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UW-Eau Claire Issues
MAILED: Feb. 11, 2002
EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire continues to provide its students with an exceptional learning environment, according to the university's annual accountability report.
In "Achieving Excellence at UW-Eau Claire," the university reports that it is doing well in a number of the areas measured in the report, including student access, study abroad opportunities, faculty/student collaborative research and the use of technology.
"Overall, the news for UW-Eau Claire is very good," Chancellor Donald Mash said of the report's findings. "We have met or exceeded our targets in a number of areas, areas that we believe are extremely important to providing a quality learning environment."
UW-Eau Claire's campus report is part of the UW System's "Achieving Excellence" accountability report, which was presented to the UW System Board of Regents earlier this month during its February meeting. The accountability report measures UW System performance compared to national standards in a number of areas.
Among the highlights of UW-Eau Claire's report is:
Nearly 15 percent of UW-Eau Claire students participate in study abroad programs, well above the 3 percent national average.
More than 80 percent of UW-Eau Claire's new freshmen participate in a newly expanded First-Year Experience program, which now offers 111 sections of courses available throughout the curriculum.
Nearly 90 percent of UW-Eau Claire's students do community service or volunteer work, well above the 58 percent national average.
More than 78 percent of UW-Eau Claire's students completed a practicum, internship, field experience or clinical assignment, which compares to the 70 percent national average.
Sixty-nine percent of UW-Eau Claire students - compared to 52 percent nationally - participated in co-curricular activities such as organizations, publications or student government.
"These measures tell us that our students are active and engaged in and out of the classroom," Mash said. "Many of our students are taking advantage of the opportunities that are available to them in this strong learning environment."
The campus report also indicates that UW-Eau Claire exceeded its enrollment target by 1.9 percent, helping to ensure access to higher education for Wisconsin residents. And, through a consolidated Continuing Education program, the university is providing easier access and greater visibility of its programs to community members.
New to this year's report is results of the National Survey of Student Engagement, which surveyed first-year students and seniors at four-year universities across the country. Also new to the System's report this year are the campus-specific reports, which the Board of Regents requested last year.
The UW System met or exceeded its targets on 13 of 20 benchmarks in 2001. The results are mixed on four measures: graduation gap for students of color, study abroad participation, undergraduate research opportunities and student use of the Internet for assignments. Three other measures - improving academic advising, increasing students' understanding of racial/ethnic differences and building maintenance - show room for improvement.
Overall, the UW System is thriving despite operating in an increasingly challenging funding environment, said UW System President Katharine Lyall.
"We should not take the good performance of our institutions for granted - it reflects the hard work of thousands of faculty and staff, the leadership of our chancellors, and public support for our mission," Lyall said. "The budget-cutting challenges facing us for next year will require maximum effort, if we are to maintain current performance measures and move forward."
The UW System was among the first state university systems to issue a public accountability report. Its report combines traditional indicators such as access, retention and graduation rates with measures that examine the overall university environment.
The indicators measure progress toward six major goals: ensure widespread access to UW institutions and increase the pool of eligible traditional and non-traditional applicants; increase the levels at which students persist in higher education and complete degrees; improve learning competencies and provide learning experiences that foster the development of critical thinking skills; provide a learning environment that fosters the ability to function in a dynamic world community; enhance the learning environment by providing opportunities for guided research, mentorship, and access to student services and resources that foster learning and citizenship; and the efficient use of resources.
UW System and UW-Eau Claire accountability reports are available online at www.uwsa.edu/opar.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Feb. 11, 2002