Academic enrichment

February, 2014

The Academic Enrichment Subcommittee is part of the Student Experience Enhancement Council -- a council that aims to maintain Iowa State's trademark high-quality student experience as enrollment surges. Academic enrichment experiences for undergraduates include such things as internships and co-ops, study abroad, academic or career-related student organizations, learning communities, Honors Program and conducting research with a faculty member.

Following is the subcommittee's charge, priorities and progress.

Charge

As the undergraduate student population grows, identify and address areas of concern to ensure that Iowa State students continue to have the breadth of opportunities that enhance their academic experiences.

Priority 1: Increase staff to meet academic enrichment needs

Action items

  • Add academic advisers: It's critical that the student-adviser ratio be low enough to allow advisers time to get to know students. Advisers play a pivotal role in guiding students to enriching experiences, based on their interests and aspirations.
  • Increase staffing in areas that provide and support academic enrichment opportunities.

Progress

  • In 2013-2014 there has been some increase in staffing over the previous year (for example, 8 FTE new academic advisers and a new advising coordinator position). Budget requests for 2014-2015 include addition positions in critical areas supporting academic enrichment.

Priority 2: Increase faculty engagement with student enrichment activities; reflect those efforts in position responsibility statements

Faculty engagement and participation is critical in many student enrichment activities. Often these activities are not recognized within the scope of a faculty member's position responsibility statement (PRS). It's important that such faculty engagement be recognized in departmental governance documents and included in discussions and reviews between department chairs and faculty.

Progress
Plans are to include this topic in:

  • Discussions of the Faculty Senate task force on position responsibility statement
  • Department chair professional development offered by the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost
  • New faculty orientation offered by the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost

Subcommittee members

Co-chairs: Pamela Anthony, Dean of Students, and Karen Zunkel, Office of Senior Vice President and Provost. Also: Khayree Fitten, student, Political Science and Global Resources; Manimaran Govindarasu, professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Jane Jacobson, director, Student Services, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Pat Miller, program manager, Lectures Program; Trevor Nelson, director, Study Abroad Center; Loni Pringnitz, director, Career Services, College of Human Sciences; Laurie Smith-Law, administrative director, Honors Program; and Ann Marie VanDerZanden, professor, Horticulture; CELT/Learning Communities/Service Learning.