As an organization, Webster learns and changes in response to the needs of its constituencies constantly. The mission requires that the university seek out unmet educational needs and meet them to the extent that it is able. The interpretation of the mission has given rise to a culture at the university that inspires creative inquiry and thinking in the faculty, staff and administration, generating an atmosphere of entrepreneurial action.
Webster University is an institution that does not fear change; rather, we seek it out, continually looking to improve our course offerings, our facilities, and our service to the communities within which we reside. This is evidenced by the great variety of activities in which the university is currently engaged, as well as its plans for the future.
Although the Sisters of Loretto no longer oversee the day-to-day operation of Webster University, the general mission they established when they founded the university remains unchanged — to satisfy unmet educational needs. This legacy is the driving force at the core of the university and its growth philosophy. The Sisters made education accessible to women in the middle of the country; Webster University has expanded that mission over its history to make education accessible to traditional-aged students regardless of gender, to adult learners, to international students both in the US and abroad, and to military personnel stationed within the country and overseas.
Webster University serves them all, dedicated to providing quality higher education with small class sizes and a blend of theoretical and practical knowledge to a broad range of students across the globe. That commitment is evidenced simply by the commitment Webster has made to the more than 100 communities served by its global campus locations. (Curricular changes and assessment are treated under Criterion Three.)
[EXHIBIT: HLC0.32 List of Campuses]
Webster program offerings by campus vary and are a reflection of local markets, industry and community. Each Webster campus location has developed to serve the community in which it resides. The University recognizes that it would not be feasible to offer the full catalog of programs at each location; needs vary, and in any case the required infrastructure would be impossible for the university to maintain. For this reason, the programs offered at each site are tailored by location, in keeping with the needs, strengths and opportunities within the local communities and the capacity of the university and the local markets to support those programs.
Webster’s Albuquerque, New Mexico, site is an excellent example of the way in which the Webster network grows and changes in response to local community demand. The first Webster campus in Albuquerque opened in 1977 on Kirtland Air Force Base.
Steady growth in civilian enrollments meant that the site was outgrowing its base facilities. The campus director sought a larger metropolitan location to serve the needs of local civilian community enrollments. The metropolitan center opened in 1985; these two sites have awarded over 2000 degrees since the late 1970’s. This kind of evolution from military to metropolitan location is typical in the domestic Webster, where many of our military locations currently have developed complementary metropolitan locations. In this way, Webster has responded to the local community by expanding facilities and course offerings to meet the demands. The growth and success of such campuses is a testament to Webster’s ability to gauge the needs of the local population.
The programs offered in these military locations were initially tailored to suit the needs of the military personnel at the base; the flexibility and practicality of these programs made them appealing to the local civilian population as well. Recognizing the impending retirements of the baby boomer community across the nation and the changing demographics in the state of New Mexico as a retirement community, the Albuquerque site director completed an environmental scan of local programmatic offerings and discovered that there were no social gerontology programs offered anywhere in the state. After discussions with the state Council of Aging and Long-term Care and extensive marketing and outreach efforts, the first cohort of Gerontology students began in the summer of 2006. The program continues to grow in popularity and prestige in the area.
Another excellent example of Webster’s response to local community in campus and program development is the Columbia, S.C., campus. Military locations in the state originally offered Webster’s hallmark flexible evening programs for adults. Growing civilian enrollments caused the directors to examine educational offerings in the state.
They discovered that none of the state institutions were offering programs that served the need of the adult working learner; Webster’s expertise in this area allowed the establishment of the Columbia, S.C., campus, offering both graduate and undergraduate degree completion programs. Columbia has become one of our largest extended campuses.
[EXHIBIT: HLC0.6 Program Approvals, HLC0.31 Timeline]
Education for the US Military is a long-term commitment for the university. In 1974, the US Department of Defense invited Webster University to offer programs at Fort Sheridan, Ill.; this was the start of a long-term collaborative relationship that has lasted more than 30 years. Currently Webster University provides high quality, convenient and cost-effective graduate programs at military installations and other locations throughout the country. Webster offers graduate programs at 41 military installations, provides advising and service centers at 19 military installations, and offers cooperative degree programs with 20 professional military schools. Based on Fall 2005 enrollment data, approximately 30 percent of all graduate student enrollment is at military sites.
[EXHIBIT: HLC0.3 Sum and Substance, HLC2a.13 Military Programs]
For the military population that we serve, one of the most appealing aspects of Webster’s worldwide network of programs is their portability. Most of the programs with high military enrollments are offered at multiple locations and online, allowing students to continue their education through temporary deployment or permanent change of duty station. Programs at military locations do vary somewhat, dependent on the needs of the particular base population. In addition to the more mainstream programmatic offerings of the university, Webster offers several cooperative degree programs with the Command and General Staff College, the Captains Courses, Defense Acquisition University, and many other military education programs.
[EXHIBIT: HLC0.31 Timeline, HLC2a.11 Cooperative Degree Program]
In addition to extending the reach of the mission in an important philosophical way, Webster’s partnership with the Department of Defense is fruitful for the university. The 2000 strategic planning process made clear that military installation campuses are a benefit to the institution as a whole, being less expensive to staff and maintain than other more traditional locations, thereby allowing for a proliferation of campus locations that might not be possible otherwise. Webster’s relationship with the military allows the university the financial ability to extend its impact in markets that are much more expensive to develop and maintain.
Online education is the next frontier for the university. The combination of its global campus network and proliferation of online offerings means that Webster is poised to offer a level of service and flexibility that is unparalleled in the world of higher education today. Webster students can blend classroom and online degree programs all over the world according to their needs, interests, and work or family commitments.
Online programs have developed rapidly but carefully over the last eight years, in order to meet the needs of the working adult population, the military, and international students globally while maintaining the level of quality and rigor expected of a Webster University education.
There are currently twelve degree and six certificate programs (mainly graduate) offered online, with the same rigorous academic standards as our traditional classroom programs. Webster has developed these programs only to the extent to which the university can guarantee their quality. The Academic Distance Learning Center provides faculty with comprehensive support at every phase of developing and teaching online courses. This includes WebCT training, instructional design, and course construction, offering one-on-one or group, online or on-site training for all faculty who are using WebCT. In addition, Instructional Designers and Course Developers train faculty in course organization and content to aid them in their transition from the classroom to the online environment. The university has upgraded its courseware from WebCT CE 4.1 to the Blackboard Vista online learning platform, and all online courses are being taught on the new platform effective Fall 2007.
Faculty have been extensively trained on the new platform, and the transition has been smooth, enhancing the learning experience for our students.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3c Online, HLC0.29 ADLC]
The regular use of a variety of internal and external tools to understand the environment in which we operate is a routine part of Webster’s processes for the setting of goals, creation of new programs, evaluation of programs and services, and determining needs of our constituencies. Environmental scanning at Webster is a monumental task, due once again to the extensive campus network. Broad, overarching data analysis on the organization as a whole, along with specific data for the St. Louis area campuses, is conducted by the Institutional Research office and distributed annually in the internal university publication Sum & Substance.
Smaller surveys and studies are conducted at the individual campus level, and within administrative departments, according to areas of special expertise. This decentralization of environmental scanning allows the campuses to direct their efforts towards establishing goals and priorities locally that are in keeping with the goals and priorities of the institution as a whole.
[EXHIBIT: HLC5a.1 Environmental Scans]
The Career Services Office issues the annual Student Success Report, which surveys new Webster graduates globally. This survey has been conducted consistently over the past five years, and provides a comprehensive look at Webster’s graduates: their careers, their salaries, and their satisfaction with their preparation for the workforce.
The report is distributed widely throughout the schools and colleges, and is used by the deans to assess the success of their varied programs. The report is readily available on the Web site, and has an additional use to inform potential students of the career and income outcomes of our graduates, thereby attesting to the success of the university’s educational programs.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3c.18 Career Services, HLC4c.2 Success Report]
The University participates in a number of external tools that provide a comprehensive look at the Webster internal population. Examples of these are the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP). Both of these scans are discussed more thoroughly in Criterion Three.
Webster has participated in the CIRP survey, a national longitudinal study of the American higher education system, for 35 years. It is regarded as the most comprehensive source of information on college students. The survey covers a wide range of student characteristics: parental income and education, ethnicity, and other demographic items; financial aid; secondary school achievement and activities; educational and career plans; and values, attitudes, beliefs, and self-concept.
Each year, all incoming freshmen are given the CIRP Survey. By participating in the program, Webster is able to benchmark itself against approximately 700 two-year colleges, four-year colleges and universities who administer the Freshman Survey to over 400,000 entering students during orientation or registration. The results assist the university in planning for services and pinpointing differences in the students who choose Webster over other peer institutions. CIRP data gives the university a detailed snapshot of the freshman class that allows us to plan programs in areas such as Counseling, Health Services, and Academic Resources. For example, 2005 CIRP data indicated the Webster Freshmen indicated higher stress and depression levels than the norm. As a result of the examination of this data, additional stress-relief programs were planned by the student services team for mid- to late semester to respond to the potential issue.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3a CIRP, HLC3a NSSE, HLC3d.14 Academic Resource Center, HLC3d.15 ADA, HLC3c.21 Health Services, HLC3c.19 Counseling and Student Life Development]
International Recruitment participates annually in the Institute for International Education Open Doors Report (paper copies are housed in IRIS office and study abroad offices; the data is also available online). This extensive survey produces a comprehensive national data and information resource on foreign students studying at U.S. institutions of higher education, foreign scholars who teach and conduct research at U.S. doctoral granting institutions, intensive English language program students in the U.S., and U.S. students studying abroad. The results of this survey help determine recruitment strategy for international students through data analysis, as well as providing market data on national study abroad trends for use by the study abroad office.
[EXHIBIT: HLC5a.2 Open Doors Report]
One of the most common methods of environmental scanning consistently done by Webster is though internally driven graduate surveys. Surveying graduates of Webster programs gauges student satisfaction with their education and student preparedness for their chosen careers; it also is an excellent way to evaluate individual programs and their connections to their real-world applications. Scanning through recent graduates gives Webster a look at the current trends in the fields through a lens that is still very connected to the curriculum.
Webster has a tendency to use this kind of scanning very frequently and much more informally than other scans; they are done by program chairs, site directors, deans, and other administrators, and are administered locally. Because of this, the data can be difficult to capture for wider use. Following is a short list of representative graduate scans:
- The Vienna campus conducts regular student satisfaction and alumni surveys, most recently in Spring 2005 and Spring 2007. An additional new student survey occurs at each New Student Orientation. At the programmatic level, a group of Vienna alumni have met with Business faculty to give input on their learning experiences at Webster (see Vienna questionnaire & contact Arthur Hirsch for more info).
The Louisville, Kentucky site conducts surveys to determine effectiveness and community needs. In 2006-2007, students and faculty joined together to conduct the following surveys:
- Campus Climate Survey (Faculty & Student)
- Community Counseling Needs Survey
- Counseling Service Industry Needs Survey
- Professional Development Needs Focus Groups
Class Time Preference Study. One significant result of these surveys is the recognition of the fact that one third of the Louisville students are members of a racial minority. Through this connection with the minority community, the campus is working to develop additional ties and provided services for traditionally underserved areas. Currently the university is involved with the Urban League and is working on implementing student projects with the New Zion Community Development Center which serves minority communities in the city’s west end. In the past, Webster Louisville has conducted community needs surveys and assisted other agencies in bringing in over $400,000 to improve technology education and Internet use.
- The Fort Smith, Arkansas, campus conducts surveys with new students to obtain local campus demographics and student satisfaction. The Marketing 5000 faculty assist with collection of data. Through the results of the survey, social activities are organized to appeal to specific demographic groups.
[EXHIBIT: HLC5a.3 Vienna Report, HLC5a.4 Louisville Report, HLC5a.5 Fort Smith Report]
Additional, more focused surveys of graduates are conducted by departments within the schools and colleges. Some graduate programs conduct exit surveys of all graduates. These alumni surveys are designed to assess graduates’ perceptions of the program’s teaching practices and application of theory into practice as well as to check the alignment of the program with its goals and objectives. Student learning outcomes are also self-assessed. Data from the surveys are used to facilitate self-study, assist with department planning, and to evaluate program components and make needed changes.
For example, the Educational Technology MAT degree program recently revised its curriculum to include a stronger core of courses on web-based technology after reviewing annual survey data that indicated this as an area of weakness in the program. Apprentice teaching for all initial teacher certification candidates was changed from 10 to 16 weeks two years ago as a result of faculty analysis of alumni survey data that indicated a need for more extensive student teaching experience.
Program structure was changed in June 2006 as a result of student concerns about clarity of program organization and advising.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3a NCATE]
The Human Resources Office participates in annual staff and administrative salary surveys and benchmarks against comparable institutions to maintain a competitive classification and compensation program. Data including the CUPA-HR mid-level and administrative compensation surveys are used. Human Resources also participates in employee benefit plan surveys to benchmark welfare plan benefit design and employee contribution levels.
[EXHIBIT: HLC5a.6 Human Resources Benchmarks]
The Webster Staff Alliance [WSA] is recognized in the University Handbook as the formal entity for representing staff and their pertinent issues to university management. The WSA Compensation Committee conducts an annual survey of employees and evaluates responses to develop recommendations for staff compensation increases. In 2006 the survey included questions to elicit input about employee engagement. A strong 87% indicated they are proud to work at Webster University, 87% said they are aware of the University’s mission and goals and 86% are aware of their department/campus goals.
Items of concern include only 51% who agreed that they receive an annual performance appraisal, only 43% felt salary increases were tied to performance and 54% felt their salary was not competitive with the external local community. Activities will be undertaken jointly by the Human Resources Office and representatives of WSA to address these areas of concern.
[EXHIBIT: HLC0i University Handbook, HLC4a.11 Webster Staff Alliance, HLC2b.5 Compensation Survey]
Webster’s worldwide enrollments figures illustrate the university’s continued attention to diversity. Over the last five years, African-American enrollments have risen by 10%, and Hispanic enrollments by 12%; students enrolled at all of Webster’s global network represent 49 states and 126 countries; in the Fall of 2006, 93% of new freshmen received some kind of financial aid, which demonstrates Webster’s commitment to providing educational opportunities for students of varied socioeconomic backgrounds.
[EXHIBIT: HLC0.3 Sum and Substance, HLC5a.7 Fact Sheet]
Webster’s efforts to maintain and serve such a broad student base involve both global and local strategies. Some examples of such efforts include:
Undergraduate Admissions in St. Louis recruits a new class each year which reflects the goals of Webster University’s mission statement: one that is culturally, economically, and geographically diverse. Diversity efforts in the Undergraduate Admissions Office are focused on attracting a larger pool of those populations currently under-represented.
Studies predict the growth of under-represented populations in the U.S. over the next 10 years will have little impact in Missouri; to increase diversity of the new freshman student body, the undergraduate domestic recruitment plan outlines a strategy to increase Webster’s presence in select population centers outside of St. Louis. This strategy will attract a more multi-cultural and socio-economically diverse prospect base, as well as expand the university’s reach into geographic regions that are not currently represented by the student body.
Several of the growth states listed in studies of high school graduates through the year 2018, have been targeted for recruitment: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana and Texas. Expansion of travel in those metropolitan areas has been included in the plan. Domestic recruitment targeted at under-represented populations includes but is not limited to the following activities:
- Visit all high schools and attend all college fairs in districts in the St. Louis metro area with significant populations of underrepresented students. High schools and fairs are attended in other select metropolitan areas (e.g. Memphis, Kansas City, etc.).
- Attend NSSFNS (National Scholarship Foundation for Negro Students) programs in St. Louis and Kansas City
- Attend other minority-specific programs such as college fairs sponsored by the Infinite Scholars and 100 Black Men
- Participation in MABHE (Missouri Association for Blacks in Higher Education), including past president and treasurer
- Hosting high school and grade school groups on campus, focusing on the college application, financial aid, and selection processes
[EXHIBIT: HLC5a.8 Undergraduate Admissions Recruitment Plan]
The domestic extended campuses in their military and metro locations each serve a unique community themselves. The enrollments of these campuses are nearly half minority: 48.8 percent at metropolitan locations and 51.3 percent at the military locations. Their mere existence lends a level of diversity to the global Webster community that would be difficult to achieve. The military and metro campuses are excellent reflections of their communities, of which many have a higher percentage of minority population than the markets of the St. Louis campuses. The efforts and character of each of these campuses bring the specific strengths of their community, enhancing the university’s overall efforts at diversity.
One example is the Louisville campus’ involvement with the Urban League and New Zion Community Development. In the past, Webster has conducted community needs surveys and assisted other agencies in bringing in over $400,000 to improve technology and education and Internet use. Ocala has provided faculty speakers for Women for Ocala Conferences (2000, 2001).
The African-American alumni group has organized a support group for minority professionals. (see Ocala survey) Webster Orlando partnered with Human Resources from the City of Winter Garden to participate in community fairs in the two lower income areas of the city. The event was held at community centers and over 100 people came to see all the Public Service booths. Because we have a large African-American student population, we were one of three colleges invited.
Space Coast reaches out to a diverse population in the region through such things as advertising in minority publications and attending college days scheduled at African-American churches. The campus also makes conscientious efforts to recruit minority faculty.
[EXHIBIT: HLC5a.4 Louisville Report, HLC5a.9 Orlando Report, HLC5a.10 Space Coast Report]
In recognition of its efforts to diversity in graduate programs, Webster has consistently ranked high in the Diverse Issues in Higher Education’s survey titled “Top 100 Degree Producers”. The ranking is based on data from the U.S. Department of Higher Education. In 2004, Webster ranked No. 1 in the survey for awarding more graduate degrees to African-Americans than any other higher education institution in the United States; in 2007, Webster is ranked second. Webster’s consistent placement in the top tier of this ranking is the result of the University’s long-standing commitment to offer educational opportunities for minority working adults all over the world.
[EXHIBIT: HLC4c.3 Diverse: Issues In Higher Education]
Recent declines (17% over the last five years) in international student enrollment at the domestic campus locations including St. Louis have led to more comprehensive and targeted strategic planning efforts from the International Recruitment office.
While some external factors, such as the impact of the U.S. government’s lower rate of student visa issuance post-9/11, the implementation of the SEVIS federal international student tracking system, and the general anti-U.S. foreign policy stance taken by many nations, have certainly had an impact on international student numbers across the United States, Webster has implemented new and improved planning processes to overcome these challenges and increase both international student enrollments in the domestic campuses and cultural diversity in the worldwide network. These efforts are led by the Office of International Recruitment & Services in St. Louis, which, in conjunction with the Admissions Offices at the overseas campuses, makes a determined effort to cover the globe, through a combination of individual and group travel and armchair recruitment strategies in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Such strategies have become more coordinated among the offices of admissions in recent years, as the university has sought to both broaden its markets and streamline its recruitment efforts. Currently, a global recruitment strategy document is under development, which will allow for more clear communication and coordination of resources in the area of international student recruitment.
[EXHIBIT: HLC0.3 Sum and Substance, HLC5a.11 Global Recruitment Plan]
The diversity of the global Webster community has developed by design. The global network of campuses, each with its specific markets, assures a level of diversity in the global Webster that would be difficult for another institution to achieve. Global recruitment efforts work to bring economic, cultural and ethnic diversity to the worldwide campus network. Webster’s overseas campus locations serve a population that is by nature very diverse; over 80% of undergraduate and graduate enrollments in Fall 2005 at the international campus locations are non-U.S. citizens.
[EXHIBIT: HLC0.3 Sum and Substance]
Ethnic data categories are not collected for non-citizens, and in any case, diversity overseas is better measured by cultural and national origin. European campus enrollment represents 104 countries; Asian campus enrollments reflect 30 countries. Cross-cultural experiences occur both inside and outside the classroom for students at these locations, by the sheer fact that the enrollments are so culturally diverse. This internationalism creates a dynamic and diverse environment at these locations that is unparalleled by any other accredited American institution.
[EXHIBIT: HLC5a.7 Fact Sheet]
This diversity benefits not only the students at the local campuses, but also those students from the domestic campuses who choose to have a study abroad experience at our overseas locations, as well as the overall diversity of the institution.
Webster has capitalized on this diversity in the 2003-2008 strategic plan’s commitment to increasing the movement of student and faculty across the network of campuses and in enrolling students from Asia, Europe, and the United States together in online courses.
Webster University has expanded its recruitment resources to include publications targeting a more diverse audience such as: Diverse: Issues In Higher Education, Hispanic Outlook and The St. Louis American. Applicant demographic data are tracked by the Human Resources Office. This area continues to be a challenge, and has a prominent place in our current strategic planning.
[EXHIBIT: HLC0.23 Draft Strategic Plan]
St Louis-based On-campus Diversity Initiatives
Attracting more diverse populations is only one piece of the diversity efforts of the university. To achieve the true goals of diversity, the university encourages its constituencies to be fully engaged with the university, the community and with each other, promoting an environment that respects differences while fostering caring relationships, cross-cultural understanding, and common educational commitments.
Webster’s Student Services’ cultural and cross-cultural programming opens the community to a broad spectrum of informed perspectives that prepare students for life in an increasingly diverse world.
For example, the Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs (MCISA) is a department within the Office of Student Affairs (St. Louis-based) that is committed to creating an academic environment that embraces social diversity, globalism, and cross-cultural interaction in the classrooms and within the campus community. The MCISA provides services and special programs that address the academic, social, and individual needs of all students, focusing primarily on cultural minorities and international students.
The mission of MCISA is to “Prepare Citizens of the World through Cultural Awareness.” The MCISA encourages and fosters an environment where a student’s personal growth and development will enhance the retention and academic success of all students. Perhaps, most important of all is the department’s aim to create a community environment that embraces individual differences and emphasizes the unity of humankind. The MCISA continues to reach new heights in its desire to serve as the multicultural resource for the campus community.
MCISA services include: programs and activities that focus on social diversity, globalism, and cross-cultural interactions; support services to the underrepresented student body and international students; advice to cultural student organizations, including the Association of African American Collegians (AAAC) and the International Student Organization (ISA); physical space where students can check e-mail, hang out between classes, and student organizations and discussion groups can hold meetings and intimate social activities; and assistance to international students in their acclimation to the campus community and to the United States, and obtaining their Social Security Cards, State IDs, cultural adjustment seminars, winter shopping, etc.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3c.13 MCISA]
Webster’s ability to provide service to students who have different learning styles or are faced with physical challenges through the Academic Resource Center (ARC) also enhances the university’s ability to attract and retain a diverse student body. Webster has charged the ARC with helping enrolled students with disabilities obtain the services needed to meet the equal access and opportunity goals set forth above.
These may include: modifications, substitution, or waivers of nonessential program requirements; classroom and testing accommodations; and auxiliary aids, such as sign interpreters, note takers, and taped books. The Academic Resource Center helps students succeed at Webster in a number of ways.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.14 Academic Resource Center]
The university supports over 65 clubs and organizations representing and promoting a diversity of cultural, ethnic, religious and gender interests of the student body. These activities are funded through allocations from the Student Government Association funding, voted on by the student body.
[EXHIBIT: HLC4a.9 Student Organizations]
The School of Business and Technology directs a number of programs aimed at bringing a level of diversity to campus that is more reflected of the St. Louis region.
One such program is the Business Educational Scholarship Team (BEST) Program— initiated with a gift of $15,000 from the St. Louis Regional Business Council and Ernst & Young, LLP, the BEST program benefits minority high school seniors who have expressed interest in pursing a business-related major in college. BEST students were privy to lectures by School of Business and Technology professors; they meet with various St. Louis business leaders during the nine-week class. Each student who completed the BEST program was awarded college credit hours from Webster University. It is important to note that all participants in this program gained admission to the college or university of their choice. The second round of the program took place in the Fall of 2006. The program has graduated 35 students to date.
[EXHIBIT: HLC2a.9 CORE/BEST]
One of the hallmarks of Webster University that distinguishes it from other local institutions is the consistent approach to community outreach. Outreach efforts occur in every school and college, forging a bond between the community and the university that allows us to serve their needs in unique ways that only Webster can provide.
The variety and success of Webster’s outreach programs are a testament to the university’s commitment and connection to the community in which it resides. Some examples of successful outreach programs:
The Collegiate Outreach Recruitment and Exposure (CORE) Program targets economically disadvantaged minority students in select St. Louis city high schools, in an effort to increase college attendance among St. Louis city high school minorities.
Funded by a $50,000 grant from the Monsanto Fund, CORE encourages minority student success in higher education by exposing students and their parents to a collegiate environment; assisting students in their college academic preparation; and addressing the requirements of college applications, admission and financial aid. The University selected 25 minority students from several city high schools to participate, with their parents, in two 16-week courses, the first during the student’s junior year.
A key CORE Program goal is to increase parental involvement in their children’s educational experience, so, participating students and their parents are required to attend all class meetings. Webster University faculty representing each of the University’s five schools and colleges lead the classes, which will meet every other Saturday on Webster University’s Webster Groves campus. Students who successfully complete the coursework are awarded one college credit hour and be recognized as Monsanto Merit CORE Scholars.
[EXHIBIT: HLC2a.9 CORE/BEST]
The School of Education has a high level of local collaboration at the very heart of the program. The Beatrice and David Kornblum Institute for Teaching Excellence was established by an endowment given in 1999 and is a central part of the School of Education. Its mission is to support innovative education, program development, community service, and improved teaching and learning with an emphasis on economically disadvantaged minority, immigrant, and/or disabled (at risk) public school children from the urban setting. Since the Kornblum Institute is funded by an endowment, it will live in perpetuity. An annual budget of approximately $70,000 will be available each year to support its mission. The Institute contributes in many ways to supporting diverse teaching and learning experiences.
[EXHIBIT: HLC5a.12 Kornblum Institute]
Unit faculty have demonstrated both commitment and strengths in collaborating with teachers and P-12 schools (urban and suburban) with colleagues in other disciplines on campus , and with members of the professional community to reach School of Education goals. Faculty members also participate in philanthropic organizations and community outreach projects.
These varied projects, activities, and ongoing collaborations contribute to refinement of teaching and learning at all levels including the preparation of teachers and administrators. Collaborations include writing workshops for teachers, Teach For America, the Children’s Literature Conference, and many more; information on these collaborations can be found in the NCATE self study.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3a NCATE]
The involvement with P-12 schools includes coordination of apprentice teaching and collaboration with administrators and teachers. Webster faculty from School of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business and Technology participate and provide leadership in such efforts. Faculty participate in one formal and a number of informal arrangements. These efforts have had positive impact on the field-based elementary, middle and secondary programs across disciplines.
For advanced certifications in reading and English as a Second Language, clinical faculty work with reading specialists and state level organizations (Missouri State Council) to provide high quality instruction within a coaching model to encourage best practices for candidates, cooperating teachers, and university faculty. A number of faculty also serve as consultants and interact with P-12 personnel to evaluate and develop new programs.
Thus, the collaborations at all levels have contributed to renewal of our programs in education, both for in-service and pre-service professionals. Feedback from districts guides us to revise and enhance efforts to assist in placements and to support teachers early in their careers.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3a NCATE]
From 1998-2005 the Webster University School of Education participated in GEARUP Inc!(4:5) A grant afforded the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse staff, providing professional development for teachers in four urban middle school and five urban high school settings. Graduate level courses were taught by a combination of full-time and adjunct faculty and teachers from the participating schools. In terms of demographics, participants reflected the school from which they came, typically 70-80% African-American.
[EXHIBIT: HLC5a.13 Gear Up]
Teach for America (TFA) is a national, private, not for profit program founded for the purpose of providing highly motivated and capable college graduates the opportunity to work in school districts around the country that enroll a high percentage of students living at or below the poverty level. The Webster / Teach for America partnership provides opportunities for aspiring educators to develop their skills as professional educators by making positive contributions to students enrolled in the St. Louis Public Schools.
[EXHIBIT: HLC5a.14 Teach for America]
Professor and chair of Webster’s English department, Meg Sempreora, works through the Prison Performing Arts (PPA), the organization led by 2006 Webster University Distinguished Service Award recipient Agnes Wilcox. Among many projects, PPA teaches the text of a dramatic work to a group of prisoners who Wilcox then trains for several months to perform the work live in front of an audience of family, fellow inmates, and invited supporters of PPA. Past performances have included Hamlet and Oedipus Rex.
[EXHIBIT: HLC5a.15 Prison Performing Arts]
The Geneva Campus hosts an annual Humanitarian Conference; The 12th annual was hosted in February 2007. The conference is very well respected and well attended, with prestigious speakers from international humanitarian organizations as speakers and presenters. The Conference is a two-day event hosted at an external location with a dedicated annual budget of CHF 15,000. Conference proceedings have been published by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and Oxford University Press every year since 1999.
[EXHIBIT: HLC5a.16 Geneva Humanitarian Conference]
Nurse Anesthesia Residents visit rural and urban grade schools and high schools to discuss health care professions. The Gerontology program in Albuquerque offers seminars on aging well with local pharmacies and health food outlets. St. Louis Nursing Faculty and students volunteer each month at St. Peter and Paul’s soup kitchen in Soulard, and students and alumni join them to help serve food and distribute hygiene items to the homeless at the soup kitchen.
[EXHIBIT: HLC4c.5 Community Service]
Webster is known in the local community as a great supporter of the Arts. The University shares facilities, faculty, staff and technical personnel with the internationally-known Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. Both present performances in the University’s Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts in St. Louis. In addition, the Community Music School of Webster University (CMS) offers outstanding music education and performance opportunities to students of all ages and abilities.
The nature of the programs of the Community Music School (CMS) is collaborative and community-minded. CMS has worked with a variety of community organizations in many situations in order to improve services and create new programs in music. CMS is an excellent showcase for the depth of the university’s commitment to serving the community in the arts.
In addition, our Community Music School is one of only 12 non-degree-granting community music schools in the United States to have earned accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music.
[EXHIBIT: HLC5a.18 Opera Theatre and Repertory Theatre, HLC3d.21 Community Music School]
In addition to providing individual and group music instruction for a variety of instruments for children and adults, the CMS also provides the Young Years music programs for Parents as Teachers programs in many St. Louis area school districts.
The CMS also worked with the Webster Groves School District to assist them in establishing a strings orchestral program for elementary school students. CMS recruited the teachers and administered the payment of the teachers with funding from the School District. The district is now in its 5th year of a successful program and has hired a full time strings teacher in the middle school and has been able to take over the administration of the program.
At the other end of the community spectrum, the CMS also partners with St. Andrews Resources for Seniors. St. Andrew’s is a non-profit organization that brings retirement living options to thousands of low-income seniors in the St. Louis area. CMS provides music programs for their Music Connection program. In 2006, a strings program, choir and Jazz Ensemble visited 3 different facilities. In 2007, the Suzuki Ensemble performed at Friendly Village while the Jazz Lab Ensemble entertained residents from three facilities in the new CMS Concert Hall on the Webster University campus.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.21 Community Music School]
The Center for Professional Development, located at Webster’s Old Post Office campus in Downtown St. Louis, provides learning seminars and workshops for corporations and other organizations looking to move ahead and stay there. The Center for Professional Development actively seeks input from local businesses to gauge the unmet training and professional development needs; it’s success is evidenced by its growing, diverse client list, from local municipal units to larger corporations.
[EXHIBIT: HLC5a.19 Center for Professional Development]
Within St. Louis and throughout the U.S., cohort programs are an effective means to promote the Webster mission to seek and serve unmet educational need. Such programs are offered mainly by the School of Business and Technology and the School of Education, at corporate locations, in schools and community centers.
These programs are successful models for all parties involved, and actively sought by Webster as an effective means to build relationships with industry in the community, raise tuition revenue, and enable students to participate in continuing education or degree programs in locations convenient to their daily lives.
The Vienna campus is host to two additional institutes that offer services and training to the local community. The Professional Development Center at Webster University Vienna is an executive training institute founded in 1993 to complement the University’s MBA program. The Center offers management training seminars on a not-for-academic-credit basis, specializing in tailor-made programs of seminars for firms. The training seminars integrate theory and skills with a focus on content integration among individual seminars in a program.
Established in 2005, the Institute of Mergers, Acquisitions and Alliances (MANDA) is committed to excellence and innovation in education and research to advance knowledge on mergers, acquisitions and alliances. MANDA provides and advances knowledge and insights to improve the use and benefits of mergers, acquisitions (M&A) and strategic alliances. The institute conducts research, collaborates with industry and government, and offers professional development opportunities for the local business community.
[EXHIBIT: HLC5a.20 Vienna Professional Development Center, HLC5a.21 MANDA]
In addition to these three centers that provide learning and collaboration opportunities with local businesses, Webster University is sought out for cohort-based academic programs located at corporate centers around the globe. The flexibility and practical nature of Webster’s graduate programs are very attractive to the corporate sector. As a result, businesses such as Wal-mart, Ameren UE, BJC Healthcare and Lockheed Martin (among others) have sought out Webster to offer graduate programs on site to their employees. Such programs are very successful, and many of them are paid for in their entirety by the corporations.