2012 Leveraging Excellence Recipients
Read the complete feature articles series…
The first level of impact for an innovation or improvement project may be obvious: a more efficient or effective process. There are two additional levels of impact: individual professional development and a change in the organizational culture.
The Penn State Commission for Adult Learners, composed of faculty, staff, and students from across the University system exists to increase enrollment of and improve the adult learner experience at Penn State. In the fall of 2011 a total of 4,807 faculty members were invited to participate in a survey to gather information relative to (1) current attitudes toward adult learners at Penn State, (2) perceptions of the unique needs of adult learners, (3) the types of accommodations necessary for adult learners, and (4) identifying the needs of adult learners that are not currently being met. This panel will present the results of this survey, the background and methodology, and action steps that came about as a result. The panel will also focus on two specific initiatives – a joint effort with Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence to produce a faculty workshop that will inform and prepare faculty to better understand and work with adult learners and the Prior Learning Assessment Initiative.
Penn State’s Budget Planning Task Force was appointed by President Erickson in April 2012, and charged with developing systemic recommendations on how the University can deal with “budgetary challenges that are without parallel in its modern history.” Task Force co-chairs Robert Pangborn and David Gray (Interim Executive Vice President and Provost, and Senior Vice President for Finance & Business, respectively) will discuss the work of the group.
Panelists: John Cheslock, Director, Center for the Study of Higher Education, and Associate Professor; and Christa Kelleher, Environmental Protection Agency STAR Fellow and doctoral student in Civil Engineering.
Presenting findings in a way that is easily understood by our audiences can be one of the most challenging aspects of the job for everyone who deals with data. As a faculty member in higher education with a specialization in advanced quantitative modeling and past director of Penn State’s Institutional Research Certificate Program, Dr. Cheslock has spent many years developing his skills in presenting data and in sharing them with his students. Ms. Kelleher, an emerging scholar in civil engineering, recently tackled this same issue from a disciplinary perspective in her 2011 Environmental Modeling and Software article, “Ten guidelines for effective data visualization in scientific publications.” Together, these two scholars will share some of their techniques for making your data speak.
This full-day workshop provides hands-on experience in the role of a facilitator working with a team addressing a planning, improvement, or assessment initiative. It also identifies the parallels between any of these approaches and classic project management, and the further considerations for the individual serving as both the group leader and facilitator.
The teams highlighted this month are:
- Eberly College of Science
- Student Affairs
- Undergraduate Education
Cost Saving Idea: Travel Services Department Discontinued
Support for Planning, Improvement, and Assessment in Your Unit
The Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment supports the University’s efforts to plan, assess, and improve programs and services. The Office is available, at no charge, to consult with units and use organizational change tools to help units assess their needs, develop strategic plans, improve key processes, and develop collaborative team environments. If you would like to discuss the planning, quality, or assessment needs of your unit with one of our consultants, please contact Mike Dooris, Executive Director, at 814-863-8721 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Quality Endeavors newsletter is published several times each semester. If you have any questions or comments about what you read here, or if you would like to suggest items for future newsletters, please contact Barbara Sherlock, Senior Planning and Improvement Associate, at 814-863-8721 or email@example.com. Read past issues on the Office’s Web site.
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