The PSU Academic and Advising Redesign Workgroup will present their final report and recommendations on the next steps for advising on Thursday, November 10, 10-11am and 1-2pm in SMSU, 209M. I encourage everyone interested in this topic toRSVP and attend the event and to read the report to be released at the event and subsequently posted on the Redesign Project website.
The Redesign Project is designed to increase PSU student retention and completion rates, improve the student experience, and make advising more rewarding and effective for both professional advisors and faculty. It is intended to create a unified advising framework to increase student self-efficacy and a sense of agency, as well as improve the experiences of academic and career advisors. It aligns with PSU’s Strategic Plan, Goal #1: Elevate Student Success, Initiative #3.1: Increase advising capacity, revitalize advising systems and improve the visibility of student support services.
In March, Public Administration Professor, Masami Nishishiba; CUPA Dean, Stephen Percy; Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice Provost for International Affairs, Margaret Everett; and I traveled to Japan. Our trip was a busy and productive one – we visited six universities, one foundation, and one government office for the purpose of discussing new or expanded partnerships with PSU.
What was striking about this visit was the high interest that Japanese universities have in PSU’s greatest strength—community engagement. I asked Stephen Percy and Margaret Everett to write a guest blog about the connections made.
Even though the start of the fiscal year is six months away, budget planning for Academic Affairs is in full swing for FY16-17. I hosted an OAA budget open forum on November 18 as an opportunity to reflect on FY14-15, take stock of our current fiscal year performance and trends, and describe the FY16-17 process.
Each student takes their own unique path towards their degree and each path is marked by a series of decisions: What should I major in? How long will it take to earn a degree? What courses should I enroll in? Can I afford it? What is a good work/school balance?
These are complicated questions that can be very stressful for students. Making the wrong decision about registration can set students back months and cost them a significant amount of money. When students are faced with an unanticipated change to their plan, whether that is a change in course availability, or a change of major, students are forced to revisit many of the same questions.
Our PSU students have told us they want to understand the full implications of a degree choice and know that their decisions align with their academic, career, and financial goals. As part of our reTHINK PSU efforts we are looking at ways to integrate our planning and advisement tools with student- and advisor-facing systems.
PSU is making progress on our work on textbook affordability– one of a number of reTHINK PSU initiatives to reduce costs to students. My previous blogs on this topic provide context of how this work makes a huge difference in affordability and the quality of materials available to students.
Our work on textbook affordability began with Provost Challenge project #111. It was our first coordinated effort to develop publishing support services for the creation of open textbooks. Support for faculty included the creation of book cover templates; ISBN registration services; and established print-on-demand services with a third-party vendor – Lulu.
In early September, PSU participated in an invitation-only Seattle event sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)—Interaction Effect 2015. We were invited in recognition of the work we are doing on reTHINK PSU and the Transformational Planning Grant we received last year from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) and Urban Serving Universities (USU). A select group of 60 other institutions and systems joined us – small colleges, public research universities, historically black colleges and universities, state systems, community colleges, and regional colleges. Each university was allowed to have only two representatives: Vice Provost Sukhwant Jhaj and I represented PSU.