4. General Administration
The following sections describe general administrative aspects of the COEHS.
Diversity is a foundational element in the mission and vision of the Dewar College of Education and Human Services. As defined, diversity refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. Such differences include race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geographic region, and more. The Dewar College of Education and Human Services recognizes and embraces the critical role of diversity and concurs with the Valdosta State University Diversity Council that “Effective management of Valdosta State University’s unique cultural characteristics will provide benefits to students, faculty, and staff in the form of enhanced educational opportunities, respectful workplaces and classrooms, reduced workforce turnover, reduced rates of poverty and low socioeconomic status and stronger strategic approaches to long term planning.”
The COEHS Strategic Plan is developed to identify major long-range goals of the college and to guide the actions of the college toward accomplishing the agreed-upon goals. The plan is reviewed by the Executive Committee of the college and submitted to the Provost every year. The major factors that influence the planning process of the COEHS include its mission statement, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia Policy Directives, Valdosta State University’s (VSU) Mission and Goals, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) /Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Standards, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission Ga(PSC) Standards, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Criteria, standards from Professional Organizations, other accrediting commissions, and the specific needs of the service area. The COEHS Strategic Plan directly addresses the Board of Regents’ and Valdosta State University’s planning documents wherever appropriate.
Each department develops a strategic plan that supports the COEHS Strategic Plan. The plan must be approved by the department faculty and the Dean. The approved plan is then submitted to the Provost
Each department and the college are required to submit updated Institutional Effectiveness Reports (IER) and Plans (IEP) to the VSU Office of Institutional Effectiveness annually. These documents must be approved by the Dean and submitted each fall. Reports and plans must include identification of outcomes/goals being measured, specific measures/benchmarks of success, assessments used to measure outcomes/goals, discussion of data, results (qualitative and quantitative) collected from assessments, discussion of how assessment results have been applied to make improvements
Department heads, program coordinators, and faculty members with the appropriate academic and experiential qualifications have primary responsibility for curriculum development and revision for each major in a degree program. Such changes should always be made in collaboration with the appropriate professional community and partners.
All curriculum changes in the COEHS must be vetted through the appropriate stakeholder groups and then at the college level before being forwarded for approval to the University Academic Committee and the Board of Regents. Curriculum changes to graduate programs must also be approved by the Graduate Executive Committee. Proposals for curriculum changes originate from faculty members and are approved by the following groups:
- Departmental Curriculum Committees
- Departmental Faculty
- Departmental Advisory Committee
- College of Education and Human Services Executive Committee
- Graduate Executive Committee (for graduate program changes)
- University Academic Committee
- Faculty Senate
- University System Board of Regents
The university distributes three forms required for curriculum changes, one for course changes, one for program changes, and one for catalog changes. Forms are available from Department Heads or on the Academic Affairs webpages.
The Request for New or Revised Course form is used to propose new courses and to revise course titles, numbers, credit hours, or bulletin descriptions. A course syllabus, following the COEHS syllabi format, must be attached to this form. The Request for Curriculum Change form is used to propose new programs or make changes in existing programs. Syllabi, following the COEHS syllabi format, must be attached to this form when significant changes in programs and course content are being proposed. Request for Catalog Changes should be completed for any curriculum changes or program information changes that require catalog revisions. Graduate courses require an additional Request for Catalog Change form for changes to the Graduate School academic programs webpage.
Both forms include a justification section that should be used to describe the rationale for the proposal. COEHS faculty members should reference the conceptual framework, appropriate learned society professional standards, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission standards, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education standards, or Board of Regents’ guidelines wherever relevant.
The forms, once approved, become the official record of all curriculum changes and are used to make the appropriate changes in the University Catalogs. It is therefore essential that the forms submitted to the various committees be complete and without error.
The COEHS has an approved syllabus format to facilitate consistency of required components across departments and programs. The consistency in format aids students in understanding course requirements and facilitates syllabi review for program and unit accreditation reviews. Faculty members may add items to the format as necessary (COEHS Syllabus Template).
The COEHS has an appeals process in place to help students and faculty resolve academic issues. This process endeavors to protect both faculty and students by assuring a process that allows dialogue at each step. In general, students who wish to appeal must first discuss the problem with the instructor/staff member or advisor. While the initial appeal may be informal such as a conversation between the faculty/staff member and the student, if the situation is not resolved, the formal appeals process is initiated. The appeals process is student driven, so students may decide at each stage if they wish to go to the next stage—the student must initiate this process within 10 instructional days after notification of the decision. Students desiring to file an appeal should refer to the Appeals Process on the COEHS webpage.
A confidential file of all formal written concerns and resolutions will be maintained in the Dean’s Office.
The COEHS maintains a grievance process available to all students that provides for the discussion and resolution of concerns. Concerns should be resolved informally by speaking with the associated faculty or staff member in the department, center, or office most directly connected to the issue. The faculty/staff member may request additional documentation if necessary, or schedule an appointment to address the concern. If the issue is not resolved, the concern may then be directed, in writing, to the department head or director appropriate to the area of concern. If the concern has not been satisfactorily resolved the student may continue the concern in writing to the college dean. Students desiring to file a grievance should refer to the Grievance Process on the COEHS webpage.
If, for any reason, a student does not feel comfortable contacting the associated faculty/staff member to discuss a concern, they may contact the person’s supervisor (department head, director, or Dean) and request that their identity be kept confidential.
Students wishing to report concerns of harassment or discrimination should contact the Student Conduct Office/Dean of Students’ Office (Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students) or the Office of Social Equity, as per University policy.
A confidential file of all formal written concerns and resolutions will be maintained in the Dean’s office.
Faculty members are charged with the responsibility of assigning course grades. Instructors will provide an explanation of the methods of evaluation as part of the course syllabus. The university grading system is outlined in the Undergraduate and Graduate catalogs.
All research projects planned by students or faculty members are reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research and Research Related Activities (IRB). Forms and procedures are described on the IRB website.
The COEHS promotes and encourages faculty members to pursue external funding for research and community service projects. All grant and contract activities follow the guidelines set by the Office of Sponsored Programs & Research Administration.
The COEHS requires faculty and students to abide by the University System Copyright Policy.