Strategic Planning Initiative

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Summer and Intersession Action Team Proposal

April 21, 2006

Committee Members:  Laura Piechota, John Murphy, Gary Levy
Committee Co-Chairs:  Norine Jalbert, Walter Cramer, Katy Wiss

Task:  to develop clear, consistent, and effective polices for use of resources (buildings, faculty, staff, etc.) during the summer and intersession to meet the University’s mission and generate revenue

Objective One:  Academic Summer Session
Stabilize academic summer session scheduling, programming, and related areas--especially with regard to enrollment management and student success.

Objective Two:  Non-Academic Facilities Usage
Formulate policies that are consistent with the University mission that articulate how non-academic programs are scheduled and associated revenue distributed.

The committee examined many of the ways in which our facilities are used in the summer and intersession.  We met with many individuals who have direct experience in these areas, but or discussions were not exhaustive.  Now that we have formulated these proposals, and we welcome the opportunity to share our ideas with the University community and ask for feedback before the next stage of planning begins and specific proposals are formulated.

Please send any comments to one of the committee chairs.

Objective One:  Academic Summer Session

Stabilize academic summer session scheduling and programming, especially with regard to enrollment management and student success; bring academically oriented summer programs under one umbrella; promote and reward sound summer scheduling and programming.

Recommendation One:  implement a formula for undergraduate summer school scheduling based on past performance and the break-even enrollment point

  • Proposed formula
    • X = the number of students needed in class to make a profit
    • X is an average across the university (not department or school)
    • X is based on average faculty salaries.  (Faculty can be paid at 4 different rates)
    • X should be stable from year to year.  (Or at least predictable based on projected costs, projected tuition and projected faculty salaries) 
    • Y = the number of students in classes in a given department that ran the previous summer
    • X/Y= total sections a department may offer the subsequent summer
    • guarantee these sections  will not be cancelled
    • build a few “wild card” sections into the formula (increase the value assigned to  X) so that extra sections can be scheduled to meet unexpected demand:  e.g. lots of students needed MAT 098
    • offer each department one or two contingency contracts—courses that will only run if enrollments are high—as necessary and as the program is phased in
    • X will have a different value for graduate classes.  It may be based on different criteria—calculating the value of offering a graduate class other than financial, may be considered
  • Desired outcome
    • Permits planning, promotes stability, encourages the best scheduling to suit demand
    • If a department’s classes do not have high enrollments, the application of the formula the next year will result in the department being able to schedule fewer courses.  If there are high enrollments, departments will be able to schedule more classes

Recommendation Two:  hire a Director of Summer School and Intersession who reports to the Provost

  • develop strong connection of Summer Session to enrollment management
  • improve retention and graduation rates
  • coordinate summer session scheduling
  • encourage, plan, review, and coordinate summer retention programs (provide incentives, encourage initiatives).  Examples:
    • summer residential learning communities
    • summer nursing programs to catch up in chemistry and math
  • encourage, plan, review, and coordinate summer recruitment programming.  Examples:
    • debate camps
    • rising high school junior programs
    • activities that highlight our strengths (the Arts, etc.)
  • encourage scheduling and programming that
    • improve first year retention
    • keep students on track to graduate
    • enhance recruitment
    • enhance image of WCSU
    • build community relations

Recommendation Three:  consider having programs that rely significantly on summer programming report to Summer Session Director

    • bring EAP (and others?) into Academic Affairs
    • integrate EAP with other summer programming and retention programs

Recommendation Four:   return a portion of revenue generated from academic summer school back into money for non-teaching summer faculty work and/or annual departmental budgets.

  • support faculty work in the summer:  advising, orientation, or other non-teaching work
  • reward efficient programming by allowing departments to funnel a percentage of revenue back to their department budget
  • promote efficient and productive scheduling

Objective Two:  Non-Academic Facilities Usage

Formulate policies that are consistent with the University mission that articulate how non-academic programs, events, and activities are scheduled and associated revenue distributed;  identify ways to bring the Non-Credit Course Program into line with the goal of generating revenue and developing programming that is consistent with our mission

Recommendation One:  form a committee to oversee proposals for non-academic facilities usage

  • draw members from appropriate areas:  e.g.  Director of Summer Session, Dean of Graduate Studies and External Programs, facilities, academics, athletics, etc.
  • set deadlines for applications to use faculties and guidelines for proposals
  • approve and schedule programs that serve our mission and are consistent with University policy
  • review and approve proposals based on these priorities:
    • Generating revenue
    • Graduating/retaining current students 
    • Recruiting
    • Enhancing the image of WestConn
    • Building community relations
    • The more of these areas a program serves, the higher its priority should be, given time constraints and the need to book facilities, etc.

Recommendation Two:  adopt the following revenue sharing formula and policies

  • University departments (year round), athletic camps, clinics, etc. :  on a per event basis
    • $0-$2000:            25% of net (after expenses) to General Fund
    • $2001- $4000:     20% of net (after expenses) to General Fund
    • $4001 – up:        17.5% of net (after expenses) to General Fund
    • These formulas reward successful programs.  Although percentages decrease as more money is generated, total dollars to General Fund will increase
  • Earmark 25% of the revenue that would go to the General Fund from camps and clinics for the following purposes:
    • Startup money for new programs and initiatives
    • Funds for current programs that are in deficit due to uncontrollable issues
  • Proposed committee will oversee these funds.

Recommendation Three:  provide summer housing discounts to enrolled students and student workers.

  • For purposes of promoting summer retention programs, discounts on summer housing (X % over actual cost) should be made available to students registered for special summer session programming and students employed by summer programs
  • Guaranteed employment and discounted housing will aid in keeping students in otherwise expensive (to students) retention programs

Recommendation Four:  implement a University-wide scheduling system, available through the Intranet, so that event planners can determine what other events are planned at the same time and where

  • encourage all university constituents to review other programming as they plan
  • encourages careful advance planning
  • decrease event scheduling conflicts

Recommendation Five:    move the Non-credit Course Programs to the Office of Graduate and External Programs

  • reassess, refocus and revitalize programming

Recommendation Six:    clarify the identity and purpose of Non-credit Courses consistent with the University mission and goals. 

  • Goals (in this order)
    • Generating revenue
    • Recruiting targeted student populations who may eventually enroll at WCSU (community ESL speakers; parents of our students, etc.)
    • Enhancing the image of WestConn
    • Building community relations
    • Graduating/retaining current students
  • Consider hiring a consultant to assess competition, areas of expansion, models, etc., which are beyond the scope of this committee

Recommendation Seven:  implement consistent policies in Non-credit Courses

  • course content
  • course scheduling
  • hiring practices:  minimum criteria fro “instructors”
  • “instructors’”  salaries
  • fee structures
  • clear policy on course scheduling/cancellations (similar to the academic summer session)
  • clarify status of “instructors” (There does not appear to be consistency across CSU.)  Possible reclassify them as independent contractors, facilitators, etc.
  • develop procedures for student evaluation of course/faculty

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