Standard 4. The Academic Program - Projection
Overall, we are satisfied that Stonehill's growth and pace of change has led to sustainable advances in many areas of the curriculum. But we have further changes to make and good data on which to base the decisions for change. For example, we hope to implement changes to the General Education program on an aggressive schedule. One expensive detail is the first-year seminar program, especially if we attempt to have all first-year students take the seminar in the fall semester. Still, this is a goal for the coming planning period based on the clear results of learning assessments in these writing-intensive classes.
Moving forward, as we enter the next program review cycle, we will try to match the program review process more closely to the budget process to ensure that planning, evaluation, and change are accomplished on a reasonable cycle for all departments.
Further work should be done in future years to "map" program goals and to demonstrate how and where they are accomplished at the course- and program-level. Adoption of the credit model will require that we revisit consistency of major synthesis, general education synthesis, and academic rigor. This will be undertaken over the next two years.
In fact, we have developed a timetable for implementing the credit model. The Registrar's office will begin migrating to the Banner ERP system in Summer 2009. This will impose certain time constraints. For example, while the new ERP system is being built, there will be a freeze on implementing changes to the curriculum. All program changes for implementation in the academic years 2010‐2011 and 2011‐2012 must be submitted to and approved by the Curriculum Committee by the end of Spring semester 2009. Proposals submitted to the Curriculum Committee after that time cannot be implemented until Fall 2012.
The Classes of 2011, 2012, and 2013 will graduate under the present course model. The Classes of 2014 and 2015 will complete their entire curricula under the credit model and must earn a minimum of 120 credits to graduate because of the freeze on curriculum changes (120 credits is the equivalent of forty 3-credit courses). The class of 2016 will be the first class under the credit model required to earn 124 credits for graduation.
The Curriculum Committee will prepare an assessment report for the Faculty Senate, the Provost and the President after the first two years of implementation. In Fall 2009 the Faculty Senate will appoint a committee to gather data for this assessment. The purpose of forming this committee so quickly is that baseline data must be gathered now. The Faculty Senate and the Provost must consider a plan for ongoing assessment of the credit model beyond the initial assessment report.
Finally, while our current model of study abroad that is highly dependent on third-party providers has allowed us to grow dramatically the number of students who take a semester abroad, we must look for ways to keep international experiences cost-effective, so we may seek to grow some of our own faculty-led programs in strategic locations.