Actions to Support Graduate Education in the California State University

 

AS-3286-17/AA (Rev)

ATTACHMENT TO AS-3286-17/FA (Rev)

 

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) acknowledge that the CSU Masters’ Degree Program Quantitative Characteristics report (April 2016) helps to underscore the important need to address prior ASCSU recommendations on graduate education in the CSU contained in:

 

(a) Reaffirming the Importance of Graduate, Post Baccalaureate, and Credential Programs and Access to Those Programs (AS-3122-13/AA [Rev]);

(b) Graduate Education Development in the California State University (AS-2790-07/AA [Rev]);

(c) The Place of Graduate Education in the CSU (2006 report of the CSU Academic Council Report);

(d) Recommendation on the Report from the Task Force on Graduate and Post- Baccalaureate Education in the California State University (AS-2652-04/EX);

(e) Rethinking Graduate Education in the CSU: Meeting the Needs of the People of California for Graduate Education in the 21st Century (2004 Report of the Task Force on Graduate and Post-baccalaureate Education in the CSU);

(f) New Study of Post-Baccalaureate Programs in the CSU (AS-2534-01/AA)

 

; and be it further

 

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU urge that an ASCSU/CSU Task Force or work group with a focus on Graduate Education in the CSU be formed to ensure that prior recommendations and continuing concerns are collectively addressed, strategically prioritized, and support mechanisms put in place with attention to, but not limited to, the following:

 

(a) exploring how the Graduation Initiative 2025 supports advising and transitioning of undergraduate students into graduate programs in a timely and streamlined manner;
(b) enhancing undergraduate student education through teamwork with graduate students in mentoring, peer advising and research efforts;
(c) enhancing student learning opportunities and student success outcomes through collaboration with faculty on grants, research, scholarship and creative works;
(d) identifying active learning and high impact practices that may improve attainment of graduate student learning outcomes, enrich career opportunities, and increase labor force participation;
(e) reviewing how differential funding from the state and proposed tuition increases for graduate education may impact both graduate program and student success in the CSU;
(f) conducting a cost-benefit analysis of CSU systemwide tuition waiver supports for graduate students in order to provide them with teaching and research assistance opportunities;
(g) examining high demand graduate degree programs regionally, nationally, and internationally, and exploring innovative ways to develop programs that prepare CSU graduates for fast growing careers as well as research opportunities;
(h) studying how professional graduate degree programs (e.g. Professional Science Master’s, Doctor of Education, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Doctor of Physical Therapy) will help to address the growing needs of the diverse communities they serve

 

; and be it further

 

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU distribute this resolution to the CSU Board of Trustees, CSU Chancellor, CSU Campus Presidents, CSU Academic Council, Deans of Graduate Education, Campus Graduate Program Coordinators, Campus Senate Chairs, California Faculty Association (CFA), and the California State Student Association (CSSA).

RATIONALE:  As stated in the CSU Masters’ Degree Program Quantitative Characteristics Report (April 2016; see Appendix A), this examination of graduate programs may have created an excellent opportunity to study the current state of programs. Programs may have “morphed” from their original forms and it may be time to review them for current best practice both within their campus culture and also within their disciplines across campuses. Across the system, there are examples of discipline programs that offer at least 70% of their required units at the graduate level and other similar programs in degree name and degree code that offer programs with less than 70% of the required units offered at the graduate level. It would be very useful for the Chancellor’s Office to facilitate discussions in discipline councils between these programs to investigate the options available to potentially increase the required percent of graduate units required to at least 70%. After reviewing the CSU Masters’ Degree Program Quantitative Characteristics report, the Academic Affairs (AA) Committee discussed “degree creep,” that is undergraduate work seeping into graduate programs; the impact any changes in the proportion of undergraduate vs. graduate courses would have on small programs; ways to maintain graduate-level expectations in programs that rely heavily on undergraduate or dual listed courses; and the importance of campus culture as a factor in the nature of graduate programs.

 

The Academic Senate CSU recognize that further study be undertaken before implementing the recommendations offered to campuses such as:

  • The feasibility and process of intra-university graduate programs based on social need and effective demand prior to implementing such programs;
  • the effect of additional fees on the CSU mission of providing accessible education; and
  • the quality of high service/high-price programs, the professional orientations for graduate degree programs in the liberal arts and sciences, and the Professional Science Masters (PSM) programs.

 

ASCSU documents show that AS-2534-01/AA, “New Study of Post-Baccalaureate Programs in the CSU”, cited the importance of graduate programs in the CSU: “The need for increased attention to the graduate level, including research, has been advanced as an area of growing concern not only within institutions of higher education but externally as well. Business and industry leaders in biotechnology, engineering, computer science, and other fields have expressed concern about the availability of graduate students and the linkages between research--be it pure or applied--and the needs of the State. . .”

 

The CSU Academic Council (composed of CSU provosts) developed a paper titled “The Place of Graduate Education in the CSU” in December, 2006. In this paper, the CSU Academic Council makes the case for enhancing graduate education in the CSU and clearly reinforced prior ASCSU recommendations contained in AS-2534-01/AA, “New Study of Post-Baccalaureate Programs in the CSU”; AS-2652-04/EX, “Recommendation on the Report from the Task Force on Graduate and Post baccalaureate Education in the California State University”; and “Rethinking Graduate Education in the CSU: Meeting the Needs of the People of California for Graduate Education in the 21st Century”. This CSU Academic Council paper also suggested several possible new areas for graduate study.

 

Furthermore, AS-2790-07/AA (Rev), “Graduate Education Development in the CSU”, recognized that further study which address state and campus issues is needed on the recommendations. In addition, AS-3122-13/AA (Rev), “Reaffirming the Importance of Graduate, Post Baccalaureate, and Credential Programs and Access to Those Programs”, conveyed the importance of graduate, post-baccalaureate, and credential programs to the CSU system, to the public good and to the economy of the State of California itself; and urged the campus Presidents or their designees to explore increasing access to CSU graduate, post-baccalaureate, and credential programs by, for example, waiving fees for graduate, post-baccalaureate and credential students of limited financial means or those who are employed as research assistants or teaching assistants. It also urged the Chancellor’s Office to establish a task force including representatives selected by the ASCSU to review recently-enacted policies and to explore fellowships, grants, and other forms of financial aid to be made available in order to attract the best students to graduate, post-baccalaureate and credential programs in the CSU.

 

Executive Order No. 611 (http://www.calstate.edu/EO/EO-611.pdf) is the Delegation of Authority to Approve Fee Waivers for Graduate Students Employed as Graduate Assistants or Teaching Associates. This Executive Order, along with other policies governing the awarding of various forms of financial aid as well as State University Grants should be reviewed by a task force that includes faculty. The task force can then evaluate the impact of these policies and make recommendations as appropriate.

 

 

 

 

Approved Unanimously – March 16-17, 2017

 

 

 

 


 
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