Roudebush Hall
Roudebush Hall, home of Miami's administrative offices

College of Professional Studies and Applied Sciences

Unifying Goal: Promote a vibrant learning and discovery environment that produces extraordinary student and scholarly outcomes.

Objective 1: Prepare students for success at Miami and beyond through a liberal and applied education emphasizing inquiry-based experiential learning that integrates many disciplines.

Metric 1: Miami will achieve a six-year graduation rate of 85% and a four-year graduation rate of 75%.
Enhanced Regional Metric: CPSAS will achieve six-year graduation rate of 30%.

Strategies:

  • Implement a virtual and physical one-stop enrollment center at both the Middletown and Hamilton campuses.
  • Grow the number of bachelor’s degrees offered by CPSAS, thereby improving the quality of the student population at the regional campuses.
  • Hold all units accountable for retention efforts via annual reports.
  • Offer online or hybrid offerings of courses, when appropriate.
  • Increase professional development opportunities related to retention through the teaching and learning centers on both campuses.
  • Offer clear information to students about learning expectations, resources, and curricular pathways to graduation.
  • Secure and leverage data gained from new tools (e.g., CRM, Institutional Analytics, u.Direct) to develop targeted interventions for populations of students who are less likely to persist to graduation (e.g., ACCESS, international students, student-athletes, underprepared students, undecided students, and transfer students).
  • Enhance and expand opportunities for higher-ability students (e.g., merit scholarships, honors program).

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Obtaining reliable data to track student success (Including students who are undecided, change majors, stop, or drop out).
  • Gaining a better understanding of the nontraditional students on the regional campus whose life (rather than campus) circumstances frequently contribute to low retention rates.
  • Recognizing that the high percentage of regional students who attend Miami on a part-time basis skew the graduation rates.
  • Maintaining standards of academic rigor while increasing retention.
  • Creating a shared sense of mission in all units in the division and on all campuses.
  • Reconciling and prioritizing the competing and increasing demands on faculty and staff.

Metric 2: Within one year after graduation, 90% of graduates (excluding those enrolled in graduate or professional school) will be employed.
Enhanced Regional Metric: CPSAS will increase by 5 percentage points the number of graduates who, one year after graduation, have sought employment and are employed.

Strategies:

  • Task the regional campuses’ Office of Career, Co-op and Internship Services to develop a comprehensive array of activities to improve graduates’ employment rates.
  • Conduct a comprehensive review of the Office of Career, Co-op and Internship Services, and generate recommendations for improving services and structure.
  • Continue to build and enhance connections with alumni and advisory councils who are potential employers of CPSAS graduates.
  • Enhance career mentoring within each academic department.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Planning for the fact that as the regional campuses build more bachelor’s degrees, the number of students needing career, co-op, and internship services will grow.
  • Adapting to the rapidly changing needs of local economic forces.

Metric 3: One year after graduation, 80% of students who apply to graduate or professional school will receive at least one offer of admission.

Strategies:

  • Include in the year-long seminar series for new faculty, discussions focusing on ways faculty can help prepare students for graduate school.
  • Offer workshops for current students and recent graduates on preparing for graduate school.
  • Increase opportunities for undergraduate research as new bachelor’s degree programs are offered.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Recognizing that the number of students on the regional campuses who apply to graduate school is likely to be comparatively lower than students in other divisions, given the applied professional nature of the degrees we offer.

Objective 2: Immerse faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students in research and creative scholarship that forms a vital part of the learning experience.

Metric 4: Continue to increase the quality and impact of scholarship or creative performance.

Strategies:

  • Institute activities in which tenure-track faculty receive significant mentoring on scholarship.
  • Continue to offer workshops for new faculty to assist in the development of a research agenda.
  • Improve the annual review process to provide enhanced feedback to faculty and to encourage more goal setting and professional development.
  • Maintain current staff support for faculty writing grant proposals.
  • Encourage faculty to take advantage of university programs that support faculty research such as CFR grants.
  • Work toward creating select master’s degrees in appropriate CPSAS departments.
  • Leverage faculty workload assignments strategically to enable research-active faculty adequate time for scholarship.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Recognizing that many regional campus faculty have service as their second criteria for tenure and promotion, rather than scholarship and that many of the strategies for increasing scholarship can be deployed to increase the quality and impact of service activities.
  • Addressing the high number of university initiatives which may distract faculty from research activities.
  • Balancing the demand for increased faculty time devoted to diverse Miami 2020 goals such as retention and student success, development of online courses, and increasing community partnerships, with the need for increased scholarly productivity.
  • Providing increased financial support for faculty research in times of decreasing state support for higher education.
  • Finding creative ways to use our buildings and facilities given that they were not designed with the needs of faculty research in mind and that there is little unused space that could be repurposed.
  • Advancing scholarship when standard faculty teaching loads on the regional campuses are 24 contact hours an academic year.

Metric 5: Upon graduation, all Miami students will have participated in a research (40%) or a similar experiential learning activity (100%), e.g., fieldwork, field or clinical placement, service-learning, public or private sector engagement, performances, and other applied learning activities.

Strategies:

  • Encourage faculty to build more of these significant learning experiences into their courses.
  • Build these experiences into new degree programs as they are developed.
  • As service learning expands, increase support for the Center for Civic Engagement.
  • Increase efforts to make students aware of opportunities available to them and the benefits of participation.
  • Increase faculty and student awareness of university programs that support student research such as First Year Research Experience (FYRE), Undergraduate Summer Scholars (US), and Undergraduate Associates Program.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Maintaining the needed infrastructure to support service learning and other experiences external to the university.
  • Managing the logistics of and securing the faculty time needed for mentoring experiential learning projects.
  • Recognizing that regional campus students often have employment and family obligations which prevent them from spending additional time on campus to participate in research or similar experiential learning activities.

Objective 3: Engage students with substantive co-curricular and internship opportunities that augment their learning and establish a strong foundation for lifelong success, growth, and adaptability.

Metric 6: 75% of Miami students will have completed an internship before they graduate.
Enhanced Regional Metric: We will increase the percentage of CPSAS students who complete a co-op or internship before they graduate to 25%.

Strategies:

  • Review the activities of the Office of Career, Co-op and Internship Services (OCCIS), and provide additional resources as needed to increase the number of internships available to our students.
  • Encourage faculty to work with OCCIS to think broadly about the kinds of internships that are appropriate for their discipline.
  • Increase communication between faculty and OCCIS to make sure we are utilizing contacts that faculty already have in business, industry, and government to help increase the numbers of internship options available to our students.
  • Leverage the existing external advisory boards of most CPSAS departments to create additional internships.
  • Engage CPSAS alumni as an entryway to employers who might offer internships.
  • Improve communication with students about the availability of co-ops and internships.
  • Create scholarships specifically for students who choose to do a co-op or internship.
  • Work with our distance partners in ENT to arrange co-ops or internships for these students.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Securing the faculty time and the OCCIS resources required to maximize the educational benefits of internships.
  • Finding unique ways for the many working students on the regional campuses to be able to participate in experiential learning opportunities, including internships related to their major and future career path.

Metric 7: 95% of Miami students will have two or more co-curricular experiences before they graduate.
Enhanced Regional Metric: 75% of Miami students will have two or more co-curricular experiences before they graduate.

Strategies:

  • Encourage faculty to create connections between their courses and co-curricular events such as the lecture/artist series, multicultural programs, and women’s studies events.
  • Provide incentives for creating activities and experiences that are organized by multiple entities and will draw from a wide campus audience.
  • Examine the possibility of creating a “first year experience” program for all new incoming students on the regional campuses that would include a mandatory academic course such as EDL 110 and that would provide a venue for increasing awareness of opportunities for and the value of co-curricular experiences.
  • Create a one-stop venue for timely information about co-curricular events, and increase campus publicity of events in a coherent manner that promotes multiple events.
  • Conduct an evaluation of student activities services that includes consideration of: the workload of the student activities staff members; the space allocation to student activities, student government, student organizations, athletics and recreational sports; and budget allocations to student activities, student organizations, athletics and recreational sports. Make adjustments as needed to allow increased participation.
  • Administer the College Student Experience Questionnaire to a random sample of regional campus students periodically to track participation in co-curricular activities; use the data to inform decisions on resource allocations and new activities.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Meeting this metric given that other recent initiatives such as the new orientation and advising program (SOAR) have created new demands on the time of student affairs staff.
  • Recruiting dedicated faculty and staff volunteers to serve as advisers to student organizations.
  • Addressing the fact that regional campus students have many family and work obligations that prevent them from participating in co-curricular experiences.

Objective 4: Offer flexible pathways to and through the University, including interdisciplinary, E-learning, and multiple degree options, to help students achieve timely and cost-effective completion.

Metric 8: 20% of our students will graduate with multiple degrees/majors, and 5% will graduate with a combination Bachelor and Master's degree.

This metric is not applicable to the regional campuses because the regional campuses currently offer no master’s degrees.  Moreover, most of the bachelor’s degrees currently offered (e.g., criminal justice, engineering technology, health information technology, and nursing) are focused on specific occupations and do not lend themselves to the pursuit of multiple degrees.  As new bachelor degrees are added, there may be additional opportunity.

Metric 9: 60% of degree programs can be completed in three years or less through curriculum revision and by using different pedagogical approaches and modes of delivery.

Strategies:

  • Continue to encourage the use of AP credit and CLEP testing, and promote PSEO/Dual Enrollment courses. 
  • Review the curricula within departments and identify paths that can be taken to complete a degree in three years.
  • Carefully schedule course offerings to assure that three-year paths can be completed.
  • Offer highly demanded classes in the summer and winter terms when pedagogically appropriate.
  • Work with students so that they can effectively utilize the multi-year schedule to plan their degree paths.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Developing degree completion strategies that take into account that regional students frequently change majors which can increase credit hours and the time needed for degree completion.
  • Planning for the fact that some of the technical degree programs are highly structured with numerous prerequisites.
  • Noting that students on the regional campuses have many competing priorities including family and work obligations.

Metric 10: Increase the online and hybrid credit hours to 10% of the total credit hours.
Enhanced Regional Metric: Increase the online and hybrid credit hours on the regional campuses to 15% of the total credit hours.

Strategies:

  • Task the Regional Office of E-Learning Initiatives to continue to provide a formalized process for moving courses into an online or hybrid format.
  • Continue offering workshops to lead faculty through a development process based on the Quality Matters course design rubric.

Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Securing the appropriate approvals for online and hybrid courses that carry subject codes of an Oxford-based department or division.
  • Finding the needed resources for the e-learning office.