Strengths and Weaknesses

The top three concepts were reviewed by committee members to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each proposal.

 

Concept 1:  Engagement for Academic and Professional Success (eventually renamed MT Engage)

Strengths:

  • Addresses the results of the campus survey, the student focus group, and the employer focus group. Also NSEE (active and collaborative learning; writing; thinking; speaking effectively)
  • Addresses weaknesses revealed in Gen Ed assessments and in high DFW rate courses
  • Provides bookend experiences for students in UNIV 1010 and 4010
  • Focuses on engagement, especially important in Gen Ed
  • Emphasizes both within the class and beyond the class experiences
  • Should improve first year success/retention
  • Should improve career placement for graduates; Help them in interviews
  • For faculty – address the new emphasis on faculty engagement for tenure
  • Helps with undeclared sophomores—broader exposure to where they are going earlier
  • Ties to Quest for Student Success
  • Impacts student learning in UNIV 1010, Gen Ed, and seniors
  • Combines two popular ideas of Academic Engagement and Career
  • Ties to best practices in portfolios, engagement, High impact practices; FLCs
  • ePortfolio provides students with a technological advantage when moving into career

 Weaknesses:

  • Relies heavily on U1010 instructors--mainly adjunct based
  • Scope could be too large/overly ambitious (3 comments)
  • Some majors already provide 4010 content within their courses
  • ePortfolio platforms already on campus
  • Should emphasize active learning more
  • Measurable outcomes?
  • Faculty learning communities have not been fully embraced

 General Conversation:

  • How do you find a way to think of this as a program with coherence? What connects UNIV 1010, Gen Ed, and UNIV 4010? Is it engagement, BTC experiences, both? We would need to think of a catchy (and simple) way to describe this.
  • Could have ePortfolio introduced in a course(s) other than UNIV 1010
  • If using UNIV 1010 need full-time faculty involved
  • Could use existing capstones in place of UNIV 4010
  • Like Professional Success in the name
  • How do you get students to commit to completion of their ePortfolios?
  • Would you need to incentivize students to participate in the program?
  • Could you make ePortfolio an admissions component?
  • Could include summer activity and ask them to update their profile before the Fall
  • Make ePortfolio required and what goes in it
  • Could have service, experiences from class, research tabs with self-reflection segments; use as a journal experience
  • Who would administer the start-up, training, counseling for students?
  • Where is the active learning and what are the expectations from students? 
  • What is the expectation from faculty and how do we get them to participate?
  • Faculty development is a critical need. Must have plan for this and incentives
  • Portfolios are useful for assessment
  • Multi-faceted idea: advising; beyond the classroom experiences; and faculty training are included
  • Suggested emphasis on ePortfolio to reach Engagement for Academic and Professional Success; ePortfolio is the tool of QEP

Concept 2:  Academic Engagement in Gen Ed 

Strengths:

  • Addresses weaknesses revealed in Gen Ed assessments and in high DFW rate courses
  • Addresses the faculty survey
  • Ties to student focus groups regarding gen ed, NSEE (active and collaborative learning; writing; thinking; speaking effectively); ties to student retention survey increasing relevance of courses;
  • Has a clear and limited focus
  • Redesign process is already in place and showing promise
  • If we include UNIV 1010, this could be academic engagement in the freshman year
  • Impacts student learning in freshman / sophomores vulnerable to retention issues
  • Ties to Quest for Student Success
  • Ties to best practices in engagement, High impact practices, FLCs
  • Scope is doable
  • Would help students AND faculty advance through professional development in engagement practices

Weaknesses:

  • 11 courses have already been through or are going through the redesign process, and other courses will be added to the process before the QEP is implemented; however, there are many different versions of some Gen Ed courses (large lectures, small classes, online, hybrid), and each of these types of a particular course might need to be redesigned in different ways
  • Does not directly address the survey / focus group results focusing on career readiness—but could through college orientations as a co-curricular activity and/or redesign UNIV 1010
  • Would require significant faculty development and buy-in
  • Faculty learning communities have not been fully embraced
  • Many adjuncts and FTT teach gen ed courses so it would require constant professional development and incentives

  General Conversation:

  • Could add ePortfolio to this
  • Full-time faculty could rotate through gen ed
  • Could phase in professional skills
  • Could phase into upper level courses

Concept 3: Connecting College to Career 

Strengths:

  • Addresses survey results
  • Addresses employer focus groups
  • Would help students see the relevance of their course work
  • Help with undeclared
  • Ties to Quest for Student Success
  • Impacts student learning in U1010 and in some majors
  • Ties to employer focus group, student focus groups; freshman retention
  • Ties to best practices in portfolios, engagement, High impact practices;
  • Intern office reinstated
  • Could serve as a guide for students (and parents) to understand opportunities within their chosen fields/departments

 Weaknesses:

  • Much of the focus is not on freshmen--where we are having the most difficulty with student success
  • Too much career focus in freshman year is not necessarily a good thing--students change majors, etc.
  • UNIV 1010 only mandatory for undeclared
  • Curriculum development for junior / senior seminars is large in scope—but could phase in
  • Need ENGL buy in and many are taught by adjuncts and FTT

General Conversation:

  • Connect them to the future not a job. Change title to future skills or professionalism not career. 

Announcements

Faculty interested in teaching an MT Engage course should contact Mary Hoffschwelle at 615-898-5806 or mary.hoffschwelle@mtsu.edu for more information, or complete the MT Engage interest form.

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Contact Us

Mary Hoffschwelle, Director, MT Engage
615-898-5806
 
Dianna Rust, QEP Committee Chair
615-898-5325

Alexis Denton, Assistant Director, MT Engage
615-904-8281 

 

QEP@mtsu.edu

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