The Student Affairs Committee has continued to develop its charge to act in behalf of students in the continuing study, review and recommendations for change in all phases of student involvement in the college. The governance year began with the election of two new co-chairs. Becky Dobert, CDL student, fills the student co-chair and Amy Tweedy, Coordinator of Student Services in the Central New York Center, fills the faculty/staff co-chair. Since our mission includes representing students, we have been pleased by the number of active student representatives on the committee this year and hope to continue increasing student involvement.
The committee has convened on a monthly basis with an in person meeting at the Governance Retreat in July, 2002 and in October, 2002 and a videoconference in February 2003. Our minutes and agendas are available for public view on the Empire State College website.
The following is a brief description of our agenda items.
In response to student request, the Student Affairs Committee has worked in collaboration with PPBC to develop two student recognition proposals that reflect the values of the college. The committee researched student recognition programs at over fifteen institutions to serve as a base for development of these proposals. The Honors Project is designed to allow students to design advanced level studies that would be designated as honors. The Honors Project proposal has been submitted to APLPC for review and college input. The Presidential Scholarship is designed to recognize students with demonstrated outstanding academic ability. The Presidential Scholarship has been submitted to the Office of the Vice President for review.
In addition, the committee has collected information from each center/program concerning regional student recognition programs. This information has been compiled and will be shared with each center/program to encourage local opportunities to recognize students.
The committee formed a task force to provide continual review of the impact of the new policies and procedures including satisfactory academic progress and the student conduct policy.
The committee formed a task force to survey the programs/centers concerning student services offered at each location. This survey is being reviewed by the Office of Institutional Research and will be distributed to program directors/deans. The goal of the survey is to determine what services are currently offered and to provide a framework for supporting the strategic plan's goal of providing consistent statewide student service.
The committee has published two newsletters which were sent to currently enrolled students. In addition, the committee will order additional copies to be sent to each location for future editions. The newsletter has included topics such as an introduction of the Student Affairs Committee by the student co-chair, points of student service contact in each program/center, information on disabilities, presidential address on SUNY tuition, FERPA information, sexual harassment information, steps to graduation, an article by a student describing his/her experience as a student, and information about the student activity fee. The committee believes this is an important vehicle for sharing information with students and encourages the college community to submit articles for both the fall and spring editions.
The Vice President for Academic Affairs joined our meeting in October to discuss the current proposals for a term-based calendar for the college. The committee stands ready to assist in gathering student input as this proposal goes through the college process.
The committee has been very interested in having student voices represented during the college conversation on the grade proposals. As a result, both co-chairs joined an APLPC meeting to discuss options for gathering student feedback. Both committees have put forth a sample survey originally developed by SAC to the Office of Institutional Research to survey students on their views on these complicated topics.
The demands on the student co-chair of the Student Affairs Committee seem to be increasing due to pressure to be involved in SUNY committees, college committees, contact from students and other various constituencies. The committee is developing a position description in an attempt to inform future student co-chairs of the responsibilities of the position in an attempt to provide a balance for this volunteer position.
Amy Tweedy, Co-Chair