Chapter IV

Educational Programs and Learning Experiences


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Introduction

This chapter begins by describing curricular patterns at the University. Degree programs and the approach to core curricula are summarized. Recent additions to the curriculum are described as are pending changes.

The University's very active program in Continuing Education is also presented in this chapter. The international initiatives of the University are also described as is the facilitating and coordinating role of the World College. The University's Honors Program is also summarized.

Finally, this chapter offers evaluation of curricular development, grading practices, and the climate and content associated with learning experiences at Eastern.

 

Degrees and Requirements

During the decade of the 1980s the new College of Technology came fully into its own, developing the range of programs anticipated for it at its inception. The College of Health and Human Services consolidated certain of its programs into the Department of Associated Health Professions and developed an increasing professional focus in the Department of Home Economics which is now the Department of Human Environmental and Consumer Resources. The College of Business continued its pursuit of rigor, separating its programs in accounting and finance into two independent departments and accomplishing full AACSB accreditation. The College of Education, having experienced a very large surge in enrollment, continued its prominent role in defining the University's programmatic character, developing a proposed Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. The College of Arts and Sciences continued to fulfill its complex responsibilities as the unit in which the bulk of basic undergraduate education is delivered while also functioning at the departmental level to offer a wide variety of majors, minors, and graduate programs in the many disciplines represented in the College.

Fuller detail on the programs housed in these units is contained in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogues. Also, among the appendices of this report, there are profiles of each of the Colleges that feature the scale of change in enrollment,


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faculty size, and other aspects of their character. Profiles of this same type are available for every academic department and are contained in the primary data file for this report. What follows is a large-scale picture of the requirements set forth by the University for the completion of its undergraduate and graduate degrees.

 

Undergraduate

Following is a summary of degrees currently available to the undergraduate student. These degree programs are all exclusive of the basic studies component which is summarized later in this chapter.

The Bachelor of Science Degree (B.S.) is, in a sense, the basic degree offered by the University. It offers students the most flexibility in the use of electives and in selection of a major and a minor. The requirements for the degree are:

  1. Completion of the 40 hour University Basic Studies Program.

  2. A minimum of 30-36 hours in a major.

  3. A minimum of 20-24 hours in a minor.

  4. Sufficient electives to total 124 credit hours.

For any student whose educational goals cannot be met by established majors, the University offers an individualized Interdisciplinary Concentration of 60 hours to replace the major and minor within the B.S. degree. With the assistance and approval of an Individual Concentration Committee the student designs a program. The student must first have submitted to the committee: reasons why his/her needs cannot be met by existing major and minor combinations, the immediate goals of the proposed program, the way in which the proposed program will fulfill educational and life objectives, and a detailed list of courses which the student hopes to elect.

The Bachelor of Arts Degree (B.A.) stipulates requirements beyond those for the B.S. Degree. For the B.A., in addition to meeting the usual Basic Studies requirements, the student must complete:

  1. A minimum of 75 credit hours in the areas of language, science and mathematics, and social sciences.

  2. A one-year sequence in a foreign language.

The student must also complete a major of at least 30 hours and a minor of at least 20 hours. Sufficient electives to total 124 hours must then be added to complete the degree.

Beyond these two degree options and the large array of major and minor combinations associated with them, the University offers other more specialized degree curricula. These


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other curricula add requirements, specify additional courses, or have some planned program of concentrations (such as majors, minors, or "cores") that are required for or limited to that curriculum. Those other degree options are: Bachelor of Art Education, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Business Education, Bachelor of Arts in Language and World Business, Bachelor of Music Education, Bachelor of Music Performance, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Details regarding these and all other major and minor programs are included in the Undergraduate Catalogue.

 

Graduate

The University offers graduate work leading to several types of degrees&emdash;the Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Business Administration, Master of Business Education, Master of Public Administration, Master of Science in Computer-Based Information Systems, Master of Individualized Studies, Master of Science in Organizational Behavior and Development, Master of Liberal Studies, and Specialist in Arts. Programs leading to these degrees are administered by the departments in the respective Colleges. Following is a list of degree options.

 

Figure IV-1

Graduate Degree Options at Eastern Michigan University

SPECIALIST'S DEGREE

Drama/Theatre for the Young

Social Studies and American

Educational Leadership

(M.A., M.F.A.)
Culture

Guidance and Counseling

Economics

Women's Studies

School Psychology

English

Mathematics

Special Education

Literature

Music

English Linguistics
Choral Music
MASTER'S DEGREE
Children's Literature
Music Education

College of Arts and Sciences

Written Communication
Music Literature

Applied Economics

Fine Arts (MFA)

Music Theory-Literature

Art

Foreign Language

Performance
Education
French
Piano Pedagogy
Studio
German

Physics

Biology

Spanish
Physics Education
General Biology

General Science

Political Science

Ecosystem (Aquatic and

Geography

Master of Public
Terrestrial)
Cartography and Remote
Administration
Community College
Sensing

Psychology

Teaching
Environmental Studies
General
Molecular/Cellular
Land Use Analysis
Clinical
Physiology
Physical Geography
Clinical Behavioral

Chemistry

Historic Preservation
Public Administration

Communication

Planning

Sociology

Oral Interpretation
Administration
Family Specialty
Public Address
Interpretation and Tourism

Spanish (Bilingual-Bicultural

Computer Science

Planning
Ed.)

Criminology and Criminal

History

TESOL (Teaching English as a

Justice

Language and International

Second Language)

Development, Trade, and

Trade

Theatre Arts

Planning

Liberal Studies

Arts Management


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Figure IV-1 (continued)

Graduate Degree Options at Eastern Michigan University

College of Business

Elementary Education

College of Health and

Accounting

Guidance and Counseling

Human Services
Accounting Information

School Counselor

Human, Environmental, and

Business Administration

Endorsement
Consumer Resources

Computer Information Systems

College and Community

Consumer Resources

Data Base Management
Personnel

General Home Economics

Financial Accounting

Community Counseling

Clothing and Textiles

Finance

Community Program

Family and Child Development

General Business

K-12 Curriculum

Foods and Nutrition

Human Resource

Middle School Education

Management

Physical Education

College of Technology

International Business

Reading

Business Education

Management Science

Secondary School Teaching

Industrial Education

Marketing

Social Foundations

Industrial Arts

Organizational Development

Special Education

Industrial Vocational

Personnel and Industrial

Emotionally Impaired

Industrial Technology

Relations
General

Construction

Tax Accounting

Hearing Impaired

Manufacturing

Learning Impaired

Liberal Studies

College of Education
Visually Impaired

Technology

Early Childhood Education

Mentally Impaired

Polymer Technology

Educational Leadership

Orthopedically Impaired

Coatings

Educational Psychology

Speech and Language

Development and Personality

Impaired

Educational Technology

Visually Impaired

Research and Evaluation

In addition to these degree options there are available the Masters Degree in Individualized Study, the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Curriculum and Instruction, Certificate in Artificial Intelligence, and Certificate in State and Local History.

The typical Master Degree program is between 30 and 32 hours, which includes an 18-20 hour core concentration, a 6-hour cognate, and 6-9 hours allotted to&emdash;depending on the program&emdash;a thesis, terminal project, or comprehensive examination.

The Masters Degree in Individualized Studies is designed to serve the needs and interests of students whose occupational, vocational, or educational goals are not met by other graduate degree programs offered at Eastern Michigan University. Each applicant is expected to develop a set of specific goals and objectives for the proposed program of study with the assistance of two faculty members. The applicant and advisers develop a structured sequence of courses that has academic integrity and which meets the goals and objectives of the program. The resulting proposal and program of study are submitted to a Supervising Committee composed of members of the graduate faculty for review and recommendation. Applicants interested in this program must apply at least six months prior to the enrollment period in which they wish to begin their studies.


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The Specialist Degrees are 62 hours of study beyond the Bachelors level or 32 beyond the Master's level. Typically the degrees include a core curriculum, cognate study, and either applied research or practice.

The design of Sp.A. programs of study are individualized according to the interests and needs of the student. Admission to the programs usually requires teaching, administrative, or other professional experience as well as academic preparation. Full details regarding the four Sp.A. programs are available in the Graduate Catalogue.

 

Basic Studies Program

In February, 1985, the Provost commissioned a Basic Studies Review Committee and charged the members "with conducting a comprehensive re-examination of our present basic studies requirements and with determining what changes should be made to provide the most effective liberal/general education for today's students." The Basic Studies Review Committee met through April, 1986, and recommended a series of revisions in the structure of the existing program. The recommended revisions were subjected to a thorough process of review by departmental, College, and University bodies and were finally approved by the Board of Regents on September 23, 1987.

The revised structure included the establishment of a standing Basic Studies Committee whose task is to make recommendations about implementation of the new requirements and to act as an oversight group on all future adjustments to Basic Studies. Effective Fall term, 1990, the new Basic Studies Program applies to all entering first-time students at Eastern. It also applies to transfer students who begin their college work elsewhere in Fall, 1990, or thereafter.

 

Requirements

All undergraduate students are required to complete courses in four areas:

I. Symbolics and Communication 5 Courses

II. Science and Technology 3 Courses

III. Social Sciences 4 Courses

IV. Arts and Humanities 4 Courses

 

Area I: Symbolics and Communication

Five Courses

  1. A course in Written Composition.
  2. A course in Speech Communication.
  3. A course in one of the following areas:
    1. an upper-level course in Written Composition.
    2. an upper level course in Speech Communication.
    3. a course in Foreign Language Composition.
  4. A course in Mathematical Reasoning.
  5. A course in Computer Literacy.


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Area II: Science and Technology

Three Courses

  1. A course in Physical Science.
    1. The student must complete a course in Chemistry or Physics unless she/he has submitted evidence to Academic Advising that a one-unit course in one of those subjects was completed in high school with a grade of "C" or above.
    2. If the student submits proof of having completed a one-unit high school course in Chemistry or Physics, she/he may satisfy this requirement by choosing among Chemistry, Earth Science/Geology, or Physics/Astronomy.
  2. A course in Life Science (Biology or Psychology).
  3. A course in Science or Technology, chosen from a department other than the ones in which the student completes her/his Physical and Life Science requirements.

 

Area III: Social Science

Four Courses

  1. A course in U.S. Government.
  2. A course in History.
  3. A course in Anthropology, Economics, Geography, or Sociology, the content of which includes the structure and methodology of the discipline.
  4. One of the following:
    1. A second course in a two-course History sequence.
    2. A second course in a two-course sequence in Anthropology, Economics, Geography, or Sociology, the content of which includes the structure and methodology of the discipline.
    3. An approved course in Cross-Cultural or International Studies.

 

Area IV: Arts and Humanities

Four Courses

  1. One of the following:
    1. A course in Literature.
    2. An intermediate or advanced Foreign Language Literature course.
  2. One of the following:
    1. A second course in Literature.
    2. An intermediate or advanced Foreign Language Literature course.
    3. A course in Oral Interpretation of Literature.
    4. A course in Cross-Cultural or International Studies.
  3. A course in Philosophy or Religion.
  4. A course in Art, Dance, Music, or Theatre Arts.

 

Cross-Cultural or International Studies Requirement

At least one approved course in cross-cultural or international studies must be completed in the process of meeting the requirements in the foregoing Areas I-IV. Approved courses are designated in the catalogue.

 

Honors Courses in Basic Studies

Honors courses in Basic Studies may be elected to satisfy requirements in Fine Arts, History, Literature, Music, Philosophy, and Theatre Arts. Such courses are open to members of the University Honors Program and, as space is available, to students with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00.


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Further details regarding the requirements and rationale for the Basic Studies Program can be found in the Undergraduate Catalogue.

 

University Honors Program

Entering or upperclass students with excellent academic records may apply for admission to the University Honors Program. Admission is based on such factors as grade point average, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal essay.

Honors study may be pursued either on the Basic Studies level, in departments or professional programs, or both. Honor courses feature small class size, outstanding instructors, and enriched course materials.

Graduation with honors requires a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.30 and the completion of either 18 hours of honors credit in Basic Studies or 121 hours of departmental honors credit including the senior thesis. The designation "with honors" is separate from the designations cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude which refer strictly to grade point average.

Students who complete the program are appropriately recognized by special designations on diplomas, transcripts, certificates of achievement, and letters of recommendation from the Honors Director explaining their achievements. Other benefits to the honors student include housing in the Jones-Goddard Community of Scholars, early registration, maximum computer access, extended library loan, and special advising support. Honors students may become members of the Honors Advisory Council which provides input to the Director on all aspects of the academic program.

 

New and Developing Programs

The curricula at Eastern Michigan University is continually under development and revision as circumstances require. Following is a summary of the new academic programs approved since the last review by the North Central Association and programs currently under consideration for adoption. Omitted from this summary is the proposed Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership which will be treated fully in Chapter XI of this report.

 

Figure IV-2

Programs Submitted and Approved by the President's Council of State Colleges and
Universities and Adopted by Eastern Since 1981

African American Studies
A general B.A. program, with selected African American courses and other
courses offered by departments throughout the University.

Artificial Intelligence (Graduate Certificate)
Designed to prepare individuals to program and utilize computers to solve
complex problems.


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Figure IV-2 (continued)

Programs Submitted and Approved by the President's Council of State Colleges and
Universities and Adopted by Eastern Since 1981

State and Local History (Graduate Certificate, Advanced Graduate Certificate)
Designed to help teachers, museum directors, and others understand State and local
history.

Facility Management
B.S. through Interdisciplinary Technology Department, in cooperation with the Human,
Environmental, and Consumer Resources Department. Prepares student to manage
shopping center, industrial plant, government facility, other.

Japanese Language and Culture Teaching
B.A. leading to certification to teach Japanese in public schools.

Polymer Technology
M.S. degree through Interdisciplinary Technology Department. Emphasis on
applications of polymer chemistry.

Occupational Therapy
M.S. degree through Associated Health Professions Department.

Language and World
Five-year program leading to B.B.A. and B.A. Business degrees. Joint program
between College of Business and Foreign Languages Department.

Hospitality Management
B.S. degree in the Department of Human Environmental, and Consumer Resources
preparing individual to work in all areas of hospitality. Special strength in foods.

Journalism
B.A. degree in Department of English.

Public Relations
B.A. degree offered cooperatively between Departments of English and Communica-
tion and Theatre Arts.

Actuarial Science and Economics
B.S. degree offered cooperatively between Mathematics and Economics. Prepares
student to take actuarial exams.

Music Therapy
B.A. degree in Music.

Women's Studies
Masters of Liberal Studies degree.

Industrial Distribution
B.S. program that prepare individuals to work in all industries linking producer and
retailer. Interdisciplinary Technology Department.

Travel and Tourism
B.S. degree designed to prepare individuals to manage businesses in the travel and
tourism fields. Geography Department.

Drama/Theatre for the Young
M. A. program that specializes in the area of theatre productions for children.

Sports Medicine
B.S. degree prepares individuals to act as athletic trainers, or in private practice.

Communications Technology
A B.S. degree to prepare individuals as specialists in use of technology to communi-
cate in business and industry. Interdisciplinary Technology and Communication and
Theatre Arts Departments.

Accounting Information
B.B.A. within Operations Research and Information Systems Department. Application
of computer science to Business.


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Figure IV-3

New Programs Currently Under Consideration at Eastern

Foreign Language
A generic Masters of Arts Degree with concentrations in French, German, and
Spanish. (Step 7 in the approval process outlined in Chapter III of this report.)

Nursing
A Masters of Science in Nursing Degree (M.S.N.) that emphasizes community
nursing with special emphasis on adult nursing. (Step 9 of approval process)

Social Work
Masters of Social Work Degree (M.S.W.) will emphasize preparing social work
practitioners to work with vulnerable populations. (Step 2 of approval process)

Public Safety Administration
B.S. designed to prepare public safety administrators. Specializations in police,
fire, and corrections. (Step 2 of approval process)

Gerontology (Graduate Certificate)
A 17-18 semester-hour program to assist health care professionals in working with
older people. (Step 9 of approval process)

Quality Technology (Graduate Certificate)
An 18-hour program to assist professions in a variety of fields to understand and
apply principles of product and service quality evaluation and control. (Step 8 of
approval process)

 

Non-Traditional Programming

The University has, for many years, offered credit and non-credit educational opportunities off campus, at remote sites, on atypical schedules, in specialized formats. Currently the organizational units responsible for such non-traditional programming are Continuing Education, the World College, and Corporate Services. Since Corporate Services offers only non-credit workshops, conferences, and special programs primarily to business and industry, its operation will be discussed in Chapter VII, along with the other service-oriented units that comprise the University's Corporate Services Institute.

The following discussion is devoted to the programs offered by Continuing Education and the World College. Continuing Education is an outgrowth of the University's long-standing academic "extension programs." The World College, while it does not offer any academic coursework of its own, provides an important facilitating and coordinating service for all international programming activities of the University. Both of these units report to the Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs who provides administrative oversight to ensure quality control and efficiency.

 

Continuing Education

The mission of Continuing Education is to extend the resources of the University beyond the campus and beyond its traditional operating times, primarily to meet the educational needs of adult and non-traditional students. Two concepts are stressed in this extension of the University into the community: convenience and quality.


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In a survey conducted by the College Board, convenience was rated by potential adult students as being of higher priority than cost. Time and locale have become key factors that influence adult student participation in learning activities. Programs offered through Continuing Education strive to be convenient in those regards.

Adult students will not invest their time and money in activities that are not relevant and of high quality. Programs offered through Continuing Education are full-fledged University programs. They meet the same quality standards as those offered on campus.

The University classroom is currently being extended into various locales in several ways. Courses are offered off-campus throughout Southeastern Michigan and overseas. University programs are being delivered by means of compacted learning experiences, correspondence courses, and weekend and evening courses, both on- and off-campus.

Record numbers of adult students are responding to this extension of the University. In 1981-82, approximately 2.3% of the total credit hour production of the University was generated through Continuing Education. In 1988-89, that portion had grown to over 6%. Continuing Education operations were formally placed on a self-funding basis in June, 1988. At the close of 1988/89 Continuing Education had generated over 36,000 credit hours and a substantial financial surplus. While a substantial surplus is not anticipated for 1989/90, the self-funding principal still pertains.

 

Programs
Off-Campus

The major market for off-campus courses is among education professionals. Most of the courses offered off-campus through Continuing Education are for practicing teachers and administrators who work in Southeastern Michigan. This is also true of the courses offered during the summer in Traverse City and Petoskey, Michigan.

In the early 1980s, a number of 2+2 programs were established with Jackson Community College through Continuing Education. Those programs included: Social Work, Criminal Justice, Business, and General Education. There was also an MBA program offered there. These programs were initially successful, but the economic downturn triggered declining demand by the end of 1983. An occasional course in these programs is still offered at Jackson, but there are no longer any formal 2+2 agreements.

The Master's Degree in Educational Leadership program is still in operation in Flint. This is the only degree program offered off-campus. This program has been in existence for 20 years, and Continuing Education has maintained an office in Flint (currently


p 89

located at Mott Community College) for that period. Regular Department of Leadership and Counseling faculty teach and advise students in that program.

The Urban Teacher Education program, a collaborative project involving Wayne State University, Eastern Michigan University, and Wayne County Community College, is designed to increase the numbers of minorities who enter teacher education programs. On Wayne County Community College's regional campuses, Eastern and Western Michigan University offer undergraduate teacher education coursework to aspiring teachers who expect to complete their full degrees at one of the main campuses of an institution here in Michigan.

 

Weekend University

The Weekend University was formed in the fall of 1984 to address the needs of students for more classes to be offered on-campus, but at more varied and convenient times. Both undergraduate and graduate classes are offered at times that do not interfere with other work and family obligations and at a location that is easily accessible&emdash;the campus of Eastern Michigan. Excellent teaching-learning facilities and ample parking are readily available. Selected faculty, both regular and adjunct, are available to teach courses that had been difficult to schedule off-campus.

In addition to offering regular courses on the weekend and serving students more conveniently, academic departments and faculty members have found that the Weekend University assists them in two other ways. First, departments can offer additional sections of basic studies courses at other than the Monday through Friday, day-time hours. This has helped to ease some scheduling problems. Second, faculty members can offer new "special topics" courses and experiment with time and frequency components of courses without interfering with regular weekly class schedules.

 

Package Programs

Package programs, so-called because regular on-campus and special topics courses are "packaged" into compressed-time formats by regular and experienced adjunct faculty and offered off-campus at resort locations, have been offered by Continuing Education since 1986. These courses offer one or two credits in one week and two or three credits in two-week learning experiences.

All package programs require instructor guided pre- or post-classroom experiences (usually both). The classroom portion of the learning experience is intense and requires


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that the student enroll in only one course at a time. Package programs have been offered in Traverse City and Petoskey, Michigan, and in Davos, Switzerland.

Substantial package program evaluations have been conducted by the Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs and the Dean of the Graduate School, and the format has been shown to be academically sound.

 

Travel Study

Continuing Education's Office of International Studies currently offers a wide variety of travel-study programs to many parts of the world. Most of the programs go to Europe, but occasionally programs go to Asia, and there is an on-going program to the Galapagos Islands. Most of these programs occur in the summer and all carry academic credit. Many make use of regular University faculty as directors and instructors of record. The largest program, the European Cultural History Tours (ECHT), has become one of the largest credit-granting travel-study programs in the country, normally serving 200-400 students annually.

The travel-study program carrying credit has been a model at Eastern for 30 years. Since 1981 travel-study enrollments have increased dramatically, due to the growth of ECHT and to the number of our faculty developing new programs. The Office of International Studies has also coordinated a number of overseas residence programs in the 1980s, including exchanges with Coventry, Nonington, and Bulmershe Colleges in England as well as joint sponsorship with several universities of a semester of study in Vienna. All of these programs have been discontinued. At this time it sponsors an exchange of graduate linguists with Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, and it has recently begun an undergraduate exchange with the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. The Office of International Studies also provides advising and resource materials to University students who are seeking overseas study opportunities that are different than the ones it sponsors.

 

Other International Programming

When appropriate occasions have presented themselves, Eastern Michigan has extended its programs into other international locales. Eastern, in cooperation with the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Ohio), under a grant from the Domino's Foundation, has offered courses on the campus of Escuela International Sampedrana in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. These undergraduate course offerings have been intended to enable Central American students to transfer to universities in the United States. The program is very small, serving approximately 12 students. It was begun before NCA promulgated


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regulations that would require an on-site visit for programs serving non-American nationals. Currently, the program has been suspended due to very modest demand.

Eastern has also offered graduate courses in Nicosia, Cyprus. These courses, offered only in the Summer, are intended for American educators who teach overseas and who would find it impossible to return to the U.S. for such courses. The courses are offered principally by regular faculty who travel to Cyprus for this purpose. The program is monitored closely by a faculty member of the College of Education who is on-site during the period of the course offerings and who supervises all aspects of the program.

 

Independent Study and Distance Learning

The independent study and distance learning program of Continuing Education is small and of high quality. Currently 16 undergraduate courses are available for independent study through correspondence. Approximately 600 students are typically enrolled in these courses.

The independent study through correspondence began at Eastern before 1920, and during the late 1940s had enrolled over 1,000 students per year. During the 1970s, it was nearly eliminated since the Michigan legislature did not fund credits generated through correspondence study programs. A few older courses were still generating a few enrollments per year by 1981.

In 1981 there were eight correspondence courses being offered with 14 enrollments. In late 1983, a part-time coordinator was hired to resurrect such programming. All but two of the courses were discarded, and new courses were developed by Eastern Michigan faculty. The original two courses were completely updated. With a revised list of courses, the independent study through correspondence was once again offered to select students. Steady growth through modest marketing and continuing upgrading of course offerings have brought the program to its present size and quality.

 

Quality Control

The responsibility for evaluating instructional effectiveness and the quality and appropriateness of the academic curricula, both for regular on-campus and Continuing Education courses, has always remained with the academic departments. They have been assisted in their efforts by the Division of Academic Affairs "Instructor and Course Evaluation Project." This is an on-going, semester-by-semester evaluation instrument completed by students enrolled in every course offered by the University. All Continuing Education credit courses are a part of this evaluation.


p 92

In addition to this University-wide course evaluation, Continuing Education has conducted several studies of its programs. The foci of these studies were on student needs and program quality. These studies were:

 

Figure IV-4

Recent Assessment Conducted by Continuing Education

 

YEAR

STUDY FOCUS

RESPONSES

1984

Continuing Education Needs Assessment

900

1986

Weekend University Program Evaluation

253

1987

Traverse City Package Program

267

1988

Traverse City Graduate School Evaluation

272

1988

Weekend University Program Evaluation

104

1988

Traverse City Student Survey

698

1989

Continuing Education Needs Assessment

1,700

1989

Weekend University-College of Education

1,297

1989

"Packaged Program Study" (a dissertation)

24

Standard University course and instructor evaluations continue to be a part of all Continuing Education credit courses. In addition, Continuing Education continues to evaluate its special programs to make sure that they are meeting the non-traditional student educational needs and the quality standards of the University. As in the past, other University units such as the Graduate School and the Colleges and academic departments will be invited and encouraged to participate in these evaluations.

There are additional details available regarding the programs of Continuing Education at Eastern Michigan University. Selected additional materials are included in the appendices of this report and extensive background information is included in the primary data file for this report.

 

World College

The World College serves as a facilitating and coordinating center for international initiatives at Eastern, promoting the development of global perspectives in the University's curricula as well as in its research and service activities. World College is a center for international relations, developing and maintaining liaison with foreign academic institutions, governments and businesses, and serving as a clearinghouse of information and referrals regarding internationally focused projects, programs, events, and activities in which the University is involved. Committed to assisting our faculty and staff in internationalizing their own expertise and their offerings to students, the World College's emphasis is on collaboration and cooperation with all members of the University community who seek ways to broaden their awareness and understanding of the world outside the borders of the U.S.


p 93

The World College was created in 1987. Since its creation it has been involved in projects and staff activities in 36 different countries. Following are descriptions of the major initiatives in which the World College is involved.

 

Principal Services and Activities
International Cooperative Education Exchange (ICEE)

Begun in 1979, the Eastern Michigan University ICEE was the first federally-funded, international cooperative education exchange program in the United States. It provides foreign practical training experiences for students specializing in international business, language, and areas studies. The companies which have participated in the program include Ford; General Motors; J. P. Industries; ASC, Inc.; Daimler-Benz; Siemens; Renault; Pepsico Espaa; and many others. Currently, we have agreements for the exchange of student interns with business schools in Argentina, France, Spain, West Germany, and placements have also been arranged in Belgium, Switzerland, Venezuela, Honduras, and Taiwan. The ICEE is now being extended, beyond its origins in international business, to technology, public administration, education, and other specializations.

 

Faculty Release Time

The World College seeks to meet its objectives by providing release time for faculty members to prepare funding proposals and administer grant projects, to develop international exchanges, and to conduct internationally-focused research.

 

Lectures and Symposia

In order to help accomplish its mission, the World College sponsors on-campus lectures and symposia with internationally-renowned scholars. Recent examples include Dr. Johann Loehn, state commissioner for technology transfer in Baden-Wuerttemberg, West Germany, and Dr. Everett Rogers, professor of communications at the University of Southern California at Los Angeles.

 

Study Centers

The World College's goals are furthered by support for the development and maintenance of study centers focusing on specific countries or geographic regions. Eastern's Canadian Studies Center has received assistance, and support has been provided toward the creation of a Center for Netherlandic Studies. The World College is also discussing possible ways to support the Center for Chinese American Studies, approved by the Board of Regents in 1987.


p 94

Journals

Financial support has been provided for professional journals published at the University that cover international topics. Studies in Comparative International Development, Sulfur, and The Journal of Narrative Technique are examples.

 

Hosting Foreign Visitors

The World College has hosted receptions, lunches, and dinners for official delegations from foreign academic institutions, government agencies, and business organizations. In the past two years, the World College has hosted delegations from China, Taiwan, The Netherlands, Japan, West Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Mexico, Honduras, and other countries.

 

Research

The World College is supporting research of various kinds, among which are faculty research projects involving international perspectives in fields such as international business communication and translation into English of foreign literary works. Other types of supported research include surveys related to international education program development and business and professional language studies in the USA, and exploration of the feasibility of projects abroad in Liberia, Egypt, Honduras, and Venezuela.

 

Travel Subsidies

The World College helps to develop the international expertise of our faculty and staff members by providing financial assistance for travel to international meetings. Since its creation late in 1987, the World College has supported more than 60 trips abroad by faculty and staff members from 25 Eastern departments in all five Colleges and the Graduate School, who have visited and exchanged ideas with colleagues in over 30 foreign countries.

 

Conference Organization and Sponsorship

The World College promotes the international exchange of ideas and perspectives through participation in international professional meetings. The annual Eastern conference on languages for world business, recognized as the premier meeting of its kind in the United States, is one example. Among the other international conferences in which the World College is involved are: Eastern's Canadian Studies Center's Conference on International Water Management (Spring 1988), the International Foster Care Organization Conference (Summer 1989), the Conference on Internationalizing the Curriculum in Higher Education (Summer 1990), and the International Conference on Heritage Presentation and Interpretation (Summer 1991).


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New Curricula

Staff members from the World College were key participants in bringing external funding to the University for the creation of new, interdisciplinary programs of study combining professional education with foreign language and international studies. Examples are the joint B.B.A./B.A. in Language and World Business (Title VI, U.S. Department of Education), the proposed B.A. in Language and International Relations (Title VI, U.S. Dept. of Education), and the project to develop an M.A. in Export Economics (Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Dept. of Education).

 

Collaboration with College of Education and Continuing Education

In the summer of 1988, Eastern Michigan's College of Education and the World College co-sponsored the initiation of the Eastern Michigan University Graduate Overseas Educators Program in Cyprus which provides graduate-level courses for academic credit to Americans teaching overseas. The program continued in the summer of 1989, and may be expanded to a second location in West Germany in the near future.

World College staff members provided guidance in designing, writing the proposal, and gaining approval for a project in Honduras, funded by Domino's and Paul G. Orr Foundations. The project includes the creation of a Consortium of American Universities in Central America (CAUCA) and the offering of general education courses for Latin American students at an international school in San Pedro Sula. It will provide an opportunity each year for some Eastern faculty members to live and teach in a foreign country, and will prepare some Central American students to come to the University to complete undergraduate degrees. In the summer of 1989, the World College supported the development of an annual program of Continuing Education extension course offerings taught by Eastern faculty members in Davos, Switzerland.

 

Collaboration with Corporate Services

The World College has assisted Eastern's Division of Corporate Services in the design and marketing of seminars, short courses, and workshops on cross-cultural training and other related international topics, aimed at business people and the general public. A recent, highly-successful example is the workshop Doing Business in Japan which attracted over 40 people on March 17, 1989.

 

Collaboration with Graduate School

One of the main areas of collaboration between the World College and the Graduate School is the development of an agreement of cooperation on various levels between Eastern Michigan University and the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM) in


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Mexico City. The World College funded an Eastern delegation trip to Mexico City in May 1989, during which the formal agreement of cooperation was signed.

 

China Exchange Program

The administration of scholarly exchange agreements between EMU and eight academic institutions in China and Taiwan is housed in the World College. Recent events in the People's Republic of China may force Eastern to focus resources on activities with Hualien Normal College and other schools in Taiwan, which will include the exchange of professors and students, and the sharing of publications, research, and academic information.

 

Collaboration with Michigan Department of Education

For the 1988-1990 period, the World College has secured grants from the Michigan Department of Education to develop the exchange of public school teachers with the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg in West Germany. The exchange was implemented in the summer of 1989 when the first group of nine Michigan teachers spent a month observing schools, team-teaching classes, and sharing perspectives with West German counterparts.

 

Japan Center for Michigan Universities

In conjunction with the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of the sister-state relationship between Michigan and Shiga Prefecture of Japan, the World College worked with representatives from the 14 other State-supported universities to create the Japan Center for Michigan Universities. Three Eastern Michigan University students won competitive scholarships of $7,500 each to study Japanese language and culture at the Center in Japan for the 1989-90 academic year.

It would be quite logical to discuss the operation of the World College in several different sections of this report, including the sections that deal with faculty research, University services, as well as public and community relations. The World College is included in this chapter of the educational programs and learning experiences of the University to stress its principal function: the internationalizing of student and faculty perspectives sufficiently to ensure that Eastern's educational programs will prepare individuals to function well in and contribute successfully to a world that is increasingly interdependent.

 

Special Activities Extending from the University's Academic Programs

In a healthy university environment there tends to be creative outgrowth from the conduct of the academic programs. Eastern has many such outgrowths, some of which lead to research and scholarship (discussed in Chapter VI of this report) some of which leads to service efforts such as those of the Institute for Corporate Services (discussed in


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Chapter VII ). There are other endeavors that are difficult to categorize as either research or service alone. Typically such endeavors have a reciprocal relationship with the teaching programs of the University, enriching them and challenging the faculty who conduct them to remain responsive to changes in the world.

At Eastern the work of entities such as the Michigan Consumer Education Center, the Collaborative School Improvement Program, the Institute for the Study of Children and Families, the Vocational Teacher Education Conference, certain activities of the Coatings Research Institute,&emdash;all represent cases in which the instructional program is enhanced and complemented by faculty and student participation in work beyond the classroom. Also of important note is the influence of such programs as the annual Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Symposium as well as the co-curricular activities of several departments such as the nationally-recognized Forensics Program of the Department of Communication and Theatre Arts.

These and other activities, too numerous to list completely here but detailed in the primary data file for this report, represent the vitality of the instructional programs at Eastern Michigan University and their capacity to propel students outward into a full engagement with the world in which they will work and for which they will share responsibility.

 

Analysis of Grading Practices

Of fundamental importance to the instructional programs of all colleges and universities is productive communication between faculty and students regarding standards of academic performance and the extent to which they are actually achieved by students. Typically some form of grading system is employed to facilitate such communication and to certify to the larger world the quality of the work done by graduates.


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Eastern employs the following grading system to accomplish those ends:

 

Figure IV-5

Undergraduate and Graduate Grading System at Eastern Michigan University

 

Undergraduate

Grade

Significance

Grade points per

semester hour

A
Exceptionally High Order
4.0

A-

3.7

B+

3.3

B
Distinctly above the average
3.0

B-

2.7

C+

2.3

C
Average
2.0

C-

1.7

D+

1.3

D
Below Average
1.0

D-

0.7

E
Unsatisfactory (denoting failure)
0.0

 

Graduate

Grade

Significance

Grade points per

semester hour

A
Outstanding Performance
4.0

A-

3.7

B+

3.3

B
Good Performance
3.0

B-

2.7

C+

2.3

C
Inadequate Performance
2.0

C-

1.7

E
Failing Performance
0.0

 

Other designations such as "I" for incomplete, "W" for withdrawal, and so forth are used to indicate other conditions to the student. Full details are contained in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogues. What is pertinent to the current discussion is the aspect of these systems that denote levels of student performance.

The following histograms describe the recent grading practice patterns at Eastern Michigan University at both undergraduate and graduate levels.


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Figure IV-6

Undergraduate Grading Patterns
at Eastern Michigan University


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Figure IV-7

Graduate Grading Patterns
at Eastern Michigan University


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After a review of recent literature on grading practices and grade inflation as a national phenomenon, it was clear that no normative data existed and little usable comparative data was available to put into perspective grading practices at Eastern. An analytical paradigm suggested by Jack R. Wegman in "An Economic Analysis of Grade Inflation Using Indexing," (College and University, Winter, 1987) was adopted to guide the assessment of grading practices at Eastern.

A base period of 1980/81 was selected against which to measure the change in distribution of grades across the range of "A" through "E" for the whole University and for each College. The results are summarized in Figures IV-2 and IV-3, above. Full tabular data are included in the appendices of this report.

It is apparent that University-wide grade distribution at the undergraduate level has remained fairly stable with only a modest shift away from the "C" range and toward the "A" range. Important differences are notable among Colleges with Arts and Sciences remaining fairly stable, the College of Business actually demonstrating some deflation of grading tendencies, the College of Technology showing a notable pattern shifting distribution from the "C" to the "A" range and the Colleges of Education and Health and Human Services demonstrating a pronounced shift of distribution toward the "A" range.

At the graduate level there is a distinctly different trend, made more pronounced by the difference in the grading system (the "D" range is absent) in which a substantial shift toward the "A" range is immediately recognizable. The Colleges of Education and Technology have largely driven this trend, though Arts and Sciences and Health and Human Services have contributed as well. The College of Business distributions have remained more stable, yet there too a shift toward the "A" range is detectable.

There are certain factors that may help to explain grading distributions that have tended to shift upward since the base period of 1980/81. For example, during this same period there has been an increase in the average test scores of entering undergraduates (see Chapter V of this report). Students must have an undergraduate grade point average of 2.5 or better to achieve full admission into the College of Education. An increased number of graduate students have come from more mature age cohorts (see Chapter V), consequently performance may be more strongly motivated by professional advancement considerations.

All of these factors may be significant. But, after careful analysis the University Deans' Advisory Council agreed that the statistical evidence pointed clearly to


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unacceptable grade inflation at Eastern Michigan University. Because of that concern the Council has endorsed the following policy which is in the process of being implemented to monitor grading practices at the University.

 

Policy on the Monitoring of

Grading Practices at

Eastern Michigan University

 

In order to monitor the efficacy of the University's grading system as a means of communication between faculty and student the following policy will be adopted beginning with the Fall term, 1990:

  1. At the end of each term grading distribution data in the form of histograms will be made available to the Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs and to the Deans of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Health and Human Services, and Technology.

  2. The Associate Vice-President will examine the grade distributions of all five of the Colleges at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. If, after examining those distributions, she/he finds trends or distributions that appear unusual she/he will invite comment from the appropriate Dean on the data and their meaning.

  3. The Dean, if requested to do so by the Associate Vice-President, will seek the advice of the College instructional council, and with that advice prepare a written commentary on the grading data to be submitted to the Associate Vice-President within six weeks after receiving the request for comment.

  4. The Deans will examine the grade distributions of all departments within their respective Colleges at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. If, after examining those distributions, she/he finds trends or distributions that appear unusual, she/he will invite comment from the appropriate department head on the data and their meaning.

  5. The department head, if requested to do so by the Dean of the College, will seek the advice of the departmental instructional council, and with that advice prepare a written commentary on the grading data to be submitted to the Dean with one month after receiving the request.

Grade distribution data will be reported to the Associate Vice-President and the Deans by the Director of Institutional Analysis and Reporting (IAR). The Director of IAR will make available to department heads, upon request, the grade distributions of the full faculty of their respective departments. The Office of Analysis and Reporting will hold a full record of the grade distribution data distributed in connection with this policy.

 

This policy is intended to intensify the discourse throughout the faculty about the appropriate role of the grading system as a means of communicating the nature of University academic standards and the extent of their achievement by students. It is a policy that scrutinizes grading practices at all levels of the University, involving faculty and key administrators alike. It is intended to be collegial and participative.


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Evaluation of Educational Programs and Learning Experiences

Educational programs and learning experiences conducted by Eastern Michigan University have been examined for their effectiveness on a regular basis via the routine program review process (see Chapter III). A complete collection of all such program reviews is part of the primary data file for this report and will be available to the visiting evaluation team. In addition, the University holds specialized accreditations from twenty-three discipline-based accrediting agencies (a full list is included among the appendices to this report), consequently still further scrutiny of the academic programs has been conducted during recent years. In addition to these on-going evaluation efforts, several other sources of information have been consulted in preparation for this report, including the individual departmental self-studies, recent results from the Students' Reaction to College survey conducted with the assistance of Educational Testing Service, and the aggregated data from nearly twenty years of University course evaluations done each term by students on all courses taught by the University.

In the primary data file for this report is extensive, course-by-course, faculty-by-faculty evaluation data. Figure IV-8 on the next page is a typical sample of recent trends in the students' ratings of the overall effectiveness of courses University-wide. The tabular data on which the graph is based is included in the appendices of this report. As can be seen clearly in the histogram of courses rated Winter, 1988, Fall, 1988, Winter, 1989, and Fall 1989, the overwhelming majority of courses are rated in the B+ to C+ range. Employing the same terminology as the University's grading system it can be asserted that the great majority of courses offered by the University are considered by students to be "distinctly above average" in quality.

Results from the survey Students' Reaction to College (SRC), provide additional information regarding the character of the University's educational program. SRC was administered to a sample of 454 students, representative of the five Colleges and the various class levels from first-year undergraduate to graduate student. (A copy of full survey results is included in the primary data file for this report and will be available for examination by the visiting evaluation team.) Results reported in this chapter are grouped into two categories: Instructional Effectiveness and Educational Climate.

Instructional Effectiveness is reflected through ratings on three subjects:

1. Quality of Instruction - student perceptions of instructors' effectiveness in explaining material in understandable and interesting ways, in providing information not available in the text, in introducing challenging information in the classroom, and in evaluating students fairly.


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Figure IV-8

University-Wide Assessment of Courses

 

Students' Ratings of Courses

 

 

 

2. Form of Instruction - student reactions to type of instruction; for example, traditional vs. non-traditional forms of instruction (classroom subject-matter instruction vs. credit by examination, off-campus activities, work/study programs).

3. Student Centered Instruction - student reactions to methods of instruction, type of assignments, and class structure (traditional lecture classes vs. independent study, informal classroom discussions with no formal texts).

 

Educational Climate is reflected through ratings on six subjects:

  1. Academic Performance - student concerns about how well they have done in exams and papers, how frequently they have felt left behind, how well they have understood the course material, how much trouble they have had studying, and similar experiences of academic accomplishments or difficulty.


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  1. Grading - student observations on the institution's grading practices (traditional grades vs. non-traditional grading practices, general fairness and so on).
  2. Studying - perception of the relation between students' study habits and their success or failure in courses.
  3. Instructor Accessibility - perceptions of availability of instructors to respond to concerns of students.
  4. Involvement with Faculty - the degree of student satisfaction or dissatisfaction with interaction with faculty members on course matters or extracurricular activities.
  5. Counseling and Advising - perceptions of career planning and accessibility of faculty advisors and counselors.

 

Comparative data was provided by Educational Testing Service for each subject on which students rated the University. The comparative data are based on responses from approximately 12,000 students at 59 four-year colleges and universities. All data shown on the graphs are the average percent responding favorably on the subject.

 

Figure IV-9

Students' Reaction to College

 

Instructional Effectiveness


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Figure IV-10

Students' Reaction to College

 

Educational Climate

 

 

Clearly, Eastern compares quite closely, in Instructional Effectiveness and Educational Climate, to the profile presented by the institutions from which comparative data were acquired.

Educational Testing Services makes provision in SRC for institutions to pose locally-written questions. Among the twenty local questions posed was the following:

Eastern Michigan University has expanded its emphasis on applied programs (industrial technology, business, nursing, etc.) in recent years. I approve of this direction in academic programming at the University.

Five response choices were offered: Definitely Not, No, Indifferent or Undecided, Yes, Definitely Yes. Seventy-one percent of the sample responded either Yes or Definitely Yes to this question, while only 6% responded either No or Definitely Not. (It


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is important to note that, at the undergraduate level, while the University has expanded applied programs it has also recently strengthened its Basic Studies program as well.)

To this student assessment of the University's educational programs is added the peer assessment that has gone on as a normal part of internal academic program review and specialized external accreditation reviews. Those assessments combined with the information gathered from the department and College levels during this current self-study indicates that the University presents curricula and associated courses as well as support experiences of good calibre and contemporary value. Of particular note is the combination of a strengthened Basic Studies Curriculum with an expansion of applied programs. There is, however, still much to be done in the future.

First, the ratings from both the Course Evaluation System and the SRC present a respectable overall performance, but not a superior one. Second, while the information gathered from program review and specialized accreditation indicate that there are instances of superior programs, there are also instances in which average performance is treated as acceptable. And, finally, the University has a significant grade-inflation problem, localized in certain units, most noticeable in the College of Education at the graduate level.

Specific actions have been undertaken that will address these concerns. First, the Deans' Advisory Council and the Office of the Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs has adopted a policy to monitor grading practices that intensifies the involvement of the academic Deans and places the central authority of the Division of Academic Affairs squarely behind the process. Second, a new procedure has been added to the program review process in which the Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs will issue yearly a summary report on the status of the academic programs of the University intended to cast the strongest light on the most notable strengths and concerns that emerge from the current and most years' rounds of academic program review. The report will become a major point of focus for discussion each year on the part of the senior leadership of the Division of Academic Affairs. Finally, the University has embarked on a major new initiative to develop a system of student outcome assessment to inform the conduct of the current academic programs and to guide changes in response to student achievement and shortcomings. The plan for that assessment initiative is included in the primary data file for this report. Further information will be available to the evaluation team during its visit.


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Eastern Michigan University is a mature institution with a firm command over the character of the educational programs and learning experiences it offers. The University is proud of its strengths and aware of its challenges.