CENTRAL CONNECTICUT STATE UNIVERSITY

BACK TO HOME PAGE

Standard 10: Public Disclosure  


Description

Central Connecticut State University publishes a wide, diverse range of information pieces—news releases; event happenings; profiles of faculty, students, and programs; catalogs; course, departmental information; institutional data and so on.  On those pieces, contact information is published as a policy.

The University’s website has an “online 411” page where general information about the University and how inquiries can be addressed in an FAQ format can be found. The page also contains links to university departments and offices where information specific to that office or department can be found or requested.  Links are also provided for visitors to contact the Webmaster.

A visual inspection of the University’s Web site and catalogs revealed no information on the website or in the catalog leading a visitor to information about the University’s audited financial statements.  There is information on the Web site leading a visitor to information about the CCSU Foundation’s audited financial statement but the information is not found in the catalog.

The web offers current and archival editions of the undergraduate and graduate catalogs.  The content on the Web site and in authoritative publications is derived from the catalog.

Since CCSU posts only the current courses offered and their descriptions on the Web, there will be some variations between what is published in the printed catalog and what is available online. This discrepancy is met by the disclaimer published in the print catalog.  The Office of Marketing and Communications ensures that all institutional publications are consistent and accurate.

The University publishes its Mission Statement and objectives in a number of places, both online and in printed publications, such as university catalogs, course schedules/listings and the student handbook.

The Office of Recruitment and Admissions puts forth comprehensive information for all interested applicants both in print and online formats, including the necessary steps and forms for admittance, tuition and fees rates, applications for campus housing, financial aid forms and procedures, registration materials and the Health Service’s rules for medical compliance.  The office makes students aware of any missing credentials throughout the application process.  In addition, the Office of Academic Articulations and Partnerships works with CCSU’s Admissions office and regional Connecticut community colleges for seamless transfer equivalency.  The Graduate Web page includes the same information for graduate student applicants and Graduate Admissions make applicants aware of missing credentials.

The availability of courses is published in print and online formats shortly before the beginning of the advising and registration periods.  The web version uses a search system that brings up course information relevant for visitor-selected semesters and years.  The catalog’s comprehensive listing of courses specifies the semester that a course is offered if the course is offered only once during the academic year or every other year (listed as “even” or “odd”).  There is no public listing of personnel who are not available during a given year (e.g., no listing of faculty on sabbatical).  An online degree evaluation, which displays a current history of degree requirements met and those requirements still needed for graduation is also available to students.

The graduate and undergraduate catalogs include a list of current, full-time, tenure-track faculty, indicating departmental affiliation, professorial rank, highest academic degree(s), institution granting degree(s), and year of hire at CCSU.  The names and positions of administrative officers, as well as all full-time administrative staff, are included as well.  The list is updated annually, and is posted on the University’s Web site.

Program affiliation is not included in this list, but is indicated elsewhere in the catalog (for example, directors and coordinators of interdisciplinary and international programs are listed with the descriptions of their programs of study) and often on individual program websites.  Part-time faculty are not included in this list but are often listed on individual departmental websites.  A list of the members of the Board of Trustees is also published in the graduate and undergraduate catalogs. Information on principal affiliations is not included.

Information pertaining to the size and characteristics of the student body, the campus setting, the availability of academic and other support services, the range of co-curricular and non-academic opportunities available to students; and those institutional learning and physical resources from which a student can reasonably be expected to benefit is captured in various places on the web. 

CCSU produces a number of publications (also available online) that provide this information as well; the application packets, the view books, the university catalogs, as well as the course listing booklets.  The University publishes updated information on the characteristics of the campus as well as the student and faculty populations in printed formats, including the student handbook.  In addition, a brief history of CCSU is included in order to give proper perspective to the student.  The University also discloses a current array of both academic and non-academic resources. 

The University provides a number of resources available to the student, including tutoring, academic support and assistance to persons with disabilities.  These resources are made known to the university community in print and online through the university catalogs, view book, Student Handbook, course offerings booklets, and all admissions application materials.

A website has been constructed for CCSU’s new Strategic Plan, which outlines institutional goals and the progress being made toward achieving them.  Student success data is carried on the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment website, which includes retention and graduation rates, licensure passage rates, and a range of other measures.  

All information concerning cost of attendance, financial aid and payment resources appear on the web pages published by the Bursar and Financial Aid offices on their respective CCSU web pages.  All incoming financial aid recipients receive an entrance counseling interview wherein they are advised completely of their financial responsibilities and the available resources.  Upon graduation or departure from CCSU, all financial aid recipients receive an exit interview wherein they are informed of their continuing responsibilities. As a condition of participating in the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA), CCSU includes on its VSA web page a convenient method for prospective students to calculate the cost of attending the University.

Our marketing messages and other such claims are all based on solid evidence—Princeton  Review, Hartford Advocate, Association of American Colleges & Universities, data from Institutional Research and Assessment.  The Institutional Research and Assessment website has an entire category on “Assessment,” where the degree program assessment reports since 2000 are readily available.  Within these reports is a summary of learning outcomes that will be posted on the web.  This website also has reports for enrollment, graduation, and incoming students.   Placement data is available in the Office of Career Services, but this data is not readily available on the web.

Licensure pass rates are reported in the annual Accountability Report and posted on the Web site; comprehensive information about Praxis pass rates for teachers is reported online in CCSU’s Title II reports. Placement rates for graduates are published on the Web site as part of the annual CSUS Survey of Undergraduate Completers, and the Web site also provides links to an annual Connecticut Department of Labor study about salaries and employment of graduates from Connecticut’s public colleges.

CCSU has readily available valid documentation for statements regarding achievements of graduates or faculty.  This information can be found on the Institutional Advancement/ Marketing and Communications website under “CCSU in the News” as well as on the CCSU home page and is well-documented.  The OIRA Web page has an online fact book listing faculty characteristics. 

A complete list of accreditations for the University and its academic programs is included in both the undergraduate and graduate catalogs (print and web versions). This list is updated for accuracy each year by Academic Affairs before the catalog is printed.  In addition, accreditations are also noted within some program of study descriptions within the catalog as well as in student recruitment materials.

 

Appraisal

To measure Central Connecticut State University’s effectiveness in meeting the NEASC standards for public disclosure, we surveyed incoming first-year, transfer, continuing, and graduate students, as well as the parents of incoming students and university employees. In addition, we conducted a visual inspection of all web pages and university publications to ensure that they contained complete, accurate, accessible, and clear information to enable readers to make informed decisions about the institution.  Any observed deficiencies were corrected during this exercise; some were corrected during spring and summer 2008 when the graduate catalog was being revised for publication.  Web pages were also revised during this same period whenever possible.

Overall, the survey results suggest that the vast majority of the campus community perceives that CCSU discloses important information readily and accurately, but current employees appear slightly more critical of the University’s success in this area than do the current students. In general, responses were more positive among tour participants and incoming first-year students than among parents and incoming graduate students.  Between 75% and 90% of survey respondents indicated that the information CCSU publishes is both helpful and reliable. Fewer than 8% of respondents in any group disagreed that the disseminated information was accurate and useful. The website received slightly higher ratings than the print materials. This may be due to the two-year cycle on which catalogs are printed (Exhibit 10.1).

In general, about 90% of current students strongly agreed or agreed that CCSU clearly and readily presented relevant information about educational outcomes, student fees and withdrawals, student conduct regulations, and academic information. There were no statistically meaningful differences in student responses in their levels of satisfaction among these various types of information. Satisfaction among current employees about these areas of public disclosure were slightly lower, with about 75-85% of current employees indicating they strongly agreed or agreed that CCSU presented relevant information about educational outcomes, student fees and withdrawals, student conduct regulations, and academic information.

The visual inspection of all CCSU web pages and publications confirmed that there was no information on the website or in the catalog leading a visitor to information about the University’s audited financial statements, although information about the CCSU Foundation’s audited financial statement could be found on the Web site. This has since been corrected.

The graduate and undergraduate catalogs included a list of current, full-time, tenure-track faculty, indicating departmental affiliation, professorial rank, highest academic degree(s), institution granting degree(s), and year of hire at CCSU.  The names and positions of administrative officers, as well as all full-time administrative staff, were included as well.  The list is updated annually and is posted on the University’s Web site. However, program affiliation was not included in the list of current full-time faculty and administrative staff, and part-time faculty were not included in the list of faculty printed in the catalog. There was also no public listing of personnel who are not available during a given year (e.g., no listing of faculty on sabbatical).  A list of the members of the Board of Trustees is published in the graduate and undergraduate catalogs, but information about their principal affiliations is not included.

In addition, the inspection revealed that information about our two education degree programs in Jamaica did not appear on the Web or in the catalog.
 

Projection

The University is currently engaged in an extensive project to redesign its website and implement a web content management system. The redesigned and reconfigured site will run on a content management system (CMS) that will ensure the easy deployment and redeployment of key public institutional information.  This will ensure that public information is correct wherever it appears on the site. The ease of maintaining and revising the site will also work to assure the site conforms to NEASC standards for public disclosure in terms of accuracy and timeliness.

In addition, corrective action will be or was taken to correct deficits which were revealed during our visual inspection of the university catalog and Web site.  As of the new printing of the graduate catalog for fall 2008 and the undergraduate catalog as of 2010, anyone wishing to obtain a copy of CCSU’s financial statements will be directed to contact the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, Connecticut State University System, 39 Woodland Street, Hartford, CT 06105. The website has been updated to include this information as well, and appears on the Fiscal Affairs/Business Services website.  Similarly, information about the CCSU Foundation’s audited financial statements will be included in next printing of the undergraduate and graduate catalogs as well as be posted on the website.

To update information on faculty not available during an academic year or a given semester, as part of the web redesign and content management system, information about faculty who are on sabbatical will be included in the faculty listing on the academic departments’ websites.  Since currently only full-time faculty are listed in institutional catalogs, the web redesign and contentment management system will maintain separate departmental listings of part-time faculty as well as full time faculty, which will include highest academic degree, institution granting degree(s) and year of hire at CCSU, as modeled after the listing which appears on the Web page for the Department of English.  Information on principal affiliations of Board of Trustees members will be added to the existing listing of Trustees at the Connecticut State University System’s Web site.   Under discussion is whether information will also be included in the catalogs.

Corrective action for program deficits found during our visual inspection of the university catalog and Web site have already been deployed.  Information about the two masters’ programs that are offered in Jamaica by the departments of Educational Leadership and Reading and Language Arts has been included in the printing of the graduate catalog (2008) and has also been noted at the graduate website and linked to the departments.   

 

Third-Party Comments

CCSU will invite third-party comment from the public with notices of its upcoming reaccreditation visit published in The Recorder (campus newspaper), Central Focus (alumni magazine), and in the New Britain Herald and Hartford Courant (local newspapers).

 

Institutional Effectiveness

 

The Office of Marketing and Communications is responsible for increasing public awareness and understanding of CCSU, its people, programs, and promise.  This office produces a comprehensive range of strategic communications including admissions materials, catalogs, and guidebooks. This office is also responsible for administering the University Web site.  The Office of Marketing and Communication has brought about marked improvement in all CCSU marketing communications, including print advertising, recruitment publications, financial publications and all other materials intended to portray the University’s image before the public and its constituencies.  This office will continue to survey incoming first-year, incoming transfer students, parents of incoming first-year and transfer students, and continuing students annually to ascertain if the University, in presenting itself to these constituencies, provides information that is complete, accurate, accessible, clear, and sufficient for intended audiences to make informed decisions about the institution.  Further, the University’s participation in the Voluntary System of Accountability will demonstrate its commitment to providing information that is accessible, understandable, and comparable.
 

Back to Main Page


1615 Stanley Street, New Britain, CT 06050  860.832.CCSU or toll free instate 1-888-733-2278


 
Copyright © 2005 [Central Connecticut State University]. All rights reserved.
webmaster@ccsu.edu
Last Update: Wednesday September 10, 2008