Skip to Main Content

SUNY Oneonta Institutional Planning

Posts: 26
Darren Chase 2022-03-02T10:38:44-05:00

2/9 Dialogue Session Notes, Governance

Notes from Dialog 2/9 (Teams)

Keith Jones, Mathematics

  • Concerns:
    • Maintaining / Growing Enrollment  (many echoes)
    • Low Morale Fac/Students
    • Equity (btw departments) some get pay for over 21 credits?
    • Staying competitive with comparative suny schools
    • embracing academic rigor, strengthening academic and expectations of students
    • What do students want?
      • Relevant curriculum for students; discussion of who/what/why students attend college?
      • Is there a shifting desire?
      • There's a sense that students across the system want more flexibility
      • Do our "values" match with students? Are we offering the kinds of courses that our students want to take? What does a degree from SUNY Oneonta mean? Are students employable when they leave Oneonta -- is our curriculum meeting that need?
      • Not only what students want, but what they need, in addition to classroom learning, experiential learning; How can we provide more of the experiences that will make them competitive in their career fields. How can we partner with community organizations to enhance the experiences?
    • Enhancing and improving upon communications, particularly internally
    • Prof. Development, especially attending conferences  (echoed by others)
    • Gov's address was about pulling in a lot of new students; what is our place as a residential school?
    • In chat: supervisor training will help with internal comms (was discussed on 2/8 too)
    • Hiring issues on staff side of things -- resourcing becoming challenging. Campus work and SUNY mandates, etc. This feeds into morale issues; challenges like the "great resignation" -- people feeling "pulled in 15 directions"
    • How do we address the mental health challenges of our students?
    • Challenge and opportunity: messaging internally and externally; how can we help folks gain understanding of current situations and give them opportunities to engage.
    • Last full Strategic Plan, one goal Bill H and EMZ worked on was idea to have a "degree of distinction" could highlight experiential stuff in addition to classroom; could have a great curricular and co-curricular experience. EMZ: Engaged learning award.
    • How do we help our students use the full experience of college to really message themselves. Don't have tools to talk with students about the arc of their "career" at Oneonta -- something like the engaged learning award could do that.
      • e-Portfolios noted as a potential approach
  • Opportunities
    • Emphasis on experiential learning both in curr and co-curr would fit into having college wide learning goals, we could better integrate and articulate this for students… (And they could do both better for themselves as well.)
    • Idea of pathway for students to bring together their understanding of their learning.
    • Question: What's the importance of that given the changing demographics of our students; I.e. do we have to do that more than previously?
      • One answer: I don't think so because the people who might employ them aren't changing as quickly as our students
    • Connection back to idea of micro-credentialing that came up at Friday's talk.
    • Idea of experiential learning and engaged learning, and seeing the relevance of their studies, could be part of the rebound from COVID; dealing with the disaffection or fatigue we're seeing. Some people were describing an inability for students to stay the course over the semester; maybe that engagement and better connection to community is part of our way out of COVID.
    • Comment that we had a very social, engaged student body; and from what I've seen, COVID has disrupted that. If we could further build out experiential and applied learning to re-engage students through curriculum, that could be an opportunity.
    • Reinforce our connections with the community to provide more experiential learning
    • Opportunities for college in next few years, one could change standing in community and with non-traditional learners; don't have a community college in our back yard, so opportunity for non-traditional options.
    • Opportunity reframe/confirm who we are wand why we do what we do.
    • Maybe having mini-courses that assist students through scaffolded exercises and self-reflections to articulate connections with what they have done and now capable of to where they are going?
    • With pushed for enhanced tech and community wifi, can go back to plan we had years ago to the greater community to encourage them to think of Oneonta as a college of choice
    • Addressing student curiosity. Seeing lack of curiosity, interest; risk-taking averse. But wonder if that's a bandwidth issue.
      • They're trying to learn "how to do college" so may be struggling with ideas like research projects or experiential learning… they're struggling with the college basics.  (Others echoed this)
      • Piece might be changing the onboarding practices for new students; mini-course idea could be part of orientation. Possibly mock-class? Note-taking etc. Local HSs are using course-packs; I literally had to walk sophomores through ways to annotate a text. For some, was the first time they'd seen it.
      • Reframing how we think of new students. Maybe need to look to our EOP group and some of the things they're doing? Maybe expand that to all of our students? Treating all students like we treat first generation students?
      • In some Student Leader training, we used OER course materials on how to work in teams; it worked well from a co-curricular perspective.
      • Students hungry for interactions with faculty
      • Students don't understand basic essential research tools, like footnotes; worse than before, might be COVID related.
      • Prof 120 course noted for skills supporting academic success -- talking about integrating skills into particular classes; strategy was to say "how can we integrate it into what you're learning" -- they don't know how to research; if we could steer to this or do as phased-in orientation.
      • Phased-in orientation, rather than inundating students with information.
      • Students are hungry for experiences in and out of classroom
    • On phased-in orientation idea: Comes close to a first-year seminar; part of the curriculum. Do individuals feel it is a worthwhile intervention.
      • A lot of transfer students come in without those skills, too. We're playing catch-up with them
      • Some faculty noted agreement with idea of first year / transition course
      • Many of our students were not on campus in their first year, due to COVID, so for many even if they're not new, it is new to them to be on campus.
      • Even time-management is an issue for many students; so some kind of phase-in could be very helpful.
      • More echoes for first-year and transfer experience
      • Maybe see course woven into gen ed reqs or institutional reqs
      • Can we expand dragon mentor program for transfers?
      • High impact teaching like experiential/applied learning have been in strategic plan before; part of many curricula; regardless of COVID, changing nature of student body necessitates more emphasis on experiential engagement.
      • Can we utilize what we have from previous strategic plan to strengthen these higher impact practices?
    • Question: Some of the first comments were about academic rigor, professional development. We do have out there a strong strategic plan about the faculty center. Have we used the faculty center to its full potential? How far along are we in the strategic plan for the faculty center?
      • Staff is only 2 people; and the faculty themselves need the time to take part in professional development, too. So only so much can happen with 1 director, 1 assistant.
      • Part of the challenge is that there is a lot to do; what would help is prioritization. So will have to decide what is most important to focus on, what is secondary, tertiary.
    • On prioritization, it would help to align priorities across campus and divisions. I.e., if Fac Center has needs requiring something from TLTC, ITS, etc, everyone knows what is happening and how to shift things, so that it doesn't fall apart when people don't know. So, high-level prioritization to work together as campus and be less siloed.
    • Experiential learning - how can we make that happen in more "traditional" classes?
    • Discussion of experiential vs applied learning, and for those areas where it doesn't seem as natural, possibly more "shaping" -- what are the supports that are needed to get faculty closer to some kind of applied/experiential learning
    • Need enhanced interdisciplinary opportunities
    • Possibly more problem-based learning. "WPI model" - community identified issues,
  • President's note: We do have the human capital to address these challenges



 0 replies.

  Back to Discussions List Go to Original Post
This post is closed for further discussion.

 Reply to Original Post