Florida Gulf Coast University |
SACS Self Study Report
Section IV Educational Program
IntroductionThe Commission expects each member institution to focus its resources and energies on the education of its students consistent with its purpose. Effectiveness in all educational programs, delivery systems, and support structures should be the primary goal of every institution. An effective institution of higher education demonstrates attention to curricular consistencies, pedagogical competence, student accomplishment, intellectual inquisitiveness, personal and professional development, ethical consciousness, academic freedom, faculty support, and an environment conducive to learning. It prepares its students to function in an increasingly diverse, complex, and global society by imparting to them not only a mastery of a body of knowledge and technical skills but also by providing opportunities for them to develop enhanced communication skills and the ability to reason critically.
The principles of institutional effectiveness as outlined in Section III pertain to all academic programs and units of the institution. It is expected that each program or unit will establish goals which derive from and support the purpose of the institution, evaluate its success in achieving these goals, and demonstrate the use of the evaluation in making appropriate modifications in resources, programs and services.
It is implicit in every requirement in the Criteria for Accreditation mandating a policy or procedure that the policy or procedure be in writing, be approved through appropriate institutional processes, be published in appropriate institutional documents accessible to those affected by the policy or procedure, and be implemented and enforced by the institution.
4.1 General Requirements of the Educational Program
DescriptionAll aspects of the educational program must be clearly related to the purpose of the institution.
The university's posture and practice have been consistent with the characteristics and expectations of its mission statement and guiding principles. The mission stresses the primacy of undergraduate education, explains that graduate and continuing education programs will be selected and developed based on need and resources, establishes specific degree program areas, and establishes FGCU's commitment to serving the local geographical area. The mission clearly spells out an expectation that FGCU will employ alternative learning and teaching systems. It calls for faculty public service involvement, applied research to support the teaching and service mission, student volunteer service through community projects, an emphasis on environmental studies, and senior projects or papers to synthesize learning. The guiding principles establish quality goals and affirm professional academic ideals. Specifically, the guiding principles declare the centrality of student success; affirm the ideals of academic freedom, diversity, an informed citizenry, and service as a public trust; and state the importance of technology, collaborative learning, and assessment for improvement and renewal.
These documents have guided and shaped the development and implementation of educational programs at every stage in the process. For example, faculty transitioning from the University of South Florida at Fort Myers were informed of the mission and expected to subscribe to it before joining the FGCU faculty, and new faculty were hired with full understanding and acknowledgement of the mission and guiding principles. Diversity, service to the local community, commitment to alternative learning systems and technologically-enhanced learning, and emphasis on environmental studies have been established in faculty hiring, in the development of an environmental studies program with community input, in the inclusion of service learning in all educational programs, and in the development of distance learning options. For further details, see Section II Institutional Purpose.
In addition, the university has established a set of overarching undergraduate student learning goals and outcomes that directly connect undergraduate programs to the expectations of the mission. For example, these goals and outcomes include ecological perspective, ethical perspective, technological literacy, and community service all of which are directly aligned with the mission of the university. The student learning goals and outcomes are the backbone of the undergraduate curriculum, and the faculty has elected a university Undergraduate Curriculum Team whose job it has been to review the curricula of all programs to ensure that they are clearly connecting program, college, and university student learning goals and outcomes. Each degree program completes syllabi for all courses and an Integrative Program Matrix which shows how its required courses meet program, college, and university outcomes. The university Undergraduate Curriculum Team reviews these materials and provides collegial feedback to the program regarding curricular design, curricular omissions and/or duplications, and the clarity, quantity, and quality of the connections between programmatic goals and university student learning goals and outcomes. For more detailed information, please see the descriptions of educational programs provided in Section 4.2 Undergraduate Programs.
Most graduate programs have come to FGCU by way of transition from USF Fort Myers. The university Graduate Curriculum Team has been elected by the faculty to review graduate curricula and to ensure that they are closely aligned with the university's mission and guiding principles. The Graduate Curriculum Team undertook to develop learning outcomes that were more appropriate to, and reflective of, graduate educational programs. After a lengthy process, during which numerous drafts were submitted to the faculty for discussion and revision, the Graduate Curriculum Team developed a set of graduate student learning outcomes. These faculty-sanctioned outcomes provide the university Graduate Curriculum Team with a standard for curriculum review; using them, the Graduate Curriculum Team can ensure that graduate programs are designed to serve the professional and practical needs of graduate students while also meeting the broad educational goals stated in the university's mission statement and guiding principles. For further information, see Section 4.3 Graduate Programs.
The university provides educational programs and experiences for learners in a variety of non-traditional formats. Students can, for example, participate in community-centered learning experiences via partnership arrangements with local businesses and government agencies. Students have the option to take many classes via distance learning technologies (e.g., World Wide Web, two-way interactive video, and television classes). FGCU has a strong commitment to distance learning, and the faculty continues to experiment with distance learning technologies. In addition, several programs are currently developing consortial relations with foreign institutions in China and Mexico. Currently students may enroll in FGCU course work that includes some foreign travel for credit awarded by FGCU. For more detailed information, see Section 4.5 Distance Learning, and Section 4.9, Consortial Relationships and Contractual Agreements.The institution must provide a competent faculty, adequate library/learning resources, and appropriate computer resources, instructional materials/equipment and physical facilities.
All in all, FGCU has strong educational resources. The faculty is outstanding: diverse, well prepared, and committed to teaching, scholarly activity, and institutional and public service. The FGCU annual survey gives faculty very high marks, and the SACS Candidacy Team stated in its report that the university "has provided ample evidence that it has employed an outstanding faculty especially suited to accomplish its mission and stated objectivesAs a whole, they constitute a diverse and distinguished group of scholars dedicated to teaching and to students." For further details, see Section 4.8 Faculty.
While Library Services offers significant educational resources to the FGCU community, it does not yet have adequate resources for graduate programs and some newer undergraduate programs. For on-campus users, the library is open seven days a week. For off-campus users, resources are available through the library Web page. The library Web page connects learners to WebLUIS, the searchable database of all books held by the FGCU and State University System libraries, and to a large number of other electronic databases which cite, and sometimes provide abstracts and/or on-line full-text versions of, research materials. The library's holdings include 118,000 volumes, about half of which were acquired through the purchase of the complete library holdings of Upsala College. For more detailed information, see Section 5.1 Library and Other Learning Resources.
FGCU's computer resources are outstanding. The university has made a commitment to the use of appropriate technology to enhance education, and that commitment is embodied in the computer resources that have been purchased and implemented so far. Those resources include a computer (PC or Macintosh) for every full-time faculty member, two computer labs (PC and Macintosh) for student use, two computer classrooms, a fast and effective networking and communications infrastructure, and T1 Internet access. In addition, most classrooms are equipped with multimedia podiums that enable professors and students to do multimedia presentations, to conduct computer modeling/simulation experiments, and to use library and Internet resources during class time. For further details, see Section 5.3 Instructional Technology.
FGCU is proud of the physical facilities that have been constructed in phase 1 of the campus development plan. The campus provides a pleasant environment for learning. Phase 1 and all future facility development will be guided by the university's Five Year Capital Improvement Plan, which was developed to meet the needs of the university as the student body grows. This plan is part of a legislative budget request that is prioritized during legislative sessions. Currently, three academic buildings are approved for funding in the next fiscal year: (1) classroom/faculty office building; (2) math, science, and technology building; and (3) fine and performing arts building. By the year 2004, the university plans to complete two more academic buildings, a teaching gymnasium, and some environmental science laboratories. In addition, the existing library will be remodeled (to convert office space to stack space) and expanded. These building priorities support the instructional mission of the university. For more detailed information, see Section 6.3.1 Financial Resources, and Section 6.4 Physical Resources.The student enrollment and financial resources of an institution must be sufficient to support an effective educational program.
Florida Gulf Coast University is the tenth member of the State University System of Florida and has received generous and ongoing financial backing from the Florida legislature. During FGCU's first year of instructional operation (1997-98), the unduplicated student headcount was 3,393 and the annual full time equivalent (FTE) student count was 1,275. The operating budget is predicated on 3,000 FTE students as an initial funding level, with consideration given by the central office, the Florida Board of Regents (BOR), for the university to grow into its basic level of funding in its first five years.
The FGCU enrollment plan projects growth to 4,860 FTE students in seven years. Given current funding levels that are based on 3,000 FTE, the university is moving along a carefully planned path toward achieving an FTE level consistent with the current funding level. Adequate funding has also been committed to provide necessary physical resources to meet the needs of a growing student population. The current inventory of nine buildings and over 250,000 square feet meets the current demands of a newly formed campus adequately.
Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation, Inc., is a strong financial supporter of the university. The foundation has provided for the funding of phase 1 of the student housing project, which has an estimated cost of $7 million dollars. Next year, the university will begin construction on a new math, science, and technology building with an estimated cost of $10 million dollars. The foundation was instrumental in raising the funding for this building ($2.5 million FGCU foundation, $2.5 million private foundation match, and $5 million from the State of Florida challenge grant program). The foundation annually provides funding for five endowed professorships and tens of thousands of dollars for student scholarships through its endowed gifts program. For more detailed information, see Section 6.3.1 Financial Resources.In addition, the institution must ensure appropriate levels of student achievement and equivalent quality of programs regardless of method of instruction or location of program.
The university's mission statement and guiding principles mandate a learning-centered approach to education. As mentioned previously, the university has clearly articulated sets of undergraduate student learning goals and outcomes and graduate student learning outcomes which provide coherent frameworks for the development and implementation of undergraduate and graduate programs. These frameworks, and the curriculum review process which relies on them, are intended to make student achievement the central standard for measuring the success of undergraduate and graduate programs, regardless of the methods of instruction used or the location of such programs (when distance learning is involved).
Each educational program at FGCU is independently developed and implemented by faculty with expertise and experience appropriate for that program. However, each program must establish a clearly articulated set of program outcomes that show direct correlation with, and ensure progress toward, the university undergraduate student learning goals and outcomes or the graduate student learning outcomes. The curriculum review process carried out by the Undergraduate Curriculum Team and planned by the Graduate Curriculum Team focuses particularly on the connections between expected outcomes at all levels: course, program, college, and university. These connections must be clearly documented, regardless of the methods of instruction used or the locations where instructional activity takes place. Each individual course, for example, is expected to articulate a group of specific learning outcomes. And each professor is expected to develop activities and student assessment plans that support those learning outcomes. The undergraduate and graduate curriculum review processes that have been developed are intended to ensure that this actually takes place.
This means that different sections of the same course, offered in different formats or in different locations, are aiming to reach the same outcomes, and that student learning results can be compared among sections regardless of instructional methods and technologies used.
Each program is also responsible for designing and implementing program assessment measures that evaluate the program's success at meeting its own outcomes. These measures will gather directional feedback, which will be used to refine the programs over time. For further details, see Section 3.1 Planning and Evaluation, Educational Programs.
The Steering Committee finds that all undergraduate educational programs have been, and are being, developed with the explicit aim of serving the established university learning goals and outcomes. The curriculum review process currently in place pays close attention to the relationship between the stated learning outcomes of each program and the overarching learning outcomes of the university. An Integrative Program Matrix is used to express and examine these relationships, and to show the ways in which the particular courses and programs of study being offered actually meet or do not meet the overarching undergraduate university student learning goals and outcomes. By November 1998, matrices will have been completed by all undergraduate academic programs and reviewed by the university Undergraduate Curriculum Team. A parallel process is being developed for graduate programs.
The Steering Committee finds that the faculty is competent, well prepared, and committed to the purposes of FGCU. It is significant that 84 percent of the faculty responding to the FGCU annual survey agreed with the statement "FGCU's mission was an important consideration in my decision to become a member of its faculty," and that more than 90 percent expressed familiarity with the FGCU mission and guiding principles. This level of faculty understanding and commitment bodes well for FGCU's educational programs.
An area of concern may be the faculty's response to the university's commitment to distance learning. In the FGCU annual survey, 55 percent of faculty disagreed with the statement "FGCU should offer more distance learning classes" and 54 percent disagreed with the statement "At FGCU, distance learning is an effective alternative to traditional instruction." This negative response might be construed as refusal to support the university's commitment to distance learning. But it can also be seen, in part, as a problem of definition and phrasing that makes faculty uncomfortable. It may also arise from the fact that the process of "building a university from scratch" makes prioritizing essential, and distance learning may not be as high a priority as initial design and implementation of programs.
The faculty at FGCU are very much involved with the use of technology to enhance instruction. Some concerns remain. The faculty are exploring issues of appropriateness: of the scope of technology use, of the sorts of technology used, and of the sorts of instruction that can take place via distance learning technologies. They are also exploring intellectual property rights and workload issues related to distance learning. See Sections 4.5 Distance Learning Programs and 4.8 Faculty for a more detailed analysis of faculty issues.
The Steering Committee finds that library and learning resources are currently adequate but in need of rapid development and expansion to meet the needs of faculty and students. More space needs to be allocated for library collections, better access to electronic resources needs to be assured, and better processes for purchasing and developing collections need to be put in place. See Section 5.1 Library and Learning Resources for a more detailed analysis of related issues.
The Steering Committee finds that FGCU's curriculum, curriculum review processes, and planning and evaluation procedures are designed in ways that will ensure the quality of programs. Because clearly-defined student learning outcomes are stated at each level course, program, college, and university and these outcomes provide a uniform framework for the assessment of student learning, then (1) student achievement can be measured effectively and held to high standards, and (2) we can be sure that the use of different methodologies and technologies will not lead to entirely different student learning results.
Nonetheless, it is difficult at this time to assess how well students are reaching university learning outcomes and how well programs are achieving their learning-centered program outcomes. Some critical university-wide decisions need to be made before educational programs can design assessment measures that are fully effective. The university must decide, for example, whether it wants to measure incremental growth in each of the areas represented by the learning goals, or to measure final mastery of particular skills (as yet to be defined), or to expect mastery of basic skills and advancement along a defined path of skill development. It must determine whether it should implement a set of university-wide assessment measures in addition to the program-specific measures developed by each program. And, it must determine how to establish baseline assessment measurements, which will ascertain student progress. Such baseline assessments are already being made in the writing program; the university may want to implement them in other areas as well.
In a learning-centered environment, curriculum and assessment issues are closely interwoven. FGCU's institutional structure currently separates the two, assigning university curriculum review duties to one group of people (Undergraduate and Graduate Curriculum Teams) and university assessment and evaluation duties to another group (the Office of Planning and Evaluation and the Institutional Effectiveness Committee). This separation may lead to a lack of communication and to less effective planning. If other structures would work better, they should be examined. In a university that stresses both faculty autonomy and shared program goals and outcomes, good communication and cooperation among the individuals and teams working at various levels of development and assessment (individual faculty, program, college, and university) is absolutely vital.
See the sections cross-referenced in this analysis for additional recommendations and suggestions.
S4.1-1 The Steering Committee suggests that the Office of Planning and Evaluation and the Institutional Effectiveness Committee investigate, and with faculty approval determine, how to formalize the university's expectations concerning student achievement and program evaluation. Issues for this investigation should include:
a. Whether students are expected to show mastery of a set of well-defined skills and abilities or to show some well-defined degree of progress toward those skills and abilities, and how those skills and abilities are to be defined for the purposes of measurement.
b. Whether university-wide assessment measures should be developed in addition to the program-specific measures developed by each program, and what sort of assessment measures should be used.
c. Whether baseline assessment measurements will be taken of student ability in some or all of the learning goal areas in order to allow us to record student progress, and what sorts of baseline assessment measurements should be used.
S4.1-2 The Steering Committee suggests that the Institutional Effectiveness Committee investigate the current institutional relationships of curriculum review and assessment planning groups and work to establish relational structures that will ensure good communication among the teams and offices working on these issues.
S4.1-3 The Steering Committee also suggests that a more formal relationship be established between the Office of Planning and Evaluation and each academic college to assure that the assessment plans and measures implemented at each level will work together effectively (and avoid unnecessary duplication).
4.2 Undergraduate Program
4.2.1 Undergraduate Admission
DescriptionGeneral admission policies must be established by the governing board on recommendation of the administration. The board is responsible for deciding the size and character of the student body. Implementation of specific admission policies, however, is the responsibility of the administration and faculty of the institution.
The admissions policies for the Florida State University System are established by the Board of Regents (BOR) by authority of Florida Statutes and the Florida Administrative Code (Rule 6C-6, F.A.C.). These policies establish minimum criteria for admission to all state universities in Florida.
FGCU enforces the BOR regulations regarding admission. Auditing is conducted externally by the Auditor General's Office of the Florida State legislature and the Florida Department of Education. Internal auditing is conducted by reviews of reports generated by the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records (ARR) each semester and by the FGCU inspector general. Specific BOR rules which apply to admissions are:
Rule 6C-6.001, F.A.C. Admissions
Rule 6C-6.002, F.A.C. Entering Freshmen
Rule 6C-6.004, F.A.C. Transfer Students-Undergraduate
Rule 6C-6.005, F.A.C. Acceptance of College Credit by Examination
Rule 6C-6.009, F.A.C. Admission of Foreign Students to the SUS Institutions
Rule 6C-6.018, F.A.C. Substitution or Modification of Requirements for Program Admission, Undergraduate Transfer, and for Graduation by Students with Disabilities
The BOR rules are used to develop specific FGCU policies. General admissions criteria were approved by the Deans Council on June 22, 1996, and are published in the university catalog.
The enrollment targets of the university have been determined by the BOR and projections outlined in the Ten Year Development Plan for a New University in Southwest Florida and the revised FGCU enrollment plan.
Implementation of specific admission policies at FGCU is the responsibility of the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records in the Division of Student Services as a unit of academic affairs. The faculty contribute to the implementation through the Admissions and Credits Committee comprised of one faculty representative from each college, two representatives from the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records and one member representing the Academic Advising Council. The Admissions and Credits Committee reviews any exception, waiver or modification to the established policies on undergraduate admissions into the university and readmission of students after academic dismissal.The unit responsible for administering the policies must be clearly identified.
The Division of Academic Affairs, under the leadership of the vice president of academic affairs, is responsible for the FGCU admissions policies. The Office of Admissions, Registration and Records in the Division of Student Services is responsible for policy. The Office of Admissions, Registration and Records is also responsible for first-time-in-college and transfer student admissions and compliance with the articulation agreements among the universities, community colleges, and school districts. [See Rule 6A-10.024, F.A.C., Articulation Agreements.]In those institutions in which various subdivisions maintain separate admission requirements, there must be institution-wide coordination of all admission policies and procedures.
FGCU can establish admissions criteria that exceed the minimum admission requirements set by the BOR. At this time, however, at FGCU only limited access programs have admission requirements higher than the minimum requirements set by the BOR. Limited access programs at FGCU include education programs, physical therapy, nursing, clinical laboratory science, and occupational therapy. Admission and access to these programs is determined by the various departments/schools. The student services coordinator of limited access and graduate admissions serves as the liaison between the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records and the academic programs. [See FGCU Limited Access Program Admission Policies.]Admission policies must be consistent with the educational purposes of the institution. They must include qualitative and quantitative requirements that identify students who demonstrate reasonable potential for success at that institution.
The pursuit of academic excellence and student success at the center of all university endeavors are continual themes throughout the mission and guiding principles of FGCU. Furthermore, the educational purposes of the university embrace a commitment to diversity as a source of renewal and vitality, and affirm that multiplicity and difference are accepted with tolerance and equity. Integral to the university's philosophy is instilling in students an environmental consciousness that balances their economic and social aspirations with the imperative for ecological sustainability. The FGCU admission policies are consistent with these educational purposes of the institution while upholding the quantitative and qualitative requirements of the Board of Regents.
The FGCU Admissions and Credits Committee convenes regularly to review the academic credentials of undergraduate applicants who do not meet standard admission quantitative criteria and may make exceptions to admit these students. The qualitative criteria used to assess students' potential for success include personal statements, recommendations from guidance counselors and extracurricular leadership, and are consistent BOR Rule 6C-6.001(2), F.A.C., which states, " . . . the universities shall take into consideration the applicant's academic ability, and may also consider creativity, talent, and character."
The Board of Regents establishes quantitative requirements for admission to the state universities to which FGCU adheres. First-time-in-college students are to be considered for admission under criteria outlined in the Rule 6C-6.001, F.A.C., as follows:
I. The student who has at least a "B" average (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) in fifteen required high school academic/Carnegie units. These required units are:
English four units (three of which must have included substantial writing requirements)
Mathematics three units (at the Algebra I and above levels)
Natural Science three units (two of which must have included substantial laboratory work)
Social Science three units (may include: history, civics, political science, economics, sociology, psychology and geography)
Foreign Language two units (both credits must be in the same language). An alternative method by which students can demonstrate foreign language competency is by College Level Examination Program.
Academic Electives four units (must be completed but are not included in the GPA calculation for admission).
II. The student who has less than a "B" average in the required academic units must present a combination of high school grade point average and entrance examination score as noted on the sliding scale outlined below. If the high school GPA in the required academic courses equals any entry in the GPA column, the scores on the SAT; the ACT taken prior to October 1989; or the Enhanced ACT (E-ACT) taken during or after October 1989 must equal or exceed the corresponding entry in the appropriate column below:
GPA E-ACT ACT *SAT1 SAT
2.0 25 24 1140 1050
2.1 24 23 1110 1020
2.2 23 22 1090 990
2.3 22 21 1060 960
2.4 22 21 1030 930
2.5 21 19 1010 900
2.6 21 19 1000 890
2.7 21 19 990 880
2.8 20 18 980 870
2.9 20 18 970 860
*SAT taken after 3/31/95
III. An applicant who does not meet these requirements may bring to the university other important attributes or special talents (such as outstanding artistic or musical ability) and may be admitted if, in the specific judgment of an appropriate faculty committee, it is determined from documentation provided that the applicant can be expected to do successful academic work.
Transfer students must meet the following admission criteria as outlined in Rule 6C.6.004, F.A.C. If a student has fewer than 60 semester hours of transferable credits, he/she must meet regular freshmen admission requirements. If a student is transferring with more than 60 semester hours, the student must have at least a cumulative 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average on all work attempted and be in good academic standing at the most recent institution.
If a student is transferring with an associate of arts degree from a Florida community college, the student is admissible to Florida Gulf Coast University. The admission of Florida community college associate in arts transfer students is governed by the articulation agreement between state universities and public community colleges in Florida (Rule 6A-10.024, F.A.C., Articulation Agreement). Admission is not guaranteed to programs designated as limited access.An institution admitting students with deficiencies in their preparation for collegiate study must offer appropriate developmental or remedial support to assist these students. Diagnostic testing should be an important element of a developmental or remedial program.
Florida Gulf Coast University is prohibited from offering college preparatory courses (Florida Statute 240.117). Edison Community College, in agreement with FGCU, will offer preparatory math courses on the FGCU campus. Admission test scores (SAT and/or ACT) and local placement scores determine eligibility for registration in entry-level courses.
Florida Gulf Coast University offers supportive and developmental programs for students who lack requisite college-level skills. These students are referred to the Admissions and Credits Committee, and if accepted, are referred to tutoring services or referred to the local community college to complete remedial course work. Follow-up reports of the students' remediation are submitted to the Board of Regents for review. The support programs, coordinated through the Division of Student Services, provide advising and counseling for academic, personal, and career needs and services in tutoring, testing, and accessibility issues.
Prior to taking a mathematics or statistics course, all students are required to test for placement by the Assessment Center in student services. The results of the placement test are used in advising students as to the appropriate mathematics or English courses in which to enroll.Each institution must regularly evaluate its admission policies.
State policies are regularly reviewed by the BOR and its staff and are revised in response to changes in state statutes or administrative policy. The ten admissions directors and registrars of the state universities meet at least three times per year to discuss policies. FGCU policies are regularly reviewed and revised as needed to ensure compliance with BOR policies by the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records with approval by the Deans Council. FGCU may promulgate local admissions criteria that exceed the established entrance requirements set by the BOR; however, only limited access programs within the university utilize this option by admitting students above the minimum requirements set by the BOR in Rule 6C-6.001, F.A.C., Admissions.It is the responsibility of the institution to ensure that its recruiting activities and materials accurately and truthfully portray the institution.
The Office of Admissions, Registration and Records coordinates undergraduate recruitment activities for the university. Distribution of information regarding admission policies and related enrollment information occurs through:
1. Written correspondence and electronic mail to inquiries.
2. Recruitment visits to high schools, community colleges, and businesses.
3. Campus visitation programs sponsored by the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records.
To ensure all printed materials and the university's Web site are accurate, faculty, and staff are directed to evaluate all content before publishing. A check and balance system ensures that the program fact sheets are reviewed by their respective colleges and by the Office of Evaluation and Planning for consistency across the university and updating as necessary. A representative from each college serves as a liaison to the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records for oversight of information used in information dissemination for undergraduate programs. Brochures used in distribution activities are designed and written by respective programs and colleges. The university catalog was developed through cooperative efforts of each program, college, and unit as needed with a catalog committee comprised of representation from each college, student services, and academic affairs. The information contained therein is deemed representative of the university until the subsequent publication.To be admitted to degree programs, applicants must show evidence of high school graduation or other successful experiences which reasonably predict their ability to make satisfactory progress at the institution. Each institution must assess and justify the appropriateness of experiences offered in lieu of a high school diploma.
Undergraduate admissions are governed by the Rule 6C-6.002 and Rule 6C-6.004, F.A.C. A diploma from a Florida public or regionally accredited high school or from an accredited out-of-state high school is required for admission of first-time-in-college students and students with fewer than 60 hours of transferable credit. However, upper division students transferring with more than 60 hours of transferable credit are exempt from this requirement.
First-time-in-college students admitted under the state's acceleration mechanism (e.g., early admission) are exempt from this requirement on an individual basis. Each applicant must demonstrate a substantial capability for academic work based upon a college preparatory curriculum while in high school, submit appropriate ACT or SAT scores, and have a recommendation by a school board.
Any student who completes a non-traditional program of study which is not measured in Carnegie units, such as home schooling or General Equivalency Diploma (GED), must present a test score of at least a 1010 on the re-centered SAT I or a 21 on the E-ACT.
Applicants who do not meet the quantitative admission criteria set by the Board of Regents, may be admitted by exception by the Admissions and Credits Committee in accordance with Rule 6C-6.002, F.A.C., which states, "in the judgment of an appropriate faculty committee, it is determined from appropriate evidence that the student can be expected to do successful academic work" or Rule 6C-6.001(2), F.A.C., which states, " the universities shall take into consideration the applicant's academic ability, and may also consider creativity, talent, and character."Procedures established for implementation of institutional admission policies must be followed in the admission of all students.
The admission policies for the State University System are established by State Statutes and Rule 6C-6, F.A.C. These policies set forth the minimum criteria for admission to all state universities in Florida. FGCU admission policies and practices are regularly reviewed by the BOR and its staff when admissions policies are affected by changes in state statute or administrative policy. All FGCU procedures established for implementation of institutional admission policies are followed in the admission of all students. Auditing is conducted externally by the Auditor General's Office of the Florida state legislature and the Florida Department of Education. Internal auditing is conducted by reviews of reports generated by the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records and by the FGCU inspector general.The institution must provide evidence that it selects students whose interests and capabilities are consistent with the admission policies. An institution's admission and retention policies should not be compromised to maintain a desired enrollment.
FGCU enforces the BOR regulations regarding admission. Auditing is conducted on a regular basis by the Department of Education and the Board of Regents. Reports generated each semester by the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records audit the implementation of the admissions criteria set by the Board of Regents.
FGCU has established minimum academic standards to which all students must adhere. Action is taken in the case of students who fail to meet these standards at the completion of course work, usually at the end of each semester or summer session. A student is placed on academic probation when his/her cumulative GPA drops below 2.0. A student on academic probation must earn a minimum semester GPA of 2.25 each semester after being placed on academic probation. Academic probation continues until the cumulative GPA reaches 2.0 or above. A student on academic probation who fails to earn a semester GPA of 2.25 will be suspended.An institution must clearly define and publish its policy on the admission of transfer students. The policy must include the following: the requirement of official transcripts of credits earned from all institutions of higher education previously attended; qualitative and quantitative Criteria determining the acceptability of transfer work; Criteria regarding the award of advanced standing, whether by credit earned at another institution, by advanced placement examinations, or through experiential learning; and conditions governing admission in good standing, admission on probation, and provisional admission.
The admission criteria for transfer students are explicitly stated in the university catalog, Schedule of Courses, and the Student Road Map, with requirements distinguishing between lower and upper level status. A student who has achieved a "C" average in at least 60 transferable semester hours from a regionally accredited institution may be qualified as an upper-level transfer.
Minimum requirements for admission of transfer students are established by the Board of Regents and are mandated in Rule 6C-6.004, F.A.C. The minimum requirements for transfer students include:
1. Status of "good standing" and eligibility to return to the most recent institution attended as a degree-seeking student.
2. A grade point average of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 system on all college-level academic courses attempted.
3. Completion of two credits of one foreign language or American Sign Language in high school, or eight to ten semester hours in the undergraduate institution attended. Each university may admit a limited number of freshmen and lower level transfer students who have not met the above foreign language requirement if there is evidence that the applicants will do successful academic work at the university. Students who have not completed the foreign language requirement for admissions must complete this requirement prior to graduation [See Rule 6C-6.002 (3)(c), F.A.C., and Rule 6C-6.004 (1)(c), F.A.C.]
Transfer students from Florida public community colleges and the State University System who have earned an associate of arts degree are governed by the articulation agreement between the state universities and public community colleges (Rule 6A-10.024 Articulation Agreement, F.A.C.). Florida associate of arts degree graduates receive priority over out-of-state students for admission to a state university. Within curriculum, space, and fiscal limitations, admission as a junior to the upper division of a university is granted to any graduate of a Florida public community college or SUS institution who has completed the university parallel program and received the associate of arts degree.
Transfer students who have not received associate in arts degrees from Florida community colleges or SUS institutions must meet the admission requirements described above and, if the applicant has fewer than sixty semester hours of transfer credit, should satisfy the same admission requirements as beginning freshmen. With approval of the chancellor and of the executive director of the Community College System, exceptions may be granted.
Transfer students who do not meet the minimum requirements stated above but who have demonstrated attributes or special talents will be further evaluated in those areas by the Admissions and Credits Committee at FGCU. The Office of Admissions, Registration and Records or the college/faculty advisors advise all students of applicable appeal procedures.
The FGCU catalog, SUS application, course schedule, and recruitment materials for transfer students include a description of the minimum criteria for admission and clearly state that official transcripts from all institutions previously attended must be sent to the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records directly from the issuing institution.
Associate of arts degree holders from Florida public institutions will be considered to have met FGCU general education requirements and are awarded sixty semester hours of lower division credit. Credits that are part of the associate of arts degree earned through articulated acceleration mechanisms, such as dual enrollment, International Baccalaureate, early admission, advanced placement and credit by exam, will be transferable to the state university.
All courses from a Florida community college or university bearing the same state common course numbering system prefix and last three numbers as an FGCU course are automatically transferred. Age and concordance of content to current requirements may be factors in determining course transfer and acceptance toward degrees. Excluded are graduate courses, studio courses in art, internships, practice, and performing arts courses such as dance, acting, and vocal and instrumental music.
A course-by-course transfer credit evaluation is provided for all applicants who have previously attended out-of-state or private in-state institutions. Courses that are equivalent to FGCU courses and academic, non-remedial courses are accepted for transfer credit. The course title, level, and number provide the primary basis for determination of acceptability for transfer to FGCU. The Office of Admissions, Registration and Records also maintains a reference library of catalogs from institutions across the country to review course descriptions when performing transfer credit evaluations.
If a student is in disagreement with the review of course work for articulation to FGCU, the student is referred to the Admissions and Credits Committee for review. If, based on a review of pertinent materials (e.g., textbooks, syllabi, and course assignments), the committee determines that the course(s) in question is/are appropriate to accept in transfer, a memorandum to that effect is forwarded to the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records. The office then assigns the credit to the student's permanent academic record.
International credentials must be evaluated course by course by an independent evaluation service acceptable to FGCU in addition to meeting other transfer criteria.
Transfer applicants who do not meet admission requirements are denied admission. Under FGCU and the Board of Regents policies, students may appeal admission decisions to the Admissions and Credits Committee.Institutions which award credit based on advanced placement or other examinations; training provided by non-collegiate institutions, such as armed forces and service schools; professional certification; or experiential learning must meet the following conditions governing the award of such credit:
1. The amount of credit awarded is clearly stated and is in accord with commonly accepted good practice in higher education.
2. Credit is awarded only in areas offered within the current curriculum of the institution, and is appropriately related to the student's educational programs.
3. Decisions regarding the awarding of credit and the determination of such credit are made by qualified faculty members at the institution, or according to procedures and standards approved by qualified faculty. The institution demonstrates that assessment procedures verify that the credit awarded is appropriate.
As stated in the FGCU catalog, the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records makes the initial determination of transfer credit. Faculty input is solicited and provides the basis for the transfer credit evaluation process. FGCU equivalent courses are then assigned. These course tables are accessed on-line when transfer courses are entered into the Banner Student Information System by staff in the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records. Using these tables, consistent and accurate transfer credit evaluations are performed. Additional institutions are added to the tables when course work is received from an institution not previously evaluated.
The catalog lists several options for receiving credit by advanced placement. These options include the following:
1. Recognition of satisfactory performance on tests offered through the College Level Examination Program.
2. Recognition of satisfactory performance on tests offered through Advanced Placement Programs of the College Entrance Examination Board.
3. Early admission for qualified high school students.
Decisions regarding the awarding of credit and the determination of such credit are made by qualified FGCU faculty members at the institution or according to procedures and standards approved by qualified faculty. Faculty members ensure that assessment procedures are appropriate for the credit awarded.
Qualified faculty members in specific curricular areas are responsible for developing procedures and establishing criteria for awarding credit. These criteria are then used during the advising and evaluation process. As previously described, a review by the appropriate faculty provides the definitive data for the evaluation of transfer credit by the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records.In awarding credit for prior experiential learning, the institution must: (1) award credit only for documented learning which demonstrates achievement of all outcomes for specific courses in an approved degree program; (2) award credit only to matriculated students, identify such credit on the student's transcript as credit for prior experiential learning and, upon request from another institution, document how such learning was evaluated and the basis on which such credit was awarded; (3) ensure that credit for prior experiential learning does not duplicate credit already awarded or remaining courses planned for the student's academic program; (4) adopt, describe in appropriate institutional publications, implement and regularly review policies and procedures for awarding credit for experiential learning; and (5) clearly describe, and establish validity of, the evaluation process and Criteria for awarding credit for prior experiential learning.
Students admitted to the degree programs of nursing, clinical laboratory science, and criminal justice may earn credit for experiential learning. Credit is earned upon determination of documented learning and mastery of all outcomes for specific courses in the approved program. This is determined by evaluation of the documented experience of each individual student which is subject to examination to measure mastery of all course objectives. Experience assessment and verbal, written or practical competency examinations are designed and evaluated by program faculty members with specialty expertise. Credit is awarded only to students enrolled in these specific programs. Students register for each course that they request assessment for experiential learning credit. Upon assessment and subsequent successful examination, students earn credit and that credit is documented on the transcript as completion of the course with the passing grade earned in the examination and assessment.
Information is made available on the policies and procedures for each individual course for credit by experience and examination to any requesting institution by the program director. Credit for experiential learning and examination is earned only for courses that are in the student's academic program plan.
Program fact sheets and brochures describe credit for experiential learning and are available to all students. Detailed explanation of the policies for credit earned for experiential learning is provided by faculty advisors to students requesting this information. All program policies are continuously reviewed by the program and assessed by the program faculty. An evaluation process to establish validity entails post-graduation assessment survey of students and employers in the nursing, clinical laboratory science and criminal justice programs. Clinical laboratory science uses the national board certification examinations and the State of Florida licensing examination as an additional means of assessment of successful completion of program content.The institution must inform transfer students of the amount of credit which will transfer, preferably prior to their enrollment, but at least, prior to the end of the first academic term in which they are enrolled.
Transfer credit is evaluated under the auspices of Rule 6C-6.004, F.A.C., and FGCU policy outlined in the catalog. At FGCU, transfer articulation is not finalized and made part of the student's permanent record until all official transcripts have been received in the Office of Admission, Registration and Records and the student has matriculated as a degree-seeking student. The Office of Admission, Registration, and Records completes the transfer articulation and mails a copy to the student. For those students whose admissions files are complete and all required official transcripts have been received, the Office of Admission, Registration, and Records routinely completes transfer credit evaluations prior to the registration period for the next term of enrollment.Coursework transferred or accepted for credit toward an undergraduate degree must represent collegiate coursework relevant to the degree, with course content and level of instruction resulting in student competencies at least equivalent to those of students enrolled in the institution's own undergraduate degree programs. In assessing and documenting equivalent learning and qualified faculty, an institution may use recognized guides which aid in the evaluation for credit. Such guides include those published by the American Council on Education, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers, and the National Association of Foreign Student Affairs.
As stated in the catalog, the receipt and evaluation of transfer credit is the responsibility of the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records. The Office of Admissions, Registration and Records will evaluate the acceptability of total credits transferable to the university. The college of the student's major will assign equivalent courses to determine which courses are applicable toward a specific degree at FGCU. Transfer students meet with their college or faculty advisor at transfer orientation. At that time, the official evaluation process is initiated.
With the exception of a few documented situations stated in the catalog, FGCU accepts credits only from those institutions accredited by one of the regional accrediting agencies/commissions at the time the credits are earned. These accrediting agencies are as follows: New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Learning; Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, Commission on Higher Education; North Central Association of Colleges and Schools; Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Accrediting Commission for Junior Colleges.
The specific exceptions to the above-stated policy are listed in the catalog. These exceptions are credits from foreign institutions if course equivalency is determined by a certified credential evaluating service; military schools or training; and, in some cases, courses taken at the International College of Fort Myers/Naples as approved by FGCU Deans Council.
Transfer credit from a foreign institution is awarded after careful review of the transcript, syllabi, and in compliance with recognized practices promoted by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and the National Association for Foreign Student Affairs (NAFSA).
Credit is awarded to students who have attended military schools or have specialized military training on a limited basis. As stated in the catalog, service school courses will be evaluated with reference to the recommendation of the American Council on Education when official credentials have been presented. Such recommendations, however, are not binding upon the university.
When students wish to have credit awarded for courses taken at institutions that are non-regionally accredited but are accredited by an agency recognized by the Council on Accreditation (COPA), now superseded by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), documentation is presented by the student to FGCU faculty in the appropriate academic discipline(s). This documentation is used by the faculty member to determine relevance to the FGCU degree, appropriateness of course content, and level of instruction.
FGCU reserves the right to deny credit for specific courses. FGCU does not accept transfer credit from two-year institutions for courses determined to be occupational or vocational in nature.There must be clearly defined policies regarding the academic dismissal, suspension and readmission of students. Readmission of students dismissed or suspended for academic reasons must be consistent with the academic policies of the institution.
All policies regarding academic dismissal, suspension and readmission of students are stated in the catalog. Florida Gulf Coast University established minimum academic standards for all students. Action is taken toward students who fail to meet these standards at the completion of course work, usually at the end of each semester or summer session. Officially changing a course grade does not necessarily reverse these academic actions. An exception can be made when an error is committed and is so stated on a Change of Grade form by the professor of a course. The following definitions and policies are followed:
Semester GPA Grade point average on all credit course work attempted during any given semester at FGCU.
Cumulative GPA Grade point average on all FGCU course work attempted while in attendance at the university.
Academic Probation A student is placed on academic probation when his/her cumulative GPA drops below 2.0. A student on academic probation must earn a minimum semester GPA of 2.25 for each semester after being placed on academic probation. Academic probation will continue until the cumulative GPA reaches 2.0 or better. Academic probation status will not be noted on the official academic transcript.
First Academic Suspension A student on academic probation who fails to earn a semester GPA of 2.25 will be suspended. The first academic suspension will last for one semester and re-admission is not automatic. A student must submit an application for re-admission with a letter indicating the reason for the academic difficulties and a plan for achieving a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better. The appeal should be addressed to the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records. The Admissions and Credits Committee will review a student's entire academic history and make a decision on the student's appeal. Academic suspensions are noted on the official academic transcript.
Indefinite Suspension A student who has been readmitted following the first academic suspension and who fails to achieve a semester GPA of 2.25 will be suspended indefinitely from the university. Re-admission will not be considered for a minimum of one year for any student who has been put on indefinite suspension. All cases of indefinite suspension will be referred to the Admissions and Credits Committee. Indefinite suspension will be noted on the official academic transcript.
A FGCU freshman or sophomore student who receives a first or indefinite suspension and who subsequently receives an associate in arts degree from a Florida public community college or SUS institution may be readmitted to the university. Students who attend other colleges or universities following first or indefinite suspension and re-apply for admission to FGCU will be classified as transfer students and readmission will be based on total educational records. The determination and notification of probationary status or academic dismissal is made by the registrar on the student's grade report and academic record. A student who has been academically dismissed from FGCU and subsequently earns a BA/BS from another regionally accredited four-year institution is also admissible to the university.
The Admissions and Credits Committee serves as the board of appeal for students wishing to secure a waiver or modification of university-wide academic policies, including readmission after academic dismissal and undergraduate admission into the university. The committee is comprised of representative faculty from each of the four undergraduate colleges, a representative from the Academic Advising Council, and two representatives from the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records.
A student may be re-admitted if sufficient documentation verifies extenuating circumstances to explain poor academic progress, he or she has support from appropriate college representatives and/or university supportive personnel, the reasons for prior academic problems are no longer present, and the student shows evidence of reasonable potential for success as when originally admitted to the university.
Admission policies are set by the Board of Regents for all Florida institutions. Florida Gulf Coast University adheres to these policies and they are consistent with the educational purpose of the institution. Policies are set for transfer credit, experiential learning, advanced placement, and limited-access programs. Policies are regularly evaluated by the State University System and FGCU. All policies are clearly defined and published.
Publications have been printed as needed to update information and to accurately represent the university. Out-dated publications need to be disposed of when new up-dated materials are available according to protocol. Policies are clearly defined regarding academic dismissal, suspension, and readmission of students and are consistent with the academic policies of the institution. In awarding credit for prior experiential learning, FGCU programs awarding such credit have defined criteria and policies. Credit is awarded only to matriculated students, but there needs to be a mechanism for identifying on the transcript credit earned by departmental examination or experiential learning.
S4.2.1-1 The Steering Committee suggests that a mechanism be established for disposing of out-dated materials and publications to ensure that all materials accurately and truthfully portray the university.
S4.2.1-2 The Steering Committee suggests that the university develop a mechanism to identify on student transcripts credit earned by departmental examination or experiential learning.
4.2.2 Undergraduate Completion Requirements
DescriptionIn each degree program, there must be an appropriate sequence of courses leading to the degree. An institution must publish the requirements for each degree it awards.
Florida Gulf Coast University publishes a catalog that states the requirements for each undergraduate degree that is awarded. Within the catalog, each college section delineates how the student can expeditiously complete degree requirements within the context of the major and college requirements. Program curriculum is described and available for students.The requirements must be appropriate to the degree offered and must specify the total credits, the number and distribution of general education credits, the number of credits to be earned in the major or area of concentration, the number of electives, standards for satisfactory progress, and other degree requirements.
The graduation requirements at the university for a baccalaureate degree and an associate of arts degree are presented in the FGCU catalog. The minimum requirements for awarding the baccalaureate degree are as follows:
1. Successful completion of a minimum of 120 semester hours (certain majors require more than 120 hours as determined by the State University System of Florida) with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in all course work attempted at FGCU (colleges and departments may have requirements that exceed these minimums).
2. Satisfactory completion of the College Level Academic Skills Test (CLAST), or an approved alternative to the CLAST or exemption from CLAST by stated criteria;
3. Completion of 36 semester hours of general education requirements to include writing and computation course requirements (Gordon Rule, Rule 6A-10.030, F.A.C.);
4. Earn a minimum of 48 hours of upper-division course work (Rule 6C-3.007, F.A.C.);
5. Completion of the residency requirement of 30 of the last 60 semester hours at FGCU;
6. All students entering FGCU with fewer than 60 hours of credit are required to earn at least nine semester hours of credit prior to graduation by attendance during one or more summer terms (Rule 6C-3.007, F.A.C.);
7. Completion of the university's service learning requirements;
8. Completion of IDS 3920 University Colloquium;
9. Completion of any program requirements determined by each college, program, and concentration;
10. All students admitted as freshmen or transfers, must satisfy or meet exemption qualifications from the state foreign language admission requirement. Students who do not meet this requirement may be admitted with the condition that they fulfill the requirement by completing a two-semester sequence of a foreign language prior to graduation (Section 240.233, Florida Statutes).
The minimum requirements for awarding the associate of arts degree are as follows:
1. Earn a minimum of 60 semester hours with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in all course work attempted at FGCU;
2. Completion of 36 semester hours of general education requirements to include writing and computation course requirements (Gordon Rule, Rule 6A-10.030, F.A.C.);
3. Completion of 24 hours of lower division elective course work;
4. Satisfactory completion of the College Level Academic Skills Test (CLAST), or an approved alternative to the CLAST or exemption from CLAST by stated criteria;Undergraduate degree programs must contain a basic core of general education courses. A minimum of 15 semester hours for associate programs and a minimum of 30 semester hours for baccalaureate programs are required for degree completion.
A minimum of 36 semester hours, distributed over five areas, are required of all associate and baccalaureate programs in the general education requirements.The core must include at least one course from each of the following areas: the humanities/fine arts, the social/behavioral sciences, and the natural sciences/mathematics.
The FGCU program of general education blends innovation with tradition. Interdisciplinary courses demonstrate the relationship of knowledge across fields, while traditional courses offer depth and breadth in specific disciplines and fulfill Florida State University System program prerequisites.
General Education Distribution FGCU Course Fulfillment Subject Area Requirement
Area I: 6 semester hours ENC 1101 and ENC1102, Composition Communication I and II
Area II: 6 semester hours STA 2023 or STA 2037 and 3 semester hours Mathematics of Algebra or higher
Area III: 6-9 semester hours 6-9 semester hours of Social Sciences Social Sciences electives
Area IV: 9 semester hours IDS 1301L, IDS 2110, HUM 2510, and Humanities 3 semester hours of Humanities elective
Area V: 6-9 semester hours 6-9 semester hours of Natural Science Natural Sciences electivesThe institutions must demonstrate that its graduates are competent in reading, writing, oral communication, fundamental mathematical skills and the basic use of computers.
Core courses in FGCU's general education requirements mandate that students complete six credit hours of course work in Area I Communication that encompasses reading and writing. In addition, the Gordon Rule (Rule 6A-10.030, F.A.C.) mandates competency in writing with rule requirements of twelve semester hours of English course work in which the student is required to demonstrate writing skills. For purposes of this rule, a writing-intensive course is defined as any semester-length course in the general study area of the humanities in which the student is required to produce written work of at least 6,000 words. Six semester hours in the area of mathematics (three semester hours each of Statistics and Algebra or higher) is required. As previously illustrated, the CLAST (College Level Academic Skills Test) is a measurement of testing and ensuring student competency in the areas of mathematics, reading, and writing.
The College of Business requires a course in oral communication for degree completion. Communication skills are woven into course requirements in several courses throughout other curricula. A general education requirement of IDS 1301 Styles and Ways of Learning incorporates communication skills within its content. The College of Health Professions' required core course HSA 3119 Foundations and Dynamics of Health Services Delivery has an oral communications component as does the College of Professional Studies courses which require students to make oral presentations. Oral communication courses may be taken as electives in partial fulfillment of general education core requirements. The University Colloquium and the senior seminar course, requirements for every FGCU undergraduate, require students to make an oral presentation and have an emphasis on writing.
There are several courses offered in computer information systems and computer science. A State University System common prerequisite for Business majors requires CGS 1100 Introduction to Computers. Other majors may take computer science courses as electives in partial fulfillment of graduation requirements. Additional courses in computer instruction are offered such as EME 2040 Introduction to Computers in Education and EME 4402 Computers in Education, and EME 6930 Programming Language. With FGCU's emphasis on technology and distance learning, necessity mandates that students familiarize themselves with various forms of technology, including basic computer skills. Computer laboratories are available for student use with guided instruction and tutoring available. Each enrolled university student is provided an electronic mail address to facilitate communication with other students and with faculty. Many of the courses at FGCU incorporate the use of electronic mail communications, electronic message boards, on-line chat-rooms, and Internet searches; and some courses are offered using the Internet as the primary delivery tool.An institution must clearly define what is meant by a major or an area of concentration and must state the number of credits required for each. An adequate number of hours with appropriate prerequisites must be required in courses above the elementary level.
The State of Florida has identified Common Prerequisites for all university programs. The Common Prerequisite Counseling Manual lists the Common Prerequisites or their substitutions, which must be completed by all students going into that field of study and which must be accepted by all State University System institutions and applied towards the degree. The Board of Regents establishes the length of all undergraduate degree programs offered at SUS institutions. The requirements for each program, concentration, or major at FGCU are clearly listed in the catalog. Forty-eight upper-division semester credit hours are required within the 120 or more total credit hours required for a baccalaureate degree.
Each course at the university is reviewed by department/program and/or college curriculum committees and the Office of Planning and Evaluation. Courses are identified by prefix, level digit, course number, and lab code, in accordance with the Statewide Course Numbering System, a classification system based on course content. Where appropriate, intermediate and advanced courses have prerequisites that must be satisfied prior to enrollment in the course. The Statewide Course Numbering System has identified standardized course descriptions and prerequisites for all courses with the same prefix and number. Course descriptions and prerequisite requirements for courses offered at FGCU are listed in the catalog.For degree completion, at least 25 percent of credit semester hours, or equivalent quarter hours, must be earned through instruction offered by the institution awarding the degree.
FGCU student residency requirements state that 30 of the last sixty 60 hours must be earned at FGCU to receive an FGCU degree.All courses, other than those identified by the institution as developmental/remedial, offered by an institution for credit must be acceptable as requirements or electives applicable to at least one of its own degree or certificate programs or must be clearly identified on transcripts as not applicable to any of the institution's own degree or certificate programs.
All courses offered at FGCU are applicable as either required or elective courses that apply to one or more degree or certificate program offered by FGCU.
All completion requirements at FGCU are in accordance with the State University System requirements and the Florida Administrative Code. Each degree program has an appropriate sequence of courses leading to the degree with all requirements clearly stated and available for students. Undergraduate degree programs contain general education core of 36 semester hours distributed over the areas of communication, mathematics, social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences. All graduates demonstrate competency in reading, writing, oral communication, mathematical skills and the basic use of computers by successful completion of required courses for degree completion. Thirty of the last 60 semester hours must be completed at FGCU to earn an FGCU degree. Most degrees at FGCU are 120 semester credits. For programs in excess of 120 semester hours, additional semester hours completed at FGCU need to be required to meet the requirement of 25 percent of credit semester hours be earned from the degree-granting institution. All courses offered at FGCU are applicable as either required or elective in one or more degree or certificate programs. Other educational offerings are considered continuing education and are not offered for college credit.
R4.2.2-1 The Steering Committee recommends that a clearer definition of academic residency requirements be adopted by the university to ensure that all FGCU programs, including those requiring more than 120 credits, require that 25 percent of credit hours be earned through instruction at FGCU for students to receive an FGCU degree.
4.2.3 Undergraduate Curriculum
DescriptionCurricula must be directly related and appropriate to the purposes and goals of the institution and the diplomas, certificates or degrees awarded; to the ability and preparation of the students admitted; and to the financial and instructional resources of the institution.
An expressed purpose of the university is to encourage the pursuit of academic excellence and to develop an environmental and social awareness of its ecologically and culturally diverse environment. Florida Gulf Coast University is dedicated to providing a learning-centered environment that offers the highest quality educational opportunities for the development of the knowledge, insights, competencies, and skills necessary for success in life and work. To maintain this learning-centered environment, the university as a whole and its units and individuals actively practice continuous planning and assessment leading to improvement and renewal. There are four colleges at FGCU and 16 undergraduate degree programs. FGCU offers both bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees. The goals and objectives of the curricula for each undergraduate program at Florida Gulf Coast University are stated in each program's integrative program matrix. Furthermore, college, department, and program missions, goals, and objectives are written and provided in the university catalog and in college and program brochures.
Each college/program/division lists specific course offerings for the degree requirements in the catalog. The appropriateness of these courses and their relationship to the degree is monitored by the college, the department and/or program, the FGCU Undergraduate Curriculum Team, the Board of Regents, and the accrediting bodies of professional programs, where appropriate.
The university curriculum is diverse to accommodate the varied abilities, preparations, and needs of students. Students must meet admission criteria as set forth by the Board of Regents and the university. Admission requirements are published in the catalog. Programs are available for those students who exceed these requirements or who need supportive services.
The University Honors Program is designed to bring talented and ambitious students into FGCU honors programs and courses. A description of the honors program is included in the catalog. Students enrolled in the honors program have access to both faculty and community mentors to assist the students in their intellectual journey. Students in the honors program take a series of courses, which provide the students more individualized attention. For the first year of the honors program, students will enroll in special honors sections of courses already offered. These sections are more rigorous, take a more interdisciplinary approach, and incorporate more community activities than other sections of the course.
Special services are available to students needing preparatory work for university curriculum through the Office of Admissions, Records, and Registration within the Division of Student Services. These include tutoring services, such as personal and on-line writing assistance and personal and on-line tutoring. Peer tutors also take part in the tutoring process.
Programs are planned consistent with the resources available to FGCU. Financial resource allocation by the state is linked to enrollments. As new programs generate increased enrollments, the Board of Regents recommends additional funding. The administrative responsibilities of academic affairs are the jurisdiction of the vice president of academic affairs. College deans are charged by the vice president of academic affairs to maintain college budgets as allocated in concert with department chairs or others as designated by each college dean. Periodic reviews are conducted to assure that resources are sufficient to meet curricular needs.The institution must have a clearly defined process by which the curriculum is established, reviewed and evaluated. This process must recognize the various roles of the faculty, the administration, and the governing board.
Programmatic and curricular initiation or change begins at the program level, follows a college approval mechanism, is reviewed by the university Undergraduate Curriculum Team, administratively reviewed in the Office of Planning and Evaluation, and forwarded to the Board of Regents staff, as appropriate (Section 240.2095, Florida Statutes, Board of Regents Program Approval).
The FGCU Undergraduate Curriculum Team (UCT) is a standing committee within the FGCU Faculty Senate, with member representation from each college. The development, implementation, and maintenance of the curriculum reside with the faculty and this committee. The purpose of the UCT is to review all FGCU undergraduate curricula to assure their excellence and congruence with the university's mission, guiding principles, and student learning goals and outcomes. Responsibilities of the UCT include:
1. Conducting peer review of all undergraduate curricula, curricular changes and revisions, and outcomes of degree programs for consistency with the university's mission, goals, and objectives.
2. Developing, reviewing, and revising guidelines and procedures for action on new program proposals, new course proposals, and curricular revisions.
3. Reviewing distribution of courses to identify gaps and duplication.
4. Fostering interdisciplinary learning.
5. Maintaining records of new program proposals, new course proposals, curricular revisions, reports, forms, agendas, and minutes.
6. Developing and distributing to faculty, administration, and staff, guidelines, procedures, and forms for submitting curricular materials for review.
7. The BOR is responsible for the final approval of programs ensuring that they meet the Florida Administrative Code and the State University System requirements and standards.For each major in a degree program, the institution must assign responsibility for program coordination, as well as for curriculum development and review, to persons academically qualified in the field. At least one fulltime faculty member with appropriate credentials, as defined in Section 4.8.2, must have primary teaching assignment in the major. In those degree programs for which the institution does not identify a major, the above requirements apply to a curricular area or concentration.
Program coordination, development, and review are the responsibility of department chairs or program leaders in the academic units. These persons are academically qualified by criteria set forth by the Board of Regents, FGCU, and program accreditation as appropriate. Position announcements with stated educational and experience requirements are available for each position in human resources. A curriculum vitae for each department chair and program leader is available in the office of the associate vice president of academic affairs.
Teaching assignments in the major are made to faculty members with appropriate credentials in the major (or Liberal Studies concentration) in all offered courses. At least one full-time faculty member with appropriate credentials has primary teaching assignment in the major. Position announcements with stated educational and experience requirements are available for each position in human resources. A curriculum vitae for each faculty member is available in the office of the associate vice president of academic affairs depicting appropriate credentials.The governing board must be responsible for approving the number and types of degrees; the number and nature of departments, divisions, schools or colleges through which the curriculum is administered; and the extent to which the institution should offer distance learning programs.
The Board of Regents grants final approval for the number and types of degrees to be granted by the university (Section 240.209(3)(c), Florida Statutes). The BOR is also responsible for approval of organizational changes that involve increased expenditures (Section 240.277 (21), Florida Statutes).
The university conducts programs using distance learning as a part of the curricula. As stated in the Ten Year Development Plan for a New University in Southwest Florida, "distance learning is transmission of educational or instructional programming to geographically dispersed individuals or groups." FGCU uses many distance learning delivery strategies, such as videotape, interactive television, and the Internet. Via distance learning technology, students may earn college credit and complete degree requirements from remote locations. The university's distance learning activities are consistent with BOR policy on extended delivery of programs and courses.The administration and faculty must be responsible for the development of academic programs recommended to the governing board. They are also responsible for implementing and monitoring the general curriculum policy and the academic programs approved by the board. There should be an institutionwide process to coordinate programmatic and curricular changes.
Initial recommendations for academic programs for FGCU were developed by the Board of Regents and defined in the Ten Year Development Plan for a New University in Southwest Florida. Revisions to the proposed program list were made by the administration in concert with the academic deans based on regional needs assessments. The formal recommendations for initial programs to be offered at FGCU were presented to the Board of Regents in February 1996.
Department chairs, program leaders, and faculty have been instrumental in the development of the initial academic programs and are responsible for the ongoing implementation of the curriculum and monitoring the policies. Faculty in each program have been responsible for defining the learning outcomes for each major and for establishing the courses required for the major. Two university-wide requirements, the Colloquium and the college senior seminar, are required of all students and were formulated by the Deans Council and academic affairs. Requirements for general education follow the framework set by the Section 240.115(1)(b), Florida Statutes, which requires a minimum of 36 semester. Specific requirements for FGCU general education were developed by a faculty committee of the College of Arts and Sciences and approved by the Undergraduate Curriculum Team and subsequently, the Board of Regents.
An institution-wide process to coordinate programmatic and curricular changes is the charge of the Undergraduate Curriculum Team. The UCT is responsible for providing peer review of undergraduate programs, courses, and curricular revisions. Guidelines for preparation of materials for submission to the UCT are published and available.The institution should avoid the unwarranted proliferation of course offerings and degree programs. The development of new educational programs should be considered only after the institution has completed a needs assessment and has identified resources to support the programs. The institution should proceed only after a careful review by the appropriate faculty and administrative bodies, approval by the governing board, and any necessary review and approval by state or other agencies.
The Board of Regents is ultimately responsible for monitoring the unwarranted proliferation of courses and degree programs across the state, and BOR procedures for program approval provide the mechanism for avoidance of unnecessary duplication. [See Sections 240.209 and 240.2095, Florida Statutes, and Rules 6C-1003 and 6C-1.010(2), F.A.C.]
The guidelines concerning university procedures for new degree programs are explicit in a Chancellor's Memorandum, CM-84-06.02, dated January 8, 1998, Development of New Degree Programs, and Format for Submitting Requests for New Degrees. These guidelines list the steps necessary for new course development to prevent duplication and overlap. FGCU adheres to these guidelines with the UCT overseeing the distribution of courses to identify duplication.
Informal and formal needs assessments are conducted for each undergraduate program to determine the need for inclusion into program offerings at FGCU. Past needs assessments were varied in form and included combinations of library research, brainstorming sessions, focus groups with professionals in the appropriate field of study, and regional surveys to determine the need for educational programs for the region and for the state. Careful consideration is given to identify financial resources to support all programs before they are considered further.
Following the needs assessments, faculty and administrators follow the specifications of the Board of Regents for new degree programs and courses. All new programs and courses are held to the review process of the colleges, the Undergraduate Curriculum Team and any state or accreditation bodies that may apply.Curricula intended to provide basic preparation for students who will subsequently transfer to another institution must be designed to consider the institutions to which these students transfer. Associate and baccalaureate degree-granting institutions should work cooperatively to develop articulation agreements. The agreements should be evaluated periodically to ensure an equitable and efficient transfer of students. "Inverted," "two plus two," and similar programs must include an adequate amount of advanced coursework in the subject field.
Florida Gulf Coast University adheres to the guidelines of the Statewide Course Numbering System, and all courses are identified by prefixes and numbers that are assigned by this system. This common numbering system is used by all public post-secondary institutions in Florida and by two participating private institutions. The major purpose of this system is to facilitate the transfer of courses between participating institutions. [See Section 229.551(1)(f), Florida Statutes, and Rule 6A-10.024(19), Florida Administrative Code.]
When a student transfers among regionally accredited post-secondary institutions that participate in the common course designation and numbering system, the receiving institution shall award credit for courses satisfactorily completed at the previous participation institutions when the courses are judged by the appropriate common course designation and numbering system faculty task forces to be equivalent to courses offered at the receiving institution and are entered in the course numbering system. Credit so awarded can be used by transfer students to satisfy requirements in these institutions on the same basis as native students.
Florida public institutions are governed by an articulation agreement between state universities and public community colleges in Florida, which encompasses this common course numbering system and policy across the State University System. In accordance with this agreement, students graduating from public community colleges with an associate of arts degree are granted admission into the State University System. (Rule 6A-10.024, Florida Administrative Code).
FGCU and the University of Central Florida (UCF) have entered into an agreement for a baccalaureate degree in engineering beginning fall 1998. FGCU provides general education and common course prerequisites for basic preparation for subsequent transfer to the UCF engineering program.
Curriculum articulation agreements between FGCU and Edison Community College are specific to the disciplines of criminal justice and nursing for two-plus-two programs. In addition, an articulation agreement has been developed between Manatee Community College and FGCU to facilitate transfer of students into the university's bachelor of science program in health sciences. These agreements ensure that adequate credit hours at the upper division level are incorporated into the degree program. For additional information, see Section 4.9 Consortial Relationships and Contractual Agreements.Institutions which enter into programmatic partnerships with secondary schools which result in the award of college credit, such as technical and dual enrollment programs, must ensure that the credit awarded is at the collegiate level and is in compliance with the Criteria, and with Section IV in particular. Partnerships must be evaluated regularly by the participating institution of higher education. The participating institution must assume full responsibility for academic quality and integrity of partnerships as measure by the Criteria.
FGCU currently does not have any partnerships with secondary schools that result in the award of college credit.
The degree programs offered at FGCU are consistent with the mission of the university and have been developed to meet the needs of the state and the region. The scope and variety of programs offered are appropriate for a new institution and are within the financial resources of the university. Faculty with responsibility for specific programs are properly credentialed. FGCU has sufficient faculty with appropriate qualifications with teaching assignments in all discipline areas.
The FGCU process for approval of new degree programs is in alignment with Florida Statutes and the Florida Administrative Code. The relationship and articulation agreements between FGCU and the Florida Community College System are defined by rule. This articulation agreement facilitates transfer of students with associate in arts degrees to all institutions within the State University System. Furthermore, the Statewide Course Numbering System allows for transferability among all Florida public postsecondary institutions. At this time there is no established university-wide process for coordinating changes in curriculum to ensure that any changes are consistent with state rule, university policy, and the needs of all units affected.
S4.2.3-1 The Steering Committee suggests that an institution-wide process to coordinate program and curricular changes be developed and implemented.
S4.2.3-2 The Steering Committee suggests that a central office be designated as the official repository for academic transfer program agreements and articulation agreements.
4.2.4 Undergraduate Instruction
DescriptionInstructional techniques and policies must be in accord with the purposes of the institution, and be appropriate to the specific goals of an individual course.
In Florida Gulf Coast University's founding mission statement, undergraduate education is identified as the institution's primary mission. The university is organized to support this task and a vast array of resources support the teaching/learning environment. Starting with the university-wide student learning goals and outcomes, nine specific frameworks that demarcate progress towards making students both effective citizens and life-long learners, the university fosters a mindset that encourages students to make links from specific content areas to more global intellectual abilities.
Each academic unit is responsible for producing an Integrated Program Matrix that identifies the courses where each student will demonstrate these program outcomes. Each program must demonstrate that all university outcomes are met in the content of the sequence of courses for each degree. Each academic unit's sequences of courses are designed to provide students with multiple opportunities to develop the abilities necessary to demonstrate the outcomes. The primary means of accomplishing this demonstration is through the individual course. Each course explicitly states its goals in its course syllabus, a document that is provided to each student either as a hard copy document and/or as a Web document. Faculty-selected instructional techniques ensure that there are appropriate approaches to the expected learning outcomes, both in terms of university and discipline-specific course goals.Instruction must be evaluated regularly and the results used to ensure quality instruction.
The teaching/learning cycle requires regular evaluation to affirm that progress is being made. The evaluation of the practice of instruction is built into the educational fabric of FGCU. The student evaluation of individual instructors is an important tool in the overall evaluation of faculty. The Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Board of Regents and the United Faculty of Florida requires the annual evaluation of instruction and the student evaluation.
This formal process, along with peer and self-evaluation are the primary means of collecting information about instructional effectiveness currently employed by the university. The information from these sources is shared with the individual faculty member after being reviewed by peer review committee members and/or supervisory administrators as per the Faculty Performance Evaluation Document, revised August 25, 1998. This information is used in setting goals and objectives for the individual faculty member's professional development plan (PDP), in connection with the faculty member's supervisor. See also Section 4.8.10 Criteria and Procedures for Evaluation.Students must be provided information about the goals and requirements of each course, the nature of the course content, and the methods of evaluation to be employed.
By publicly identifying student goals and outcomes, FGCU has committed itself to an educational structure that builds common goals into all the various undergraduate disciplinary tracks and degree programs. Through the university catalog, program fact sheets, and the Student Road Map, the university articulates its expectations to both its students and its various constituent communities. Through course descriptions in the catalog and on Web pages, and through hard copy course syllabi, instructors communicate course goals and requirements, course content, and evaluation methods according to procedures detailed in the Course Development Handbook, the BOR requirements, and FGCU's Undergraduate Curriculum Team review process.Methods of instruction must be appropriate to the goals of each course and capabilities of the students. Experimentation with methods to improve instruction must be adequately supported and critically evaluated.
The process of building an entire university from the ground up has allowed for the creation of programs of study that are the result of a cohesive design process. Individual courses have been designed to meet the needs of students as they progress from beginning to intermediate to advanced levels of ability. The successful completion of introductory courses prepares and assures students' ability to engage in more advanced learning experiences. Faculty and administrators have tailored the delivery of instruction not only to the level of the students, but also to the means of delivery. And while the traditional face-to-face method of instruction is by far the most common means of instruction at FGCU, video, interactive video, and Web-based courses are according to the founding mission statement an important part of the educational environment at the university.
Recognizing the need challenging the traditional physical limits for access to the educational process, FGCU has made a significant commitment to using advanced technologies to broaden its reach and impact as an institution of higher education. Using a variety of distance learning delivery systems including two-way video and Web-based classes, FGCU is committed to making high quality education available to student populations unable to attend to their learning within the confines of a traditional time and location structure.
To ensure the effective use of technology, FGCU has established an Office of Instructional Technology. By supporting both the design and delivery process of electronically enhanced instruction, FGCU's instructional technology program has greatly enhanced quality of distance learning. The FGCU Distance Learning Strategic Plan recommends ongoing evaluative processes.The institution must use a variety of means to evaluate student performance. The evaluation must reflect concern for quality and properly discern levels of student performance. An institution must publish its grading policies, and its grading practices must be consistent with policy.
A wide-range of assessment instruments are routinely used to evaluate student learning. From case studies to simulations, from take-home examinations to in-class quizzes, students at FGCU are exposed to higher education's entire repertoire of evaluative measures. Students demonstrate their learning by producing written documentation of their research and learning in a multitude of formats varying from short, single-word responses to in-class queries to research paper length essays that sum up an entire semester's worth of work and include almost every permutation in between these two distinctive lengths. In-class presentations, poster sessions, and video-taped presentations are only some of the ways individual and group projects are made public. Multi-media presentations, harnessing all the power of the Internet and sophisticated presentation software, are being used by students not only to showcase their mastery of this new technology for its own sake, but because it is the most effective way of demonstrating the depth and breadth of their learning. Traditional means of measuring student learning are also used. Multiple choice examinations, problem sets, short and long essay examinations are used by instructors to ensure familiarity on the part of students to discipline-specific professional testing and measurement practices. Individual course grading rubrics are generated by either academic units or individual faculty members. Faculty members are typically both the designers and administrators of their classroom assessment instruments, as well as the interpreters of the data collected.
FGCU's grading policy is identified in the FGCU catalog as well as in individual course syllabi. Based upon the standard four-point system, course grades are generated for each student at the end of each course and submitted to the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records. The university uses the standard alphabetic grading system to identify student grades and other administrative actions regarding student progress. Unofficial and official grade reports may be requested through the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records; by telephone; and by using the FGCU Web system.The institution must evaluate the effectiveness of its instructional program by a variety of techniques, which may include the following: use of standardized tests and comprehensive examinations, assessment of the performance of graduates in advanced programs or employment, and sampling of the opinions of former students.
The effectiveness of instructional programs is evaluated by measuring student performance on national and state standardized tests such as those used for professional certification and licensure. These state and national tests are available for graduates in the programs of education, social work, certified public accountant, clinical laboratory science, nursing, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. These assessments of graduates from baccalaureate programs will be ongoing commencing with the first graduating class. Other measures of success of the undergraduate programs will include successful admission to graduate study; assessment of employers; and alumni evaluation of the university and program of study. Evaluations are administered by colleges, departments, programs, and the Office of Planning and Evaluation as appropriate and needed. The State University System has an evaluation program in place that generates alumni data for each Florida state institution as well.Courses offered in nontraditional formats, e.g., concentrated or abbreviated time periods, must be designed to ensure an opportunity for preparation, reflection and analysis concerning the subject matter. At least one calendar week of refection and analysis should be provided to students for each semester hour, or equivalent quarter hours, of undergraduate credit awarded. The institution must demonstrate that students completing these programs or courses have acquired equivalent levels of knowledge and competencies to those acquired in more traditional formats.
FGCU offers no abbreviated formats for undergraduate courses at this time. All course offerings for undergraduate study are provided over a semester or summer session.Effective instruction depends largely upon the maintenance of an environment conducive to study and learning. Therefore, an institution of higher education must provide for its students a learning environment in which scholarly and creative achievement is encouraged.
An expressed purpose of the university is to encourage the pursuit of academic excellence. FGCU is dedicated to providing a learning-centered environment that offers the highest quality educational opportunities for the development of the knowledge, insights, competencies, and skills necessary for success in life and work. To maintain this learning-centered environment, the university as a whole and its units and individuals actively practice continuous planning and assessment leading to improvement and renewal.
The FGCU mission identifies the library as the heart of the university. The library provides access to information resources to fulfill the academic and artistic needs of the students. Library resources include reference materials, periodicals, government documents, special collections and access to electronic materials in all of those areas is also provided. To facilitate this access, the library has developed extensive Web pages identifying many electronic materials to assist faculty, staff, and students in their learning and research needs. The libraries are described in greater detail under Section V Educational Support Services.
A variety of computer facilities and support services are similarly available for research and instructional activities. The University Computing Services provide support services to students, staff, and faculty. Central site computing equipment consists of two open computer laboratories one of which is a Macintosh laboratory with 27 computers and one a PC laboratory with 30 computers. There are four computer classrooms (three PC classrooms with 92 computers and one MAC classroom with 26 computers). Additionally, there is a systems development lab with nine PCs, five SUNs, and five SGIs including a server.
The University Honors Program is designed to bring talented and ambitious students into FGCU honors program and courses. Students enrolled in the honors program have access to both faculty and community mentors to assist the students in their intellectual journey. Students in the honors program take a series of courses, which provide the students more individualized attention. For the first year of the honors program students will enroll in special honors sections of courses already offered. These sections are more rigorous, take a more interdisciplinary approach, and incorporate more community activities than other sections of the course. On the university level, the honors program is designed for first-time-in-college students, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and intended for superior students regardless of major. The primary goals of the University Honors Program are the development of critical thinking skills, an appreciation of the liberal arts tradition, and the development of creative, independent thought.
Undergraduate students who are enrolled full-time and demonstrate superior academic achievement during one semester are honored on a Dean's List or President's List. To be eligible for the Dean's List or President's List, a student must be among the students who have registered for at least 12 credit hours of FGCU credits in a given semester and complete a minimum of 12 credit hours of graded course work with no incomplete grades during the semester. Dean's List recognition eligibility is for students with an FGCU grade point average of 3.5 to 3.99. The President's List recognition is awarded to students with a cumulative grade point average of 4.0 for the semester. Students with an outstanding academic performance at FGCU are honored at commencement. Baccalaureate candidates must have an overall GPA of 3.50 (on a 4.0 scale) for all course work attempted at FGCU to be considered for honors.
1. Candidates with a GPA of 3.50 but below 3.70 shall receive a diploma designation of cum laude (with honors).
2. Candidates with a GPA of 3.71 but below 3.89 shall receive a diploma designation of magna cum laude (with higher honors).
3. Candidates with a GPA of 3.90 or higher shall receive a diploma designation of summa cum laude (with highest honors).
In addition, the university sponsors and supports numerous activities which enhance the learning environment beyond the classroom or laboratory experience some of which are included in the following:
1. Florida Gulf Coast University requires all of its graduates to participate in service learning opportunities. The first-time-in-college students and students entering at the sophomore level must complete 80 service learning hours during their four years and transfer students must complete 40 service learning hours during their two years at the university. Opportunities are identified for the students through faculty, service learning staff, and other students by registering the opportunities with Eagles Connect, the service learning program.
2. Lectures sponsored by the administration, faculty, and students bring to FGCU national and international scholars and artists who are at the forefront of their professions. The FGCU lecture series provides the university community with nationally acclaimed speakers who bring the most recent, informed perspectives on a wide range of significant issues. Speakers are selected by a committee that consists of students, faculty, and staff.
3. Publications by students and faculty are disseminated throughout the university community, providing greater exposure to intellectual and creative perspectives. Student publications include the Eagle, a campus newspaper published weekly, and the Ampersand, an electronic journal of undergraduate work from the College of Arts and Sciences published each semester.In certain professional, vocational and technical programs (for example, the allied health areas), clinical and other affiliations with outside agencies may be necessary. In all such cases, learning experiences for which credit is awarded must be under the ultimate control and supervision of the educational institution.
The College of Health Professions, Departments of Clinical Laboratory Science, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy require clinical experience through clinical practicum education. These clinical experiences are provided through university contract for affiliation with each clinical facility. Each contract is explicit in the responsibilities and functions of the university and the clinical facility. Learning experiences for which credit is awarded is under the ultimate supervision of FGCU program faculty.
The College of Business and the School of Education have similar procedures. In the College of Business, academic credit is not granted for internship experiences unless the student is directly supervised by a faculty member. Students in the School of Education who register for a clinical experience are assigned a university supervisor who is responsible for their final grades. This academic supervision may utilize on-site visits to off-campus agencies in evaluating student performance.The institution must demonstrate that an effective relationship exists between curricular content and current practices in the field of specialization.
The university encourages active involvement with the professional community and continually pursues every opportunity to be informed of the most current and effective techniques. Advisory boards or committees are in place in many colleges or programs for consultation to assist with the assessment of curricula in terms of relevance and currency.
Community-based professionals provide instruction, either as classroom adjuncts, as off-campus supervisors of clinical experiences and as guest lecturers. Several programs in the university also rely on published guidelines from their professional societies or accrediting bodies that provide standards for current professional instruction.
In the College of Professional Studies, School of Education, faculty work in the schools on a regular basis in the supervision of interns and provision of technical assistance and in-service training. Many of them conduct research in the schools.
Accreditation procedures are a valuable resource for measuring the relationship between curriculum and the current demands of the profession. Many programs at the university are seeking accreditation or plan to do so upon the university receiving full accreditation as required. These programs include nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, clinical laboratory science, education, social work, and business.
Faculty in the College of Health Professions maintain their clinical expertise in a wide variety of ways. Faculty maintain their practice through service assignment related activities while others choose to work in clinical practice, consultant capacities, and volunteer activities. Most regular faculty provide consultation to clinical specialists or other practitioners. Health professionals are required to complete continuing education for renewal of licenses and certifications.
FGCU supports professional development of all faculty. Faculty research is encouraged and sponsored in areas of current methodologies. Travel funds are available for professional development, presenting papers, and attending conferences, seminars, and workshops to provide opportunities for faculty.An institution must demonstrate that program length, clock hours or credit hours, and tuition and fee charges are appropriate for the degrees and credentials it offers.
The Board of Regents determines the length of all undergraduate programs, upon recommendation of the Articulation Coordinating Committee and statewide faculty discipline committees appointed by the Department of Education. Individuals nominated to serve on the faculty discipline committees are selected for their knowledge of their disciplines, for their ability to provide advice reflective of best practice in their fields, and to maintain a representative balance as to type of institution and discipline field or specialization. The minimum program length for all baccalaureate programs is120 hours.
Assessment of tuition and fees is established by the Board of Regents and the Florida legislature. FGCU adheres to these rules.
All instructional techniques, policies, and evaluation are in accord with the purposes of the institution and are appropriate for the courses and programs. Each program is held responsible to demonstrate, by means of an Integrative Program Matrix, that all university outcomes are met in the content of the sequence of courses for each degree. Continued development of these matrices is needed in some programs. Evaluation of all instruction is with concern for quality and the assessment of the goals of each course and the capabilities of the students. Nontraditional formats are evaluated for quality and consistency across the university. The learning environment is scholarly and creative achievement is encouraged.
R4.2.4-1 The Steering Committee recommends the continued development of an integrative program matrix for each program to ensure that programs, courses, and instructional delivery support the university's mission and promote achievement of identified student learning outcomes.
4.2.5 Academic Advising of Undergraduate Students
DescriptionEach institution must conduct a systematic, effective program of undergraduate academic advising. A qualified advisor should be assigned early in the student's program and should recognize the individuality of students and their particular needs and goals. Advisors should be proficient in using data to help determine students' major fields of interest and should have access to each advisee's records, and should have appropriate training or background and experience to carry out their responsibilities effectively. An institution must ensure that the number of advisees assigned to faculty or professional staff is reasonable.
The Office of Admissions, Registration and Records is the central advising office for first-time-in-college and undecided/undeclared students at Florida Gulf Coast University. Students are advised by qualified admission counselors/advisors who assist in the selection of a major, articulation of general education and program requirements, as well as help in planning schedules that meet student needs. The point of initial contact with a counselor/advisor is at orientation for first-time-in-college students.
The FGCU Counseling and Student Health Services Office provides services for career counseling and planning, as well as career resources that are available to all students. Trained counselors administer and interpret career tests such as the System of Interactive Guidance and Information, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and the Campbell Interest and Skills Survey. Counselors assist students in making informed career decisions that are consistent with individual abilities, interests, personality, and personal values. Records of consultations with students are kept for consistency and follow-up. Additional services include monitoring of College Level Academic Skills Test (CLAST) competencies and tutoring services.
Each college has academic and faculty advisors who offer guidance through the upper division program requirements. Each department or program within the college delivers advising using procedures adapted to meet specific needs. All colleges have one or more coordinators of advising whose duties may include maintaining academic records for students with a declared major in the college, certifying students for graduation, participating in orientation, determining final transfer equivalencies for courses within the college, and apprising students of university policies and requirements. The college advisors provide written fact sheets and brochures that outline program requirements. The initial point of contact with a college advisor is at new student transfer orientation. Advisors work in coordination with faculty members in advising students.
The Office of Admissions, Registration and Records advisors and the college advisors have access to Banner, a computerized student information system that allows perusal of student information such as admissions records, class schedules, student directory and biographic information, and academic history. The Office of Admissions, Registration and Records provides training in the use of the system as modules are updated. The Curriculum, Advising, and Program Planning (CAPP) module of Banner is currently being established. This module allows the advising staff to have access to computerized information regarding compliance toward programs. Also, the Student Academic Support System (SASS), which is software provided and maintained by the Board of Regents' Software Development Support Staff (SDSS), is being implemented in order to comply with Section 240.2099, Florida Statutes.
All members of the advising staff hold at least a baccalaureate degree, with the majority having earned a master's degree or higher. The position description and position announcements are on file in human resources for each position and outline the specific knowledge and skills required. Resumes document the professional background of the advising staff to meet or exceed the qualification for each position. The advising staff is encouraged to continue professional development through membership in the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) and attendance at national and regional conferences. Advisors meet and adhere to the standards of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS).
The number of students assigned to ARR and college advisors is reasonable and meets the needs of the students. University advisors, title, degree and number of advisees are depicted in the following table.
*Note: There are 744 non-degree seeking students served by various advisors at the appropriate level.
An effective orientation program must be made available to all full- and part-time undergraduate students. Orientation and advisement programs must be evaluated regularly to ensure effective assistance to students.
Orientation at FGCU is designed to accommodate two distinct groups: first-time-in-college students and transfer students. Orientation sessions are directed by the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records and designed to assist all new students in making a successful transition to the physical, intellectual, social, and cultural environment of Florida Gulf Coast University. This mission is achieved through programs that familiarize students with educational and support services, technological resources, program requirements and registration. Orientation is mandatory for first-time-in-college students and transfer students. This comprehensive introduction to the university is in place for both first-year and transfer students with special sections available for international students. [See FGCU Orientation Agenda and Invitation, Campus Tour Flyer, Admission Checklist.]
Evaluations are an integral part of the orientation process and allow students the opportunity to express concerns. Program changes are made whenever possible to address concerns expressed by student orientation evaluations. In recent orientation evaluations, students rated specific areas of orientation programming. The mean of all responses in the evaluation were rated 3 or higher on a scale of 1 to 4 with 3=good and 4=excellent.
Advising at the university was evaluated in the FGCU annual survey administered in spring 1998. Results of the survey indicate that students have concerns regarding certain aspects of the advising process. Survey questions and mean response rating with the scale of 1 to 6 with 5=agree and 6=strongly agree are as follows:
Item A4: I am aware of the graduation requirements for my degree. Response rating 4.16.
Item E3: Academic advising services help me select appropriate courses for my degree program. Response rating 3.67.
After studying the results of the FGCU annual survey, including student comments, the Office of Planning and Evaluation decided that student advising warranted closer consideration. Interviews with certain advisers and others related to the process were held, and these enabled investigators to develop a model of the existing process and generate a further set of questions about advising. These questions were used later in a focus group session in which all Florida Gulf Coast University advisers participated.
A report, entitled An Examination of the Academic Advising Process at Florida Gulf Coast University, was prepared and presented to deans. It contained a brief presentation of student responses to the FGCU annual survey, a synopsis of the interviews, a timeline describing the advising process, the original/improved models of the process derived from interviewees' descriptions, a report of the focus group investigation, insights about enhancing the quality of student advising derived from these responses, and a discussion of advising in relation to the marketing of the university. Investigators recommended that fuller attention be paid to advising, in particular to facilitating, supporting, and enhancing the process.
The Deans Council reviewed the Florida Gulf Coast University advising procedures in the light of these observations. A special committee consisting of the four college deans and the dean of student services was established with a view toward establishing a more effective advising operation and, in particular, ensuring proper articulation between advising done at the lower and upper divisions.
The advising staff in the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records and the colleges achieve the mission assigned by the university and meet the standards for advising outlined by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. Advisors are highly qualified and experienced and guide students through their academic years. Comprehensive orientation sessions are provided for first-time-in-college and transfer students to facilitate their successful transition to the university. An evaluative process is in place that assures quality improvement in orientation and advising services.
S4.2.5-1 The Steering Committee suggests that the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records further develop the analysis of data received from orientation and advising evaluations to assist in the ongoing quality improvement process.
S4.2.5-2 The Steering Committee suggests that priority be given to development of the electronic compliance system CAPP (Curriculum, Advising and Program Planning) module of Banner. This is needed to implement a tracking system of students from university admittance to acceptance in an upper division program.
S4.2.5-3 The Steering Committee suggests that priority be given to development and integration of the CAPP (Curriculum, Advising and Program Planning) electronic compliance module of Banner and the state-required SASS advising system. These are needed to implement a system to track student progress from university admittance to acceptance in an upper division program and eventually compliance with program requirements for graduation.
4.3 Graduate Program
4.3.1 Initiation, Operation and Expansion of Graduate Programs
DescriptionThe administration and faculty must be responsible for the development of new academic programs recommended to the governing board.
Before the official beginning of classes on August 25, 1997, FGCU received Board of Regents (BOR) authorization to establish nine graduate programs in three of its four colleges. Subsequently, the Physical Therapy program sought and received authorization to be converted from a bachelor's to a master's degree program increasing the number of graduate programs to ten. The allocation of graduate programs by college is as follows: one program in the College of Business, two programs in the College of Health Professions, and seven programs in the College of Professional Studies. The dean of the respective colleges and one or more of the following administers the graduate programs in each college: a graduate coordinator or director in the college, a college graduate curriculum committee, or the chair or program leader of the individual program or department. In fall 1998, the total number of degree-seeking graduate students enrolled was 365.
Not all FGCU graduate programs are "new" programs. Some of the programs were established and operational at the Fort Myers campus of the University of South Florida (USF Fort Myers). As part of the transition, established USF Fort Myers graduate programs were continued as FGCU program offerings. The administration and faculty in each of the colleges that were assigned to each of these programs participated in and were responsible for the transition of USF Fort Myers programs to FGCU and for the development of new academic programs. Initially faculty and administrators employed prior to the official start up of the institution were in charge of transitioning USF Fort Myers programs and developing and obtaining Board of Regents approval of all programs. Once the full cadre of faculty were in place, a review of all graduate programs ensued, and programs were either revised or endorsed.
In 1996 an ad hoc Graduate Curriculum Committee, later renamed the Graduate Curriculum Team (GCT), was established as part of the transitional USF Fort Myers-FGCU Faculty Senate. This committee was to function until the FGCU Faculty Senate was officially constituted in fall 1997. In December 1997, the FGCU Faculty Senate agreed that the GCT would continue its existence until bylaws were adopted. The GCT was charged with developing student learning outcomes that were appropriate to and reflective of FGCU's graduate educational programs. The team's final draft of the graduate student learning outcomes document was presented to the Faculty Senate and "approved in principle" in January 1998.
In spring 1998, the GCT developed and piloted a process for curricula review. Following the review and approval of the master's program in physical therapy, the GCT recommended a refinement of the review process and the supporting forms to occur by fall 1998. The GCT also proposed a relational structure. Accordingly, the GCT will oversee matters related to curricular review, general graduate curricular issues, and curriculum planning. Discussions have been held to formulate a separate committee, the Graduate Programs Committee, to address issues related to graduate program effectiveness, graduate research, general graduate policy issues, and admissions and appeals.
The current program approval procedure begins with the faculty developing a program proposal that outlines a rationale for the program, resource requirements, and curricula. The appropriate department chair reviews the proposal to ensure resource allocation and compliance with university and SUS requirements. Proposed programs are then sent through the college review mechanism for review, comments, and approval. After this approval, the proposal is submitted through the dean of the college to the dean of planning and evaluation and then to the vice president of academic affairs, for approval and submission to the BOR staff in accordance with procedures for the development of new degree programs. In the future, colleges will submit program and curricular related issues to the GCT for review and transmission to the dean of planning and evaluation and the vice president of academic affairs.A graduate program must have curricula and resources substantially beyond those provided for an undergraduate program.
All FGCU graduate programs have been reviewed and authorized by the Board of Regents (BOR). Before authorization can be given, the BOR requires the institution to substantiate that institutional capability, qualifications of the faculty, level of instruction, and prerequisite requirements for courses and programs are adequate for the establishment of graduate programs. The institution must also demonstrate to the BOR that its curricula and resources are substantially beyond those needed and provided for undergraduate programs.
In terms of content, pedagogy, and rigor, the graduate curricula are similar to those at other SUS institutions. For each program, the courses at the graduate level are distinctly different in breadth of content and depth of coverage from similar courses offered at the undergraduate level. Further, graduate level courses generally have smaller "caps" on class size than do undergraduate level courses.
Support for and satisfaction with the curricula content and rigor of graduate education at FGCU can be found among faculty and students alike. The FGCU annual survey, distributed to faculty and students in spring1998, shows that 74 percent of faculty indicate that "the graduate program(s) in my college is (are) rigorous." Seventy-six percent of responding faculty believe that "graduate study at FGCU extends students' knowledge and intellectual maturity," and 88 percent of faculty believe that "graduate students are required to synthesize knowledge from different courses." Ninety-five percent of graduate students feel that the courses they were taking are appropriate to the degree program.
Resources allocated to each of the graduate programs are substantially beyond those provided for undergraduate programs. To ensure that increased faculty and equipment resources are dedicated to graduate level courses, the caps on graduate classes are kept lower than those placed on undergraduate classes. The more established graduate programs, namely those brought over from USF Fort Myers, tend to have more extensive library holdings than those programs which have only recently been established. The faculty surveyed are of the general opinion that the library is inadequate for their graduate instructional needs (mean of 3.11 on a scale ranging from 1, strongly disagree, to 6, strongly agree).
BOR support for and approval of graduate programs depends upon the institution's ability to demonstrate that there are adequate resources and that graduate courses are different and more rigorous than courses offered at the undergraduate level. FGCU has attained BOR support and approval for each of its graduate programs. Demonstration of the adequacy of resources allocated to graduate programs is provided by the faculty and student surveys. Eighty-two percent of the responding faculty indicate that FGCU's computer laboratories are "adequate for their graduate instructional needs."
There is even greater support for resources allocated to graduate programs among graduate students surveyed. Eighty-eight percent of graduate students believe that printed holdings of the library are adequate for their needs. Ninety-one percent are of the opinion that library resources are adequate, and 88 feel that electronic accessibility to the library is adequate. Overall, 90 percent of the graduate students indicated that they were satisfied with the FGCU library. Eighty-two percent of responding graduate students believe that computer laboratories are adequate for their needs, and 86 percent indicated that FGCU has a sufficient number of computer facilities; however, only 40 percent of graduate students believe that "science laboratory facilities are adequate for graduate study."
In response to a question concerning the "sufficiency of financial resources for support of graduate programs in my field," the results of the agree/disagree instrument indicate that faculty agree somewhat with this statement (average agreement score of 3.55 on a 6-point scale). The results from the importance/performance instrument yielded a somewhat different result with faculty indicating that the institution was not performing as well as faculty thought it should when it comes to allocating financial resources to graduate programs. The average difference between the importance and performance scores was 2.33. The disparity between the mean performance and importance scores was greatest for the College of Arts and Science (5.0), which currently has no graduate degree programs.
Faculty were hired based upon their qualifications and expertise in their respective disciplines and based upon specific program needs. It should be noted that in the colleges or schools that have graduate programs (Business, Education, and Health Professions) at least 70 percent of full-time faculty, including visiting faculty and advisors, have doctoral degrees in the relevant discipline.Research, scholarly activity and/or advanced professional training must be included in graduate studies and supported by adequate resources.
As part of the degree requirement, some graduate programs have a research requirement such as a thesis, some require an internship or practicum, and others require a capstone course that helps to integrate student learning. Further, some graduate students receive tuition waivers that require them to work as graduate assistants on a grant or with faculty. The tuition waiver process provides graduate students opportunities to obtain advanced training through direct interaction with faculty and exposure and involvement in research and scholarly activities beyond those required in the classroom. Internships and/or practicum experiences are included within the curricula of the graduate programs as required by the discipline. Internship experiences are supported by partnership and/or affiliation agreements with community agencies and/or businesses appropriate to each program. In addition, FGCU provides library resources and science and computer laboratories that enable graduate students to participate in opportunities for research and scholarly activity. Further information regarding graduate student scholarly activity and advanced professional training is provided in Section 4.3.3 Graduate Completion Requirements.
Responses to the FGCU annual survey indicate that 71 percent of faculty feel that "there is sufficient opportunity for students to become involved in scholarly activities" and 66 percent of graduate students feel that "there is sufficient opportunity for students to become involved in scholarly activities." Further, 87 percent of graduate students feel that "the university will help students develop professionally."An institution must provide a competent and productive faculty, adequate library and learning resources, adequate computer and laboratory facilities, and an appropriate administrative organization.
As a new institution, FGCU hired a faculty that is both competent and productive. Faculty competence and productivity are evidenced by activities such as course development, teaching, scholarship, and service, and are supported in documents like the faculty vita, professional development plan (PDP), and faculty activity report (FAR). FGCU provides the necessary financial commitment and resource support services for its graduate programs. Except for library holdings that are not yet sufficiently adequate for some new graduate programs, FGCU graduate programs are adequately supported within the budgetary outlay provided by the legislature. [See Section 4.8 Faculty, Section 5.1 Library and Other Learning Resources, Section 5.2 Instructional Support, and Section 5.3 Information Technology Resources and Systems.]
FGCU's academic structure is appropriate for the development of the institution. [See Section 6.1.5 Administrative Organization.]
The FGCU annual survey showed that that 80 percent of faculty surveyed feel satisfied with FGCU's "faculty governance structure." Fifty-five percent of the faculty surveyed feel that "financial resources are sufficient to support the graduate program in their field" and 61 percent of the responding faculty feel that "adequate support is provided for the professional development of faculty." Faculty also believe that they have the "academic freedom to do the kind of scholarship that they want" (75 percent), and that the "administration adequately supports their instructional needs" (78 percent). Sixty-five percent of responding faculty feel that "adequate technology is available to support faculty scholarly activities."
The survey also shows that 89 percent of faculty believe that "academically qualified persons are included in the graduate curriculum review process," and 88 percent of the faculty feel that "academically qualified persons developed the curriculum."
Among graduate students, 94 percent of graduate students believe that "overall, the FGCU administration is effective;" 96 percent of graduate students feel that "instructors are competent;" and 87 percent of graduate students feel that "overall, the faculty is effective."
Overall, FGCU has an adequate administrative structure, competent faculty, adequate support services, adequate curricula, and computer facilities for its graduate programs. While the resources allocated to graduate programs are substantially beyond those provided for undergraduate programs, faculty are of the opinion that the library resources are inadequate for graduate programs. The various graduate programs provide adequate opportunities to graduate students for research, scholarly activities, and advanced professional training. FGCU and the Board of Regents have the required procedures in place for the initiation, expansion, and approval of graduate programs.
Faculty committees in each of the colleges handle graduate programs, student appeals, and other procedural issues. Constituted in 1996 as an arm of the Faculty Senate, the university-wide Graduate Curriculum Committee, later renamed the Graduate Curriculum Team, developed a mission, purpose, goals, responsibilities, and operational and relational structure. In spring 1998, the GCT developed and piloted the process for curricular review and recommended refinement of the review process and forms and development of a schedule for further review of graduate curricular material. The GCT also recommended the formation of another coordinating committee, the Graduate Programs Committee, to oversee issues related to graduate program effectiveness, graduate research, general policy issues, and admissions and appeals.
The establishment of second university-wide graduate committee is likely to create communication problems. The review of the GCT First Year Report indicates that communication problems already exist. The committee report states that "the Graduate Student Learning Outcomes were disseminated to all faculty for input" However, conversations with some faculty members demonstrated a lack of awareness on their part of the learning outcomes.
Currently, there is no university-wide administrative oversight of graduate programs and formulations of offerings, and decisions regarding curricula and courses are made at the department and college level. It is quite possible that, as the institution grows, this practice could lead to inadequate planning and problems such as course duplication.
R4.3.1-1 The Steering Committee recommends that further resources be devoted to the library in order to meet the specific instructional needs of the various graduate programs as suggested by the faculty.
S4.3.1-1 The Steering Committee suggests that a university-wide coordinator and/or coordinating body be established to oversee all graduate programs.
S4.3.1-2 The Steering Committee suggests that additional support be provided for appropriate leadership and coordination of graduate programs at the university level.
4.3.2 Graduate Admission
DescriptionAn institution must establish qualitative and quantitative requirements which result in the admission of students whose educational preparation indicates the potential for a high level of performance. Admission criteria typically include an appropriate baccalaureate degree. In cases where the baccalaureate degree is not required, the institution must demonstrate that the student has adequate educational preparation to complete the graduate program. Admission procedures must include the requirement that an applicant submit, as part of the formal application process, official undergraduate transcripts of credit earned from all institutions of higher education previously attended; and other appropriate documents, such as official reports on nationally recognized aptitude tests and evaluations by professionals in their field as to the readiness of an applicant for graduate work. When possible, an interview with the applicant should also be arranged. Admission criteria for all graduate programs must be published.
The quantitative and qualitative criteria for admission were established to attract applicants with qualifications suitable for entry into Florida Gulf Coast University graduate studies programs. The minimum admissions criteria for all graduate programs are established by Rule 6C-6.003, Florida Administrative Code. These requirements are published in the 1998-99 catalog, on program fact sheets, and on the FGCU Web site. Minimum admission requirements include:
1. Bachelor's degree or equivalent from a regionally accredited institution or, in the case of foreign students, an institution recognized as an institution of higher learning.
2. "B" average in upper level work (last 60 hours of undergraduate course work) or combined score of 1000 on the GRE or 500 on the GMAT, or an equivalent measure approved by the Board of Regents (BOR).
3. Official transcripts must be submitted from all institutions of higher learning attended.
4. Foreign students must demonstrate proficiency in the English Language with a minimum score of 500 on the TOEFL.
Where applicable, exceptions to the stated graduate admissions policy are intended to enrich and diversify the university culture. Rule 6C-6.003, F.A.C. provides for exceptions to these requirements. Up to 10 percent of the graduate students admitted for a given academic year may be admitted to programs as exceptions to the minimum criteria. In such cases, FGCU uses other criteria, including letters of recommendation, satisfactory performance in up to 12 hours of graduate course work, or documentation of practical professional experience during a specified period of time. In the Executive MBA program, in unusual circumstances, based on exceptional prior business experience, a few exceptions have been made to the requirement for a baccalaureate degree.
At FGCU some graduate programs have additional admission requirements. These are published in the catalog, on program fact sheets, and on the FGCU Web site. Programs in the College of Business require the GMAT standardized test score. Depending on the program, the College of Professional Studies and the College of Health Professions require the GRE or MAT standardized test score. Additionally, FGCU graduate programs generally require a 3.0 grade point average on the last 60 hours of upper level course work. The Master of Social Work program also requires a biography, one year of social work experience, and an interview. The programs in the School of Education require three letters of recommendation. [See Table 4.3.2-1 for admission requirements by graduate program.]
The quantitative and qualitative criteria for admissions were established prior to the official opening of FGCU in fall 1997. The transition faculty and administrators in each FGCU college with a graduate program developed admissions policies for the various graduate programs. After August 7, 1997, the various graduate programs committees within each college began the task of reviewing the admissions procedures. Together with the graduate advisor for each program, the college graduate programs committees, or similar body, and the faculty reviewed, or are in the process of reviewing, endorsing, and developing written admissions requirements, policies, and procedures in keeping with the specific needs of the individual graduate programs.
For each program, the policies adopted are congruent with the policies and rules of the Board of Regents. Both the general admissions criteria and the program-specific admissions criteria for all graduate programs are published in the catalog, on the program fact sheets, and on the FGCU Web site. Students and prospective applicants can also request this information from the graduate admissions coordinator in the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records. The catalog states that an applicant for a graduate program "submits a completed application packetThe Office of Admission, Registration and Records handles the overall application process and applicants should direct all application materials and questions to this office." Before an applicant is considered for admission, all necessary documents, as defined by the applicable program, must be received.
Each applicant completes an application form and submits it to the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records. As part of the admissions package, students are required to submit official undergraduate transcripts of credits earned from all institutions of higher education attended. Students are also required to submit official scores for the appropriate nationally recognized aptitude test (GRE, MAT or GMAT), letters of recommendation, and a personal statement where applicable. Official test scores must be received directly from the testing agency. Official transcripts with actual seal and registrar signature must be sent directly from previous institutions to the FGCU Office of Admission, Registration and Records. These documents become part of the student's permanent FGCU file. Applications are not considered complete and are not acted upon until all of the required documents have been received. [See Section 4.7 Student Records for additional information.]Coursework transferred or accepted for credit toward a graduate degree must represent graduate coursework relevant to the degree, with course content and level of instruction resulting in student competencies at least equivalent to those of students in the institution's own graduate degree programs. In assessing and documenting equivalent learning and qualified faculty, institutions may use recognized guides which aid in the evaluation for credit. Such guides include those published by the American Council on Education, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers, and the National Association of Foreign Student Affairs.
In matters related to the transfer of credits, the FGCU Office of Admission, Registration and Records follows guidelines developed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and published in Transfer Credit Practices of Designated Educational Institutions. When evaluating military credit, the guidelines for the American Council on Education are used.
The FGCU policy governing the transfer of graduate credit is described in the catalog as follows:
FGCU will transfer courses with a grade of 'B' or better by equating them to specific FGCU courses. An equivalent FGCU course number will be entered on the student's official transcript along with a grade of 'T' to indicate transfer credit. Transfer credit will not be used when computing a student's FGCU grade point average.
The accreditation status and evaluation of credits from an institution outside the United States must be made by either Josef Silny & Associates, Inc. or World Education Services, Inc. with associated costs to be paid by the student. Students may obtain information on these services from the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records.
Transfer credit is not granted until the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records has received all official transcripts. To be eligible for transfer, the student must be in good standing and eligible to return to the most recent institution attended as a degree-seeking student, meet basic requirements for entry into a FGCU graduate program, and have an overall GPA of 3.0 for all graduate work taken.
Transfer applicants not meeting admissions requirements are denied admission. Under FGCU and Rule 6C-6.003, F.A.C., students not accepted into the degree program to which they apply may appeal the admission decision to the College Graduate Appeals Committee. If the committee acts in favor of the appeal, the student may be admitted in good standing or given conditional acceptance.
By completing an application for the transfer of graduate credit, the student initiates the request for a transfer of credit. The graduate advisor reviews the request to ensure that:
1. The transfer credits requested are for graduate level courses.
2. The course work is relevant to the FGCU degree program in which the student is enrolled.
3. The course is substitutable for a FGCU course in the applicable graduate program.
4. The grade the student received in the course is acceptable for the FGCU program.
The transferability of graduate course work taken at other institutions is contingent upon the other institution being appropriately accredited. Table 4.3.2-2 provides a summary of the information on credit transfer.Graduate credit must not be awarded for portfolio-based experiential learning which occurs prior to the matriculation into a graduate program, and which had not been under the supervision of the institution. This limitation on the award of credit for experiential learning does not preclude practices such as internships and field experiences that are an integral part of a graduate program and are conducted under the supervision of the institution. In those exceptional individual cases, however, an institution may award graduate credit for portfolio-based experiential learning which occurs prior to the student's matriculation into a graduate program. Justification for an exception must include adequate documentation that the institution: (a) awards credit only for documented learning which ties the prior experience to the theories and data of the relevant academic field; (b) awards credit only to a matriculated student, identifies such credit on the student's transcript as credit for prior experiential learning, and is prepared, upon request from another institution, to document how such learning was evaluated and the basis on which such credit was awarded; (c) takes steps to ensure that credit for prior experiential learning does not duplicate credit already awarded for courses planned in the student's academic program; (d) adopts, describes in appropriate institutional publications, implements and regularly reviews policies and procedures for awarding credit for experiential learning; and (e) clearly describes, and establishes validity of, the evaluation process and criteria for awarding credit for prior experiential learning.
None of the FGCU graduate programs awards graduate credits for portfolio-based experiential learning that occurs prior to the matriculation into a graduate program and that had not been under the supervision of the institution. Experiential learning is credited when it is part of a course or specific program of study, such as internships, field experiences, or practica under the supervision of the FGCU faculty.Separate admission criteria must be formulated for each level of graduate work offered. Policies must clearly define probation or conditional admission, if any, including the requirements for conditional admission and how long a student may remain in that status.
At the graduate level, FGCU, at the present time, confers only master's degrees. The basic admissions criteria for acceptance into FGCU graduate programs are established by Rule 6C-6.003, F.A.C. Each program is then allowed to set program-specific admissions criteria. The admissions criteria for all FGCU master's degree programs have been specified and are published in the catalog, the program fact sheets, and on the FGCU Web site.
FGCU graduate programs have clearly defined their policies on conditional admission and appeals to admission decisions. These policies reside within the various colleges and are not published in the catalog. Each program's policies also cover probationary status and outline time limitations and conditions under which students may remain enrolled in conditional and probationary status.
For example, the College of Professional Studies, School of Education, policy states that students may be conditionally admitted to graduate programs if the candidate does not meet admissions standards in a uniformly satisfactory pattern. In such cases, the committee may admit a student with the condition that his/her file will be reviewed after the student has taken six graduate hours designated by the area's program leader and obtained a minimum GPA of 3.5 for the six hours. Students whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on probation for one semester. Concerted effort will be made during the probationary period to aid the student in reestablishing good standing. If the student is unable to reestablish good standing, the student may be dismissed from a degree-seeking status after one semester of probation by the dean of the college, upon recommendation of the school director. Tracking of students on probation is the responsibility of the appeals committee.
In the College of Business the initial admission decisions are made by the coordinator of student affairs and confirmed by the MBA program coordinator. Students denied admission are sent information regarding the appeal process and criteria. All appeals are referred to the College of Business Graduate Program Committee for review and decision. Students whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on probation for one semester. If the student is unable to reestablish this standing, the student may be dismissed from a degree-seeking status after one semester of probation by the dean of the college, upon recommendation of the coordinator of the graduate program. Tracking of students on probation is the responsibility of the MBA program coordinator.
Applicants to the graduate Health Science program in the College of Health Professions may receive provisional acceptance if baccalaureate degree requirements and/or certification, or license, or registration are in progress at the time of application and all requirements will be completed before the first day of classes. Table 4.3.2-3 provides a summary of the information on probation and conditional admission procedures.Admission criteria for each graduate program must be established with representation by the faculty responsible for instruction in that program. An institution must publish both the general criteria for admission and any special admission criteria for individual programs. It must regularly evaluate its admission policies.
In addition to the admission criteria stated by the BOR, faculty from the programs determine other criteria, such as letters of reference and additional or higher standards. A listing of current requirements by program is provided in Table 4.3.2-1. Although the BOR had authorized nine graduate programs, not all of them were ready to accept students when FGCU first opened. For those programs that were ready to accept students, faculty and administrators employed by each college prior to the August 25, 1997, official beginning of classes, established the initial admission requirements for graduate programs. After August 25, 1997, the admission requirements were reviewed and revised and/or endorsed by the faculty responsible for instruction in the respective graduate program. For those programs coming online after the initial opening of the institution, the faculty responsible for instruction in the appropriate program are involved in establishing program-specific admissions criteria. Faculty committees in each college or program plan to undertake regular evaluation of the policies and procedures governing admission into their specific graduate programs and to makes changes where appropriate.
The general admissions criteria and the specific admissions requirement for each graduate program are published in the graduate section of the catalog, on program fact sheets, and on the FGCU Web site.
The College of Professional Studies, School of Education, will review and evaluate its admission policies on an annual basis with the initial review to occur in the spring 1999 semester. Recommended changes to the policies and procedures will be forwarded to the faculty for discussion and decision.
The College of Business Graduate Program Committee reviews admission policies on an ongoing basis. Recommended changes to the policies and procedures are forwarded to the College of Business faculty for discussion and decision.
In the College of Health Professions, the admission policy for the graduate program in health science is systematically reviewed in order to refine the policy. It is anticipated that within two years, the review of the admission policy will be an annual occurrence. Admissions policies for the master's in physical therapy are reviewed annually during the summer term. Table 4.3.2-4 provides a summary of the information related to the evaluation of admission procedures.
In the FGCU annual survey, faculty were asked to indicate how important it was to have "graduate admissions requirements that yield students with the potential for success." The faculty were also asked to rate FGCU's performance on this criterion. The results indicate that perceived importance (5.47 on a 6-point scale) was ranked higher than perceived performance (4.04).
BOR Rule 6C-6.001, 6C-6.003 and Rule 6C-6.009 F.A.C, sets general graduate admission policies for all State University System institutions. FGCU's graduate program admission procedures and requirements adhere to these policies and are supplemented with program-specific requirements as allowed by the BOR. The general and program admissions requirements and policies are published in the catalog and are followed for the admittance of students. Policies are also set for acceptance of transfer credit, degree completion requirements, and residency. Information on the appeals process resides in the various colleges and is not included in the catalog.
BOR Rule 6C-6.009, F.A.C., requires a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 500 or above for foreign students. FGCU graduate programs meet this requirement; however, while this requirement is used in the graduate admissions process, it is not clearly stated as a general requirement for all graduate programs.
While admission procedures and program-specific criteria and policies are in place, the process is not consistent across the various colleges. With respect to admissions, some colleges use a college-wide committee, others use an in-program committee. Therefore, in some cases it is not apparent who is responsible for overseeing or monitoring admission standards. Each college has it own appeal process, and there is no university-wide process to oversee what is being done. Further, since cross-college interaction on graduate programs, policies, procedures and course offering is not institutionalized, it occurs in an ad-hoc manner creating the potential for a breakdown in communication.
The current catalog is designed to serve the needs of both undergraduate and graduate students. However, the graduate section of the catalog does not list all of the information related to graduate students. Some of this information is found elsewhere in the publication. This has the potential to create confusion among graduate students who may not read the sections of the catalog which are not specifically identified as pertaining to graduate students.
R4.3.2-1 The Steering Committee recommends that TOEFL score requirements be published in the graduate admissions section of future catalogs and on the Web.
S4.3.2-1 The Steering Committee suggests that FGCU ensure that all information related to graduate programs is self-contained within the graduate section of future catalogs.
S4.3.2-2 The Steering Committee suggests that while in-program committees should not be discouraged, each college should have a coordinating committee or similar mechanism with coordinating responsibility for all the graduate programs in that college.
S4.3.2-3 The Steering Committee suggests that the graduate program committee or similar mechanism in each college have the responsibility to review graduate programs, policies, procedures, courses, and appeals.
S4.3.2-4 The Steering Committee suggests that all information on graduate admissions and retention be published.
4.3.3 Graduation Completion Requirements
DescriptionGeneral completion requirements for the graduate degrees offered by an institution must be determined by the faculty or by an appropriate body representing the faculty. Policies governing these requirements must include the following: the specified period of time for degree completion; requirements governing residency; thesis and dissertation requirements (when applicable), the minimum number of credit hours required for the degree, the minimum acceptable gradepoint average, standards for satisfactory academic progress, the level of academic progress at which the student should apply for candidacy, and the types of qualifying and exit examinations the candidate must pass.
The requirements for completion of graduate degrees are determined through a process that includes departmental faculty, the department chair or program leader, the college graduate programs committee or similar bodies, and the dean of the college. After there is agreement within the college, the completion requirements are submitted to the vice president of academic affairs for approval. FGCU completion requirements are in keeping with BOR policies and completion requirements at other SUS and nationally accredited institutions.
Prior to August 7, 1997, faculty and administrators who were hired to staff the various programs developed general degree requirements. After August 25, 1997, faculty in the various colleges or the college/school graduate curriculum committee or similar body representing the faculty endorsed or reviewed the completion requirements in keeping with BOR and university requirements. In each instance the completion requirements, specified or projected time for completion of the degree, minimum number of credit hours required for the degree, percent of course work that must be earned at FGCU (academic residency requirements), thesis requirement or capstone project as applicable, standards for academic progress and minimum acceptable grade point average were established by the faculty and program administrators. These requirements are published in the catalog.:
1. Full-time enrollment is nine hours in the 16-week fall or spring semesters. A total of nine hours in any combinations of summer terms is considered full-time.
2. A minimum of 30 hours and a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale is required to earn a master's degree. At least 20 hours must be non-thesis course work and 25 percent of the degree must be earned at FGCU. Total hours to fulfill degree requirements will vary from program to program. Graduate students must also complete all additional requirements, as determined by the appropriate college. [See Table 4.3.3-1 for a summary of graduate completion requirements.]
There is no BOR policy detailing required course level or the maximum length of time required for completion of the master's degree. At FGCU, graduate program offerings follow a plan, which allows students to complete their respective programs through part-time and/or full-time attendance. Generally, students follow a planned sequence of study that leads to program completion within a two- to seven-year time frame depending on the program. Such program planning is agreed upon between the student and his or her advisor. The latter allows the students flexibility to accomplish both academic goals and meet personal needs. This strategy for program completion is congruent with the university's student-centered mission and serves the needs of full-time, part-time, and working individuals, while meeting program goals. Hence, graduate degree completion times vary by program and can be viewed in terms of credit hour length.
Standards for academic progress for each program are in accordance with the university's policy that students must hold a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale to earn a master's degree, as stated in the graduate section of the catalog. Students must complete program requirements to obtain a graduate degree.
To be awarded a FGCU graduate degree, students must complete at least 25 percent of the graduate work at FGCU. All FGCU graduate programs require at least 30 hours. There is no explicitly stated FGCU academic residency requirement; however, the 25 percent rule determines the minimum number of credit hours that students must complete at FGCU. While there is no candidacy requirement, students must successfully complete the degree requirements to earn the graduate degree. Some degree programs require a competency-based examination and others require a thesis or capstone project. Not all of the programs, however, have a clear statement concerning this requirement.These requirements, along with any others developed by the institution, must be published and distributed to all incoming graduate students and be appropriate to the degree and program being offered. If individual academic units develop special completion requirements for their graduate programs, these requirements must be published in the official catalog.
Policies and requirements for completing graduate degree programs are published in the catalog and on the Web and are distributed to all incoming graduate students. Students are made aware of these policies at graduate student orientations and by the graduate advisors during the first advising session.All courses offered by an institution for credit must be acceptable as requirements or electives applicable to at least one of its own degree or certificate programs or must be clearly identified on transcripts as not applicable to any of the institution's degree or certificate programs.
All FGCU graduate-level courses are either required or elective courses in a graduate degree program. A list of the required and elective courses offered in the relevant degree program is provided to each student as described above.
Degree completion requirements at FGCU are in keeping with BOR, the Florida Administrative Code, and program requirements. Such requirements vary by program; however, all requirements are published in the catalog and made available to students when they enter the program. Prospective students are also provided with or have access to published materials including program fact sheets, catalog, and on-line information that reflect degree and program concentration requirements.
The policies governing the maximum length of time for completing a master's degree, academic residency, specific completion requirements, satisfactory academic progress, and the method by which students apply for or are eligible for degree candidacy are not clearly stated for each program. Similarly exit competency examinations are not clearly addressed.
R4.3.3-1 The Steering Committee recommends that the graduate degree requirements and policy statements for each program be examined to ensure that they clearly address the following:
a. Levels of acceptable academic progress for student qualification to degree candidacy.
b. Standards for satisfactory academic progress towards the degree.
c. Thesis and/or capstone project requirements.
d. Types of qualifying and exit examinations (if any) that the candidate must pass.
S4.3.3-1 The Steering Committee suggests that specific program-related completion requirements be published.
4.3.4 Graduate Curriculum
DescriptionAn institution offering graduate work must be able to demonstrate that it maintains a substantial difference between undergraduate and graduate instruction. Graduate study must be at a level of complexity and specialization that extends the knowledge and intellectual maturity of the student. It must require graduate students to analyze, explore, question, reconsider and synthesize old and new knowledge and skills. The graduate curriculum must afford the depth of education, the specialized skills, and the sense of creative independence that will allow the graduate to practice in and contribute to a profession or field of scholarship. Combined instruction of graduate and undergraduate students, if permitted at all, must be structured to ensure appropriate attention to both groups.
The process used to develop graduate programs at FGCU ensures that students are taught at a level appropriate to graduate instruction. The various FGCU graduate programs are designed to provide career advancement opportunities for students who have completed a bachelor's degree or equivalent in an allied discipline. In the graduate health science program students must possess the baccalaureate degree as well as license, certification, or registration/experience in that discipline. While some courses are offered via distance learning delivery modes, at the present time, no graduate programs are offered entirely through distance learning.
Graduate programs are generally specialized within career concentration areas. This provides students with the opportunity to master concentrations based on the students' interests and career goals. The curriculum content, instruction, and overall delivery of the graduate education experience emphasize evaluation, synthesis, and the application of knowledge attained to solve problems. Students select courses in consultation with a graduate advisor who assists in the development of a planned program of study.
The overall quality of the graduate curriculum was established and is maintained through a number of mechanisms. Faculty in the respective colleges are responsible for establishing and reviewing the curriculum. Initiation of the curriculum must be approved by the BOR. Systematic evaluation of the various master's programs to include faculty, instruction, teaching observations, student retention, graduation rates, graduate, and employer surveys will be implemented in the future as part of FGCU's institutional effectiveness process.
As required by the Statewide Course Numbering System, graduate classes are listed at the 5000 and 6000 level. Generally, undergraduate students are not permitted to enroll in graduate courses. Senior-level undergraduate students may obtain special permission to enroll in a limited number of graduate-level courses. In 1997-98, some graduate classes (5000 and 6000 level) in the College of Business met jointly ("cross-listed") with the corresponding undergraduate class (3000 or 4000 level). Cross-listing of graduate and undergraduate courses occurred because of limited student enrollment in the first year during which students attended FGCU and the course needs of graduate and undergraduate students transitioning from USF Fort Myers. In cross-listed classes, graduate and undergraduate students had different syllabi, assignments, workload, and evaluative criteria such that differences in expectations and performance were clearly defined.
Support for FGCU's graduate programs is found in the FGCU annual survey of faculty and students conducted by the FGCU Office of Planning and Evaluation. Seventy-six percent of the faculty agree that "graduate study at FGCU extends students' knowledge and intellectual maturity." In general, graduate students completing the survey agreed that "the climate at FGCU supports scholarly interactions between students and faculty," "overall, FGCU's faculty are effective," "students will have a positive experience at FGCU," the "curriculum will help students develop their analytic skills," and "FGCU will help students develop professionally."The curricular offerings must be clearly and accurately described in published material. Curricula must be directly related and appropriate to the purpose and goals of the institution and the degree program, and to the financial and instructional resources of the institution.
The specific curricula offerings for each master's degree program are outlined in the appropriate section of the catalog, on the fact sheets, and on the Web.
The goals of the graduate programs and the graduate student learning outcomes, as adopted in principle by the Faculty Senate on 1/16/98, are congruent with the mission statements of the various colleges as well as the Florida Gulf Coast University mission and guiding principles. The goals of the graduate programs are published in the catalog.The institution must have a clearly defined process by which the curriculum is established, reviewed and evaluated. The faculty and administration are responsible for implementing and monitoring the general curriculum policy and the academic programs approved by the board. There should be an institution-wide process to coordinate programmatic and curricular changes.
The overall process for developing new graduate programs is outlined by SUS guidelines and followed by FGCU. While the development of new programs is governed by BOR policy, faculty in the relevant college, department, and/or discipline are responsible for establishing and maintaining the curriculum. Each college/school has a curriculum committee or similar body with responsibility for graduate curriculum development, review, and evaluation. Faculty at FGCU are not designated as undergraduate or graduate. Therefore, criteria for determining graduate faculty are not spelled out in the faculty governance documents.
The faculty in each college are responsible for establishing internal college policy and procedure by which the curriculum is established, reviewed, and evaluated. The faculty in the area offering the graduate degree develop programs and curricula that are forwarded to the college/school curriculum committee or a similar body for review and approval. The college committee makes a recommendation to the dean of the college who recommends the program or curriculum to the vice president of academic affairs for final university approval prior to sending the program/curricula to the BOR for approval, where appropriate.
Internal university and external BOR approval helps ensure that graduate programs and curricula are in keeping with the institution's purpose and goals as stated in the mission statement and guiding principles. All FGCU programs and course offerings are developed with consideration given to the institution's purpose and goals and the financial and instructional resources needed to support the offerings.
In spring 1998, the university-wide Graduate Curriculum Team completed work on goals, responsibilities, operational and relational structures, and graduate student learning outcomes, and presented recommendations to the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate, with the understanding that any substantial change in the university mission statement that affects graduate education will result in a re-examination of these issues, approved this body of work. The GCT reviewed the new master's program in physical therapy in spring 1998 as a prototype review. It plans to refine its review procedures and undertake the review of all existing and proposed graduate programs to ensure the quality of the offerings and, in particular, to work with the colleges to link the programs with the graduate student learning outcomes.The governing board must be responsible for approving the number and types of degrees; the number and nature of departments, division, schools or colleges through which the curriculum is administered; and the extent to which the institution should offer distance learning programs.
The BOR is responsible for the final approval of all graduate degree programs, the structure of the colleges into departments or programs, clusters or divisions, schools, and colleges through which the various programs and curricula are administered. The BOR approved FGCU's mission, which includes a statement about distance learning. The university's distance learning programs are consistent with BOR policy on external delivery of programs and courses. In May 1998, FGCU's distance learning strategic plan was completed and presented to and approved by the university president. The plan outlines goals and objectives for distance learning education in keeping with the institution's mission.An institution must make a distinction between a course of study leading to the master's or specialist degree and a course of study leading to the doctorate.
The institution does not offer any course of study leading to a doctoral degree.A program leading to a master's or specialist degree must be the equivalent of at least one-year of fulltime graduate study.
All master's degree programs at FGCU require the equivalent of at least one year of full-time graduate level study. A minimum of 30 credit hours of course work is required for all graduate programs offered by FGCU. The specifics of each graduate program are listed in the 1998-99 catalog, on program fact sheets, and on the Web. [See Table 4.3.3-1.]A master's or specialist degree must provide the following: an understanding of research and the manner in which research is conducted; an understanding of the subject matter, literature, theory and methodology of the discipline; an association with resident faculty members sufficient to permit their individual evaluation of the candidate's capabilities; and demonstrated means of certifying the knowledge and skills which the candidate has acquired.
Each graduate program exposes students to research methods and provides ample opportunity for students to conduct research. This is accomplished either by way of a research-oriented course or by requiring courses that use research methodology. All graduate courses of study provide students with an exposure to and an understanding of the subject matter, literature, theory, and methodology of the field. The method of instruction for the various courses ensures that all students associate with resident faculty in a manner and duration sufficient for the faculty to evaluate the candidate's capabilities. Although some classes are taught via distance learning modes, students have access to faculty through e-mail, Web boards/chat rooms, telephone, fax, and in-person visits to faculty offices. Class assignments, research reports, projects, reviews, oral presentations, and examinations are among the demonstrated tools used to certify that students have attained the requisite comprehension, knowledge, and skills.A non-research-oriented professional master's degree requires an understanding of the accepted professional practices in the field. The institution must demonstrate that an effective relationship exists between curricular content and current practices in the field of specialization.
Teaching practicums, clinical practicums, internships, and field experience provide students enrolled in professional master's programs with the opportunity to obtain experiential learning. In addition, faculty in all programs are responsible for incorporating current acceptable professional practice into their graduate courses. Faculty knowledge of current acceptable professional practice is enhanced through applied research and involvement in internships, practicum experiences, and consulting.
In the College of Professional Studies, the School of Education uses practitioners as guest speakers and as role models in practicums/internships. In all graduate programs, courses are based upon presenting students with an understanding of the theory, methods, and practices in the field that meet current standards of state and national professional organizations. Field placements, internships, and workshops involving community agencies provide students in the School of Public and Social Services with the opportunity to obtain experiential learning.
The College of Health Professions utilizes clinical practicums, guest lecturers, capstone courses, seminars, and internships to provide students with the knowledge of acceptable professional practice in the field and to demonstrate that relationships exist among curricula content, class coverage, and current practices of specialization.
In the College of Business, students are required to complete an integrative capstone course and demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of business as an integrative function in light of current business practices.The institution must demonstrate that program length, credit hours, and tuition and fees are appropriate for its master's and specialist degrees and any other credential it offers.
While the BOR has authorized FGCU to offer master's and specialist's degree programs, at the present time FGCU offers only master's programs. The length each graduate program is set with the approval of the BOR and is appropriate for the degree and credential offered. All graduate programs require at least 30 credit hours and none requires more than 60 credit hours, in keeping with similar graduate programs at other SUS schools and at accredited institutions nationally. The tuition and fee structures for all graduate programs were set in conjunction with the BOR; and, on a credit-hour basis, are approximately 50 percent higher than those related to undergraduate programs.A doctoral degree program must be of sufficient duration to provide for substantial mastery of the subject matter, theory, literature, research and methodology of a significant part of the field, including any language or other skills necessary to its pursuit, and independent research as evidenced by a doctoral dissertation. A substantial period of residence must be included to provide student access to a wide range of support facilities, including a research library, cultural events and other occasions for intellectual growth associated with campus life, significant faculty/student interaction, opportunities for student exposure to and engagement with cognate disciplines and research scholars working in those disciplines, and significant peer interaction among graduate students. It should provide the opportunity for a mentoring apprentice relationship between faculty and students as well as adequate time for in-depth faculty evaluation of students. For appropriate professional doctoral programs, a project may be substituted for the research dissertation. In such cases, the institution must demonstrate a substantial level of competency appropriate to a doctoral degree. There must be appropriate and regular means for determining candidacy and the fulfillment of degree requirements. The institution must demonstrate that an effective relationship exists between curricular content and current practices in the field of specialization. The institution must demonstrate that program length, credit hours, and tuition and fees are appropriate for its doctoral degrees.
FGCU does not offer any course of study leading to a doctoral degree.The institution must conduct frequent, systematic evaluation of graduate curricular offerings and program requirements. An institution must integrate research with instruction. Followup of students is one method of testing the effectiveness of the graduate curriculum.
Plans are in place to provide for a frequent, systematic evaluation of graduate curricular and program requirements. The Graduate Curriculum Team is developing a process for reviewing all existing programs. The faculty-based committees in the various colleges offering graduate programs will be establishing and reviewing criteria, policies, and procedures for the development and ongoing evaluation of graduate programs. On a five-year cycle, the State University System manages system-wide reviews of programs by discipline. In addition, programs will be reviewed through the accreditation process. It will be the responsibility of the institutional effectiveness process to ensure that internal and external reviews are coordinated to eliminate duplication and the results of evaluations will be used to enhance program quality.
Professional associations and national organizations in many fields require accreditation reviews for programs. FGCU's programs are now in the process of seeking accreditation. While none of FGCU's graduate programs are currently accredited by professional associations and national organizations, FGCU's programs are being established using standards that are consistent with those established by the various professional and national organizations and plans are to have the graduate programs seek professional and national accreditation.
FGCU graduated its first class of graduate students in spring 1998. As part of the institutional effectiveness plan, the Office of Planning and Evaluation plans to conduct alumni surveys to assess the marketplace effectiveness of the FGCU graduate curriculum.
While all programs do not require a research methods course, each FGCU graduate program integrates research into the program instruction through requirements such as term papers, presentation requirements, and research reports.
The results from the FGCU annual survey of students indicate that respondents agree that the FGCU "curriculum will help students develop their analytic skills" and "develop professionally."
FGCU has both internal and external mechanisms in place for monitoring the quality of its undergraduate and graduate curricula. Programs and course descriptions are published in the catalog and on the Web. The BOR reviews and approves FGCU degree programs. The university is in the process of seeking professional accreditation of its graduate programs to ensure quality. Either by way of a research-oriented course or by requiring courses that use research methodology, each graduate program exposes students to research methods and provides ample opportunity for students to conduct research.
The university's Graduate Curriculum Team has completed work on the purpose, goals and responsibilities, and operational and relational structure of the team. The Faculty Senate has approved this for adoption. The GCT has also conducted a pilot review of the Physical Therapy program and has recommended modification of some of the forms used in the process. Plans are to review the other graduate programs starting in fall 1998.
The number of credit hours required for each master's degree program is clearly indicated in the catalog and on the Web site.
Generally, undergraduate students are not permitted in graduate classes. Senior level undergraduate students may obtain special permission to enroll in graduate level courses. In 1997-98, the College of Business "cross-listed" some of its courses. Except in special situations, this practice, however, is being phased out.
S4.3.4-1 The Steering Committee suggests that the Graduate Curriculum Committee implement the process of reviewing all graduate programs.
4.3.5 Graduate Instruction
DescriptionThe effectiveness of a graduate program depends largely on the scholarly stimulation obtained when a group of students interacts with faculty in complementary specialties. For this reason, graduate faculty members should be productive, creative scholars readily accessible to their students. The institution must provide an environment, which supports and encourages scholarly interaction and accessibility among the faculty and students consistent with the qualitative intent of the Criteria.
FGCU provides an environment that supports and encourages scholarly interaction and accessibility among faculty and students. The faculty are accessible to students on campus, and via e-mail, telephone, and fax. The office hours, office location, e-mail address, and telephone number of each faculty member are made available to students at student orientation and in each class at the beginning of each semester. Since there is the expectation that faculty have a commitment of time to scholarship, graduate assistants are given tuition waivers and assigned to faculty to assist in scholarly and grant related activities. As organization advisors, faculty members are also accessible to students through student organizations.
Faculty involvement in scholarship results in publications and presentations that sometimes include students. In the School of Education, students and faculty made national presentations together at professional conferences during the fall of 1997 and the spring of 1998. In other colleges, complete and in-progress research activity is shared with students through seminars, conferences, class presentations and research projects. Individual study and field or clinical experiences also provide for one-on-one interaction between students and faculty. Displays of faculty publications and resource materials direct students toward such materials and encourage faculty/student interaction. Course syllabi also contain bibliographic information that leads students to faculty scholarship as related to the field.
Results of the FGCU annual survey, distributed to faculty and students in spring 1998, show that 72 percent of faculty agree that "the climate at FGCU supports scholarly interactions of students and faculty." Seventy-one percent agreed that "there is sufficient opportunity for students to become involved in scholarly activities." Ninety-three percent of graduate students agreed that "FGCU provides an environment in which scholarly achievement is encouraged." Seventy-three percent agreed that "there is sufficient opportunity for students to become involved in scholarly activities." Eighty-seven percent agree that "FGCU provides adequate opportunity for scholarly interaction with faculty," and 92 percent agree that "the university supports scholarly interaction between students and faculty."
Instructional methods and delivery systems must provide students with the opportunity to achieve the stated objectives of the course or program.
Course content and instructional methods provide students with the opportunity to achieve the stated objectives of the course or program. Like on-campus courses, distance learning courses are designed to enable students to achieve course objectives. The department, the college, and the university review the curriculum and the courses prior to obtaining state approval. Assessment, to include examination, papers, and projects, are tied to stated objectives of the course and program.
The FGCU annual survey indicates that 98 percent of graduate students agree that "the methods of instruction are appropriate for my capabilities." Ninety-eight percent agreed that "performance in my FGCU courses is evaluated in ways that are fair." Ninety-eight percent agree that "the courses I am taking are appropriate to my degree program." Ninety-seven percent agree that "the courses I am taking are taught at a level that is appropriate for my abilities."Students must be informed of the goals and requirements of each course, the nature of the course content, and the methods of evaluation to be employed.
The faculty member assigned to teach a course develops the syllabus. Course syllabi are posted on the Web and students have access to the syllabi and other course-related materials. Course goals and objectives are clearly stated on all syllabi. The Web template also provides for inclusion of the assessment method used to determine whether students achieve stated objectives. Instructional and evaluation methods, topics to be covered, faculty office hours, instructional resources, textbooks, reference materials including journal articles, reference texts, audiovisuals, and other materials are also listed on the syllabi.
The FGCU annual survey indicates that 98 percent of graduate students agree that "I have a clear understanding of the requirements of the courses I am taking." Ninety-eight percent agree that "I have a clear understanding of the goals of the courses I am taking." Ninety-three percent agree that "in my courses, instructors clearly state the methods to be used to evaluate performance."Methods of instruction must be appropriate for students at the specified level of graduate study. Experimentation with methods to improve instruction must be adequately supported and critically evaluated.
FGCU provides for a variety of teaching methods and formats, including lectures, discussions, case studies, seminars, laboratory activities, computer programs, directed individual study, internships, field experiences, and distance learning. Faculty are provided with institutionalized instructional support and encouraged to experiment with methods that can enhance the quality of instruction. For example, in summer 1998 (June 17-19), the FGCU Office of Instructional Technology hosted a workshop on problem based learning. Faculty are encouraged to try the problem based-method in their classes. The Office of Instructional Technology provides a team of professionals who provide faculty with instructional design and technological assistance upon request. In summer 1998, the university also funded a number of grants targeted toward enabling faculty to develop and teach distance learning courses.
It is the responsibility of the departments and the colleges to determine and review the appropriateness of instructional objectives and methods. The method of instruction is stated on the schedule of courses and in the syllabi. FGCU has a systematic instruction evaluation process that includes students and faculty. At the end of each semester, the Office of Planning and Evaluation administers the standardized State University System Student Assessment of Instruction (SUSSAI). In addition, the colleges, programs, departments, and/or individual faculty members may ask students to complete additional course evaluation forms. The Office of Planning and Evaluation collects, analyzes, and provides SUSSAI information to faculty. Faculty can utilize the information to improve the quality of instruction provided. Peer evaluation of teaching has been included in the Faculty Performance Evaluation Document that has been approved by the faculty.
The FGCU annual survey shows that 98 percent of graduate students agree that "the methods of instruction are appropriate for my capabilities." Ninety-eight percent agree that "performance in my FGCU courses is evaluated in ways that are fair." Ninety-eight percent agree that "the courses I am taking are appropriate to my degree program," and 97 percent agree that "the courses I am taking are taught at a level that is appropriate for my abilities." Overall, only 59 percent of graduate students agree that "at FGCU, distance learning is an effective alternative to traditional instruction."
The results from the annual survey also indicate that 63 percent of faculty agree that "the technology used in the classroom is effective for accomplishing learning objectives." While, only 46 percent of faculty agree that "at FGCU, distance learning is an effective alternative to traditional instruction," faculty generally agree that there is a place for the use of computer technology in FGCU's pedagogical environment.The institution must use a variety of means to evaluate student performance. This evaluation must reflect concern for quality and properly discern levels of student performance.
FGCU faculty utilize a variety of methods to evaluate student performance. The evaluation of student performance varies by discipline and method of instruction. Evaluation methodologies include written examinations, research projects, term papers, class participation, presentations, homework assignments, case study responses, field experiences, and seminars.
The FGCU annual survey shows that 93 percent of graduate students agree that "in my courses, instructors clearly state the methods to be used to evaluate performance." Ninety-eight percent agree that "performance in my FGCU courses is evaluated in ways that are fair."
Faculty, departments, colleges, graduate program committees or similar bodies, and appropriate credentialing organizations help in the establishment and evaluation of guidelines aimed at ensuring and maintaining quality performance. The grading policy used in each class, stated on the course syllabi and published in the catalog, reflects the standards for quality performance. The FGCU grading policy states that "The University uses the standard alphabetic system to identify student grades and other administrative actions regarding student progress." Quality is also reflected in the standards for attaining passing grades on other evaluative tools such as examinations, papers, and projects.An institution must publish its grading policies, and its grading practices must be consistent with policy.
The grading policies for FGCU's graduate programs have been published in the catalog. Faculty grade assignments are consistent with the university and college grading policy.
The FGCU annual survey shows that 96 percent of graduate students agree that "I am aware of the graduation requirements for my degree." Ninety-six percent agree that "the requirements for my degree program are accurately described."Courses offered in nontraditional formats, e.g., concentrated or abbreviated time periods, must be designed to ensure an opportunity for preparation, reflection and analysis concerning the subject matter. At least one calendar week of reflection and analysis should be provided to students for each semester hour, or equivalent quarter hours, of graduate credit awarded. The institution must demonstrate that students completing these programs or courses have acquired equivalent levels of knowledge and competencies to those acquired in traditional formats.
There are two courses in the Executive MBA program which award three semester hours of graduate credit but are taught in one calendar week. The first course precedes the first semester of the year and includes skill building in areas such as critical thinking and technology. The second course is a forty-hour week-long simulation where the students are placed in an abbreviated time simulation to apply the tool skills taught in the first year. The week-long format is common and appropriate for these types of courses within executive programs, which provide intensive, lock-step curricular experiences.
In addition, the School of Education offers a limited number of abbreviated graduate courses during the summer for educators primarily for recertification purposes. An intensive series of class meeting are followed by periods of time (longer than the numbers of credits offered) during which students complete class projects. The courses end with a final meeting to conclude the projects undertaken.There must be provision for assigning students to their advisors or directors, appointing their graduate committees, and monitoring their academic progress.
Once a student has been admitted to a graduate program, he or she is assigned a college advisor. The advisors, with the aid of program-specific check sheets, monitor student academic progress. The college advisors also conduct manual degree audits. It is the responsibility of the student to meet with the appropriate advisor or department chair. Where appropriate, student graduate committees will be appointed. There is, however, no specific policy requiring the formulation of graduate committees.
The FGCU annual survey shows that 96 percent of graduate students agree that "academic advising services help me select appropriate courses for my degree program."There must be frequent, systematic evaluation of graduate instruction and, if appropriate, revision of the instructional process based on the results of this evaluation. Information gained from the follow up of current or former students is one method of testing the effectiveness of graduate instruction.
At the end of each semester, students evaluate each course by completing State University System Student Assessment of Instruction (SUSSAI) surveys. Summaries of the course evaluations are sent to faculty, chairs, and deans to be used in evaluating and monitoring course content, teaching performance, and instruction methodologies.
Faculty utilize course evaluations in self-assessment. Student evaluations also become part of the faculty's annual review and are included in the promotion, tenure, and contract renewal process. If improvements are needed, faculty and chairs review the evaluations and make recommendations.
In the future, alumni will be surveyed to assess their perception of the quality and effectiveness of FGCU's graduate instruction. Where applicable, this information will be used for curricula and instructional improvement.
The FGCU annual survey shows that 89 percent of faculty agree that "academically qualified persons are included in the graduate curriculum review process." Eighty-six percent of graduate students agree that "at FGCU there is adequate opportunity for students to evaluate faculty instruction." Seventy-three percent of students agree that "I feel that student evaluation of instruction will be used to improve teaching."
FGCU provides the policies, curriculum, methods of instruction, and methods of evaluation required for effective graduate programs. Provisions are made for interaction between graduate students and faculty via office hours, e-mail, and telephone. While faculty who teach graduate courses are productive scholars, none of the colleges has a statement outlining scholarship expectation for faculty who teach graduate courses.
All courses and professors are evaluated each semester. The results of the evaluations are used to monitor course content and faculty performance. After an appropriate number of classes graduate, the university will survey alumni to obtain information on curricula and instructional effectiveness. While there is general support for the infusion of technology into the teaching process, faculty are of the opinion that technology should be used to supplement traditional methods of instruction. Faculty experimentation with methods of improving instruction is encouraged but not systematically evaluated.
The Office of Instructional Technology and the Office of Planning and Evaluation support faculty in developing new skills and evaluation methods. Faculty and students do not perceive non-traditional methods of instruction (distance learning) to be as effective as traditional methods.
The grading policy is included in the general portion of the 1998-99 catalog. Graduate advisors, with the aid of check sheets, perform manual degree audits and monitor student academic progress.
S4.3.5-1 The Steering Committee suggests that a process be developed to ensure that the mix of non-traditional methods of instruction (distance learning) and traditional instructional methods (on-campus classes) provides students with the opportunity to select between the two modes of delivery.
S4.3.5-2 The Steering Committee suggests that FGCU develop a university-wide policy on supporting and evaluating faculty experimentation with methods of improving instruction.
S4.3.5-3 The Steering Committee suggests that a section on the grading policy should be added to the graduate section of the catalog.
S4.3.5-4 The Steering Committee suggests that colleges with graduate programs develop a statement outlining faculty scholarship expectations.
4.3.6 Academic Advising of Graduate Students
DescriptionEach institution must conduct a systematic, effective program of graduate academic advising. A qualified advisor should be assigned early in the student's program and should recognize the individuality of students and their particular needs and goals. Advisors should be proficient in using data to help determine students' major fields of interest and should have access to each advisee's records, and should have appropriate training or background and experience to carry out their responsibilities effectively.
FGCU has a systematic and effective graduate advising program in place. Students in the graduate programs are assigned to a qualified professional or faculty advisor upon entry into their programs. All graduate program advisors are full-time professional staff members and/or faculty members holding at least a master's degree. Faculty advisors are available during office hours and by appointment. Faculty office hours are provided to students at the beginning of each semester.
Advisors are available to students on a continuing basis, and students are encouraged to seek advisement each semester prior to registering. The college advisors, who maintain advising records, provide students with written fact sheets and brochures that outline program requirements. The FGCU diversity statement and the FGCU guiding principles outline and protect the individuality of students.
Students' files are housed in the office of the appropriate advisor or in the office of the appropriate department/college. These files are accessible to faculty and professional advisors for advising purposes. Each student's file contains a Curriculum Plan and a Curriculum Progression List/Fact Sheet. These items serve as a map that presents the course work that the student will follow to progress toward earning the master's degree in the program/concentration(s) of interest. The curriculum plan is developed to meet student goals. The curriculum plan or progression list serves as a progress report and a graduation checklist for the student. Also included with the file are advisor comments and other documents that the advisor deems pertinent to advising the individual student. Students are aware they have an advising file and have, upon request, access to their files for review. It should be noted that students' files are kept confidential.
All college advisors also have access to the Banner system, a computerized integrated student records management program that provides access to student information such as admissions records, class schedules, student directory and biographic records, and academic history. The Office of Admissions, Registration and Records provides training in the use of the system as modules are updated. The Curriculum, Advising and Program Planning (CAPP) module of Banner is currently being established. This module will provide computerized information regarding student compliance with various graduate program requirements.An institution must ensure that the number of advisees assigned to faculty or professional staff is reasonable.
At FGCU, graduate students may be advised by either faculty who, in addition to regular faculty duties, perform an advising role or by full-time professional advisors who may be responsible for advising both graduate and undergraduate students. Therefore, the number of students assigned to faculty and professional advisors varies from college to college, across programs, and from faculty to full-time advisor. Presently, the number of advisees assigned to each faculty advisor or professional advisor is reasonable. However, outside of direct feedback from advisors, faculty, or students, there is no systematic process for monitoring the advising needs of students. Table 4.3.6-1 provides information on graduate advisors by degree program.An effective orientation program must be made available to all full- and part-time graduate students. Orientation and advisement programs must be evaluated regularly to ensure effective assistance to students.
All graduate programs have orientation programs offered at times convenient to most students. The orientation sessions provide students with an introduction to their respective college or department, program, faculty and staff, and library/technological resources. Students are provided with a copy of the Student Guidebook and the policies within the guidebook are reviewed. Currently the university does not have in place a specialized orientation program for students who intend to take an entire graduate degree program via distance learning delivery modes.
The College of Health Professions is developing an evaluation instrument to assess the college's graduate orientation process. When completed, this instrument may become the model for evaluating graduate orientations programs in other colleges. The data obtained from the evaluation instrument will be analyzed, summarized, and used to change or enhance the orientation agenda, materials, and/or process.
Advising is also evaluated at the university level using the FGCU annual survey. The results from the agree/disagree survey indicate that students were "aware of the graduation requirements" for their degree program (mean =5.7 on a 6-point scale). Students also indicated that "academic advising services" were helpful to them in the selection of appropriate courses for their degree program (mean = 5.6 on a 6-point scale).
The institution has advisors for each program, and students are assigned a professional or faculty advisor upon entry into their programs. The advising staff in the colleges meet the standards for advising outlined by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. Advisors are highly qualified and experienced and guide students through their academic programs. Currently, the ratio of advisor to advisees appears adequate although there are somewhat heavier loads in the College of Professional Studies, School of Education, and the College of Business. There is, however, no systematic process for determining when the number of advisees assigned to an advisor becomes unreasonable. Orientation sessions are offered for all programs, and evaluation tools are under development.
R4.3.6-1 The Steering Committee recommends that a university-wide uniform evaluation tool be developed for evaluating graduate student orientations.
R4.3.6-2 The Steering Committee recommends that the university develop an institution-wide mechanism for providing orientation for students who intend to take an entire graduate degree program via distance learning delivery modes.
S4.3.6-1 The Steering Committee suggests that the advising policy include a process for monitoring the advising needs of students.
S4.3.6-2 The Steering Committee suggests that the university monitor advising in the graduate programs to ensure that an appropriate advisor to student ratio is maintained.
Tables for Section 4.3 Graduate Programs
Listing of Admission Requirements by Graduate Program
Further each program establishes qualitative standards, such as interviews, recommendations, and personal statements that will be considered in the admissions process.
*The Admissions requirements for the School of Education are a 3.0 GPA for the last two years of the undergraduate degree and 900 on the GRE or 40 or MAT. Students with GPAs between 2.5 and 2.99 must have a minimum GRE score of 1000 or minimum MAT score of 45. This consistent with the BOR rules that requires 1000 on the GRE or a GPA of 3.0.
Summary of Procedures Governing Transfer of Credit
* = School of Education
** = School of Public and Social Services
Summary of Procedures Governing Probation or Conditional Admission Procedures
Summary of Procedures Governing the Evaluation of Admission Procedures
Table 4.3.3-1 Graduation Completion Requirements Summary
Graduate Completion Hours (Credits) Thesis or Internship Candidacy Competency Residency
Degree Time Required Project Required Exam or Exit Required
Program Core Electives Total Assessment
Graduate Advisors by Degree Program
DescriptionThe content and design of publications produced and distributed by the institution must be accurate and consistent in describing the institution and rigorously adhere to the principles of good educational practice.
Florida Gulf Coast University's publications have had to keep pace with the many changes that accompany the opening of a new university. Every semester, academic programs and services are being developed or revised, new facilities and programs are starting up, new course offerings are being listed, and new people are being hired to do new things. As a result, publications have been, and are being, constantly revised. Judgments on accuracy and consistency have been made with this situation in mind. The publications reviewed for this report were accurate and consistent with one exception noted below. A position of design specialist has been in place for the past two years. One responsibility of this staff member is to help university employees design publications as well as to insure a consistent appearance of documents.
The analysis for this section is based on a thorough review of the university catalog (the catalog used for this report was the edition available in May 1998), the university Web site, and major publications from the Division of Student Services, the academic colleges, the Office of Instructional Technology, and Library Services. The definition of good educational practice applied here comes from the SACS publication "Institutional Advertising, Student Recruitment and Representation of Accredited Status."An institution must make available to students and the public accurate, current catalogs or other official publications containing the following information: entrance requirements and procedures, admissions criteria and policies, including the admission of transfer students, rules of conduct; academic calendar; degree completion requirements, full-time faculty and degrees held, costs and financial obligations; refund policies; and other items relative to attending the institution or withdrawing from it. (See Commission document, "Institutional Advertising, Student Recruitment and Representation of Accredited Status.")
The following is a listing of where the information listed above can be located:
Florida Gulf Coast University makes numerous publications available to students, faculty, staff, and the general public. The university catalog is the most comprehensive and lasting source of information about the university and its programs. Plans are to print the catalog yearly in order to maintain an accurate "portrait" of FGCU. Each academic term, the university also prints a Schedule of Classes, which provides the academic calendar and a university-wide account of all courses being offered during that term. Course listings by program are also published on the university's Web site, which provides both a reference and a vehicle for student registration.
Each academic college publishes fact sheets (in printed and Web forms) that describe the degree programs and requirements offered in that college. Many divisions of the university provide printed brochures, forms, and information packets specific to their services (examples include Student Guidebook, Student Technology Guidebook, Financial Aid Packet, Academic Policies at a Glance, International Student Admissions Guide, Admissions and Registration Information Packet, and Eagles Connect, among others). Supplemental literature, providing general information about services, events, and activities, is also published at various administrative levels.
These publications are distributed in several ways. Many are distributed at recruitment and orientation sessions or through university offices. Most can be obtained either in person or by mail. Many are also available via the university Web site. The use of the Web permits more immediate updates of vital information and makes access more convenient for interested parties.
The university is considering how to make this information most readily available to persons with disabilities. Web sites are being reviewed for accessibility, and published information can be made available in alternative formats on request. The Office of Multi-Access Services handles such requests for students.
On the annual student survey, student ratings indicated satisfaction with the accuracy and consistency of the information in publications. For example, 90 percent responded with a rating of 4, 5, or 6 (strongly agree) to "The information in university publications (catalogs, web pages, etc.) is accurate." The mean rating was 4.67. In addition, 77 percent responded with a 4, 5, or 6 to "The course offerings at FGCU are accurately described in publications." The mean score was 4.24.
On the other hand, student responses to one survey item were somewhat negative, and partially relate to this section of the self-study. On the agree/disagree survey, 69 percent of the students rated a 4, 5, or 6 to "I am aware of the graduation requirements for my degree" with a mean of 4.16. However, on the importance/performance survey, students rated the importance at 5.72, but the performance at 3.92, a difference of 1.8.
The Steering Committee finds that, within the constraints of continual change, FGCU's publications are accurate and consistent in their description of university degree programs, student and other support services, and campus activities. Short periods of inaccuracy (when programs change and publications are being updated) and inconsistency (between printed fact sheets and the web pages, for example) have been inevitable. It was determined that no policy or clearly defined process is in place to ensure consistency and accuracy of the fact sheets, catalog, and the Web sites among all programs. These periods of inconsistency have been resolved fairly quickly by way of continual review and revision of publications; nevertheless, these gaps in time before errors are corrected can cause problems for some students.
The Steering Committee also finds that these publications effectively provide students, faculty, staff, and the general public with most of the information they need concerning:
1. Institutional purposes and goals, requirements and procedures, and facilities readily available for educational use.
2. Available programs, degree and program completion requirements, and individual course offerings.
3. The faculty and its qualifications, including terminal degrees held and the conferring institutions.
4. Tuition, fees, program costs, and financial aid opportunities.
5. Admissions requirements, fees, and protocols.
This information might be presented in better formats, and with better organization, in some cases. Fees associated with admissions might be listed in the admissions section of the catalog, for example; and the university-wide service learning, university colloquium, and senior seminar requirements might be highlighted more effectively in every listing of program requirements. Nevertheless, the information is readily available.
Some vital information was missing, however, and does not meet the criteria of "must adhere to the principles of good educational protocol." While a number of programs provide clear and consistent listings of required course sequences and clear statements of when required courses would be offered, many did not. This information is vital to student planning; providing it might help FGCU to alleviate several problems cited by students in the 1998 student opinion survey. In addition to the problem cited above in the description section, less than half the students polled agreed that the courses they need to complete their programs are "readily available," and 41 percent disagreed with a statement that academic advising services helped them to "select appropriate courses." If these lists were published for every program, advising and student course selection would both go more smoothly.
In addition, FGCU's publications (particularly the catalog) do not provide a full explanation of the concept of "distance learning," and a full accounting of the opportunities for distance learning that it offers students. Given the importance of distance learning in the mission of the university, this seems to be a significant oversight.
Other useful information is currently missing from FGCU's publications. For example, the Executive Master of Business Administration program is mentioned in the catalog, but it is not fully described in a fact sheet; nor is the information available for student inquiries from the admissions office. In addition, no clear statement of library fines and fees can be found in the current publication.
The university's use of the World Wide Web as a medium for distributing information brings both advantages and disadvantages. Although Web-based information can be changed more readily than printed information, the use of the Web creates yet another huge body of information to be monitored for accuracy and consistency. FGCU has implemented a distributed model for Web management, in which each division or program is responsible for its own Web pages. Consistency of appearance is maintained by the use of FGCU Web templates; consistency and accuracy of content is the responsibility of the divisions or programs maintaining the pages. Since individual divisions and programs are responsible both for their printed matter and their Web pages, this model should ensure accurate review and revision.
R4.4-1 The Steering Committee recommends that, in order to adhere to good educational practice, each degree program publish required course sequences and indicate during which semesters required courses are expected to be offered. This will permit students and faculty to adequately plan student programs of study.
S4.4-1 The Steering Committee suggests that the organization and content of the catalog be reviewed and revised before the next printing in order to provide students with better connections and quicker access to the information they need most. Some specific suggestions follow:
a. Admissions fees should be included in the section on admissions.
b. The information for each degree program should highlight and explain the university-wide service learning, university colloquium, and senior seminar requirements for graduation. These requirements should be clearly presented as part of each program so that students are not "surprised" when they discover what appear to be "additional requirements" after starting their program.
c. The concept of distance learning should be defined clearly, the types of courses included under the heading of distance learning should be listed and explained (e.g., compressed video, Web-based, two-way video, and so on), and distance learning opportunities should be described fully. The section on instructional technology might be a good location for this information, but it might merit a section of its own.
d. A list of administrative staff should be included, since students will interact with these people extensively.
e. Full-time and part-time faculty should be listed separately in the catalog.
f. The description of the Executive Master of Business Administration program should be expanded to include all program requirements.
S4.4-2 The Steering Committee suggests that a university-wide procedure be established for developing and coordinating program fact sheets, and that procedures be established for consistency and accuracy among fact sheets, the university catalog, and Web sites.
S4.4-3 The Steering Committee suggests that the schedule of library fines and fees be published. Fee information should be more readily available for student, alumni, and general public patrons.
4.5 Distance Learning Programs
DescriptionThe Commission recognizes the legitimacy of distance learning, such as that conveyed through off-campus classroom programs, external degree programs, branch campuses, correspondence courses, and various programs using electronically-based instruction offered geographically distant from the main campus. An institution must formulate clear and explicit goals for its distance learning programs and demonstrate that they are consistent with its stated purpose. Further, an institution must demonstrate how it will achieve these goals and how it will ensure overall effectiveness and quality consistent with the Criteria.
Mission and Early Planning
The Ten Year Development Plan for a New University in Southwest Florida and founding mission statement for the university defined distance teaching and learning strategies as central to FGCU achieving its strategic goals. Correspondingly, FGCU's technology and staffing infrastructure were developed with a focus on adequately supporting the development and effective delivery of distance learning courses.
Faculty recruitment materials identified distance teaching and learning as a primary mission expectation, and efforts were made to identify faculty with experience or an expressed willingness to develop and teach distance learning offerings.
Prior to opening and while academic programs were being planned, the Board of Regents for the State University System of Florida awarded FGCU a $750,000 grant to work with the Florida Department of Corrections and St. Petersburg Junior Community College (SPJC) to develop staff training materials for corrections officers, a two-year distance learning associate in arts degree to be awarded by SPJC, and the upper division degree requirements for earning a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from FGCU entirely through distance learning courses.
In preparation for the university's opening semester, each of the academic deans submitted an initial plan for distance learning offerings and worked with the academic program leaders and chairs to identify distance learning courses that could be offered during the university's opening semester. Twenty-four such courses were developed by faculty and offered through the fall 1997 schedule of courses.
Prior to the official organization of the FGCU Faculty Senate in November 1997, the dean for instructional technology requested that two volunteer faculty advisory groups be formed: one for technology user issues and one for distance learning issues. Volunteers were solicited from each of the four colleges, and a group of 18 faculty convened for this purpose in October 1997. The groups chose to form one group rather than two the Faculty Advisory Committee on Technology and Distance Learning. In January 1998, this group became a subcommittee of the Faculty Senate Committee on Academic Affairs and was charged to advise the dean of instructional technology on distance learning and instructional technology issues and to advise the director for administrative computing on office computing.
To define strategic goals for distance learning systematically and comprehensively, the president appointed an internal distance learning advisory committee and an external distance learning advisory council in December 1997. The main charge to the internal distance learning advisory committee was to develop a strategic plan for distance teaching and learning at FGCU. The charge for the external distance learning advisory council was to advise the internal committee, the president, and the vice president for academic affairs on critical distance education issues.
The Internal Committee for Distance Teaching and Learning, chaired by the president's special assistant for distance learning, is comprised of representatives from each of the colleges, and deans, directors, and staff with direct responsibilities for supporting the development and delivery of distance learning courses and support. The External Distance Learning Advisory Council is comprised of four individuals one each from Athabasca University, University of British Columbia, Pennsylvania State University, and IBM with national and international experience in distance learning.
The university has acted to ensure communication among the committees dealing with distance learning by cross-representation. The dean of instructional technology serves as an ex-officio member of the Technology Team, and the chair of this faculty advisory committee serves as an ex-officio member of the University Technology Committee. Further, a faculty member of the Technology Team serves on the Internal Committee for Distance Teaching and Learning. Several other members of the Internal Committee for Distance Teaching and Learning also serve on the University Technology Committee.
A Status Report on Distance Teaching was completed through the Internal Committee for Distance Teaching and Learning and disseminated to the faculty-at-large for review and discussion. Following the dissemination and discussion of the Status Report, a FGCU Distance Learning Strategic Plan was completed by the internal committee in May 1998. The faculty-at-large were invited to a forum to critique and discuss the plan. Approximately 25 faculty attended the forum.
Distance Learning Goals
The Internal Committee for Distance Teaching and Learning established the following definition of distance learning for FGCU:
Any formal educational process in which the instruction occurs when the student and the instructor are not in the same place.
The committee further acknowledged that all or part of a course may be conducted in this manner, but that at least 50 percent of its instruction must occur with the student and the instructor in a different place in order for a course to be listed in the distance learning section of the course schedule.
Through the Distance Learning Strategic Plan, the committee re-established the following university guiding principles as a basis for planning distance learning programs at FGCU:
Whereas, learner needs, rather than institutional preferences, determine priorities for academic planning, policies, and programs;
And whereas, FGCU strives to make available its knowledge resources, services, and educational offerings at times, places, in forms and by methods that will meet the needs of all its constituents;
And whereas, the University practices the art of collective learning and collaboration in governance, operations, and planning;
And whereas, technology is a fundamental tool in achieving educational quality, efficiency and distribution;
FGCU has created itself to provide excellence in academic programming while realizing at least 25 percent of its funded enrollment through distance learning.
The Internal Committee for Distance Teaching and Learning is charged with the responsibility for monitoring the achievement of the university's distance learning goals. The following ten goals for distance learning, along with corresponding objectives, were established in the Distance Learning Strategic Plan:
Goal 1. Use distance learning courses and programs to be responsive to curricular needs of students.
Goal 2. Identify market opportunities for distance learning courses and programs congruent with academic strengths.
Goal 3. Consistent with the University's mission, ensure a continuous and stable funding base for distance learning.
Goal 4. Recruit, support, and recognize a faculty enabled to effectively design, develop and deliver distance learning courses and programs in collaboration with instructional development teams.
Goal 5. Develop ongoing management processes for reviewing, evaluating, and prioritizing market opportunities to implement distance learning courses and programs.
Goal 6. Leverage resources by forming strategic alliances to extend FGCU distance learning courses and programs that have been identified as consistent with targeted market opportunities.
Goal 7. Provide recruitment, admissions, financial aid, registration and advising services appropriate to meet the needs of distance learners.
Goal 8. Provide library resources, reference services, and information literacy instruction appropriate to meet the needs of distance learners.
Goal 9. Maintain the human and technical resources and network infrastructure necessary to reliably support and deliver distance learning.
Goal 10. Conduct continuous evaluation of distance learning programs and support services to ensure the advancement of the University's distance learning mission.
The strategic plan states that these goals are to be addressed by administrative, academic, and support units across the university. However, the committee identified the achievement of Goal 2 and Goal 5 as foundational to shaping the direction of the other goal areas. These two goals, with corresponding objectives, were recommended to receive the highest priority for achievement:
Goal 2. Identify market opportunities for distance learning courses and programs congruent with academic strengths.
2.1 Compile information annually from the five (5) county region, the Board of Regents, nationally, and internationally to demonstrate trends relevant to potential distance learning markets.
2.2 Identify opportunities for generation of FTE that include high demand/high enrollment courses that can be taught effectively through distance learning strategies.
2.3 Identify potential distance learning "niche" markets.
Goal 5. Develop ongoing management processes for reviewing, evaluating and prioritizing market opportunities to implement distance learning courses and programs.
5.1. Create a mechanism within Academic Affairs that is responsible for reviewing the proposed distance learning three-year plans submitted by the colleges and for; 1) prioritizing the proposed offerings for the upcoming academic year according to cross-institutional goals and priorities; and 2) identifying and prioritizing any necessary new distance learning course and/or program development projects for the upcoming year.
5.2. Require that each college annually submit to the Vice President for Academic Affairs an updated three-year plan for proposed distance learning course and program offerings that: 1) are considered by the college to be reflective of a viable distance learning market; 2) includes timelines and implementation strategies to deliver selected degree programs entirely through distance learning; and 3) reflects a commitment to contributing toward the University achieving 25 percent of its enrollment through distance learning.
5.3. Develop and fund marketing activities appropriate for the annually targeted distance learning courses and programs.
5.4 Regularly communicate milestones and achievements in distributed and distance learning courses and programs to faculty, staff, students and the community.
In a letter to the Internal Committee for Distance Teaching and Learning dated June 5, 1998, regarding the future of distance learning at FGCU, President Roy McTarnaghan approved the Distance Learning Strategic Plan and called for the development of "Phase II,a detailed operational or implementation plan."the president also called for the establishment of a committee to develop and execute "Phase II."
As goal 10 of the Distance Learning Strategic Plan indicates, FGCU is committed to continuous evaluation of distance learning programs and support services to ensure the advancement of the university's distance learning mission. In this regard, several initiatives either have occurred or are planned. For example, the state-mandated SUS Student Assessment of Instruction survey, which includes a standard set of rating items, is administered for every course each time it is offered, including distance learning courses. The faculty Student Affairs Team is currently reviewing the survey to determine the need for additional questions, including some pertaining to distance learning. This information is used to improve individual offerings and to evaluate teaching performance. The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice is the first full degree program to be offered with a distance learning option. Course and program evaluation instruments have been developed for this program, and evaluations are ongoing.
Also, every operational unit in the university is responsible for establishing an assessment plan that serves the purpose of continuous improvement and institutional effectiveness. Each plan must include a statement of goals, objectives, effectiveness measures and planned use of findings for improvement. Further, in accordance with the mission of the university, delivering and/or supporting distance learning is the responsibility of all colleges and support units. As part of the assessment plan for the Office of Instructional Technology, and in conjunction with the Office of Planning and Evaluation, a survey was created for the purpose of assessing the distance learning students' satisfaction with their FGCU distance learning experience. This survey will be administered at the end of fall semester 1998 and annually thereafter.
Finally, there is also an informal network of faculty-initiated research on the quality of distance education at FGCU, the findings of which will be used to inform decisions regarding distance learning programs and services.
In addition to specific effectiveness measures, the university recognized the importance of faculty and student attitudes toward distance learning more generally. Therefore, as part of a campus-wide, annual satisfaction survey of faculty, students, and staff (administered in spring 1998 and prior to completion of the Distance Learning Strategic Plan) two rating items were included pertaining to distance learning: 1) FGCU should offer more distance learning courses; and 2) at FGCU, distance learning is an effective alternative to traditional instruction. The survey purposefully was administered to samples of FGCU faculty and students at large, and not solely to individuals with actual experience as either a distance learning teacher or student.
The average rating from students for these two items was 4.16 (n = 300) and 4.10 (n=282) respectively, on a disagree/agree scale of 16. The average rating from faculty for these two items was 3.16 (n=56) and 3.22 (n=59) respectively. Thus, the survey results suggest that students tend to have a more favorable attitude toward distance learning than faculty.
At FGCU, a range of technologies is available and used to deliver distance learning courses. Most courses include some combination of two-way interactive video, telecourse or other commercially produced videotape, videotaped class sessions, and/or Internet delivery and communications. Currently the only program offered totally through distance learning is criminal justice. However, there are several areas that offer a significant number of distance learning courses, including business administration, health sciences, and physical therapy, with others to come on-line during 1998-99.
Although a clear method for calculating distance learning enrollment has not been established, using funded enrollment in credit hours shows some growth in distance learning credit hour generation during the first year. Between fall 1997 and summer session A 1998, FGCU offered a total of 51,672 student credit hours. The total number of student credit hours delivered at a distance was 3,085 (6 percent). By college, this breaks down to 719 (out of 17,130) for 4 percent in the College of Arts and Science; 982 (out of 9,554) for 10 percent in the College of Business; 272 (out of 3,538) for 8 percent in the College of Health Professions, and 1,112 (out of 21,440) for 5 percent in the College of Professional Studies.
According to the following figures provided by the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records, FGCU offered 24 distance learning courses in the fall of 1997. This number increased to 40 in the spring of 1998, an increase of 67 percent.
Fall 97 Spring 98 Summer 98 % Change Fall to Spring
Courses 24 40 17 +67
Student Credit Hours 936 1185 964 +27
Enrollment 285 431 320 +51
FGCU has clearly defined its goals for distance learning programs, which are consistent with the university's mission statement and the guiding principles. In addition, the university has begun the process of assessing the effectiveness of its distance learning offerings.
The data indicate that distance learning credits for 1997-98 comprised 6 percent of the total number of credits generated. It is clear that there is much to be done to reach the stated goal of 25 percent-funded enrollment. Now that distance learning goals have been clearly delineated, it will be important to assess success in accomplishment of the goals on an annual basis.
The two questions on the annual survey relating to distance learning, i.e., should the university offer more distance learning courses, and, is distance learning an effective alternative to traditional instruction, offer some insight into student and faculty attitudes regarding distance learning. Faculty ratings on the agree/disagree scale are among the lowest of all questions on the survey. With respect to student opinion, the mean for all items on the questionnaire in the importance ratings was 4.8, while the students scored only 3.78 and 3.9 for "offering more distance learning classes" and "distance learning is an effective alternative to traditional instruction," respectively. These ratings are some of the lowest in the student survey.
It is important to point out, however, that the survey questions are general in nature and do not relate to the university's distance learning goals, which have now been clearly defined. In addition, the survey was taken in the university's first year when distance learning was largely in the development stage. Therefore, some survey respondents may have felt the need for a more cautious approach.
It is possible that the faculty response to the questionnaire items may reflect faculty concerns with distance learning workload, intellectual property right issues, and market issues. The faculty workload issue has been identified in the FGCU Distance Learning Strategic Plan as an important objective under Goal 4, "Study faculty workload issues and develop policies for faculty load and compensation for distance learning efforts." The Faculty Senate is creating a task force to examine the intellectual property issue as it relates to ownership of instructional materials developed at FGCU, with a view toward adoption of a policy by the end of spring 1999. In addition, the United Faculty of Florida is reviewing its current policies in this area and a joint BOR/UFF task force is studying the issues. Goal 5 of the FGCU Distance Learning Strategic Plan addresses the faculty concern with market issues. This goal deals with "management processes for reviewing, evaluating, and prioritizing market opportunities"
Nonetheless, it is important for the university to continue to assess the effectiveness of its distance learning offerings, and to survey student and faculty attitudes. In this regard, to gain a better understanding of student attitudes and concerns, the university is designing an evaluation survey to collect feedback annually, beginning in fall 1998, from students enrolled in distance learning courses.
In summary, the Steering Committee believes the SACS criteria for formulating clear and explicit goals have been met and that these goals are consistent with FGCU's stated purpose. The development of phase II of the operational plan, set to begin in the fall of 1998 to implement these goals, will meet the criteria of demonstrating how the goals will be met and how the institution will ensure overall effectiveness and quality.
S4.5-1 The Steering Committee suggests that the university address the goals of the Distance Learning Strategic Plan, and that phase II of the plan, the development of a comprehensive operational plan, be completed.
S4.5-2 The Steering Committee suggests that a concerted effort be made to coordinate the work and concerns of the various stakeholder groups dealing with distance learning issues, including the Internal Committee for Distance Teaching and Learning, the Technology Team of the Faculty Senate, and the local chapter of the United Faculty of Florida.
S4.5-3 The Steering Committee suggests that the university clearly identify and communicate how distance learning enrollment is defined, determined, and tracked.
S4.5-4 The Steering Committee suggests that the university implement an annual survey of distance learning students as part of its assessment of distance learning programs.
S4.5-5 The Steering Committee suggests that the university investigate the results and implications of faculty attitudes towards distance learning as revealed in the FGCU annual survey.
4.6 Continuing Education, Outreach and Service Programs
DescriptionThe demands placed upon individuals in today's society require many to engage in lifelong education. Many institutions of higher education have incorporated into their purpose an extension and public service component to provide for lifelong learning opportunities. These opportunities are often referred to as continuing education, extension education, outreach, or public and community service programs. Such programs may be credit or noncredit, may be offered on or off campus, and may be offered through a variety of delivery systems.
One of the underlying guiding principles of Florida Gulf Coast University states that "Service to Southwest Florida, including access to the university, is a public trust. The University is committed to forging partnerships and being responsive to its region. It strives to make available its resources, services, and educational offerings at times, places, in forms, and by methods that will meet the needs of all its constituents." Also fundamental in the mission of the university is the establishment and maintenance of a holistic and lifelong learning environment that is nurturing, creative, and sensitive to the needs of the community. Critical to lifelong experiences are the opportunities for professional and personal improvement in varying degrees and on multiple levels.
Continuing education at Florida Gulf Coast University occupies a significant position in the overall mission of the university because of the broad emphasis of the institution on lifelong learning, community-university partnerships, and community engagement. Since matriculating students, as well as interested people in the community, have access to the continuing education programs, the programs serve as one of several mechanisms to meet the following student learning goals (and corresponding outcomes):
Goal Four: Effective Communication
Goal Six: Information Literacy
Goal Seven: Problem-Solving Abilities
Goal Eight: Technological Literacy
Goal Nine: Community Awareness and Involvement
Currently, there are several types of activities and programs that can be placed under the broad umbrella category of "Continuing Education, Outreach, and Service Programs." The major programs and activities are the formal CEU type programs and activities in the respective colleges and community enrichment/outreach programs.
Certain colleges have been actively engaged in the development of viable continuing education programs. Because of the nature of the professional schools, the continuing-education-type activities are routine and expected. This is particularly true for those professions that require certification and renewal of certification.
The College of Business has continuing education programs in the forms of certification classes and other programs offered through the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). These programs assist small businesses and actual or aspiring entrepreneurs by offering technical assistance, opportunities to network, and peer support. For annual year 1997-98, approximately 100 workshops and free-standing individual sessions were offered on topics such as a loan packaging workshop, business opportunities with governmental agencies, developing business plans, and starting a new business. During the first year of operation at FGCU, the SBDC has provided continuing education opportunities to a large number of aspiring and operating entrepreneurs in the FGCU five-county service area community.
The College of Business also offers several preparatory training courses. One series of classes is designed to prepare individuals to take the Microsoft Network Certification Examination. Currently three courses are underway. Additionally, the College of Business has developed a program that offers training to accountants who are preparing for the CPA exam. Classes are scheduled to begin in August 1998. Both sets of training courses are delivered in partnership with licensed companies authorized to run this type of training.
All of these programs, as well as the Small Business Development Center, are administered from the Center for Leadership and Innovation.
Within the College of Professional Studies, Human Services and Social Work programs have jointly sponsored four continuing education seminars during annual year 1997-98. Approximately 105 people participated in the four seminars. The seminars offered to date are as follows:
1. Community Partnerships - 3 CEU credits
2. Field Instructor Training (two distinct seminars held) - 16 CEU credits
3. Homeless Coalition Annual Meeting- 3 CEU credits
The programs will continue to offer seminars each academic year. It is anticipated that at least two seminars on different topics will be offered each year. Planned for fall 1998 is a seminar entitled, "Validation Therapy." The anticipated attendance is 75 professional social service delivery personnel for 6 CEU credits.
Professional educators do not obtain CEUs as in other professions; however, they are required by accreditation standards for K-12 schools and by the State of Florida to continue their education through both university credit courses (6 semester hours every five years) and/or district approved professional development activities. For example, the School of Education has offered special ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) credit courses for Collier County School District teachers to enable them to meet the state's ESOL professional development requirement. In addition, the School of Education works closely with the local school districts to identify non-credit inservice needs, and faculty are used extensively to help in the delivery of those services.
While no continuing education programs currently exist in the College of Arts and Sciences, future plans include a series of language courses for the professional communities, e.g., Spanish for Law Enforcement Personnel and Spanish for Social Service Delivery Personnel. In addition, it is anticipated that specialized courses in computer technology and environmental education will be requested and offered to the FGCU community.
The College of Health Professions continuing education opportunities are offered in the areas of nursing and physical therapy. The nursing program offers courses approximately every three to four months and has conducted the following continuing education courses since its opening in August 1997:
1. Gerontology Review (for certification) - 24 CEU credits
2. Mediating and Resolving Ethical Issues in Healthcare - 6 CEU credits
3. Knowledge is Power: Clinical Issues Across the Life Span - 6 CEU credits
Every college has some type of outreach effort in place in which faculty provide services to the community. Often this is part of a faculty's professional development plan; other times, these services are college or department programs. In addition, students, through internships and course practicums, provide service to the community, while at the same time providing the students with an enriching learning experience. Furthermore, there are instances where people from the community come into the classroom to interact with the students, or work with faculty and staff on programs and projects. These people often become community ambassadors for FGCU.
Additionally, through the public school-university based programs of CROP (College Recruitment Outreach Program) and PSEP (Public School Enrichment Program) a strong relationship between the FGCU broad community/service area and FGCU has been established. PSEP is privately funded by the community and is a partnership between the university, the school system, and the community. CROP is state funded. In both programs faculty and staff visit the schools and establish relationships with the FGCU community. For CROP, public school students attend activities on campus, and during the summer attend classes specifically designed to raise their interest and understanding of higher education and college life. FGCU students, faculty, and staff have opportunities to grow and increase their level of awareness by serving as advisors, and counselors.
As a result of a partnership between Edison Community College and Florida Gulf Coast University, a non-credit, continuing education Leadership Diversity Program has been established. This program provides a yearlong program of seminars and is designed to provide training to selected future leaders in the underrepresented staff and faculty at both institutions. Each workshop is evaluated and periodic assessments of progress, needs and areas for improvement are made throughout the year.Continuing education and outreach programs must be clearly related to the purpose of the institution.
The mission of Florida Gulf Coast University clearly emphasizes the importance of community outreach and involvement in the university on a variety of levels. Implicit in this emphasis is the importance of providing opportunities for the community to participate. The continuing education programs provide a service to the community, while encouraging FGCU interactions between the FGCU community and the larger regional community. [Please see the first paragraph of this section for additional information related to the university mission and purposes.]All continuing education programs, both credit and non-credit, must be evaluated regularly.
Through the administration of evaluation forms and subsequent debriefing sessions among staff and selected community professionals, each continuing education course offered at FGCU is evaluated.All continuing education and outreach and service programs offered for credit must comply with the requirements of the Criteria, and with Section IV in particular.
By ensuring the clear distinctions between credit and non-credit programs, as well as by establishing and maintaining evaluative processes and procedures, the continuing education, outreach, and service programs comply with the requirements of the Criteria and Section IV. In addition, qualified faculty, both full-time and part-time, are used to teach continuing education courses and provide outreach services.For noncredit continuing education programs, the institution should follow national guidelines for the recording of Continuing Education Units. (See Commission on Colleges' document C.E.U.: Guidelines and Criteria).
The various continuing education and outreach programs that exist and/or are being developed follow national guidelines for recording continuing education units.For outreach and service programs, an institution must provide the resources and services necessary to support the programs and must evaluate the programs regularly.
In all of the partnerships described above, fiscal, physical, and human resources are provided to the programs. Fees are currently collected by the respective program that offers the continuing education course. Space is made available, funds are provided for the activities, and staff, students and faculty participate in support and leadership roles.
The PSEP and CROP activities are evaluated by the participants (both students and staff), and representatives from the public school systems that are served. With PSEP, the board of directors also engages in assessment and evaluation.
In addition, faculty are evaluated on an annual basis for their service activities. Involvement in outreach and service activities is included as part of contract renewal or tenure process for faculty.An institution planning to initiate, through continuing education or outreach programs, a degree or certificate program must inform the Executive Director of the Commission on Colleges in advance of program implementation. (See Commission document "General Substantive Change Policy for Accredited Institutions.")
FGCU offers a certificate programs in clinical laboratory science for those who seek training and/or certification in clinical laboratory technology or molecular biology. In addition, the university offers an accounting fifth year certificate program designed for those wishing to fulfill Florida's CPA education requirements. The Microsoft program offered through the College of Business (described previously in the College-Based Programs portion of this section) is a training program that prepares people to sit for exams to be certified as network operators. FGCU does not provide the certificates. The university will inform the Executive Director of the Commission on Colleges in advance of the implementation of any new certificate programs.An institution must not award academic credit for work taken on a non-credit basis without appropriate documentation that the non-credit coursework is equivalent to a designated credit experience. In such cases, the institution must document that the credit awarded for non-credit coursework represents collegiate coursework relevant to the degree, with course content and level of instruction resulting in student competencies equivalent to those of students in the institution's own degree programs; and coursework taught by faculty members qualified to teach at the appropriate degree level. All credit-bearing continuing education courses and activities must comply with the requirements of the Criteria.
All continuing education and outreach programs credits are clearly differentiated in terms of academic or non-academic credit both in the program descriptions and in the credit awarded. No non-credit course work has been given credit experience.
Based upon the findings, FGCU meets all of the criteria for Continuing Education, Outreach, and Service Programs.
All of the colleges at FGCU engage in some aspects of outreach. Three of the four colleges have effective continuing education initiatives. The courses offered are varied. The one college (Arts and Sciences) that does not offer continuing education courses at the present time is in the process of developing CEU and non-credit opportunities for professionals and lay people in the community.
In one sense, the overall development and implementation of necessary processes within FGCU has been accomplished in phases. As an institution, FGCU has the interest and desire to develop a strong and viable continuing education program; however, continuing education has not been the top priority of the university thus far, because the more critical need has been to design and develop an entirely new university. Now that the university is operating, it is possible to focus more effort and resources on outreach programs relating to more than just recruitment of students. At the present time, FGCU is in the process of further development of its continuing education program that is manifest in various ways: through non-credit programs to provide personal and professional enrichment, service learning, and structured continuing education courses and programs that grant CEUs.
While it is true that FGCU has a commitment to and has engaged in continuing education, more can and should be done to ensure that a university-wide program, which is uniform in quality and meeting the needs of the community, is viable. The lack of a central office to coordinate and encourage continuing education and outreach may be one reason more efforts have not been made in these areas.
The registration and collection of fees for continuing education courses through the departments and colleges may not be the best method to handle these matters. Perhaps both of these should be handled by the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records, which could then integrate registration, payments, and student records.
A task force was established in the summer of 1998 with representatives from each of the colleges. It is expected that the task force will provide the structure and strategic planning for a university-wide continuing education program, as well as policy guidelines for outreach programs.
S4.6-1 The Steering Committee suggests that a continuing education coordinator be appointed during the 1998-99 academic year.
S4.6-2 The Steering Committee suggests that the task force, recently constituted to consider continuing education programs, establish clearly defined policies and procedures to ensure university-wide consistency in quality, opportunities, and adherence to national guidelines. Procedures for registration and collection of fees should be included in this process. In addition, this committee should ensure that a structure is established to coordinate the various public school-university partnership efforts, to avoid duplication and ensure quality deliverance.
S4.6-3 The Steering Committee suggests that the College of Arts and Sciences develop continuing education seminars and activities. This will ensure that the university is providing the broadest offerings of continuing education and outreach offerings.
4.7 Student Records
DescriptionThe institution must have adequate student records for both credit and noncredit courses. Official student academic records for credit and non-credit courses should be maintained and stored in one central office at the institution. Complete backup files, such as facsimiles, microfilm, or electronic data banks, should be maintained continually, one set of which should be stored in a secure area outside the records office, preferably in a different building or at an off-site location. The institution must take all steps necessary to ensure the security of its student records, including storage in a secure vault or fireproof cabinet. Since computer generated and stored records present unique security problems, the institution should have in place special security measures to protect and back up the data.
The Office of Admissions, Registration and Records maintains official student academic records for both degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking students who enroll in credit courses offered by Florida Gulf Coast University. At FGCU, a student academic record file is created when a student applies, is accepted, and enrolls in courses (matriculates). This file includes initial records such as the student's application, transcripts and other records of transfer course work, test scores (e.g., ACT, SAT, GRE, MAT), letters of recommendation, and recorded admissions decision. In addition, the file includes records of the student's progress here at FGCU, and may include copies of all correspondence between the student and the university, and an accounting of the student's service learning hours. A student's transcript of courses completed is not physically placed in hard copy form in a student's file; rather it is kept in electronic format only. FGCU academic records for students who transferred from the University of South Florida at Fort Myers contain only a copy of their USF transcript. Original transcripts and other documentation for these students (application, test scores, and so on) are kept on the University of South Florida campus in Tampa.
Presently at FGCU, there are no policies and procedures for determining maintenance of records related to non-credit courses. The Office of Admissions, Registration and Records, however, has the technological capability to store student records for non-credit courses, and a committee was formed during the summer 1998 to begin drafting policy and procedure related to non-credit courses.
Summary information from each student's academic record file is also stored electronically on the Banner system. Banner is a computer program, licensed from Systems Computer Technology Corporation, that stores student records. All portions of the student record entered into Banner are backed up and stored at an off-site location in Tampa.
Annually, the State of Florida auditor general conducts a financial audit and an operational audit of each State University System institution. One goal of the operational audit is to ensure accuracy of student records. The results of the audit, which are published, summarize the findings, i.e., audit comments concerning administering assigned responsibilities in accordance with applicable laws, administrative rules, and other guidelines. In addition, the operational audit determines the extent to which internal controls, as designed and placed in operation, promote and encourage the achievement of management's control of compliance and reliability of financial records, reports, and safeguarding of assets. These findings are forwarded to the BOR with university comment and/or corrective action The operational audit will be conducted and published annually as required by the state. The auditor general audited fiscal year 1997-98 during the late summer/early fall 1998, which is the first year of student registration and fee collection. While the financial audit has been completed, the operational audit findings will not be available until later in the fiscal year.
In addition to the primary academic records, FGCU also stores other records concerning students such as immunization, financial aid, student employment, discipline, and college/academic advising records. The locations and the custodians of these records vary, according to the type of record. For a complete list of locations and custodians, please refer to the draft of the Student Records Management Manual. Requests to access these records must be approved and authorized by the appropriate dean's/director's office. Such requests are evaluated and approved on a case-by-case basis, as needs dictate.
The security of student records is assured in a number of ways. The Central Florida Regional Data Center (CFRDC), located at the University of South Florida, provides computing services for student records for Florida Gulf Coast University. It operates and administers FGCU's SUN 5000 minicomputer dedicated to FGCU, on which the Banner software runs. On this machine, RAID technology has been included on the disk systems; this technology provides for a fully redundant copy of the online disk data. The latter is to ensure that if a disk drive fails, no data loss will be experienced. [See letter from Barry Blondie, Assistant Director of Central Florida Regional Data Center.]
CFRDC backs up vital data using high capacity tape devices. Each day, CFRDC makes a complete backup of the FGCU database. These backup tapes are retained for four weeks. Each weekend, a full system backup is run and these tapes are retained for one year.
CFRDC has contracted with a local vendor for the storage of tapes at an off-campus location; this vendor specializes in data storage and protection, and provides a highly secure facility. CFRDC stores a complete system backup at this facility, and replaces the existing backup with a new, updated backup weekly.
On campus, while a fireproof cabinet provides storage for the paper used to develop transcripts, no similar fireproof storage or vault is provided for the student records.The institution must have policies concerning what constitutes the permanent record of each student, as well as policies concerning retention and disposal of records. It must establish and publish informationrelease policies that respect the rights of individual privacy, the confidentiality of records, and the best interests of the student and institution.
FGCU's Office of Admissions, Registration and Records has created a Student Records Management Manual (currently in draft form), which is consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Buckley Amendment). This manual informs university staff about responsibilities in the access, use, release, security, retention, and disposal of student records information.
The General Records Schedule for Universities and Community Colleges Schedule (GS5) is the document used by state universities in Florida to establish their records retention schedule, and is issued by the Department of State, Division of Library and Information Services, Bureau of Archives and Records Management, in accordance with the statutory provisions of Chapters 119 and 257, Florida Statutes. It is published statewide by the Division of Library and Information Services, and it provides public universities in Florida with the minimum requirements for retention and disposal of specific student records, including criteria for identifying records that must be maintained permanently.
The FGCU Student Records Management Manual states that "Florida Gulf Coast University shall comply with the requirements for retention and destruction as set forth by the State of Florida, General Records Schedule for Universities and Community Colleges (Schedule GS5). However, if a student has requested access to their student records, the request of the student shall supersede the records retention schedule and they will not be destroyed until the conflict/request is resolved/fulfilled."
The Office of Admissions, Registration and Records shreds records that no longer need be retained.
Access to student records is, of course, limited to those who have a need and a right to consult those records. The Student Records Management Manual establishes a clear information-release policy. It states that "Florida Gulf Coast University is committed to safeguarding student (education) records. This institution shall not release personally identifiable information to a third party without the written consent of the student. The written consent must specify the records to be released, the purpose of the disclosure, identify the party or class of parties to whom disclosure may be made, and must contain the student's signature and date." It also clearly identifies who will have access to student records:
The draft Student Records Management Manual indicates that Florida Gulf Coast University will release student record information without student written consent to the following:
1. Authorized representatives of State or Federal supported programs for evaluation and audit.
2. State and local officials to whom disclosure is specifically required by state statute.
3. Veterans Administration officials for students receiving educational assistance.
4. Accreditation agencies carrying out their accrediting functions.
5. Florida Gulf Coast University officials who have a legitimate educational interest.
6. Organizations providing financial aid to the student.
7. Organizations conducting studies for education agencies or institutions to develop, validate, and administer predictive tests, to administer student aid programs, or to improve instruction.
8. Parents of a student who have established that student's status as a dependent according to Internal Revenue Code of 1954, Section 152.
9. Persons in compliance with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.
10. To persons in an emergency, if the knowledge of information, in fact, is necessary to protect the health or safety of students or other persons.
11. To an alleged victim of crime or violence, any results of any institutional disciplinary proceedings against the alleged perpetrator of that crime with respect to that crime.
In addition, directory information may be released to the general public without the student's permission unless the student requests the university not release it. Each semester in the Schedule of Classes the following statement is printed: "Students have the right to withhold from the public (any non-university employee) directory information while enrolled. To do so they must file a request each semester in the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records prior to the 12th class day in the fall and spring semesters or the 4th class day in summer terms."
Annually, Florida Gulf Coast University notifies students of their rights via publication in the university catalog and the Student Guidebook. These publications and the Student Records Management Manual contain the university's definition of "directory information," the policy and procedures for student inspection of records, and the policy and procedures to request an amendment to student records. Presently, students may request to review their paper records at any time. Students also have access to their FGCU transcript via the university's Web site; using his or her student identification number and a personal identification number assigned for security purposes, each student may view his/her own record at any time the student information system is operational.
Since USF transfer students did not have to re-apply to FGCU, their official student records prior to the transfer are kept at USF; however, there are no official statements from USF verifying this. FGCU maintains only a copy of the USF transcript.
The Steering Committee finds that the university maintains adequate student records for students taking courses for credit. Although no protocols or policies have been developed to handle students taking courses on a noncredit basis, the vice president of academic affairs has established a continuing education policy and appointed a strategy committee. This committee has representation from administration and faculty from the four colleges and has met several times as of August 1998.
The methods of electronic data storage and protection are generally appropriate and adequate. The Steering Committee's concern is that physical records need to be kept more securely in a vault or fireproof cabinet. In addition, the physical records could be made more secure if they were scanned and stored electronically. This procedure would provide a more complete backup of the information contained in students' physical files, and would allow faculty and staff to access these documents more easily, with less intrusion into the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records, and more privately, because no photocopying would be necessary.
The Steering Committee finds that the university has appropriate policies defining what constitutes student records and providing guidelines for retention and disposal of such records.
The Steering Committee also finds that the university has established, and makes known to the public, appropriate policies concerning the release of information contained in student records. At this point, student requests to view paper records may come at any time and the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records is dealing with such requests as they come. This situation can create traffic flow problems in the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records.
Though the state provides an audit of the admissions and enrollment files, there are currently no procedures/policies in place for FGCU staff to evaluate and verify the accuracy of the records prior to the state audit.
R4.7-1 The Steering Committee recommends that all student academic record files be securely maintained in a vault or fireproof cabinet.
R4.7-2 The Steering Committee recommends that FGCU develop policies and procedures for handling student records related to non-credit courses, including maintenance of such records.
S4.7-1 The Steering Committee suggests that FGCU secure an official letter from the University of South Florida (USF) stating that all original transcripts and documentation for transfer students from USF are stored and maintained on the USF campus in Tampa.
S4.7-2 The Steering Committee suggests that all the paper documents in student academic records files be scanned and stored electronically. The Steering Committee further suggests that the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records establish appropriate schedules and procedures to handle student requests to view their paper records.
S4.7-3 The Steering Committee suggests that the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records develop and establish a self-evaluation process for verifying accuracy of records.
DescriptionThe selection, development, and retention of a competent faculty at all academic levels is of major importance to the educational quality of an institution. The commitment of faculty to institutional purposes determines in large measure the effectiveness of the total educational program. An institution must provide evidence that it has employed faculty members qualified to accomplish its purpose. Because of the importance of the faculty, the Commission on Colleges and its committees will give special attention to all criteria pertaining to faculty during institutional evaluations.
The introduction to the FGCU guiding principles states: "The founding of Florida Gulf Coast University is a signal event. It comes at a moment in history when the conditions that formed and sustained American higher education are fundamentally changing and at a time when rapid shifts wrought by technology and social complexities are altering the very nature of work, knowledge and human relationships. As a public institution, FGCU eagerly accepts the leadership opportunity and obligation to adapt to these changes and to meet the educational needs of Southwest Florida. To do so, it will collaborate with its various constituencies, listen to calls for change, build on the intellectual heritage of the past, [and] plan its evolution systematically for the 21st century" Because of the central role of the faculty in the leadership and the obligations of the university, FGCU is committed to hiring and providing for the development and retention of a highly qualified faculty.
All full-time faculty hired at Florida Gulf Coast University are subject to screening procedures which include review of degree, scholarship, and other professional experience that ensure the faculty are highly qualified to fulfill the educational mission at FGCU. In addition, selection criteria, developed from the guiding principles, are used to ascertain that applicant faculty understand Florida Gulf Coast University's mission and values. Full-time faculty review the credentials of part-time faculty in order to ensure that highly qualified adjuncts are used to supplement the full-time faculty and to cover the range of program requirements. The office of the vice president of academic affairs maintains documentation of faculty credentials.
Data collected from the first FGCU annual student survey indicate that students perceive the faculty as highly qualified. Two items on the survey relate to the qualifications of faculty. Students were asked to rate their perceptions from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (6). The statement "Overall, the faculty is effective" (L5) received an average score of 4.72; 90 percent scored between 4 and 6, and 68 percent scored between 5 and 6. In the importance/performance section of the survey, the statement "Overall effectiveness of faculty" (L5) received an average importance score of 5.56, indicating that students consider qualified faculty of central importance to their education, and an average performance score of 4.65, a differential of less than 1 indicating no major concerns.
4.8.1 Selection of Faculty
DescriptionAn institution must show that it has an orderly process for recruiting and appointing its faculty. This process will normally involve developing a pool of qualified candidates and interviewing those who appear to be the best qualified. Institutions are encouraged to recruit and select faculty whose highest degree is earned from a broad representation of institutions. Recruitment and appointment procedures must be described in the faculty handbook or other published documents.
Florida Gulf Coast University follows the procedures included in the Search, Screen and Selection Guidelines policy in the recruiting and appointment of all faculty. This policy is designed to implement the "Announcement of Vacancies and Compliance with Affirmative Action Plans," Chancellor's Memorandum issued by the State University System of Florida Board of Regents Office.
The Search, Screen and Selection Guidelines are printed as a brochure, included in the human resources section of the Administrative Services Policies and Procedures Manual, and included on the human resources Web site, and cited in the Interim Faculty Handbook, which is currently under revision. A representative of the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs or the Human Resources Department apprises each search committee of these policy guidelines during their initial meeting.
FGCU is committed to developing an institution where the representation of minorities, women, and members of other protected classes are reflected in all levels of our workforce. Screening committees are used for the recruitment of all faculty vacancies and the advertising of ranked faculty vacancies is done nationally, usually at a minimum through publications such as The Chronicle of Higher Education, Black Issues, and Hispanic Outlook. In addition, announcements are placed in journals, periodicals, and electronic bulletin boards that the hiring official identifies as appropriate, and the Human Resources Department sends specific announcements to identified organization membership mailing listings. Members of the search committees are selected based on familiarity with the discipline of the position to be filled and reflect the diversity of the university community. If women and/or minorities are not represented within the unit or university, then individuals external to the university with the appropriate knowledge may be invited to serve on the search committee.
Before the committee receives the applications for the position, the director of the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs certifies the total applicant pool, affirming that he/she has reviewed the results of the recruitment and found them to be in compliance with university guidelines, procedures, and objectives. The committee begins the process of reviewing the applications and narrowing the pool to include the most qualified candidates. The director of the office of equal opportunity programs then certifies the interview pool, affirming that he/she has reviewed the results of the applicant screening and found them to be in compliance with university guidelines, procedures, and objectives.
Once the narrowed pool is certified, the committee contacts the top candidates and completes reference checks and/or phone interviews. From this process, the committee generally recommends a minimum of two candidates for on-campus interviews. Once the on-campus interviews are complete, the committee recommends its choice to the hiring official who proceeds with the offer. All faculty members are required to provide original copies of transcripts reflecting their qualifications for the position hired and their highest earned degree as part of the hiring process; these transcripts are maintained by the office of the vice president of academic affairs. Faculty from a broad range of backgrounds and institutions have been hired through the search, screen, and selection process at FGCU.
Data collected from the first annual faculty survey indicate agreement that FGCU has an orderly recruitment and appointment process. Several items on the survey relate to this process. Faculty were asked to rate their perceptions from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (6). The statement "Equal Opportunity guidelines are sufficiently disseminated" (A5) received an average score of 4.56; 80 percent scored between a 4 and 6, and 54 percent scored between 5 and 6. The statement "I have a voice in determining faculty recruitment in my department" (B4) received an average score of 4.57; 83 percent scored between 4 and 6, and 58 percent scored between 5 and 6. The statement "FGCU follows Equal Opportunity guidelines when recruiting" (L1) received an average score of 5.07; 88 percent scored between 4 and 6, and 82 percent scored between 5 and 6.
In the importance/performance section of the survey, the statement "Dissemination of Equal Opportunity guidelines" (A5) received an average importance score of 4.28 and an average performance score of 4.69. The statement "A Voice in determining faculty recruitment in my department" (B4) received an average importance score of 5.30 and an average performance score of 4.69. The statement "Recruitment procedures that follow Equal Opportunity guidelines" (L1) received an average importance score of 5.16 and an average performance score of 4.85. All of these results have a differential of less than 1, indicating no major concerns.It is expected that an institution will employ faculty members whose highest earned degree presented as the credential qualifying the faculty member to teach at the institution is from a regionally accredited institution. If an institution employs a faculty member whose highest earned degree is from a nonregionally accredited institution within the United States or an institution outside the United States, the institution must show evidence that the faculty member has appropriate academic preparation.
During the search and screen process, the search committee reviews both the candidates' degrees and the granting institutions of the terminal degrees. If it is determined that a candidate's degree is from a non-regionally accredited institution within the United States or an institution outside the United States, the college's dean and the search committee are responsible for determining whether the reputation of the university and the candidate's record of scholarly activity warrant further consideration. To date, no faculty in this category have been hired.Institutions must ensure that each faculty member employed is proficient in oral and written communication in the language in which assigned courses will be taught.
Proficiency in oral and written communication in English is a priority to FGCU and the State University System of Florida. The Florida legislature (Section 240.246, Florida Statutes) requires all faculty members, other than those who teach courses that are conducted primarily in a foreign language, to be proficient in the oral use of English. The BOR/UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement 1998-2001, (Article 10.5) also includes provisions requiring proficiency in spoken English. In addition to these policies, the interview portion of the FGCU selection process provides the opportunity to determine that the candidate is proficient in English (and other languages in cases where the faculty member will be assigned courses that will be taught in a language other than English). Written communication is often evaluated through analysis of the application materials (letters of application, vitae, publications), and oral communication is often reviewed in the interview process (phone interviews, presentations during on-campus interviews, teaching presentations). For some vacancies, candidates have been requested to provide audio/video samples of their work.
The Steering Committee finds that the Search, Screen and Selection Guidelines policy provides sufficient procedures for the orderly recruitment and appointment of a diverse and qualified faculty from a wide range of institutions. This policy has been revised as of May 1998 and is adequately disseminated through documents provided to all hiring officials and members of search and screen committees. In addition, the guidelines are included on the human resources Web site and the Interim Faculty Handbook. Information from the FGCU annual survey supports this analysis, indicating a perception that the recruitment and appointment procedures are orderly and equitable.
Because all faculty hired by July 1998 at FGCU have received their highest degrees from regionally accredited institutions, FGCU does not need to provide any justifications. During the process of reviewing the Search, Screen and Selection Guidelines for the SACS self-study, the Steering Committee found that the university needed to make certain that each search committee is reminded of the need to hire faculty from regionally accredited institutions or to provide documentation supporting the hiring of faculty from non-accredited institutions that explains how the faculty member has the appropriate academic preparation. As a result of this finding, the Human Resources Department has incorporated this information into their initial meeting with all search committees.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement includes adequate provisions regarding proficiency in English (or other relevant languages) to identify and address any instances of deficiency in oral and written communication skills. In addition, the Search, Screen and Selection Guidelines provide mechanisms for evaluating candidates' proficiency in these skills.
4.8.2 Academic and Professional Preparation
DescriptionFor the purpose of applying the Criteria, a fulltime faculty member is one whose major employment is with the institution, whose primary assignment is in teaching and/or research, and whose employment is based upon a contract for fulltime employees.
Both fulltime and parttime faculty must meet the following criteria for academic and professional preparation.
220.127.116.11 AssociateIn an associate degree program, fulltime and parttime faculty members teaching credit courses in the following areas: humanities/fine arts; social/behavioral sciences; and natural sciences/mathematics must have completed at least 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline and hold at least a master's degree, or hold the minimum of a master's degree with a major in the teaching discipline. In exceptional cases, outstanding professional experience and demonstrated contributions to the teaching discipline may be presented in lieu of formal academic preparation in the above areas. Exceptional cases must be justified by the institution on an individual basis.
The Commission encourages interdisciplinary courses and recognizes that appropriate credentials for teaching may vary. The institution must document and justify the academic and professional preparation of faculty members teaching in such courses or programs.
Each full-time and part-time faculty member teaching courses in professional, occupational and technical areas other than physical activities courses that are components of associate degree programs designed for college transfer, or from which substantial numbers of students transfer to senior institutions, must have completed at least 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline and hold at least a master's degree, or hold the minimum of the master's degree with a major in teaching discipline.
Each full-time and part-time faculty member teaching credit courses in professional, occupational and technical areas that are components of associate degree programs not usually resulting in college transfer, or in the continuation of students in senior institutions, must possess appropriate academic preparation or academic preparation coupled with work experience. The minimum academic degree for faculty teaching in professional, occupational and technical areas must be at the same level at which the faculty member is teaching. The typical combination is a baccalaureate degree with appropriate work experience.
In exceptional cases, outstanding professional experience and demonstrated contributions to the teaching discipline may be presented in lieu of formal academic preparation for faculty members teaching both transfer and non-transfer courses in these areas. Such cases must be justified by the institution on an individual basis.
It is the responsibility of the institution to keep on file for all full-time and part-time faculty members documentation of academic preparation, such as official transcripts and, if appropriate for demonstrating competency, official documentation of professional and work experience, technical and performance competency, records of publications, and certifications and other qualifications.
Nondegree diploma or certificate occupational courses are typically taught by faculty members with some college or specialized training, but with an emphasis on competence gained through work experience. While the competency requirements may vary, they should be clearly defined by each institution. In all cases, faculty members must have special competence in the fields in which they teach. It is the responsibility of the institution to keep on file documentation of work experience, certifications and other qualifications, if these are to substitute for or supplement formal academic preparation.
Faculty members who teach basic computation and communication skills in non-degree occupational programs must have a baccalaureate degree and, ideally, should have work or other experiences which helps them relate these skills to the occupational field.
Faculty members who teach adult basic education courses below the collegiate level must have a baccalaureate degree, but also should have attributes or experiences which help them relate to the particular needs of the adults they teach.
Faculty members who teach in remedial programs must hold a baccalaureate degree in a discipline related to their teaching assignment and either teaching experience in a discipline related to their assignment or graduate training in remedial education.
Normally, Florida Gulf Coast University awards only bachelor's and master's degrees; however, under SUS guidelines, students who successfully complete appropriate requirements may apply for an associate of arts degree. In terms of offering associate of arts degrees, the majority of the full-time and part-time faculty who teach at the lower level have a minimum of a master's degree with a major in their teaching discipline. Any faculty not meeting these criteria have letters justifying their professional and work experience in their personnel files, such as certification in sign language. Credentials for faculty teaching interdisciplinary courses have been scrutinized during the hiring practices and verified with official transcripts and reference checks on their professional activity. Based on Florida Statutes and SUS guidelines, four-year institutions cannot teach remedial courses.
18.104.22.168 BaccalaureateEach fulltime and parttime faculty member teaching credit courses leading toward the baccalaureate degree, other than physical education activities courses, must have completed at least 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline and hold at least a master's degree, or hold the minimum of a master's degree with a major in the teaching discipline. In exceptional cases, outstanding professional experience and demonstrated contributions to the teaching discipline may be presented in lieu of formal academic preparation. Such cases must be justified by the institution on an individual basis.
In the College of Arts and Sciences, 85 percent of the faculty teaching credit courses leading to the baccalaureate degree hold the doctorate; the other 15 percent of the faculty (6 faculty members) are qualified to teach credit courses based on their graduate training. In the College of Business, 90 percent of the faculty teaching credit courses hold the doctorate; the other 10 percent (3 faculty members) are qualified to teach based on their graduate training. In the College of Health Professions, 50 percent of the faculty hold the doctorate; the other 50 percent (10 faculty members) are qualified to teach based on their graduate training. In the College of Professional Studies, 89 percent of the faculty hold the doctorate; the other 11 percent (5 faculty members) are qualified to teach credit courses based on their graduate training. In all cases where faculty did not hold the doctorate, they held at least a master's degree in their area of teaching. Given the credentials of the full-time faculty at FGCU, no exceptions to the undergraduate faculty qualifications exist and thus no justification must be made. [See Table 22.214.171.124 (1) Full-Time Faculty Qualifications by College and Rank.]
A review of the credentials of the part-time faculty used during 1997-98 indicates that these criteria are being followed in their case as well. Chairs and program leaders hire part-time faculty based on their credentials and experience with the awareness of the requirement that these faculty should have at least a master's degree with 18 hours of study in the teaching discipline. The office of the vice president of academic affairs maintains personnel and evaluation files on all faculty. Transcripts are part of the personnel files. College/department supervisors are responsible for reviewing the credentials of all part-time faculty to substantiate that they are qualified for their teaching assignments.The Commission encourages interdisciplinary courses and recognizes that appropriate credentials for teaching may vary. The institution must document and justify the academic and professional preparation of faculty members teaching in such courses or programs.
At Florida Gulf Coast University, the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Health Professions are the only colleges that offer interdisciplinary programs and courses at the undergraduate level.
The College of Arts and Sciences offers the liberal studies degree which consists of 36 hours of study in a concentration (traditional discipline-based study) and 18 hours of study in the Collegium of Integrated Learning, an interdisciplinary core of courses that all students in the liberal studies program must complete. These courses include:
IDS 3301 Issue in Culture and Society (3)
IDS 3302 Issue in Politics and Economics (3)
IDS 3303 Issue in Science and Technology (3)
IDS 3304 Issue in Ecology and the Environment (3)
IDS 3305 Issue in Media, Literature, and Art (3)
IDS 4910 Integrated Core Capstone (Senior Seminar) (3)
Faculty who teach in the Collegium of Integrated Learning have been carefully selected in the hiring process for their interdisciplinary teaching credentials. The faculty are expected to demonstrate, on their vitae, in their search presentations, in their previous teaching experience, and in their publications, a commitment to and expertise in cross-disciplinary work. In addition, the faculty members in the collegium, often cooperating with other members of the faculty and Office of Instructional Technology staff, have developed these courses using the faculty members' disciplinary expertise to achieve interdisciplinary goals. These faculty development activities, coupled with team teaching and frequent guest appearances by faculty members in other instructors' classes, guarantee interdisciplinary breadth based upon disciplinary depth. Currently, faculty teams are working to develop a series of interdisciplinary case studies that will tie the various sections of the courses together and further develop the interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning in the collegium.
All undergraduate degree programs in the College of Health Professions center around a core of interdisciplinary courses. These courses include:
HSA 3119 Foundations of Health Service Delivery
HSA 3183 Dynamics of Organization and Management of Health Services Organizations
HSC 4732 Research Methods and Applications to Health Care Systems
HSC 4938 Senior Seminar
In addition, physical therapy and nursing majors take two courses together: PHT/NUR 3123 Physiological Responses to Alterations in Health, and PHT/NUR 3149 Chemical, Herbal, and Nutritional Therapies. The occupational therapy curriculum is still under development; current plans include sharing several courses with the physical therapy curriculum, especially those related to the sciences (e.g., PHT 3106C, 4107C, 4108C Integrated Studies in Human Anatomy and Neuroscience I, II, III; PHT 4123 Biomechanical Dimensions of Human Movement).
In the College of Health Professions, faculty are assigned to these interdisciplinary courses on the basis of academic degree and associated graduate course work, prior professional experience, prior teaching experience, or by experience in their disciplines as clinicians, managers, or educators. Furthermore, all are team taught to maximize cross-disciplinary coverage.It is the responsibility of the institution to keep on file for all full-time and part-time faculty members documentation of academic preparation, such as official transcripts and, if appropriate for demonstrating competence, official documentation of professional and work experience, technical and performance competency, records of publications, and certifications and other qualifications.
The office of the vice president of academic affairs maintains and regularly updates all faculty files. Files for full-time faculty include the letter of offer and addenda, all contracts, the faculty member's curriculum vitae, faculty activity reports, and official transcripts from the institution granting the terminal degree. Files for part-time faculty include all contracts, which also act as their activity reports, and the faculty member's official transcripts. Full-time faculty are hired after departmental review of academic preparation and professional vitae. Part-time faculty are hired after chairs or program leaders review their credentials.At least 25 percent of the discipline course hours in each undergraduate major must be taught by faculty members holding the terminal degree, usually an earned doctorate, in that discipline. In some disciplines, the master's degree in the discipline may be considered the terminal degree, such as the M.F.A., the M.S.W., and the M.L.S.; in others, a master's degree in the discipline, coupled with a doctoral degree in a related disciple, is considered appropriate. However, it is the responsibility, of the institution to justify the master's degree, or master's in the teaching discipline coupled with a related doctorate, as the terminal degree for faculty members teaching in these disciplines. The above requirement also applies to each major offered through distance learning activities, including those offered at branch campuses or other sites.
The College of Arts and Sciences offers only one degree, a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, which includes the Collegium of Integrated Learning and a concentration in one of eleven areas (in the 1997-98 academic year), including art, biology, computer science, English, environmental studies, history, earth systems science, interdisciplinary social science, mathematics, psychology, and Spanish. In the English, environmental studies, history, earth systems science, interdisciplinary social science, psychology, and Spanish concentrations, faculty with doctorates taught 100 percent of the courses in the fall and spring. In the art concentration, faculty with the MFA, the terminal degree in the field, taught 100 percent of the courses in the fall and spring. In the biology concentration, faculty with doctorates taught 90 percent of the courses in the fall and spring; a faculty member with ABD status in the discipline taught the other 10 percent of the courses (one course). In the computer science concentration, faculty with doctorates taught 50 percent of the courses in the fall and spring; a faculty member with a master's in the discipline taught the other 50 percent of the courses. In the math concentration, faculty with doctorates taught 83 percent of the courses in the fall and spring; faculty with a master's in the discipline taught the other 17 percent. In the Collegium of Integrated Learning (the interdisciplinary core), faculty with doctorates taught 92 percent of the courses in the fall and spring; faculty who were ABD in the discipline taught the other 8 percent.
The College of Business offers bachelor of science degrees in five areas, including accounting, computer information systems, finance, management, and marketing. In the accounting program, faculty with doctorates taught 100 percent of the courses in the fall and 96 percent of the courses in the spring. In the computer information systems program, faculty with doctorates taught 43 percent of the courses in the fall and 44 percent of the courses in the spring. In the finance program, faculty with doctorates taught 100 percent of the courses in the fall and 91 percent of the courses in the spring. In the management program, faculty with doctorates taught 100 percent of the courses in the fall and the spring. In the marketing program, faculty with doctorates taught 100 percent of the courses in the fall and 75 percent of the courses in the spring.
The College of Health Professions offers bachelor of science degrees in four areas, including clinical laboratory science, health science, nursing, occupational therapy [anticipated spring 99], and physical therapy. In the nursing program, faculty with doctorates taught 60 percent of the courses in the fall and 100 percent of the courses in the spring. In the health science program, faculty with doctorates taught 94 percent of the courses in the fall and spring. Many of the courses in the College of Health Professions are team taught, and the coordinator of each course generally has the terminal degree.
While faculty with doctorates taught most of the courses in the College of Health Professions in the 1997-98 academic year, several of the faculty who will teach in the degree programs that will open in summer and fall 1998 do not hold the doctorate. The College of Health Professions encourages master's prepared faculty to complete the doctorate. Because of a national shortage of doctorally prepared faculty in health professions, especially in physical therapy and occupational therapy, it is not uncommon to have master's prepared faculty in a college of health professions, nor is it uncommon for those faculty to have the baccalaureate in the discipline and the master's in a related area, or the master's in the discipline and the doctorate in a related area. Their employment is justified on the basis that their credentials meet the requirements of the discipline-specific accrediting agencies that review their programs, and upon their experience as practitioners of their disciplines.
The School of Education, College of Professional Studies, offers bachelor of science degrees in four areas, including early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education, and special education. In the early childhood education program, faculty with doctorates taught 90 percent of the courses in the fall and 85 percent of the courses in the spring. In the elementary education program, faculty with doctorates taught 78 percent of the courses in the fall and 61 percent of the courses in the spring. In the secondary education program, faculty with doctorates taught 82 percent of the courses in the fall and 75 percent of the courses in the spring. In the special education program, faculty with doctorates taught 88 percent of the courses in the fall and 76 percent of the courses in the spring. Please note that this calculation does not include internship sections which part-time faculty, who do not hold the doctorate, generally teach.
In the School of Education, while most of the faculty have a doctorate, many education faculty have specialist degrees in their fields or have significant teaching, administrative, in-service experience, and special training in areas of instructional methodology and content. Their employment is justified on the basis of their credentials, background, and experience.
The School of Public and Social Services, College of Professional Studies, offers bachelor of science degrees in two areas: human services and criminal justice. In the criminal justice program, faculty with doctorates taught 67 percent of the courses in the fall and spring. In the human services program, faculty with doctorates taught 100 percent of the courses in the fall and spring.
In the College of Arts and Sciences and College of Business, faculty with doctorates taught 100 percent of the undergraduate distance learning courses in 1997-98. In the College of Professional Studies in the criminal justice distance learning degree program, faculty with doctorates taught 67 percent of the undergraduate distance learning courses.
In the College of Health Professions in the 1997-98 academic year, one section of HSA 3119 and one section of HSC 4732 were offered through distance learning methods. In the fall and spring, four faculty members team taught HSA 3119. In the fall section, two of the faculty members who taught the course hold a doctorate, and two faculty members hold master's degrees in the discipline. In the spring section, three of the faculty members who taught the course hold the doctorate, and one faculty member holds a master's degree. In the fall, two faculty members team taught HSC 4732, one with a doctorate and one with a master's degree in the discipline.Faculty members who teach in remedial programs must hold a baccalaureate degree in a discipline related to their teaching assignment and either teaching experience in a discipline related to their assignment or graduate training in remedial education.
Based on the State University System guidelines, four-year institutions cannot teach remedial courses.
126.96.36.199 GraduateInstitutions offering the master's or specialist degrees must demonstrate a high level of faculty competence in teaching and scholarship. Institutions offering doctoral degrees must demonstrate the research capability of the faculty members teaching in these programs. Eligibility requirements for faculty members teaching graduate courses must be clearly defined and publicized.
Florida Gulf Coast University includes several master's programs in the College of Business, the College of Health Professions, and the College of Professional Studies. No doctoral programs are offered. In the search and screen process, faculty expected to teach in graduate programs are evaluated based on their preparation for and experience in graduate education, including their teaching and scholarship which ensures a highly qualified graduate faculty. During this evaluation process, committees review competence in teaching through teaching presentations and discussions of pedagogy; competence in scholarship is reviewed through analysis of vitae and publications. In addition, the faculty evaluation processes at FGCU emphasize competency in teaching and scholarship. In the annual evaluation process, faculty must include an updated vita along with review materials for their teaching and scholarship (which includes student evaluations). For the reappointment review and the tenure review and promotions processes, faculty must additionally include a peer review of their teaching and are requested to include an external review of their scholarship.
According to course evaluation data for the spring of 1998, which is a representation of faculty teaching after the move to the new campus and startup of the fall semester, most students in graduate courses felt positively about faculty expertise. Students were asked to rate their perceptions of faculty from 1 to five 5, with 5 as excellent; the average scores were consistently at the very good (4) level or above for graduate teaching. In addition to seven other criteria, students were asked to rank their "overall assessment of instructor" in the graduate classes. In the College of Business, the average score was 4.15; in the College of Health Professions, the average score was 3.82; in the College of Professional Studies, School of Education, the average score was 4.28; in the College of Professional Studies, School of Public and Social Services, the average score was 4.20. [See Table 188.8.131.52(1) Graduate Faculty Evaluation Data for Spring 1998.]
Data collected from the first FGCU annual survey indicate that graduate students perceive the faculty that teach graduate level courses as highly qualified. Graduate students were asked to rate their perceptions from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (6). The statement "Generally, my instructors are competent" (B4, graduate student responses) received an average score of 5.2; 91 percent scored between 5 and 6, and 96 percent scored between 4 and 6. The statement "Overall the faculty is effective" (L5) received an average score of 4.9; 78 percent scored between 5 and 6, and 93 percent scored between 4 and 6.
Eligibility requirements for all faculty positions, including faculty positions in graduate programs, are clearly defined and announced in the position advertisements. While FGCU follows criteria for faculty teaching in graduate programs specified by various accrediting agencies, no specific policies, procedures, or criteria for joining the graduate faculty have been developed.All institutions must have adequate resources to attract and retain a qualified faculty, especially in the disciplines in which doctoral programs are offered. Faculty members responsible for the direction of doctoral research must be experienced in directing independent study. In addition, those engaged in graduate teaching should demonstrate, by their involvement in institutional activities, their commitment to the academic community, the institution they serve, their students and their academic disciplines.
While Florida Gulf Coast University does not currently have any doctoral programs, a certain level of resources are available to attract and retain faculty who teach in master's programs, including financial resources, research facilities, and professional development funds. In addition, each faculty member is provided with a computer. The Office of Instruction Technology provides support for the use of instructional technology.
Data gathered from the first FGCU annual faculty survey indicate questions about the adequacy of these resources. Faculty were asked to rate their perception from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (6). In relation to statements regarding adequacy of computer laboratories (I1) and science laboratories (I5), faculty indicated that they felt the labs to be adequate (4.47 and 3.92 respectively). The statement "The FGCU library is adequate for my graduate instructional needs" (I4) received an average score of 3.11; 40 percent of faculty scored between 1 and 2, and 53 percent scored between 1 and 3. The statement "Financial resources are sufficient to support the graduate program in my field" received an average score of 3.55; 28 percent scored between 5 and 6, and 55 percent scored between 4 and 6. On the importance/performance portion of the survey, the statement "An adequate library for my graduate instructional needs" received an average importance score of 5.48 and an average performance score of 3.12. The statement "Sufficient financial resources to support the graduate program in my field" received an average importance score of 5.52 and an average performance score of 3.19. The responses to both the agree/disagree and the importance/performance surveys suggest the need for improvement in resources for graduate teaching.
While some resources are available for graduate faculty, no information has been gathered in the search and screen process in relation to FGCU's ability to attract the best faculty. In addition, as new institution, the university does not have information on turnover.
All faculty, including graduate faculty, go through an annual evaluation process that assesses their service to their department, college, and to the university; their service to their academic profession; their scholarship and research; and their teaching. Beyond annual, reappointment, promotion, and tenure evaluations, no policies or procedures exist concerning the qualifications of graduate faculty.Each faculty member teaching courses at the master's and specialist degree level must hold the terminal degree, usually the earned doctorate, in the teaching discipline or a related discipline. In some instances, the master's degree in the discipline may be considered the terminal degree, such as the M.F.A., the M.S.W., and the M.L.S.; in others, a master's degree in the discipline coupled with a doctoral degree in a related discipline is considered appropriate. It is the responsibility of the institution to justify the master's degree, or master's in the teaching discipline coupled with a related doctorate, as the terminal degree for faculty members teaching in those disciplines. All faculty members teaching courses at the doctoral degree level must hold the earned doctorate in the teaching discipline or a related discipline.
The Commission recognizes that in unusual cases institutions may appropriately include as graduate faculty members those who have demonstrated exceptional scholarly or creative activity, or professional experience, but who may not possess the required academic credentials. There also may be an occasion when a new graduate discipline is in its formative stage in higher education and there are no faculty members available with academic credentials in the discipline. In either case, when an institution presents evidence of competence or academic credentials other than the doctorate in the discipline for its graduate faculty, it must justify the employment of such faculty.
In the College of Professional Studies, School of Education, 93 percent of the faculty teaching at the master's level have the doctorate, 6 percent are ABD, and one adjunct faculty member has a specialist's degree in education. In the College of Professional Studies, School of Public and Social Services, all faculty have terminal degrees, including one faculty member who has a Master of Social Work.
In the College of Business, 88 percent of the faculty teaching at the master's level have the doctorate in the discipline in which they teach.
In the College of Health Professions, 50 percent of the faculty teaching at the master's level have the doctorate, while the other 50 percent hold at least the master's. Because of a national shortage of doctorally prepared faculty in the health professions, hiring faculty with master's degrees to teach at the graduate level is not uncommon.
In most cases where faculty came to FGCU ABD, they have a limited period to complete their doctorate. Several faculty with master's degrees are currently completing course work for the doctorate. In addition, their employment is justified on the basis that their credentials meet the requirements of the discipline-specific accrediting agencies which review their programs and upon their experience as practitioners of their disciplines.The Commission encourages interdisciplinary courses and recognizes that appropriate credentials for teaching may vary. The institution must document and justify the academic and professional preparation of faculty members teaching in such courses or programs.
Like the undergraduate health science degree in the College of Health Professions, the Master of Science in Health Science is also an interdisciplinary program that draws faculty from across the College of Health Professions and other colleges in the university who have expertise in gerontology, health professions education or practice, and health services administration in order to provide interdisciplinary breadth based on disciplinary depth. Faculty are assigned to these interdisciplinary courses on the basis of academic degree and associated graduate course work, prior professional experience, prior teaching experience, or by experience in their disciplines as clinicians, managers, or educators. Many of these courses are team taught to increase interdisciplinary coverage based on disciplinary expertise.It is the responsibility of the institution to keep on file, for all full-time and part-time faculty members teaching graduate courses, documentation of academic preparation, such as official transcripts and, if appropriate for demonstrating competence, official documentation of professional and work experience, technical and performance competency, records of publications, and certifications and other qualifications.
As with the files for faculty teaching in undergraduate programs, the office of the vice president of academic affairs maintains and regularly updates faculty files for those teaching in graduate programs. Files for full-time faculty include the letter of offer, all contracts, the faculty member's curriculum vitae, faculty activity reports; official transcripts from the institution granting the terminal degree, financial awards; and promotion, tenure and renewal notices. Files for part-time faculty include the contract for each semester they are hired. This contract also is their assignment and activity form. Also maintained in the personnel file of the part-time faculty member are the faculty member's official transcripts. Full-time faculty are hired after departmental review of academic preparation and professional vitae. Part-time faculty are hired after chairs or program leaders review their credentials.An effective graduate program depends on the scholarly interaction of faculty. The appropriate number of faculty members to adequately support a program varies according to the discipline and the scope of the program. However, for each graduate degree program, an institution must employ at least four qualified full-time faculty members whose responsibilities include teaching in the program. All policies and regulations affecting graduate curricula, as well as requirements leading to graduate credit, certification and degrees, should be formulated by the graduate faculty or by an appointed or elected group representing that faculty.
All but one of the graduate programs at FGCU have four qualified full-time faculty members responsible for teaching in the program. In the College of Health Professions, the graduate program in health sciences currently includes three full-time faculty members with a search in progress for a fourth. The faculty are responsible for developing the curriculum and program requirements in their areas; the university graduate curriculum team is responsible for reviewing the programs. Data from the FGCU annual survey supports this claim; the statement "Academically qualified persons are included in the graduate curriculum review process" (E3) received an average score of 4.67 from faculty respondents; 60 percent scored between 5 and 6, and 89 percent scored between 4 and 6.
184.108.40.206 Distance Learning Programs/ActivitiesInstitutions offering courses for credit through distance learning activities and programs must meet all criteria related to faculty. Whether through direct contact or other appropriate means, institutions offering distance learning programs must provide students with structured access to and interaction with full-time faculty members.
Because distance learning courses are an integral part of the curriculum at FGCU, the same faculty who teach on-campus courses teach distance learning courses. All faculty who teach distance learning courses are accessible through a variety of means, including e-mail, Web boards, telephone, scheduled office hours, and appointments. Faculty are required to post their hours of availability on their syllabi, and all syllabi are available on the Web. In addition, students at distant sites are also offered the opportunity to evaluate their courses and faculty just like students in on-campus courses.
Faculty teaching courses that lead to the baccalaureate degree, including interdisciplinary and distance learning courses, were well qualified for their assignments, for the most part holding the terminal degree in their field. In addition, faculty teaching courses that lead to the master's degree generally hold the terminal degree, although justifications need to be written for those that do not meet this criterion. Such information is easily documented for full-time faculty through the faculty files maintained in the office of the vice president of academic affairs.
In response to the difficulty of affirming the qualifications of part-time faculty in relation to their teaching duties, FGCU is in the process of creating a comprehensive part-time faculty policy that will outline the qualifications and procedures for hiring part-time faculty; the office of the vice president of academic affairs is also in the process of reviewing part-time faculty files to substantiate that they are qualified for their teaching assignments.
Faculty with the terminal degree taught well over 25 percent of the courses in each undergraduate degree program. Because FGCU does not have a separate faculty to teach distance learning courses, the faculty who teach these classes meet the same criteria as faculty who teach classes that meet on campus.
Because FGCU is a new institution, clear data on attracting and retaining qualified faculty, especially for graduate programs, is difficult to gather. To date, no comparison has been made of the applicant pools at FGCU with multi-year positions with the applicant pools at tenure granting institutions. In addition, no information has been gathered on candidates who withdraw from consideration for multi-year positions at FGCU.
Data from the FGCU annual surveys indicate that, while faculty feel that some resources exist for graduate programs, FGCU needs to improve its performance in supplying these resources.
R4.8.2-1 The Steering Committee recommends that the College of Health Professions develop clear justifications for accepting master's degrees as preparation for graduate level teaching and that the university work toward increasing the number of faculty with terminal degrees in this college.
S4.8.2-1 The Steering Committee suggests that the university review the financial and research resources for graduate faculty and programs.
S4.8.2-2 The Steering Committee suggests that the university enact a process for checking graduate faculty credentials which would include writing justifications for faculty without the terminal degree who teach at the graduate level.
S4.8.2-3 The Steering Committee suggests that the university develop a mechanism for evaluating applicant pools (size, quality of candidates), as well as gathering information on candidates who withdraw from consideration from multi-year appointment positions to ascertain if the university is attracting the most qualified faculty.
S4.8.2-4 The Steering Committee suggests that the university develop a mechanism for tracking retention of faculty.
4.8.3 Part-Time Faculty
DescriptionThe number of full-time faculty members must be adequate to provide effective teaching, advising, and scholarly or creative activity, and be appropriate to participate in curriculum development, policy making, institutional planning and governance. The employment of part-time faculty members can provide expertise to enhance the educational effectiveness of an institution but the number of part-time faculty members must be properly limited. Part-time faculty members teaching courses for credit must meet the same requirements for professional, experiential and scholarly preparation as their full-time counterparts teaching in the same disciplines.
The number of full-time faculty adequate to provide effective teaching, advising, and scholarly or creative activity, and to participate in curriculum development, policy making, institutional planning and governance varies with the requirements of each college and academic program. Limits on the number of part-time or adjunct faculty members also varies among different colleges and/or academic programs. In some disciplines, professional accrediting bodies and other learned societies provide recommended guidelines for both the number of faculty members and the ratios between full-time and adjunct faculty. Because FGCU is in its first year of classes, these bodies have not yet had the opportunity to complete their reviews of the various programs at FGCU, and each college has been responsible for determining the numbers of full-time faculty and the ratios between full-time and adjunct faculty within each of its programs. It should be noted that the number of part-time faculty employed in the university's start-up phase is somewhat inflated due to full-time faculty being given release time to develop programs, curricula, and distance learning courses.
Preliminary data have been gathered for the 1997-98 academic year concerning the number of full-time faculty in each college and the ratio of courses taught by full-time and adjunct faculty. The data gathered from the colleges show that in all but the School of Education and the writing program and math concentration in the College of Arts and Sciences the primary responsibility for teaching has fallen to full-time faculty with a very limited use of adjunct faculty. [See Table 4.8.3(1) Part-Time Faculty.]
The School of Education has relied more heavily on adjunct faculty who taught 39 percent of the education courses in the 1997-98 academic year.
In the College of Arts and Sciences in all programs except the writing program and the math concentration, the percentage of courses taught by full-time faculty was above 80 percent. In the writing program in the fall, only 8 percent of courses were taught by full-time faculty; in the spring, only 18 percent were taught by full-time faculty. In the math concentration in the fall, 56 percent of the courses were taught by full-time faculty; in the spring, 44 percent were taught by full-time faculty.
Currently, full-time faculty in each discipline, usually chairs or program leaders, are responsible for evaluating the qualifications of part-time faculty. While no uniform procedure exists for the evaluation of part-time faculty, responses from the various discipline leaders suggest that qualified adjunct faculty are currently being used to supplement the teaching of full-time faculty.Each institution must establish and publish comprehensive policies concerning the employment of part-time faculty members. It must also provide for appropriate orientation, supervision, and evaluation of all part-time faculty members. Procedures to ensure access to part-time faculty must be clearly stated and publicized.
The policies and procedures applicable to adjunct faculty are in development throughout the four colleges and Division of Academic Affairs. Adjunct faculty are employed on a per semester basis to teach specific courses and are not usually expected to perform duties beyond those directly related to the course assignment. The respective college and/or department officials have authority to offer adjunct employment to qualified individuals in response to the expertise needs of a particular credit course being offered. Each adjunct faculty member is required to provide a curriculum vitae and transcripts to document qualifications and academic degrees held, as well as other documentation supporting their professional and scholarly preparation in a similar manner as regular full-time faculty. Chairs, directors, team leaders, or other appropriate hiring officials evaluate these documents. Vitae and official transcripts are maintained in the office of the vice president of academic affairs. Upon receipt of transcripts the office of the vice president of academic affairs reviews non-terminal degree transcripts to verify the 18-hour discipline rule. If appropriate, the office requests a letter of justification from the supervisor dean for faculty who are exceptions.
Formal FGCU appointment procedures for adjunct faculty have been developed including the use of a standard Adjunct Agreement form that identifies the credit course assignment, rate of pay, and other conditions of the appointment and that requires signature authorization of the employee, department head, dean and vice president of academic affairs. During the 1996-97 academic year, a comprehensive Part-time Faculty Coaching and Collaborative Assessment Process provided a formal orientation program for new adjunct faculty and for adjunct faculty that the University of South Florida at Fort Myers previously employed who were going to be considered for adjunct appointments at FGCU. This program included a general orientation to the philosophy and mission of the university as well as coordinated the supervision and in-class observation of adjunct teaching. In the 1997-98 academic year, the process for orientation, supervision, and evaluation was developed at the departmental level, with each chair or team leader overseeing the hiring, orientation, supervision, and evaluation of adjunct faculty in his/her area; in addition, individual departments set policies and procedures for student access to adjunct faculty. In 1998-99, these issues are also being addressed at the college level.
Currently, the office of the vice president of academic affairs is developing a university policy on part-time faculty that will formalize general policies and procedures for the hiring, orientation, supervision, and evaluation of part-time faculty for the entire university.
Part-time faculty are at a minimum evaluated through student evaluations, though some departments also include in-class observations of teaching and review of portfolios.
Part-time faculty are expected to have their syllabi on the Web, and use instructional technology such as e-mail, to make themselves accessible to students. All adjuncts include their e-mail address, office hours, and phone number on their syllabi.
While FGCU cannot currently provide definitive determination of the adequacy of the number of full-time faculty members needed to provide effective teaching, advising, and scholarly activity, and to participate in curriculum development, policy making, and planning and governance, the data gathered from the various colleges suggests that, in all but the School of Education, sufficient full-time faculty appear to have been hired to fulfill the colleges' teaching needs, thus limiting the use of adjunct faculty for teaching. While the School of Education does use a higher percentage of adjunct faculty than the other colleges, not enough information has been gathered to determine whether or not this figure is too high.
The writing program and math concentration in the College of Arts and Sciences do not have enough full-time faculty to cover the course load. While the situation was improved somewhat in the fall 1998 semester for the writing program with the hire of two new English faculty, only 21 percent of the writing courses were taught by full-time faculty in fall 1998. If our first-time-in-college student population increases next year, as expected, the problem will be much worse for both in these areas.
In response to the fact that adjunct faculty's qualifications are evaluated at the departmental level, and that the orientation, supervision, and evaluation of adjunct faculty occurs at the departmental level, the office of vice president of academic affairs is drafting a comprehensive policy for the hiring and oversight of part-time faculty.
R4.8.3-1 The Steering Committee recommends that each college establish desired ratios between full-time and adjunct faculty using recommendations of professional accrediting bodies and learned societies, where applicable, and evaluate the utilization of adjunct faculty within programs.
R4.8.3-2 The Steering Committee recommends that formal policies regarding the hiring, orientation, and supervision of adjuncts be finalized. These policies should address the evaluation of adjunct qualifications and the appointment, orientation, supervision, and evaluation of adjuncts.
R4.8.3-3 The Steering Committee recommends that the university hire more faculty for the writing program and the math concentration in the College of Arts and Sciences.
4.8.4 Graduate Teaching Assistants
DescriptionThe employment of graduate teaching assistants is a well-established practice in higher education, but should be carefully monitored. An institution must avoid heavy dependence on graduate teaching assistants to conduct classroom instruction. Each institution employing graduate teaching assistants must provide a published set of guidelines for institution-wide graduate assistantship administration, including appointment criteria, remuneration, rights and responsibilities, evaluation, and reappointment.
Graduate teaching assistants who have primary responsibility for teaching a course for credit and/or for assigning final grades for such a course, and whose professional and scholarly preparation does not satisfy the provisions of Section 4.8.2 must have earned at least 18 graduate semester hours in their teaching discipline, be under the direct supervision of a faculty member experienced in the teaching discipline, receive regular in-service training, and be regularly evaluated.
The above requirements do not apply to graduate teaching assistants engaged in assignments such as assisting in laboratory sessions, teaching physical education activities, attending or helping prepare lectures, grading papers, keeping class records, and conducting discussion groups.
Institutions may appoint graduate teaching assistants for whom English is a second language only when a test of spoken English, or other reliable evidence of the applicant's proficiency in oral and written communication, indicates that the appointment is appropriate.
Institutions employing graduate teaching assistants must provide a structure for administrative oversight at a level above that of the individual academic units to assure conformity with institutional policies and procedures.
Florida Gulf Coast University does not employ graduate teaching assistants.
4.8.5 Faculty Compensation
DescriptionAn institution should provide adequate faculty salaries and benefits to attract and retain able faculty members. The institution should also provide a retirement plan, to which it contributes a reasonable percentage of the cost, and a plan for adequate insurance coverage. Salary increments must be based on clearly stated criteria.
In terms of salary, FGCU appears to be competitive with other Florida public four- year institutions. Retention is not an issue that can be assessed in the first year of operation.
The Board of Regents and the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the SUS, of which Florida Gulf Coast University is a part, and the United Faculty of Florida define retirement and benefit plans. There are two retirement options new faculty can select: the Florida Retirement System and the Optional Retirement Plan. The Florida Retirement System (FRS) is a defined benefit plan, and the university contributes 16.45 percent of the employee's salary to the system (effective 7/1/98). There is a 10-year vesting period for eligibility to draw a retirement after age 62 or 30 years of creditable service. The Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) is a defined contribution plan, and the university contributes 16.45 percent to the Division of Retirement (effective 7/1/98); however, only 11.57 percent goes directly to the annuity account for the employee and the balance funds the FRS administrative overhead. There is no vesting period and all contributions to the employee's account are available regardless of length of service according to Internal Revenue Service early withdrawal penalties. In addition, the SUS system offers faculty a variety of comprehensive insurance programs to choose from, including health maintenance organizations and a state insurance plan. FGCU has followed all benefit, retirement, and compensation policies as set forth by the Board of Regents.
In relation to salary increments, the chancellor issues an annual Chancellor's Memorandum with salary increase instructions and guidelines based upon the legislature's Appropriations Act regarding salary increases for SUS employees. Faculty increases are bargained annually but are subject to legislative decrees.
In general, at Florida Gulf Coast University gender does not play a major role in salary differences except for associate professors where male faculty seem to be paid at higher average salaries than female faculty by approximately 17 percent with greater variations in individual colleges. On the average, male full professors earn 4 percent more than do female full professors. Female assistant professors earn 1 percent more than male assistant professors. These differences may be partly attributed to the number of years' experience, within rank, since the terminal degree was granted. [See Table 4.8.5(1) Faculty Compensation for a detailed breakdown, by college, rank, and gender, of the salaries at FGCU, as well as a comparison of 1997-98 FGCU salaries and 1996-97 SUS salaries (the latest data available for the SUS system).]
Data collected from the first annual faculty survey indicate that faculty generally feel that salaries are equitably distributed based on rank, discipline, gender, and race. Faculty were asked to rate their perceptions from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (6). The statement "Based on rank, the salaries in my college are equitably distributed by gender" (A3) received an average score of 4.24; 52 percent scored between 5 and 6, and 74 percent scored between 4 and 6. The statement "For my rank, discipline and experience, my salary is equitable to others at FGCU" (F3) received an average score of 3.94; 50 percent scored between 5 and 6, and 67 percent scored between 4 and 6. The statement "The salaries in my college are equitably distributed regardless of race" (H1) received an average score of 4.62; 67 percent scored between 5 and 6, and 84 percent scored between 4 and 6. On the other hand, in the importance/performance portion of the survey, the statement "Equitable distribution of salaries in my college, based upon rank" (A3) received an average importance score of 5.11 and an average performance score of 3.56. The statement "Equitable salaries based on rank, discipline and experience" (F3) received an average importance score of 5.35 and an average performance score of 3.40. The statement "Equitable distribution of salaries in my college among faculty regardless of race" (H1) received an average importance score of 5.42 and an average performance score of 4.22. While the questions on the agree/disagree survey suggested some satisfaction with the equality of salaries, the questions in the importance/performance survey, all of which had a differentiation of greater than 1, suggests that there is need for improvement.
Currently, FGCU does not have a mechanism to address the equity of salary within the university, though a process and procedure for grieving salary inequity based on gender and race has been drafted. FGCU has not yet drafted a policy to address salary inequity based on rank or discipline in comparison to other universities.
The criteria, policies, and procedures for salary increments in the SUS are clearly stated and available to all faculty in the SUS system.
The number of years individuals brought into rank from USF at Fort Myers set against the rank and commensurate salary assigned to new hires based on years of experience complicate comparisons of salaries based on rank. An analysis of equivalent qualifications for the award of rank at hire or previous promotion might be warranted to understand the salary structure at FGCU.
The differences in numbers of tenured faculty and multi-year contract faculty also complicate comparisons of their salary (29 tenured or tenure track faculty and 100 multi-year contract faculty). However, years of service at USF Fort Myers and previous awards of Teaching Incentive Program (TIP)/Professional Excellence Program (PEP) may account for tenured faculty often exceeding salaries of multi-year contract faculty. Differences in hiring salary ranges and comparative salary scales used in determining hiring salaries (particularly in the College of Business) further complicate comparisons between faculty hired expressly for FGCU and those transferring from USF Fort Myers
These complexities and variables are reflected in the faculty surveys, which seem to offer conflicting perceptions about the equality of salaries.
S4.8.5-1 Since faculty were hired based on different criteria at USF and FGCU, and since each college established salary ranges and rank qualifications separately, the Steering Committee suggests that each college define the qualifications used to establish employment offers at assistant, associate, and full professor ranks and the scales for salary ranges.
4.8.6 Academic Freedom and Professional Security
DescriptionFaculty and students must be free to examine all pertinent data, question assumptions, be guided by the evidence of scholarly research, and teach and study the substance of a given discipline. Institutions may endorse particular religious or philosophical beliefs, or specific social principles as they relate to the institutional statement of purpose. Such beliefs and principles may influence the curriculum and the selection of students, faculty and staff. Nevertheless, institutions of higher education exist to further the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge.
An institution must adopt and distribute to all faculty members a statement of the principles of academic freedom as established by the governing board, ensuring freedom in teaching, research and publication. Although tenure policy is not mandated, each institution must provide contracts, letters of appointment, or similar documents to the faculty members clearly describing the terms and conditions of their employment. Institutional policies must set forth the requirement for faculty members to carry out their duties in a professional, ethical and collegial manner that enhances the purpose of the institution. All policies regarding employment, as established by the governing board, must be published and distributed to the faculty. If the institution uses faculty ranks and tenure, the policies and procedures for promotion, for awarding tenure, for providing adequate notice on nonrenewal of a probationary appointment, and for termination of appointments, including those for cause, must be clearly set forth in the faculty handbook or other official publication. Termination and nonrenewal procedures must contain adequate safeguards for protection of academic freedom.
Academic freedom is central to FGCU's mission and principles. Policies concerning academic freedom at Florida Gulf Coast University, as at all state universities in the Florida system, follow the policy stated in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the United Faculty of Florida and the Florida Board of Regents, a document that is distributed to all faculty members within the bargaining unit.
Section 5.1 and 5.2 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement state that: "It is the policy of the Board of the UFF to maintain and encourage full academic freedom. Academic freedom and responsibility are essential to the full development of a true university and apply to teaching, research, and creative activities. An employee engaged in such activities shall be free to cultivate a spirit of inquiry and scholarly criticism and to examine ideas in an atmosphere of freedom and confidence[and to] select instructional materials and determine grades in accordance with University and Board policiesEmployees shall also be free to engage in scholarly and creative activity and publish the results in a manner consistent with their professional obligations."
The FGCU guiding principles states that "Academic Freedom is the foundation for the transmission and advancement of knowledge. The university vigorously protects freedom of inquiry and expression and categorically expects civility and mutual respect to be practiced in all deliberations."
These principles of academic freedom are reiterated in section IV.G of the FGCU Interim Faculty Handbook, which reads: "Academic freedom and responsibility are essential to the full development of a true university and apply to teaching, scholarship, and creative activity. In the development of knowledge, scholarship endeavors, and creative activities, a university faculty must be free to cultivate a spirit of inquiry and scholarly criticism and to examine ideas in an atmosphere of freedom and confidence. A similar atmosphere is required for university teaching. Consistent with the exercise of academic responsibility, an instructor must have freedom in the classroom to discuss academic subjects. The student must likewise have the opportunity to study a full spectrum of ideas, opinions, and beliefs, so that the student may acquire maturity for analysis and judgment. Objective and skillful exposition of such subject matter is the duty of every instructor." A similar policy on academic freedom will be included in FGCU's Faculty Handbook, which is currently in preparation and will supercede the interim handbook.
Data collected from the FGCU annual survey indicate generally high levels of confidence in FGCU's commitment to academic freedom. Three items on the survey asked faculty to rate to what extent they felt FGCU was implementing its policy on academic freedom. Faculty were asked to rate their agreement to these statements on a scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree). In the survey, the statement "At FGCU, I feel that I have the academic freedom to teach as I want" received an average score of 4.71; 81 percent of faculty scored between 4 and 6, and 65 percent scored between 5 and 6. In the survey, the statement, "I feel that I have the academic freedom to be involved in public service" received an average score of 4.82; 85 percent scored between 4 and 6, and 71 percent scored between 5 and 6. The statement "I feel that I have the academic freedom to do the kind of scholarship that I want" received an average score of 4.52; 75 percent scored between 4 and 6, and 59 percent scored between 5 and 6.
Data collected from the first annual FGCU student survey indicate a strong level of confidence in FGCU's commitment to their freedom to pursue scholarly activities. In the survey, the statement "FGCU provides an environment in which scholarly achievement is encouraged" received an average score of 4.56; 62 percent scored between 5 and 6, and 87 percent scored between 4 and 6. The statement "There is sufficient opportunity for students to become involved in scholarly activities" received an average score of 3.93; 33 percent scored between 5 and 6, and 65 percent scored between 4 and 6. The statement "FGCU provides adequate opportunity for scholarly interaction with faculty" received an average score of 4.52; 58 percent scored between 5 and 6, and 85 percent scored between 4 and 6. The statement "The university supports scholarly interaction between students and faculty" received an average score of 4.63; 61 percent scored between 5 and 6, and 89 percent scored between 4 and 6.
The requirement that FGCU faculty members conduct their duties in a professional, ethical, and collegial manner is covered in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (5.3), which states that "Academic freedom is accompanied by the corresponding responsibility to: a) be forthright and honest in the pursuit and communication of scientific and scholarly knowledge; b) respect students, staff, and colleagues as individuals and avoid any exploitation of such persons for private advantage; c) respect the integrity of the evaluation process with regard to students, staff, and colleagues, so that it reflects their true merit; and d) indicate when appropriate that one is not an institutional representative unless specifically authorized as such."
This responsibility is reiterated in the Interim Faculty Handbook (IV.G): "The faculty member must fulfill his/her responsibility to society and to his/her profession by manifesting academic competence and scholarly discretion. The faculty member is a member of a learned profession and an academic officer of a university. The general faculty member should be constantly mindful that these roles may be inseparable in the public view, and should therefore at all times exercise appropriate restraint and good judgment." A similar statement of professional responsibility will be included in FGCU's Faculty Handbook, currently in preparation. A statement on professional responsibility is also included in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (Section 5.4).
In relation to professional security, each faculty member at Florida Gulf Coast University receives a contract which clearly outlines their terms of employment, including faculty rank, length of contract, annual duration of contract (9 or 12 months), salary, and any special conditions of employment. The employment of each in-unit faculty member is likewise subject to the conditions and stipulations laid out in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the United Faculty of Florida and the Florida State Board of Regents, which is distributed to each in-unit faculty member at initial hire and distributed by UFF as new agreements are negotiated. Additional contracts are distributed to those 9 month faculty members receiving supplemental summer appointments.
Faculty at Florida Gulf Coast University are currently on two different types of employment contracts. Some faculty, primarily those who came to FGCU from USF Fort Myers, are tenured or on tenure track. The procedures for awarding tenure for these faculty are clearly outlined in Article 15 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, entitled "Tenure and Permanent Status," as well as in the Faculty Performance Evaluation Document.
The majority of FGCU faculty receive multi-year appointments for a fixed period of employment from two to five years. The offering of multi-year appointments at FGCU is covered by a special provision in the Collective Bargaining Agreement Section 8.4(g)(1) "Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) may offer multi-year appointments in lieu of tenure track appointments to its employees. With respect to the use of multi-year appointments for regular faculty positions at Florida Gulf Coast University, it is the intent of the Board to authorize the use of such appointments to allow for flexibility in the development of its faculty composition and structure to address the mission of the university in a manner which supplements, rather than supplants, the use of tenure-earning and tenured appointments. The faculty and administration shall collaborate in developing policies and procedures to address both reappointment and nonreappointment." The special terms of multi-year contracts at FGCU are covered in Section 8.12 ("Multi-Year Appointments at Florida Gulf Coast University") of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and in section IV.F ("Multi-Year Appointment Guidelines") of the Interim Faculty Handbook. The Faculty Handbook, currently in preparation, will likewise contain information on appointments.
The procedures and the criteria for promotion, tenure, and reappointment at FGCU are determined by the Faculty Performance Evaluation Document (FPED) at the university level. The FPED was originally approved in July 1997 with the provision that it would be revised at the end of the first year of operation; the revised FPED (August 1998) was widely distributed and approved by the faculty in October 1998. General information about the FPED will be included in the FGCU Faculty Handbook.
Policies regarding nonreappointment and contract termination are covered in Sections III.K. - III.M. of the FGCU Interim Faculty Handbook, and will be repeated in the new faculty handbook. Policies in this area are likewise covered under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article 12 (Nonreappointment), Article 13 (Layoff and Recall), and Article 16 (Disciplinary Action and Job Abandonment). The reappointment procedures are also clearly outlined in the FPED. Nonreappointment and contract termination are regulated by the conditions and grievance procedures set up by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Since this document clearly spells out the commitment of the State University System to the principles of academic freedom, a faculty member would have clear grounds for recourse under the Collective Bargaining Agreement if his or her termination was the result of an attempt to restrict academic freedom.
Through its policies and in its culture, FGCU fosters an atmosphere of freedom for faculty and students to examine information and to question beliefs and assumptions in order to provide a rich educational experience. In addition, the development of knowledge and the pursuit of scholarly and creative endeavors are the foundation of the educational programs. Faculty and student responses to the survey questions reflect this analysis. Sizable majorities of faculty responded to survey items indicating that they feel that they have the academic freedom to teach and pursue scholarship and service as they would like. Likewise, students responded that they feel that the university supports their pursuit of scholarly activities.
As a central part of the hiring process, FGCU provides new faculty with a contract that clearly defines the terms and conditions of their employment, as well as clear statements regarding how faculty carry out their duties and clear procedures for tenure, promotion, reappointment and termination. These procedures include safeguards for academic freedom.
4.8.7 Professional Growth
DescriptionAn institution must provide faculty members the opportunity to continue their professional development throughout their careers and must demonstrate that such development occurs. Among the means of accomplishing this goal are leaves of absence for study and research, additional graduate work in the discipline, participation in professional meetings, and inservice training such as instruction in computer usage. The general tone and policies of an institution must make it clear that individual faculty members are to take the initiative in promoting their own growth as teachers, scholars and, especially in professional and occupational fields, practitioners.
Central to FGCU's philosophy is the concept of continual assessment for the purposes of improvement. The professional growth of faculty adheres to this philosophy; in relation to professional development, the preamble to the Faculty Performance Evaluation Document states: "Providing a sense of stability and cohesiveness in the diverse atmosphere of multi-year contracts and tenure requires an institution's commitment to the welfare and development of its employees. The administration and individual faculty members share the responsibility for professional growth. The administration provides faculty members with the opportunity and resources to continue their professional development. Individual faculty members, in turn, take the initiative in promoting their own growth as teachers, scholars, and, where appropriate, as practitioners."
Faculty at FGCU have multiple opportunities for continuing professional development, including funds distributed by each college for individual faculty development; workshops offered by the Office of Instructional Technology, the Office of Administrative Computing, and the Office of Contracts and Grants; and tuition support for continued graduate study.
The funds administered within each college for faculty professional development are distributed differently. For 1997-98 the College of Arts and Sciences provided $1,000 per faculty member, administered by the dean; the College of Business provided $1,500 per faculty member, administered by each department chair; the College of Health Professions provided $1,200 per faculty member, administered by each department chair; the College of Professional Studies provided $1,200 per faculty member, with department chairs or school directors providing additional funding on a case-by-case basis. The professional development funds are used for conferences, training workshops, seminars, paper presentations, purchase of professional development software, and payment of professional dues.
Reports from each of the colleges indicate that faculty used a high percentage of the allocated professional development funds. In the College of Arts and Sciences, 95 percent of the faculty used their funds for travel, conferences, research, and subscriptions to professional societies or journals. In the College of Health Professions, 100 percent of the faculty used their funds for similar activities. In the College of Professional Studies, 92 percent of the faculty used their allocated funds. In the College of Business, 97 percent of the faculty used their professional development funds.
The Office of Instructional Technology offers many different workshops to increase knowledge and skills for using various types of course delivery systems, for increasing facilitative leadership, and for individual course design consultation. Faculty participated in the workshops on a voluntary basis. In fall 1997 there were 149 faculty participants in workshops sponsored by the Office of Instructional Technology. In addition, the Office of Instructional Technology sponsored annual distance teaching and learning conferences, which included faculty. Approximately 10 faculty members attended in 1995, 26 in 1996, and 31 in 1998. The 1998 conference was jointly sponsored with Syllabus Press.
In 1996-97 and 1997-98, the Computing Services Department held workshops in software applications including Netscape Navigator, Understanding FGCU's Network Share Drives, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Access, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel, and Windows 95. During the 1997-98 academic year, 22 faculty participated in the workshops.
The Office of Contracts and Grants offers regular workshops on grants and grant writing. During the 1997-98 academic year, the following workshops were offered: Grant proposal workshop for FIPSE grants (15 attended); Grant proposal workshop for NSF/ILI grants (3 attended); and two proposal workshops (14 attended).
All staff and faculty in the State University System are granted a tuition waiver of up to six credit hours per semester. During fall 1997, two faculty participated in graduate courses. In spring 1998, three faculty participated.
In order to increase opportunities for professional growth, the Collective Bargaining Agreement (Article 22) provides for a Professional Development Leave/Sabbatical Policy. According to the CBA, Professional Development Leave and Sabbaticals are granted to eligible faculty "to increase an employee's value to the university through enhanced opportunities for professional renewal, educational travel, study, formal education, research, writing, or other experiences of professional value." FGCU is also currently developing a Professional Renewal Leave Policy that fits FGCU's special situation as an institution that has both tenure-track and multi-year contracts. The Deans Council reviewed this policy on June 10, 1998; and the policy has subsequently been distributed to the Faculty Senate and the local UFF chapter for input. The hope is to have a memorandum of agreement with the BOR, Florida Gulf Coast University, and the state UFF to allow this policy to operate at Florida Gulf Coast University instead of Collective Bargaining Agreement Article 22.1 (Professional Development Leave) and 22.3 (Sabbaticals).
While the oversight of professional growth of faculty at FGCU is the shared responsibility of the administration and the faculty, the policies and culture of FGCU make it clear that faculty must take the initiative in their own professional development. The Faculty Performance Evaluation Document (FPED) states: "Evaluation processes and career successes are the shared responsibility of all participants individual faculty members, administrators, peer review committees, and the Faculty Affairs Team. FGCU recognizes and appreciates the diversity of faculty roles and responsibilities within the university. Likewise, the administration and the faculty are committed to a faculty development program that provides opportunities and resources for professional growth and advancement within academe."
The cornerstone of faculty growth is the faculty member's professional development plan (PDP) which outlines the teaching, scholarship, and service goals and activities for the academic year. The FPED states: "Each faculty member at FGCU will, in collaboration with his or her peers and supervisor, prepare a Professional Development Plan (PDP) The Professional Development Plan is the cornerstone of all faculty evaluation processes at FGCU. During the first semester of service, each faculty member will, in collaboration with his or her peers and supervisor, establish a PDP. While teaching is central to the university's mission, individual faculty members may engage in the activities of teaching, scholarship, and service in different degrees and intensities. The responsibilities and objectives in the PDP will reflect both the faculty member's professional goals and objectives as well as the needs of the college, unit, and/or university." Because a statement of the faculty member's goals and activities is central to the PDP, and because the PDP is central to faculty evaluation, FGCU has directly linked faculty development with the annual evaluation process.
Data collected from the first annual FGCU faculty survey indicate the faculty believe that there is adequate support for professional development and scholarly activities; however, a significant number of faculty indicate that more support would be useful, particularly in the area of scholarship. Several items on the survey asked faculty questions relevant to professional growth. Faculty were asked to rate their agreement to these statements on a scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree). In the survey, the statement "Adequate support is provided for the professional development of faculty" received an average score of 3.74. In the survey, the statement "In my college, scholarly activity is supported by adequate resources" received an average score of 3.46. In the survey, the statement, "The administration at FGCU encourages scholarly endeavors" received an average score of 3.56.
Through professional development funds, workshops, training sessions, and tuition support, FGCU offers faculty the opportunity to continue their professional development. As indicated from the faculty responses to the survey questions regarding support for professional development, the faculty feel that the support is adequate though they also indicate that more support would be appreciated for scholarship. The high level of participation in conferences, workshops, and training sessions and the extensive use of professional development funds indicate that faculty have been provided with opportunities to grow professionally. In addition, the tone and policies at FGCU demonstrate the central importance of faculty initiative in their professional development.
S4.8.7-1 The Steering Committee suggests that the university finalize the Professional Renewal Leave Policy in order to increase opportunities for professional development. This policy needs to clarify the status of multi-year contract faculty and tenured faculty relating to Article 22 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (Professional Development Program and Sabbaticals).
4.8.8 The Role of the Faculty and Its Committees
DescriptionThe primary responsibility for the quality of the educational program must reside with the faculty. The extent of the participation and jurisdiction of the faculty in academic affairs must be clearly set forth and published. Much of their business will normally be conducted through such structures as committees, councils, and senates, operating within the broad policies determined by the administration and the governing board.
The philosophy of faculty governance at Florida Gulf Coast University is founded on providing a structure and process for the faculty to promote a supportive and quality learning environment in furtherance of the mission and guiding principles of the university. Faculty governance at Florida Gulf Coast University is grounded in and dedicated to the principles, concepts, and objectives of the university mission. Fairness, mutual respect, continuous improvement, an informed faculty, and collegial decision-making are the hallmarks of the governance structure. As put forth in the "Purpose" section of the Florida Gulf Coast University Faculty Governance Structure and Process document, the governance system at FGCU:
1. Defines and promotes the rights and responsibilities of faculty with respect to scholarship, equity, mutual respect and tolerance, collegiality, and fairness across the academic units of the institution.
2. Provides a process for recommending university policies concerning students, staff, community, faculty, campus and administrative affairs.
3. Protects and promotes academic freedom.
4. Creates and maintains a flexible, collegial, and integrated structure.
5. Promotes the equitable economic welfare of the faculty.
6. Provides a process for ensuring quality in academic programs.
At the most general level, faculty governance at FGCU is structured to operate in accordance with the specification of faculty rights and responsibilities set forth in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Florida Board of Regents (BOR) and the United Faculty of Florida (UFF), the legally designated bargaining agent for all "in unit" faculty members at Florida Gulf Coast University and throughout the State University System of Florida.
The specific structure of faculty governance at FGCU to date has been evolving, due to the university's unique position as a new institution opening its doors in the 1997-98 academic year. A historical perspective on the formation of faculty governance prior to the opening of the university is found in the Report on the Development of the Florida Gulf Coast University's mission statement prepared by the Institutional Purpose Self-Study Committee. The initial stages of faculty governance at FGCU took place under the auspices of the USF Fort Myers Faculty Council, which was expanded to include faculty hired to participate in curriculum development at FGCU as well as faculty making the transition from USF Fort Myers to FGCU. This interim governance body approved a Faculty Governance Structure and Process in July 1997. Following the arrival of faculty hired for the opening of FGCU, new elections were held, forming the inaugural Faculty Senate. During the 1997-98 academic year, elected faculty representatives and appointed committee members reviewed and refined the principles and structures that define the current form of faculty governance of FGCU. This process was carried out with a high degree of participation and debate among the faculty representatives and the faculty as a whole. The FGCU Interim Faculty Handbook, section III.C.3, explained the transitional nature of faculty governance structures for the first academic year at FGCU, and laid out the establishment of new permanent governance structures as a principal task for the first year of the university's operation.
The main structure of faculty governance at the university level is the Faculty Senate. The FGCU Faculty Senate currently consists of 20 percent of the total faculty and includes at least one member from each academic unit. Members are elected by the faculty in proportion to the number of faculty in the academic units. Membership in the faculty senate is on staggered two-year terms. The Faculty Senate maintains a Web site to publish and disseminate information on faculty governance at FGCU at http://itech.fgcu.edu/faculty/senate/ .
The major academic policy advisory committees of the university are the faculty teams. The faculty teams have membership from both the Faculty Senate and from the academic units, and membership on these bodies is likewise on staggered two-year terms. The faculty teams make recommendations to the faculty senate, which is the decision making body. The faculty teams during 1997-98 were:
1. Leadership Team
2. Academic Affairs Team
3. Technology Team
4. Faculty Affairs Team
5. Institutional Affairs Team
6. Student Affairs Team
7. Undergraduate Curriculum Team
8. Graduate Curriculum Team
9. Library Team
10. Grants and Research Team
While all of these teams are concerned with ensuring the quality of the educational programs at FGCU, the Undergraduate Curriculum Team and the Graduate Curriculum Team are specially designated to review educational programs at the university level.
A further level of faculty governance at the university level consists of faculty representation on university level committees and task forces, which act as advisory bodies pertaining to the operation and planning of Florida Gulf Coast University. These committees perform functions such as advising the bookstore and the food service, evaluating the effectiveness of the institution and its administration, approving the use of animals or human subjects in scientific research, planning the future construction of university facilities, coordinating the use of technology, and others. In addition, a faculty representative participates in the Deans Council (generally, the president of the Faculty Senate).
All colleges of Florida Gulf Coast University have their own faculty committees to cover matters pertaining to their specific academic and professional mission. Committees appointed within the individual colleges bear responsibility for the review of academic programs and courses and for advising the college deans on curriculum in their respective areas. Likewise, each college maintains peer review committees that advise the deans on the renewal of faculty contracts or the granting of promotion or tenure. Committees within each college are currently in the process of formulating documents that will define the criteria and procedures that will guide faculty review in the future.
Below the college level, faculty have a voice concerning academic and professional matters through membership in the teams and committees of their department, cluster or program. The structure of faculty governance in these bodies varies in accordance with the distinct structure of each academic unit, as may be specified by faculty governance documents at that level.
The FGCU annual survey contained seven questions directly relevant to issues of faculty governance. Faculty responded to questions on a scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree). In the survey, the statement "I am provided with information about faculty governance issues" received an average score of 4.82; 87 percent scored between 4 and 6, and 73 percent scored between 5 and 6. The statement "I am adequately represented in faculty governance at the university level" received an average score of 4.75; 85 percent scored between 4 and 6, and 73 percent scored between 5 and 6. The statement "I have sufficient opportunities to participate in university governance" received an average score of 4.78; 87 percent scored between 4 and 6, and 68 percent scored between 5 and 6. The statement "Generally, I am satisfied with FGCU's faculty governance structure" received an average score of 4.27; 80 percent scored between 4 and 6, and 53 percent scored between 5 and 6. The statement "I have had the opportunity to participate in the development of FGCU's mission, goals, or outcome measures" received an average score of 3.51; 53 percent scored between 4 and 6, and 37 percent scored between 5 and 6.
Florida Gulf Coast University has established a basic framework of faculty governance across the university, colleges, and smaller academic units that ensures the quality of the educational programs. The relatively small size of the inaugural faculty, combined with the need of a new institution to establish procedures and plan for the future in nearly every area of the university's operation, has made for a high degree of faculty involvement in faculty governance activities. Because of the developmental status of faculty governance in its inaugural year, FGCU has relied primarily on e-mail and faculty forums for the dissemination of information regarding faculty governance structures and procedures.
Faculty responses to survey questions reflect this situation. Sizable majorities of faculty responded to survey items indicating that they feel well represented in faculty governance, are adequately informed, and have sufficient opportunities for participation. A general satisfaction with the faculty governance structure indicates that faculty have a good deal of confidence in the processes that have been established at FGCU. Nevertheless, the procedures, rules, and documents that will guide those bodies in the future are still being debated. Under these circumstances, it is probably inevitable that a certain degree of uncertainty and confusion will exist between different levels of faculty governance and administration with regard to operational procedures and that the considerable time and energy expended on debating the future form of faculty governance may initially eclipse the practical task of governance itself.
S4.8.8-1 The Steering Committee suggests that, as the faculty governance bodies finalize their operational procedures and documents, every effort should be made to disseminate these procedures and documents and to coordinate the activities of the faculty governance bodies in order to promote collegiality and overall institutional effectiveness.
S4.8.8-2 The Steering Committee suggests that the faculty governance bodies develop mechanisms for periodically reviewing operational procedures and documents in order to ensure that these procedures and documents remain consistent with the university's mission and goals.
4.8.9 Faculty Loads
DescriptionAn institution must provide a faculty of adequate size to support its purpose. It must have procedures for the equitable and reasonable assignment of faculty responsibilities including classroom instruction, academic advising, committee membership, guidance of student organizations, and research and service to the public. The institution should have policies to protect faculty members from assuming or being assigned internal or external responsibilities which might encroach upon the quality or the quantity of the work they are employed to perform for the institution. The calculation of instructional loads should take into account such factors as number of preparations, number of students taught, nature of the subject, and help available from secretaries and teaching assistants.
In accord with Florida Statutes and the Collective Bargaining Agreement, faculty at SUS institutions have a minimum of 12 contact hours, although the specific distribution of hours for teaching, research, and service varies among institutions, colleges, and academic areas. Current FGCU faculty have a load of 12 contact hours for each standard academic semester. In most divisions and departments, this load is divided into nine hours of teaching with three hours for all other areas of responsibility, including scholarship and service. There are, however, areas of instruction and modes of instruction which have necessitated variability in the teaching assignment, e.g., distance education, interdisciplinary team-teaching in the College of Arts and Sciences, and various other models of shared instruction.
At the beginning of every academic year, all faculty write a professional development plan (PDP) which outlines their annual responsibilities, including the assignment of specific courses, advising, committee membership, work with student organizations, scholarship, and service. The PDPs are developed in collegial communication with faculty peers and chairs, coordinators, or administrative supervisors. The Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Faculty Performance Evaluation Document describe considerations that should be taken into account in development of individual faculty assignments including the opportunity to fulfill applicable criteria for reappointment, promotion, and tenure. The Collective Bargaining Agreement (Article 9.8 Workweek) also provides that scheduled hours for all employees shall not normally exceed 40 hours per week. Time shall be allowed within the normal working day for research, teaching, or other activities required of the employee, when a part of the assigned duties. The PDPs are to be written according to these expectations.
In addition, faculty members must report their assignments on the faculty activity report (FAR) submitted each semester. The FARs are to be consistent with the PDPs and provide a detailed breakdown of assignments included in the faculty member's 12 contact hours. Faculty submit their FARs through the academic administrator to the vice president of academic affairs who then forwards a summary of these data to the Board of Regents office as part of the Instructional Research Data File.
Instructional load at FGCU is currently negotiated between faculty in the department, area, or division and the administrative supervisor in charge of that unit. Further, Article 9.2 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement addresses issues of assignment and provides a process for the faculty member to request a conference with the person responsible for making the assignment to resolve issues amicably. Faculty and administration review preparations, number of students, nature of subject, and support/help during the academic year. The need for change or addition of resources must be identified as such emerge so that planning and budgeting can be done well in advance of the next academic year. Administrators make use of salary savings to address additional instructional needs during the academic year.
Since its inception, FGCU has been provided resources to meet the needs of an institution with 3,000 fundable student FTE. The FTE for academic year 1997-98 was 1,275; the projected FTE for 1998-99 is 1,725. Nevertheless, during FGCU's first year of operation the heavy responsibilities involved in designing and delivering new curriculum, creating functional governance structures, and facilitating new university/college/department work teams have caused faculty concern about the extraordinarily high work load. During the February 6, 1998, Faculty Senate meeting an eight-member task force on "workload equity" was created, and this group was charged with responsibility to address workload issues with the vice president of academic affairs. On February 10, 1998, the Faculty Senate drafted a resolution from the task force, articulating faculty concern about the "increasing service workload for the faculty." This resolution was given to the vice president of academic affairs, and these issues were discussed at the April 15, 1998, Deans Council meeting. Administration and faculty are continuing to discuss this issue.
Data collected from the first annual faculty survey indicate that faculty generally feel that teaching and research assignments have been distributed equitably in their areas. Faculty were asked to rate their perceptions from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (6). The statement "Teaching assignments are equitably distributed in my college" (D4) received an average score of 3.96; 61 percent scored between 4 and 6, and 47 percent scored between 5 and 6. The statement "Research assignments are equitably distributed in my college" (G6) received an average score of 3.91; 65 percent scored between 4 and 6, and 35 percent scored between 5 and 6. In the importance/performance section of the survey, the statement "Equitable distribution of teaching assignments in my college" (D4) received an average importance score of 5.03 and an average performance score of 4.06. Likewise, the statement "Equitable distribution of scholarship assignments in my college" (G6) received an average importance score of 5.16 and an average performance score of 4.85. In both, the differential was less than 1, indicating no major performance problems.
Currently, FGCU has adequate procedures for the development of faculty assignments in relation to teaching, scholarship, and service. Through the development of PDPs, predicated on a 40 hour work week, and FARs, predicated on a 12 contact hour load, faculty clearly outline their annual and semester duties and responsibilities taking into account preparations, numbers of students, nature of the subject matter, and resources. The surveys also indicate that faculty consider the teaching and research assignments to be equitably distributed. Nevertheless, the opening of a new institution with a focus on such things as distance education has necessitated faculty working well above and beyond the assignments outlined in their PDPs and FARs, without clear guidelines for determining work load issues such as compensation and release time.
R4.8.9-1 The Steering Committee recommends that the university analyze the current number of faculty to determine if it is adequate to support the purpose of the university.
S4.8.9-1 The Steering Committee suggests that the university develop policies for workload equity pertaining to faculty involvement and responsibility for start-up activities during the first five years of operation.
S4.8.9-2 The Steering Committee suggests that the university develop policies for workload equity for nontraditional teaching responsibilities such as distance education, interdisciplinary team teaching, and other modes of instruction.
4.8.10 Criteria and Procedures for Evaluation
DescriptionAn institution must conduct periodic evaluations of the performance of individual faculty members. The evaluation must include a statement of the criteria against which the performance of each faculty member will be measured. The criteria must be consistent with the purpose and goals of the institution and be made known to all concerned. The institution must demonstrate that it uses the results of this evaluation for the improvement of the faculty and the educational program.
Because Florida Gulf Coast University is a new institution, a description of the evolution of the criteria and procedures for evaluation is helpful. In the 1996-97 academic year, an Interim Faculty Affairs Committee was appointed to draft the Faculty Performance Evaluation Document (FPED) which would outline the policies, procedures, and criteria for annual evaluation, promotion, contract renewal, and tenure of faculty. In July of 1997, the FGCU founding faculty voted on, and accepted, the document with the provision that it be reviewed after one year. In accordance with the provisions of the July 1997 vote, the inaugural Faculty Affairs Team gathered input from the faculty during its first year of operation and revised the FPED using this input. In May of 1998, a draft of the revised FPED was sent to faculty and to the Deans Council for final suggestions, which were incorporated during the 1998 summer semester. The faculty approved the revised FPED in October 1998.
The Faculty Performance Evaluation Document was created in accordance with the mission and goals of the university and the Collective Bargaining Agreement (Article 8), which states that faculty serving in multi-year appointments and faculty serving in tenure track positions must be evaluated each year prior to the final year of the appointment or tenure decision based on an "annual performance plan" developed by the faculty member and the administration. The criteria for the annual performance evaluation (Article 10.4) must be based on the assigned duties, including the following areas: teaching effectiveness; discovery of new knowledge, development of new educational techniques, and other forms of creative activity; public service; and participation in governance and other university duties and activities.
The Faculty Performance Evaluation Document at FGCU provides a clear and comprehensive process for annual evaluations of all faculty members, as well as for reappointment evaluations of faculty on multi-year appointments, tenure evaluations of faculty in tenure-earning lines, promotion evaluations, and post-tenure evaluations. The process calls for the annual creation of a professional development plan (PDP) which will act as a guide for the faculty member's activities in a given year as well as a guide for the annual evaluation of the faculty member. The Faculty Performance Evaluation Document states that the professional development plan is the cornerstone of all faculty evaluation processes at FGCU. The annual evaluation, based on the PDP, occurs in the semester immediately following the academic year to be evaluated and occurs between the faculty member and his or her supervisor. The annual evaluations act as the foundation for reappointment, tenure, promotion, post-tenure evaluations, and for 1998-99 merit increases.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement states that promotion and tenure decisions must be the result of meritorious performance based on established criteria (Articles14.2 and 15.3). Each unit/college has reviewed its promotion criteria for consistency and established criteria that are aligned with the mission of the university. The Faculty Performance Evaluation Document at FGCU establishes clear and comprehensive guidelines for promotion and tenure evaluations. Based on the PDPs and the previous annual evaluations, tenure evaluations normally occur in the sixth year of the faculty member's contract and involve the peer review committee elected in each unit. The peer review committee has the responsibility of reviewing all of the previous annual evaluations as well as other materials gathered in support of the promotion or tenure bid.
In relation to the reappointment of faculty hired on multi-year appointment contracts, the Collective Bargaining Agreement states that "The university reserves the right to consider offering successive multi-year appointments to employees. Criteria used to determine in which instances to offer successive appointments include consideration of the basis for the initial multi-year appointment, evaluation of performance, professional growth, extent and currency of professional qualifications, contribution to the mission of the department or program, staffing needs, funding source alternatives, and continuing program considerations." In light of these criteria, the Faculty Performance Evaluation Document at FGCU includes a reappointment process that emphasizes the performance of the faculty and that is similar to the process for tenure evaluations.
In addition, the Faculty Performance Evaluation Document calls for the creation of evaluation criteria within each academic unit on campus, a process that is ongoing through summer 1998. The criteria created in each unit includes the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service (including both public and professional service) consistent with the mission of the university and the Collective Bargaining Agreement. According to the Faculty Performance Evaluation Document, after the criteria have been approved within each unit, the Faculty Affairs Team reviews the criteria for equity across all the units and for consistency with the mission of the university. Currently, all the criteria have been approved within the colleges, submitted to the Faculty Affairs Team for review, and returned to the colleges to address inconsistencies and ambiguities. During the summer of 1998, the Faculty Affairs Team reviewed the unit criteria documents and made recommendations for revising the documents to establish equity across units and consistency with the mission; the final criteria should be finalized in fall semester 1998.
The university is committed to using evaluations for the improvement of faculty. According to the Faculty Performance Evaluation Document, if deficiencies are identified in the evaluation process, a "performance improvement plan" is created listing constructive improvements for the faculty member to follow. The plan will not only provide clear performance targets but also identify resources or assistance to facilitate the improvement of the faculty member along with a clear timetable for improvement. In addition, because the evaluative process is rooted in faculty performance within educational programs, the process is geared towards improvement not only of teaching but also of the program as a whole.
The FGCU annual survey conducted in spring 1998, which occurred prior to the approval of the promotion, tenure and reappointment criteria, contained several questions directly relevant to issues of faculty evaluation. Faculty responded to questions on a scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree). In the survey, the statement "There is adequate opportunity for student evaluation of instruction" received an average score of 4.43; 68 percent scored between a 4 and 6, and 58 percent scored between a 5 and 6. In the survey, the statement "The criteria for tenure/contract renewal are adequately communicated to faculty" received an average score of 2.70; 73 percent scored between a 1 and 3, and 48 percent scored between a 1 and 2. In the importance/performance section of the survey, the statement "Opportunity for student evaluation of instruction" received an average importance score of 5.27 and an average performance score of 4.29, a differentiation of less than 1 which indicates no performance problems. In this section of the survey, the statement "Communication of criteria for tenure/contract renewal to faculty" received an average importance score of 5.82 and an average performance score of 2.83, a difference of almost 3, which indicates serious performance problems. Subsequent to this survey, the criteria were revised by the Faculty Affairs Team of the Faculty Senate and sent to the colleges for review.
Data collected from the annual student survey indicate that students feel that they have adequate opportunity to evaluate faculty and that their evaluation is used to improve the educational programs. The statement "At FGCU there is adequate opportunity for students to evaluate faculty instruction" received an average score of 4.12; 44 percent scored between 5 and 6, and 73 percent scored between 4 and 6. The statement "I feel that student evaluation of instruction will be used to improve teaching" received an average score of 4.19; 48 percent scored between 5 and 6, and 73 percent scored between 4 and 6.
Florida Gulf Coast University has established a clear and comprehensive process for conducting periodic evaluations that follows the Collective Bargaining Agreement and that is consistent with the mission of the university. FGCU is committed to using information from these evaluations for the improvement of the faculty and the educational programs. Faculty and student responses to the FGCU annual survey support this analysis, indicating that students have adequate opportunity for the evaluation of instruction and that this evaluation will lead to improved teaching.
During the summer of 1998, the Faculty Affairs Team reviewed the criteria and made suggestions for revision. The colleges are currently revising their criteria.
S4.8.10-1 The Steering Committee suggests that the academic units complete the revision of the criteria for evaluation of faculty.
S4.8.10-2 The Steering Committee suggests that the university continue gathering information about the faculty evaluation process so that policies and processes prescribed in the Faculty Performance Evaluation Document can be evaluated and revised, as appropriate.
Tables for Section 4.8 Faculty
Table 220.127.116.11 (1) Full-time Faculty Qualifications by College and Rank (as of Spring 1998)
Arts & Sciences # of Fac # with % with # qualified % qualified
Doctorates Doctorates by 18 hrs by 18 hrs
in field in field
Professor 3 3 100 % 3 100 %
Associate 12 10 83 % 12 100 %
Assistant 18 17 94 % 18 100 %
Instructor 1 0 1 100 %
Visiting 5 3 60 % 5 100 %
Total College 39 33 85 % 39 100 %
Business # of Fac # with % with # qualified % qualified
Doctorates Doctorates by 18 hrs by 18 hrs
in field in field
Professor 7 7 100 % 7 100 %
Associate 7 6 100 % 7 100 %
Assistant 15 13 93 % 15 100 %
Lecturer 1 1 100 % 1 100 %
Visiting 0 0
Total College 30 27 90 % 30 100 %
Health Professions # of Fac # with % with # qualified % qualified
Doctorates Doctorates by 18 hrs by 18 hrs
in field in field
Professor 3 3 100 % 3 100 %
Associate 5 4 80 % 5 100 %
Assistant 7 2 29 % 7 100 %
Instructor 2 0 2 100 %
Visiting 3 1 33 % 3 100 %
Total College 20 10 50 % 20 100 %
Professional Studies # of Fac # with % with # qualified % qualified
Doctorates Doctorates by 18 hrs by 18 hrs
in field in field
Professor 9 9 100 % 9 100 %
Associate 13 13 100 % 13 100 %
Assistant 18 15 83 % 18 100 %
Visiting 6 4 67 % 6 100 %
Total College 46 41 89 % 46 100 %
Total University Faculty # of Fac # with % with # qualified % qualified
Doctorates Doctorates by 18 hrs by 18 hrs
in field in field
Professor 22 22 100 % 22 100 %
Associate 37 33 89 % 37 100 %
Assistant 58 47 81 % 58 100 %
Instructor 4 1 25 % 4 100 %
Visiting 14 8 57 % 14 100 %
Total University 135 111 82 % 135 100 %
Table 18.104.22.168(1) Graduate Faculty Evaluation Data for Spring 1998
College of Arts & Sciences
No graduate courses offered.
College of Business
Of the 280 students enrolled in Graduate Business courses, 231 responded to the course evaluation instrument.
Question College Means Grad Means UG Means
(n = 937) (n=231) (n=706)
1. Description of course objectives and assignments 4.02 3.93 4.05
2. Communication of ideas and information. 3.93 4.00 3.91
3. Expression of expectations for performance. 3.99 3.83 4.04
4. Availability to assist students in or out of class. 4.10 4.21 4.06
5. Respect and concern for students. 4.26 4.32 4.24
6. Stimulation of interest in the course. 3.99 4.02 3.98
7. Facilitation of learning. 3.95 3.92 3.96
8. Overall assessment of instructor. 4.09 4.15 4.07
College of Health Professions
Twenty-two (22) students responded to the course evaluation instrument.
Question College Means Grad Means UG Means
(n = 608) (n=22) (n=586)
1. Description of course objectives and assignments 3.84 4.00 3.84
2. Communication of ideas and information. 3.83 3.27 3.84
3. Expression of expectations for performance. 3.85 3.82 3.85
4. Availability to assist students in or out of class. 4.01 3.45 4.02
5. Respect and concern for students. 4.14 4.18 4.14
6. Stimulation of interest in the course. 3.86 3.91 3.86
7. Facilitation of learning. 3.84 3.36 3.85
8. Overall assessment of instructor. 3.95 3.82 3.96
College of Professional Studies
School of Education
Of the 405 students enrolled, 338 participated in completing this evaluation instrument.
Question College Means Grad Means UG Means
1. Description of course objectives and assignments 4.37
2. Communication of ideas and information. 4.24
3. Expression of expectations for performance. 4.20
4. Availability to assist students in or out of class. 4.35
5. Respect and concern for students. 4.47
6. Stimulation of interest in the course. 4.24
7. Facilitation of learning. 4.22
8. Overall assessment of instructor. 4.28
School of Public and Social Services
Of the 174 students enrolled for graduate courses, 134 responded to this course evaluation instrument.
Question College Means Grad Means UG Means
1. Description of course objectives and assignments 4.21
2. Communication of ideas and information. 4.06
3. Expression of expectations for performance. 3.93
4. Availability to assist students in or out of class. 4.20
5. Respect and concern for students. 4.36
6. Stimulation of interest in the course. 4.14
7. Facilitation of learning. 4.07
8. Overall assessment of instructor. 4.20
Total College of Professional Studies
Of the 579 students enrolled in graduate courses in the college of professional studies, 472 responded to the course evaluation instrument.
Question College Means Grad Means UG Means
(n = 1926) (n = 472) (n=1454)
1. Description of course objectives and assignments 4.32 4.33 4.31
2. Communication of ideas and information. 4.21 4.19 4.24
3. Expression of expectations for performance. 4.24 4.12 4.28
4. Availability to assist students in or out of class. 4.31 4.31 4.31
5. Respect and concern for students. 4.41 4.44 4.40
6. Stimulation of interest in the course. 4.25 4.21 4.26
7. Facilitation of learning. 4.23 4.18 4.27
8. Overall assessment of instructor. 4.30 4.26 4.32
Table 4.8.3(1) Part-Time Faculty
Fall Semester - 1997-98
Number of Number of Number of Courses % Courses
Full-time Part-time Taught by Taught by
College Faculty Faculty FT Faculty PT Faculty Full-time
Arts & Sciences 41 30 96 27 78 %
Business 27 5 87 5 94.6 %
Health 17 1 16 0 100.0 %
Prof. Studies, Education 25 35 71 52 57.7 %
Prof. Studies, Social Services 13 9 24 87 75.0%
Spring Semester - 1997-98
Number of Number of Number of Courses % Courses
Full-time Part-time Taught by Taught by
College Faculty Faculty FT Faculty PT Faculty Full-time
Arts & Sciences 41 24 96 34 74 %
Business 27 12 87 15 85.3 %
Health 17 8 19 7 73.1 %
Prof. Studies, Education 27 45 67 37 64.4 %
Prof. Studies, Social Services 18 12 31 12 72.1%
Table 4.8.5 (1) Faculty Compensation
College: Arts & Sciences
(Salaries are reported in 9 month equivalents calculated by dividing 12 month faculty salaries by 1.22. Administrative appointments are noted but stipends are not included in these figures. All designated teaching faculty except the Dean are included in the analysis.)
In the College of Arts and Sciences mean salaries vary by approximately 25 percent between Assistant and Associate Professor and by 23 percent between Associate and Full Professor. Gender differences account for 2 percent variation for Assistant Professors, 4 percent variation for Associate Professors and 6 percent variation for Full Professors. In all cases men earn more than women.
(Salaries are reported in 9 month equivalents calculated by dividing 12 month faculty salaries by 1.22. Administrative appointments are noted but stipends are not included in these figures. All designated teaching faculty except the Dean are included in the analysis.)
There are no female Associate Professors in the College of Business. The is an 8.5 percent difference between Assistant and Associate Professor and a 14 percent difference between Associate and full Professor mean salaries.
College: Health Professions
(Salaries are reported in 9 month equivalents calculated by dividing 12 month faculty salaries by 1.22. Administrative appointments are noted but stipends are not included in these figures. All designated teaching faculty except the Dean are included in the analysis.)
In the College of Health Professions little comparison between genders can be made with only one male faculty member. The same can be said for tenure-earning and multi-year contract faculty. There is a 8 percent difference between Assistant and Associate Professor and 3 percent difference between Associate and Full Professor mean salaries.
College: Professional Studies School of Education
There is a 23 percent difference between Assistant and Associate Professor and a 25 percent difference between Associate and Full Professor Mean Salaries. There is a 20 percent difference between male and female mean salaries at the Associate Professor rank. Male Assistant Professors are paid at 7 percent higher than their female counterparts and male full professor mean salaries are virtually equivalent with female full professor mean salaries.
College: Professional Studies Public and Social Services
There is a 26 percent difference between Assistant and Associate Professor and a 23 percent difference between Associate Professor and Full Professor mean salaries. Analysis of mean salaries by gender analysis is hindered by a lack of numbers of each gender at each level.
College: Professional Studies Total College
In Professional Studies as a whole, and in each college separately, men appear to have the advantage in terms of salary. The difference accounts for 3 percent at the Assistant Professor level, for 11 percent at the Associate Professor level, and for 2 percent at the Professor level. Differences by gender are negligible in the School of Public and Social Services except for the difference between two full professors. Differences based on gender in the School of Education are 7 percent for Assistant Professors, 19 percent for Associate Professors and 2 percent for full professors with male faculty having a clear advantage in salaries.
Library salaries are generally lower than instructional faculty on campus. There are few faculty assigned to the library which makes meaningful analysis difficult.
*Salary information comes from the NEA yearbook and is for the 1996-97 academic year. FGCU comparative salaries are for the 1997-98 academic year. Means were derived by adding institutional means and dividing by the number of institutions; thus larger and small numbers of faculty in rank were given even weighting.
Mean salaries at other state universities in Florida tend to be lower than FGCU salaries however the difference of one year in data could account for at least a 2.78 percent difference (the amount last year's salary increase).
4.9 Consortial Relationships and Contractual Agreements
DescriptionThe Commission on Colleges recognizes the right of a member institution to enter into consortial relationships and contractual agreements for the purpose of offering credit courses or programs. However, the Commission reserves the right to prohibit the use of its accreditation to authenticate credit courses or programs offered through such relationships. A member institution which enters into such consortial relationships or contractual agreements must have sufficient control of relationships/agreements so as to maintain compliance with the Criteria when offering educational programs through such arrangements. All consortial relationships and contracts must be evaluated regularly.
If an institution plans to participate in consortial relationships or enter into contractual agreements for educational programs, it must follow reporting policies and procedures related to substantive change. (See Commission document "Substantive Change Procedure D: The Initiation of a Consortium or Contractual Arrangements.")
FGCU has several agreements with local institutions relating to student internships that are part of the undergraduate and graduate curricula at FGCU. However, the Steering Committee, after consultation with the SACS liaison and inspecting other institutions' self-studies, decided these agreements did not fall under this section of the self-study.
The following 18 contracts or consortial relations agreements were identified.
Agreements numbered 1 through 4 formally establish collaborative relationships to focus on five aspects: faculty exchanges, student exchanges, relationships between business and cultural organizations, business exchanges, and distance education opportunities between the universities. In each agreement the institutions agreed to work on further details at a later date.
Agreements numbered 1 through 9 do not currently involve the exchange of credit courses or academic programs.
Agreements numbered 10 through 17 involve academic credits or programs.
1. Memorandum of Agreement to establish collaborative relationship between Florida Gulf Coast University and the Autonomous University of Campeche [contract dated June 21, 1996].
2. Memorandum of Agreement to establish collaborative relationship between Florida Gulf Coast University and the Autonomous University of Carmen [contract dated June 21, 1996].
3. Memorandum of Agreement to establish collaborative relationship between Florida Gulf Coast University and the Instituto Campechano [contract dated July 20, 1996].
4. Memorandum of Agreement to establish collaborative relationship between Florida Gulf Coast University and the Hochschule Harz (Harz University of Applied Sciences, Germany) [contract dated July 20, 1996].
5. Sister Region Agreement between the area of Carmen and Campeche, Campeche, Mexico, and the Region of Southwest Florida, U.S.A.
This agreement formalizes the intent of the two regions to promote further friendship and cooperation concerning: cooperation between institutions on economic development, educational and professional organization exchanges, sharing information and joint development of programs to advance economic and business opportunities, cultural exchanges, visits and exchanges of the regions' citizens, and sponsorship of communication between the regions' representatives. This agreement does not propose any relationships involving credit courses or academic programs.
6. General Agreement for Academic Cooperation and Exchange between Florida Gulf Coast University and Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad Autonoma De Yucatan.
The General Agreement for Academic Cooperation and Exchange Between Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) and Facultad De Derecho De La Universidad Autonoma De Yucatan (Merida, Yucatan, Mexico) is to encourage future exchange of materials in education, research, and publications; exchange of faculty and research scholars; exchange of students; collaboration on distance education; and collaboration in conferences, workshops, seminars, and special training courses. This is an agreement to discuss and enter into specific activity agreements in the future, and will be effective initially for two years from the date of signing by both presidents.
7. Proposed Relationship between Florida Gulf Coast University and Tsinghua University School of Law.
This agreement is a proposal to establish a long-term relationship between FGCU and Tsinghua University to broaden the opportunities of students in the Criminal Justice Programs of both universities, to incorporate international aspects into the programs, and to use distance learning strategies in courses where appropriate. This agreement was prepared on September 10, 1997.
8. Criminal Justice Articulation Agreement with Edison Community College and Lee County School District.
This is an Articulation Agreement among Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), Edison Community College (ECC) and the Southwest Florida Criminal Justice Academy of Lee County School District. This agreement began for the 1997-98 academic year at all three institutions and automatically renews for each successive year unless canceled by any one of the three institutions. This agreement facilitates the transfer and transition of criminal justice students from the Southwest Florida Criminal Justice Academy in Lee County School District through Edison Community College and into the Criminal Justice program of Florida Gulf Coast University. Students who successfully complete the Academy and pass the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) certification examination can then earn college credit at ECC and FGCU. This agreement is dated July 1, 1997 and is in force until canceled by any one of the three institutions.
9. Enrollment Development Agreement with Edison Community College.
This is a Memorandum of Agreement between Florida Gulf Coast University and Edison Community College (ECC) on Enrollment Development at FGCU. This agreement states that "Edison Community College will continue to serve as the primary point of entry for students seeking the baccalaureate degree. Students completing the Associate of Arts degree at ECC will then be admitted to FGCU, although admission to certain programs with competitive limits may require certain prerequisite courses or examinations." The agreement also calls for FGCU to limit the number of first-time-in-college freshmen to 125 in 1997-98 and 250 in 1998-99 and then no more than a 15 percent increase thereafter. Over the life of the agreement, FGCU will enroll, in any given year, no more first-time-in-college students than equals 15 percent of the previous year's number of public high school graduates from FGCU's five-county service area.
10. Articulation Agreement between Manatee Community College and the Florida Gulf Coast University College of Health Professions.
This is a Memorandum of Agreement between the College of Health Professions and Manatee Community College campuses of Bradenton and Venice to "facilitate the transfer of Manatee Community College students to the Department and the College for the purpose of meeting the prerequisites for and earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Science." The goals of the agreement seek to provide students the maximum number of transfer credits from the Manatee Community College programs of Radiography and Respiratory Care and "other nationally accredited Health Professions Programs that provide students with 60 transfer credits including 24 credits of discipline specific course work, 36 credits that meet the State University System (SUS) General Education Requirements and eligibility for licensure, certification or accreditation in the discipline."
11. Articulation Agreement between Edison Community College and the Florida Gulf Coast University Department of Nursing.
The intent of this affiliation agreement is to facilitate a seamless transition for associate of science in nursing students at ECC who plan to pursue a bachelor of science in nursing at FGCU. Joint planning by ECC and FGCU faculty and administrators encourages progression from one program to the other. This agreement is in effect for the 1998-99 academic year and for each successive year unless otherwise canceled by either institution.
12. Agreement and Requirements for NTU International Master of Business Administration (IMBA) Participating Universities.
This agreement established Florida Gulf Coast University as a participating university in the International Master of Business Administration (IMBA) program of the National Technological University (NTU). The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accredits the NTU. The NTU IMBA enables professionals and managers to share educational resources globally via telecommunications to receive degrees granted by NTU. This contract is effective March 1, 1998.
13. Alternative Master of Social Work Program with the University of South Florida.
This is a Memorandum of Agreement between University of South Florida (USF) and Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) regarding the Alternative Master of Social Work (MSW) Program. USF and FGCU jointly offer this program in the FGCU service area. "As a presently CSWE accredited program, USF/Tampa would provide the overall guidance and support. All FTE's generated at FGCU would remain at FGCU. All FTE's generated at Tampa will remain with USF. FGCU will buy any USF faculty or administrative time neededFGCU will develop the needs assessment and recruit students." The program began in January 1998 and will continue for an initial term of ten semesters to permit the entering cohort of students to complete the MSW program. This agreement is dated January 17, 1997.
14. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Degree Programs with the University of Florida.
The Memorandum of Agreement between the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and Florida Gulf Coast University is a cooperative effort to provide UF/IFAS degree programs on the FGCU campus and in the FGCU service area. UF/IFAS curricula include the Food and Resource Economics and Horticultural Sciences Majors where students receive a UF degree with UF in control of admissions, major courses, staffing such courses, and graduation of students. FGCU provides the campus facilities and general education courses. This agreement is dated March 1995.
15. Undergraduate Engineering and Engineering Technology Programs with the University of Central Florida.
This Memorandum of Agreement between the University of Central Florida (UCF) College of Engineering and Florida Gulf Coast University governs the delivery of undergraduate engineering and engineering technology programs at FGCU beginning in the fall 1998 semester. This is normally called a two-plus-two program where students transfer after the first two years to UCF for upper division requirements. Students will receive their degree from the University of Central Florida. "FGCU will offer the entire General Education courses as well as many of the Pre-Engineering Core on-campus or via distance-learning strategies. UCF will deliver the Engineering Core and Engineering Major and Elective course components of the Engineering Program via distance learning or other innovative technologies and strategies." This contract is dated March 11, 1998 and will terminate June 30, 2000.
16. Contract between the Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) and Florida Gulf Coast University to establish a Criminal Justice Program offered through Distance Delivery.
This contract between the Department of Corrections and Florida Gulf Coast University was established to "jointly develop an upper division criminal justice degree program with an emphasis in corrections that will be available through distance learning offerings. The goal of this project is to develop the curriculum and the distance education infrastructure necessary to deliver the program within the resident communities and facilities of DOC employees statewide. Simultaneously, attention will also be given to delivery strategies for others involved in criminal justice professions (law enforcement, juvenile justice, etc.)It is anticipated that this new joint effort between DOC and FGCU will build upon earlier initiatives funded by DOC, involving FGCU and St. Petersburg Junior College." This contract was signed by FGCU in November 1995 and is valid until December 1998, renewable for an additional three years.
17. Contract among St. Petersburg Junior College (SPJC), Florida Department of Corrections (DOC), and Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU).
This contract states that through distance learning "FGCU and SPJC will deliver courses toward the Associate of Arts Degree and the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree program, and provide support services including academic, administrative, financial aid, and career counseling services statewide to the employees of the Department of corrections"
In addition, beginning in the fall of 1998 through at least December 2000, the Master of Public Administration degree program will be offered by FGCU to Department of Corrections employees "mainly through the Internet while enhanced by occasional scheduled compressed video sessions"
This contract was signed by FGCU on October 7, 1998.
18. Ed.D. Program in Educational Leadership and Curriculum with the University of Central Florida.
This Memorandum of Agreement between the University of Central Florida College of Education and Florida Gulf Coast University governs the delivery of a doctoral program in the FGCU region. The agreement was initiated due to overwhelming requests from community members to offer a doctoral program for educational leaders. UCF delivers the program and confers the degrees in two areas: Curriculum and Instruction, and Educational Leadership. The program is controlled by UCF and governed by all rules and regulations governing UCF doctoral programs. The agreement has an initial term of one-year beginning July 1, 1997, and renews automatically from year to year unless terminated by either party. This contract was signed on April 14, 1997.
FGCU will follow the Commission on Colleges reporting policies and procedures related to substantive changes, including any changes relating to consortial relationships or contractual agreements.
In each of the agreements, with the exception of the degrees that will be conferred by other institutions, FGCU maintains sufficient control of the programs to maintain compliance with the Criteria. In the agreements where the degrees are conferred by other institutions, the Commission on Colleges accredits those institutions. In the other agreements, no credits are currently being generated in which FGCU accepts credits from another institution. Plans are, however, to develop these type of relationships in the future. Regular evaluation procedures are sufficiently addressed in each agreement, as FGCU may cancel any of these agreements at the end of the specified time in each agreement.
FGCU has through this self-study followed the reporting policies and procedures related to substantive change as per the commission document Substantive Change Procedure D: The Initiation of a Consortium or Contractual Arrangement.
Currently, there are no policies or guidelines for colleges and programs interested in establishing contracts or consortial relationships. Although the agreements outlined in this section meet the Commission on Colleges criteria, to ensure future compliance, it would be helpful to have an office designated as responsible for coordinating these activities as well as policies to guide the faculty and staff in the development of such agreements.
S4.9-1 To ensure compliance with the criteria over time as the university grows both in size and complexity, the Steering Committee suggests that FGCU establish and distribute a set of guidelines for the creation and maintenance of consortial relationships and contractual agreements that conform to the Commision on Colleges Criteria and to the Substantive Change Procedure D: The Initiation of a Consortium or Contractual Arrangement. Suggested guidelines should include:
a. Requirements for establishing a link to the teaching or institutional purposes of FGCU.
b. Clear definitions for determining whether an agreement is a consortial relationship or a contract.
c. Suggestions for maintaining quality of the courses and programs.
d. How and when the Commission on Colleges will be notified or approval sought.
e. How the agreement will be evaluated.
f. How the agreement may be canceled and/or renewed.
S4.9-2 The Steering Committee suggests that the university establish a central office to promote consistency in compliance with those guidelines, while recognizing that the agreements are to be negotiated and implemented by the faculty and staff of the colleges.
4.9.1 Consortial Relationships
DescriptionA member institution seeking to participate in a consortium degree or certificate program must enter into such a relationship only with regionally accredited institutions offering degrees or certificates at the same level. Exceptions must be approved by the Commission in advance of the formation of or participation in the consortium.
The member institution must maintain the quality of all courses/programs offered through the consortium. Educational courses/programs offered through a consortial relationship must be related to the teaching purpose of the institution and comply with the Criteria.
Modeling after self-studies from other institutions and from information obtained in SACS documents, the following agreements were considered to be consortial relationships. All of the agreements were signed and dated by senior administrators from all institutions involved and, therefore, appear to be contractual in nature.
1. Memorandum of Agreement to establish collaborative relationship between Florida Gulf Coast University and the Autonomous University of Campeche
2. Memorandum of Agreement to establish collaborative relationship between Florida Gulf Coast University and the Autonomous University of Carmen
3. Sister Region Agreement between the area of Carmen and Campeche, Campeche, Mexico, and the Region of southwest Florida, U.S.A.
4. Memorandum of Agreement to establish collaborative relationship between Florida Gulf Coast University and the Instituto Campechano
5. Memorandum of Agreement to establish collaborative relationship between Florida Gulf Coast University and the Hochschule Harz (Harz University of Applied Sciences, Germany)
6. General Agreement With Universidad Autonoma De Yucatan
7. Criminal Justice Program with Tsinghua University, China
8. Agreement and Requirements for NTU International Master of Business Administration (IMBA) Participating Universities
9. Alternative Master of Social Work Program with the University of South Florida
10. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Degree Programs with the University of Florida
11. Undergraduate Engineering and Engineering Technology Programs with the University of Central Florida
12. Ed.D. Program in Educational Leadership and Curriculum with the University of Central Florida
All agreements that involve credit courses or academic programs that are in progress during the 1997-98 academic year have been made with regionally accredited institutions. Therefore, FGCU meets this part of the criteria. In the agreements with foreign institution, the institutions are not regionally accredited; however, these agreements are for proposed activities at this time they do not have active programs that involve credit courses or academic programs. The Steering Committee feels that FGCU meets the criteria of maintaining sufficient control of the programs to maintain the quality of the courses and programs offered.
All of the agreements are aligned with an FGCU program in support of that program's teaching mission. The agreements enhance the learning experiences for FGCU students, and in some cases such as the engineering program, offer a degree option that would otherwise be unavailable to FGCU students.
In the case of the doctoral program offered through the University of Central Florida, FGCU is helping to make available to its alumni and other community members advanced degrees that would otherwise not be available from a state institution in this region of Florida.
4.9.2 Contractual Agreements
DescriptionEducational services and programs offered through a contractual agreement with another institution or organization must support the purpose of the institution. The member institution must maintain the quality of programs/courses offered through the contract and for ensuring ongoing compliance with the Criteria. (See Commission document "Guidelines for Contractual Relationships with Non-Regionally Accredited Institutions.")
If an institution enters into a teach-out agreement with another institution, it must submit the agreement to the Commission for approval. (See Commission policy "Teach-Out Agreements.")
The following three agreements were considered contractual agreements:
1. Criminal Justice Articulation Agreement with Edison Community College.
2. Enrollment Development Agreement with Edison Community College.
3. Articulation Agreement between Manatee Community College and the Florida Gulf Coast University College of Health Professions.
4. Articulation Agreement between Edison Community College and the Florida Gulf Coast University Department of Nursing.
5. Contract between the Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) and Florida Gulf Coast University to establish a Criminal Justice Program offered through Distance Delivery.
6. Contract among St. Petersburg Junior College (SPJC), Florida Department of Corrections (DOC), and Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU).
These agreements support the purposes of the institution by helping to provide a seamless education for students transitioning from Edison Community College to Florida Gulf Coast University. Edison Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges, and it appears that quality is established and maintained through clearly defined duties, responsibilities, and evaluation mechanisms.
Graduate Completion Hours (Credits) Thesis or Internship Candidacy Competency Residency
Degree Time Required Project Required Exam or Exit Required
Program Core Electives Total Assessment
Supporting Documentation for Section IV
4.1 General Requirements of the Educational Program
Capital Improvement Plan
Graduate Student Learning Outcomes
Student Learning Goals and Outcomes (undergraduate)
4.2 Undergraduate Program
An Examination of the Academic Advising Process at Florida Gulf Coast University
BOR Format for Submitting Requests for New Degree Programs
CM-84-06.02 Chancellor's Memorandum, Development of New Degree Programs
Course Development Handbook
Faculty Performance Evaluation Document
FGCU Annual Survey
FGCU Degree Programs and Certificates
Graduate Student Learning Outcomes
Integrative Program Matrices
Limited Access Programs Admission Policies
Orientation Agenda and Invitation, Campus Tour Flyer, Admission Checklist
Position Descriptions for Advisors
Rule 6A-10, F.A.C., Miscellaneous; Rules of the Department of Education, State Board of Education
Rule 6A-10.024 Articulation Between Universities, Community Colleges, and School Districts
Rule 6A-10.030 Other Assessment Procedures for College-Level Communication and Computation Skills (Gordon Rule)
Rule 6C-6, F.A.C., Students; Rules of the Department of Education, Board of Regents
Rule 6C-6.001 Admissions
Rule 6C-6.002 Entering Freshmen
Rule 6C-6.004 Transfer Students-Undergraduate
Rule 6C-6.005 Acceptance of College Credit by Examination
Rule 6C-6.009 Admission of Foreign Students to SUS Institutions
Rule 6C-6.018 Substitution or Modification of Requirements for Program Admission, Undergraduate Transfer, and for Graduation by Students with Disabilities
Schedule of Classes
Section 229.551, F.S., Educational management
Section 240.117, F.S., Common placement testing for public postsecondary education
Section 240.15, F.S., Articulation agreement; acceleration mechanisms
Section 240.209, F.S., Board of Regents; powers and duties
Section 240.2095, F.S., Board of Regents program approval
Section 240.233, F.S., Universities; admission of students
Section 240.2333, F.S., Foreign language competence; equivalence determinations
Spring 1998 Orientation Evaluation
State University System Student Assessment of Instruction (SUSSAI)
Statewide Course Numbering System (SCNS)
Student Learning Goals and Outcomes (undergraduate)
Student Road Map
Student Services Organizational Chart
Ten Year Development Plan for a New University in Southwest Florida
Tutoring Services Brochure
Undergraduate Curriculum Team Operational and Relational Structure, Guidelines for Preparing Curriculum Materials, UCT Forms
4.3 Graduate Program
Curriculum Plan, Curriculum Progression List, and College Brochures
FGCU Annual Survey
Graduate Curriculum Team Forms
Graduate Student Learning Outcomes
Josef Silny & Associates, Inc. or World Education Services, Inc. (institutions outside U.S. credits)
Rule 6C-6, F.A.C., Students; Rules of the Department of Education, Board of Regents
Rule 6C-6.001 Admissions
Rule 6C-6.003 Entering or Transferring Graduate Students
Rule 6C-6.009 Admission of Foreign Students to SUS Institutions
State University System Student Assessment of Instruction (SUSSAI)
Statewide Course Numbering System (SCNS)
Academic Policies at a Glance, 1997-98
Advising and Registration Information Packet
Campus Police and Safety Brochures
Career Planning, Tutoring Services Brochures
Criminal Justice, Distance Education Brochure
Financial Aid Information Packet
International Student Admission Guide
Library Services Brochure
Recreation and Leisure Services Brochure
Schedule of Classes
Student Residences Brochure
Student Technology Guidebook
Student with Disabilities in the Classroom
4.5 Distance Learning Programs
Distance Learning Strategic Plan
Appendix A: Distance Learning Status Report (February 12, 1998)
Appendix B: FGCU Strategic Plan The Use of Technology (January 5, 1996)
Appendix C: University Mission Statement
Appendix D: Draft Vision, Purpose, and Commitment Statement
Appendix E: Guiding Principles
Distance Learning: A Guidebook for Students
Enrollment, By Course Discipline (Duplicatedraw credit hours per semester by college) http://studentweb.fgcu.edu/OWA_FGPO/owa/hzscrhp.getterm
Letter from President McTarnaghan to Distance Learning Advisory Committee dated June 5, 1998
Ten Year Development Plan for a New University in Southwest Florida
4.6 Continuing Education, Outreach and Service Programs
Brochures and handouts from the colleges
Service Learning Program
4.7 Student Records
General Records Schedule for Universities and Community Colleges (Schedule GS5)
Letter from Barry J. Blonde, Assistant Director, Central Florida Regional Data Center, University of South Florida, State University System (February 24, 1998)
Schedule of Classes
Student Records Management Manual, Office of Registration and Records
BOR UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement
Employee Search, Screen and Selection Guidelines
Faculty Governance Document, Faculty Governance and Structure Process
Faculty Performance Evaluation Document
Procedures for Adjuncts
Proposed Professional Renewal Leave
4.9 Consortial Relationships and Contractual Agreements
Memoranda of Agreements
1. Memorandum of Agreement to establish collaborative relationship between Florida Gulf Coast University and the Autonomous University of Campeche
2. Memorandum of Agreement to establish collaborative relationship between Florida Gulf Coast University and the Autonomous University of Carmen
3. Memorandum of Agreement to establish collaborative relationship between Florida Gulf Coast University and the Instituto Campechano
4. Memorandum of Agreement to establish collaborative relationship between Florida Gulf Coast University and the Hochschule Harz (Harz University of Applied Sciences, Germany)
5. Sister Region Agreement between the area of Carmen and Campeche, Campeche, Mexico, and the Region of Southwest Florida, U.S.A.
6. General Agreement for Academic Cooperation and Exchange between Florida Gulf Coast University and Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad Autonoma De Yucatan
7. Proposed Relationship between Florida Gulf Coast University and Tsinghua University School of Law
8. Criminal Justice Articulation Agreement with Edison Community College and Lee County School District
9. Enrollment Development Agreement with Edison Community College
10. Articulation Agreement Between Manatee Community College and the FGCU College of Health Professions
11. Articulation Agreement between Edison Community College and the Florida Gulf Coast University Department of Nursing
12. Agreement and Requirements for NTU International Master of Business Administration (IMBA) Participating Universities
13. Alternative Masters of Social Work Program with the University of South Florida
14. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Degree Programs with the University of Florida
15. Undergraduate Engineering and Engineering Technology Programs with the University of Central Florida
16. Contract between the Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) and Florida Gulf Coast University to establish a Criminal Justice Program offered through Distance Delivery
17. Ed.D. Program in Educational Leadership and Curriculum with the University of Central Florida
18. Contract among St. Petersburg Junior College (SPJC), Florida Department of Corrections (DOC), and Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU)
Substantive Change Procedure D: The Initiation of a Consortium or Contractual Arrangement (SACS document)
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