Francis Galey, Sylvia Read, María Luisa Spicer-Escalante, Cathy Ferrand Bullock, Alan Blackstock, Sergio Bernal, Katherine Chudoba, Mike A. Christiansen, Travis Dorsch, Lianna K. Etchberger, Paul R. Grossl, Kelsey Hall, Wayne Hatch, Scott L. Hunsaker, and Kimberly H. Lott
The nation's land grant institutions were founded on the principle of access for the general public to the knowledge gained through research and creative activity fostered in higher education. Central to our access mission is our dedication to teaching and learning that is informed by research and discovery, both of which must result, at least in part, from our engagement with our external constituents. That teaching and learning informs our research and vice versa; our research informs and aids in our teaching mission.
This work, compiled by Professors Maria Luisa Spicer-Escalante and Cathy Ferrand Bullock, is focused on how the best, highly informed teaching is accomplished when done in an intentional manner. That intentional process helps the best university educators thoughtfully build their teaching story in an organized manner. Educators think about how they can successfully reach and engage their appropriate student audiences (or mentees), what they hope to accomplish, and how they intend to accomplish their goals. Further, as learning outcomes are identified and established, first-rate methods for course design, content inclusion, and continuous improvement can be outlined.
Those of us who follow these intentional principles may then detail our growth and success along the way as teachers in the development of documents that tell our stories. Undoubtedly, the ability to clearly document and articulate that story will help academic personnel add to their tenure and promotion preparation in a very meaningful way. But as or even more important is the opportunity to describe these journeys with all the efforts, large and small, of improving their product in terms of learning outcomes and student growth and success.
The nuggets of wisdom compiled by Professors Spicer-Escalante and Bullock, in USU Teaching Documentation: Dossiers from the Mentoring Program, will help teachers across the board from the new lecturer or assistant professor to the experienced professor dive into their teaching programs and find ways to continuously experiment and refine their approaches to our critically important student audiences.
Good luck, teach on, and successfully document some of the most important work you all do!
Executive Vice President and Provost
Utah State University 2019
Self-Evaluation Report for Society of American Foresters' Continued Accreditation of Bachelor of Science Degree in Forest Ecology and Management
Karen E. Mock and Department of Wildland Resources, Utah State University
This self-evaluation report has been produced for the purpose of reaccreditation of the Utah State University Forest Ecology and Management (FEMA) undergraduate degree program by the Society of American Foresters (SAF). Utah State University has maintained an SAF-accredited forestry program since 1936 and was most recently reaccredited by SAF in 2010.
Utah State University has a long and influential legacy in the forestry profession. Our faculty have led and shaped the profession, and our graduates have become leaders in a variety of state, federal, international, and academic organizations. Our institutional structure, degree program components, and enrollments have changed over time, consistent with national trends, but our program remains strong and is evolving to meet both the needs of today’s students and the needs of today’s society for well-rounded professional foresters. Over the years our program has focused on increasingly diverse forest management goals, including ecological functions and processes, wildlife habitat, recreation, species and structural diversity, and resilience with respect to fire, native and novel insect pathogens, and climate change. Similarly, our program has evolved with respect to content (e.g. increasing emphasis on ecology, geospatial tools and social sciences) and is preparing students for a broader and more interdisciplinary range of career tracks.
Enrollment in the FEMA program has been increasing since 2010, and is at its highest point since 2005. We attribute this trend to increasing forestry-related employment opportunities, an increasing awareness among students about forestry career options, and the increasing relevance of silviculture to ecological and social goals. Since the 2010 reaccreditation, we have seen the retirement of several key faculty in the forestry program, most recently Dr. James Long, the T.W. Daniel Professor of Forestry, SAF Fellow, and recipient of the 2018 National SAF Award in Forest Science. Dr. Long’s retirement was a tremendous loss, but we have several recently- hired faculty members who are bringing new energy and perspectives to the FEMA program. We are excited about the program’s future and its impact on the future of forestry.