TABLE OF CONTENTS. Chapter 3 Standard 4 & 5: Leadership, Governance and Administration 31

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2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Executive Summary... Introduction. 1 Chapter 1 Standard 1: Mission, Goals 6 Standard 6: Integrity.. 12 Chapter 2 Standard 2: Planning, Resource Allocation and Institutional Renewal.. 19 Standard 3: Institutional Resources Chapter 3 Standard 4 & 5: Leadership, Governance and Administration 31 Chapter 4 Standard 7: Institutional Assessment.. 38 Standard 14: Assessment of Student Learning 47 Chapter 5 Standard 8: Student Admissions and Retention.. 57 Standard 9: Student Support Services. 67 Chapter 6 Standard10: Faculty Chapter 7 Standard 12: General Education Standard 11: Educational Offerings 91 Chapter 8 Standard 13: Related Educational Activities. 98 Conclusion. 114 List of Appendices Appendix 1 List of Abbreviations Appendix 2 Support Documents Appendix 3 Audited Financial Statements Years Ended July 31, 2011 and 2010 Appendix 4 UMET s Mission, Vision and Goals Appendix 5 Steering Committee Members Appendix 6 Strategic Development Guides Flowchart Process Appendix 7 Percentage of Program Costs with Respect to Total Expenditure ( ) Appendix 8 SUAGM s Organizational Structure Appendix 9 UMET s Organizational Structure Appendix 10 Institutional Assessment Plan ( ) (In process of being translated) Appendix 11 UMET s Student Learning Assessment Implementation Policy Appendix 12 School of Professional Studies Student Learning Assessment Model Appendix 13 Description of UMET S Learning Criteria Appendix 14 Strategic Development Guides and the Learning Assessment Process Appendix 15 Initiatives Taken by Schools and Additional Locations to Improve the Learning Assessment Process Appendix 16 School of Education Student Learning Results i

3 Appendix 17 Summary of Title V Projects Support of Student Learning Appendix 18 First Year Retention Rates and Graduation Rates among Comparable Puerto Rico Institutions Appendix 19 Action Plan Flowchart for Students that do not Comply with Satisfactory Academic Progress Appendix 20 Particularities of Academic Schools Appendix 21 SUAGM s Discipline-Based Dual Language Immersion Model List of Figures Introduction Figure 1 SUAGM s Institutions and Additional Locations (2011).. 2 Chapter 2 Figure 2.1 Institutional Strategic Planning Chapter 4 Figure 4.1 Institutional Assessment Two Loop Cycle 39 Figure 4.2 Relationship between Standard #14 and UMET s Student Learning Assessment Implementation Policy.. 49 Chapter 5 Figure 5.1 Retention (part time and full time students), Persistence and Graduation for Cohorts Chapter 8 Figure 8.1 Florida Branch Campuses Retention Rates 110 Figure 8.2 Comparative Graduation Rates 111 List of Tables Introduction Table 1 UMET s Students Enrolled by Degree Programs Academic Year (October) 3 Chapter 2 Table 2.1 UMET s Grants Awarded.. 25 Table 2.2 UMET s Historic Program Costs and Proposed Budget 26 Table 2.3 Examples of Budget Allocation to Facilities Projects for the Last Three Years. 28 Chapter 3 Table 3.1 Chancellor s Administrative Staff.. 34

4 Chapter 4 Table 4.1 Institutional Assessment Results and Actions Taken to Improve Faculty. 42 Table 4.2 Institutional Assessment Results and Actions Taken to Improve Staff.. 43 Table 4.3 Institutional Assessment Results and Actions Taken to Improve Students Support Services Table 4.4 Institutional Assessment Results and Actions Taken to Improve Organizational Structure 45 Table 4.5 Institutional Assessment Results and Actions Taken to Improve Instruction/Learning Needs 46 Table 4.6 Development of UMET s Student Learning Assessment Process. 48 Table 4.7 Correlation between Standard 14 and Other Standards Table 4.8 Relationship between UMET s Learning Criteria and the Institutional Mission 50 Table 4.9 Summary of the Student Learning Assessment Results by School UMET Main Campus ( ). 52 Table 4.10 Summary of the Student Learning Assessment Results UMET Main Campus and Additional Locations ( ). 52 Table 4.11 Examples of the actions taken by Schools and Additional Locations According to Assessment Results (Academic years 2004 to 2011) to Improve Teaching and Learning Chapter 5 Table 5.1 UMET s Enrollment Trends from to Table 5.2 FYIS 101 Students Retention Rates Comparison with Students not Enrolled in FYIS Table 5.3 Longitudinal Retention Rates for Students Enrolled in the Immersion Track vs. the Regular Track-UMET Bayamón (2007 Cohort).. 64 Table 5.4 Retention Rates for Students Enrolled in the Immersion Program vs. the Regular Program at UMET Main Campus. 64 Table 5.5 Student Support Services Staff at Main Campus and Additional Locations.. 69 Table 5.6 Students Participation in Internships Table 5.7 Quality of Life and Student Well Being Satisfaction Survey.. 71 Table 5.8 Psychological Services Survey Results 72 Table 5.9 Students Attendance to the Associate Vice-Chancellery of Quality of Life and Student Well Being Services ( ). 73 Table 5.10 UMET Sports Complex Physical Well-being Activities and Participants. 74 Chapter 6 Table 6.1 Full-time Faculty Profile UMET 2005 to Table 6.2 Full-Time Faculty Table 6.3 Part-time Faculty UMET 2005 to Table 6.4 Faculty Teaching at Graduate Level by School and Academic Preparation.. 80 Table 6.5 Number of Proposals Written by Faculty and Amount Awarded by Year from 2005 to

5 Executive Summary (UMET) is a private, non sectarian, non-profit higher education institution, with a wide range of academic offerings from professional certificates to doctoral degrees. It was founded in August, 1980, and since then has been fully accredited by the MSCHE. UMET is one of the institutions of the Sistema Universitario Ana G. Mendez (In English: Ana G. Méndez University System), a private, not for profit institution under the laws of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Federal Government. Its members, Universidad del Turabo (UT), Universidad Metropolitana (UMET), Universidad del Este (UNE), and Ana G. Mendez Virtual University are comprehensive, coeducational higher education institutions; and Sistema TV, the only PBS station in Puerto Rico. Together, SUAGM and its five member institutions are the second largest private university system in Puerto Rico. By their location, history, and market area, they are Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI). SUAGM s central administration offices are located in San Juan, Puerto Rico and share its ground and physical facilities with UMET, which is a typical urban university, located in the midst of the greater San Juan metropolitan area (a suburb known as Cupey). SUAGM s corporate structure is detailed in the Corporate Bylaws. The administrative organization of the Institution is outlined in the organization s Institutional Bylaws. The President is the Chief Executive Officer of the organization and reports to SUAGM s Board of Directors. SUAGM is structured and functions under a university system model. All members of the system benefit from the support services and resources of SUAGM s Central Administration in academic, administrative and financial management aspects. This includes support in the areas of academic affairs, financial affairs, planning and institutional research, marketing, administrative affairs, human resources, and information technologies (IT), among others. The Chancellor of UMET is the chief executive officer at the university, who is supported by his staff. Together, they are responsible for campus and off-campus operations. The Institution has full academic autonomy in establishing and revising its individual mission and academic programs, under the overview of SUAGM s Board of Directors. UMET s mission is to provide its students with an atmosphere of academic freedom and intellectual challenge, the necessary resources to help them develop high cultural and ethical values, critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, linguistic and technological skills, as well as personal and professional skills required for success in their professions and daily lives. The academic experience is supported by modern technologies applied to teaching, learning, and the assessment process. UMET's distinctive institutional features are marked by: a commitment to the quality of learning, undergraduate and graduate scientific research, local and international internship opportunities and student and faculty exchange programs with prestigious institutions, and community service. UMET is highly committed to environmental resources preservation and their sustainable development. The total enrollment in 95 distinct programs of UMET, as reported in the most recent Institutional Profile is of 12,693 students. These are distributed in the Main Campus of Cupey, four additional locations within the Island (Aguadilla, Bayamón, i

6 Jayuya and Comerío), three branches in the state of Florida (Orlando, Miami and Tampa Bay) and a newly inaugurated branch in the state of Maryland (Wheaton). UMET chose the Comprehensive Self-Study Model combining standards to guide its self study process and to prepare the self study report. This design provided for a participative framework that encouraged the involvement of all this university s constituents in the process. The self-study process included the examination of the institutional mission to determine if it guides the processes of strategic planning and decision making to achieve institutional goals. In the evaluation process, recent significant changes were considered with regards to new program levels and new additional locations. Financial and administrative areas were evaluated, including the relationship between the main campus and its centers and branches, and between UMET and its Central Administration. The purpose of this self-study process was to conduct an in-depth selfexamination with the input of the University community, in order to obtain a deep institutional self-understanding, advance institutional self-improvement, assure continued high quality learning and fulfill the standards of excellence of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The self-study goals were: To conduct a thorough self-examination of academic programs and services to determine how they are contributing to the achievement of institutional goals and fulfilling UMET s mission. To assess institutional strengths and opportunities for improvement. To evaluate the effectiveness of UMET s assessment processes and to determine how the outcomes of those processes are used for decision making. To examine and assess the alignment of UMET s mission, vision and goals with academic programs and services, and SUAGM s Vision 2015 (now 2020) and its strategic plan. Fundamental findings: The institution s mission clearly defines its purpose to provide all students the opportunities they deserve to become well prepared professionals to serve their communities and their country, as well as capable of developing a good quality of life to them and their families. This goal is attuned to the aspirations and expectations of higher education everywhere and it is reached through transparent and democratic communication between all constituents in the Main Campus, the Additional Locations and the Branches. With clear and ethical standards, regulations and policies, UMET fulfills its mission through properly implemented processes that are known to all. Integrity is the foundation for all scholarly work, policies, procedures and evaluation processes. UMET regulates and prohibits any act or omission that harms and disrupts the principle of integrity by way of a series of political, institutional rules and regulations, and compliance with laws which constitute its core. UMET ii

7 adheres to ethical standards and its own stated policies through participative processes with respect for academic and intellectual freedom. Disclosure and information transparency are regularly checked by department heads for updating and accuracy; communication channels are open to receive constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement. There is due process in every real or foreseen situation and the opportunity to deliberate and act upon unplanned of unexpected issues that may arise. Planning at the institutions is an on-going process, which follows the policies established at SUAGM and involves all the academic and administrative constituencies of the university community at different levels of the process. Since its establishment in 1980, planning processes have been part of UMET s development and have always been attuned to the planning processes of SUAGM. The proper allocation of the institutional resources is of utmost importance to operate an efficient and active university. The effective distribution of our human, financial, technological and physical facilities resources allows UMET to grow, to provide services to its constituencies and support its mission and goals. The institutional mission is focused on supporting the full development of the university community; providing cutting-edge facilities such as: the Library, the Sport Complex and the Integrated Communications Laboratory, among others which promote the SUAGM as a first-class university system and target the educational needs of the Island. The Facilities Master Plan identifies the future development of UMET s facilities in support of its mission and is aimed at meeting the needs of the university community in its continued growth. UMET s system of governance clearly defines the roles of institutional constituencies in policy development and decision-making. There are two well defined and active governance structures: a Systemic and an Institutional governing bodies that provide check and balances needed to maintain a firm, solid environment of integrity and transparent communication to fulfill the required responsibilities of quality policy and resource development, consistent with the mission of the institution. The institution s Academic Board, Administrative Council and the Chancellor and his staff are constantly working in an ethical and highly professional manner to provide excellent services that facilitate learning and research/scholarship, foster quality improvement, and continuously improved responses to the internal and external stakeholders needs. Communication between the Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, Deans, Directors, Faculty, and Administrative Staff is characterized by a participative decision making process, with periodic discussions of the institution s projections and dissemination of achievements. The Chancellor is well known for his open door administration that contributes to a collegiate environment with all university constituencies, one that listens directly to the employees suggestions and complaints, exchanges ideas and generates creative synergy among community members. The institution has developed and implemented an assessment process that evaluates its overall effectiveness in achieving its mission and goals and its compliance with MSCHE Characteristics of Excellence, state licensing and iii

8 professional accrediting agencies. Particular effort has been placed in the assessment of student learning outcomes through a reflective, democratic process. UMET established appropriate policies and means of development of assessment mechanisms and instruments, attuned to the particular needs of its student body. Current and ongoing supervision and audits provide practical information that facilitates decision making and prompt adjustments to maintain an effective learning environment in all academic and administrative activities. This is accomplished in coordination with the Office of Planning and Institutional Research from SUAGM and the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment (OPAI for its Spanish acronym), with the support of Evaluation, Diagnosis, Placement and Assessment Center (CEDUA for its Spanish acronym) and the assessment areas of the special projects. UMET evidences consistently the evolution of the processes for the improvement of student learning. The institutional model of learning assessment gathers evidence of learning during student progress and at graduation. The evidence of student learning shows that students have the knowledge, skills and competencies that the Institution has proposed through its mission by its learning criteria: concepts/content analysis; critical thinking and writing. UMET s mission sustains the right of every student to learn and thus provides numerous opportunities to all students to obtain a quality higher educational experience. Students are the center of all efforts at UMET and once recruited, all students support services are geared to retain and assist them reach their goals, within the institution s philosophical and social framework. In order to identify the factors which affect UMET s development and first year student retention, and to further define what is needed to help students succeed, UMET selected the Foundations of Excellence in the First College Year model developed by Dr. John Gardner and Dr. Betsy O. Barefoot to perform a first year experience self -study. This initiative gave UMET a broad perspective of its greatest challenges for student retention and undergraduate education. The Student Support Services represent one of the great strengths of our institution. Teaching and learning are processes that revolve around a holistic vision that is student centered. The student support services design takes into account all areas that make university life an enriching one. The services in the admission process start from proper funding of studies up to registration and are integrated in order to facilitate students services, their rights and obligations. UMET s instructional, research, and service programs are devised, developed, monitored, and supported by qualified professionals. UMET s qualified, experienced and engaged faculty is one of its main strengths for the effectiveness of the teaching/learning process, research project and service programs. UMET s faculty provide its students with an atmosphere of academic freedom and intellectual challenge (UMET mission 2002), which is evidenced in their commitment to teaching, understanding of students needs and interests, and by working closely with students to maintain and develop their strengths, as well as to lessen their academic and personal gaps inside and outside of the classroom. There is evidence that faculty serve as advisers for the 47 students organizations (25 iv

9 campus, 22 in additional locations), and provide formal advising and mentoring for students research. When special assistance is needed, faculty members use the Early Alert System to refer students for further help with their academic needs, personal issues or vocational interests, among others. All UMET s undergraduate programs include a General Education curricular component designed to enhance students integral education. As described in the institutional mission, this curricular component encourages students to build up cultural and ethical values, critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, linguistic and technological skills. The General Education curricular component at UMET promotes the development of the following skills and knowledge, as stated in its Student Learning Outcomes: effective written and oral communication in Spanish and English, quantitative reasoning, Puerto Rican and global cultures, Social Sciences, Integrated Sciences, Humanities, technological and information literacy. These competencies are aligned to Standard 12 s characteristics of excellence in the way that the General Education curricular component should include at least oral and written communications, scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical analysis and reasoning, and technological competency. UMET has a strong and varied academic offer that is closely monitored by its faculty and staff. Its faculty has ample participation in the design and evaluation of its academic programs and is responsive to students' needs and to the changing global and national requirements of higher education. The quality of our programs is accountable by the community it serves as well as by the government's licensing requirements. During the past five years, UMET is expanding its goals to obtain more accreditation of its programs from professional associations. UMET is expanding the recognition of its programs by prestigious institutions in the Mainland, Latin America and Europe. There are specific and clear institutional policies that bring assurance of the transparency of processes related to faculty evaluation. Evaluation instruments are standardized and systemic. UMET has benefited from seven Title V projects (Campus I, Campus II, Center for Graduate Studies, Cooperative project, and Jayuya, Aguadilla and Bayamón projects), that address particular and specific students and faculty development needs. UMETs wide ranging academic offerings are specifically designed to achieve its mission: the creation of innovative programs that facilitate the personal and professional development of its undergraduate and graduate students. Its academic offerings have the depth, rigorousness, coherence, and content mandated by the institutional mission and goals. In order to maintain up-to-date and pertinent educational offerings that respond swiftly to the needs and interests of its students, UMET engages in periodic program revisions and new program development. Since the last accreditation visit in 2002, 12 undergraduate, 10 masters and two doctoral programs have been implemented and numerous courses and curriculums have been revised. In part due to our flexible admissions policy, UMET offers programs in different modalities: v

10 semester, part of term (8 weeks) and accelerated (for adult learners) to address all students varied preferences and requirements. UMET is an agile, modern institution, always attentive to innovation and timely responds to the needs and requirements of the constant changing world and the needs of students and society. Resources are assigned to research and adapt new pedagogies and curricular advancements to address the particular needs of students within the accepted standards of the scholarly communities. Alliances of collaboration are made between UMET and other higher education institutions as well as with public and private corporations. has earned its place in the fields of environmental issues, science and technology, communications and community service. Our social responsibility to Puerto Rico is self-evident. UMET is a dynamic institution that keeps growing and adapting itself to our changing World. In conclusion, UMET is a young, active and proactive institution, rich in innovative and creative ways to fulfill the expectations of higher education in Puerto Rico and in the Global Community. This dynamic institution is always alert to address the ever changing world of the 21 st Century and to serve all its students in a continuous improvement in the quality of teaching, of learning and of life. vi

11 Introduction I. Description of (UMET), its Mission, Vision and Important Recent Developments. A. Historical Background and Recent Developments Sistema Universitario Ana G. Méndez (SUAGM) (In English: Ana G. Méndez University System) is a private, not for profit institution under the laws of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Federal Government. Ana G. Méndez ( ), an educational visionary, was the founder, in 1940, of the first private vocational high school in Puerto Rico: The Puerto Rico High School of Commerce. In 1957, along with two other renowned educators, Florencio Pagán Cruz and Luis Muñiz Souffront, she founded the first private community college: the Puerto Rico Junior College (PRJC) based on the idea that all Puerto Ricans should have access to higher education. PRJC was the first institution in Puerto Rico to offer associate degrees and whose objective was to prepare low-income Puerto Ricans for technical and administrative careers. Two additional campuses were founded, the Metropolitan University College in Cupey (1966) and the Turabo University College in Gurabo (1967). Ana G. Méndez retired in 1974, and her son, Dr. José F. Méndez took charge of what is known today as SUAGM and has since been its President. Through his long governance and total commitment to quality, he has continued the Founder s legacy of providing quality education to all students in one of the most important higher education systems on the Island and its recent expansion to the Mainland and soon, to other countries. The institutional components of SUAGM: Universidad del Turabo (UT), (UMET), Universidad del Este (UNE), and Ana G. Méndez Virtual University (AGMVU), are comprehensive, coeducational higher education institutions. SUAGM also has the only privately owned PBS-sponsored television station in Puerto Rico, Sistema TV (WMTJ-Channel 40 and WQTO-Channel 26) offering educational and cultural programs to the community. Together, SUAGM and its five member institutions are the have in enrollment of 42,512 students. By their location, history, and market area, they are Hispanic Serving Institutions. SUAGM s central administration offices are located in San Juan, Puerto Rico and share its physical facilities with UMET, which is a typical urban university, located in the midst of the greater San Juan metropolitan area (a suburb known as Cupey). UT s main campus is located in the Gurabo/Caguas municipalities, in the east-central region of Puerto Rico. UNE s main campus is located in the municipality of Carolina, a highly developed city in the northeastern metropolitan region. Ana G. Mendez Virtual University recently obtained the Commonwealth License to begin operations; its main offices are in Bayamón, PR. In addition to their individual main campuses, UT, UMET and UNE extend their academic services through 14 additional locations in towns outside the metropolitan area. Among these, UMET has four additional locations in the cities of Bayamón and Aguadilla and the towns of Jayuya and Comerío. Figure 1 shows SUAGM s institutions and additional locations on the Island map. UMET shares with its peer institutions four Branches; three are located in the state of Florida; one in South 1

12 Florida, one in Orlando and one in Tampa, and a recently inaugurated branch in the state of Maryland. SUAGM s corporate structure is detailed in the Corporate Bylaws (Reading Room [RR] 1). The administrative organization of the Institution is outlined in the organization s Institutional Bylaws (RR 2). The President is the Chief Executive Officer of the organization and reports to SUAGM s Board of Directors. SUAGM is structured and functions under a university system model. All members of the system benefit from the support services and resources of SUAGM s central administration in academic, administrative and financial management aspects. This includes support in the areas of academic affairs, financial affairs, planning and institutional research, marketing, administrative affairs, human resources, and information technologies (IT), among others. Financial Statements for the Ana G. Méndez University System (SUAGM) at July 31, 2011 reflected total assets of $318.1 million. This represents an increase over the previous fiscal year of $28 million. Debt was calculated at $158.4 million for the same year, which represents a decrease of $3.9 millions, when compared to the previous fiscal year. Net income amounted to $ millions: an increase of $20.7 million. Expenses increased from $210.6 million to $230.6 million. This was due to a significant investment in salary raise, personnel benefits, and public and student services. The fiscal year shows an overall positive change in net active assets of $31.9 million; an increase of $592,000 over last fiscal year results. SUAGM s solid financial strength is evidenced by $318.1 million in assets and a $49 million endowment fund (As of Audited Financial Statements Years Ended July 31, 2011 and 2010.) See Appendix 3. The Chancellor of UMET is the chief executive officer at the university, who is supported by his staff. Together, they are responsible for campus and off-campus operations. The Institution has full academic autonomy in establishing and revising its individual mission and academic programs, under the overview of SUAGM s Board of Directors. Figure 1 SUAGM s Institutions and Additional Locations (2011) According to the latest (First semester ) report of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), SUAGM has an enrollment of 42,512 students of which 2

13 12,693 are enrolled in UMET (as shown in Table 1), which is the fourth largest institution in Puerto Rico. During the past 10 years, UMET has grown quantitatively and qualitatively in its academic offerings, especially in its graduate programs. Table 1 UMET s Students Enrolled by Degree Programs Academic Year (October) Associate Bachelors Masters Doctorate Certificate Total Degree programs Students 730 8,858 2, ,693 The three institutions (UT, UMET and UNE) are licensed by the Puerto Rico Council of Education (PRCE), the Florida Commission of Independent Education (FCIE) and by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). Additionally, they are fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The AGMVU is licensed by PRCE and working toward MSCHE accreditation. UMET s nursing programs are accredited by the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC); the School of Continuing Education is accredited by the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET). B. UMET s Mission, Vision and Goals 1. Mission of the Institution: In accordance with Article I of SUAGM Corporate Bylaws and Article I of Institutional Bylaws, each member institution adopts its mission statement. revised its Mission with the approval of the institutional governing bodies in See Appendix 4 for UMET s Mission, Vision and Goals. II. Nature and Scope of the Self-Study UMET chose the Comprehensive Self-Study Model combining standards to guide the process and to prepare the self study report. As stated by MSCHE, the use of this model enabled UMET to appraise every aspect of its programs and services, governing and supporting structures, resources, and educational outcomes in relation to the Institution s mission and goals. The design for this self study was devised according to the comprehensive model provided for a participative framework that encouraged the involvement of all university s constituents in the process. (See the Self Study Design at: timon.asp ) This process included the examination of the institutional mission to determine its attunement to the processes of strategic planning and decision making to achieve institutional goals. In the evaluation process, recent significant changes were considered with regards to new program levels and new additional locations. Financial and administrative areas were evaluated, including the relationship between the main campus and its centers and branches, and between UMET and SUAGM s central administration. The utmost priority at UMET is the full implementation, follow-up and evaluation of its Learning Outcomes Assessment Plan, as well as the proper monitoring of its recently approved Learning Outcomes Assessment Policy Statement (Standard 14). 3

14 A. Purpose and Goals of the Self-Study The purpose of this self-study process was to conduct an in-depth selfexamination with the input of the University community in order to obtain a deep institutional self-understanding, advance institutional self-improvement, assure continued high quality learning and fulfill the standards of excellence of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The self-study goals were: To conduct a thorough self-examination of academic programs and services to determine how they are contributing to the achievement of institutional goals and fulfilling UMET s mission. To assess institutional strengths and opportunities for improvement. To evaluate the effectiveness of UMET s assessment processes and to determine how the outcomes of those processes are used for decision making. To examine and assess the alignment of UMET s mission, vision and goals with academic programs and services, and SUAGM s Vision 2015 (now 2020) and its Strategic Plan. III. Organizational Structure of the Steering Committee A. Steering Committee The Chairperson of the Self-Study Steering Committee, Prof. Onelio Núñez Méndez was appointed by the Chancellor of UMET: Dr. Federico M. Matheu. Due to personal reasons, Professor Núñez had to resign. Prof. Yanilda Rodríguez, previous Co- Chair and Prof. María E. del Rio were appointed by Dr. Federico M. Matheu, as the Chairperson and Co-Chair. The other members of the Steering Committee were selected by the Chairperson and by the Associate Vice-Chancellor for Licenses and Accreditation: Prof. Adanid Prieto, who is also UMET s Associate Liaison Officer (ALO) for MSCHE. The subcommittee chairs were confirmed by the Chancellor. The selection was made according to the recommendations given by the MSCHE in the Self-Study Institute celebrated in Philadelphia in November, In the seminars, MSCHE encouraged the selection of members that represented the full campus community and that have exhibited leadership, commitment, institutional memory and that were goal-oriented. These members are recognized and well-respected among their peers and supervisors. MSCHE also recommended the selection of constituents with energy, enthusiasm and new visions to address the value of having input from fresh insights and new generational values. The Steering Committee organized twelve subcommittees to deal with each of the 14 standards of excellence. Two of the subcommittees were in charge of two standards (1, 6 and 4, 5) and the other ten were responsible for each of the remaining standards. The subcommittee s chairpersons selected members from different institutional constituencies to guarantee proper representation from all academic and administrative units in the study of each of the 14 standards of MSCHE. They also selected a Co-Chair for each subcommittee to assure continuity and to address contingencies in the self study process. A detailed list of the Steering Committee can be found in Appendix 5. 4

15 B. Design Implementation In order to collect data, each subcommittee incorporated various research techniques: surveys, focus groups, analysis of governing processes and documents and meetings with campus constituencies. The Chair and Co-Chair of the Steering Committee and various chairs of the Sub-committees attended MSCHE s 2010 and 2011 Annual Conferences for orientation and guidance. To assure communication between and within working groups the following actions were taken: 1. All subcommittees chairpersons are members of the Steering Committee 2. Each subcommittee submitted a work plan to the Steering Committee for revision and approval following the overall timetable. They also submitted monthly progress reports. 3. The Steering Committee Chair and Co-chair held meetings with Chairs and Co- Chairs of the subcommittees to guide the process and discuss the findings. 4. Members of each subcommittee identified cross-references where overlapping in findings were detected and identified and provided support documents. 5. A web page was designed to receive and give feedback between the Steering Committee, the working groups, the campus community and other constituencies. 6. A Communications Committee was established for the dissemination of the information related to the self-study process. 7. All processes, documents, administrative practices and findings were channeled to the Chancellor and his Staff through the Associate Vice Chancellery of Licensing and Accreditation. This office also served as communications liaison with MSCHE. 8. Additional locations (centers and branches) were included in all proceedings through direct participation in committees and subcommittees and through web conferences and teleconferences. Each subcommittee wrote the first draft of each standard using the Initial Report Template (http://www.suagm.edu/umet/middle_state/pdf/self-study_design.pdf Self- Study Design 2010). On June, 2011 the steering committee gathered in a three day writing workshop to work on the first draft report. This draft was available for consideration by members of the academic community. The received recommendation were considered and discussed by the Steering Committee and all relevant working groups. At the end of the process, the Steering Committee prepared the first draft of the report, to be submitted to the academic community and to the Chair of MSCHE s evaluation committee, Dr. Ruth Lugo. The preliminary visit of Dr. Lugo took place on November 21 and 22 of Her recommendations were incorporated to the document. A date for final submission to the evaluation committee was set for January 13, The document has been posted on the Web Page for the reaccreditation process since October 26, This has provided ample opportunities to all constituencies of UMET to react and provide suggestions. This Self Study Report conveys evidence of an authentic participative task of research and study of and about its compliance with the standards of MSCHE. 5

16 Chapter 1: Mission and Goals (Standard 1) and Integrity (Standard 6) UMET s mission is to provide its students with an atmosphere of academic freedom and intellectual challenge, the necessary resources to help them develop high cultural and ethical values, critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, linguistic and technological skills, as well as personal and professional skills required for success in their professions and daily lives. The institution s mission clearly defines its purpose to provide all students with the opportunities they deserve to become well prepared professionals to serve their communities and their country, as well as capable of developing a good quality of life for them and their families. The mission is attuned to the aspirations and expectations of higher education and it is reached through transparent and democratic communication between all constituents in the Main Campus, the Additional Locations and the Branches. With clear and ethical standards, regulations and policies, UMET fulfills its mission through properly implemented processes that are known to all. Standard 1: Mission and Goals UMET s mission, vision, goals and values define its purpose in the context of higher education and comply with the guidelines in MSCHE s document Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education that state: An institution of higher education is a community dedicated to the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge, to the study and clarification of values, and to the advancement of the society it serves. As part of the strategic planning, UMET s mission, vision, goals, and values are developed using official mechanisms with due representation and participation of all the university s constituencies. These statements are aligned with SUAGM s strategic mission, vision, values and goals. The drafted statements are revised and approved by the Academic Board and final revision and approval is conducted by the Administrative Council. These statements serve as the fundamental guiding principles in designing and establishing the missions, and visions of additional locations and branches, the academic schools, departments and administrative offices, as well as planning, budget and resource allocation, student services, and assessment processes. Systematic and ongoing assessment of the mission is done through the assessment of learning processes, institutional assessment and overall effectiveness which provides input for planning and resource allocation fulfilling the institution s mission. Since its establishment in 1980, UMET s strategic planning processes, attuned to SUAGM s strategic planning, have been the key to the institution s accelerated growth, development, and proactive stand. Following the last visit of MSCHE reaccreditation of UMET in 2002, the mission and vision statements were revised and approved by the Academic Board on December 3, 2002 and by the Administrative Council on December 18, 2002 (RR 1.1). This Mission has been used to develop and guide all administrative and programmatic initiatives and has been consistently validated by the implementation of key projects championed by UMET s constituents and by the PRCE. Based on the ongoing planning processes of an ever changing institution, during the self-study process, although the 2002 Mission Statement still describes UMET s 6

17 purpose and goals, the subcommittee was aware that SUAGM had recently revised its Vision 2015 and enacted Vision New strategic guidelines were also developed to cover the period of 2011 to 2015 making necessary a revision and realignment of UMET s vision, mission and goals statements to include the following distinctive areas: the first year experience, internationalization, research, and community service. A revision committee was appointed by Dr. Omar Ponce, Vice Chancellor, with due representation of all the institution s constituents lead by Professor Wanda Pierluisi, Chair of Standard 1 & 6 subcommittee. The team proposed a revision of UMET s Mission, Vision, Goals, and Core Values to include new elements with recommendations and consultation from the faculty and key administrative UMET and SUAGM leaders. Recommendations of Dr. John Gardner, President of the Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, were also included in the document. (Revised document and evidence of the revision process RR 1.2). The revised Mission Statement was approved by the Academic Board on June 6, 2011 and by the Administrative Council on October 26, Synthesis of UMET s Mission & Distinctive Features UMET s Mission states that is a private, not for profit higher education institution with a flexible admissions policy dedicated to provide its students with an atmosphere of academic freedom and intellectual challenge, the necessary resources to help them develop high cultural and ethical values, critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, linguistic and technological skills, as well as personal and professional skills required for success in their professions and daily lives. The academic experience is supported by modern technologies applied to teaching, learning, and the assessment process. UMET's distinctive institutional features are marked by: a commitment to the quality of learning, undergraduate and graduate scientific research, local and international internship opportunities and student and faculty exchange programs with prestigious institutions, and community service. UMET is highly committed to environmental resources preservation and their sustainable development. UMET s Student Profile in the Context of its Mission The Mission indicates who the institution serves and what it intends to accomplish. UMET subscribes to a flexible admissions policy in order to serve a diverse student body. By flexible admission we mean the availability of total open access to university level education while maintaining more specific and selective admission criteria in some designated academic areas. Admission policies are nondiscriminatory to any eligible applicant regardless of age, race, color, national origin, religion, gender, physical challenges (disability), marital status, and academic or economic disadvantages in order to provide opportunities for social mobility. Our Mission evidences UMET s social commitment to all areas of society, particularly to the underprivileged and academically disadvantaged students. Our student population does not fit the student profile of United States private institutions or the profile of the Puerto Rico state university system. UMET s student 7

18 profile shows that: 72.8% of the in-coming students are from the public system; 35.9% have an annual family income of less than $15,000; 48.2% live in social housing projects; 42.9% of the students reported that their father completed a high school degree or less and their mother, 33.6%. In terms of academic disadvantage: 31.3% have a high school Grade Point Average (GPA) of less than 2.5; more than 43% achieved results of 400 or less in the College Entrance Examination Board (the total value of each test is 800), and 52.6% of our students had a score of 400 or less in the English achievement part of the test. Initiatives in Support of Fulfilling UMET s Mission Numerous initiatives have been developed and implemented to contribute to students personal and academic success, as well as, to faculty enrichment and development. The following projects highlight UMET s Mission distinctive features pertaining to: quality of learning, undergraduate and graduate research, local and international internships and exchange opportunities, community service, preservation of environmental resources, and sustainable development. A First Year Induction Seminar was designed and established as a pilot project in the fall of 2009 with the participation of 290 students (19.4% of total freshmen -students enrolled in that semester). This seminar was designed to support first year students in their process of adjustment and transition to University life with the main purpose of helping them meet their educational goals. In 2010, UMET selected the Foundations of Excellence (FOE) in the First College Year model developed by Dr. John Gardner, President of the Institute in Undergraduate Education, and Dr. Betsy O. Barefoot to perform a First Year Experience Self -study. This initiative gave us a complete evaluation of UMET s first year experience and of the greatest challenges UMET faces for student retention and undergraduate education. (Quality of Learning) (CR 8, 9) A Center for Graduate Studies (CGS) was established in 2010 as part of the Title V Project (Promoting Post Baccalaureate opportunities for Hispanic Americans-Title V) (RR 1.3). The CGS has provided workshops to graduate students on topics aligned to the courses that have strengthened the curriculum and enhanced graduate students research skills. The Center provides educational materials that are geared to improve academic performance and success, and also offers psychological services to students. (Graduate Research) (CR 8, 9) UMET s reputation in developing undergraduate research skills in science and technology dates back to before 1995, the year the National Science Foundation (NSF) selected UMET as a Model Institution of Excellence (MIE). In the 11 years of the project, NSF granted approximately $30 million to develop the human, programmatic and laboratory infrastructure to support Science, Technology, and Mathematics development. The PI of the project received the Presidential Award for developing best practices to attract more Hispanic students into the pipeline of science fields. Since then, the university has driven an institutional transformation in science, technology, mathematic and the biomedical fields, forming a new cadre of scientists in Puerto Rico. During the last ten years, more than 400 students have participated in undergraduate research in science. In addition, the faculty conducts research projects that involve undergraduate 8

19 students, such as: Bioinformatics, cancer drugs development (patent approved November 15, 2011), and Biomarkers, among others. Evidence of success is measured in the number of graduates transferred to graduate school and pursuing their master s and Ph.D. s at universities in the U.S. and Spain as well as in Puerto Rico. In the last ten years, at least 35 students have either completed or are in progress of completing a Ph.D. degree, over 70 students have pursued master s degrees and 29 have gone on to pursue professional careers in chemistry, mathematics, molecular cellular biology, computer science, environmental science, pharmacy and medicine. (Undergraduate, Graduate and Faculty Research) (CR 11) In April 2010, UMET opened the Microsoft Mobile Development Laboratory, the result of an educational alliance with the software giant. In the lab, students explore and develop new capabilities for mobile devices. A team of four Science and Technology School students bested competing universities to win an opportunity to represent Puerto Rico in the global competition sponsored by Microsoft for the 2010 Imagine Cup, the world cup of software, held in Warsaw, Poland. Another team repeated this feat to represent Puerto Rico in 2011 Imagine Cup, held in New York, NY. (Undergraduate and Graduate Research) The School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Communications commitment to research and creative work is supported by a number of recent publications, both at the faculty and School level, as well as the launch of cruce journal, a well-received (20,000 hits) online magazine of contemporary socio-cultural criticism that is also printed in limited quantities. (Faculty Research) (CR 11) The bachelors degree in Entrepreneurship, established at UMET s Business School, is the first offering of its kind in Puerto Rico. During the last six years, a group of UMET s students have been successfully competing in Chicago with students representing more than 200 U.S. universities. Earning multiple awards and achieving the position as the most outstanding Entrepreneurship Program at the Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization Competition. (Quality of Learning) The Vice-Chancellery of International and Corporate Affairs (VCICA) was established to promote and facilitate UMET s international, national and local presence and participation. In 2011, this Vice-Chancellery assumed leadership in UMET s participation in the American Council on Education s (ACE) Internationalization Laboratory Project, in an effort to fulfill UMET s mission of enriching its academic programs with a global perspective. The VCICA provides students with exchange and study abroad programs based on academic mobility and parity. It also created the UMET Visiting Faculty Program mainly funded by Fulbright of the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (CIES). Research opportunities abroad are also provided to the faculty. This VCICA provides support to credit recognition, develops and administers agreements for academic partnerships with foreign universities, and coordinates for credit educational trips. The VCICA along with the Academic Deans, the Associate Vice- Chancellor of Scholarships and Internships and SUAGM s Student Research and Development Center promote local and international internships and the summer research symposium. Students from different programs have enjoyed the opportunity to participate in internships and in exchange and study abroad programs with prestigious universities such as: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon, Viterbo 9

20 University, in MN, University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, John Hopkins University; The Spanish Research Council, The Ortega & Gasset Education of Foundation, and Universidad de Granada in Spain; and with Brazilian institutions such as the Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense, Univerisidade Federal do Amzonas, and Universidade Estadual do Ceará among others. These programs offer participating students the opportunity to broaden their education by experiencing cultural diversity and exploring new academic and social scenarios. (Quality of Learning, Local and International Internships for Students & Students and Faculty Exchange) UMET is highly committed to environmental resources preservation through the establishment of new graduate programs in the School of Environmental Affairs and the comprehensive recycling initiative from the School of Science and Technology students. The recycling initiative has positioned UMET as a green institution, diverting 304,674 lbs. of waste to recyclable materials during the first six months of In addition, various partnerships have been established to involve students in programs of environmental preservation such as: Cucharillas Project, Jobos Bay Natural Reserve and collaborations with the Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources. (Environmental Resources Preservation) In 2010, UMET joined the efforts of SRI International and Universities Space Research Association (USRA) to cement a new vision of the future administration of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center in Arecibo, Puerto Rico (Arecibo Observatory) facilities. This alliance presented a proposal to the NSF, the federal agency in charge of this facility. In June, 2011, this alliance granted UMET the opportunity to manage the operations of the Arecibo Observatory, placing UMET on the international astronomy, and atmospheric sciences map. This five-year $41,000,000 award, funded by the NSF, marks the first time that a Puerto Rican institution of higher education is directly involved in the management and development of this unique research institution. The plans include the construction of a planetarium, expansion of the K-12 outreach programs and a program to impact higher education institutions in Puerto Rico through research support for faculty and graduate students. Graduate programs in Astronomy and Atmospheric Sciences will be established to develop the cadre of scientists needed to advance these important scientific fields. Also, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is sponsoring this project with a $10,000,000 contribution to study the asteroids possible impact on the Earth (RR 1.4). (Quality of Learning, Undergraduate & Graduate Research, Local and International Internships, Faculty Exchange & Community Service) In harmony with SUAGM s vision 2015 and enacted vision 2020, UMET promotes a culture of research and development in Puerto Rico and it is a participant in the Northern Technological Initiative (INTENOR for its Spanish acronym). This initiative is to promote regional development initiatives, and innovation projects to support Puerto Rico's competitiveness in the global economy. INTENOR is comprised of members from the industries, universities and 14 municipalities of the region. The first and only Scientific Park to create innovative research projects is being established in Barceloneta with a $40,000,000 contribution from the Mayor. (Community Service & Sustainable Development) 10

21 UMET is the first university in Puerto Rico to offer a Ph.D. in education. The institution made academic history when graduating its first Doctor of Philosophy in Education in the year The goal is to develop researchers in education to strengthen and support our public school system of education in its quest to provide quality teaching and learning for today s youth. (CR 11) (Quality of Learning & Graduate Scientific Research) UMET has an active athletic program that successfully competes in the Puerto Rico Intercollegiate Athletic League (LAI for its Spanish acronym). During the last four years UMET has obtained first and second place awards both in the women s and men s leagues of the intercollegiate games. The recently inaugurated (2010) UMET Sports Complex offers recreational and athletic activities to promote the physical well-being of associates, faculty and students, as well as that of the citizens of its surrounding communities. (CR 9) (Quality of Learning & Community Service) To enhance the academic experience, UMET ensures constituents a campus with newly built modern physical and grounds facilities; and a secure environment in order to foster a sense of well-being and belonging. The Capital Improvement Plan is aimed at developing UMET facilities and units to meet the needs of the university community in its continued growth. (CR 3) (Quality of Learning) UMET promotes the study of other cultures through music and hosts La Coral Metropolitana de San Juan, a coral group that integrates students, alumni and community members. La Coral has embarked on international tours to Costa Rica, Panama, Cuba, Perú, México, and China. In 2010, the Coral celebrated its 25 th anniversary with a tour to Spain. The tour combines concerts and presentations with seminars of the history, culture and music of the countries visited. La Coral is an excellent ambassador of UMET and Puerto Rican culture and music. (Quality of Learning & International Opportunities for Students) UMET s commitment to community service is ingrained in its culture. Students from different Schools participate in activities such as: tutoring and visits to children and women abuse centers to supply basic necessities and assist them develop a hydroponic garden, among other educational activities. Also students from the School of Health Sciences engage in community services with activities such as: health clinics and health education for the university community and members from surrounding communities, coordination with Red Cross for blood donation and screening clinics for cancer. A Community Service Learning Course was created as an elective for all academic programs. (Quality of Learning & Community Service) UMET s facilities are also available for community activities such as graduations from surrounding public and private schools, conferences and workshops from non-profit and government corporations and continuing education activities for professional development. Also, through a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant, UMET s main campus established the Center for Community Services. This office coordinates community service activities such as: civism conferences and environmental awareness workshops; and provides tutoring, employment search and retraining services to the surrounding communities. (Community Service) UMET values adult education by offering them non traditional methods of achieving higher education. The School of Professional Studies offers adults the 11

22 opportunity to advance their careers through an accelerated, constructivist curriculum designed specifically to fulfill the needs of the adult population. (CR 11, 13) (Quality of Learning) Academic experience is supported by modern technologies applied to teaching and learning. UMET has 100% Internet access coverage that guarantees secure and consistent connections through WiFi. Most classrooms are equipped with video projection systems and smart boards. Forty-seven computer labs are equipped with more than 1,361 computers and video web conference facilities and are available to our students, faculty and community. The Library with more than 54 electronic periodical databases allows our academic community to access resources through the Internet from all parts of our Planet. (CR 11) (Quality of Learning) The Dissemination of UMET s Mission UMET s mission, vision, goals and values are disseminated through various mechanisms such as: the institution s webpage, university catalogs, workshops and orientation sessions for new students, orientation sessions for new employees, faculty / student handbooks, printed material (brochures and flyers, among others.), posters on the bulletin boards and throughout the academic Schools. The mission statement is also bookmarked and part of the content of the First Year Students Induction Seminar Course (FYIS). The subcommittee for standard 1 conducted a study to identify the effectiveness of the dissemination processes. Questionnaires were administered to associates, faculty and students using the web surveyor from February to June Findings suggest that 97.4% of associates (109 of 387 = 28.2% response rate) and 98.2% of faculty (123 of 1039 = 11.8% response rate) know the Institution s mission. However, students rate of response was low (294 of 12,370=2.4%) and showed that only 56.9% of those that answered know the mission. Associates, faculty and students answered that the webpage was the best mechanism to disseminate the mission and goals, following workshops and orientation sessions as second best mechanisms (RR 1.5). Strength As the proverb says When there is a will, there is a way UMET s mission is the will and its goals are the way. The academic community is engaged in helping UMET fulfill its mission to be recognized locally and globally as a leading higher education institution for its inclusiveness, its excellence and innovation in teaching, research and community service. Standard 6: Integrity UMET is steered by the following core values: Excellence as the maximum aspiration of all teaching, research, creative activities, and service endeavors; Innovation as a constant to guarantee the pertinence and quality of programs and services; Freedom of thought and expression as an indispensable basis in the search and diffusion of knowledge; Equality in recognizing the value of education as an instrument to provide 12

23 better opportunities and to fully develop the potential of human beings; Respect for the diversity and dignity of human beings; Social Responsibility regarding the needs of the community, the country and the humanity of which all are part, and Integrity in all dealings as an educational, research, and public service entity. Integrity is the foundation for all scholarly work, policies, procedures and evaluation processes. UMET regulates and prohibits any act or omission that harms and disrupts the principle of integrity by way of a series of political, institutional rules and regulations, and compliance with laws which constitute its core. UMET adheres to ethical standards and its own stated policies through participative processes with respect for academic and intellectual freedom. Disclosure and information transparency are regularly checked by department heads for accuracy and revision; communication channels are open to receive constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement. There is due process in every real or foreseen situation and the opportunity to deliberate and act upon unplanned or unexpected issues that may arise. Information Disclosure Policies Numerous communication channels are employed to comply with the policy of full disclosure required by federal law known as the Student Right to Know Act and also comply with the Jeanne Cleary Disclosure Act, reporting the criminal incidents that occur on or off campus. UMET ensures that all published information is accurate and reliable. Documents are drafted by the Admissions Office and are approved by the corresponding Administrative Bodies before publication. Printed materials are available to students in the Office of Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs. On Freshmen Orientation Day, the Associate Vice Chancellery of Student Retention and Development (AVSRD) distributes all pertinent documents saved in a USB drive. (CR 8) The primary communication channel used by UMET to disseminate to all its constituencies, in an accurate and timely manner, the changes and issues affecting the institution, such as: publications, changes in policies and new executive orders, new academic programs, admissions and graduation requirements, financial aid, catalogs, accreditation status, Student Handbook and other related information is through Microsoft Software Outlook and the website: The information related to the Branch Campuses can be found in the following websites: or Printed materials are also available at the administrative offices. The abovementioned survey shows that: 80% of the associates who completed the questionnaire indicated that the website is an effective dissemination mechanism, 31.3% regarded workshops and orientation sessions as the second best mechanism for dissemination. 76% of faculty members answered that the webpage is an effective mechanism for dissemination followed by 26.4%, who rated the workshops and orientations sessions as the second best mechanism of dissemination. The rate of response from students was very low (2.4%) and thus was not considered representative of the population, but the data provided by those who answered revealed that 74.7 % of the students rated the webpage as an effective mechanism of dissemination and 28.1% 13

24 rated it as second best after workshops and orientation sessions. The results suggest that the website is an effective dissemination mechanism followed by workshops and orientation sessions. Information gathered in the process of administering the surveys point out that the reason for students low response rate could be the lack of use of SUAGM s accounts. A follow up investigation is recommended for this last finding. (All documents related to disclosure policies will be available in the RR 1.6). Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) In compliance with federal guidelines and regulations, is under the FERPA. The institution has an information bulletin on this law, which is publicly available in the Registrar s Office. FERPA policy information is available to students, faculty, administration, and staff in the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Students Affairs (RR 1.7). At the additional locations, it is published by the Integrated Services Coordination Offices and at the branch campuses, the information is available at their respective administrative offices. Under FERPA, the University keeps two distinct categories of records: Directory Information Records and Limited Access Records. The first category contains information that may be made public. The second category contains the students permanent academic records, disciplinary records, financial information, testing data, and all other records or information. Information from the Limited Access Records will only be released with written permission from the student. The Registrars Office is the designated custodian of the official academic records and is responsible for maintaining the safety and security of the official academic records in a fireproof safe. In July 2007, the social security number that was used to identify students, faculty and associates was changed to a numerical identification starting with S00xxxxxx to guarantee the right to confidentiality. Grievances and Discipline The Office of the Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs has clear procedures for receiving and handling students complaints and grievances and is in charge of investigating complaints, incidents and violations to policies and rules requiring disciplinary actions. When a grievance is issued, resolutions might be: resolved, dismissed or referred to the Disciplinary Council. The Disciplinary Council manages all student violations of institutional rules and administers the appropriate disciplinary action. The mechanisms that address student grievances and discipline have proven to be effective, and the incidences that occurred have been satisfactorily resolved. The Institution s compliance with the resolution of disciplinary actions is well documented in the Disciplinary Council s Annual Reports to (RR 1.8) At the Branch Campuses this responsibility resides in the Campus Director. The responsibilities of the Disciplinary Council remain the same. 14

25 Safety on Campus UMET complies with the Jeanne Cleary Disclosure Act, reporting all unlawful incidents that occur on or off campus. The "Crime Incident Report by Category" for 2004 through 2011, is available on SUAGM s website (http://www.suagm.edu/det_content.asp?cnt_id=705&cn_id=652).this report, which includes crime incidences at UMET s main campus and additional locations in PR and Mainland branches, was prepared by Mr. Wilfredo Rondón Ramírez, Director of Security (RR 1.9). No violent crimes were reported during years 2004 to Principles and policy manuals that promote good behavior in the university community have been established and implemented. It is important to point out that in 2009 The Puerto Rico Manufacturing Association (PRMA) granted UMET the following two awards for being a safe institution: Distinguished Safety Performance Award, and Meritorious Improvement Award. On June 24th, 2011, UMET received the President s Award as part of the Safety Award Programs granted by the Industrials Association. Academic Integrity In UMET s core values, freedom of thought and expression are indispensable basis in the search and diffusion of knowledge. The following mechanisms prove UMET s commitment to foster the academic integrity and intellectual freedom of faculty, staff, and students: 1. provides new incoming and registered students information related to academic course scheduling, curriculum and support services through various means: UMET s General Catalog (http://www.suagm.edu/umet/con_vicerrectoria_asuntos_academicos_catalogo.asp), Contact Center (telephone) and brochures. 2. All Academic Schools have a template known as the Curricular Sequence for each major. This document serves as a checklist and guides the student in selecting their courses and in the evaluation of their progress towards program completion. The students have direct access to course scheduling through the website or through their respective school's academic advisor or coordinator, who are responsible for assisting them in the selection of courses. 3. Students have web access to their grades and the right to dispute them through due process as detailed in the Students Handbook (http://www.suagm.edu/umet/pdf/vida_estudiantil/reglamento%20de%20estudiantes %20Página%20WEB%20marzo% pdf ) (RR 1.10). 4. Deadlines to add, drop and withdraw from courses are published in the Academic Calendar by term. 5. For the branch campuses, related information is included in the General Catalog which can be accessed through: or It is also available in brochures, flyers and over the telephone. 15

26 A survey was administered to students through the Web Surveyor in order to identify whether UMET s support programs help them graduate within the published program length. Although the response rate of students was low and the results are not entirely reliable, they are included in this document as support data. The results were the following: 80.9% of the students stated that the curricular sequence and the programmed offerings helped them visualize when they would obtain their grade. Another finding showed that 91% made their course selection and registration on site, at their respective School with the help of the academic advisor; 11.9% used the web page; 9.7% used the Office of Quality of Life and Student s Welfare services and 2.3% used other means. Students recommended that the current course schedule format, as published on the website, be revised to organize courses by campus, additional locations and branches in order to expand their enrollment choices. Research, Copyright and Intellectual Property UMET adheres to a series of policies to ensure integrity in research, copyright and intellectual property, evidenced as follows: 1. The Whistleblower Policy # (RR 1.11), April 1, 2009 aims to protect members of the faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and any other member of the community who act in good faith, to disclose violations of law and serious breaches of conduct covered by the system policies. 2. Research, Intellectual Property and Copyright Policy, Executive Order # (RR 1.12) has been implemented to protect the rights on intellectual property of the SUAGM, its students, employees (faculty and staff) or self employed personnel. It addresses the following issues of academic and intellectual freedom: the right of faculty members to publish, conduct research and teach the discipline of their expertise; the right of faculty members to participate in the design, content, objectives, methods, techniques and strategies used in their courses.; the right to develop and implement curriculum programs and majors; the right of faculty and associates to freedom of expression, within and outside the institution; and the right to participate in decision making processes. (CR 10) In relation to the Whistleblower Policy the aforementioned survey revealed that 44.3% of the associates, 44% of the faculty, and only 18.4% of the students who answered the questionnaire indicated they knew it. Approximately 42% of the associates, 29.6% of the faculty and 39.5% of the students that answered believe that the policy is effective. In relation to the Research, Intellectual Property and Copyright Policy, the survey revealed that 74.8% of the associates, 80% of the faculty and 53.5% of students who answered the questionnaire indicated knowing SUAGM s copyright policy. In relation to plagiarism policy the survey revealed that100% of the associates, 100% of the faculty and 95.3% of students who answered the questionnaire indicated knowing the Plagiarism policy. 92.2% of the associates, 96% of the faculty and 90.3% of the students state that they know the academic and legal consequences of infringing said policy. In the 16

27 questionnaire, 68% of the faculty, 45% of the associates and only 18.1% of the students stated knowing the Executive Order # of Intellectual Property. In conjunction with UMET s emphasis on research, SUAGM established the Compliance Office which includes an Institutional Review Board (IRB), an Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) and the Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC). This office is responsible for maintaining research integrity compliance and delivering responsible conduct of research and scholarship training. The Compliance Office handles the review process for research. Its web page contains comprehensive instructions for completing applications. This office has processed approximately 372 requests in the past five years. Information on Financial Aid Ninety percent (90%) of UMET s full time students qualify to receive federal aid and/or participate in the work/study program. Information on financial aid can be found on the Web page and in the Financial Aid Office. This office provides financial aid to eligible students to finance their college education. Financial need evaluation criteria are established by federal, state and institutional regulations. The Financial Aid Office s vision maintains as part of its philosophy the principle of equal education opportunity for students. This Office is a highly regulated area with fiscal policies and institutional financial aid information readily available for students, their family and all SUAGM associates. (RR 1.13) (CR 9) Information about Institutional Performance Indicators UMET provides forthcoming and active students information related to institutional performance indicators through various sources. UMET complies with the Students Right to Know Act, reporting and showing the retention and graduation rates on the web site Other documents that inform students about performance indicators include: UMET s Fact Sheet, SUAGM s Fact Sheet, Retention and Graduation Report and IPEDS. Written materials and institutional information are distributed at workshops and student orientation sessions. (CR 8, 9) Recruitment, Evaluation and Promotion UMET holds policies that promote good practices in the areas of recruitment, evaluation, compensation, retention, promotion in rank and termination of employment. They are published and periodically updated on SUAGM s website. These documents are also available in hardcopy at the Human Resources Office and are fully detailed in the Faculty Handbook: ofesorado.pdf and in the Associates Handbook Nombramiento/Manual_del_asociado.pdf (RR 1.14). These practices are effective as 17

28 evidenced by a low employee turnover ratio. The turnover report submitted in June 15, 2011 shows the following turnover ratio by year: : 1.48%; : 1.21%; : 1.15%; : 1.60%; : 1.03%. (RR 1.15) Equity and Diversity in Recruitment, Enrollment, and Retention of Minority and Disabled Students UMET subscribes to a flexible admissions policy in order to serve a diverse student body. By flexible admission we mean the availability of total open access to university level education while maintaining more specific and selective admission criteria in some designated academic areas. Admissions policies are nondiscriminatory to any eligible applicant regardless of age, race, color, national origin, religion, gender, physical challenges (disability), marital status, and academic or economic disadvantages. All students are provided with an equal opportunity to receive available funds according to their specific academic and economic needs. (RR 1.16 Students Success Stories) The Office of Quality of Life and Student Welfare provides counseling services, follow up services, and support to students with special needs, to help them succeed and graduate within the scheduled time. These responsibilities are shared with the Office of First Year Students and in the academic Schools. Surveys conducted in 2008 and 2009 to assess these offices services, show that at least 90% of students rate them as excellent. The monitoring of students compliance with the standard of academic progress is the responsibility of this Office and the Upper Division academic advisors for sophomore students and above. For freshmen students, the responsibility of monitoring the standard of academic progress relies on the Office of First Year Students. The Standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress published in the Catalog. Strengths UMET is steered by its core values that show adherence to ethical standards in the conduct of its programs and activities involving the public and the constituencies it serves, providing support for academic and intellectual freedom. Recommendations Since SUAGM s website is the most used dissemination mechanism, it should be restructured to add a search engine, and according to students recommendations, the current course schedule format, as published on the website, should be revised to organize courses by campus, additional locations and branches. The survey opened the opportunity to explore more and better modes of access to information for our students and the need to sustain training and support services for the use of safe and effective accounts. 18

29 Chapter 2: Planning, Resource Allocation and Institutional Renewal (Standard 2) and Institutional Resources (Standard 3) UMET is a learning community that responds swiftly to the needs and interests of its students, faculty and administrative personnel set in adequate, safe and attractive facilities. Planning and resource allocation are based on UMET s mission and goals, and are developed through a carefully strategic guideline process that includes the use of assessments results. The Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment (OPAI for its Spanish acronym) guides academic and administrative divisions in their timely decision making processes to guarantee continuous quality improvement. Financial resources are carefully placed to obtain efficiency and effectiveness of all institutional divisions. The appointed subcommittee for Standards 2 and 3 analyzed and verified the links between the institutional mission, vision, goals and planning and resource allocation and those currently in place at SUAGM s Central Administration. It also analyzed the availability and allocation of UMET s institutional resources and assessed the effectiveness and efficiency of this process. The alignment between UMET s strategic planning and work plans to the Strategic Development Guidelines (GED for its Spanish acronym) (RR 2.1) was verified. In order to demonstrate that UMET possesses the Characteristics of Excellence identified in the Commission s Standards 2 & 3, data and documents related to planning, resource allocation and institutional renewal were analyzed in direct communication and collaboration of SUAGM s Vice President of Planning and Academic Affairs (VPPAA). Planning and Institutional Renewal Planning at the institutions is an on-going, institutionalized, three-level process which follows the policies established at SUAGM and involves all the academic and administrative constituencies. Since its establishment in 1980, planning processes have been part of UMET s development and have always been attuned to the planning processes of SUAGM. As shown in Figure 2.1, the first level, systemic and institutional strategic planning, involves the development of GED. Strategic goals are developed within the context of Vision 2015 and also take into consideration each SUAGM institution s mission. The GED constitutes the normative reference on which other physical, programmatic and operational plans should be based. Upon these strategic guidelines, a second programmatic planning level is developed by identifying 3-year medium range plans for key strategic areas or special projects, such as: program and faculty development, technology acquisition plan, additional locations, and retention strategies, among others. The annual operational planning-budgeting cycle is the third level, which will reflect the short-range implementation of priorities. Each institution has its annual operational plan. 19

30 Figure 2.1 Institutional Strategic Planning Strategic Planning Process Strategic Planning is framed within the scope of SUAGM s long-range strategic roadmap statement, Vision 2015: By the year 2015, AGMUS will be recognized for its excellence in learning, research, and service; for its social responsibility and pertinence, and its growing global projection. (RR 2.2) This Vision affirms that SUAGM will be recognized for its Excellence, Innovation and Responsibility. A seven vectors (areas) structure is the foundation on which the strategic planning is developed and serves to prioritize its objectives, goals and initiatives. These vectors fall into the following categories: Core: Academic Affairs; Student Development and Services; and Public Function Support: Management and Organizational Development; Physical and Technology Infrastructure; and Fiscal Strength Assessment: Institutional Quality and Effectiveness In order to support the institutional planning processes with specific tasks in the areas of implementation and evaluation of short and long term development plans; to provide training on issues related to planning processes; and to coordinate the effective integration of academic assessment processes with planning processes, SUAGM s VPPAA created the position of Director of Planning (2004) attached to UMET. Subsequently, in August 2006, the position of Director of Planning evolved to Assistant Vice President of Planning. Among its duties and responsibilities are: 20

31 Coordinates the processes of reviewing, implementing and evaluating the institution s GED, in coordination with the various components and the VPPAA. Advises the Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, Deans of Schools and other constituencies on internal and external issues that impact their development projections. Provides support to the Deans and Directors of Additional Locations in the preparation and evaluation of development plans for their respective schools. Ensures proper articulation between development plans and fiscal projections in coordination with the Assistant VP for Budgeting. In 2007 UMET established OPAI. This office integrates the Planning Office with the Office of Institutional Assessment to strengthen the assessment of institutional effectiveness, to achieve greater integration of the findings of academic and institutional assessment with short and long term development plans and to strengthen the processes of data, statistical and financial analysis. These changes were implemented to strengthen institutional planning. Also, as a result of the evaluation of planning and budgeting processes a Financial Planning Policy (RR 2.3) was developed. Five Year Strategic Development Guidelines Planning Phases The VPPAA is responsible for the coordination and monitoring of the development process of the GED by providing guidance, technical support and requested data (institutional and / o external). UMET analyzes how the internal and the external factors impact the organization. Currently the institution is embarked in the design and development of the next five-year GED , which include a revision of the vectors (RR 2.4). The process of developing the institutional GED is divided into three phases. A flowchart of the process is included in Appendix 6. The first phase involves the analysis of external and internal factors (environment) and results of institutional and learning assessment, which provide a profile of the institution by identifying internal strengths and weaknesses, and external opportunities and threats (SWOT). Indicators that are considered to analyze the internal situation include: admissions, enrollment by academic program and level, retention, graduation, new student profile, retention of non-traditional populations, degrees conferred, faculty profile, the average number of students per course section, and benchmarking with other institutions. The analysis of factors affecting UMET is discussed with the various working units (Schools, Vice-Chancelleries, Additional Locations, and Administrative Offices). Their recommendations are considered for the development of the GED. (See related documentation of the process RR 2.5) Among the external environmental trends affecting the institution, the following are considered: emerging trends in higher education, market share, demographics, high school enrollment, social and economic condition of Puerto Rico, and labor market. 21

32 The purpose of this strategic review is to identify the critical issues of the institution that must be considered in the goals and objectives and in the development of projects and initiatives of the institution. (Informe sobre el análisis del ambiente interno y externo de la UMET para las Guías Estratégicas ) (Report of the analysis of the external and internal environment for devising the Strategic Guidelines ) (RR 2.6) The second phase of the process focuses on the drafting of the GED. This phase consists of: distribution of the institution s profile to each work unit; each work unit drafts the strategic goals; once the goals are approved by the Chancellor, these are incorporated into the document and the GED is drafted; submit the final GED document to the Administrative Council for formal approvals and submit the final document for approval by the Executive Committee and SUAGM s Board of Directors. The third phase of the GED planning process is its disclosure. The plan is disseminated through the Web; a final document is distributed to the university s community in digital format (CD) and is also available in printed format. In addition, the Chancellor presents the GED to the faculty during the annual first faculty workshop. The GED disclosure process is effective. Annual Work Plans The Committee for Planning and Budget develop a document guiding the preparation of the Work Plan and Budget of the work units (RR 2.7). That document contains the preliminary budget allocation and the results of the assessment processes of the institution. Each work unit (Academic Schools, Additional Locations, Vice-Chancelleries, Administrative Offices) develop their annual work plans using that document as a guide. This document guides the different working units to develop a work plan and budget aligned to the institutional mission and the strategic plan and also considers the results of assessment (institutional and student learning) (RR 2.8). Effectiveness of Institutional Plans The process of evaluating the effectiveness of the plans is an essential part of the planning cycle. This process is systematic and continuous and the evaluation is both formative and summative. It assesses whether the institution meets the goals set, if it is addressing the identified critical issues and if it is attuned with its mission. (CR 7) Institution plans are evaluated at mid-year and at the end of each year. This evaluation is coordinated by the Assistant Vice-President of Planning. with the participation of various work units: Vice Chancellors of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, External Resources, Information Resources, Outreach, International and Corporate Affairs, Physical Facilities Manager; Deans, and Directors of the additional locations. This evaluation is a participatory and systematic process which includes the following tasks: 22

33 1. A template is developed with the goals projected in the work plans so that each unit can draft the report of progress or achievements. 2. Interviews are conducted, if necessary, to collect information on their achievements. 3. An integrated report of the evaluation results is prepared from the information gathered. Using a previously established scale, the level of compliance is calculated. This is done for each of the strategic vectors and for the Institution s goals. 4. The results are analyzed, and a compilation of general comments is made during the process. 5. The report is discussed with the work units, including faculty and the goals not achieved are considered for the next work plan. Resources Allocation and Institutional Resources The proper allocation of the institutional resources is of utmost importance to operate an efficient and active university. The effective distribution of our human, financial, technological and physical facilities resources allows UMET to grow, to provide services to its constituencies and support its mission and goals. UMET s mission guides the distribution of resource allocation focusing on the needs identified by the different constituents. See budget planning in RR 2.9. SUAGM s financial statements are consolidated and include the financial results of the components of SUAGM; Universidad del Este (UNE), (UMET), Universidad del Turabo (UT) and Sistema TV (a noncommercial public television station). Nevertheless, we have the information and accounting systems in place to allocate the results to its corresponding component, so that the fiscal condition of each institution can be examined on its own. Our financial information systems (BANNER by Sungard) and chart of accounts are structured so that whenever possible, each financial transaction is institution specific. The projections are based on trends, although we have been conservative in our assumptions. (Breakdown of the audited financial results and projections for UMET will be available upon request) SUAGM is a budget driven institution. The basis for the budget is funds from the projected headcount and credit hours for the year per institution, as proposed and approved by deans and chancellors, under the direction of the VPPAA and the Vice Presidency of Financial Affairs (VPFA). Also, trends in revenues and expenditures in the previous years and the estimated costs of new projects or initiatives are considered when structuring the overall budget. Four funds compose our budget: Operational Fund: includes the revenues and expenditures that cover operations of the institution. Plant Fund: includes revenues from construction and technology fees paid by students. It also accounts for the costs of minor improvements to plant and technological equipment and software. Restricted Fund: includes revenues from grants and contracts that are subject to donor-imposed stipulations. Endowment Fund: is a pool of investable wealth that has a perpetual investment horizon and is tax exempt. 23

34 Financial Resources UMET operates with funds that come from different sources, with tuition which represents 92% of UMET s revenues as the main source. The revenues are complemented with external funding from grants and other donations. The complete process to determine the estimated revenue that will be considered during Budget is divided as follows: Stage 1 Base Projection The VPAII, an office of the VPPAA, produces an initial enrollment projection based upon the analysis of five (5) year historical trends and distributed by: o Component (campus, off-campus, adult program, technical programs) o School o Level (undergraduate and graduate) o Type of student population (new students or active students). Stage 2 Institutional Level Review Base projection is discussed and analyzed in meetings with all the School Deans and Additional Location s Directors. Base projections are adjusted with additional information provided by the School Deans regarding new projected programs. VP for Marketing and Student Services also participates at this stage. Stage 3 Chancellor Review Adjusted projections are discussed with the Chancellor. The Chancellor revises the projections accordingly to include special needs. Stage 4 Financial Projections Following the Chancellor s approval, projections are submitted to SUAGM s Vice-Presidency of Financial Affairs (VPFA). VPFA uses approved projections to estimate revenues based on head count, credit hours and existing price structure. Stage5 Board of Directors Approval Budget allocation is made based on existing fiscal policies and considering institutional plans and priorities. Other Financial Resources In FY 2011, Puerto Rico experienced its 5 th straight year of negative economic growth. For fiscal years 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Puerto Rico s real gross national product decreased by 1.2%, 2.9%, 4% and 3.8% respectively. Most of the external factors that affect the economy in the Island are determined by the policies and performance of the Mainland economy. Among the variables contributing to the decrease in gross national product was the continuous contraction of the manufacturing and construction sectors, the current difficulties associated with the financial crisis that resulted in lower short-term interest rates, and the increase in cost of living. Puerto Rico s economic situation of recent years has made it increasingly necessary for UMET to identify other strategies to obtain funds, such as external resources and donations. 24

35 External resources allocation also supports UMET in achieving its mission and goals. The SUAGM Permanent Scholarship Fund (PSF) ensures that economically disadvantaged students complete their college degree in a timely manner. This program is a donation-based commitment through the establishment of a Scholarship Endowment Fund. UMET s donors (corporations, foundations and individuals) pledge their financial support and SUAGM matches every dollar donated. Despite the difficult economic situation facing our country, throughout its fifteen years, the PSF has supported more than 273 UMET students who otherwise would not have been able to achieve their dreams. Currently, 34 UMET donors sponsor 64 PSF scholarships. Since 2007 to 2011, 78 PSF students have graduated. In 2004 UMET also established an Annual Fund (a philanthropic and fundraising effort) aimed at creating opportunities for our students through: partial scholarships, stipends for scientific research, books, internships and student exchange programs, among others. In 2010 it launched the Luminaries of Dreams campaign which is fed from donations from the associates, alumni, foundations, corporations and individuals. Faculty and administrators have become actively engaged in proposal writing to support and strengthen academia, student services and physical facilities, provide scholarships to students and to design faculty development programs, among others (Proposal Granted in RR 2.10). Table 2.1 shows the amount of external funding awards that UMET has received during the last three years. Table 2.1 UMET s Grants Awarded External Funding Awards $ 13,511,000 $15,304,000 $ 16,818,000 Budget Planning Process UMET follows SUAGM s policy procedure for planning and preparation of work plans tied to budget requests. This procedure is intended to formalize the process of resource allocation; its alignment with the work plans links it to the institutional mission, vision and goals. Budgetary support is focused toward: academic development, facilities improvement, student support services, athletic programs, and to promote an excellent working environment for our university community. The annual budget preparation accompanies the working plan development. Officers from the Academic Schools, Vicechancelleries, Administrative offices and Additional Locations meet with the members of the Planning and Budget Committee. This Committee is composed of the Vice- Chancellor of Administrative Affairs, the Assistant VP of Planning, the Assistant VP of Budget and the Associate Vice-Chancellor of Administrative Affairs to discuss their budgets and working plans. After a final revision they submit their individual budget requests to the Chancellor, who analyses and prioritizes them in accordance with UMET s strategic plan. The Chancellor submits UMET s budget petition to the Vice president of Financial Affairs who presents it to the Board of Directors for final approval. 25

36 Finally, the distribution of UMET s financial resources is based on a budget for operating expenses issued by the VP of Financial Affairs, as approved by the Board of Directors. For the purposes of increasing the participation of all the constituencies, on the future budgeting processes, faculty and student representatives of the Administrative Council will be appointed to the Planning and Budgeting Committee. Table 2.2 shows UMET s budget for the last four years ( ) and UMET s projected budget. The cumulative percentage of each of the programs costs in relation to the total for the year is included in Appendix 7. It is important to highlight that Salaries represent 51% of the total budget. Table 2.2 UMET s Historic Program Costs and Proposed Budget PROGRAM DESCRIPTION * 11 INSTRUCTION 21,178,480 22,124,414 20,762,138 24,385,227 24,247, SCHOLARSHIPS & STIPENDS 876,371 1,245,624 1,249,246 1,391,054 1,119, ACADEMIC SUPPORT 2,027,683 1,966,772 1,859,601 2,106,383 1,963, STUDENT SERVICES 3,977,781 3,746,529 3,482,384 4,245,015 4,015, INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT 2,917, ,041 4,800,744 4,853,736 4,068, DEPRECIATION & AMORTIZATION 25,094 25,084 25,094 25,094 19, INTEREST 2,115,522 2,073,514 2,029,983 1,985,224 1,923, PHYSICAL PLANT 7,987,261 7,809,075 7,996,315 9,710,455 9,146, RETIREMENT OF INDEBTEDNESS 925, , , , , TRANSFERS 8,973,190 9,339,583 12,212,316 12,026,173 11,381,392 GRAND TOTAL 51,004,410 50,105,003 55,329,033 61,696,612 58,844,592 * Projected income for was estimated considering that the year round Pell will not be available for Summer 2012 and therefore income for this year contemplates this adjustment Human Resources UMET takes prides in its human resources, faculty and staff, all of whom provide important services to our students. An important area for budget allocation is the need for human resources. UMET conducts a needs assessment to identify areas to be developed in terms of additional human resources considering the requests of the different areas of the organization during the budgetary process. After the funds are allocated for the requested positions, the nominations are recommended to the Committee of Positions Control, who is responsible for evaluating the creation of new positions, recruitment to vacant posts and the availability of funds to make these appointments feasible. The Human Resources Department uses benchmarking to create new units of work, for creating new jobs, for administrative restructuring and the allocation of salary scales, taking into consideration the market trends and UMET s Strategic Plan. They identify institutions that are comparable in enrollment accomplishments, served population and high productivity levels. Market analysis is carried out and evaluation is made of the core component of the areas versus the comparable institutions. Based on the 26

37 findings, administrative and financial decisions are made, tempered with UMET goals and aligned to the availability of resources. To undertake wage increases and revisions of salary scales, SUAGM verifies its comparable educational market and takes into consideration the increased cost of living. In the process of granting increases the wage structure is evaluated and internal equity in salaries among associates and faculty is confirmed. Since the last monitoring report, approximately 50 additional full time associates and 40 full time faculty have been hired. This year, 18 full time substitute faculty have been hired to address the need for more full time faculty. At present there are 154 full time faculty members, 492 full time associates and 220 transitory associates. (Contracts available upon request) Funds are allocated for faculty training and development as well as for research projects. (Details CR 10). The institution provides numerous workshops and training opportunities for its staff, based on surveys, needs assessment and evaluation results. In addition, administrative personnel may benefit from institutional administrative scholarships to complete their degrees at UMET or at other SUAGM institutions. Physical Resources The institutional mission is focused on supporting the full development of the university community; providing cutting-edge facilities, which promote SUAGM as a first-class university system and target the educational needs of the Island. Since its foundation in 1979, real estate has expanded from 4.55 acres to acres of land. Since the last reaccreditation visit, the main campus physical facilities went from 289,384 square feet to 546,497 square feet and from eight main buildings to 25 buildings. UMET - Main Campus is located in an urban area on both sides of an avenue (# 176), renamed Ana G Méndez after its founder. UMET s facilities include: classrooms, laboratories (science, nursing, respiratory therapy, computer, communications and research), library, faculty offices, administrative offices, cafeterias, and common areas. All physical facilities comply with state and federal regulations (police, fire department, OSHA, biosafety compliance, ADA compliance - CR 9) as they apply. Surveys administrated to students, faculty and associates shows that they are satisfied with the physical facilities. The Facilities Master Plan identifies the future development of UMET s facilities in support of its mission and is aimed at meeting the needs of the university community in its continued growth. The Capital Improvement Plan is based on projected students enrollment and academic offerings of all institutions in SUAGM. The projects are awarded based on academic priorities, and student and administrative needs. There is a construction fee that is used to address these needs. During the initial evaluation, the institution determines the priority for each project considering equity among the different areas. Projects are prioritized according to SUAGM s economic capacity to develop them and based on institutional needs to improve academic and administrative areas such as: additions and improvements to existing buildings (classrooms, laboratories, faculty and administrative offices), development and acquisition of new buildings, improvements of available 27

38 spaces and services. The plan must provide a long-term goal; it must be realistic and respond to the needs and budget realities. The budget for the implementation of the physical development projects is designed according to the policy of Cost Estimation in Physical Development of April 2, 2005 (SUAGM # ) (RR 2.11). This policy establishes as parameters the needs analysis of UMET s academic offerings (current and new), its development plan and support services versus the capacity of existing physical facilities to meet these plans. Projects will be budgeted according to the analysis set out in that policy. These projects development is overseen jointly by the VPPAA and the Vice Presidency for Administrative Affairs (VPAA). Each project has an initial budget during UMET s annual fiscal year (August 1 thru July 31). Project data analysis is based on the commitments undertaken, historical and expected costs, service contracts at the date of commencement and termination, payroll, materials required, and work plans. Each project is monitored according to the expenditure and commitments awarded to it, in order to ensure its solvency. Upon completion of the project, the project account is terminated and closed and it is released to the UMET s Facilities Division. This division is in charge of preventive maintenance of the facilities. Since MSCHE last reaccreditation visit, UMET has invested more than $40 million to develop more than 70 projects (RR 2.13). Table 2.3 shows budget allocation for some of UMET s facilities projects. UMET has allocated over 28 million dollars in major capital improvement projects tied to its strategic development plan (Master Plan RR 2.12). Some of the most significant recent projects have been: the acquisition of several buildings at UMET Bayamón, including the establishment of the School of Health Sciences; the acquisition of additional facilities at UMET Aguadilla for administrative offices and classrooms; and the state of the art communications laboratory with digital production, sound and editing room as well as a filming and recording studio at the main campus. Table 2.3 Examples of Budget Allocation to Facilities Projects for the Last Three Years Project Name Allocation School of Health Science Building - UMET Bayamon $ 1.6 MM Purchase of the Multilevel Parking - UMET Bayamon 3.2 MM Sport Complex - Main Campus 1.7 MM Multilevel Parking - Main Campus (AFICA) 12 MM Sport Center Complex (Phi Eta Mu) 3.5 MM El Imperial - UMET Aguadilla 4.2 MM Communication Department Integrated Laboratory 2.0 MM Total $ 28.2 MM Technology Resources The integration of technology as an institutional priority is in direct support of UMET s mission and vision. responds to technological 28

39 advances in a timely manner allowing our students, faculty and staff access to current technology and applications. UMET has a Technology Committee where the needs and types of technological equipment which must be purchased for the optimal functioning of the University are discussed. This Committee is composed by deans and faculty members and is chaired by the Director of Informatics and Telecommunications. UMET has identified the desirability of integrating students to this Committee. Technological development projects may be academic, or administrative in nature, addressing the priority needs of the Institution. UMET keeps a current Technology Acquisition Plan that takes into account the direction that Institution will undertake to acquire technology equipment (RR 2.14). External funding has helped to acquire technological equipment. The current status of technology in the institution provides valuable input for the subsequent development of the plan. This plan is aligned to the institutional needs and provides for equipment replacement. Equipment acquisitions changed from lease to open (bid) market, in order to have different options for the acquisition of technological equipment at competitive prices. The acquisition is in direct consultation with the School (deans and faculty) and Vice-chancelleries (staff) taking into consideration their needs and priorities. UMET s budget provides for the university community to have access to a wide range of online services. Students technological fee is used for acquisition and maintenance of technological resources. Technological initiatives include: n wireless networking standard where the community has access to three areas, "Administrative-secure-zone", "Academic-secure-zone" and "Guest-zone ; 98% of the classrooms are equipped with projection equipment, and a complete automated Online Library service. Another initiative is online tutoring at the Learning Zone in basic subjects (Math, English and Spanish) and in Computers, Accounting, Finance and Economics. Blackboard is the platform that provides the services of online or hybrid (blended) courses. This platform provides students with the tools necessary for online academic experience and provide faculty with a platform to upload presentations, assignments, exams, among others. Also, UMET provides TV courses, a combination of televised college courses (pre-recorded) and online lessons; Windows Live and ; Outlook Live - with a capacity of 10 G, among others. The complete budget assigned to technological projects (RR 2.15) and complete lists of available resources (RR 2.16) are available in the reading room. In the last 6 years UMET has allocated around $4.1 million in technology projects. Strengths The planning and budgeting processes and the institutional resources facilitate the achievement of the institutional mission, specifically enriching the learning process. The impact on student learning is materialized through qualified and motivated faculty, appropriate technological and information resources appropriate learning environment and outstanding physical facilities that promote an overall excellent environment. 29

40 Recommendations Faculty and more student direct involvement in budget planning and technology acquisition must be encouraged. UMET s budget allocation must be further strengthened and enriched by a diverse flow of external funds in order to ensure continuous quality improvement. High dependence on tuition and projected enrollment, although proven to be valuable over the years, must be supplemented to assure added value to a sustained quality performance. 30

41 Chapter 3: Leadership and Governance (Standard 4) and Administration (Standard 5) Teamwork and a deep sense of belonging between groups are favorable to the personal and professional development of its human resources. UMET s system of governance clearly defines the roles of institutional constituencies in policy development and decision-making. There are two well defined and active governance bodies (Systemic and Institutional) that provide checks and balances needed to maintain a firm, solid environment of integrity and transparent communication. These academic officers fulfill the required responsibilities of quality policy and resource development, consistent with the mission of the Institution. The Institution s Academic Board, Administrative Council and the Chancellor and his staff, work in an ethical and highly professional manner to provide excellent services that facilitate learning and research/scholarship, foster quality improvement, and continuously improve responses to the internal and external constituencies needs. The highest governing body of SUAGM is the Board of Directors, comprised of thirteen members divided in two categories: four permanent members and nine elected members. (RR 3.1) The President of SUAGM, Dr. José F. Méndez has been a permanent member of the Board of Directors since his appointment in Dr. Méndez is the son of Mrs. Ana G. Méndez, the founder of SUAGM and has followed her vision to ensure its development to its full potential. His capability and credentials are, without question, enhanced by his emotional commitment to the Institutions and his goodwill and unequivocal agenda with SUAGM s prestige. This contributes to the continuity and stability of the Institutions, which is a condition to preserve integrity. The Board of Directors is composed of civic leaders and representatives from diverse sectors of the community, both from Puerto Rico and the United States, in such areas as education, health, industry, public administrators and commerce. All members have an outstanding profile as leaders and have the expertise to fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities. The diversity of points of view, interests and experiences of the board members provide a more representative dimension to the governing process under their responsibility. The Board has powers clearly established in SUAGM s Corporate Bylaws (RR 1) and has authority to establish and define institutional policy, appoint the President of the Board of Directors, evaluate and approve SUAGM s vision and mission, appointments of senior executives in the Institutions, approve the budget, and consider and approve long term educational and administrative strategic planning. The Board is also responsible for the assets and financial health of SUAGM. The Board has five (5) permanent commissions with clearly defined responsibilities. These Commissions are: Executive, Finance, Auditing, Academic and Student Affairs, and the Committee of Trustees for Retirement, Investments and Savings Plan. The Commissions meet on a regular basis and report their recommendations to the Executive Commission for their consideration and final approval. The President presents quarterly reports to the Board in order to provide them with timely and accurate information on the progress and significant outcomes of the Institutions. The Chancellors are invited on a regular basis by the President, to attend the meetings of the Board of Directors and of the different Commissions. Every year, the 31

42 Board holds a retreat with the Chancellors and the Vice-Presidents to discuss annual reports, assess the effectiveness of the institution, and to develop plans to fulfill SUAGM s vision and mission. The quality and effectiveness of the institutions is determined by compliance with each of the components of the annual plan aligned to the strategic plan indicators. As an example of the role the Board of Directors has in setting university wide policies, during the October 2002 Annual Retreat in Lisbon, the following agreement titled: Declaración de Portugal was reached. This declaration set the bases and policy for SUAGM s international projection and initiated the development of a new agenda to integrate the internationalization process into the institutions strategic plans. The Board also facilitates the creation of mechanisms to comply with regulations and to maintain the stability and quality of operations. For these purposes, the Board designates an Internal Auditor who is responsible for the analysis, evaluation and counseling in procedural and fiscal affairs. The Board has a set of policies to ensure integrity and avoidance of conflict of interest. The Board delegates to the President of SUAGM and the Chancellors the establishment of the norms and procedures that rule their administrative practices. In February 2012 the Board of Directors and SUAGM President will conduct a self study Presidential and Board Assessment by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB). This process will validate the board s own performance and accountability. Appendix 8 shows SUAGM s organizational structure, the Board of Directors and the Insitutions and the relationships among them. The SUAGM s Organizational Structure: consists of the Office of the President, Dr. José F. Méndez, with an Executive Vice President and an Executive Assistant to the President. The President s main responsibility is to assure the fulfillment of the mission and vision of SUAGM. The structure is constituted by seven vice presidencies: Financial Affairs, Planning and Academic Affairs, Marketing and Student Affairs, Administrative Affairs, General Manager of Sistema TV (the TV Channel), Human Resources, National and International Affairs and the five Chancellors (, Universidad del Turabo, Universidad del Este, Universidad Virtual and Florida Branches) and a US Advisory Board. The four institutions and the TV Channel are autonomous and independent from one another and each is responsible for its daily operations. SUAGM establishes policies that rule and regulate administrative procedures through the guidance and authority of the Board of Directors to approve, amend, and derogate bylaws. Among these are the Associates Handbook, the Performance Management for Exempt Employees Handbook, the Faculty Handbook and the Students Handbook. These documents are developed with due representation of the university constituencies and are approved by the institutions Governing Bodies and the Board of Directors. The Chancellors are the Chief Executive Officers (CEO) and lead the management of each institution. The Chancellors are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Board of Directors. They report directly to the President, who responds to the Board of Directors. 32

43 The President has a US Advisory Board in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Health integrated by prominent scientists, and distinguished members of the public and private sectors in Puerto Rico and United States (RR 3.2). The Advisory Board meets twice a year and serves as consultants for special projects in the science, technology and health fields. The Advisory Board oversees advancement in their areas of expertise, and identifies approaches to further strengthen the learning environment through a more efficient use of technology. This group has given advice in: Science curriculum revisions, strengthening the mathematical component, research opportunities, identifying sources for external funds, improving wireless connection and Internet access, and student retention strategies, among others. SUAGM s President meets on a monthly basis with the Chancellors and Vice Presidents to address administrative and academic issues of the institutions. The agenda of these meetings provides ongoing opportunities for executive management members to participate in the decision making processes. Once a year, this group holds a retreat for the presentation and discussion of annual achievement reports and future work plans. In 2009, this group enacted the Declaración de Guánica that resulted in the creation of an Inter-institutional Board to strengthen the communication and collaboration among them and to advance the institutions missions. The President visits the institutions and meets with the Chancellors at least quarterly to analyze and address specific and particular issues of the Institutions. The President evaluates the Chancellor once a year using a model based on objectives and peer review processes (Available upon request). This process is replicated with the administrative staff (Vice Chancellors, Deans and Directors) of the Institutions. Dr. José F. Méndez is recognized for the philanthropic initiatives related with fund raising activities that seek contributions for the Endowment Scholarship Fund. At present, the Scholarship Endowment Fund totals $12.9 million and supports two hundred students of which sixty are UMET students. UMET donations amount to $2 million. The Board of Directors and Chancellors are actively involved in these fund raising activities. President Méndez vision of making the academia the key partner of government and private industry to foster economic development for Puerto Rico, earned him the honor of being selected the 2005 Person of the Year of the private sector by a local business newspaper. Dr. Méndez commitment to higher education in Puerto Rico has brought him many awards: the American Red Cross Charles R. Drew Award, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges Distinguished Award, Phi Delta Kappa s Distinguished Educator Award, and the local Chamber of Commerce Zenith Award. s Leadership, Governance and Administration UMET is a learning community constituted by work groups with interdependent functions. UMET s Institutional Bylaws (RR 2) are approved by SUAGM s Board of Directors and describe in detail its administrative structure. Currently, the Institutional Bylaws are in the process of revision, and are expected to be approved and official in UMET s Organizational Structure defines the relation between the President, the Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, Deans of Schools and Directors of Additional Locations. 33

44 (See UMET s Organizational Structure, Appendix 9). The Chancellor maintains direct communication with both the President and the Vice Presidents of SUAGM. Communication between the Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, Deans, Directors, Faculty, and Administrative Staff is characterized by a participative decision making process, with periodic discussions of the Institution s projections and dissemination of achievements. The Chancellor s open door administration contributes to a collegiate environment with all university constituencies by listening directly to the employees suggestions and challenges and by exchanging ideas and generating creative synergy among community members. He meets and reports to the Faculty at the beginning of each semester and also visits each Academic School and attends a regular meeting of each School, at least once a year, to address specific academic issues. The Chancellor, Dr. Federico M. Matheu is the Chief Executive Officer of UMET and reports directly to the president of SUAGM, Dr. José F. Méndez. The Chancellor is a highly qualified professional who has a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Pittsburg and vast experience in Higher Education that spans 34 years. Dr. Matheu is a distinguished educator in Puerto Rico recognized for his commitment to innovation and school reform initiatives. From 1974 to 1977 he was the Executive Secretary of the Commission of Educational Reform to propose legislation to overhaul the Island s educational system at all levels. During the years 1991 to 1996 he was the founder and Executive Director of the Puerto Rico General Education Council, a body enacted by law to establish a system of licensing and accreditation for public and private schools (K-12) and post secondary institutions. He was the Chancellor of the following institutions: UPR Humacao (3 years), Interamerican University, San Germán Campus (13 years) and currently at UMET (15 years). Table 3.1 presents the Chancellor s staff s academic preparation and work experience at SUAGM, that evidence their qualifications to manage the Institution. Table 3.1 Chancellor s Administrative Staff Chancellor s Staff Academic Preparation Years Working SUAGM UMET Vice Chancellor Ph.D 15 Vice Chancellor Administrative Affairs MPHE 13 Vice Chancellor International Affairs Ed.D 10 Vice Chancellor of Outreach Ph.D Candidate 26 Vice Chancellor Sponsored Programs & M.Ed 20 Research Vice Chancellor of Students Affairs MBA 28 Vice Chancellor of Information Resources BS Computer Science and 29 Engineering Manager of Physical Facilities BAE 5 Director Aguadilla Additional Location MBA 20 Director Bayamón Additional Location Ph.D 8 Director Comerío Additional Location M. Ed 3.5 Director Jayuya Additional Location Ph. D Candidate MPA, JD 11 34

45 The Chancellor s staff s deep sense of commitment, evidenced by an average of over 15 years experience at the Institution contributes to their collegiate relationship among the Chancellor and his staff. As stated in UMET s mission: Teamwork and a deep sense of belonging between groups are favorable to the personal and professional development of its human resources. He conducts weekly meetings with all his staff and also invites other officers when the Agenda calls for their inclusion. The Deans and Associate Deans are always invited. To ensure that institutional plans and activities are carried out, professional qualifications of administrators and staffs are validated for recruitment, performance evaluations are conducted annually. The evaluation model for top management is based on objectives of the annual plan. The institution implements staff development plans based on the results of the evaluations and staff satisfaction surveys. In 2011 UMET conducted an Organizational Climate Survey to collect information regarding the satisfaction, commitment and engagement of Faculty and Administrative Staff. The Survey is based on the Impact of Engaged Employees on Business Outcomes; Ongoing Employee Engagement Research by AON Hewitt. (http://www.suagm.edu/umet/pdf/cpa/resumen_resultados_clima_organizacional.pdf) The participation of faculty and administrative staff in the survey was 266 (62%) respondents. The results were discussed with the university community. Their recommendations were integrated into an action plan that is being implemented this Academic Year (RR 3.3). UMET evaluates its administrative structure on a regular basis to ensure that units have adequate personnel to offer efficient services, consistent with institutional plans and objectives. As a result of these evaluations, in 2004 the Integrated Center for Administrative Services (CISA for its Spanish acronym) was created. CISA provides university wide support services in the areas of human resources, planning, budgeting and sponsored research projects administration. In 2007 OPAI was created through the integration of the Planning component of CISA with the Office of Institutional Assessment. CISA and OPAI are the result of the ongoing assessment activities conducted to ensure institutional effectiveness. See Table 5.4 in Chapter 5. The Chancellor has an Advisory Board composed of eight (8) members invited and appointed by the Chancellor according to their community contributions and expertise. The members represent different sectors of the community in such areas as education, banking, technology, health, environmental affairs, and business. The Chancellor s Advisory Board members contribute to institutional strengthening, and make recommendations to improve the administrative and academic services of the Institution. This team provides guidance in the development of institutional plans, evaluation and revision of Academic Programs and the implementation of New Academic Programs. The Board assists the Chancellor in the identification of resources to better serve our clientele, and participate in the fund raising campaigns. The Institutional Bylaws define two institutional governing bodies: the Academic Board and the Administrative Council. These bodies, aligned to UMET s mission, look after the integrity of processes and the administrative and academic decisions. The Academic Board: assures the compliance with the academic policies related to program offerings, awarding degrees, faculty evaluations, contract renewal and rank 35

46 promotions as well as making recommendations to the Administrative Council. Institutional Bylaws establish the composition, election, roles and procedures that guide the Academic Board. The Academic Board is composed of the Vice Chancellor, one associate dean and one faculty member from each School s program, the Library Director, and two members of the Student Council. The Institutional Bylaws state that the composition of the Board includes as many faculty members as needed to obtain an absolute majority over the administrative members of the Board. The Academic Board is led by the Vice Chancellor, all members have a full say (voice and vote) and represent the voice of the Academic Community. The Academic Board has four permanent commissions: Academic Programs, Degree Granting, Faculty Evaluation and Rank. Each Commission is composed of at least five board members. The Vice Chancellor can arrange as many ad hoc commissions as he considers necessary according to the various academic concerns that arise. Motions (a formal suggestion made, openly discussed and voted on at meetings) approved by the Academic Board must also be approved by the Administrative Council in a subsequent regular meeting. The Administrative Council is led by the Chancellor and acts as the legislative body of the university. The Council establishes administrative orders aligned with SUAGM s Corporate Bylaws, Institutional Bylaws, and resolutions and regulations subject to approval by SUAGM Board of Directors. The members of the Administrative Council are: Manager of Physical Facilities, all School s Deans, Vice Chancellors, faculty representatives from each School, Additional Location Directors, Systemic Deans and two members of the Student Council. Policies and resolutions approved by the Administrative Council and confirmed by the President are published annually as a printed document and in a Microsoft Software Outlook s public folder. They are also available to the university community on a per request basis. During the last six (6) years the Administrative Council has approved 166 Administrative Orders, in the following areas: Creation of New Academic Programs (17), Revisions of Curricula (37), Revisions of Academic Norms (24), Approval of Honors and Degrees to be Conferred (31), Promotions in Rank (6), Academic Programs Moratorium (14), and Administrative Affairs (36) (RR 3.4). With respect to the curriculum decisions, the Administrative Council is the last step in a highly participative process. Academic motions such as the development of new courses or programs, elimination of courses or programs, curricular revisions, and other related issues are generated by faculty committees at each Academic School level. Once this committee completes its work, it prepares a report which is presented to the School s faculty for approval. If approved, the Dean presents the motion with pertinent documentation to the Vice Chancellor for review and recommendation, verification of compliance with licensing and accrediting regulations and submission to the Academic Board. Upon approval of the Academic Board, the Vice-Chancellor presents the change for consideration of the Administrative Council. Finally, if the decision is a substantive change, the Chancellor then submits it for final approval to the Board of Directors of SUAGM. This process evidences how the Institution is involved in carrying out its mission and goals regarding the academia, providing an appropriate environment where issues can be openly and thoroughly discussed in all their aspects with the proper rigor and accountability by those who are responsible. 36

47 Student s Participation in Governance through the Student Council UMET is committed to offering students a full range of academic, experiential learning and holistic opportunities that will allow them with the leadership skills and civic engagement needed to face the challenges and responsibilities of productive members of Society. Critical to achieving this goal are the opportunities that UMET provides them within the organization to participate in the decision making processes and governance. During the last five years, students have actively participated in student associations, through which their interests and needs are addressed. The Institutional Bylaws establish the manner by which students participate in UMET s governance. The Student Council is the representative body of the students. Article VII in Institutional Bylaws establishes the right and responsibilities of this body. Students may exercise their rights, voice their constraints and grievances and offer recommendations directly to the Vice Chancellor of Students Affairs, to the Vice-Chancellor and to the Chancellor. Last September 2011 the current Student Council was elected with due representation. Two members of the Students Council represent the student s voice and vote in the Academic Board and in the Administrative Council. Faculty, staff and students also participate in their levels of governance, besides the Academic Board and Administrative Council, through university wide Schools/Program Departments Policy Committees, and task forces or special groups. Students also participate in a variety of organizations that integrate academic, professional, recreational and cultural experiences. Currently UMET has 47 accredited Student Associations on Campus (25) and Additional Locations (22) in the areas of environment, sports, music and academia, among others (Documentation related to Students Associations in RR 3.5). Strengths The Institution s administrative structure and decision making processes are clear, facilitate learning and research/scholarship, foster quality improvement, and support the Institution s organization and governance. Leadership at all levels is committed to improvement based on the results of the processes of inquiry, evaluation and assessment used throughout the institution. The governance process encourages active channels of communication and autonomy through the administrative structure, faculty, students and associates. The use of the web site, electronic mail, and regular meetings with the Chancellor (at least two, each academic year) are effective means to disseminate rules, norms, executive orders and policies. The open-door communication, the constant availability of the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor and the active participation of students and faculty in the Academic Board, Administrative Council and Student Council assure the collegial governance of UMET. 37

48 Chapter 4: Institutional Assessment (Standard 7) and Assessment of Student Learning (Standard 14) The academic experience is supported by modern technologies applied to teaching, learning, and the assessment process. UMET's distinctive institutional features are marked by: a commitment to the quality of learning Institutional Assessment The institution has developed and implemented an assessment process that evaluates its overall effectiveness in achieving its mission and goals and its compliance with MSCHE Characteristics of Excellence, state licensing and professional accrediting agencies. Particular effort has been placed in the assessment of students learning outcomes through a reflective, democratic process. UMET established appropriate policies and means of development of assessment mechanisms and instruments, attuned to the particular needs of its student body. Current and ongoing audits and supervision provide practical information that facilitates decision making and prompt adjustments to maintain an effective learning environment in all academic and administrative activities. This is accomplished in coordination with the Office of Planning and Institutional Research from SUAGM and the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment, with the support of Evaluation, Diagnosis, Placement and Assessment Center (CEDUA for its Spanish acronym) and the assessment areas of the special projects (CR2). Introduction UMET s mission and goals are the starting point of every institutional assessment activity. UMET s Institutional Assessment reveals strengths and opportunities for improvement and provides evidence of institutional effectiveness and compliance with the mission and goals. Institutional assessment is done by faculty and associates, and includes study and teaching modalities, academic programs, student learning outcomes; graduates, employers and student satisfaction; resources, facilities and services, among other relevant areas within its scope. Institutional assessment is an important goal at UMET as evidenced by its inclusion in the Strategic Development Guides in Vector 7: Quality and Institutional Effectiveness, Goal 7.2. GED also includes student learning assessment in Vector 8: Quality and Institutional Effectiveness, Goal 8.4: Institutional Assessment (RR 2.1). The reports of the institutional assessment results are shared with the Assistant Vice-president of Planning for the inclusion of areas that need to be improved in their support to OPAI for the efficiency of the planning process. Institutional Assessment Plan The Institutional Assessment Plan is a quality-oriented initiative to develop a comprehensive assessment process of key areas including, but not limited to, student profile, faculty teaching effectiveness, organizational climate, student support services, counseling/academic advising, administration, physical structures and, student learning. 38

49 UMET s Institutional Assessment Figure 4.1 presents the relationships between SUAGM institutional effectiveness assessment efforts and UMET s own initiatives within a two loop cycle. Figure 4.1 Institutional Assessment Two Loop Cycle Assistant Vice Presidency for Planning and Institutional Research (VPAII for its Spanish acronym) Institution assessment is supported by SUAGM s Central Administration VPAII office. VPAII is responsible for developing, maintaining and providing databases and institutional information that serves to support the managerial decision-making processes in the academic, student, and administrative areas of the institutions. Among the functions of the VPAII are the collection, analysis, maintenance and distribution of official institutional data. It is also responsible for the development of institutional research and studies on critical issues or special interests. The coordination between OPAI and VPAII maximized the effectiveness of resources in the area of institutional assessment. These coordinated efforts have enabled studies of: student surveys (Internet access, local train usage, new students characteristics profile, and students satisfaction reports), graduates and employers, employability, associates (training needs and institutional satisfaction surveys), and analysis of diverse indicators such as: retention rates, enrollment data, admissions reports, high risk courses (D,W,F and I), among others. VPAII annually reviews and publishes, in coordination with the three institutions (UT, UNE and UMET) Associate Vice-chancellors for Institutional Assessment, a five year systemic assessment calendar that incorporates institutional assessment activities at the central and institutional levels. 39

50 Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment (OPAI) Since 2006, OPAI is in charge of collecting, organizing and analyzing data related to all indicators of institutional effectiveness. OPAI is responsible for the design and implementation of the Institutional Assessment Plan ( ) (http://www.suagm.edu/umet/pdf/opai/avaluo_institucional_ pdf) (Appendix 10) and UMET s Student Learning Assessment Implementation Policy (http://www.suagm.edu/umet/pdf/opai/avaluo_aprendizaje.pdf) (Appendix 11). The Institutional Assessment Plan is aligned with UMET s mission and goals; articulated with UMET s academic and students concerned units and implemented by OPAI in coordination with the SUAGM s Vice-presidency of Planning and Academic Affairs (VPPAA). OPAI generates an annual performance report on institutional effectiveness that is shared with the Assistant VP of Planning, the Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, and Academic Schools and Administrative personnel. These results are considered to develop the strategic guides and work plans. Also, Schools, administrative offices and the additional locations may require from OPAI specific assessment of a particular area to develop their own plan. OPAI is composed of the following: Assistant Vice President of Planning, Associate Vice Chancellor for Institutional Assessment, three Assessment Coordinators and one Statistician. OPAI receives additional support from UMET s offices or projects (institutional and federal funds). In the recent 10 years the main structures of support have been: Evaluation, Diagnosis, Placement and Assessment Center - is responsible of monitoring and sharing all the assessment results related to student s placement tests, first year students achievement results, comparison analysis of placement tests results and students grades and students satisfaction with FYIS course and First Year Office services. Title V Campus- Improving the Retention and Success of Disadvantaged Hispanic Students in Higher Education (Cupey) - the most important contribution of this project in the institutional and learning assessment area is to collaborate with the establishment of UMET s learning assessment plan to increase the institutional effectiveness in improving retention and graduation rates. The Director of Assessment, Research Specialist, Application Specialist, Director of Retention, seven Academic Advisors, Director of the Learning Zone and, a Curriculum Specialist of this project, will be institutionalized in This additional staff will allow OPAI closely monitor UMET s effectiveness and student learning according to the institutional mission in a more comprehensive manner. Title V - Campus II - The First year College Experiences Enhanced: Building Blocks to Turn Underprepared Hispanic Freshman into College Graduates ( ) its purpose is the reengineering of the First Year College Experience, strengthen the faculty and staff development program and, the implementation of a full circle student tracking and reporting system (an assessment data gathering tool). 40

51 Developing Learning to Improve Teacher Preparation for Student's Achievement in the States Certification Examination in Jayuya, Bayamón and Aguadilla ( Staff from this project supports students learning assessment processes and develop reports for the undergraduate programs of the School of Education. Among the main achievements of this project were workshops on curriculum and technology for faculty and students, test reviews for Puerto Rico teachers licensing test (PCMAS for its Spanish acronym) and the institutionalization of the Information Resource Specialist at Bayamón, Jayuya and Aguadilla. Development of a First Year College and Enhancement of Upper-Division Program with Improved Support Services ( ) (Bayamón). Through the Assessment Unit established by the project, support services (tutoring center facilities and services, and learning skills development in English, Spanish, Math, Reading and Critical Thinking) were assessed on a continuous basis. The project s achievement reports were shared with stakeholders through different means including two Conferences (2009, 2010) and a final evaluation of the project (2011). An Assessment Coordinator, five Academic Advisors, a Counselor, three Lab Specialists and a Retention Coordinator job positions were institutionalized. Comprehensive Initiative for Minority Achievement (CIMA) (Jayuya), The main objective of this project was to guarantee student success and retention through the expansion of different support services: administrative and psychological services. A Learning Center for faculty and student development through technology, a tracking system and a Pre College Summer Bridge for freshmen to develop Spanish, English and Math skills were established. (Title V projects documentation available in reading room RR 4.1) The Institution is always looking forward to identify additional strategies to coordinate, in a more effective way, the institutional assessment and to integrate additional locations and branches in the assessment plan. Actions Taken from Institutional Assessment Results ( ) Institutional assessment results from various surveys and data analysis from different sources have been taken into account to improve services, facilities and academia. They are also used for funding allocation. Tables 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4 and 4.5 present some examples of institutional assessment results and actions taken to improve faculty and staff concerns, students services and instructional needs. Table 4.4 summarizes the different studies and surveys conducted over the past years as part of the ongoing institutional assessment process. (Institutional assessment surveys mentions in tables are available in RR 4.2) 41

52 Table 4.1 Institutional Assessment Results and Actions Taken to Improve Faculty Results of Assessment Action Taken Faculty Satisfaction Surveys : Areas of low satisfaction: ( ) Cafeteria services Restrooms Parking Offices Health Insurance benefits Salaries (FY 2005, FY 2008, FY 2011) ATM facilities New cafeteria management appointed along with reduced menu prices; Restroom remodeling (Muñiz Souffront, Morales Carrión) Additional parking facilities and construction of a new multilevel parking garage (2013); New faculty offices were assigned (School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Communication and School of Education); Improvement in health insurance benefits (2010); Salary increase (FY 2005, FY 2008, FY 2011). ATM Facilities at Morales Carrión and Jesús T. Piñero buildings Training and development needs ( , and ) Teaching strategies Assessment techniques Assessment reports writing Technology skills Teaching strategies for students with special needs Proposal writing Published the institutional Assessment Plan and the Learning Assessment Plan Need of additional faculty at UMET Main Campus and Additional Locations Establishment of Faculty Development Centers that offer workshops on teaching strategies, assessment techniques and technology (Cupey and Bayamón); On a continuous basis (semester), OPAI and Projects from Title V funds offer assessment and teaching strategies workshops. In 2011 started a comprehensive training effort, across the Campus and the Additional locations which resulted in 60 workshops with a participation of 779 faculty members. The Library designs and offers technology skills workshops Hiring of three Assessment Coordinators to work with the Academic schools and Additional locations to support assessment; Establishment of FADE to promote and educate faculty and staff about the inclusion of students with special needs, universal course design and technology skills; Office of the Vice-Chancellor of Sponsored Research offers workshops on proposal writing and administration. The Institutional Assessment Plan and the Policy for the Implementation of Learning Assessment are published on the UMET s website During the last five years, 40 full time faculty were appointed to the Main - Campus, Bayamón and Aguadilla, including 18 full-time substitute faculty in (CR 3 & 10) 42

53 Table 4.2 Institutional Assessment Results and Actions Taken to Improve Staff Results of Assessment Action Taken Associates Satisfaction Surveys : Areas of low satisfaction: ( ; ) Cafeteria offerings and services (menu) Restrooms and office cleaning Salaries Parking Health insurance benefits Child care services Technology resources Efforts to improve these areas have been successful with the following developments in place: New cafeteria management appointed along with reduced menu prices Restroom remodeling (Muñiz Souffront, Morales Carrion) New cleaning service provider Salary increase (FY 2005, FY 2008, FY 2011) Additional parking facilities in Cupey; Jayuya, Bayamon and Aguadilla; and construction of a new multilevel parking garage Cupey; Jayuya, Bayamon and Aguadilla (2013) at Cupey Improvement in health insurance benefits (2010) Extended child care schedule, Improvement of technological resources (more computers, laptops, and updated programs) ATM Services Employee supervision and evaluation Office space Summer Camp Needs Survey for Children from UMET s Staff ( ) Two New ATM machines (Morales Carrión, Jesus T. Piñero UMET has enforced annual evaluation for every employee. Remodeled or Extension in Areas/Offices: o Chancellor, o Vice-chancellor o Associated Vice- chancellery for Retention and Student Development o Associated, Vice- chancellery for Admission, Marketing and Recruitment, o Associated Vice- chancellery for Admission, o Marketing and Recruitment, o Associated Vice- chancellery for External Resources, o Associated Vice- chancellery for International Affairs, o School of Education, School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Communication, o New office building for UMET-Aguadilla, o School of Health Science offices at UMET- Bayamón o New or remodeled buildings in Jayuya, Bayamón and Aguadilla In 2010, UMET Cupey restarted offering a summer camp for employees children. 43

54 Table 4.3 Institutional Assessment Results and Actions Taken to Improve Students Support Services Results of Assessment Action Taken Student Satisfaction Surveys - : Areas of Improvement of the following student support services: low satisfaction: ( , ) Counseling services Recruitment of additional counselors (2) Increased psychological services offerings (extended hours and another psychologist service contract) Recruitment of more academic advisors (7) Academic advisory Extended hours in academic advisory services at Academic schools and student services offices More tutoring services (extended hours and more tutors hired) (13 tutors between Bayamon and Cupey) Learning Zone facilities Support for FAFSA application completion Integrated student support services with an electronic office Additional personnel for FAFSA completion support. (CR 8 & 9) New computing facilities and 100% Wi-Fi coverage; Technology support services Sport Center facility Parking facility Student Center Instructional resources o Laboratory facilities and equipment quality o Textbooks and instructional materials relevance. New Sports Center at UMET-Cupey Construction of a new multilevel parking structure (2013) that will house a student center on the first floor Remodeled laboratories (School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Communications) (equipment, computers and facilities) Course textbooks reviewed at all levels 44

55 Table 4.4 Institutional Assessment Results and Actions Taken to Improve Organizational Structure Results of Assessment Actions Taken Office of Economic Assistance ( ): - Lack of Strengthen the loan processing division. personnel Admissions and Marketing ( ) - Lack of personnel Financial Aid Office (2010)-Need of job revisions and financial aid office restructuring Sports Division ( ) - Lack of space and sports offerings/activities Creation of Faculty Contracts Unit Vice Chancellery ( ) - Delayed in processing contracts Additional Locations ( )- Lack of personnel to support student services Schools ( )- Lack of personnel to support student services Creation of OPAI ( )- Lack of integration of the planning and Assessment are Vice Chancellery of Information - Resources ( )- Need of more efficient services Vice Chancellery of International Affairs ( ) - Lack of personnel Operations and Physical Plant Division ( ) - Lack of personnel Creation of Vice Chancellery of International Affairs ( ) - Attention needed for the internationalization effort Creation of Integrated Center of Administrative Services ( ) - Lack of integration of essential services directed toward staff and faculty. Creation of Vice Chancellery of Outreach ( ) - Need more personnel to bring services to evening and weekend sessions. New positions in the areas of admission and marketing. Revision of job descriptions and the administrative structure to comply with changes in federal laws and regulations for financial assistance. Strengthen actual structure, integrate services at the New Sports Center, and expand services to the local community, staff and faculty. Integration of technology in the process of certification of academic credentials of regular and part time faculty. Optimize contract processing. New positions of Director of Student and Academic Services New positions of Student Services Coordinator, Academic Coordinator (all Schools) and Assessment Coordinator (Education). Strengthen assessment of institutional effectiveness, integrate findings into institutional plans. Strengthen processes of data, statistical and financial analysis. Evaluation of job descriptions, task analysis and consolidations of functions. Reorganization in three core units: Center for Learning Resources, Faculty. Development in Technology, and Informatics, Telecommunications and Educational Technology. New position of Coordinator of Administrative Services. New positions for facility maintenance and gardening (Cupey). New position to serve directly the Additional Locations. Integration of Internationalization into the institutions plans and services Integration to the institutions of administrative services in the areas of human resources, planning, budgeting and sponsored research projects. Make services more accessible and agile. Improvement of services to Nontraditional Students, Night and Saturday sessions 45

56 Instruction/Learning During the last five years, assessment efforts have also been done at the Schools level. After careful program analysis, taking into consideration the economic and social trends, workforce needs and program cost effectiveness, certain academic programs have been closed and new ones created. These assessment efforts have also produced the following outcomes and actions: Table 4.5 Institutional Assessment Results and Actions Taken to Improve Instruction/Learning Needs Results of Assessment Action Taken Low levels of students satisfaction Orientations for practicum courses, comprehensive examination with the Doctoral Program orientation and final requirements for graduation were implemented. Orientation Process Results from focus groups and surveys administered to doctoral ( , ) students demonstrated higher satisfaction levels with these changes. Low rates test scores for teachers licensing ( ; , ) Low rates in passing scores nursing board exam ( ) Evaluation of students enrollment, facilities, budget and evening offerings ( ; ) Low rates on student retention data ( , , , , )/ High Risk Courses Reports ( ; ) A systemic initiative to improve students general knowledge for the PCMAS was implemented. UMET is part of a Systemic Committee (SUAGM) and Institutional Committee to develop strategies to increase student rates ( ). Special general education course sections were created so that they would be administered at the School of Education; the School offers reviews and practice testing similar to PCMAS for preparation for these tests; Requirements for admission and graduation for education programs were reviewed. Based on the results of the nursing board exam, UMET took actions such as providing online nursing exam tutorials, Nursing tutorials, and Nursing board exam reviews and reviews of assessment strategies. The final report of the Board of Nurse Examiners of Puerto Rico reported that UMET achieved a passing percentage in the Bachelor in Science of Nursing (BSN) program of 88% and 75% in the Associate Degree in Nursing (AND) program, 20% over the programs in Puerto Rico universities. Implementation of the part of term modality (PT's) in the evening sessions on the main Campus (Cupey) and the Additional Locations (Aguadilla, Bayamón and Jayuya). UMET surveyed students from the Cupey Campus and all the Additional Locations; results demonstrated a high level of satisfaction. In 2007, students satisfaction levels were: Bayamón (89.69%), Aguadilla (78.13%) and Cupey (57.00%). In 2008, students satisfaction levels with the modality were: Jayuya (96.21%), Bayamón (95.67%) and Aguadilla (92.76%) y Cupey (80.95%). Addressed retention of basic courses (Mathematics, Spanish and English) immersion courses and Reading and Critical Thinking course were designed and implemented. (CR 8) UMET implemented, across all Campus and additional locations, FYIS to address students transition into college (2009); UMET Bayamón implemented as a pilot project, the First Year College, an Immersion Track Program for academically disadvantaged students and an Induction to University Life Seminar (2007) 46

57 Disclosure of Institutional Assessment Results The assessment results are communicated through different mechanisms across the SUAGM and UMET, these include: assemblies, meetings, electronic and regular mail and Internet. At the systemic level, VPPAA reports institutional (UMET, UNE and UT) assessment results to SUAGM s President, Vice-Presidents, Assistant VPs, and Directors and to institutions Chancellors, Vice-Chancellors, Deans, Associated Deans, Faculty, staff, students and the general community. At UMET, OPAI reports institutional assessment results mainly to the administrative staff. The Chancellor regularly shares institutional assessment outcomes and actions taken to fulfill UMET s mission, at the following activities: a) Staff weekly meetings with his staff members, b) Board of Directors Annual Retreat with other SUAGM s institutions chancellors, the President, Vice-Presidents and Board of Directors members, c) Officials annual retreat of the President with other SUAGM s institutions chancellors and Vice-Presidents, d) Institutional Faculty Workshops (part time/regular faculty) Two activities are scheduled, on a yearly basis and f) Advisory Board meetings. Even though UMET has an in house mechanism to disseminate assessment results, there is a need to improve their discussion with the faculty and students. Strengths UMET s institutional assessment evaluates the effectiveness in achieving its mission through a systematic and organized planning process. Efforts have been taken to improve areas of opportunity and appropriate actions were implemented to assure quality and institutional effectiveness. Recommendations for Improvement Sustained efforts to continue institutional renewal through: Broad participation of the constituents Periodic revisions and adaptations of assessment process in order to maximize the institutional effectiveness Institutional assessment outcomes discussions with faculty and students to provide direct means of integration of their recommendations into assessment plan. Standard 14 Assessment of Student Learning Assessment of student learning is an essential component of UMET s efforts to fulfill its mission. The processes to track and improve student learning have been evidenced consistently at UMET during the last ten years. The institutional model of learning outcomes assessment gathers data of student learning at different stages of their learning experience. The evidence of student learning shows that students have the knowledge, skills and competencies that the Institution has proposed through its assessment plan by its learning criteria: concepts/content analysis; critical thinking and writing. 47

58 Introduction UMET s progress in the assessment of student learning is evidenced in the Learning Assessment Project Audits conducted in 2009 and in 2011 (RR 4.3) and the Timelines of the Vice Chancellery, Academic Schools and Additional Locations efforts on Learning Assessment from 1996 to the present (RR 4.4). Even though faculty resistance to the documentation of student learning assessment hindered the full implementation of the process, actions taken have made faculty receptive, and at present all are involved in this process. Many efforts have been made to recognize learning assessment as a core process of the Institution. These efforts as well as students learning assessment results and actions are evidenced in each School s Learning Assessment Portfolios (RR 4.5). Some important actions should be noted: development and implementation of a model; audits of the academic units on the learning assessment processes, initiatives for the development of the faculty, scheduling of the assessment process, and surveys of the faculty on learning assessment, among others. On the other hand, UMET has developed instruments and formats for uniform implementation of the learning assessment project. Compliance is ensured through the implementation of UMET s Student Learning Assessment Implementation Policy (2009) (Appendix 11) and regular monitoring of the Vice Chancellery. Since 2003, UMET s learning assessment project has grown considerably (See Table 4.6). Institutional support has been effective in allocating funds to recruit human resources and to train faculty to strengthen their learning assessment techniques (CR 7). As time passes, practices and processes have improved, matured and created a culture of assessment to improve student learning. Table 4.6 Development of UMET s Student Learning Assessment Process Years Actions taken by the Vice Chancellery: UMET s student learning assessment process Learning Assessment Model Conceptualization and Design. CEDUA launched (Diagnostic, Evaluation and Placement Center) with a major focus in the General Education area. Faculty development activities and institutional efforts for the establishment of UMET s Learning Assessment Model. Learning Assessment Pilot Project establishment throughout Academic Schools First institutional learning assessment instrument designed. Establishment of learning assessment as one of the criteria to evaluate the Dean s achievements. Faculty training on topics of learning assessment. Peer training on learning assessment. The Faculty Manual establishes learning assessment as one of the faculty s responsibilities. Policies and instruments to gather data and submit learning assessment reports were developed. Establishment of OPAI. UMET s Learning Assessment Calendar developed to uniform processes Integrated Plan of Institutional Assessment and Learning Assessment. First (2009) and second (2010) audits about the implementation of the learning assessment policy throughout Academic Schools and Additional Locations. Review of Institutional documents such as: Curricular Revision Guide (2009) and the Guide Syllabi Preparation (2011). Schools inform upon the recommendations and actions taken in their semi-annual reports of learning assessment. Institutional learning assessment exercise for the competencies of general education. OPAI articulates all the activities to document, organize and sustain assessment process. The School of Professional Studies (AHORA program), due to its clearly differentiated student profile, and in accordance with its particular andragogical modality, developed a specialized learning assessment model that is used in all sites where adult 48

59 accelerated programs take place: campus, additional locations and branches (See Appendix 12 and Chapter 8). The information gathered by the analysis of the fundamental elements of Standard 14 is related with all the other standards. Table 4.7 shows the correlation between Standard 14 and the other standards. Table 4.7 Correlation between Standard 14 and Other Standards Standards Cross reference with Standard 14 Institutional Context 1 / 6 UMET s learning criteria s are goals that focus on student learning, other outcomes and institutional improvement. (1)/ The established process for student learning assessment promotes to share and use learning assessment information; respect privacy and confidentiality, give the scholar the academic and intellectual freedom to select the assessment techniques and to examine data.(6) 2 / 3 Student learning assessment is attached to planning and resources allocation of the academic schools. UMET s utilizes the results of its assessment activities for institutional renewal (2) / The effective and efficient uses of the institution s resources are analyzed as part of ongoing outcomes assessment. (3) 4 / 5 UMET evidence the implementation of special academic projects to improve student learning. The institution s administrative structure and its process support special projects to foster quality improvement.(4/5) 7 UMET recognized student learning information as a fundamental component of institutional effectiveness. OPAI have implemented actions to consider student learning evidence as an important dimension of institutional effectiveness.(7) Educational Effectiveness 8 / 9 UMET recognized the analysis of the student s performance as a priority to develop plans for student retention. That s why student learning is an important element to promote the comprehensive development of the student. (8)/ UMET provides the appropriate student services to support the learning of all students in the context of the institution s mission.(9) 10 Faculty bears primary responsibility for facilitating, assuring, and evaluating student learning. In recognition of appropriate linkages among scholarship, teaching, student learning, research, and service, UMET evidences actions taken to develop faculty.(10) 11 / 12 The institution identifies student learning goals and objectives, including knowledge and skills, for its educational offerings. Some initiatives are developed to enhance the learning in General Education. (11/12) 13 In order to have an effective and appropriate student learning assessment process in Branches and AHORA program, there is an assessment model aligned to the nature of their adult students. Analysis of Strengths, Findings and Recommendations Figure 4.2 presents how the fundamental elements of Standard 14 are aligned to the learning process phases stated by the UMET s Student Learning Assessment Implementation Policy. Discussion, share and use of learning assessment information/learning assessment information as part of institutional assessment and planning Phase 3: Assembly, discussion and dissemination of Learning Assessment report Phase 1: Learning Assessment Calendar information Phase 2: Learning Assessment in Schools Assessment Results and Learning Evidence/Discussion, share and use of learning assessment information Statements of expected student learning outcomes/student learning assessment process/assessment Results and Learning Evidence/Discussion, share and use of learning assessment Figure 4.2 Relationship between Standard #14 and UMET s Student Learning Assessment Implementation Policy 49

60 Strengths of the Student Learning Outcomes UMET has clearly articulated statements of expected student learning outcomes. UMET stresses three criteria of learning in its institutional learning assessment model: application of concepts/content analysis; critical thinking and writing. See Appendix 13 for a description of learning criteria. The learning criteria are aligned and consistent with the institutional mission and meets expectations for students learning at courses, academics programs and the institution. See Table 4.8. UMET s learning assessment model describes the institutional learning criteria with their respective indicators. All the documents, instruments and formats related to learning assessment address these learning criteria. Table 4.8 Relationship between UMET s Learning Criteria and the Institutional Mission Learning outcomes from Criteria from UMET s learning assessment policy UMET s mission Application of concepts/ Critical Writing content analysis Thinking Ethical and cultural values x x x Reflective attitude x x x Intellectual curiosity x x Linguistic skills x x Technological skills x x x Professional and personal skills x x x UMET s Student Learning Assessment Implementation Policy (2009) recognizes the importance of assessment of these learning criteria for the development of new programs and the review of existing programs. For example, the policy States:- "data collected from the assessment must have tangency for improving the learning of students in courses and academic programs" (p.7); -"The goal of this assessment taking decisions on how to improve learning and teaching in their academic courses and academic programs" (p.8); "The discussion can actually lead to the adoption of remedial courses " (p.10); Portfolio prepared by schools will allow them to track recommendations and changes to the academic programs" (p.16) Since summer 2011, OPAI in coordination with the School s deans, have been working to establish a standardized instrument to assess expected learning outcomes for the graduate programs. As a result, a pilot graduate project was conducted in October, 2011, using this instrument (RR 4.6). Findings and Recommendations for the Student Learning Outcomes According to the results of the pilot project in the Graduate Schools, the Institution should move toward the official establishment of the instrument to assess expected learning outcomes at the graduate level. The Institution should review the Policy for the Implementation of Learning Assessment to include the graduate level. Learning assessment outcomes should be well documented through all special projects, co-curricular activities and other academic efforts. UMET must implement a policy for the documentation and the articulation of special projects, schools initiatives 50

61 and co-curricular service areas of UMET in order to demonstrate the correspondence of efforts with the assessment results and the particular needs of programs or Schools. Strengths of the Student Learning Assessment Process Learning assessment is part of annual planning, specifically for the academic schools (RR 2.8) UMET s Student Learning Assessment Implementation Policy establishes the procedures, the phases of implementation and defines the roles and responsibilities of the various constituents of this process. There are eleven (11) targeted steps, grouped in three (3) major phases, which effectively comply with the processes relating to the project development and implementation of learning assessment. The cohesion threads for systematization of UMET s assessment model are the institutional learning criteria with their respective indicators. The Vice Chancellery has conducted two audits of the project's learning assessment ( ). According to the 2 nd audit, the portfolio as a documentation strategy was successful at all Schools and additional locations (Jayuya, Bayamón and Aguadilla) in demonstrating student learning progress; the audit document states; "UMET, as an institution, has demonstrated that it has an established and formal process of learning assessment". (p.2) (Audits are available at RR 4.3). Evidence shows a consistent evolution of the learning assessment process in the Schools. UMET accomplished all the objectives of Goal 1.13 of the Strategic Development Guides ( ). This specific goal established six (6) objectives that UMET should move toward the development of an integrated plan for the learning assessment process. See an outline of Goal 1.13 in Appendix 14. UMET evidenced as major strengths the diverse initiatives taken by schools and additional locations to improve the learning assessment process. Appendix 15 shows some of them. The details of every action taken are available at RR 4.5. Findings and Recommendations for the Student Learning Assessment Process The initiatives that articulate academic units, student services and other projects assessment and their impact on student learning must be maintained and strengthened. Although numerous workshops have been offered for faculty training in student learning assessment strategies, it is necessary to develop a plan of continuous differentiated training of the faculty consistent with the particularity, nature and needs of each School, the main campus and the additional locations. Strengths of the Assessment Results and Learning Evidence UMET s learning assessment results provide sufficient and convincing evidence that students are achieving key institutional and program learning outcomes. UMET has consistently progressed in the collection of data from student learning in all Schools and shows efforts addressing the improvement of student learning. Assessment results are collected by instruments that have been modified throughout the years. Currently all schools use the same institutional instrument (paper and electronic) to collect assessment results and learning evidence. All the assessment results are organized according to the 51

62 institutional learning criteria (expected outcomes) and presented by courses, academic programs, schools and the institution. The results are reported according to the following scale: 3.5-4: Masters : Satisfactory; : Deficient; : Poor performance; : No evidence. See Table 4.9 and Table 4.10 for summaries of learning results for the last academic year Since 2009, there is consistent evidence of assessment of student learning. OPAI gathers the assessment results and submits an institutional report to the Vice-Chancellor. It should be noted that systematic learning assessment results have been gathered since 2004 by the School of Education and the School of Health Sciences. Gradually, other Schools and Additional Locations started a systematic process to gather data regarding student learning. Table 4.9 Summary of the Student Learning Assessment Results by School UMET Main Campus ( ) School Students Programs Concepts/ Content Writing Skills Critical Thinking FYIS Health Sciences 1, Education 1, Business and Administration 1, Environmental Affairs Technical studies 1, Social Sciences, Humanities and 2, Communications Sciences and Technology Total 10, Average Note: The same student can be evaluated in more than one course. In addition to the results presented in the tables above, the School of Science and Technology reported 3.28 in technology skills. Table 4.10 Summary of the Student Learning Assessment Results UMET Main Campus and Additional Locations ( ) School Students Programs Concepts/ Content Writing Skills Critical Thinking UMET Aguadilla 8, UMET Comerío UMET Bayamón 6, UMET Jayuya 1, UMET Main 10, Campus Total 27,413 Average Note: The same student can be evaluated in more than one course 52

63 Findings and Recommendations for the Assessment Results and Learning Evidence The students learning outcomes regarding the learning criteria: analysis of content/concepts and critical thinking, have been consistently reported at a satisfactory level. Students learning outcomes for the learning criteria: writing has been consistently below expectations. The Schools have developed strategies across the curriculum to improve writing competencies. The Institution has developed immersion courses to improve students learning outcomes addressing these three criteria. Additional activities to inform and educate students about the assessment process and the importance of these results in their professional preparation should be implemented. Example: Assessment Week was implemented by the School of Education in April, The next steps should be taken to identify milestones (for example: 30 crs., 60 crs., 90 crs. or by study years) in the students curricular sequence to assess and analyze these instances of student progress. Also, learning results could be segregated by curricular components (General Education, Professional, Core and Concentration courses). See Appendix 16 for examples of these recommended reports made by the School of Education for the academic year Strengths of the Learning Assessment Information UMET shares and discusses student learning assessment information with appropriate constituents and uses it to improve teaching and learning. The results are available at School and Institution levels which facilitate accessibility to assessment of learning information in the academic community. The 2 nd Audit of the UMET Learning Assessment Project (2011), showed that "all units are producing assessment reports, and six of them by concentrations of studies. These reports introducing recommendations to improve the learning... ". On the other hand, Phase 3 of this policy emphasizes the dissemination of findings at the institution, which according to the 2 nd audit conducted (2011) has three objectives: " to communicate to all the constituents the state of learning in the institution, to cause and improve business processes or allocate the necessary funds which warrant the learning of students". This shows the institutional awareness in terms of the relationship between results, planning and actions to take place in the enhancement of learning for the achievement of the institutional mission. Schools are using the results of student learning assessment for analysis of teaching strategies and curriculum revision, (RR 4.5). The Institution established disclosure and use of learning assessment results in Phase 2 of UMET s Student Learning Assessment Implementation Policy. Academic Schools, Additional Locations and the Branch campuses discuss these results with their faculty to identify actions for improvement. Student learning assessment results and actions taken are reported to the Vice Chancellor and are published at academica.asp. Some schools disclose their assessment results in their own WebPages. 53

64 UMET recognizes the importance of the information gathered from the results of the assessment of student learning to make recommendations in the planning process and to improve student learning. Actions taken: a. In the academic year , the UMET s Guide for New Academic Offerings Proposals was revised (RR 4.7). Since then, learning criteria and its assessment is one of the aspects to consider in preparing a proposal for a new academic program. b. Since 2009, the student learning results have been used to justify curriculum changes as stated in the Guide for Academic Program Review (RR 4.8). c. In 2011, the Guide for Syllabi Preparation was revised incorporating the institution s learning criteria and its assessment. (RR 4.9) d. Learning assessment results have been used in the review of the Strategic Development Guides ( ) which makes the Learning Assessment Project a core component of UMET strategic planning. e. The implementation of various educational projects has been justified by the analysis of the assessment of students learning outcomes. For example the creation of: immersion courses in Spanish, English, Mathematics, Reading and Critical Thinking to improve students learning; laboratories for the development of basic skills that are integrated to these courses; and FYIS 101. See other examples in Appendix 17. As cited in the 2 nd Audit, "the assessment project seems to have matured suitably to move on to a next stage, that is, how the data will help improve institutional learning processes". Although UMET is in transition to complete the cycle of assessment using the specific learning results, two projects are emerging in response to the learning assessment results. These two academic actions suggest substantive changes in the general education competencies: Re-conceptualization of the General Education Competency Profile Project and the General Education Learning Assessment Model of School of Education ( ) (RR 4.10) and Pilot Project for Learning Assessment of the General Education Competencies (April May, 2010) made by the Vice Chancellery (RR 4.11) Schools have consistently implemented initiatives to enhance the learning assessment process. For example: a) Three schools have learning assessment committees since These Committees analyze the results and reflect on actions to take and, b) One school performed two annual video conferences with faculty, integrating campus and additional locations, to reflect on results, actions taken and proposed changes, for the improvement of student learning. See Table 4.11 for additional examples of actions taken. Table 4.11 Examples of the Actions Taken by Schools and Additional Locations According to Assessment Results (Academic Years 2004 to 2011) to Improve Teaching and Learning Academic Examples of actions taken to improve learning and teaching years (by Schools and Additional Locations) Education: Inclusion of pedagogical situations in professional courses to allow content integration Education: The institutional instrument was modified to adjust it to the PCMAS outcomes Education: Review of pedagogical situations to be used for assessment in the courses according to PCMAS Test Manual. 54

65 Academic Examples of actions taken to improve learning and teaching years (by Schools and Additional Locations) Education: Development of a Spanish pre-post test to enrich the assessment model. Changes in the grading system for the capstone course EDUC 436: Pedagogical Seminar. Implementation of a new course for final requirement of all master degree EDUC 709: Documental Thesis. Technical Studies: Change in credits hours in courses AQUA 1101 and AIRQ Health Science: Implementation of a new course HLTH 101. Business Administration: Revisions of Associate Degree programs. Social Sciences, Humanities and Communications: Implementation of new courses CRIM 400, PSYC Environmental Affairs: Syllabus revisions. Changes in the grading system for all courses in the graduate school program. Education: Faculty meetings for the re conceptualization of general education competencies and the development of the general education assessment model. Implementation of a new course MATH 118 (undergraduate) and EDRE 900 (doctoral).changes in the graduation requirements for Teacher Preparation Programs. Sciences and Technology: Syllabus revisions of Bachelor of Science Program Environmental Affairs: Curriculum changes, direct interventions with the student (tutoring services), administrative changes, outreach, and workshops to students. Business Administration; Social Sciences, Humanities and Communications: syllabus revisions; curriculum revisions, prerequisites, reorder or added some courses, writing skills workshops for students. Education: Exercise meeting for the Faculty for the calibration of learning assessment instrument (including graduate or doctoral programs); alignment of the institutional profile of general education skills to professional courses. Change in number of credits in course EDUC 435: General Education capstone course. Implementation of the doctoral program comprehensive test guide for students. Review of the Teaching Internship Manual (undergraduate). Sciences and Technology: courses and lab revisions, development of a science writing course, support and /or strengthen the mathematical skills through tutoring services, identification of a textbook with applications (word problems), allowing the use of calculator, change in the approach of teaching physics and mathematics. Technical Studies: Referrals to tutoring services, academic advisors and the school; identification of peer tutors within the classroom, use of computer technology, team work and debates as teaching strategies. School of Professional Studies: Workshops for students. UMET Comerío: Use of different strategies to strengthen writing, self-esteem, leadership and emotional management skills. UMET Bayamón: Teaching strategies in the classroom UMET Jayuya: Teaching strategies in the classroom Environmental Affairs: Syllabus revisions, Thesis Manual revision. Education: Faculty orientation about assessment strategies of higher order skills; re- Conceptualization of the General Education profile and development and implementation of a pilot project of the General Education Assessment Model (presented to the Vice Chancellor on May 2011); Writing skills workshops to students. Findings and Recommendations for the Learning Assessment Information It is necessary to assess the effectiveness of actions taken at all levels. It is essential for UMET to: a) design and implement a tool to assess the effectiveness of actions taken for a better follow up and decision making and, b) require that Schools base their Annual Assessment Plan on the actions taken, declared in the assessment report of the previous year. Schools continue their efforts towards the use of the learning 55

66 assessment results to improve academic programs in compliance with existing related policies and guides. Strengths of the Learning Information as Part of Institutional Assessment and Planning UMET uses student learning assessment information as part of institutional assessment and planning. Learning assessment is one of the institution s priorities in accordance with the goals of the Strategic Development Guides and Vectors 1 and 7 of the SUAGM vision. There is evidence of the planning and implementation of actions according to student learning information gathered from certification tests (nursing, teacher preparation). Some examples of those actions are: a) School of Health: mock test on Blackboard platform, content alignment between courses and test, peer tutoring services, incorporation of a capstone (NURS 421) course, among others; b) School of Education: content alignment between courses and test, administration of courses of the General Education, change the admission requirements, and mock test administration as a requirement for capstone course (EDUC 436); among others. Strengths - Standard 7 and 14 UMET uses the results of learning and institutional assessment for institutional renewal in all major areas. The student learning and institutional assessment information has been used for assessing the institution s effectiveness in achieving goals clearly stated in our mission. The current assessment process established at UMET is planned, organized, systematic, sustained, truthful and accurate; it facilitates appropriate decisions that have proven overall success in the improvement of student support services, student retention, and organizational effectiveness. Both, institutional and learning assessment processes are in compliance with: a) student, staff and faculty right to know about institutional effectiveness, b) academic freedom, c) open climate for faculty academic engagement, and d) receptive environment for the diversity of opinions. 56

67 Chapter 5: Student Admissions and Retention (Standards 8); Student Support Services (Standards 9) UMET subscribes to a flexible admissions policy that provides a diversity of study options in a reasonable array of pedagogical modalities with the purpose of providing quality higher education in its main campus and other additional locations. Students support services are integrated and geared towards the achievement of their academic, social and cultural goals. UMET s mission sustains the right of every student to learn and thus provides numerous opportunities to all students to obtain a quality higher educational experience. Students are the center of all efforts at UMET and once recruited all student support services are designed to retain and assist them in reaching their goals, within the institutions philosophical and social framework. In October 2009 UMET s monitoring report, addressed the Commission s request for a comprehensive enrollment plan that included steps to improve student retention. This Enrollment Plan has been in place and has been used as a guide to manage enrollment. In 2011, it was revised (RR 5.1). This chapter will provide evidence of the steps taken to improve students success through specific initiatives that were implemented. The chapter also describes the results and recommendations of Foundations of Excellence in the First College Year Self Study (RR 5.2). Standard 8: Student Admissions and Retention Admissions UMET has established policies and procedures aimed at recruiting students whose interests, goals, and abilities are congruent with its mission. UMET s mission establishes the existence of a flexible admissions policy. By flexible admission we mean the availability of total open access to university level education while maintaining more specific and selective admission criteria in some designated academic areas. Admissions policies are nondiscriminatory to any eligible applicant regardless of age, race, color, national origin, religion, gender, physical challenges (disability), marital status, and academic or economic disadvantages. This demonstrates UMET s social commitment. All policies and criteria are available to assist the potential student and the information is aimed at helping students make informed decisions. Students Profile UMET s educational policy is embedded in a firm belief that education should be accessible to all members of society. UMET s market is comprised of 72.8% new freshmen students that come from the PR public school system; 35.9% of new freshmen students have an annual family income of less than $ 15,000. The Characteristics and Opinions Report of New Freshmen Students (COEN for its Spanish acronym) (RR 5.3) prepared by VPAII shows that 48.2% of new freshmen students live in public housing projects. Furthermore, UMET receives a high percentage of first-generation students; 42.9% of the students reported that their father completed a high school degree or less. The corresponding mother s percentage was 33.6%. 57

68 An indicator of UMET students academic disadvantage is their high school GPA. Data indicates that 31% of new freshmen students have a high school GPA of less than 2.5. Students enrolled in programs of The School of Technical Studies represents the group with the lowest GPA (58.9% of its students have a GPA of less than 2.5). Another indicator related with incoming freshmen s disadvantaged academic background is the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) results. More than 43% of new freshmen students achieved scores of 400 or less (the total value of each test is 800) in each of the test areas; 52.6% had a score of 400 or less in the English Achievement Test. Also, COEN surveyed incoming students about their academic goals and their perception of their abilities regarding technological skills, academic and personal areas. According to the results, completing a college education is an extremely important issue. More than half of the students surveyed armed to pursue graduate studies. Many admit to lacking academic skills particularly related to speaking, reading and writing in English, written communication in Spanish, use of library resources and team work skills. In the personal area students expressed the need for better skills in managing stressful situations. Our student population does not fit the student profile of traditional institutions. There are numerous initiatives that promote and facilitate adjustment to university life. These initiatives provide the academic and personal support necessary for students to complete degree requirements. (CR 9, 11) The criteria for admission to UMET are clearly defined for each academic program at the technical, undergraduates and graduate (including doctoral) levels. All admissions criteria are available in the undergraduate and graduate catalogs, published newsletters by the different academic schools, informational brochures, and on the Web Page. The Admissions Office, which is under the Associate Vice-Chancellery of Admissions, Marketing & Recruitment (AVAMR), coordinates admissions with the Academic Schools, and is responsible for processing all applications. UMET develops focused recruitment strategies to promote academic offerings, targeting different sectors and modalities. It also includes orientation workshops regarding student financing of higher education. This office maintains linkages with high school counselors, families, and other sources of support, as appropriate. The Institution also offers an annual workshop for all high school counselors from its target market. UMET has an automated communications plan that allows the AVAMR to track, follow up and contact prospective students throughout the academic year via or regular mail. One of the principal sources of information used to promote the Institution is the UMET website, where the academic schools advertise their programs, activities, and faculty qualifications and research interests. In addition, UMET organizes face-to-face contact with prospective high school students through strategic initiatives, such as, orientations, Open House, Career Day, College Day, and a Science and Technology Open House. Financial Aid, Admission and Retention The availability of financial aid plays a key role in attracting, recruiting, admitting, and retaining students. Information about policies and procedures as well as 58

69 information about financial aid, scholarships, grants, and loans are provided via the web and face to face interactions. A FOE survey was administered to assess student s perception about pre-enrollment expectations. Based on the question about preenrollment: Prior to attending this college/university, to what degree did this institution accurately communicate the following: Academic expectations for students, financial aid opportunities, tuition and living expenses, and majors. Results showed that students were aware of pre enrollment expectations (Satisfactory range of 3.12 to 3.93 out of 5). According to 2010 NCES, 91% of UMET s undergraduate students received grant or scholarship aid. Through UMET s Financial Aid Office the university offers a financial aid package. Additional funds are available to students through NSF Science scholarships and institutional funds. Enrollment UMET has experienced a steady increase in enrollment trends especially in the AHORA program as shown in Table 5.1. This program presents the highest increase in the enrollment trends with an annual rate of 42.1% at the branches. This evidences the fulfillment of UMET s mission that values adult education as a contribution to nontraditional forms of higher education. Table 5.1 UMET s Enrollment Trends from to Enrollment Academic Year Main Campus (Total) 4,686 4,780 5,003 4,965 5,363 5,136 5,164 5,331 5,222 -Undergraduate 3,962 4,015 4,175 3,979 4,179 3,916 3,987 4,318 4,404 -Graduate ,071 1,184 1,220 1,177 1, Master , Doctoral SPS - AHORA (Total) 1,185 1,591 1,857 2,544 2,612 2,851 3,001 2,969 3,134 -Adult Program AHORA (PR) 1,185 1,547 1,794 2,465 2,472 2,653 2,746 2,734 2,699 -Adult Program AHORA (Branches) STS- Technical Certificates (Total) ,025 Additional Locations 1,295 1,928 2,660 3,100 3,487 3,235 3,413 3,367 3,312 (w/o AHORA nor Certificates ) TOTAL 7,606 8,806 10,503 11,253 12,112 11,900 12,389 12,622 12,693 Source: Fact Sheet 2010,

70 Transfer Students There has been a sustained effort to address transfer students needs and provide a smooth transfer procedure. UMET has a planned internal transfer procedure to make it easier to establish course equivalences across its units. The course validation norm is published on the website and students can access it through the Student Services Office of the Registrar under the name of Bulletin of the Registrar s Office. Also, transfer student and admissions requirements for transfer students are defined in the catalog. The Office of the Registrar processes the transcripts of transfer students. Transfer credit is awarded after review process (Transfer Credit Norm RR 5.4). UMET received an average of 260 transfer students during the last five years. Retention, Persistence and Graduation UMET retention rates benchmark data from IPEDS cohorts are presented in Appendix 18, Figure 1. Over the past four years, UMET first time full time undergraduate retention to the second year has ranged from 64% to 73%, witnessing a gradual increase in the last three years as a result of all the efforts detailed below. Relative to private peer institutions in Puerto Rico, UMET s retention rates, for 2008 and 2009 cohorts, are equal or better than Caribbean University-Bayamón, Bayamón Central University, Inter American University of PR-Metro and Inter American University of PR- Aguadilla. Appendix 18, Figure 2 also shows graduation rates benchmark data from IPEDS cohorts , comparing UMET with other similar institution in Puerto Rico. Data shows that UMET s graduation rates (17.5% for 2004 cohort) are higher than Inter American University of Puerto Rico-Bayamón, Universidad del Este and Universidad del Turabo. Figure 5.1 shows UMET s retention (part time and full time students); persistence and graduation rates for cohorts Cohort Percent First year Retention, Persistence & Graduation Rate Cohorts Percent Continuing to 2nd. year Percent Continuing to 3th. year Percent Continuing to 4th. year Percent Continuing 5th year 6th year % % +2.3% % 6 yr. Grad. rate (+5.0 % Transferout) (Success rate 22.4%) % % Source: Assistant Vice-presidency of Institutional Research Figure 5.1 Retention (part time and full time students), Persistence and Graduation for Cohorts

71 The progress and graduation rates of UMET s students are not surprising in view of demographics, particularly their financial circumstances and the need to work while attending college. It is noteworthy that UMET students manage to complete their baccalaureate degrees within six years while working over 30 hours a week while enrolled full time. Retention efforts have been guided by UMET s Retention Plan and supported by SUAGM s VPPAA to help stabilize student attrition. There is still a challenge to improve graduation rates and a number of initiatives are underway to improve this situation. UMET is going beyond the first year experience to focus in 2 nd, 3 rd and graduation rates, tracking students progress and persistence towards earning a degree with the implementation of Student Tracking software in order to support graduation and retention goals. The emphasis to improve retention is placed upon academic support and UMET has taken the following administrative and academic actions in order to continue increasing retention and graduation rates. Programs, Services and Efforts to Achieve Academic Success Introduction Part of the fundamental elements of Standard 8 is to provide programs and services to ensure that marginally admitted students are successful. Universidad Metropolitana provides students with adequate resources to help them attain success and complete their academic goals. Since 2006, information gathered through different sources has been assessed, resulting in the following findings: under preparedness of entering students; the lack of a management infrastructure to administer the First Year Experience; low retention rates in upper levels; low graduation rates; and lack of a student tracking system. During the last five years, UMET has strengthened its student academic support services (CR 9) and has taken the appropriate administrative decisions needed to ensure a smooth transition from first year to sophomore year, and improve retention rates in upper division to graduation. Evaluation, Diagnosis, Placement and Assessment Center (CEDUA) An important aspect of success in college is enrolling in courses that are best suited to the students level of preparation and career goals. Every student who has not taken the CEEB and is admitted to a program of studies for a Bachelor or Associate degree must take placement tests. The students test results guide the design of their class schedule in regular or immersion format according to the demonstrated competencies. The tests results (pre-tests) are then compared with the post-tests administered towards the end of the term to determine the student s knowledge gained or the value added from the course. Another important function of the CEDUA is the evaluation and assessment of Immersion courses (English, Mathematics, Spanish and Reading & Critical Thinking), 61

72 FYIS, orientation and counseling services, Faculty Mentoring Program, academic advising and tutoring services. Student Tracking and Report System (STS) To increase the institution s effectiveness in tracking students from freshmen year to graduation, a STS was acquired in 2007 in UMET Bayamón, then in 2009 in the Main Campus, Aguadilla, Comerío and Jayuya. This application was bought with federal funds (RR 5.5) The system has the following modules: a basic student and cohort tracking, education plans and career pathways, increasing student retention and generating reports, Early Alert: supporting at-risk students early on, One-click IR -interactive reports, institutional research, faculty development planning and tracking, and Competencybased learning: Learning Audits. The last module acquired during 2011 was a Course Schedule Optimizer. This module creates course scheduling based on the students needs. Incorporating this module into UMET s Enrollment Management System presents a cutting edge technological system. This complete student tracking system keeps track of students from their first inquiries up to the competencies they master at graduation and their incursion into the workforce. The use of the system is increasing gradually as new users are trained and new functions are uploaded. The database has a total of 20,740 student records and 3,425 faculty s records. The following staff and faculty have been trained in the use of the STS: 46 Advisors (Professionals and Faculty), 15 Counselors, 71 Tutors, 10 Laboratory Specialists, 4 Student Affairs Coordinators, 5 Retention Coordinators, 9 Registrar Officers, 5 Directors and 4 Administrative Staff (IT personnel for users support). The STS generates the following reports: Detailed Academic Advising; Detailed Student Services; Students Grades (Average GPA); Grades Comparison among Student Cohorts; Retention by Cohorts; Retention Rates; Academic Profile; and Students Competencies. The next step in the implementation of the STS will be the training of Deans and Faculty. First Year Students Induction Seminar In 2007, a First Year Seminar was introduced in UMET Bayamón as part of a Title V federal funded project. At UMET Main campus, FYIS 101 was designed and established as a pilot project in the fall of 2009 with the participation of 290 students (19.4% of total freshmen students enrolled in that semester). This seminar and the corresponding textbook were designed to support first year students in their process of adjustment and transition to University life with the main purpose of helping them meet their educational goals. All FYIS sections are evaluated by students to identify areas for improvement. The results show high levels of satisfaction. To introduce this course UMET invited Dr. John N. Gardner and Dr. Betsy Barefoot to certify faculty, administrators and staff. A total of 77 participated and were certified. The Associate Vice Chancellery of Student Retention and Development (AVSRD) is responsible for the recruitment and certification of the Faculty of this course, course scheduling, learning assessment and professional development of the Faculty. UMET is currently implementing a learning assessment model based on competencies for 62

73 this course. (CR 7, 14) A Peers Mentoring program was integrated to the FYIS in August (RR 5.6) The results shown on Table 5.2 demonstrate that retention rates of students enrolled in FYIS were higher when compared with those of students that were not enrolled in FYIS. Table 5.2 FYIS 101 Students Retention Rates Comparison with Students not Enrolled in FYIS 101 First Year Students Fall 2009 First Semester (N) First to Second Semester Retention Rates First Year to Second Year Enrolled in FYIS % 70.7% 51.4% Not enrolled in FYIS % 64.8% 46.7% Source: Evaluation, Diagnosis, Placement and Assessment Center- 2009, 2010, 2011 Report Student s satisfaction with FYIS is evident through their written comments: Second Year to Third Year - Before, I thought that it was a boring course. But, now I wait for Tuesdays and Thursdays, to live a dynamic experience with my professor and peers - - I learned a lot of interesting things for my life and to reach my academic goals. - In May 2010, a policy was approved by the Academic Board and Administrative Council to incorporate FYIS 101, as part of UMET s General Education requirements. (CR 2) By fall of 2010 all new freshmen students were enrolled in the course. Immersion Model to the Teaching of Mathematics, English, and Spanish Using a Competency-Based Approach An immersion model was introduced in 2006 in UMET Bayamón and in 2009 in the main campus with Title V funds to revamp the teaching of basic: English, Spanish, and Mathematics, using a competency-based immersion approach. Also, a Reading and Critical Thinking course was created to address the under preparedness of entering students. Immersion courses are intensive six lecture hours and four laboratory hours per week following an integrated laboratory course format, where outside the classroom activities are encouraged. First year students that are identified at a higher academic risk (lowest CEEB scores, Placement tests scores and GPA) are placed in one or more immersion courses (Spanish, English and/or Mathematics), a Reading and Critical Thinking (READ) course and FYIS. Table 5.3 shows that longitudinal retention rates of students that were enrolled in the immersion track program at UMET-Bayamón were higher than those of the students enrolled in the regular track. After 5 years of implementation of the Title V project, the Institutionalization of the First Year College and Support Services has been initiated. The following analysis and projection can be made for the 2007 cohort assuming a stable attrition from 2011 to 2012: Immersion Track : 2 students dropping out from the 5th to the 6th Year of Study Regular Track: 18 students dropping out from the 5th to the 6th Year of Study 63

74 The projected Graduation Rate at UMET - Bayamón would increase to approximately 30% for the cohort under study ( ), an improvement of 13% when measured against an institutional current graduation rate of 17%. Table 5.3 Longitudinal Retention Rates for Students Enrolled in the Immersion Track, vs. the Regular Track-UMET Bayamón (2007 Cohort) 1 st Year Entering Freshman Cohort Served by Title V Grant 2007 Cohort Immersion Track Regular Track N 2 nd Year of Study 1 st to 2 nd Year Retention August, rd Year of Study 2 nd to 3 rd Year Retention August, th Year of Study 3 rd to 4 th Year Retention August, th Year of Study 4 th to 5 th Year Retention August, 2011 Table 5.4 shows retention rates for cohorts that took immersion courses and those who did not at UMET Main Campus. Results once again reflect higher retention rates for those students that participate in the immersion track program. (RR 5.7) Table 5.4 Retention Rates for Students Enrolled in the Immersion Program vs. the Regular Program at UMET Main Campus Retention Rate Comparison Immersion vs Regular Program New Freshmen Students -Main Campus 2009 and 2010 Cohorts Base Program 2009 Cohort 2010 Cohort N First to second year retention Second to third year retention N First to second year retention Immersion Program Regular Program Source: Evaluation, Diagnosis, Placement and Assessment Center- 2009, 2010 Reports First Year Student Support Office This office responds to the AVSRD. It has two programs: 6 th Year of Study 5 th to 6 th Year Retention August, 2012 Expected Graduation Rate 6 th Year N % N % N % N % N % Expected % Total The Professional Orientation and Counseling Program: provides first year students (FYS) with the experiences for academic, personal and vocational/occupational development. Professional Counseling is offered on a group or individual basis and facilitates student adjustment to the university 64

75 environment. One of the activities that this program coordinates is New Students Welcoming and Orientation Day. Academic Advising Program: Advisors provide an early, continuous and intensive student follow-up to address all academic matters. Their responsibilities include: working with academic evaluations and study plans, monitoring of standard of academic progress, assisting students in the processes of enrollment, serving as primary contact for the entire referral system and participating actively in the activities of the retention program. In December 2009 two Academic Advisors were hired to enhance academic advising throughout the undergraduate programs with an emphasis on the first year. An additional academic advisor was hired to attend the evening session. Academic Monitoring System, Early Alert System Program (EAS), First Year and Sophomore Students This program initiated with the first year student population and based on the positive outcomes of this program it was expanded to include, in 2007, second year students. The faculty offering first year and second year courses monitor students attendance or other personal or social difficulties and make referrals, when needed, to professional counselors and academic advisors with the aim of providing follow-up. This process is documented through the Student Tracking System where all interventions are recorded. There is evidence that faculty has referred over 500 students in the last two years ( ). The retention percent among those students referred by faculty is 82%, demonstrating the effectiveness of these services (RR 5.8) Through this program, UMET identifies students high risk factors such as: academic concerns, academic performance, homework / quizzes/ tests low scores, class absences, personal concerns, attitude or discipline problems, late enrollment and health issues. Appropriate actions are taken based on these factors. Academic Advising Program Upper Division This is a core component for retention providing a comprehensive strategy to support students in achieving academic success. Since 2000, the program has been maintained at UMET (main campus and additional locations) with the support of combined funds from federal projects and an institutional budget assigned to the AVSRD. In 2006, through Title V federal funds, UMET Bayamón established the academic advising program from first year through upper division. At UMET main campus, in 2009 UMET adopted an academic advising model to meet upper division students needs. This model adapts the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) model. Seven Academic Advisors were hired on September An Academic Advisor was assigned to the Sports and Recreation Program in order to attend the athlete s needs. These advisors give support to the Academic Schools and work closely with the student coordinators. 65

76 Tutoring Centers Due to the nature of our student population, the area of tutoring is another critical component for student success. UMET provides a comprehensive tutoring support services to help students attain their academic goals. Services are described in detail later in this chapter. Graduate Services Each academic school offers adequate guidance resources to help graduate student attain success and complete their academic goals. Also, a CGS was established in 2010 as part of the Title V Project (Promoting Post Baccalaureate opportunities for Hispanic Americans-Title V) (RR 4.1). Foundations of Excellence in the First Year College Self- Study In order to identify the factors which affect UMET s development and first year student retention, and to further define what is needed to help students succeed, UMET selected the Foundations of Excellence in the First College Year model developed by Dr. John Gardner and Dr. Betsy O. Barefoot to perform a first year experience self-study (RR 5.2). This initiative gave UMET a broad perspective on the greatest challenges it faces regarding student retention and undergraduate education. A complete evaluation of the first year experience was and performed its results suggested the implementation of new strategies to promote students academic and personal success based on nine aspirational principles of excellence. Different methodologies were used, such as: surveys, interviews, document reviews, and opinions of the multiple sectors that make up the UMET community. This facilitated relevant and adequate participation of the students, faculty, associates and staff. This study culminated on May 2011, with a Retention Retreat under the theme of An Inspirational Model for the First Year Experience at UMET: An Approach from the Foundations of Excellence with the participation of all UMET s faculty, administrators, support services and first year staff. The purpose of the retreat was to share the results of the study and reflect on the strategic actions that UMET should undertake to continue to improve the processes, products and services for the benefit of its students. This self-study resulted in numerous recommendations. Recommendations that include: the development of common first year learning goals, faculty development and training for teaching first-year students, analysis of the reasons for DFWI grades in common first year courses, the development of strategies to improve pass rates, assess students non-cognitive and emotional needs, development of appropriate interventions to further assess students understanding of and access to ways in which they can finance their college education. These recommendations and others will be infused into the strategic planning process to support student retention. Strengths During the last five years, UMET has strengthened its student academic support services and has made the appropriate administrative decisions needed to ensure student success. Some efforts to address the students underpreparedness and lack of 66

77 developmental skills include the implementation of Immersion Model Courses in Mathematics, English, and Spanish using a competency-based curriculum, READ and FYIS courses, a campus-wide Self-Study by FOE and a student tracking system to increase the institution s effectiveness in tracking students from freshmen year to graduation. Evidence of the success of these programs has been provided and in a time when student retention is not dramatically improving nation-wide, UMET has made modest gains. As a result of the FOE self study, a number of targeted initiatives were recommended and will become the focus of student interventions. Recommendations As part of the plan to increase retention and graduation rates, UMET will: Create a First-Year College by August 2012 Develop an action plan based on the results of the FOE Self-Study. Develop an automatic enrollment project for undergraduate students using the STS. Standard 9: Student Support Services UMET offers admitted students a wide variety of services to support their academic, health and recreational needs. Support services and programs reflect the University s commitment to its mission, to provide an integrated and student centered services towards the achievement of their academic, social and cultural goals. The Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs addresses UMET students needs by offering services that promote an integral student development in a safe environment and guarantee a quality student life. It administers support services centered on six elements of academic well-being and learning: vocational, personal, cultural, social, recreation and civism and implements UMET s Enrollment Management Plan which was recently revised (RR 5.1). The Student Support Services are consistent with UMET s Strategic Plan and SUAGM s long range strategic statement Vision 2015 (CR2). These documents are shared and discussed with the student support services staff to establish the goals, objectives and planning responsive to our student needs. The Student Satisfaction Surveys Enrollment Survey Report , and Quality of Life and Well-being , (RR 4.2). The Institution s provide input for the development of action plans, improvement, efficiency and quality in services and programs. These surveys evidence that systematic and ongoing assessment processes are in place with the support from the VPAII and OPAI. The results are used to assist in the planning and budgeting process and to make decisions to improve services and develop new offerings in this area. Examples of these actions are: extended office service hours, the establishment of the Office for Students with Special Needs, recruitment of a Job Placement Official, and a digitalizing project to assure the security and upkeep of student records. Since the last visit, support services of Admissions, Financial Aid, Registrar and Bursar offices were centralized creating an Integrated Student Services Center (CISE for 67

78 its Spanish acronym). The Athletic Program was restructured, a new Sports Facilities Complex was opened and a Job Placement Center was established at the main campus. The administrative structure of Admissions and Financial Aid was divided and Admissions became part of the AVAMR. Coordinated support services with academic Schools, the AVSRD, and student services for Financial Aid, Registrar and Bursar office procedures and personnel were reinforced and expanded at the additional locations. Surveys revealed that the student health services and job placement officers at the additional locations needed to be developed. At the present, these services are provided through agreements with government agencies. All services are published in: General Catalog, Student Handbook, news bulletins, WEB page, , traditional mail and activities of promotion and recruitment. There are numerous services that are provided online such as: application for admission, complete FAFSA documentation, enrollment in desired courses and verification of account status, among many others. The Child Development Center, located at the main campus provides childcare and educational services for the children of students and employees. This allows young parents to continue their studies knowing their children are well cared for with no economic impact. The Center also provides extended hours through an after school program, allowing school-age children to complete their homework and review basic skills while their parents attend night courses. The Center has hired experienced teachers in preschool education and health professionals where UMET students offer community service such as preventive health education, nutrition and environmental awareness. Services are supported by Head Start, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico and by institutional funds. An interactive and integrated network of student services, Red Interactiva de Servicios, is a high tech call center that integrates multiple channels of communications , web-chat, text and voice messages to fulfill the needs and meet the expectations of a new generation of students. Through this single point of access, a variety of services are offered. The center undertakes telemarketing campaigns urging students to enroll and facilitate the delivery of required documents for student enrollment and financial assistance. In addition, La Red will be able to conduct opinion and satisfaction surveys to assess its services. Student support services have been strengthened through the implementation of seven Title V projects at the Main Campus and at the additional locations. Staff has been recruited to provide the following student services: counseling, psychological services, tutoring and mentoring services and financial aid orientations. One of the projects addresses graduate students needs by the development of a Graduate Student Center which provides bridge-to-graduate-school orientations, workshops and other activities that include regular seminars for the graduate school community, counseling and psychological services, tutoring and scholarships. Tutoring Centers - In 2008, a Tutoring Center called "Learning Zone" was created at UMET Main Campus, a Director was hired to supervise this center. The Director reports to the AVSRD. The center provides tutoring services to undergraduate students 68

79 on the subjects of English, Spanish and basic Mathematics, and some special courses such as Nursing and Anatomy. Online tutoring is also available. There are yearly evaluations of the services offered through students satisfaction surveys. Through this process, the student evaluates tutor s commitment, approachability and knowledge. This assessment guides us in making decisions and helps us to improve the services students receive. Also, each area coordinator evaluates its tutors. In 2009, the tutoring services were evaluated and the level of satisfaction was rated at 4.83 on a scale of 1 to 5 with five being the highest level of satisfaction. 96% of students who answered the questionnaire indicated that 1) tutoring helped them with their questions, 2) they would continue using it and 3) they would recommend this service to other students. (RR 5.9) Also, the Learning Zone coordinates with the School of Science and Technology tutoring services for all Science Math Core courses, Chemistry, Biology and Physics and Biomathematics. In coordination with the School of Health Science it offers tutoring services for Nursing Core courses through the SENDAS project. The AVSRD coordinates with Additional Locations Directors the tutoring services. Graduate Center - The graduate student support services include the following: 65 scholarships for a total of $78,448 during FY ; workshops on topics that enhance research skills; educational materials that are geared to improve academic performance and success; psychological services; and professional counseling services. As stated in our mission, UMET is committed to provide student centered services supervised by qualified professionals who are dedicated to our student population. Table 5.5 shows that our staff assists in training and workshops offered by the: National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrator Conferences; American Association of Collegiate and Registrars and Admissions Officers; College Board Annual Conference; Puerto Rican Association of Professional Counselors Annual Conference; and Society of Human Resources Management Puerto Rico Annual Conference, among others. Table 5.5 Student Support Services Staff at Main Campus and Additional Locations Campus Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree 5 or more years student support services experience Training, workshops, conferences and professional activities Main Campus Additional Locations Associate Vice-Chancellery of Integrated Processes - This office implements UMET s Enrollment Management Plan. It is responsible for planning, organizing, directing, coordinating and supervising the processes of enrollment integrated in CISE in coordination with Schools, the First Year Student Support Office and Additional Locations in accordance with UMET s policies. CISE Since 2003, CISE offer students a one stop location at the main campus and additional locations, for Admissions, Financial Aid, Registrar and Bursar s office services. The integration of services facilitates access and effectiveness. An area with 69

80 trained financial aid staff and technological support was also established where the students can complete the FAFSA process. Financial Aid Office - This office manages all financial aid available to UMET s students to finance their college education. The granting of financial aid is determined following the criteria of financial need established by federal, state and institutional regulations. The student is informed through an award letter. Last year ( ), 11,446 eligible students received Pell Grants and other financial aid totaling $78,513,636. This represents a 90.6% of our total enrollment. The Financial Aid Office s vision maintains as part of its philosophy the principle of equal education opportunity for students. This Office is a highly regulated area and has all the necessary information available for students, family and associates about fiscal policies and institutional financial aid, such as: Policies and Financial Aid Procedures Manual, Consumer Student Handbook, Financial Aid Handbook published on the Web, Notice of Financial Aid (Award Letter and Change of Award Letter), Financial Aid information booklets, Federal Student Aid Guide (available online), Brochures about the financial aid offered by the PRCE, UMET s Website Student Loan Section. Registrar Office - The Registrar Office s primary responsibility is safeguarding the students academic records and monitoring the integrity of the processes in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The policies for the disclosure of student information are published on the Web site, student handbook and bulletins. The changes in student policies are informed through the web page and by traditional mail. The Registrar looks after the integrity of all procedures regarding transfer and course equivalencies across its units. The Handbook that sets the rules and procedures of the institution for the transfer credit of courses was updated in Bursar s Office - This office has the responsibility to safeguard the institutional income. It guides the student and ensures compliance with institutional, state and federal policies, as well as the procedures established by SUAGM s Vice President for Financial Affairs. During the registration process students received the Fiscal Policies and Tuition Fees brochure to inform tuition fees, miscellaneous fees and policies related with the enrollment process. The bulletin is also published in the Web page. Associate Vice-Chancellery of Scholarships and Internships - This office was established in December 2001 in response to the need to integrate the various scholarship programs offered to honor students. Each year approximately 250 students receive scholarships. This office also coordinates the Internship Program that encourages students to participate in academic, professional and research opportunities in public or private agencies and prestigious universities in Puerto Rico and abroad. Table 5.6 shows the students participation in these experiences that complement the academic preparation, exposure to cultural diversity and develop skills necessary to successfully integrate students into future professional employments. Some internship experiences can lead to 70

81 college credit. It is important to point out that internship activities have encouraged students persistence and interest in graduate studies. Auxiliary Vice-Chancellery of Quality Life and Student Wellbeing - This office works towards students achievement of emotional, social and physical wellbeing. It serves over 3,000 students per year. Table 5.7 presents results of surveys conducted in 2008 (1545 respondents) and 2009 (853 respondents) to assess this office services. It shows that at least 90% of students rate them as excellent (RR 4.2). Table 5.6 Students Participation in Internships Countries Puerto Rico United States Spain Brazil México Singapore Turks and Caico s Costa Rica Total Dominican Republic Year Total Table 5.7 Quality of Life and Student Well Being Satisfaction Survey Aug May 2009 Aug Dec 2010 Services Excellence Good Regular Poor Excellence Good Regular Poor Counseling 93% 5% 2% 93% 7% process Confidentiality 96% 4% 95% 3% 2% Waiting time 90% 5% 3% 2% 90% 6% 4% Services expectations met 98% 2% 97% 3% Center for Integral Development of Students The Center provides multidisciplinary services that promote personal, vocational and academic support to students by promoting healthy lifestyles and facilitating the completion of their goals. The services are offered by qualified professional licensed counselors. The counselors maintain their professional development through continued education and observe confidentiality and ethics consistent with institutional integrity standards. Among the services provided are: Psychological services - these services are offered free of charge and by appointment by a licensed psychologist providing the student with the management of personal and emotional situations that affect them to meet academic progress and remain in school. The program reflects an increase in the referrals for these services. The student life style which responds to stress, child care, work and other responsibilities requires psychological services to support them to handle situations and address them toward their educational goals. At UMET, the psychological 71

82 services have been increased through federal funding projects like Title V Campus I. Table 5.8 show results (50% of respondents) from a Psychological Services Evaluation Questionnaire administered by Title V Project demonstrated the need for additional psychological services. As a result, UMET took action on this matter and expanded the amount and schedule of psychological services offerings through Title V project. However, there is still a need to expand these services due to the increasing amount of students requesting them. Also, through the learning assessment results reports (2011), UMET s faculty have pointed out students needs in this area. Table 5.8 Psychological Services Survey Results Premises Yes No N F % F % 1. Did you get access to get an appointment? Do you think it is necessary schedule more options? Did you easily find the office? Does the session time seem right? Individual and group counseling on academic, vocational and personal needs. Five licensed Counselors offer services to students. It is important to establish that in the last two student satisfaction studies ( ; ) conducted by VPAII, student s satisfaction with the administrative-academic support services and the offerings itinerary in those areas, were pointed out as in need for improvement. Two important actions were taken to address those needs: o UMET expanded the following support services: June Health support services during the evening schedule January Counseling services until 8:30 pm. o Additional academic advisors were hired to address students needs in these areas through the support of federal and institutional funds. Alcohol and Drug Prevention Program Suicide Prevention Program Student Organizations - leadership development through student organizations. Students can become members of more than one student association. Some of these are: Nursing Association, Criminal Justice Association, PISTA, CHIMEIA, Association of Future Educators, BIO CELL Association, and AECO. Workshops, lectures and exhibitions related to personal development, career planning, and campus life. Office of Services for Students with Special Needs Students with special needs are a high priority for UMET. Evidence of this was the establishment of this office to offer services for this population and the inclusion of an ADA compliance statement in all course syllabi. The Office of Services for Students with Special Needs developed the Reasonable Accommodation Manual to inform the academic Schools of the requirements and procedures to support students with special needs. Although assessment results have not been attained in this specific area, the Vice 72

83 Chancellery of Student Affairs in coordination with OPAI, will integrate all student services areas and conduct a survey that will allow assessment. The pilot project is scheduled to begin in The services offered by this office include: reasonable accommodation of students with disabilities, workshops, conferences, orientation on existing State and Federal regulations, technological assistance and vocational rehabilitation referrals. In 2007, a Rehabilitation Counselor and a Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator were hired to provide additional support in this area. After the counselor evaluation, an intervention plan is implemented. The plan includes referrals to psychology, counseling, and orientation of services and documents available in print and on the Web page and strategies to address their needs. This office also looks after students compliance with the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard (NPAS for is Spanish acronym). The services for students identified as at high risk for non compliance with the NPAS are defined by an action plan which considers the intervention of counselors for academic, personal and vocational counseling; psychological services; tutoring; reasonable accommodation, and referrals to services offered by community groups or organizations. Appendix 19 shows the NPAS action plan flowchart for students that do not comply with it and details of the NPAS standard. Student Health Services Free services are provided by health professionals that encourage preventive medicine and outpatient services offered to members of the university community. The Health Center is staffed with two medical doctors and two registered nurses. The center has the necessary equipment to take care of emergency situations and provide first aid care. Table 5.9 presents the number of students requiring the services this Vice- Chancellery offers during the last four years. Table 5.9 Students Attendance to the Associate Vice-Chancellery of Quality of Life and Student Well Being Services ( ) Students in non -compliance with the Academic Progress Norm Students registered with special needs Number of students needing Health related services (medical or nurse) Total students attended 4,066 2,288 3,400 3,762 Employment Center The Career Center offers its services to students, alumni and the community at large. This office assists students in developing techniques to improve skills in their transition from student to employee, providing guidance and related activities to be successful in seeking and obtaining employment. Occupational tests are also offered. 73

84 In the last four years, this office has offered its services to more than 700 students, alumni and community members. The reductions in students job placement have been affected by the economic situation in Puerto Rico. During the last years, Puerto Rico s unemployment rate has increased from 10.9% in 2007 to 16.0% in 2010, according to the Labor Department of Puerto Rico. The Employment Center has integrated an action plan to provide seminars, workshops and others activities related to developing their own business and selfemployment. Athletic and Recreation Program This program promotes the integral development of students and encourages their participation in sports and recreational activities to achieve a balance between studies and athletic activities. Our Institution s mascots are Mister Crocodile and his new girlfriend Lady Crocodile. UMET has an active athletic program with a successful participation in Puerto Rico Intercollegiate Athletic League (LAI). For the last four years UMET has been either champions in the women s league or sub champions of the men s league of the intercollegiate games. The recently inaugurated (Nov. 2010) UMET Sports Complex provides to the students, faculty, administrators and community recreational and athletic activities to promote physical well-being. The complex has volleyball and basketball courts, pool, Judo and Tae Kwon Do areas, dance room, fitness center, tutoring services for athletes and an Athletic Therapy Center. The complex offers the following activities: swimming lessons, aerobics, athletic therapy and gym membership. The institution has a bus that provides free transportation to and from the Main Campus and the Complex for the university community. Table 5.10 shows the university and external community participation in the Sport Complex activities. Table 5.10 UMET Sports Complex Physical Well-being Activities and Participants JAN-MAY 2011 GYM ZUMBA ACUAEROBICS SWIMMING LESSONS Associates Students Community Total Complementary Educational Services Program (PSEC) This program is located on UMET s main campus and offers services through Federal TRIO Program Student Support Services. Funds are awarded to institutions of higher education to provide opportunities for academic development, assist students with basic college requirements, and to motivate students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education. PSEC projects may also provide grant aid to current PSEC participants who are receiving Federal Pell Grants. The goal of PSEC is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants. 74

85 All PSEC projects provide: academic tutoring, which may include instruction in reading, writing, study skills, mathematics, science, and other subjects; advice and assistance in postsecondary course selection, assist students with information on both the full range of student financial aid programs, benefits and resources for locating public and private scholarships, and assistance in completing financial aid applications; education or counseling services designed to improve the financial and economic literacy and assist students in applying for admission to graduate and professional programs; and assist students enrolled in two-year institutions and applying for admission to, and obtaining financial assistance for enrollment in four-year programs. The PSEC projects also provide individualized counseling for personal, career, and academic information, activities, and instruction designed to acquaint students with career options; exposure to cultural events and academic programs not usually available. Strengths The Student Support Services are one of the great strengths of our institution. Teaching and learning are processes that revolve around a student centered holistic vision. The student support services design takes into account all areas that make university life an enriching one. The services in the admission process start from proper funding of studies up to registration and are integrated in order to facilitate students services, and to inform them about their rights and obligations. The Customer Care center also known as Red Interactiva de Servicios provides additional support services. For a comprehensive development of the student as a whole, we encourage physical development through sports as a vital part of university life. The cycle of student support services also facilitate the transition from university to professional life, through the Employment Center, which provides tools for search and identification of jobs for our student community. In summary, student support services provide a high quality university experience for our students. Recommendations To strengthen student support services pertaining to health services, job placement, and multidisciplinary services at additional locations. Increase and expand psychological services to support students to handle life situations toward the achievement of their educational goals. 75

86 Chapter 6: Faculty (Standard 10) Introduction A highly qualified faculty, committed to academic excellence, supports the flexible admissions policy. UMET s instructional, research, and service programs are devised, developed, monitored, and supported by qualified professionals. UMET s qualified, experienced and engaged faculty is one of its main strengths for the effectiveness of the teaching/learning process, research project and service programs. UMET ensures the recruitment of a highly qualified, diverse faculty that support the institution s mission of providing quality education by following the rulings and procedures to recruit and maintain their faculty as established in the Ana G. Méndez University System (SUAGM) Faculty Handbook according to bylaws and policies. Faculty Handbook can be accessed at: ofesorado.pdf. UMET s faculty provide its students with an atmosphere of academic freedom and intellectual challenge through their special interaction with them, which is evidenced in their commitment to teaching, understanding of their needs and interests, and by working closely to maintain and develop their strengths as well as to lessen their limitations inside and outside the classroom. There is evidence that faculty serve as advisers for the 47 students organizations (25 campus, 22 in additional locations), and provide formal advising and mentoring for students research. When special assistance is needed, faculty members use the Early Alert System to refer students for further help with their academic needs, personal issues or vocational interests, among others. There is evidence that faculty has referred over 500 students in the last two years ( ). The retention percent among those students referred by faculty is 82%, demonstrating the effectiveness of these services (RR 5.8). UMET s full-time faculty is mainly devoted to teaching/learning, research and service. Part-time faculty, and adjunct faculty, constitutes an important sector of our faculty that has been retained for years in this institution. During the last six years, UMET has actively recruited visiting professors, Fulbright scholars and post-doctoral fellows from prestigious institutions. This strategy enriches faculty diversity and encourages the international vision as a learning community. Full-time Faculty Profile The term full-time faculty (tenure, non tenure, and substitute) is defined as those teaching 15 hour-credit per semester at the undergraduate level and those teaching 12 hour-credit per semester at the graduate level (Faculty Handbook, p. 21 RR 1.14). Both levels comply with a required minimum of three office hours per week committed to learning assessment duties, serving in committees and task forces, developing curriculum and advising students. 76

87 UMET s full-time faculty profile (as reported in IPEDS up to October 31, 2010) is represented in Table 6.1. Tenure contracts have not been generally considered during the last years. At present, full-time non tenured faculty is hired via a contract agreement that can span one, three or five years. Full-time substitute faculty is hired via a 10 month contract that can be extended up to three consecutive years. Academic ranks among fulltime faculty are evenly distributed; there are: Professors (23%), Associates (29%), Assistants (27%) and Instructors (21%). UMET is committed to increase full-time faculty with doctoral degrees. At present the Institution provides incentives to 16 faculty members for the attainment of their doctoral degrees. In January 2012, the Chemical, Environmental and Toxicology laboratory will have their first postdoctoral fellows assigned entirely to research. Table 6.1 Full-time Faculty Profile UMET 2005 to 2010* Full-time faculty Profile Percent of total faculty Tenure** % Non tenure % Female % Male % Professor % Associate % Assistant % Instructor % No academic rank % Total Full time % faculty Executive administrative managerial Total Not reported Not reported Not Not reported reported *Data from IPEDS 2005 to 2010 (as of October 31 of each year) **Remaining tenured faculty % % After October 31, 2010, thirty-nine (39) new full-time faculty have been hired totaling 133 full-time faculty members in a teaching role for the academic year Table 6.2 shows the current status of full time faculty including 21 faculty members appointed to administrative/executive positions or in sabbatical/license, totaling 154 full-time faculty members. Further efforts are being done to recruit more full-time faculty through careful and responsible budget analysis and aggressive strategies to identify candidates for difficult hiring or competitive new disciplines. 77

88 Table 6.2 Full-Time Faculty * *Data from Vice Presidency of Human Resources as of May 31 of each year ( ) After MSCHE s 2007 Periodic Review, UMET has experienced changes in the composition and qualifications of its full time faculty. Some of the outstanding findings are: Sixteen academic ranks were awarded and distributed as follows: eight professors, four associate professors and four assistant professors UMET was the first SUAGM institution to hire full-time faculty for additional locations. As of 2011, twelve full-time faculty have been hired for Aguadilla and Bayamón (25% doctoral degrees and 75% master degrees) Since 2008, the School of Environmental Affairs, has recruited three visiting professors. In the last six years, UMET has developed 11 international collaborative agreements congruent to its mission: to provide international internship opportunities and faculty/student exchange programs from and to prestigious universities. This contributes to internationalization and diversity in teaching/learning experiences of our students, faculty and our community. Five Fulbright visiting residence scholars were recruited from China, Spain, Brazil and Egypt, assigned to the School of Business Administration (1), School of Environmental Affairs (2) and the School of Social Science and Humanities (2). Also, full-time faculty have traveled for internships to prestigious international universities: Oxford University, Universidad de Granada, Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia in Argentina, Universidade Estadoual do Norte de Fluminense in Brasil and Carnegie Mellon University, among others (RR 6.1). Seventy-two Fulbright lecturers have also been invited to UMET (RR 6.2). Part-time Faculty Academic Year Full-time Faculty (tenure and non tenure) Full-time Faculty (substitute) Full-time Faculty in Administrative Role Full-time Faculty in Sabbatical/License TOTAL: Table 6.3 shows an increase of part-time faculty over the years that are proportional with the increase in academic offerings and steady enrollment growth, particularly at additional locations. As of December 2011, 826 part-time faculty (over 95%) have been certified under the new Executive Order (RR 6.3) to ensure the quality and academic level required in higher education teaching. 78

89 Table 6.3 Part-time Faculty UMET 2005 to 2010* Part-time faculty Total *Data from IPEDS 2005 to 2010 (as of October 31 of each year) The maximum teaching load for part-time faculty is 12 hour-credits per semester. Adjunct faculty, has a 10 months contract and is required to offer two hours of office service per week. Professional development, attendance to faculty meetings, and learning assessment reports are part of part-time faculty duties. Currently, UMET has six adjunct faculty members; five of them assigned to UMET Aguadilla. UMET s part-time faculty engagement is evidenced by their long term commitment (persistence and continuity) with UMET s programs and Schools. Specific efforts are being made to increase their participation in professional development of Title V special projects. Financial incentives and computer equipment have been provided to faculty participants in Title V projects. Effective communication with part-time faculty occurs in all of UMET s academic schools. They are invited and welcomed to attend School meetings and required to attend two institutional workshops and an interinstitutional congress a year as described in the professional development section of this chapter. The faculty of the AHORA program is specially selected through a process that certifies that they have the capacity to effectively facilitate learning in accelerated adult education studies program. Over 1,200 part-time faculty/facilitators have been certified through this process. Faculty/facilitator members have professional experience with the trends and practices of their field and have, at least, a master s degree in the subject matter. AHORA has a well designed and implemented a Plan for the Professional Development of Faculty. Each academic year faculty members receive at least 20 contact/hours of professional development. Some qualified faculty/facilitator members are chosen to be certified as Instructional Module Specialists in order to develop the instructional modules that are used as teaching/learning tools in all courses. The SPS has an additional faculty/facilitator recruitment and certification process for the branches in the Mainland. This is due to the fact that the branches use, apart from the accelerated modality, a unique dual language (English and Spanish) immersion model. These faculty/facilitators must possess excellent bilingual skills. Graduate Faculty Table 6.4 shows that UMET s graduate faculty degree distribution consists of 79% doctoral degrees and 21% masters degrees with expertise in their teaching area. Graduate faculty scholarly activities are described in the research section of this chapter. 79

90 Table 6.4 Faculty Teaching at Graduate Level by School and Academic Preparation School Masters Juris Doctor Doctorate Total Business Administration Environmental Affairs Health Sciences 5 n/a 8 13 Education 9 n/a Social Sciences, Humanities and Communications n/a n/a AHORA Program n/a n/a Total Percent (%) Faculty Participation in Program Design and Evaluation SUAGM s Program Evaluation Policy provides guidelines for the design and development of academic offerings in accordance with the standards of accrediting agencies. Faculty, under the leadership of the Deans, plays an important role in these processes. There is an Institutional Policy ( ) to ascertain Schools periodic evaluation of academic programs (RR 6.4). Each academic School or Department has a curriculum committee composed of full-time faculty and the Dean. The curriculum committee that is responsible for curricular evaluation and implementation of curricular decisions. (CR 11) The design of an new academic offering starts with the creation of a faculty committee whose members are specialists in the identified program discipline. This committee is responsible for the design of the program including student learning outcomes and syllabi (CR 11). Faculty integrate their knowledge and expertise to select projects, readings, assignments and teaching learning strategies to meet course objectives. According to a 2011 Study on Full-time Faculty Knowledge and Participation in Core Academic Processes, a self-report questionnaire was submitted to a probabilistic stratified sample of 25% full time faculty of this sample, 80% responded as having a high level of knowledge of academic processes, guidelines, and policies regarding program design and revision; 90% have a high level of knowledge regarding new course design. Seventy-five percent (75%) responded that they have participated in academic program revisions, and 70% regarding syllabi design (RR 6.5). This information is consistent with evidence that shows that more than 40 fulltime faculty members were involved in at least 20 of the new educational offerings or academic programs revisions in the last five years. Full-time faculty members are also involved in ongoing syllabi revisions as established as part of SUAGM s faculty handbook. Faculty is responsible for the requisition of instructional resources to support the academic programs. This is further evidenced in the multi-annual evaluation process for full time faculty which maintains this requirement as one of the passing criteria. The 80

91 deans oversee this process in a timely manner. In addition, in the faculty survey, 95% of faculty reported a high level of knowledge of academic processes, guidelines, and policies regarding requisition of program textbook and instructional support materials. In addition, when participation level was asked, 75% reported high levels of participation in textbooks requisition and 65% on instructional support materials. Research Since 2002, and in accordance with its mission, UMET fosters a research environment to enrich the content and rigor of academia to allow transition from a primarily teaching institution to a teaching/research institution. Evidence of this is the development of plans, policies and processes for research. Since 2008, the Vice- Chancellor established a Research Development Plan (RR 6.6). Recently, SUAGM s Executive Order was amended to define, classify and describe duties and responsibilities for faculty involved in research and a researcher contract was institutionalized. Consequently with that policy, SUAGM developed a strategic plan for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Health (STEM +H ) (RR 6.7), in order to give more standing and priority to the development of scientific and academic research activity throughout the System. To foster research, SUAGM s new Strategic Development Guidelines ( ) incorporate an independent strategic vector for the development of Scientific and Academic Research. Research has been enhanced through the granting of release-time to full-time faculty members. Currently, there are 17 professors with release-time for research from the School of Science and Technology and from the School of Environmental Affairs ranging from 3 credit hours to 18 credit hours per professor, year. Other per type of researches, aligned to academic courses, where students are the primary researchers. There is evidence of research posters, oral presentations, thesis or other types of research projects, where full-time and part-time faculty members serve as advisors and mentors. The publication Research at compiles six years of undergraduate and graduate research of students and faculty with a sample of 120 research abstracts. (RR 6.8) Under the Vice-Presidency of Planning and Academic Affairs, the SUAGM Compliance Office oversees research and compliance with agency regulations, laboratory standards and ethical concerns that govern research activities. (SUAGM Annual Report, ). The Compliance Office offers trainings for IRB, HIPAA and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) certifications. At present, 84 full-time and part-time faculty have been certified. In 2008 UMET established an institutional Office of Compliance, under the Vice-Chancellery of Sponsored Programs and Research that oversees full-time and part-time faculty for compliance with applicable laws and policies in the research of human and animal subjects, as well as the use of chemical substances and all issues related with ethics in the realm of research (Executive Order number ). In addition, it submits research protocols conducted in UMET, including students proposals, to the IRB Board. Graduate Title V project established a CGS and recently developed a Research Center whose main goals are to strengthen a research culture among faculty and students 81

92 of UMET s graduate programs. For , there are 26 faculty members (including part-time and full-time) participating in workshops to update knowledge in research designs, SPSS, editing and publishing, among other subjects. Proposal Writing There is ample evidence of full-time faculty participation in research proposal writing to obtain external funding. An average of 18 proposals per year, submitted to various funding agencies and written by faculty is granted. Table 6.5 shows that from 2005 to 2010, nearly $24 million in grants was awarded to UMET averaging 4.8 million per year. (RR 2.10) Table 6.5 Number of Proposals Written by Faculty and Amount Awarded by Year from 2005 to 2010 Academic Year # of Proposals Written Total granted $3.307,066 $5,507,617 $5,106,857 $6,091,301 $4,992,665 There are economic incentives for faculty that are involved in research and proposal writing, such as travel expenditures for participation in international workshops and a 2% compensation as described in Compensation Policy for Personnel Services Rendered under Sponsored Programs RH (RR 6.9) Teaching Excellence UMET uses different mechanisms to assure the effectiveness of lawful publication procedures and standards that regulate faculty recruitment and includes calls for faculty positions on the webpage, El Nuevo Día newspaper, Higher Education Jobs, and The Chronicle of Higher Education (RR 6.10). There are specific and clear institutional policies to assure the transparency of processes related to faculty evaluation. In order to ensure the quality of teaching, research skills and professional development of full-time faculty, UMET executes SUAGM s Executive Order # that implements new standardized evaluation forms that address the above-mentioned criteria. According to the current recruitment contract, faculty are evaluated in their first and fourth year after their date of recruitment and every five years from thereon. Three separate standardized measurement tools are balanced and cross-checked through: self-evaluation, dean s evaluation and students evaluation. The faculty member is required to present a professional portfolio to evidence his/her academic career-path through teaching, research, self-actualization, and community and institutional service, in accordance with the SUAGM s Full-Time Faculty Guide for the Evaluation Process (2008) (RR 6.11). The Faculty Evaluation Commission of the Academic Board is responsible for overseeing the integrity of this process and presents its recommendation to the Academic Board. The Academic Board submits its recommendation for the Chancellor s approval. The aforementioned faculty survey shows that 95% of faculty has a high level of knowledge of the faculty evaluation process. 82

93 During the past five years all faculty members met with the criteria and their contracts were renewed. A separate process is established where faculty voluntarily submits their candidacy for rank evaluation according to SUAGM s Administrative Order All the guidelines and rules are published and fully described in the Faculty Handbook The Human Resources office certifies the number of years required for each level of rank evaluation. This process is merit driven. Evaluation forms that assess excellence in the areas of teaching, research, publishing and community service were revised in Each faculty member is required to submit a portfolio as evidence of his performance. This evidence is evaluated by the Rank Commission of the Academic Board (which guarantees peer participation in their evaluation) and presented to the Academic Board for recommendation and submission to the Administrative Council. The Chancellor finally approves the rank recommendation which is ratified by SUAGM s President. Since 2007, sixteen academic ranks have been awarded. Since August, 2010, all part-time faculty members are required to be certified in academic qualifications and teaching skills (Part-time Faculty Certification Policy; Executive Order ) (RR 6.3). This set of criteria guarantees the academic competence and teaching effectiveness of part-time faculty. There are 826 part-time faculty members certified by this executive order. UMET s Support to the Faculty s Professional Development Faculty development policy is documented in page 75 of the Faculty Handbook. There are three levels of faculty development: Systemic (SUAGM), Institutional (UMET) and Departmental (Academic Schools). The Faculty Development Plan is amended each year according to the faculty needs assessment conducted by the OPAI (RR 6.12). The Vice-Chancellor s office organizes faculty workshops for full-time and part-time faculty each semester as part of the institutional Faculty Development Plan. SUAGM has three principal offices that offer professional development to faculty: Institute for Public Policy (IPP), the Vice-presidency of Human Resources and the Vice-presidency of Planning and Academic Affairs. Full-time and part-time faculty attend the IPP conferences. In addition, the Associate Vice-presidency of Academic Affairs offers an Educational Congress each year and requires attendance of both, full and part-time faculty. Faculty development, at the institutional level is widely and diversely offered, at the general/institutional level as well as at the departmental level. There are two required faculty workshops each academic year and numerous activities offered by the Schools that receive the full support of the Vice-Chancellery. Individual needs are evaluated and assigned upon proper evaluation and negotiation and supported, both at the department, and the institutional levels. At the additional locations and at the branches, faculty also benefit from faculty development activities and opportunities; these are provided by the Directors after approval of the Vice-Chancellor and of the Chancellor. There are also separate faculty development activities that take place through other institutional initiatives; for example: 83

94 The Technology Development for Faculty Division (TDFD) has trained 53 parttime and full-time faculty in 2009 and 61 in 2010 from UMET Main Campus, Bayamón and Jayuya additional locations. The topics offered in these trainings include blackboard, electronic board, distance learning, Microsoft Office, web page design, Internet, and universal design among other technological skills. In addition for the last three years, TDFD has offered a full week of technological training (Cyber Camp) for full-time and part-time faculty at Cupey and Bayamón campuses (RR 6.13). Also, it has a Technology Cafe (Café Tecnológico) available for faculty development activities. In the recent ten years, UMET has also benefited from seven Title V projects (Campus I, Campus II, Center for Graduate Studies, Cooperative project, and Jayuya, Aguadilla and Bayamón) that address specific faculty development needs. The main campus projects have established facilities for faculty development such as the Faculty Development Center and a Lecture Room located at the Information Resource Center. The following is a summary of the different faculty development projects (RR 4.1): 1. Since August 2008, Campus I Project has trained 76 UMET-Cupey faculty members in: learning assessment, teaching strategies, personal development, technology assistance and incorporation of technology into the curriculum. 2. Since August 2009, Campus II project has trained at least 25 UMET Cupey faculty members in competency based instruction, first year experience, learning assessment and offered opportunities to assist to the annual conference on the First Year Experience. 3. Developing Learning to Improve Teacher Preparation Student's Achievement in the State Certification Examination; Cooperative project, supports professional trainings for faculty of the School of Education at three of UMET s additional locations (Bayamón, Jayuya and Aguadilla campus). 4. The Project Development of First Year College and Enhancement of Upper Division programs created the Center for Development of Faculty, Assessment and Research in UMET- Bayamón. 5. CIMA developed a Learning Center for the integration of technology to enhance teaching-learning processes in the classroom at UMET- Jayuya. 6. Aguadilla Project developed the Learning Center for Faculty development in areas of technology and ethics topics, among others. 7. The Center for Graduate Studies project at Cupey campus has a faculty development component exclusively for the graduate schools faculty (2010). For the next five years, this project will be training full-time and part-time faculty in areas of qualitative and quantitative research, research ethics, and publishing skills. Currently, 14 professors have participated of these workshops. Also, due to UMET s commitment to excellence in education and to have highly qualified faculty, it currently supports 16 faculty members in their attainment of the doctoral degrees. During the last five years, UMET has contributed $223,127 towards this goal. UMET also sponsors faculty travel, sabbatical licenses, seed money for research, contracts for researchers (10 months) and proposal writing incentives. 84

95 Recognitions, Awards and Patents During the past 10 years, UMET s faculty has received numerous awards due to their research activity and teaching as well as by their environmental concern. Some of these are: Dr. Beatriz Zayas received the Minority Faculty Award (2005, 2006) by the American Association for Cancer Research; E. de la Garza Fellowship 2009 by the US Department of Agriculture; Prof. María Calixta Ortiz and María Vilches Norat received the Environmental Quality Award (2004, 2005, respectively) by the Environmental Protection Agency, Dr. Nicolas Rosario received the Trio Achiever for education activity by the US Council of Education and the Teaching Entrepreneurship Award (2006, 2008) by The Collegiate Entrepreneur Organization of Chicago University. Recently, Dr. Carlos M. Padín was distinguished to become a member of the Academic and Technical Studies Scholarships Selection Committee for the period of for the Organization of American States (OAS). UMET accomplished its first patent ( ) approved in November 2011 by the US Patent Office for new anti-cancer substances synthesized in the Chemical, Environmental and Toxicology Laboratory (ChEmTox Lab). These substances were studied by Dr. Beatriz Zayas and Dr. Osvaldo Cox, who developed their research since 2004 and sponsored by the National Health Institute (NIH) (RR 6.14). Publications UMET s scholarly activities are evident with the publications, new editions of books and other intellectual and creative projects in areas of humanities, social sciences, communication, education, business administration, science and environmental issues. During the past 10 years, UMET s faculty has published over 30 peer reviewed articles in at least 21 prestigious journals. Some of these are: International J. of Environmental Technology and Management, Chem. Research Toxicology, Toxicology In Vitro, J. Phar. Biomed Anal., Free Radical Research, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, J. Am. Chem. Soc., J. Heterocyclic Chem., Int. Journal of Environmental and Pollution, Aquatic Mammals, Carcinogenesis, Biomarkers, Aquaculture Research, BMC Genomics, JOM, Biophysical Journal, Genes Development, PR Health Science Journal, International Journal of Business and Finance Research, Physics Review, J. of Physics of Atomic Nuclei. (RR 6.15). Furthermore, the faculty has published 14 books as follows: Redacción de informes de investigación (edition 2002, 2004, 2006), Green infrastructure and our parks (2005; edition 2011), Compendium of incentives and programs for the conservation of natural resources of Puerto Rico (2007), Educación física pedagógica, tiempo libre y calidad de vida (2006), Individuo cultura y sociedad (2010), Luis Muñíz Marín y la palabra trashumante (2010), Investigación de métodos mixtos en educación (2011), 10 principles and 100 strategies for sustainable development (2010), Las mecánicas y el pájaro (2011), Tarareando en clave el son de los 70, (2011), El olor de la palabra rota (2011). Other creative projects are six environmental education activity guides for science teachers (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), Consideraciones en torno a elevar a rango institucional la autonomía municipal (2010), and 30 años de UMET 85

96 (2011), Identidad y Diversidad: nuevas perspectivas (2012). Recently, Cruce journal was launched by digital and limited printed format in order to reach the academic community and general public as well. Topics include contemporary socio-cultural issues where fulltime and part-time faculty are actively writing in each issue. (RR 6.15) Strengths UMET has qualified faculty as evidenced by their publications, awards, grant funding, invitations received to evaluate peer institutions programs, success in finishing advanced degrees and leadership among professional associations (RR 6.16). UMET accomplished the first patent approved by the US Patent Office for new anti-cancer substances synthesized by faculty in UMET laboratories. There is an increase of faculty writing proposals for external funds, doing research, as well as publishing in peer review journals since the last MSCHE self-study. International Fulbright scholars, visiting professors, and postdoctoral fellows enrich UMET s faculty diversity. UMET has set criteria for appointment and certification of part-time faculty (Executive Order ) to assure teaching excellence consistent with those for full-time faculty. Recommendations Continue faculty development activities through rigorous planning and effective budgeting assignments. Since MSCHE s last visit, UMET has experienced an increase in enrollment in undergraduate and graduate level offerings; an assertive plan for recruitment of new full-time faculty and/or up-grading of qualified existing part-time faculty must continue. 86

97 Chapter 7: Educational Offerings (Standard 11) and General Education (Standard 12) Standard 12: General Education UMET mission is to provide its students with an atmosphere of academic freedom and intellectual challenge, the necessary resources to help them develop high cultural and ethical values, critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, linguistic and technological skills, as well as personal and professional skills required for success in their professions and daily lives. As stated in the 2011 revised edition of the MSCHE s Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education, the purpose of Standard 12 is to provide evidence that the design, implementation and assessment of the General Education curricular component of all undergraduate academic programs are effective in the achievement of students expected learning outcomes. These include college-level proficiency in oral and written communication, scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical analysis and reasoning, and technological competencies. The standard also requires the analysis of the role and support that this curricular component receives and its alignment to the institutional mission and objectives. The configuration, implementation of new and existing policies, students learning outcomes and the evolution of the General Education curricular component in all undergraduate programs were analyzed considering Standard 12 and the principles contained in UMET s mission statement. All schools at UMET comply also with MSCHE requirements and institutional policies on this matter, and the university addressed the observations made by MSCHE in the July 2002 Report to the Faculty, Administration, Trustees, Staff and Students of Metropolitan University of the Ana G. Méndez System (RR 7.1). In December 2001, UMET established an Undergraduate General Education Policy that set the rules for the implementation of the General Education curricular component in all schools (RR 7.2). This policy required a minimum amount of 30 credits on General Education for every undergraduate program at UMET. Nevertheless, the 2002 MSCHE Report stated that the effort to develop a common general education program to provide a common foundation for students in all programs remains incomplete. As a result of the MSCHE s evaluation team visit and Report of 2002, UMET took immediate actions to respond to the observations and revised its Undergraduate General Education Policy to broaden and enhance its quality in relation to the principles of the institutional mission mentioned above. UMET s Academic Board named a commission to work on the General Education competencies for bachelor degrees and to determine new requirements to achieve the expected learning outcomes. In 2003, the Academic Board and the Administrative Council of UMET reviewed the Undergraduate General Education Policy to incorporate the new General Education Competencies Profile for Baccalaureate Programs (RR 7.3). This profile establishes a minimum of 45 credits of General Education courses for all programs curricula. In 2004, all of UMET s baccalaureate academic offerings (programs) were revised to fulfill the new credit requirements. 87

98 Another effort to promote college-level proficiency and essential skills of the undergraduate students in General Education, and also to address the MSCHE recommendations, was that in May 2005, UMET s governing bodies approved a Policy for General Education for the Associate Degree Programs (RR 7.4). This normative established a minimum of 24 credits in General Education courses as a requisite for all Associate Degrees curricula at UMET. All UMET s undergraduate programs contain a General Education curricular component. As described in the institutional mission, this curricular component encourages students to build up cultural and ethical values, critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, linguistic and technological skills. The General Education curricular component at UMET promotes the development of the following skills and knowledge: effective written and oral communication in Spanish and English, quantitative reasoning, Puerto Rican and global cultures, Social Sciences, Integrated Sciences, Humanities, technological and information literacy. These competencies are aligned to Standard 12 s characteristics of excellence in the way that the General Education curricular component should include at least oral and written communications, scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical analysis and reasoning, and technological competency. The interdisciplinary nature of the General Education curricular component at UMET exposes students to a diversity of disciplines, skills, and competencies beyond those of their aspired specialization or career choice. It also promotes the integration of diverse areas of knowledge to accomplish a well-rounded education. The maximum amount of credits of General Education that is incorporated in the curriculum is determined according to each program s objectives and UMET s undergraduate General Education policies. It is important to underline that there is a minimum General Education curricular component that is required across all institutional programs, no matter in which modality the program is offered (see CR 11 and 13). The institutional mission statement also expresses that recognizes its responsibility to offer face-to-face, as well as distance learning services to expand higher education options in Puerto Rico. As an answer to this call, students have the opportunity to complete some of the General Education courses requirements through a televised modality called External University System of Education (SEDUE for its Spanish acronym). This is a high quality modality that integrates one on one, televised and online sessions. Course syllabi are the same as traditional face-to-face modality. Today, SEDUE offers 42 credits in General Education courses that are assessed according to UMET s Assessment Policy. In order to identify the integration of the General Education competencies in the concentration courses, a sample of 31 course syllabi of different programs were analyzed. The analysis reflected that required competencies of UMET s General Education Policy are improved in the concentration courses. One of the recurrent objectives in most syllabi is the development of oral and written communication skills, both in Spanish and in English that are part of the requirements for assigned reports. On the other hand, course objectives in the specialization curricular component clearly specify the use of technology as an educational and research resource. This information can be confirmed, for example, in introductory courses like CRIM 107, ENMA 101, SOWO 260, PSYC

99 and EDUC106, and advanced specialization courses like CRIM 401, SOWO 481, SOWO 483, PSYC 430, EDUC 173, EDUC 317, and EDUC 327 (see syllabi in RR 7.5). Mission driven strategies for the consolidation of a common general education program to provide a common foundation for students in all programs and the accomplishment of MSCHE s characteristics of excellence at UMET are sustained through data gathered from multiple assessment techniques like enrollment and retention reports and high risk course reports based on the Institutional Assessment Plan and with the support of the Vice-presidency of Institutional Research, the OPAI and the CEDUA. These assessments allow UMET to develop a variety of institutional and sponsored strategies to strengthen the General Education course offerings. Institutional Strategies As stated in Chapter 1, UMET s incoming first year students profile present a series of characteristics (economically and academically disadvantaged) that made necessary the development of alternative strategies to address their needs. Supporting this information, the 2006 Study of Students Characteristics and Opinions of First Year Students, stated that 58% had a high school GPA of 2.99 or less. The study also showed that CEEB scores in General Education competencies of that cohort were lower than those of previous years cohorts. Recognizing the importance of attending to these issues and their impact on retention and graduation rates, the Institution submitted Title V proposals for the Development of a First Year College and Enhancement of Upper Division Programs with Improved Support Services, granted to UMET-Bayamón, and The First Year College Experiences Enhanced, granted to UMET-Main Campus. In 2010, student learning outcomes of General Education courses were assessed according to UMET s Assessment Policy by conducting a Pilot Project for Learning Assessment of the General Education Competencies (April May, 2010) (RR 4.11). Results indicated that students need to improve critical thinking and writing skills. In response to these findings, several schools have initiated corrective actions at UMET. These actions include curriculum revisions, students workshops and tutoring referrals, among others (CR 14). The Institution recognized the value of the first year experience for the benefit of its students and the development of General Education competencies and since 2009 participates in John Gardner s FOE. This self-study project has produced rich data for the improvement of the first year experience for first time, full-time and transfer students (See FOE self study report for more details at RR 5.2). Currently, FYIS 101 is a 3-credit course taught by trained faculty which is intended to facilitate the integration and transition of freshmen students from high school to the university. As part of its content, FYIS 101 addresses the importance of the General Education curricular component as well as critical analysis and technological and information literacy skills, among others (see syllabus in RR 7.5). A series of embedded assignments unify the expected outcomes across sections and FYIS 101 has become part, since 2010, of the General Education curricular component of all undergraduate programs at UMET with the exception of the adult education modalities of the AHORA program. 89

100 To develop information literacy competencies, since the academic year , the Library s User Instruction Program (an orientation program that provides workshops on the use of available resources and technologies for information retrieval) was incorporated into FYIS 101 syllabus as one of its required activities. Projects Sponsored Through External Funds Title V project for the Development of a First Year College and Enhancement of Upper Division Programs with Improved Support Services in UMET-Bayamón, and The First Year College Experiences Enhanced project in UMET-Main Campus, strengthened the support services structures and made possible the creation of immersion courses. These courses provide intensive contact hours in Spanish, English and Mathematics that incorporate diverse and innovative teaching methodologies and require integrated laboratory experiences to reinforce basic skills. All laboratories are equipped with advanced technology and audiovisual systems with the necessary programs to support practice and teaching. In addition to these, a Reading and Critical Thinking course and FYIS 101were also created. To complement student support, since 2007 the Title V project Improving the Retention and Success trains faculty members on innovative teaching strategies, inclusion and assessment of student learning. As of today, 74 members of the Faculty have participated in approximately 118 workshops on topics like: strategies on reading comprehension and critical thinking, inclusion and respect to diversity, new paradigms and legal aspects related to the classroom, the use of technology in the classroom and learning assessment, among others (see Title V Campus report on Faculty development in RR 4.1). These experiences have been instrumental for the enrichment of course related academic actions and the dynamics in the classrooms. Moreover, the development activities for the Faculty have helped the institution to work in accordance with other aspects of its mission to have a highly qualified faculty, committed to academic excellence. UMET established Learning Centers at its Main Campus as well as in Bayamón, Aguadilla and Jayuya additional locations, to offer tutoring services for general courses content such as: Spanish, English and Mathematics (CR 9). These centers incorporate resources for technology assistance and tutorials provided to Faculty and students. Strengths The Institution has taken the necessary actions to assess the General Education Curricular Component learning outcomes and to demonstrate that all this is done with integrity to the Institution s mission statement, especially to its final words: UMET promotes individual and collective commitment with excellence in all aspects of the postsecondary education realm in an environment of great intellectual challenge with ample opportunities for the development of human talent and potential. As shown, the Institution has achieved the elements discussed in these guidelines and took effective actions in response to the 2002 MSCHE s report. Other evidences of these actions are 90

101 the evolution of UMET s General Education curricular component, the attention to the needs of freshmen students through the creation of FYIS 101 and the continuous Faculty development activities. Recommendations However, UMET recognizes that there is always space to grow. To date, Schools have been discussing and providing recommendations in response to the 2010 Pilot Project for Learning Assessment of the General Education Competencies and from the General Education Pilot Project from The School of Education outcomes. Therefore, we suggest the implementation of an action plan to address and incorporate the Schools recommendations of General Education assessment results. These actions constitute the starting point for the creation of a Comprehensive General Education Core Curriculum Assessment Plan. Standard 11 Educational Offerings The institution is distinguished by providing academic programs of local and global relevance and educational opportunities for students and faculty. The curriculum is continually updated, in line with changes in technology, economy, job market, demographic changes and the challenges and opportunities posed by globalization. s educational offerings are congruent with UMET s mission and goals and that of each academic School s mission and goals; and are the same regardless of the location or modality where it is being offered. Educational offerings are content rich and rigorous; integrate knowledge and are responsive to students and workforce expectations. UMET s educational offerings have clearly articulated written statements of expected student learning outcomes and their assessment is used for continuous quality improvement. Graduate programs quantify, as expected, a higher complexity, more in-depth learning level than the undergraduate level. UMETs wide-ranging academic offerings are specifically designed to achieve its mission: the creation of innovative programs that facilitate the personal and professional development of its undergraduate and graduate students. The Schools have revised, adjusted and expanded their educational offerings to meet the demands of increased enrollments, to reflect continuing trends in the disciplines and to address Puerto Rico s as well as international market needs. In Chapter 5, Table 5.1 presents UMET s enrollment trends for the last 10 years. It shows how enrollment has increased 67% (7,606 to 12,693) since An analysis of this trend confirms that the largest increase of over 60% (2,480 to 6,446) occurred in the development of the Additional Locations and the AHORA programs. As a result, UMET has developed 24 new academic programs and has phased out 14 programs. In order to maintain up-to-date and pertinent educational offerings that according to our mission responds: swiftly to the needs and interests of its students, UMET engages in periodic program revisions and new program development. Since the last reaccreditation visit in 2002, 12 undergraduate, 10 masters and two doctoral programs have been implemented, and numerous courses and curriculums have been revised. 91

102 Due to a flexible admissions policy that provides a diversity of study options in a reasonable array of pedagogical modalities, UMET offers programs in different modalities: semester (15 weeks), part of term (8 weeks) and accelerated (for adult learners) to address all students varied preferences and requirements. (By flexible admissions UMET provides availability of total open access to university level education while maintaining more specific and selective admission criteria in some designated academic areas.) Regardless of the modality, course content and student learning outcomes maintain an equal standard and SLO s are achieved through different teaching strategies (modules, presentations, guided assignments and independent studies, to mention a few). After periodic evaluations of its educational offerings, academic Schools assess their current status and determine the need for new academic programs or the discontinuation of programs as reflected in the annual operational planning which is aligned to UMET s strategic development plan. Each academic School has a curriculum committee composed of full-time faculty specialists in their discipline and the dean. This committee is responsible for evaluation and implementation of curricular decisions and for the program design proposal, including student learning outcomes and syllabi. In 2007 the Academic Board revised UMET s Guide for New Academic Offerings Proposals (RR 4.7) to ensure that all educational offerings are designed and developed following the PRCE licensing requirements and that they meet accreditation standards. This guide states that all new programs have to be aligned to UMET s and the Schools mission and vision and that programs goals and course objectives are aligned to the SLO of the program. It also studies the program s viability, assessment and fiscal, physical as well as human resources required. Once the proposals are completed they must be approved by UMET s Academic Board and Administrative Council as well as by the PRCE. In 2009, SUAGM published Executive Order ( ), Academic Programs Evaluation Policy with its accompanying Academic Programs Evaluation Guide (RR 6.4) to ascertain Schools periodic uniform evaluation process of academic programs. This policy serves as a basis for SUAGM s institutions to be more efficient in data gathering and analysis, therefore assuring effective decision making. At UMET, it is the Vice Chancellor s responsibility to supervise these evaluation processes. UMET has in place a Guide for Academic Offerings Review (RR 4.8) that follows the new programs creations criteria to assure consistency and alignment with the same standards. SLO of all programs are aligned to the mission and vision of UMET and to each School s mission and vision and goals as stated in the design guides and confirmed through the governing boards approval procedure. Schools have implemented different course assessment strategies to evaluate SLO as stated in the Student Learning Assessment Implementation Policy (Appendix 11). Results are detailed in Chapter 4 (CR 14). Program assessment is performed to corroborate that the educational offerings demonstrate sufficient content, rigor and depth appropriate for the level of the program. When professional standards are available, programs learning outcomes are also aligned with those standards as evidenced by professional accreditations in place and in candidacy. 92

103 A new syllabi guide: Guide for Syllabi Preparation, 2011 (RR 4.9) was approved by UMET s governing boards and all courses are being revised accordingly (See syllabi in RR 7.5). This new guide includes: course description, number of credits and hours of students preparation time (credit hour definition), course and information literacy competencies and objectives appropriate to the college level of study. The syllabi guide also includes assessment and evaluation, references, and the ADA compliance clause. Students have access to syllabi, program requirements and curricular sequence in either digital or printed format. Schools have academic advisors and counselors to provide support to students with their academic progress and proposed class scheduling. (CR 9) Information literacy and technological competency skills are initiated in our general education required courses (Computer Literacy and FYIS) and strengthened across the curriculum throughout different teaching strategies such as: oral presentations, literature research, peer reviewed article analysis, seminars, and capstone projects and integrated in the course syllabi. Furthermore, the use of technology across the curriculum is evidenced by: the use of the Blackboard platform in many web-enhanced courses, installation of audio/visual equipment in classrooms, and laboratory experiences. In addition, the Information Resources Center offers students workshops and training on different production software use and information literacy. To avoid plagiarism and ensure academic integrity, the Turnitin tool is available to all students and faculty. Since 2002, and congruent with our mission, UMET fosters a research environment to enrich the content and rigor of academia and to transition from primarily a teaching institution to a teaching/research institution. Major efforts in incorporating research experiences into the curriculum are being developed. Undergraduate science students are encouraged to participate in undergraduate research and all science honor students are required to participate in summer research internships. Their research outcomes are presented at the annual AGMUS Research Symposium; students are encouraged to present in other venues such as: SACNAS conference and at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS). This successful experience serves as a model for other undergraduate programs to incorporate research. UMET s graduate curricula provide students with research experiences in a systematic and rigorous approach to acquire knowledge characterized as collegiate graduate level learning. Some examples are provided as follows: School of Health Sciences graduate nursing students develop research experience and utilize UMET s information resources (data bases) to complete the requirements of their dissertations in courses NURS 656 and NADM 657. The Environmental Affairs graduate students are required to present the research conducted during Internships (ENST 724, ENST 726), thesis (ENMG 721, ENMG 723) or planning project (ENPL 721, ENPL 723) requirements at the end of each semester. The School Education graduate students, at the master level, are required to perform research and produce a research paper according to their specialty in the following courses: EDUC 709, PHED 524, EDUC 618 and REED 524. In the doctoral programs, courses EDUC 900 and EDUC 905 provide doctorate students with research strategies useful for their dissertation. Courses EDUC 961 and 962 provide 93

104 a venue for research experiences that are presented at the School s Research Symposium. The School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Communications as of August 2010 offers a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology. Graduate students are required to do research in courses PSYC 611 and 612. The School of Business Administration graduate students are required to take a seminar course which aims to integrate the major concepts of each area with the discussion of current topics an emphasis on research, presentation and discussion of cases. As part of course requirements, an investigation of a topic related to their specialty area is required. UMET s students have the opportunity to choose from 91 programs in the following areas: health science, science and technology, environmental affairs, business, education, social sciences, and technical careers. There are also programs specifically designed for adult learners. All of them have the appropriate content, rigor, depth and length that characterize graduate and undergraduate programs. To foster personal and social development of students these programs are complemented with co-curricular activities that have been described along this document: such as community service, study abroad, internships, clinical practice, out of class lectures and research opportunities among others. These programs are distributed in 8 academic Schools as follows. Details of the particularities of each academic School can be found in Appendix 20. s Educational Offerings by School and Degree level: The School of Business Administration offers 18 degrees distributed as follows: Associate Degree in: Business Administration: Marketing; Office Administration and Information; Entrepreneurship Bachelor Degree in Business Administration: Accounting; Management; Marketing; Economic and Finance; Office Systems Management Entrepreneurship; Information Systems A Combined BBA and MBA in Accounting Master in Business Administration: Accounting; Management; Marketing; International Trade; Finance; Human Resources; Information Technology Systems. School of Science and Technology offers eight degrees distributed as follows: Associate Degree in Science: Computer Science Bachelor in Science: Biology; Computer Science; Sales and Distribution of Pharmaceutical Chemical Products; Chemistry; Environmental Sciences; Cellular Molecular Biology; Applied Mathematics Biomathematics School of Health Sciences offers 11 degrees distributed as follows: Associate Degree in Nursing; Respiratory Therapy; Health Sciences: Medical Sonography; Health Sciences: Vascular Sonography Bachelor of Health Sciences: Medical Periferovascular Sonography; Speech Therapy. Bachelors of Science: Nursing; Respiratory Therapy 94

105 Master in Science of Nursing: Clinical Nurse Specialist: in Critical Care of Adult; Critical Care of the Child; and Case Management School of Education offers 20 degrees distributed as follows: Bachelor in Arts in: Preschool Education; Early Education (K 3); Elementary Education (4 6); Special Education; Elementary Physical Education; Recreation and Sports. Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education: English; History; Spanish Master of Arts in Education: Administration and Education Supervision; Physical Education-Elementary level; Physical Education-Secondary Level; Physical Education Adult Level; Adapted Physical Education; Administration Services for Sports and Recreation; Curriculum and Teaching; Preschool Teaching; Special Education. Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.): Teaching; Doctorate in Philosophy in Education (Ph.D): Teaching; School of Social Science, Humanities and Communications offers 11 degrees distributed as follows: Bachelor in Social Science: Psychology; Criminal Justice; Social Work Bachelor in Arts in Communication: Public Relations; Digital Production; Media Management; Bachelor in Arts in Humanities: Cultural Management Master of Arts in Psychology: Psychological Counseling Master of Arts in Criminal Justice: Correctional System Administration; Crime Prevention and Delinquency. Post-Graduate Programs/Certificates: Oncology Nursing School of Environmental Affairs offers 3 degrees distributed as follows: Master of Science in Environmental Management; Master of Arts in Environmental Studies; and Master of Planning in Environmental Planning School of Technical Studies offers 18 degrees distributed as follows:: Certificates in: Medical Emergencies; Environmental Quality Technician; Banking Operations; Computer Programming; Pre-School Teacher Assistant; Medical Plan Billing and Claims; Entrepreneurship; Paralegal Investigator; Administration of Recreational and Sports Programs; Criminal Justice; Architectural Drafting; Practical Nurse; Pharmacy Technician; Computer Repair and Network System Installation. Associate Degree in: Architectural Drafting; Banking Operations; Criminal Justice; Environmental Quality School of Professional Studies offers two degrees distributed as follows: Master in Business Administration: Management and Strategic Leadership Master in Education: Adult Education Information and Technological Resources The General Education curricular components set the basic competencies needed to implement effective educational offerings which are enriched by the availability and accessibility of adequate learning resources, such as information, technological resources and academic support for faculty and students. 95

106 The Library aspires to be recognized as a service capable of meeting the information needs of their users, and to encourage them to develop skills in managing information in ways that meet their academic requirements and become lifelong learners. All steps that are carried out are aimed at fulfilling the mission of providing agile, quality information services, in person or online, with the support of trained staff and quality physical facilities. The Library serves users from the institution, other universities and the community at large. It is also connected to the libraries of the other universities in SUAGM. Complementary resources (library, technological equipment, learning centers, laboratories) strengthen the curricular components at UMET, through extended schedules and its amount, quality and accessibility of resources addressing all the recommendations given in the 2002 MSCHE reaccreditation visit. For example, the Library has a collection of 175,510 titles and 235,475 volumes of books, periodic publications and audiovisual materials. Of the total collection, 79,454 books are in digital format (e-books) in eight commercial collections, and there are 54 periodical electronic databases. All these materials are available to students and institutional constituencies by remote access through which allows the academic community to use the resources at any time and from anywhere. As part of its mission, the Library acquires suggested texts and other bibliographic material from all the academic offerings at UMET, which includes the additional locations at Aguadilla, Bayamón, Jayuya and Comerío. This institutional unit promotes the use of electronic resources and information technologies that are needed in order to reach the educational, research and professional goals of its clients. Through virtual reference and the co-browser mode, the Online Reference Librarian offers individual instruction in the development of information skills. As an open service, this platform impacts students from all academic programs at UMET and its additional locations. It provides the academic community the information required and the skills to search through that online interaction (co-browser). The Library fulfills its mission of providing on demand quality services through a state of the art collection virtually or physically accessible and is endowed with optimal facilities and competent professionals. There are laboratories and study rooms equipped with devices, tools and software for the development of technological skills. Other resources for assistive technology and tutorials are also provided to groups or individual faculty members and students. American Library Association (ALA) evaluation criteria are used when assessing UMET s library services. These criteria are included in ALA s publication Standards and Assessment for Academic Libraries: A Workbook. According to an evaluation done using the ALA model, 77% to 80% of the academic community is satisfied with access to library services and available resources (RR 7.6). The Informe Histórico de PC y Laboratorios para Acceso directo a los Estudiantes (Chronologic Report of PC and Laboratories usage for Student s direct access )(RR 7.7) reflects that UMET has been proactive in the acquisition of technological equipment to all its constituencies. As shown in this document, in the last six years, the institution has invested $4.1 million in the reposition 96

107 of obsolete equipment and the acquisition of specialized materials. UMET s main campus and its additional locations have laboratories and classrooms equipped with advanced technology and audiovisual systems that meet the needs of academic programs. All labs have access to the Internet through a broadband network, wireless access (WiFi) throughout the facility and 100% coverage. The technology resources include computers, printers, scanners, video conferencing systems, Smart Boards, whiteboards, mobile labs with laptops and additional laptops available for loan to faculty and specific software for people with special needs. Technical staff offers training services to meet the particular needs of each user. In 2008, the Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL) awarded the Library for its Leadership in the Use of Information Technologies to Expand and Facilitate Access to Serial Content. Much work is done through the User Instruction Program, an orientation program that provides workshops on the use of available resources and technologies for information retrieval. The program has modified its offerings due to the increased availability of resources in electronic format. Strengths UMET has a strong and varied academic offer that is closely monitored by its faculty and staff. Its faculty has ample participation in the design and evaluation of its academic programs and is responsive to students' needs and to the changing global and national requirements of higher education. The quality of our programs is accountable by the community it serves as well as by the government's licensing requirements. During the past five years, UMET expanded its goals to obtain accreditation for its programs from professional associations and the recognition of its programs by prestigious institutions in the Mainland, Latin America and Europe. Recommendations Since UMET s last reaccreditation, significant changes have taken place in higher education across the Land. The new Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) has placed new challenges upon all institutions. UMET has not been alienated from this process and has taken significant steps to align its academic programs to the new accountability requirements. One of the most important steps taken is the realignment of its SLO to the competencies required by accrediting agencies. A new policy for program evaluation has been implemented in the past two and a half years. This has been successful initially and further efforts must be made to guarantee continuous quality improvement in all educational offerings at UMET. On the other hand, UMET s new transition towards becoming a teaching/research institution has taken its first steps. There have been important investments towards habilitating a solid research infrastructure in the next eight years (SUAGM s Vision 2020). The academic schools are heading towards that goal; thus a required revision of all curricular competencies must be addressed to obtain this milestone. 97

108 Chapter 8: Related Educational Activities (Standard 13) UMET promotes individual and collective commitment with excellence in all aspects of the post-secondary education realm in an environment of great intellectual challenge with ample opportunities for the development of human talent and potential. UMET is an agile, modern institution, always attentive to innovation and swift response to the needs and requirements of the constant changing world and the needs of students and society. Resources are assigned to research and adapt new pedagogies and curricular advancements to address the particular needs of students within the accepted standards of the scholarly communities. Alliances are made and collaboration between industry and other higher education institutions is evidenced continuously. Introduction This chapter analyzes other related educational activities offered at UMET that are characterized by: basic skills, non-credit offerings, certificates, accelerated programs for adults, additional locations, and branch campuses. University goals that pertain to this chapter are clearly set in its mission statement, which notes that: Universidad Metropolitana recognizes that education is a lifelong process and values adult education as a contribution to non-traditional forms of higher education. The Institution s ability to meet these aspects of its mission is dependent upon its success in the range of available academic opportunities. Expansions into areas of need such Bayamón, Aguadilla, Jayuya, and Comerío in Puerto Rico (PR) and Metro Orlando, South Florida and Tampa Bay in Florida (FL) and Wheaton in Maryland (MD); have been dramatically successful in attending to a population of students whose needs are being fulfilled due to our mission. Basic Skills A good number of UMET s first year students profile reveal a lack of essential basic skills necessary to be academically successful. This is in part due to particular deficiencies in the Island s public system of education and the inability of the State s public system of higher education to accommodate these public school students in favor of private school students In response, and in accordance to the original goal of its founder, Ana G. Méndez, UMET has successfully identified these needs and addressed them with tangible solutions such as the CEDUA. The noteworthy success of applied tutoring services such as: the Learning Centers, the design of immersion courses and the implementation of the First Year Induction Seminar have all contributed to students increased command of essential basic skills necessary to be academically successful. These efforts are detailed in Chapter 5. The students feel safe and supported at UMET. This is reflected in the FOE Survey where 84.5% felt physically safe and 85.7% would recommend UMET to their friends (RR 5.2). 98

109 Non-credit offerings - School of Continuing Education (SCE) The School of Continuing Education (SCE) is a systemic academic school committed to professional and personal development of the Puerto Rican community. SEC is accredited by the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and the University Professional & Continuing Education Association (UPCEA). Also, UMET SEC is the certified educational provider by the Certification and Regulations Office for Health Professionals. SEC s mission is consistent with UMET s missions and goals. Activities in the School seek to encourage innovation, technical development, and the increase of business, community, and individual competitiveness. SEC programs include courses, certifications, workshops and seminars that are designed according to the needs of its clients: health professionals, insurance agents, social workers, teachers, directors, draftsmen and professional counselors, among others. School of Continuing Education s offerings include: Teacher projects: Mathematics and Science Partnership: content, integration, application, and research to improve academic achievement; Developmental English Skills (Grammar and Conversational Basic English); Professional Suitability for Teachers and School Directors Training/Workshops on Purchasing Procedures (PA-CNA) General Educational Development High School Equivalency Diploma College Entrance Examination Board Review CPR Certification Brokers, Dealers and Real Estate Companies: Condominium administration, Real Estate tax contributions, Appraisals versus Comparables Analysis, Omissions and Errors Policy Insurance Agents: Ethics for Insurance Agents Professionals Health Professionals: Nursing License Board Review Social Workers: HIPAA Law, its Implication with the Social Component Physicians: Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases SEC provides non-certificate programs that are clearly articulated and planned with course goals, objectives and expectations of learning outcomes and offered by highly qualified, experienced and certified resources. Each activity is evaluated by the participants receiving excellent rating and these are periodically assessed by the SEC. SEC s fiscal and physical resources are appropriate to continuously develop and offer quality services to our community. Activities are published in newspapers and on the institution s Web site: Certificates School of Technical Studies This systemic academic school is designed to provide both young and adult social and economically disadvantaged students the opportunity to pursue short-term career programs to meet the growing demand for trained personnel in technical fields. This 99

110 School prepares students for work in such fields as banking, commerce, manufacturing, pharmaceutical industries and the public sector and also fosters entrepreneurship and selfemployment. Its programs are offered at UMET s main campus and its additional locations. Faculty hiring, certification and promotion are stated in the SUAGM Faculty Handbook. The faculty consists of 58 members, two regular and 56 part time faculty, most of them, licensed also, by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as regular schoolteachers. Once hired, all faculty members take part in a wide variety of training and development activities, specifically designed to incorporate new teaching strategies. Students policies and regulations are stated in the Systemic Student Handbook and UMET Catalog. In addition to UMET s student services, it also provides additional support services designed to improve student performance and retention, in order to contribute to their academic and professional success. (CR 8 & 9) These services include: interviews and orientations for new students; mentoring services; mid-year progress evaluation; and academic counseling. It integrates learning assessment activities in all its academic programs as stated in UMET s Student Learning Assessment Policy. The purpose of this process is for the faculty and the dean to assess the learning achievements of students at three different levels. The implementation of the assessment process in the School began in The following activities have been developed: faculty workshops and meetings to discuss assessment findings and identify action items for improvement. For the academic year the assessment process impacted over 1,000 students in a total of 86 different course sections. Assessment support documents are available in the exhibit room (RR 4.5) Recommendations for Improvement Due to the increase of students seeking admission to these programs: Implement the plan to increase the number of classrooms and laboratories assigned to new and existing programs. Integrate and strengthen academic support services during the daytime and in the evening division. Additional Locations UMET has four additional locations in Puerto Rico: Bayamón, Aguadilla, Jayuya and Comerío. All mission statements at additional locations are congruent with UMET s mission. UMET s educational offerings selected are the same in content and quality as those offered in UMET s main campus since Schools Deans are in charge and responsible for the proper implementation of academic programs and faculty certification. In addition to traditional offerings, additional locations offer baccalaureates and master s degrees in the accelerated modality AHORA. Additional locations directors report directly to the Chancellor to inform and address additional locations needs. (CR 2 &3). Student s policies and regulations are stated in the Systemic Student 100

111 Handbook and in the UMET Catalog. Additional locations adhere to all policies and regulations as described in Chapter 1. AVAMR and the AVSRD coordinate recruitment, admissions, and retention and graduation efforts with additional locations personnel. Bayamón, Aguadilla and Jayuya have benefited from Title V projects to provide additional support services geared toward improving student performance, retention and professional success (CR 8 & 9). Additional locations have qualified faculty and follow faculty hiring, certification and promotion procedures as stated in the SUAGM Faculty Handbook (CR 10). UMET Jayuya (UMJ) UMET Jayuya is located in a rural community located at the center of Puerto Rico. UMJ has developed a strong presence in the community, strengthening the social, economic and cultural relations by supporting the socio-economic and cultural development of the Central Region of Puerto Rico. Its mission states the following: UMJ aims to provide a quality higher education accessible to all sectors of the population of the central area. Technical, undergraduate and graduate programs promote the social, economic and cultural development of this area. This Center helps preserve and enrich our cultural heritage by creating innovative projects and programs through partnerships and collaborative efforts to achieve personal, professional, institutional and social transformation. Since, MSCHE last reaccreditation visit, UMJ was relocated to the former installations of Catalina Figueras, Luis Muñoz Rivera, and Antonio R. Barceló Public Schools. These schools constitute a historical complex of buildings, at the heart of the Jayuya Municipality. The Local government restored the facilities of historical value with a grant sponsored by the federal Department of Housing. The Catalina Figueras building hosts the Library, Learning Center (Computer Lab), and administrative offices for the Director, Student, Academic Affairs and Retention services. The structure of Muñoz Rivera has 3 classrooms, a computer lab, a classroom designed for Professional Technical Studies, a bookstore and an area for Academic Counseling. Both buildings have an average of 12,862 square feet. The Antonio R. Barceló building is the most recent development that will add 9,128 square feet for a total area of 22,000 square feet. The Library facilities will be relocated to the Antonio R. Barceló building that will also include, study rooms for the students, five additional classrooms, science and nursing laboratories, a faculty center, a meeting room and a cafeteria. This building will be inaugurated early this year, UMJ offers high quality programs aimed at fostering entrepreneurship and business, a sustainable environment, biotechnology in agriculture, ecotourism and conservation of indigenous heritage in the central mountains of Puerto Rico. Since MSCHE last reaccreditation visit, UMJ has increased its enrollment from 277 to 477. UMJ currently has a total of 23 associates who provide service to the university community. Each service area has its specific functions to guarantee efficiency and excellence in academic and administrative processes. 101

112 UMJ provides the following student support services: career counseling, academic advising, tutoring, admissions, financial aid, bursars, registrar, and library. It has excellent physical facilities, in a historically well-preserved site. The classrooms are endowed with high-tech equipment, a library, two Wireless laboratories and 24 hour security. The Office of Guidance and Counseling provides coordinated and planned services which lead students to achieve their personal, vocational and academic goals. Support is offered through tutoring (Spanish, math, English, Accounting and Computer applications usage), workshops, individual and group counseling, and referral to psychological services. UMJ coordinates with the municipal health care center all health needs of the students. Jayuya has marketing and recruitment, admissions, financial aid and counselor officials. The students coordinator assists students with all aspects of registrar office services. In coordination with the Associate Vice Chancellor for Development and Retention, a faculty mentor and an academic advisor provide mentoring for freshmen students and academic counseling for upper division students. The Center organizes numerous extracurricular and co-curricular activities that involve the entire community. Students have the opportunity to participate in student organizations. The academic offerings at UMJ include: Technical Certificates, Associate, Bachelor s and Master s Degrees and AHORA modality. Courses are offered in semester, part term and accelerated modalities. UMJ began the implementation of institutional assessment in At present all courses offered at UMJ are assessed according to the policy. Results are discussed with faculty and actions for improvement are implemented. Faculty development includes numerous workshops on assessments to assist faculty. Some of these are: Innovative Classroom Techniques, Assessment Workshop, Learning Assessment, and How to Integrate Assessment Results among others. Student learning assessment results are available in the exhibit room (RR 4.5). UMET Bayamón (UMB) UMET - Bayamón is located in the city of Bayamón and began operations on September 3, UMB received Puerto Rico licensing and MSCHE accreditation that same year. Its strategic location, nearby the train station and the city center, has contributed to its rapid growth. UMB s enrollment increase, from 250 in 2002 to 3000 in 2011, earns it the distinction of being the largest additional location of UMET and SUAGM. Consequently, UMB has increased its educational offerings, student services, faculty and associates, and physical facilities. UMB s commitment with UMET s mission and vision is evidenced in its quest to become a leader among educational institutions. UMB s mission is aligned with the institutional mission by stating: UMB is an additional location with the latest technology that offers quality and personalized student services, through innovative programs and a highly qualified faculty in a secure and comfortable environment. UBM reaffirms its commitment to offer a quality and excellent education, accessible to the Bayamón community. 102

113 UMB is the only center that hosts a School in its physical facilities: the School of Health Science. The facility includes 4 buildings with a total area of 126,597 square feet, distributed as follows: 19 classrooms, 8 computer laboratories, 5 nursing and science laboratories, 1 Faculty Development Center, 1 Bookstore, Cafeteria, Bathrooms, Storage Rooms, Lobbies and Administrative Offices. The latest acquisition was the multilevel parking lot, for the benefit of the university community. The center is equipped with modern technology in the classrooms and with library facilities. Federal Grant Projects, such as Upward Bound, compliments the student services offered. UMB was one of the first additional locations to hire full time faculty members, reaffirming its commitment to providing qualified faculty. Currently there are five full time faculty members. UMB provides student services equivalent to UMET s main campus, with its own center for integrated student services including: admissions, financial aid, bursars and registrar. UMB also offers student support services such as: professional counseling, academic advising and tutoring. UMB has excellent physical facilities with state of the art technology laboratories, Wi-Fi internet access and a library. It is important to mention that within UMB s organization there is a First Year College component that was initiated by a Title V project that recently has been institutionalized (CR 8). UMB s educational offerings consist of technical certifications, associate, baccalaureate and master s degrees of the Schools of: Technical Studies, Business Administration, Education, Social Sciences, Humanities and Communications, Health Sciences and Professional Studies. UMB delivers its programs through the various modalities available: semester, part of term and accelerated. UMB integrates student learning assessment activities in all its courses and assesses its programs as stated in UMET s Student Learning Assessment Implementation Policy. UMB assessed 474 courses last year. UMET Aguadilla (UMA) UMET - Aguadilla began operations in the northwestern part of Puerto Rico in UMA provides quality education to all sectors of the population of the north and west sections of Puerto Rico. UMA is the second largest additional location of UMET and SUAGM. Its current enrollment is 1906 students. After MSCHE last reaccreditation visit, the physical structure of the UMA has registered continued development due to the increase in enrollment. From a physical structure of 21,200 square feet in 2002 to a total area of 55,000 square feet in 2005, that includes 5 additional classrooms, an expansion of 40% of additional space for the Library facilities, a computer center, laboratory facilities for the Nursing program and 200 additional parking spaces. In 2011, the acquisition of the Imperial Building added 15,000 square feet at a cost of $4.2 million in its first phase. This building hosts 34 administrative offices, has 100 additional parking spaces, and a connector and elevator to access the rest of the center facilities. In August 2012 the second stage of the remodeling project will take place to add 6 additional classrooms, additional faculty offices, conference room and passive and recreational areas for the university community. 103

114 UMA s Technical, undergraduate and graduate programs promote social and economic development throughout this region. The institution's goal is to achieve the personal, professional, economic and social transformation and development of students. UMA also has a commitment with the community to offer Symposiums, workshops, and conferences. Academic offerings include bachelor s and master s degrees in: Business Administration, Education, Social Sciences, Science and Technology and Health Sciences. Technical certificates are also offered. These programs are offered in semesters, Part of Term and AHORA program. UMA has qualified part time, full time and adjunct professors. The center offers the following student services: counseling, academic advising, registrar, library mentoring, and a prevention and early intervention program for new students, academic, social and cultural activities, workshops and seminars among others. These services are administered by highly qualified professionals; among them are: Directors, Coordinators of Academic Affairs Coordinators of Integrated Services, Collections Officer, Assistant Registrar and Coordinator of Retention. All these positions are full time. UMET Comerío (UMC) On July 2008, UMET obtained a license to offer post-secondary, vocational, technical and higher skills courses at the instructional site in the center-eastern town of Comerío. This project, known as the University Occupational Regional Project (PROU), offers six certificate programs and state licensed faculty committed to this effort. The new state of the art physical facilities of Comerío s Vocational School, that are the property of the Municipality, are used free of charge during the evening. UMET uses an average of 15,000 square feet that includes 2 computer laboratories, 10 classrooms, administrative offices and common areas gardens that provides an excellent environment for student learning. These facilities also provide library services with access to information technology. UMET has joined efforts and partnered with the PR Department of Education and the Mayor of the town of Comerío to serve underrepresented students from deprived areas that cannot study during the day but are available and willing to study during the evening sessions. This statement is congruent with UMET s mission and vision. UMC currently has 135 students enrolled in the following certificate programs: Computer Programming, Practical Nurse, Entrepreneurship, Medical Plans Billing and Claims, Pre-School Teachers Assistant and Criminal Justice Support services are provided to assist students with the completion of the FAFSA application and to verify that all required financial aid documents are in place, but the actual process is carried out at UMET s main campus. This is due to the low number of students served. 104

115 Strengths Additional Locations are a milestone in UMET s mission to provide quality higher education in its main campus and other additional locations. During the last 10 years, UMET s Additional Locations have grown, from 1,711 in 2002 to 5,439 in This evidences the need of these Additional Locations to serve these particular student populations. Summary of Additional Locations Recommendations: Continue the expansion of physical facilities, student services and educational offerings to address students needs. School of Professional Studies (SPS AHORA Program) The adult accelerated program (AHORA) at the SPS was established in March 1997 and uses the internationally recognized model created by Regis University in Colorado. AHORA is exclusively designed for the adult student, providing a professional atmosphere, and personalized study programs. SPS mission is to provide an accelerated educational process to adult students, different from traditional methods of teaching, where their professional experience is incorporated in the classroom to create an interactive, challenging and dynamic environment. Classes meet once a week for four hours. Each student receives a module which serves as a study guide and indicates the assignments and activities that must be completed to prepare for class. The courses are offered evenings, Saturdays (morning, afternoon, and evening), and Sundays (morning and afternoon). The student may take a maximum of two classes per session, completing six credits every five or eight weeks. Registration is continuous, with courses beginning nine times a year, and the possibility of completing up to fifty-four credits in an academic year. This way, the program provides greater flexibility for students, since they can advance their academic progress or design a class program that conforms to the variety of commitments they may have during the year. At first, AHORA was offered at UMET s main campus and then it was expanded to the additional locations of Aguadilla, Jayuya, and Bayamón. Approximately 2,800 students are enrolled in AHORA programs at UMET. The AHORA program faculty/facilitators are specially selected through a process that certifies that they have the capacity to effectively facilitate learning in accelerated studies program. Faculty/facilitator members must demonstrate professional experience, and are specially prepared to work with adults in a constructivist, innovative way. They have professional experience with the trends and practices of their field and have, at least, a master s degree in the subject matter. The SPS has a comprehensive Assessment Plan that focuses on assessment of student learning, program effectiveness, and student satisfaction with programs, services, and the learning environment. SPS uses the results to improve teaching, learning, and services. The plan includes school-wide assessment through the following activities: student portfolio assessment; midpoint/capstone assessment; end-of-course student 105

116 evaluation; student representative meetings; and continuous assessment of program activities. Assessment activities are focused on the mission statement; unit level goals are aligned with institutional goals, objectives, and assessment procedures. See Appendix 12 for the SPS Assessment Plan. Students that have extensive knowledge of the content of a course in their program of studies may opt to obtain credit by passing challenge exams. Students may also obtain credits for knowledge acquired through their experience by means of a portfolio. The portfolio consists of an essay with evidence that the knowledge obtained through work experience is equivalent to the knowledge that would be obtained in a classroom at university level. All procedures related to credit for experience follow the Council for Adult Experiential Learning (CAEL) guidelines and standards; that is a special ad hoc administrative structure for this task. See established procedures in the exhibit room (RR 8.1). Metro Orlando (MO), South Florida (SF), Tampa Bay (TB) and Capital Area (CA) Branch Campuses Mission, Planning and Resources In 2003, the Sistema Universitario Ana G. Méndez (SUAGM) embarked on an expansion agenda outside of Puerto Rico establishing the Metro Orlando Campus in Orlando, Florida. Since then SUAGM has opened two additional university branches in Florida: the South Florida Campus in Miramar in 2006 and the Tampa Bay Campus in Tampa in In November 2011, SUAGM inaugurated its fourth university branch, the Capital Area Campus, in Wheaton, Maryland. In 2001, the SUAGM Board of Directors approved the Declaration of Portugal that set the stage for incorporating in Vision 2005 SUAGM s movement toward an international projection and the internationalization of its institutions. This projection outside Puerto Rico led to the confirmation of the need for developing innovative programs that were geared towards reducing the higher education achievement gap for Latinos in the United States. As a result, in 2003 the SUAGM Board of Directors approved the expansion of UMET, UT and UNE through the establishment of bilingual programs that met that need. All UMET Branch Campuses have been included in the institutions Middle States Statement of Accreditation. They have also been visited by a Middle States team during the first year of operation, except for the Capital Area Campus that was just included in November 2011 and the visit is currently being coordinated for the month of February, The Metro Orlando Campus was also visited, and reaffirmed in 2005 by the Middle States reaccreditation teams for both UNE and UT. UMET s mission that values adult education and non-traditional forms of higher education was manifested in the development of the nation s first dual language immersion program. The Discipline-Based Dual Language Immersion Model combined the adult accelerated modality developed by SPS in Puerto Rico with a bilingual program that allowed our students to complete a degree at the same time they developed their English and Spanish language skills in order to become dual language professionals. As 106

117 the first dual language immersion program at the university level in the United States, this model has proven to be a unique opportunity for thousands of adults who are not able to access and succeed in traditional English only programs and for whom a Spanish only program would not allow them English skills needed to enter the workplace. This is the model of instruction for all programs offered at all the Mainland branches. To maximize resources and efficiency, the Metro Orlando Campus, and subsequent Branch Campuses were organized following a university center structure where the three SUAGM institutions were located in the same site. This allowed for the sharing of administrative, student services and faculty resources, allowing for a full service structure not dependent on the financial resources and enrollments generated by each institution s programs but those of the site as a whole. The facilities for the Branch Campuses are: The Metro Orlando Branch Campus is located at Orlando, Florida in a 44,000 square feet facility. It has twenty two classrooms, one computer laboratory, one language laboratory, a nursing lab, a learning resources center, faculty and administration offices, a conference room, a student activities center and a faculty lounge. In addition, a parking area is available for students, faculty and administration. The South Florida Branch Campus at Miramar, Florida with 30,000 square feet. The facility has 12 classrooms, one computer lab, one language lab, a learning resources center, faculty and administration offices, a conference room, a student center and a faculty lounge. Parking area is available for students, faculty and administration. The Tampa Bay Branch Campus has 12,100 square feet in Hillsborough County, Florida has 6 classrooms, one language laboratory, a learning resources center, faculty and administration offices, and student center and a faculty lounge. Ample parking is available. The Capital Area Branch Campus is located in Wheaton, Montgomery County, Maryland. A total of 10 classrooms, one computer lab, one nursing lab, language lab, a student center and a faculty lounges, learning resources center, a conference room and faculty and administration offices are housed in a 20,000 square feet facility. Parking is available. The Branch Campuses have their own budgets, recognizing that they include all three SUAGM institutions. The Branch Campuses were designed to be self-sustaining and that their expansion, both within each Branch Campus, and the development of new Branch Campuses, is sustained by their generated revenues. With an original investment of approximately one million dollars, the combined budget for all SUAGM Branch Campuses for fiscal year is $15,889,174. The detailed individual and consolidated budgets are available for review (RR 8.2). 107

118 Governance and Administration The Branches have a complete administrative structure that insures institutional integrity by being responsible for the observance of the norms, procedures and policies, of each of the SUAGM institutions from which it offers programs and the SUAGM as a whole. The structure also recognizes the differences in state higher education requirements, the Florida Commission for Independent Education and the Maryland Higher Education Commission. By maintaining a state specific structure, the Branch Campuses are also able to recognize differences in legal, workplace and market conditions between the two states and between both and Puerto Rico. The Branch Campuses in each state report directly to a SUAGM Officer that reports directly to the SUAGM President. These officers are responsible for insuring not only systemic but also institutional policies, norms and procedures. The three Branch Campuses in Florida report to the Chancellor for the Florida Campuses in recognition of the more advanced stage of development and complexity of these Branches. This Officer performs the duties of Chancellor on behalf and by delegation of the three institutional Chancellors. The Capital Area Campus reports to the Vice President for National and International Affairs, reflecting that it is a smaller Campus in its initial stage of development. This Officer is directly responsible for the development of new sites and programs at the national and international level. The Branch Campus Directors report to the respective SUAGM Officer. Organizational Charts are available for review (RR 8.3) The Branch Campuses are integrated into UMET s governance structure through the relation between the Academic and Student Affairs Commission (ASAC) and UMET s Administrative Council. In each state, the respective ASAC fulfills a function similar to the institutional Academic Board for all academic and student affairs, recommending policies that apply only to that state, not institution-wide. These recommendations are presented as motions at UMET s Administrative Council for consideration and approval. The Florida ASAC is composed of the Chancellor, the Learning Resources Directors, the Faculty Directors and eight active faculty members of the Florida Branch Campuses. The Maryland ASAC will be composed of the Faculty Director, the Campus Director, the Learning Resources Director and four faculty members elected of the Capital Area Campus. All faculty members are elected by active faculty present at the first faculty meeting of the academic year. The Branch Campuses have administrative, academic and student services staff that allows them to serve students of all three SUAGM institutions. The Metro Orlando Campus has a staff of 33 associates, 29 full time and 4 part-time. South Florida Campus has 29 staff members, including 4 part time staff. Tampa Bay Campus staff is composed of 15 associates, 2 of them part time. The Capital Area Campus has 14 associates, 2 of them part time. Both the Florida Chancellors Office and the Vice President for National and International Affairs have 7 staff members that assist them in the supervision and support of the Branch Campuses. 108

119 Dual Language Discipline-Based Dual Language Immersion Model The Branch Campuses offer the accelerated academic programs of the SPS AHORA program of each one of the three universities of SUAGM UMET, UT and UNE. The programs offered are those that are determined to be of greater need and demand in each of the markets served by the Branch Campuses. Academic programs are the same as those of SPS in each one of SUAGM s institutions, however, due to state needs, or regulations some modifications might be needed; and are coordinated with the Dean of SPS as appropriate. All degrees are offered following a dual language (English and Spanish) immersion model. SUAGM s Discipline-Based Dual Language Immersion Model, is a unique model that provides for the development of English and Spanish language skills while equally exposing all students to the general education and professional content in both languages (See Appendix 21). It targets the specific need for providing continued development of bilingualism throughout the students career so that they can have the language skills needed to compete in a global society. All Branch Campuses offer the following UMET SPS programs: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Criminal Justice Master in Business Administration (M.B.A.) in Accounting Master in Business Administration (M.B.A.) in Finances Master in Business Administration (M.B.A.) in Human Resources Master in Business Administration (M.B.A.) in Management Master in Business Administration (M.B.A.) in Management and Strategic Leadership The Branch Campuses have a common general education component that is different from that followed by the institutions in Puerto Rico but common for all three institutions (RR 8.4). This was developed for several reasons to: allow for incorporation of language development needed for the dual language program; and align with the general education states requirements. The component was developed with Branch Campus faculty input, presented and approved by ASAC and approved by all three institutional Administrative Councils. Admissions, Student Services and Retention All persons interested in admissions to the Branch Campuses are invited to attend an orientation that not only includes all aspects of the admission and financial process but also the particular characteristics of an accelerated and dual language program. Applicants are also given appointments to complete the Spanish and English placement tests prior to enrollment. Student services are offered through a one-stop student service model, where the student and the program representative together go through the steps from admission to registration, according to the particular needs of each student. Students can submit their application for admissions; submit courses for transfer credit validation; receive 109

120 orientation, apply for financial aid; receive personalized academic advising and complete registration. These services are offered by qualified personnel: Director of Integrated Services, Financial Aid staff, Registrar, Associate Registrar, the Student and Registrar Services Coordinator and Integrated Services Officers. The level and number of personnel vary by Branch Campus. All Branch Campuses offer for applicants who have completed coursework or degrees in other countries, a credential evaluation service, free of charge. Our Registrars and Student Service staff are trained in foreign credential evaluation, using not only American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) resources but other specialized resources and eight years experience in the evaluation of credentials with special emphasis on Latin America. The staff has access to a specialized database and contacts with many universities from that region. In accordance with the one-stop service model, all integrated services staff is trained to offer academic advising as needed. Each Branch Campus has at least one Academic Advisor that is able to provide more in-depth service, from admissions to graduation. Given the nontraditional nature of our accelerated dual language programs, retention is calculated by the number of students enrolled in the first semester that return in the next semester. Long term persistence is monitored by following newly enrolled students in a specific term across multiple years. Figure 8.1 shows first semester to second semester retention rates for Florida Branch Campuses. Retention rates have consistently been above 80%. 90% Florida Branch Campuses Retention Rates 85% 80% 75% 70% Metro Orlando South Florida Tampa Bay Figure 8.1 Florida Branch Campuses Retention Rates As of June 2011, Metro Orlando and South Florida Branch Campuses have graduated 1,331 students. A study of graduation rates has been carried out by following up on students first enrolled in the first semester at the Metro Orlando Campus (Fall 2003) and in the South Florida Campus (Fall 2006) for four years. Figure 8.2 shows that graduation rates at the branches are higher than the National average for Hispanic Serving Institutions. 110

121 Figure 8.2 Comparative Graduation Rates *IPEDS-Graduation Rate Survey 2009: 4-yrs and above; Financial Aid; Private and Public; Hispanic Serving Institutions Faculty Faculty have a minimum of a master s degree in their area of expertise and a minimum of three years of professional experience. In addition, the faculty must be certified and have the aptitude and ability to facilitate courses in a dual language accelerated program for adults. The certification process is carried out in dual language format and follows the same certification process used by SPS SUAGM campuses in Puerto Rico. The faculty is shared between UMET, UT and UNE at each Branch Campus since each institution operates within the same physical facilities. Faculty in most Branch Campuses is part time, lead or adjunct. Part time faculty is engaged to teach a particular class. Lead Faculty is part time faculty engaged to perform functions similar to a Chair or Coordinator of a particular department or discipline. Adjunct faculty is engaged in a 10 or 12 month contract that includes a teaching load and additional office hours that may include assistance in faculty or curriculum affairs, student advising or other duties. The Capital Area Campus will hire three full time faculty members in compliance with Maryland state requirements. This will allow for the experience needed for future hiring of full time faculty in Florida to complement current faculty components that emulate full time faculty requirements and expectations. A detailed faculty database is available (RR 8.5). The Branch Campus faculty participates in an extensive faculty development program that replicates elements of the SPS faculty development plan, enhanced by activities that reflect the dual language nature of the program. Seventeen (17) different faculty development workshops have been developed and are offered; twelve (12) of them are available on site and on line. In faculty attended a total of 70 workshops offered, 8 of them online (RR 8.6). The Branch Campuses part time faculty performs many of the functions expected of full time faculty, through their participation in ASAC and semester general faculty meetings developing a sense of belonging that characterizes them. 111

122 Student Learning Assessment All Branch Campuses follow the assessment model of the SPS in Appendix 12. Assessment results provide information needed for continuous improvement and maintenance of strategic and program objectives. Detailed reports are available for review (RR 8.7). It is important to highlight some these findings and actions: End of course evaluations: Results indicate that all Branch Campuses exceed the 80% satisfaction standard for all categories. All faculty related items fall within a range of 95-98% satisfaction. Similarly, students self-assess between 94 and 96% their improvement in language skill courses recognizing its importance. The Faculty Director meets with all faculty members whose evaluation is less than 80% to analyze the results and discuss strategies for improvement. In 2007 and 2008, evaluation results indicated that less than 80% of the students were satisfied with course modules. A thorough reevaluation of the modules revision process was undertaken that resulted in greater quality control and standards. Current satisfaction levels with modules are at 89%, the highest level since Student representative meetings: Every 5 weeks meetings, provide continuous feedback from students on issues of concern. Reports of these meeting resulted in actions that vary from installing an ATM machine, to parking illumination and faculty training in the use of Blackboard. Midpoint and capstone assessment of learning: This assessment has been completed for UMET s Criminal Justice Program. Results show that students are achieving stated outcomes at satisfactory level, for both; content and dual language communication objectives at midpoint and capstone. Overall assessment: The diverse components of the assessment model are integrated to complete the assessment loop. Midpoint assessment for a UT master s program, student representative meetings reports and end of course evaluations raised concerns about the need of graduate language courses. This led to the development of a graduate level language developmental course sequence for all graduate programs. In addition, an external evaluator was hired to evaluate, among other factors, the alignment of the placement test with the TESOL National Proficiency Standards and a new placement test was developed. Is will be implemented in January, Strengths Since SUAGM inaugurated US mainland campuses it has brought educational opportunities to US Hispanic students. It is a source of an accelerated bilingual degree programs that are custom made for working adults, eager to pursue a college education and an opportunity for a better life. 112

123 Recommendations Continue Branches development in the following areas: Evaluating new academic offerings Exploring potential branches locations to serve Hispanics Expanding student services 113

124 Conclusion The future of is being built upon solid academic, cultural, social and economic foundations. Its history has been marked by success that can only be achieved through an organized and professional planning and collaborative effort at all institutional levels. Since its founding, UMET is committed to helping underprivileged youth, its core values show adherence to ethical standards in the conduct of its programs and activities, providing support for academic and intellectual freedom. In accordance to the new technological changes UMET must keep pace and maintain the actuality and transparency of all information for the benefit of all constituencies, especially the students. The planning and budgeting processes and the institutional resources facilitate the achievement of the institutional mission, specifically enriching the learning process. The impact on student learning is materialized through qualified and motivated faculty, appropriate technological and information resources, a well-tendered learning environment and outstanding physical facilities that promote excellence. Budgeting will be strengthened and opened to include more active and direct participation of students and faculty to continue improving the quality of teaching and learning. High dependence on tuition, although proven to be valuable over the years, must be supplemented to assure added value to a sustained quality performance. Leadership at all levels is committed to improvement based on the results of the processes of inquiry, evaluation and assessment used throughout the Institution. The governance process encourages active channels of communication and autonomy. More student participation in governance affairs is encouraged and must be addressed in an innovative, attractive and creative way, attuned to the swift and available access to information through the vertiginous communications and fascinating electronic means that exist now and are in perspective for the next decade across the World. The current assessment process established at UMET is planned, organized, systematic, sustained, truthful and accurate; it facilitates appropriate decisions that have proven overall success in the improvement of student support services, student retention, and organizational effectiveness. Both, institutional and learning assessment processes are in compliance with: a) student, staff and faculty right to know about institutional effectiveness, b) academic freedom, c) open climate for faculty academic engagement, and d) receptive environment for the diversity of opinions. Recent efforts to address the students need for mastering developmental skills include the implementation of Immersion Model Courses in Mathematics, English, and Spanish using a competency-based curriculum, READ and FYIS courses, and a student tracking system to increase the curriculum effectiveness. Evidence of the success of these programs has been provided and in a time when student retention is not dramatically improving nation-wide, UMET has made modest gains. Assessment results have opened opportunities for improving the quality of activities geared toward students success in a kaleidoscope of possibilities. A First-Year College is one of the new dreams that are profiling in a near horizon. 114

125 Facilitation through automated enrollment procedures are projects well predicted within UMET s range before the present decade ends. Student support services must be strengthened, especially in health services, job placement, and multidisciplinary services at additional locations. A much needed initiative must be placed to increase and expand psychological services to support students in handling life situations toward the achievement of their educational goals. The Student Support Services are one of the great strengths of our institution. Teaching and learning are processes that revolve around a student centered holistic vision. Since MSCHE s last visit, UMET has experienced an increase in enrollment in undergraduate and graduate level offerings. New faculty must be recruited and loyal, qualified, part-time faculty must be upgraded to full-time. An assertive plan for faculty development must continue with special attention to preserve the quality of its present faculty, as evidenced by their publications, awards, grant funding, invitations received to evaluate peer institutions programs, and success in finishing advanced degrees and leadership among professional associations UMET is a dynamic institution, always on a quest for new spaces and challenges; it recognizes that there is always space to grow and it can be translated into a new Comprehensive General Education Core Curriculum Assessment Plan. UMET has a strong and varied academic offer that is closely monitored by its faculty and staff. Its faculty has ample participation in the design and evaluation of its academic programs and is responsive to students' needs and to the changing global and national requirements of higher education. The quality of our programs is accountable by the community it serves as well as by the government's licensing requirements. A particular achievement of the last ten years has been the sensible and proactive interest in the success and improvement of academic achievement of Hispanic students in the Mainland. The special accelerated, dual language modalities for adult learners are a sure means of opportunity for a better life. Since UMET s last reaccreditation, significant changes have taken place in higher education. The new Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) has placed new challenges upon all institutions. UMET has not been alienated from this process and has taken significant steps to align its academic programs to the new accountability requirements. On the other hand, UMET s new transition towards becoming a teaching/research institution has taken its first steps. There have been important investments towards habilitating a solid research infrastructure in the next eight years (SUAGM s Vision 2020). UMET continues to be a visionary institution, aimed towards a bright and successful goal of service to all those searching for a better quality of life. 115

126 Appendices 116

127 APPENDIX 1 AECO Acronyms/Abbreviations Spanish CEDUA CISA COEN CSUC English AACRAO ABRCMS ACE ACUC ACURIL AGB AGMUS AGMVU ALA ALO AND AO ASAC AVAMR AVSRD BSN CA CAEL CEEB CEO CEO CGS ChEmTox Lab CIES CIMA CR FCIE FERPA FOE FYIS Acronym Description American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students American Council on Education Animal Care and Use Committee Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries Communications Student Association Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges Ana G. Méndez University System Ana G. Méndez Virtual University American Library Association Accreditation Liaison Officer Associate Degree in Nursing National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center in Arecibo (Arecibo Observatory) Academic and Student Affairs Commission Associate Vice Chancellery of Admissions, Marketing & Recruitment Associate Vice Chancellery of Student Retention and Development Bachelors Science in Nursing Capital Area Branch Campus Council for Adult Experiential Learning Evaluation, Diagnosis, Placement and Assessment Center College Entrance Examination Board Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization Chief Executive Officer Center for Graduate Studies Chemical, Environmental and Toxicology Laboratory Council for the International Exchange of Scholars Comprehensive Initiative for Minority Achievement Integrated Center for Administrative Service Characteristic s and Opinions Report of New Freshmen Students Cross Reference Consejo Superior Universitario Centroamericano Florida Commission of Independent Education Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Foundations of Excellence First Year Students Induction Seminar Course 117

128 Acronyms/Abbreviations Acronym Description Spanish English FYS First Year Students GED Strategic Development Guidelines HEOA Higher Education Opportunity Act HIPAA Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act HSI Hispanic Serving Institutions HUD Housing and Urban Development IACET International Association of Continuing Education and Training IBC Institutional Biosafety Committee INTENOR Northern Technological Initiative IPP Institute for Public Policy IRB Institutional Review Board IT Information Technologies JEEPR Board of Nursing Examiners of Puerto Rico LAI Puerto Rico Intercollegiate Athletic League MHEC Maryland Higher Education Commission MIE Model Institution of Excellence MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology MO Metro Orlando Branch Campus NACADA National Academic Advising Association NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NLNAC National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission NPA Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard NSF National Science Foundation OAS Organization of American States OPAI Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment PCMAS Teacher Licensing Test PISTA Institutional Program on Transit and Alcohol Security PRCE Puerto Rico Council of Education PRJC Puerto Rico Junior College PRMA Puerto Rico Manufacturing Association PSF Permanent Scholarship Fund PT Part of Term RCR Responsible Conduct of Research READ Reading and Critical Thinking RR Reading Room SACNAS Society of scientists dedicated to fostering the success of Hispanic/Chicano and Native American scientists SCE School of Continuing Education SEDUE External University System of Education SF South Florida Branch Campus SLO Student Learning Outcomes AHORA SPS School of Professional Studies STS Student Tracking & Reporting System 118

129 Acronyms/Abbreviations Spanish English STS SUAGM SWOT TB TFDO UMA UMB UMC UMET UMJ UNE USRA UT VCICA VPAA VPAII VPPAA Acronym Description School of Technical Studies Sistema Universitario Ana G. Méndez Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats Tampa Bay Branch Campus Technology Faculty Development Office UMET-Aguadilla Additional Location UMET-Bayamón Additional Location UMET-Comerío Additional Location UMET-Jayuya Additional Location Universidad del Este University Space Research Association Universidad del Turabo Vice-Chancellery of International and Corporate Affairs Vice Presidency of Administrative Affairs Associate Vice Presidency of Planning and Institutional Research Vice Presidency of Planning and Academic Affairs 119

130 APPENDIX 2 Support Documents RR 1 SUAGM s Corporate Bylaws RR 2 UMET s Institutional Bylaws RR 1.1 Administrative Order; UMET s Mission and Vision Statements 2002 RR 1.2 Revised document UMET s Mission, Vision and Goals 2011 and evidence of the revision process RR 1.3 Promoting Post Baccalaureate opportunities for Hispanic Americans-Title V) RR 1.4 Arecibo Observatory Project RR 1.5 Faculty, Staff and Students 2011 Survey RR 1.6 Disclosure Policies RR 1.7 FERPA policy information RR 1.8 Disciplinary Council annual reports to RR 1.9 Crime Incident Report by Category" for 2004 through 2011 RR 1.10 Student Handbook RR 1.11 The whistleblower policy, Executive Order # RR 1.12 Research, Intellectual Property and Copyright Policy, Executive Order # RR 1.13 Financial Aid Documentation RR 1.14 Faculty and Associates Handbook Hardcopy RR 1.15 Human Resources Turnover Report RR 1.16 Students Success Stories RR 2.1 Strategic Development Guidelines Hard copy RR 2.2 SUAGM Vision

131 RR 2.3 Financial Planning Policy RR 2.4 Strategic Development Guidelines (GED) RR 2.5 Strategic Development Guidelines Process Related Documentation RR 2.6 Report of the analysis of the external and internal environment for devising the Strategic Guidelines RR 2.7 Guide for Units Work Plan and Budget Preparation RR 2.8 Schools Annual Work Plans RR 2.9 Institutional Budget Plan RR 2.10 Proposals Granted RR 2.11 Policy of Cost Estimation in Physical Development April 2, 2005 (SUAGM # ) RR 2.12 SUAGM s Master Plan RR 2.13 UMET s Facilities Projects Budget Allocation RR 2.14 Technology Acquisition Plan RR 2.15 Budget Assigned to Technological Projects RR 2.16 List of Available Technological Resources RR 3.1 SUAGM s Board of Directors Members RR 3.2 US Advisory Board in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Health (STEM+H) RR 3.3 Impact of Engaged Employees on Business Outcomes; Ongoing Employee Engagement Research Survey Results RR 3.4 Administrative Council Administrative Orders RR 3.5 Students Associations Documentation RR 4.1 Title V Projects Documentation RR 4.2 Institutional Assessment Surveys 121

132 RR 4.3 Learning Assessment Project Audits conducted (2009, 2011) RR 4.4 Timelines of the Vice Chancellery, Academic Schools and Additional Locations Efforts on Learning Assessment from 1996 to the present RR 4.5 School s Learning Assessment Portfolios RR 4.6 Graduate Student Learning Assessment Pilot Project RR 4.7 Guide for New Academic Offerings Proposals RR 4.8 Guide for Academic Offerings Review (2009) RR 4.9 Guide for Syllabi Preparation (2011) RR 4.10 General Education Learning Assessment Model of School of Education ( ) RR 4.11 Pilot Project for Learning Assessment of the General Education Competencies (April May, 2010) RR 5.1 Enrollment Management Plan (2011) RR 5.2 Foundations of Excellence (FOE) in the First College Year Self Study RR 5.3 Characteristic s and Opinions Report of New Freshmen Students (COEN) RR 5.4Transfer Credit Norm RR 5.5 Student Tracking System RR 5.6 Documentation Related to First Year Induction Seminar RR 5.7 Documentation Related to Immersion Program RR 5.8 Documentation Related to Early Alert System Program RR 5.9 Tutoring Services Survey 2009 RR 6.1 International Collaborative Agreements RR 6.2 Fullbright Lecturers RR 6.3 Part-Time Faculty Certification Policy, Executive Order

133 RR 6.4 SUAGM s Program Evaluation Policy ( ) RR 6.5 Study on Full-time Faculty Knowledge and Participation in Core Academic Processes at UMET (2011) RR 6.6 Research Development Plan (2008) RR 6.7 Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Health Strategic Plan (STEM +H ) RR 6.8 Research at RR 6.9 Compensation Policy for Personnel Services Rendered under Sponsored Programs RH RR 6.10 Faculty Job Postings RR 6.11 SUAGM s Full-Time Faculty Guide for the Evaluation Process RR 6.12 Faculty Development Plan RR 6.13 Technology Development Faculty Division Activities RR 6.14 US Patent ( ) RR 6.15 Faculty Publications RR 6.16 Faculty Profile RR 7.1 Report to the Faculty, Administration, Trustees, Staff and Students of Metropolitan University of the Ana G. Méndez System (2002) RR 7.2 Undergraduate General Education Policy RR 7.3 General Education Competencies Profile for Baccalaureate Programs RR 7.4 Policy for General Education for the Associate Degree Programs RR 7.5 Course Syllabi Samples RR 7.6 Library Services Survey RR 7.7 Chronologic Report of PC and Laboratories usage for Student s direct access

134 RR 8.1 School of Professional Studies (AHORA Program) Experiential Learning Credit Equivalencies Procedures RR 8.2 SUAGM Branch Campuses Detailed Individual and Consolidated Budgets. RR 8.3 SUAGM Branch Campuses Organizational Charts RR 8.4 SUAGM Branch Campuses General Education Component RR 8.5 SUAGM Branch Campuses Faculty Profile RR 8.6 SUAGM Branch Campuses Faculty Development Program RR 8.7 SUAGM Branch Campuses Student Learning Assessment Reports 124

135 Appendix 3 Audited Financial Statements Years Ended July 31, 2011 and

136 Appendix 4 s Mission (UMET) is a private, non sectarian, non-profit higher education institution, with a wide range of academic degrees: certificates, associates, baccalaureates, and masters. The institution is distinguished by providing academic programs of local and global relevance and educational opportunities for students and faculty. The curriculum is continually updated in line with changes in technology, economy, job market, demographic changes and the challenges and opportunities posed by globalization. UMET mission is to provide its students with an atmosphere of academic freedom and intellectual challenge, the necessary resources to help them develop high cultural and ethical values, critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, linguistic and technological skills, as well as personal and professional skills required for success in their professions and daily lives. The academic experience is supported by modern technologies applied to teaching, learning, and the assessment process. UMET's distinctive institutional features are marked by: a commitment to the quality of learning, undergraduate and graduate scientific research, local and international internship opportunities and student and faculty exchange programs with prestigious institutions, and community service. UMET is highly committed to environmental resources preservation and their sustainable development. UMET subscribes to a flexible admissions policy that provides a diversity of study options in a reasonable array of pedagogical modalities with the purpose of providing quality higher education in its main campus and other additional locations. A highly qualified faculty, committed to academic excellence, supports this policy. Students support services are integrated and geared towards the achievement of their academic, social and cultural goals. UMET recognizes its responsibility to offer face-toface, as well as distance learning services to expand higher education options in Puerto Rico. UMET is a learning community that responds swiftly to the needs and interests of its students, faculty and administrative personnel set in adequate, safe and attractive facilities. Teamwork and a deep sense of belonging between groups are favorable to the personal and professional development of its human resources. recognizes that education is a lifelong process and values adult education as a contribution to non-traditional forms of higher education. 126

137 UMET promotes individual and collective commitment with excellence in all aspects of the post-secondary education realm in an environment of great intellectual challenge with ample opportunities for the development of human talent and potential. Vision and goals: To place UMET as a university community of scholars that constantly evaluate the challenges imposed by social, economic and political changes that occur in our country and in the world and responds to them through the creation of innovative programs that facilitate the personal and professional development of its undergraduate and graduate students in Liberal Arts, Allied Health Sciences, Education, Business Administration, Environmental Affairs, and Sciences and Technology. To project itself as an institution that prepares its graduates with the skills and competencies that are necessary for their successful participation in today s society: excellent oral and written communication skills in Spanish and English, technology literate, team work and decision-making skills as well as a sense of responsibility for the decisions taken. To be recognized as a university that promotes current knowledge of learning and research as a means to achieve student satisfaction and retention. To be recognized for its commitment with all aspects of environmental affairs and for its contribution to the community. To be distinguished for its leadership in science and technology through the creation of opportunities for the development of its students. To be recognized as an avant-garde institution in educational technology through the use of telecommunications and distance learning. To continue in joining efforts to remain as an institution of excellence in the fulfillment of its mission and goals. To be distinguished by upholding its continuous search for initiatives towards achieving high levels of retention within a flexible admissions policy. 127

138 Appendix 5 Steering Committee Members for Self Study; MSCHE Reaccreditation Chair Yanilda M. Rodríguez Serrano, MSN, RN Co Chair María E. Del Río Pineda, MS Instructor, Department of Nursing School of Health Sciences Assistant Professor and Associate Dean School of Sciences and Technology Sub Committees Chairs Wanda Pierluissi de Sánchez, M.A. Mariela T. Collazo León, MPL Mildred Arbona Caballero Ph. D (c) María Del P. Charneco, MPHE Nellie Pagán Maldonado, Ph.D. Awilda Pérez Pérez, MBA Carmen Rosado León, MBA María C. Ortiz Rivera, MSEM Mayra Pedroza López, MSN, MA Professor of the School of Business Administration (Standard 1& 6) Assistant Vice-President of Planning (Standard 2) Associate Professor and Associate Vice- Chancellor of Administrative Affairs (Standard 3) Vice-Chancellor of Administrative Affairs (Standard 4 & 5) Assistant Vice-Chancellor of Institutional Assessment (Standard 7) Associate Vice-Chancellor of Student Development and Retention (Standard 8) Vice-Chancellor of Students Affairs (Standard 9) Associate Professor and Associate Dean of the School of Environmental Affairs (Standard 10) Associate Professor, Department of Nursing School of Health Sciences (Standard 11) María De Los A. Lugo, MLS Library Director UMET (Standard 12) 128

139 Irma del Pilar Cruz MPA, J.D. Ph.D c. Director, Jayuya Center (Standard 13) Judith A. González Rodríguez, Ed. D Associate Professor and Dean of the School of Education (Standard 14) Steering Committee subcommittee co-chairs Alfredo Nieves Moreno, MAC Milagros Manzano M.A. Pedro A. Hernández López, ABD Other members Juan C. Musa Wasil, Ph. D Edgardo E. Quiñones Rodríguez, Ed. D. Yvonne Guadalupe, MAC Associate Dean of Communications School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Communications (Standard 12) Associate Vice-Chancellor of Students Affairs (Standard 9) Associate Professor and Dean of the School of Business Administration (Standard 4 & 5) Professor School of Environmental Affairs Professor of the School of Science and Technology Director of Public Relations (MSCHE reaccreditation Communion s Committee Chair) 129

140 APPENDIX 6 130

141 APPENDIX 7 131

142 APPENDIX 8 132

143 APPENDIX 9 133

144 APPENDIX 10 Institutional Assessment Plan ( ) (In process of being translated) 134

145 APPENDIX 11 UMET s Student Learning Assessment Implementation Policy 135

146 APPENDIX 12 School of Professional Studies (SPS) Student Learning Assessment Model As SUAGM s accelerated studies program adapted the successful model developed by Regis University in Colorado, SPS incorporated the assessment activities that were part of this model. These activities were similar to those implemented at over twenty universities throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the Philippines that similarly adapted this model. This allowed for the immediate implementation of assessment activities that had been proven effective and had been extensively validated. The School of Professional Studies Assessment Plan focuses on assessment of student learning and program effectiveness, and are focused on a mission statement, unit level goals that align with institutional goals, objectives, assessment procedures, results, and use of results. SPS Assessment Plan is: Comprehensive: All our academic programs, instructional staff and faculty, and support personnel participate in assessment. Permanent: Assessment is considered a continuous process that requires ongoing participation of all components at the School of Professional Studies. Systematic: All our administrative staff and instructional faculty at the three SUAGM institutions and the various sites that offer accelerated studies programs are expected to use the same assessment philosophy and practices as they engage in assessment activities. As mention above, the SPS Assessment Plan includes activities focused on program effectiveness and others focused on assessment of learning. It is important to note that these activities complement themselves and that their main focus does not imply that they exclusively impact on each area. The activities that focus on program effectiveness are: Student Representative Meetings: The students in every class section offered by SPS select a student representative during the first week of class. These student representatives meet with a staff representative during the second or third week of class. End of course evaluations: During the last week of class of every section offered by SPS, a program effectiveness questionnaire is administered to all students of that section. The section s student representative receives the questionnaires from the administrative offices, administers the questionnaires and returns them to the office. External Peer Reviews: During the initial or start-up phase, a team of peers from Regis University and/or other universities that have adapted this accelerated model were invited to conduct an annual review of various aspects of program effectiveness. These Annual Reviews were conducted during the six years of operation of the program in Puerto Rico. 136

147 Continuous assessment of program activities: SPS-sponsored activities are evaluated by participants to assess their effectiveness, receive their recommendations and inform the development of future activities. This includes all faculty and staff development activities. The activities that focus on assessment of learning are: Student Learning - Evaluation of student portfolios: The SPS is requiring that students in all of the courses develop class portfolios and this requirement is being added to all Module modifications or revisions. These portfolios are evaluated by faculty using various rubrics at the end of the course and samples are collected for review by the SPS faculty, curriculum and assessment areas. Faculty will be asked to participate in various activities to discuss student portfolio assessment, especially prior to future module, course and program revisions. Assessment of student achievement of academic program objectives: Initially, the School of Professional Studies adopted a process for assessment of student learning developed by the Center for the Study of Accelerated Learning of Regis University in Denver, Colorado. The Middle States Evaluation Team at UMET (April 7-10, 2002 Report, page 19) praised the process as one that could serve as a model for other institutional components. The process consisted of the selection of faculty experts that developed an assessment instrument based on general course outcomes. During the next phase of SPS s assessment activities, assessment will focus on program objectives instead of specific course objectives. Midpoint and capstone courses will be selected and a similar methodology will be adopted to focus on overall program objectives. Action Assessment Plan After the analysis of data, the SPS Office of Assessment provides a report with the research findings, conclusions, and recommendations to administration for approval and consideration. Results of assessment are shared with faculty and administration at faculty meetings scheduled through the academic year. Administration analyzes the report and decides on the full or partial implementation of recommended actions. 137

148 APPENDIX

149 APPENDIX

150 APPENDIX

151 APPENDIX 15 (Continued) 141

152 Scale Scale APPENDIX 16 Analysis of learning results by student progress instances in the School of Education: Academic year Study Years Analysis of content/concepts Critical Thinking Writing Skills Linear (Analysis of content/concepts) Linear (Critical Thinking) Linear (Writing Skills) Report of learning results by curricular components in the School of Education: Academic year Analysis of Critical Thinking Writing Skills content/concepts General Education Professional Concentration

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