Congratulations, Celebrations, and Introspection
Welcome to the New Deans
In January, Provost Julie Bernier announced the appointment of the founding deans of PSU’s newest academic units. Professor Cynthia Vascak was named Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and Professor Gail Mears, Dean of the College of Education, Health & Human Services. Both individuals have wonderful records of scholarship and teaching, and currently chair their respective departments—Professor Vascak, the Department of Art, and Professor Mears, the Department of Counselor Education and School Psychology. Moreover—and significant for Graduate Studies—both have been strong advocates for graduate education, crafting vibrant high-quality programs that attract students from across the state and region. We welcome Cynthia and Gail, and look forward to continuing our work with them in their new roles.
Mark Your Calendars for Commencement
Saturday, May 14, at 10 a.m.—that’s when 200-plus graduates will cross the stage in PSU’s Fieldhouse to receive the acknowledgement of family, friends, faculty, and staff for their academic achievements. We encourage as many of our graduates as possible to attend the festivities, and this year for the first time we will host an all-College reception in PSU’s new Welcome Center and Ice Arena immediately following the ceremony. If you haven’t already visited this spectacular facility (across the street from the fieldhouse), this will be an opportunity to do so, and even to rent skates and take a spin around the rink! Visit the Commencement website for more information. Details on the various events will be posted soon.
Self-Study and Accreditation
Socrates commanded his pupils to “know thyself,” a Greek dictum said to pre-date even classical Athens. At PSU, any moment in time, it’s likely that one or more departments or programs is engaged in formal self-study, the process of examining and assessing its own activities that forms the starting point for accreditation. It is vital to our mission and to our graduates’ success that programs—and even the entire institution—meet the widely accepted standards of quality that accrediting organizations establish. Huge amounts of faculty and staff time go into these efforts. Certainly the standards and benchmarks themselves are important, but it is the process of rigorous and exacting self-study that we remember as most valuable, because we come to measure our actual performance against our stated purpose. Presently we are beginning the institution-wide, self-study for New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) accreditation, a process that is repeated every 10 years. We’ll get to study just how much we’ve grown and developed in the past decade—and in Graduate Studies, that will likely be interesting and impressive. As we undertake this work, we will be reaching out to students and alumni for information—about your perceptions of graduate programs’ strengths and weaknesses, and about how your experience at Plymouth State may have helped shape your career or your life. Please bear with us as we do so. It’s all about “knowing ourselves.”