Quality First Initiative (QFI)


As budget permits, President Dawood Farahi charges the University Planning Council (UPC) with recommending University projects and programs for special funding as part of the Quality First Initiatives. Initiatives must require extraordinary funding beyond customary division or department/office budgets. Further, initiatives must reflect one or more priorities based upon the 2007-2012 Kean University Strategic Plan as identified annually by President Farahi. The Office of the VPAA provides administration and oversight for these awards.

Funded Projects 2011-2012

A Multi-Faceted Professional Development Program for Examining and  Addressing Issues in Student Retention

Focusing on a goal that high schools and colleges share, the program will offer a range of  activities to promote interaction between high schools and colleges in the interest of student learning, retention, and advancement.  The overarching goal is to provide a foundation for a grass roots college retention initiative, one characterized by improved high school/college relationships, innovative pre-college programming designed to lessen the adjustment to college, and readiness for as well as progress at the college level. Submitted by Linda Best, English Department

Studio Classes for Transition to Kean

Studio groups featuring reflective learning may be particularly critical at Kean University, since many of our students come to higher education underprepared and with limited awareness of  how to be a successful student. The mentored, interactive experiences of studio work can provide both the social support and the effective learning practices that commuter students from communities with underfunded school systems often lack.  At the same time, it will take sustained data collection and “tweaking” of program practices in light of those data to ensure that T2K studio sections do in fact provide learning experiences that can both draw students securely into the Kean learning community, and provide them with the study practices and academic proficiencies that will allow them to graduate in four years.  Submitted by Sally Chandler, English Department

Research Experiences for Undergraduates at Kean: Assessment of Impact on Graduation Rates and Student-Faculty Retention

This proposal will qualitatively and quantitatively assess two established undergraduate research programs at Kean University and determine what, if any, impact these programs have had on student graduation rates, and student-faculty retention.  The programs which will be studied are: Students Partnering with Faculty (SpF) program, an annual summer research program, established in 2004, providing faculty and student support for undergraduate research, and Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, which provides summer research experiences for students considering graduate education. Submitted by Patricia Morreale, Computer Sciences Department

Project Oasis

This project is a joint effort between the Office of Academic Affairs, the Department of Counselor Education (CED), The Center for Academic Success (CAS), the Exceptional Educational Opportunities Program (EEO), the Spanish Speaking Program (SSP), the PASSPORT Program, the Modified Admissions Program (MAP), and Project Excel.  The project utilizes masters students in the graduate program in Counselor Education to provide services to undergraduate students in the programs listed above under the supervision of existing staff.  Submitted by Kenneth B. Sanders, V.P. of Academic Affairs

ACT to Keep Undergraduate Students at Kean

The primary desired outcome of this project is to increase retention rate from first to second year.  It also aims to increase four-year graduation rates although the assessment of these is beyond the scope of the current project.  Secondary aims include increasing grade point averages, reducing students’ psychological distress, and improving students’ psychological well-being/life satisfaction. Submitted by Jennifer Lerner, Doctoral Studies in Psychology