CRITERION III: Accomplishments

NCA Report
Table of Contents

NCA Report
UNI Web Space

Full Report
Download a printable version of the full report in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format.

UNI NCA Committee Site

I. Evidence of effective delivery of educational and other services to the community

Professional and public service that extends beyond the University is an integral part of the University mission. Individual faculty and staff participate on their own volition in a variety of civic, social, and corporate services that contribute to accomplishing the goals of local, state, national, and international organizations and communities. Within departments and colleges, organized projects and programs also serve the needs of constituents beyond the University. Our attention in this section focuses on the educational services of two academic units, while acknowledging the important public and professional service contributions of individuals, departments, and colleges across the University. The focus here is on the educational services provided through the Division of Continuing Education and Special Programs and the Division of Educational Opportunity Programs and Special Community Services. In which ways, and how well, are these educational services delivered to constituents in the larger community beyond UNI?

Division of Continuing Education and Special Programs
At the University of Northern Iowa, the Division of Continuing Education and Special Programs is the administrative home for four programs: Continuing Education Credit Programs, Continuing Education Non-Credit Programs, the University Museum and the Individual Studies Program. Each program has its own director and program focus. A report on each of the programs follows. The Annual Report for the division highlights all of the activities for the 1998-99 academic year. In addition, a January 2000 interim report details the Division's response to its 1998 Strategic Plan for Credit and Non-Credit Programs. The Museum has recently completed a self-study and has sent it to the American Association of Museums.

Continuing Education Credit Programs
Consistent with its statewide mission, the University of Northern Iowa has a long history of offering off-campus courses and programs to serve the needs of Iowans. The primary focus of UNI's off-campus efforts since 1913 has been to serve the inservice and graduate education needs of K-12 teachers around the state. As the institution that prepares more of Iowa's teachers than any other institution, it is only fitting that UNI continue to work with teachers as they practice their profession. Courses, workshops, endorsement and certification programs, as well as entire masters degree programs, are offered at various sites across Iowa.

As the University has become more diversified in recent years, its off-campus efforts have expanded beyond teacher needs. UNI currently offers off-campus programs in business, industrial technology, and public relations to serve working professionals.

A core value for delivery of off-campus education at UNI is that the quality of education offered off-campus should be the equivalent of that being offered on-campus. The curriculum/courses offered off-campus are the same as those offered on-campus, and full-time campus-based faculty members do most of the off-campus teaching, much of it as part of their regular teaching loads. While Continuing Education administers off-campus courses and programs, it does not have the freedom to offer courses or credit without the approval of the appropriate academic department. To assure that off-campus students have sufficient resources, the Rod Library provides electronic and other access options for distance education students. A library staff member is available to assist distance education students with their needs.

Continuing Education off-campus credit enrollments have increased steadily over the past decade. Using a variety of delivery methods, including off-campus on-site courses, Iowa Communication Network (ICN) courses, print-based and web-based correspondence study courses and semester based on-line courses; off-campus credit enrollments have grown from 5,049 in 1991-1992 to 8,171 in 1998-1999.

The ICN is a live, fully interactive instructional television system in use in the State since Fall 1993. Between 20 and 30 courses are offered via the ICN each semester, allowing multi-site delivery and assisting the University in serving students at remote areas of the state. Largely because of the ICN, UNI was able to offer at least one course in 109 different Iowa communities during 1998-1999. The television system means that fewer faculty members must drive or fly to remote Iowa communities to teach. It also has provided a method of incorporating on-campus instruction with off-campus instruction, because on- and off-campus students are in class together. Of the 17 off-campus graduate program cohorts, 16 offer part or all of the program over the ICN; the one exception is the MBA program offered in the Cedar Falls/Waterloo metropolitan area.

Increasingly the World Wide Web is being used in distance learning for courses that lend themselves to this type of delivery. Some of the correspondence courses are available via both the on-line and print-based methods. Also, some courses are offered on-line using the semester-based model. Several of the off-campus graduate programs have at least one course available over the web. As well as teaching students the course content, web delivery familiarizes the students with the latest technology and is available to students without time and place constraints. In some cases, WebCT is used to supplement ICN and other distance instruction. This technology assists instructors primarily in making materials available to students, in allowing students to send assignments via the web, and in facilitating communication among students and instructors.

In summary, UNI strives to offer quality distance education. The primary distance-education need across Iowa seems to be graduate education for employed, part-time, students who wish to advance within their professions. As some of UNI's graduate programs have a relatively small on-campus enrollment, the University has the capacity to serve distant students, especially since much off-campus instruction has been incorporated with on-campus instruction through the use of the ICN as noted above. The strength of UNI distance education efforts continues to be its integration with the on-campus curriculum and faculty, making sure that the University's off-campus programs are the same as its on-campus programs.

Continuing Education Credit Programs also administers the Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS) degree program. The BLS is an external degree offered jointly with the University of Iowa and Iowa State University and, with its liberal transfer policy and no residency requirement, serves as an excellent opportunity for nontraditional students and anyone who is unable to complete a college degree through on-campus attendance. UNI serves these students through correspondence study, World Wide Web classes, telecourses, ICN courses and other distance education opportunities. The program currently has about one hundred students, many of whom are graduates of one of Iowa's community colleges who are place-bound, or returning UNI students who, for whatever reasons, left the University without completing a degree.

Non-Credit Programs
A major goal for the Non-Credit Programs Office of the Continuing Education Division is to assist colleges, departments and other University units with the management of both on and off-campus non-credit events/projects and to develop and deliver contract training programs for government and industrial/business organizations by matching UNI resources with organizational needs. This goal relates directly to a concept in the University's new mission statement and 2001-2006 Strategic Plan:

"UNI programs incorporate scholarship and service to serve individuals, communities and organizations throughout the state, the nation and the world."

Providing professional development opportunities in various disciplines is one objective of non-credit programming. These opportunities are designed to provide up-to-date information on techniques and practices for professional groups. A second objective is to provide for the educational development of professional educators and educational leaders of Iowa. This is consistent with the University of Northern Iowa's commitment to enhancing its premier status in teacher education.

The offering and delivery of professional and educational development opportunities is accomplished via conferences, seminars, institutes and workshops offered in time arrangements consisting of one day to two weeks. Another mode of delivery is via customized contract training programs offered to Iowa business and industries. During the summer and academic year of June 1, 1998 May 31, 1999, the Non-Credit Programs Office provided educational opportunities for 14,143 participants.

Two additional educational opportunities provided by Non-Credit Programs include: International Short-Term Study Abroad Programs and Elderhostel Programs. The International component has included study in the countries of Poland and France. Another project is being planned for Vietnam. Elderhostel is a successful, on-going activity for the Non-Credit Programs Office. Participants have given high rating to low-cost, short-term academic programs offered for adults who are 55 years of age and older. Each summer during June and July, UNI sponsors a week of Elderhostel with an enrollment of 35 50 participants. Also during the last two years, UNI has sponsored two weeks of Elderhostel/Habitat programming. Twelve participants were enrolled for each of these events.

Museums and Collections
The University of Northern Iowa of Museums and Collections unit manages two facilities: the University Museum, with natural history collections, and the Marshall Center School, a historic one-room school. The staff of Museums and Collections also has responsibilities to departmental collections across campus, including advising to academic departments on the appropriate methodology for maintaining their collections and documentation, handling of all collection gifts and deaccessions, and the selection of adjunct curatorial positions.

The UNI Museums contribute to the education, research and public service missions of the University through educational programming, exhibition, collection, and preservation. For the campus and the general public, the Museums foster life-long learning, the exchange of ideas, and a respect for our natural resources and the human heritage of the world. The educational programming and exhibition initiatives of the Museums are supported by a collection of 105,563 items covering primarily the disciplines of history, biology, geology, and anthropology.

Established in 1892 as an educational resource for students, the University Museums' collection was built through individual collecting of specimens and artifacts by the faculty. The Museum has the distinction of being among the ten percent of museums in this country that are accredited by the American Association of Museums. Because of the scarcity of natural history museums within Iowa, particularly those with international collections, the University Museum takes a broad global view in collecting. This strategy also meets the University's goal of heightening student and public awareness of the value of environmental and cultural diversity. These goals are particularly important because of the geographic location of the state and because of the importance of exposure to other ethnic groups. The University Museums' collecting, programming, and exhibiting are a vital component in the campus' mission to broaden student perspective and experience.

The Marshall Center School was built in 1893 and moved to the UNI campus in 1988 to commemorate Iowa's long history of high-quality education and the campus' role in this proud tradition. The School is one of the most authentically restored rural school museums in Iowa. Because there is no central repository for early education memorabilia in Iowa, the Museums have become, with the blessing of the State Historical Society of Iowa, the unofficial repository for pieces related to the history of rural schools in Iowa.

Campus students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as students of other regional colleges regularly visit the UNI Museums. Other visitors include regional elementary school groups, youth groups, adult organizations, and the general public. For all of these audiences, museum educators oversee class projects, supervise student internships, and present hands-on activities, lectures and tours at the Museums. The internship program provides experiential learning opportunities for students in a wide range of academic programs, from business management and anthropology to textile design and communications.

Attendance at the two museums during the last fiscal year was 18,062. Due to a strong changing exhibits program, a wide variety of educational activities, and an aggressive marketing and public relations campaign, museum attendance has grown by approximately ten percent each year for the past five years. That growth has also been seen in donor support. Endowments since 1997 have increased by $150,000. Memberships and the level of membership support have doubled since 1994. The professional staff has tripled since 1992, as have the number of student interns and volunteer staff.

Future plans for the Museums include the acquisition of a larger facility, greater accessibility to our collection and educational programs through web-based technology, the creation of educational programming based on first-person interpretation, and a revamping of the exhibition program around an interdisciplinary approach.

Individual Studies Program
The following program options are available through Individual Studies: General Studies Major, Individual Studies Major and the National Student Exchange Program.

Approved by the Board of Regents in 1974, the General Studies major is designed for students who desire a well-rounded liberal arts education. General Studies majors take a wide variety of courses from many different departments. The 45-semester-hour major requires a minimum of 15 semester hours of upper-level coursework from each of three of the five colleges of instruction. The emphasis of this major is on distribution rather than concentration. Each student is encouraged to develop a program of study according to his/her own needs, interests and career goals.

At the present time, 307 students are pursuing a degree in General Studies compared to 48 students in 1980. One reason for the increase may be the grade-point average (GPA) requirement for entry into certain majors such as communication studies, business, and teaching. Individuals who do not meet the GPA requirements may select General Studies as an alternative. Although the General Studies major was originally designed for the nontraditional student, currently two-thirds of the majors are under 25 years of age.

The purpose of the Individual Studies major is twofold: 1) to enable a student to design an individualized major by selecting courses from several academic departments, and 2) to explore interdisciplinary areas of study before those areas are formally adopted as departmental or interdepartmental majors. All Individual Studies majors must complete an undergraduate thesis/project for six credit hours.

UNI is a member of the National Student Exchange (NSE) consortium, a network of over 155 state colleges and universities located throughout the United States. NSE enables sophomores and juniors with a 2.75 or higher grade-point average to study for one or two semesters at the school of their choice while paying UNI tuition. The NSE program provides Northern Iowa students an opportunity to become better acquainted with different social and educational patterns in other parts of the United States. It also encourages students to experience new life and learning styles, learn more about themselves and others, and broaden their educational backgrounds through specialized courses or unique programs which may not be available at UNI. During 1998-1999, UNI hosted three NSE scholars and placed 33 students at 24 colleges and universities.

Educational Opportunity Programs/Special Community Services
Another wide range of services is provided by Educational Opportunity Programs/Special Community Services (EOP/SCS), a division of Academic Affairs. This office demonstrates the University's continuing commitment to meet the educational needs of financially disadvantaged and minority students and to provide educational options at UNI's Center for Urban Education as well as on the main campus.

University of Northern Iowa Center for Urban Education
The Center for Urban Education (UNI-CUE) is located in the heart of the urban area of Waterloo. As one of the components of the University's Educational Opportunity Programs and Special Community Services, it represents UNI's strong commitment to the cultural diversity of its faculty, staff, and students.

UNI-CUE's mission is to provide a positive environment for lifetime learning. Individuals may pursue their educational goals and prepare for careers. UNI-CUE personnel collaborate with other campus departments and community programs to match the Center's resources with community needs. The various programs available benefit both the participants and the University students who participate in the opportunity to do field experience in an urban area.

Center for Academic Achievement
The Center for Academic Achievement provides the University community with a variety of supportive services that will enhance students' academic achievement and persistence toward graduation. Staffed by full-time professionals and part-time student assistants, the Center provides the Math Lab, the Writing Center, and supplemental advising. The Center for Academic Achievement is located in the Student Services Center and provides services to any UNI student free of charge.

In addition, Academic Achievement teaches a course, Community Service: Academic Skills Achievement Center (200:180). In this course, University students are trained to provide community service and to tutor children and youth in a variety of educational settings, including low-performing elementary and middle schools, a Mesquakie reservation, and correctional facilities.

Educational Opportunity Center
Many adults are unaware of education and career opportunities because their income is low and their parents have not pursued college degrees. The Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) staff assist eligible adults to select a post-secondary institution or training program suited to their interests, help clients complete admission and financial aid applications, and provide academic development workshops in test taking, writing, basic reading, studying, and math skills.

The Educational Opportunity Center also coordinates job and college fairs and provides promotional information on educational and career topics to community media. The EOC is located at UNI-CUE.

Educational Talent Search
The Educational Talent Search program provides educational counseling to 1,300 students annually, helping them to continue in and graduate from high school and to enroll in educational programs beyond high school. The program also counsels high school and college dropouts to return to an appropriate educational program. Educational Talent Search, located at UNI-CUE, serves primarily Waterloo students from 6th grade through age 18.

Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program
Service to students and to the local community can also serve the broader academic community. The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program responds to the need for more American minorities in college teaching. This program is designed to encourage low-income and first-generation undergraduate students, especially American minorities, to consider careers in college teaching as well as to complete advanced degrees through effective preparation for doctoral study. The 20 students who participate in the program are provided with academic enrichment programs that provide tutoring, academic counseling, summer internships, financial aid and admissions assistance, research opportunities, and faculty-directed mentoring. The program is headquartered in the Student Services Center and is funded by a four-year, $760,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education, awarded in June of 1999.

Student Support Services
The Student Support Services program provides services to 200 low-income, first-generation, and disabled college students. The services of this program are designed to increase the retention and graduation rates of eligible students and to foster an institutional climate supportive of the success of low-income and first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities.

The Student Support Services program has three primary goals:

1. to identify and select participants who meet eligibility requirements and demonstrate an academic need for services in order to succeed at UNI

2. to improve or at least maintain the academic performance of each participant to meet or exceed the minimum performance required by the University for continued persistence and graduation

3. to enhance the intellectual, cultural, and social development of participating students.

To achieve these goals, Student Support Services personnel provide academic advising and assistance with course selection, educational and long-range planning; tutoring; career advising; academic and cultural activities that enhance students' personal and intellectual development; and admissions assistance for enrollment in graduate and professional programs. The Student Support Services program is located in the Student Services Center.

Upward Bound
Classic Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math and Science are preparatory programs designed to empower program participants with the academic skills and motivation necessary for success in high school and ultimately college. Both programs serve low-income, first-generation students who demonstrate potential for college as measured by standardized tests, high school grades, and written recommendations from school administrators, counselors, or teachers. Both programs have offices at UNI-CUE.

Two components, the academic year program and the summer enrichment program, comprise Classic Upward Bound at UNI. During the academic year, Classic Upward Bound serves 75 students in after-school supplemental instruction and tutorials in their high schools. The academic year program also includes academic advising and counseling, career exploration, college tours, study skills development workshops, leadership conferences, and other activities.

During the summer program, Classic Upward Bound serves 60 students who spend six weeks at the University of Northern Iowa. These students live in a residence hall and attend enrichment courses in mathematics (algebra and pre-calculus), English (literature and composition), science (biology and physics), modern languages (Spanish or French), economics, and computer science. In addition to their coursework, students participate in cultural enrichment activities.

After Classic Upward Bound students successfully graduate from high school, they are enrolled in UNI summer-session courses, all of which are transferable to the college or university that students will attend in the fall. These participants live in residence halls with other UNI students during the summer.

The Upward Bound Math and Science program serves 45 students from Iowa. During the summer, participants live in a residence hall at UNI and for six weeks attend classes in physics, chemistry, biology, earth science, mathematics, Spanish, and technical writing. On weekends, they take field trips featuring applications of math and science. During the following academic year, students are required to meet monthly with a mentor in their community and to complete two scientific projects.

In September 2000, the U.S. Department of Education awarded UNI a five-year grant totaling $1.26 million for a GEAR-UP program (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs). The purpose of GEAR-UP is to provide students of Logan Middle School (of Waterloo Community Schools) with the skills, motivation, and preparation needed to pursue post-secondary education. The program will inform students and their parents about college options and financial aid, develop a solid academic foundation, promote improvement in teaching and learning methods, and provide ongoing staff training and professional development.

Each program administered by Educational Opportunity Programs and Special Community Services provides educational services to our local, regional, or state communities, primarily by improving access to and retention in our educational programs. The programs administered by Continuing Education and Special Programs also provide educational services locally, regionally, or across the state, extending the offerings of the University far beyond our campus in Cedar Falls. Every department and division of UNI provides community service in a variety of ways, but these two divisions of Academic Affairs are fulfilling a special charge to take our programs to the broader community.


Criteria I
Criteria II
Criteria III
Criteria IV
Criteria V
Summary &
UNI Home Page
Maintained by University Marketing and Public Relations 
Last Modified: 02/14/01