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Strategic Plan for School of Communications

Context For Planning

The School of Communications was founded in 1983 and is the only School within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The School contains seven distinct undergraduate major programs in Advertising and Public Relations, Communication Studies, Film and Video Production, Health Communication, Multimedia Journalism, Photography and Theatre, as well as a Masters program in Communication. (The existing programs in Journalism and Broadcasting were recently merged into the new Multimedia Journalism program). As specific aspects of human communication, the major programs within the School are interrelated and yet also distinct. Students enhance their studies in a specific major with a common core curriculum and with courses from the other major programs within the School. Many students also double major or major/minor within the School. In the years between the unit self-studies submitted in 2008 and 2015, five outside consultants or accreditation reviewers assessed the School and/or its programs. The major programs in Film and Video Production and Photography prepared National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) self-studies in 2011 for a successful 2012 accreditation review. In 2015, the School, as well as each of its major programs, submitted unit self-studies and assessment reports. The strategic plan of the School for 2016-21 is aimed at addressing the challenges and opportunities documented in the 2015 self-studies and enhancing our undergraduate and graduate programs and our student's college experience.

The top issues identified in the SoC Self Study and addressed in the Strategic Plan are:




Mission

Through the integration of liberal and professional education, the School of Communications educates students to possess essential communication skills and to be critical, self-reflective communication professionals, artists, and contributing members of society.

Vision

The School of Communications (Sch/Com) will be known for its rigorous programs, culture of inquiry and achievement, innovative pedagogical practices, and graduates who are successful in their chosen fields. The Sch/Com will enhance educational quality by: 

  • Attracting and retaining diverse, exceptional, and highly qualified faculty, staff, and students. 
  • Increasing interdisciplinary collaboration in students products, as well as between faculty in Sch/Com majors and with other units in the university. 
  • Infusing the curriculum and unit activities with international and intercultural perspectives.
  • Providing for flexible and consolidated facilities that help to prepare students for practice in rapidly changing communications fields.
  • Supporting appropriate current and emerging technologies and enhance student's critical competence in their use.

Value Statement

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 90% students in School of Communications participate in two or more other high impact learning experiences, prior to graduation, in addition to supplemental writing skills and capstone courses.

Baseline

Current percentage of students participating in two or more other high impact learning experiences, prior to graduation, in addition to supplemental writing skills and capstone courses.

Objective 1.A.2

School of Communications has a clearly defined plan for assessing effective academic advising.

Baseline

Recommendations for advising are included in School of Communications new faculty handbook and mentoring. Effectiveness of advising is not currently formally assessed.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 1.B.1

50 % of School of Communications curriculum includes International and Intercultural perspectives.

Baseline

Current course offerings in the School of Communications

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

Objective 1.C.2

School of Communications students and faculty engage and collaborate with communities of interest and community organizations.

Baseline

Baseline will be measured by survey of current connections with community organizations.

Objective 1.C.3

Major programs in SoC involve students in local, regional, and national conferences, and/or disciplinary competitions/events.

Baseline

Survey of current practices.

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

Objective 1.D.2

Students in each major program engage the critical study and/or use of technology relevant to their field of study.

Baseline

School of Communications invests significantly in acquiring cutting-edge technology, and faculty development and training.

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

School of Communications allocates resources for faculty to engage in cutting edge scholarship and creative practices.

Baseline

Survey of current resources ( faculty development fund, technology/software/facilities support).

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 2.B.1

SoC develops plans to increase faculty diversity in terms of intellectual, cultural, and international perspectives.

Baseline

Diversity has improved in during recent tenure track recruitment.

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

Objective 2.E.2

School of Communications improves procedures for personnel, curriculum, and other administrative functions to meet the challenges of growth in the unit ( majors and faculty), to enable faculty to devote quality time for student learning, advising, as well as enhancing their scholarly and creative activities.

Baseline

Challenges identified in SoC Self-study

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

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

Objective 3.A.1

School of Communications offers its majors high impact practice of a common intellectual experience of the Communication discipline (given the broad, evolving nature of this discipline).

Baseline

School of Communications Core curriculum

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 3.B.1

30 % of School of Communications faculty receive Inclusion training.

Baseline

Current percentage of faculty with Inclusion training

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

Objective 3.D.2

School of Communications will continue to contribute to General Education as well as interdisciplinary studies/ opportunities for students through new offerings at the university.

Baseline

School of Communications courses are offered in Gen Ed, and proposed interdisciplinary programs.

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

Objective 3.E.1

Coordinators of School of Communications major programs have enhanced leadership roles and defined duties and responsibilities.

Baseline

Current role of coordinators. Data about workload, best practices from Institutional Analysis

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

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

Objective 4.A.2

Each major program in the School of Communications has a unique identity in the School, CLAS and the University.

Baseline

Issues of identity of major programs in the SoC elaborated in the SoC self study.

Objective 4.A.3

Develop a coordinated plan to increase /improve recruiting in the School of Communications

Baseline

Current practices in coordination with Admissions Office.

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

Objective 4.E.1

School of Communications investigates opportunities for shared facilities/exhibit space in down town campus to expand teaching/learning opportunities and forge collaborations with local area communities of interest.

Baseline

No baseline as no data exists

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