Webster University ensures access to resources necessary to support teaching and learning. It regularly evaluates the use and effectiveness of these resources and sets budgeting priorities to provide effective staffing and support of these resources to improve teaching and learning. Many of these resources are made possible through partnerships and innovations to enhance student learning.
The University ensures access to quality library resources necessary to support learning and teaching. Emerson Library’s mission is closely tied to the university’s mission and offers resources and services to help instill a spirit of systematic inquiry; encourage creativity, scholarship and individual enterprise; promote international perspective; encourage a critical perspective; and foster a lifelong desire to learn. The 1998 re-accreditation team report noted the inadequacy of the former Eden-Webster Library building and book collection and the strengths of the library’s Web-based support to all extended campuses. In the last 10 years, the library has addressed both concerns and has built upon the strengths of its staff and its physical and Web-based services and resources.
|Library Budget, Staff and Collections||1999/2000||2005/2006|
New $21 Million Dollar Library Building Completed in 2003
Webster University’s five-story Emerson Library was planned collaboratively with a campus-wide task force that included student and faculty representation. The 71,500 sq. ft. building, completed in 2003 at a cost of $21 million dollars, is centrally located in the University’s academic corridor and was specifically designed around the University’s mission to promote active and deep learning in an environment that supports all learning styles. The library features a variety of conference and group/individual study areas, ample space for physical collections, as well as the latest in information technology, including multi/media facilities, a reference/electronic commons, an electronic classroom, and a 24-hour cyber café.
The move to the new library was celebrated by more than 700 students, faculty, staff, and members of the Webster Groves community, who formed a book brigade to pass a portion of the library collection hand-to-hand from the former to the new library. Emerson Library was formally dedicated in the fall of 2003 through a series of presentations, receptions, and open houses for both the academic and general communities.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.2 Library Building Documents]
|HLC3d.2||Library: Building Factsheet|
Eden Theological Seminary’s Library & Webster’s Emerson Library –Reciprocity and Combined Library Collection of More Than 340,000 Volumes
As part of a joint library system with Eden Theological Seminary’s Luhr Library, students, faculty and staff enjoy reciprocal services and resources in the combined collection of more than 340,000 volumes. Through a liaison system, each academic department is assigned a librarian with subject expertise to collaborate on collection development, library instruction, and research support.
The library liaisons work directly with faculty to ensure that the library collections in all formats support the curriculum. Librarians monitor the agendas and minutes of the University’s Curriculum Committee and attend the meetings as appropriate. A formula is used to allocate the materials budget in an equitable way among the departments.
The 1998 review team noted the limited library book holdings. Since 1995, however, the library’s budget and acquisition rate have increased compared to its peer institutions as shown by data gathered through the use of software from the worldwide OCLC database Worldcat. WorldCat Collection Analysis data is being used to see how the library’s coverage of various subjects compares with the peer institutions; there is some expected variance for specialized programs, and otherwise a high degree of congruence. The library adheres to national standards for cataloging, authority work, and preservation of its materials.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.3 Library Collection]
Comprehensive Database Review of Emerson Library Holdings
Every five years, most recently in 2006, a comprehensive review of online databases is conducted by the library liaisons and includes reviewing database usage statistics, examining overlap of journal indexing and full text among current databases, consulting faculty in various disciplines, and trialing new databases that might fill gaps or provide better coverage of curriculum areas. A major review of print journals subscriptions and standing orders is also conducted every five years, with the most recent conducted in 2004. Factors considered in the evaluation process and retention decisions include changes to the curriculum, journal usage statistics, faculty input, and availability of the full-text of the articles in online database subscriptions.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.4 Library Holdings Review]
|HLC3d.4-1||Library: Annual Review of Goals 2003-2004|
|HLC3d.4-2||Library: Annual Review of Goals 2004-2005|
|HLC3d.4-3||Library: Annual Review of Goals 2005-2006|
|HLC3d.4-4||Library: Serials SO Statistics|
|HLC3d.4-5||Library: Database Review Documentation|
Webster Students, Faculty, and Staff Enjoy Access to All Missouri Libraries
In addition to the library’s onsite collection, students, faculty, and staff have access to the collections of libraries throughout Missouri through the University’s membership in the MOBIUS Consortium. Webster University was one of 50 charter members of MOBIUS in July 1998; other institutions have joined since then, and currently the membership stands at 68 institutions and two cooperating partners.
The largest single project for which MOBIUS is responsible is the Common Library Platform (CLP). The CLP provides a virtual catalog of the more than 20 million items contained in the libraries of MOBIUS member institutions and creates a single user interface that allows patrons to request library materials using any personal computer in any location with access to the Internet. Requested materials are delivered within one or two days of being requested via the MOBIUS Delivery System. Items not available within the state are provided via interlibrary loan.
[EXHIBIT: http://mco.mobius.missouri.edu/home/about_mobius/, HLC3d.5 MOBIUS]
Library Resources for Extended Campus – Passports System
Equitable library services and resources are provided to our students and faculty off-campus through the library’s Passports system (http://library.webster.edu), which was commended by the 1998 team as a model for the delivery of instructional resources to distant learning communities. Passports offers more than 100 leased databases with access through a proxy server; reference service by email or toll-free phone; free document delivery; electronic reserves (with file upload capabilities and a fax server that converts faxes to pdfs); and video reservations.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.6 Passports]
|HLC3d.6-1||Passports: Passports Usage Statistics|
|HLC3d.6-2||Passports: Extended Campus Database Usage Summary-Spring 2007|
|HLC3d.6-3||Passports: Extended Campus Database Usage Summary -Summer 2007|
Passports Library Database Redesigned in 2005/06
A comprehensive redesign of Passports was undertaken in 2005/06 by a Library Web Committee comprised of representatives from Emerson and Luhr Libraries.
The resulting improvements to the website, which went live on June 1, 2006, is more audience-based and more intuitive. Usability test results indicated that students had no trouble using the new design for many of the tasks, especially those involving the library catalog, searching for videos and DVDs, and finding Web sites. The Library Web Committee continues to meet regularly to revise and improve Passports to meet the needs of our users.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.7 Passports Redesign]
|HLC3d.7-1||Passports Redesign: Overview|
|HLC3d.7-2||Passports Redesign: Web Committee Minutes|
|HLC3d.7-3||Passports Redesign: Focus Groups|
|HLC3d.7-4||Passports Redesign: Survey Results June 2005|
|HLC3d.7-5||Passports Redesign: Survey Usability Test Results Fall 2004|
|HLC3d.7-6||Passports Redesign: Survey Results Spring 2006|
|HLC3d.7-7||Passports Redesign: Survey Usability Test Results 2006|
|HLC3d.7-8||Passports Redesign: Survey Results June 2006|
In addition to the new library building, increased holdings, and redesign of Passports databases, the library also targeted instruction. All services arise as a consequence of deliberate, thoughtful strategic planning processes.
Information Literacy and Information Literacy Instruction
Librarians work with faculty to advance information literacy by conducting library instruction sessions for all Freshman Seminar classes and for a wide array of undergraduate and graduate courses. Formal assessment of the library instruction program began in 2005 and is ongoing. Data from the first two assessment cycles of the freshman seminars indicate that our students are learning from our library instruction.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.8 Information Literacy]
Results of Assessing Library Instruction
More than 80% of freshmen are able to identify most of the appropriate search strategies in our online catalog with more than 90% indicating that keyword searching is appropriate. Proper use of the relational operator “and” to narrow a keyword search in order to find more relevant items rose from 57 to 76 percent.
Baseline results from undergraduate assessment in Spring 2006 indicated that more than half (50%) of undergrads correctly answered all four test questions. 85% could identify at last one indicator that a cited article is from a scholarly (aka peer-reveiwed) journal and thus appropriate for college-level research. Unfortunately in Fall 2006, all measures fell to below 50%. Similarly, baseline results from graduate assessment in Spring 2006, indicated that graduate students answered three of the four study questions correctly greater than 50% of the time. However, in the fall, only two of the question elicited more than 50% correct responses. Changes in the library instruction program are underway to address these findings.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.9 Library Instruction Assessment]
Extended Campus Support for Promoting Information Literacy
In support of the extended campus community, the library has created a collection of online tutorials, Passports Skills Video Series, to promote information literacy. These are updated annually. This series is modular and is available online to be shown at orientations and in courses and is also provided to extended campuses as a CD master that can be copied. The series includes modules on topics such as doing research in business and management, nursing, psychology and counseling, and legal studies; using the library catalog; finding articles; and using e-books.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.10 Library Tutorials]
|HLC3d.10||Library Tutorials: Passports Skills Video Series|
Library Use of New Technologies
The library actively employs new technologies that enhance its learning environment for all students worldwide and has introduced a number of new services in the past 10 years. These include a database search interface which allows users to search multiple library databases at once; a print and online journal A-to-Z list; an article linker, which allows users to determine whether an article referenced as a citation in a database is available full-text in one of the library’s other databases; an online bibliography manager; a new titles list; a video search interface; a plagiarism checker; electronic reserves; a self-checkout machine; and a 24-hour cyber cafe. The library offers 375 courtesy network drops and has wireless access in several areas of the library.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.11 Library New Technologies]
|HLC3d.11-1||Library New Technologies: Library Technology Summary|
|HLC3d.11-2||Library New Technologies: Library Technical Services Efficiency|
Strategic Planning By Library Management Team
Strategic planning for the library is accomplished through the library’s Management Team, which is comprised of the Library Dean and the library’s four department heads. This team meets weekly along with the Director of the Luhr Library. Each year, the library reviews its annual goals for the previous year and sets goals for the coming year to ensure that it is fulfilling its mission to support and enhance student learning. These are compiled in a detailed report and discussed at an all-staff retreat.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.12 Library Strategic Planning]
|HLC3d.12||Library Strategic Planning: Self Study Report|
Spring 2007/Library Satisfaction Survey
To help us in our long-term strategic planning and goal setting, the library administered a library satisfaction survey in the Spring of 2007. Separate surveys were administered to each of the following groups:
- St. Louis campus students
- St. Louis campus faculty and staff
- Extended campus and online program students
- Extended campus and online program faculty and staff
A total of 946 survey responses were received. Overall, the responses showed a high degree of satisfaction with the library. Replies regarding degree of satisfaction were scored using a five-point scale, with a score of one indicating “very satisfied” and a score of five indicating “very dissatisfied”. Nearly all satisfaction-related questions received an average response score of 2.00 or better, meaning that they fell within the range of “very satisfied” to “satisfied.”
Survey respondents were also invited to provide open-ended comments on areas of concern, as well as on the library in general. Of the surveys, 413 respondents included 750 open-ended comments covering approximately 100 topics. The most frequent type of comment, at 34%, involved compliments on the library, its staff, and services.
The largest subset of complimentary comments involved compliments toward library staff in general or specific library staff; this category of comments comprised 9%. The next most frequent type of comment, at 15%, was concerns or suggestions regarding Passports (including the Web site and online databases). The third most frequently mentioned topic was concerns with the copiers and printers at the library (10%).
Other areas of concern included collection development (9%) and services (8%). We have already begun making changes in response to specific survey suggestions, including increasing library hours, improving the copy/print services and making additional changes to Passports. Details on these and other changes may be found in the library satisfaction survey exhibit.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.13 Library Satisfaction]
|HLC3d.13-1||Library Satisfaction: Library Satisfaction Survey Results - Executive Summary|
|HLC3d.13-2||Library Satisfaction: Report of Emerson Library Satisfaction Survey|
Academic Resource Center (ARC)
The Academic Resource Center provides a number of resources to support learning and teaching.
The services include:
- Peer Tutoring Program
- Mentor/Counseling Service To Assist “At-Risk” Students and Students with Disabilities
- Writing Center with Online Writing Assistance for the Extended Network
- Testing Center
- Help for Students With Disabilities to Succeed
The Peer Tutoring Program provides all Webster University students with free tutoring provided by peer tutors who have taken the related class and received a grade of B+ or above. When possible, a tutor is hired who has taken the course with the tutee’s instructor. The Peer Tutoring Program supports the performance of all students in the classroom by helping them come to class better prepared, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of the classroom learning environment. Both tutors and tutees represent the diversity of the Webster student population.
Mentor/Counseling for At-Risk Students and Students with Disabilities
The Academic Resource Center also provides an individual academic mentoring/ counseling service for all students needing assistance with learning strategies. This service includes but is not limited to students on academic probation, students identified as “at-risk” and students with documented disabilities. Mentors/counselors provide guidance and assistance with such topics as Time Management, Learning Styles, Self-Advocacy, Motivation, Listening and Note Taking, Test Anxiety, Test Preparation, Test Taking, and Writing.
Additionally, the Center staff developed a college credit course, Learning Strategies to help students learn and practice college study skills. The learning environment is based on a student-centered model whereby the students determine individual learning objectives and instructors serve as facilitators to student learning.
Providing Accommodations to Students with Disabilities
The Academic Resource Center assists students with documented disabilities in requesting and receiving their accommodations. Letters listing special accommodations are sent to each of their instructors informing them of the approved accommodations for the student. When needed, the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator communicates with instructors to give suggestions for how accommodations might be best implemented in the classroom.
In addition, the ARC encourages and can work with faculty to implement strategies for Universal Design of Instruction. Research suggests that the following instructor actions significantly enhance the class climate for most post-secondary students, not just those students with disabilities; the list provided is not exhaustive but representative of effective faculty techniques.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.14 Academic Resource Center]
|HLC3d.14||Academic Resource Center (ARC) Overview|
Faculty Actions Promoting Positive Class Climates in Post-Secondary Education
- Selection of instructional methods that most effectively address the essential outcomes, but which can be varied or adapted to meet student needs (e.g, preferred learning style or sensory deficits) and to promote the kind of student-instructor and student-student involvement, interaction, and cooperation the student will encounter in the workplace.
- Selection of materials that provide multiple ways for students to interact with and respond to them in order to find the kind of meaning that enables them to motivate themselves.
- Inclusive syllabus statements
- Multi-modal presentation of clear expectations (e,g., both orally and in the syllabus). and multiple ways that students have available to them, in class, to show what they know.
- Modeling of respect for diversity by valuing all students’ experiences and building on their strengths.
- Provision of timely and useful feedback on assessment measures because research shows that the longer it is between performance and feedback, the less students learn from assessment tools.
The ARC works closely with the library to equip an adaptive services room that is accessible 94 hours per week. This room offers a variety of specialized software and equipment for students with special needs.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.15 ARC ADA Statement and Inclusive Syllabus Statement]
|HLC3d.15||ARC - ADA Statement|
The ARC Testing Center
The Academic Resources Testing Center allows instructors to administer tests in alternative formats and/or time slots, to arrange testing accommodations for students with documented disabilities or linguistic challenges, and (via placement tests and waiver exams) to ensure that their students are placed in the most appropriate course or course level for their knowledge base, which will enable them to be taught more effectively.
The Testing Center employs, where appropriate, new technologies that enhance effective learning environments for students. For instance, we currently offer many examinations online for either college credit (DANTES/DSST, CLEP) or placement (foreign languages, graduate accounting and economics). Our testing computers and other media equipment also allow students to take tests which feature computer-based, multimedia, or online components.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.16 Testing Center]
|HLC3d.16||ARC - Testing Center|
The Writing Center
The Writing Center supports the academic mission of Webster University by helping all members of the University community become strong, confident, self-reflective, and independent writers. The Center seeks to foster a rich and stimulating culture of writing at Webster, one that recognizes the connection between writing and learning and that acknowledges the powerful role that writing plays in our intellectual, social, cultural, and political lives.
The Writing Center encourages students to view writing is a process of discovery; in the act of writing, we ask new questions, deepen our understanding, and find new ways to explore and express our own voices.
The Writing Center offers free, friendly, and individualized support for all writers at Webster from freshmen to graduate students, by training Writing Center coaches who are not only employees but also students. A non-credit writing coach training course furthers their intellectual growth by helping them develop a strong theoretical and practical understanding of Writing Center work and by helping them engage in a critical, reflective practice, both as writers and as coaches. The course also ensures that our training is efficient, thorough, and consistent, which allows us to better serve the University community.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.17 Writing Center]
|HLC3d.17||ARC - Writing Center|
The Center offers support for all types of writing projects, including résumés and cover letters; admission essays and personal statements; research and term papers; and dissertations. In addition to hour-long, face-to-face appointments, the Center also provides many additional services, some of which are noted here:
- telephone and online support for Webster’s extended domestic sites and an online service for the University’s international sites;
- a series of workshops offered each semester on a variety of writing topics;
- a classroom visit program tailored to the specific needs of individual courses; sponsorship of the Freshman Writing Awards, created in 2004, which have helped us achieve our mission of fostering a culture of writing at the University and have helped bring public recognition to superior performance.;
- faculty workshops on preventing plagiarism, co-taught with librarians who discuss using the Turnitin.com plagiarism detection database as a teaching tool;
- access to nine state-of-the art computers, including several equipped with programs designed to assist students with visual and other disabilities.
- The Writing Center has created a Faculty Guide to Using the Writing Center.
Online Writing Assistance
Online writing assistance is available to Webster University students attending classes at the extended campuses in the U.S. or across the globe and to students enrolled in online classes through the Online Writing Center Two options for electronic coaching are available: an e-mail transaction or an interactive real-time session in a coaching chat-room.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.17 Writing Center, http://www.webster.edu/acadaffairs/asp/wc/online.html]
Technology Support – 2003 First Vice President of Information Technology
Office of Information Technology provides wide support to students, faculty, and staff in accessing and using technology effectively. In 2003, the University recruited and hired its first Vice President for Information Technology, bringing all IT support functions and staff under one umbrella. Five divisions of Information Technology were re/created: Administrative Systems, Networking Technical Services, Media Center, Infrastructure Projects and Services and User Services.
User Services was further segmented into three focus areas including Desktop Technical Services, Instructional Support Services and Information Services. This organizational structure provided greater collaboration among IT groups and reduction of redundant operations, while providing the opportunity to standardize, and thus increase the level of support to all constituencies. This enabled more focused activities that directly supported expanded and enhanced integration of technology with teaching and learning. Webster University Information Technology staffing has been expanding in an ongoing manner to accommodate increased resources and services.
[EXHIBIT: HLC2b.7 IT Organization]
|HLC2b.7-2||IT Organization: Strategic Plan|
2003: The New HelpDesk: Fielding Technology Based Phone Calls and Emails
40,000 Students Served Since its Inception
Instructional technology resources are ubiquitous at all Webster campuses. For example at the St. Louis home campus there are 394 instructional computer labs, 53 multimedia classrooms, wireless Internet access at hotspots throughout campus, and Internet connectivity at all student residences. Equitable facilities are available at the extended campuses based on size of enrollment, with 1,125 computers in labs outside the home campus.
Webster University Information Technology created a Help Desk in early 2003. Since taking its first call in June 2003 the Webster University Help Desk has assisted more than 40,000 students in a wide range of issues. Another branch of Help Desk was established, known as ResTech, that services students personally-owned computers. Since its inception in August 2006, ResTech has serviced more than150 student computers.
Webster University Information Technology provides support, administration and redundancy of various University servers, SAN storage, telephony and wired and wireless connectivity. Maximum availability of CX, as well as the LMS (Worldclassroom) and other mission-critical systems, has been improved and expanded by upgrading communication hardware and connectivity across the entire network of campuses. [EXHIBIT: HLC3d.18 Help Desk and IT Support]
|HLC3d.18||Help Desk and IT Support|
Technological Support for Faculty and Technological Instruction
Technology support for faculty is described in Criterion 3b. Ongoing technology workshops are held for staff and students, providing instruction in the use of some 20 software applications (in varying skill levels) and half a dozen pieces of technology hardware. In 2006, a technology brownbag series (TechKnow Series) was introduced, discussing current technology issues of interest. Webster University also provides faculty, staff and students with extensive printed and online materials to support the widespread use and integration of technology in teaching and learning.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.18 Help Desk and IT Support]
|HLC3d.18||Help Desk and IT Support|
The Webster University Media Center provides students and faculty the best quality media related services possible in order to accomplish the educational objectives of Webster University. The Center is also responsible for services and resources that support the study of audio, film, photography, video, and broadcast journalism. These services include discipline-specific hardware and software, as well as studios, editing suites, darkroom facilities, check-out equipment, and student-run radio and television stations.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.19 Media Center]
MultiMedia Center: MultiMedia Classrooms;
MultiMedia Inventory For Faculty and Student Checkout
The Media Center supports and maintains multimedia presentation systems throughout the main campus and at extended St. Louis Campuses. The multimedia classrooms are equipped with multimedia stations (Computer, TV/DVD player, data projector) and the ability for a faculty member to connect a laptop to the data projector and campus network. All multimedia stations have presentation software loaded on them. Some classrooms have smart boards.
The Center also still provides traditional classroom audiovisual instructional equipment (televisions, VCR’s, overheads, etc.) for instructional support. In 2000, the Media Center established a pool of media related equipment for general use by faculty and students. Presently, we have approximately 70 items that may be checked out by faculty or students to support classroom instruction and small events sponsored by campus organizations.
This inventory includes various media playback devices, data projectors, digital still and motion cameras, and small portable P.A. systems.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.19 Media Center]
Webster University – Satellite Downlinks in Nine Locations at Main Campus
Since 1998, the University has added satellite downlinks in nine locations on campus. The Center oversees the installation of satellite hardware and monitors the integrity of the signal. Foreign language channels for German, French, Spanish are streamed live to the Library and two classrooms in the foreign language department. The School of Business & Technology also has several business channels that are down linked to three viewing/listing locations in their area. In 2006, “Video Furnace” streaming software was brought to the campus. It offers an affordable and flexible solution to providing the students desktop learning and entertainment.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.19 Media Center]
Specialized Performance Spaces, Laboratories, and Clinical Sites
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. It was the first facility in the United States designed specifically to house both a professional acting company and an undergraduate theatre arts department. The Loretto Hilton Center was completed in 1966.
Jacqueline Grennan Wexler (Sister Jacqueline, vice-president of what was then Webster College) explained, “The Center’s aim is to get our students and our faculty involved in the real work of professional theatre as opposed to the mock-heroic world of the educational theatre.”
When the building was completed, Engineering News-Record called it “remarkable”.
The auditorium, designed for conversion from classroom to theatre, chapel or concert hall, and back again, had the capacity to add sections which adjust capacity from 499 to 1,200 with the mere movement of an elevator platform and retractable walls (the largest of which weighed 34 tons, but is so well-balanced that it can be driven by a 3/4 horsepower motor).
The lobby can be an art gallery, and the building’s scene, prop and costume shops (which were originally planned as classrooms), ballet studio, recital hall, green room and offices afford immediate commerce between the parts that must come together to form the magic whole of a production.
Today, the Loretto-Hilton Center is home to two professional performing arts companies The Repertory and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis — and to Webster University’s Conservatory of Theatre & Dance.
In 2002, after more than 35 years of service to both professional and academic theatre endeavors, the Loretto-Hilton Center received a major facelift and expansion, resulting in the addition of nearly 20,000 square feet of new backstage space for shops, dressing rooms, storage and studios. The Loretto-Hilton Center is owned and operated by Webster University. The Rep operates completely independently of, but under a mutually beneficial agreement with, the University, and performs on both stages of the Center each year from September through April.
The Loretto-Hilton Center comprises two separate stages:
Virginia Jackson Browning Theatre: A 763-seat auditorium, featuring a three-quarter thrust stage and flexible bay seating that permits the seating capacity of the theatre to grow by nearly 200 seats to accommodate particularly popular performances. No seat in the auditorium is more than 20 rows from the stage.
Emerson Studio Theatre: A flexible “black box” theatre space, located directly below the Browning Theatre, seating approximately 125 and configurable for a variety of stage and seating arrangements.
Webster University joins with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra to offer a conductor training program and a master’s degree in orchestral performance. In 2001, the University extended this partnership to acquire the Community Music School, which offers multiple opportunities for Webster students and faculty. |
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.20 Fine Arts Specialized Spaces]
|HLC3d.20||Fine Arts Specialized Spaces|
Community Music School: Another Resource for Faculty/Students/Community Members
The Community Music School (CMS) is a member of the National Guild of Community Music Schools for the Art. The Guild’s network currently includes more than 370 community arts education organizations that provide access to high quality, sequential instruction so that all people may participate in the arts according to their interests and abilities.
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.
In terms of program offerings, the CMS provides a comprehensive music education experience that takes a student from pre-school through adulthood with its Young Years program; individual and group instruction; Suzuki strings; orchestras and ensembles; jazz program; and the premiere pre-college music preparatory program (PREP).
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.21 Community Music School]
|HLC3d.21-1||Community Music School (CMS) Web site|
|HLC3d.21-2||CMS: Engagement & Service|
|HLC3d.21-3||CMS: Prior Enrollment Survey|
Nurse Anesthesia and Nursing Programs
The 1998 NCA/HLC report noted the poor quality of science laboratory space. Since that time, without new quarters, the Biological Sciences students and faculty have nonetheless achieved much. In an effort to address the space needs, Room 19, Webster Hall, was converted from a traditional classroom to lab space. New storage, a mobile lab table, water bottles, and a removable waste collection bottle have permitted use of Room 19 for labs during the day, while still permitting its use for Nursing courses in the evenings.
In addition, significant priority has been given to acquisition of new equipment for teaching and student and faculty research. Purchases include yeast dissection microscope, and Bio-Rad Gel Documentation system in 2005-2006 (approximately $25,000), Spectronic Genesys, new freezer, Micro Imaging Scope, Safety Cabinets, NAPCO equipment, and battery backup for salt water aquarium in 2006-2007 (more than $50,000), and Real-time PCR machine, Bullard Intubating scopes, Zeiss Inverted Cell Culture Microsope System, and Flow Cytometer so far in 2007-2008 (more than $74,000). Learning science and the research process on such current equipment has facilitated meaningful learning and strong performance for Webster’s biology and biotechnology majors.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.22 Science Labs]
|HLC3d.22||Science Labs - See Campus Master Plan|
Webster offers an M.S. in Nurse Anesthesia as part of the Biological Sciences Department, and the B.S.N. and M.S.N. degrees as part of the Nursing Department. Both programs make use of the specialized Nursking Skills Lab on the Second Floor of Webster Hall. This lab provides space for development and assessment of practical, clinical skills. Nurse Anesthesia also makes of the Cadaver Lab on the ground floor of Webster Hall.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.23 Nursing and Nurse Anesthesia Labs]
Specialized Laboratories – A Look at The School of Communications
Other specialized laboratories include those that support programs in the School of Communications (SOC). The 1998 team report noted that the SOC had begun to outgrow its available facilities. Since this time, the SOC leadership team has proactively dealt with the pressures of growth on its facilities through the creative use of existing SOC space and by moving from analog to less space-consuming digital technology. Improvements in the SOC laboratory facilities in the past 10 years have included:
- Purchasing the equipment for a new AVID digital, post-production film editing room; $85,000.
- Adding two computer labs devoted to the Advertising, Public Relations and Interactive Digital Media students.
- Doubling the Audio equipment and the number of Audio studios.
- Creating a MIDI audio studio.
- Expanding the video studio and upgrading it from analog to all-digital equipment.
- Purchasing professional-level cameras for all production areas and adding digital photo equipment.
- Doubling the Media Center storage space.
- Using rooms at the Webster Groves High School for SOC Graduate night courses.
- Providing 24-hour access to media labs
In addition to these resources, students dedicated themselves to helping secure helpful resources for the School of Communications.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.24 SOC Specialized Spaces]
|HLC3d.24||SOC -Specialized Spaces|
School of Business & Technology – Mathematics Lab
The School of Business & Technology (SBT) Mathematics Lab is a collegial, friendly drop-in space to support students who want to achieve mathematics competency at any level. They get help from each other, and from instructors.
This not only benefits student learning, but teacher effectiveness in that the instructors can better understand where students are struggling because of their presence in the lab as both teachers and observers.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.25 SBT Mathematics Lab]
|HLC3d.25||SBT Mathematics Lab|
Since the 1998 NCA/HLC accreditation visit, the budgeting priorities of the university reflect significant investments in teaching and learning. These expenditures include: capital expenditures, human resource investments, investments in new technologies as well as investments in academic programs. The table below summarizes the budgeting priorities of the university over the past decade in terms of the four main categories of investments.
Future Needs of Webster University
As Webster conducted this aspect of it’s self-study, it came to the conclusion that there remain several needs of the institution. They are noted below and are considered in light of the most recent budget priorities of the institution.
Goal: Additional Space for the School of Communications
The need for facilities and equipment growth is expected to continue. If it does, additional classroom space will be needed. Also SOC graduate courses should be moved out of the Webster Groves High School. The SOC use of the entire Sverdrup Building will be possible when the Business and Technology School moves to a new building.
Goal: Portfolio Development Center for School of Commnications
A Portfolio Development Center should be created to support student documentation of their ability to combine theory and practice. The transformation of Sverdrup space, once the School of Business & Technology moves to its new location, is the necessary next step in expanding the facilities for the School of Communications.
Webster University Capital Campaign Underway
A capital campaign is underway to construct a new building to house the School of Business & Technology. This building will present a physical image to enhance SBT’s solid reputation as a serious and innovative world-wide business school, and as such, will positively impact all of our students. The building will allow us to better serve Webster’s diverse student body, by alleviating classroom constraints throughout the university and providing much-needed meeting space to the university’s faculty and students. Students will benefit from 24/7access to learning due to state-of-the-art technology. There will be areas designated for quiet study, group study, labs and lounges.
The space will be configured to allow better communication and student access to faculty and staff. A more open, casual space will provide increased opportunities to network with other students and with the business community. In addition, a new science building will provide modern laboratory space, faculty offices, and informal student gathering space. Besides space equipped for laboratory space when the building opens, the building plan includes “convertible classrooms,” which are plumbed and otherwise prepared to become labs at a future date. Finally, the building is designed to permit expansion as future circumstances warrant.
[EXHIBIT: HLC3d.26 Building Renderings]
|HLC3d.26||New Building Renderings|
Summary of Criterion 3d
Webster University offers numerous resources to support teaching and learning. Some are new, some have been refined over the last decade since the last NCA/HLC visit.
And, the resources discussed in this section stand in addition to the faculty-experts, the administrative leaders and staff, the classrooms, the books, the students themselves who stimulate one another’s thinking, and importantly, the creative climate and culture of Webster University and the small class size – both long-standing characteristics of the institution.