The Student Affairs Committee, co-chaired by Mary Klinger and Kimberly Kociencki, met at the All College Conference on March 25, 1999. At the governance retreat held July 7-8, 1999, Patricia Haase and Nadia Carey were elected as co-chairs for 1999-2000. The committee met on October 1, 1999 and held conference calls on November 16, 1999, January 25, 2000 and March 14, 2000.
The committee fulfilled its mission as stated in the College By-laws to provide continuing study, review and recommendations for change in all phases of student involvement. This year the Student Affairs Committee has been very active in the areas of co-curricular and professional development activities for students, career counseling, technology and retention. SAC also continues to be aware of the importance of student participation in many areas of Empire State College.
The Co-Curricular Subcommittee made large strides in its attempt to provide professional development opportunities to students. A template for a brochure for each Area of Study has been created. This brochure will provide students with information on professional associations, scholarly journals, web sites and conferences that are open to student participation.
A student colloquium, originally planned for spring 2000, has been postponed indefinitely due to lack of funds. The colloquium was proposed in response to the manner in which student presentations were scheduled at All College in 1999. Concurrent meetings and presentations made it difficult for other students, faculty and administrators to attend student presentations. In lieu of a separate colloquium, SAC has actively collaborated with the All College Planning Committee to encourage students to present at All College and to schedule student presentations so that they do not conflict with other meetings.
The Technology Subcommittee developed a survey to determine students' access to computers and the Internet. There remains concern on the part of SAC that there are a significant number of students who do not have access to computers and for whom purchasing the necessary hardware is prohibitively expensive. SAC, along with the Educational Technology Committee and the Center for Learning and Technology, are discussing a joint application for internal funding to support the distribution and analysis of the survey.
The development of a SAC web page is nearing completion and will be attached to the Virtual Student Center. The web page will contain minutes and agenda from previous meetings; updates on the subcommittees; a listing of key contacts and information on how students can get involved at their center, unit or program.
>Recently, SAC has been concerned over the implementation of the new e-mail system and the announcement that students will no longer be provided with Empire State College e-mail accounts once the VAX is shut down. The issues of communication between student and mentor and between students; student access to web-based research databases requiring an .edu suffix; and the question of what students receive for the technology fee they pay each enrollment were identified as areas of concern. Some of these issues have subsequently been addressed, and SAC will continue to monitor the changes.
SAC is actively working to develop career information resources for students for posting on the Virtual Student Center and perhaps in a brochure format. SAC does not see itself as a provider of career services, rather it will contribute to the information resources for students and centers.
A new subcommittee was created at the start of the governance year to address the issue of building connections with incoming students and assisting centers in developing practices in acculturating students to the College. With the hiring of student services/ retention specialists, the role of this subcommittee on retention issues becomes one of acting as a resource for the new professionals.
Student participation in SAC and other governance committees remains a concern and SAC continues to be persistent in fostering student participation in governance activities.
SAC is developing a proposal to be submitted to the SAF committee for the development of a college-wide student newsletter. This print-based newsletter would address a need which is currently not being met through other Empire State College publications: a regular newsletter distributed to all students four or five times a year containing information pertinent to them. Examples of content could include information about submitting a proposal to the All College Conference and the DEED Conference.
It has been a busy year so far and SAC looks forward to making progress and bringing closure to several items on this year's agenda.
The members of the Student Affairs Committee wish to thank the people throughout the College who have provided advice and information during the year.
Patricia Haase and Nadia Carey, Co-Chairs