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Strategic Plan for Integrated Science

Context For Planning

The Integrated Science Program went through an extensive University Self-Study in the Fall 2015 semester. It critically analyzed data related to the Student Learning, Student, Faculty and Program Goals identified in our previous Strategic Plan. During that process we identified strengths and weaknesses in the Program and targeted key areas for future strategic progress. The objectives identified in the current Strategic Plan for 2016-2020 represent key areas where we feel progress can and must be made in the Program to increase its visibility and continue its excellence in training future science teachers.

Mission

The Integrated Science Program provides rigorous preparation of pre-service teachers and supports optimal professional development for in-service teachers in science content and pedagogy while promoting scholarly excellence in science education. We advocate for the development of a scientifically literate society.

Vision

The Integrated Science Program prepares science teachers for a diverse and changing world. We are dedicated to rigorous and inclusive standards for content knowledge, teaching skills and professional expectations The faculty in the Integrated Science Program serves as leaders in science education for our units, university, region, state, nation, and the world.

Value Statement

We value:

·     The development of inquisitive and reflective practitioners in science education.

·     Rigorous standards for teaching and learning.

·     Innovative, inquiry-based teaching practices.

·     A collaborative and integrated teaching and learning community.

·     Continuous assessment of student outcomes to guide and improve science instruction.

·     Access to quality science education for a diverse student population.

·     The synergistic relationship of teaching, scholarship, and 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

Increase the number of high-impact learning experiences available to ISCI students specifically related to science observation, teaching and assessment. This objective aligns with NSTA SPA standards for program certification.

Baseline

Currently, Science Nights are the main experience ISCI offers for experience in teaching students prior to admittance into the College of Education, with no current mechanism for student learning assessment.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
Feedback from our 2016 SPA Report showed that we are deficient in data that show ISCI students can teach science and assess learning in this area. In order to do this, we need to provide our students with more formal opportunities to observe high quality science teachers in classrooms, and to teach science to children themselves. We have created a list of opportunities and collaborations that have been started that will increase the number of high-impact learning experiences available to ISCI students. Several of these are currently in development. Also, in collaboration with College of Education Student Teaching Field Coordinators we have established that ISCI majors will teach a science lesson during their student teaching experience. During this experience ISCI majors will use assessments from their lesson plan to assess student learning. Majors will be observed and assessed on their ability in these areas. We added a rubric to the LiveText system for CTs and field coordinators to complete to assess the ability of our ISCI majors to teach science. The rubric aligns with the NSTA SPA standards for our program certification. Data collected in the Fall 2016 semester were excellent, and showed that ISCI majors are proficient or better in teaching science and assessing student learning.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 1.B.1

Diversity of majors increases and curriculum includes diverse perspectives.

Baseline

29% male/71% female; 10% minority; Currently,we have no documentation for engagement of diverse perspectives in the curriculum.

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

Objective 1.D.1

Target underperforming content, pedagogy and high-impact experience areas for intentional innovative intervention.

Baseline

MTTC testing provides baseline proficiency data annually. Current Senior Survey is outdated and doesn't directly address targets for program improvement.

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
We submitted an ISCI Self-Study in Dec 2015 and received feedback from the University Assessment Committee in March 2016. At multiple department meetings, ISCI Program faculty discussed the feedback and the next courses of action we proposed in the self-study. Many of these are currently in progress, including an analysis of assessment practices for content and pedagogy in ISCI major courses. We are looking to get an accurate picture of what students are experiencing and learning throughout their time in the ISCI major. We will be aligning this inventory with the ISCI Program Student Learning Objectives to help us better identify areas for intervention.

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

100% of ISCI faculty are trained in academic advising, and follow the ISCI advising plan.

Baseline

New Advising plan with assessment strategies was recently developed in April 2016.

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

Objective 2.C.1

To support compliance with NSTA SPA Accreditation standards, increase collaboration with the College of Education and regional science teachers to support successful Teacher Assisting and Student Teacher placements where ISCI students get practice observing, teaching and assessing science learning.

Baseline

ISCI students are currently not intentionally placed in classrooms where they will get the opportunity to teach science with a proficient Coordinating Teacher. ISCI faculty are also currently not involved in observations of TA and ST experiences where students get to teach and assess students. As these are objectives the ISCI program must assess for NSTA SPA accreditation, ISCI faculty need to be involved in placement experiences to successfully assess these objectives.

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

Objective 2.E.1

Pursue high quality tenure track faculty candidates to keep up with increasing program demands.

Baseline

The ISCI Program is currently under baseline until it hires a replacement faculty member in Earth Science Education. We anticipate the potential for an additional faculty member with increased requirements to meet our SPA standards for accreditation.

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
We have reviewed feedback from our ISCI Self Study in 2016, and will submit a final NSTA SPA Report for Program outcomes in 2017. From these program assessment outcomes, the loss of a Geology faculty member in 2016, the addition of a new ISCI Secondary major and two new associated courses in Fall 2017, and administrative reassigned time for several ISCI Program Faculty members it is clear that the ISCI Program needs an additional tenure track faculty line to keep the program functioning at high quality, and to provide time for faculty to engage in more scholarly work. We will be pursuing this objective in 2017.

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

ISCI program enrollment increases through promotion of program excellence to meet the demand for highly qualified science teachers.

Baseline

F12=172 majors; F13=153 majors; F14 and F15 = 120 majors; As education job opportunities are increasing again in MI and nationally, the demand for highly qualified ISCI students is increasing. We desire to increase enrollment numbers to match this trend. Current tools for recruiting include the ISCI website and on-campus recruiting events.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
We have been working to increase ISCI Program visibility, and to intentionally target recruiting opportunities in order to ultimately increase enrollment with high quality candidates. The ISCI Program created a promotional video in 2016 that is just being finalized and will appear on the ISCI website and will be used at high school recruiting events. We created and placed an advertisement in the Michigan Science Teacher Association Conference Program to highlight the ISCI Program. We updated our Facebook presence and created a procedure for faculty to post job opportunities, advertisements for on and off-campus Science Education opportunities, and announcements for ISCI students and alumni. In addition, we are in discussion with collaborative parties to increase our visibility in local school districts as a way to attract high quality students to the program. We've also changed the display we use for on-campus recruiting events, to include a more obvious explanation of what an Integrated Science major is, and what makes ours excellent, including visuals of our students engaging in course activities.

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

Objective 3.C.1

Expand scholarly and high impact experiences for faculty and students in collaboration with RMSC programming.

Baseline

Current collaborations with RMSC relate mostly to short-term projects that minimally influence the experiences of our pre-service teachers.

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

Increase the number of ISCI students, faculty and staff nominated for external recognition for accomplishments each year.

Baseline

Yearly, 1-2 faculty and 1-2 students are awarded some sort of external recognition. We currently don't track the number of nominations, and we currently do not nominate faculty intentionally each year.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 4.B.1

Increase opportunities for students and faculty to participate in diverse, professional community interactions.

Baseline

Current opportunities for faculty and students include 1-2 high impact experiences and individual scholarly connections in diverse settings. We'd like to expand our visibility in diverse settings.

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

Objective 4.C.1

Maintain communication with 100% of ISCI majors and 80% of alumni via email, social media and travel to promote the ISCI Program and track ISCI events and job opportunities.

Baseline

Currently no systematic plan for communicating with majors and alumni as a single community. No current systematic way of tracking alumni successes in science education.

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

Objective 4.E.1

Successfully develop an innovative new major in Integrated Science Secondary Education to serve the classroom demands of the region in grades 6-12.

Baseline

We currently have an Integrated Science Secondary Endorsement that can be added to a primary secondary certification. There is a need to convert this to an undergraduate comprehensive major that meets the needs of Science Education licensure for grades 6-12.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
In October 2016, the CLAS Curriculum Committee responded to the initial revisions submitted in April 2016 with a request for further minor revisions. Final revisions were made to the documents and resubmitted in November. The CCC approved the proposal, which was then approved by the CLAS Dean. The curriculum proposal is currently with the University Curriculum Committee. The two courses, SCI440 and 450 have been added to the course schedule for Fall 2017, and are in final curriculum development.

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