FSU Administration Releases Middle States Self-Study Draft, Announces Forums for Discussion

On November 17, 2015, Frostburg State University released a draft of its Middle States Self Study, an evaluation of the institution’s compliance with the 14 standards of excellence from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

The 100 page draft, which was emailed to students, faculty, staff, and members of the alumni and foundation boards details how the university is complying with these 14 standards and how it can improve its practices. A copy of the draft can be found here.

The final draft of the study will be submitted in January 2016, and the accreditation team will be visiting from March 27-30, 2016.

Two open forums will be held to discuss the self study. One will be held on Monday, Nov. 23, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. in Lane 113, and another will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 8, from 4:00-5:00 p.m. in Lane 111. Comments may also be emailed to Dr. Sydney Duncan, associate provost and co-chair of the self study steering committee, at sduncan@frostburg.edu. The comment period ends on December 15.

“Frostburg State University’s self-study process is designed to examine the ways in which the University aligns its mission and goals with planning and decision-making across divisions,” the study says. “By investigating the processes that guide planning and implementation, the self-study process has allowed the University to critically review the action priorities of its strategic plan and the processes by which those priorities are implemented, assessed, and the gathered data and analysis used in institutional decision-making.”

The 14 standards emphasized by Middle States are: Mission and Goals; Planning, Resource Allocation, and Institutional Renewal; Institutional Resources; Leadership and Governance; Administration; Integrity; Institutional Assessment; Student Admissions and Retention; Student Support Services; Faculty; Educational Offerings; General Education; Related Educational Activities; and Student Learning Assessment.

Seven recommendations were made by the committee:

  1. Establish and implement an internal simplified periodic program review process for non-major academic programs, such as minors and certificates.
  2. Ensure processes for consistently assessing and promoting the effectiveness of institutional priorities and academic programs to the University community. Ensure the use of Campus Labs’ Compliance Assist to highlight and publicize assessment successes across the University.
  3. Develop Strategic Plan priorities that fully address resource implications through a transparent process that invites engagement from the campus community.
  4. Develop a plan for advisor training and assessment incorporated as a part of annual faculty evaluations and staff evaluations, as appropriate.
  5. Ensure processes for consistently assessing and promoting the effectiveness of co-curricular and extra-curricular programs to the University community. Ensure the use of Campus Labs’ Compliance Assist to highlight and publicize these assessment successes across the University.
  6. Implement a sustainable process for the assessment of student learning outcomes in the University’s General Education Program.
  7. Evaluate the diagnostic precision of the current program that places students into developmental Math and basic writing courses, and make appropriate improvements.”

“A new president will bring a new set of priorities, and the University will see many changes in the next few years,” the study reads. “However, this study should give an accurate view of the progress that Frostburg State University has made since its last Self-Study [in 2006] as it prepares for an exciting future. Furthermore, this Study will demonstrate that Frostburg has laid a firm foundation for continuing its commitment to transparent evidence-based planning, assessment, and institutional improvement.”

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