For Immediate Release: Friday, June 28, 2002
Higher Education System Collaborates in Academic Disciplines
ABERDEEN All six of the states public universities are cooperating at unprecedented levels to streamline course delivery, focus on course standards and assessment, and forge new linkages with K-12 education, annual reports from the higher education discipline councils show.
The South Dakota Board of Regents created the discipline councils to focus on academic programs in English, Mathematics, Information Technology, Business, Science, Foreign Language, Education, and Fine Arts. Faculty representatives from each public university, along with a Regents representative, sit on the councils and meet throughout the year to address academic priorities.
Regents meeting this week in Aberdeen heard reports from the eight discipline councils.
A major focus for the councils this year has been the review of coursework common across the Regental system and the revising of those courses to provide consistency statewide. This process is well under way and should be completed by the end of the year, according to Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry.
The councils also have worked to establish connections between K-12 schools and their specific discipline. For example, K-12 school superintendents were invited on campus visits to the five teacher education programs to discuss teacher preparation. In another case, the Fine Arts Discipline Council is studying the shortage of K-12 music teachers in South Dakota and plans to offer suggestions for dealing with the problem later this summer.
The discipline councils also have tackled a review of nationally normed assessment tools, provided a comprehensive inventory of faculty expertise and equipment in their fields, and collaborated on new approaches for delivery of educational services, Perry said.
Board President Harvey C. Jewett praised the efforts of the discipline councils. This kind of work across institutions is very valuable to our system as a whole, Jewett said. It will translate into better programs and services for our students.
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