G. 2. Growth. Standard 6: Unit Governance and Resources
G.2.b. Continuous Improvement
The most significant changes related to Standard 6 that have led to continuous improvement are in the following six areas:
|1. The University restructuring necessitated restructuring the Unit’s governance||Adjust to the new structure; elevate role of governing bodies||Professional Education Council is planning to revise its role. Secondary PTEP Coordinating Council created and is working. The new University College assumed responsibility over ISET major.|
|2. Need to enhance support for on-line and web-assisted teaching||Provide organizational resources; involve faculty; evaluate progress.||CETL was created; resources identified to support it. IT was restructured; headed by the new AVP. The Innovative Technology Committee created. Priority projects identified.|
|3. State support diminishing||Increase revenues by expanding cash-funded programs and grants||Cash-funded programs revenues now account for $8 million (5% of the University budget). Grant revenues increased significantly.|
Charting the Future
“Charting the Future” a university-wide review and evaluation process called for by the President of the university in 2003, completed the transition phase in summer 2005. Newly formed Schools were determined for each of the colleges and the leadership previously provided by Department Chairs and Assistant Deans was assumed primarily by School Directors, although the larger colleges retained an Assistant Dean position. In 2004-2005 CEBS was reorganized into five schools: Applied Psychology and Counselor Education; Psychological Sciences; Research, Leadership, and Technology; Special Education; and Teacher Education. The new nine-member Leadership Council of the Unit was composed of the Dean, the Assistant Dean, Directors of the five schools, the Associate Director of Development (The Foundation), and the Director of the National Center for Low Incidence Disabilities.
One of the areas for investment identified in “Charting the Future” was to provide UNC with the technology needed to achieve operational and functional efficiencies. During the summer and fall of 2004, a task force comprising the AVPs for enrollment management, information technology and financial services was charged with evaluating needs and recommending alternatives. Sungard SCT’s higher education ERP product Banner was selected by the three organizations. The Board of Trustees noted that UNC will continue to be proactive in shaping its future and ensuring that every budgetary dollar is not just an expenditure, but an investment in greatness. The “Charting the Future” strategic process established a framework for academic planning intended to enhance the University’s academic quality and reputation, operational efficiency and effectiveness, expanded opportunities for resource development, and the establishment of new partnerships.
During the 2004-2005 academic year, the Colorado Commission on Higher Education developed "performance contracts" with all institutions of higher education in Colorado. The University must report annually on progress towards a variety of indicators in order to continue to receive state funding. UNC was the first Colorado higher education institution to finalize the terms of its performance contract with the state, which is required for students to qualify for stipends - College Opportunity Fund (COF) that are now the basis for the state's investment in higher education.
State of Colorado Reauthorization Process
In the fall of 2008, the Unit successfully underwent the State of Colorado Reauthorization review. The state review is on a five-year cycle and Colorado does not currently have a reciprocal relationship with NCATE. The state review follows an intensive “input model” with documentation involving detailed matrices and presentation of several hundred standards-based syllabi. By state statute and under the authorization of the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE), all initial and advanced licensure programs must document candidate proficiency on the Performance-Base Standards for Colorado Teachers-PBSCT (8 standards with 50 standard elements), the Colorado Model Content Standards for Colorado students (13 areas)*, the 8.02 Endorsement Standards (multiple standards and standard elements), and the 17.01 field experience standards (11 standard elements). In addition, the programs must provide 800 hours of supervised field experiences, all in no more that 126-credit hours that can be completed in four years. The State requires candidates to demonstrate proficiency through performance-based assessments, including work sample methodology and portfolio, at three prescribed levels: developing, proficient, and advanced. All candidates must receive a “proficient” rating on all standards before being recommended for licensure.
NCATE workshops were led by the NCATE Coordinator and held throughout Spring 07 (bimonthly) and Summer 07 (weekly) to assist faculty members in the development of the Special Professional Association Reports. The workshop topics and resources were posted on the CEBS website and all data and reports were submitted to a share drive to facilitate communication across the Unit. The workshops provided numerous opportunities for faculty across the Unit to discuss data and program quality.
The Teacher Education Faculty Meeting in spring 2007 focused on professional development in three areas: NCATE Accreditation, Dispositions, and implementation of an Electronic Portfolio. Faculty members involved in research in these areas presented and shared resources for further investigation. The Teacher Education Faculty consists of all faculty from across campus who are actively teaching in teacher education. At the fall semester faculty meeting, faculty members again discussed the Electronic Portfolio, were updated on accreditation efforts, and received professional development on the application of technology into the classroom. The UNC Unit NCATE Team was formally constituted in fall 2009 but has been working for the entire inter-review period.
Academic Planning Committee
In fall semester 2006, the Academic Planning Committee decided to seek campus-wide input on future directions for the campus. Faculty members, staff, and students were provided with the opportunity to assist in the development of goals by participating in focus groups that employed a positive affirmative inquiry process. Data from these focus groups were transcribed and are currently being used to develop the university-wide priorities. The Planning Committee believed strongly that the Academic Plan should reflect the uniqueness of the University of Northern Colorado. While current goals provide a broad framework from which to begin, the plan must aim high, foster excellence, and encourage meaningful change. The final report of the academic plan is used to drive budget, facilities, and fundraising priorities at UNC.
The Education Innovation Institute
During the 2008-2009 academic year, the President proposed that the University develop an institute dedicated to research and innovation in education. The Education Innovation Institute is intended to be an internationally acclaimed center for research and innovation in education on our campus. This was the centerpiece of our legislative agenda for the year, and the President met with legislators, policymakers, foundation leaders, and other university presidents to build support. The President stated: “The Institute will be the leading authority on educational policy research and analysis. It is our opportunity to build on UNC’s historic mission, our opportunity to connect the many centers of education-related expertise on our campus with each other and with the work of other experts, and our opportunity to be a recognized leader in developing the innovative ideas that will advance U.S. education into the next century.”
During the 2008-2009 academic year, the university opened a new branch-office in Loveland, Colorado – fifteen miles west of Greeley where there is much economic development along the I-25 corridor. The purpose of the location is to provide UNC with more visibility and the opportunity of have a regional presence closer to other cities. Several Unit programs are currently delivering courses at this new location. In addition, a total of $240,000 in one-time dollars was provided to the college to refurbish McKee Hall.
Three floors of McKee were closed during summer 2008 for electrical and fire alarm upgrades as well as upgrades for HVAC modernization. Faculty and staff were relocated to other floors in McKee or other buildings on campus. In addition, numerous classrooms were upgraded with LCD projectors as well as other technology advancements. A new university-wide technology fee provided additional funding that allowed for these upgrades. Funds were spent to paint and repair several classrooms, replace chairs and desks, enhance technology, and purchase furniture for faculty offices. The Psychological Services Clinic and a lab in Psychological Sciences have been upgraded.
The Unit proposed and completed several initiatives in the past few years. These included: Charting the Future, developing performance contracts with the Colorado Commission of Higher Education, successfully completing the State of Colorado Reauthorization process, preparing for NCATE re-accreditation, participating on the Academic Planning Committee, and informing the direction of the proposed Education Innovation Institute. All of these initiatives help the Unit move toward or continue to meet the Target level under Standard 6.
*They have been recently replaced with the new P-12 Academic Standards