|MSU STRATEGIC INVESTMENT PROPOSAL FOR INSTITUTIONAL PRIORITIES|
|Title||Postsecondary Educational Leadership Development Program||Request Date||2012-11-30|
|Requestor||Carrie Myers Betsy Palmer Jim Rimpau Matt Caires||Phone||9944203|
|Cross Depts||The PELD program will integrate the activities of the Division of Student Success and the Adult & Higher Education graduate program. If this pilot program is successful, we envision that the model could be expanded to other MSU administrative units and potentially to other campuses.|
|Proposed Dates||Start: March15 2013||End:|
|The Postsecondary Educational Leadership Development (PELD) graduate assistantship will support 6 nationally-recruited doctoral students to work directly with Division of Student Success (DSS) staff while pursuing their degree in the Adult & Higher Education (A&HE) program. This apprenticeship program will benefit the MSU undergraduates who will interact with these dynamic new professionals as the GRAs build their content, research, and professional skills. PELD will formally integrate the activities of A&HE and DSS by infusing up-to-date scholarship into DSS projects while simultaneously increasing fulltime doctoral students in A&HE.|
|The Postsecondary Educational Leadership Development (PELD) program will formally integrate the relationship between the Adult & Higher Education (A&HE) graduate program and the Division of Student Success (DSS). The program will provide funding for 6 graduate assistantships/internships to support doctoral students to work directly with DSS programs and professional staff while pursuing their doctoral degree in education. The structure of this proposed program will go far in meeting the Strategic Objective of Integration: (a) increasing the integration of learning, discovery, and engagement (Objective I.1, Metric I.1.1), (b) increasing the work across disciplines (Objective I.2; Metric I.2.2), and increasing faculty scholarly products with graduate students (Objective I.1; Metric I.1.4).
The GRAs appointment will be in the Adult and Higher Education (A&HE) Program in the Department of Education, but will work collaboratively as interns with the Division of Student Success (DSS). Using their educational and practical skills developed in their A&HE coursework, the GRAs will engage with and apply the content learned in this program through their affiliation with the DSS and interaction with the undergraduate students served through the various units within the DSS. Their affiliation with the DSS will be both practical and empirical, where the GRAs will engage in assessment and other research projects aligned with the mission and foci of the DSS. These research projects will result in new discoveries to benefit the DSS, MSU and the wider community. Much of the GRAs discovery and engagement will be multidisciplinary in nature, as they will interact with UG students, faculty, and other MSU personnel from a broad cross-section of departments and units. Lastly, we propose a cognitive apprenticeship model to train and mentor the GRAs. In this model, each GRA is paired with a mentor/leader who guides the academic and professional growth of the GRA. Crucial to this mentoring model will be the interactions between the GRA and mentor, where such interactions will focus significantly on the integration of theory and practice and the development of marketable professional skills. It is anticipated that the GRA and mentor would work collaboratively on research and manuscripts, with these research products being delivered at academic conferences and placed in leading specialty journals.
Secondarily, we believe our proposed program will make significant inroads in enhancing general graduate education at MSU, especially working towards the Strategic Objectives of increasing the number of doctoral degrees awarded (Metric L.2.2/D.3.3), increasing the number of faculty who advise doctoral students (Metric D.3.1), increasing the graduate student population (Metric D.3.2), and increasing the proportion of graduate students disseminating their research in national and international venues and outlets (Metric D.3.4).
|COST AND REQUIREMENTS|
|Funding Type:||One-Time Only Funding||Base (3-yr Recurring) Funding|
|FY13||FY14||FY15||Base ($)||OTO Startup ($)||FTE;|
|Materials & Supplies||4000.00|
|Please comment, if necessary, regarding cost and requirements.||
The budget includes the following items:
6 graduate research assistantships funded for 3 semesters/year at $18,000 for each assistantship
Benefits for 6 GRAs calculated at 0.63%.
Materials and supplies includes $1000 for program administrative costs such as national advertising and a $3000 fund for supporting graduate student research supply needs.
Travel includes funding for each of the 6 GRAs to attend one national and one regional conference and for the professional mentor to accompany the GRA to the national conference.
|Describe the Proposal|
The Postsecondary Educational Leadership Development (PELD) program will formally integrate the relationship between the Adult & Higher Education (A&HE) graduate program and the Division of Student Success (DSS). The program will provide funding for 6 graduate assistantships/internships to support doctoral students to work directly with DSS programs and professional staff while pursuing their doctoral degree in education. The program will infuse up-to-date scholarship into the Division of Student Success while supporting nationally recruited graduate students as they build their content and research knowledge and skills. The program is modeled after similar successful programs as other doctoral institutions such as Washington State University and the University of Iowa. The main initiative of this program is to align with the MSU Strategic Objective of Integration--increasing the integration of learning, discovery, and engagement. To this end, the following integration goals are proposed:
We delimit these specific goals in strict recognition that they are fully achievable based on the expertise, resources, structure, and scope of the A&HE program at MSU. The A&HE graduate program prepares students to work in and/or research both formal and informal educational opportunities beyond traditional Pre-K-12 settings. Students in the PELD program would be specifically focused on (a) college students and their development, (b) higher education leadership, administration, and organization, and (c) postsecondary institutional and program evaluation, assessment, and accreditation. The current program has 25 enrolled Masters students and 34 enrolled Doctoral students. Approximately 60 % of enrolled A&HE graduate students are concurrently employed on the MSU campus. A smaller proportion of students are concurrently employed at other Montana colleges and universities and only a small number of A&HE graduate students are recruited from outside of the state of Montana. We have experienced an increasing number of inquiries from potential students from out-of-state, but most decline admission for financial reasons.
The A&HE program and the Division of Student Success have a long history of informal collaboration. Ten current DSS employees are graduates of either the Masters or Doctoral program in A&HE and another 8 DSS full time employees are currently completing courses in the program. Similarly, for the past 12 years, students in the program have completed credit-bearing internships in DSS where they have applied the content knowledge gained in their coursework to real world work dilemmas. Additionally, a number of professionals in the Division have served as adjunct faculty, co-teachers or guest lecturers in A&HE courses.
The proposed PELD program would formalize this rich history of collaboration between the A&HE program and the DSS while providing support for 6 additional doctoral students. The graduate research assistantships would offer a 20/hour/week professional apprenticeship within the Division of Student Success for all 3 academic terms. Students would also have access to a small pool of money for travel/research support. [A request for tuition stipends will be submitted to the Division of Graduate Education if the program is funded.] In addition, the professional staff that mentor these graduate students would be given a small stipend for travel to a conference to support their mentoring activities. The PELD program will enhance the current activities of the DSS by infusing current scholarship and theory into the existing programs and offices. In additional, graduate students in the program would complete a number of small research projects during their assistantships that would provide data for division decision-making and strategic planning. Students will be encouraged to complete dissertation research that complements their assistantship activities within the Division.
DSS opportunities for initial placement include:
Undergraduate MSU students stand to benefit from new programs and initiatives that can be introduced by these energetic new professionals. Because PELD graduate students will be recruited both regionally and nationally, we believe they will bring new ideas and fresh energy to MSU gained during their own undergraduate or graduate experiences at institutions across the country. PELD graduate students will serve as mentors/role models for MSU undergraduates and will help strengthen the many DSS initiatives already in place to support undergraduate student success. The undergraduate students will benefit from these interactions with the GRAs because of: generational similarities, development of a mentor-mentee or role model relationship, lack of social distance (i.e., they are both “students”), and shared educational backgrounds. Moreover, the GRAs may operate as socializing agents for encouraging MSU undergraduate students to pursue advanced degrees.
All students recruited into the program would be interviewed for appropriate placement into a Division office and will be assigned a DSS professional mentor as well as their formal academic advisor in the A&HE program. Students will be evaluated on an annual basis and the A&HE faculty and DSS professional staff will jointly make decisions for reappointment or reassignment.
The program will be rolled-out over 2 years. In the first year of rollout, we will provide 2 nationally-recruited GRAs with 3 years of funding; 4 other GRAs (recruited from the pool of current A&HE graduate students) will be funded with limited 1-year contracts. In the second year, we will add 2 more nationally-recruited GRA’s, continue funding the 2 nationally-recruited students from the first year and offer 2 limited 1-year contracts to internal candidates. We designed the gradual rollout of the program for two reasons: first, more experienced graduate students (i.e., internal recruits) can serve as peer mentors to the less experienced students (i.e., external recruits) and second, PELD funding can provide resources and experiences to current A&HE graduate students to assist in their timely progress-to-degree.
In the third year of the program, after adding 2 more nationally-recruited GRA’s we will be fully operational with 6 externally-recruited GRAs (2 in their first year, 2 in their second year and 2 in their third year). Continuing forward, the program is designed to have a progressive rotation of 2 new GRAs and 4 continuing external GRAs annually. This strategy accomplishes three goals (a) increase the quality and selectivity of the external recruits; (b) create a cadre of PELD GRAs that includes more experienced graduate students that can serve as peer mentors to the less experienced students, and (c) allows DSS to benefit from both an infusion of energy and ideas from new recruits as well as the more refined skills and knowledge of experienced PELD GRAs.
We envision the PELD program as a pilot for a potentially larger program in which graduate assistantships could be offered that integrate A&HE students into other administrative position across the campus (for example, in Athletics, the Provost’s Office or Office of Planning and Analysis). We could also potentially expand the program so that we are supporting GRA’s at other MUS campuses.
|Describe the broader impacts and benefits of this proposal|
The proposed program to fund six (6) graduate research assistants (GRAs) through the Adult & Higher Education Program (A&HE) in collaboration with the Division of Student Success (DSS) will return both immediate and longer-term benefits. One of the more tangible and immediate benefits will be a significant strengthening of the A&HE doctoral program through the recruitment of highly-qualified GRAs. With the availability of graduate assistantships, the program will be able to recruit and attract students regionally and nationally, with an anticipated pool of 20 qualified applicants.
A second and also immediate benefit will accrue to the DSS through their partnership in this proposal. These GRAs have the potential to enhance the services provided by the DSS as they will infuse scholarly and practice-based assessments and understandings. The GRAs will be part of the A&HE program, which focuses on (a) college students and their development, (b) higher education leadership, administration, and organization, and (c) institutional and program evaluation, assessment, and accreditation. As the GRAs matriculate through the A&HE program, they will then use their scholarship and practices within the DSS and directly impact the MSU undergraduate students who use the services provided by the DSS. To achieve the greatest benefits, we will develop a cognitive apprenticeship model to train and mentor the GRAs. In this model, each GRA is paired with a mentor/leader who guides the academic and professional growth of the GRA. Crucial to this mentoring model will be the interactions between the GRA, mentor and academic advisor from A&HE, where such interactions will focus significantly on the integration of theory and practice and the development of marketable professional skills (e.g., critical thinking, leadership, best writing and research practices). GRAs will work with their mentor and other higher education personnel to learn the education system and institutional features that best support a quality educational experience for undergraduate students.
Within the DSS, a third benefit will accrue to the MSU undergraduate students who utilize the division’s services. Indeed, GRAs bring unique characteristics and outlooks that have the potential to greatly benefit undergraduate students. Many of these benefits will occur through the interactions between undergraduate students and the GRA—interactions that are empirically shown to enhance student outcomes. Indeed, we anticipate that undergraduates may benefit greatly from these interactions with GRAs because of: generational similarities, development of a mentor-mentee or role model relationship, lack of social distance (i.e., they are both “students”), and shared educational backgrounds. Moreover, the GRAs may operate as socializing agents for undergraduate students to pursue advanced degrees in their respective fields.
The GRAs, of course, will benefit directly from their involvement in this program. While many benefits are possible, two are of notable significance. First, through their assessment and evaluation efforts with the DSS, each GRA will have a readily available and high quality data source in which to support their dissertation research. This will lead to a timely progress-to-degree trajectory given that the dissertation research often leads to attrition among graduate students in doctoral programs. Second, graduates of this program will be well-positioned in the labor market whether they pursue academic or non-academic jobs.
We also anticipate broader impacts of this program that will extend throughout MSU. For example, once established, we believe that this program has the potential to develop a new model of student success through the collaboration of academic and administrative departments and the utilization of doctoral students. Once established, this model could be replicated throughout MSU in units such as the Athletics Department and the Office of the Provost. In addition, by working in partnership with the DSS and A&HE, the GRAs will work with faculty, personnel, and students in a wide variety of academic disciplines and fields—fields that may have a limited understanding of the study of higher education. Through their interactions across disciplines, the GRAs are positioned to inform the broader MSU community about higher education issues and best practices that promote success in higher education. Hopefully, this information will permeate throughout the university and lead to student success practices at all levels and units.
Finally, we foresee the impacts of this program to extend to external stakeholders in two important ways. First, we fully anticipate that the GRAs will produce scholarly products beyond that of the dissertation. Because the GRAs will approach their roles through a reflective and scholarly approach, a natural extension of this approach is tangible academic products. These products will be disseminated nationally and internationally through conferences, publications, outreach, and other outlets. Audience members and consumers of these products will learn about the outcomes of this program, which then could be applied within their own institutions or contexts. Of course, MSU will feel the impact as well—this dissemination will raise the national visibility and profile of MSU and the A&HE program, and will go far in enhancing the reputation of MSU as a student-centered institution. Second, upon graduating from this program and MSU, these GRAs have the potential to contribute significantly to the future higher education through whatever employment paths they choose to pursue—whether they choose to be faculty, student affairs personnel, practitioners, administrators, or researchers.
Year One (March 2013 to August 2014):
As soon as funding is available, we will advertise the program in national outlets such as the Chronicle of Higher Education so that we can recruit as many highly qualified applicants as possible. (March 2013)
As potential students submit application materials, we will review their materials and begin the process of offering admission to the A&HE program with the PELD graduate assistantship offer. (April-May 2013)
Once we have determined the final six candidates for the PELD assistantships, we will conduct telephone or in person interviews with A&HE faculty and DSS professional staff and will make decisions about mentorship assignment and office placement. (In year one of the PELD program, we expect to offer two 3-year GRAs to nationally recruited students and four limited one year GRAs to currently enrolled students.) This strategy accomplishes three goals (a) increase the quality and selectivity of the external recruits; (b) create a PELD student cohort that includes more experienced graduate students (i.e., 4 internal recruits) that can serve as peer mentors to the less experienced students (i.e., 2 external recruits); and (c) provide significant resources and experiences to assist the current A&HE graduate students in their timely progress-to-degree. (June-July 2013)
Students arrive on campus and begin their assistantship. (August 15, 2013)
Students work in DSS office and complete graduate credits in A&HE. (Fall 2013, Spring 2014 and Summer 2014)
Recruit second cohort of PELD graduate students (two new 3-year GRAs and two 1-year GRAs. The 2 external students from year one will continue into the second year of their 3 year commitment.) (January – March 2014)
Formal performance reviews for current PELD graduate assistants with DSS professional staff and A&HE faculty. (April 2015)
DSS professional staff and A&HE faculty make decision regarding reappointment or reassignment (April 2015)
New cohort admitted and interviewed. (April 2014)
DSS professional staff and A&HE faculty conduct a 1 day strategic planning retreat (June 2014).
New cohort assigned to DSS offices (August 1, 2014)
DSS professional staff and A&HE faculty complete first year program assessment activities detailing number of scholarly products completed, number of new DSS programs, and impact of PELD graduate students on MSU student success initiatives. (August 14, 2014)
Begin Year Two program cycle. (August 15, 2014)
The main initiative of this program is to align with the MSU Strategic Objective of Integration--increasing the integration of learning, discovery, and engagement. The Postsecondary Educational Leadership Development (PELD) program will formally integrate the relationship between the academic unit, Adult & Higher Education (A&HE) graduate program and the Division of Student Success (DSS). The program will provide funding for six graduate assistantships/internships to support doctoral students to work directly with DSS programs and professional staff while pursuing their doctoral degree in education. The assessment strategies and plan focus on four major Integration goals for the proposed program.
The following questions guide our assessment strategies and are based on the specific goals of the program. First, are our recruitment and retention efforts of quality graduate students effective? That is, do our efforts reach an appropriate target audience and accurately reflect whether the needs of DSS complement the goals of the recruits and participants? Second, does the internship and mentoring model provide positive, effective, and well-embraced academic, scientific, and personal experiences that prepare the interns for long-term success in higher education? How does the internship experience and mentoring interactions lead to the interns’ integration of theory and practice and the development of marketable professional skills (e.g., critical thinking, leadership, best writing and research practices). Further, does the internship experience and mentoring model increase scholarly products (e.g., conference presentation, Peer-reviewed publications, extramural funding)? Third, how do the interns elevate the services provided by the DSS? What scholarly and practice-based assessments and understandings did the interns contribute to DSS? In what ways do the interns directly influence undergraduate student success? Fourth, does the internship experience lead to a timely progress-to-degree for the interns? Does the internship provide readily available and high quality data sources in which to support the interns’ dissertation research? Are the graduates of this program well-positioned and competitive for professional and academic careers in higher education?
We believe the assessment plan is crucial to both the program and for the interns to achieve significant successes and headway in meeting these four broad goals identified above. In this way, the assessment of the program becomes a programmatic element in itself.
The assessment plan focuses on three main data types: basline, formative, and outcome-based. Baseline data on initial background and academic characterisitics are collected to identify factors that contribute to the following outcomes among recruits and selected interns: (a) prior experiences and productivity in higher education leadership and research, (b) participation in activities that enhance academic development, (c) access to activities to enhance assessment and research skills, and (d) long term success and trajectories in careers in higher education. Specific outcomes measured include scholarly products, research and assessment collaborations, awards and honors, and training and development opportunities. Likewise, formative data are collected and analyzed for each program activity to ensure processes are on-target and achieving the broader program goals. These activites include mentoring, educational opportunites, collaborative research and assessment projects, new DSS initiatvies and infusion of scholarly projects, and research conferences. A summative outcome-based evalution is conducted each year to understand the comprehensive contexts that contribute to the success and progress of the interns and the program. Specifically, we examine how the DSS, A&HE, and various constituents help the program and the interns achieve the intended outcomes. Evaluation methods will include (a) entrance, formative, and exit surveys, (b) focus groups, (c) institutional records, (d) performance measures, and (e) qualitative data techniques. The evalution methods target interns, MSU undergraduate students, mentors, and all key program personnel. This evaluation plan guarantees a high level of transparency and awareness that permits the program to successfully monitor the effectiveness of activities in enhancing the interns and the DSS’s productivity and interns’ progress towards degree completion.
Below, the targeted outcomes are elaborated for each year of the PELD program. In contextualizing these outcomes, two distinctions are necessary. First, as outlined above, we will roll out the program during the first two years with full implementation in year three (see program description for details). Consequently the outcomes measures for the first two years are modified slightly from the expected outcomes after full implementation. Second, the types of scholarly external products will be evolving and based on enduring and emergent needs of DSS and the scholarly interests and expertise of the PELD GRAs. In this way, these scholarly products will represent academic, experiential, and applied outcomes that best serve the needs of the stakeholders and go far in fully achieving the goal of integration.
Target outcomes for year one:
Target outcomes for year two:
Target outcomes for year three:
Target outcomes for year four:
In addition to the above target outcomes for scholarly products and progress-to-degree within the A&HE program, we will also devise specific measurable outcomes for the DSS programs and offices that house each GRA. However, these targeted outcomes by necessity must be written after the PELD GRA assignments are decided. An example of this type of measurable target would be: a specified DSS office will increase the number of MSU undergraduate students individually advised by 10% each semester.
|If assessed objectives are not met in the timeframe outlined what is the plan to sunset this proposal?|
While we fully anticipated that the program will achieve the goals outlined in this proposal, we have developed a sunset plan at both the individual and programmatic level. For individual GRAs, our program provides multiple resources and experiences to best achieve the intended outcomes. However, there may exist unanticipated obstacles that hinder the GRAs in their outputs and productivity and progress towards degree. At each annual review, we will evaluate and identify the causes for any such obstacles that hinder progress. Upon identification, we will develop an action plan and implement strategies to best assist the GRAs in meeting the intended goals of the program. If the implementation of these strategies fails to adequately assist the individual GRA, then a one-year probationary period will be implemented. After this probationary period, the progress of the GRA will again be assessed. Those GRAs who do not make satisfactory progress toward the program goals will be relieved of their assistantship.
At the program level, if the PELD program proves to be unsuccessful in meeting its proposed measurable targets, we will phase out the program over a two to three year period. The first step in the sunset plan would be to eliminate national advertising of the program. Next, we will inform current PELD GRAs that their funding sources will be eliminated in future years. To the extent possible, students will be assisted with finding alternative sources of funding (other GRA funding in A&HE or part time employment in DSS) while they complete their doctoral studies. We will continue to fund the current students until they finish their three year commitment or until alternative funding is located.
|Department Head:||Jayne Downey (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Dean/Director:||Carl Fox (email@example.com)|
|Executive/VP:||Martha Potvin (firstname.lastname@example.org)|