1978-12-08; Central Michigan Life
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Sub-par skills unchecked: counselors (Editor's note; The declining quality of reading at the college "level has been a matter of national concern, In the first installment of a two-part series, LIFE Staff writer Jerry Morlock examines the problem as it exists at CMU. Monday's installment will focus on steps the University has taken to remedy the problem.} by JERRY MORLOCK UFE Staff Writer The University has been unable to take sufficient steps to correct the poor reading skills of incoming students, a problem that was detected as early as 1975, two CMU professors and a counseling official said. Approximately one-third of the incoming freshmen in the last two years have scored in the bottom one-fourth in the social studies and reading portions of the American College Testing program, said Joan Yehl, director of the Education Skills Center of the CMU Counseling Center. "Quite a number of students, about one-fourth or one-third, do not read at adequate levels for college-level material," said Yehl, past president of the Michigan Collegiate Reading Council. "Although they are certainly not illiterate, they read too slowly and can't distinguish between important and unimportant elements of what . they are reading. Provost John Cantelon attributed the reading problem at CMU to a national decline in reading skills. CMU, "the same as all other institutions," has been handcuffed in dealing with reading because of "the magnitude of the problem," he said. ■'!''' "When reading, hasn't been developed in grade school and through high school, then the problem is brought by the students to the university," he said. In 1975, Regina Hoover, associate professor of English, conducted a reading study of students taking ENG 101; "Freshman Composition." Assuming that those scoring in the 30 percent range or lower required developmental courses to succeed in college, the study indicated that 31 percent of those surveyed were in that category. „ "Thirty-one percent were entering college with a reading handicap," said Hoover. "That 31 percent is holding up," she added. Hoover, who conducted the 1975 survey, said since the survey results were released, the University has created a developmental writing and reading program for students who scored below 16 on the SAT. The average score on the SAT among CMU student in 1975-76 was 17.8. (See "Reading-" page 2) Volume 60 No. 41 © wic^aiMichiganura Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48859 Friday, December 8,1978 Busy 'quilting'bees CM UFE PHOTO BY ELIZABETH DEZIO Quilting bees may be a thing of the past but not in Trout Hall. Kathy Zelinsky, Trout Hall director, was presented this quilt by the girls in her dorm. Residents of each room in Trout made a square for the quilt. The patches were sewn together by Cindy Abbott, Mason junior and the finished product was presented to "KZ" at the Trout Christmas party Wednesday night. SA names substitute for Stolpe by TOM HENRY LIFE Staff Writer An interim vice president was named by Student Association's Board of Directors Wednesday to replace the position recently vacated by Al Stolpe. Brad Stroud, Muskegon junior, was elected by a 10 to 4 margin over Junior Representative Kevin Nivison, of Holland. Craig Mabie, Cedar Springs sophomore, also received one vote. Stolpe, Coloma junior, resigned Monday at the request of Student Body President Jim Marshall after Stolpe admitted he tried to increase his salary $100 by decreasing the same amount from a co-worker's pay. Stroud has served on SA's Board of Directors the past two years and was appointed Grievance Committee chairperson last year.. According to SA's Constitution, an interim vice president must be elected by the board when the position is vacated until a special election can take place to elect a full-time officer. Marshall, Charlevoix senior, said the special election should take place at the beginning of next semester! In other SA action at Wednesday's board meeting, Finance Committee chairperson Don Fergle announced the Finance Committee would begin taking applications for Winter Semester allocations. The allocations are for student organizations which did not submit a funding request last spring, Fergle, Grosse Pointe Woods junior, said. AH. funding request applications are due no later than 5 p.m. Jan. 19, Fergle said. Allocations will be announced in early February. The Finance Committee presently has $2,000 to allocate next semester, Fergle said. However, that figure is expected to rise to $2,750 due to (See "SA board-" page 2) Inside —Unknown man pursues woman leaving Pearce, page 3 —Males to face federal court, page 7 —Butler slips past Central cagers, page 13 Faculty evaluations 'not very valid byTOMMcEACHIN LIFE Staff Writer Although some officials claim the eight-year-old teacher evaluation forms filled out by students each semester are used as a. guide for promotion and tenure on a University-wide basis, spokespersons for 25 of the 33 academic departments questioned do not require the forms to be distributed by instructors. And, because not all instructors are required to let students evaluate them in class, some faculty " have raised questions whether there is any validity in using the form as a basis for such testing. • The survey students completed this semester has not been revised or amended since its development in 1970. The process of evaluating instructors originated out of a 1969 , student government project. The present evaluation consists of several multiple choice questions and two questions which students 1) lodge likes and dislikes of the class and 2) offer1 suggestions for improving the class. The anonymous evaluations are scored, the results are passed on to faculty and then are kept in microfiche in Park Library. Written comments are returned to the instructor. The purpose of the evaluations is two fold, said Duane Goupell, testing research •associate in the Office of Planning. Instruction and Research. The results are said to be used as a guide in determining promotion and tenure of faculty and as a self- evaluation guide for an instructor. "I always like to look at the ^ feedback," said Provost John Cantelon. "But," he noted, "students are not the only or the bestevaluators." "Research is not very encouraging about validity of this testing instrument," John Hogan, Dean of the School of Business Administration, said. Hogan, who said he'recommends, but does not require, that department chairpersons in his school distribute evaluations, cautioned about the dangers of using the evaluation as the sole means of gauging an instructor's effectiveness. He also said evaluations "badly need a review." But, while Hogan said he thought the task would be up to the Office of Planning, Instruction and Research, Goupell said it is up to the deans of the five academic schools. Meanwhile, .Cantelon, agreeing evaluations need changing, said Academic Senate, faculty, deans and students all need to have a part in any effort to change the present evaluations. Also claiming that the present evaluation system is inconsistent and therefore not completely valid are several departments that presently use their own evaluations. Two such departments are political science and speech and dramatic arts. Political science faculty voted this year to require all faculty in that department to distribute evaluations to their classes, Edward Westen, department chairperson,said. Westen cited a structural bias (See "Forms-" page 12) Form given correctly? byTIMCUPRISIN LIFE Staff Writer The problem with faculty evaluations lies not in their format, but in their administration, Alan Nichols, economics professor, said. Nichols, who co-authored a study of the correlation between student grades and faculty evaluations several years ago, said flaws in the administrative practice throw the results of the evaluations into doubt. The problems of administering the Survey are illustrated by an example .cited by Peter Orlik, Broadcast and Cinematic Arts Area coor dinator. Orlik said an unidentified professor returned a quiz on which his entire class had scored poorly. He then said the quiz would not be counted. Afterwards, he gave out the evaluations, which showed him in a favorable light. "The evaluations are not. policed. Their integrity is not ensured, but the results are used and do have an impact on promotion and tenure," Nichols added. "I've often felt the'student government should administer the evaluations. The worst of all possible worlds is what we have now," he said. Nichols said that although he has not given evaluations to his students for several years, he does not think they should be abandoned. "I'm not saying they shouldn't be given. I'm saying they shouldn't be given as they are now. They shouldn't be administered by the department, but by the student government or the dean's office." Nichols' study, which appeared in.the Journal of Political Economy, involved the School of Arts and Sciences. Evaluation off the 1. Teacher evaluation forms are used by academic departments as a guide to faculty promotions. Always ^"Sometimes 2. Instructors are required to let students evaluate them. Always 3. Students prove to be the best sources for instructor evaluation feedback. Always , ^"Sometimes^ 4. Research has proved that the results of the evaluations are valid. Always 5. The administration of evaluations by the faculty member being surveyed causes distortion in students' responses. Never Sometimes HJII .. .sins—•—ss»W"* 6. Instructors find the surveys helpful for self-evaluations. Always ■$ f'' II ri MaliiilMMiiiiiii -fclligttl^-^iiyiaiiiiaiiiiBaii;iii aac^A: ^SAssak: '^'a^k*'V^~—^V-/g ..iyji.'.^it.^i.£ ^j* .^.^i...
|Title||1978-12-08; Central Michigan Life|
|Publisher||Students of Central Michigan University|
|Description||Friday, December 8, 1978 issue of the student newspaper of Central Michigan University. Also known as CM-Life. Originally published biweekly. Later published three times a week during the academic year and once a week during the summer. Began publication in 1941. Previously known as Central State Life. Issues from 1999 to the present are available online at the CMLife website.|
|Subject/Keywords||Central Michigan University - Newspapers; Mount Pleasant (Mich.) - Newspapers; Isabella County (Mich.) - Newspapers; College student newspapers and periodicals;|
|Copyright Permission||Copyright 1978 by Central Michigan University. This material is copyrighted and any further reproduction or distribution is prohibited.|