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Wednesday, March 28, 2001

"Que† Makes College Transition Easier"

SALISBURY, MD---Representatives from three Eastern Shore colleges are cooperating with some 20 other institutions nationwide, taking the lead in a new, $2.6 million program to establish learning guidelines or standards for making the transition from two- to four-year colleges easier for students.

Faculty from Salisbury State University, Chesapeake College and Wor-Wic Community College recently returned from Long Beach, CA, after discussing specifics.

“This is part of national trend towards identifying strategies and standards for the purpose of allowing a seamless transition among all academic levels,” said Dr. Maarten Pereboom, SSU history professor working on the project.

QUE--Quality in Undergraduate Education--is a national project involving faculty at 10 four-year public institutions in California, Georgia, Maryland and Nevada, and their 12 partner two-year colleges. The project will help guarantee that students transferring from a two-year college would have the same level of preparation as a student of similar standing from a four-year institution.

 “This will help Wor-Wic faculty better advise and prepare students going to SSU,” said Ed Taylor, Wor-Wic professor who oversees the science component.

The prestigious Pew Charitable Trust and the Exxon-Mobil Foundation fund the program. 

Dr. Kent Kimmel, project co-coordinator and associate provost at SSU, says QUE’s goal is to have academic departments at corresponding institutions use agreed upon learning goals that are clear and public to students, faculty, employers and University policy makers. These goals can help create a coherent program and reduce the need for remedial work, he added.

Kimmel is project co-coordinator with Dr. Robert Tardiff of SSU’s Math and Computer Science Department. Pereboom, Dr. Mark Frana of SSU’s Biology Department and Dr. Steve Hetzler of SSU’s Mathematical and Computer Science Department coordinate the project’s three content areas.

Because the development of standard learning goals is local, faculty have the independence to present the material as they see fit. Students, however, will be expected to demonstrate certain levels of knowledge and understanding at the end of the course. Additionally, each team of schools will be allowed to collectively adopt its own set of standards.

“Locally, it allows us to clarify what we do in class,” Pereboom said. SSU professors are paired with biology, history and mathematics faculty members from Chesapeake and Wor-Wic. Other participating institutions in the state of Maryland include Towson University and The Community College of Baltimore County.

For information call 410-543-6030 or visit the University’s Web site at www.salisbury.edu.


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