6b. Unit Budget
6b.1. Describe the proposed budget available to support educator preparation programs. Describe how the proposed unit budget will compare to the budgets of other units with clinical components on campus or similar units at other institutions or agencies
The university provides unit funding through an annual budget process. Each fall, division chairs prepare budget requests with justification for capital, new personnel, and operating budgets. These requests are forwarded to the Provost/VPAA who reviews them with the Vice President for Finance and Administration and the President, and a complete budget is formulated and presented to the Board of Trustees for approval.
The total operating budget allocation for FY11 for the division is approximately $25,000. These resources are delineated by budget line items that are used to fund faculty professional development, attendance at conferences, and professional memberships. Additional line items fund costs associated with delivering instruction, travel associated with supervising field experiences and student teaching, recruiting, accreditation, purchasing noncapital equipment, and maintaining the department office. The FY11 Division budget is comparable to Thomas University operating budgets for other divisions with degree programs that require clinical observation, such as Social Work and the Thomasville-based RN-BSN program. Other line items reflect student course fee revenue to subsidize software costs for preparation for GACE testing and to subsidize student field trips.
The personnel budget for the Division of Education is the second largest supporting an academic division in the university. This includes a year-round faculty appointment for the Division Chair of Education contracted for primarily administrative duties, teaching only one course per semester with three-quarters load for administration of the division and supervision of the division’s assessment system; six faculty lines devoted to teaching (one currently vacant); a year-round full-time Coordinator of Field Experiences and Assessment for the Division of Education; a year-round full-time Administrative Assistant to the Division of Education, who supports the work of the division chair and Coordinator of Field Experiences and Assessment; approximately $55,000 spent annually for adjunct personnel in the Division of Education. The university has assigned at least one Graduate Assistant to the Division of Education for up to fifteen hours per week each semester to assist with implementation of the assessment system and other division projects that support teacher candidates’ preparation. In addition, student workers are assigned to the Division of Education for fifteen hours per week per person to assist in data entry, filing, and support of faculty. Salaries and wages are competitive with those of other IIB private colleges and universities in Georgia. Clinical compensation for adjunct instructors is higher than regional public or private schools.
Approximately $100,000 is allotted annually to online and print journals, scholarly databases, and current books for the Library’s collection.
6b.2. Describe the adequacy of the proposed budget to support all programs for the preparation of educators and plans for increasing the budget as program offerings expand.
The Education Division is allocated adequate resources to support the division’s mission. Administrative needs are met through the assigned time of the division chair and Coordinator of Field Experiences and Assessment for the Division of Education. As programs expand, the division chair can negotiate additional teaching release with the Provost/VPAA. The coordinator implements the division’s tracking system for placing teacher candidates in Field Experiences as defined in the Georgia Educator Preparation Rules and ensures the regular and systematic dissemination and collection of data collection instruments/data, while also facilitating the systematic process of data compilation, aggregation, and summarization of those data collected to enable the unit faculty and administration to analyze candidate and completer performance in regards to the outlined outcomes, along with preparation program and unit performance. The coordinator is assisted by the university’s Director of Institutional Assessment in the production of meaningful reports from the LiveText system and statistical analysis of candidate performance data. This position was recently expanded to a 12-month position specifically to provide time to serve as LiveText Administrator.
The number and expertise of faculty is adequate to effectively address the teacher preparation programs and content specialization areas, along with faculty in the arts and sciences as well who provide content courses. The university’s full-time Academic Technology Specialist assists faculty and students in utilizing educational technologies, including LiveText, smartboard technology, Collaborate, and Blackboard v 9.0.
Support staff needs are met by one full-time Administrative Assistant, at least one Graduate Assistant, and Student Assistants.
The university is committed to providing budget support for personnel, capital, and operating costs associated with growth. The FY12 budget proposes a renovation project for adding office space to the education building and capital investment in new education classroom smartboards. The strategic model at Thomas University reinvests dollars generated by enrollment growth directly into program support for those students, in the form of faculty and resources.