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Strategic Plan for Liberal Studies


Through innovative, interdisciplinary programs and community partnerships, the Liberal Studies Department cultivates engaged learners who explore the world through a local, national and global lens. We provide integrative frameworks including student designed majors in Liberal Studies, the Intercultural Training Certificate, and the Religious Studies major and minor that inspire lifelong transformative learning and responsible engagement in diverse communities.


The Liberal Studies Department will be a regional and national model of the transformative process of liberal education through integrative, interdisciplinary, and innovative teaching, learning, and scholarship. We will engage with students to promote diversity, social justice to challenge structural inequalities, and the praxis of active national and international scholarship. We will build vibrant, innovative programs in all our campus locations that serve the emerging needs of our students and our local and global communities.

Value Statement

The values of the Liberal Studies Department are: 

  • Collaborative teaching, learning, and scholarship 
  • Student-centered, experiential teaching and learning 
  • Civic engagement by students, faculty, and staff 
  • Local practices and global understanding that promote social justice and environmental integrity. 
  • Advancing diversity through global and local efforts.
  • Interdisciplinary inquiry by students, faculty, and staff
  • Critical questioning and diverse perspective-taking
  • Democratic equality through social justice
  • Excellence and innovation in teaching & technology
  • Accessibility, academic rigor, and paths to degree completion

Strategic Priorities, outcomes, and key objectives

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 1.A.2

By 2020, 50% of all seniors in the Liberal Studies major will participate in professional development events, co-curriculars, and/or classroom visits focused on the real world experiences of Lib alumni.


10% of seniors in the Liberal Studies major (BA and BS)

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 1.C.1

By 2020 the Liberal Studies department will increase by 10% the number of sections of LIB prefix courses providing community-based learning experiences.


8 Sections (LIB 322, LIB 323, LIB 341, LIB 342)

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 1.D.1

Support development of the new Brooks College interdisciplinary programs or initiatives that support and enhance university-wide collaboration and embody innovations in content, pedagogy, high impact learning opportunities, or technology.


7 faculty currently serving in 2016

Objective 1.D.2

By 2021, increase student enrollment in the adult accelerated programs, REL major and minor, and ITC by 50%.


Winter 2016: REL Major - 15 REL Minor - 28 ITC Certificates awarded - 3 Accelerated Leadership Enrollment - 40

Strategic Priority Area 2: Further develop exceptional personnel.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 2.A.1

By 2019, 20% of full-time faculty will have participated in community engaged teaching/research in keeping with best practices for mutually beneficial community-based teaching, learning, and research.



Objective 2.A.2

By 2018 20% or more of LIB faculty engage LIB colleagues in co-teaching, co-research, shared projects, and/or presentations.



Objective 2.A.3

By 2020, 20% of faculty will have participated in regional and/or national training for best practices in faculty/student collaborative undergraduate research.



Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 2.B.1

Advance diversity of underrepresented groups within tenure-line faculty by 10% of total faculty (total number of unit faculty is 20 including 1 joint appointment).



Strategic Priority Area 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Strategic Priority Area 4: Enhance the institution's image and reputation.

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