William Law, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs – Academic Programs
A significant amount of time this year was devoted to developing unified practices for Purdue Northwest. Much of what was accomplished represents collaborative efforts between the new Faculty Senate, faculty members at large, and leaders from across PNW to create innovative synergies across academic programs.
A newly formed Advisory Council for Program Innovation provides regular input to the Office of Academic Affairs. Comprised of faculty from across PNW, this council is exploring potential inter-disciplinary innovative academic programming. Already, the council has undertaken the task of identifying cross-disciplinary, interprofessional skills sought by the varied accrediting bodies associated with academic programs. The goal is to identify commonalities and opportunities for all students to attain these highly sought skills.
Members of the Faculty Senate were engaged to work closely with the Office of Academic Affairs, through Jeff Shires, executive director of concurrent enrollment. The faculty affirmed its commitment to academic excellence in dual credit courses offered through partner high schools. The university expressed this commitment by refining new operational policies and processes that ensure that all dual credit courses will be taught at the level of academic excellence befitting PNW courses. These courses will be taught using departmental syllabi and assessment tools. Instruction will be delivered by teachers who possess, or are on a clear path to obtain within five years, academic credentials that meet the same standards set by the Higher Learning Commission for instructors.
Joy Colwell, director of graduate studies, is working with graduate programs and a consortium of public colleges and universities in Indiana to provide a comprehensive inventory of graduate courses and programs that high school teachers can use to further their education and prepare to teach PNW dual credit courses. Under the leadership of Shires, the concurrent enrollment program also has implemented successful academic enrichment visits to the campuses for students enrolled in PNW dual credit courses at partner high schools.
Expanding Educational Initiatives
PNW’s faculty continued to improve graduate education opportunities through new and expanded course offerings and updated plans of study. An additional 24 faculty members have been appointed to the Purdue Northwest graduate faculty. The colleges are preparing to offer graduate courses at both the Hammond and Westville campuses; they had previously been offered only at one location. In the Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Engineering program a new concentration in Civil Engineering has been approved, as well as a graduate certificate in Expressive Arts Counseling in the School of Education and Counseling.
In undergraduate education, Paul Hecht has taken a leading role as a Faculty Fellow in the Office of Academic Affairs. Hecht has worked diligently through the Faculty Senate to approve common First Year Experience objectives under faculty guidance for students in the Career Pathways. Faculty members have been recruited to create a forward thinking first year experience especially designed to foster success among new students who begin their work at PNW unattached to a specific college, but with an identified career interest.
A significant amount of time this year was devoted to developing unified practices for Purdue University Northwest.
Much of what was accomplished represents collaborative efforts between the new Faculty Senate, faculty members at large, and leaders from across PNW …