News and Tasks
Mid-Monthly Update from the Chair | 2015 September
On September 14, Ms. Donna Joyce sent an e-mail to the DSU listservs asking faculty members to send her our third-week class rosters "per our attendance policy." Ms. Joyce was referring to DSU's "Attendance Reporting Policy" (DSU500.002), not the university's "Attendance Policy" (DSU440.002). Click the appropriate hyperlink to see what is involved in reporting class attendance to Ms. Joyce this week.
Spring Semester Schedule of Classes
On September 15, we received in our office the paperwork for drafting a schedule of classes for next semester. If you have any particular requests before I set about arranging all the puzzle pieces of who could teach what and when, then please stop by the office for a conversation with me in the coming days.
Student Organizations in Our Department
Dr. McGarva is working to get students active in our Psychology Club once again. He will keep us informed of his progress on that front.
Meanwhile, the Student Education Association (SEA) is off to a good start for the year. The second week of September, SEA members on the Dickinson campus invited students to an informational meeting followed by pizza; and two days later, SEA members on the Bismarck campus hosted a potluck barbecue and informational meeting. Watch the video slideshow below for highlights from that event (click the "Full screen" button in the lower right corner for ease of viewing).
And many thanks to Dr. McGarva, Dr. Rasmussen, Ms. Krueger, and Dr. Daniels for advising our student organizations--and to Ms. Kilwein for assisting them in encouraging Freshman Seminar students to join.
Honors for Departmental Faculty
Take a look at the DSU blog "Campus Highlights," which recently featured two faculty from our department: Dr. Pemberton and Dr. McCoy. If you have successes or honors of your own to share, then please use the "Share a Story" page to let the Office of Communications and Public Affairs know.
Our Department's Students on the Homecoming Court
On September 14, Mr. Jeffrey Whitehead sent an e-mail to the DSU listservs announcing this year's Homecoming court. Of the 12 students on the court, five are affiliated with our department!
Faculty Qualifications for Teaching Dual-Credit Courses
Recent articles (such as this one) in newspapers throughout MN have addressed action taken this past summer by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the agency that accredits colleges and universities in ND and other states in our region. The articles have been about how dual-credit courses in MN will be affected by the HLC's expectations for who is qualified to teach them; but the articles could just as easily be written about ND's dual-credit courses because the HLC's expectations pertain to this state, as well.
Chapter 15.1-25 of ND's Century Code allows for high school students to enroll in college or university courses and receive high school credit for them, if their school districts agree. That's why the post-secondary enrollment option for high schoolers is known as "dual credit" in ND--a high schooler receives not only college/university credit but also high school credit for that college or university course.
ND's State Board of Higher Education and the Department of Public Instruction have articulated expectations for such courses, including the requirement that such a course be taught as a college/university course that happens to have high schoolers enrolled in it, not as a high school course that happens to earn students college/university credit.
The HLC agrees and furthermore expects that instructors of dual-credit courses that are "general education courses or other non-occupational courses" meet the HLC's expectations for faculty qualifications--namely, that such an instructor have a master's degree in the subject being taught or a master's degree in another area plus a minimum of 18 graduate credits in the subject being taught. In some cases, "tested experience" may be used to determine faculty qualifications, meaning that the faculty member can demonstrate having worked effectively in a career within the same discipline as the course.
Our department offers the general education course PSYC 111: Introduction to Psychology for dual credit in area high schools--that is, high schoolers receive DSU credit for that university course, and their high schools count PSYC 111 toward the social studies credits needed to meet ND high school graduation requirements. The HLC expects that each teacher of PSYC 111 in an area high school possess a master's degree in psychology or a master's degree in another area plus at least 18 credits of graduate course work in psychology. "Tested experience" for a PSYC 111 instructor would be demonstrated excellence in a psychology career, such as having worked professionally as a clinical psychologist, cognitive neuroscientist, etc.
Back to the recent newspaper articles: They have been about the HLC's adoption this past summer of "a clarification to its Assumed Practices regarding faculty roles and qualifications" that reiterated the expectations mentioned above. By October 1, the HLC expects to issue updated guidelines for colleges and universities to use when hiring or re-hiring teachers of dual-credit courses taught in high schools. The HLC expects colleges and universities to be in compliance with its expectations by September 1, 2017.
Dr. Olson, who coordinates DSU's dual-credit course offerings, has been in contact with her colleagues who do the same at ND's other colleges and universities. She will keep us informed of developments related to how ND intends to comply with the HLC's requirements for who is considered qualified to teach dual-credit courses offered by colleges and universities in high schools throughout the state.
Dickinson High School Map
If you and/or any of your students need to visit Dickinson High School (DHS) to meet with a teacher or complete a field experience, then you may like a copy of this map of their school. DHS is a challenge for many people to navigate due to its unusual layout (classrooms clustered in pods) and its use of classrooms in smaller buildings to the west of the school. Download their map to help you find your way.