2017 CEHS STRATEGIC PLAN

SECTION 1: PURPOSE

Mission Statement

The College of Education and Human Services (CEHS) prepares future leaders to recognize and strengthen the capacity of all persons to make informed decisions to meet personal and professional goals. College faculty, staff, and students celebrate the power of education and human services to create meaning, to change lives, and to heal conflict, suffering and inequality in human relationships. These values are grounded in respect for diversity, the primacy of engaged citizenship, and a deep commitment to the welfare of all people.

Vision Statement

Building on existing strengths, the College of Education and Human Services will be a leader in preparing students for success at UIS and in the practice of their chosen profession. This vision will be accomplished through a diverse and growing faculty, staff, and student body engaged in the pursuit of knowledge, the development of understanding, and the delivery of meaningful service in the community.

Guiding Values

The College of Education and Human Services will reflect a supportive and caring environment through the college’s commitment to:

  • Excellence in Teaching and Learning
  • Professionalism and Ethics
  • The Pursuit of Knowledge
  • Diversity and Social Justice

Mandates Impacting CEHS Programs

Due to its emphasis on professional practice, a number of mandates imposed by external entities strongly impact the programs in the College of Education and Human Services.

Undergraduate Programs

The Department of Social Work (SWK) is nationally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). CSWE standards are rigorous; a graduate of UIS automatically qualifies to sit for the Illinois Licensed Social Worker exam once he/she has satisfied the practice requirement.  The CSWE standards are available for review at the www.cswe.org website.  Additionally, Social Work and Substance Abuse (SWK 425) meets the Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association’s standards for their credentialing exam. The Social Work department has also designed coursework which meets the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services’ standards for professional training.

The programs in the Department of Teacher Education (TEP) are structured around several sets of state standards that must be met by all teacher candidates in Illinois.  Accordingly, the Department has revised its curricula to meet the 2013 Illinois Professional Teaching Standards, various Content Area Standards for Educators, and the Illinois Social-Emotional Learning Standards.  In addition, candidates are required to pass the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP – or appropriate equivalent), the Content Area Exam specific to their endorsement areas, and the Education Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA).  The standards and licensure requirements can be found on the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) web site at www.isbe.net.

Graduate Programs

The Master of Arts in Educational Leadership is designed to meet the professional growth and development needs of Illinois educators. The M.A. degree provides for a carefully planned set of experiences designed to develop the knowledge, skills and competencies needed for elementary and secondary administrative leadership positions. Courses in the program are appropriate for classroom teachers, State Board of Education personnel, central administrative staff, and school board members. The curriculum provides an opportunity to obtain the M.A. in Educational Leadership and meets the coursework requirements established by the Illinois State Board of Education to obtain the Principal Endorsement.

The Post-Master’s Certificate/Superintendent’s Endorsement program prepares administrators for the Illinois State Board of Education endorsement process and is offered in a cohort format that focuses on the development of each student, group skills, and enhancement of group learning opportunities. Participants must successfully complete all coursework/internships and pass the appropriate state licensure tests. A new cohort is offered every other year.

Additionally, the EDL department offers a program for those pursuing the Chief School Business Official Endorsement.

In addition, the EDL program is developing two new paths for graduate students to achieve certification or endorsement. Students have the opportunity to prepare for certificates in K-12 Technology and Higher Education Online Pedagogy. Both programs are offered online. The K-12 Technology coursework is aligned to the Illinois State Board of Education Technology Specialist endorsement. The Higher Education Online Pedagogy program is presently going through the approval process.

This Master of Arts in Education (MAE) is an online program that offers a holistic, global master’s degree as well as professional development opportunities. Graduates are recognized as teacher-leaders who excel within their teaching environments and assume non-administrative leadership roles in their current organizations as well as their communities. The program is recognized for its leading-edge use of technology and serves as a valuable aid in preparing for National Certification (NBPTS). The MAE program also serves professionals outside the field of education; those pursuing training or leadership roles within their professional setting as well as individuals seeking knowledge in the areas of technology, leadership, and teaching methodologies.

The Department of Human Development Counseling (HDC) is comprised of three concentrations: clinical mental health counseling, school counseling, and marriage, couple, and family counseling. All three concentrations are nationally accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). CACREP accreditation allows candidates to sit for the National Counselor Exam (NCE) in their last semester of coursework and apply for the first tier of licensure in the state of Illinois (i.e., Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Additionally, the school counseling concentration is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and its curriculum prepares candidates for a professional educator license with an endorsement in school counseling.

The Department of Human Services (HMS) offers a multidisciplinary MA degree that prepares students to become human service professionals in a variety of roles and settings. The department includes a core curriculum for all students, as well as four concentrations in which students may specialize: Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Child and Family Studies, Gerontology, and Social Service Administration. The Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association (IAODAPCA) has accredited the alcohol and substance abuse concentration. The HMS department also offers a graduate certificate in Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling.  This credential is available to students who do not wish to complete a formal degree program or who are enrolled in other departments (e.g., Human Development Counseling).


SECTION 2: STRATEGY

Statement of Strategic Intent

In the field of management and organizational development, strategic intent is defined as a compelling statement about where an organization is going that succinctly conveys a sense of what the organization wants to achieve in the long term. Strategic intent answers the question: “What exactly are we trying to accomplish?”

The University of Illinois at Springfield’s College of Education and Human Services will be recognized for producing great leaders who impact their region as individuals making critically important contributions within their respective areas of practice.

Environmental Assessment

Social Work – According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of social workers is expected to grow 19% from 2012 – 2022; faster than the average for all occupations. This increase is expected based on demand within the areas of family services, schools, health care, aging, mental health, and substance abuse. Specifically, employment from 2012 – 2022 is expected to increase by 15% for child, family, and school social workers, 27% for social workers in health care, and 23% for social workers in mental health and substance abuse. In Illinois, the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) expects a significant workforce turnover within the next 5-10 years, as veteran social workers retire.

Teacher Education – The Department of Labor also believes that job opportunities for teachers over the next 10 years will vary from good to excellent, depending on the locality, grade level, and subject taught. Most job openings will result from the need to replace the large number of teachers who are expected to retire. In addition, many beginning teachers leave teaching within five years — especially those employed in low socio-economic schools that teach underserved populations — creating additional job openings for teachers. Both elementary school teachers and middle school teachers’ job opportunities are expected to increase 7% by 2017. Currently, many school districts have difficulty hiring qualified teachers in some subject areas—most often STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), bilingual education, special education, and foreign languages. Increasing enrollments of minorities, coupled with a shortage of minority teachers, are expected to intensify efforts to recruit minority teachers. Specialties that have an adequate number of qualified teachers include general elementary education and social sciences.

Educational Leadership – The requirements to obtain an administrative position in K-12 schools were recently redesigned by EDL faculty in response to the Performance Evaluation Reform Act (2010).  Beyond changes in coursework, a more rigorous admission and internship process was mandated. Additionally, future administrators must complete and pass teacher evaluation modules that are costly. Further, a sharp increase in responsibilities in recent years has made administrator roles more stressful and has discouraged some teachers from taking positions in administration. Principals are now being held more accountable for the performance of students and teachers as well as adherence to a growing number of government regulations. The stress associated with these demands is compounded or intensified by overcrowded classrooms, safety issues, budgetary concerns, and teacher shortages in some areas. Other certification and endorsement programs are intended to meet the increasing need for school personnel at all levels to use technology strategically for the benefit of students.  Despite these challenges and demands, the Illinois Department of Employment Security anticipates an overall increase of 3.5% for elementary and secondary education administrators during the 2012-2022 time frame.

Human Development Counseling – According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists is projected to grow 29% through 2022; much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected in both occupations as more people have mental health counseling services covered by their insurance policies.

Federal legislation mandating individual health coverage may also increase the number of health insurance customers. The law requires insurance plans to cover treatment for mental health issues in the same way as other chronic diseases. These two factors will open up prevention and treatment services to more people who were previously uninsured, did not have these services covered, or found treatment to be cost-prohibitive. Mental health centers and other treatment and counseling facilities will need to hire more mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists to meet this increased demand. In addition, the number of military veterans needing and seeking mental health treatment is expected to increase over the next decade. The federal government, community clinics, and local hospitals will need to expand their mental health counseling staff, to provide timely and effective treatment for veterans and active-duty personnel. Furthermore, increasing numbers of people are expected to seek treatment for problems with mental and emotional problems than in earlier decades. As the population grows, the number of individuals entering therapy is expected to increase, as well. This trend will cause continued demand for counselors in mental health centers, hospitals, and colleges. Finally, current legislation in the state of Illinois has expanded the role of school counselors and could yield more employment opportunities. For example, school counselors are becoming more involved in the development and implementation of initiatives to address: a) crisis and preventive counseling, b) drug and alcohol abuse, c) suicide intervention, d) bullying and harassment, e) overall matters of safety (e.g., responsible use of technology), f) special education planning and implementation, and g) academic outcomes.

Human Services – According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, positions in the social and human service professions are projected to grow in the coming years. Specifically, substance abuse counselors are among the fastest-growing occupations from 2012 – 2022 with a projected growth rate of 22% nationwide.  Demand for human service professionals will also expand with the growing elderly population, which is more likely to need these services. Human service professionals may seek employment in state and local governments as well as private social service agencies which provide such services as adult day care, meal delivery programs, and family support services. Overall, the employment outlook for Master’s-level HMS graduates is strong with a projected growth rate of 9.5% nationally and 12.3% in Illinois for Community Service Managers.

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis

The SWOT analysis was largely derived from results of the Faculty and Staff Strategic Planning Survey conducted in October of 2014.

Strengths

Faculty

  • Maintain close relationships to the field
  • Have extensive experience in the classroom and in human service organizations
  • Maintain professional licensure and certification, professional behavior, and leadership in professional organizations
  • Committed to student success
  • Accessible to students

Professional Programs

  • Collaborate with community (intensive clinical experience-based service orientation)
  • Prepare students for professional employment
  • Model best practices

Weaknesses/Challenges

  • Adapt to budget constraints
  • Increase diversity among faculty, staff, and students
  • Increase student enrollments
  • Promote teaching and research collaboration among departments and colleges
  • Secure external research funding

Opportunities

  • Expand programs
  • Recruit students in new geographical areas
  • Offer continuing education
  • Increase alumni engagement and input
  • Increase benefit of close proximity to State Capitol

Threats

  • Retain faculty
  • Maintain college identity and autonomy

Key Strategic Issues Facing the Organization

  1. Meeting the college’s strategic intent through increased support (human resources, financial resources, and facilities) from alumni and other stakeholders.
  2. Maintaining existing accreditations and securing accreditation status for all programs in the college.
  3. Providing and expanding continuing professional development opportunities for our professional communities and alumni of our programs.
  4. Balancing quality programs with accessibility.
  5. Recruiting and retaining high-quality and diverse faculty, staff, and students.
  6. Marketing our reputation for quality programs, curriculum, and faculty-led courses.

Goals, Objectives, Action Steps, and Process Activities

GOAL 1: CEHS will provide high-quality academic programs to prepare students for success at UIS and in their professional fields.

OBJECTIVE 1: Accommodate the learning needs of a diverse student body through curriculum and instruction.

ACTION STEPS:

  1. Provide curriculum and instruction that represent best practices in all delivery modes (on-ground, blended, and online)
  2. Share current educational research regarding best practices among faculty
  3. Link instruction with practical experiences
  4. Integrate a social justice perspective

PROCESS ACTIVITIES:

  • Utilize, analyze, and apply feedback from course evaluations, Faculty Professional Performance Reports (FPPR), and program reviews
  • Examine and modify course syllabi
  • Report via individual department communique (e.g., department meeting minutes, emails, link to research initiatives)

OBJECTIVE 2: Address accreditation requirements and standards that enhance and support student preparedness for professional fields.

ACTION STEPS:

  1. Develop and maintain systematic and ongoing data collection in order to adhere to standards for certification/accreditation/licensure
  2. Study and analyze employment trends to address current and future certification/accreditation/licensure needs
  3. Maintain active and evolving relationships with accrediting/licensing bodies
  4. Provide interdisciplinary perspectives and model dispositions/ethics/values that transfer to professional culture and practice
  5. Emulate technology and communication skills of the profession

PROCESS ACTIVITIES:

  • Maintain accreditation and recognition of programs by licensing bodies
  • Analyze and actively utilize feedback on course evaluations
  • Examine and modify course syllabi

OBJECTIVE 3: Broaden and strengthen a diverse student body through student recruitment, retention, and program completion.

ACTION STEPS:

  1. Develop and promote local and global learning opportunities through online courses
  2. Offer more advanced degrees to expand educational opportunities (e.g., Ed.D.)
  3. Provide/increase scholarship opportunities and financial support for students
  4. Implement professional marketing of CEHS programs at the college level
  5. Support students’ progression to program completion through advising and utilization of campus support networks (e.g., Counseling Center, Center for Academic Success, Brookens Library)

PROCESS ACTIVITIES:

  • Document student use of campus support systems (e.g., Starfish, DARS, Counseling Center, Center for Academic Success, Brookens Library, data analytics)
  • Examine and modify course syllabi
  • Evaluate and modify marketing efforts
  • Develop a metric that accurately accounts for part-time/non-degree-seeking students
  • Track enrollment demographics to identify barriers to completion

GOAL 2: CEHS will promote and support scholarship and professional engagement opportunities for faculty, staff, and students.
OBJECTIVE 1: Support scholarship and professional engagement opportunities for faculty and staff.

ACTION STEPS:

  1. Promote collaborative scholarship opportunities within the college, university, and community organizations
  2. Explore possible sources of external funding
  3. Provide internal funding, recognition, and/or incentives (e.g., Non-Instructional Assignments) for scholarship
  4. Participate in professional development programs (e.g., through UIS campus opportunities, online resources, professional organizations) and support active membership in professional organizations

PROCESS ACTIVITIES:

  • Identify and recognize collaborative relationships
  • Report external funding received
  • Record numbers of scholarly products produced
  • Document faculty engagement in professional development activities and in professional organizations

OBJECTIVE 2: Support scholarship and professional engagement opportunities for students.

ACTION STEPS:

  1. Integrate faculty scholarship into classroom content and activities
  2. Promote and support student research activities (e.g., provide funding, recognition, and/or incentives for student participation in scholarship, and professional conferences)
  3. Support student involvement in professional organizations (e.g., memberships, conferences, workshops)
  4. Create Advocacy Days for CEHS programs (e.g., “Principal Appreciation Day”)

PROCESS ACTIVITIES:

  • Track number of students engaged in research and scholarly products produced
  • Record number of students engaged in professional development activities
  • Document Advocacy Days

GOAL 3: CEHS will strengthen and maintain relationships with alumni and community professionals and organizations.
OBJECTIVE 1: Maintain supportive and professional relationships with alumni.

ACTION STEPS:

  1. Develop opportunities for alumni engagement and support of CEHS programs (e.g., establish alumni mentoring opportunities, engage alumni as potential recruiters and donors)
  2. Showcase our graduates’ achievements
  3. Survey recent graduates regarding their university experiences

PROCESS ACTIVITIES:

  • Document alumni support
  • Evaluate survey results

OBJECTIVE 2: Strengthen partnerships/collaborations with community professionals and organizations.

ACTION STEPS:

  1. Facilitate faculty, staff, and student collaboration with community schools, social service agencies, and accreditation/licensure bodies in order to promote a better-prepared workforce
  2. Promote the college as an educational/research resource to the region while advocating for CEHS’s interests
  3. Offer continuing education/professional development opportunities to community members/professionals
  4. Develop a community-based service learning activity across the college (e.g., Hazel Dell Elementary School initiative)
  5. Actively engage programs’ Community Advisory Boards

PROCESS ACTIVITIES:

  • Document current student clinical work, student teaching, fieldwork, and practicum/internships in the community
  • Document CEHS’ role as a valuable resource in the community
  • Record continuing education/professional development efforts and community-based service learning activities
  • Report Community Advisory Board involvement

SECTION 3:  RESOURCES PLAN FOR ACHIEVING STRATEGIC GOALS

State support for higher education in Illinois has been in decline over the last decade. UIS, and CEHS, cannot rely on diminishing state funding to help meet strategic goals and initiatives. In the current CEHS budget, 90% is devoted to faculty, staff, and graduate assistant salaries. Ideally, salaries should comprise 80% of the total budget. It is imperative that CEHS explore alternative funding sources. Potential sources include increased tuition (i.e., higher enrollment), gifts from donors, and grant money. It will be critically important for CEHS to prioritize its goals and initiatives in order to successfully compete for these scarce resources.

Resources Needed

Human Resources

CEHS will continue to monitor enrollments and accreditation requirements to ensure that staffing needs are met in order to provide high-quality academic programs. Faculty and staff searches will be conducted to fill vacancies and attend to the demands of new and/or growing programs.

Financial Support

In order to achieve the strategic goals outlined in this plan, financial resources will be needed to provide support for the following:

  • Quality instruction
  • Infrastructure
  • Faculty development
  • Marketing and student recruitment

Additional objectives include:

  • Meet accreditation and/or approval requirements of programs
  • Secure scholarship opportunities for faculty
  • Strengthen collaborations with community professionals and organizations

Student Support

CEHS would clearly benefit from additional support for scholarships for both on-campus and online students. Recognizing the importance of scholarships to departments’ recruitment and retention efforts, CEHS, in collaboration with the College Advisory Board, will place increased emphasis on developing alumni relations in order to explore supplementary funding sources for student support.

Resource Procurement Strategy

Given projected levels of state support for faculty, staff and graduate assistant salaries, it is imperative that CEHS explore additional sources of funding.  As noted previously, potential funding sources include:

  • Tuition (increase enrollment to secure greater revenue from tuition)
  • Grant-funding opportunities
  • Donor (individual and corporate) support for unrestricted gifts and/or scholarships
  • Alumni contributions

The State of Illinois continues to be the major source of funding for the university and, as a result, for CEHS as well. We will continue to follow the budget allocation process carefully and urge our contacts in state government to maintain funding for our programs.  In addition, CEHS needs to invest in methods to develop new programs and to recruit and retain students as increased student enrollment is a key factor in providing resources for our college.  Finally, the college needs to continue to seek funding opportunities outside of the state budget in order to support the growth of its programs and the professional development of faculty, staff, and students.