Addressing Increasing Enrollment

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) student services staff and CALS departments are taking steps to meet the needs of growing enrollment in the upcoming year. Below are selected activities or plans in CALS and departments.

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS)

  • CALS has a First Year Task Force that is implementing two initiatives to better serve the growing number of undergraduate students: standardized advisor training and a revamped orientation curriculum.
  • Increased collaboration with colleges offering courses to CALS students (mainly Liberal Arts and Sciences) to forecast and respond to needs for undergraduate course offerings
  • CALS is preparing a call for proposals to support faculty who wish to develop hybrid (online and face-to-face) instruction to improve pedagogy for large classes and to improve classroom use efficiency.
  • During the recruitment process, more information on CALS majors is provided to students to help them determine their major prior to enrollment
  • CALS is implementing a monthly student-based STORIES newsletter to increase information to current students
  • CALS continues to offer informal meet-and-greet opportunities like the Freshman/Transfer BBQ and Out-of-State Student BBQ
  • Departments are encouraged to organize student events, helping to establish a sense of community and provide informal access to CALS faculty and staff
  • CALS increasingly uses social media to provide a large variety of information to reach students, faculty and staff, alumni and prospective students
  • CALS Student Services Office is working with departments to better predict future course availability
  • CALS continues to emphasize participation in learning communities to make a large university feel small and welcoming.

Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

  • Two new advisors have been hired for students majoring in Industrial Technology and Agricultural Systems Technology
  • The curriculum committee is identifying classes that can be offered at alternate times to ensure classes are not oversized
  • Advisors assist students in dealing with entry into full classes or help with coursework
  • Plans are in place to continue discussion and reorganization of student 4-year plans to increase efficiency and resources

Department of Agricultural and Life Sciences Education and Studies

  • Learning communities have been expanded to include all incoming students in agricultural studies, and the number of peer mentors in learning communities has been increased so learning teams have no more than 20 students
  • A special section of English 150 has been offered specifically for agricultural studies students
  • Part-time advisors from CALS units have been added to help with increased number of students
  • A “meet and mingle” event is planned for students in the major along with faculty to promote networking and interaction
  • New students are grouped in at least two classes together to promote cohesiveness

Department of Agronomy

  • All tenure-track faculty members have a teaching requirement, which can be met through undergraduate advising. This has allowed the department to grow from 11 advisors in past years to 14 advisors for 2013-14 school year.
  • The department is offering additional sections of Agronomy 114 and Agronomy 212
  • An annual freshman learning community field trip helps integrate students into the program and encourages interactions between students and faculty
  • A “Women in Agronomy” event is planned for the beginning of the fall semester to encourage interaction between new female students and women currently studying, teaching or research in agronomy

Department of Animal Science

  • New faculty members have been hired to assist in research and teaching
  • Additional lecturers have been hired with a focus on teaching and advising
  • Several lab sections have been added to ensure increased number of students are offered the same quality of education and opportunities as smaller classes
  • Students are surveyed prior to enrollment to determine their area of emphasis; students are paired with advisors based on that emphasis
  • Club involvement is encouraged among all students, especially new freshmen and transfer students

Departments of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology & Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology

  • The department is in the process of hiring an additional advisor to assist with transfer student recruitment, retention and advising
  • The biology learning community has been linked to the freshman seminar (BIOL 110), so that all freshmen are involved
  • An orientation course specifically for transfer students will be continued (BIOL 112)

Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

  • Two lecturers have been hired to assist teaching courses and additional lab sections
  • An additional academic advisor was hired to accommodate and provide service to increased number of students
  • Departmental space (HNSB 2021) was renovated and new technology added to accommodate need for larger classes
  • The department is offering additional online courses

Department of Horticulture

  • The department is in the process of hiring a new academic advisor to accommodate increased enrollment in the Global Resource Systems major
  • Faculty and academic advisors are working with advisees based on their emphasis areas to promote expertise and integration into coursework
  • Club activities have been adjusted to promote more networking
  • Learning communities are continually improving offerings for students, such as field trips and social time

Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management

  • A new student services specialist has been hired to assist with undergraduate advising
  • A new student orientation camp will take place Aug. 23-24 for incoming freshmen and transfer students
  • Some lecture/lab courses have been split to accommodate larger enrollment in lecture classes
  • In a collaboration with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, a new program called “Outdoor Skills Weekend” will help orient students and help them gain skills needed for other courses (orienteering, camping, archery, fishing, trapping, canoeing, etc.)

Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology (Interdepartmental Microbiology Program with Department of Animal Science)

  • A new lecturer has been hired to help meet demand for additional lab sections and lectures
  • A second lab classroom has been opened for general microbiology; it will accommodate MICRO 201L and MICRO 302L.
  • Additional sections of MICRO 201L, MICRO 301L and MICRO 456 are offered.
  • The MICRO 201 lecture has been moved to a larger room to accommodate the number of students requiring the class from other majors (including majors in animal science, food science, human nutrition).