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Strategic Plan for Cell & Molecular Biology

Mission

The CMB department integrates meaningful practical experiences with excellent classroom teaching to prepare students to be critical thinkers, engaged citizens, and creative and competent professionals.

Vision

The CMB program aspires to provide a first-rate degree program. We recognize that a current, challenging curriculum, highlighted by intensive laboratory courses and which forces our students out of their comfort zones is a vital component of a first-rate program. To these ends, we aspire to offer a rigorous core curriculum which provides a strong basis of theoretical and practical skills supported by electives which enhance our students abilities in fields related to cell and molecular biology such as molecular genetics, bioinformatics, computational biology, development, cancer biology, biotechnology and applied fermentation.

We recognize that developing a facility with the scientific method, a working knowledge of the tools available to address scientific questions, an understanding of the evolution of scientific thought, and the ability to use scientific principles to address problems in daily life are critical components of a first-rate program. We aspire to infuse our curriculum with historical and current examples of the application of the scientific method to problems in cell and molecular biology and allow students to practice the scientific method in laboratory settings with the aim that they integrate the scientific method in their own daily thought.

We recognize that student involvement in original research is a critical component to a first-rate cell and molecular biology program and we aspire to provide the means for all of our undergraduates, and graduate students pursuing a thesis, to participate in research.

We recognize that a diverse faculty engaged in their areas of expertise and responsive to the needs of our students, colleagues and community are necessary for a first-rate program. We aspire to support our faculty such that they may perform these roles.

We recognize that graduates who are competitive for direct employment or for further training in graduate and professional programs are indicative of a first-rate program. We aspire to have all of our graduates either employed in a field of their choice using the expertise developed in the CMB program or accepted into graduate or professional programs in which they will build on their expertise.

Value Statement

The CMB program values an academic environment that features: " A broad, challenging and current curriculum featuring intensive laboratory courses along with excellent classroom instruction; " Opportunities for undergraduate and graduate research; " An engaged, diverse and responsive faculty, dedicated to excellent teaching, scholarship and professional service; " An understanding of the methods, tools and history, of science; and " A recognition of the value of service.

Strategic Priorities, outcomes, and key objectives

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 1.A.1

At least 95% of CMB undergraduates engage in 3 or more high impact learning experiences by the time they complete their capstone.

Baseline

We estimate that currently at least 95% of CMB undergraduate students engage in 2 or more high impact learning experiences by the time they graduate but we do not yet have definitive data.

Progress

2017 Status
Not Yet Initiated
We will begin to assess this in our first capstone class after publishing this plan -- W 2017

Objective 1.A.2

At least 95% of CMB graduate students engage in 3 or more high impact learning experiences by the time they graduate.

Baseline

We estimate that currently at least 95% of CMB graduate students engage in 2 or more high impact learning experiences by the time they graduate but we do not yet have definitive data.

Progress

2017 Status
Not Yet Initiated
Data will be collected this semester -- the first capstone since publishing this plan

Objective 1.A.3

As a class, undergraduates in the CMB capstone will score in at least the 85 percentile on nationally-normed exam (Major Field Test) in Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Genetics.

Baseline

Our graduating class generally scores at 85 %ile or above in the Major Fields Test. We include this objective because we wish to maintain, or build on, the high level of achievement of our students.

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
All objectives met -- see uploaded data

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 1.B.2

Since under-represented minorities are particularly positively impacted by "high impact" activities, at least 95% of CMB graduate students will engage in 3 or more high impact learning experiences by the time they graduate.

Baseline

We estimate that currently at least 95% of CMB graduate students engage in 2 or more high impact learning experiences by the time they graduate but we do not yet have definitive data.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
All graduating grad students have met this objective.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 1.C.1

By 2021 CMB will have established at least 2 formal pipelines for undergraduate and/or graduate internships.

Baseline

As of the 2015 academic year, no pipelines are established.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
Late in the 2015 academic year the department established our first agreement to guarantee internship places for our students.

Objective 1.C.2

CMB will establish an international relationship with an educational or scientific institution.

Baseline

No current relationships

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
CMB faculty met with faculty from the Doemens institute and Weihenstephan for informal talks about potential collaboration.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 1.D.1

By 2021 CMB will determine the feasibility of offering some of its curriculum online.

Baseline

In 2015, one section of PSM 650 was offered online.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
The department does not feel that any courses other than PSM 650 are appropriate to offer online.

Objective 1.D.2

At least 90% of CMB laboratory courses will include the application of biotechnology and/or inquiry-based learning experiences.

Baseline

We estimate that currently 70% of CMB laboratory courses include the application of biotechnology and/or inquiry-based learning experiences. We include this as an objective because we wish to feature our laboratory courses as high-impact components of our curriculum.

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
All of our CMB laboratory courses, general education, undergraduate and graduate, (CMB 150, 250, 350, 406, 426, 580, 620, 626) include the application of biotechnology and/or inquiry-based learning experiences.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 1.E.1

CMB will offer a service course to share the expertise of CMB faculty and to align with the fiscal norms of the institution.

Baseline

No service courses offered in 2015.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
New Course Proposals for an inquiry-based lab and lecture in introductory cell and molecular biology are currently being developed in Sail.

Strategic Priority Area 2: Further develop exceptional personnel.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 2.A.1

Office staff participate in 95% of CLAS round-tables.

Baseline

We have no current data on round-table participation.

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
Office staff participated in the 2016 CLAS round-tables

Objective 2.A.2

All lab AP staff belong to a professional society

Baseline

one lab supervisor belongs to an appropriate society.

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
Since this year, the department has paid for both Lab supervisors to be members of the National Association of Scientific Materials Managers

Objective 2.A.3

100% of CMB tenure-track faculty have a membership in a professional society.

Baseline

Currently 100% of CMB tenure-track faculty have memberships in professional societies. We wish to maintain this level as an indication of professional engagement.

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
All CMB faculty members are members in at least one professional society.

Objective 2.A.4

95% of tenure-track faculty participate in a professional-development workshop each year.

Baseline

Currently about 85% of tenure-track faculty participate in professional development workshops

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
in 2016, 70% of CMB faculty reported having participated in a professional development workshop.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 2.C.1

By 2021 CMB will develop an active student chapter of an appropriate professional organization at the undergraduate and/or graduate level.

Baseline

no student chapters in 2015

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
Some CMB graduate students participate in a professional graduate student organization, led by a CMB grad student.

Objective 2.C.2

The CMB department will seek honorary appointments to the department for research mentors and collaborators from the community.

Baseline

No current honorary appointments.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
No appointments have been made because the university still has not developed a mechanism for such an appointment although progress has been made in developing such a mechanism.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 2.D.1

66% of CMB staff will participate annually in a workshop on topics related to the use of technology.

Baseline

The current rate of CMB staff who participate in a workshop on topics related to the use of technology is unknown.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
in 2016 2/3 of our staff participated in a workshop related to the use of technology.

Objective 2.D.2

At least 80% of CMB faculty will participate in at least one CSCE, FTLC or other workshop related to teaching, research, scholarship with appropriate technologies annually.

Baseline

The current rate of faculty participation in CSCE, FTLC or other workshop related to teaching, research, scholarship with appropriate technologies is estimated to be 70%

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
In 2016, 81% of CMB faculty members participated in a workshop related to teaching, research or scholarship with appropriate technology.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 2.E.1

80% of CMB faculty and staff participate in professional development to expand, enhance or extend their competencies and capabilities within the context of the responsibilities of their positions.

Baseline

we estimate that in 2015, 70% of CMB faculty and staff participated in professional development to expand, enhance or extend their competencies and capabilities within the context of the responsibilities of their positions.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
In 2016, 81% of CMB faculty participated in professional development activities to expand, enhance or extend their competencies and capabilities.

Strategic Priority Area 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 3.A.1

Enrollment capacity in CMB courses expands to meet demands of qualified students

Baseline

We currently have courses which routinely fill to capacity.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
Although most sections of CMB 405 filled, there were at least a few available seats each semester. In addition, we plan to offer the courses in the summer. CMB 350 fills each semester and we are considering offering it in the summer. At present we do not have the facilities to offer more sections of CMB 350.

Objective 3.A.2

Increase number of students in CMB general education classes by 100% over AY 2015 levels

Baseline

In AY 2015, students registered for 320 SCH in CMB general education courses.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
We have had an increase of 24% over the 2015 academic year in students registered for CMB general education courses.

Objective 3.A.3

100% of graduate and 75% of undergraduate CMB students will earn certification in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).

Baseline

In the 2015 academic year, less than 25% of our undergraduate and graduate students earn a RCR certificate.

Progress

2016 Status
Not Yet Initiated
Data will be collected in the first capstone class after this publication of this plan (W 2107)

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 3.B.1

Ensure that at least 25% of CMB tenure-track faculty receive inclusion training.

Baseline

Currently one CMB faculty member has undergone inclusion training. This represents 14% of the faculty.

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
currently 10% of CMB faculty have had inclusion advocate training however there have been no training sessions offered since this plan was finalized.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 3.E.1

Maintain a transparent financial budgetary reporting to the department.

Baseline

Periodic budget updates to unit.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
Department members were informed of the annual budget and participated in developing budgetary requests for the next fiscal year. Major expenditures are discussed, and prioritized, at the department level.

Strategic Priority Area 4: Enhance the institution's image and reputation.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 4.A.1

At least 50% of CMB undergraduate capstone students give external presentations before graduation.

Baseline

We estimate that in AY 2015, 35% of CMB undergraduate capstone students gave external presentations before graduation.

Progress

2016 Status
Not Yet Initiated
Data will be collected in the first capstone course following publication of this plan

Objective 4.A.2

At least 75% of graduate students pursuing a thesis give external presentations on their research.

Baseline

We estimate that in AY 2015, 50% of CMB graduate students pursuing a thesis gave external presentations on their research.

Progress

2016 Status
Not Yet Initiated
Data will be collected in the capstone course this semester -- the first capstone following publication of this plan

Objective 4.A.3

At least 75% of graduate students pursuing a thesis apply for Presidential Research Grants.

Baseline

We estimate that in AY 2015, 50% of graduate students pursuing a thesis applied for Presidential Research Grants while a thesis student.

Progress

2016 Status
Not Yet Initiated
data will be collected in the graduate capstone W 2017 -- the first capstone since the plan was finalized

Objective 4.A.4

At least 75% of CMB undergraduates who apply to graduate school will be accepted into a graduate program.

Baseline

We estimate that in AY 2015 70% of CMB undergraduates who applied to graduate school will be accepted into a graduate program, but we have no definitive data.

Progress

2016 Status
Not Yet Initiated
data will be collected for our CMB celebration in April

Objective 4.A.5

Of the students from which we receive data, at least 80% of graduates with a BS in CMB are employed in their field or in graduate programs.

Baseline

We estimate that 60-80% of graduates with a BS in CMB are employed in their field or in graduate programs, but we have no definitive data.

Progress

2016 Status
Not Yet Initiated
Data will be collected in time for our CMB celebration in April

Objective 4.A.6

Of the students from which we receive data, at least 80% of graduates with an MS in CMB are employed in their field or in graduate programs.

Baseline

We estimate that 60 - 80% of graduates with an MS in CMB are employed in their field or in graduate programs but we have no definitive data.

Progress

2016 Status
Not Yet Initiated
Data will be collected in time for the CMB celebration in April 2017

Objective 4.A.7

Every year, at least 50% of CMB tenure-track faculty will present their research at a national or international conference.

Baseline

We estimate that, on average, CMB tenure-track faculty present their research at a national or international conference every other year. We have not collected data for individual faculty and we anticipate that this goal will encourage an increase in conference presentations by CMB faculty.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
45% of CMB faculty presented at a national or international conference in 2016

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 4.C.1

By 2021, CMB will increase the number of community partners that provide support to our undergraduate and graduate programs

Baseline

Currently three community partners support our undergraduate and graduate programs

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
We are in discussion with community partners to develop internship opportunities for our undergraduate and graduate students.

Objective 4.C.3

CMB will hold annual symposia and conferences which will showcase research and internship experiences of our undergraduate and graduate students. These will be open to the public including parents, mentors and community members.

Baseline

First symposium held this year. We wish to add this as an objective to emphasize the importance of public presentations to the program and to encourage expansion of public participation in the events.

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
Our first annual undergraduate symposium was held in April 2016 and the second is scheduled for March 2017. The first Biotechnology grad student presentations took place in April 2016 and are scheduled for April 2017.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 4.E.1

Work with CLAS and OURS to promote the Annual Cell and Molecular Biology Symposium; and CLAS and the Graduate School to promote the Annual PSM Internship Presentations.

Baseline

currently no ongoing collaboration for these new events

Progress

2016 Status
Not Yet Initiated
In 2016, these events took place after this plan was finalized. In winter 2017 we will work with OURS, CLAS and the Graduate School to promote these events.

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