Volume XXVII  No. 48 • Dec. 12, 2003

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College of Education receives continued accreditation approval - top


“This is undoubtedly the best program review we have ever received in my time here,” Dr. Dean Myers, dean of the College of Education, said recently concerning the review and subsequent continued accreditation approval by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Myers has been with BHSU for 12 years.

Continued accreditation at the initial teacher preparation and advanced preparation levels were both approved for the university. The next review is scheduled in seven years.

Studies show that teacher quality is one of the most important factors in student achievement. Professional accreditation is one way to ensure the public that schools of education are graduating well-qualified teachers ready for today’s classrooms. The BHSU College of Education has proven its commitment to producing quality teachers for the nation’s children by achieving accreditation under the performance-oriented standards of NCATE.

According to Sandee Schamber, associate education professor and director of field experiences at BHSU, NCATE has totally redefined its focus for accreditation standards and the review now relies on outcome-based standards. This is the first time BHSU has gone through the new accreditation process and, in fact, BHSU is one of the first schools in the region that has completed the completely revamped accreditation process.

“This is the first time that NCATE has looked at output data. It’s a much more rigorous system. Before, the accreditation dealt primarily with input data. Now they are looking at how our students are performing as they go out and teach,” Schamber said.

Myers noted that the accreditation team was especially impressed with the university’s positive working relationship with area public schools, the quality of professors at BHSU, the integration of technology in class instruction, the online Master’s of Science in Curriculum and Instruction (MSCI) degree program, the use of multiple assessments to determine what BHSU students know and can do, and the diverse and multiple field experience placement environments our students are required to complete.

“This review stressed the importance of partnerships with public schools. We have remarkable working relationships [with school districts] and that was noticed as a major strength of our program,” Myers said. “Our teacher education program is only as good as the cooperating teachers that supervise our students during their field experiences – and we have great cooperating teachers.”

Myers said that the College of Education depends on the support of the local educators, and he expressed his thanks to all the cooperating teachers who make the partnerships with BHSU possible.

The accreditation team members were impressed with the quality of the education faculty at BHSU. According to Myers, team members specifically commented on how dedicated the faculty is to the profession and noted that it is evident that the College of Education professors take their teaching very seriously. They not only provide a positive, enriched learning environment, they also model effective teaching strategies and curriculum development – based on scientifically-based research.

NCATE revises its standards every five years to incorporate the best practices and research to ensure that the standards reflect a consensus in teacher preparation today. In the past decade, NCATE has moved from an accreditation system that focused on curriculum and what teacher candidates were offered, to a data-driven performance-based system dedicated to determining what candidates know and are able to do. The new system expects teacher preparation universities to provide compelling evidence of candidate knowledge and skill in the classroom.

Schamber thinks the accreditation process changes are an improvement and give a more realistic view of graduates’ teaching abilities.

“We started collecting data, hard data, with unit assessment research that was used in the NCATE accreditation report,” Schamber said. She noted that the College of Education will continue to collect and report this data in an annual report each fall.

“We have to show that our students can teach P-12 kids. It’s more effective to look at the student outcomes. That’s what we’re here for. We work with these students to be sure they are able to teach,” Schamber said.

The U.S. Department of Education recognizes NCATE as a professional accrediting body for schools, departments and colleges of education. On-site visits, document review and accreditation decisions are all carried out by professionals from the education community including teachers, school specialists and teacher educators as well as members of the public and education policy makers.

For more information about the education program at BHSU visit the website at www.bhsu.edu. Information about NCATE is available at www.ncate.org

Chrysler presents research papers at three conferences - top

Dr. Earl Chrysler, professor in the College of Business and Technology at Black Hills State University, presented research papers at three conferences this fall.

The papers were all co-authored by Stuart Van Auken from Florida Gulf Coast University.

Chrysler presented “Teaching Methods Versus Satisfaction With An MBA Program: What Works And What Doesn’t” at the International Society for Teaching and Learning in Ft. Collins, Colo. During the presentation, he discussed the results of a survey of alumni of a master of business (MBA) program. The survey was used to find out which academic techniques determined satisfaction within the MBA program.

At the Information Systems Educators Annual Conference in San Diego, Calif., Chrysler presented “The Use of Factor Analysis and Multiple Regression in Evaluating MIS Program Relevancy.” Chrysler explained how responses of alumni of a management information systems (MIS) program were analyzed to determine which course clusters explained alumni perceived satisfaction with the entire MIS program.

Chrysler also presented “Assessing MIS Course Content Value Over Time: A Multivariate Research Study of Alumni” at the Academy of Business Disciplines Annual Conference in Fort Myers, Fla. The paper, which was co-presented with co-author Van Auken, discussed the analysis of the value of courses in an MIS program based upon whether an alum considered the course value during one’s first year on the job or later in one’s career.

Chrysler received his master’s degree in business administration from San Diego State University and his doctorate in business administration from the University of Southern California. He has been a member of the BHSU faculty since 2002.

Wolff explains the metamorphosis of his recently published book at a book signing ceremony - top

Dr. David Wolff, history professor at Black Hills State University, explained the metamorphosis of his book, which emerged from a dissertation project, during a book signing at the university this week. His book, Industrializing the Rockies: Growth, Competition, and Turmoil in the Coalfields of Colorado and Wyoming, 1868-1914, details events and labor relations that shaped the Western coal industry.

In the book, Wolff discusses two defining moments of Western coalfield labor relations: Wyoming’s Rock Springs Massacre of 1885 and Colorado’s Ludlow Massacre of 1914. Wolff places the deadly conflicts and strikes in the context of the Western coal industry from its inception in 1868 to the age of maturity in the early 20th century. He studies the emergence of coalfield labor relations and gives a general overview of the role of coal mining in the American West.

Copies of Industrializing the Rockies are available by calling 1-800-627-7377. Visit www.upcolorado.com for more information.

Wolff received his master’s degree in history from the University of Wyoming and his doctorate in history from Arizona State University. He has been a member of the BHSU faculty since 1998. 

Applications accepted for technology-enhanced learning projects - top

Applications are currently being accepted for the Board of Regents (BOR) Recognition Awards for E-Learning which will be announced and presented at the May 2004 BOR meeting at Northern State University.

Awards will be presented in the following four categories:

  • Internet-only courses (entire course delivered online)
  • Internet-assisted courses (significant web-site support)
  • Support of large-section courses (>50 student per section)
  • DDN courses (course delivered primarily by DDN)

From among the winning entries in each of the four categories, one will be chosen as best overall. This course or project will be considered South Dakota's finest example of technology-enhanced learning at the university level. 

Eligible are:

  • courses that were completed by one of the South Dakota BOR institutions during the calendar year 2003;
  • individuals or teams (teams may include faculty, adjunct faculty, staff or graduate students);
  • projects that show strong promise of enhancing student learning , or advancing efforts to effectively design, develop, deliver, and/or assess information technology-intensive learning environments.

Projects may be nominated in more than one award category; however, a single project can receive only one award. Award recipients will be asked to allow guest viewing of online and print materials relevant to the award, so that other faculty and staff may benefit. Nominees will be asked to submit a very brief project description, plus all applicable URL's and access privileges to reviewers.

For 2003-04, recognitions will include:

  • awards of $1,000 for the top entry in each of the four award categories;
  • one award of $1,500 for the for the best overall entry;
  • a letter of recognition from the BOR
  • recognition at the South Dakota BOR May 2004 meeting
  • additional letters of recognition and non-cash awards for second and third place runners-up in each category;
  • award of a digital "Certificate of Excellence" to place on the web sites of the top one to three entries in each category.

The Electronic University Consortium (EUC) of South Dakota will establish an ad hoc award selection committee. Final decisions will be made by the Chief Academic Officer of the BOR. Award recipients will be notified by April 1 to allow them time to make arrangements to attend the BOR meeting.

Please watch the EUC web site for any announcements regarding this program.

Submit all nominations to Dr. Dan Farrington, interim vice president of academic affairs, at USB 9501. All nominations must be received by Feb. 6. Copies of the nomination form may be obtained from the college deans. 

BHSU's one hundred forty-sixth commencement will be Dec. 20 - top

The 146th Commencement will be held at Black Hills State University Saturday, Dec. 20 at 10 a.m. in the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center.

Degrees will be awarded to 189 students including 28 master’s degrees, three bachelor of arts degrees, one bachelor of applied technical science degree, 112 bachelor of science degrees, 39 bachelor of science in education degrees, and 6 associate degrees.

Regent Randall Morris will give a greeting from the South Dakota Board of Regents. Dr. Thomas Flickema, BHSU president, will present diplomas, assisted by April Meeker, records director, and Dr. Dan Farrington, vice president of academic affairs.

Musical selections will be performed by the Black Hills Singers and Dr. Janeen Larsen.

Following the commencement ceremony a reception hosted by the president will be held in the Young Center field house for all graduates and their families.

An honors breakfast will be held prior to commencement at 8:15 a.m. in the Yellow Jacket Legacy Room of the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union. The summa, magna and cum laude graduates will be recognized.

BHSU partners with Adams Museum to bring Shakespeare troupe to area - top

The Shenandoah Shakespeare Express 2003/2004 Excellent Motion Tour will make a stop at Black Hills State University and the Adams House and Museum this February. 

The Digital Shakespeare Society at BHSU and the Adams Museum and House will host performances by Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, the touring part of Shenandoah Shakespeare of Staunton, Va., Feb. 9-11. The group will also conduct workshops designed to reduce the apprehension some students feel when faced with Shakespeare’s works.

The Shenandoah Shakespeare Express (SSE) troupe of 12 actors will perform 
two Shakespearean pieces, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Henry IV, 
Part One
, at BHSU in Spearfish.

Partly a funny look at love, and partly a serious examination of friendship, The 
Two Gentlemen of Verona
has one of Shakespeare’s most engaging comic heroines, one of his funniest clowns, and 
the best role in drama for a dog.

Henry IV, Part One is the show to see for any audience interested in parent/child relationships, neglected wives, or the shoot-out at the O-K Corral. A big, brawling look at English history, and at the competing claims of duty, honor, and friendship, this play shines with SSE’s energy and brisk pace.

The Adams Museum in Deadwood will host Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, a comic masterpiece that defines wit and style at its highest, and deserves its reputation as the greatest English comedy since Twelfth Night.

In addition to their three public performances, SSE will conduct workshops for college and high school students. The workshops are geared “to cure students of ‘Shakes-fear,’ which SSE describes as the “reflexive intellectual paranoia that grips students when presented with performances by or discussion of William Shakespeare.”

The troupe’s goal is to perform Shakespeare’s plays under the conditions for which they were originally designed: on a simple stage, surrounded by an audience that shares the same light as the actors, each of whom plays several roles. SSE believes such performances create a sense of intimacy between actor and audience rarely found in theatre today.

Admission is free for students and a donation is asked of the general public. For more information contact Dr. Roger Ochse, BHSU professor of humanities, at 642-6386 or Adams Museum and House director Mary Kopco at 578-1928.

Performance sponsors are the BHSU Student Senate; Bush Foundation Freshman Project; BHSU Programming Team; BHSU Department of Humanities; South Dakota Humanities Council; South Dakota Arts Council; Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission; Adams-Mastrovich Family Foundation; Heartland Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest funded by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contributions from General Mills Foundation, Land O’Lakes Foundation, Sprint Corporation, Midnight Star, and TDG Communications.

Summer Institute of the Arts receives $500 grant for a spring program - top

The Black Hills Summer Institute of the Arts recently received a $500 grant from Black Hills FiberCom to support the Vocal Arts and Opera Theater spring program.

The spring program, scheduled for Feb. 7 at the Matthews Opera House, will include an evening of cabaret music and dance with popular tunes sung and played by a number of different musicians.

According to Holly Downing, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at BHSU, grant support for the vocal program has also been received from two other sources. The program received a $500 project grant and a $427 artists in the schools grant from the South Dakota Arts Council. The Allied Arts in Rapid City has been an ongoing supporter of the program.

The Black Hills Summer Institute of the Arts, scheduled for June 11-26, features several weeks of events including an art education institute, a vocal arts and opera theatre school, a dance workshop, a lecture series and several public performances. The summer institute is hosted annually by the College of Arts and Sciences at BHSU. For additional information on a these events, contact the College of Arts and Sciences at BHSU at 642-6420 or see the web page www.bhsu.edu/arts/.

Silent Christmas carolers use sign language to present a holiday greeting - top

Sign language carolers, Sarah Larson, a senior elementary education major from Hill City; Bethany Sheets, a freshman from Mitchell; Lily VanVlack, president of the Fantastic Phalanges, a freshman elementary education major from Rapid City; and Julie Legerski, a sophomore elementary education major from Rick Springs, Wyo.; sign the word ‘silent’ as they practice ‘Silent Night,” one of three Christmas songs they performed for members of the residence halls at Black Hills State University. 

A group of BHSU students used sign language to present silent holiday greetings and raise awareness of the sign language club on campus.

Members of Fantastic Phalanges, a new student organization at BHSU which is dedicated to improving sign language usage, recently presented silent versions of three Christmas carol favorites in sign language to members of the BHSU residence halls.

According to Lily VanVlack, a freshman elementary education major from Rapid City who is currently serving as president 
of Fantastic Phalanges, the organization is dedicated to
improving members’ sign language abilities.

“We wanted to use this holiday caroling time to create awareness and spread the word about our club,” VanVlack said. She indicated that nearly 20 members meet once a week to learn sign language and to practice their sign language skills.

VanVlack, who has been signing for nearly 11 years, became interested in signing because one of her friends was deaf and used sign language to communicate. She encourages other students to become involved in learning sign language.

Joan Wermers serves as the advisor for the group.

Faculty research funds available - top

The Faculty Research Committee has funds available for the current fiscal year. Write a short (about three-page) proposal. Proposal forms are available at the Grants Office, Woodburn 309, or can be printed from the committee website.

It is anticipated that successful applicants will request support for faculty release time, research equipment, travel to research sites or research support for the production of creative work. Preference is given to new applicants, particularly in the areas of education, business, social sciences and humanities.

The next application deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 20 at noon. Applicants are encouraged to contact the committee members for advice prior to completing their proposals. The members are John Alsup; Earl Chrysler; Tom Cox; Abdollah Farrokhi (chair); Jim Hess, Kathleen Parrow; Shane Sarver; and Rob Schurrer.

Faculty Research Grants available from the Chiesman Endowment - top

The Black Hills State University Chiesman Endowment for Promoting Democracy is seeking applications from BHSU faculty members interested in pursuing research in the areas of democracy, civic education, law-related education, or the promotion of democratic principles and ideals. The endowment will award two stipends of up to $6,000 each to individuals who meet the following criteria:

  • The research or scholarly activity focuses on the intent of the Chiesman Endowment. The Chiesman Endowment is seeking research and publication on topics related to the promotion, study, and preservation of democracy and democratic ideals.
  • The findings will be submitted for publication in a national journal or magazine within one year of the award of the stipend unless other arrangements are made.
  • A proposal, which will serve as an application, must be submitted to the BHSU Office of Grants and Special Projects by Jan. 15, 2004. The Office of Grants and Special Projects will forward the proposal to the Chair of the Chiesman Endowment Committee for review and approval for funding. The announcement of awards will be made on March 14, 2004.
  • The proposal must contain the name or names (if it is a joint project) of the investigators, the research question or problem, a proposed methodology, a statement of relevancy to how the project will promote or preserve democratic ideals and principles, a proposed budget, and finally, a statement on where the results will be published or presented. The proposal should not exceed three pages (double spaced).

Proposals should be submitted to Sharon Hemmingson, interim director of the Grants and Special Projects Office, by mail at Black Hills State University, 1200 University Unit 9504, Spearfish, SD 57799-9504; email at sharonhemmingson@bhsu.edu; or fax at 642-6193. Proposals may also be submitted online.

Contact George Earley, chair of the BHSU Chiesman Endowment Committee, at georgeearley@bhsu.edu or 642-6270 with questions. 

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