June 28, 1998
June 28, 1998
July 1, 1998
3.426.1 - 3.426.7
New Issues for Administrative Action
Warren R. Hill, Dean College of Applied Science and Technology Weber State University Ogden UT 84408-1801
There are a number of important issues facing administrators in Engineering Technology programs today. Beyond the more obvious issues such as tenure, teaching loads, what constitutes research, faculty salaries and terminal degrees, there are a host of other critical issues, five of which are discussed here. While one can come up with certainly more than five issues worthy of discussion, these are ones with which the author has had recent experience and which seem particularly important in the context of engineering technology education today.
The only student issue which will be discussed in this paper is retention. It is not a topic which is frequently considered to be an administrative issue, but there are a number of things administrators can do to improve retention. Retention is critical if for no other reason than it does us no good to recruit a student if we do not retain that student. Students leave school or change majors for a variety of reasons, some of which are totally out of the control of the institution. However, some situations exist where we can help retain a student who might otherwise leave. We need to look very carefully at ways in which administrators may help to retain students.
One of the primary reasons students drop out of school is financial. Frequently deans and department heads have some funds at their disposal which can be used as grants or partial tuition scholarships to help a needy student over a rough spot with their personal finances. Frequently this does not have to be a large amount of money. At the author's institution, it has been found that we get better retention with partial tuition scholarships than with full scholarships. At other times, maybe all a student needs is money for books or supplies. Whatever the cause of their financial plight, having a mechanism by which we can assist needy students may help in retention.
We also need to make certain that as soon as possible in our student’s academic careers, they are made to feel part of our institutions. There are a number of ways this can be done such as a welcoming letter from the dean and/or department head or holding an open house at the beginning of the year for all new students. We also need ways to help students identify with each other such as grouping new students together, providing them study sessions with tutors and having quiet places for them to study. Many of our students in engineering technology are first generation college students and don't necessarily have the level of family support needed for success in college.
Hill, W. R. (1998, June), New Issues For Administrative Action Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. https://peer.asee.org/7314
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