Issue Number 9
August 2015
In This Issue
Of Note:H

Honors for Associate Dean Ashkar
Adele N. Ashkar, CPS Associate Dean for Academic Excellence and Director of Landscape Design Program has been named by The American Society of Landscape Architects as one of the 37 members elevated to the ASLA Council of Fellows for 2015. Fellowship is among the highest honors the ASLA bestows on members and recognizes the contributions of these individuals to their profession and society at large based on their works, leadership and management, knowledge and service. The designation of Fellow is conferred on individuals in recognition of exceptional accomplishments over a sustained period of time. The new class of Fellows will be recognized at the 2015 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO, November 6-9, in Chicago. 
Significance of Branch Campuses: An Interview with Dean Eskandarian
Creating accessibility tends to be the central focus for most post-secondary administrators looking to launch or expand their online offerings. After all, they provide barrier-free and highly flexible access for students who would otherwise be unable to attend a main campus. However, online courses can be expensive for students, and leaders tend to find it challenging to create a real sense of connection between the student and the institution. Branch campuses tend to overcome these obstacles, providing a personal touch at a lower price. In this interview with the online higher education magazine EvoLLLution, CPS and VSTC Dean Ali Eskandarian discusses the benefits and drawbacks of using branch campuses to help expand the institutional footprint.

GSPM Professor and Students Have a Good Talk with Turkish Foreign Minister
Professor Chris Arterton and students of his course "Advocating in Turkey and Its Region" met with the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu and discussed Turkish foreign policy issues in Ankara on August 12th.

Read MFA Cavusoglu's Twitter feed @MuvlutCavusoglu (scroll down to August 12). 
CEPL's Innovative ERM Certificate
The Center for Excellence in Public Leadership (CEPL) is expanding its offerings to include a newly formed Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Certificate. Unlike other ERM programs, CEPL's has been designed specifically to assist those responsible for risk management activities in government.  CEPL reached out to the Federal Government community to better understand the issues agencies encounter when seeking to align their existing risk management programs with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidelines. The intrinsic value of earning an ERM Certificate from GW CEPL is in obtaining working knowledge in best practices, procedures, and the application of ERM principles to enable better job performance and enhance career opportunities, while also contributing to measureable organizational performance results and cost savings.

Learn more about GW's CEPL 
Enterprise Risk Management Certificate
Alum Trustees Needed
The GW Alumni Association (GWAA) Nominations & Governance Committee is currently seeking applications for one Alumni Trustee position and one Recent Alumni Trustee, both for a term beginning July 1, 2016. Service on the GW Board of Trustees is the most demanding and prestigious volunteer opportunity available to alumni and is reserved for those who can demonstrate the highest level of commitment to the university.

Inside the Supreme Court

Explore the controversial and consequential decisions of the United States Supreme Court's historic 2015 session. Join Supreme Court staff assistant and GW Paralegal Studies alumna Sarah Coats, RP and GW Paralegal Studies Professor Lawrence Ross, JD as they discuss the decisions concerning same sex marriage, Obamacare, online threats and others on Wednesday, September 16 at 6:30 PM in Bell Hall, room 309. The event is free and open to the public.
Paralegal Studies Professors on the Front Lines of Policy
Professor Andrew Hirshfeld (L) & Professor Donald Cravins, Jr. (R)
GW Paralegal Studies Professor Andrew Hirshfeld has been named Commissioner of Patents at the United States Patent and Trademarks Office and Professor Donald Cravins, Jr., former US Senate Chief to Senator Mary Landrieu, has been named the National Urban League's Senior Vice President for Policy and Executive Director of National Urban League Washington Bureau.
Connect. Join. Share.
The Ultimate Paralegal:
CPS Alumna at the Supreme CourtA
Sarah Coats, MPS Paralegal Studies 2013
You can maintain and race your 1975 Pontiac Trans Am in high school, earn a degree in massage therapy while working full-time and practicing yoga on the side, and be appointed to a position at the United States Supreme Court if you study and work hard as one CPS alumna did.
Sarah Coats, MPS Paralegal Studies 2013, was appointed Staff Assistant to the U.S. Supreme Court in June. In her role as the Supreme Court's paralegal she checks citations and proofreads draft opinions prior to publication in U.S. Reports. This is a dream come true for Sarah who, as a young girl, wrote to her hero Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and received a reply from her saying that she needed to work very, very hard in school if she wanted to be like her (Justice O'Connor) one day!
A registered paralegal (RP) and native Kansan who moved to the east coast in 2004, Sarah has worked at different law firms and organizations but always handled cases involving families and children. Until recently, she was the Senior Appellate Paralegal at the Children's Law Center in Washington DC, focusing on appellate cases that came out of contested adoptions, terminations of parental rights, and special education cases.
Asked why she chose the CPS Paralegal Studies program, Sarah told Tony Harvin, Executive Director of the CPS Office of Alumni Relations, that she always thought she would become a lawyer someday. After working as a paralegal, however, she realized that she loved being a paralegal and wanted to do it better. That meant getting a master's degree in paralegal studies.
"I looked at programs available in the area and felt that GW's program was the best fit for me. I have patted myself on the back so many times for making that decision. It was one of the best choices I ever made for myself!" Sarah says.
Read Tony's full interview
with Sarah here:

Study at GW, Intern in DC, Campaign in NH...B
Fall 2015: August 31- December 11 the slogan of a new partnership between CPS's Semester in Washington Politics (SIWP) program, Saint Anselm College and the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC).
This fall, SIWP students will study with Clinton campaign veteran James Carville, Mitt Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades, Yahoo! News columnist Matt Bai, and other leading political strategists and campaign operators as they experience the presidential nomination process firsthand.
SIWP students will study the political process in DC attending courses at GW and Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire via video conferencing. Late in the semester they will travel to New Hampshire to engage with and volunteer on the presidential campaign of their choice.

Semester in Washington Politics program provides a hands-on, non-partisan academic experience for students interested in the political process and involves two courses and an internship. Program Director Greg Lebel says that it always seemed like a natural fit between the three parties to come together to form such a partnership.
"This is something I've always wanted to do and I've always wanted to do it in conjunction with both Saint Anselm and the Bipartisan Policy Center." says professor Lebel. Saint Anselm College is the longtime host of New Hampshire primary debate and the BPC has a long list of governors, members of Congress and political operatives on its roster.
Fourteen students from nine states, including Alaska, are enrolled in the fall 2015 cohort.

A New Way to Play in PEORIAC
Up to now, political wonks and media types would evaluate presidential campaigns by assessing the candidates' standing in the polls, fundraising prowess, and endorsements. Now they can add words to the criteria - the chatter about the candidates and the echo of their campaign messages in mainstream and social media.
Public Echoes Of Rhetoric In America (PEORIA) is the acronym for a new joint project between the Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) and Zignal Labs to assess the effectiveness of a campaign's communication strategies by bringing
cross-media analytics and expert interpretation together to study the power of the candidate's rhetoric.
GSPM professors Lara Brown, Political Management Program Director, and Michael Cornfield, Research Director for the Global Center for Political Engagement, lead the project by tracking and measuring millions of mentions of presidential hopefuls in the news and social media.
Zignal Labs' real-time capture of mentions of candidates' names from more than 200,000 news outlets and more than 900 television channels provides the information for Brown's and Cornfield's analysis. They look not just at total number of mentions of the candidates but also at the length of time their announcements remain popular topics, the number of positive vs. negative mentions, and how media sentiment for the candidates changes pre- and post-announcement. Based on Zignal's data, they also rate the echo value each candidate's campaign on a scale of 1 to 11.
So far, the PEORIA Project has generated two reports. The first analyzed the public echoes during the period from March 15 to May 15, 2015 focusing on the formal presidential candidacy announcements and the initial branding of these campaigns. The second report does the same for the period May 16 to July 19, 2015 and is titled "The Talk About Trump".
For each report Brown and Cornfield provide a summary (press release), full analysis which includes the methodology, and data visualization slides.

On-Ramp to Competency Based EducationD
by Ray Schroeder 
"Timing is everything" - that is true, well mostly, in online learning. One of the emerging trends in the field is Competency Based Education (CBE). Many are scrambling to get aboard the CBE train. Pioneering programs in the space have already launched, but new programs are on hold while regulations are reviewed.

Competency is not a new concept in higher education. Many programs, particularly those in the medical field, have stressed achieving competencies (which in other fields might be called learning outcomes) for decades. Nurses, physicians, and other health professionals must achieve competencies in specific tasks, techniques and methods to advance in their education. And, we all are happy that they do so!

But, controversy and a swirl of regulation surround one aspect of competency-based education: the direct assessment of competencies. That is, rules remain incomplete regarding the awarding of credit for achieving a level of experience, skill, or expertise in performing some task or activity outside the university.  Regulation abounds, some of it so conflicted that the largest regional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, has frozen its approval of new CBE programs:  
The commission said it made that decision in response to enhanced expectations the department issued in December about the approval of competency-based degree tracks...The accreditor said on its website that it would await clearer guidance from Washington.

So, how then does an institution begin to approach competency-based education as assessed in a prior learning context? It seems that many institutions have been doing this all along for the past 45 years. Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) and Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) programs have been around for decades. These programs allow universities to provide credit for demonstrated competency or mastery through internships, non-credit courses, work experiences, licensure, accreditation, or other such activities and credentialing. For decades at many universities (mine included) up to 12 credit hours can be earned by students providing a documentation portfolio and rationale of how the work completed outside the university meets the learning outcomes of classes offered by the university. Universities can incorporate some of the more promising aspects of CBE into their existing CPL or PLA programs. 

As the regulation dust settles and formal processes are put in stone, we can start students on the prior learning path for a semester's worth of credit via PLA or CPL. This can be a most useful recruitment tool, enabling a fast-start for mid-career students.

Ray Schroeder is Associate Vice Chancellor for Online Learning at the University of Illinois Springfield and Director of the UPCEA Center for Online Leadership. (taken with permission from Dr. Schroeder's UPCEA blog Online: Trending Now)

Is Greed Good? Ethics of Profit in Scholarly PublishingE
Dr. Philippa Benson, Managing Editor of Science Advances,
AAAS' First Fully Open Access Journal (Photo: Tony Harvin)
The CPS Publishing Program held its 8th Annual Ethics and Publishing Conference on June 15th. Over one hundred participants attended the full-day event entitled "The Ethics of Profit in Scholarly Publishing" where speakers from university presses and scientific organizations addressed a wide range of salient issues such as ethics of profiting from information, funding models for university presses and the role of fair use and open access in scholarly publishing.
"The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: What Retractions Tell Us About Scientific Transparency"; "What Money Don't Buy"; "In Video Veritas"; and "Ethics, Science Fiction & the Global Context" were some of the intriguing titles of presentations at the conference which featured speakers from institutions and organizations such as Cornell University Press, Columbia University, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Association of Research Libraries and Retraction Watch which is funded by the MacArthur Foundation.
According to Dr. Arnie Grossblatt, director of the CPS Publishing Program and host of the conference, "The 8th Ethics and Publishing conference shows what makes this meeting unique in publishing. We are able to bring together speakers from the front lines of publishing for a time of reflection on how they put ethical thinking into operational practice in their organizations. And our students have a special opportunity to meet one-to-one with a group of amazing speakers."

"Service" and "Engagement" Are Not Just Words at CPSF
Helping our students and alumni is job number one at CPS Career Services and the Office of Student Engagement. In addition to the regular cover-letter/resume/interviewing tips, Career Services provides the following services and programs to CPS students and alumni.
  • Individual career consultations: one-hour personalized and confidential consultations with a professional counselor;
  • Partnerships with employers: last year, CPS students and graduates had the opportunity of meeting with representatives of over 60 companies, organizations and government agencies as part of their job searches;
  • Employer site visits: at least nine groups of students from different CPS programs had site visits at large tech companies, management consulting firms, government agencies, trade associations and international organizations in FY 2015;
  • Programming: career panels, both in-person and virtual, addressing job opportunities in different program areas; career webinars; and a digital profiles challenge on tips for creating an effective LinkedIn profile;
  • Employer information sessions: offering industry insights and practical career advice for different programs by IT companies, Federal government departments and agencies and an alliance of local government offices;
  • Social media outreach: active on LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest;
  • Resource development: internship guides, employer and professional association listings, links to niche job boards and industry-specific information: Also, CPS career outcome information for each program. 
CPS' Office of Student Engagement guides students through every phase of their engagement with CPS and GW from the time they are admitted all the way through graduation and the stages in between such as registration, financial aid and grades. The Office has just announced a new and improved New Student Orientation with videos, quizzes and useful information for incoming students.

For more information or to submit a story for an upcoming issue, please contact:

Kiasha J. Sullivan
CPS Marketing & Production

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