Workgroup No. 9 opens meeting to feedback

Angelica Cataldo, Managing Editor

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Workgroup No. 9, Academic Visioning II, invited Mona Davenport, director of Minority Affairs Kimberlie Moock ,director of New Student Programs and Karla Sanders, executive director of the Center for Academic Support and Assessment to its Monday meeting to further discuss feedback received from town hall meetings held in February.

Sanders was unable to attend the meeting, however Moock said she and Davenport were comfortable speaking on her behalf.

Workgroup chair Melinda Mueller, a political science professor, said the group is working on finishing its final report as well as putting together a list of institutions that have programs and systems similar to the recommendations made during the town hall meetings.

The list consists of institutions that have seen improvements in enrollment and who have had success with academic term models that the variable learning models subcommittee suggested.

During the meeting, Moock expressed positive thoughts on the organization subcommittee’s idea of adding a university college but advised the group members to consider what programs and departments would fall under the college, as well as what kind of students would benefit from the addition.

“Students aren’t looking for a college, they are looking for a degree,” Moock said during the meeting.

Mueller said the group looked at placing CASA, the Honors College, Continuing Education and Interdisciplinary Programs under the academic college title.

Davenport suggested the group take into consideration Minority Affairs and how they would fit into a possible new college system.

Moock brought up the point of looking at how shorter terms may affect outside groups such as local businesses.

She also suggested looking at how many students would take advantage of extra terms, as she pointed out that many students may see it as an opportunity to return home rather than enrolling in the additional terms.

Moock also stressed that it could be costly to change the academic college system and academic calendar model. She said the group should “determine what would success look like” under the recommendation.

Mueller and English professor Suzie Park also pointed out that a shorter term schedule would make Eastern stand out among the other state institutions.

Park said she hoped the possible changes could lead to more recruitment.

“I thought (Moock and Davenport’s) input was really useful,” Mueller said. “It’s very important to get their perspective on these sort of things.”

The members of the workgroup have been collaborating on finalizing their recommendations as the final reports from the workgroups are due April 14.

Angelica Cataldo can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]