ECU faculty publish book after finding success in improving writing program

Members of East Carolina University’s English Department collaborated to publish a book they hope will help other higher education institutions harness the full potential of their writing programs.

After successfully utilizing the reaccreditation process to improve ECU’s writing program, faculty members Will Banks, Wendy Sharer, Tracy Morse and Michelle Eble co-edited, “Reclaiming Accountability: Improving Writing Programs through Accreditation and Large-Scale Assessments.” The book provides examples of how departments and writing programs have used accreditation to gain the kinds of benefits seen at ECU through similar initiatives around the country.

ECU English faculty members

ECU English faculty members (left to right) Tracy Ann Morse, William P. Banks, Wendy Sharer and Michelle F. Eble co-edited, “Reclaiming Accountability: Improving Writing Programs through Accreditation and Large-Scale Assessments.” (Contributed photo)

As part of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), required for accreditation, the authors focused their efforts on specific initiatives that would help broaden the reach of ECU’s writing program. “We saw reaccreditation as an opportunity to rethink our first-year writing program and our writing-intensive program so they worked together more effectively at helping students move from beginning college-level writing and thinking across their years at ECU,” said Banks, associate professor.

According to Sharer, director of the QEP, some of the changes seen in the program at ECU include:

  • Additional peer consultants to work with students and faculty in all disciplines in a larger, welcoming University Writing Center.
  • A revised Writing Foundations curriculum that includes a new, sophomore-level composition course designed to help students transition into writing in their major areas.
  • Writing mentors embedded in writing-intensive courses across the curriculum.
  • A website that brings together writing-related resources.

Additionally, the university provided resources to help faculty learn new information about writing and how to teach it in major courses.

As part of the updated curriculum, the class “Writing About the Disciplines” was added for second-year students to make it easier to transfer their skills to writing for their disciplines. “We are making the writing that students are doing explicitly relevant to the writing they will do in their majors or even careers,” said Eble, associate professor.

Their book brings together a series of critical cases that show how accreditation has been used in similar ways at other institutions to effect change on campus and across various academic programs. It illustrates how faculty can use accreditation to cultivate campus-wide discussions of writing to better meet local student learning needs.

–Jamie Smith

ALA accredits ECU's MLA program

The American Library Association has accredited East Carolina University’s master of library science degree program, the largest producer of school library media coordinators in the state.

ALA_accredited-seal_mediumAs a result of the accreditation, future ECU graduates and recent alumni can apply for positions in any library setting, providing greater flexibility and mobility in career choices, said Dr. John B. Harer, ECU associate professor of library science and master of library science (MLS) program coordinator.

The new designation is seen as essential to MLS graduates seeking employment in academic and public libraries. It is a required standard by the Association of College and Research Libraries. Most employers, except school libraries, require an ALA-accredited master’s for professional level positions, Harer said.

“ALA accreditation will also give students more choices to design a course of study for a specialization in a professional library career,” Harer said. “The program can now build a more dynamic curriculum so that students will be able to choose a specific skill set within the career concentrations of academic and public librarianship.”

ALA accreditation ensures that ECU has undergone a self-evaluation process, been reviewed by peers and meets standards established by the ALA and Committee on Accreditation. Students currently enrolled in the program will receive an accredited degree upon graduation as well as ECU alumni who graduated in 2015, 2014 and 2013.

ECU has been preparing library professionals since 1939. Library science is the largest program in the College of Education. Last fall, 194 students were enrolled.

The online program features high-tech and hands-on learning, providing a web-based course of study using new and emerging technologies. It is designed for students seeking employment as librarians and information professionals in pre-K through 12th grade schools, universities, community colleges and public libraries.

For more information, contact Harer at harerj@ecu.edu or 252-328-4389 or visit the website at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/idp/lsed/index.cfm.

Student Health Services prepares for national accreditation

At the Student Health Services fair, left to right, graduate assistant Sara Ridder, Graduate Assistant, and quality improvement manager Kim Joyner,  present a game called, “Swashbucking with Captain Kim” to Nadya Majette Elliot, health promotion project manager and Joyce Bullock, health information.(Contributed photos).

At the Student Health Services fair, left to right, graduate assistant Sara Ridder and quality improvement manager Kim Joyner, present a game called, “Swashbucking with Captain Kim” to Nadya Majette Elliot, health promotion project manager, and Joyce Bullock, Health Information. (Contributed photos).

East Carolina University’s Student Health Services hosted an AAAHC (Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care) fair March 11 for health services employees as a way to prepare them for the June AAAHC survey for national accreditation.

The event offered interactive games that educated participants on issues such as patient rights, quality of care and quality improvements. Participants who successfully completed all games had an opportunity to enter a drawing to win homemade baked goods and rain gear.

At left, Kenzie Bundy, Health Information, plays “Save Billy’s Kids,” presented by Greg Morris, Pharmacy.

At left, Kenzie Bundy, Health Information, plays “Save Billy’s Kids,” presented by Greg Morris, Pharmacy.

Student Health Services’ preparation for AAAHC accreditation is an ongoing process that, in addition to the fair, includes mock inspections, education sessions, self-assessment of AAAHC standards and bimonthly chapter captain meetings. SHS was re-accredited by AAAHC in 2011. The accreditation certification demonstrates commitment to provide the highest level of quality of care to ECU students.

AAAHC is a private, non-profit organization formed in 1979. Their primary purpose is to develop standards to advance and promote patient safety, quality care and value for ambulatory health care through peer-based accreditation process, education and research. The AAAHC Accreditation is a voluntary process which involves an onsite visit for surveyors to measure health care organizations’ quality of services and performance against nationally recognized standards.

Pictured left to right, Justin Elliot, Administration, discusses the rules of “We’ve got this in the Bag-go!” presented by Ellen Goldberg, Nursing.

Pictured left to right, Justin Elliot, Administration, discusses the rules of “We’ve got this in the Bag-go!” presented by Ellen Goldberg, Nursing.

ECU Recreation and Park Management Program Reaccredited by National Group

The ECU Recreation and Park Management Program in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, College of Health and Human Performance has received a formal seven-year reaccreditation from the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions.

The COARPT commended the program for 30 years of quality leadership as evidenced by continuous accreditation over that period of time.

As part of the reaccreditation process, the department prepared a self study examining all parts of its program from available resources, to student services, to curriculum.

To maintain accreditation the program must undergo a rigorous review and demonstrate compliance with a variety of standards. The RPM program elected to serve as an early adopter of new standards that will be required of all programs beginning in 2013.

The 2013 standards center on student learning outcomes in four main areas: foundations of the professions, provision of services and programs, management and administration, and a professional internship.

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Student Health prepares for national accreditation

The East Carolina University Student Health Services hosted an Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care Fair March 10 for its employees.

Designed to prepare employees for accreditation surveys scheduled for June 21 and 22, the event included interactive games on such topics as patient rights, quality of care and facilities and environment. Game winners were eligible to participate in drawings for prizes. Read more…

Student Health Prepares for National Accreditation

The East Carolina University Student Health Services hosted an Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care Fair March 10 for its employees.

Designed to prepare employees for accreditation surveys scheduled for June 21 and 22, the event included interactive games on such topics as patient rights, quality of care and facilities and environment. Game winners were eligible to participate in drawings for prizes.

Preparation for accreditation is an ongoing process. Other preparation efforts include mock inspections, educational sessions, self-assessment of AAAHC standards, bimonthly chapter captain meetings, and updating policies.

AAAHC accreditation is a voluntary process which involves an onsite visit for surveyors to measure an ambulatory health care organization’s quality of services and performance against nationally recognized standards. Student Health Services was re-accredited in 2008.

Pictured above from left to right Cathy Buria, graduate assistant, and Kim Joyner, quality improvement manager, present a game called Swashbuckling with Captain Kim to Amy Viverette, insurance coordinator. (contributed photos)

From left to right is Jolene Jernigan, director, and nurse Charlene Hettinger playing a balloon game.

Left to right, Noel Wallace, lab technician, is playing the Health and Nutrition Education Survivor game presented by Latasha Gibbs, intern, Shawnte’ Elbert, health educator, and India Christian, intern.

Left to right, Selena Anderson, insurance coordinator, and Claire Martin, nurse, play the Fishing Rights game presented by Dr. Shirley Williamson.