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Dimension Reports 2005

Philosophy Dimension Report
Pellissippi State Technical Community College

Foundations Institutions intentionally cultivate learning environments for new students that emerge from a philosophy of two-year colleges as gateways to higher education.  The philosophy is explicit and easily understood. It is consistent with the institutional mission, reflects a consensus of internal and external constituencies, and is widely disseminated. The philosophy is also the basis for organizational policies, practices, structures, leadership, and resource allocation to support the new student experience.

Committee Leader:
Jim Bruns, VP Academic and Student Affairs

Committee Members:
Mary Bledsoe, Dir. Student Life and Recreation
Felita Dews, Student Leader
Annie Gray, Assistant Professor - English
Jim Kelley, Academic Department Head - Natural and Behavioral Sciences
Linda Manning, Associate Professor - Business and Computer Technologies
Toni McDaniel, Professor - Liberal Arts
Becky Milam, Student Assistance Center Coordinator
Mary Monroe-Ellis, Professor of Mathematics
Peter Nerzak, Director of Library Services
Joan Newman, Director of Learning and Testing Center
Elaine Oswald, Associate Professor of English
Pat Peace, Director of Financial Aid
Linda Smith-Staton, Associate Professor - Natural and Behavioral Sciences
Bob Stern, Associate Professor - Mathematics
Stewart Taylor, Assistant Professor - Engineering and Media Technologies
JoAnne Thomasson, Director of Developmental Studies Program
Leigh Anne Touzeau, Director of Admissions and Records
Berta Ward, Dean of Academic Advising, Articulation and Curriculum
L. Anthony Wise. Jr., Department Head, Liberal Arts
Sharon Yarbrough, Dir. of Institutional Research

Current Situation:
Pellissippi State faculty and staff have always had a strong interest in improving student success. While previous college initiatives have addressed specific student cohorts with specific needs, a first year philosophy was neither apparent nor developed from these initiatives. In fact, because of budgetary constraints and curricular changes, a required orientation to college course structured for first year students was eliminated from the college catalog seven years ago. Additionally, some faculty and staff have expressed concern at measures singling out a certain population of students, perceiving them to be anti-egalitarian.

Foundations of Excellence taskforce members enthusiastically support the principles the Dimensions represent and realize that an emphasis on the first-year student is the defining element of our college identity. In recognition of our history, the taskforce has adopted a cautious implementation schedule for the first-year philosophy.

The taskforce is highly committed to the newly created philosophy statement and the Foundations of Excellence project. The statement has been well received by other groups to which it has been presented thus far.

Areas of Concern:

At this juncture the Taskforce did not see a need for departmental philosophies, but did anticipate every unit having individual action plans implementing the philosophy.


Summary of Evidence:
The Foundation of Excellence Task Force composed of representatives from all college areas working with first year students met during September and October and wrote the document. The group realized the document would need a period of reflection and review before formal approval; therefore they adopted an action plan for reflection and approval. (See action plan)

Recommended Grade: D+

Recommended Action Items:

  • Philosophy Implementation (High priority)
  • By October 15 disseminate Philosophy to all Foundations of Excellence dimension committees and request they provide formal feedback at the time their Foundations of Excellence report is due. Provide the documents to student organizations and request feedback.

    By January 15 distribute the working Philosophy document to all faculty and staff and ask for their thoughts to be conveyed to their representives on the formal councils (Faculty Senate, Learning Council, and President's Staff) prior to the approval process.

    By March 15 the Taskforce will refine the philosophy based on this input. Request formal approval by April 30, 2006, from the college.

  • Dissemination (High priority)
  • Dissemination would include the following:
    As an attachment to the welcome letter for new students in the catalog
    As a statement in the college application to all faculty and staff
    As an element of new staff/faculty orientations

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