UNL’s Quality Initiative

2016-17 Reaffirmation of Accreditation

The Open Pathway model requires an institution to designate one major improvement effort it has undertaken as a Quality Initiative for reaffirmation of accreditation.

UNL’s Quality Initiative, Implementing and Assessing the ACE 10 Outcome: Exploring Learning and Career Preparation within the Undergraduate Major, is a two-year project designed to engage faculty and staff in conversations about the quality of learning and career development opportunities within undergraduate degree programs.

ACE 10 courses require students to “generate a creative or scholarly product that requires broad knowledge, appropriate technical proficiency, information collection, synthesis, interpretation, presentation, and reflection.”

Deeply examining what students are learning within ACE 10 courses while simultaneously exploring their opportunities for career development within majors will enable UNL to gain a holistic picture of how its undergraduate degree programs are preparing students for career success.

Year One, 2013-2014

ACE 10 Faculty Inquiry

Faculty selected from across all undergraduate colleges explored methods for assessing work produced in ACE 10 courses and participated in a collegial community around ACE 10 assessment. They focused their discussions on the following questions:

  • How does your analysis of collected student work from ACE 10 courses demonstrate that students are meeting the outcome?
  • What does your analysis of students’ work tell you about how students are prepared more generally within your degree program?
  • What best practices and structures for ACE 10 assessment could be shared across units for the improvement of teaching and learning?

Year One Syllabus

Guy Trainin presents poster of his analyses of ACE 10 Courses at the April 2014 undergraduate research conference
Participants presented posters of their analyses of ACE 10 courses at the April 2014 Undergraduate Research Conference.

View participant posters on the ACE website.

Year One Participants

  • Alan Baquet
    Director, PGA Golf Management
  • Beth Theiss-Morse
    Professor, Political Science
  • Cal Garbin
    Weaver Professor, Psychology
  • Christopher Marks
    Associate Professor, Music
  • Dave Gosselin
    Associate Professor, Natural Resources
  • Dave Lambe
    Associate Professor of Practice, Agronomy & Horticulture
  • David Karle
    Assistant Professor, Architecture
  • Ed Harris
    Assistant Professor, Biochemistry
  • Emie Yiannaka
    Associate Professor, Agricultural Economics
  • Frauke Hachtmann
    Professor and Sequence Head, Advertising
  • Guy Trainin
    Associate Professor, Teaching, Learning, & Teacher Education
  • Jerry Renaud
    Professor and Sequence Head, Broadcasting
  • Jifeng Yu
    Assistant Professor, Management
  • Linda Young
    Associate Professor of Practice, Nutrition & Health Sciences
  • Mark Griep
    Associate Professor, Chemistry
  • Melissa Homestead
    Professor, English
  • Petronela Radu
    Associate Professor, Mathematics
  • Ron Lee
    Professor, Communication Studies
  • Scott Fuess
    Professor and Chair, Economics
  • Sohrab Asgarpoor
    Professor, Electrical Engineering
  • Sue Kemp
    Associate Professor of Practice, Special Education & Communication Disorders
  • Sue Vagts
    Associate Professor of Practice, Finance
    Director, Actuarial Science
  • Tom Weissling
    Associate Professor, Entomology
  • Yasar Demirel
    Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering
  • Amy Goodburn
    Professor, English
    Associate Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs

  • Nancy Mitchell
    Professor, Advertising
    Director, Undergraduate Education Programs


Year Two, 2014-2015

Career Exploration and Development

Faculty and staff across all UNL colleges engaged in monthly conversations about how curriculum, advising and mentoring within each undergraduate major prepared students for academic and career success. Discussions were driven by the following questions:

  • What can we learn about how majors prepare students to meaningfully apply what they learned for their careers?
  • What are the career preparation components of our curriculum, advising, and mentoring within each major?
  • What best practices and structures for career exploration and development could be shared across units and what post-graduation outcomes could be used to measure institutional success in providing them?

Year Two Syllabus

Year Two Participants

  • Andrea McClintic
    Associate Director, Career Services
  • AnnMarie Gottner
    Director of Advising, College of Education & Human Sciences
  • Ben Heinisch
    Academic Advisor, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
  • Betsy Gabb
    Program Director and Professor, Interior Design
  • Cal Garbin
    Weaver Professor, Psychology
  • Chris Timm
    Associate Director, Career Services
  • Christina Fielder
    Director, College of Arts & Sciences Academic and Career Advising Center
  • Christy Aggens
    Multimedia Designer and Student Services Coordinator, Art & Art History
  • Deborah Bathke
    Assistant Professor of Practice, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Debra Cosgrove
    Associate Professor of Practice, Accountancy
  • Diana Pilson
    Associate Professor, Biological Sciences
    Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Emily Wilber
    Assistant Director, Career Services
  • Jaci Gustafson
    Coordinator of Pre-Professional Advising Services, Exploratory & Pre-Professional Advising Center
  • Jeannine Berge
    Associate Director for Employer Experience & Outreach, College of Business Administration
  • Julie Obermeyer
    Director of Career Development/Corporate Relations, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
  • Karen Stelling
    Professor of Practice, Mechanical & Materials Engineering
  • Kathy Phillips
    Associate Professor of Practice, Teaching, Learning, & Teacher Education
  • Katie Sewell
    Career Coach, College of Business Administration
  • Marilyn Schnepf
    Professor, Nutrition & Health Sciences
  • Mark Burbach
    Teaching Coordinator, Natural Resources
  • Mary Kay Quinlan
    Associate Professor and Academic Advisor, News Editorial
  • Michael Goff
    Professor of Practice, Advertising
    Advising Coordinator, College of Journalism & Mass Communications
  • Regina Werum
    Professor, Sociology
  • Scott Swenseth
    Associate Professor, Management
  • Sharon Teo-Gooding
    Associate Professor, Johnny Carson School of Theatre & Film
  • Sherri Jones
    Professor and Chair, Special Education & Communication Disorders
  • Shinya Takahashi
    Assistant Professor of Practice, Nutrition & Health Sciences
  • Stacy Dam
    Academic Advisor, College of Journalism & Mass Communications
  • Stephanie Kuenning
    Student Success Coordinator, College of Architecture
  • Sue Bullard
    Associate Professor, News Editorial
  • Sue Vagts
    Associate Professor of Practice, Finance
    Director, Actuarial Science
  • Thomas Allison
    Senior Career Advisor, Career Services
  • Tom Lynch
    Professor, English
  • William Lopez
    Associate Professor of Practice, Teaching, Learning, & Teacher Education
  • Amy Goodburn
    Professor, English
    Associate Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs

  • Bill Watts
    Director, University Advising and Career Services

Final Report

A report on UNL’s Quality Initiative was submitted to the HLC in August 2015.

Overall, UNL’s Quality Initiative focused campus attention on building more intentional, systematic, and transparent structures for facilitating undergraduates’ career development within and outside of academic coursework. Specific outcomes in each year of the Quality Initiative project included the following:

In 2013-14

  • Faculty participants showcased assessment of student learning in ACE 10 courses via posters at the annual campuswide research fair.
  • Participants identified a campus need for an assessment system that could collect, aggregate, and report data on shared rubrics for each ACE outcome. Such a system was purchased in June 2015 (TK20) and is being implemented fall 2015 via faculty-led groups for each ACE outcome.

In 2014-15

  • Participants created university-wide recommendations to enhance career development and collect post-graduation outcomes that were shared at an academic leaders’ workshop and disseminated on the QI webpage.
  • Faculty participants created strategic plans to conduct a 5-year review of the ACE program and design and report institutional measures for undergraduates’ career goal attainment.
  • UNL implemented an online graduating senior survey to capture student employment post-graduation data and perceptions of academic experiences.
  • Academic Affairs distributed small grants to support departmental career activities.