will be lifelong learners and active citizens who understand their civic responsibility.   The OCE provides assistance to students, student groups, faculty, and staff with regards to volunteerism, community service, service learning and also serves as a clearinghouse/think-tank for outreach programs in the metropolitan Atlanta area.  Major programmatic initiatives include Volunteer and Internship Fairs, Panther Breakaway Alternative Break Program and Panther Cares, a service initiative that encourages student organizations to develop their own service projects. Additionally, in cooperation with the Office of Financial Aid Federal Work Study Program (FWSP), the OCE places students in community service work-study positions that provide a co-curricular experience designed to promote critical thinking, problem solving and ethical responsibility by exposing students to multiple view points, helping them appreciate diversity, and showing them the nuances and challenges of working in an urban environment for a non-profit agency.

The Counseling and Testing Center supports Georgia State students in reaching their personal and educational goals by: 1) offering high quality culturally competent psychological and psychiatric services to our diverse urban university community; 2) providing high quality psychological consultation services to our campus partners; 3) providing high quality teaching and training experiences including workshops, and seminars on topics related to psychological wellness, as well as mentoring and supervision for psychologists and psychiatrists in training; and, 4) evaluating the services and training provided by the Counseling and Testing Center in order to ensure that services are effective and generating individual and collaborative research to advance knowledge in the areas of psychological and health services with university populations. CTC is committed to ensuring that high quality, culturally competent, integrated health care services are provided so that students of all backgrounds can succeed at Georgia State University; over the past five years, the demographics of the students receiving clinical services have consistently matched the demographics of the student body at Georgia State University. In 2012-13, following the implementation of a new staffing model, the CTC implemented a walk-in system for initial consultation for students increasing initial consultations by more than 100% and the number of individual counseling appointments with licensed clinicians was also increased by more than 100%. Through outreach services the staff engaged more than 12,000 students in mental health education through workshops and classroom presentations and participation in marketplaces, depression and anxiety day screenings, Take Back the Night, Homecoming, Panther Welcome Week, and New Student Orientation. The CTC continues to partner with Student Health Promotion to provide an effective interdepartmental alcohol and other drug program, including alcohol education, prevention, and intervention. In addition, the CTC partners with the Office of the Dean of Students to provide a risk screening consultation for students of concern. CTC’s Testing Services annually serves approximately 20,000 individuals (faculty and students from across campus and the Greater Atlanta Community). The CTC’s assessment measures indicate student learning and customer satisfaction throughout clinical and testing services.

The Office of the Dean of Students provides quality, comprehensive programs and services for a diverse student population that promote achievement, empowerment, engagement/involvement, and effective citizenship. Student Assistance services include Crisis/Emergency Response (e.g., Student of Concern Committee), Victim Assistance, Emergency Student Locator Service, Emergency Notifications to Instructors regarding student absences, General Inquiry Response/ Resource/Referral Networks, and administration of the GSU Emergency Withdrawal Policy. ODOS also administers the Georgia State University Student Code of Conduct and Policies through investigation and adjudication of General Conduct complaints; coordination of mediation referrals; interpretation of the Code for faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders; advisement of the Student Judicial Board, as well as administrative support to the Senate Committee on Student Discipline related to all Academic Honesty Policy violations and General Conduct cases. Additionally, ODOS supports student engagement and involvement by providing students and their families myriad opportunities to fully engage in the GSU community including New Student Orientation, Greek Life, Student Organizations, Student Recognition and Parent Relations (includes the Parents Association) as well as through the administration of the Student Activity Fee.

The Margaret A. Staton Office of Disability Services provides services and accommodations to assist students, faculty, and staff in achieving their educational, instructional, and employment objectives. By assuring physical and programmatic access, ODS seeks to afford persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from the programs and services offered through Georgia State University. Some of the services and accommodations provided include academic testing accommodations (includes online classes) such as extended time, use of assistive technology, sign language interpreters and closed captioning, volunteer note-takers/note taking technology, alternate text formatting for print materials, priority registration, advocacy with faculty to assure appropriate academic accommodations, referral and liaison services within and outside the university, academic coaching and learning strategies for individuals with cognitive disorders, disability-related training and consultation for faculty and staff on ADA/504 compliance and accessibility matters, and scholarships to qualified students who are registered with ODS. Additionally, ODS utilizes the University’s online learning management system (Desire2Learn/Collaborate Classroom) to provide instructional materials in alternate format and conducts distance intake appointments via telephone and Collaborate.

The Office of Educational Opportunity (OEO) and TRIO Programs provides outreach and access through a wide range of services designed to facilitate the continuance and expansion of educational opportunities to individuals from diverse backgrounds facing unique challenges. Accordingly, OEO serves as the coordinating body for a variety of programs designed to provide access to educational opportunities, increase retention and graduation rates as well as prepare students for doctoral study by serving students from low income, first generation and disabled groups in higher education. To accomplish these goals it coordinates the efforts of a number of projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education including the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS), Educational Opportunity Center (EOC), Educational Talent Search Program (ETS), Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program (McNair), Student Support Services (SSS), Upward Bound Program (UB), and the Upward Bound /Math Science Center (UB/MS). All of the programs are funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Recreational Services promotes healthy lifestyles through exceptional recreational programs, services and facilities offered to the University community. The Student Recreation Center, a 161,112 square foot, 4-level multi-purpose recreational facility with nearly 2,000 entries per day offers fitness, instructional clinics, aquatics, intramural sports, sport clubs, and outdoor recreation. The facility includes top-of-the-line selectorized weight equipment, cardio-respiratory equipment, free weights, gymnasium space, indoor track, and an aquatics center. Additionally, the facility offers racquetball and squash courts, climbing wall and bouldering cave, and a game room. Services include fitness assessments, personal training and nutrition consultations. Instructional clinics in martial arts, yoga, dance, and sport instruction are also available. Touch-the-Earth, an extensive outdoor recreation program, offers a wide variety of outdoor experiences from a weekend hike in the North Georgia Mountains to life-changing experiential excursions across the country as well as abroad. A complete outdoor rental center is also available for outdoor equipment needs. Indian Creek Recreation Area, located 16 miles from campus, encompasses over 15 acres of beautiful hardwoods and gently rolling terrain and offers the Georgia State community a newly renovated Lodge used for meetings, retreats, and social events; a large outdoor swimming pool and kiddie pool; over ½-acre event lawn; picnic areas, sand volleyball court, and team-building ropes course. Finally, the Panthersville Recreation Complex is located 12 miles from campus and includes two large lighted fields (used for intramural sports competition, sport club practices, and special events), sundeck, restrooms, and parking areas.

The Student Health Clinic provides more than 15,000 patient visits annually with typical services including common illness diagnosis and treatment, routine annual physicals, PAP smears, STD checks, pregnancy tests and emergency contraception. Outsourced through a competitive bidding process since 1998, TenetHealth/Atlanta Medical Center has continuously operated the Student Health Clinic (current contract renewed to 2017). Located adjacent to the University Commons residence hall, the Clinic provides care for students exclusively, and is open Monday-Thursday from 8am to 7pm and Friday from 8am to 5pm with summer hours of Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm. Most appointments are scheduled in advance, however walk in appointments are available for urgent sick visits. True life-threatening emergencies are advised to call 911 and/or 3-3333 for Georgia State University Police. The Clinic is currently staffed with a full-time Physician, two full-time Nurse Practitioners, one part-time Nurse Practitioner, 2 Medical Assistants and two Registered Nurses (one being the Clinic Manager) as well as 5 clerical staff who handle the daily activities of both Clinic and immunization patients. Students are not charged for office visits (funded through their Student Health Fee), however fees are charged for tests, medicines, supplies and vaccines. Dispensary prescription medications are available with the most commonly prescribed drugs are kept in the Clinic dispensary. Some over the counter drugs (e.g., Aspirin, Tylenol cough medicine) are available to patients at no charge, after an appropriate triage intake is completed. Additionally, the Clinic’s Immunization Office is responsible for enforcing the immunization requirements set forth by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and reviewed annually with changes made in consultation with the State of Georgia Health Department. New students are required to show proof of immunity to MMR, Tetanus/Diphtheria, Hepatitis B, and Varicella (Meningococcal is also required for newly admitted freshman students planning to reside in University Housing).

Student Health Promotion provides and supports health promotion services, events, programs, and community partnerships, which empower Georgia State University students to make informed, healthier choices and engage in harm reduction/disease prevention strategies. The core areas of educational focus for Student Health Promotion are sexual assault prevention and alcohol education. Additional areas of programming and health promotion services include substance abuse prevention; healthy sexuality education, including sexual assault and sexually transmitted infection prevention; stress management and mental health promotion; healthy eating and body image education; violence prevention; physical fitness education; and, health and safety education, including the prevention of unintentional injury.

The Student University Center enhances the quality of student life by engendering a sense of community and contributing to the learning environment for all of the Center’s constituencies. The Center creates a distinctive environment supported by quality, responsive services that facilitate programs, student services, and community interaction. Open fifty weeks per year, seven days per week, 16 hours per day (and occasionally extends to 20 hours in a 24 hour period) the Center supports nearly 5700 programs, events and meetings per year. Students utilize this comfortable and safe facility to study, relax between classes and to meet their fellow students. The Student University Center also provides advisement to a variety of student activities including Student Media groups (Signal Newspaper, GSTV, the New South literary journals), Campus Events (Distinguished Speaker Series, Music, Special Events) and the Spotlight Programs Board (Concerts, Panther Prowl, Traditions, Special Events, Cinefest Theater).

University Career Services (UCS) is a comprehensive and centralized “major-neutral, college-neutral” career services office serving all Georgia State University students, from freshman year through to alumni status, with the identification of, preparation for, and transition into opportunities that reflect their purpose and passion in the pursuit of success in a global society. UCS offers programs and services in the areas of career development, cooperative education and internship attainment, graduate and professional school planning, and job/career search; these programs and services provide students with important career exploration and choice opportunities, information on careers and employers, information on graduate and professional school options and application processes, direct contact with graduate school recruiters, and direct exposure to employers with high quality entry-level, co-op, and internship opportunities. The Co-Op Program is a recent campus-wide initiative with UCS taking a collaborative lead role in working with faculty to prepare students for co-ops and support students during their co-op experiences; UCS is also taking a central role in developing and maintaining appropriate co-op opportunities in the region and to market those opportunities to students. Online services and resources include: mock interviews, résumé reviews, career counseling, career assessment, career exploration tools, social media, and job search tools. UCS offers brief instructive videos on many core career development topics. UCS utilizes online career management tools to manage student and employer databases, services, communication and activity tracking. Panther Career Net is the primary system for job listings, which encompasses on and off-campus jobs, co-ops, internships and career positions. UCS is streamlining data collection systems to improve data reporting abilities. GSU collaborative programmatic partners include academic advisors, college faculty, GSU 1010/ Freshman Learning Communities, CPS 2500, the Parents Association, the Athletics Department as well as a multitude of classes, student organizations and student affairs offices. In addition, UCS collaborates with employers to provide students with current real world information, feedback and exposure through programs such as Career Conversations, mock interviews, résumé critiques, and the Real World Interview program. UCS has recently redesigned the career fair model traditionally used and now hosts many career fairs, based on the principle of “delivering the right students to the right employers.” The new format consists of smaller, more focused recruiting fairs at which the students who attend meet employers based on their disciplines or on an industry theme; employers and students both have found this new format more beneficial. UCS underwent a significant reorganization this past year and now includes the Office of Civic Engagement, Leadership Development, the Georgia Career Information Center in addition to the existing UCS programs: Career Development, Employer Relations, and Professional and Graduate School Planning.

The Georgia Career Information Center (GCIS) was established at Georgia State University to provide Georgians with a central and usable source of career information based on comprehensive research and development. The primary mission of the center is to provide current and accurate online career information to the university and other schools and agencies throughout Georgia in order to help young people and adults make informed occupational and educational choices. Since its inception in 1977, the Georgia Career Information Center continues to serve the entire State of Georgia as a source of vital career information. The Center is a key part of a national consortium of career information delivery systems. In that role, the Center is noted nationally for the high quality of its information and for innovative efforts in the provision of online career information. Center staff members represented Georgia State University at numerous conferences, meetings, and training sessions throughout the state and country.

University Housing provides quality on-campus housing to enhance the personal growth and development of students by offering modern, safe, and secure facilities and opportunities for intellectual and social engagement, as well as promoting purposeful interactions between residents and staff. University Housing is an “auxiliary enterprise unit;” it operates as a self-sufficient business entity and receives no operating funds from the State of Georgia, the Board of Regents, or Georgia State University. All costs associated with management, maintenance, personnel, and utilities are covered by revenue generated through student housing rentals, conferences, and resident parking. University Housing oversees the operation of five facilities and two parking decks: University Lofts, University Commons, Patton Hall, Greek Townhomes, and Piedmont North. The operating budget for University Housing is approximately $29 million. University Lofts (UL), which opened in August 2002, has 234 loft style apartments of varied floor plans. The unique apartment configuration allows this building to hold approximately 565 residents. University Commons (UC), which opened in August 2007, is a 4.2-acre complex of four buildings ranging from 8 to 15 stories and houses approximately 2003 residents. The UC has a 786 space covered parking deck for residents. UC is also the location for the Georgia State University Student Health Clinic, the MILE (math) Lab, Commons Market, and GSUPD sub-station and dispatch office. Patton Hall (PH) opened in August 2009 adding 331 beds. PH is exclusively for first-year students and houses a dining hall located on the ground floor that is available to the entire Georgia State community. Students living in Patton Hall enjoy a suite-style floor plan and have a meal plan requirement. Greek Housing (G) opened in fall 2010 and consists of 9 townhomes of varying occupancy totaling 139 students. These townhomes have a variety of room layouts and a community bathroom on each floor of each townhome. There is a fully-furnished kitchen and living room on the first floor of each townhome. Finally, Piedmont North (PN) is the newest residential complex with 1,125 beds (Hall B opened in 2010 and Hall A opened in 2011). Students reside in double and triple shared bedrooms with a bathroom in each unit. Students living in PN have a meal plan requirement that can be used in the complex’s new dining hall. Parking at this facility consists of 254 deck spaces and 61 surface parking spaces.

The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs provides leadership for the Division of Student Affairs in the management of fiscal ($50.5M) and human resources (260 EFT professional staff and 641 student employees); establishing goals for strategic planning and assessment encouraging staff development that promotes professional growth and advances leadership opportunities; and, providing the vision for programs and services that enhance the student experience. The Office of the Vice President also maintains close working relationships with the Office of the Provost and other administrative units. In addition to supervising Division departments, staff in the Office of the Vice President are responsible for a variety of administrative functions including implementation of the Division’s Strategic Plan; assessment of organizational structure and program alignment; stewardship of fiscal resources; recruitment, evaluation and training of personnel; communication, both internal and external to the Division; ensuring compliance with regulatory/accreditation standards; and, review of existing policies and development of additional policies relevant to professional practice.

Off-Campus Locations

Georgia State University offers courses at four off campus locations. A description of each location is provided, along with the summary of supports that are offered at that site.

The Alpharetta Center is located at in Alpharetta Georgia, about 30 miles north of the downtown campus. The J. Mack Robinson College of Business (RCB) is the predominant unit that uses this location for courses, although other units (e.g., College of Education, Criminal Justice & Criminology, School of Social Work) are starting to offer limited numbers of courses at this site. RCB offers the Master of Business Administration, with one cohort starting each January. Students receive advising and course selection, orientation, career coaching, technology, book delivery at this site.

The Buckhead Center is located in Atlanta, ten miles north of the downtown campus. The J. Mack Robinson College of Business (RCB) uses this site to offer eleven different graduate degrees. Support services for students at the Buckhead Center include course selection and advisement, orientations, book delivery, course registration, networking between cohorts of students, career coaching, and panel discussions with the business community.

The Pallisades (Peachtree-Dunwoody Center) is located 16 miles from the downtown campus in Atlanta. The J. Mack Robinson College of Business (RCB) uses this site to offer the Masters of Business Administration, with a cohort starting each January. The student support services at this site include course selection and advisement, orientations, book delivery, course registration, networking between cohorts of students, career coaching, and career management workshops.

The WellStar Center is located 14 miles north of the downtown campus in Marietta GA. The J. Mack Robinson College of Business (RCB) uses this site to offer the Masters of Health Administration for a cohort that started in fall 2012. The student support offered at this site includes course selection and registration advisement, book delivery, orientation, and course registration for students.

As noted in Standards 2.8 and 4.1 Georgia State University has achieved significant improvements in multiple measures related to student achievement (retention, progression and graduation). Georgia State’s notable achievement in the area of student success is a reflection of a number of initiatives and programs that have been developed in recent years using retention and graduation data to target problem areas and implement programming aimed at meeting the goals of the strategic plan.  Some of these initiatives include: targeted course redesign for courses with high DFW rates; financial support programs like Keep Hope Alive, Panther Retention Grants and the implementation of a fully operational Scholarship Resource Center; expansion of tutoring services offered through Supplemental Instruction; the Summer Success Academy for academically at-risk freshman; increased enrollment in the Freshman Learning Communities and a major increase in the number of academic advisors as well as the types of support services they offer. More detail descriptions regarding the individual initiatives that Georgia State has implemented in recent years can be found in the university’s Complete College Georgia Status Report.

In summary, the above narrative provides evidence that Georgia State University offers a broad array of student programs, services, and activities consistent with its mission that are intended to promote student learning and enhance the development of its students.

The Fifth-Year Compliance Certification

3. The institution has qualified administrative and academic officers with the experience and competence to lead the institution. (Comprehensive Standard 3.2.8)

Compliance

Narrative

The following sections provide an organizational chart as context to the ensuing narrative that describes the experience and qualifications of each of Georgia State’s administrative and academic officers in order to demonstrate that they have the experience, competence and capabilities necessary to provide leadership to the University.

In addition to the rigorous process by which they are screened on appointment, Georgia State University administrative and academic officers are also reviewed on a regular basis. The process of review for each position is established in the Faculty Handbook section311.01 GSU Faculty Handbook Annual Evaluation.

TheGSU ORG CHART provides context on the interrelationship between administrators, administrative units, and colleges.

President

The current Georgia State University President, Mark Becker, he has served in this capacity since January 2009. Prior to his appointment as president of Georgia State, Dr. Becker was Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of South Carolina and Dean of the School of Public Health and Assistant Vice President of Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Response at the University of Minnesota. From 1989 to 2000, he was a professor in the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, where he also was Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. He has held academic appointments at the University of Washington, the University of Florida and Cornell University. Dr. Becker attended Harford (Md.) Community College, earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Towson State University in 1980 and his Ph.D. degree in statistics from the Pennsylvania State University in 1985.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

The Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Risa-Palm, has served in this capacity since September 1, 2009. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Palm served as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the State University of New York. Palm received both a B.A. degree in history, with a minor in French, and a B.S. degree in social studies education from the University of Minnesota. She subsequently received an M.A. degree in geography from the same institution. In 1972, she was awarded a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Minnesota. She has held tenured positions at the rank of professor in departments of geography at the University of Colorado, the University of Oregon, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Louisiana State University.

Vice Provost, Associate Provosts, and Vice Presidents

Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success and Vice Provost

The Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success and Vice Provost for Georgia State University is Timothy-Renick. Prior to his appointment as Vice Provost, Dr. Renick served as Associate Provost for Academic Programs and Chief Enrollment Officer for the University (2008-2012). A professor of Religious Studies, Dr. Renick has has been on the faculty at Georgia State University since 1986. He was the founding chair of the Department of Religious Studies, served as Director of the Honors Program, and chair of the Committee on Academic Programs. Dr. Renick graduated from Dartmouth College in 1982 and earned a Ph.D. in Religion from Princeton University in 1986.

Vice Presidents

The Vice President for Student Affairs, Douglass F. Covey, has served in that capacity since 2006. Prior to his appointment at Georgia State University, Dr. Covey served as Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students (1999-2006) at Idaho State University, and as Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of North Florida (1997-1999). He received his B.A. in Political Science (1978) from West Virginia University, an M.A. is Higher Education Administration from West Virginia University(1982) and a Doctor of Education in Education Leadership from the University of North Florida (1996).

The Vice President for Public Relations and Marketing Communications is Don-Hale. He has served in this capacity since 2012. Before joining Georgia State University, Hale was Vice President for Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin (2001-2012) and Vice President for University Relations at Carnegie Mellon University (1988-2001). He has consulted at other colleges, universities and corporations including AT&T, the University of Illinois, North Carolina State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Colorado, the University of Dayton, Robert Morris University, Nova Southeastern University, Austin Community College and Arizona State University. He received his B.S. in Communications from Temple University.

The Vice President for Development is Walter-Massey. He came to Georgia State University after a 22 year career at Florida State University, where he served as Vice President of the Foundation and had significant roles in two major campaigns that raised $300 million and $600 million, respectively. He has spent 32 years in higher education, and served as Dean of Students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University before moving to development. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Florida State University.

The Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration,Jerry-J.-Rackliffe, has served in this capacity since 2003. He has 30 years of service at Georgia State University, having advanced from the position of Accountant to Associate Director of Grants and Contracts, to Director of Budget and Planning, to Acting Vice President for Finance, to his current position as Vice President for Finance and Administration. His academic preparation for his current position includes being a licensed Certified Public Accountant, having a BBA in Accounting (1983), and MBA in finance (1988) and a Juris Doctor (2005). Offices reporting directly to the VP for Finance and Administration include: The Assistant VP for Human Resources, the Associate VP for Auxiliary and Support Service, the Assistant VP for Finance/ Comptroller, the Assistant VP for Facilities Management Services, The Associate VP for Finance, Budget, Financial Systems, Management and Staff Development and the Police.

James Weyhenmeyer is the Vice President for Research and Economic Development at Georgia State University where he has responsibility for managing the university’s research portfolio and economic development activities. Immediately prior to joining the Georgia State community, he was the Senior Vice Provost for Research and Economic Development at the State University of New York and the Vice President for Research at the State University of New York Research Foundation. Dr. Weyhenmeyer is an experienced senior administrator having held several executive administrative appointments, including posts as the Associate Vice President for Economic Development and Corporate Relations and Vice President for Technology and Economic Development at the University of Illinois. Dr. Weyhenmeyer received his B.A. from Knox College, a Ph.D. from Indiana University and did his postdoctoral training in the Departments of Medicine and Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Iowa.

Associate Provosts

The Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, Lynda Brown-Wright has served in this capacity since 2012. Prior to her appointment in this role she was Assistant Provost of Faculty Affairs at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Brown Wright also served as a Fellow of the American Council of Education from 2010-2011. Dr. Brown Wright earned her B.A. degree at Grambling State University, an M.A. from the State University of New York, Albany and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Texas A&M.

The Associate Provost for International Initiatives is Jun Liu. Dr. Liu has served in this capacity since 2011. Prior to his appointment at Georgia State, Dr. Liu was Assistant Vice-Provost of Global Initiatives at the University of Arizona and Director of the Confucius Institute at the University. A Professor of Applied Linguistics at Georgia State, Dr. Liu holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature from Suzhou University, a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from East China Normal University and a Ph.D. in Foreign and Second Language Education from The Ohio State University.

The Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness, Peter Lyons, has served in that capacity since 2010. Before his current appointment he was founding Director of the Center for Collaborative Social Work at GSU. Prior to his academic career he worked as senior administrator in state and regional child welfare agencies in the United Kingdom and Canada. Dr. Lyons has received and administered more than $14 million dollars in externally funded projects, mostly associated with organizational improvement efforts in state child protection agencies. He earned his undergraduate and M.Ed. at the University of Manchester (UK) and holds a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from SUNY at Buffalo.

The Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation, Robin Morris, has served in that capacity since 2011. Prior to his appointment in this role he was the Vice President for Research at Georgia State University (2004-2011). He holds the rank of regents Professor of Psychology, and has had administrative experience since 1994 when he became Chair of the Department of Psychology at Georgia State University, a position he held until 2001. From 2001 to 2004 he held the position of Associate Dean for Research and Graduate studies for the College of Arts and Sciences. He was founding director of the Regents Center for Learning Disorders, and has been involved in collaborative scientific work at several institutions. He received his B.A. in Psychology from Emory University, M.S. in Clinical Psychology from Trinity University, and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology/Neuropsychology from the University of Florida.

Curriculum vitae for all individuals above are included in the supporting documentation. CVs for each of the Deans of the colleges at Georgia State University are also included. The Deans are listed below:

Dean Paul-Alberto, College of Education

Dr. Paul Alberto was named Dean of the College of Education in 2014 after serving as Interim Dean since 2012. Previously, he was the Program Coordinator for the Multiple & Severe Disabilities Program at Georgia State University for 36 years and the Director of the Bureau for Students with Multiple and Severe Disabilities for 26 years. He was named Regents’ Professor in 2006. Currently, Dean Alberto also serves as Co-director and faculty for the University Area of Focus: Researching in Challenges to the Acquisition of Language and Literacy and as faculty for the Center for Research on Atypical Development & learning. He earned his Ph.D. in Severe Disabilities from Georgia State University.

Dean Larry Berman, Honors College

Dr. Larry Berman is the Founding Dean of the Honors College and has served as Dean since 2012. Previously, he was the Faculty Assistant to the Vice Provost for the Washington Program at the University of California, Davis from 2011-2012. At UC Davis, Dean Berman was the Founding Director of the Washington Center in 1999, and he continued his service with the Center for six years before becoming the Program Director of the Washington Program for four more years. Dean Berman earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University in Political Science.

Dean Michael Eriksen, School of Public Health

Dr. Michael Eriksen was the Founding Dean of the Institute (now School) of Public Health at Georgia State University, and has been Dean since 2012. He also serves as the Director of the Partnership for Urban Health Research and Director and Principal Investigator of the Center of Excellence on Health Disparities Research. Prior to serving as Dean, he was the Director of the Institute of Public Health for 10 years at Georgia State University, and was a CDC Distinguished Consultant assigned to the World Health Organization, Geneva. He earned his Sc.D. from The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health.

Dean Fenwick-Huss, Robinson College of Business

Dr. H. Fenwick Huss has been the Dean of the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University since 2004. Prior to serving as Dean, he was the Associate Dean of the Robinson College of Business from 1998-2004, and the Director of the School of Accountancy from 1996-1998. He launched both the Worlds Affairs Council of Atlanta and the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), which were recognized by the Governor’s 2010 International Award. He earned his D.BA in Accounting from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Dean Steve-Kaminshine, College of Law

Dean Steve Kaminshine has served as Dean of the College of Law at Georgia State University since 2005, and has taught in the College of Law since 1985. Previously, he has served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Law, from 1997-2004. Prior to joining the faculty at GSU, Dean Kaminshine taught at Cornell University from 1982-1984 and was a partner in a labor and employment law practice in New York City from 1981-1984. He earned his J.D. from DePaul University.

Dean William Long, College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. William Long has been the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Georgia State University since 2011. Prior to serving as Dean, he was the Chair of the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology for 10 years and the Co-director of the European Union Center for the University System of Georgia from 1999-2001. Dr. Long earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University in Political Science.

Tammy Sugarman, Interim Dean, University Library

Tammy Sugarman has served as the Interim Dean of the University Library since September 2013. She is also the Association Dean of Collections (since 2009) and has previously served as an Associate University Librarian in Research Services from 2007-2009. She has been an Associate Professor at Georgia State University since 2008, and she earned her M.S. in Information from the University of Michigan.

Dean Mary Beth Walker, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

Dr. Mary Beth Walker has been Dean of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University since 2010. Prior to serving as Dean, she was the Chair of the Department of Economics from 2009-2010 and the Interim Associate Dean for the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies in 2009. She has been teaching Economics at Georgia State University since 1991. Dr. Walker earned her Ph.D. in Economics from Rice University.

Dean Magaret-Wilmoth, Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions

Dr. Margaret Wilmoth has served as Dean of the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions since 2012. Previously, she was a professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she achieved tenure in 2001. She taught at UNC Charlotte for 15 years before joining the faculty at Georgia State University. She is currently a member of the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice and she was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal by the Secretary of Defense in 2012. Dr. Wilmoth earned her Ph.D. in Nursing from the University of Philadelphia School of Nursing.

The above narrative and supporting documentation provide evidence that Georgia State University has qualified administrative and academic officers with the experience and competence to lead the institution, and an evaluation process to ensure continuance of this condition.

The Fifth-Year Compliance Certification

4. The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results in the following area: (Comprehensive Standard 3.3.1)

3.3.1.1 Educational programs, to include student learning outcomes

Compliance

Narrative

Georgia State University (GSU) maintains a strong, on-going, university-wide commitment to the comprehensive, regular, and systematic assessment of all of its educational programs, including student learning outcomes, as part of its efforts to foster continuous improvement in its programs and student learning. All academic units, including centers and institutes, undergo regular Academic Program Review and have done so through two 7 year cycles. In addition, all GSU educational programs, including the General Education program courses in the core, identify expected student learning outcomes, assess the extent to which these outcomes are achieved, and provide evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results of these assessments.

The first section of this document describes the student learning assessment process at GSU, while the second section provides an overview of the results of the assessment process for the last five years. The third and fourth sections provide detailed evidence of improvements in student learning, educational programs, and the assessment process itself based on analysis of assessment results in undergraduate and graduate programs, respectively. Three more sections address assessment of distance education, certificate programs, and educational programs offered at extended campuses, respectively. Additional sections address specialized accreditation, university wide continuous quality enhancement efforts in student learning, and system wide support for academic assessment.

The Student Learning Assessment Process at GSU

GSU assesses student learning on an annual basis in all undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs as well as in the General Education (core curriculum) program. Faculty play a central role in all aspects of the assessment process: the establishment of student learning outcomes, the development of assessment plans, the conduct of assessment at the program level, assessment reporting, and the review of assessment reports.

Since 2005, each educational program has developed and maintained assessment data in Weave Home Page, the assessment management software program used by the University. The assessment process generates over 200 separate reports each year, not including those required of the Critical Thinking through Writing program. Of the 224 reporting entities in WEAVEonline, 217 are active (several programs had name changes with both names appearing in the system, e.g Middle Education to Middle Childhood Education, BNUR to BSN, Kinesiology to Sports Sciences, Professional Counseling to School Counseling). All of these 217 had assessment plans on file for 2012-2013 and 198 (91%) submitted findings. Of the remainder, 5 (2%) are being considered for deactivation due to low enrollment (e.g. MA in German, MA in Math, BS in Recreation, BS in Policy Studies, PhD in Decision Sciences), and multiple MBA program assessment reports (5%) were combined into one. Thus 98% of programs submitted assessment report findings for 2012-2013.

Overall responsibility for assessment at GSU lies with the Committee on Academic Programs (CAP) of the University Senate. The CAP has established two faculty sub-committees to oversee the assessment process: the Undergraduate Assessment Committee (UAC) and the Graduate Assessment Committee (GAC). The UAC was established in 2008. It replaced the previous General Education Assessment Committee when the committee’s responsibilities were expanded to include oversight for the assessment of all undergraduate as well as General Education and the Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) initiative. The GAC was created in 2010 to provide oversight for all graduate degree programs. Each committee consists of approximately 20 faculty members and includes representatives from the University Senate, the Office of Academic Assessment, and students. Each committee is headed by two rotating co-chairs who receive summer salary or professional development support as compensation for their time commitments.

The UAC reviews the assessment reports for all of the undergraduate programs and the General Education curriculum as well as the Critical Thinking through Writing program and provides feedback to the department assessment reporters based on its reviews of the reports. The GAC performs the same functions for all of the graduate programs. The committees also meet to review and make changes as necessary in the assessment process and schedule.

Since the last SACS Reaffirmation in 2007-2008, the student learning outcomes assessment process has been supported by the Academic Assessment and Review, located in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness. The Directors of Academic Assessment report to the Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness and to the CAP. The Office provides technical assistance to assessment reporters and departments with regard to the design of assessment plans, the conduct of assessment, continual improvement of assessment, and the use of WEAVEonline software. The Office also offers workshops on assessment best practices that are open to all members of the university community (Assessment Workshop Example 1Assessment Workshop Example 2Assessment Workshop Example 3).

The Directors of the Office of Academic Assessment work closely with the UAC and GAC as they review and provide feedback to all program reporters. The Directors serve as ex-officio members of the assessment committees and participate in the review process.

GSU encompasses 53 undergraduate and 149 graduate degree programs distributed across seven colleges and schools:

 

Undergraduate

Graduate

Core

Total

College of Arts & Sciences

31

43

20

94

College of Education

5

57

0

62

College of Business

10

33

0

43

School of Policy Studies

4

8

2

14

School of Nursing and Health Professions

3

5

0

8

School of Law

0

1

0

1

School of Public Health

0

2

0

2

Total

53

149

22

224

 

In addition, 22 departments offer General Education courses in the core curriculum, and each undergraduate degree program has been required to include Critical Thinking through Writing (CTW) as a graduation requirement since 2009. Each department is responsible for submitting a separate annual assessment report for each undergraduate and graduate degree program that it offers and, where appropriate, for its General Education courses and its CTW program.

Each assessment report specifies the program’s mission, goals, and student learning outcomes, which include measureable statements of knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes that students are expected to attain in the degree program as a whole. In addition, each report describes the methods of measurement, the targets for the achievement of student learning outcomes, and the findings of the assessment. With the knowledge of the findings, program reporters and their departments develop Action Plans for improving their educational programs and, as needed, the assessment process. Because the WEAVEonline software program is accessible to every member of the university community, the results of our assessments are shared widely within and across programs (see Login Instructions for WEAVEonline).

Undergraduate Programs’ Assessment Reports

College of Arts and Sciences

Fine Arts WEAVE Report example

Humanities, WEAVE Report example

Natural and Computational Sciences WEAVE Report

Social and Behavioral Sciences WEAVE Report example

Andrew Young School of Policy Studies WEAVE Report example

J. Mack Robinson College of Business WEAVE Report example

Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions WEAVE Report example

College of Law (Not applicable)

School of Public Health (Not applicable)

College of Education WEAVE Report example

 

Graduate Programs’ Assessment Reports

College of Arts and Sciences

Fine Arts WEAVE Report example

Humanities WEAVE Report example

Natural and Computational Sciences WEAVE Report example

Social and Behavorial Sciences WEAVE Report example

Andrew Young School of Policy Studies WEAVE Report example

J. Mack Robinson College of Business WEAVE Report example

Lewis School of  Nursing and Health Professions WEAVE Report example

College of Law WEAVE Report example

School of Public Health WEAVE Report example

College of Education WEAVE Report example

 

Overview of Student Learning Assessment Results, 2008-2013

The attached charts provide an overview of improvements made in educational programs and assessment processes over the last five years, based on a content analysis of the assessment reports. Most years, between 74 and 90 percent of the degree programs responded to the questions in WEAVEonline related to process and impact. Some reporters mention several changes, others one, and a few do not complete this section regularly. However, based on reporters’ feedback concerning such changes, we found a pattern of responses.

The undergraduate programs appear to revise learning outcomes and measures, and they consistently report monitoring and faculty discussions about assessment results. Their mention of impact from findings/results of the assessment indicate that they use this information to revise curriculum, courses, add experiences for their students that help them with learning and meeting faculty expectations, and add or delete courses altogether. (Specific samples of degree program responses are provided below.)

The graduate programs tend to make changes in assessment processes that focus on revised measures along with other patterns of faculty discussion and monitoring. As for the impact of the results of their assessments, many graduate programs report that they revise course content, sometimes the curriculum, and add or delete courses based on their assessments. (Again, see specific samples below.) An interesting aspect of this kind of aggregation, one that cannot be readily seen from the charts, is that each year different degree programs come “on board” to develop rubrics and revise or add courses that enhance the thesis or dissertation or comprehensive exams.

Overall, we are finding that continuous improvement for student learning outcomes is occurring not only within the degree programs, but also across the undergraduate and graduate programs in the university.

Detailed Evidence of Improvement: Undergraduate Programs

In addition to the submission of annual assessment reports, the Office of Academic Assessment asked each program assessment reporter to answer three summary “Retrospective Academic Program Questions” regarding student learning, program improvements, and changes in the assessment process over the past five years. A review of the assessment reports for the last five years and the responses to the summary questions reveals substantial evidence of improvements in student learning, educational programs, and the assessment process itself based on analysis of assessment results. We first review the evidence of improvement in undergraduate degree and General Education programs. (For further details, please see the individual, annual program reports in WEAVEonline and 2008-13 Retrospective Undergraduate  Program Questions.)

A. College of Arts and Sciences

At GSU, the majority of undergraduate education takes place in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). The college consists of 24 undergraduate units — two schools, 18 departments, and four institutes – organized into four areas – fine arts, humanities, natural and computational sciences, and social and behavioral sciences — which collectively offer 35 Bachelors degree programs. In addition, 20 units contribute to the university’s General Education program.

Using assessment data, the units in CAS made numerous changes in their educational programs during the review period, and some of these changes have resulted in measurable improvements in student of learning.

 

Humanities and Fine Arts

Findings from the assessment process prompted the School of Art and Design to introduce more discussion in the classroom about critical thinking and how it is practiced in the discipline. With the help of the assessment process, the Communication department has developed online tools to aid students with public speaking assignments in the General Education curriculum. The department has held a public speaking contest each semester for students in the core courses, and it now posts the speeches of the finalists and offers online quizzes that allow students to apply the concepts of public speaking. Assessment findings have also led to significant revisions in the department’s Journalism BA. The program now requires more writing and production courses as well as practically-oriented reporting courses, and it has added a course that provides instruction in multimedia/new media production and developed a Writing Lab to help improve students’ writing.

In the department of English, assessment has contributed to improvements in instructor preparation as well as course design. The department initiated a new training session for the graduate teaching assistants (GTA) who teach the vast majority of the sections of the General Education courses, which covers, among other things, assignment construction and pedagogical techniques. Improvements in the English undergraduate degree programs include the inclusion of more guidance on the preparation of the senior exit portfolio and, in the concentration in Secondary Education, the addition of an internship along with faculty resources for advisement and instruction. The department of Modern and Classical Languages (MCL) has used assessment to increase the commonality of the lower division courses in the three main languages – French, German, and Spanish – including teaching philosophies, syllabi, and classroom practices. The School of Music has seen significant improvements in student performances as a result of the use of new evaluation tools.

Assessment has led to improvements in both the General Education program and the undergraduate major in Philosophy. It has caused the department to concentrate its Supplemental Instruction Leadership program on the core curriculum and to phase out mixed classes with both undergraduate and graduate students at the 4000-level, resulting in improved student performances at both levels. Religious Studies integrated a research component into its senior capstone seminar for majors. Assessment findings prompted Women’s Studies to place more emphasis on shorter papers and opportunities for revision, both of which have resulted in stronger student performances.

 

Natural and Computational Sciences

In the Biology program, assessment revealed both duplicative presentation of low priority topics and inconsistencies in course content across sections of the same course. The department addressed these problems by comparing syllabi from different courses in order to remove redundant material and by developing standardized content in courses that are taught in multiple sections, thereby assuring a more consistent educational experience for majors. Meanwhile, the Chemistry department revised its freshman and sophomore level courses to include on-line homework assignments in order to improve student learning. The department of Mathematics and Statistics reports that assessment has been very helpful in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the core curriculum. Course material has been revised to include more real-life examples, and faculty have developed more effective instructional techniques. In the undergraduate major, the department has added training in scientific software and, as a result, found significant improvement in the ability of students to solve mathematical problems and to present their work professionally.

 

Social and Behavioral Sciences

In the Department of African-American Studies, faculty used the assessment process to isolate areas that were challenging to students and make targeted revisions. For example, the integration of theory into the formulation of research problems resulted in improvement in the ability of students to apply theory to their own research. In the Anthropology department, the assessment process has contributed to the formalization of the department’s focus on topical and methodological learning as well as on demonstrating students’ ability to apply concepts and methods through original research exercises and projects. In particular, the BA program adopted a research exercise in the 2000-level gateway course in each sub-discipline. In the History department, the implementation of the assessment process resulted in the inclusion of historical geography and map literacy in the General Education courses, and it contributed to the strengthening of instruction in historiography in upper-level classes, where students are required to engage in historical interpretation and the conscious application of methodology when undertaking research assignments. In Political Sciences, assessment contributed to improvements in both the core curriculum and the BA program. In the former, the content of one course was overhauled, and the department is experimenting with a variety of non-traditional teaching methods in another General Education course. In the major, assessment identified weaknesses in the development of research questions and testable hypotheses as well as the integration of alternative points of view, leading to pedagogical adjustments that resulted in improvements in student learning. The department of Psychology redesigned its sequence of courses in statistical and research methods for the undergraduate program.

 

Improvements in the Assessment Process

Assessment reporters have also documented numerous improvements in the assessment process. In the general education program for the School of Art and Design, for example, the assessment process helped to achieve greater consistency in the types of exam questions used by the faculty. The English department has created a First Year Guide to Writing that facilitates the tracking and reporting of assessment results. It has also standardized the assessed assignments in the General Education courses and trains GTAs how to collect and report assessment data. The History department has revised its goals and student learning outcomes so that they are applicable to all classes in the core curriculum, and it has modified the associated rubric used for assessment accordingly.

MCL has made major changes in its assessment processes. The department has developed a common assessment tool – the student interview – for the different language classes offered as part of the core curriculum, and has redefined the common learning goal. Likewise, in the three BA programs, MCL has streamlined assessment from the use of multiple measures to a single focus on student performance on an academic paper, which enables instructors to focus on a limited set of targets. The School of Music has improved its assessment process by developing new rubrics for the core curriculum as well as the upper-level concentrations in band, voice, and conducting, and it has revised its method for assessing concern reports.

The Political Science department developed distinct tools for assessing substantive knowledge, critical analysis skills, and communication skills in the core curriculum, and it developed a differentiated set of rubrics for evaluating student work in the capstone seminar for the major. The department of Religious Studies made a number of changes in its assessment measures so that they would correspond better to the student learning outcomes. And Sociology revised its student learning outcomes to place more emphasis on the demonstration of understanding concepts through writing.

 

College of Education

The College of Education consists of six departments, which offer five Bachelors degree programs between them. The department of Early Childhood Education (ECE) reported a number of program improvements attributable to the assessment process: embedding an ESOL endorsement in the BSEd program, adding material on methods of assessment and self-assessment, revising a course to include a new focus on digital literacy, revising the three classroom management sequence to emphasize lesson plan development and responsive classroom management, and providing supplemental instruction in grammar, usage, mechanics, and style. These program improvements resulted in improvements in student learning, especially in the areas of written communication, classroom management, and content knowledge. And in its Birth through Five (B5) BSEd program, the department drew upon assessment findings to revise its course on Family and Community Relations to include assignments for helping build connections with families and communities. The department of Kinesiology and Health also made several improvements in its undergraduate degree program in Health and Physical Education that contributed to improvements in student learning: offering the related classes on assessment and basic teaching skills in the same semester, revising the assessment textbook, and, more generally, making the curriculum more consistent. And the assessment process prompted the department of Middle-Secondary Education to make a number of changes in its Middle Level Education (MLE) BSEd program. These included increasing the amount of content knowledge in methods courses, increasing instruction on the conduct of action research, and adding seminars related to classroom management, differentiation, and technology.

All the programs in the college also made revisions in their assessment processes. ECE, for example, moved to an electronic assessment management system (LiveText) and revised its goals and student learning outcomes to align with state program and national accreditation requirements. Likewise, the B5 program improved the alignment of its student learning outcomes and assessment measures with state teacher certification assessment processes, such as the requirement to develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for a learner with a disability. And the MLE program changed its measure of student planning and its impact on learning from an Action Research Project to a Teacher Work Sample.

 

College of Business

The J. Mack Robinson College of Business (RCB) consists of 10 units – two schools, six departments, and two institutes — that collectively offer 10 undergraduate degree (BBA) programs, the second largest number after CAS. Here too we find evidence of improvements in student learning, educational programs, and the assessment process itself based on analysis of assessment results.

The general BBA program reports many changes in course sequencing and content as a result of the assessment process. In particular, the program has established a new gateway course on business communication for majors. In addition, the program conducted a comprehensive revision of student learning outcomes and rubrics in 2010-11. In response to assessment findings, the department of Computer Information Systems reinstituted a computer programming requirement. Likewise, the department of Finance remedied deficiencies in quantitative skills and knowledge of allied business disciplines that were identified by the assessment process to boost student performances on national tests, and it developed a new course on field-studies in finance that involves student internships. Assessment findings led the School of Hospitality Administration to integrate quantitative material into course in the major, and the School further refined and prioritized its student learning outcomes. In view of its assessment results, the Marketing department instituted a new course for the major on Marketing Metrics and encouraged instructors in all courses to make use of case analyses. The department also revises several of its student learning outcomes and assessment measures and adopted the use of rubrics for evaluating case analyses. The department of Real Estate conduced a review of course content and improved a number of its assessment measures in order to obtain more meaningful findings.

 

School of Policy Studies

The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies consists of four departments that offer four undergraduate degree programs. In addition, two departments contribute to the university’s General Education Program.

Several departments made significant changes in the structure of the curriculum and/or course content based on assessment results. The Criminal Justice department shifted the CTW requirement from the methods course to the ethics in criminal justice course in its BS program. It also altered the placement of courses in the curriculum in order to facilitate assessment of pre- and post-learning outcomes. The Economics department developed a new capstone course (ECON 4999) and added econometrics to the BS degree requirement. And the department of Social Work standardized the content in sections taught by part-time instructors in two ways: by offering of an internal orientation session at beginning of year and by establishing “lead faculty” for sections taught by PTIs.

Several departments also reported improvements in the assessment process itself. Criminal Justice modified some of its assessment targets in response to its assessment findings. Social Work developed a new competency-based model of assessment. Economics altered the way assessment data are reported by matching questions on tracking exams to student learning outcomes. This change has allowed the department to focus on problematic questions and to reconsider if particular questions actually captured SLOs. The department also increased some of its targets and developed a new rubric for assessing group projects.

 

Nursing and Health Professions

The Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions offers three BS degree programs. Based on the findings of the assessment process, the Nursing program made substantial changes in the summer version of its capstone seminar, which was extended from seven to 10 weeks, required an additional exam, and imposed a strict attendance policy. The Nutrition program reports a handful of changes as a results of the assessment process: the incorporation of material on the nutrition care process into several course, the addition of a quantity foods class and a nutrition quality class, and making a basic nutrition class and the course on Entrepreneurial Nutrition required classes. The Nutrition program also conduced a comprehensive revision of student learning outcomes, measures, and targets to reflect the requirements of the specialized accrediting agency. The Respiratory Therapy program also made changes that contributed to student learning. It sought to improve communication skills through the use of student case study presentation and greater faculty advisement, and it sought to improve critical thinking skills through the provision of mock written exams. The program also added a new course on end-of-life issues.

 

Detailed Evidence of Improvement: Graduate Programs

GSU offers 149 graduate degree programs across four Colleges and three Schools. As with the undergraduate and General Education programs, a review of the assessment reports for the graduate programs over the last five years and the responses to the “Retrospective Academic Program Questions” yields substantial evidence of improvements in student learning, educational programs, and the assessment process itself based on analysis of assessment results. (For further details, please see the individual, annual program reports in WEAVEonline and 2008-13 Retrospective Graduate  Program Questions.)

 

College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) offers 43 graduate degree programs at the Masters and Ph.D. levels. Using assessment data, the units in CAS made numerous changes in their educational programs during the review period, and some of these changes have resulted in measurable improvements in student learning.

Based on assessment findings, the Department of Applied Linguistics developed a new MA elective course on Technology and Language Teaching and added a required PowerPoint MA paper presentation in the final semester of the MA program. As a result of these changes, most of the students now appear much more confident in and adept at envisioning technology as a resource for the language classroom. Also as a result of the assessment process, faculty have made a microteaching video a required component in the MA portfolio.

The Department of Chemistry now requires that end-of-semester reports be approved by the advisor and submitted to the Department for review and approval by the Graduate Director in order to ensure that all students are using a consistent research structure and are following the NIH proposal structure and formatting guidelines. This helps to ensure that students are following specific steps to acquire the desired learning outcomes for scientific research and that written communication skills follow the guidelines of the Department. In addition, students are trained very early in their graduate program how to identify problems, formulate scientific questions, design and conduct investigations, formulate and defend their theories, and interpret and solve problems, resulting in thesis and dissertation research proposals and defenses that are of higher caliber.

The Neuroscience Institute has restructured the Intro to Graduate Studies class to include Responsible Conduct in Research and implemented Professional Development workshops for students to better prepare them for conference presentations, job interviews, enhancing teaching performance, etc. The Department of Philosophy learned clearly from assessing the graduate program that students do better in classes that are not mixed with undergraduates and graduates. As a result, it has added more 8000 level classes for graduate students and limited the number of seats for undergraduate students in the cross-listed 6000 classes to five.

To address concerns about student performance in research design and execution, the Department of Political Science completed revised its methods sequence. Instead of the previous two-course sequence that combined research design and quantitative analysis, the new sequence for MA students requires three courses: a single course on research design, a single course on basic statistical analysis, and then a choice between an intermediate statistics course or an entirely new qualitative methods course intended to ensure interested students have sufficient training in such analytic methods.

The Department of Religious Studies implemented changes in the process by which students formulate and research their theses, mandating more familiarity with research techniques, library resources, and alternative methodologies. It also integrated more theoretical and methodological components into graduate-only seminars, in addition to the required course in advance theory and method, and it established a prospectus/thesis timeline, with specific benchmarks, clarification of methodology, research plan, etc. The Women’s Studies Institute created a new required core course that helps students to navigate all of the main requirements for the program and provides students with clear, guided instruction on how to create a effective thesis proposal.

A number of programs also made improvements in the assessment process. The Department of Anthropology introduced a standardized test question format for assessment while continuing to assess the ability of students to apply concepts and methods through original research exercises and projects at the MA level. The Department of Applied Linguistics developed new rubrics to assess the MA paper as a scholarly document connecting theory and practice, the public oral presentation of the MA paper as a measure of communication and technical skills, and the microteaching video as an indicator of teaching expertise. It has also developed a rubric for assessment of a portfolio component called “classroom-based experience,” i.e., teaching experience that our students are required to gain concurrent with their course work in the program. The Neuroscience degree program revised its milestone evaluations through rubrics that measure students’ progress based on their Qualifying Exam, Dissertation Proposal and Dissertation Defense. Philosophy increased the number of assessment measures used and the size of the assessment committee in order to accommodate this change. Political Science revised its assessment targets to make them more meaningful and better able to capture potential distinctions among students.

 

College of Education

The College of Education offers 57 graduate degree programs. A number of these programs report having made improvement based on the assessment process and findings. The Early Childhood and Elementary Collaborative Master’s Program reports created an intensified focus on writing by using professional literature and by creating a template for candidates to organize a literature review. It also enhanced candidate’s reflective abilities through Video Clubs and the use of technology.

The Math MEd in Early Childhood Education placed greater emphasis on student-centered pedagogy and explicitly addressed this focus in a specific course (ECE 7393) to ensure that students encountered it. The program also integrated a section in lesson planning forms used in various courses in order to demonstrate students’ awareness and consideration of student-centered pedagogy, and anecdotal evidence indicates that students found this addition helpful. The Early Childhood Education, PhD program revised the process for comprehensive exams and revamped the degree structure (curriculum) based on student and faculty feedback.

In response to findings that candidates tended to score lower their ability to apply their teaching knowledge into practice, the Urban Accelerated Certification & Master’s Program made improvements in the structure of the program to bridge the gap between theory and practice. The Exercise Science MS degree program made changes in course syllabi to emphasize measurable student learning outcomes and modified the Practicum in Exercise Science to include a national level standardized exam in order to have an external marker of student learning. Based on assessment results, the Sports Medicine graduate degree program expanded one course in order to better achieve student learning outcomes associated with injury rehabilitation, developed a new course on Evidence Based Practice in order to advance the program and student learning along the lines of the athletic training profession, and revised course content in several other courses in order for students to gain a better understanding of and more experience with evidenced-based practice.

To enhance students’ learning experiences, the Communication Sciences and Disorders Masters Program added a cognition course, a research in CSD course, an aphasia course, and a second course in child language disorders. The Secondary Science TEEMS MAT program has initiated the co-teaching of courses in chemistry, physics, and geosciences with faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences in order to demonstrate for candidates how to integrate both content knowledge and pedagogical skills. The Reading Language and Literature MAT program streamlined the portfolio project in which students demonstrate their achievement, knowledge, and core principles established across the required coursework and reduced content overlap across classes

A number of programs in the College of Education also made improvements in the assessment process. The Early Childhood and Elementary Collaborative Master’s Program implemented a more in-depth rubric to assist the candidates’ development of the Capstone and the literacy Expert Project, and added a new assessment of content knowledge. The Math MEd in Early Childhood Education program introduced a student-centered checklist for internship observations that documents student mastery of student-centered pedagogy. The Early Childhood Education PhD program has adopted multi-level targets and developed new rubrics that provide detailed analysis of outcomes and associated measures. The Urban Accelerated Certification and Master’s Program also reviewed and revised the key assessment rubrics, making them clear for candidates and providing the program better data. The Kinesiology and Health program added a national level standardized exam that provides an external marker of student learning outcomes. The Science Medicine MS added new outcomes (evidence based practice) and new measures (research projects). The Science Ed TEEMS MAT program aligned its key assessment instruments with the professional standards so that all of the standards are assessed. The Reading, Language, and Literacy MAT program revised its learning outcomes and moved from assessing students only through an exit portfolio to a system of key assessments at strategic points throughout the program. The MAT Middle Level Math and Science program now has students complete a virtual exit portfolio. The Communication Sciences and Disorders program decreased the number of learning outcomes from 14 to 6 to allow greater focus on a few areas that are important to the students’ future success.

 

College of Business

The 10 departments of J. Mack Robinson College of Business offer a total 33 graduate degree programs. Assessment findings prompted the Human Resources MBA program to tighten the curriculum and make mandatory a course in Selection, Recruitment, and Compensation, which helped students to focus on Human Resource content. The Accounting MPA program made a number of changes in the curriculum, course content and design, and delivery in response to assessment findings. The federal taxation course incorporated a tax research project that enabled students to demonstrate knowledge of tax law without having to rely solely on exams. The advanced federal taxation course assigned more outside cases and added an outside tax return project to promote the development of research skills. The two programs in Finance added new elective courses on hedge-funds/trading strategies and corporate restructuring and initiated a field-studies in finance course that created internship and mentoring opportunities for students. In response to assessment findings, the MBA concentration in Leadership and Organization Change increased the number of required courses and realigned existing courses to prevent overlap.College of Business programs also made a number of improvements in their assessment processes. Both the MS program in Managerial Sciences and the MBA concentration in Leadership and Organizational Change re-vamped the entire assessment plan with new outcomes, measures, and targets. The MS and MBA programs in Real Estate changed their measures and targets, creating a rubric that provided descriptions of what constitutes failing to meet, meeting, or exceeding the minimum standard. The graduate programs in Accountancy adopted some new measures and targets, including shifting some assessment from course exams to outside projects and raising some targets.

 

School of Policy Studies

The four departments in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies offer a total of eight degree programs at the Masters and Ph.D. levels.

The Department of Criminal Justice reports making two major changes in the MS program that resulted from the assessment process over the past five years. The department substantially revised its capstone experience and added instruction on writing a literature review to the CRJU 7010 course. Both of these changes have resulted in improved student learning outcomes for students. In addition, the department dropped CRJU 7510 from the required curriculum to make this course an elective, which would allow for an increased focus in required courses on improving student learning.

The Ph.D. program in the Department of Economics has made changes in course requirements and required educational experiences based on its assessment of learning. It added two new courses and reorganized course sequencing, and a dissertation workshop is now required. The result is a rise in the percentages of students passing exams in the first attempt (from 79% in 2008 to 92% in 2012) and an increase in the average evaluation of dissertations (from 4.23 to 4.49 over the same period).

The Public Management and Policy Department (PMAP) learned from its assessment that faculty resources were not adequately aligned with greatest student need, the nonprofit concentration and the urban planning and economic development fields. In response, the department strengthened its offerings in the former and added faculty who could offer more courses in the latter.

The Department of Social Work reports making several important changes in the MSW program on the basis of what was learned from the assessment process. First, faculty now identify the competencies more specifically within classes when they are teaching related content. Second, the program now provides a more comprehensive orientation to the profession of social work, which grounds students into our professional practice. Third, the program now requires a research methods course as a pre-requisite to our graduate program.

Several programs also reported improvements in the assessment process. The Criminal Justice graduate program developed a capstone rubric and revised the thesis assessment rubric to better measure student outcomes. It also replaced single-level targets with multi-tiered targets for all outcomes. PMAP faculty re-designed learning objectives twice in the past five years, most recently in 2011. Then, a committee revised all the outcomes in WEAVE, specified which courses provide the basis for each objective, and added new objectives on analyzing problems, developing solutions, and communicating effectively orally and in writing. The School of Social Work developed a competency based model of assessment that decreased the overall number of assessment points and put more focus on activities that provide a good sample of competencies for advanced social work practice at the graduate level.

 

College of Nursing and Health Professions

The three departments in the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions offer five graduate degree programs at the Masters and Ph.D. levels. All departments made improvements in their educational programs and assessment processes. The MS program in Nursing added a new student orientation to discuss professionalism and web-based technology, a graduate teaching assistant in core courses to help students with difficult concepts, live models experiences to enhance students’ clinical experiences, and workshops for seniors in EKG, radiology, and suturing to prepare them for the workforce. The MS program in Respiratory Therapy added case study presentation to promote the development of communication skills and provided mock written exams to help students with their critical thinking skills. It also added a course on end of life issues that will aligns better with the student learning outcomes. The MS program in Nutrition added a course in nutrition counseling and a required research presentation in another course in order to assist the development of students’ communication skills and created additional thesis options in order to meet student interest. It also added several goals and learning outcomes, including research techniques and communication skills, and revised the timing of its assessment of research techniques to ensure that students were prepared for the capstone project. And the MS program in Physical Therapy lengthened two of its clinical courses by two weeks in order to provide additional clinical experience.

 

School of Public Health

The recently established School of Public Health (SPH) offers two graduate degree programs. In 2011, the SPH revised its student learning outcomes so they will mirror the curricular changes required for the SPH’s accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). As a result of this shift, student learning is assessed through students’ ability to demonstrate skills and knowledge across the core curriculum as well as in their selected concentrations.

 

Assessment of Distance Education

During the review period (2008-13), Georgia State University offered the following online programs through the College of Education:

Master of Arts for Teachers with a Major in Reading, Language, and Literacy Alternative 

Master of Education Mathematics Education

Master of Education Reading, Language and Literacy Education 

Master of Education Science Education

Master of Science in Educational Research all offered through Georgia ONmyLINE

and the Instructional Technology MS offered through the Learning Technologies Division of the College of Education.

 

In addition, the Bachelor of Business Education (Simulcast to Bermuda College) is offered by the J. Mack Robinson College of Business (this is a brand new program so although the assessment process is in place, as yet there are no results to report).

Assessment of student learning in distance education programs is conducted in the same manner as in all other educational programs. Each program has identified expected student learning outcomes, assessed the extent to which these outcomes are achieved, and provided evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results of these assessments.

The online MAT program in Reading, Language, and Literacy – ESOL, for example, identified weaknesses in the area of professional and pedagogical skills through the assessment process and targeted that area for more specific instructional emphasis. Assessment in that program and the online M.Ed. program in the same subject area revealed the need for more discussion of teacher professional development and the impact of globalization in teaching, which the program decided to address in the capstone practicum course. Assessment of the M.Ed. program in Reading, Language, and Literacy – ESOL also revealed weakness in the area of reading theories, pedagogy, and effects on student learning that were targeted for additional instructional emphasis.

Through the assessment process, the online M.Ed. program in Mathematics Education identified the need provide more opportunities for students to extend their knowledge on curriculum and assessment techniques and modified its curriculum accordingly. Likewise, the online M.Ed. program in Science Education identified a need to focus more on assessment and assessment types and, in response, added a section on assessment and an assignment to develop an assessment plan to one of the courses.

 

Assessment of Certificate Programs

Certificates are used at Georgia State University to denote that a student has taken a number of courses in an area of academic concentration in addition to completing an undergraduate or graduate degree program. In almost all cases, they are offered in conjunction with degree programs and thus are not assessed separately. The Office of Institutional Effectiveness is currently conducting a review of all certificate programs in order to determine which of them qualify as truly “stand-alone” certificate programs that require separate assessment of student learning. We anticipate that all of these certificate programs will begin to assess student learning during the 2014-2015 academic year.

Assessment of Educational Programs Offered at Extended Campuses

During the review period, the only educational program that has been offered at extended campuses has been the Master of Business Administration (MBA). The Robinson College of Business has offered the MBA degree in four different formats at six different sites in the Atlanta area, including the downtown parent campus of Georgia State University. With the exception of new Global Partners MBA program, the classes are staffed by the same faculty members and present the same material regardless of format and site. Nevertheless, since 2011, the college has provided separate assessment data for each format and each site in order to determine whether student learning outcomes differ by format or program site. The data are available in the WEAVE online report for the MBA in the two most recent assessment cycles.

Comprehensive Program Review

Georgia State University is required to meet the expectations of the University System of Georgia for student learning outcomes assessment. Similarly, the University academic program review policies and practices must meet System expectations and requirements for periodic Comprehensive Program Review of all academic programs. The Board of Regents has established the following directives and policies governing comprehensive academic program review:

“Each USG institution shall conduct academic program review on a periodic basis. Consistent with efforts in institutional effectiveness and strategic planning, each USG institution shall develop procedures to evaluate the effectiveness of its academic programs to address the quality, viability, and productivity of efforts in teaching and learning, scholarship, and service as appropriate to the institution’s mission. Institutional review of academic programs shall involve analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data, and institutions must demonstrate that they make judgments about the future of academic programs within a culture of evidence. Planning and conducting of academic program reviews shall be used for the progressive improvement and adjustment of programs in the context of the institution’s strategic plan and in response to findings and recommendations of the reviews. Adjustment may include program enhancement, maintenance at the current level, reduction in scope, or, if fully justified, consolidation or termination.”

Academic Program Review

Academic Program Review (APR) is central to Georgia State University’s planning and resource allocation process. Periodic and systematic assessment of academic programs, including centers and institutes, and the use of assessment results to improve institutional effectiveness, are required by both the University System of Georgia and the Southern Association of College and Schools. Review of academic programs involves preparation of a self study, evaluation by a team of external reviewers who conduct a site visit and analysis and review by faculty governance and administrative bodies of the university. Georgia State University has completed two 7 year cycles of APR, at the end of which the APR process itself was evaluated for effectiveness and as part the University’s commitment to ongoing improvement. A committee jointly commissioned by the Provost and the Executive Committee of the University Senate evaluated the APR process and made a series of recommendations for an amended process, which continues the commitment to the assessment of student learning.

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness assists and coordinates the academic program review process. The Office of Institutional Research provides institutional data regarding faculty composition; enrollment, retention and graduation rates of majors; credit hour generation; course offerings; admissions data; and faculty – student teaching ratios; and survey data from currently enrolled students, alumni and faculty. Departments access their own reports on student learning in WEAVE Online.

 

College of Arts and Sciences

Fine Arts APR self study example

Humanities, APR self study example

Natural and Computational Sciences APR self study example

Social and Behavorial Sciences APR self study example

Andrew Young School of Policy Studies APR self study example

J. Mack Robinson College of Business APR self study example

Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions APR self study example

College of Law APR self study

School of Public Health APR

College of Education APR self study example

 

National Surveys

Georgia State University participates in several national surveys (NSSE)BCSSE) that provide data on student engagement and these data are made available to the University Community through the survey section of the website of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Regents Accreditation Committee on Effectiveness and Accreditation (RACEA)

In addition to mandating the policies that govern student learning outcomes assessment for its constituent units, in 2009 the Board of Regents created the ( Regents Administrative Committee on Effectiveness and Accreditation). The intention was to strengthen the University System and its member institutions in key areas of institutional effectiveness and regional accreditation. These areas include quality enhancement, student learning outcomes, comprehensive program review, assessment practices, continuous improvement, accreditation compliance, and public accountability. The associate provost for institutional effectiveness is a member of RACEA, and two staff members in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness serve as RACEA affiliates.

The purpose of RACEA is to provide a System-wide network of professional specialists and resources for promoting success in the interrelated areas of institutional effectiveness and regional accreditation through shared information, mutual support, expert assistance, and emulation of best practices and for recommending improvements in related System policies and procedures that reinforce success in these areas.

RACEA’s annual efforts revolve largely around the goals, initiatives, and accomplishments of its five standing task forces on (1) evaluation of expected outcomes for programs and services, (2) student learning outcomes assessment, (3) institution-wide strategic planning, quality enhancement and continuous improvement, (4) current issues in accreditation, and (5) the RACEA Resource Center. Task forces work and meet throughout the year and actively communicate with the Committee’s membership on issues and developments of mutual interest as they arise and by posting their work, findings, reports, and minutes on the RACEA Resource Center website.

 

Performance on External Examinations

Georgia State University also tracks students’ performance on external examinations, including state and national licensing exams. Where appropriate, the results are included in the academic program review or academic assessment of individual programs and are evaluated to help guide the development of program action plans or as part of the feedback loop to help improve student learning. The following are examples of data tracked for individual programs:

The College of Education tracks Georgia Association for the Certification of Educators (GACE) pass rates for GSU program completers seeking licensure in Georgia.

 

GACE pass rates

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

Total pass rate

99%

97%

96%

 

The Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions pass rates on licensing examinations are shown in the tables below.

 

National Board for Respiratory Care:

 

EXAM: CRT

Year

Tested

Total

Passing %

Passing

First Time %

Passing

Repeaters

2012

32

32

100%

32

100%

0

0%

2011

29

29

100%

29

100%

0

0%

2010

33

33

100%

33

100%

0

0%

2009

35

35

100%

35

100%

0

0%

2008

36

36

100%

33

91.7%

3

8.3%

2007

32

31

96.9%

31

96.9%

0

0%

EXAM: Clinical Simulation Examination

Year

Tested

Total

Passing %

Passing

First Time %

Passing

Repeaters

2012

32

32

100%

25

78.1%

7

21.9%

2011

29

29

100%

27

93.1%

2

6.9%

2010

33

33

100%

26

78.8%

7

21.2%

2009

35

35

100%

31

88.6%

4

11.4%

2008

36

34

94.4%

23

63.9%

11

30.6%

2007

32

32

100%

25

78.1%

7

21.9%

EXAM: Written Registry Respiratory Therapy

Year

Tested

Total

Passing %

Passing

First Time %

Passing

Repeaters

2012

32

32

100%

31

96.9%

1

3.1%

2011

29

29

100%

28

96.6%

1

3.4%

2010

33

33

100%

32

97.0%

1

3.0%

2009

35

35

100%

34

97.1%

1

2.9%

2008

36

36

100%

32

88.9%

4

11.1%

2007

33

33

100%

29

87.9%

4

12.1%

 

 

Nursing NCLEX and NP Specialty Exams:

 

EXAM 2010
#Took #Pass %Pass
NCLEX 117 107 91%
Family NP 19 19 100%
Adult NP NA NA NA
Women’s Health NP 7 6 86%
Pediatric NP 9 9 100%
Clinical Nurse Spec. NA NA NA
Psychiatric MH NP NA NA NA

 

EXAM 2011
#Took #Pass %Pass
NCLEX 130 125 96%
Family NP 22 21 95%
Adult NP 1 1 100%
Women’s Health NP 4 4 100%
Pediatric NP 9 9 100%
Clinical Nurse Spec. 1 1 100%
Psychiatric MH NP NA NA NA

 

EXAM 2012 3 YR AVG
#Took #Pass %Pass
NCLEX 129 124 96% 94%
Family NP 31 30 97% 97%
Adult NP 20 20 100% 100%
Women’s Health NP 4 4 100% 93%
Pediatric NP 14 14 100% 100%
Clinical Nurse Spec. 4 4 100% 100%
Psychiatric MH NP 6 6 100% 100%

 

 

 

Physical Therapy National Board Exam:

Exam

2010

2011

2012

Physical Therapy National Board Exam

99%

99%

99%

 

Graduates of the Georgia State University College of Law continue to pass the State Bar Examination at very high rates, as indicated in the table below.

Bar Date

All applicants

First timers

Average MBE

#Took

#Pass

%Pass

#Took

#Pass

%Pass

July 2013

154

145

94.1

152

144

94.7

149.8

February 2013

31

28

90.3

26

24

92.3

150.7

July 2012

162

153

94.4

160

152

95.0

149.3

February 2012

032

028

87.5

24

23

95.8

144.7

July 2011

149

138

92.6

145

136

93.7

149.5

February 2011

39

37

94.8

28

27

96.4

148.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A very high percentage of graduates from the doctoral program in clinical psychology become licensed doctoral psychologists, as indicated by the table below.

 

OUTCOME

AY2003 – AY2010

Total number of students with doctoral degrees conferred on transcripts

58

Number of students with doctoral degrees conferred on transcripts who became licensed doctoral psychologists

56

Licensure percentage

97%

 

Placement

In line with the commitment to continuous improvement, Georgia State University also tracks data regarding the placement of its graduate and undergraduate alumni at both the institutional level as well as the individual program level. These data are used in a myriad of ways including but not limited to the evaluation of programs success with respect to student learning and the development of action plans that as part of the process of Academic Program Review.

University Surveys of Graduates

The University’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness surveys undergraduate and graduate alumni about their perceptions of their education as part of the Academic Program Review process. This information is made available to departments so that they may better address their strengths and weaknesses in developing future action plans. The data are also published on the Office of Institutional Effectiveness’s website.

The undergraduate student alumni survey asks respondents to report on their principle activity after graduation. In the surveys conducted in the Summer 2012, Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 semesters, a total of 2,271 undergraduate alumni responded (49.3% response rate). Of those who responded, 61.4% reported that they were engaged in full-time employment, 5.6% were engaged in part-time employment and 24.9% were continuing on to graduate or professional school. In addition the Office of Institutional Effectiveness implements multiple other surveys that contribute to the continuous quality improvement efforts of the institution, (AYSPS – Recipients of Graduate Degrees Summer 2012-Spring 2013COE – Recipients of Graduate Degrees Fall2011-Summer 2012Survey of Recent Graduates_Recipients of Graduate Degrees Summer 2013GRADUATE SURVEY FINDINGS_Nursing).

Robinson College of Business Surveys of Graduates

The Robinson College of Business also conducts annual surveys of their undergraduate and graduate alumni within 0 – 6 months after graduation to gather data regarding the number of their students who have gained employment, the types of jobs they’ve accepted and the salary range for those jobs. These data are used in the college’s individual program assessments as well as advertised on their website. For those students who graduated from the College of Business in Fall 2011, Spring 2012 and Summer 2012, a total of 73% of graduate student alumni reported employment information and a total of 53% of undergraduate student alumni reported employment information.

Of the graduate student alumni who responded to the survey, 63% accepted a job offer by graduation, 25% accepted a job offer within 3 months of graduation and 12% accepted a job offer more than 3-6 months after graduation. The average salary for all graduate respondents was $72,890 and 26% had seen a post-degree salary increase. [19]

Of the undergraduate student alumni who responded to the survey, 47% obtained new, full-time employment upon graduation and 13% were promoted with their current employer upon graduation. 41% accepted a job offer by graduation, 39% accepted a job offer within 3 months of graduation and 20% accepted a job offer more than 3-6 months after graduation. The average salary for all undergraduate respondents was $44,544. [19]

College of Law Survey of Graduates

The College of Law also asks recent graduates to self-disclose information about their employment and salaries upon graduation. These data are published on the college’s website. For the students who graduated from the College of Law in the year 2012, a total of 175 alumni reported employment information (87% response rate).The following summarizes some of what was reported.

 

Types of Employment

Private Practice

53.1%

Business and Industry

22.9%

Government

12.6%

Public Interest

6.3%

Judicial Clerkships

3.4%

Academia

1.2%

Graduate Studies

0.60%

 

Employment Type

Mean

25th centile

75th centile

Top

% Reporting

# Reporting

Private Practice 2-10 attys

$56503

$50000

$65000

$104000

64.58%

31

Private Practice 11-25 attys

$63955

$56000

$70000

$80000

84.62%

11

Private Practice 26-50 attys

$115000

$115000

50%

1

Private Practice 51-100 attys

$89000

$105000

100%

3

Private Practice 101-250 attys

$116667

$140000

75%

3

Private Practice 251-500 attys

$132500

$135000

100%

2

Private Practice >501 attys

$100833

$50000

$135000

$150000

92.31%

12

Judicial Clerkships

$57500

$53750

$60000

$60000

100%

6

Government

$52299

$39545

$61250

$91000

66.67%

14

Public Interest

$49910

$40000

$52450

$85000

90.91%

11

Academic

$60000

$60000

50%

1

Business and Industry

$71083

$56570

$75000

$140000

22.99%

19

Summary

In light of the above information it is clear that Georgia State University has in place multiple processes that evaluate institutional effectiveness including student learning, that the processes are enacted throughout the institution and across modes and locations of program delivery. In addition, there is evidence that the data from these multiple sources are collected, presented, reviewed and used to make appropriate data driven changes. A review of the assessment reports for the last five years for example reveals substantial evidence of improvements in student learning, educational programs, and the assessment process itself based on analysis of assessment results. This finding is true of both undergraduate and graduate educational programs. Based on these findings, we conclude that GSU is in compliance with Comprehensive Standard 3.3.1.1.

 

5. The institution publishes admissions policies that are consistent with its mission. (Comprehensive Standard 3.4.3)

Compliance

 

Narrative

The GSU Mission Statementreads:

Georgia State University, a doctoral research institution, offers educational opportunities for traditional and nontraditional students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels by blending the best of theoretical and applied inquiry, scholarly and professional pursuits, and scientific and artistic expression. As an urban research university with strong disciplinary-based departments and a wide array of problem-oriented interdisciplinary programs, the goal of Georgia State is to develop, transmit and utilize knowledge in order to provide access to quality education for diverse groups of students, to educate leaders for the State of Georgia and the nation, and to prepare citizens for lifelong learning in a global society. Georgia State University welcomes and encourages applications from all qualified students regardless of race, sex, religion, disability, or cultural background.

University and individual college admissions policies are all guided by and commensurate with the GSU Mission Statement as will demonstrated in the sections below.

Undergraduate Programs

The University’s Admissions Website and the Undergraduate Catalog [Page: 40] (p.40 Please note the Graduate and Undergraduate Contents pages are hyperlinked, simply click on the section required on the contents page and the link will take you there) serve as the key sources of information for prospective students and their families. The website also allows undergraduate applicants to monitor the progress of their application on-line. The website and catalog are updated annually. Admission into undergraduate programs at Georgia State is determined by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. The admission requirements are also developed in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia . The University Senate sets admission policies for undergraduates. Admission decisions are primarily based on a previous academic performance and test scores. In some cases, personal qualities, circumstances, character and conduct may also be considered. Admission is a selective process and meeting minimums will not necessarily guarantee acceptance. A student has the right to appeal the admission decision as provided in the bylaws of the Board of Regents. Additionally, the Enrollment Management Committee chaired by the Provost, meets on an annual basis to evaluate the undergraduate admissions enrollment goals and to see if admission standards and/or goals should be adjusted to meet overall enrollment goals.

Special Talents

Students with special talents who do not meet the university admission standards are considered through a special admissions review process. Applications for students in this category are reviewed by a University Senate Subcommittee which makes a recommendation to the Provost for Academic Affairs.

Graduate Admissions

The Graduate Admission websites and the Graduate Catalog (p.40 Please note the Graduate and Undergraduate Contents pages are hyperlinked, simply click on the section required on the contents page and the link will take you there) serve as the key sources of information for prospective students. Graduate admissions at Georgia State University are managed by each academic college’s Office of Graduate Admissions. Each college publishes graduate admissions requirements for its graduate programs in the graduate catalog as well as on its graduate office websites.

Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

Lewis School of Nursing & Health Professions

College of Arts & Sciences

J. Mack Robinson College of Business

College of Law

School of Public Health

Other Forms of Admission

Information on student readmission, post-baccalaureate admission, transient admission, non-traditional admission, GSU-62, International Students, is available through the Office of Admissions website and is published in both the undergraduate and graduate catalogs (See above).

6. For each major in a degree program, the institution assigns responsibility for program coordination, as well as for curriculum development and review, to persons academically qualified in the field. In those degree programs for which the institution does not identify a major, this requirement applies to a curricular area or concentration. (Comprehensive Standard 3.4.11)

Compliance

 

Narrative

Each academic department at Georgia Sate University has a department head whose overall responsibility includes program coordination, as well as curriculum development and review (Department Chair Duties). In order to ensure continued quality of departmental leadership, by university statute each chair is evaluated by the faculty of the department at least every three years. This evaluation is conducted by the dean who notifies the President of the results of this evaluation which are then used in the overall evaluation of the chair’s performance( Evaluation of Department Chair).

Department chairs may appoint qualified academic program coordinators with responsibility for a specific major, area or concentration. The approved academic program coordinator must be a person academically qualified to carry responsibility for program coordination, curriculum development, review, and oversight. This designated faculty person is referred to as a program coordinator.

Program Coordinators

Undergraduate programs which lead to bachelor degrees are coordinated by academically qualified faculty members as are graduate programs leading to Masters, Specialist and doctoral degrees.

The process by which academic coordinators are approved requires confirmation from the department chair or director and the dean of the college. Examples of documentation for this process are below:

College of Arts & Sciences

College of Education

College Of Law

J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

Lewis School of Nursing & Health Professions

School of Public Health

The tables of program coordinators provided as supporting documentation identifies program coordinators for each undergraduate and graduate program of study. The highest educational level obtained for these coordinators is also displayed in each table. Program coordinators are responsible for coordination, curriculum development, and program review for specific degree plans. As can be seen from review of the accompanying tables, Georgia State University employs Academic Program Coordinators who are academically qualified.

College of Arts Sciences

College Of Education

College of Law

J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

Lewis School of Nursing Health Professions

School of Public Health

Distance education and off campus academic program coordinators are approved using the same process as on campus academic program coordinators.

7. The institution operates and maintains physical facilities, both on and off campus, that appropriately serve the needs of the institution’s educational programs, support services, and other mission-related activities. (Comprehensive Standard 3.11.3)

Compliance

Narrative

Georgia State University (GSU) has over 32,000 students (head count) making it the largest institution of higher education in the metropolitan Atlanta area and the second largest in the state of Georgia. It has about 9.8 million GSF of space in over 60 buildings (Supporting Document 1 and 2). While the majority of these buildings are located in downtown Atlanta, it also has facilities at North Metro Campus (Alpharetta, Fulton County), Panthersville (DeKalb County) and Mt. Wilson (California). The campus built-environment is an essential and integral part of the university’s teaching, learning, research, recreation, athletic and housing functions.

Campus Master Plan:

The university retained Sasaki Associates to complete its Campus Master Plan update. It was completed in December 2012. Its primary goal is to support the University Strategic Plan and proposed campus transformation with the Kell Hall demolition and creating a Campus Greenway. Consultants met with the President, Provost, all Vice Presidents and Deans, and various faculty, staff, and student groups. They also gathered input from Central Atlanta Progress and City of Atlanta staff. In addition, they used a web portal to receive feedback from campus constituents on such items as favorite (or least favorite) campus buildings, social spaces, restaurants, pedestrian routes/paths, etc. The Campus Master Plan can be found in Supporting Document 3.

Campus Facilities and Infrastructure:

Academic Facilities: Langdale Hall, Classroom South and Aderhold Learning Center provide state of the art classrooms and computer labs. Other buildings such as Sparks Hall and Arts & Humanities also contain additional classrooms. Science teaching labs are located in Petit Science Center and Natural Science Center.

Student Center and Recreation Center: State of the art Student Center (124, 200 GSF) and Recreation Center (174,000 GSF) were completed in 1998 and 2001 respectively.

Student Housing: Georgia State University currently has 2,000 beds at University Commons; 569 beds (in 231 apartments) at The Lofts; 331 beds in Patton Hall (freshman housing); 139 beds of fraternity and sorority housing; and 1,124 beds in the Piedmont North complex.

Student Dining Halls: Georgia State University opened its first self-operated dining hall (325 seat capacity) in Patton Hall in fall 2009 and added a second dining facility at Piedmont North complex in 2011. Piedmont North Dining Hall has access to convenient parking with great views of Atlanta downtown skyline. Both dining halls provide several food choices to the students, faculty, and staff.

Athletic Facilities: Georgia State University runs a 16-sport (10 women’s and 6 men’s) Division I athletic program and participates in the Sun Belt conference. The NCAA basketball and sand volleyball courts are located on the campus at the Sports Arena complex and football practice facility is within walking distance of campus. Baseball and soccer fields are located at the Panthersville campus in DeKalb County. Football home games are played at the Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta.

Off-Campus Facilities:

Off campus facilities are either maintained by GSU maintenance staff or contract employees depending on the size, scope, and mission of the facility.

  1. Language Research Center (LRC): Located in DeKalb County LRC consists of four (21,917 GSF) buildings on a 55-acre site. It primarily supports the primate and animal research activities and received grant funding from NIH, NSF, NASA, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the McDonnell-Pew Foundation and other agencies. It is maintained by GSU maintenance staff.
  2. Alpharetta Academic Facility: 49,580 GSF classroom and office facility is located in Alpharetta and is maintained by GSU maintenance staff.
  3. 200 Tower Place: GSU currently leases 63,826 GSF at 3348 Peachtree Road for academic use for several executive and professional business degree programs offered by the J. Mack Robinson College of Business and is maintained by the building owner as per lease terms and conditions.
  4. Peachtree Dunwoody Center: GSU currently leases 10,718 GSF at 5909 Peachtree Dunwoody Road for academic use by J. Mack Robinson College of Business and is maintained by the building owner as per lease terms and conditions.
  5. Panthersville Athletic Fields: Located in DeKalb County (adjoining LRC) these facilities are maintained by GSU maintenance and Athletic department staff.

Recent Facility Improvements:

In the past five years the University has completed the following projects that directly support the strategic mission of the University. These projects positively impacted instructional space, research and academic activities, student housing, recreation services and pedestrian safety enhancements.

  1. University Commons (2,000 beds with 786 car parking deck) opened in fall 2007
  2. Library Renovation and Expansion completed in 2008
  3. Patton Hall (79,777 GSF) opened in fall 2009
  4. Decatur Street Pedestrian Improvements completed in 2010
  5. Piedmont Avenue Pedestrian Improvements completed in 2011
  6. Piedmont North Student Housing (943 beds with 315 car parking area) opened in fall 2010
  7. Parker H. Petit Science Center (360,000 GSF) completed in July 2010
  8. Piedmont North Dining Hall completed in fall 2011
  9. Alpharetta Academic Facility (45,000 GSF) completed in fall 2011
  10. Outdoor Student Recreation Facility completed in 2012
  11. 25 Park Place Tower Renovation ( Floors 6, 8, 9, 10 and 11) completed in December 2012
  12. Campus Master Plan Update completed in December 2012
  13. Sand Volleyball Courts completed in 2012
  14. 100 Auburn Avenue Renovation completed in August 2013.
  15. Indian Creek Lodge (4,900 GSF) completed in December 2013

Projects Under Construction:

Humanities Law Building (200,000 GSF) scheduled completion by July 2015

Projects in Design Phase:

Science Park Phase II: It will consist of collaborative and flexible research labs with academic support space. The estimated project cost of this 65,500 GSF facility is $25.5 million. It is scheduled to be completed by July 2015.

25 Park Place Tower Renovation: Floors 6, 8, 9, 10 and 11 were renovated in December 2012 for Department of Communication, the Department of Physics & Astronomy, and the Department of Computer Science. Floors 7, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26 are currently in design phase for the Department of English, the Department of Computer Science, and the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office.

Projects in Planning Phase:

Hurt Park Master Plan

Broad Street Improvements Plan

Kell Hall Demolition

Capital Planning Process:

Every year in response to the notification from the Office of Board of Regents (BoR) , the Facilities Managment Services Division (FMSD) prepares and submits a Five-Year Capital Plan, and Annual Major Repair and Renovation (MRR) Funding Request. All capital requests are prepared using BoR guidelines (Supporting Document 4) and in conjunction with the recently completed Campus Master Plan. The FY 2016-2019 Capital Request for major projects totaled to $ 145.4 million (Supporting Document 5). For FY 2014 the University requested a funding of $9.7 million for eighteen MRR projects and received $4.5 million (Supporting Document 6). All these requests were reviewed, discussed and prioritized by the Planning and Development Committee, the Capital Budget and Space Allocation Committee (CBSAC), and the MRR Joint Planning and Development and Budget Committee (University Senate Sub-Committees).

The CBSAC is a sub-committee of the Planning Development Committee and is responsible for reviewing, recommending and approving all space changes and allocations across the campus (Supporting Document 7). It consists of members from the University Senate and the Student Government Association. The provost serves as the committee chair and it meets once every month. Campus departments can request new space allocation or changes to existing space by using the Space Request Form (Supporting Document 8) which is available on the Facilities Management website.

The Classroom Facilities Council (CFC) meets once every month to discuss the conditions and the technological needs of all classrooms across the campus. This Committee is composed of faculty and staff representatives and is chaired by the Assistant to the Provost.

Facilities Energy Efficiency and Sustainability:

As part of University System of Georgia, Georgia State University has to follow and adhere to Georgia Peach Green Building Rating System in the design of new buildings and renovation of existing facilities. Georgia Peach Rating System provides energy efficiency and sustainable construction standards for State buildings in accordance with Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Construction Act of 2008.

In design and maintenance of its facilities GSU strives to be diligent in managing its resources to achieve optimal efficiency especially in the areas of energy and water conservation. Throughout the campus existing T-12 light fixtures are being replaced with energy efficient T-5 and LED fixtures and lighting sensors are installed in offices on an on- going basis.

Student Recreation Center recently received Green Globe Certificate and Indian Creek Lodge was designed to meet LEED criteria. College of Law which is currently under construction will be the first LEED certified building on main campus. It is designed to meet LEED Silver criteria.

Facilities Management Services Division

The Facilities Management Services Division (FMSD) is responsible for planning, design, construction, renovation and maintenance & operation of all facilities at GSU. The goal of FMSD is to provide safe, clean, attractive and energy efficient buildings that are conducive for teaching, research, living and recreation activities. The FMSD meets this goal through a customer-focused system in response to their specific requests and requirements.

The departments within FMSD consists of Facilities Planning, Design and Construction, Maintenance & Operations, Renovations and Administration (HR and Information Systems) (Supporting Document 9). FMSD maintains and updates all the space and room inventories across the campus and provides this data to BoR and other constituent groups as required.

From a maintenance perspective, all buildings are divided into four zones. Each building zone is led by a zone chief and they report to the Director of Maintenance and Operations. Zone chiefs are supported by assistant zone chiefs and staff trained in the areas of mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems. Selective contract services are used for specialized maintenance functions such as roof repair, elevator maintenance, building environments controls and fire alarm systems. The preventive maintenance process is based on manufacturer recommendations and prioritized listing of critical equipment such as chillers, air handling units, pumps, and emergency generators. This process is used for all major facilities located at the central campus area in downtown Atlanta and also for remote academic, research and recreational facilities.

Building Systems Renovations

The combination of preventive maintenance and recent major capital equipment replacements has resulted in a significant improvement in the working environment for students, faculty and staff. Through the Board of Regents Major Repair and Renovation (MRR) funding and GSU internal funding the university has renovated and upgraded electrical and mechanical systems in its existing buildings such as Urban Life, Arts and Humanities Building, Langdale Hall, Classroom South, College of Education, Aderhold Learning Center and Library South.

Customers can place requests for special needs or report problems in their facilities through the Customer Communication Center (CCC). They can contact CCC via phone, e-mail or the FMSD website. This single point of contact allows the customer to place requests for maintenance, design, renovation or construction services. The CCC then forwards the request to the appropriate department within FMSD while creating an electronic record of each request for tracking, timely completion and performance measurement purposes.

Facilities Information Systems (FIS) is responsible for providing a fast, secure and reliable computer network environment and accurate facility information through the use of analytical systems. FIS uses Archibus as the core system package to manage and report space usage, ownership and functions. Work on the Demand/Preventative Maintenance module of Archibus on the Web Central platform was implemented in October 2011.

The space management process involves creating or modifying base CAD drawings from construction drawings and integrating the spatial information to the system database. Data related to gross building area, usable area, assignable area by room, floor and building, room function, room ownership, room usage, room design capacity, building address, and ownership are collected and updated every year.

Technological Infrastructure

The Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) is responsible for planning and coordinating academic and administrative information technology, voice communications, and network operations on a university‐wide basis, primarily using the resources available in the Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) department.

To assist in the fulfillment of these responsibilities, the CIO coordinates the Information Technology Steering Group (ITSG) and participates in the Senate Information Systems and Technology (ISAT) (Supporting Document 1) both of which help to guide institution‐wide information technology projects that complement the University’s Strategic Plan. The Information Systems and Technology Year In Review (Supporting Document 2) documents progress and upcoming initiatives across the campus.

In order to support and ensure the adequacy and sustainability of the technological infrastructure, IS&T uses three primary methods: review of the university master plan to determine under-served areas, or areas that no longer need service; a satisfaction survey of campus constituencies; and an annual review of existing technological infrastructure to develop options for expansion or replacement.

IS&T is included in the review of all changes to the university master plan. These reviews allow IS&T to identify areas of the campus that require changes to the technological infrastructure – specifically changes needed to the institution cable plant, and to the centralized data centers. Over the period of this review, significant building construction and building renovation has occurred. Below is a table of recent construction projects and their related technology requirements.

Master Plan Initiative Approval IT Infrastructure Requirement
175 Piedmont – Dormitories 3/2011 Extension of campus dark fiber ring
Alpharetta Campus – Building 2 8/2011 New dark fiber
Alpharetta Campus – Data Center 12/2012 Mechanical infrastructure / production equipment
Main Campus – North Expansion 8/2011 Re-architect and expand Campus dark fiber ring
100 Auburn Ave 11/2012 Extension of campus dark fiber ring
60 Piedmont Ave 4/2013 Extension of campus dark fiber ring
25 Park Place 4/2010 Fiber optic lateral connections
55 Park Place 8/2013 Extension of campus dark fiber ring

Early review of design plans for these buildings allowed IS&T to propose an expansion of the existing cable infrastructure to encircle the planned expansion area. Approval and funding of this expansion provided the institution with direct access to network infrastructure with no impact on other construction schedules.

Early review of the master plan also opened an opportunity for a remote site to house an alternate data center. Working with an already planned network expansion, the alternate data center provides redundant connectivity and application services, keeping the network up during unplanned outages.

Using the TechQual instrument (Supporting Document 3) surveys of faculty, staff and students in 2011 and 2012 indicated dissatisfaction primarily with the campus wireless service and classroom technology. Solutions to address these concerns have been identified and funded. The TechQual instrument was discontinued in 2013. In its place, IS&T developed more refined and targeted questionnaires to follow-up on the adequacy of solutions, and to isolate other areas that needed attention (Supporting Document 4). Additionally, IS&T provided an account review service to all departments of the University. This service identified unique requirements IS&T could satisfy and thus assist these departments in meeting their mission needs. The service has been very well received and was modified at the recommendation of the serviced departments to focus more on project-related work (Supporting Document 5).

Electronic equipment and infrastructure require periodic upgrades and replacement. IS&T uses two methods to identify and prioritize funding for upgrades or additions: Student Technology Fee funding proposals (Supporting Document 6) and end-of-year institution budget redirection. Both of these processes depend on the technical knowledge and operational experience of the IS&T staff to identify individual pieces of equipment, applications, or entire suites of infrastructure that should be considered for purchase or replacement. Decisions are based on factors that impact our ability to support the institution’s missions, such as the cost of maintenance, an ability to maintain acceptable availability, potential for expansion, and features needed by the changing culture and offerings of the institution. In the case of the Student Technology Fee proposals, student input is required as part of the decision making process.

Until fiscal year 2013, the Student Technology Fee process was competitive across the entire institution. Supporting Document 7 shows the infrastructure items presented to the Student Technology Fee committee and approved for the period of this report. For fiscal year 2013, IS&T established a committee of students, faculty, and technology professionals to determine how best to allocate awards. A refresh of existing lab and classroom infrastructure, and the outfitting of two classrooms with university-standard technology were included.

Major upgrades, replacements, and additions to the technological infrastructure are also achieved through end-of-year institution budget redirection. Candidate lists are prepared each year by the IS&T senior staff and reviewed with the CIO. These lists include the impact on the institution mission by action or inaction. The CIO then presents a prioritized list to the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration. The resulting list and funding levels is finally presented to IS&T for execution. Lists of funded candidate projects for this report are included in Supporting Document 8.

Through budget redirection, the university was able to provide the first centralized facility on campus for shared research computing support, and then able to upgrade that capability within three years. Funding through this process has also allowed the institution to switch from an in-house email system to the Microsoft Office 365 service, and engage in a multi-year process to centralize network directory services on Microsoft Active Directory. Office 365 also upgraded the suite of information security applications, providing defense to individual workstations and laptops as well as the overall institution infrastructure. Most recently, this process has allowed the replacement of the institution application for identity management, and the complete replacement of the wireless network infrastructure. These last changes have had an immediate impact on the usability and reliability of the institution infrastructure and provide a very robust environment for the growing usage of mobile devices for both on and off-campus learning.

In regards to off-campus and online education, the institution utilizes shared services for course management offered through the University System of Georgia (USG). This service utilized WebCT as the Learning Management System (LMS) application until 2013. In 2012, the USG surveyed its shared services customers to determine the needs and preferences for a replacement to WebCT. The survey results (Supporting Document 9 and Supporting Document 10) led the USG to select Desire2Learn (D2L) as the replacement LMS. Georgia State University made the decision to continue with the USG shared services and switch to D2L. As this is a shared service, the same content and functionality is available to on-campus as well as online students. The university ensures that there is sufficient bandwidth (10 Gb) for on-campus use of D2L, and provides ancillary services that complement those of D2L (Supporting Document 11)

The Fifth Year Compliance Report

3.13 B. Complaint Procedures against the Commission or Its Accredited Institutions

Applicable Policy Statement.  In addition to FR 4.5 regarding complaints, the Commission also requires, in accord with federal regulations, that each institution maintains a record of complaints received by the institution. This record is made available to the Commission upon request.

Documentation:  Normally, this record will be reviewed and evaluated by the Commission as part of the institution’s decennial evaluation; however, during the fifth-year interim review, when addressing this policy statement, the institution should provide information to the Commission describing how the institution maintains its record and (1) individuals/offices responsible for the maintenance of the record(s), (2) elements of a complaint review that are included in the record, and (3) where the record(s) is located (centralized or decentralized).

Compliance

Narrative

Georgia State has established a Policy and Procedures for Student Complaints, Petition for Policy Waivers and Variances, and Appeals that is published online in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs as well as in the online Student Code of Conduct Policies and Procedures, which is also distributed on flash-drives to all new students attending orientation programs. This policy includes procedures for administering student complaints on college-level academic matters (e.g., grade appeals) student complaints on non-academic matters (e.g., administrative decisions) as well as student petitions for college-level and university-wide academic policy waiver or variance. Additionally, other policies exist to address specific forms of student complaints.

The Student Code of Conduct administered by the Office of the Dean of Students, outlines the procedures for addressing student complaints regarding prohibited student conduct. Specific policies and procedures regarding discrimination complaints against students, including Title IX sexual misconduct complaints, are also located in the Student Code of Conduct.

Policies and procedures for addressing discrimination complaints against faculty and staff, including Title IX sexual misconduct complaints, are administered by the Office of Opportunity Development/Diversity Education Planning (ODDEP) as outlined on the ODDEP website as well as in the online Faculty Handbook and Staff Handbook.

The Disability Complaint Policy posted on the Office of Disability Website and in the University Catalogs outlines resolution options and procedures for complaints regarding allegations of denial by the university to provide a requested accommodation as well as other complaints regarding violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Decentralized records for each complaint are retained in the office through which the complaint was processed. Thus Records of Non-Academic Complaints regarding Student Affairs departments/decisions are maintained in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.  Elements of the complaint review included in the record are: Identifying information, Date Appeal Received, Complaint Summary (Brief), Decision Made, Date of Response to Student.

ODDEP records are retained in the Office of the Vice President for Opportunity Development. Elements of the complaint review included in the record are: Written complaint, Written Response, Witness Statements, Documents supporting complaint/response, Written Investigative Analysis, Determination Letter. From 2013, all documentation noted above is housed in a complaint tracking system  housed in the Opportunity Development Office.

Academic complaints are retained on the Office of the Provost.  Elements of the complaint review included in the record are: Written complaint, Written Response, Witness Statements, Documents supporting complaint/response, Written Investigative Analysis, Determination Letter.

The Fifth Year Compliance Report

3.13 C. Reaffirmation of Accreditation and Subsequent Reports

Applicable Policy Statement.  An institution includes a review of its distance learning programs in the Compliance Certification and in its Fifth-Year Compliance Certification.

Documentation:  In order to be in compliance with this policy, the institution must have incorporated an assessment of its compliance with standards that apply to its distance and correspondence education programs and courses.

Compliance

Narrative

Overview of Distance Education at Georgia State University

Georgia State University employs distance education technologies to deliver courses and degree programs to students at locations apart from the instructors. These methods extend the reach of the University to students restricted by location or time and they facilitate the University’s fulfillment of its mission to “develop, transmit and utilize knowledge in order to provide access to quality education for diverse groups of students, to educate leaders for the State of Georgia and the nation, and to prepare citizens for lifelong learning in a global society.”

Academic Policy Concerning Distance Education

Distance education is defined as a formal educational process in which the majority of the instruction occurs when student and instructor are not in the same place and the instruction is delivered using technology.

As a member of the University System of Georgia, the University has adopted a distance education policy in  congruence with the distance education policy of the Board of Regents  of the University System of Georgia. That policy specifically requires Board approval, in addition to University approval, prior to offering a degree program via distance education. The System level approval for new distance education programs requires that the following issues are addressed and provided for: the connection to institutional mission; the rationale for the mode of delivery; the curriculum; admissions; faculty support and faculty qualifications; facilities and equipment requirements; and,  assessment and evaluation of the program. The University academic program approval process as it pertains to distance education programs is consistent with the requirements of the University System and encompassed in the Georgia State University policy for initiation, review, and approval of new academic programs.

Faculty

All faculty providing distance education must meet the same standards for appointment as faculty who provide regular classroom instruction. Adequacy of full-time faculty in the area of distance education is assured because the academic instructional units retain control and authority over distance education courses and programs as part of their overall management of the unit’s courses and programs (See Principle 2.8). Accordingly, faculty member teaching online courses typically teach these courses as part of their regularly assigned teaching loads. In addition, all faculty providing distance education are evaluated by students registered in the each course, as well as being regularly evaluated as part of the standard University processes for faculty evaluation.

In order to address the adequacy of the faculty in relation to distance education, it is important to address online teaching responsibilities.  The tables linked below show credit hours generated by program, mode and location for each college (the Honors College currently has no off campus nor online programming and is thus excluded). It is important to make a distinction at this juncture between online courses, many of which are offered throughout the institution, and fully online programs, where more than 50% of the student credits are earned online.  GSU has only a handful (see details below) of fully online programs.  The analysis in the following tables is broken down by colleges and school, and it includes all online courses, not just those taught in the fully online programs.

College of Arts and Sciences

Of the 241,562 credit hours generated by the College of Arts and Sciences in the Fall Semester of 2013, only 0.2% (588) were taught off-campus; typically these are study abroad programs. In addition, fewer than 0.7% (1,730) were taught online. These credit hours were taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus and were integrated into their normal workload consistent with the College’s Workload policy.

College of Arts and Sciences Credit hours by program, mode, and location

J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Of the 62,150 credit hours generated by the J. Mack Robinson College of Business in the Fall Semester of 2013, some 15.1% (9,370) were taught off-campus, the vast majority of these hours were generated in the Buckhead Executive Center just a few miles north of the main GSU campus; in addition some 4.1% (2520) were taught online. These credit hours were taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus and were integrated into their normal workload consistent with the College’s Workload policy.

Robinson College of Business Credit hours by program, mode, and location

Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

Of the 29,941 credit hours generated by the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies in the Fall Semester of 2013, only 2.8% (315) were taught off-campus typically these are study abroad programs; in addition only 0.8% (243) were taught online. These credit hours were taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus and were integrated into their normal workload consistent with the College’s Workload policy.

Andrew Young School of Policy Studies Credit hours by program, mode, and location

Of the 8,714 credit hours generated by the College of Law in the Fall Semester of 2013, only 9 were taught off-campus, typically these are study abroad programs; no credit hours were generated online.

College of Law Credit hours by program, mode, and location

College of Education

Of the 32,680 credit hours generated by the College of Education in the Fall Semester of 2013, only 2.2% (714) were taught off-campus typically these are study abroad programs; in addition  30% (9,645) were taught online. These credit hours were taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus and were integrated into their normal workload consistent with the College’s Workload policy.

College of Education Credit hours by program, mode, and location

Of the 14,207  credit hours generated by the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions in the Fall Semester of 2013, none were taught off-campus though some 22.9% (3,251) were taught online. These credit hours were taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus and were integrated into their normal workload consistent with the College’s Workload policy.

Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions Credit hours by program, mode, and location

School of Public Health

Of the 3,762  credit hours generated by the School of Public Health in the Fall Semester of 2013, none were taught off-campus and  7.7% (291) were taught online. These credit hours were taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus and were integrated into their normal workload consistent with the College’s Workload policy.

School of Public Health Credit hours by program, mode, and location

Summary of Credit Hours

In summary, of the 394,555 credit hours generated by Georgia State University in the Fall Semester of 2013, only 2.8% (10,995) were taught off-campus; in addition some 4.5% (17,680) were taught online. Across all of the colleges these credit hours were taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus and were integrated into their normal workload consistent with the respective College’s Workload policy.

Total University Credit hours by mode and location

Standard 2.8 contains more comprehensive and detailed articulation of the adequacy and sufficiency of the GSU faculty, and all of the detail in that response is applicable to the distance education faculty as these are the same instructors teaching on campus classes.

Support for Faculty

GSU offers multiple sources of technology and Distance Education (DE) support for faculty teaching online courses. These resources include training in use of Desire2Learn the university Learning Management System, as well as introductory material to the system itself. Faculty members can also access distance education training materials and courses delivered by the Exchange, which is a one-stop shop for Georgia State instructors seeking instructional design support, project consulting, equipment and more. The Exchange also offers technology training workshops that are open to the entire Georgia state community, including faculty, staff, and students. Conferences and workshops featuring online and distance education are also on offer from the Center for Instructional Innovation, which also sponsors the Digital Champions Program.

Faculty also have access to resources to help build distance education content, including the Digital Aquarium, a high-end multimedia lab located in the Student Center that has the resources to take creative ideas and make them a reality. The open-access lab has multimedia-editing workstations similar to those found in professional production studios, industry-standard media creation software packages such as Final Cut Pro, the Adobe Creative Suite, and ProTools and a library of stock audio and video as well as media production peripherals such as studio headphones, graphic tablets, color printing, and a BluRay disc burner.  In addition there are resources available to help faculty with Desire2Learn training, online course design, blended and flipped course design, and online classroom management training.

Technology Support for Students

Students can access multiple sources of support, including guidance in the use of Desire2Learn, general help with technology needs, and support for distance education. Students can also avail themselves of the services of the Exchange.

General Support for Students

Distance education students have access to the University System of Georgia’s GALILEO (Georgia Library Learning Online) system, as well as to various University resources including GSU Libraries, IS&T Computer Services, the Exchange, Disability Services, and all services offered by the Office of the Dean of Students. Though all of the services are available to distance education students, some are only available in the Atlanta area. However, where it is feasible services are offered by phone, Skype, online chat and email (See Principle 2.10).

Academic Advising

Academic advising at the University is coordinated centrally for the first 60 hours for undergraduate students and at the college and departmental levels for the last 60 hours for undergraduate and for all graduate students. GSU students, including distance education students, can consult their regular academic advisors via phone, online chat, or email, whether these are centrally located, or located in the department or college.

Library and Learning Resources

The GSU Libraries provides a Distance Learning Service to ensure that library services for distance learners are equivalent to those provided to on-campus students. In addition to on-line and campus library resources, the following special services are provided to DE students. The GSU Libraries create library accounts for off-campus students unable to physically visit the Libraries. In addition to giving students access to University-licensed databases from off-campus, students can also check out books, access e-reserves, check the status of books that have been checked out, and make Interlibrary Loan requests.  Off-campus students can access library help through phone calls, on-line chat tools, and email. Phone conferences tailored to the students’ schedules can be arranged to provide one-on-one assistance to distance learners.  GIL Express is a service by which DE students can request regularly circulating books from any University System of Georgia (USG) library and have them sent for pickup at the nearest USG library; this is complemented by Books by Mail, a service for currently enrolled GSU students and graduate students not taking classes at the main downtown campus. Regularly circulating University Library books can be delivered to the student’s home address through this service.  Interlibrary loans will supply materials not owned by the Libraries. In addition, books can be delivered to distance learners in three to four business days. Online tutorials are also provided in which students can learn how to search for material at the University Libraries.

Degree Programs Offered via Distance Education

The following approved degree programs have been approved as “fully at a distance” (i.e. more than 50% of credit hours earned through distance education).

Programs Offered through Georgia ONmyLine

Master of Arts for Teachers with a Major in Reading, Language, and Literacy Alternative

Master of Education Mathematics Education

Master of Education Reading, Language and Literacy Education

Master of Education Science Education

Master of Science in Educational Research

Programs Offered through the Learning Technologies Division of the College of Education

Master of Science Program in Instructional Technology

Programs Offered through the J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Bachelor of Business Education (Simulcast to Bermuda College)

Assessment of Distance Education

During the review period (2008-13), Georgia State University offered the following programs through the College of Education; samples of the assessment reports for these programs are below:

Programs Offered through Georgia ONmyLINE

Master of Arts for Teachers with a Major in Reading, Language, and Literacy Alternative

Master of Education Mathematics Education

Master of Education Reading, Language, and Literacy Education

Master of Education Science Education

Master of Science in Educational Research

Programs Offered through the Learning Technologies Division of the College of Education

Master of Science Program in Instructional Technology

In addition, the Bachelor of Business Education (Simulcast to Bermuda College) is offered by the J. Mack Robinson College of Business (this is a brand new program so although the assessment process is in place, as yet there are no results to report).

Assessment of student learning in distance education programs is conducted in the same manner as in all other educational programs.  Each program has identified expected student learning outcomes, assessed the extent to which these outcomes are achieved, and provided evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results of these assessments (See Principle 3.3.1.1).

The online MAT program in Reading, Language, and Literacy – ESOL, for example, identified weaknesses in the area of professional and pedagogical skills through the assessment process and targeted that area for more specific instructional emphasis.  Assessment in that program and the online M.Ed. program in the same subject area revealed the need for more discussion of teacher professional development and the impact of globalization in teaching, which the program decided to address in the capstone practicum course.  Assessment of the M.Ed. program in Reading, Language, and Literacy – ESOL also revealed weakness in the area of reading theories, pedagogy, and effects on student learning that were targeted for additional instructional emphasis.

Through the assessment process, the online M.Ed. program in Mathematics Education identified the need to provide more opportunities for students to extend their knowledge on curriculum and assessment techniques and modified its curriculum accordingly.  Likewise, the online M.Ed. program in Science Education identified a need to focus more on assessment and assessment types and, in response, added a section on assessment and an assignment to develop an assessment plan to one of the courses.

Academic Program Coordinators for Distance Education

The process by which academic coordinators are approved requires confirmation from the department chair or director and the dean of the college. Examples of documentation for this process are below:

College of Education

The Table of Program Coordinators provided as supporting documentation identifies program coordinators for each online degree program.  The highest educational level obtained for these coordinators is also displayed in each table.  Program coordinators are responsible for coordination, curriculum development, and program review for specific degree plans.  As can be seen from review of the accompanying table, Georgia State University employs Academic Program Coordinators in its online education programs who are academically qualified.

Technology Infrastructure

In regards to off-campus and online education, the institution utilizes shared services for course management offered through the University System of Georgia (USG).  This service utilized WebCT as the Learning Management System (LMS) application until 2013.  In 2012, the USG surveyed its shared services customers to determine the needs and preferences for a replacement to WebCT.  The survey results (Survey1Survey 2) campus use of D2L, and provides ancillary services that complement those of D2L. More extensive discussion of the broader technology infrastructure supporting online education is available in Principle 3.11.3.

Online Programs and GSU’s Mission

The University Mission Statement reads:

Georgia State University, a doctoral research institution, offers educational opportunities for traditional and nontraditional students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels by blending the best of theoretical and applied inquiry, scholarly and professional pursuits, and scientific and artistic expression. As an urban research university with strong disciplinary-based departments and a wide array of problem-oriented interdisciplinary programs, the goal of Georgia State is to develop, transmit and utilize knowledge in order to provide access to quality education for diverse groups of students, to educate leaders for the State of Georgia and the nation, and to prepare citizens for lifelong learning in a global society.

Georgia State University is authorized to offer baccalaureate through doctoral degrees by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Its mission, goals, and degree programs are approved by the Board of Regents. As stated in the most recent Strategic Plan  , Georgia State University aspires “to become one of the nation’s premiere research universities in focused areas that maximize [the institution’s] unique strengths.”

Georgia State’s online curriculum is directly related to the University’s mission and purpose. It is also congruent with the University System of Georgia’s (USG) mission “to contribute to the educational, cultural, economic, and social advancement of Georgia by providing excellent undergraduate general education and first-rate programs leading to associate, baccalaureate, masters, professional, and doctorate degrees; by pursuing leading-edge basic and applied research, scholarly inquiry, and creative endeavors; and by bringing these intellectual resources, and those of the public libraries, to bear on the economic development of the State and the continuing education of its citizens.” The USG degree approval process ensures that each program contributes to the mission of the institution.

Continued alignment between Georgia State’s curriculum and its mission is ensured by several complementary processes. The first of these is the process by which new programs are approved, which involves extensive review at multiple levels from the initiating department to the Board of Regents of the University System.

Approval Process for Distance Education Programs

Proposals should be considered and approved by the originating academic department. Approval by the departments at this stage, including any formal vote, should be noted as specified in the program proposal.

Proposals require the approval of the dean of the college responsible for the administration of the new program. Individual colleges may elect to require that proposals first be reviewed or formally considered by college faculty, a college undergraduate or graduate committee, or some other college-level body. Approval at this stage, including any formal vote, should be noted as specified in the program proposal.

The Dean should send approved proposals to the Vice Provost and to the Chair of the University Senate Committee on Academic Programs. The Vice Provost will review for compliance with Georgia Board of Regents (BOR) policies and will ask the Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness to do the same for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) requirements. Depending on the nature of the proposed program, the Vice Provost may ask others to review the proposal as well. For example, if the program involves collaboration with an international partner institution, the Associate Provost for International Affairs will also be asked to review the proposal.

If the proposal is found to be in good order, the Vice Provost will notify the chair of CAP that it is ready for committee consideration. If problems are found with the proposal, the Vice Provost will contact the college Dean to resolve the issues before initiating University Senate deliberations.

Within CAP, the proposal initially will be deliberated on by a subcommittee, most typically the Undergraduate Council or Graduate Council (depending on the level of the program being considered). The subcommittee may elect to invite the proposing parties to attend a meeting at which the proposal is discussed. The subcommittee will then make a recommendation to CAP. At a meeting to which the proposing parties will be invited, CAP will deliberate and vote on the proposal. At both the subcommittee and full committee levels, requests may be made to the proposing parties for changes to be made to the proposal.

If any aspect of the proposed program constitutes a substantive change by BOR or SACS standards, the University may be required to submit additional notifications or seek approval from either or both of these bodies. In such cases, the proposing units may be required to provide additional program information.

The chair of CAP will notify the Vice Provost and the Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness in writing of the recommendation of CAP.

If the Provost’s recommendation is positive, he or she will notify the University System of Georgia (USG) offices of the University’s decision and will forward the program proposal to the USG for reference.

The Provost, on behalf of the University President, will make the final decision on implementation of the new program.

More detailed description of both the strategic planning process, and the Academic Program Review process which also contribute to ensuring on going congruence between the curriculum and mission are available in Principle 4.2.

Publication of Policies

University requirements related to calendars, grading policies, payment and refunds appear in easily accessible places both for the university community and the public as follows:

Academic and Registration Calendars

Academic Records

Student Accounts – Payments

Student Accounts – Refunds

Student Accounts – Overpayment Refunds

Policies can be found online and, in many cases, in hard copy.  These policies appear in our Undergraduate and GraduateCatalogs, Registration Guides, and on various university web pages.  Topics covered are appropriate to the level of the student (undergraduate or graduate) and detail, among other things, the university grading and refund policies. Of importance to note is that all of these documents and policies are easiest accessed online and thus provide distance education students with the same access as those on campus.

The university publishes updates on the web — called the Registration Guides — each term relative to the specifics of registration for each academic semester in the year (fall, spring, and summer semesters). These documents contain semester-specific information including, but not limited to, the academic calendar, registration and links to financial aid and student account information.

Accessibility of all of these sources via the web means that online, distance education, and off campus students all have easy access to timely and relevant information.

Program Length

According to the State of Georgia Board of Regents, all baccalaureate degrees must require a minimum of 120 semester credit hours. Degree requirements for each graduate degree program require a minimum of 30 semester hours. The length of all programs is reviewed when the program is proposed, when changes are made, and on a regular cycle of periodic review. GSU offers 6 Masters level programs online and one newly created bachelors level program.  This latter requires 120 semester hours, and each of the graduate programs requires a minimum of 30 hours.

Complaints

Georgia State University has established a Policy and Procedures for Student Complaints, Petitions for Policy Waivers and Variances, and Appeals that is published online in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs as well as in the online Student Code of Conduct Policies and Procedures which is also available online. This policy includes procedures for administering student complaints on college-level academic matters (e.g., grade appeals), student complaints on non-academic matters (e.g., administrative decisions) as well as student petitions for college-level and university-wide academic policy waiver or variance. Additionally, other policies exist to address specific forms of student complaints.

The Student Code of Conduct administered by the Office of the Dean of Students outlines the procedures for addressing student complaints regarding prohibited student conduct. Specific policies and procedures regarding discrimination complaints against students, including Title-IX sexual misconduct complaints, are also located in the Student Code of Conduct.

Policies and procedures for addressing discrimination complaints against faculty and staff, including Title IX sexual misconduct complaints, are administered by the Office of Opportunity Development/Diversity Education Planning (ODDEP) as outlined on the ODDEP website as well as in the online Faculty Handbook and Staff Handbook.

The Disability Complaint Policy posted on the Office of Disability Website and in the University Catalogs (Undergraduate and Graduate)  outlines resolution options and procedures for complaints regarding allegations of denial by the university to provide a requested accommodation as well as other complaints regarding violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Each one of the policies from each of the offices described above is equally applicable to distance education and off campus locations.  The online accessibility of all of these policies ensures that distance education students have easy access to them.

Recruitment Materials

Recruitment materials provide a comprehensive review of the University, and the programs and areas of study. In addition, materials provide an overview of the campus, student population, social activities and academic supports. Content is updated on a yearly basis and printed material and electronic information is evaluated for consistency. In addition, specialized content is drafted for various audiences such as high school guidance counselors ,students accepted to the universityparents of accepted studentstransfer students, and international students. This information is also available on the Office of Admissions website . A more comprehensive review of recruitment and recruitment materials is available in Principle 4.6.

Verification of Student Identity

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia requires all students applying to Georgia State University to provide verification of their lawful presence in the United States before their admission to the University can be finalized. In order to do so, all students enrolling at GSU, including those involved in distance education, must present proof of identity in the form of government issued ID.

To ensure that a student who registers for an online course is the same student who participates in and completes the course, Georgia State University requires the use of a secure login and password. After having verified their identity, Georgia State provides students a unique identifier, called the CampusID. The CampusID and its associated password are required to access both the course registration system and the learning management system, the primary online environment used to provide online courses. Upon enrollment at Georgia State University, each student is granted an account . The student account is deleted after a period of non-use, immediately upon expulsion, or at the request of the Dean of Students.

Each distance learning student enters his/her CampusID into the system and creates a ten-digit, strong, alphanumeric password that uniquely identifies him/her to the learning environment. This combination of user ID and password identifies the student to the system on each subsequent course visit. In addition, students accept responsibility for the security of their passwords and the system requires students to create a new password every 120 days . Previous passwords may not be used. Reminder of expiry and password requirements are generated automatically.

The university offers additional protection by requiring the use of the CampusID and password for much of the online course content and other learning tools including streaming video content, podcasts, virtual classroom environments and the virtual computing lab. Each semester, when new courses are created in the registration system, a corresponding course is created in the LMS. Only students who have registered in a course are allowed access to the LMS version of the course. If a student drops the course or withdraws, she or he is removed from the LMS course within three business days.

Additionally, to assist faculty in verifying the identity of students taking tests online, Georgia State provides faculty with the option of using Respondus Monitor, a tool that can capture an image of the student in their remote location, and video showing the student and the test-taking environment. Georgia State offers the option of using another tool called Respondus LockDown Browser that limits the student’s access to any computer content other than the test-taking environment by blocking other website and access to computer files. The combination of these tools, along with authentication access, provides a secure environment for distance-learning students and ensures the integrity of the online course.

Privacy

Georgia State University protects the privacy of all students and their education records and complies with federal and state guidelines regarding information security whether students are enrolled in distance education courses or attending classes on campus.

Georgia State abides by the University System of Georgia’s policy on Appropriate Use of Information . This policy applies to all university administrative staff, faculty members and students. It states that every member of the university community will respect the privacy and personal rights of others.

Further, the university has produced an Information Systems Ethics policy that outlines in greater detail the responsibilities of the university to maintain and respect the privacy of all students. The university seeks to preserve individual privacy and does not routinely monitor individual usage except under specific circumstances outline in the policy.

The university administers student educational records in accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, also known as the Buckley Amendment or FERPA. This regulation provides that the student has a right of access to student educational records maintained by the university or any department or unit within the university, subject to certain exceptions outlined in this regulation. This regulation also protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable information in student records. Except to the extent allowed by applicable law, personally identifiable information contained in a student educational record will not be disclosed. A copy of this regulation is maintained by the University Registrar, and is incorporated into the GSU FERPA Records Access Policy. All members of the campus community should be thoroughly familiar with this regulation and comply with its provisions. These regulations apply equally to online, distance, off campus, and on campus programs and entities.

Georgia State University abides by all FERPA requirements related to student privacy for both on campus and distance education students. Students are informed of their rights under FERPA during student orientation and on the Registrar’s website. Additional information is provided in the Student Code of Conduct.

In summary, Georgia State University employs strict, standard security measures, policies, standards and guidelines in ongoing efforts to protect information resources, including student records. Further Georgia State University does not levy any extra costs to students enrolled in distance education.

Definition of Credit Hour in Distance and Online Education

Georgia State follows the policies and procedures for determining credit hours set by the Board of Regents University System of Georgia. Section 3.4.1 of the Board of Regents Policy Manual requires that a “minimum of 750 minutes of instruction or equivalent is required for each semester credit hour.” Furthermore, the Board of Regents requires that a semester be no less than fifteen (15) calendar weeks in length.

The University Senate provides further specification. The Senate policy  notes that the Board of Regents policy applies to “all learning environments, including, but not limited to, classrooms, laboratories, studio, field experiences, internships, practica, clinical rotations, independent study, online environments, and distance learning formats.” In addition to 750 minutes of instruction for each credit hour, the Senate policy requires a minimum of 1500 minutes of out of class student work or equivalent for each credit hour.

In summary, based on the evidence presented above and in the related Principles specified in the text, GSU is in compliance with Principle 3.13.4.1 in that it has incorporated an assessment of compliance with standards that apply to distance education programs and courses.

The Fifth Year Compliance Report

8. The institution evaluates success with respect to student achievement consistent with its mission. Criteria may include enrollment data; retention, graduation, course completion, and job placement rates; state licensing examinations; student portfolios; or other means of demonstrating student achievement. (Federal Requirement 4.1)

Compliance

 Narrative

A central tenet of Georgia State University’s mission is to provide “access to quality education for diverse groups of students, to educate leaders for the State of Georgia and the nation, and to prepare citizens for lifelong learning in a global society.”[GSU Mission Statement] ” [GSU Strategic Plan] wide commitment to student success and the implementation of numerous innovative programs, Georgia State University has realized unprecedented success in student achievement.

The University evaluates its success with respect to student achievement through a variety of indicators, including student retention data and graduation rates, performance on external examinations (including licensure exams), and post-graduation career status.  The primary source of data for ongoing evaluation and documentation of these indicators is IPORT, s data warehouse, which collects, stores and presents information such as admission, student enrollment, demographics, retention and graduation, grade distribution and course enrollment. (GSU IPORT Home Page,  GSU Dashboards 1Dashboards 2, Dashboards 3). Additional sources include the GSU Fact Book 2012-2013 and the self-study reports that result from Academic Program Review.  Reporting and analyzing data on enrollment, retention and graduation rates of majors and survey data of current and graduating students is a required component of the final report for all programs going through the program review process, and the results are stored on the Academic Program Review website (NOTE: Until this year the APR process was a three year model and Self-Study reports are dated in the first year of that process).

College of Arts and Sciences

Fine Arts APR Self Study Example

Humanities APR Self Study Example

Natural and Computational Sciences APR Self Study Example

Social and Behavioral Sciences APR Self Study Example

Andrew Young School of Policy Studies APR Self Study Example

J. Mack Robinson College of Business Self Study Example

Lewis School of Nursing and health Professions APR Self Study Example

College of Law APR self study

School of Public Health APR

College of Education APR self study example

Graduation and Retention Rates

Retention and graduation rate data are reported by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and evaluated regularly by the University administration.  Retention and graduation are critical components of the University’s Strategic Plan as well as the primary focus of the University’s College Completion Plan 2012. In early 2012, each campus in the  University System of Georgia was charged with submitting a plan to improve access and completion for all students so that the state of Georgia may realize the economic, academic and civic advantages of a more educated workforce.  Georgia State University’s completion plan built upon the University’s already established commitment to student success. Ten years ago, Georgia State’s institutional graduation rate stood at 32%, and underserved populations were even lower at 22% for Latinos, 29% for African Americans, and 18% for African American males.  Pell students were graduating at rates barely half those of non-Pell students.

In 2013, as a result of a campus-wide commitment to student success, Georgia State’s institutional graduation rate has improved 21 points.  The past two years alone, it has climbed 5.1 points—reaching a new record of 53.1%–and it is on pace to increase another 2 to 3 points by Fall of 2014. The University’s goal is to reach an overall six year graduation rate of 60% by the year 2020.  In addition, Georgia State has been lauded as having the second highest increase in graduation rates for underrepresented students of any institution in the nation.  From 2003 to 2013, graduation rates have risen 28 points for African Americans (to 57% in 2013), 41 points for African-American males (to 59%), and 44 points for Latinos (to 66%).  All of these numbers set all-time highs for Georgia State.

Georgia State is also setting records for the number of degrees conferred.  The institution’s total number of degrees conferred annually increased in the past year from 6,901 to 7,365 (up 7%).  Four years ago, the total number of conferrals stood at 5,857, meaning that Georgia State is now graduating 1,500 more students per year than it was in 2008. At the doctoral level, the number of degrees conferred annually has increased 32% since 2008, with a record high of 259 in 2012.  The number of master’s degrees conferred annually has also increased 32% since 2008, with a record high of 2295 in 2012.  At the undergraduate level, Georgia State now confers more baccalaureate degrees to African-American students than any non-profit college or university in the nation and more baccalaureate degrees to Latino students than any institution in the state of Georgia (Complete College Georgia 2013 Update).

Retention continues to be an important component of the university’s focus on student success.  As articulated in Georgia State’s 2008 SACS report, the university set a first-year retention rate target of 86% for the Fall 2009 cohort of first-time, full-time students.  Georgia State has progressed, with the first-year retention rate for first-time, full-time students remaining over 83% for the cohorts between Fall 2008 and Fall 2012. This is 9 points above the national average for four year public institutions.  The first-year retention rate for Latino students is even more noteworthy at 89% for the 2010 cohort (GSU Fact Book 2012-2013, and Complete College Georgia 2013 Status Update).

Georgia State’s notable achievement in the area of student success is a reflection of a number of initiatives and programs that have been developed in recent years using retention and graduation data to target problem areas and implement programming aimed at meeting the goals of the strategic plan.  Some of these initiatives include: targeted course redesign for courses with high DFW rates; financial support programs like Keep Hope Alive, Panther Retention Grants and the implementation of a fully operational Scholarship Resource Center; expansion of tutoring services offered through Supplemental Instruction; the Summer Success Academy for academically at-risk freshman; increased enrollment in the Freshmen Learning Communities; and a major increase in the number of academic advisors as well as the types of support services they offer.  More detail descriptions regarding the individual initiatives that Georgia State has implemented in recent years can be found in the university’s 2013 Complete College Georgia Status Report.

Performance on External Examinations

Georgia State University also tracks students’ performance on external examinations, including state and national licensing exams.  Where appropriate, the results are included in the academic program review or academic assessment of individual programs and are evaluated to help guide the development of program action plans or to help improve student learning.  The following are examples of data tracked for individual programs.

The College of Education tracks Georgia Association for the Certification of Educators (GACE) pass rates for GSU program completers seeking licensure in Georgia.

GACE pass rates

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

Total pass rate

99%

97%

96%

 

The Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions pass rates on licensing examinations are shown in the tables below.

National Board for Respiratory Care:

 EXAM:  CRT

Year

Tested

Total

Passing %

Passing

First Time %

Passing

Repeaters

2012

32

32

100%

32

100%

0

0%

2011

29

29

100%

29

100%

0

0%

2010

33

33

100%

33

100%

0

0%

2009

35

35

100%

35

100%

0

0%

2008

36

36

100%

33

91.7%

3

8.3%

2007

32

31

96.9%

31

96.9%

0

0%

 EXAM:  Clinical Simulation Examination

Year

Tested

Total

Passing %

Passing

First Time %

Passing

Repeaters

2012

32

32

100%

25

78.1%

7

21.9%

2011

29

29

100%

27

93.1%

2

6.9%

2010

33

33

100%

26

78.8%

7

21.2%

2009

35

35

100%

31

88.6%

4

11.4%

2008

36

34

94.4%

23

63.9%

11

30.6%

2007

32

32

100%

25

78.1%

7

21.9%

 EXAM:  Written Registry Respiratory Therapy

Year

Tested

Total

Passing %

Passing

First Time %

Passing

Repeaters

2012

32

32

100%

31

96.9%

1

3.1%

2011

29

29

100%

28

96.6%

1

3.4%

2010

33

33

100%

32

97.0%

1

3.0%

2009

35

35

100%

34

97.1%

1

2.9%

2008

36

36

100%

32

88.9%

4

11.1%

2007

33

33

100%

29

87.9%

4

12.1%

 

 

Nursing NCLEX and NP Specialty Exams:

EXAM 2010
#Took #Pass %Pass
NCLEX 117 107 91%
Family NP 19 19 100%
Adult NP NA NA NA
Women’s Health NP 7 6 86%
Pediatric NP 9 9 100%
Clinical Nurse Spec. NA NA NA
Psychiatric MH NP NA NA NA

 

EXAM 2011
#Took #Pass %Pass
NCLEX 130 125 96%
Family NP 22 21 95%
Adult NP 1 1 100%
Women’s Health NP 4 4 100%
Pediatric NP 9 9 100%
Clinical Nurse Spec. 1 1 100%
Psychiatric MH NP NA NA NA

 

EXAM 2012 3 YR AVG
#Took #Pass %Pass
NCLEX 129 124 96% 94%
Family NP 31 30 97% 97%
Adult NP 20 20 100% 100%
Women’s Health NP 4 4 100% 93%
Pediatric NP 14 14 100% 100%
Clinical Nurse Spec. 4 4 100% 100%
Psychiatric MH NP 6 6 100% 100%

 

Physical Therapy National Board Exam:

Exam

2010

2011

2012

Physical Therapy National Board Exam

99%

99%

99%

 

 

Graduates of the Georgia State University College of Law continue to pass the State Bar Examination at very high rates, as indicated in the table below.

Bar Date 

All applicants

First timers

Average MBE

#Took

#Pass

%Pass

#Took

#Pass

%Pass

July 2013

154

145

94.1

152

144

94.7

149.8

February 2013

31

28

90.3

26

24

92.3

150.7

July 2012

162

153

94.4

160

152

95.0

149.3

February 2012

032

028

87.5

24

23

95.8

144.7

July 2011

149

138

92.6

145

136

93.7

149.5

February 2011

39

37

94.8

28

27

96.4

148.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A very high percentage of graduates from the doctoral program in clinical psychology become licensed doctoral psychologists, as indicated by the table below.

OUTCOME

   AY2003 – AY2010

Total number of students with doctoral degrees conferred on transcripts

58

Number of students with doctoral degrees conferred on transcripts who became licensed doctoral psychologists

56

Licensure percentage

  97%

 

Placement

Georgia State University tracks data regarding the placement of its graduate and undergraduate alumni at both the institutional level as well as the individual program level.  These data are used in a myriad of ways including but not limited to the evaluation of programs and the development of action plans that accompany Academic Program Review as well as to guide the development of programs and services offered by the career services divisions of the University and the individual colleges and programs.

 

University Surveys of Graduates

The University’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness surveys undergraduate and graduate alumni about their perceptions of their education as part of the Academic Program Review process.  This information is used by University Career Services and is made available to departments so that they may better address their strengths and weaknesses in developing action plans.  The data are also published on the Office of Institutional Effectiveness’ website (APR Survey Example 1APR Survey Example 2).

The Undergraduate Student Alumni Survey asks respondents to report on their principle activity after graduation.  In the surveys conducted in the Summer 2012, Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 semesters, a total of 2,271 undergraduate alumni responded (49.3% response rate).  Of those who responded, 61.4% reported that they were engaged in full-time employment, 5.6% were engaged in part-time employment and 24.9% were continuing on to graduate or professional school.

 

Robinson College of Business Surveys of Graduates

The Robinson College of Business also conducts annual surveys of their undergraduate and graduate alumni within 0 – 6 months after graduation to gather data regarding the number of their students who have gained employment, the types of jobs they’ve accepted and the salary range for those jobs.  These data are used in the college’s individual program assessments as well as advertised on their website.  For those students who graduated from the College of Business in Fall 2011, Spring 2012 and Summer 2012, a total of 73% of graduate student alumni reported employment information and a total of 53% of undergraduate student alumni reported employment information.

Of the graduate student alumni who responded to the survey, 63% accepted a job offer by graduation, 25% accepted a job offer within 3 months of graduation and 12% accepted a job offer more than 3-6 months after graduation.  The average salary for all graduate respondents was $72,890 and 26% had seen a post-degree salary increase.

Of the undergraduate student alumni who responded to the survey, 47% obtained new, full-time employment upon graduation and 13% were promoted with their current employer upon graduation.  41% accepted a job offer by graduation, 39% accepted a job offer within 3 months of graduation and 20% accepted a job offer more than 3-6 months after graduation.  The average salary for all undergraduate respondents was $44,544.

 

College of Law Survey of Graduates

The College of Law also asks recent graduates to self-disclose information about their employment and salaries upon graduation.  These data are published on the college’s website.  For the students who graduated from the College of Law in the year 2012, a total of 175 alumni reported employment information (87% response rate).The following summarizes some of what was reported.

 

Types of Employment

Private Practice

53.1%

Business and Industry

22.9%

Government

12.6%

Public Interest

6.3%

Judicial Clerkships

3.4%

Academia

1.2%

Graduate Studies

0.60%

 

Employment Type

Mean

25th centile

75th centile

Top

% Reporting

# Reporting

Private Practice 2-10 attys

$56503

$50000

$65000

$104000

64.58%

31

Private Practice 11-25 attys

$63955

$56000

$70000

$80000

84.62%

11

Private Practice 26-50 attys

$115000

$115000

50%

1

Private Practice 51-100 attys

$89000

$105000

100%

3

Private Practice 101-250 attys

$116667

$140000

75%

3

Private Practice 251-500 attys

$132500

$135000

100%

2

Private Practice >501 attys

$100833

$50000

$135000

$150000

92.31%

12

Judicial Clerkships

$57500

$53750

$60000

$60000

100%

6

Government

$52299

$39545

$61250

$91000

66.67%

14

Public Interest

$49910

$40000

$52450

$85000

90.91%

11

Academic

$60000

$60000

50%

1

Business and Industry

$71083

$56570

$75000

$140000

22.99%

19

 

In Summary, Georgia State University uses multiple methods to evaluate student achievement and using these multiple methods is having considerable success in improving metrics that are relevant to the University mission, which arise from the strategic plan, and which are good for our students and graduates.

The Fifth Year Compliance Report

9. The institution’s curriculum is directly related and appropriate to the purpose and goals of the institution and the diplomas, certificates, or degrees awarded. (Federal Requirement 4.2)

Compliance

 

Narrative

The University Mission Statement reads:

Georgia State University, a doctoral research institution, offers educational opportunities for traditional and nontraditional students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels by blending the best of theoretical and applied inquiry, scholarly and professional pursuits, and scientific and artistic expression. As an urban research university with strong disciplinary-based departments and a wide array of problem-oriented interdisciplinary programs, the goal of Georgia State is to develop, transmit and utilize knowledge in order to provide access to quality education for diverse groups of students, to educate leaders for the State of Georgia and the nation, and to prepare citizens for lifelong learning in a global society.

Georgia State University is authorized to offer baccalaureate through doctoral degrees by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Its mission, goals, and degree programs are approved by the Board of Regents. As stated in the most recent Strategic Plan, Georgia State University aspires “to become one of the nation’s premiere research universities in focused areas that maximize [the institution’s] unique strengths.”

Georgia State’s curriculum is directly related to the University’s mission and purpose. It is also congruent with the University System of Georgia’s (USG) mission “to contribute to the educational, cultural, economic, and social advancement of Georgia by providing excellent undergraduate general education and first-rate programs leading to associate, baccalaureate, masters, professional, and doctorate degrees; by pursuing leading-edge basic and applied research, scholarly inquiry, and creative endeavors; and by bringing these intellectual resources, and those of the public libraries, to bear on the economic development of the State and the continuing education of its citizens.” The USG’s degree approval process ensures that each program contributes to the mission of the institution.

Continued alignment between Georgia State’s curriculum and its mission is ensured by several complementary processes. The first of these is the process by which new programs are approved, which involves extensive review at multiple levels from the initiating department to the Board of Regents of the University System.

Approval Process for New Programs

The approval process for proposals consists of the steps below.

Proposals should be considered and approved by the originating academic department. Approval by the departments at this stage, including any formal vote, should be noted as specified in the program proposal.

Proposals require the approval of the Dean of the college responsible for the administration of the new program. Individual colleges may elect to require that proposals first be reviewed or formally considered by college faculty, a college undergraduate or graduate committee, or some other college-level body. Approval at this stage, including any formal vote, should be noted as specified in the program proposal.

The dean should send approved proposals to the Vice Provost and to the Chair of the University Senate Committee on Academic Programs (CAP). The Vice Provost will review for compliance with Georgia Board of Regents (BOR) policies and will ask the Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness to do the same for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) requirements. Depending on the nature of the proposed program, the Vice Provost may ask others to review the proposal as well. For example, if the program involves collaboration with an international partner institution, the Associate Provost for International Affairs will also be asked to review the proposal.

If the proposal is found to be in good order, the Vice Provost will notify the chair of CAP that it is ready for committee consideration. If problems are found with the proposal, the Vice Provost will contact the college Dean to resolve the issues before initiating University Senate deliberations.

Within CAP, the proposal initially will be deliberated on by a subcommittee, most typically the Undergraduate Council or Graduate Council (depending on the level of the program being considered). The subcommittee may elect to invite the proposing parties to attend a meeting at which the proposal is discussed. The subcommittee will then make a recommendation to CAP. At a meeting to which the proposing parties will be invited, CAP will deliberate and vote on the proposal. At both the subcommittee and full committee levels, requests may be made to the proposing parties for changes to be made to the proposal.

The chair of CAP will notify the Vice Provost and the Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness in writing of the recommendation of CAP.

If the Provost’s recommendation is positive, he or she will notify the University System of Georgia (USG) offices of the University’s decision and will forward the program proposal to the USG for reference.

The Provost, on behalf of the university president, will make the final decision on implementation of the new program.

Normally, the program can be officially added to the University curriculum (i.e., added to the record of official programs in the Banner system) after return acknowledgment of the university-level approval from the USG. (A copy of the official University System acknowledgement will be forwarded to the originating college(s) upon receipt by the Vice Provost.)

If any aspect of the proposed program constitutes a substantive change by BOR or SACS standards, the University may be required to submit additional notifications or seek approval from either or both of these bodies. In such cases, the proposing units may be required to provide additional program information.

At each level of review in this process the centrality of the proposed program to the University mission is evaluated.

Another process that ensures congruence between the University mission and curriculum is the 5-year cycle for reexamination and approval of the Georgia State’s Strategic Plan. As part of this extensive review, alignment between programs and Georgia State’s mission is reviewed and appropriate changes to the mission are made.  In addition, mission and curriculum congruence are reviewed in the 7-year cycle for Academic Program Review (APR).  APR is required for all programs. The review considers whether or not a program continues to support Georgia State’s mission. Programs which do not may be discontinued. This review includes a self-study, outside peer reviews, internal reviews, and an action plan.  Examples of APR Self Study documents for each college, and each division in the College of Arts and Sciences are below.

College of Arts and Sciences

Fine Arts APR Self Study Example

Humanities APR Self Study Example

Natural and Computational Sciences APR Self Study Example

Social and Behavioral Sciences APR Self Study Example

Andrew Young School of Policy Studies APR Self Study Example

J. Mack Robinson College of Business Self Study Example

Lewis School of Nursing and health Professions APR Self Study Example

College of Law APR self study

School of Public Health APR

College of Education APR self study example

Undergraduate Programs

Requirements for all undergraduate degrees are set out in the Undergraduate Catalog. (Please note the contents pages of the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs are hyperlinked, simply click on the required page on the contents page.)  This Catalog specifies, among other things, the total number of credit hours to be earned (a minimum of 120), the Core Curriculum (required for all undergraduate degrees), the academic residency requirement (39 hours at the 3000 or 4000 level), and the requirements specific to each undergraduate degree. Prerequisite and corequisite requirements are listed in the Course Descriptions section of the Catalog. To see their progress towards their degrees, students may view an academic progress report (PACE or CAPP) via the web, or through the Advisement Center which contains a state of the art data driven system.

Graduate Programs

Requirements for all graduate degrees are set out in the Graduate Catalog (Please note the contents pages of the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs are hyperlinked, simply click on the required page on the contents page.)  This Catalog specifies the requirements for each graduate degree. Prerequisite and co-requisite requirements are listed in the Course Descriptions section of the Catalog. All graduate degree program requirements are also listed in the Catalog.

The processes and procedures outlined above and in the supporting documentation are also applicable and relevant to all distance education and off campus programs.

The Fifth Year Compliance Report

10. The institution makes available to students and the public current academic calendars, grading policies, and refund policies. (Federal Requirement 4.3)

Compliance

Narrative

University requirements related to calendars, grading policies, payment and refunds appear in easily accessible places both for the university community and the public as follows:

Academic and Registration Calendars

Academic Records

Student Accounts-Payments

Student Accounts-Refunds

Overpayment Refunds

Policies can be found both online and, in many cases, in hard copy.  These policies appear in our Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs, and in multiple other web pages.   Topics covered are appropriate to the level of the student (undergraduate or graduate) and detail, among other things, the University grading and refund policies.

The University publishes updates on the web — called the Registration Guides — each term relative to the specifics of registration for each academic semester in the year (fall, spring, and summer semesters). These documents contain semester-specific information including, but not limited to, the academic calendar, registration and links to financial aid and student account information.

Accessibility of all of these sources via the web means that online, distance education, and off campus students all have easy access to timely and relevant information.

The Fifth Year Compliance Report

11. Program length is appropriate for each of the institution’s educational programs. (Federal Requirement 4.4)

Compliance

Narrative

Georgia State University offers 55 undergraduate programs (majors), 118 programs at the Master’s level, and 39 at the doctoral level; the Juris Doctor (J.D.); four Education Specialist degrees; eight post-Master’s certificates; five undergraduate certificates; and 21 graduate certificates. According to the State of Georgia Board of Regents, all baccalaureate degrees must require a minimum of 120 semester credit hours. Degree requirements for each undergraduate program, none less than 120 hours, are presented with each program description in the Undergraduate Catalog. (Please note the contents pages of the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs are hyperlinked, simply click on the required page on the contents page).

Degree requirements for each graduate degree program require a minimum of 30 semester hours. Degree requirements for each program are presented with each program description in the Graduate Catalog. (Please note the contents pages of the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs are hyperlinked, simply click on the required page on the contents page).

The length of all programs is reviewed when the program is proposed, when changes are made, and on a regular cycle of periodic review.

New programs are developed by faculty at the department level in response to a perceived need.

Departments then make proposals to a college-level committee and if approved by the college level committee they move on to the next stage in the review process. The proposals are then reviewed by the Committee on Academic Programs Committee (CAP) of the University Senate. The CAP review process is extensive and includes a review of the appropriateness of the length of proposed programs, among many other factors, by  either the Undergraduate Sub-Committee or Graduate Subcommittee of CAP.  Proposals may be returned to the  academic department with a request for revisions, or moved for approval by the full Committee on Academic Programs. Proposals approved by the Academic Programs Committee are then reviewed by the Provost and, if approved, submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs of the University System of Georgia (USG).  Finally, proposals approved by this Office are submitted to the Board of Regents of the USG for final approval. At each stage of review of proposed new programs, the length of the program is reviewed. Any changes to program length are reviewed by the faculty of the relevant college. 

Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

College of Arts and Sciences

College of Education

College of Law

School of Public Health

Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions

J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Honors College

All programs are reviewed every seven years following the Academic Program Review process. This review includes a self-study, outside peer reviews, internal reviews, and an action plan.  Departments are responsible for making sure that the length of their programs is appropriate and the review process, particularly the external and internal reviewers’ reports, ensures that all degree programs are of appropriate length.

Many programs are reviewed as part of a specialized accreditation process conducted by a professional organization. Program length is reviewed as part of these accreditation processes.

12. The institution has adequate procedures for addressing written student complaints and is responsible for demonstrating that it follows those procedures when resolving student complaints. (Federal Requirement 4.5)

Compliance

Narrative

Georgia State University has established a Policy and Procedure for Student Complaints, Petitions for Policy Waivers and Variances, and Appeals that is published online in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog as well as in the online Student Code of Conduct Policies and Procedures, which is also distributed on flashdrives to all new students attending orientation programs. This policy includes procedures for administering student complaints on college-level academic matters (e.g., grade appeals), student complaints on non-academic matters (e.g., administrative decisions) as well as student petitions for college-level and university-wide academic policy waiver or variance. Additionally, other policies exist to address specific forms of student complaints.

The Student Code of Conduct , administered by the Office of the Dean of Students, outlines the procedures for addressing student complaints regarding prohibited student conduct. Specific policies and procedures regarding discrimination complaints against students, including Title IX sexual misconduct complaints, are also located in the Student Code of Conduct.

Policies and procedures for addressing discrimination complaint against faculty and staff, including Title IX sexual misconduct complaints, are administered by the Office of Opportunity Development/Diversity Education Planning (ODDEP) as outlined on the ODDEP Website as well as in the online Faculty Handbook and Staff Handbook.

The Disability Complaint Policy posted on the Office of Disability Website and in the University Catalogs (Undergraduate and Graduate (Please note the contents pages of the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs are hyperlinked, simply click on the required page on the contents page.) outlines resolution options and procedures for complaints regarding allegations of denial by the university to provide a requested accommodation as well as other complaints regarding violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

All of the policies from each of the offices described above is equally applicable to distance education and off campus locations.

13. Recruitment materials and presentations accurately represent the institution’s practices and policies. (Federal Requirement 4.6)

Compliance

Narrative

Recruitment materials provide a comprehensive review of the University, and the programs and areas of study. In addition, materials provide an overview of the campus, student population, social activities and academic supports. Content is updated on a yearly basis and printed material and electronic information is evaluated for consistency. In addition, specialized content is drafted for various audiences such as , students accepted at the universityparents of accepted studentstransfer students and international students. This information is also available on the website of the Office of Admissions.

Fast Facts provides a summary of Georgia State University including academic units, Honors College, Study Abroad, housing, admissions criteria, and housing options – in EnglishMandarinSpanish and Vietnamese.

Scholarships provides a summary of major scholarships at GSU. Information includes eligibility requirements, awards, amount and deadline for application.

These documents are distributed without charge to interested individuals upon request. In addition, comparable information is provided through the Office of Admissions website. In all cases, information is provided to direct prospective students to more detailed information about their interest or academic pursuits through connections to program and academic units on campus.

Besides written materials, the Office of Admissions participates in numerous recruiting sessions. Trained staff members visit public and private high schools, as well as hold sessions for home schooled students. In 2006, the Office of Admissions launched an out-of-state recruitment plan to attract students from major metropolitan areas. The Office of Admissions has attended or is scheduled to attend recruitment events in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, Maryland; Houston, Texas; Dallas, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; Charlotte, North Carolina; Raleigh, North Carolina; Saint Louis, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; Nashville, Tennessee; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Newark, New Jersey; Tampa, Florida; Orlando, Florida; Jacksonville, Florida; Birmingham, Alabama; Long Island, New York and New York City. The Office of Admissions has also increased recruitment in the neighboring states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Florida by attending both high school college fairs and visits and community college fairs and visits.

In addition to these sessions, outreach is provided to specialized groups of prospective students. A website is available for military personnel and their families, which contains financial information and connection to the Veteran’s Administration. Admissions staff attend outreach activities that are specifically for Latino students. Additionally, recruitment material is available in Spanish Language form.  Staff also attend events that are hosted for African American students such as the college fair at the Frederick Douglas Academy in New York, and the Coretta Scott King fair in Atlanta.

One of the best ways to see what Georgia State University has to offer is through attending campus visitation programs. Campus visit programs provide prospective students with in-depth information about Georgia State’s programs, admissions, campus housing and financial aid.

Panther Preview is recognized as the primary campus visit program and the official University Open House for prospective students. This campus-wide effort involves a variety of faculty, staff, and students. Prospective students have the opportunity to experience the Georgia State academic environment through attendance of sample classes taught by Georgia State faculty members. Additional opportunities include meeting with representatives from our academic colleges, campus and residence hall tours, application workshops, information sessions led by financial aid and university career services, lunch in dining facilities, and much more. Panther Preview highlights the features and benefits of a Georgia State University undergraduate education.

In addition to Panther Preview, the Office of Admissions hosts the following visit programs:

Honors College Visit Days: An invitation for a special visit day that includes an Information Session, Honors College and Campus Tour, and Lunch for students Interested in and eligible for the Honors College. Recommended Requirements: Students with a minimum 1250 SAT score (verbal and math combined) or minimum 28 ACT composite, and a 3.5 GPA or higher (College Prep Curriculum courses only).

Panthers Up Close: Held twice per academic year (Columbus Day in the fall and Presidents’ Day in the Spring). This is an event for high school students (especially juniors and seniors) that explores the advantages, benefits and excitement of attending college in downtown Atlanta at Georgia State University.

Prospective Student Area Events: Admissions Counselors host prospective events in their specific territories

Financial Aid Nights: Financial Aid nights are held for to learn more about financial aid options and resources.

Starbucks Visits: one-on-one visits at local coffee houses or restaurants for prospective families and their admissions counselor

Pounce Into Georgia State: An event for admitted students where they will have the opportunity to explore academic interests, student advisement options, and other pertinent next steps for admitted students. Additional opportunities include information session led by University Housing and tours of our campus residence halls: Piedmont North, the University Commons, Freshman Hall, and the Lofts.

Scholarship Day: Scholarship competition day for admitted students who are also prospective Honors college students.

Goizueta Scholars Day: Scholarship opportunity for students of Hispanic/Latino heritage who demonstrate leadership and service to the Hispanic/Latino community. Students compete for scholarships and are evaluated on a number of criteria to include:

  • Leadership
  • Community Service
  • Extracurricular, school and community-related activities/participation
  • Financial Need
  • High School GPA
  • The Goizueta Foundation Scholarship Essay
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Personal Resume

Accepted Student Reception: Next Steps Event for Accepted but not Enrolled Students

At the Graduate level, recruitment mainly takes place through individual colleges, schools and departments. Examples of recruitment materials and activities are provided:

College of Arts & Sciences- Recruitment Materials and Recruitment Activity Summary

J. Mack Robinson College of Business - Recruitment Materials and Recruitment Activity Summary

College Of Eduction - Recruitment Materials and Recruitment Activity Summary

School of Public Health- Recruitment Materials and Recruitment Activity Summary

Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions – Recruitment Materials [Nursing 1] [Nursing 2] [Nursing 3] and Recruitment Activity Summary

Andrew Young School of Policy Studies - Recruitment Materials and Recruitment Activity Summary

College of Law – Recruitment Materials [Law 1] [Law 2] [Law 3] and Recruitment Activity Summary

14. The institution is in compliance with its program responsibilities under Title IV of the most recent Higher Education Act as amended. (Federal Requirement 4.7) The institution audits financial aid programs as required by federal and state regulations. (Comprehensive Standard 3.10.2)

Federal Requirement 4.7 Compliance Level:

Compliance

Comprehensive Standard 3.10.2 Compliance Level:

Compliance

Federal Requirement 4.7 Narrative:

Georgia State University is in compliance with its program responsibilities under Title IV. There are no existing issues with the University’s Title IV programs. The University has not been placed on the reimbursement method, nor has it been required to obtain a letter of credit in favor of the Department of Education. Georgia State University has not had to reimburse, nor has it been subject to exceptional status by the federal government with respect to student financial aid.  The University is not aware of any complaints or infractions that would jeopardize its Title IV funding. As discussed in Comprehensive Standard 3.10.2, the University’s audited financial statements provided an audit finding from 2012 that was resolved.  There were no audit findings in 2013.

Georgia State University had no audit findings during fiscal years 2008-2011 and 2013.  During 2012 audit, there was an audit finding in regards to Return of Title IV (See FAD Statewide Audit, 2011-2012Letter to US Dept of Ed, and other Supporting Documents). It was found that Georgia State University did not perform Return of Title IV required by U.S Department of Education for students who unofficially withdrew from the University. As a result, Georgia State University was required to pay United States Department of Education a total of $4,521.

Audit 2008

Audit 2009

Audit 2010 

Audit 2011 

Audit 2012

Audit 2013

Internal controls were enhanced to avoid future findings in this area.  During 2013, there were no audit findings.  Georgia State University took a holistic approach to dealing with the problem, and all necessary adjustments to mitigate the control deficiency were identified and addressed.  Georgia State University has instituted a new faculty grade reporting requirement in which faculty must report a date of last attendance and or last date of participation in the course for all F grades assigned.  The new reporting requirement will be effective starting with the 2013 summer 6 and 7 week semesters grade reporting. Georgia State University has reviewed our unofficial withdrawal policy and procedures, and we have the necessary controls in place that meet U.S. Department of Education Return of Title IV standards.

In addition to the annual external audit, the Office of Financial Aid performs reconciliations of student account and student loan information.  There are also reconciliations with the U. S. Department of Education. Both the U.S. Department of Education and the state require the duties associated with the awarding, disbursement and reconciliation of funds be done by separate offices to insure program integrity.

Georgia State University meets all reporting requirements of the U.S. Department of Education. Federal Pell Grant activity is reported online through the Common Origination and Disbursement system. The Federal Perkins Loan Program is reported monthly through the National Student Loan Data System. The Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP) is filed annually with the U. S. Department of Education.

Georgia State University adheres to all federal regulations as set forth under the Title IV Student Aid Programs regulations. Processing of student aid applications and of federal funds is carried out as mandated by these regulations. Student eligibility is verified according to federal and state verification regulations; the regulations are reviewed, and both manual and systematic verification procedures are adjusted each year.

Georgia State University voluntarily operates under the reimbursement payment method for federal financial aid funds. The university makes disbursements to students and parents for the amounts which they are eligible to receive under the Federal Pell Grant, TEACH, and FSEOG before seeking reimbursement for those disbursements. The university is considered to have made a disbursement when it credits a student’s account or initiates any payment. Federal funds are electronically transferred to the University.

In July 2010, the U.S. Department of Education recertified the university for its Title IV participation. Thus, the university is approved to participate in Title IV programs, as demonstrated in the Federal Student Aid Program Participation Agreement.

Comprehensive Standard 3.10.2 Narrative:

Georgia State University, the Board of Regents, and the State of Georgia regularly audit financial aid programs as required by federal and state regulations. The Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts, in accordance with the U.S. Office of Management and Budget Circular A-133, conducts an annual audit of the federal awards programs of the state of Georgia, which includes financial aid programs administered by state universities. Observations related to Georgia State University appear in the most recent audit by the Department of Audits and Accounts for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

Georgia State University had no audit findings during fiscal years 2007-2011 and 2013.  During the 2012 audit, there was an audit finding in regards to Return of Title IV (See Supporting Documents). It was found that Georgia State University did not perform Return of Title IV required by the U.S Department of Education for students who unofficially withdrew from the University. As a result, Georgia State University was required to pay the United States Department of Education  $4,521 for accrued interest and other costs.

Audit 2008

Audit 2009

Audit 2010

Audit 2011

Audit 2012

Audit 2013

Internal controls were enhanced to avoid future findings in this area.  During 2013, there were no audit findings.  Georgia State University took a holistic approach to dealing with the problem, and all necessary adjustments to mitigate the control deficiency were identified and addressed.  Georgia State University has instituted a new faculty grade reporting requirement in which faculty must report a date of last attendance and or last date of participation in the course for all F grades assigned.  The new reporting requirement will be effective starting with the 2013 summer 6 and 7 week semesters grade reporting. Georgia State University has reviewed our unofficial withdrawal policy and procedures, and we have the necessary controls in place that meet U.S. Department of Education Return of Title IV standards.

In addition to the annual external audit, the Office of Financial Aid performs reconciliations of student account and student loan information. There are also reconciliations with the U. S. Department of Education. Both the U.S. Department of Education and the state require a separation of duties for all offices involved in the awarding, disbursement and reconciliation of funds to insure program integrity.

Georgia State University meets all reporting requirements of the U.S. Department of Education. Federal Pell Grant activity is reported online through the Common Origination and Disbursement system. The Federal Perkins Loan Program is reported monthly through the National Student Loan Data System. The Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP) is filed annually with the U. S. Department of Education.

Georgia State University adheres to all federal regulations as set forth under the Title IV Student Aid Programs regulations. Processing of student aid applications and federal funds is carried out as mandated by these regulations. Student eligibility is verified according to federal and state verification regulations; the regulations are reviewed, and both manual and systematic verification procedures are adjusted each year.

Georgia State University voluntarily operates under the reimbursement payment method for federal financial aid funds. The University makes disbursements to students and parents for the amounts which they are eligible to receive under the Federal Pell Grant, TEACH, and FSEOG before seeking reimbursement for those disbursements. The University is considered to have made a disbursement when it credits a student’s account or initiates any payment. Federal funds are electronically transferred to the University.

In July 2010, the University was approved for recertification of its Title IV participation by the U.S. Department of Education. The University is approved to participate in Title IV programs, as demonstrated in the Federal Student Aid Program Participation Agreement.

15. An institution that offers distance or correspondence education documents each of the following: (Federal Requirement 4.8)
4.8.1  Demonstrates that the student who registers in a distance or correspondence education course or program is the same student who participates in and completes the course or program and receives the credit by verifying the identity of a student who participates in class or coursework by using, at the option of the institution, methods such as (a) a secure login and pass code, (b) proctored examinations, or (c) new or other technologies and practices that are effective in verifying student identification.

Compliance

Narrative

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia requires all students applying to Georgia State University to provide verification of their lawful presence in the United States before their admission to the university can be finalized.  In order to do so, all students enrolling at GSU including those involved in distance education must present proof of identity in the form of government issued ID.

To ensure that a student who registers for an online course is the same student who participates in and completes the course, Georgia State University requires the use of a secure login and password. After having verified their identity, Georgia State provides students a unique identifier, called the Campus ID. The CampusID and its associated password are required to access both the course registration system and the learning management system, the primary online environment used to provide online courses. Upon enrollment at Georgia State University, each student is granted an account. The student account is deleted after a period of non-use, immediately upon expulsion, or at the request of the Dean of Students.

Each distance learning student enters his/her CampusID into the  system and creates a ten-digit, strong, alphanumeric password that uniquely identifies him/her to the learning environment. This combination of user ID and password identifies the student to the system on each subsequent course visit. In addition students accept responsibility for the security of their passwords and the system requires students to create a new password every 120 days.  Previous passwords may not be used.  Reminders of expiry and password requirements are generated automatically.The university offers additional protection by requiring the use of the CampusID and password for much of the online course content and other learning tools including streaming video content, podcasts, virtual classroom environments and the virtual computing lab. Each semester, when new courses are created in the registration system, a corresponding course is created in the LMS. Only students who have registered in a course are allowed access to the LMS version of the course. If a student drops the course or withdraws, she or he is removed from the LMS course within three business days.

Additionally, to assist faculty in verifying the identity of students taking tests online, Georgia State provides faculty with the option of using Respondus Monitor, a tool that can capture an image of the student in their remote location, and video showing the student and the test-taking environment.  Georgia State offers the option of using another tool called Respondus LockDown Browser that limits the student’s access to any computer content other than the test-taking environment by blocking other website and access to computer files. The combination of these tools, along with authentication access, provides a secure environment for distance-learning students and ensures the integrity of the online course.

4.8.2  Has a written procedure for protecting the privacy of students enrolled in distance and correspondence education courses or programs.

Compliance

Narrative

Georgia State University protects the privacy of all students and their education records and complies with federal and state guidelines regarding information security whether students are enrolled in distance education courses or attending classes on campus.

Georgia State abides by the University System of Georgia’s policy on Appropriate Use of Information. This policy applies to all university administrative staff, faculty members and students.  It states that every member of the university community will respect the privacy and personal rights of others.

Further, the University has produced an Information Systems Ethics policy that outlines in greater detail the responsibilities of the university to maintain and respect the privacy of all students.  The University seeks to preserve individual privacy and does not routinely monitor individual usage except under specific circumstances outlined in the policy.

The University administers student educational records in accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, also known as the Buckley Amendment or FERPA. This regulation provides that the student has a right of access to student educational records maintained by the university or any department or unit within the university, subject to certain exceptions outlined in this regulation. This regulation also protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable information in student records. Except to the extent allowed by applicable law, personally identifiable information contained in a student educational record will not be disclosed. A copy of this regulation is maintained by the University Registrar, and is incorporated into the GSU FERPA Records Access Policy. All members of the campus community should be thoroughly familiar with this regulation and comply with its provisions. These regulations apply equally to online, distance, off campus, and on campus programs and entities.

Georgia State University abides by all FERPA requirements related to student privacy for both on campus and distance education students. Students are informed of their rights under FERPA during student orientation and on the Registrar’s website. Additional information is provided in the Student Code of Conduct.

In summary, Georgia State University employs strict, standard security measures, policies, standards and guidelines in ongoing efforts to protect information resources, including student records.

4.8.3  Has a written procedure distributed at the time of registration or enrollment that notifies students of any projected additional student charges associated with verification of student identity.

Compliance

Narrative

Georgia State University requires no additional fees for verification of identity related to distance courses.

16. The institution has policies and procedures for determining the credit hours awarded for courses and programs that conform to commonly accepted practices in higher education and to Commission policy. (Federal Requirement 4.9)

Compliance

Narrative

Georgia State follows the policies and procedures for determining credit hours set by the Board of Regents University System of Georgia. Section 3.4.1 of the Board of Regents Policy Manual requires that a “minimum of 750 minutes of instruction or equivalent is required for each semester credit hour.” Furthermore, the Board of Regents requires that a semester be no less than fifteen (15) calendar weeks in length.

The University Senate provides further specification.  The Senate Policy notes that the Board of Regents policy applies to “all learning environments, including, but not limited to, classrooms, laboratories, studio, field experiences, internships, practica, clinical rotations, independent study, online environments, and distance learning formats.” In addition to 750 minutes of instruction for each credit hour, the Senate policy requires a minimum of 1500 minutes of out of class student work or equivalent for each credit hour.

The Clock Schedule is available on the University web pages.

Executive Summary

The goal of Georgia State University’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), Critical Thinking through Writing, is to increase our baccalaureate students’ performance on two of the University’s general education learning outcomes – critical thinking and written communication – as evidenced in their academic major. One of the primary aims of undergraduate education is to develop citizens who are able to engage in critical thinking and clear writing, and major degree programs play a critical role in the development of these abilities. Georgia State University, as an institution, stresses the importance of general education learning outcomes in the core and in the major. Incorporating writing as the conduit for the expression of critical thinking, emerges from our experiences with existing student-centered learning initiatives, such as Writing across the Curriculum, the Writing Studio, and Supplemental Instruction. In addition, review of information on student learning outcomes for undergraduate programs and other university-wide assessments support a focus on critical thinking and writing. Results from the 2005 National Survey of Student Engagement indicated that our seniors judged their own critical and analytical abilities to be lower than their peers. They also reported writing fewer short papers than their peers. Surveys of our students about their levels of competence on writing indicate that they perceive their abilities to write to be lower when they graduate compared to when they entered. Finally, critical thinking was the most common general education learning outcome assessed in the major by academic departments, and it was identified as the most important student learning outcome in both surveys and interviews with department chairs and faculty.

Enhancement of critical thinking and writing will be accomplished by implementing a university-wide graduation requirement (effective for students entering in fall 2009 and thereafter) that undergraduates pass two critical thinking through writing (CTW) courses in their major. Each course, designed by the major department and approved by the General Education Assessment Subcommittee of the University Senate’s Committee on Academic Programs, will contain multiple writing-to-learn activities and assignments that address issues relevant to that major. CTW activities and assignments will be structured to permit frequent feedback to students and opportunities for revision. Course assignments will align with the University’s definition of critical thinking: a “wide range of cognitive skills and intellectual dispositions needed to effectively identify, analyze, evaluate arguments and truth claims; to discover and overcome personal prejudices; to formulate and present convincing reasons in support of conclusions; and to make reasonable, intelligent decisions about what to believe and what to do”(Bassham, Irwin, Nardone & Wallace, 2005, p. 1). The student to instructor ratio in CTW courses may not exceed 25:1, thus creating an environment conducive to active learning.

Implementation of CTW will continue to be guided by the faculty. The General Education Assessment Subcommittee of CAP, with representatives from all constituents of the university (students, staff, faculty, department chairs, and university administrators), is charged with approval of departmental CTW plans, review of assessment reports prepared by departments, and re-design of the elements of CTW based on what is learned from feedback and assessment reports. The University Senate endorsed a “train the trainer” model that requires departments to select one or more CTW Ambassadors for each of our 54 majors who have been trained in workshops coordinated by CTW Coordinators. The CTW Coordinators consist of five faculty members, two of whom have specific expertise in critical thinking and writing and three of whom have relevant disciplinary experience. CTW Ambassadors will be required to attend at least one workshop each academic year and participate in an annual Spring Forum where they will share with each other the experiences of implementing CTW in their respective disciplines. CTW Ambassadors are responsible for training instructors assigned to CTW courses, in accordance with their departmental plan for such training. Additional faculty development and instructional support will be supported through existing resources, such as the Center for Teaching and Learning and Writing across the Curriculum.

Having emerged primarily from conversations with faculty and students, and from our knowledge of how our students are currently performing in the areas of critical thinking and writing, the CTW initiative is nested within each academic department, where the CTW Ambassador serves as a linchpin for our success. In this role, the Ambassador implements both the instruction and the assessment aspects of the plan by preparing instructors for CTW courses and also assuring that assessment of student learning is conducted and reported. As their title implies, CTW Ambassadors will play a key role in building relationships with others and representing their fields/disciplines as we engage in campus-wide conversations about what constitutes critical thinking and writing in our baccalaureate degree programs.

Critical Thinking through Writing will be assessed directly through department’s annual reports of student learning outcomes for the major, through a variety of surveys of instructors and students, and through written reports from Ambassadors, as well as indirectly through use of NSSE Benchmark items and exit surveys of graduating seniors. Additional questions added to alumni surveys, currently conducted when academic units undergo Academic Program Review, will provide further useful information on the impact of CTW on student learning.

Over the next six years, the University plans to spend over $6 million to enhance the critical thinking and writing skills in the discipline for undergraduate students in five of our six colleges, where all undergraduate majors reside. Management of the CTW initiative as a whole is the responsibility of the QEP Leadership Team, comprised of faculty and administrators. However, close collaboration across all levels (course, department, college, and institution) is key to both successful implementation and performance outcomes. We believe that the goals of our Quality Enhancement Plan, to enhance critical thinking and writing throughout baccalaureate education at Georgia State University, are ambitious, imperative, and sustainable.

 

Goals and Outcomes

The goal of Georgia State University’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), Critical Thinking through Writing (CTW), is to increase our baccalaureate students’ performance on two of the University’s general education learning outcomes – critical thinking and written communication – as evidenced in their academic major.

One of the primary aims of undergraduate education is to develop citizens who are able to think critically and write clearly, and major degree programs play a critical role in the development of these abilities. The CTW Initiative was developed to encourage a university-wide transformation of undergraduate instructional practices and to improve student learning. It has done so on a scale that is virtually unparalleled among large research institutions.

Over the past five years, the GSU community has worked to enhance critical thinking and writing through the development of major-specific Critical Thinking through Writing courses. Beginning in the fall of 2009 and thereafter, all undergraduate students enrolling at GSU have been required to take two CTW courses in their major area of study in order to graduate. Each course is designed by the major department and approved by the Undergraduate Assessment Committee (formerly the General Education Assessment Subcommittee), a subcommittee of the University Senate’s Committee on Academic Programs. To receive approval, a course must require critical-thinking-centered writing assignments that address issues relevant to the program of study. More specifically, to receive CTW designation for a course, the program must prove that the course will:

1. incorporate active learning strategies, coupled with short, frequent, critical-thinking focused assignments that require written responses,

2. engage students in the practices of critical thinking and writing continuously throughout the semester

3. provide students with more effective feedback, and

4. assess student development.

CTW assignments are designed to align with the University’s definition of critical thinking, a “wide range of cognitive skills and intellectual dispositions needed to effectively identify, analyze, evaluate arguments and truth claims; to discover and overcome personal prejudices; to formulate and present convincing reasons in support of conclusions; and to make reasonable, intelligent decisions about what to believe and what to do”(Bassham, Irwin, Nardone & Wallace, 2005, p. 1). Then they are tailored to reflect program-specific critical thinking definitions, thus protecting the nuances of critial thinking within the disciplines and addressing the expectations of the university. To promote the incorporation of this type of active learning assignments and to allow for more detailed instructor feedback, we limited the student-to-instructor ratio in CTW courses to 25:1.

Assessment of the CTW initiative’s impact on student learning has been conducted at the program level. In 2008/2009, 52 programs developed assessment strategies, and since the official start of the CTW initiative in 2009/2010, CTW program representatives (Ambassadors) have collected data from all CTW courses and reported that data in annual CTW reports. Those reports have, in turn, been assessed by our Undergraduate Assessment Committee and have been returned to the CTW Ambassadors with recommendations for continued improvement.

Over the past 5 years, the Critical Thinking through Writing Initiative has offered 2,042 sections of program-based CTW courses to 40, 824 students. The university has invested over $1.67 million in direct funding to faculty and graduate students across the university, and CTW has transformed GSU’s pedagogy and assessment practices in every program. Currently, we offer a total of 126 CTW designated courses. As CTW has developed, it has become a driving force not just in undergraduate education, but also in faculty and graduate student development.

 

Changes and Reasons

Changes to the administration of our QEP occurred at two levels: university and program. Because our QEP was embedded within the disciplines, most of the changes occurred at the program level on a relatively small but somewhat continuous scale. University-wide changes largely were policy related and addressed the needs of the growing initiative.

Program Changes

Program changes have occurred continuously over the last five years, and each program has been responsible for refining its individual CTW initiatives as needed. For the purposes of CTW data collection and reporting, we divided departments into 52 program areas, some programs decided to report by major area of study, and some decided to report by department. Each program is represented by at least 1 CTW Ambassador who is responsible for collecting data and reporting information related CTW designated courses. The Ambassadors reported the following changes to their programmatic CTW initiatives based on assessment findings.

Years 2008-2013 Programmatic Changes Based on Assessment Findings(Out of 52 Programs)
2008/2009 Pilot Year Established Individual Frameworks for CTWEstablished Courses, Definitions, Assignments, and Rubrics. Ten programs added capstone courses for CTW, and 20 others revised 56 existing courses to such an extent that they required new course numbers and descriptions. All programs revised their curriculum to include the two-course CTW requirement.
2009/2010 (first official year) 22% Revised Programmatic Definition of Critical Thinking16% Revised Rubrics2% Revised Assignments
2010/2011 26% Revised Rubrics16% Revised Assignments7 CTW Course Added13 CTW Courses Removed
2011/2012 18% Revised Rubrics16% Revised Assignments7% Started a Programmatic Writing Support Initiative7% Changed Data Collection Methods6 CTW Courses Added1 CTW Course Removed
2012/2013 44% Revised Assignments29% Revised Rubrics6 CTW Courses Added

 

 

 

University-Wide Changes

Program changes addressed the needs of students at an individual level, so university-wide changes were infrequent and established CTW policy. The policies below were developed by the CTW leadership team (composed of Faculty, Administrators, and Assessment Directors) and are intended both to protect the integrity of the initiative and to ensure that no student is unnecessarily impeded by the CTW graduation requirement.

University-Wide Policy Additions (2009-2012) Description
Addition/Modification/Removal of CTW course designation Administrators of the CTW program are responsible for monitoring changes in each academic department’s CTW course offerings. This will be accomplished by the maintenance of a catalog of all active CTW courses approved for each degree major and their effective date of approval. If departments intend to modify their CTW course offerings–for example, remove the CTW designation from an approved CTW course–they need to notify the CTW Director of such action and its effective date. Departments are required to review and update all University Catalog information regarding its CTW courses annually at a minimum to assure its accuracy. Articulation agreements for course equivalency with regard to transfer credits also should be reviewed annually.
Appeals for Deviation from CTW Graduation Requirement Section 1430 of the Undergraduate Catalog states that effective for students entering fall term 2009 and thereafter, all students seeking baccalaureate degrees are required to pass two critical thinking through writing (CTW) courses in their majors. If a student wishes to appeal this policy, they should follow the process for student petitions of University-level academic policies detailed in Section 1050.8, part IV of the Undergraduate Catalog. Appeals of all graduation requirements (including CTW) are heard by the Assistant Vice President for Student Retention. Petitions must be submitted in writing and are available in the Student Advisement Center, Room 255 Sparks Hall.
Appeals for Deviation from Transfer Policy Section 1430 of the Undergraduate Catalog states that CTW classes are unique to Georgia State University and therefore students cannot transfer equivalent credit from other universities. If a student wishes to appeal this policy, they should appeal to the Department Chair of the major they are completing at Georgia State for resolution of this matter. The Department Chair will evaluate the syllabus and learning outcomes of the transferred course to assess whether the content and structure of the course mirrors one of the CTW classes required in the major at Georgia State. The Department Chair will communicate with the Office of Academic Assistance by email if the appeal of the transfer policy detailed in Section 1430 is approved for the student. If approved, the Office of Academic Assistance will make sure the CTW credit is properly reflected on the student’s academic record.
Transfer Policy The majority, but not all, of the CTW courses evolved from established courses in the major that were previously equivalent to courses offered at other institutions. However, CTW courses at GSU are built upon an approved university-wide definition of critical thinking and undergo the approval process described previously in this report. Thus, to assure the integrity of the CTW graduation requirement and consistency in the evaluation of course equivalency, all courses that have been directly equated to GSU courses designated as CTW effective fall 2010 will be equated to upper division electives for that subject area (i.e., as 3099 or 4099). Transfer credits should no longer be automatically equated to CTW courses, as the course content and structure are normally specific to Georgia State (see University Catalog Section 1430), and equivalencies to CTW courses are rare.
Tracking CTW Course Designations Administrators of the CTW program are responsible for monitoring changes in each academic department’s CTW course offerings. This will be accomplished by the maintenance of a catalog of all active CTW courses approved for each degree major and their effective date of approval. If departments intend to modify their CTW course offerings–for example, remove the CTW designation from an approved CTW course–they need to notify the CTW Director of such action and its effective date. Departments are required to review and update all University Catalog information regarding its CTW courses annually at a minimum to assure its accuracy. Articulation agreements for course equivalency with regard to transfer credits also should be reviewed annually.

 

In addition to adopting new policies related to the CTW graduation requirement, the CTW initiative has modified its training in response to programmatic need. When we first began, we adopted a train-the-trainer model for faculty and graduate students teaching and assisting the CTW courses. We maintain that model for faculty, with the exception of an annual workshop and assessment training; however, we have started offering university-wide training sessions for the graduate students.

 

Through discussions with Ambassadors, we determined that many of the graduate students working with CTW courses were not experienced with tutoring, and CTW Ambassadors struggled to adequately train both faculty and graduate students. In response, the CTW Directors worked with the Center for Instructional Innovation to offer two all-day training workshops for graduate assistants, which are designed to prepare CTW graduate assistants for working with student writing and thinking. They also worked with programs across the university to create a bi-monthly, hour-long training sessions which CTW graduate assistants attended throughout the year.

 

Impact on Learning

Student Impact

When Georgia State University chose the Critical Thinking through Writing Initiative for our QEP, we envisioned it as a “grass roots” initiative, which would allow each discipline to determine the most effective way of teaching and assessing its students. As such, we did not create a single, overarching rubric to assess student improvement. Instead, we encouraged programs to create their own rubrics to use as a part of embedded assessment.

Each year, CTW Ambassadors report on their program assessments of CTW to the Undergraduate Assessment Committee. In these reports, Ambassadors have tracked significant changes to their programs since the inception of the CTW initiative, primarily focusing on student improvement. Over the past five years, Ambassadors have reported continuous improvement in student achievement. According to their annual CTW reports from 2008/09-2012/13, 88% of programs (46 out of 52) perceived student improvement that they associate with the work done in CTW courses. More impressive, however, is that 70% of the programs that report student improvement base their findings on concrete evidence of student development, gathered from embedded assessment. The percentage of student improvement noted in programmatic assessment reports has steadily climbed since the 2008/2009 pilot year, from 8 of 27 pilot programs reporting mostly anecdotal evidence of student improvement, to 39 of 52 programs reporting student improvement as measured by programmatic rubrics. Over time and evolving assessment models, all but four of our programs have seen improvement in student critical thinking and writing.

QEP Figure 1: Number of Programs Reporting Student Improvement

The individual programs did an excellent job of designing assessment plans and of monitoring student improvement in their CTW courses. CTW assessment reports consistently had 100% reporting rates and widespread university involvement in assessment. While the reporting across programs was not always consistent in quality or completeness, every program reported some information every year. Because we wanted a broad-based assessment strategy for CTW, we decided early in the process not to assess the initiative from the top-down; however, as we approached the end of our first five years, we decided to attempt to assess the global impact of CTW on student improvement. As a result, during the 2012/2013 academic year, CTW Directors worked with the University Directors of Assessment to create a university-level, critical-thinking rubric. In the summer of 2013, we applied the rubric to 200 randomly selected CTW papers and 200 pre-CTW papers (150 papers written before 2009 and 50 freshman composition papers from spring 2013) to see if we could determine a change over time. A group of five, experienced CTW graduate writing consultants assessed these papers blindly, and we determined that, using the university-level rubric, the writing consultants were able to distinguish key improvements in the CTW papers.

Referring to a rubric that rated thesis, reasoning, organization, conclusion, and overall quality on a scale of 1(beginning) to 4(advanced), the CTW consultants reviewed CTW and non-CTW assignments ranging in length from 1 paragraph to 15 pages. The consultants showed a clear preference for longer CTW written assignments (>3 pages), they scored an average of 3 vs. 2.3 for the longer pre-CTW papers, but they also rated shorter CTW work at almost the same level as longer pre-CTW work, 2.4 out of 4, so that CTW writing samples under three pages were scoring a bit better than pre-CTW full-length essays. CTW papers consistently scored a level of 4 (advanced) more often than the pre-CTW papers. CTW papers scored a level of advanced 10% more often than pre-CTW papers in the areas of Thesis, Reasoning, and Conclusions. CTW work scored advanced 17% more often in the Organization category, with 25% of CTW papers scoring advanced compared to only 8% of pre-CTW papers. In the Overall quality category, 65% of CTW writing scored a 3 or higher compared to 56% of pre-CTW writing.

These results illustrate positive change at the university level. However, we continue to feel that the generalized rubric missed many of the nuances that the individual program rubrics examined and that the programmatic reviews have been more successful in capturing student learning than this generalized, university assessment.

Student Perception of Impact

Student surveys also show levels of perceived improvement in some areas of critical thinking. Results from the National Survey of Student Engagement illustrate modest improvements in student perception of development in key areas related to the Written Communication and Critical Thinking learning outcomes.

In a comparison of the 2008 NSSE results, pre-CTW seniors, and the 2011 NSSE results, including only CTW-required seniors, our Office of Institutional Effectiveness found the following:

Students taking CTW courses reported

  • preparing two or more drafts of paper assignments more often than did pre-CTW students, with 55% of CTW-required students preparing two or more drafts as compared to 44% of non-required seniors,
  • engaging in more coursework that emphasized analysis, with 48% of CTW-required students reporting that they engaged in analysis “very often” compared with only 39% of pre-CTW students reporting the same in 2008, and
  • working on more projects that required them to include information from various sources, synthesizing more, applying information more, and spending more time preparing for class.

The students’ perception shows that we still have some work to do, however. CTW-required students felt less convinced that they had acquired job or work-related knowledge, gained experience thinking critically, or learned to write more clearly and effectively. The numbers in those areas of student perception remained virtually unchanged among non-CTW required students and CTW-required students who felt that they agreed “quite a bit” and “very much” with any improvement.

The sample for these analyses included 1,113 seniors who responded to the 2008 NSSE and 437 seniors who matriculated in Fall 2009 or after and responded to the 2011 NSSE.

Unanticipated Outcomes: Impact on Programs

One-hundred and twenty-six courses across the university have been revised or created since 2008 to satisfy the CTW graduation requirement. In addition to developing courses and monitoring student improvement, programmatic Ambassadors have also tracked the influence of CTW on their departments as a whole. The following chart shows how the CTW Ambassadors report initiative’s impact on their departments. Ambassadors responded to an open-ended question, so they could choose to discuss any impact they wished. The top five categories are shown below. The percentages reflect the percent out of 52 reporting programs, and these percentages reflect their statements of influence across the last five years.

QEP Figure 2: CTW Areas for Development and Areas of Influence

As the responses show, most programs observed that the student improvement in CTW courses transcended the courses and influenced the department as a whole. Programs also noted that the act of creating assignments for CTW courses encouraged faculty to reflect more on the types of skills critical thinking and writing assignments required.

Impact on Graduate Student Development

From 2009 to the present, the CTW initiative has funded 201 individual graduate students to act as course-specific tutors for CTW courses. Over 50% of these graduate students served more than one semester and 20% served more than 3 semesters, receiving a stipend of $2000 per course. All told, the CTW initiative contributed $820,000 in funding for graduate students across the university.

Annually, CTW courses had an average of 100 new and returning graduate students serving as tutors across the university. Many programs have been able to use the graduate student funding and associated tuition waivers to recruit new graduate students and to develop their graduate programs. Further, many of these graduate students plan to go on to teach at the college level, so the pedagogical training and the practical experience that they acquire working as CTW tutors leaves them better prepared to transition into teaching.

Initially, individual programs handled the training of graduate student assistants, but as the initiative developed, programs began to look to the CTW leadership for assistance in training their graduate students. As a result, CTW has worked with the Center for Instructional Innovation (CII), Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC), and numerous departments across the university to develop training workshops for graduate consultants. The series of workshops developed for graduate students has allowed WAC, CTW, and CII to expand their offerings for graduate training and has encouraged many departments to begin sending their graduate teaching assistants to be trained alongside the graduate CTW and WAC tutors. In 2012/2013, the CTW administrators held two one-day training workshops and worked with other programs to provide access to 80 one-hour training sessions offered throughout the year.

Impact on Faculty development

Since we began piloting CTW in fall 2008, the CTW initiative has trained 520 faculty members to teach CTW courses. These faculty attended CTW workshops, receiving training in some cases by participating in one or more of the 96 university-wide CTW training workshops, in other cases through joining in small, programmatic training sessions, and in still other cases in one-on-one training sessions with CTW department representatives. After teaching CTW courses, many of these faculty have gone on to incorporate critical thinking through writing type assignments in their non-CTW courses. In fact, 54% of GSU undergraduate programs reported that the most substantial influence of the CTW initiative on their program was in the area of assignment development.

Challenges Caused by CTW

The Critical Thinking through Writing initiative is a graduation requirement, and adding a graduation requirement has, in some programs, placed an unanticipated strain on resources. Because CTW courses require a 25:1 student-to-teacher ratio, they must remain small. Four of our colleges decided that they would maintain the 25:1 ratio by hiring graduate writing consultants to assist with drafts and assessment. They used university funding to support their graduate student consultants. Our largest college, Arts and Sciences, decided to cap CTW class sizes at 25 and use university funding to hire additional faculty. While the College of Arts and Sciences has done a wonderful job of maintaining small class sizes, and while the additional faculty support was warranted, the 25:1 ratio has become difficult to maintain in the three largest majors in Arts and Sciences: Biology, Communication, and Psychology. Each of these majors, and some others, have struggled to move CTW required students through their courses, and in some cases, this has led to a slow down in progression toward graduation. Over the past two years, the CTW Directors, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Office of Retention and Progression have worked with these programs to help find solutions for the problem. Some programs have opted to offer multiple CTW courses for students as a means of alleviating the stress. Others have opted to fund their own graduate writing consultants. However, as the university continues to grow, we will need to continue to look for new, creative means of ensuring that all students receive the benefits of CTW courses without facing a delay in progression through their programs.

Achievement of Goals

The goal of the CTW initiative is to develop citizens who are able to engage in critical thinking and clear writing. Over the past 5 years, 520 Georgia State University CTW Faculty members have worked with 56 CTW Ambassadors to develop assignments and rubrics geared toward improving our students’ critical thinking and writing abilities. CTW faculty have taught over 40,000 students using these tools, and 46 of 52 programs have seen their students critical thinking and writing ability improve. Thirty-six of those programs have numeric data that shows their students improvement both within a single course and across multiple CTW courses. While we still face some logistical challenges and while we will continue to improve teaching and assessment tools, we believe that we have achieved our goals of improving student thinking and writing.

 

Reflection on Experience

The inception of the CTW graduation requirement in fall 2009 allowed Georgia State University to develop a broad range of tools that have become integral to improving undergraduate education, and we plan to continue our commitment to that mission.

As the CTW initiative has matured, it has become more integrated in our programs, and many of our programs report that the practices at the foundation of CTW (critical- thinking based assignments, increased feedback and revision, and systematic assessment) have become a standard part of their non-CTW courses. In fact, the Robinson College of Business is in the process of redesigning curricula to incorporate CTW teaching and assessment strategies into all undergraduate required foundation and core courses.

The Critical Thinking through Writing Initiative has provided Georgia State University with an opportunity not only to illustrate our dedication to improving our undergraduate education, but also to make writing and critical thinking a key component of every major. All students who graduate from Georgia State University will have the opportunity to take two courses where the skills of thinking, writing, and revision are promoted, and where their knowledge of course content is put into practice.

As a university, we remain committed to the promotion of critical thinking and writing. Over the next few years, we plan to naturalize the initiative, moving the assessment from a separate report into the general, undergraduate programmatic reports. The Undergraduate Assessment Committee will continue to review and approve new CTW courses as needed, and the university will continue to fund graduate writing consultants to maintain the 25:1 student-to-teacher ratio.

In the development of this Quality Enhancement Plan, we have faced a myriad of challenges. At times, our Ambassadors have struggled with unwilling faculty and unwieldy assessment plans. Many CTW faculty have faced CTW students resistant to changing instruction, who preferred to memorize rather than synthesize. Some programs have struggled to maintain the 25:1 student-to-teacher ratio and faced a never- ending line of student requests for overflow, while others have struggled to find enough students to fill their CTW courses. On occasion, students have struggled with advisement, and advisement has struggled with CTW programmatic changes. Over the past five years, though, CTW has taught us, as a community, to be creative negotiators, and, as our assessment shows, our students have benefited from the hard work and dedication of faculty, staff, and administrators from every corner of the university.

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AYSPS – Recipients of Graduate Degrees Summer 2012-Spring 2013

AYSPS Program Coordinators

BCSSE10-NSSE11-Combined-Report-Georgia-State-1

Berman CV

Biology Selfstudy

Board Regents New Academic Programs

Board of Regents Policy Manual 3.4.1 Semester System

Board of Regents, Undergraduate Admissions Requirements

Board of Regents, Undergraduate Degree Requirements

Brown-Wright CV

Buckhead Center

Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing & Health Professions

Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions

Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions Recruitment Materials 1

Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions Recruitment Materials 2

Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions Recruitment Materials 3

Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions Recruitment Summary

CARNEGIE CLASSIFICATION GSU

Change Your CampusID Password

Chemistry PhD

CII Center for Instructional Innovation

Citizenship Verification

Clock Schedule

COAS SCORECARD

Code of Conduct: Privacy of Student Records

COE – Recipients of Graduate Degrees Fall 2011-Summer 2012

COE Program Coordinators

COE-Faculty-Workload-Policy

COL Program Coordinators

College Completion Plan 2012

College of Arts and Sciences

College of Arts & Sciences Graduate Admission (Catalog)

College of Arts & Sciences Qualification Forms

College of Arts and Sciences – Recruitment Activity Summary

College of Arts and Sciences Recruitment Materials

College of Business Professional Qualification Forms

College of Education

College of Education Recruitment Materials

College of Education Graduate Admission (Catalog)

College of Education Qualification Forms

College of Education Recruitment Summary

College of Law

College of Law

College of Law Admission (Catalog)

College of Law Recruitment Materials 1

College of Law Recruitment Materials 2

College of Law Recruitment Materials 3

College of Law Recruitment Summary

Counseling and Testing Center

Covey CV

CPSProgramReview_Master_Final-approved

CREDIT HOURS BY MODE AND LOCATION A&S

CREDIT HOURS BY MODE AND LOCATION BU

CREDIT HOURS BY MODE AND LOCATION ED

CREDIT HOURS BY MODE AND LOCATION LAW

CREDIT HOURS BY MODE AND LOCATION NS

CREDIT HOURS BY MODE AND LOCATION PH

CREDIT HOURS BY MODE AND LOCATION PS

CREDIT HOURS BY MODE AND LOCATION TOTAL UNIV

Criminal Justice MS

CV President Mark Becker

Degrees Offered

Department Chair Responsibilities

Department Profile

Desire2Learn 10 Support GSU Technology

Desire2Learn Support – GSU Technology

Disability Complaint Policy

Disability Services Website – Disability Complaint Policy

Distance and Correspondence Education

Distance Education – Senate

Distance Learners – Georgia State University Library

Early Childhood Education B-5 BSEd

Economics BA

English Creative Writing PhD

Enrollment Services, Web Information

Eriksen-CV

Evaluation of Department Chair

Facilities Management Services Division Organizational Chart REV

Fact Book

Faculty Definitions

Faculty Duties and Responsibilities

Faculty Evaluation

FacultyWorkloadPolicy

FAD Statewide Audit, 2011-2012

Family Rights and Privacy Act

Fast Facts English

Fast Facts Mandarin

Fast Facts Spanish

Fast Facts Vietnamese

FERPA Records Access Policy

Final Course Grade Appeal (example)

Finance MS

Formal_Proposal_New_Degree_Program_FTF_fm4

Formal_Proposal_New_Prgm_and_DL_Delivery_fm3

Freshman Learning Communities

FULL TIME FACULTY BY TENURE STATUS BY COLLEGE BY DEPARTMENT

Georgia Career Information Center

Georgia State Degrees and Programs

Georgia State Military Outreach

Georgia State University @ BC

Georgia State University FY 2008 Audited Financial Statements

Georgia State University FY 2009 Audited Financial Statements

Georgia State University FY 2010 Audited Financial Statements

Georgia State University FY 2011 Audited Financial Statements

Georgia State University FY 2012 Audited Financial Statements

Georgia State University FY 2013 Audited Financial Statements

GoSolar

Grading Policies

Graduate Admissions, Web Information

Graduate Catalog

GRADUATE SURVEY FINDINGS_Nursing

graduate_course_catalog_20132014

GSU AWARDS

GSU Building Space Data

GSU Campus Map Revised

GSU Campus Master Plan

GSU Capital Budget and Space Allocation Committee

GSU Division of Student Affairs Strategic Plan

GSU Faculty Handbook Annual Evaluation

GSU Instructional Innovation Conference – Center for Innovative Instruction

GSU Mission Statement

GSU ORG CHART

GSU Strategic Plan

GSU Strategic Plan

GSU Student Affairs Assessment Summary

GSU Technology Desire2Learn LMS Resource

GSU Technology Digital Aquarium Multimedia lab

GSU Technology Technology Training Workshops

GSU Technology The Exchange An Academic Resource Facility

GSU Undergraduate Catalog

Hale Resume

High School Guidance Counselors Brochure

Honors College

Human Resources Website – Faculty and Staff Handbook Links

Huss CV

Information Systems Ethics Policy

2.10 Institutional Mission – Board of Regents Policy Manual – University System of Georgia

Instructional Design and Technology M.S. (Online) – Learning Technologies Division

Instructional Technology MS

Facility Unit Supporting Document 4 – Instructions for Preparation of Comprehensive Facilities Funding Request

International Brochure

IPH Program Coordinators

IPH Self-Study

IPORT FRONT PAGE

ISAT Supporting Document 1 – ISAT Committee

ISAT Supporting Document 2 – Year in Review

ISAT Supporting Document 3 – Higher Education TechQual + Survey Responses

ISAT Supporting Document 4 – Student IT Survey – May 2013

ISAT Supporting Document 5 – Client Engagement

ISAT Supporting Document 6 – Student Technology Fee Proposal and Award Process

ISAT Supporting Document 7 – Student Tech Fee Awards for Infrastructure Replacement

ISAT Supporting Document 8 – Budget Redirection Process

ISAT Supporting Document 9 – Learning Management System Faculty Survey

ISAT Supporting Document 10 – Learning Management System Student Survey

ISAT Supporting Document 11 – Information Systems and Technology Training and Learning Resources

IT Services for Students

ITC Homepage

Bylaws. J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Robinson College of Business Recruitment Summary

RCB_FLEX_PMBA

Steve-Kaminshine

Keep Hope Alive

Law JD

20 Law placement data

LAW Program Coordinators

Letter to US Dept of Ed

Lewis School Program Coordinators

Jun Liu

William Long

Peter Lyons

Disability Services Department Profile Fall 2013

Walter-Massey

Master of Arts for Teachers – Reading, Language, and Literacy (ESOL)

Master of Education – Mathematics Education

Master of Education – Reading, Language and Literacy Education (ESOL)

Master of Education – Science Education

Master of Science – Educational Research

Math Education Online MEd

MEMO SACS APPROVED LANGUAGE FOR SPECIALIZED ACCREDITATION

Middle Level Education TEEMS MAT

Robin Morris

MSIT APR Self-Study 2011-2012 FINAL VERSION

New program prospectus guidelines

Next_Generation_University_FINAL_FOR_RELEASE

4.5 Non Academic Complaint

GSU Student Code of Conduct Non Discrimination Policy Revised January 16,2013

Non Traditional Students

NSSE11-Mean-and-Frequency-Reports-Georgia-State

Nursing MS

ODDEP Internal_Complaint_Process_FAQs_10-5-20091

Title-IX-Dear-Colleague-Letter-Updates-12072012

ODDEP Website – Discrimination Complaints – Policies and Procedures

Off Site Locations

Office of the Registrar Home Page

Office of Admissions

Office of Black Student Achievement

Office of Civic Engagement 

Office of Educational Oportunity and TRIO Programs

Office of the Dean of Students

Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs

OLDE APPROVAL PROCESS.pdf

ONLINE PROGRAM COORDINATOR.xlsx

Other College-Level Academic Complaint (example)

OVPRED.pdf

P&T CRITERIA P5

P&T INTRODUCTION P1

P&T POST TENURE REVIEW P14

Risa-Palm

Parents of Accepted Students Brochure

PASSWORD EMAIL RESET NOTICE.pdf

Peachtree-Dunwoody Center.pdf

Petition for College-Level Policy Waiver or Variance (example)

Petition for University-Level Academic Complaint (example)

Physics PS.pdf

Poli Sci Finalselfstudy.pdf

Policy and Procedures for Student Complaints, Petitions for Policy Waivers and Variances, and Appeals

Policy on Computer Accounts

Political Science PhD.pdf

Program Coordinators- SACS Spreadsheet – J. Mack Robinson.xlsx

Psychology BA and BS.pdf

PTManual.pdf

Public Health MPH.pdf

QEP Figure 1

QEP Figure 2

RACEA website.pdf

Jerry-J.-Rackliffe

RCB BBA.pdf

RCB MBA.pdf

RCB placement data

Recreational Services

Recruitment Material Spanish

Registration guide

Religious Studies Self-Study Written Report2008.pdf

Timothy-Renick

Require that Students Use the LockDown Browser.pdf

Research etc On GOML MS.pdf

Respiratory Therapy BS.pdf

Risk Management and Insurance – Self-Study.odf

RLL ESOL Online TEEMS MAT.pdf

Robinson College of Business Graduate Admissions (Catalog)

Romski CV.pdf

Scholarship Resource Center.pdf

Scholarships

School of Nursing Graduate Admissions (catalog)

School of Public Health- Recruitment Materials and Recruitment Activity Summary

School of Public Health Grad Admissions (catalog)

School of Public Health Qualification Form.pdf

Science Education Online MEd.pdf

Semester Calendars & Exam Schedules – Registrar.pdf

SENATE APPROVED DEFINITION OF CREDIT HOUR

Sexual Misconduct Policy – Title IX (Student Code of Conduct)

ShareStream – GSU Technology.pdf

SHP APR_FINAL11.25.08 (PDF)

SOM Self-Study Report for Academic Program Review

Space Request Form and Facility Modification Request Form

Special Talents Admission Policy

Specialized Accreditation Letters.pdf

Specialized Accrediting Agencies

SPH-Bylaws-Revised-12-19-13-FINAL-1

Student Accounts–Overpayment Refunds

Student Accounts–Payments

Student Accounts–Refunds

Student Accounts–Tuition and Fees

Student Code of Conduct and Admistrative Policies and Procedures

Student Code of Conduct Website

Student Financial Services

Student Health Clinic

Student Health Promotion

Student/University Center

Student_Success_Update_10_22_13

Students Accepted to the University Brochure

Tammy Sugarman

Summary List of Requests for Five-Year Capital Projects

Summary List of Requests for MRR Projects FY2014

Summary of Assessment Charts

Supplemental Instruction

Survey of Recent Graduates

Survey of Recent Graduates_Recipients of Graduate Degrees Summer 2013

SW Program Review

THE EXCHANGE

Title IV Reimbursement

Training and Support – Learning Technologies Division

Transfer Student Brochure

Undergraduate Catalog Complaints Sections

Undergraduate Catalog

Undergraduate Student Survey Findings CIS

University Career Services 

University Catalogs

University Catalogs – Complaints Petitions Appeals Waivers and Variances Policy

University Catalog–The Grading System

University Housing

University Senate Committee on Academic Programs

University Senate, Committee on Admission and Standards

University Senate Graduate Program Policies

USG Comprehensive Program Review Policy 3.6

USG Policy Exter Inst[4].pdf

USG External Degree.pdf

Mary Beth Walker

Weave Home Page

WEAVE online Login Instructions

WEAVE-workshop-presentation-Foundations-2012-1

Website: Military Personnel and their Families

WellStar Center

James Weyhenmeyer

Magaret-Wilmoth

Womens Studies BA