Study Shows SC Students Come Here, Get Involved
The National Survey of Student Engagement
(NSSE) has announced its results, and Southwestern College is at the
top of the heap in many of the characteristics experts find the most
important in a high-quality education.
Designed in part to be a more accurate
measure of an institution's quality than the popular U.S. News and World
Report college rankings (which assess such characteristics as reputation,
faculty salaries, class size, and the ACT scores of students), the NSSE
looks at how well students are engaged in their education.
Rather than a questionnaire submitted by
an administrator, the NSSE polls students themselves to find out if
they are involved in their own learning. Do students have to work harder
than they expected? How much time did students spend preparing for class?
Do students work with faculty members, outside the classroom, to plan
and complete research projects? Do students discuss readings or classes
with others outside the classroom? Do students feel well-supported in
their studies and their social lives on campus?
Southwestern College, as reported by its
students, engages first-year freshmen at a much higher rate than most
. First-year Southwestern College students reported a higher level of
academic challenge in their studies than was reported by students at
other bachelor's degree schools and at all colleges nationally.
. First-year Southwestern College students reported a much higher level
of active and collaborative learning than was reported by first-year
students at other bachelor's degree schools and at all colleges nationally.
. First-year Southwestern College students reported a much higher level
of personal interaction with faculty members than did their peers at
bachelor's degree schools and all colleges nationally.
. First-year Southwestern College students reported higher levels of
participation in enriching educational experiences (service learning,
for example) than did first-year students at other bachelor's degree
schools and at all colleges nationally.
President Dick Merriman applauded the NSSE
results as a valuable tool as the college works toward improving its
academic offerings, as well as an important measuring standard for high
school students in the process of choosing a college.
"Southwestern is very, very good at providing
our students an intimate, challenging, values-centered education in
an environment of personal attention and care," Merriman said, "and
we've got proof."
Online, On Campus Majors Respond
to Need Of Educational Market
Four new online majors in professional
studies and a redesigned computer science major on campus have been
rolled out to respond to student needs and the changing educational
Six of the 10 professional studies majors
now are offered in online format: Learners are able to complete bachelor's
degrees exclusively through Internet courses in the fields of business
administration, business quality management, computer programming technology,
criminal justice, human resources development, and pastoral studies.
(Business administration and pastoral studies had been online since
accreditation approval last summer.)
On campus, the computer science majors
that had been previously offered have been redesigned and will, by 2003,
consist of three majors-computer science, digital arts, and business
and computer information systems. The digital arts major, still under
development, should be available in fall 2003 and is designed for visually
creative persons. The business and computer information systems major
already exists and is designed especially for business-oriented students.
A search currently is underway for a faculty
member who will teach, chair a division housing computer science and
mass communications, and provide leadership in academic technology.
The person need not be a programmer or computer science specialist if
otherwise qualified and skilled in the use of technology to support
teaching and learning. Persons interested in the position, or in the
new majors, should contact academic dean David Nichols, (800) 846-1543
The decision to take professional studies
majors online was made by the professional studies academic council.
Because of accrediting standards, only majors offered in classroom settings
at the college can be redesigned in the online format.
With this in mind, the council chose majors
based on interest of prospective students, and on potential links to
two-year programs that would provide the associate degrees necessary
for admittance to the professional studies program.
For more information on the online program,
contact professional studies, (888) 684-5335 ext. 112.
Summer Programs Offer Special Opportunities
High school students and adults will have
special opportunities on campus this summer as the SC Summer Academy
and the SC Summer Enrichment programs get off the ground.
Organized to offer a Southwestern experience
to non-students, the two programs were made possible by the opening
of the new women's residence hall during the fall of 2001. The hall
has private baths in each room, a feature attractive to persons on short-term
visits on the campus.
"We're very pleased to offer these opportunities,
both because they allow us to bring people onto campus who normally
wouldn't have this experience, and because it brings life to the campus
during a time that is normally less busy at Southwestern," says Sue
Simmons, director of conferences and summer programs.
The Summer Academy has pulled under one
umbrella several camps already offered, as well as adding more interest
areas. Rotary Leadership Camp, Horsefeathers & Applesauce Theatre Worskshop,
and the athletic training camp have been in existence for several years.
They will be joined by a creative writing camp, an environmental biology
camp, and a Spanish language camp.
The academy programs are for students who
have completed ninth through 11th grades, and who have outstanding academic
ability, maturity, and intellectual curiosity. All of the three- to
five-day sessions will be during June 9-15 and June 16-22, with registration
due by Wednesday, May 15.
Scheduled for the first week of June, the
SC Summer Enrichment is "summer camp for adults," Simmons explains.
Experts (including Max Thompson and Richard
Wilke) will lead small group sessions in such topics as bell choir,
Biblical Lives and Times, birding, creative writing, yoga, genealogy,
golf, scrapbooking, Native American history, stained glass, investments,
Any adult is eligible to attend.
For more information on either the academy
or the enrichment program, contact Simmons by calling (620) 229-6141,
or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students Shine at MPA
Southwestern College psychology students
are among the top schools in number of research papers accepted for
presentation at the annual conference of the Midwestern Psychological
Association. The conference, one of the most prestigious gatherings
of psychology professionals, will be May 2-4 in Chicago.
Although less than 40 percent of applicants
are accepted for presentation, six of the seven projects submitted by
SC students will be on the program. Only five colleges of the 72 institutions
represented have more.
Jay Nolan, assistant professor of psychology,
is faculty sponsor of the projects.
"In order to get into graduate school,
our students need this type of experience," he explains. "This isn't
a requirement for psychology majors, but they chose to do it for their
Students and paper titles include:
Conway to Head Moundbuilder Football Efforts
Mike Conway, who took Olivet Nazarene University
to the national championships in 1998, is the new Moundbuilder football
coach. Conway comes to SC from Arkansas State University, where he coached
the defensive line. A former assistant coach at Purdue as well as a
player in the National Football League and the Canadian Football League,
Conway was named Mid States Football Association Assistant Coach of
the Year in 2000 after his team finished the season ranked first in
rush defense and third in total defense in the NAIA.
"With the success he had at Olivet Nazarene
University, it shows he knows what it takes to win at the NAIA level.
Football is important to Southwestern College, and we feel we have the
person here to continue that success and improve on it," says athletic
director Bill Stephens.
to Hear Bernette Johnson
Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson will address
graduates who participate in Southwestern College Commencement exercises
Saturday, May 11. Baccalaureate will be at 10:30 a.m. in Richardson
Auditorium, followed by Commencement at 4 p.m. in Sonner Stadium. Johnson
had been scheduled to speak for the 2001 Commencement, but an accident
prevented her from traveling.
A graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta,
Ga., Johnson participated in a student exchange program with Southwestern,
later becoming one of the first African American women to attend Louisiana
State University Law School. She received her juris doctor degree in
1969, and in 1994 she became the first African American woman to be
elected justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court.