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Strategic Plan for Political Science & International Relations

Context For Planning

Vision
Political Science Department The Department of Political Science is committed to setting a standard of excellence in the undergraduate study of Political Science. Students gain comprehensive knowledge of American and global governance and politics through coursework in American politics, political theory, comparative politics and international relations. We prepare students to be well-informed citizens and to make meaningful contributions to local, state, national, and international communities. We foster a diverse community engaged in inquiry, expression, and rigorous scholarship. 

Vision
International Relations Program We are committed to setting a standard of excellence in the interdisciplinary undergraduate study of International Relations, including the geography, history, economics, languages and politics of global interactions. International Relations students gain comprehensive knowledge of the complex economic, social, cultural and political relationships among citizens, societies, states and international institutions. Students attain both theoretical and experiential knowledge of International Relations and critical analytic skills through study on campus and, in most cases, study abroad. We prepare students to be well-informed citizens and to make meaningful contributions to the increasingly globalized world. We foster a diverse international community engaged in inquiry, expression, and rigorous scholarship.

Mission

Mission  

Political Science Department 
The mission of the Department of Political Science is to prepare students for citizenship, post-baccalaureate education and professional careers through a wide range of course offerings, advising, internships, and experience in local, state, national and international contexts.

Mission  
International Relations Program 
The mission of the International Relations Program, an interdisciplinary program housed in the Department of Political Science, is to prepare students for citizenship, post-baccalaureate education, and professional careers through interdisciplinary coursework in international relations, advising, and participation in internships, with an emphasis on study abroad and other international experiences.

Vision

Vision
Political Science Department The Department of Political Science is committed to setting a standard of excellence in the undergraduate study of Political Science. Students gain comprehensive knowledge of American and global governance and politics through coursework in American politics, political theory, comparative politics and international relations. We prepare students to be well-informed citizens and to make meaningful contributions to local, state, national, and international communities. We foster a diverse community engaged in inquiry, expression, and rigorous scholarship. 

Vision
International Relations Program We are committed to setting a standard of excellence in the interdisciplinary undergraduate study of International Relations, including the geography, history, economics, languages and politics of global interactions. International Relations students gain comprehensive knowledge of the complex economic, social, cultural and political relationships among citizens, societies, states and international institutions. Students attain both theoretical and experiential knowledge of International Relations and critical analytic skills through study on campus and, in most cases, study abroad. We prepare students to be well-informed citizens and to make meaningful contributions to the increasingly globalized world. We foster a diverse international community engaged in inquiry, expression, and rigorous scholarship.

Value Statement

Values  

Political Science and International Relations 
In the Department of Political Science and the International Relations Program at Grand Valley State University, we strive toward acquiring and utilizing knowledge of Political Science and International Relations in a setting of academic freedom, methodological and theoretical pluralism, while encouraging disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration. 

  • We value excellence in education facilitated through 
    • Active student-teacher engagement and academic achievement in a rigorous and challenging course of study that emphasizes the development of critical and analytical thinking and writing. 
    • Student exposure to a variety of theoretical and political perspectives for the purpose of enhancing critical and analytical thinking and writing skills. 
    • A comprehensive coverage of the disciplines and access to a wide variety of upper-level courses. 
    • Emphasis on internships, co-curricular and civic education opportunities in our local, state, national and global communities. 
  • Excellence in faculty scholarship. 
  • Service to the discipline, unit, college, university and community. 
  • Student development as well-informed, global citizens in a democratic society.

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

Political science and international relations majors demonstrate knowledge of their respective majors.

Baseline

1. Current student knowledge of their majors, as determined by a comprehensive examination of the subfields of Political Science and International Relations. 2. Current student responses to a self-evaluation of their knowledge of the subfields of their majors.

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
Students met established targets on multiple-choice exams and student survey.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
Students met established targets on multiple-choice exams and student survey.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 1.B.1

Increase by 10 percent the number of sections of internationally-oriented courses offered in General Education.

Baseline

Current number of sections of internationally-oriented courses in General Education Foundations, Cultures: World Perspectives and Issues categories.

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
Due to PLS 211 International Relations moving into the General Education categories of World Perspectives and Social and Behavioral Sciences, our course offerings have increased substantially in this area.

2018 Status
Achieved
Due to PLS 211 International Relations moving into the General Education categories of World Perspectives and Social and Behavioral Sciences, our course offerings have increased substantially in this area.

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

Objective 1.C.1

The number of majors engaged in community service increases by 10 percent.

Baseline

Current number of Political Science and International Relations Capstone students who have engaged in community service.

Progress

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
The percentage of IR and PLS majors participating in community service declined from the baseline, but was over 60 percent for both groups.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
PLS majors made some progress while the percentage of IR majors declined.

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

Objective 1.D.1

Political Science and International Relations majors participating in internships or study abroad programs increases by 10 percent.

Baseline

Current number of Political Science and International Relations Capstone students participating in internships and study abroad programs

Progress

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
PLS majors showed a slight decline in internship participation but a huge increase in study abroad. IR majors showed a slight decrease in study abroad but an increase in internship participation.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
PLS majors showed progress in internship participation and study abroad. IR majors showed a decrease in internship participation but an increase in study abroad.

Objective 1.D.2

Number of Political Science and International Relations majors who have participated in high impact, co-curricular activities increases by 10 percent.

Baseline

Current number of Political Science and International Relations Capstone students who have participated in high impact, co-curricular activities such as living learning communities (e.g. International House or Honors), student organizations, Student Senate, or international simulations (e.g. Model EU).

Progress

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
Both IR and PLS majors showed a small percentage decrease in participation in high impact activities as compared to the baseline but both groups have a participation rate above 60 percent.

2017 Status
Achieved
Both IR and PLS majors showed a significant percentage increase in participation in high impact activities.

Strategic Priority Area 2: Further develop exceptional personnel.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 2.B.1

The department's faculty diversity matches or exceeds regional disciplinary norms.

Baseline

Current regional disciplinary norms for diversity.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
18 percent of regular GVSU Political Science faculty are people of color, which is below regional social sciences (26 percent) and discipline-wide (24 percent) norms. 29 percent of regular GVSU Political Science faculty are women, which is below regional social sciences (41 percent) and discipline-wide (37 percent) norms.

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
18 percent of regular GVSU Political Science faculty are people of color, which is below regional social sciences (26 percent) and discipline-wide (24 percent) norms. 29 percent of regular GVSU Political Science faculty are women, which is below regional social sciences (41 percent) and discipline-wide (37 percent) norms.

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

Objective 2.C.1

10 percent of faculty members engage in international exchange programs.

Baseline

Current number of faculty members who have engaged in international exchange programs.

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
71 percent of the regular faculty have participated in at least one international exchange program.

2018 Status
Achieved
65 percent of the regular faculty have participated in at least one international faculty exchange program.

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

Objective 2.D.1

At least 75 percent of regular faculty members will participate in a professional conference each year.

Baseline

Current percentage of regular faculty members who participate in a professional conference each year (compiled in Digital Measures).

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
59 percent of regular faculty participated in a professional conference in 2019.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
71 percent of regular faculty participated in a professional conference in 2018

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

30 percent of faculty use expertise to promote civic and community education about local, national, and world affairs.

Baseline

1. Current number of faculty members involved in community service with K-12 institutions; community, civic, and/or religious groups; other higher education institutions; and other such community (public) service. 2. Current number of faculty members who make media appearances or contributions (including print, radio, TV, and Internet). Compiled in Digital Measures.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
76 percent of regular faculty members were involved in community service in 2019. 29 percent of regular faculty members made media appearances or contributions in 2019.

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