NSU will be innovative in our approach to achieving D23 by:
- Integrating career engagement throughout the collegiate experience.
- Becoming an institution known for immersive learning.
- Rethinking recruitment and retention strategies.
- Planning for future infrastructure enhancements for facilities.
- Electronic delivery of course materials in a blended (hybrid) or online format.
The external environment continues to shift with increasing mobility of students, declining federal student financial support, increasing cost of living, increasing accountability measures, and advancing technologies. As a university, we face challenging factors that potentially create access and persistence barriers for our current and future students. Federal financial support for students in the future is unclear while cost of living continues to rise. Without a doubt, we have to be fiscally prudent and innovative in order to maximize student enrollment and keep highly qualified faculty and staff. At the same time, technology advances will enable us to take full advantage of enhanced teaching methods and digital course delivery tools to meet the needs of our mobile students. The university must be a leader in the use of electronic delivery of course material and academic programs. Resources may need to be reallocated to fund infrastructure developments to address the myriad of changes taking place in the online environment.
NSU will be a leader in integrating academic and cocurricular experience with post-graduation planning. We will follow national best practices on “…coupling high-value services with key student milestones, positing an idealized process for combining classroom, cocurricular, and experiential learning to promote systematic exploration of career options and informed choices across the student life cycle that maximize post-graduation success.”
- Working with students to articulate a career development road map.
- Connecting curriculum-to-career applications to help students relate their learning to real-world applications.
- Providing ongoing career counseling opportunities throughout the students’ academic experience.
- Increasing the percentage of students participating in internship and externship experiences.
- Increasing the percentage of graduates employed in their field of study or working toward professional degrees within a two-year period after graduation.
All learners, particularly adult learners, are more highly engaged and more likely to persist in their education goals when they connect their learning to real-world applications. These connections become even more meaningful when students work with faculty and others toward a common outcome and in service of others. NSU will continue the legacy of serving our region through an innovative education approach where expert faculty bring together students in an interdisciplinary approach to apply learned knowledge with hands-on experience to create solutions that result in community change. Immersive learning “synthesizes disciplinary knowledge with application. Students and faculty turn knowledge into judgment and judgment into action through projects and programs that benefit business, community, and government partners across the state and around the world.”
- Reviewing programs and cocurricular activities to determine current availability and breadth of existing immersive learning activities.
- Ensuring that each student has the opportunity to apply disciplinary knowledge to real-world problems by enhancing existing and developing new community-based learning experiences using internships, course based projects, and cocurricular opportunities.
- Developing an infrastructure to track and monitor student learning in experiential and immersive environments; encouraging sharing and promotion of those activities through participation in events such as Undergraduate Research Day, Community and Collaboration Day, conference presentations, and public relations communications.
- Providing professional development, resources, and rewards to assist faculty in the implementation and strengthening of immersive learning techniques; communicating an expectation that all students participate in such activities as part of achieving NSU’s mission and values.
- Using existing reporting structures such as the annual Service Learning Report to highlight efforts for the campus community and our constituents.
Recruitment and Retention
NSU will be innovative with recruitment strategies and retention methods. We will realign our recruitment strategies to maximize our human and technology resources. At the same time, we will be innovative with recruitment strategies that utilize national best practices. Student retention will be the center of our attention as the key element to degree completion. Student retention will be approached from a holistic perspective that is guided by the values of empowerment, learning-centered focus and trust.
- Operationalize a campus-wide academic advising model that includes college specific advisers for each college and supports retention of current students.
- Developing a comprehensive strategic recruitment plan that is guided by prospective student market demands, Academic Prioritization Initiatives, and ongoing assessment strategies.
- Aligning the university branding campaign to the comprehensive recruitment plan through website presence, advertising, earned media and other communication and marketing tactics to reach specific target populations.
- Completing and implementing university-wide undergraduate student learning outcomes in alignment with Lumina Foundation’s Degrees of Excellence that are shared across the institution in all academic and student services initiatives.
- Refining the “University Strategies” course to better prepare incoming students for the total university experience.
- Entering the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Academy on Persistence and Completion. From preliminary information provided by HLC, the Academy on Persistence and Completion is designed to create a “Culture of Completion” which is designed to help participating colleges develop an institutional culture and increase institutional commitment to assessing and improving student learning. The prospective new academy would allow the university to pursue its own path for assessment, but the university may use the academy to exchange ideas, share promising practices and network with other colleges and universities.
Physical, technological and fiscal resources must be in place in order to be innovative in achieving D23.
- Reviewing technology resources to meet current and future student needs.
- Establishing and implementing a University Master Facilities Plan that supports the Strategic Enrollment Plan.
- Establishing and implementing a residential living space master plan that contributes to student recruitment and retention.
- Creating collaborative learning spaces and group study spaces.
- Expanding technology resources to maximize learning.
- Implementing performance-based budgeting that is built on negotiated baseline enrollment levels with growth projections to meet D23 broad enrollment objectives.
- Finding a balance between technology use, the holistic development of traditional students, and the traditional university experience.