1.0 Excellent, Distinctive Education and Student Experience

1.0 Excellent, distinctive education and student experience

The Regional Campuses provide an excellent educational experience that fulfills the educational and career needs and aspirations of a wide diversity of students. The Regional Campuses provide challenging and supportive learner-focused educational environments which include individualized attention from full-time faculty members who are accomplished teachers, expert and active in their respective fields, and committed to student success. While most of this activity occurs on individual campuses, the Regional Campuses collaborate to share ideas, experience, successes and failures, and professional development, which improves practice at all campuses.

Action items

Support innovation and excellence in teaching and learning through developing and sharing best practices.

Each of the IU Regional Campuses encourages teaching excellence and innovation. What has separated these campuses from many of their national counterparts is the vehicles utilized and developed over the last five years to encourage the sharing of expertise and best practices.

The IU Faculty Colloquium for Excellence in Teaching’s (FACET) Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning collaborated with AASCU for a special issue highlighting the success of the RFY, published in 2019. IU Regional Campus faculty and administration contributed five of the ten published articles, as well as the Foreword, for this nationally read publication. In addition, IU UAA sponsored an IU Regional Campus RFY Summit in 2017 to facilitate the sharing of best practices among Regional Campus RFY teams.

As part of their RFY work, IU Northwest faculty read and analyzed a series of pedagogical techniques, and committed themselves to introducing at least one technique into their courses to explore their efficacy. When the techniques proved successful, the faculty members redesigned entire classes to expand the impact. Measures of student success, satisfaction, and interest in those sections have increased.

Offer a baccalaureate core grounded in the liberal arts, with strong general education and opportunities for undergraduate research.

In the last five years, the IU Regional Campuses have engaged in numerous activities to refine their general education core. These include:

  • Aligning Regional Campus general education to facilitate ease of transfer.
  • Aligning Regional Campus general education to accommodate collaborative online degree programs.
  • Building civic and community engagement in to the general education curriculum through the Carnegie Engaged Classification process.

Campuses reviewing their general education programs are considering ideas such as “badges” or “tags” for particular courses to help identify them to students as most relevant to their major; looking for ways to better tie cocurricular experiences such as community engagement and service learning; incorporating optional, interdisciplinary pathways through the general education curriculum that tie courses to a particular issue or problem. Reviews are also examining the total credits required (one campus has a goal of reducing, IU Kokomo to better align with the other campuses and make transfer smoother for students) and are ensuring course learning outcomes are well mapped to the Statewide General Education Core. One campus (IU East) has previously adopted the Statewide General Education Core as their General Education Program (30 credits). IU Southeast also requires only 30 hours.

Promote and support faculty excellence in teaching and scholarship.

All Regional Campuses are actively engaged in this activity. Highlights include:

IU East implemented a program of professional development for part-time faculty. Most importantly, they appointed a faculty leader as Adjunct Development Leader in December 2017, with responsibilities to ensure that adjunct faculty are more effectively integrated into the IU East culture with particular emphasis on making innovative pedagogical methods available to them, and assisting them with their roles in assessment, retention, and student success.

The Center for Innovation and Scholarship in Teaching and Learning (CISTL) at IU Northwest makes professional development opportunities available to both full-time and part-time faculty. These professional development opportunities include Online Course Development grants, Online Teaching Course, Teaching and Research fellowships, staff and faculty-led workshops, learning communities, brownbag discussions, and one-on-one consultations. CISTL provides multi-session trainings on creating, delivering, and managing online and face-to-face courses, and mini-grants to enhance the learning experiences of students. The most-attended workshops include those focused on promotion and tenure, the LMS (Canvas), Faculty Annual Reports (Activity Insight), E-texts, and Online Content Accessibility.

Furthermore, following an IU Northwest Council discussion on innovation during tight budgetary times, campus leadership drafted a proposal for a Chancellor’s Academic Innovation Grant to fund collaborative innovations between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and develop new programs to benefit students.

Develop and enhance joint academic programming.

See Measures of Success under The Collaborative Imperative.

Would you evaluate your entire educational experience at this institution as positive?

First Year Students
South Bend80%76%
South Bend83%82%

If you could start over again, would you go to the same institution you are now attending?

First Year Students
South Bend77%83%
South Bend79%79%