As I sit back and reflect on the past four years that we have been focusing on the quarter to semester conversion, I cannot do so without thinking of all the work and accomplishments that the entire campus community has done. I would like to THANK each one of you individually up front for the tremendous effort this conversion required. I think of Q2S as a large puzzle. Many have worked tirelessly as we built each piece needed. Each piece had to fit into the connecting pieces for the puzzle to be complete and for us to see the full picture. The puzzle is still being built, but it is almost complete and we can clearly see the picture.
I would like to give special recognition to Kim Costino. She was our first Faculty Director for Q2S. Her leadership and her vision set the foundation for the Semester Conversion. She moved on to CSU Dominguez Hills in 2018, but she leaves behind her legacy within Q2S. I will always be indebted to her for the things she taught me.
It started in fall 2016 with the Principles of Program Design lead by Kim Costino and Davida Fischman. There were also several GE forums, scheduling time block forums, and calendar forums. We polled faculty, staff, and students on many important topics. As a result, several recommendations were made and the curriculum for semesters was proposed!
Over 5,700 courses and 250 programs were discussed, reviewed, and updated as a part of the curriculum process. Fall semester classes have been scheduled and students are already registering. Submissions for the Academic Year 2021-22 are starting to trickle through the approval process.
Remember: AY 2020-21 begins August 17, 2020 and classes begin August 24, 2020! Saturday classes begin August 22, 2020.
Advising is a continuous process, as we are all well aware. Our “official” advising for Q2S began with those who could finish their degree requirements before semesters began. We called them our “quarter completers”. We wanted them to have plenty of time to plan completion of their degree requirements, so we “officially” began in fall 2018. As curriculum started getting approved and key advising tools were retrofitted with semester requirements, we began “officially” advising our transitional students, or our “semester completers” in fall 2019.
All of our quarter completers and most of our semester completers were advised. This was a huge collaborative effort from the Faculty Advisors, College Advisors, Professional Advisors, Graduate Coordinators, Graduate Advisors, and Advising and Academic Services. Much of this was led by Undergraduate Studies.
Technology was involved throughout the quarter to semester conversion from the beginning and will continue after the conversion. There were implementations of new software, development of new advising tools, and the retrofitting of current technical software systems.
When the semester conversion project officially began, the first challenge was to implement an electronic approval workflow for curriculum submissions. This software needed to be tied to both our Academic Catalog and our Student Information System. The process which had been utilized for years – paper forms which were reviewed, signed, passed onto the next approver, and manually input, was not going to work for the conversion. The ability to monitor, track, identify backlogs, and share the documents was significant. As a result, CSUSB implemented CourseLeaf’s Curriculum Inventory Management product (often referred to as CIM). Because this software was connected with both the course catalog and our student information system, entry of data multiple times became obsolete. If there was a question about where in the workflow a program or course proposal was, it was easy to identify. In addition, it was able to provide us information on the volume of program and course submissions processed for the semester conversion.
Advising our students and providing information that would help students, faculty, and staff understand the curriculum changes along with the unit value changes become critical. As a result, several things were developed to assist in this process. CSUSB developed a mechanism to identify students who were completing degree requirements prior to the conversion and after the conversion. We identified these students as quarter completers and semester completers. This became important as Academic Advisors reached out to students to help them through the conversion process; whether it was to help them complete their degree before semesters began or help them through the transition. It also helped track if these students were advised and what pieces of advising occurred for the students. It helped faculty and professional advisors identify the gaps in advising and launch advising campaigns, if needed, to close these gaps.
When the university advising teams targeted students who were transitioning from quarters to semesters, it was critical for our degree audit system (PAWS) to be available to assist in this advising. PAWS was retrofitted with course equivalencies from quarter courses to semester courses, semester courses to quarter courses, semester catalog changes, and unit changes. The ability to run audits for quarter catalog requirements and semester catalog requirements was crucial. Defining and processing the two different scenarios was necessary. Students and Advisors were able to run “what-if” scenarios to see whether semester or quarter catalog requirements benefited students. Quarter audits “looked” similar to what the advisors and students were used to seeing. General Education requirement changes were reflected on the degree audit for clarification to the advisors and students. In addition, an electronic course substitution process was implemented to streamline the submission, approval, and processing of the substitutions.
Retrofitting current software platforms to encompass the unit changes from quarters to semesters was addressed in the degree audit system (as indicated above), the student information system (PeopleSoft Campus Solutions) and our advising platform (EAB). Each system required separate programming requirements to accommodate the change to semesters. Significant testing, validation, impact analysis, and cross module involvement was needed. The continued application of the conversion scripts will always be needed, because students records never become stagnant.
Only a few of the technical pieces of Q2S were highlighted. The list is long. Without technology, the project would have been much more difficult to achieve.
Since this will be the last public correspondence, I write on behalf of Q2S, I ask the Campus Community to indulge me as a say THANK YOU to some groups and individuals. I would like to recognize their special efforts in the project.
Special Thank Yous!
Faculty Senate: The Senators who have served on Faculty Senate in the last four years and the Executive Committee. They reviewed of all of the curriculum proposals, the adjustments to FAM, and the Q2S recommendations.
Karen Kolehmainen and Beth Steffel for the numerous additional Q2S meetings and running efficient Faculty Senate meetings.
The Curriculum Committees and UCC for their review of the 5,700 courses and the 250 programs and working with the Academic Departments.
Bob Tenczar and Strategic Communications for all of their marketing materials that Q2S needed. From posters, countdowns, graphics, getting the word out, social media, the main webpage, and everything else we asked for! They never expressed frustration as we asked for tweaks to the materials. They were just helpful and always accommodating.
Undergraduate Studies. For helping us get the word out in your tabling, social media, posters, flyers, and discussions with students.
The Q2S Steering Committee. For the discussions, recommendations, and advice needed for the semester conversion. With their knowledge, expertise, and passion for our students and the campus community we committed to a successful conversion.
The current members are: Monir Ahmed, Leslie Bryan, Patrick Bungard, Rong Chen, Dorothy Chen-Maynard, Rueyling Chuang, Lesley Davidson-Boyd, Lynne Diaz-Ricco, Joan Fryxell, Adonis Galarza-Toledo, Janelle Gilbert, Jo Anna Grant, Nathan Jones, Grace King, Karen Kolehmainen, Marcia Marx, Eduardo Mendoza, Rafik Mohamed, Terri Nelson, Tom Provenzano, Alexandru Roman, Olivia Rosas, Roberta Salgado, Beth Steffel, Sam Sudhakar, Bob Tenczar, Caroline Vickers, Clare Weber, Kim Wobick
And, past members: Kim Costino, Davida Fischman, Kirsty Fleming, Kevin Grisham, Chris Lindfelt, Craig Seal, Chuck Stanton, Peter Williams, Mellissa Patton (student), Shadia Adham (student), and Naveena Bellam (student)
The Q2S sub-committees. Here is a list of them with the Co-Chairs. For their discussions on the related topics to their committees with knowledgeable recommendations to bring forward to the Q2S Steering Committee.
- Dorothy Chen-Maynard
- Ed Mendoza, Director, Advising and Academic Services
- Past Chairs: Craig Seal and Chris Lindfelt
- Monir Ahmed, AVP of Administration & Finance
- Alexandru Roman
- Terri Nelson
- Bob Tenczar, AVP of Strategic Communication
- Curriculum Development
- Janelle Gilbert, GE Senate Chair
- Tom Provenzano, Q2S Curriculum Director/University Curriculum Committee Chair
- Past Chair: Davida Fischman
- Faculty Affairs
- Rong Chen, FAC Chair
- Student Services
- Joan Fryxell
- Olivia Rosas, AVP of Student Success and Educational Equity
To the College Coordinators: Doug Smith, Haakon Brown, Jessica Luck, Tom Long, and Todd Jennings. Thank you for being the conduit between Q2S and your colleges!
Janelle Gilbert for leading the transformation of General Education, co-chair of Curriculum Development sub-committee, and her continued support.
Terri Nelson for taking on so many things for Q2S, from helping us build the BlackBoard component, creating and organizing the many Q2S teach-ins, co-chairing the Communication subcommittee and all of the Enhanced Pedagogy work.
Davida Fischman for all of the curriculum development workshops, setting the bar for the curriculum development sub-committee, and your work on the FAMs.
Craig Seal for your collaboration with all aspects of the project and your work with the Advising sub-committee.
Carol Hood for all of your work for Q2S, especially your work to get the semester calendar in place.
Rong Chen for your wisdom and assistance, especially for the schedule time blocks concept and your work on the FAMs.
Olivia Rosas for your support and talking me into taking on this project.
Academic Curriculum and Scheduling (Kim, Ruth, Maria, and Omar) for the work you took upon during the semester conversion.
The Office of the Registrar (with a special shout out to Amy, Bea, Alison, Rachael, Jennifer and Melissa) for all of the additional work and testing for the project.
ACBI and ITS (with special mention of Sam, Lenora, Tiffany, Joe, Vanessa, Anthony, Michael, and Joel) for your technical support on what we needed for the project.
Institutional Research (with special acknowledgement to Muriel and Tanner) for helping us give informed information with data and creating special dashboards for Q2S.
All of the business units (Admissions and Student Recruitment, Financial Aid and Scholarships, Student Financial Services, Academic Curriculum and Scheduling, Office of the Registrar, and ACBI) for your testing, testing, testing.
To Patrick Bungard, for working with me for the four years throughout the project. Couldn’t have done it without you!
To our Technical Consultants: Tammy, Kim, John, Sanjeev, Chris, and Nigel. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
To the current Q2S Team: Lesley Davidson-Boyd, Tom Provenzano, Patrick Bungard, Clare Weber, and Sam Sudhakar. Thank you for the ideas and discussions as we bring our part to a close and approach fall SEMESTER!
To the President, Provost, Sam, and Cabinet: THANK YOU for your support!
I know there are many who have contributed significantly that I have accidentlly omitted. That’s the danger of calling out people/groups. My apologies in advance, if I did not mention you specifically. Again, this was definitely a campus-wide effort with so many contributors. We survived changes in leadership, power outages, COVID-19, and curfews! We survived Q2S!
Technical Director/Project Manager