(West Plains) – “Putting Students First” is the theme of Missouri State University-West Plains’ new long-range plan for 2012-2016.
Members of the university’s Board of Governors approved the long-range plan during their regular meeting Friday June 22, at the West Plains Civic Center.
The plan was developed over the past 18 months under the direction of a steering committee and with input from faculty, staff and students serving on various subcommittees. In addition, it was posted on the university’s website in draft stages for campus-wide comment and was presented to the campus community in a town hall-style forum before the final draft was completed.
University officials said the plan is founded on the operating principle that students’ needs must come first. From that basis, university officials developed six strategic directions for accomplishing this mission over the next four years:
• First Choice – The campus will strive to be the first choice for potential students in the seven-county primary service area by improving academic opportunity and excellence within all areas of the university, while continuing to effectively promote its educational opportunities beyond the primary service area to other counties in the Missouri Ozarks region and in northern Arkansas.
• Student Engagement – The campus will put students first by offering educational and extra-curricular activities that provide opportunities to connect with others in the campus community and beyond, enabling them to develop leadership skills and a love of learning that will last a lifetime.
• Academic Programming – The campus will put students first by maintaining and improving academic programming offered for current and new certificate and two-year degrees and promoting programs that link to transfer and career opportunities, all of which will be driven by continual faculty development, classroom innovation and emerging community needs.
• Community, Funding and System Support – The campus will continue to put students first by maintaining and expanding interactions with organizations and citizens in the seven-county primary service area, as well as the Missouri State University System, to foster economic and community development and partnerships.
• Culture of Student Learning and Institutional Effectiveness – The campus will continue to put students first by making them the central focus of academic and administrative functions, utilizing assessment and evaluation as the shared basis of action regarding teaching, learning, support services and administrative activities.
• Student Access and Success – Objectives include establishing effective initiatives to promote access to quality postsecondary education and developing effective strategies to better ensure student academic success.
• First Choice – Objectives include increasing the number of students who choose Missouri State-West Plains first; providing excellent activities, events and support services to students; and delivering outstanding instruction.
• Student Engagement – Objectives include enhancing campus facilities to promote student involvement; encouraging student connections with the campus community; promoting student interaction in a culturally diverse environment; and improving student engagement.
• Academic Programming – Objectives include encouraging students to earn an associate’s degree before transferring to baccalaureate program or entering the job market; providing significant support for those needing developmental education courses; establishing sufficient infrastructure to support rapidly-growing online programs; developing a process that identifies and prioritizes the need for full-time and per-course faculty by subject area; developing new and expanding current curriculum and programs that are appropriate to the region and providing significant opportunities for career, educational and job advancement; and continually monitoring curriculum for relevance and currency.
• Community, Funding and System Support – Objectives include developing new fund-raising initiatives and strategies and supporting underfunded existing programs; maintaining and expanding qualified faculty and staff; expanding campus facilities to provide an excellent learning environment and support enrollment growth; continuing to identify ways to facilitate transfer of Missouri State-West Plains students to programs offered by the Springfield campus; evaluating internal and intra-institutional communications; demonstrating transparency and accountability to campus constituencies; and enhancing and leveraging technology to improve teaching and learning systems.
• Culture of Student Learning and Institutional Effectiveness – Objectives include continuing the cycle of evaluation for administrative department effectiveness; assessing developmental education; closing the feedback loop of student learning assessment; refining the overall student learning assessment plan; and promoting understanding of assessment activities through regular communication.
The full plan is available on the Missouri State-West Plains website at wp.missouristate.edu.
For more information about the plan, call Patricia Walsh, assistant dean of academic affairs, at 417-255-7272.