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Office of the Provost

Provost's Briefing for September 18, 2019


Student Engagement & Success Updates

Eastern’s Mentor Collective Continues to Grow!

Mentor Collective is a peer mentoring program which began as a pilot program with First Generation students during the 2018-2019 academic year. Nearly 200 students, including matched mentors and mentees participated. Students (mentees) in the program had a 15% higher retention rate than those who were eligible and did not participate. For 2019-2020, the program has expanded to include students who were admitted with academic risk factors. We are well on our way to reaching the goal of 350 total participants in this effective student success program.

New Partnership Brings Dropped Out Students Back to Campus

One important new retention/graduation initiative is a partnership with Re Up Education. Re Up is reaching out to our dropped out students who have been away from EMU for more than one academic year. Their coaches are helping our students return to complete their degrees. Thirty-one (31) former students returned during the summer and, so far, more than 150 are returning for Fall. This partnership is making a significant difference in retaining our students and positioning them for successful progress toward graduation.

Eastern Recognized with Equity in Education Award

The Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (MACRAO) recently recognized Eastern’s Gateways to Completion program with the Equity in Education Award. This award recognizes programs that promote equitable opportunities within higher education for marginalized populations. Gateways to Completion is a project to improve student performance in important gateways courses, which are defined as courses that are that are entries to degree programs and have high enrollment/low success rates. Eastern identified significant performance gaps between success rates of traditional students and those who are first generation and belong to underserved communities. Course redesign and adapting to where students are in three courses (MATH, CHEM, BIO) has resulted in improvements in overall student performance and significant improvement among students in these particular populations.

Update on Advancements in Academic Success Partnerships

Academic Success Partnerships has multiple programs that equip students with relevant skills and training to be active learners focused on persistence and degree completion. Here are some highlights and updates on their good work:

  • Students enrolled in the MAGIC Program (Mentorship, Access, and Guidance in College) which serves students who had experienced foster care, achieved a 100% student completion rate at the end of the Winter 2019 semester.
  • The Michigan College and University Partnership Initiative known as Baccalaureate Education Achievement Track (MICUP BEAT) premiered a learning community via Canvas to increase information and involvement access for Eastern transfer students coming from partnering institutions.
  • THRIVE, the unified program name for BrotherHOOD and SisterHOOD initiatives that transitioned to Academic Service Programs a year ago, hosted 40 students the last two weeks in August for an extended orientation. These students moved into their living-learning community and participated in a series of training and workshops along with daily course preparation lectures designed to strengthen their academic rigor and stamina.

2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Academic Programs: Call for Academic Proposals

The MLK Planning Committee invites proposals from faculty, staff, students, and community members for academic sessions to be offered on Monday, January 20, 2019, from 8:30–11 a.m. that support the MLK Celebration theme of, Rise Up Against Injustice.

The Academic Programs Sub-committee will consider academic sessions that explore, analyze, or inform our understanding of Dr. King’s legacy. Session content may explore the past, present, or future and address issues, challenges, and successes related to the 2020 theme.

Proposals are due by October 28, 2019. Download the full call for proposals here. For more information visit the Martin Luther King Jr., Celebration website. Questions may be directed to the Academic Program Chair Julia Heck at jheck3@emich.edu or 734.487.8036.

Call for 2020 MLK Luncheon Student Masters of Ceremonies and Keynote Address Host Applications

Eastern is seeking two students to serve as the Masters of Ceremonies at the MLK President's Luncheon and one student to serve as host for the MLK Keynote Address on Monday, January 20, 2020. Please consider sharing this call for applications with your students as this is an opportunity for them to gain professional speaking experience, networking and resume building for one of Eastern's most recognized events. The deadline to apply is October 28, 2019. More information may be found in the Get Involved section of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration website.


High Quality Academic Programs & Quality Research Updates

New Academic Programs

This fall sees the beginning of several new academic programs on campus, including:

Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science

A program designed for those students who want a solid background in computer science but who also wish to pursue a significant depth of knowledge in other disciplines. Providing greater flexibility to students' overall curricula, this program should allow graduates of this program to pursue a second bachelor's degree while at Eastern.

Master of Science in Cyber security

This program aims to establish a quality and sustainable graduate program in cyber security to produce the much needed post-graduate level professionals for the public and private sectors to better protect local, regional, and national security.

Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Technology, and Workforce Education

This program provides students interdisciplinary concepts required to be an effective and professional educator in secondary, post-secondary, industry, government, or nonprofit organizational training and education.

Master of Art in Teaching Special Education

This program provides specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of a student with a disability, including instruction conducted in various settings such as the classroom, the home, hospitals, and institutions. Special education provides three different types of interventions (preventive, remedial, and compensatory) and instruction consisting of who to involve, what to teach, how to teach, and where to teach.

Eastern’s College of Health and Human Services Hosts the Seventh Annual Global Perspectives on Health Care Teleconference

Dr. David Thomas, Professor, Therapeutic Recreation, has organized the seventh annual international teleconference: Interdisciplinary Trends in Healthcare for Older Adults” involving faculty from the College of Health and Human Services and internationally renowned gerontologists from the Institute of Gerontology and the Post Graduate Medical Academy in Kiev, Ukraine.  The Teleconference will be broadcast from Eastern’s Halle Library Auditorium from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, October 25, 2019.  This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact David Thomas at dthomas@emich.edu or 734.487.6839.


Student Service & Engagement Updates

Organization led by Eastern faculty to Receive Award for Efforts in Teaching Environmental Stewardship

The Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition (SEMIS), led by Ethan Lowenstein, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction in the Department of Teacher Education, has been awarded the 2019 Sustainable Communities Champion Award by EcoWorks. EcoWorks is a Detroit based nonprofit with over thirty years of providing services at the intersection of community development and sustainability. SEMIS is receiving the award for outstanding efforts in teaching environmental stewardship to area youth. You can read more about this prestigious award here.

Ypsilanti Schools and College of Education Collaborative

The College of Education and the Ypsilanti Community Schools (YCS) are in the second year of a mutually supportive collaborative project that involves the embedding of faculty and methods courses into YCS elementary schools. This project team is led by Dr. Jackie LaRose and funded through two years of support from the Porter Endowed Chair. This fall at Estabrook Elementary School we will offer three methods classes in whole or in part on site: Literacy, Science, and Mathematics. At Holmes Elementary this fall Dr. LaRose and her team will be building relationships with the faculty and administration and will teach a section of the curriculum methods course on site this winter. All of these activities are also informing the expansion of school-based experiences for elementary education majors starting in their freshman year as part of the re-envisioning of the way elementary education teachers will be prepared in the future at EMU.

Leadership Talent Development for Detroit Public Schools

This is also the second year of a partnership between the College of Education and the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD). The goal of this collaboration is to provide a pipeline of transformative leaders for the city of Detroit that includes enrollment in the College's K-12 Leadership program and the earning of micro-credential in leadership coaching. Students in the program receive intensive professional development and on-the-job coaching that is directly aligned with DPSCD’s core values of Excellence, Equity, and Service. Participants also receive Michigan Department of Education approved hours for their participation, a small stipend, and credit hours that can be applied to a master’s or doctorate in Educational Leadership EMU. The cohort of participants from last year will join the COE faculty in presenting the program to other DPSCD leaders this coming year.


Operational Effectiveness Updates

Provost’s Work Group on Communication

I am pleased in particular to announce the formation of a Provost’s Work Group to begin studying ways to improve our communication efforts and overall climate of discourse in Academic and Student Affairs. It is my hope that this group will identify ways in which we can engage more effectively our constituents – faculty, staff, students, and external stakeholders – in open, transparent, timely, and respectful information gathering and sharing. In this way, it is hoped that we can seek genuine strategies and procedures for thoughtful input and engagement, and collaboratively address opportunities and challenges to our core academic mission as we look forward to the next decade.

Watch this space for additional information about this important undertaking – and how you might contribute – in the very near future!

Campus Facility Update

These campus renovation efforts at Eastern over the past ten years, which have included the Pray-Harrold, Mark-Jefferson, Strong, Sill, and Rackham Buildings – as well as the Fine Art Sculpture Studio – herald the University’s ongoing commitment to advancing the academic enterprise at EMU.

The new IHA Health Center@EMU, the result of a partnership between Eastern, the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, and IHA is nearing completion.  Located on the north side of the main campus adjacent to the Public Safety Building, this new facility will offer comprehensive primary care services, 7-day-a-week urgent care services including x-ray, electronic medical record capabilities (including an online patient portal), online appointment scheduling, and an on-site pharmacy. Prior to the opening of the new facility, University Health Services (UHS), currently located in the Snow Health Center, will remain open until November 1, 2019.  IHA Health Center@EMU will open on November 4, 2019.  The Snow Pharmacy will remain open through November 26, 2019.  CAPS will continue to operate in Snow Health Center through mid-January, at which time it will move to its new facility next to the IHA Health Center@EMU.  UHS operating hours for Fall 2019 are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

The University Psychology Clinic, currently located at 611 W. Cross Street will be housed in the new behavioral health facility with CAPS and will also move in late January.

You have likely noticed that Sill Hall, which houses our newly-renamed College of Engineering and Technology is currently being renovated. The newly-redesigned space will house exciting new classroom and laboratory space designed to enhance student learning, especially in terms of technology and other advancements to meet the needs of our growing programs in engineering, construction management, visual and built environments, and mobility studies. Renovations are scheduled to be complete in time for the opening of Fall 2020.

Olds Robb/Rec IM renovation: This $16 million project involves extensive improvements to fitness and training areas, a new entrance and attractive collaboration and gathering spaces. The third through fifth floors will be compete in fall 2019, with the first and second floors to be done in fall 2020.

Mark Jefferson Science Complex – Neuroscience and Fermentation Science build out: The $2.1 million project involves renovation of the fifth floor of the complex to support the recently established Neuroscience and Fermentation Science programs. The project will be complete for this fall 2019.

Strong Hall: The home of our Departments of Physics and Astronomy and Geography and Geology opens for its first fall semester this year. Renovations in Strong were actually completed last Winter Semester, but this year marks the first full academic year for this newly-renovated space.

IT campus capital projects: This work, completed in August of this year, involved the updating of more than 100 classrooms with technology, completing a seven-year cycle; along with computer network upgrades in all buildings and campus Wi-Fi in the Tower residence halls. 350 classrooms across campus have been upgraded overall as part of this project.

Coming Soon: Classroom Space Utilization Conversations

This year we will be engaging the campus community in discussions about classroom space utilization in an effort to explore both scheduling efficiencies and “right-sizing” our instructional offerings to make better use of the rich campus environment of our main campus. To that end, and with a nod to current trends in campuses across the country, the university will begin conversations this fall to, among other things, relocate the College of Business currently housed in the Owen Building in downtown Ypsilanti to the main campus. While a longer-term effort, I hope that engaging in these discussions this fall will lay the groundwork for exciting new opportunities for cross- and interdisciplinary programming across the campus.


Mark Your Calendar!

SAFE Now Walk for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Awareness

Eastern’s SAFE (Stigma and Fear End) Now and Counseling and Psychology Services (CAPS) have partnered with a number of student organizations, such as Active Minds, to host the third annual EMU Walk for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Awareness. This event increases awareness surrounding suicide prevention, helps to reduce the stigma and fear around mental illness, and reminds those suffering that someone cares.

Date: Friday, September 27, 2019
Time: 3:30–5 p.m. (Walk begins at 4 p.m.)
Location: Big Bob’s Lake House

For more information please contact Ellen Gold, Dean of Students at emu_deanofstudents@emich.edu or 734.487.1107.