JSU News Bureau
Academic quality remains high at Jacksonville State University, according
to administrators responding to recent criticism leveled against universities
as a whole.
aired by Public Broadcasting System recently criticized U.S. universities
for substituting graduate students for regular faculty members, easing
testing standards and performance, and increasing tuition to the extent
that lower income students cannot afford college.
documentary, titled "Declining by Degrees: Higher Education at Risk,"
examined practices at the University of Arizona, where some classes
register as many as 100 or more students. The report criticized UA for
using faculty with less than graduate, doctorate, or other terminal
degrees and for raising tuition to the point where low-income students
were denied an education.
news reports debated the criticism with a broad brush that implicated
the nation's 4,200 colleges and universities. Writers warned of an intellectual
decline in the United States.
JSU does make use of the assistance of graduate students in some of
its lab sections, fully qualified faculty members maintain control of
our courses and of instruction," said Dr. Joe Delap, associate vice
president for academic affairs. "Further, with an average class size
of approximately 22, our courses ensure that students get the close
faculty attention that they deserve and have come to appreciate."
Delap supported his statement with figures from JSU. Three hundred full-time
faculty and 112 adjunct or part-time instructors taught a student body
of 8,930 during the fall semester of 2004. Of the 412 faculty members,
203 had terminal degrees and all 134 tenured professors had terminal
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), which accredits
colleges and universities in the region, has standards for faculty qualifications
that must be met before a college or university can be accredited,"
said Dr. Rebecca Turner, vice president for academic and student affairs.
"Standards for faculty qualifications apply to both undergraduate and
graduate teaching. JSU takes great pride in assuring its stakeholders
that all faculty, full time and part time, are qualified to teach courses
assigned to them.
addition to SACS requirements pertaining to faculty qualifications,
professions, and discipline-specific accreditation, requirements add
other qualifications for faculty teaching in those areas. In
all cases of accreditation, that is regional, professional, and discipline-specific,
JSU meets or exceeds the standards required for faculty qualifications."
JSU's efforts to assist low income students, JSU continues to be ranked
among the most affordable universities in the state. In terms of price
tag, JSU will be twelfth out of fourteen Alabama
universities in terms of total tuition during the 2005-06 academic year,
according to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education. Tuition at
JSU is $4,040 per
to $5,664 at the University of Montevallo, which has the most expensive
tuition in the state. Only Athens State University and Alabama State
University are lower than JSU, and only by slight amounts.
financial aid programs ease the cost burden. During the 2003-04 academic
year (according to the latest figures available), JSU offered students
$8,646,000 in Pell Grants and $507,000 in College Work Study funds (both
are federal programs). JSU administers four major state programs, and
each paid out the following in 2003-04: Supplemental Grant, $466,000;
State Student Incentive Grant, $51,000; University Aid, $1,481,000;
and Technology Scholarships for Alabama Teachers, $20,000. In addition
to federal and state programs, JSU administered several other programs
through endowments, agencies, and other sources. Total assistance paid
out to JSU's student body in 2003-04 was $49,449,000.
for news releases by using the request form at http://www.jsu.edu/news/requestform.html.