January, 2015

The Spring, 2015 semester has begun and a comparison of enrollment reports indicates that we are 145 students larger than Spring, 2014 on the first day of the semester. The four trends to look for in our August, 2014 post continue to remain unchanged – accelerated pathways to Graduate School, technology, internationalization, and prior learning assessment. Recent rankings news of our online degree programs are relatively favorable and help provide momentum for strong program demand. Additional programming trends to watch for in the coming years are: addition of doctoral programs, increased admissions selectively, and possibly increased tuition. As the state of Kansas enters a new period of austerity in terms of state general fund expenditures for higher education, the coming months will be a challenging time for us to continue to offer access to affordable quality graduate programs.

Fall, 2014 notes

The Fall, 2014 semester is now in the history books. The Graduate School continued to be a point of pride for the university in several traditional indicators including: enrollment, learner outcomes indicators, new programming development, and innovative partnerships.

Enrollment News

Fall, 2014 20th day graduate enrollment reached the 2,182 student mark which represents a growth rate of 8.67% over Fall, 2013 20th graduate enrollment. This is the fourth consecutive year of enrollment growth in the Graduate School and five of the last seven years have produced enrollment growth. Fall, 2014 application growth was 7.2% over Fall, 2013 growth. Applications to our graduate programs have increased annually for six of our past seven years for a mean annual growth rate of 8.46%.

Learner Outcomes Indicators

Learner Outcomes data from the Spring, 2014 semester have now been compiled and analyzed. We now have longitudinal data from two academic years for Learner Outcome #1 to compare and baseline data for Learner Outcomes #2 and #3.The three learner outcomes for 19 programs housed in the Graduate School are…

Each graduate student will:
1. demonstrate advanced disciplinary knowledge, skills, and abilities,
2. demonstrate introductory scholarship skills that fit within the FHSU definition of scholarly activities, and
3. demonstrate professional written communication skills.

We now have some longitudinal data for each learner outcome analyzed. Students are assessed on a 5-point Likert scale rubric. Learner Outcome #1 is gathered from faculty committees at the point of comprehensive examination. Our Graduate School rubric defines each value as:

1 = emerging – student has not progressed significantly beyond undergraduate expectations in the discipline
2 = developing – student is beginning to develop advanced knowledge, skills, and abilities in the discipline
3 = advancing – student alternates between advanced and undergraduate level expectations inconsistently
4 = mastering – student displays advanced level disciplinary work in most examples
5 = practicing – student displays advanced level disciplinary work consistently

Learner Outcome #1 – academic years 12-13 and 13-14

LO#1chart
Learner outcome #1 data are reported on the comprehensive examination report form. The error bars representing two standard deviations include 95% of these data. Between 14-19% of our end-of-program students are performing below expectations (<=3). The sample size is 1,012 students for this period.

Learner Outcome #2 – academic year 13-14

LO#2chart
Learner outcome #2 data are reported on the Admission to Candidacy form. With a mean of 4.15, only 9% of our end-of-program students are failing to meet our research learner outcome goal expectation (<=3).

Learner Outcome #3 – academic year 13-14

LO#3chart

Learner outcome #3 data are reported on the Admission to Candidacy form. With a mean of 4.14, only 9% of our end-of-program students are failing to meet our writing learner outcome goal expectation (<=3).

These data demonstrate the tremendous value the 19 FHSU graduate programs add to their students from the point of admission to the point of matriculation.

New Program Development

FHSU is pursuing its first doctoral program – the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).  Nursing faculty and several administrators at FHSU have been working hard this fall working through the approval and review steps necessary to be able to offer this program on the Hays campus.  The Kansas Board of Regents have officially approved our statement of intent to develop this program and we have submitted our complete degree program proposal. Internally, the Graduate Council made history by unanimously approving the DNP degree program proposal at it’s January 28, 2015 meeting. A site visit from external consultants is being coordinated for February, 2015.  Documentation required for a program change of this nature has been submitted to our accrediting agency – the Higher Learning Commission. A final decision about the program approval is expected in June, 2015.

New Partnerships

Our EdS to EdD partnership with Lamar University in Educational Leadership continues to attract students.  This doctoral pathway program is a great value to those seeking online EdD credentials at an affordable price.

Our EdD partnership in Educational Leadership with Baker University also continues to attract students interested in a blended program delivery option.

A 3+2 BA/BS Political Science to MPS program in Campaign Management was signed with Emporia State University.  We look forward to see this example of collaboration between two Regents institution grow and be considered for other professional degree opportunities in the future.

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November 14, 2014 · 12:11 pm

August, 2014

Next week we will begin our annual ritual of meetings in preparation for launching our Fall, 2014 semester here at FHSU.  We are just putting the finishing touches on our summer session and getting ready for the great migration – the arrival of our faculty and students to campus to begin another year of exciting work together.  The exploration of ideas and the exchange of information continues to grow it seems at an exponential rate in higher education today.  It is both wonderful and terrifying.  What will this year bring at FHSU?  How will the Graduate School impact the university and the region?  The arrival of our new president will certainly influence the directions we take.  It will be an exciting year of change.  One thing is for sure…over 2000 graduate students can’t be ignored.  Big things will happen…change will happen…new paradigms will be defined…and our graduate faculty and students will be in the lead.  Our talented graduate faculty will point them in the right directions and our great staff will support them along the way.  With the success of our graduate students will come the success of our undergraduate students, as well.  Hang on for the ride.  Here are four current trends I see impacting graduate education that we should watch for in the coming year.

Onward and upward,
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Dr. Tim Crowley
Dean, Graduate School/Assistant Provost for Internationalization

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Four current trends impacting graduate education to watch for this year

1. Accelerated Pathways to Graduate School – look for new programming ideas that use 4+1 or 3+2 models to emerge both within the university and through partnerships with outside institutions (e.g. creating combined bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 5 years).  The benefits of such pathways for outstanding students far outweigh the challenges of implementation.

2. Technology – we think the advances in learning technology and their ubiquity will serve as excellent tools for our graduate faculty to teach in innovative ways and make significant strides forward in new learning models.  In the hands of great people, these tools will create a significant advantage over our competition.  We are excited to see what will emerge from the creativity and innovation of our graduate faculty this year, how our students will perform on our assessments, and to hear what our graduates have to say on our exit surveys.  Technology is also impacting the administrative side of the university, and we are getting closer to doing business in a much more efficient way.

3. Internationalization – technology is making our world smaller and this may be a “breakout” year for the Graduate School to open new markets using the Virtual College as an internationalization asset.  We are stepping closer to this reality each year.  We’re not sure what the model will look like, but several ideas have been proposed that have merit and a few are advancing through the execution stages.  Partnerships have been established, but are not yet activated. Remember that internationalization means “the process of becoming international” and we take two steps forward and one step back every year.  Things look like chaos, but we are moving forward and FHSU is positioned well to move forward through the challenges of its future because of it.

4. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) –  love it or hate it, it’s on our doorstep.  We’ve been studying this national trend for 2-3 years now, but this will likely be the year when the Graduate School will need to define it’s position on this trend.  Graduate Council, we will be looking to you for guidance, so to be forewarned is to be forearmed.  Start doing your homework to understand what this is all about.  We are already starting to see PLA come into play with admissions (i.e. when students come to us with significant prior learning on their undergraduate transcripts) and we will need to get out in front of what we are going to accept in the form of graduate transfer credit we know is coming our way.  The military market is where we will likely see this the most.  As the military redefines all of its benefit programs after the budget sequester, it looks like graduate education across the nation is going to be the big winner for military officers.  Will we be ready to respond?  We will need to be.

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Summer 2014

In the past few weeks, Graduate School staff have been busy clearing Spring, 2014 degrees, working on low GPA notifications, preparing theses for delivery to Forsyth Library for binding, and continuing to accept and process applications for admission for our programs for Summer and Fall, 2014 admission.  This spring, a record 352 students graduated bringing our total count for the fiscal year to 594, which is also a Graduate School record.

Summer session has now begun at Fort Hays State University.  Enrollment continues to climb in graduate course offerings.  Early reports indicate an additional 120 students, but summer enrollment continues to grow daily due to short course offerings in multiple departments.  Deadlines for the summer session have been posted and emailed to all enrolled students.  The summer session ends on July 25th.

On May 14, 2014, the Graduate School honored the following students and graduate faculty for their outstanding accomplishments in the 2013-2014 academic year:

Outstanding MBA Achievement Awards
Corey Moomaw
Caley Love
Gary Hulett
Michael Liebold
Garrett Love
Outstanding GTA Award
Brittany Sheehan HHP
Jordan Allen HHP
Lisa Jones English
Frances Owen Biological Sciences
Yujing (Sunrise) Wang MBA
Trisha Goetz MBA
Michele Duryea Speech-Language Pathology
Mackenzie McCartney Speech-Language Pathology
George Toman School Psychology
Brooke Mann Psychology (Clinical)
Outstanding Thesis/Field Study/MFA Catalog
Michaela Valli Groeblacher MFA
Clinton Helms Biological Sciences
Sharon McCoy MFA
Carla Sloan-Brown Psychology (Clinical)
Whitney Giesing Psychology (Clinical)
Outstanding Graduate Faculty Advisors
Dr. Greg Farley Biological Sciences
Dr. Sharla Hutchison English

In addition, the Graduate School presented two special awards:

a Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. John Heinrichs accepted by Maureen Duffy:

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and a Special Service award to former FHSU Provost Dr. Larry Gould:
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Dr. Gould closed the evening by giving his remarks on the progress and evolution of the Graduate School during his tenure as Provost:
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New FHSU president Dr. Mirta Martin has been to Hays twice in the past two months to learn more about the university and hold discussions with administrators.  Her term of service officially begins on July 1 and her inauguration is being planned for the Fall semester.  The Graduate School looks forward to working with Dr. Martin on advancing graduate education, research, and internationalization of the campus and curriculum in the coming year.

Dr. Martin
Dr. Martin pictured with Dr. Hammond and Senator Moran at the 2014 President’s Dinner.

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February, 2014 – Spring Semester 2014

Welcome back to the Spring semester!  Here are a few topics that have been on our minds recently…

Rankings News

There is some good news regarding graduate education to report as the university begins its Spring, 2014 semester.  The US News and World Report rankings of online programs released its latest rankings on January 7 and three of our programs have improved their annual ranking:

Nursing (MSN) – we are 71st overall.  In Kansas, we are second only to KU.
Business (MBA) – we are 64th overall and the top ranked school in Kansas.
Education (MS) – we are 20th overall and the top ranked school in Kansas.

Here is the link to the full report.

The Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Human Resource Management program has been ranked the #1 Human Resource Management program by GetEducated.com.

The Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) in Public Administration program has been ranked the #1 MPA program by GetEducated.com, as well.

Congratulations to all the graduate faculty who teach in these programs and all the support staff who help make them a success!

Enrollment Record

The Graduate School will set another enrollment record when the 20th day is reached next week on February 14th.  Preliminary data indicate greater than 7% increase over Spring, 2013 enrollment, which was in itself an outlier 14% growth semester over Spring, 2012 20th day data.  Growth of over 21% in 2 years has put us well over the 2000 student mark to approximately 2070 students.  We are the fastest growing Graduate School in the Regents system and will soon overtake Emporia State’s graduate enrollments.  Congratulations for all the hard work undertaken to reach this goal.  I am hopeful additional resources to meet high demand growth areas will be forthcoming in the next budget cycle.

Master’s Research Day at the Capitol 

On February 12, the following master’s students from FHSU will join their colleagues from the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, Wichita State University, and Pittsburg State University in displaying posters of their research on the 2nd floor rotunda of the Capitol.  This event is organized by the Kansas Council of Graduate Deans under the Kansas Board of Regents.

Aubray Magnusson – Communication Disorders – Dr. Jayne Brandel
Brooke Mann – Psychology – Dr. Jennifer Bonds-Raacke
Steven Reed – Geosciences – Dr. Hendratta Ali

Please join me in congratulating these students for their hard work and willingness to represent FHSU!

Paperless Admissions System

The Graduate School has recently received funded to begin converting it’s current application and admission system to a 100% paperless system.  We will be outsourcing this process and integration within the current university Student Information System and financials will take several months to build out.  Later this spring we will begin working with department admissions contacts to provide training for working within this new system.  The Graduate School hopes to launch this system by July 1.

Graduate School Honors Ceremony

The annual Graduate School Honors Ceremony will take place at 7pm at the Eagle Hall of the Robbins Center on May 14, 2014.  Outstanding graduate students and faculty will be honored at this event with a reception to follow.  Please nominate individuals for awards consideration by April 30.

Center for Language and Culture (CLC)

The spring and summer study abroad season is beginning to energize and in addition to sponsoring two opportunities, it will be supporting several others with student scholarships and planning advice.  Max Maximov and Christophe Cheroret will give a lunch presentation on faculty-led study abroad activities on Feb. 20th at noon in the Memorial Union.  Lunch tickets will be provided to the first 40 faculty and staff members.

The CLC will continue to offer faculty members support in designing faculty-led study abroad programs for the 2014-2015 academic year.  Conversation tables in foreign languages will also be scheduled and co-curricular excursions for international students will also be planned.

Internationalization of the Campus and Curriculum Award Nominations

Please consider nominating a deserving faculty or staff member for this annual award by April 1, 2014.  The winner will be recognized at the 2014 Fall Convocation.

Internationalization of the Campus and Curriculum Faculty Survey

The 2014 faculty internationalization survey is now available.  Thank you for responding to the survey in order to help the Internationalization Team consider the issues surrounding faculty internationalization of the campus and curriculum.

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Week of November 18-22, 2013

Graduate faculty mentoring master’s students in areas represented by various State of Kansas legislative committees (e.g. education, health, agriculture, aviation, biotechnology, energy, transportation, manufacturing, environment, and social services) are encouraged to have their students submit posters for the 1st annual Graduate Research Day at the Capitol on February 12, 2014.  Forty students from Kansas Regents institutions will be chosen to represent their institutions on the 2nd floor rotunda of the Capitol.  At FHSU, we will be using a new electronic competition software package called CompetitionSpace to select five students for this event.  The link for this opportunity is http://fhsu.infoready4.com/CompetitionSpace/#competitionDetail/1697569.  Faculty in these areas should share this link with their students and students should submit the required materials for review of their posters.  The deadline for this will be January 10, 2014.  Thank you for encouraging your students to submit their research work for this opportunity.  Transportation and lunch for the day will be provided.  Note that this is not an adjudicated competition with prizes.  All five FHSU representatives will be recognized equally.  This initiative is being sponsored by the Kansas Council of Graduate Deans (KCGD).

In additional research-related news, the university has been engaged in discussions about export controls.  Drafts of a proposed policy is being shared with Graduate Council and Provost’s Council in preparation for consideration by President’s Cabinet.  Export controls is a complex topic of arcane Federal regulations, but relates to FHSU in a couple of ways – most visibility in the case of specialized proprietary software which is considered a “deemed export”.  As more of our students are foreign nationals, this topic becomes increasingly relevant in our Graduate School.  In all cases, the university will strive to pursue public domain or fundamental research exclusions to these restrictions when possible.

The approach of the end of the semester means high stakes examinations and consequent anxiety and apprehension among our graduate students.  The deadline for reporting comprehensive examinations to the Graduate School has just passed, so if you have not submitted your ballots to the Graduate School for your students, please do so as soon as possible.  The Graduate School policy and procedures for academic appeals can be found at http://www.fhsu.edu/academic/gradschl/gradeappeals/.

To close, here are recent data related to the growth of new graduate students (red) vs. new undergraduate students (blue) in our Virtual College programming over the last four years.  It will be interesting to see if the trend lines continue in the same directions next fall.

Comparison of VC enrollment growth 2010-2013 by student

Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels!

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Week of November 4-8, 2013

It has been a few weeks since we have had a post on this site.  Recent events and changes at the university have kept us all busy, but it is time now to communicate more about some projects we have begun this year.

Internationalization of the Campus and Curriculum 

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The Center for Language and Culture was a project begun this year in the Graduate School as our primary effort to impact internationalization of the campus and curriculum.  This idea was conceived through some conversations between members of Provost’s Council and the Internationalization Team over the past several years and a perceived need to add or improve existing services for several campus stakeholders: domestic students interested in education abroad and foreign language study, international students interested in English assistance and co-curricular opportunities to learn about our region, and faculty members interested in developing new education abroad experiences for students.

This fall the Center for Language and Culture has begun taking some giant steps towards accomplishing these goals through the hard work of graduate assistant Christophe Cheroret.  Christophe is an energetic young man with a passion for international education.  He has worked hard over the last two months to build important connections with academic departments and student support units.  The Center currently offers the following services:

  • weekly conversation tables in foreign languages and in English for ESL students
  • individual tutoring in foreign languages
  • development and promotion of several short-term education abroad opportunities for the campus (Morocco, Spain, France, Ukraine, and Chile).
  • promotion of university academic programs with international themes (certificates, minors, and majors)
  • co-curricular opportunities for international students to experience the culture of our region

The Center has an active Facebook page and Twitter account…reaching out to many students in new ways.  A great deal of progress has been made on this initiative this fall.  Christophe has been active in giving many presentations to IDS 101 course sections this fall.

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Research 

Another project we are working on in the Graduate School is the inaugural Graduate Research Day at the Capitol on February 12, 2014.  All the graduate deans of the Regents institutions are collaborating on this initiative.  It is an opportunity for each institution to send 5 of the best master’s level posters to be displayed on the 2nd floor rotunda of the Capitol.  We will soon be communicating with graduate faculty about this opportunity and begin a competition to judge the best 5 posters we will send from FHSU.  Assistant Dean Dr. Jerry Spotswood will lead this initiative and we will be using our new competition software package – CompetitionSpace.  Look for more about this in your email soon.

The guidelines for preparation of theses and field studies have been updated and uploaded to the Graduate School web site.  Please be sure your advisees who are completing theses or field studies understand the need for IRB or IACUC documentation if they are working with research subjects that fall under the administration of one of these two committees.

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Graduate School 

We’ve begun to post the minutes to the Graduate Council meetings held this fall to this site.  They are visible in the Categories section or by scrolling through Recent Posts.

Please remember these upcoming deadlines:

November 18
Deadline to turn in comprehensive exam results to the Graduate School.  All ballots should have an evaluation of the candidate’s performance on Graduate School Learner Outcome #1 indicated.

November 25
Deadline to turn in thesis/field study/catalog to Graduate School

Thank you for your continued support of graduate education at FHSU!

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Week of October 7-11, 2013

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This week the Graduate School is proud to welcome its nine newest graduate faculty members who were elected this week by the Graduate Council.  When you see them on campus please say congratulations and welcome to our community of scholars:

Faculty Member Department
Dr. Philip Sechtem Communication Disorders
Dr. Carol Poster English
Dr. Carol Ellis Communication Disorders
Dr. Travis Montgomery English
Dr. Yuri Yerastov English
Dr. Trey Hill Psychology
Dr. LeAnn Brown Management & Marketing
Erica Bittel Art and Design
Dr. Rhonda Smith-Nelson Management & Marketing

In another piece of Graduate Council news, the Organizational Leadership concentration within the Master of Professional Studies (MPS) program was approved internally.  The Leadership Studies department will be transitioning this concentration from the MLS to the MPS over the coming year with a launch of Fall, 2014 within the MPS.  Several Leadership courses have been re-developed to make this change.  It is believed that the curriculum with the MPS will better address workforce needs.

The Graduate School staff want to remind all advisors that pre-registration for Intersession and Spring, 2014 session begin on October 14.  Intersession begins on December 30 and runs until January 17.  All Intersession schedules need to be finalized by December 18.  All new graduate students who want to begin by taking an Intersession course need to be admitted by December 6.  Both of these deadlines are firm deadlines.

For Intersession and Spring, 2014, the university will be rolling out its latest enhancement to the TigerEnroll portal – a waiting list.  The waiting list is complicated to describe here, but hopefully training information from the CTC will be coming out soon with screenshots of what to expect and what options the students will have.  One benefit for chairs, directors, and deans will be the ability to view wait lists in order to make data driven decisions about whether or not to add new sections of courses.

Three interesting items found this week are:

1] FHSU belongs to the Hispanic Educational Technology Services (HETS).  HETS offers free online practice tests to its members for the following common Graduate School entrance exams – GMAT, GRE, and TOEFL.  The website for this is www.virtualplaza.org.  Please message Dr. Tim Crowley or Martha Hinojosa for the FHSU password.  You may have an undergraduate student who could benefit from this free service.

2] Eduventure’s Ken Hartman’s podcast about current issues in higher education –  http://www.insidehighered.com/audio/2013/10/09/ken-hartman-eduventures

3] Data released this week from the Council of Graduate Schools about graduate student financial aid borrowing:
(excerpted from 2011-12 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:12), bolds are mine)

Percentage of Graduate Students by Degree Level Receiving Financial Aid, Loans, and Grants (2011-2012)

Total Aid Total Loans Total Grants
Master’s Doctoral Master’s Doctoral Master’s Doctoral
All Students
Total 69% 83% 46% 25% 32% 60%
Male 67% 85% 39% 20% 35% 63%
Female 70% 82% 50% 30% 30% 57%

Median amounts borrowed (2011-2012)

Total Aid Total Loans Total Grants
Master’s Doctoral Master’s Doctoral Master’s Doctoral
All Students
Total $13,973 $26,724 $15,665 $17,629 $4,170 $14,352
Male $13,527 $28,300 $16,201 $16,975 $4,963 $15,000
Female $14,092 $25,666 $15,370 $17,850 $3,950 $13,430

More than four out of ten (46%) students at the master’s level financed their education with loans in 2011-12, and three in ten (32%) financed their education with grants.

Here is this week’s opinion poll on that data: 

Here are the results from last week’s polls:

What do you believe should be the ideal size of our Graduate School in 2020?

Answer Votes Percent
less than 2000 students 5 26%
more than 3500 students 5 26%
3000 students 4 21%
2000 students 2 11%
2500 students 2 11%
3500 students 1 5%

Should FHSU offer doctoral degrees in certain disciplines by 2020?

Answer Votes Percent
Yes 19 68%
No 9 32%
Until next week.

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