An Integrated education is one that draws together curricular and co-curricular experiences, synthesizes learning across the curriculum, and emphasizes curiosity and inquiry through research and reflection. This past year, two primary areas of focus have been on supporting faculty research and expandingstudent research experiencesand program assessment and development. Building new learning communities has also been an important priority for academic and co-curricular growth. In addition to these focus areas of this report, a number of other initiatives have been furthered to address other goals of the plan. Selected metrics detailing some of these achievements are available at right.

Significant Outcomes:

  • Participation in the Faculty Student Research Program (FSRP) rose to its highest level ever, connecting 95 students with faculty partners.
  • Partnering with the Office of Educational Assessment (OEA), The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) launched a new Undergraduate Research Forum and Fair, bringing 30 faculty and staff into conversation with over 100 students interested in participating in faculty-mentored research.
  • Also with the OEA and ORSP, a new funding line was created to support Research as a High Impact Practice. The funding program was developed following a joint OEA-ORSP assessment of student scholarship poster sessions as a way to enhance student research skills and poster presentation regionally and nationally. These grants are to be awarded to proposals for new faculty-student research projects that create a high impact research experience for the student that results in measurable student learning outcomes.
  • The ORSP launched the new SOAR  program, which is designed to cultivate and coordinate student interest in research with faculty projects.
  • To support faculty research, the ORSP developed a new Faculty Grant Writing Program. A Grant Writing Workshop/Funding Agency Travel Award was also created to help research activities.
  • The new Comprehensive Plan for the Assessment of Student Learning describes new processes for how the University and its programs - curricular and co-curricular - develop learning outcomes and regularly assess student learning and experiences. Building new learning communities has also been an important priority for academic and co-curricular growth.
  • A new Provost Assessment Scholars program was formed to help students to participate in the continuous improvement process. Paired with a faculty or staff member, these student scholars collect viewpoints data from of other students by designing and administering focus group projects. Fifteen students, representing each of the three academic colleges, joined with the first program cohort. Current projects include assessment of desired outcomes for student research competencies, oral and digital communication skills, and study abroad experiences.

New academic offerings were launched at the University this past year, including:

  • A new major in Information Technology
  • A new RN to BSN concentration
  • A new Master's in Accountancy program
  • A new M.S. in Health Informatics
  • A new certificate in Nonprofit Leadership
  • Two new locations for the delivery of the MBA program: Geisinger Hospital in Danville, PA and Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center

Two new residential learning communities (RLCs) were created by Residence Life in partnership with faculty, bringing the total to 10:

  • The Global Exchange Community, which offers junior and senior students from the United States the opportunity to live with and learn from foreign exchange students in campus apartments (an offering that bridges Integrated learning communities with the Global goals). Participation in this learning community increased by 140% from 2015-16 to 2016-2017. 
  • The Helping Professions in the Jesuit Context Community, which brings together students to discover how their future professions in the health and human services fields can involve serving others.

Read more about the impact of the Univeristy's residential learning communities here. 

Other Achievements:

  • Over 50% of the student research presented at the annual Celebration of Student Scholars poster presentation event was published regionally or nationally.
  • Data from a 2015 assessment of alumni who participated in the University's Special Jesuit Liberal Arts (SJLA) learning community show that graduates found the program benefitted their writing (94%), speaking (91%) and critical thinking (94%) skills in their vocation or career.
  • Within the Kania School of Management, the Accounting department secured a Research Chair from PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
  • The Kania School earned re-accreditation with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
  • The University's Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice attained initial certification with the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (AJCS).

Strategic Metrics

Student participation in learning communities, including residential learning communities

Student participation in research experiences, particularly those with faculty

Faculty research activities and scholarship products

Number of new academic programs, including four- and five-year accelerated programs

Post-graduation outcomes: employment, education, and full-time service

Number of students participating in selected high impact practices (HIPs) by graduation

Percent of academic programs completing assessment plans and reports each year

Student satisfaction with academic advising and other support services (NSSE)

Students connecting learning to societal problems or issues (NSSE)

Click here to see a visual of selected metrics.