Author Archives: Young, Jon

September 28, 2017: Academic Affairs Board of Trustees Report

In my September report to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees, I gave updates about recent accolades and accomplishments, first-year student progression, and enrollment.  I also updated the Board on four major initiatives that will significantly inform what we do for the next five years, 2017 – 2022. These initiatives are the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Frontier Set project; the UNC Undergraduate Degree Completion Improvement Plan; the United Negro College Fund Career Pathways Initiative, and the UNC Strategic Plan.  My report provides information on each of these initiatives.  See attached.  AA_BOT_September 2017_Final

Enrollment Management Committee – Clearing Away Obstacles and Roadblocks

Pathways Slides

Attached are two slides I shared at Bronco Kickoff.  The first one depicts the obstacles and roadblocks students often encounter on their pathway to degree completion.  Moreover, career planning occurs on a separate pathway.  The second slides show our goal: remove unnecessary obstacles and integrate career planning into our curriculum.

FSU provides students with many resources to help them address academic challenges that can lead to their dropping out.  A recent review identified more than 40 programs that help students address academic reasons for student attrition.

Freshman Seminar helps first year students improve time management and study skills; Students have abundant opportunities for tutoring and supplemental instruction to strengthen academic skills; Bronco Connect makes it easy for faculty members to warn students about excessive absences or missed assignments

With the help of the Office of Faculty Development, many faculty have implemented techniques and technologies to increase student engagement, which has been shown to have an especially positive impact on student learning.

Academic support programs are very important. Yet, students confront a variety of obstacles on the pathway to degree completion that are not explicitly academic. These obstacles frequently arise from miscommunication about guidelines and requirements.  None of this miscommunication is intentional – in fact, all of our offices and staff work diligently to provide important and accurate information to all students.

Yet, despite our good intentions, a number of communication gaps persist.

Over the next several weeks, the Enrollment Management Committee will strive to identify and correct some of these communication gaps. We are looking first at the questions most frequently asked to the Enrollment Service Call Center, assuming that these questions arise from these communication gaps.   Students are often confused about the messages they receive about the admissions process, their bills and financial aid.  The challenge is making sure we communicate information in a manner that is understandable to students.

Academic advisement is another source of much confusion and frustration among students. We need to look at every aspect of advisement process and determine which are and are not contributing to student enrollment.  The implementation of Acalog and Degree Works will offer opportunities for revising current processes.

One of our most important goals for this academic year is to remove unnecessary obstacles to degree completion.  The work of the Enrollment Management Committee is just one of many similar efforts that we will use to achieve this goal.

FSU – Open House, March 25

Thinking about college? Hoping for a better future?

I’m true to my Blue! And Fayetteville State University is proud to be the University for you!  FSU offers:  a quality education at affordable costs; nationally ranked undergraduate and graduate academic programs; teaching excellence and innovative, experiential learning options; convenience and flexibility through on-campus and online classes; a supportive and “family-like” environment; the rich legacy of an HBCU and the prestige of the University of North Carolina system.

Visit to register for Open House on Saturday, March 25.

Can’t come to campus on March 25, then visit to schedule a personal tour.

Or you may want to take a virtual tour.  Go to and select the virtual tour on the home page.

Take the first step toward a better future!

Faculty Development Call for Proposals: Fostering Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Core Courses

Fostering Innovations in Teaching and Learning in University College Core Curriculum Courses (FITL – U4C)

All too often, faculty members consider lower division, core curriculum classes a low priority and reserve their innovative ideas for courses in the major.  As a consequence, course design and instruction in core courses often preserve precedent and conform to the status quo. The primary aim of the grant is to encourage faculty to try innovative teaching and assessment techniques that address critical thinking and written communication skills.

Up to 10 grants of $5,000 each will be awarded to support this project.  Each grant recipient will receive a stipend of $4,000 and an additional $1,000 for supplies, software, workshops, and/or travel related to the teaching and learning project.

This project builds upon FSU’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for SACS, Making Evidence-Based Decisions (MEBD), conducted from 2011 – 2016. The QEP supported faculty development pathways that helped faculty incorporate critical thinking and written communication skills into 300- and 400-level courses.  We used the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA), the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), and faculty developed rubrics to assess the impact of the QEP on the development of critical thinking and written communication skills.

While students showed progress on these skills on all of our assessments, the impact of the QEP was not as significant as we originally envisioned.  One conclusion of the QEP was that MEBD instructional strategies should be incorporated into University College core curriculum courses.

Rather than prescribe specific strategies to be incorporated into courses, this project encourages faculty to propose their own approaches, such as incorporating digital courseware or other technology tools, developing a “flipped” class, increasing engagement (inside and/or outside of class), integrating required academic support activities, developing new assessment methods, linking learning activities to career goals, developing alternative meeting times, or other strategies.

Proposals must explain why the proposed innovation(s) are expected to improve critical thinking and written communication skills.  While faculty are encouraged to incorporate multiple assessment methods to measure impact, the proposed course must include at least one CLA-like assessment.

Teams of two or more faculty who teach the same University College Core Course are encouraged to work together to redesign the course.  Faculty working together to redesign a commonly-taught course will expand the potential impact of the redesign.  Faculty teams may submit a single proposal.  Such proposals will be given priority in the selection process, with each member receiving the full award.

The grants will be awarded as follows:

  1. March 17: Deadline for submitting proposal
  2. April 7: Recipients notified
  3. May 15 – August 15*: Recipient will be paid $3,000 for redesign of the course upon submission of report on course redesign.
  4. September 30: Deadline for spending the $1,000 for travel, supplies, and equipment.
  5. August – December 2017: Recipient teaches redesigned course
  6. December 18, 2017 – Final report due – $1,000 paid to recipient upon receipt of final report

*The contract for this project does not preclude faculty members from teaching a full load in summer school.

Grant recipients must agree to each of the following:

  1. Employ Dee Fink’s “Self-Directed Guide for Integrated Course Design” in redesigning the course. The required report for grant recipients will be based on this framework.
  2. Meet all reporting deadlines.
  3. Provide assessment data that shows the impact of the course redesign on students’ critical thinking and written communication skills. The assessment plan must include at least one CLA-like assessment.
  4. Be willing to share the results of the project with colleagues at FSU or at professional conferences.
  5. Continue to employ in future semesters innovations that prove to be effective.

Proposal Guidelines:  Proposals must address each of the following.

  1. Faculty member(s) submitting proposal:
  2. Course to be redesigned (This course must fulfill the requirements of the University College Core Curriculum.):
  3. Approximate number of students to be affected by the redesign:
  4. Detailed description of innovation(s) to be incorporated into the course:
  5. Requested support (e.g., training, software, equipment, travel) to redesign the course:
  6. Explanation of how course redesign will improve critical thinking and written communication skills:
  7. Assessment data to be provided to demonstrate that the innovation(s) had a positive impact on critical thinking and written communication skills; (Remember that at least one assessment must be a CLA-like assessment.):
  8. Potential for redesign to be adopted by other instructors in the department:
  9. Description of the results of any previous course redesign efforts you have carried out:
  10. A letter of support from the department chair is required.

Proposal Submission Deadline:  March 17, 2017.  Submit proposals via email to Jon Young,

Administrative Fellowships – Past Application Deadline


The Fayetteville State University (FSU) Administrative Fellowship Program provides opportunities for tenured Associate Professors and Professors to lead institutional initiatives that serve important goals of the Division of Academic Affairs and the FSU Strategic Plan.  The program is designed especially for tenured faculty members who seek experience in higher education administration.  Administrative Fellows will increase their understanding of factors that influence higher education policies and practices at the national, state, and institutional level.  They will also gain first-hand experience in working with faculty, staff, and other administrators in implementing specific institutional projects.

Conditions of Appointment – Administrative Fellows will:

  1. Devote five to seven hours per week to the administrative project.
  2. Receive a ten-month, extra-duty contract to serve in the role.
  3. Maintain their regular teaching schedules.
  4. Participate in a monthly seminar conducted by the provost and other academic affairs leaders.

Application and Selection Process

Eligible faculty members must submit each of the following:

  1. A recent copy of applicant CV
  2. A letter specifying desired project(s) and stating reasons why applicant wishes to serve as Administrative Fellow (maximum length: 350 words)
  3. Statement acknowledging that the Administrative Fellow will: a) devote five to seven hours per week to the administrative project; b) receive a 10-month, extra-duty contract; c) maintain his/her normal teaching load (Administrative Fellows do not receive a reduced teaching load); and d) participate in monthly seminar.
  4. Statements from department chair and dean expressing support for the applicant’s participation in the Administrative Fellows Program.


Application deadline: March 3, 2017

Notification to applicants selected:  March 30, 2017

Duration of appointment:  August 1, 2017 – May 31, 2018 (Administrative Fellow may be approved for a second year appointment.)

Instructions for Submission of Application:

The Application Package must include the following:  1) Applicant’s CV, 2) Letter of interest, including desired project; 3) Acknowledgement of the Conditions of Appointment outlined above; and 4) statements of support from the applicant’s department chair and dean.

The complete Application Package must be scanned and submitted via email to Jon Young, by 11:59 pm on Friday, March 3.

Administrative Projects: 2017-18 Academic Year – Administrative Fellow Projects

  1. Office of Academic Affairs – This position will work with Dr. Perry Massey, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, to develop a Faculty Mentoring Program. The Administrative Fellow will review and visit programs at other institutions and propose guidelines and structure for the program at FSU. This Administrative Fellow will help improve the transition of new faculty into FSU.
  2. Office of Academic Affairs – This Administrative Fellow will work directly with the Provost to develop strategies and guidelines for increasing faculty-student research projects. The individual selected will review all existing strategies for supporting faculty-student research projects and based on this research develop recommendations for increasing such projects.  The recommendations may consider student recruitment, curricular revisions, evaluative criteria, financial support, and any other factor that would help increase the number faculty-guided research projects for students.
  3. Office of Continuing Education and Summer School – The Administrative Fellow will assist in all aspects of planning and implementing summer school and continuing education programs and will serve as a liaison between the director and deans, department chairs, and faculty to develop schedules, plan programs, and recommend practices and procedures to improve efficiency and increase revenue.
  4. Office of Faculty Development (OFD)– This Faculty Fellow will assist the Office of Faculty Development in administering the COACHE survey and encouraging campus-wide participation in the survey. The position will advise the COACHE Advisory Committee about developing recommendations for improvement based on the survey findings.  The COACHE survey, is conducted by the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education, is used by universities throughout the nation to assess faculty satisfaction with working conditions.  The results from previous COACHE surveys have guided various changes at FSU, such as implementation of professional advisors and the revision of the workload policy.  It is essential to make sure we have widespread participation in the survey and that we develop a plan for addressing the results.  This Faculty Fellow would be responsible for all of these aspects of the COACHE survey.
  5. Office of Institutional Research (IR) – This Administrative Fellow will serve primarily as a liaison between IR and deans, department chairs, and faculty to increase campus awareness of the reports IR provides to UNC, North Carolina, and the federal agencies and to assist IR in identifying and meeting departmental and faculty needs for data. This Administrative Fellow will help shape the future of IR at FSU.
  6. University College (UC)–The Administrative Fellow will assist faculty in the use of new technologies to promote student success.  Using BroncoConnect (Starfish), Hobsons Retain, PAR Framework, EAB Guide, and other technologies, the Fellow will help develop a plan to share data with faculty to identify areas for improvement.  The Fellow will help develop ways to streamline curriculum and redesign courses to improve student success and lead efforts to implement these solutions across the curriculum.
  7. Other – Faculty members are encouraged to recommend other Administrative Fellow projects. Applicants who seek to recommend another project will be required to provide detailed information in the application.

Open House – Fayetteville State University – Saturday, March 25

Thinking about college? Hoping for a better future?

I’m true to my Blue! And Fayetteville State University is proud to be the University for you!  FSU offers:  a quality education at affordable costs; nationally ranked undergraduate and graduate academic programs; teaching excellence and innovative, experiential learning options; convenience and flexibility through on-campus and online classes; a supportive and “family-like” environment; the rich legacy of an HBCU and the prestige of the University of North Carolina system.

Visit to register for Open House on Saturday, March 25.

Can’t come to campus on March 25, then visit to schedule a personal tour.

Or you may want to take a virtual tour.  Go to and select the virtual tour on the home page.

Take the first step toward a better future!

2017 National Survey for Student Engagement (NSSE) has launched

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is currently being administered to first-year students and seniors.  Students received their first email invitations to participate on February 15 and February 23.  They will receive three more invitations on March 7, March 21, and March 27.  I hope this blog will help you see why NSSE results are important to us and will lead you to encourage first year students and seniors to complete the NSSE.  In previous years, our response rate has around 25%, which is very close to the response rate at our regional and national peer institutions. Continue reading

FSU, Higher Education, and Social Mobility

I am indebted to Dr. Angela Taylor, Department of Criminal Justice, for making me aware of this NY Times study.

A recent study by the New York Times uses millions of anonymous tax records to measure the impact of university attendance on social mobility.  These are immensely important data since most students and their families invest in college in hopes of a better future.

I encourage each of you to explore the wealth of data at this site to arrive at your own conclusions.  If you compare FSU to other North Carolina institutions, it is clear that we are having a positive impact on social mobility of our students.  FSU ranks 4th among 101 institutions in North Carolina in terms of the percentage (30%) of students who move up two or more economic quintiles.

Yet, despite the good work of FSU and other institutions that serve low-income students, significant income gaps continue to exist among graduates of different institutions. Continue reading

FSU and the Challenges Facing US Higher Education

The Inside Higher Ed article below considers the future of U.S. higher education – specifically the goal of increasing degree completion – in the wake of the 2016 election.

The article suggests that the focus on the “completion agenda” is likely to continue, but the value of postsecondary credentials will increasingly be defined by the employment rates and salaries of graduates.

Fayetteville State University is already engaged in addressing both of these trends.

The “Completion Agenda” recognizes that the skills and knowledge essential for success as a nation and as individuals in the 21st century require postsecondary education.  Hence, enabling more adults to earn degrees – especially historically underserved populations — is an imperative for higher education.

In 2009, President Obama set the goal for the US to be “first in the world” in terms of the percentage of adults with a college degree by 2020.

The Lumina Foundation has set the “big goal” of having 60% of adults in the US with a postsecondary credential by 2025.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has invested significantly in efforts to increase degree attainment. They have established the “Frontier Set,” a group of institutions working together to “…drive institutional transformation and close the opportunity gap for every student.”

Frontier Set institutions have agreed to increase the number of credentials and degrees awarded by one-third by 2022 and share their practices and strategies to promote change in higher education.

FSU is a member of the Frontier Set. Our selection is a result of our success in enabling students from diverse populations to earn degrees.  Our target is to award 1,270 undergraduate degrees (or credentials) in 2022, compared to the 968 we awarded in 2015-16.

The completion agenda has become an important component of the higher education landscape. Yet, many legislators, policy makers, and educators – driven by concerns about soaring debt and unemployment among college graduates — have challenged the completion agenda, arguing for a higher education agenda of doing a better job of preparing graduates for high-paying careers.

Post-graduation outcomes have already become an important focus of higher education. This emphasis is likely to continue.

Certainly, there can be little benefit of earning a degree that does not lead to a meaningful career and lifelong success.

Thanks to the United Negro College Fund Career Pathways Initiative (UNCF CPI), FSU will have $1.5 million over the next five years to revise our curricular and co-curricular programs to help improve our graduates’ career preparation. This grant will inform much of our work in the coming years.

As a partner with the Gates Foundation and UNCF, we are committed to increasing degree attainment and making sure that our graduates are well prepared for career success.

As one of the few institutions in the nation participating in both the Frontier Set and UNCF CPI, we are in a unique position to set an example for other higher education institutions as they grapple with challenges confronting us all.

If we are successful, the impact of our efforts could extend well beyond our campus and our graduates.

Two big goals for 2016-17 and beyond

FSU is engaged with multiple partners – including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AASC&U), and the United Negro College Fund – to achieve two big goals:  Increase the number of students completing a four-year degree (or other credential of value) and ensure that graduates are prepared for lifelong success, i.e., career success; responsible citizenship; leadership roles; and well-being (personal, physical, financial, and social).

Why are so many organizations concerned about increasing the number of adults with postsecondary credentials?

The global context of twenty-first century economic, political, and social issues make a college degree essential for the future well-being of both individual citizens and the nation.  President Obama expressed this view when, in 2009, he set a goal for the U.S. to be “first in the world” in the percentage of adults with a college degree.  The Lumina Foundation’s “big goal” for 2025 is to have 60% of adults with a postsecondary credential, while the Gates Foundation is promoting a one-third increase in the number of degrees/credentials awarded by the year 2022.

Why are so many external partners looking to FSU?

This attention has been prompted by our accomplishments since 2008.  Even as undergraduate enrollment decreased by more than nine percent (from 6,068 to 5,506) as a result of increased admissions and progression standards, the number of graduate degrees awarded increased by 25% (774 in 2007-08; 968 in 2015-16).

Our graduates, moreover, are from student populations historically underserved by higher education and whose degree attainment rates must improve if we are to achieve the goals as established by of Gates, Lumina, and President Obama.  Of our 968 undergraduate degrees awarded in 2015-16, 54% were earned by African Americans, 8% Hispanic; 56% were Pell eligible (low income), and 74% were adult learners, including community college transfer students and military veterans.  Few institutions in the nation can boast such a diverse profile of graduates.

Our challenge for the 2016-17 academic year and beyond is to build on our successes of the past eight years and steadily increase degree attainment by our students.  Doing so will require ongoing improvements in recruitment and retention efforts.

Increasing degree attainment by itself, of course, is an empty achievement if these degrees do not prepare graduates for lifelong success.

At FSU, we have a longstanding commitment to providing both a broad liberal arts foundation for all students with in-depth study in a particular discipline.  This type of education is essential to preparing graduates for success and well-being in the personal, professional, and social dimension of their lives.

I see no reason to revise our commitment, but our partnerships external agencies provide us the opportunity to build upon past successes in ways that can achieve the goal, as stated in our Strategic Plan for 2015-2020, of becoming a “…national leader in providing high quality academic programs, engaging educational experiences, and responsive support services that enable students from diverse backgrounds, community colleges, and those affiliated with the military to earn degrees and certificates...”