“What doesn't get measured doesn't get done” is the driving force behind the revamped Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) program.
MVNU administration is tightening up control of GPS and creating a campus-wide standard of expectations. The role of GPS is to act as an umbrella over the graduate programs, giving synergy and unity to all schools. It encourages administrators, professors, staff and students to adhere to specific guidelines.
“The big change is that we redefined what is happening,” said GPS School Dean Ronald Bolender. The goal is to “enhance the experience.”
Bolender does not blame a specific problem or situation in the old model but sees the positive potential of the program under the new structure. He is excited about the future of GPS.
According to Bolender, GPS serves a different demographic of students. Many of those enrolled are working full time and taking care of families, so they require different resources and services than traditional students.
“They are a different kind of student,” said Bolender. “They can’t walk across campus to visit the book store or stop by their adviser’s office to make a schedule change.”
The new model is tailored to serve GPS student needs while providing top quality education online and in the classroom. MVNU has created the GPS Academic Council to oversee logistics and will be hiring an Instructional Designer to improve the online experience.
Bolender says he wants to apply a strong business model to the GPS program. Critical analysis of what is and isn’t working will be a key part of the process.
In addition, from now on, all courses and instructors will experience regular evaluations and periodical training.
These changes will encourage adherence to the new GPS standards and ensure each program meets the requirements and expectations of both administrators and students, Bolender said.
“We want to ensure consistency of experience,” he said.
As part of this consistency, GPS courses are very structured, and instructors do not have the freedom to design their own curriculum or change the course requirements.
“We [GPS] have everything carefully mapped out for each course,” Bolender said. “They [professors] can add lectures and assignments, but they are not permitted to reduce the requirements.”
Current students may not see an immediate change.
“Students will only experience a change if they attended now and a few years ago,” Bolender said. “But we will see overall improvement of the program.”