1 25. Standard 4. Academic Programs 1. Overview Bentley University s mission is to educate creative, ethical, and socially responsible organizational leaders who are prepared to contribute immediately to the organizations in which they work. To accomplish this mission, the faculty develops programs with challenging curricula that engage students in contemporary business issues and have a strong grounding in the arts and sciences. A focused assurance of learning program assesses student outcomes and identifies areas for improvement in the curriculum. Policies and procedures assure that graduating students meet Bentley standards. The Bentley University Faculty Manual places the ultimate responsibility for the program portfolio with the provost and the deans of business and arts and sciences. Under Bentley s shared governance system, new programs may originate with either administration or faculty, but the faculty develops and approves programs and courses before their introduction. Academic Affairs Strategic Planning Retreats (AASPR), attended by senior faculty and administrators have shaped new programming, as have academic departments, the President and the Provost. Bentley s portfolio of bachelors, masters and doctoral degree programs (see Appendix 4.1) is tightly linked to the institution s strategy and areas of thought leadership, and has been developed based on faculty expertise and interest as well as on market need. Routine program reviews and learning assessments help assure the quality of the curricula. All programs are implemented only after a careful iterative review by faculty governance, as described below. Bentley aims to offer programs that respond to the needs of domestic and international business and society, and to discontinue programs, majors or concentrations that are not strategic. This standard discusses the undergraduate degree programs, the graduate degree programs, integrity in the award of academic credit, and assessment of student learning. 2. Description 2.1. Undergraduate degree programs Undergraduates can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in one of twelve majors or a Bachelor of Arts degree in one of eight majors. Appendix 4.2 lists the number of graduates from each of these programs. Bentley offers two optional second majors, the Business Studies Major (BSM) for BA students and the Liberal Studies Major (LSM) for
2 Standard 4. BS students. These are not designed to be independent majors but instead serve as complements to the primary major. Students also may declare a four course minor from among thirty-four options. All undergraduate degree programs at Bentley University are informed by the institution s commitment to the fusion of business and the arts and sciences. Consistent with the emphasis on this fusion, every undergraduate major builds on the foundation of the fifteen-course General Education core. All business majors require the entire nine-course General Business core in addition to discipline specific work. With the exception of the BA in Liberal Arts, a self-designed major in which a student works with a faculty advisor to develop a customized degree program, all non-business majors require a five-course business studies minor. Bentley s formal oversight process for undergraduate academic programs is built around a committee structure that includes members elected by the general faculty. Curricular changes with strategic implications are reviewed first by the Curriculum Policy Committee (CPC) that considers the proposals in the broad context of the university s mission and provides guidance to the authors of proposals. When a proposal is developed fully, the Curriculum Implementation Committee (CIC) reviews its details, votes on the proposal, and sends its recommendation to the Faculty Senate. The implementation committee reviews courses and programs to ensure that they are rigorous and coherent and afford students the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills in a specific disciplinary or clearly articulated interdisciplinary area. It also ensures that courses are designed with appropriate contact hours and workload relative to the credits awarded. The Senate, considering input from CIC and CPC, when relevant, also discusses and votes on all course and program proposals. For programmatic changes, the approval of the General Faculty is required. Every undergraduate major and minor is associated with a specific department (or combination of departments) that is expected to evaluate the program annually and submit a summary to the appropriate dean. Instructors receive student feedback (SETs) for every course section they teach through an online system. These are used to identify strengths and weaknesses of the course from a student perspective General education curriculum The general education curriculum requires forty-six credits distributed across the study of the humanities, the natural and mathematical sciences, and the social sciences. All Bentley undergraduates also take a minimum of 15 additional credits in arts and sciences electives. Consequently, at least half of the 122 credits earned by undergraduates are in arts and sciences. The general education curriculum assures that Bentley undergraduates develop (1) knowledge and understanding of scientific, historical, social, and cultural phenomena; (2) effective written and oral communication skills; (3) critical and analytical thinking skills; (4) personal and social responsibility; and (5) an understanding of appropriate and ethical uses of information technology. Recognizing the critical importance of communication skills, the general education requirements include a sixcredit sequence in expository writing. Effective communication skills are also stressed through six credits in courses that are designated as communication intensive, at least one of which must be in the student s major. In addition, students are required to take at least one course that is designated as United States diversity intensive and one that is designated as international intensive. These requirements were developed to ensure that all students were exposed to at least some discussion of diversity and international context as part of their undergraduate curriculum.
3 27. A one-credit first year seminar is also required in the general education curriculum. Taken during the fall of the first year, the seminar helps students adjust to college life. It is led by a staff member from the division of student life and is either clustered with a three-credit course or has a faculty member assigned as an academic advisor to the seminar The general business core Bentley redesigned its general business (GB) core in 2007 as an integrated nine-course sequence that develops student knowledge and skills across all fundamental business disciplines. It provides an integrated perspective illustrating how business functions fit together. A course coordinator monitors each of the nine courses, and the associate dean of Business Programs is responsible for overall oversight. The sequence was implemented in Fall 2009 and the Class of 2013 will be the first educated entirely under this model Major and minor programs Bentley University offers business majors in Accountancy, Computer Information Systems, Corporate Finance and Accounting (CFA), Economics-Finance (EC-FI), Finance, Information Design and Corporate Communications (IDCC), Information Systems Audit and Control (ISAC), Management, Managerial Economics, and Marketing. Most students major in business 1. All business majors complete the general education curriculum, the entire general business core, and the specialized coursework required for their major. All majors require a minimum of eight courses, with the interdisciplinary majors (CFA, EC-FI, and ISAC) requiring up to 10 courses. With 61 credits in the arts and sciences, 27 credits in the fundamental business core and between 24 and 30 credits in a major area, this curriculum provides Bentley students with a comprehensive education. In the arts and sciences, Bentley offers majors in History, Philosophy, Global Studies, Media and Culture, Mathematical Sciences, Actuarial Science, Public Policy, Spanish Studies, and Sustainability Science, the last four introduced in Fall Enrollments in arts and sciences majors are small compared to business majors. Mathematical Sciences was traditionally the most popular arts and science major, enrolling almost half of all arts and science majors through Spring The new Actuarial Science major now attracts many of the students who previously majored in mathematics; there were 32 Actuarial Science majors and 22 Mathematical Sciences majors as of Fall Students can select from 34 minors including thematic and interdepartmental minors as well as those more disciplinarily based. All 17 departments offer at least one minor. A full list is provided in Appendix 4.4 Panel A. As described above, Bentley offers two optional second majors to complement the primary major, one for business and one for arts and science students. The Liberal Studies Major (LSM) is the optional second major for BS students and currently enrolls approximately 700 students. This interdisciplinary major is designed to help students construct greater meaning out of their liberal arts education by combining some required courses from the general education curriculum with specified electives organized around a concentration. The concentrations are % of declared students in Fall 2012 registered to major in business and 3.2% in arts and sciences. 2 A further major in Health Sciences was approved at the December 2012 General Faculty meeting for a 2013 launch.
4 Standard 4. (1) American Studies; (2) Earth, Environment, and Global Sustainability; (3) Ethics and Social Responsibility; (4) Global Perspectives; (5) Health and Industry; (6) Media Arts and Society, and; (7) Quantitative Perspectives (see Appendix 4.4 Panel B). These concentrations cut across many disciplines of the arts and sciences, offering breadth with coherence. The associate dean of Arts and Sciences manages the program. The LSM requires written annual retrospectives in which students make connections across their coursework and a comprehensive unifying or culminating project that is determined by the student in consultation with his or her advisor. The Business Studies Major (BSM) was approved in 2011 and launched in Fall 2012 as an optional second major for students earning BA degrees. The major requires eight business courses - a minimum of six from the general business core and two electives Honors program Since its establishment in 2000, the Honors Program has proven effective in attracting high achieving applicants and offering these top students a challenging and rigorous academic experience. The program enrolls approximately ten to fifteen percent of each incoming class. At any given time, the total honors cohort is between 360 and 400 students. Honors students are currently required to take eight three-credit honors courses including up to three in their major, depending on the specific major. The remaining courses come primarily from general education and arts and science elective requirements. Students must also complete a three-credit capstone course that entails designing and completing an original research project. Although most of these capstone courses are completed individually under faculty supervision, some are undertaken as group consulting projects under faculty direction. Honors students present their capstone projects at a spring honors conference. A review of the Honors Program was completed in 2012 and is available in the base room. The program review taskforce surveyed major stakeholders - current students, alumni, and faculty - and interviewed those involved with administering the program, including the director, associate director, and vice president of enrollment management. The director of the honors program will implement suggestions in the taskforce report Service learning The Bentley Service-Learning Center (BSLC) and its many highly successful programs are central to Bentley s mission. The center promotes academic learning through service with the understanding that students community involvement outside the classroom contributes significantly to what they learn within it. The program encompasses service projects that meet identified community needs, and academic assignments that promote greater student understanding of the relevant academic course material, social and civic responsibility, and personal growth. Projects undertaken include direct interpersonal assistance, organizational resource development, or partner-sponsored research. Approximately 1,200 students and 100 faculty members work with sixty community partners in 90 service-learning programs annually. The university recently completed a national search for a new director of the service-learning program who is expected to continue to strengthen the center and its integration into all academic programs. In particular, Bentley wants to develop and maintain projects that are an appropriate match for a variety of courses, disciplines, and majors.
5 Study abroad and international programs In support of Bentley s goal to prepare our undergraduate and graduate students for the global workplace, the Cronin Office of International Education arranges partnerships and affiliate programs that offer academic and cocurricular opportunities including exchange programs, study abroad programs, and internships. Partnerships with universities abroad bring exchange students to further diversify the international student body, provide faculty with opportunities to develop research, teaching or administrative interests, and host visiting scholars. In addition to semester-long study abroad programs, Bentley also offers faculty-led, short-term study abroad courses during the summer, spring, and winter breaks, and courses that include embedded travel components, usually during spring break. Details of the numbers of undergraduate and graduate students participating in study abroad opportunities are provided in Appendix Graduate degree programs The McCallum Graduate School offers three distinct MBA programs, seven Masters of Science (MS) programs and two PhD programs. Appendix 4.3 lists the numbers of graduates from each of these programs. The Graduate Council and Graduate Curriculum Committee, which reports to it, manage the master s level program portfolio while the PhD Council reviews doctoral programs. Faculty Senate and the general faculty must approve new and major changes to master s programs. MS and MBA programs are reviewed on a five-year cycle. The guidelines for this process as well as the master s program review template s data requirements are available in the base room. Highly qualified Bentley undergraduates can apply to the master s candidate program. This permits them to enter most McCallum programs with an abbreviated application process that does not require GMAT exams. Students must maintain a 3.2 grade point average across their undergraduate courses to be eligible to remain master s candidates Master of Business Administration programs Bentley has recently restructured its MBA curriculum to suit the needs of three distinct groups of students: those with little or no post-undergraduate work experience; those balancing full-time work with their education; and accomplished professionals seeking a cohort experience to further their leadership capacity. The Bentley MBA for accomplished professionals is the newest and most innovative of the university s MBA offerings. Designed jointly by arts and science and business faculty, it reflects the university s mission and distinctive interdisciplinary approach. The program was launched in late July 2012 with an initial cohort of 19 students. The 11 month program is built around four themes of innovation, value, environments, and leadership. Students travel on two international and one domestic field-based collaboration to understand better how companies work within a network that includes other corporations, not-for-profits and government agencies. Instructional activities and collaboration with faculty take place in a studio with state-of-the-art communication and learning technologies, designed to facilitate both individual and group work. In recognition of the significant market demand among less-experienced students, Bentley offers the Emerging Leaders MBA. Consistent with Bentley s mission to fully prepare students for the workplace, the program offers experiential learning opportunities. Two courses require students to work on corporate partner problems. In addition, students meet with business and government officials to further their understanding of international
6 Standard 4. economies and cultural awareness in a global business experience, a faculty-led 10-day international trip. Career development workshops are also offered to help students assess their interests and identify a career path, develop a resume and interview skills, and find employment. The Professional MBA, designed for part-time students, has a minimum of 12 courses and allows student to concentrate (see Appendix 4.8 for the concentration choices). Students without prior coursework from an accredited program in the business fundamentals 3 must complete course work in these fundamentals as well. Based on a program review of the MBA curriculum, major changes to the professional MBA have been moved through governance and were approved by the faculty in December The changes increase the number of required courses, reduce the number of electives, and bring the curriculum more in line with the Emerging Leaders MBA program. The revised curriculum will apply to all students admitted in Fall Both Emerging Leaders MBA and Professional MBA students can combine their degree with one of the MS programs described below. Since four of the courses students take can apply to both degrees, the additional MS requires only six additional courses. Students may also earn a certificate in a specific discipline. These are available in accounting, business ethics, business analytics, marketing analytics, fraud and forensics, personal financial planning and taxation Master of Science programs The seven specialty Master of Science degrees are Accountancy, Finance, Financial Planning, Human Factors and Information Design, Information Technology, Marketing Analytics, and Taxation. These degrees provide in-depth knowledge of the theory and tools critical to each discipline, while also allowing students to explore how their specialty relates to other functional areas within an organization. Each degree requires 10 courses, and many have pre-program requirements. These programs are appropriate for Bentley s master s candidate students who want to obtain more depth in one area of specialization. Many students are enrolled in Accountancy or Taxation in order to meet CPA requirements. Bentley has assumed a leading position in offering a hybrid method for delivering on-line courses. Students may choose to attend classes on campus or remotely via Centra TM technology that enables distance students to receive the same class delivery as the students attending in-person. They are visible to the instructor, can ask questions in real time and participate in classroom discussions. The MS programs in Taxation, Financial Planning, and Human Factors and Information Design are available entirely in an on-line format PhD programs Bentley s doctoral programs in business and accountancy focus on preparing students for academic careers. They include developing mastery of research skills, deep disciplinary knowledge, academic writing ability, and teaching competence. Students gain a solid understanding of both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies grounded in a comprehension of alternative philosophies that can be adopted in the social sciences, plus solid statistical knowledge and skills. Consistent with Bentley s mission, the doctoral programs also include a class on ethics and corporate social responsibility. 3 This includes economics, statistics, accounting, finance, marketing, operations, and organizational behavior.
7 31. The business program is interdisciplinary with core courses in economics, organization theory, and information systems. Thereafter students specialize in an area of management such as strategy, marketing and organizational behavior. The accountancy program offers disciplinary expertise in various areas of accounting from which the students then specialize in a sub-discipline Integrity in the award of academic credit Bentley has a thorough system of policies and procedures in place that assure integrity in the award of academic credit. The Academic Standards Committee assures that academic credits awarded meet Bentley standards for undergraduate education. The committee comprises elected members of faculty and ex-officio representatives from administrative offices. Its purpose is to recommend policies in such areas as graduation requirements, probation, academic warnings, GPA requirements, attendance requirements, examination policies and practices, grading systems, and the evaluation of student performance. The committee also evaluates existing academic policies and procedures and proposes new policies to Faculty Senate. The Graduate Council that includes department chairs from all departments with courses in the graduate school, in collaboration with the Office of Graduate Student and Academic Services and the Dean of Business, oversees academic standards for the graduate programs. The PhD Council serves the same role for the doctoral programs. The undergraduate Curriculum Implementation Committee, the Graduate Curriculum Committee, and the PhD Council review courses to ensure that they are designed with appropriate contact hours and workload relative to the credits awarded. An academic calendar committee arranges the semester schedule so that classes meet for the appropriate number of contact hours. Faculty members are regularly reminded of academic policies and department chairs monitor compliance. As discussed in Standard 11, Bentley has a well-defined academic integrity system to help assure that students receiving credit for courses are actually doing their own work. Students and faculty play an integral role in the academic integrity system. Bentley University s degree names and structures follow practices common to American institutions of higher education. Policies related to the awarding of academic credit and the requirements for degree completion are clearly stated in the undergraduate course catalogue and Student Handbook. For the graduate program, relevant information is available in the graduate course catalogue and the Graduate Student Handbook. The undergraduate course catalogue is reviewed and updated annually. Any course that has not been run within the past three years is removed from the catalogue. Similarly, changes to graduate school policies or programs are promptly reflected on the website of the Office of Graduate Student and Academic Services. A least harm/most benefit policy is employed when changes are made to the curriculum. As such, continuing students may work toward their original degree based on the same requirements with course substitutions allowed as necessary and appropriate. Clearly stated policies exist regarding credit given for undergraduate courses taken at other institutions. Students may bring in a maximum of 61 credits in transfer and/or alternative sources of credit. Only two courses in transfer or alternative credit may be applied to the major. Transfer credit evaluation is centralized under the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Comparability to Bentley courses is determined by department chairs or their designee or by the transfer credit coordinator following guidelines provided by the department chairs. The associate director for Transfer Admissions works closely with area community colleges and high school/college partnerships to review their curricula and provide updated information about changes in Bentley s course content. The Cronin Office of International Education fully reviews programs attended by students studying abroad and the courses are
8 Standard 4. also evaluated to assure comparability to Bentley courses by department chairs. Bentley partner universities and affiliate programs are vetted by the Cronin Office of International Education and an international education advisory committee, and approved after careful consideration of a program s credentials and reputation. The Cronin Office of International Education conducts on-going evaluation of approved programs through student evaluations, faculty and staff feedback, and periodic site visits. Once students matriculate, up to ten percent of their remaining credits may be taken at other institutions following clearly defined policies. The Office of Academic Services determines course away transferability, following guidelines provided by the Transfer Credit Office and department chairs. At the graduate school, all courses above the foundation level must be completed at Bentley University. Exceptions to this residency requirement are made in rare circumstances for a maximum of two courses. Undergraduate students may earn up to thirty credits through the following: Advanced standing through advanced placement (AP), international baccalaureate (IB), and college courses completed while in high school, and CLEP and EXCELCIOR examinations. In addition, adult part-time students may demonstrate learning through assessment of prior learning and ACE credit recommendations. The number of courses for which credit is granted via assessment of prior learning and ACE credit recommendations is limited. An on-line degree audit summary (DAS) is maintained for each student by the Registrar s Office. This document tracks a student s academic progress and is updated by the Registrar s Office 4. To assure that students are successfully completing degree requirements, the Academic Performance Committee meets each semester to review undergraduate students in academic difficulty. Responses include written warning with information about available resources, restricted course load, minimum term GPA requirement, regular meetings with an academic advisor, academic suspension with or without ability to appeal, and dismissal from the university. This procedure, including a definition of academic difficulty, is outlined in the Student Handbook and the Undergraduate Catalogue. A similar process is followed in the Graduate School and is described in the Graduate Student Handbook Assessment of student learning Bentley University practices assurance of learning at the program and degree level. At the undergraduate level, degree level learning goals and objectives have been established for all eleven business-related and nine A&S degrees, as well as for the general business core and the general education core. Because of the highly focused nature of the Bentley education, the learning goals and objectives at the undergraduate business and general education cores are the equivalent of institutional level learning goals. Learning goals and objectives at the course level are also required in course syllabi submitted to the Curriculum Implementation Committee (CIC) for all courses that have been introduced or changed substantially in the past five years. At the graduate level, the 10 master s degree programs and both doctoral programs have established program specific learning goals and objectives. Each program conducts its own assessments. Faculty members are involved in developing the learning goals and objectives related to their programs and ensuring they reflect the university s 4 The Office of Graduate Student and Academic Services handled graduate degree audits until Spring 2013.
9 33. mission. Program descriptions with associated learning goals and objectives are available to the public via the Bentley University website (see Form E1, Part A of the Data First Form for the link to each program s learning goals and objectives). Bentley s assurance of learning (AOL) director provides education and training related to the need for and objectives of assessment, develops and disseminates a standardized methodology for conducting assessment, consults with and guides program directors and assessment leaders, and maintains a repository of completed assessments. Bentley initially employed a sequenced implementation approach to the education and training of graduate level program directors and undergraduate assessment leaders. Three workshops, which were cofacilitated by an external expert and Bentley s AOL director, introduced participants to assessment requirements and methodology. At the conclusion of the third workshop, most graduate programs were well underway with an assessment of at least one learning goal/objective. These workshops have been repeated for those responsible for degree level assurance of learning. The assurance of learning director also developed, documented and disseminated a standardized methodology for completing assessments (Appendix 4.10). In addition, an implementation plan (Appendix 4.11), showing activities, responsibilities, and due dates, was developed for program directors and assessment leaders. A one-page Assessment Project Summary form (Appendix 4.12) was developed and disseminated to provide guidance on the documentation required on each assessment project. Finally, an evaluation of the standard methodology occurs each year, based on the experience of program directors and assessment leaders, and improvements to the process are identified and implemented. At the undergraduate level, the responsibility for conducting assessment of student learning lies with the department chairs. At the graduate level, this responsibility lies with the individual program directors. The program directors and chairs are ultimately responsible to the associate dean of Business Programs or associate dean of Arts and Sciences for assessment activities. To date, each of the graduate and most of the undergraduate degree programs have completed assessments of multiple learning goals/objectives. For several programs, a second assessment to evaluate the impact of actions taken has occurred, is underway, or is scheduled for Spring Responsibility for assurance of learning for doctoral programs rests with the PhD director and the PhD Council. Course-based assessments and the comprehensive exam (taken after completion of the required courses) assess the extent to which students have developed this knowledge, and the PhD Council monitors twice a year students progress in pursuing their coursework. Where there are anomalies across subject areas in terms of the success rate of students, the reasons are explored to make necessary adjustments. Most program assessments rely on course-embedded measures, graded activities on which it is expected that students will make their best effort. In smaller programs, course instructors may grade the student submissions twice, first for a course grade and again for assurance of learning purposes. In several cases, programs have assessed multiple learning goals/objectives using the same assessment instrument. For all assessments, rubrics outline the evaluative criteria against which the course embedded student submissions are assessed, with most using a three point scale of: (1) fails to meet expectations, (2) meets expectations, and (3) exceeds expectations. Each program has established internal benchmarks against which assessment results are compared to determine the extent to which learning objectives are being achieved and to identify opportunities for improvement. Program directors and faculty teaching in the program review data collected through the assessment process. The associate dean of Business Programs or the associate dean of Arts and Sciences also review the results and any associated action plans. Assessment documentation materials are available in the base room.
10 Standard 4. To date, assessment has focused primarily on what students are learning. The university has less systematic information on how but the need for a variety of teaching approaches is widely acknowledged on campus. In particular, experiential learning is seen as a signature component of a Bentley education at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Teaching workshops sponsored by the university s Wilder teaching professors have also addressed innovative learning approaches. As part of its Maintenance of Accreditation Review resulting from a maintenance site visit in February 2010, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), noted that the undergraduate business and the McCallum School use well documented, systematic processes to develop, monitor, evaluate, and revise the substance and delivery of the curricula of degree programs and to assess the impact of the curricula on learning. Curriculum management includes inputs from all appropriate constituencies that may include business faculty, staff, administrators, and faculty from non-business disciplines, alumni, and the business community served by the school. 3. Appraisal 3.1. Undergraduate degree programs Notable strengths of Bentley s undergraduate programs are curriculum innovation and integration. As mentioned above, a new general business core was adopted in A key feature of this innovative core is its integrative design. During their first year, students take a two-course sequence that integrates accounting and finance as well as a course on the legal and ethical environment of business. The second year includes statistics, a second course in human behavior in organizations with an emphasis on diversity and an understanding of issues faced by managers working in global businesses, and a third course that presents a cohesive view of how the operations management and marketing functions work together. In the third year, students begin to integrate the tools presented in the early courses into a study of business processes and a project course in which they work with corporate partners to evaluate a potential business opportunity. In their fourth year, students take a global strategy course that highlights issues faced by international businesses. The opportunity to move beyond narrow discipline-specific content in the general business core allows students to develop the skills needed to solve real business problems; skills such as written and oral communications, issue identification, collaboration, creativity, problem solving, and applying technology are incorporated across the curriculum. This innovative integrated approach also familiarizes students with contemporary business issues, trends and practices, including globalization; the integration of information technology and business; ethics and corporate social responsibility; and diversity. The integration of business and the arts and sciences is a signature part of the undergraduate curriculum and both business students and arts and sciences students benefit from faculty and curricular strengths in these areas. Examples of this integration are the two optional second majors described previously. The Liberal Studies Major (LSM) is a unique opportunity for students to demonstrate their ability to think analytically, critically, and creatively in areas beyond their chosen business or business-related degrees and to understand how their arts and sciences courses inform their business courses. Because most Bentley undergraduates major in business the question of how to assure that general education requirements are coherent and meaningful has been particularly
11 35. significant. The LSM has proven to be an innovative way to address this concern and has been an attractive option for students 5. The new Business Studies Major (BSM) offers Bachelor of Arts students a similar opportunity to combine their primary major with an optional second major and further integrate business and arts and sciences. The LSM program underwent a five-year review in The e-portfolio work that students are required to submit as part of the major requirements has been assessed over the past two summers. One challenge identified in the five-year review was having enough faculty mentors to meet increasing student demand for the program and particularly in the most popular concentration, Global Perspectives. This was partially addressed by instituting a small honorarium for faculty members advising students on their culminating projects. Several faculty members have also been given course releases in exchange for taking on significant numbers of student advisees. A related challenge involves assuring the uniform quality of the LSM experience. The appropriate deans and department chairs and the director of the major continue to discuss mechanisms for strengthening the culminating project, including more communication with faculty mentors about what they should expect from students and more dissemination of model projects, including at an end-of-the-year LSM reception and showcase. A further example of curriculum innovation and integration is the creation of five new arts and sciences majors four available to students in Fall 2012 and a fifth in Fall These majors in Actuarial Science, Public Policy, Spanish Studies, Sustainability Science, and Health Studies were carefully designed by their respective departments to reflect existing departmental strengths as well as to pair effectively with the business studies major or a business minor. One potential challenge will be our ability to offer key courses often enough to allow students to progress successfully through their programs. In the case of the Actuarial Science major, support from Travelers Insurance has allowed the department of Mathematical Sciences to offer small sections of relevant courses if necessary. Another strength of the undergraduate programs is the comprehensive review they receive before introduction. New programs are subject to multiple levels of review, with faculty actively involved at all stages of the process. In 2010, an additional level of review was added with the creation of a curriculum policy committee to complement the existing implementation committee that had become too busy responding to requests for specific course and program approvals to devote sufficient time to bigger questions about the undergraduate curriculum as a whole. The policy committee was created to address this issue and provide a place to discuss curricular issues at a strategic level. Since its creation, it has functioned as a forum to discuss curriculum questions with strategic implications. Because it is relatively new and has an advisory function, a challenge has been clarifying its role in the program approval process and ensuring coordination with the implementation committee. Some of these coordination challenges were highlighted and discussed last year when the new arts and sciences majors were being proposed. As a consequence, a number of recommendations have been made to the Faculty Senate to clarify its processes. Although the undergraduate program has benefitted from exciting curricular innovations and thorough review before introduction of new curricula, an ongoing challenge is ensuring the continued oversight of courses and programs to assure that courses and programs continue to meet their intended goals. Bentley does not yet have sufficiently clear procedures in place for terminating programs and the general education curriculum itself has not been recently reviewed. The proposal that created the current general education curriculum included detailed 5 The number of students enrolled in the LSM as grown form approximately 125 students in 2006 to 700 in 2012.
12 Standard 4. explanations for each requirement and its contribution to the educational experience of our students, but did not explicitly state goals and objectives for the curriculum as a whole. To address this lack, the university has recently developed a clearly articulated statement of goals and objectives and begun assessment of several of these goals. One mechanism for addressing the challenge of continued oversight is regular program reviews. As mentioned above, department chairs are responsible for annual reviews of their departmental programs, such as majors. These annual reviews replaced an earlier system of five-year reviews. The new review process has been affected by changes in academic leadership and inconsistent implementation and therefore is not as useful as hoped. Improvements are needed to make this process more effective. In addition, academic administration has been working to get other programs not housed within a department onto a five-year review cycle. For example, the Liberal Studies Major had a five-year review in Spring 2010 and the Honors Program was reviewed in Fall As part of efforts to prepare students for personal and professional success, Bentley s undergraduate programs provide multiple and flexible opportunities to study abroad. The number of students participating in study abroad programs has increased significantly over the past 10 years (see Appendix 4.7 Panel A). As the number of students participating in study abroad programs grows, an important challenge is increasing the geographic diversity of program offerings, especially to destinations outside Western Europe and Australia. Another challenge is to increase the diversity of students enrolled in study abroad programs to mirror the overall student body demographically and economically. The Santander Universities Study Abroad Scholarship Fund was established in 2009 and has proven to be a successful tool in achieving this goal. Priority for these scholarships is given to students with low to moderate income that will be studying abroad in non-traditional destinations. One measure of success for Bentley s undergraduate programs is the strong career placement record of our graduates, including students attending graduate school (see Appendix 4.5 for data). In 2012, for example, 81% of graduates responded to our survey; 79% of the respondents reported that they had a job and 19% reported that they were attending graduate school full-time. Our graduates are also doing well on professional qualifying examinations such as the CPA and actuarial examinations (see Appendix 4.6). For example, of the 140 Bentley students and alumni who took one or more parts of the actuarial examinations during 2012, 103 (73.5%) passed. As Bentley expands its arts and science major offerings, and as more business majors express interest in the notfor-profit sector, we will enhance appropriate career placement opportunities for these students. Such efforts have already begun with the creation of the Ferrara Service Fellowships in Established with a gift, this program offers stipends to students who want to complete an internship with a non-profit organization Graduate degree programs Bentley University s graduate programs provide students nearly 200 courses in twenty-one different business disciplines (see Appendix 4.1 Panel C). The comprehensive offerings satisfy a wide variety of student interests while leveraging faculty expertise. Because graduate students can register for electives offered across programs, they benefit from the variety of offerings and their education is enhanced by the diversity of viewpoints. Students have the option of creating interesting and creative combinations from the existing course and concentration offerings. Cross-registration also increases in the likelihood of full course enrollment that allows smaller programs to remain viable. With the flexibility and variety offered by the graduate school comes the challenge of assuring rigor, depth and cohesiveness within and between programs. The complex interconnections between graduate programs make them more difficult to manage, an issue being addressed in future changes to the portfolio. The portfolio also
13 37. encourages a highly heterogeneous student population, leading to some pedagogical challenges and less satisfaction among more experienced students, particularly in the Professional MBA program. Several graduate programs are small (see Appendix 4.3). Historically, the institution has sometimes retained smaller master s programs below sustainable size and new review principles available in the base room have been put in place that should address this concern. However, the governing bodies of the graduate school, the Graduate Curriculum Committee and Graduate Council, have not aggressively scrutinized program reviews nor have they vigorously evaluated existing programs for financial viability. A culture of trusting colleagues, while positive, has led to less effective oversight. Important components of all graduate programs are collaboration with corporate partners, a focus on real-world problems, and an international dimension. For example, students in the business process courses in the Emerging Leaders and Professional MBA analyze and model processes for corporate partners or for companies in which they work. A number of MS in Human Factors and Information Design courses engage corporate partners to incorporate real business problems as projects. MS in Marketing Analytics students analyze business data sets that come from contacts faculty members have with professionals. Global business experiences and field-based courses are available to students in all programs. Bentley s online presence has been limited by strategic choice. Three Master of Science programs can be completed entirely online, and the remainder as well as the Professional MBA feature some courses offered in the hybrid format. To meet the changing needs of students and potential students, Bentley is currently considering options to expand online offerings MBA programs The full-time Bentley MBA, the university s new flagship MBA, launched in July Staff, administration and faculty devoted significant effort to recruiting nineteen students from diverse cultural and organizational backgrounds with at least five years of work experience. Early indicators suggest that the class is an outstanding match with program expectations about student quality. Students come from 11 countries in Europe, Latin America and North America, with experience in both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Many of the students have already earned masters degrees in other disciplines and a few even have doctorates or are completing doctoral coursework. It has been gratifying to note that students have cited the program s thematic structure, its focus on collaboration to address pressing issues, its integrated approach to disciplinary knowledge, and its studio setting as important factors in attracting them to Bentley. In keeping with the university s strategic focus, the Bentley MBA was developed and is taught through a collaboration of business and arts and science faculty. The focus on integrating business and arts and sciences at the undergraduate level, with programs such as the LSM, laid the groundwork for developing the Bentley MBA. The university anticipates that successful features of the new program will work their way into other masters programs. The market for part-time MBA programs is highly competitive and applications have declined over the past few years. Applications directly from undergraduate programs, including Bentley, have bolstered registrations but diminished the program s appeal for some working professionals. In response, the graduate school has implemented curricular and policy changes to differentiate the MBA programs; the Professional MBA focuses on students with work experience and the full-time Emerging Leaders MBA targets students with little or no work
14 Standard 4. experience. Following the redesign, each program still needs to be fully aligned with its target audience. This will result in the number of recent graduates enrolled in the Professional MBA program declining to negligible numbers over the next two years. In common with the undergraduate programs, an indication of success for the graduate programs is career placement for full-time students (part-time graduate students are usually employed). University Career Services (see Standard 6) has a team devoted to advising and placing graduate students (placement information is provided in Appendix 4.9). In spite of their efforts, the placement record at the graduate level is not equal to the undergraduate record. The chief contributor to this is the high number of international students in many of the graduate programs for whom getting employer sponsorship is difficult. Anecdotal evidence 6 suggests that international students find employment in their home countries but the center is still considering how to better serve and survey international graduates PhD programs The doctoral programs were launched in As of May 2012, the doctoral program has graduated twelve students, eight of them in Of these graduates, ten are in tenure-track positions, one is in the private sector and one is teaching part-time having turned down tenure-track offers for family reasons. Graduates have been placed in universities including Northeastern University, Clark University, Suffolk University, Bryant University, Providence College and College of Charleston (Appendix 4.13). The PhD Council governs the program with separate committees for accountancy and business. The council oversees the current operations of the programs and also identifies ways to improve and develop the programs. As part of the continuous evaluation and development of the doctoral program, a number of course changes have been introduced over the past five years to enhance the quality of the program. For example, a research methods course has been added to ensure that students have a solid, early grounding in research design. Success in securing external funds to cover stipends has helped offset the costs to the operating budget of Bentley. One of the primary goals of the program is to place graduates in tenure-track positions in AACSB or other highlevel institutions, a goal that is being achieved. A key to this success has been publications and presentations by the students with the majority starting to present at conferences in their second year, and many published in academic journals by their fourth year. This enhances their competitiveness on the job market and is an important factor in the program s placement success. Another aspect of the program that has contributed to successful placement is the emphasis placed on learning to teach as well as undertake research. After completing a teaching seminar to help with teaching skill development, doctoral students teach one course per semester once they enter the dissertation stage. Many of the students have flourished as teachers (as well as researchers) and the student feedback and faculty reviews of their teaching have helped in the creation of compelling job application packages. As part of a relatively small university, Bentley s doctoral programs face unique challenges. The most significant challenge has been ensuring a large enough pool of faculty advisors. When the program first began, dissertation advising and committee work fell heavily on a small group of faculty members. This was particularly evident in the accountancy program, because the faculty came from just one department. Approaches adopted to solve this challenge include increasing the number of faculty involved with the doctoral programs and moving admissions to 6 Response rates to placement surveys among the international student/graduate population are low.
15 39. every other year cohorts. The norm is now for faculty to advise only one or two students who are in the dissertation stage and over twenty faculty members have served or currently serve as dissertation advisors. The two-year admissions cycle has also reduced the cost of the program because a larger cohort can be admitted and students are consolidated into larger doctoral classes. Combining business and accountancy students in many courses increases program efficiency and enhances cross-disciplinary potential without compromising on quality. There are currently 33 students in the doctoral program. A doctoral program of between 30 and 40 students is considered sustainable, especially with the every other year recruiting cycle Integrity of academic credit Bentley s policies and procedures related to the granting of academic credit are clear, well defined, and well monitored. The Office of Academic Services (undergraduate), Graduate Student and Academic Services (graduate), and the Registrar s Office work together to assure that all credits awarded to students meet Bentley standards. The Academic Standards Committee regularly examines the policies and procedures and recommends changes when necessary. Although the undergraduate catalogue is updated regularly and meets the industry standards, the graduate school catalogue does not. All graduate program changes and modifications to policies and procedures are updated on the website promptly but the annual catalogue needs to be enhanced. Specifically, course descriptions and general information about the institution are not reflected in the graduate catalogue Assessment of student learning The assurance of learning director has laid the groundwork for undertaking effective assessment of all programs. Learning goals and objectives for each program have been developed to reflect the university s mission, and have been publically posted to enhance institutional accountability. This has also helped ensure consistent alignment between the mission and the programs that are undertaken to achieve it. Faculty engagement with the process has also been enhanced, and the process decentralized. Faculty members teaching in each program have been involved in the creation of learning goals and objectives for their respective programs and have participated in assessment reviews, and in analyzing and acting on results. Learning goals and objectives at the course level are required in course syllabi submitted to the Curriculum Implementation Committee for all courses that have been introduced or have had substantial changes in the past five years. Several programs have modified curriculum, increased emphasis on specific learning goals, or made other changes resulting from assessment. This has meant that those ultimately responsible for delivering the curriculum have provided important input to the process and that there is alignment between course-level, program, and mission-driven learning goals and objectives. A standardized assessment process, with a sample implementation plan has been established and disseminated to everyone involved in assessment. This provides an easy to follow roadmap that helps assure consistency, foster inter-program communication, and knowledge sharing. Decentralized responsibility at the program level has allowed Bentley to conduct multiple assessments simultaneously, involve large numbers of faculty and, in many programs, enhanced the perceived pedagogical value of assurance of learning. Faculty members have begun to recognize the inherent value of assessment, rather than seeing it as something undertaken solely as a requirement of accreditation. The assurance of learning director has helped assure that those responsible for assessment at the program level have the training, guidance and
16 Standard 4. consultation available and necessary to conduct appropriate assessment. This has proven helpful in the decentralized model currently employed at Bentley. Challenges remain. The cultural change described above is not uniform with some faculty members persisting in viewing assessment as an onerous project only necessary for accreditation. While decentralized responsibility has allowed Bentley to conduct multiple assessments simultaneously and involve large numbers of faculty in the process, frequent changes in chairs, program directors, and/or designated assessment leaders make it difficult to maintain consistency in process, adherence to schedules, and reporting. Opportunities exist to better orient faculty and provide the necessary training and guidance to those responsible for assessment at the program level. Participation by faculty in assessment reviews is considered part of faculty service to the institution. This sometimes means that go to faculty members who are already providing significant service are overly burdened. While consistency in assessment participation is an advantage to the assurance of learning initiative, the involvement of more faculty members in conducting the actual reviews is needed to spread the workload. Completed assessments are not always forwarded to the assurance of learning director for review and archiving, and there is not an up-to-date electronic repository of assessment activities. Although the results of assessment reviews are shared with appropriate program/department faculty, they are not routinely shared across programs/departments. The absence of a mechanism for sharing assessment activities and findings across programs/departments may lead to a duplication of effort and a missed opportunity to share best practices. 4. Projection 4.1. Undergraduate degree programs Implement new procedures for annual reviews of each program to ensure that they are conducted in a timely fashion and produce useful and actionable information. Timeline: Fall 2013: Deans Council and department chairs. Specify procedures in the Faculty Manual for ending programs. Timeline: Spring 2014: Dean s Council and department chairs recommendations will be presented to the Faculty Senate for consideration. Develop and implement proposals to strengthen the Liberal Studies Major culminating experience. Timeline: Fall 2014 through Fall 2016: Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences in partnership with the LSM coordinator and arts and sciences department chairs. Refine the role of the Curriculum Policy Committee in the curriculum governance process. Timeline: Academic year : Faculty Senate Graduate programs Continue to refine the content and market focus of the Emerging Leaders MBA and the Professional MBA with the general goal of improving their fit for their target audiences. Timeline: Academic year : MBA program director and associate dean of Business Programs. Consider strategically aligned ways to leverage hybrid online offerings across graduate programs and determine whether a greater on-line presence is warranted for each program, with appropriate models for staffing and
17 41. compensation. Timeline: Academic year : Dean of Business and associate dean of Business Programs working with department chairs and program directors Assessment of student learning Create systems to maintain data on each program s proposed assessment activities for the next three academic years, as well as a regular schedule for assessing general education goals and objectives. Timeline: Commencing Spring 2013 and implemented over four years: Program directors, department chairs, and assurance of learning director. Develop and deliver annual orientation or refresher workshops for program faculty newly responsible for assessment. Timeline: Academic year : Assurance of learning director Integrity of academic credit Improve the content of the Graduate Catalogue to ensure that it has industry standard information. Timeline: Fall 2012 and continuing: Associate dean of Business, assistant dean of Graduate Student and Academic Services, and the Registrar. 5. Institutional Effectiveness Bentley uses multiple mechanisms to evaluate the quality, integrity and effectiveness of our academic programs. These range from internal program reviews and assurance of learning assessments, to external review by accrediting bodies, to performance of our students on CPA and Actuarial exams. We regularly use the information gleaned from these evaluations to revise programs and courses, to improve student learning, and to insure that graduates from Bentley meet our standards.
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19 1. Exhibit 4.1 Academic degree programs Panel A: Undergraduate Bachelor of Science degrees Bachelor of Science in Accountancy The AC major prepares students to enter careers in public accounting, corporations, small businesses, nonprofit organizations and government; it emphasizes underlying principles in cost management, financial accounting and reporting, accounting information systems, U.S. federal taxation, and financial statement auditing or internal auditing, and their application to management situations. Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science The Actuarial Science major provides preparation for up to four actuarial exams (Exams P/1, FM/2, MLC and MFE/3F) as well all of the necessary VEE (Validation by Educational Experience) credit. In addition, qualified students will have the opportunity to pursue an internship in actuarial science. Graduates are in great demand by the insurance, financial services and consulting industries and are often recruited for leadership development positions in top insurance companies. Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems The CIS major equips graduates with understanding of information technology (IT) capabilities and implications, as well as with competency in best- of- breed methodologies and tools for information systems development, preparing them for business or systems analyst, application developer, systems integrator, IT liaison, end- user support, network manager, or technical support specialist positions. Bachelor of Science in Corporate Finance and Accounting Consisting of 30 credit hours jointly delivered by the Accountancy and Finance departments, the CFA major prepares students for careers in corporate finance by developing their skills in accounting, finance, business analysis, communication, team work, and business process. Several courses use Enterprise Resource Planning software to familiarize students with integrated IT systems. Bachelor of Science in Economics- Finance The E- F major consists of 27 credit hours jointly delivered by the Economics and Finance departments, preparing students for careers in financial services, including banking, industry and government, and for graduate study in law or business. Graduates develop knowledge and skills in financial statement analysis, the financial system, and a strong foundation in micro- and macro- economic theory. Bachelor of Science in Finance FI majors prepare for careers in commercial banking, corporate finance, financial planning, insurance, money management, the credit, trust, or operations departments of financial service firms or investment brokerage by developing analytical and quantitative skills, understanding the finance function in varying types of firms, gaining global perspective on financial institutions and markets, and applying IT in financial analysis, asset valuation, and risk management. Bachelor of Science in Information Design and Corporate Communication Serving pre- work- experienced year old domestic and international students only, the IDCC major enables students to translate into practice oral, written, visual and managerial theory, learning industry- accepted standards in application, research, design, and evaluation of approaches to communication for careers including public relations, technical writing, corporate communication, and web design. Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Audit and Control The revised Accounting Information Systems major (ISAC) became effective in fall 2007 and consists of 30 credit hours jointly delivered by the Accountancy, Computer Information Systems, and Information Process and Management departments. It
20 Appendices. equips students for positions in accounting, auditing or IT departments in accounting service, software, or any firm with advanced information systems. Bachelor of Science in Management The MG major s objective is to develop ethical and socially responsible managers and leaders, equipped with interpersonal competence, the ability to understand the entire organization, and a portfolio of skills for not only first jobs but throughout a wide variety of careers in the changing global business environment. Global, human resources, and entrepreneurship elective course tracks are optional. Bachelor of Science in Managerial Economics Serving pre- work- experienced year old domestic and international students only, the ME major requires three economics (EC) courses: Intermediate Price Theory, Intermediate Macroeconomics, and Research in Managerial Economics, two EC electives, and three courses from a choice of eleven concentrations. It prepares graduates for private or public sector jobs, or graduate study in business or law. Bachelor of Science in Marketing The MK major provides education for entry- level as well as management positions in product management, sales and distribution, advertising and promotion, new product development, marketing research, database marketing, retailing, services marketing, business to business, e- Marketing, international marketing and customer data analytics in a variety of types of profit and not- for- profit organizations. Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Sciences The MA major prepares students to think quantitatively, to reason analytically, and to apply mathematical models to problems in economics, finance, environmental management, marketing, and other business fields. Many majors complete one or more internships in that field. The Liberal Studies Major The LSM is the only second major that Bachelor of Science (BS) students can undertake. The LSM is designed to help students develop their ability to think analytically, critically, and creatively within and across arts and sciences and business disciplines. Students choose from a list of themes around which to base general education and elective course selection, and maintain a record of regular discussions with a faculty advisor/mentor, annual analytical retrospectives, and a unifying project in individual electronic portfolios. Panel B: Undergraduate Bachelor of Arts Degrees Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies The Global Studies major provides students with a strong background in geography, culture, language, international relations and economics, enabling them to understand and analyze issues in an international and intercultural context, compete in an interdependent world, and succeed in a challenging global environment. All GLS majors complete study abroad and additional language requirements. Bachelor of Arts in History A major in history promotes critical thinking, data analysis, and communication skills. It also provides excellent preparation for careers in professional fields such as business, law, journalism, government, and education. All history majors must complete a business studies minor or a business studies major. Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies The Liberal Arts major is a student- driven and designed program that allows students to customize their studies to a specific area of interest. This major comprises 10 courses selected in consultation with the Liberal Arts major coordinator and a faculty advisor. The tenth course is a senior thesis completed under the supervision of the faculty advisor. Majors may focus their studies in a specific area of interest not covered by an existing Bentley major for example, sociology or psychology. Students