Excused: Brenda Leake, Mark Woodsford Guest: Donald Leake Minutes from 10/ 27/04

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The College of New Jersey

Graduate Programs Advisory Council

November 10, 2004 Minutes
Present: Helene Anthony, Brendan Gallagher, Susan Hydro, Janice Kisthardt, Claire Lindberg, Lisa Ortiz-Vilarelle, Michele Tarter. Excused: Brenda Leake, Mark Woodsford Guest: Donald Leake
Minutes from 10/ 27/04: Reviewed and accepted with minor revisions
Director’s Report: Susan Hydro reported on the status of graduate admissions applications at this time (deadline Dec 4th):

  • 254 total applications (198 for matriculation, 44 special admits and 12 incomplete).

  • Complete applications have been forwarded to departments and 60 decisions have been reported (52 acceptances and 8 rejections).

Susan Hydro also reported on the popularity of our graduate bulletin at the most recent NJEA convention.

Graduate Assistantships and Graduate Workers:

Susan Hydro provided a sample application for graduate assistantships. She also informed the council that although the description of graduate assistant qualifications and duties is available on the reverse of the application as well as with the on-line application, it does not appear in the graduate bulletin. In lieu of individual assistantship descriptions, which are not available at this time, Susan Hydro provided the council with 4 sample acceptance letters detailing tuition remission, re-numeration and requirements along with a list of total assistantship distribution for 2004-05. Michele Tarter noted that the list shows Athletics has the largest allotment (14). Brendan Gallagher offered that the number reflects the large number of athletic teams that require multiple coaches, drivers, and other assistants to manage teams. The sub-committee for reviewing graduate assistantships will consider the new information.

Michele Tarter called on the graduate assistantship sub-committee to provide a report of its assessment and recommendations at our next meeting.
Diversity Recruitment:

The council participated in a dialogue on diversity recruitment with invited guest Donald Leake, Associate Professor of Educational Administration and Secondary Education and Coordinator of the Educational Leadership Program. Donald Leake emphasized that the dialogue would focus on successes of ELP as possibilities rather than overall solutions. He asserted that what distinguishes the ELP from other programs are its promotion and structure. He identified language as a critical issue in diversity recruitment and the ways in which a program demonstrates a commitment to any population. He offered as an example the use of the word “cohort” vs. “class” in order to frame the program in terms of inclusion instead of exclusion. He suggests that the use of this term helps project and sustain a sense of community and support that minimizes concerns over marginalization or potential failure.

Donald Leake also noted that the structure of ELF creates a positive environment of interdependence rather than independence by assigning informal faculty mentors to students. He noted the program’s conscious effort to actively recruit from specific populations by first identifying those populations not well represented, locating them in the community, and targeting them with personalized promotions. He suggested that graduate assistants could be a part of the recruitment process, although few candidates in Education find the 15 hour, weekday, and commonly office-assistant nature of graduate assistantships appealing.
Michele Tarter raised the possibility of using graduate assistantships as a diversity recruitment and mentoring tool by assigning graduate assistants to graduate program coordinators for support with recruitment projects. Lisa Ortiz-Vilarelle added that the graduate assistantship sub-committee should consider that possibility.
Donald Leake recommended J. Howard, Director of Equity and Diversity as a resource.
Transfer and Special Admit Credits:

Claire Lindberg called for discussion of the ways in which the 6-9 credit cap on special admit credit transfers can be limiting. She raised concerns over the different limits of 6 or 9 for different programs and asked the council to consider the benefits of being more liberal with caps. Michele Tarter suggested that the differing credit requirements may justify that difference by comparing English’s 30 credits to Nursing’s 47 as an example. Susan Hydro noted that there is no limit to the number of credits a student can take as a special admit, only a limit to how many he/she can transfer. Janice Kisthardt raised the point that caps can make a statement about how well we value our own courses. Members agreed that, at this time, it needs more background on the issue and may look to Suzanne Pasch for more institutional history on the matter.

Graduate Study Space on Campus:

Michele Tarter reported that her conversations with Dean Taras Pavlovsky of Roscoe West Library revealed that while no space in the new library has been reserved exclusively for graduate study, study space was included in the library plan. He confirmed that the time of library planning requests has passed. The council discussed the need for such a space and addressed the matter of one as a service to a constituency it is trying to attract and support. Michele Tarter noted that availability of space is a service as is the availability of food. Susan Hydro inquired into the use of carts and snack bars to help fill the need and was not offered any consistent solution by Auxiliary Services. The council agreed that there is a need for a centrally located and safe place for graduate study and community building where students can also find quick meals. It agrees to pursue this proactively.

Michele charged Janice Kisthardt with inquiring into researching the available study space in the new library plan.
The council discussed alternatives to the library as a graduate study space:

  • 1855 room (after hours) or other space in Eickhoff

  • introduce a larger Starbucks that can serve as a study café

  • request from Sodexho a private lounge with limited food service

  • model Rutgers’private graduate student lounge annexed to a campus eatery

Next meeting: 12/8/04 at 12-1:30 in Social Sciences Bldg. room 324

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