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November 19, 2010

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New Writing Requirements

CAPP, the Committee of Academic Policy and Planning, is working on a proposal that would change writing requirements for DePauw students. CAPP Chair Bruce Sanders says they are hoping to present the proposal at the February faculty meeting. He says the proposal was rejected last year, but they are making changes. Sanders says this new model would make first-year seminars writing intensive. English 130 would be replaced with a writing intensive topic course and the W course would have to be taken sophomore year. Also, students in every major would have to show they learned to write specifically to their discipline. Sanders says that CAPP is trying to emphasize writing at DePauw and make it more sequential.

SANDERS: "Writing is not only important in terms of learning how to communicate but its also is an important way to learn and most of this school understands the importance of emphasizing writing throughout their college career. So that’s the idea. It’s just to make it more sequential, more comprehensive, get rid of some loopholes so to speak."

Sanders says CAPP is still working on the proposal. Once the proposal is finished, faculty will decide whether to approve the policy.

United Way of Putnam County Reaches Sixty Two Percent of Goal Midway Through Its Campaign

The United Way of Putnam County has reached nearly sixty-two percent of its goal midway through the campaign. The goal is one hundred seventy-five thousand dollars. Executive Director of the United Way David English is a bit concerned. He says most of the major corporate donations are in. The rest of the campaign goal must be met by individual donors and smaller corporations. English says the United Way is seeing the affects of the recession. The number of individual donors has not decreased, but people are giving less. He says United Way’s fifteen partner agencies suffer when the campaign goal is not met. English says agencies lose part of their funding, forcing them to make difficult choices.

ENGLISH: "People don’t realize that if they get their funding cut for us, they have to make decisions. Do I cut programs, or do I cut staff? So as opposed to cutting a program for our community, they cut staff. These are Putnam County residents who have a job, but if they lost their job, then there’s an economic impact for to our community from that."

English says the good news is DePauw University had a strong kick-off. The first returns suggest DePauw should surpass last year’s level of giving. He says DePauw traditionally contributes four thousand to five thousand dollars. The DePauw employee campaign ranges from the high twenty-thousand to low thirty thousand dollar range. The campaign will end the last day of February.

Depauw 2010 NSSE

DePauw’s ranking in the 2010 National Survey of Student Engagement is lower than in past years. The NSSE is the largest survey of student learning and taken by freshman and seniors every year. The questions are gathered and broken down into 5 different categories to evaluate student learning. The survey measured level of academic achievement, enriching educational experiences, active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interactions, and supportive campus environment. DePauw’s results are then compared with peer liberal arts colleges and other universities nation wide.

DePauw’s class of 2013 took the survey the spring of their freshman year and the results came out earlier this month. The evaluations show a decrease in the active and collaborative learning and student-faculty interactions categories. Dean of Academic Life, Pedar Foss, said the slight downturn might be due to the large number of first years in the class of 2013.

FOSS: "...we saw a bit of downturn in some of the categories for first year students who took the survey in the spring, but we had one the largest classes on record so the pressures of having so many students in the first year might have led to a slight downturn in some of those numbers."

However, Foss said DePauw has sustained a high ranking in its level of academic challenge, and improved in several other categories.

FOSS: "...Areas that which we have seen improvement which hasnt showed up on the survey has to do with the way that we learn as a community, the way that we learn together, students pee-to-peer, the way students interact with falculty both inside and outside of the clasroom ..."

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