SVCC HLC Self-Study Document

Sauk Valley Community College
HLC Self-Study Document

September 19-21, 2011

4A.3: Scholarship

Sauk provides its faculty and students a variety of opportunities to produce scholarship and create knowledge through basic and applied research:

Faculty Research Opportunities

Although the primary function of a community college faculty is to teach students, some of the faculty conduct their own scholarship by publishing papers, presenting at professional conventions, and writing grants. Within the last five years, 64% of Sauk faculty have given at least one professional presentation, 19% have published academic papers, and 11% have written and been awarded grants. To encourage full-time faculty to undertake such efforts to stay current in their fields of study and to provide for reporting of research and publication efforts, a prompt in the annual self-evaluation asks each faculty member to respond to the question, “How have you contributed to your specific professional area?” The response becomes part of the conversation between faculty and the Academic Vice President during the annual evaluation interview.

Full-time faculty members who have worked at Sauk for at least six consecutive years may be eligible to request a sabbatical leave, the guidelines for which are in the full-time faculty contract. A sabbatical of one semester or one full academic year may be used to engage in advanced study, intended to expand the faculty member's capability to serve students or the college. Requests are reviewed by a committee before being approved by the President and the Board of Trustees. Upon completion of the sabbatical, the faculty member submits a written report to the President and presents an oral report to the Board. The faculty member must remain at Sauk for two additional years or else repay the sabbatical salary. Since the year 2000, Sauk has had five members of the faculty apply for and receive a sabbatical. Furthermore, no sabbaticals were denied over that same time period. Adjunct faculty are not eligible for sabbatical leave.

Student Research Opportunities

The faculty promotes scholarship and research among students in ways that are appropriate to the level of their courses. For many courses, acquisition of terms and concepts is the critical outcome so that further study at a transfer institution can build on that foundation. That said, students are provided a number of opportunities to experience scholarship through application of research principles: