Invest in Academic Excellence: Progress
July 1, 2013 Update
In the first year of plan implementation, the task force for Strategic Initiative 1 has taken responsibility for the goals relating to “Invest in Academic Excellence” as well as many of those from the Office of the Provost’s “Priorities for Enhancing Academic Quality 2012-2017.” Given the size and scope of this endeavor, the task force was divided into three subgroups.
Student Academic Experience Subgroup
Program Level Outcomes Established
All programs of study at the University have established Program Level Outcomes, those competencies that their graduates should be able to demonstrate, and the outcomes have been published on the Institutional Research, Assessment and Effectiveness website.
Drexel Student Learning Priorities Mapped
Mapping of the Student Learning Priorities, which are core skills and abilities that Drexel students should develop across all programs, to the core course requirements for each program is nearly complete. Mapping within Drexel’s Academic Evaluation, Feedback and Intervention System is proceeding.
Online Course Review
Twenty-three online Drexel courses have been reviewed by Online Learning Council Fellows adapting the rubrics of Quality Matters, a peer-based approach to quality assurance in online education.
Program Alignment and Review
The Office of the Provost has launched the PAR process, a systematic, five-year review of every department or similar academic unit, as well as task forces to reimagine selected academic units, broad areas of learning—the humanities and social sciences, for example—and academic subjects including computing, statistics, and writing that are taught across many units.
Student Academic Services Subgroup
Integrating Academic Services for All
The subgroup has worked with key constituencies and consultants to formulate processes and policies that integrate and improve academic services directed at the broad student body including online, underrepresented and international students.
The University has begun implementation of a new one-stop shop for student financial and administrative services, Drexel Central. Construction of Drexel Central’s physical space is underway, and opening is anticipated in July.
The subgroup is monitoring the progress of the University Advisory Committee on the Academic Calendar, which is studying whether the quarter system remains the best system for Drexel, taking into account student recruitment and retention issues, student learning outcomes, the impact on faculty, the costs of implementation, potential future cost savings and the needs and interests of co-op employers.
Faculty and Professional Staff Development and Engagement Subgroup
A pilot implementation of the Faculty Portfolio has been launched. This online, searchable database of faculty expertise and accomplishments will foster increased collaboration across the University.
Skills-Based Faculty Mentoring
This newly launched program enables faculty members at all levels to work with colleagues to sharpen their academic skills, from assessment to zero-based budgeting.
The Provost’s Fellowship program has been reinvigorated, and a part-time Provost’s Fellow has been working on student engagement, retention and success. A concept paper on fostering student-faculty interaction will be finalized this summer.
President’s Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Steering Committee
Many of the Diversity Steering Committee’s members are part of the Faculty and Professional Staff Development and Engagement subgroup. The Committee has completed its concept paper and action plan, which were approved by the president and provost. The action plan, which aligns closely with Drexel’s Diversity Achievement Plan, includes a range of data-driven initiatives that expand upon the work already being done to foster diversity at Drexel. Top priorities include increasing student retention and success of diverse students, preparing of diverse students for STEM careers, recruiting and retaining diverse faculty and focusing on ways to diversify the University’s leadership. The Diversity Steering Committee will also play a key role in planning Convocation events this fall focused on diversity.
Personnel Policy Updates
Human Resources has updated personnel policies and implemented a new policy that allows flexible work time for professional staff to support work-life balance and professional growth, retain professional staff and increase satisfaction. The new policy addresses options including compressed workweek, flexible scheduling, job share and telework. In addition, a new performance management tool is currently being piloted in LeBow College of Business.