SPD Council yearly report: 2011-12

Improvement and retention of students in the SPD programs:

SPD is reevaluating its entry requirements to assure greater preparedness for graduate level work.  SPD does not require GRE’s; therefore, the newly revised admissions essay becomes a major element in student acceptance.  Also, SPD has increased GPA requirements from 2.75 to 3.00 in all programs. However, raising admittance criteria may further diminish enrollments in the current weak economic market. One suggestion is to invest in additional advising to raise the level of students after they are admitted.  (e.g. 1 credit courses)

Presently information on attrition is not attainable; however, SPD will be reaching out to students and providing support to enhance retention through the new office of Graduate Student Success.

Degree programs, innovations:

The Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Health Program continues to enjoy success in attracting highly qualified applicants and in preparing them to achieve their career goals through future education.
Since full-time faculty are less willing to teach online because of the perceived increased difficulty, SPD would need to persuade these faculty members by demonstrating that their existing courses could be modified to teach online through flipped learning and blended classrooms. 

Course Evaluation:

Electronic course reviews suffer as indicators of course quality due to a low response rate.  As a result, it was suggested that paper reviews be re-introduced. One avenue would be to require course reviews as a condition of receiving credit for the course.  On the other hand, from a student perspective the practice may be perceived as coercive.  The issue requires more study. Dean Edelson suggested exit surveys of graduates over the last 3 or 4 years, as a measure of SPD’s program quality.


Dean Edelson distributed data from the National Center for Education Statistics that track the steady growth of part-time faculty in teaching college students.  If SPD is to rely on part-time faculty it must ensure that they are exceptional as scholars and/or practitioners.  The dean felt it is necessary to assess current faculty to assure that they have stayed current in their respective fields. 

More full-time faculty need to be involved.  Years ago incentives were given to encourage teaching by other departments.  The incentive program still exists, but SPD is awaiting the details from the Provost’s office to determine what funds SPD will receive to provide these incentives. 

Dean Edelson explained how SPD is collaborating with TLT for faculty development and online training.  The cooperation between TLT and SPD is a good way to encourage online teaching.
The Teachers Professional Development Institute is proud to announce a partnership with Dowling College, where graduates of the School of Professional Development's master and post-master certificate programs are eligible to take two of Dowling's Educational Doctorate Degree courses at the SUNY contracted-tuition rate.

SPD has created a Facebook page to enhance communication and to publicize its events