I. Ensure Access to an Extraordinary Education for all Minnesotans Project 1. Our faculty and staff will provide the best education available in Minnesota, preparing graduates to lead in every sector of Minnesota’s economy. BSU Initiatives The University is participating in the Higher Learning Commission’s Academy for Assessment of Student Learning as a vehicle for ensuring that all of our programs have high quality assessment in place. This assessment is intended to promote continuous improvement of student learning. The work for the Academy includes a specific focus on assessment of liberal education and has resulted, this year, in the approval of a liberal education assessment plan and a set of rubrics that will be used for assessment in liberal education. University programs continue to work with discipline-specific accreditation bodies to help assure quality education. This year for example, the Professional Education Department had a site visit from the Board of Teaching, leading to a preliminary recommendation of continued program approval through 2019. In addition, the Technological Studies department had a site visit from ATMAE, which recommended reaccreditation for the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology program for six years and accreditation for the Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Engineering and the Bachelor of Science in Technology Management programs for four years. Finally, the Business and Accounting programs are accredited by IACBE with the next site visit scheduled for 2015, and recently received notice of continuing accreditation, and documentation that all previous concerns had been addressed. In addition, our Social Work program is fully accredited by the CSWE, Nursing by CCNE, and Criminal Justice by the Minnesota Peace Officers Standards and Training Board (POST). All these external bodies work with our faculty and staff to help ensure that Bemidji State University provides the best possible education to our students. Learning opportunities also take place outside the classroom in various co-curricular activities. These activities are assessed by clearly identifying student learning outcomes, program outcomes and operational outcomes and are measured using standardized survey instruments, focus groups, and rubrics that evaluate efficiency and compliance. 2. We will continue to be the place of opportunity, making education accessible to all Minnesotans who seek a college, technical or university education; those who want to update their skills; and those who need to prepare for new careers. Graduation placement data indicates that, between 2000-2010 (the most recent data available), 83% of graduates available for work related to their major were employed in those fields. In addition, about 14% of all graduates during that time period were continuing their education in graduate or professional programs. http://www.bemidjistate.edu/offices/research_effectiveness/fact_books/BSU_Fact_Book_20 11-12.pdf The University partners with many 2-year institutions on articulation agreements that allow students to readily transfer to our four-year programs. To date we have articulation agreements and other cooperative agreements in place with 50 community colleges and other institutions of higher education. In addition, the University offers several blended 4-year degree programs on community college campuses, including the DLiTE BS in elementary education program and the FasTrack Post-Baccalaureate program (for people who have degrees and are seeking teacher licensure in secondary teaching) at Anoka-Ramsey Community College (Coon Rapids campus), and RN - B.S. in Nursing degrees at Anoka-Ramsey Community College (Cambridge Campus) and Lake Superior College in Duluth. BSU also continues to work with the Arrowhead University consortium, and currently delivers a Bachelor’s degree completion program in Psychology through a combination of face to face evening courses at Hibbing Community College and online/distance delivered courses to students in the Arrowhead University service region. In addition, the University has also developed several fully online Bachelor’s degree completion programs (Accounting, Business, Criminal Justice, Applied Engineering and Technology Management) that allow place-bound students to be prepared for careers critical to advance Minnesota’s economy. Physical education teachers in the field have the opportunity to add a health teaching licensure by taking Bemidji State University courses in an online format. Our online and distance degree program serve a demographic older than the traditional on-campus college student. In 2012, 78% of online students were 23 years or older, and 26% were over 35 years of age. Future online and distance delivered programs that are being considered at the University include an online Bachelor’s degree completion program in Mass Communications, a collaborative program in Indian Studies with Central Lakes College and Itasca Community College, as well as an extended program in Social Work. The Bemidji School of Nursing, a joint venture of Northwest Technical College and Bemidji State University, will launch July 1st, 2012. This collaboration focuses on smooth transitions and student empowered education in Nursing at the Associate and Bachelors levels. Departments regularly review curricula, and undergo external five-year reviews to ensure that students get the most current, relevant education possible. In addition, several departments have advisory boards to regularly get feedback from professionals working in the field to help ensure the curriculum is up-to-date. BSU works with area high schools to provide University level courses through PSEO Concurrent Enrollment courses. These courses allow area high school student to earn University credits while they are completing their high school requirements and can provide students with transferrable college and university credits right out of high school. Optivation leads a MnSCU consortium, titled InterCECT, that combines continuing education/non-credit course offerings from multiple MnSCU institutions so that online courses can be jointly marketed and students can be pooled from throughout the state into a single course. This increases access and availability of continuing education to Minnesota residents, while reducing costs for delivery and reducing duplication of curriculum development. 360 degree has helped build a "Community of Practice" among faculty from partner colleges. This community of faculty share ideas, online teaching strategies, and sometimes equipment and resources. The faculty also develop curriculum jointly. The 360 degree eTECH programs are available to all 360 degree partner institutions, and are aligned with national standards. University admission standards allow us to conditionally admit students who manifest the motivation to succeed, but do not meet college readiness criteria. These admitted students receive additional targeted support services designed to provide the opportunity to be successful in their academic work. II. Be the Partner of Choice to Meet Minnesota’s Workforce and Community Needs Project 1. Our colleges and universities will be the partner of choice for businesses and communities across Minnesota to help them solve real-world problems and keep Minnesotans at the leading edge of their professions. BSU Initiatives The George W. Neilson Foundation has given $35,000 to fund internships during the summer of 2012, within a 30 mile radius of Bemidji. These internships are intended for Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College students, and a total of fiftyeight students applied for the internships with fourteen companies. Several staff and administrators have been meeting this year with representatives of the Bemidji Chamber of Commerce to develop strategies to facilitate connections with members of the business community who need assistance, and students who need internship opportunities, or who could benefit from working on a special project related to their degree. The Marketing Assistance and Research Solutions (MARS) is a faculty-directed, studentrun center serving northwest Minnesota business community. It provides BSU’s marketing students with hands-on learning experiences. MARTS research services include feasibility studies, internet and exploratory research, focus groups, group interviews, telephone surveys, mail surveys, and strategic management analysis. The group has been in abeyance for the current year, but it is expected to start up again in the 2012/2013 academic year. The President’s Student Commission this year did work leading to recommendations about how the institution can better partner with local and other communities. As noted above, several departments and programs use advisory board to allow the Institution to match educational outcomes with professional expectations. Optivation continues to partner with business and industry to provide training resources and collaborate on Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership proposals. Optivation leads a MnSCU effort to implement Salesforce.com customer-relationship management (CRM) software solution across MnSCU custom training/continuing education departments. Optivation provides the back-end support to enable institutions to implement Salesforce.com and to see how other institutions are connecting with the same business. In the long term, this should reduce the duplication of effort with businesses. A Water Institute is currently being developed at BSU to provide lake water testing services, based on the request of our local county board. The Environmental Studies program has a long history of engaging in research on various aspects of regional environmental and resource issues and problems. 360 degree has supported over 50 summer camps and career exploration events to promote manufacturing and technology-based education programs and careers. In addition, 360 degree and partner institutions have started a statewide VEX Robotic competition with 45 teams involved currently. 360 degree developed the Seamless Career Pathway in 2007 and continues to promote manufacturing pathways and develop and support programs that fit the Seamless Career Pathway. Bemidji State University continues to work on partnerships that benefit both our students and our communities. For example, work is underway on an allied health degree that meets the needs of employers in the state and region. The initial program is being developed in partnership with Winona State University, Healthforce Minnesota, and several community and technical colleges. 2. Our faculty and staff will enable Minnesota to meet its need for a substantially better educated workforce by increasing the number of Minnesotans who complete certificates, diplomas and degrees. Bemidji State University is also working with its regional partner, Sanford Health and with Northwest technical College to develop community connections and opportunities for faculty and students. Faculty from several interdisciplinary departments have visited the Sanford Health Sioux Falls SD research facility and will begin a partnership that will link faculty and students with Sanford researchers to pursue research projects in health, mental health, sport injuries, diabetes, and cancer. Some of these projects will focus specifically on Native American health. In the five-year period between 2007 and 2011, the University granted an average of 911 degrees per year. Although this number has fluctuated, in 2011 the number of degrees was 939, 3% higher than the average number of degrees awarded during this time period. These increases were particularly prominent in Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. Although the University recently eliminated programs as a result of reduced state allocations, the institution also made strategic investments in several majors that should show increases in degrees granted over the next several years. New and expanded efforts in healthcare fields, special education, business, criminal justice, social work, teacher education, science, and graduate studies are focused on preparing a well-educated and highly skilled workforce. Faculty are adjusting curriculum to streamline majors that will make it easier for students to complete degrees in a timely manner. Several programs are developing plans for threeyear degree options. In addition, BSU has submitted a new Bachelor of Individualized Studies degree program to the System Office. The BIS is an interdisciplinary degree program will provide a pathway to degree completion for students who have credits distributed in several disciplines, or students who return to the University, but find their previous program of study is no longer an option. 360 degree worked closely with DEED and workforce centers for the development of the eTECH certificates. BSU has recently entered into an agreement with the Distance MN consortium as an University Partner. As part of this partnership, BSU online Bachelor degree completion programs will be marketed to prospective students who have previously completed a diploma, technical or associates degree program (with a Distance MN campus or other campus) and are interested in moving forward towards a Bachelor’s degree for personal or career enrichment. III. Deliver to Students, Employers, Communities, and Taxpayers the Highest Value / Most Affordable Option by Designing the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System of the Future Project 1. Our colleges and universities will deliver the highest value to students, employers, communities and taxpayers. 2. We will be the highest value / most affordable higher education option. BSU Initiatives Alignment of BSU-NTC has resulted in many “back office” functions being combined to allow cost savings. This includes, for example, sharing human resources staff, customized training, communication and marketing, and administrative leadership between both institutions. The University has worked to minimize tuition increases in recent years. In addition, the University, this past year, included online courses within the tuition band, reducing the cost for full-time students who take online courses. The University has committed to increase the availability of scholarships to enhance the affordability of higher education at Bemidji State. This includes newly instituted scholarships for incoming freshmen. In addition, the University has begun a capital campaign that is largely focused on developing new scholarships for students.