Upper Iowa University provides quality educational opportunities accessible through varied delivery methods to inspire success and empower lives.
Upper Iowa University will be known for academic excellence and continual innovation in student-centered learning.
Our CORE VALUES
Integrity, Excellence, Accessibility, Respect, Stewardship
Upper Iowa University is committed to promoting diversity by embracing, enhancing and celebrating diversity at all levels of the University and the surrounding communities. Upper Iowa University defines diversity beyond race and disability, embraces one’s culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion and variety of thought. Upper Iowa University seeks to attract and serve a diverse group of employees and students by developing and communicating a collective and inclusive understanding of diversity and its value. Upper Iowa University recognizes that diversity is fundamental to the quality and excellence of the faculty, staff, and student body of any institution of higher learning and is an important factor in helping students with their college selection and overall educational experience.
An Education Built for Life
Since its inception in 1857, Upper Iowa University’s (UIU) unwavering commitment to accessible higher education and lifelong learning ensures that the evolving needs of current and future UIU students are always met. Whether a recent high school graduate or a nontraditional student, UIU has an academic program that provides all individuals an Education Built for Life.
Upper Iowa is a nationally recognized leader in education offering undergraduate and graduate degrees. Upper Iowa University offers a variety of learning experiences. Not all courses are offered in every learning experience.
A learning experience where course outcomes are met through the delivery of content and learning materials in person by the instructor at a regularly scheduled time.
Validation of attendance for a face-to-face course occurs when a student is present for a regularly scheduled class during the designated time.
A learning experience where course outcomes are met through the delivery of content and learning materials in person by the instructor at a regularly scheduled time each week, as well as a weekly online academic interaction.
Validation of attendance for a hybrid course occurs when a student is present for a regularly scheduled class during the designated time and/or has an academic interaction in the learning management system with a discussion post, reply to a discussion post, quiz completion, or assignment submission.
Video Conference (VC) Course:
A learning experience where course outcomes are met through the delivery of content and learning materials by the instructor at a regularly scheduled time each week, as well as a weekly online academic interaction. The instructor will originate the course at one UIU location. Students may join the course at the origin location or from another UIU location via video conferencing platform.
Validation of attendance for a VC course occurs when a student is present for a regularly scheduled class during the designated time and location and/or has an academic interaction in the learning management system with a discussion post, reply to a discussion post, quiz completion, or assignment submission.
A learning experience where course outcomes are met through the delivery of content and learning materials synchronously through an online video conferencing platform (i.e., Zoom), as well as asynchronous academic interaction through the learning management system (i.e., uiuLearn, ). Instructors and students may attend the synchronous portion of the course virtually from any location during the scheduled course meeting day and time. At a minimum, uiuLive courses will meet synchronously once every 14 days of the session/semester. Some courses may require proctored exams that can be done via an online proctoring service.
Validation of attendance for a uiuLive course occurs when a student is present for a scheduled synchronous class session during the designated time and/or has an academic interaction in the learning management system with a discussion post, reply to a discussion post, quiz completion, or assignment submission.
A learning experience where course outcomes are met through the delivery of content and learning materials asynchronously through an online learning management system. Some courses may require proctored exams that can be done via an online proctoring service.
Validation of attendance for an online course occurs when a student has an academic interaction in the learning management system with a discussion post, reply to a discussion post, quiz completion, or assignment submission.
A learning experience where course outcomes are met through the delivery of content and learning materials independently through one-on-one interactions with an instructor over a six-month period at a pace determined by the student. Self-paced courses can be either web-based using the online learning management system or paper based. Some courses may require proctored exams that can be done via an online proctoring service.
Validation of attendance for a self-paced course occurs when a student submits a completed assignment/unit for grading.
Applied Learning Experience Course:
A learning experience where course outcomes are met through the direct application of knowledge, skills and abilities in a real-world experience.
Validation of attendance for an applied learning experience course occurs when the student has an academic interaction in the learning management system with a discussion post, reply to a discussion post, quiz completion, or assignment submission.
UIU Works For You Course:
A learning experience where the objectives are met through the delivery of content and learning material asynchronously or sometimes synchronously on an infrequent basis. Students should expect the academic support of lecture materials provided asynchronously to the learner. If the class has a required lab/hands-on component, then the learner will either complete the same task and assignment solo using videos to support their instruction, virtually by completing the activity in the field following instructor direction, or by meeting on the pre-determined meeting dates for the lab posted on the schedule at the time of class registration (2-3 dates typically per session-long class).
Validation of attendance for a UIU Works For You course occurs when the student has an academic interaction in the learning management system or when the student is present for a synchronous component of the class during the designated time.
All learning experiences must align with the university’s Assignment of Credit Hours Policy (AA-102.2) based on the number of credits assigned to the course.
The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It is approved by the Louisiana Higher Education Board, the Wisconsin Educational Approval Board, the Iowa Department of Education (for teacher education and school counseling in Iowa only), Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, and the Arizona Board for Private Postsecondary Education. The programs offered are approved by the states of Illinois (restricted), Iowa, Kansas (restricted), Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin for veterans’ benefits. Please go to uiu.edu/about/accreditation for additional accreditation information.
Upper Iowa University has been approved for exemption from the State of Iowa’s registration requirements for postsecondary institutions under revised Iowa Code Section 2618.11, subsection 1, paragraph j.
Upper Iowa University is currently licensed by the Board of Regents of the State of Louisiana. Licenses are renewed by the State Board of Regents every two years. Licensed institutions have met minimal operational standards set forth by the state, but licensure does not constitute accreditation, guarantee the transferability of credit, nor signify that programs are certifiable by any professional agency or organization.
Upper Iowa University has been granted authority to operate and grant degrees in the Fox Valley Region by the Illinois Board of Higher Education.
Upper Iowa University has been approved by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission (ICSAC) to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. The agreement establishes reciprocity between willing states that accept each others’ authorization of accredited institutions to operate in their states to offer distance educational services beyond state boundaries. State membership, as well as institution participation, in NC-SARA is voluntary. As of May 2019, all U.S. states are members of NC-SARA except California. This state has exempted Upper Iowa University distance education programs (determined that state authorization is not required). More information regarding state authorization for distance learning can be found at uiu.edu/about/accreditation.
Meaningful Assessment of Student Learning
The goal of the Upper Iowa University Assessment Program is to continually review and update student learning outcomes and revise existing curricula to provide students with the required knowledge and skills needed to keep pace with a changing global society, meet the needs of employers and encourage lifelong learning. The Office of Academic Affairs and the Senate Assessment Committee, along with other committees in every department, involve faculty, instructional and professional academic staff, students, and administrators in the development and implementation of assessment measures.
A major focus of the Upper Iowa University Assessment Program is the institution-wide assessment of student learning outcomes. In preparing students for success in baccalaureate programs the UIU Schools regard the following areas of proficiency to be of primary importance in the education of our students: communication, effective use of information technology, quantitative/scientific reasoning, analysis of the implications of global and national diversity, evaluation of the importance of social responsibility, and appreciation of the role of the humanities for the interpretation of human experience. To assess student learning in these areas, instructors measure student proficiency using institutional student learning outcomes across the academic disciplines called the Peacock Pillars:
- Master a body of knowledge within a discipline
- Demonstrate technological literacy
- Exercise critical thinking across disciplines
- Communicate effectively
- Engage as members of a diverse community
- Master ethical standards within a discipline
In addition to the assessment of institution-wide proficiencies, each academic program within Upper Iowa University assesses discipline-specific proficiencies. When assessing student’s mastery of these discipline-specific proficiencies, instructors use common standards developed within each program. The results from these assessment activities are used to improve student learning and teaching within the program.
Upper Iowa University practices annual program assessment reporting. Each program submits an annual assessment report to the School Dean and members of the Senate Assessment Committee. The annual program assessment reports provide information on academic program student learning outcomes, an overview of assessment measures and data collected, the analysis of the data and the resulting recommendations, and the improvement plan to be implemented. Through the process, Upper Iowa University provides oversight for assessment and evaluation through various programs and committees to ensure many administrators, faculty, and staff have input in the assessment process and the data driven changes recommended. The annual program assessment reports are ultimately submitted to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs (VPASA)and then shared with the University community.
In addition to annual program assessment plans and reports, Upper Iowa University regulates in-depth program reviews which occur on a staggered timeline. The annual program assessment reports are included within the program review process along with additional data to provide information on challenges and opportunities, educational effectiveness and curriculum, the students, and the learning environment. These reviews allow for a thorough analysis of each program by the VPASA and for meaningful conversations among program members, the Program Chair, the Deans of the School members of the Senate Assessment Committee and the VPASA about the academic program’s progress and goals. The VPASA and the members of the Senate Assessment Committee work closely with each academic program and Program Chair to support a culture of data-driven decision making.
The approach to general education assessment at Upper Iowa University represents a departure from traditional strategies focused on teaching and instead focuses on student-centered learning strategies that integrate critical thinking, problem solving and respect for intellectual property in all aspects of the learning experience. Four of the Peacock Pillars are assessed as part of the General Education Program:
- Demonstrate technological literacy;
- Exercise critical thinking across disciplines;
- Communicate effectively; and
- Engage as members of a diverse community.
Students will accomplish these objectives through various perspectives as they successfully complete coursework in the general education curriculum. In completing the general education requirements, students will pass through a regimen of coursework designed to provide a consistent educational experience, yet one flexible enough to be contoured to individual interests and needs.
The following perspectives are related to skills students will have developed in order to apply learned materials in numerous ways coherently across the University. The perspectives are spread across a variety of disciplines common to liberal arts colleges and universities in the 21st century, Natural Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Mathematics, Information Systems, Social Sciences, Communication, and Cultural Studies. These perspectives are not to be construed as goals in and of themselves, and the course in which they are addressed are by no means limited in their breadth and scope to the accomplishment of the specified perspectives. Rather, the completion of general education courses may be regarded as a milestone for students to pass, each supporting at least one of the Peacock Pillars and helping students toward the goal of a bachelor’s degree considering Upper Iowa University’s mission as a liberal arts institution.
Students may expect to complete 36 semester hours of General Education coursework as they accomplish the perspectives.
Some course requirements may be waived for students who are able to demonstrate prior achievement of course outcomes either by transfer credit or by approved alternate means. Requirements may vary for students enrolled in the Teacher Education Program.
The University faculty determines which specific courses will include the completion and assessment of the various perspectives. The School of Arts and Sciences will recommend to the faculty whether a course offered anywhere within the University is suitable for housing the natural science, mathematics, humanities, cultures, social sciences and communication tasks. The Schools of Business and Professional Studies will recommend to the faculty whether a course offered anywhere within the University is suitable for housing the computer skills task. In addition, faculty in each of these schools are responsible for review and assessment of artifacts submitted anywhere in the University as evidence of perspective completion.
Upper Iowa University utilizes assessment tools in a web-based leaning management system and is requiring their use for coursework that provides evidence of meeting requirements. University accreditation is important, as academic communities, employers and other constituents recognize it as evidence of quality, which enhances the prestige of the institution and consequently the value of the degree earned. These tools will be used in general education course, for portfolio development and several other university initiatives.
Learning Time Guidelines
Upper Iowa University follows the standards established by the U.S. Department of Education and Higher Learning Commission by establishing a good faith estimate of learning time associated with each course and its assigned credit hours.
Face-to-Face Courses: Upper Iowa University has determined that the appropriate amount of student engagement per semester credit hour awarded is 15 hours of direct student engagement (or its equivalent*) and 30 hours of student engagement outside of class, for a total of 45 hours of student engagement per semester credit hour. Applying this formula to a 3-credit face-to-face course in Upper Iowa University’s 8-week sessions, the amount of face-to-face instructional time is 5 hours per week (with no breaks included) which is equivalent to 6 hours of direct student engagement. This, in addition to the expectation of 11.25 hours of student engagement outside of class per week represents a total of 17.25 hours of student engagement per week for a 3-credit course. Over an 8-week session that would represent between 45-46 hours of student engagement per semester credit hour.
*A 10-minute break per hour of face-to-face instruction may be assumed unless stated otherwise.
Online Courses: Courses offered entirely online have the same learning outcomes and substantive components of standard face-to-face courses. Each course syllabus demonstrates that the course adheres to, and reasonably approximates, the standards established by the U.S. Department of Education and the Higher Learning Commission. Thus, each online course meets the same number of student engagement hours, has the same number and quality of assignments, and meets the same course learning outcomes as similar courses taught in the face-to-face format, although the ratio of direct instructional time to the time students spend outside of class will be different for asynchronous online courses.
Hybrid Courses: Courses may be offered in a hybrid format by moving a portion of the direct face-to-face classroom experience online, thus decreasing the amount of time engaged in face-to-face instruction and replacing it with direct instructional time online. Using a 3-credit course example, instead of meeting for 6 hours per week (or its equivalent), courses may meet for a shorter time, say only 3 hours per week (or its equivalent). The remaining 3 hours (or its equivalent) of direct instructional time would consist of activities and exercises online that would normally occur face-to-face. Direct instructional time would remain at the equivalent of 6 hours per week, and students would still be expected to spend 11.25 hours engaged outside-of-class per week for a total of 17.25 hours of student engagement per week for a 3-credit course. Over an 8-week session that would represent between 45-46 hours of student engagement per semester credit hour.
Courses with a Lab Component: Courses at Upper Iowa that are valued at 4-credit hours are typically the sum of 3-credits of lecture-based instruction and 1-credit of lab-based work under the direct supervision of a faculty member. Therefore, a student in one of these courses must meet all of the requirements of a typical 3-credit course (listed above) as well as additional engaged time in the laboratory. The total student engagement time of 45 hours remains the same for the laboratory credit, but it is typical in laboratory courses for more of that time to be accounted for in face-to-face instruction. The total engaged time can be calculated entirely as supervised face-to-face work or can be the sum of the number of hours of supervised face-to-face time, plus documented preparatory time outside of the regular contact hours.
Other Credit-Bearing Courses: Upper Iowa University also offers other types of credit-bearing courses such as supervised clinical rounds, visual/performing arts ensembles, studio time, and supervised student teaching/field work (etc.) that do not have a typical face-to-face classroom component. In these cases, students must be engaged for a total of 45-60 hours of student engagement per semester credit hour.