Goal 1 Progress to Date
Updated Fall 2017
Build on existing programs in experiential and immersion learning to create expanded opportunities, to learn by doing across the curriculum, to acquire tangible skills for lifelong learning, and to prepare to enter and contribute to the 21st-century society and workforce.
- A Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree was approved by the faculty and the Board of Trustees in February 2017 to accompany the B.A. degree already offered by the College. Representatives from Knox's accreditation agency, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), came to campus in August 2017 as part of a "change visit," during which they spoke with administrators, along with science faculty and staff, and toured the Umbeck Science-Mathematics Center. The College should receive notification on the degree's approval status after the HLC's March 2018 meeting.
- The Task Force on the Knox Educational Experience, which first convened in spring 2015, concluded its work in May 2017, and the College's faculty committees are currently working to implement the new educational experience by fall 2018. The Task Force consisted of eight faculty and the Dean of the College, who worked over an ambitious two-year timeline to identify, develop, and then implement new curricula and pedagogies. During fall 2015, the entire faculty focused its Fall Faculty Conversation on the Knox educational experience. The Task Force provided preliminary ideas to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees during the February 2016 meeting, and, on December 1, 2016, the faculty approved the proposal for the Knox Educational Experience presented by the Task Force.
- A new immersion term, Cuba Term, debuted in fall 2017. The term is a partnership amont dance, music, and anthropology, with atwo-week culminating experience in Cuba focused on the arts. Cuba Term is the second immersion term to develop out of Knox 2018.
- The Business Intensive Seminar (previously taugh through Fullbridge) launched in June 2017, with 25 students participating. The seminar was taught by Jim Foley '78, director of the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship at Bradley University, and Jane Strode Miller '81 generously provided funding for this year's seminar.
- The Knox Summer Advising Program returned for a third year in summer 2017, expanding outside of the Chicago area into Galesburg. In total, 135 incoming students benefitted from the expertise of 21 faculty and staff members.
- Five new academic programs, all minorer areas of study, have been added to the academic program: Arts Administration, Astronomy, Design, Health Studies, and Statistics. All of these new areas rely on coursework that is multidisciplinary, and all four offer to Knox students pathways into new fields and post-graduate opportunities.
- The Bastian Family Career Center hired a donor-funded assistant director of employer relations, whose focus is increasing the number of quality employment and internship opportunities.
- The inaugural Park Ethicist-in-Residence Program welcomed Anita Tarzian '84 to campus in April 2017. Tarzian guest lectured in classes, met with pre-health students, consulted with faculty who teach in health studies areas, and delivered a public lecture on "Dying in America."
- The Jump Trading Pre-Med Immersion Experience launched in June 2017, with six students selected for an intensive shadowing experience with the University of Illinois College of Medicine-Peoria and Jump Trading Simulation Center.
- The SPARK (Summer Preparation and Readiness for Knox) summer bridge program entered its third year in summer 2017. The program is aimed at first generation students and has both an academic component and a "transition to college" component, along with many opportunities for students to socialize with each other, form friendships, and develop a set of relationships they can turn to for help throughout the coming year. Preliminary assessment data shows that SPARK students retained at an 89.1% rate, compared with an 88% retention rate for all first- to second-year students. A second bridge program, funded by the College's TRIO Achievement Program, returned for a second year.
- The International English Language Program (IELP) entered its fourth year in 2017 with a two-week half-credit experience for incoming international students whose first language is not English. Run by the Office of
International Student Services and Admission, the program grew to a dozen students in August 2017, and maintains a 100% retention rate of the students in the first three cohorts.
- The Success Program launched two new programs in 2016-17 designed to model success for first-generation students: Success TALKS! features alumni who talk with students about their educational journey, and Success Tutors provide expertise in teaching others how to learn.
- Engagement of alumni with Knox students continues under the theme of KNect: Knox Networking program, which includes KNEXT STEP (life-after-Knox), Professional in Residence Program, and KAMP (Knox Alumni Mentoring Program).
- Three Professional-in-Residence alumni met with students during fall 2017 to talk about their careers and life experiences, with student attendance averaging 50 per session. Sixteen alumni are participating in the fifth annual mock interview session with current students. Participation in the Professional in Residence Program grew from 11 to 25 alumni participants during the 2016-17 academic year; 12 came to campus and 13 networked with students virtually. The Center for Teaching and Learning has created a similar program for TRIO and McNair students with six recent black alumni return to campus. KAMP (Knox Alumni Mentoring Program) continues with 54 students and 55 alumni currently participating in the program.
- Alumni Relations and the Bastian Family Career Center continue to partner on a new life skills series, Knext Step, which is focused on providing current students with advice from alumni on life after Knox. The series became a monthly program during the 2016-17 academic year, with a wotal of 10 sessions over the year. Recent programs included car care, career and interview dress etiquette, HR basics for new employees, and meals under 20 minutes, among others.
- The Chicago Connections program launched over spring break 2017 when 11 pre-med students spent three days in Chicago shadowing 12 medical professionals, including 10 Knox alumni, one parent, and one friend. The College plans to host at least one career-oriented experience in Chicago next academic year.
- The Bastian Family Career Center has finalized its new curriculum that intentionally guides students through a career development process focused on class-level signature programs: Focus on First-Years, SophoMORE Experience Retreat, Junior Jumpstart (introduced in fall 2016), and Senior Career Impact Summit. In addition, several new programs were introduced, including the Fullbridge focus on business fundamentals and "Office Hours" with the Alumni Council. In April 2016, 12 alumni and 36 students met one-on-one for career conversations as part of the first Office Hours program.
- Knox and Monmouth College piloted a collaboration that shared foreign languages in fall 2016-Knox students will be able to travel to Monmouth to take Accelerated Portuguese for Advanced Speakers of Spanish, while Monmouth students will travel to Knox to take German.
- A newly revised outcomes section of the Knox website was launched in fall 2015, focusing on the success Knox graduates find after Knox.
- Seymour Library Learning Commons [version 1.0] gives students access to additional collaborative work space (with large screens for sharing computer displays), analog and digital listening stations, and a viewing station. Loanable chargers, power strips, etc. at our circulation desk also support this space. Plans for learning commons [version 2.0] have been developed; these would upgrade our network and electrical service and provide much more mobile furniture.
- Two key staffing pieces of our comprehensive retention plan are in place. The Student Success Coordinator, funded through our recent Mellon Foundation grant, is a new position in the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) working expressly with TRIO‐eligible students who are not served by the TRIO Program. As a result of this new grant‐funded position, we have been able to devote existing resources for a reconfigured staff member in the CTL to focus on students with disabilities. The number of students at Knox (and nationwide) who have a documented disability continues to rise and our re‐focus of the position allows us to better serve this important constituency of students.
- Several College policies governing ethical practices have been updated to incorporate changes required by federal agencies, including: Investigations of Allegations of Research Misconduct and the Student Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training. The Library also has provided leadership on Fair Use guidelines to faculty and students, to ensure appropriate use of copyrighted material.
- A new immersive term, StartUp Term, was introduced during spring term 2015. A collaboration between computer science and business and management, the term blended entrepreneurship and software development and provided students with the opportunity to collaborate on a business plan and create a product. Sixteen students participated in this spring's inaugural term, forming four startup companies and presenting their work to a panel of entrepreneurs in June. StartUp term will return in spring 2017.
- Several new programs have been implemented over the last two academic years to offer faculty support and to introduce new pedagogical ideas, including: a Mellon FaCE Pedagogy Workshop on the 21st-Century Student; The 100 Level Course; New Faculty Seminar Series, a year-long continuation of the New Faculty Orientation; a New Faculty Mentoring Program, that reestablished a system that had not been in existence for more than a decade; and a Faculty Discussion Series: Pedagogy & Practice, including topics like Classroom Discussions, Promoting Student Success, and Virtual Lecturers. Faculty also recently convened to discuss a number of new areas of study, including new minors and immersive terms. New opportunities continue to be put in place, including a summer digital humanities collaboration between Knox and Monmouth College faculty.
Establish ourselves as a national leader in providing curricular and co-curricular programs, including teaching, research, and creative work, that leverage the educational potential of our culturally rich and diverse campus community.
- Admission, Academic Affairs, and Student Development worked together to launch the Power of Experience Grants, which will provide all incoming students with $2,000 to support an experiential learning opportunity during their junior or senior year. Opportunities include research and creative work, internships, off-campus study, and community service. The grant is support by a $2.9 million bequest from Ann Asplund, friend of the College and honorary Fifty Year Club member.
- The Knox College McNair Scholars Program, which aims to increase the number of low-income and first-generation students and students from underrepresented groups who successfully attain Ph.D.s, received reauthorization of its federal grant for an additional five years; 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the program.
- Academic Affairs and the Division of Student Development implemented the new First-Year Experience (FYE) in fall 2017. All first-year students participated in an integrated orientation, common reading, first-year preceptorial, residential curriculum, and academic advising experience. Additionally, 32 students participated in a living-learning community, in which first-year preceptorial faculty engage with students both in the classrom and in the residence halls
- Two faculty received prestigious national awards for their scholarship: Teresa Gonzalez, anthropology/sociology, was awarded a 2017 Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and Karen Kampwirth, political science, was awarded an American Council of Learned Societies Collaborative Research Fellowship.
- A new credit-bearing course for student leaders was launched in spring 2017. Sixty-eight incoming residence assistants, orientation leaders, peer mentors, and student government members learned about student development theory, leadership, community development, and change management.
- Knox recently partnered with Merit, an online service that helps the College share student accomplishements with hometown newspapers, high schools, families, and friends.
- The second year of the Mellon Experiential Learning Fellowships were awarded to 30 first-generation and income-eligible students. These students will spend the summer engaged in internships, community service, or research/scholarship/creative work, all funded by the new program. Stipends will facilitate participation in vital learning opportunities, such as internships, community engagement experiences, and undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative work. Twenty-five students received the Mellon Experiential Learning Fellowships during summer 2016.
- One-hundred and eighteen student-athletes were named Academic All-Conference Winners for the 2016-17 academic year.
- Knox is in the first term of its relationship with the new student health provider, Galesburg Cottage Hospital. Cottage is committed to providing both student-centere clinical services and developmental and health education programming.
- For Knox students were awarded Fulbright Fellowships in 2017: Emily Malec '17 was selected for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) position in South Korea; Raeann Boreo '17 and Cortney Hill '17 were both selected for ETAs in Malaysia; and Dakota Stipp '17 was awarded a research Fulbright in the UK (he declined his fellowship to attend the sound design program at Yale School of Drama). Including the three students who received ETAs in 2016-17 (Charlie Harned, Spain; Tawni Sasaki, Taiwan; and Adrian Secter, Mongolia), eight Knox students in total have received Fulbright Fellowships in the last two years.
- The TRIO Achievement Program successfully transitioned into its new five-year $1.5 M grant, which has increased the number of students served to 187 and adds a bridge program this fall for TRIO students.
- The Division of Student Development has adopted five overarching learning outcomes that will guide their work and ensure a strategic focus on educating students outside of the classroom. These goals emphasize: a healthy sense of self; a framework of personal ethics and values; an ability to develop and sustain meaningful relationships; a value and respect for differences; a commitment to citizenship.
- With the goal of strengthening the Greek community and optimizing their focus on the four pillars of Greek Life (scholarship, service, leadership, and brotherhood/sisterhood), Knox's four sororities and five fraternities have begun a unification and rebranding process. The first step in this process, completed during spring term, was the adoption of an all-Greek motto: "One Community. Many Families. Infinite Possibilities;" Future steps include: development of a relationship statement outlining the expectations Knox College has of our Greek organizations and the resources offered to these organizations by the College; a thorough assessment of the campus community's perceptions of Greek Life, followed by a plan to capitalize on positive perceptions and address negative perceptions.
- The Division of Student Development introduced Building Knox, a program developed to train Knox clubs and organizations, in spring 2015 and offered three programs this term on the following topics: Membership Engagement: Keeping others Involved; Managing Change and Transitions and Collaboration & Event Planning: Going Beyond the Exchange of Money.
- The newly developed Student Health Advisory Board, which is comprised of five students, meets regularly with Health and Counseling staff to help develop, improve, and market the services provided on campus to our students.
- A Teagle Foundation-funded working group of faculty and staff have proposed that the formal Educational Plan be extended to encompass all four years of a student's Knox experience, and be submitted via an electronic portfolio. In fall 2015, a small cohort of incoming students will be taught to develop an e-portfolio around Educational Plan components, assisting them in showcasing their Knox experiences for post-graduate advantage.
- The Institute of International Education recently recognized Knox for its progress toward encouraging more students to study abroad. The Stellyes Center for Global Studies has developed several new strategies to increase off-campus study rates: the Center created travel stipends for low-income students to study abroad; implemented a strategy for recruiting more African-American male students to study abroad; implemented a new GPA policy to allow all students in good standing to qualify for study abroad; and implemented more assessment post-study abroad; and continued with recruitment strategies aimed at increasing male participation in study abroad. The 2015-16 cohort of students embarking on off-campus study will be about 28.5% male, up from 24% in 2014-15. Overall applications for study abroad are up about 20% for next academic year. Finally, over the past two academic years (2014-15 and 2015-16, respectively).
- Nine Knox students received Benjamin A. Gilman Fellowships in 2016-17 to help defray their study abroad costs. In total, 22 Gillman Fellowships have been awarded to Knox students in the last four years. The fellowships are national awards for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university and help students participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide.
- Nineteen students participated and four faculty and staff presented at the Global Learning Retreat (GLR). This retreat offered an opportunity to engage international and American students beyond mere exposure toward deepened global awareness and cultural diversity. Through various experiential learning activities, students had the opportunity to share their cultural stories, discuss the implications of varying global perspectives, and process the meaning for themselves through reflection. The retreat was a unique collaboration between Augustana College and Knox College
- The year-long initiative to launch a new Prairie Fire athletics logo and introduce a Prairie Fire mascot was completed at Homecoming 2016, with the introduction of Blaze, the Prairie Fire Fox. The new athletics logo was revealed in February 2016. This was a joint initiative between Athletics and Communications and engaged Gene Rose P'15 of AtLast Communications, who has worked with Athletics on marketing and communications over the last year, and SME, Inc., a brand design firm. The logo received a silver award in the Visual Identity category of the international 2017 Circle of Excellence Awards program from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.
- In May 2015, the Center for Intercultural Life and Alumni Relations co-hosted a Cultural Leadership Consortium, which connected current and newly elected student officers of cultural organizations with alumni who founded or held leadership positions in their organizations. Alumni led sessions and provided guidance on how students can drive their organizations forward with inclusive and result-oriented leadership. Six alumni and 13 cultural organizations participated in the day-long workshop.
- A new brochure highlighting Alumni Hall's four experiential learning centers—Stellyes Center for Global Studies, Kleine Center for Community Service, Bastian Family Career Center, and Vovis Center for Research and Advanced Study—was completed in October 2015. Titled "Four Centers, Thousands of Connections, Millions of Possibilities," the brochure highlights how the centers work together to complement the Knox academic experience. Communications worked in conjunction with Admission, Academic Affairs, and Generation, our creative partner on the new Admission publications suite, on the project. The brochure was reprinted in fall 2017 with a new focus on the Power of Experience Grants.
Extend the boundaries of a Knox education beyond the traditional classroom, academic year, and current curriculum.
- The Stellyes Center for Global Studies recently added 42 international programs at universities or with third-party providers worldwide to the College's current list of pre-approved programs. This now bring's Knox's list of pre-approved programs to 90, putting the College in line with peer institutions.
- During academic year 2016-17, faculty are exploring the potential of offering 4-5 week summer courses, including both general education courses and courses with special experiential learning components. Development of these summer courses continues, with key decisions like tuition costs remaining. The anticipated start date of these courses in summer 2018.
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) performed well in testing during winter and spring 2016 terms and has been broadly deployed in the computer labs. Additional server infrastructure has been added to facilitate deployment to staff desks and other multirole workstation locations. Use of this technology will reduce the level of effort and cost to maintain the desktop fleet, improve information security, and ease remote access to institutional data sources.
- Starting in fall 2015, the Cultural Events Committee is focusing some of its funding around a thematic series entitled, The Tipping Point: Re-considering Otherness. This is in recognition of the growing national dialogue about persistent group disparities with regard to race, religion, climate, sexuality, class and global conflicts, among other issues. Recent visitors to campus focused on this theme included 2016 Honnold Lecturer Reza Aslan, who discussed Islamaphobia, and Dr. Houston A. Baker, Jr,, who spoke about race and the shield of literacy.
- The faculty-led Executive Committee has collected initial campus feedback on the advantages and disadvantages of our current trimester academic calendar. More than 600 students, faculty, and staff responded to the survey, and about 70% of all respondents expressed support for the current calendar; however, all constituencies articulated important concerns, including challenges to student learning, the effects of the December break on retention and maintenance of skills and knowledge, and the challenges for students in finding summer internships or employment. The calendar review will resume in fall 2015 when the committee focuses on the survey result, and begins to calculate costs (financial and time) required in our current calendar.
- KnoxAnyWare, a cloud computing system, was deployed in September 2014 and has been broadly adopted over the last year. It is a key component of plans to deploy thin clients and virtual desktops to reduce the cost, extend the life, and improve energy efficiency of our desktop computer fleet.