Deans Report | April 4, 2018

First Year Seminar (FYS)

For fall, we are planning for all incoming first year students to be registered for a First Year Seminar (FYS). This means that we will need approximately 60 course sections. Students will be housed in cohorts by FYS as part of the effort to ensure students feel part of and engaged with the PSU community. All FYS instructors will participate as FYS Fellows, committing to a learning community dedicated to continued enhancement of the FYS experience. Fellows will receive professional development in understanding the concept of a wicked problem, project-based course design, and assessment. Fellows will also participate in reflective practice during the fall semester. This is an opportunity for small groups of faculty to consult with each other regarding challenging aspects of the FYS. We are still in need of instructors. If you are interested in participating, please contact Gail Mears (

Academic Assessment and Accreditation

The last NEASC accreditation report noted that PSU needed to “continue to develop a comprehensive approach to the assessment of student learning.” In order to meet this requirement, the University acquired TASKSTREAM in the summer of 2017 as a means to comprehensively assess its academic programs. The Holmes Center for School Partnerships and Educator Preparation piloted Taskstream in the fall of 2017 and continues working toward full implementation in the fall of 2018. A Director for Academic Assessment and Accreditation was appointed in mid-December 2017 to create and implement a plan to utilize Taskstream Universitywide. To date, the platform has been introduced to 42 program coordinators at both undergraduate and graduate levels, 72 programs have learning outcomes uploaded into Taskstream, and many programs are proceeding to next steps of the program assessment process. Academic Assessment and Accreditation is offering several opportunities for faculty and staff to learn more about Taskstream, the program assessment process, and how Taskstream can help streamline your work. Sessions are scheduled in Lamson OL 114 on the following dates and times:

  • Thursday, April 12, 9:30-10:25
  • Monday, April 16, 9:00 – 9:55
  • Wednesday, April 18, 3:30 – 4:25
  • Thursday, April 19, 3:30-4:25
  • Wednesday, April 25, 3:30-4:25
  • Monday April 30, 10:00- 10:55

Plan to bring your laptop so you can actively participate.

EAB Academic Performance Solutions (APS)

We currently utilize a technology solution from EAB, Student Success Collaborative, which is an advising tool to help students persist, graduate, and succeed. Recently, we’ve also implemented an EAB program administration tool, Academic Performance Solutions (APS), which provides performance and cost data and peer benchmarks designed to help us make informed decisions regarding academic resources, improve efficiencies and grow academic program revenue.

Mr. Jermaine Elliott, APS, will be on site on Monday, April 9, and Tuesday, April 10, to conduct training. If you are interested in attending a session and have not previously responded, please contact Lynda Gattermann (

University Reinvention Initiative (URI)

Thank you to everyone who submitted proposals. We have received 354 URI ideas which may be found here. These ideas represent the start of a conversation and work will continue throughout the summer and fall to enhance ideas and determine action steps. Collaboration is key as faculty and staff continue to plan innovative strategies that support University goals. Information about the URI Part 2 Process including the remainder of the semester can be found on the URI site here.

Faculty Orientation & University Days

New faculty orientation will take place on August 13th -14th. University Days are tentatively scheduled for August 15th -17th . We are looking at days for cluster and department/discipline retreats, recognizing the Summer Bridge program is taking place the week of August 20th . We will update you as soon as possible, but need to do a bit of research before we can finalize dates.

Graduate Program Market Research

Based on recent market research, Marketing, Communication & Creative Services will meet in the near future with the Grad Council to develop marketing plans for our graduate programs.