Eastern Michigan University held its Board of Regents Education Policies Committee meeting Thursday, Feb. 7 at 9:45 a.m., one of five committee meetings prior to the full Board of Regents meeting at 1:30 p.m. later that day.
The committee consists of Regent Eunice Jeffries, Chair; Regent Dennis Beagen, Vice Chair; and Rhonda Longworth, Provost and Executive Vice President.
One of the main presentations of the meeting was for the issuance of a new charter to New School High in Plymouth. The presentation was given by Malvern Winborne who spoke for New School High at the meeting.
“With around 85 students from the surrounding area, we are aiming to grow,” Winborne said. “Our goal is for [New School High] is to help all students understand how best they learn.”
New School High wants to help students grow and engage with the community. It’s offering students to take independent studies, advanced placement classes and dual enrollment.
This charter would be a five-year deal with EMU and would start after New School High’s contract with Central Michigan University finishes up.
“If we were to call [CMU] and ask about this, would they see this as okay that you are choosing us?” Beagen asked in regard to why the school would be switching charters.
“We are ending our charter with CMU and are requesting our new charter with [you] on good terms,” Winborne responded.
“We want our reputation in the community,” Jeffries said. “We thank you for coming out today.”
The other presentation that was given was from Michael Tew, Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Programming and Services, on retention and graduation rates.
“EMU is not a traditional four-year college, and we know that,” Tew said as he went through his presentation. “A good portion of students only come here part time or leave and come back after working for a year. Federal statistics don’t take that into account, but we do. We have been implementing the starfish program which helps us find students who are falling off track and get them back on track.”
The Starfish program uses faculty surveys that, when done, will flag students falling behind; the program will alert those students and recommend them to visit with their professors.
Tew said: “Our professors are the universities main connection to the students, and they are the best placed to help a student falling behind. If the students talk, the professors can help.”
The Starfish program sends out about 3,500 surveys to faculty members and around 33 percent of them returned in the recent year.
Beagen added that “whether they believe it is their job or not, the faculty are what really binds the students to their success, and they need to help our students.”
The meeting also consisted of approvals for emeritus faculty recommendations and faculty retirements and separations.
Those receiving emeritus status from EMU were Linda Berry, School of Nursing; Karen Schulte, Department of Special Education; Maria Sipos, School of Visual and Built Environments; Jianhua Wang, Department of Engineering Technology; and Michael Zeiger, Department of Computer Science.