1 Program Review Report Department: Political Science Recorder: Zack Sullivan Participants: Zack Sullivan, Erika Alin ALIGNMENT Revised mission statement The mission of the Department of Political Science at Inver Hills Community College is to foster understanding, critical thinking, and participation in politics and civic life. Courses support this mission through advancing an understanding of political theory, political culture, and governmental systems and institutions with an emphasis on grassroots participation. Participation in the campus community is advanced through partnerships with administration, student clubs, and the IHCC Student Senate. The department offers a diversity of coursework as well as an Associates of Arts with Emphasis in Political Science degree to prepare students for employment or transfer to a related four-year degree program. Master Plan alignment The Political Science Department aligns with the Master Academic Plan Strategic Directions in the following areas: Quality Academic Programming to Meet Student Needs. Political Science offers a diversity of courses through multiple delivery methods including, online, web-enhanced, and traditional in person sections. Traditional coursework is offered at a variety of times (daytime, evenings, Saturdays) and locations (main campus, Apple Valley, Wellstone Center). Moreover, the program has contributed (or is scheduled to contribute) to IHCC programs that address a specific demographic need (PACE, ASAP, and iconnect). Student Success. The department has created an A.A. with Emphasis in Political Science to encourage prospective majors to finish what they start and complete a degree at IHCC before transferring to a four year institution for related study. Collaboration and Partnership. The department actively collaborates with the IHCC Student Senate, Administration, and campus-wide programming (like Student Success Day). Additionally, the department works with multiple regional and statewide partners including: The Minnesota Secretary of State s Office and the Minnesota State College Student Association (MSCSA). Valuing People. Each year, the department chooses a Student of the Year to honor student excellence in the field of Political Science. Students are actively encouraged to take part in IHCC student clubs, Student Senate, and other leadership and political action training on the IHCC campus.
2 Department goal review The Political Science Department has made progress toward accomplishing goals set in the review cycle, including: (1) adding an International Relations (i.e. World Politics) course, and (2) adding a course focused on the 2008 presidential election (Special Topics: Campaigns and Elections). We have yet to develop a departmental website but plan to launch a comprehensive site fall CURRICULUM Review of courses Our courses are consistent with the offerings of other Minnesota community colleges and area universities. The department goes beyond standard offerings to provide additional course options (relative to most area community colleges). For example, few peer institutions offer topical coursework such as Special Topics: Campaigns and Elections or Introduction to Environmental Politics. However, Introduction to Political Science, American Politics and Government, State and Local Politics, World Politics, and Constitutional Law are common staples of many Minnesota public and private colleges and universities. Political Science courses transfer to meet program equivalencies within MnSCU/University of Minnesota campuses. All courses currently fulfill MnTC general education requirements. All Political Science coursework satisfy goal five while offering some diversity on a second goal area (8, 9, 10). Private college and university transfer policies vary but we are unaware of students experiencing difficulty in transferring coursework toward related majors at regionally accredited institutions. As stated above, the department created an A.A. with Emphasis in Political Science for prospective majors in the academic year. Outcomes Communication Critical Thinking POLS 1101 (Goals 5, 9) Curriculum Map POLS 1111 (Goals 5, 9) POLS 1121 (Goals 5, 9) POLS 1131 (Goals 5, 8) POLS 111 (Goals 5, 10) POLS 1161 (Goals 5, 9) POLS 2250 (Goal 5) Civic Engagement Program Outcome 1 Prepare students interested in Political Science-related studies at colleges and universities Program Outcome 2 Prepare students for participation/careers in federal, state and local governments; law; business; international organizations; nonprofit organizations; political campaign operation and polling; journalism; K-12 education; and university and college teaching and research
3 List of Program Electives List of Liberal Arts required courses Create a chart which indicates which college-wide and program outcomes are taught and assessed in the courses from your program and at what level they are covered. Use a 0- scale to indicate the level with 0=not at all, 1=introduced, but not assessed, 2=covered moderately, but not assessed, 3=covered moderately and assessed and =well covered and assessed. List your program outcomes across the top. (All new programs submitted these outcomes during the application process. If your department has not reviewed them recently, you may need to update the outcomes.) COURSE OUTLINES Review course outlines and descriptions POLS 1101, 1111, 1121, and 1161 are on older outline forms which do not indicate College-Wide Learning Outcomes. These outlines will be updated in the academic year. Otherwise, course descriptions remain accurate and learning outcomes are identified and measurable. Prerequisites do not need to be added at this point. Course descriptions are accurate and reflect current curricular components. MnTC goals and competencies Each POLS course appropriately lists goal 5 History and Social Behavioral Sciences and meets stated competencies. Additionally, POLS 1101, 1111, 1121, 1161 lists MnTC goal 9 Ethical and Civic Responsibility and meet stated competencies. POLS 111 Introduction to Environmental Politics incorporates MnTC goal 10 People and the Environment and stated competencies. POLS 1131World Politics incorporates MnTC goal 8 Global Perspective as well as the stated competencies. Across the board, MnTC goals and competencies are up to date and accurately reflect how courses are facilitated by department faculty. Diversity and multiculturalism Diversity and multiculturalism are reflected in each Political Science course through comparative study of the impact culture plays on political socialization and governmental institutions. In each course, great attention is given to exploring issues from a diversity of cultural and ideological perspectives. POLS two-year plan Fall 2010 Spring 2011 Summer :15p MW :50pm H (online) (online) (online) (online) (honors) 11-12:15p TH :15p TH (online) (online) (web enhanced) 1-2:15 T (web enhanced) 12:30-1:5 W (ASAP) 6-9p H (ASAP) 6-9p H (online) (online)
4 Fall 2011 Spring 2012 Summer :15p MW :50pm H (online) (online) (online) (online) (honors) 11-12:15p TH :15p TH (online) (online) (web enhanced) 1-2:15 T (web enhanced) 12:30-1:5 W (ASAP) 6-9p H (ASAP) 6-9p H (online) (online) **This two year plan allows for completion of A. A. with Emphasis in Political Science degree requirements. Additional POLS classes may be added to accommodate PACE, iconnect and ASAP based on program needs and instructor availability. COURSE SYLLABI A comprehensive review of recent course syllabi indicates that they reflect common course outlines and, specifically, stated learning outcomes and assessment measures. In most cases, syllabi do not indicate specific MnTC competencies and College-Wide Learner Outcomes for the course. This will be corrected moving forward. Course syllabi are developed by individual department faculty within guidelines set by course outlines. ARTICULATIONS In the academic year the department developed an A.A. with Emphasis in Political Science along with an articulation agreement with Metropolitan State University. It is our intention to further build this degree program with articulation agreements with several additional public and private four-year institutions. Prospective candidate institutions include: Minnesota State University-Mankato, University of Minnesota-Morris, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and Hamline University. Our existing articulation agreement with Metro State is current and posted on the IHCC website at INTERNAL PARTNERSHIPS The department currently partners with PACE, iconnect, and ASAP by providing courses for these targeted programs. There are no current areas of concern regarding these programs or unusually disparate student achievement levels of participating students. The department currently partners with the IHCC Student Senate on many initiatives including: voter registration drives, precinct caucus trainings, political candidate forums and debates. ENROLLMENT Total headcount for the Political Science Department increased from 29 in FY 2007 to 59 in FY 2008 and leveled out in FY 2009 to 55. The fill rate for POLS courses in FY 2007 was 76% and has fallen to 65% and 6% in fiscal years 2008 and 2009 respectively. This drop was likely due to increased course options that expanded the number of available sections/seats. These additional courses, however, have yet to become widely known by students and advising staff (e.g. Special Topics, Environmental Politics, World Politics, American Government and Politics-Honors) and thus fill rates lag behind established courses. Also, Political Science has contributed several ASAP courses which tend to have lower fill rates (relative to traditional offerings). At a 6% fill rate, faculty to student ratio is in the neighborhood of 1:26. Headcount and fill rates are likely to increase as new courses become better established and, we believe, by offering a future in person section of Constitutional Law. We base this recommendation on the fact
5 that this course is currently only offered in an online format, it generally fills, and multiple students have requested a traditional option. Perhaps additional sections of other courses with high fill rates like Introduction to Political Science and American Politics and Government should be considered. Detailed program data can be reviewed at J:\Program Review\FY2010\Fact Sheets for each department. Department faculty will continue to participate in IHCC Open Houses and other outreach programming to promote and recruit prospective Political Science students. COMPLETERS Programs Only The A. A. with Emphasis in Political Science degree was only introduced last year (08-09) and thus completion and transfer data is not yet available. Anecdotally, around 10 students have stated that completing this emphasis program is their intention. The first to actually do so will likely complete the program spring or fall of STUDENT LEARNING Fiscal year 2009 departmental grade distribution data indicate substantial improvement in terms of decreased withdraw rates and increased success rates of Political Science students. Success rates were 8%, 81% and 75% for summer, fall and spring respectively. This was a substantial improvement over FY 2007 and 2008 and exceeded institutional averages. FY 2007 and 2008 grade distribution data indicate that success rates were right at (or slightly below) institutional averages. Detailed success rate data can be reviewed at J:\Program Review\FY2010\Fact Sheets for each department. The department has also made use of the Student Academic Achievement Program (SAAP) in order to develop and assess the impact of campus-wide goals at the class and department levels of analysis. In particular, the department made advances in developing coursework that fosters the college-wide critical thinking objective. Across all departmental courses, faculty assign a series of critical news analysis papers in order to facilitate real world connections to abstract political science concepts (e.g. liberty vs order, equality vs the right to amass wealth/property). Students choose a contemporary news article on an issue of their choice and develop a focused/critical position supported by cited examples from relevant assigned readings. By providing a clear grading rubric that is sharply aligned with MnTC Critical Thinking Competency objectives and following up with written feedback assessing student critical thinking we have seen a wide majority of students performing at either the acceptable, proficient, or superior level on this ongoing college-wide critical-thinking initiative. We also see clear student improvement at the individual level throughout the course of the semester. Before his retirement, UFT Doug Griffith facilitated a Minnesota legislative internship program which allowed students to earn credit for participation. One of our department goals outlined below is to expand this to allow students to earn 2000-level credit for meaningful participation in any related governmental, interest group, or political party internships. Credit will likely be scaled from 1- credits based on the degree of participation. RESOURCES IHCC library holdings in Political Science are extensive for an institution of this size. The library has an in-depth collection of AV materials (video, DVD, etc) which are useful to faculty and students. The department has worked closely with the Minnesota Secretary of State s office to provide updated materials (e.g. Minnesota Student Blue Book, Minnesota Caucus Guide). While faculty in the program have developed extensive online teaching resources using the Desire 2Learn (D2L) internet learning platform, we must still develop a robust IHCC web presence for current and prospective students. This task is on the top of our agenda for the coming year.
6 COST ANALYSIS Departmental revenue increased from FY 2007 ($167,522) to FY 2008 ($192,11) before leveling out in a small decrease in FY 2009 ($188,689). Personnel expenses increased from FY 2007 ($96,930) to FY 2008 ($121,202) to FY 2009 ($188,112). This increase is likely due to two key factors: (1) Expansion of course sections in fiscal years 2008 and 2009 to meet the needs of a growing campus and (2) that UFT Doug Griffith continued on phased retirement as Zack Sullivan began his UFT appointment in Regarding department revenue and expense, in fiscal years 2007 and 2008 the department ran a net balance of $70,235 and $66,696 respectively. In FY 2009 the department ran a negative balance of - $231. Direct instruction costs per FYE in the years data are available (fiscal years 2007 and 2008) indicate the IHCC Political Science Department is below MnSCU averages in terms of instruction costs per FYE (see J:\Program Review\FY2010\Fact Sheets for each department). FACULTY Zack Sullivan, Full-time Faculty, has taught a diversity of Political Science coursework at Century College, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Hamline University, Metropolitan State University and is now in his second year as a full-time faculty member at IHCC. He holds a B.S. in Communication-Journalism from Southern Oregon University (minor: Political Science), an M.A. in Political Science from the University of New Orleans and is currently completing his doctoral studies at Hamline University. Over the past two years at IHCC, Zack served as Co-Advisor to the IHCC Student Senate, member of the Institutional Effectiveness Council (IEC), Teaching Circle Facilitator, and participant in the MnSCU Luoma Leadership Academy. He also developed several new Political Science courses and created an A.A. with Emphasis in Political Science degree program. Zack regularly conducts grassroots political participation training sessions on the IHCC campus and in the broader Twin Cities region. Erika Alin, Part-time Faculty, received her Ph.D. in International Relations from the American University in Washington, D.C. (1990) and her B.A. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook (1986). Her areas of teaching have included World Politics, Comparative Politics, Political Research Methods, American Politics and Government, the Middle East, Africa, Politics of Developing Countries, Ethnic Conflict, and First-Year Seminars. Her research interests focus on U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with publications including The United States and the 1958 Lebanon Crisis: American Intervention in the Middle East and articles on Palestinian politics. She taught in the Department of Political Science at Hamline University (Saint Paul, MN) from and has also taught courses at the American University, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities), Metropolitan State University, and Bemidji State University. Future needs Overall IHCC enrollment and departmental growth may necessitate a second full-time faculty member in the future. We have been very fortunate to have Erika join us on a part-time basis. However, maintaining high quality instruction may require a full-time institutional commitment down the road.
7 Action Plan Department: Political Science Participants Zack Sullivan, Erika Alin Departments should use the SWOT Analysis and departmental goals to develop an Action Plan for the two to three years before the next Program Review. An Action Plan should state the goals to be achieved, steps needed to be completed to achieve the goal, a timeline, and persons responsible for each step. A template follows and a sample is attached. Goal Steps Timeline Responsible Party Goal 1:Develop substantial internet resources for Political Science Department 1. Gather requisite information on A.A. emphasis program, courses, faculty, research resources, career/internship opportunities Fall 2010 Sullivan, Alin Goal 2:Develop a level course for political internship credit Goal 3:Develop 2-3 additional articulation agreements to further the A. A. with Emphasis in Political Science degree 1. Gage interest/support from students, administration 2. Design prospective course outline 3. Work through Academic Council approval process 1. Make initial contact with 2-3 prospective institutions (likely MSU-Mankato, UW- River Falls, Hamline University) 2. Evaluate/negotiate eligibility of IHCC Political Science coursework for transfer to -year degree programs 3. Complete necessary MNSCU/institutional articulation paperwork Spring 2011 Spring 2012 Sullivan Sullivan
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