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This Week's Hotline! includes the following articles:

Assuring Quality – the Role of Accreditation
Daffodil Days Fundraiser Underway
Brown Bag Training: Communication Possibilities
Do You Have Your Souper Bowl Ticket?
Legislative Forum in Valley City this Saturday
Hoff to Present "Wildlife - Travels in Mongolia"
Free Planetarium Show Scheduled
VCSU Communication Students Hit the Books at St. Catherine's
February is CTE Month
Museum Holds Fundraiser
Teaching Tip of the Week: Prompt Feedback
Viking Athletic Update
This Week at VCSU and in Valley City
January Birthdays

Assuring Quality – the Role of Accreditation

Assuring Quality – the Role of Accreditation
By Dr. Margaret Dahlberg, Vice President for Academic Affairs

The following article will appear in the Valley City Times Record the week of February 7,2011.

Nine months from now, VCSU will host a group of visitors whose job is to examine how the University is doing overall, and whether we are making the right decisions for our future success. This evaluation team is sent by the North Central Association's Higher Learning Commission once every decade to take a careful, on-site look at the campus, the faculty, the programs, finances, strategic planning, and our relationships with other entities. The team members are full-time faculty and administrators from other universities, who bring their own experiences in higher education and their knowledge of best practices to the review process.

Based on the comments and recommendations of this team, the Higher Learning Commission will determine the type of re-accreditation VCSU will receive, along with guidance on what to improve or correct, if necessary.

This process of regular review is important in many ways. It helps assure quality by encouraging data-gathering, reflection, and planning on our campus. These are things we do regularly, but having someone look over our shoulder occasionally helps assure consistent, attentive effort. Faculty, staff, and administrators may come and go, but established and approved processes assure that consistency and progress are not dependent on particular individuals.

This process also helps the federal government assure compliance with federal programs, since the Department of Education has directed the regional accreditation bodies-in our case, the Higher Learning Commission-to review every university's compliance with various regulations that are designed to protect students' consumer rights and physical safety. Our ability to distribute federally funded financial aid is on the line: we must meet their guidelines in order to continue providing this tuition support.

The Higher Learning Commission requires each campus to measure itself against five criteria-standards relating to mission and planning, quality of education, finances, integrity, and diversity. They don't expect every campus to be alike, but they do expect each campus to be attentive to these criteria for continued success. The evaluation process requires us first to gather data and assess ourselves against the criteria, then provide the team of evaluators access to our data, self study, and personnel, so they can review and verify our assessment.

It's a time-consuming, but very healthy, process that results in improvements to learning, data-gathering, and academic structures. For example, during our last team visit in 2001, the evaluation team suggested that the State Board of Higher Education should review the 'shared administration' of VCSU and Mayville State University. The State Board took this suggestion very seriously, and within two years they had retained a consultant, reviewed the recommendations, and dissolved the shared presidency between the two schools.

Valley City State Normal School was first accredited by the North Central Association in 1915. Aside from a short break during the Depression, VCSU has been continuously accredited by NCA, marking almost 100 years of attention to national quality standards as the campus grew from a Normal School to a four-year, bachelor's degree granting College to the University it is today.

State Board of Higher Education policy requires all eleven colleges and universities in the University System to maintain NCA accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission. In addition, all teacher education programs in North Dakota are required to maintain NCATE (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education) accreditation, a national organization that helps maintain standards for K-12 teacher preparation. The five universities in North Dakota that offer a music major have also voluntarily undergone NASM (National Association of Schools of Music) accreditation, which assures a level of program quality across the state by setting standards for program content, planning, and assessment.

VCSU has recently completed successful re-accreditation site visits for NCATE and NASM; now it's time to prepare for the Higher Learning Commission in October 2011. We're hoping for a report that confirms our assessment of campus strengths and challenges, along with good advice as we prepare for the decade ahead.

Daffodil Days Fundraiser Underway

Daffodil Days Fundraiser Underway
The 2011 American Cancer Society Daffodil Days – 2011 project is underway. This project is designed to be a community-based fundraising event to fund cancer research, education, advocacy, and patient services.

The beautiful yellow daffodils can be ordered in bunches with or without a vase, with the "Liv N. Hope" bear, or a Gift of Hope. The Gift of Hope will allow ACS to deliver a bouquet of daffodils to an anonymous cancer patient in a local hospital.

To order your daffodils, watch for the "Daffodil Days Folder" being circulated in all areas of campus. Orders should be made by February 16 with daffodil delivers to you on March 22. Call Rhonda Fairfield at 845.7102 if you would like to order but have not seen the folder in your area.

Brown Bag Training: Communication Possibilities

Have you used your laptop to place a telephone call? Do you use your computer to hold office hours? Have you participated in a meeting via your laptop? Join us as we look at alternative ways to connect with faculty and students via our laptops.

When? Wednesday, February 9, 12:00-12:50 pm
Where? Norway and Presidents Rooms

For just $5, enjoy a boxed lunch and beverage. Please RSVP to Shannon Van Horn by 8:00 am Wednesday.

Do you have your Souper Bowl Ticket?

The Souper Bowl is scheduled for Friday, February 11 from 11:00 to 2:00 in the Valley City Auditorium - that's right, "Souper Bowl" – not "Super Bowl." This local event is working to raise funds to install a fountain in City Park and is sponsored a Valley City Leadership team. Many years ago, a fountain served as a gathering place in the park and several Valley City residents are working for it to return.

For the ticket price of $15 you will receive soup, salad, dessert, beverage and the handmade pottery soup bowl, being made by VCSU Art students.

For tickets, email or call Kerry Gregoryk at or 845.7519, or stop at her office (McFarland Hall 131C). Tickets are also available at the VC Chamber office.

All proceeds go toward the City Park Fountain project. Checks should be made out to VC Parks and Recreation and are considered a charitable donation.

Legislative Forum in Valley City this Saturday

The District 24 legislative delegation will conduct an open forum at the Valley City Eagle's Aerie beginning at 9:00 am on Saturday, February 12. Senator Larry Robinson and Representatives Phil Mueller and Ralph Metcalf will provide updates on the 2011 ND Legislative Session and take questions from the audience. This is part of a series of open forums the delegation is holding in towns throughout the district as follows:

Saturday, February 19: Wimbledon Café (Community Grocery) 9:00-11:00am.
Saturday, March 12: Valley City Eagles Aerie 9:00 – 11:00 am.
Saturday, March 19: Lisbon Ransom County Courthouse Community Room 9:00 – 11:00 am.
Saturday, March 26: Enderlin City Hall 9:00 – 11:00 am.
Saturday, April 2: Valley City Eagles Aerie 9:00 – 11:00 am.
Saturday, April 9: Lisbon Ransom County Courthouse Community Room 9:00 – 11:00 am.

Questions concerning these events may be addressed to the chamber at 701-845-1891 or at

Hoff to Present "Wildlife - Travels in Mongolia"

Hoff to Present \
The Barnes County Historical Society Lecture Series Season 13 presents: Professor Don Hoff (VCSU) "Wildlife and Travels in Mongolia" 7:00 pm Thursday February 17, 2011.

Don Hoff visited China and Mongolia during June 2010 as part of Earth Expeditions (a graduate program sponsored by Miami (Ohio) University and the Cincinnati Zoo) to study and participate in wildlife (especially Przewalski horses or Taki and Pallas cats) conservation and research programs. The expedition included work with Dr. B Munkhtsog of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences and other local officials. Hoff's presentation will detail the expedition with description and photography.

Donald Hoff is in his 9th year at Valley City State University. When not teaching, he likes to hunt, fish, do carpentry and travel. He previously taught at Velva and Manderee in North Dakota, Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands, and Minot State University. He currently teaches Earth Science/Geology courses, Science Teaching Methods, Chemistry, and supervises student teachers. Hoff is also the North Dakota state coordinator for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching program. He and his wife, Sharon, have one son, Ryan.

All lectures are at the Barnes County Historical Society Museum and held in conjunction with Valley City State University. They are free and open to the public.

For more information contact Wes Anderson at 701-845-0966.

Free Planetarium Show Scheduled

The Valley City State University Planetarium will offer a free show, "Navigating with Lewis & Clark," on Saturday, February 19, at 1:00 pm. The Planetarium is located in Rhoades Science Center, Room 310 (elevator available).

How did Lewis and Clark know where they were when they were in the middle of nowhere? This program explains how they used astronomy to navigate and map the Louisiana Purchase to remarkable accuracy. This program, suitable for grade four and above, lasts about 40 minutes.

For more information contact Alice at 845-7452 or Wes Anderson 845-0966.

VCSU Communication Students Hit the Books at St. Catherine's

To support increased literacy amongst young people, the students of COMM 211: Oral Interpretation will be visiting St. Catherine's School during the month of February. They will be sharing an interpretation of their favorite children's book with the students.

February is CTE Month

A month-long celebration of Career and Technical Education (CTE) kicked off with National Groundhog Job Shadow Day and concludes with National Entrepreneurship Week USA. This year's theme is CTE: Learning Today, Earning Tomorrow!

Local Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO's) all over the nation are holding activities to demonstrate the good work state associations and local chapters are doing. CTE plays a critical role in developing a qualified workforce and preparing students to be college and career-ready.

Museum Holds Fundraiser

The Midland Continental Deport Transportation Museum, home of Peggy Lee, will hold a pancake breakfast and silent auction fundraiser on Sunday, February 20, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, at the Wimbledon Community Center.

Rich Smith, Depot General Contractor, will be flippin' the flap-jacks, and his subcontractors and some Masons and Firemen will be volunteering as well. Come and enjoy good food, good fellowship, and tell these guys "thank you."

A free-will donation for breakfast will also get you a free souvenir Midland Continental Railroad Ticket to tour the Depot and see all of the progress that has been made!

If you're unable to attend but would like to share in this special Wimbledon Community Museum Project, send your tax deductible donation payable to "Depot Restoration" to: Mary Beth Orn, Depot Treasurer, PO Box 3, Wimbledon, ND, 58492.

For additional information, or to contribute a Silent Auction Item in advance, please call Mary Beth Orn at 701-435-2875.

Teaching Tip of the Week: Prompt Feedback

One of the seven principles of good practice suggested by Chickering and Gamson (1987) is to give students prompt feedback. But when we are teaching four or five classes a semester, it can become difficult.

Try rotating what you grade each week. For example, grade Class A first this week. Next week, grade Class B first, and put Class A at the end. Students need to get feedback no later than ten days following a graded event, although once a week is preferable.

Viking Athletic Update

Viking Athletic Update
· The Viking women had two big wins over the weekend as they defeated South Dakota School of Mines 65-51 and #5 Black Hills State 56-54. The women currently sit at 17-8, and are tied with Jamestown for 2nd place in the conference.

· The men dropped two hard fought games as they were defeated by South Dakota School of Mines 58-53 and #9 Black Hills State 69-57. They currently stand 7-18 on the season.

· The Cross Country team competed at Bemidji State on Saturday walking away with two first place wins: Summer Roine won the high jump with a 4'11" best, and Beth Jochim won the long jump with a leap of 15'11".

Upcoming events – W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse

· The Jamestown Jimmies come to town on Wednesday, game time is 5:30 for the women and 7:30 for the men
(Mr. Ross will also being doing a free will offering for his famous cookies to help support the century club).

Come out and support your Vikings!

This Week at VCSU and in Valley City ...

Monday, February 7

5:15 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Strong People & Walk Away the Pounds 1 mile, St. Catherine Gym
7:00 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Intro to Fitness Center Equipment, VC Parks & Recreation Exercise Room

Tuesday, February 8

5:15 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Walk Away the Pounds 1 mile & Hand Weights, St. Catherine Gym

Wednesday, February 9

9:00 am ON THE MOVE activity, Strong People & Walk Away the Pounds 1 Mile, Hi-Liner Activity Center
12:10 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Walk Away the Pounds & Hand Weights, Hi-Liner Activity Center
5:00-7:00 pm St. Catherine Spaghetti Supper
5:15 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Strong People & Walk Away the Pounds 1 mile, St. Catherine Gym
5:30 pm Viking Women's Basketball vs Jamestown College, W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse
7:30 pm Viking Men's Basketball vc Jamestown College, W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse

Thursday, February 10

10:00 am ON THE MOVE activity, Strong Women, Healthy Hearts, Farm Credit Services
11:00 am Concert Band and Sax Quartet, Vangstad Auditorium
7:00-8:00 pm Art Faculty Exhibition Reception, VCSU Gallery, McCarthy Hall 3rd Floor

Friday, February 11

11:00 am – 2:00 pm Souper Bowl II Fundraiser for City Park Fountain, City Auditorium (includes soup & salad bar, chocolate fountain desserts, and hand thrown pottery bowl made by VCSU art students)
12:10 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Walk Away the Pounds & Hand Weights, Open Door Center
7:30 pm Margaret Hammerling, Flute Performance, Froemke Auditorium

Saturday, February 12

9:00-11:00 am Legislative Forum, Valley City Eagles
Viking Track & Field at Northern State University, Aberdeen, SD
Music Scholarship Auditions

Sunday, February 13

3:00 pm Kirci Phillips (soprano), Tyson Rost (tenor), Tommy Zinke (baritone), Performance, Froemke Auditorium