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Quality First Initiatives

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University Planning Council

Quality First Initiatives

As budget permits, President Dawood Farahi charges the University Planning Council (UPC) with recommending University projects and programs for special funding as part of the Quality First Initiative. Initiatives must require extraordinary funding beyond customary division or department/office budgets. Further, initiatives must reflect one or more priorities based upon the current Kean University Strategic Plan as identified annually by President Farahi. All Kean campuses, divisions, departments, offices, and student organizations are invited to participate. Collaboration within and among units is encouraged, as is conceptual creativity. Proposed activities may be new or may be expansions of existing successful and effective projects. Initiatives recommended for funding by the UPC must have a strong potential to demonstrate tangible, effective, specific, and measurable results.

Proposals compete for available funds. A Call for Proposals is electronically sent to all faculty, administrators, staff and students prior to the beginning of each funding cycle. Proposals are submitted electronically with a deadline date that provides sufficient lead time. Proposals are evaluated based on merit; ability to address initiative priorities; implementation feasibility within stated time line; and evaluation. Funding may begin as early as July 1 of the funding cycle.


Connecting the Digital Student to the Virtual Learning Commons
This collaborative effort by personnel in Kean University’s Nancy Thompson Library-Learning Commons (NTLC) develops and implements innovative approaches to anytime, anywhere student-centered support in service to the diverse needs of students by expanding through the digital interface.
Submitted by:  Linda Cifelli, University Library

Digital Media Center
A new state-of-the-art digital media center facilitating advanced learning opportunities for student majoring in Public Relations and for future students studying Strategic Advertising.
Submitted by:  Jack Sargent, School of Communication Media & Journalism

CURF - Research Recruits Program
A pilot program focused on undergraduate research experiences, a two-semester undergraduate research or creative experience mentored by a Kean faculty member.
Submitted by:  Reenat Hasan, Susan Gannon, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

Global Studies Campus Culture and Curricular Initiatives
This four-part initiative includes the development of a student-led chapter of the United Nations Association, a series of advocacy training workshops, a set of new curricular-based areas of concentration, and an annual Global Studies colloquium.
Submitted by:  Dr. Sara Compion, Center for Interdisciplinary Studies
A social media platform focused on motivating high school students through financial aid and scholarships early in their high school studies, and deepening relationships between students and colleges starting as early as the 9 th grade.
Submitted by:  Brian Treanor, Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

CampusESP:  A parent engagement platform
Building on the current student lead generation platforms, this project will allow the Division of Enrollment Management and Office of Admissions to engage with prospective parents throughout the various stages of the enrollment funnel through the CampusESP platform to ensure overall student success from enrollment to graduation.
Submitted by:  Kristy LeMunyon, Marsha McCarthy, Melissa Maiorino, Division of Enrollment Management

AdmitHub:  Artificial Intelligence Communication Solution
This new platform will allow prospective, accepted and eventually returning students to obtain the information they need in real-time and instantaneous. With our population expecting, and in most
cases demanding on-demand information, we will have the ability to accommodate this new norm in the medium they feel most comfortable with... mobile texting.
Submitted by:  Chad Austein, Division of Enrollment Management

Human Rights Learning Community
Creation of a non-residential learning community based around interest in human rights which will support and supplement the work of the Human Rights Institute at Kean University, while piloting a non-residential, co-curricular program to increase retention and graduation rates for Kean undergraduates
Submitted by:  Dr. Lauretta Faffell, Human Rights Institute

Supporting Veterans Transitioning through the Use of CAD and CAM
Providing an immediate support level that is non-traditional to that of using traditional methods.
Submitted by:  Vito Zajda, Veterans Student Services, Efe Kutuk, Michael Graves College



Enable and Employed
The Kean University Occupational Therapy Community Cares Clinic will continue in efforts to assist individuals with traumatic brain injury in developing and/or restoring necessary skills to enter the workforce and maximize their potential for successful and sustained employment.
Submitted by Thais Petrocelli and Geraldine Pagaoa-Cruz, Department of Occupational Therapy Community Cares Clinic

MakeHISTORY @ Kean:  Summer Institute for Historical Research
A two-week non-residential academy for high school students will be piloted in Summer of 2018.  Participants will conduct original historical research utilizing the unique archival resources in the Kean University Archives and Special Collections; the institute will build historical content knowledge and an understanding of historical research methods and skills.
Submitted by Elizabeth Hyde, Department of History

“Let’s Go:”  Investigating Community Mobility to Promote Mental Health
Local community wellness centers will offer the four-week “Let’s Go” program to educate and inform participants about ways to increase community mobility to encourage engagement in desired activities and support overall mental health and well-being.
Submitted by Claire Mulry and Jennifer Gardner, Department of Occupational Therapy

Filial Therapy Program for Parents and Children
Based on filial therapy that teaches parents to use child-centered play techniques to increase positive communication and enhanced parent-child relationships, Kean University will offer psychoeducational, recreational, and therapeutic programs and events for parents and children within the Kean family and local community.
Submitted by Jane Webber, Department of Counselor Education

The Human Rights Institute Takes Conflict-Free Campus Initiative Statewide and Beyond
Students affiliated with the Human Rights Institute led an initiative to position Kean University as the first institution of higher learning to support a purchasing process that considers a company’s disclosure regarding its supply chain with regard to conflict minerals.  After the Kean University Board of Trustees adopted a conflict-free resolution in May of 2017, students will develop presentations geared toward educating and supporting their peers at sister institutions across the state about conflict-free initiatives.
Submitted by Janice Kroposky, Holocaust Resource Center

Cyber Security Community Awareness (CSCA)
A Cyber Security Awareness event will be take place on October 27, 2017 as part of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month.  Participants will include Kean students, community college students, high school students, and will be open to the community surrounding Kean University.
Submitted by Jenni Li, School of Computer Science and Technology

Kean Highlands Campus – Developing Global Center for Environmental Education and Sustainability Sciences
Professional development workshops for NJ educators and professionals are planned that will provide hands-on opportunities for participants to understand the benefits of practicing sustainability and nurture environmental stewardship.
Submitted by Juyoung Ha, School of Environmental and Sustainability Sciences


PAR FORE:  Golf as a Means to Prevent Gang Membership
PAR FORE (Perseverance, Accountability, Resiliency, Fellowship, Opportunity, Respect, Empowerment) is a community and occupation based golf mentorship program that targets at risk youth in an effort to prevent gang membership, promote mental health and build life skills.
Submitted by Jennifer Gardner, Department of Occupational Therapy

Exploring the Holocaust and Contemporary Issues through the Arts
Building on the community ties already established by the Holocaust Resource Center, the Diversity Council, and the Human Rights Institute, this project will allow the Holocaust Resource Center to gift 5,000 copies of a Holocaust memoir, The Children of Willesden Lane, to the greater community, provide professional development workshops for educators, and bring author and Grammy-nominated pianist Mona Golabek to campus.  
Submitted by Janice Kroposky, Holocaust Resource Center

Supporting Cooperating Teachers as Leaders
Cooperating teachers will be given the opportunity to receive specific and sustainable professional development that will provide support as they work with our students in their clinical practice settings, and will offer cooperating teachers the opportunity to expand their own leadership skills.  
Submitted by Pamela Lester and Martha Mobley, College of Education Teaching Performance Center

Kean Student-Alumni Mentoring
Volunteer Kean alumni will be matched with current students to provide personal and career mentoring.  
Submitted by Stella Maher, Alumni Relations

Robert Busch School of Design Thinking Creatively Pre-College Design Camp
A four-week pre-college program for high school students (ages 15 to 17) will be open to students who are interested in studying advertising design, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, architecture, motion graphics, and animation.  
Submitted by Brian Oakes, School of Communication, Media and Journalism

Enable and Employed:  Phase 1
The Kean University Occupational Therapy Community Cares Clinic will assist individuals with traumatic brain injury in developing and/or restoring necessary skills to enter the workforce successfully.
Submitted by Thais Petrocelli and Geraldine Pagaoa-Cruz, Department of Occupational Therapy



Transfer Transitions Faculty Workshop:  A Focus on Kean’s Transfer Student Population
The workshop was designed to train faculty to teach a new Transfer Transition Course (GE 3000).  Faculty instructors were trained to provide academic advisement support to new transfer students, provide social and academic integration into the University, and engage transfer students in research writing.  Peer support was provided by Transfer Instructional Mentors (TIMs).
Submitted by Karin Beck, School of General Studies

Global Environmental and Sustainability Study Program – Connecting Costa Rica, China, and Highlands
In partnership with Wenzhou Kean University and Wenzhou University, New Jersey and Chinese students worked with research faculty advisors to address current environmental issues in diverse learning environments:  intact forests in the Highlands, rainforests in Costa Rica, and wetlands and farmlands in China.  
Submitted by Juyoung Ha, School of Environmental and Sustainability Sciences

Developmental Writing Mentors for Student Success
To support and retain underprepared writers, upper-level undergraduate “writing mentors” were paired with cooperating ENG 1031/1032 faculty in an adaptation of a course-embedded tutoring model.  Writing mentors provided individual support for at-risk writers.
Submitted by Kathryn Inskeep, Writing Center

Post-Genocide Studies:  A MA in Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program and the Human Rights Institute Collaboration (deferred to Summer, 2017)
A summer institute, focusing on how communities struggle to respond to and rebuild post-genocide, will feature experts in post-genocide humanitarian issues.
Submitted by Dennis Klein, Department of History

Preparing Students to Pass the Core Academic Skills for Educators and PRAXIS II Multiple Subjects
The College of Education created a support system that prepares students to pass the Core Academic Skills for Educators (formerly known as Praxis I) in Reading, Math and Writing and the Praxis II Elementary Education Multiple Subjects in Reading & Language Arts, Math, Social Studies and Science.  
Submitted by Anthony Pittman, College of Education

Statistics Combined with Developmental Math 0901 Basic Algebra Supplemented by Peer-Led Team Service Learning (via Math 1017)
Students who score in a particular range on the Accuplacer Elementary Algebra Placement test are “placed” into MATH 0901 regardless of major.  Many of these students have intended majors that do not require MATH 1000 (College Algebra) or MATH 1054 (Pre-calculus).  A new four-credit statistics course (3 college credits and 1 developmental credit) was introduced as an option for students who were not STEM or Education majors.  The course has developmental topics embedded and the overall course focuses on foundational quantitative literacy skills.  Enrolled students participated in weekly supplemental learning workshops guided by peer mentors.
Submitted by M. Bridget White, School of General Studies

Summer Boot Camp for Reading, Math and Writing Developmental Placement
Incoming students who were placed in reading, writing and/or mathematics developmental courses were offered an opportunity to participate in a Summer Boot Camp to receive intensive training in competency-based, self-paced programs with a goal to successfully pass the second administration of the placement test.  Successful participants started their first college semester taking more college-level courses and improved their four-year graduation rates.  
Submitted by M. Bridget White, School of General Studies


Transfer Mentors for Transfer Students Success and Retention
An initial cohort of Transfer Instructional Mentors (TIMs) has been recruited from Kean’s undergraduate transfer student population. Following a careful selection and training process, the TIMs began working in support of new initiatives to enhance the success and retention of transfer students. TIM responsibilities include serving as peer mentors in pilot sections of the new Transfer Transitions course (GE 3000), assisting with Transfer Student Orientation and other events, and participating in the development of additional resources, activities, and interventions to support transfer students.
Submitted by Sharon Haussmann, Center for Academic Success

PAR FORE:  Golf as a Means to Prevent Gang Membership
Youth who are at risk for joining gangs were invited to participate in an integrated occupation-based prevention mentor program which uses the game of golf to teach necessary life skills. The program is designed to empower at-risk youths to develop a sense of self and resilience, develop respect for self-family, and community, and develop a moral and ethical character through the game of golf. Participants were recruited to participate in a PAR FORE after school program during the Fall semester. Since its original QFI funding in 2012, a total of 87 youth have participated in the PAR FORE program.
Submitted by Jennifer Gardner, Department of Occupational Therapy

Utilizing Technology to Manage the Assessment of the 2013-2020 Strategic Plan and Middle States Accreditation Reporting and Documentation
To more effectively track the progress of the 2013-2020 Strategic Plan goals, objectives and actions, assessment management technology  -- Campus Labs: Compliance Assist and the Middle States Accreditation tools – is being acquired and systems architecture is being co-developed with Campus Labs representatives. 
Submitted by Susan Dematteo, Office of Accreditation and Assessment

Transformative Leadership and Diversity and Globalization
A three-fold initiative was designed to recruit a diverse population of high school students with the offer of college credit options while still in high school, provide leadership development opportunities through programs hosted by the College of Business and Public Management, and enhance future employment prospects by creating professional certificates. Linden High School will be the first to enter into partnership with CBPM, activities for students have been planned, and a Human Resources Management Certificate has been created and ready to undergo approval.
Submitted by Michael Cooper, Dean, College of Business and Public Management


Examining and Addressing Issues in Student Retention: A Kean University

Writing Project Professional Development Program PHASE TWO
Following the success of Phase One (which engaged in a range of activities to promote interaction between high schools and colleges in the interest of student learning, retention, and advancement), Phase Two hosted round table discussions during which high school and college faculty, staff and administrators shared the curricular and pedagogical framework in which they work, discussed students’ readiness for college, articulated specific concerns about retention, and identified instructional and support areas which need improvement.
Submitted by Mia Zamora, Department of English

Computational Science and Engineering Summer Camp 2012
Thirty high school students from New Jersey were hosted in a one week non-residential summer camp running from July 16 through July 20, 2012. The goal of the camp was to support efforts to infuse computational thinking into K-12 curriculum. Students participated in daily activities in computer modeling and simulation in physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering. Campers additionally ran simulations on Kean’s 130-node supercomputer and visualized results in our 3-D CAVE facility. The camp was housed in the STEM building, and taught by NJCSTM faculty David Joiner and Edward Farnum.  
Submitted by David Joiner, New Jersey Center for Science, Technology and Mathematics

Math Emporium Model – ATEAM Program
Students enrolled in Math 0901 and select 1000-level General Education mathematics courses were provided self-paced individual and small group learning opportunities utilizing on-line learning resources and supplemental group learning requirements. This approach has since been codified into all GE Math courses.   The Emporium model delivery of Basic Algebra was tested in Fall 2013 and modifications have since been implemented with an approach that has been shifted to a more hybrid model. 
Submitted by M. Bridget White, School of General Studies

Kean University’s Center for Nursing Research Summit: World-Class Nursing at Kean University
The Center for Nursing Research at Kean University hosted its first world-class day-long Research Summit in the fall of 2012 in order to promote and advance Kean University’s School of Nursing, to attract research faculty and nursing students, and to advance the standards of care in the region. 
Submitted by the School of Nursing

Kean Ocean: Career Opportunities in a Broadly Defined Health Care Team
In an effort to redefine the interdisciplinary health care team, the Kean Ocean Nursing program offered a scholar series for the region’s public, professional and corporate communities to pioneer initiatives for a new health care team paradigm.
Submitted by Virginia Fitzsimons, School of Nursing

PARFORE: Using Golf as a Means to Teach At-Risk Youth Life Skills
Youth who are at risk for joining gangs were  invited to participate in an integrated occupation-based prevention mentor program which uses the game of golf to teach necessary life skills. The program is designed to empower at risk youths to develop a sense of self and resilience, develop respect for self-family, and community, and develop a moral and ethical character through the game of golf. Participants were recruited to participate in a PAR FORE after school program during the 2012-2013 school year and two PAR FORE summer camps (2012 and 2013),
Submitted by Jennifer Gardner, Department of Occupational Therapy

Department of History Honors Program
An honors program in the Department of History was created and the first cohort of students began the Department of History’s Honor Program in the Fall of 2013. The first honors thesis research project was the digitization of the World War II Scrapbook kept by former Newark State Teacher’s College Librarian, Nancy Thompson. The project was selected for the prestigious “Posters on the Hill” Program which shares the best undergraduate research projects with members of Congress in Washington, DC in April 2014. Professors Hyde and Mercantini presented their work in designing and implementing the History Honors Program at the 2013 Annual Conference of the National Collegiate Honors Council  in a presentation entitled “Honors and …History: Building a Departmental Honors Program in a Historically Diverse Public University.”
Submitted by Elizabeth Hyde, Department of History.

To view earlier projects, please click here.

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