Academic Program Management

A new feature in eZine will be an update on the status of new undergraduate and graduate program proposals:


New Program Proposals
BS in Biomedical Engineering (KGCOE) Approved by NYSED-9/09. The following are pending NYSED approval: MS in Sustainable Systems (GCCIS); BS in Political Science (CLA); BS/MS in Physician Assistant (COS).

New Minors (approved from March 2009-Present)
Deaf Cultural Studies (CLA & NTID); Music and Technology (CLA); Chemistry (COS); Applied Informatics (GCCIS); Database Design, Development and Implementation (GCCIS); Web Development for Computing Majors (GCCIS); Web Development for Non-Computing Majors (GCCIS); Digital Business (SCB); Game Design (GCCIS).


Please check out our new curriculum website for information and guidance on many curriculum questions.

Student Success Tiger Team Implementation Planning Committee:

The implementation team, established to develop action plans to move recommendations from the Student Success Tiger Team Reports forward, is pleased to provide a sampling of current activity:

Category 1: Student Transition and Success Recommendations
Advising (Recommendations 2-6):
A team of college delegates is working with the Director of Institute Advising, the Director of the Northstar Center and Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education to develop a standardized baseline for advising services to be offered across RIT's colleges and programs so that there enhanced intentional advising occurs for all first year students. The team is developing plans for a more consistent and collaborative network of advising services, support and resources across the diverse college environments, including the establishment of an Institute Academic Advising Information Center.

FYE and Learning Communities (Recommendation 7):
The Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education, together with the Greater Expectations team, has developed a set of recommendations that articulates a vision for how FYE, the Summer Reading Book, Learning Communities, General Education and Writing can be coordinated and integrated. The team has collected feedback on their recommendations from the RIT community and will be submitting their final report with implementation recommendations by December 21.

New Student Orientation (Recommendations 8 and 9):
Plans are fully underway for New Student Orientation to shift from a college-based programming structure to a multidisciplinary structure in which new students will be placed in orientation groups with students from a variety of academic programs. This change is intended to help new students expand their peer circles, identify with RIT as their university of choice and allow time for them to learn about the resources available both within their college and within the University as a whole. In addition, the length of the first-year orientation program will be reduced from 8 days to 5 days. This change will help lessen the fatigue factor for students and fast forward the first day of classes.

Category 2: Infrastructure to Enable Student Success
Data Mining (Recommendation 15):
A data mining study, which is used to uncover trends in existing data, is currently underway to explore factors related to student success and to inform targeted retention strategies. A team from Institutional Research, Academic Affairs, Enrollment Management, and Student Affairs has run multiple models using over 50 variables. The team is now refining the models, with the goal of identifying the best model to use for student support and intervention.

Study of Students who have Left RIT (Recommendation 16):
The Vice President for Special Projects and Vice President for Enrollment Management and Career Services are leading separate but coordinated initiatives to survey students who have left RIT. The objective is to gain a better understanding of the factors contributing to student attrition and to use this information to better inform our retention programming. Where and when possible, students who have left but who are close to finishing a degree will be assisted in exploring options for successful degree completion.

Category 3: Teaching and Learning, Campus Environment and Culture
Teaching and Learning (Recommendation 28):
Teaching Learning Scholarship Services in The Wallace Center is currently developing a plan for outreach to faculty teaching first year students. The plan includes training and development for these faculty on the needs of first year students and strategies for active and collaborative learning in the classroom.

Registrar's Office
Working closely together, ITS and the Registrar's Office made improvements to the registration system in place for winter 2009 registration. These improvements enabled us to better handle the peak demands placed on the system during key registration days and provide an improved infrastructure upon which to make future enhancements.

Academic Enhancement Programs

Honors Program
Honors students continue the tradition of civic engagement on campus and in the local community. Kaity Werner was an honoree and recipient of the Student Standout Award at the 2009 Greater Rochester Awards for her contributions in the non-profit human services sector. The event was presented by the Rochester Business Journal and by the United Way of Greater Rochester. William Phillips was a part of the design team for "Picture the Impossible," the reality game that promotes engagement within the Rochester community. Honors students are also recognized nationally as leaders within their disciplines. Sebastian Ramirez has been awarded an Undergraduate Research Fellowship from the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). Sebastian will have the opportunity to conduct full-time summer research with an ASM mentor and to submit his research for presentation at the 2010 ASM meeting.

Kudos to Honors Program Director, Danielle Smith and co-editor Professor Uli Linke for the publication of an interdisciplinary volume entitled, Cultures of Fear: A Critical Reader. This interdisciplinary reader explores the formation and normalization of fear in the context of war and terror.


Study Abroad Program

The Study Abroad office continues to sponsor monthly theme-based informational "Coffee Chats" held every second Thursday, from 7PM-8PM. Check the new Study Abroad website for topics and locations.

During spring semester, 17 students will be studying abroad though affiliated program providers. Countries include England, Wales, Italy, Spain, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

K-12 Partnerships

The K-12 Science & Technology Entry Program's ("STEP") NOVA Saturday Academy began on October 10th and will run for 14 weeks through February 27. STEP students from Rush-Henrietta and the four high schools at Edison Tech are invited to attend the STEP NOVA Academy.This year we have a record enrollment of 46 students.The curriculum includes academic skill building classes in math and reading, leadership training led by staff and students from RIT's Leadership Institute and project based workshops led by RIT Faculty members.

University Studies Program

Excellence and change are the buzz words that would describe the activity taking place in the new University Studies Program this fall. Close to 25% of the students made the Dean's List this past fall with four of those students earning a perfect 4.0 GPA. Four of the newly enrolled first-year students have already selected and been accepted into a major at RIT and have been accepted into their new college major. The program advisors continue to provide a service to those students who need general advising on campus, and to those who wish to enter the program to re-think their major and options at RIT. To date, 17 new students of various year levels have been admitted to the program for the winter quarter as internal transfers from other parts of RIT. For information about the University Studies Program, visit the new web site launched this fall here.

Student Learning Outcomes Assessment

Faculty Workshop
In collaboration with Teaching, Learning & Scholarship Services, the Director of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment, conducted a workshop entitled: The Challenges of Assessing Student Learning. This introductory assessment workshop was the first in a series designed to support faculty in assessing student learning outcomes in their courses. This workshop focused on course goal setting and curriculum mapping. Look for additional workshops throughout the academic year.

Stay tuned for the upcoming announcement of the SLOA website which is currently under construction!

Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Committee
The Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Committee (SLOAC), chaired by Dr. Linda Tolan, now functions as a standing committee within Academic Affairs and facilitates and supports program-level student learning outcomes assessment efforts campus-wide. Their work is part of RIT's overall commitment to assessment. There is a representative from every college on this committee.