Chapter 6: SMSU as a Distinctive Organization
Being Committed to Improvement
Any organization desirous of maintaining its own
distinctiveness, according to HLC guidelines, must be committed to improvement.
Each chapter of this report illustrates that Missouri State is committed to
improvement; thus, the report also illustrates that the institution strives to
maintain its distinctiveness.
In particular, the self-reflective processes summarized in
the section above illuminate the institution’s ability to recognize its
strengths as well as its challenges. Each of the three long-range plans
considered in this report set specific goals. Performance measures were
designed to measure progress in reaching those goals. In fact, continuous
planning, annual assessments of meeting goals, and publicizing the results help
make Missouri State a distinctive organization. Also important in maintaining
this distinctiveness is the use of the results for institutional improvement.
Because examples verifying that Missouri State is committed
to improvement are found throughout this report, only a few are given below.
Criteria and Core Components supported in this section include 2b, 2c, 4b, 5a, 5c.
- The Center for
Assessment and Instructional Support provides services that help
departments establish assessment procedures and use these and other assessments
to improve student learning.
Academic Development Center provides
assistance to faculty in the form of seminars, workshops, showcases, individual
consultations, and library resources to improve teaching and learning. A
variety of assessment measures are used to determine improvement of student
learning and teaching practices.
- The Educational Technology
Center provides equipment and facilities planning, equipment installation,
and technical assistance.
- The Staff
Development Center provides professional development opportunities for
for General Education and Interdisciplinary Programs monitors the general
education program for the University. This includes recommendations for program
changes, reviews of general education course proposals, and periodic
assessments of general education courses.
- The Graduate
Council and the Graduate College
monitor all graduate courses and programs. Curricular changes must receive
review and action by both the Council and the College. In addition, application
for inclusion to the Graduate Faculty requires Graduate Council action.
- As first outlined in Welcoming
the 21st Century, Missouri State continues to move toward
“selective enrollment” (Performance Measure
The assumption that retention and graduation rates would improve with more
selective admission requirements seems to have been valid (Performance Measures
- Processes for continuous improvement have been established by the
Office of Student Affairs in a variety of ways, as outlined in its response to
the question concerning evaluation and improvement. In addition to asking staff
to set goals and objectives for 2004-05 and to assess all programs they offer,
each unit has been asked to collect data that could be used to evaluate productivity
as an expectation of meeting goals and objectives in 2004-05. A listing of
assessment activities by office can be provided if requested. Consistent with
other units at Missouri State, the Office of Student Affairs participates in
the performance measure process. Each year they assess activities toward published
performance measures. For example, the current measures state
- Retention rates of first-time, full-time freshmen at Missouri
State-Springfield will be 78% in the following fall, 70% in the following spring
- Graduation rates by 2006 for first-time full-time freshmen will
be 65 percent or higher.
- The number of transfer students from Missouri two-year
institutions to Missouri State-Springfield will increase to 600 by FY06.
- All first-time, full-time freshmen who have completed 23 college
credits or less and have graduated from a Missouri high school will have
completed the general education curriculum.
- Seven percent of the Missouri State—Springfield campus enrollment
will be minority students.
- Institutional grants, scholarships and waivers will increase at
the same percentage rate as required student fees.
- The number of Missouri State students with 30 credits or more who
are registered with Career Services will increase from 40% to 65%.
- The average ACT composite of first-time, full-time freshmen at Missouri
State-Springfield will be 24.0.
- Ninety percent of first-time, full-time freshmen will have a
selection index of 120.
- In any year where the state appropriation equals the average per
capita appropriations for comparable Missouri non land-grant institutions, the
tuition and fee increase in the following year will not exceed the CPI. In
those years following years where it does not, it will not exceed 5%.
- By FY06, 18 percent of Missouri State enrollment (Springfield Campus
plus Extended Campus) will be graduate students (Performance
- The Master Plan Committee offers a forum where ideas surface for
discussion and further evaluation by University components and constituencies.
After considering the proposals suggested by various campus constituencies, the
Committee offers input to administrators regarding suitable sites for
new/renovated campus facilities needed to support the learning environment. An
annual output of the Committee is the Campus Master Plan Visioning Guide
developed in graphic form to illustrate campus growth for the next
quarter-century. Copies are available to anyone at the master planning display
adjacent to the Bursar’s Office in Carrington Hall and are also available
- The Office of Sponsored
Research advances the University’s mission to develop educated persons by
providing students the opportunity to address real-world problems and develop critical
thinking skills through participation in research, education, and service
projects funded by grants and contracts.
- The University has a 25-year heritage of institutional research
activities, and the Office of Institutional Research plays an influential role
in many aspects of the University administration. Duties and responsibilities
of the Office of Institutional Research include designing, analyzing, and
presenting data and institutional research for the purposes of institutional
planning, policy decisions, institutional marketing, and student and program
assessment. The Office of Institutional Research is also responsible for
reporting institutional data to various state and federal agencies.
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