Critical and Creative Thinking Program

Nina Greenwald, Coordinator

I. Current/actual enrollment data:

Total number of current students:

45 MA students (note: this number does not include the 6 MA students and 3 certificate students who graduated this month)

1 certificate student

note: The 45 students includes 13 new admits (MA) for Fall 06 however, one declined and one deferred so, actually, there are 11 new admits); 3-4 more admissions are anticipated this summer; also, 6 students may finish the program this summer

II. (Anticipated) total number of students for Fall 06: (n= 44-50)

45 MA (or 39 should 6 students finish this summer)
plus 3-4 summer admissions (MA)
1 certificate

The target number of admissions for 06-07 is 20 MA students and 3 certificate students. In sum, we have 11 solid admissions for the fall with 3-4 more possible. Emily McDermott made it clear to program directors that a) less qualified students should not be admitted just to reach the target number and b) the target number of students can be reached over two semesters combined (admitting an equal number of students each semester is not required).

III. Comparative admissions information:

A few days ago I requested some comparison figures from the Office of Institutional Research (see attachment). Between Fall 04-Spring 05 and Fall 05-Spring 06 the number of applications and acceptances for both certificate and MA programs has increased. This past year saw a 35% increase in overall enrollment. (note: because IR doesn't have the our most current figures, this percentage is greater.)

IV. Reaching target admissions numbers:

The following strategies help (and will help) recruit new students to the MA and certificate programs and our courses:

1. Open house programs with guest presentations:

Three open house programs were held this year, two of which had 20-30 participants: Sept. (welcome to new and current students); David Martin (interactive presentation on critical thinking); Ben Schwendener, his wife and daughter (creative dance). People interested in the program attended each open house some of which were accepted to the program.

2. Major program event(s)

The month-long art exhibit and reception in April, in tribute to alum Bill Oakes, received considerable publicity inside and out of UMass. Hundreds of people attended the exhibit, a few of whom applied to the program. Another "celebration" event is being considered for the coming year (e.g., creativity/innovation day; a celebrity presentation)

3. Gifted/Talented course and certificate concentration

A new course on educating gifted students was cross-listed with Special Education and is now part of their licensure program. This state-of-the-art course (which ran successfully this past semester, enrolling special education and CCT students) links our two programs and opens the way for further collaboration (e.g., grants, special events). The course is also the focus of additional CCT certificate option.

4. CCT Certificate Program for M.Ed students

M.Ed students can enroll in the 15 credit CCT certificate program and have these courses also count toward their degree. This year, three M.Ed students were awarded a CCT certificate. The email list I recently received from the teacher advisement office helps promote this option (and all our courses) more effectively.

5. Course substitution approval

A proposal (stalled in the governance process) was submitted to gain approval for teacher education students to substitute one or more courses from the CCT program to fulfill their requirements. Peter Taylor and I will follow up to see that the governance process resumes.

6. Course information to doctoral and other programs

Our course rosters are being sent to doctoral program coordinators whose students need electives. This year, several doctoral students took CCT courses (and are spreading the word to their peers). As well, course information is routinely sent to the Dispute Resolution, College of Management, CPCS and nursing programs.

7. CCT/Kodaly Music Institute proposal

The proposal is in the hands of the grad studies committee which has been unable to conclude its review this past semester due to other agenda. Hopefully, this will finally take place in early fall. While I have been told that final review of the proposal is bumped to the fall, apparently my responses to the grad studies committee's latest questions did not entirely satisfy their concerns, however they did not provide any feedback. As soon as I can find out what's going on, I'd appreciate Chair’s input on how best to proceed. I will persevere because this partnership has good potential to increase our enrollments and bring prestige to the CCT program and university.

8. Certificate partnership with CCDE

Given his obligations as the new dept. chair, Peter Taylor cannot continue to coordinate this piece. Through the summer only, there is some help from a student who was working with Peter this past year to manage this program. Current students have been notified of the availability of this part time (5 hours a week) assistantship beginning in the fall.

9. Advisor/advisee assignments

I have asked faculty for the names of their current advisees. I need this information before assigning new students to our faculty.

10. Assistance needed

Next year:
I am in the process of arranging advisor assignments for the 44-50 students in the program. New students have been sent a welcome to the program letter and told that they would be assigned to an advisor within a few weeks or sooner.

Advisors and readers will be needed for synthesis students. Thus far, one section of synthesis is scheduled for Spring 07 with me as the instructor.

Now that we have access to M.Ed students via email and the teacher advisement office will also communicate with students about our courses, each of us can more readily promote our own courses. Getting our elective courses to enroll sufficiently is always a challenge so I will appreciate the help in getting the word out.

I would be grateful (ecstatic!) to receive help in coordinating the continuing education partnership. Please let me know if you can assist with this.

"Unknowns": There are bound to be other matters that crop up - stay tuned!