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Strategic Plan for Biomedical Sciences

Context For Planning

The Biomedical Sciences Department was originally a component of the School of Health Sciences and became established as an independent unit when the School of Health Professions was formed in 1998. The Biomedical Sciences curriculum and much of its faculty members' research centers on biology and medicine from a human perspective, with a particular focus on health and disease. The Biomedical Sciences major provides the foundation required for most advanced health professional programs, as well as for graduate programs in the sciences. Originally there were two majors offered: Health Sciences, for those going on to Masters programs in the health professions (physician assistant, occupational therapy, physical therapy) and Biomedical Sciences, for students bound for medical school, graduate school, or similar professional programs. In 2004 the Health Sciences major became the Health Professions major within the College of Health Professions. The Department of Biomedical Sciences (BMS), situated within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, itself established in 2004, is now among the largest majors on campus. It offers one major track with two applicable emphases. The BMS major strives to provide the best possible preparation for students to be successful in their application to professional programs or in securing employment within the science community.  The BMS Department strategic plan was developed by the assessment committee by using the Department's previous 2012 strategic plan and feedback from its faculty to guide its formation.  The plan attempts to frame in contemporary language the ambitions of its faculty to create a first-class degree program in a supportive, inclusive environment that fosters intellectual growth. 



Mission

The Biomedical Sciences Department integrates significant and practical experiences using exceptional classroom teaching practices and high impact experiences to prepare students to be critical thinkers, engaged citizens, and knowledgeable professionals in the human biological sciences.

Vision

The Biomedical Sciences Department aspires to provide a first-rate degree program.  

Value Statement

The Biomedical Sciences department values an academic environment that features: a broad, challenging, and current curriculum featuring intensive laboratory courses along with excellent classroom instruction; opportunities for high-impact undergraduate research; an engaged, diverse and responsive faculty, dedicated to excellent teaching, scholarship, and professional service; an understanding of the methods, tools, and history of science; and a recognition of the value of service.  In particular, we value: 

  • analytical skills that permit critical assessment of scientific claims and the value of their application as solutions to current problems;
  • teaching that is inter-disciplinary and leads to an understanding of human biology and medicine in the context of the whole person;
  • learning from a global perspective that engenders personal responsibility and contribution as a citizen of the world community;
  • the continual professional development of our faculty to be life-long learners and active contributors to their professional societies;
  • clear, consistent communication with other academic units and the administrative components of the university;
  • timely and clear communication of departmental accomplishments;
  • fair and equitable appraisal of faculty and student work;
  • a supportive, diverse, and inclusive workplace environment in which faculty can synergistically balance teaching, scholarship, and service; and
  • providing our new faculty (part-time, visiting, affiliate, and tenure track) with the support necessary to ensure their successful integration into the department.


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.1

At least 50% of BMS majors participate in one or more High-Impact Learning Experience prior to graduation, in addition to SWS courses and capstone.

Baseline

Current percentage of BMS majors participating in relevant High-Impact Learning Experience

Objective 1.A.2

90% or more of BMS majors consult with CLAS Advising or their BMS faculty advisor, either in person or via email, at least once before their graduation audit.

Baseline

The current rate of advisor-advisee interaction.

Objective 1.A.3

90% or more of graduating BMS seniors are satisfied with their academic advising experience in the major

Baseline

The current rate of advising satisfaction

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

All new BMS faculty members receive thorough support and training in the various aspects of the academic advising process (knowledge of the BMS curriculum, MyPath, Banner, etc...), and all (100% of) such faculty members report that this training adequately prepares them to be competent academic advisors.

Baseline

The current level of satisfaction with the academic advising training process.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 2.B.1

One third or more of the department's faculty and staff are trained inclusion advocates, and at least one member is an inclusion champion.

Baseline

Currently, five faculty members, roughly one sixth of the department, are trained inclusion advocates; none of its members is an inclusion champion.

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

Objective 2.D.1

Per year, each BMS faculty member attends at least two workshops, seminars, or presentations that are geared toward enhancing teaching.

Baseline

The current rate of attendance at these events

Objective 2.D.2

BMS faculty will maintain professional competency by engaging in three or more scholarly activities per year, as determined by the BMS Baseline Scholarship Standards.

Baseline

The current rate at which BMS faculty engage in these activities.

Objective 2.D.3

All non-tenured faculty receive annual peer feedback on their teaching

Baseline

The current rate at which non-tenured faculty receive regular peer feedback on their teaching

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 2.E.1

All BMS faculty are provided with sufficient time and support to meet their teaching responsibilities.

Baseline

The current perception among BMS faculty regarding the adequacy of allotted time and support for teaching.

Objective 2.E.2

All BMS faculty are provided sufficient space and resources to carry out successful scholarly activities.

Baseline

The current perception among BMS faculty regarding the adequacy of allotted space and resources for scholarly activities.

Objective 2.E.3

All BMS faculty are provided sufficient support (in the form of course release, course coverage for short trips, and financial support) to cultivate local, state, national, and international collaborations, partnerships, and connections.

Baseline

The current perception among BMS faculty regarding the adequacy of support for the above activities

Objective 2.E.4

All BMS faculty are provided adequate support (in the form of course release, course coverage for short trips, and financial support) for disseminating the outcomes of local, state, national, and international collaborations, partnerships, and connections.

Baseline

The current perception among BMS faculty regarding the adequacy of said support

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

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

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

Objective 4.C.1

The BMS department facilitates and promotes at least two events per month during which the knowledge and ideas of experts in various fields are shared with the university and local communities.

Baseline

The current frequency of these events is between one and two presentations per month.

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