A Message from the Provost
May 2, 2011 - Low-Completer Program Review Outcomes
Last week the Board of Regents took action on the programs included in the statewide 2011 Low-Completer Review. The Regents’ actions were in general agreement with Southeastern’s recommendations regarding our programs contained on the Low-Completer list. Those recommendations were based on a review conducted by Southeastern’s Academic Program Review Task Force, and a summary of the recommendations were included in President Crain’s February 28, 2011, campus update.
The results of the review conducted by Southeastern’s Academic Program Review Task Force were consistent with those arrived at by the reviews of the Board of Regents staff and then by the Regents themselves. This was not the case for all public universities in the state. The members of our Academic Program Review Task Force did an excellent job of evaluating both information provided by academic departments and relevant data in light of the requisite criteria, which included factors such as the number of graduates in the last three years, job and graduate/professional school placements of graduates, uniqueness or relevance of the program to the geographic region or area, and the documented achievements of program graduates.
The Board of Regents approved the continuation of the following programs that were identified as at-risk in the 2011 Low-Completer Review:
- Mathematics, BS (with the Mathematics Education BS program consolidated as a concentration within the Mathematics BS program)
- Spanish, BA (with the Spanish Education BA program consolidated as a concentration within the Spanish BA program)
The Regents approved the conditional continuation of the following programs. These programs will be reviewed in two years to determine progress in graduating students:
- Health and Physical Education,
- BSPhysics, BS
The Regents terminated the following degree programs to be consolidated as concentrations within other degree programs with significant overlap in major course requirements:
- Cultural Resource Management, BA (will be consolidated as a concentration within the History BA program)
- Art Education, BA (will be consolidated as a concentration within the Art BA program)
- Biology Education, Grades 6-12, BS (will be consolidated as a concentration within the Biological Sciences BS program)
- Mathematics Education, Grades 6-12, BS (will be consolidated as a concentration within the Mathematics BS program)
- Music Education Instrumental, Grades K-12, BME (will be consolidated as a concentration within the Music BM program)
- Music Education Vocal, Grades K-12, BME (will be consolidated as a concentration within the Music BM program)
- Spanish Education, Grades 6-12, BA (will be consolidated as a concentration within the Spanish BA program)
The Regents terminated the following degree programs:
- Health Studies (Health Education concentration & Health Management concentration), BS
- Liberal Arts Studies, BA
- Chemistry Education, Grades 6-12, BS
- Family & Consumer Science Education, Grades 6-12, BS
- Physics Education, Grades 6-12, BS
- Speech Education, BA
Students currently enrolled in the terminated degree programs will have until the end of the Spring 2013 semester to complete the requirements for their degrees. No student will be allowed to begin any of the 13 terminated programs effective immediately with the Summer 2011 term.
The Special Education Mild/Moderate BA degree program and the Mild/Moderate Special Education, Grades K-12, MAT degree program were also officially terminated on April 27. However, these programs had previously been redesigned into new programs. Their current terminations are simply a result of database clean-up.
With regard to the three programs that have been conditionally continued, we are on a trajectory that should lead to positive results in 2013. The current low-completer status of the Health and Physical Education BS program is simply an artifact of the phasing in of that program and the phasing out of the Teacher Education concentration within the Kinesiology BS degree program over the past five years. Over that time period, the number of majors and graduates in Health and Physical Education has increased as those in Kinesiology-Teacher Education have decreased. The trend is projected to continue with results that should lead to the removal of the Health and Physical Education BS program from the Board of Regents Low-Completer list.
Although the number of graduates from Southeastern’s Chemistry and Physics BS degree programs has not been large, the quality of the programs, as evidenced in large part by the success and accomplishments of the programs’ students and graduates, resulted in the conditional continuation as opposed to the consolidation or termination of the programs. For example, in the past two years, 9 of the 15 Chemistry BS graduates had been accepted and enrolled in Chemistry PhD programs throughout the nation; 1 in medical school; 1 in optometry school; 2 in master’s degree programs in Biology. Also of the 15 graduates, 2 were employed as chemists upon graduating with their BS degree, with one employed by A123 Research and Development in Michigan and the other by Exxon/Mobile in Chalmette, Louisiana. In accordance with the teacher-scholar model, Southeastern’s Chemistry and Physics faculty contribute to their students’ success by educating them both inside and outside of the classroom, as evidenced by the number of faculty-student co-authored peer-reviewed journal articles and academic conference presentations documented in recent years. In addition, both the Chemistry and Physics BS degree programs provide education that is crucial for the development of industry sectors targeted for the state and region by the Louisiana Economic Development Office, the Blue Ocean Initiative, and GNO, Inc. Those include but are not limited to the sectors of Advanced Manufacturing (including but not limited to Next Generation Automotive Manufacturing); Energy/Petrochemicals/Plastics; and Energy Efficiency: Green Building, Green Living, Green Manufacturing. These types of factors in conjunction with the number of students who are currently progressing toward graduation should lead to a positive outcome in 2013.