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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

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
This year we made progress toward this objective. In addition to the success we have had in the past years. 1- One professor developed partnerships with local schools to give our students high impact experience in the capstone course. 2- Another professor took three students to a school to work on a unit on water quality.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
ISCI Program Faculty have increased the number of high impact experiences available to students. Assessments in the SCI 495 capstone course show that all students in the ISCI major participate in 2 or more HLPs outside of coursework prior to graduation. We continue to develop new HLP opportunities for students to observe, teach and assess K-8 students prior to the College of Education year.

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.

Progress

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
Our enrollment does not represent progress toward our goal.

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
This is a long-term objective we are just beginning to intentionally address.

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

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
Our efforts have focused on Physics, because our Physical Science sub score (Physics and Chemistry) on the Michigan test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) is our weakest area.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
Three-year MTTC Pass rates for ISCI students are above 80%, supporting our use of effective content teaching experiences in ISCI courses. However, subarea scores have provided us with target content areas for continued improvement. We've increased the number of High Leverage Practices/Experiences for ISCI students, and are working on innovative curriculum to support student access to authentic science education pedagogy early in the ISCI major. A new Senior Survey is in development for continued assessment of HLP participation and effectiveness.

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.

Progress

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
We were trained on the student success collaborative and continue to implement the ISCI advising plan.

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
We will begin progress on this Objective in 2018. ISCI Faculty training for the Student Success Collaborative is scheduled for February 14, 2018 at an ISCI Program meeting. A group advising session for ISCI majors has also been scheduled prior to Spring Break in February, 2018.

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 in K-8 students.

Baseline

ISCI students are currently not intentionally placed in classrooms where they 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 teach and assess K-8 students. As these experiences relate to objectives the ISCI program must assess for NSTA SPA accreditation, ISCI faculty are developing ways to be involved in ISCI student placements and TA/ST experiences to successfully assess these objectives.

Progress

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
We were granted SPA accreditation by NSTA during 2018.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
Collaboration with the College of Education has resulted in required TA and ST opportunities for ISCI Students to teach science in K-8 classrooms. In addition, common rubrics were developed to assess ISCI students during these placements. This assessment data resulted our ability to secure national accreditation from NSTA for the ISCI Program.

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 an additional faculty member in Science Education. We anticipate the potential need for an additional faculty member with increased requirements to meet our SPA standards for accreditation, and also due to the abundance of administrative release time supported by current ISCI faculty.

Progress

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
Position requests in Biology and Geology to support ISCI have not been successful.

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
The Biology Department requested and was denied permission to hire a tenure track faculty line for a Biology Education specialist in the ISCI Program.

Objective 2.E.2

Secure resources for the scholarly and professional pursuits of Affliliate personnel.

Baseline

Currently, professional resources for Affiliate Faculty are taken from the ISCI regular budget.

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
After assessing the needs of the affiliate faculty in our program we have determined that our current resources are sufficient to support her professional development.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
We continue to support the scholarly and professional pursuits of our single ISCI Affiliate Faculty member with ISCI budget funds.

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

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
As part of a general trend in teacher preparation enrollments continue to decline. The state of Michigan is re-structuring teacher certification requirements. As across the University to meet these new standards we keep this goal of enrollment in mind.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
We have implemented several activities in 2016 and 2017 to increase the ISCI Program visibility and its collaboration with science education partners in the region to recruit and retain students. It may take some time to see enrollment increase as a result of our efforts.

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.

Progress

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
We have developed new partnerships giving opportunities to faculty and students. We also maintain ongoing partnerships.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
The ISCI Program has strengthened its current collaborations with RMSC programming, has increased the number of opportunities for ISCI students in High Leverage Experiences facilitated by RMSC, and has begun to take a long-term strategic look at additional opportunities for collaborative work.

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.

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
Glenn A. Niemeyer Award - Stephen Mattox, Professor of Geology Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year - Deborah Herrington, Professor of Chemistry

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
We are still working on a sustainable a plan for intentionally increasing our nominations for external awards.

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.

Progress

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
We have made progress increasing the diversity of interactions of our faculty and students in two ways.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
As we increase our involvement in High Leverage Practices and Community Engagement initiatives, ISCI faculty and students will have increased opportunities to participate in diverse experiences.

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.

Progress

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
Faculty continue to use Facebook to keep in touch with Alumni.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
Th ISCI Program maintains regular communication with 100% of ISCI majors via email, Blackboard and social media. We continue to work on ways to measure the extent of our effective communication with alumni.

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

2018 Status
Achieved
Our proposed major in integrated science (secondary) has been approved at the university level. Paperwork is in at the state and pending final approval.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
We have gathered additional documentation requested by UCC and will be submitting this in early 2018 for final approval

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