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Strategic Plan for Graduate School

Mission

To define, support, and advance excellence in graduate education and the scholarly and research activities associated with it. To articulate a vision of excellence in our actions and policies that affect students, faculty, and curriculum. To advocate for graduate education and graduate students, faculty, and staff within the university in terms of resources, services, and other activities that support graduate student endeavors and goals; and encourage a diverse, inclusive, and connected graduate community.

Vision

GVSU will become the university of choice for students seeking a strong graduate education in a Carnegie classification "Master's Large" institution of higher education that is grounded in a liberal arts tradition by focusing on the promotion of distinctive and exemplary graduate education programs, comprehensive educational settings, service, and scholarly experiences. The Graduate School will provide exemplary leadership and continuous support for the development and provision of distinctive and exceptional graduate programs that prepare GVSU graduates to be effective leaders in their field, to be engaged lifelong learners, to succeed in attaining a professional career or admission to further graduate or professional study, and to excel in a global environment.

Value Statement

Critical Thought - our students actively and skillfully engage in conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information as it applies to their area of study as well as their community as a whole. Personal Capacity - our graduate community develops and sustains personal initiative and maintains a culture of professionalism and integrity. High Impact Challenges - we offer meaningful opportunities to learn in a holistic environment and those involved are challenged and transformed by the environment and those opportunities. Inclusion - we provide an environment and climate of collegiality, collaboration, and inclusiveness for all.

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 95% of graduate students will participate in two or more high impact learning experiences prior to graduation, excluding the norm of capstone, thesis, dissertation, and oral and written exams.

Baseline

90%

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
All GVSU all graduate programs require at least two high impact activities for each student within their curriculum.

2018 Status
Achieved
All graduate programs report that all graduate students participate in two or more high impact learning experiences prior to graduation.

Objective 1.A.3

Develop at least 5 new combined-degree programs.

Baseline

As of 2015-16 there are two combined degree programs.

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
There are now 17 combined degree programs at GVSU with at least 5 additional combined degree programs in development.

2018 Status
Achieved
GVSU now offers eight bachelors/graduate combined degree programs.

Objective 1.A.4

Improve ratings by 10% for the combined excellent and very good categories for the components of the Graduate Exit Survey related to mentoring (Quality of academic advising and guidance) and job placement (Assistance in finding employment).

Baseline

For the Quality of Academic Advising the excellent and very good scores comprise 52% of the respondents. For the Assistance in finding employment the excellent and very good scores comprise 30% of the respondents.

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
Results from the Graduate Exit Survey indicate that 71% of respondents view academic advising as either excellent or very good. This compares to the baseline value of 52% from 2015-16. Results from the Graduate Exit Survey indicate that 58% of respondents view job placement/assistance in finding employment as either excellent of very good. This compares to the baseline value of 30% from 2015-16.

2019 Status
Achieved
Results from the Graduate Exit Survey indicate the quality of academic advising in the "excellent" and "very good" categories has increased from 2015-16 (52%) to 2018-19 (80%) Results from the Graduate Exit Survey indicate that the support in finding employment in the "excellent" and "very good" categories has increased from 2015-16 (30%) to 2018-19 (61%).

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 1.B.1

By 2021, total graduate student enrollment should include at least 20% from international and traditionally underrepresented populations.

Baseline

15% in Winter 2016

Progress

2021 Status
Substantial Progress
For the Fall 2020 census 20.2% of the total enrollment was from international and traditionally underrepresented populations.

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
2018-19 Report Unduplicated minority student headcount: 738 Unduplicated international student headcount: 190 Unduplicated student headcount total: 3961 Minority percentage: 18.62 International percentage: 4.8

Objective 1.B.3

Increase to 12 the number of co-curricular offerings for traditional and non-traditional students, including resources and events for diverse populations, offered by The Graduate School and the Graduate Student Association.

Baseline

In 2015-16 there were 9 co-curricular offerings.

Progress

2020 Status
Achieved
In 2019-20 there were 12 individual co-curricular offerings by the Graduate School and the Graduate Student Association

2019 Status
Achieved
In 2018 there were 14 co-curricular offerings.

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

Objective 1.C.2

66% of graduate programs will have their own graduate Registered Student Organization (RSO).

Baseline

2015-16 - 55% of graduate programs have a RSO.

Progress

2021 Status
Substantial Progress
57% of GVSU graduate programs are served by an RSO (N=25). Please note this objective is lower than previous years because some RSOs did not re-register this year (2020-21).

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
21 graduate programs have an individual RSO. Additionally, these RSO’s serve more than one program: CCPS International Student Group (for all international graduate students in MHA, MPA, MPNL, CJ, SW) Nonprofit Professionals: for all graduate programs in SPNHA (MPA, MHA, MPNL); Health Professions GSA: Any health related (MHA, MPH, SLP, CD, Medical Dosimetry, PAS, PT, OT, Nursing); and Professional Association of Graduate Scientists: Serves PSMs, (Biotechnology, Biostatistics, Health Informatics/Bioinformatics, DSA). 50% of graduate programs have an RSO, while 71% of graduate programs are served by an RSO.

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

Objective 1.D.1

Increase online presence of graduate programs so that 75% of programs have online options for at least one of their required courses.

Baseline

TBD

Progress

2021 Status
Substantial Progress
26 programs are officially designated as online and/or hybrid (which equals ~60.5%). Currently, all programs are offering at least one online course due to COVID. Going forward, we believe most if not all programs will continue at least one course as online.

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
19 academic units offered online/hybrid courses in 2018-19, however, some units could serve multiple graduate programs (e.g. Statistics, Professional Science Masters, School of Public, Nonprofit, and Health Administration, College of Education). This equates to 45% of the programs offering online options. When examining only online courses, the number of units increased to 12.

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

Objective 1.E.1

The Graduate School will advocate in the budget process for a 2% yearly increase in budget support for the Graduate Student Association so they can provide more programming and professional development opportunities for graduate students.

Baseline

$100,000 for 2015-16

Progress

2021 Status
Substantial Progress
There was no change to the GSA allocation for 2021 ($110,000), but there was a $102,000 carryover from 2019-20.

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
The GSA received $110,000 for 2019-20. With a carryover of $52,484 from the prior year budget.

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 2021, 95% of all regular graduate faculty approved for engaging in graduate education will meet standards for Full Graduate Faculty status.

Baseline

TBD by TGS

Progress

2021 Status
Substantive Progress
The percentage of regular faculty who hold Full Graduate faculty status is 85%.

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
The percentage of regular faculty who hold Full Graduate faculty status is 84.8%.

Objective 2.A.2

By 2021, increase attendance at graduate faculty meetings so that 50% of regular graduate faculty attend at least one meeting per academic year.

Baseline

2015-16 is 33%.

Progress

2021 Status
Minimal Progress
The Graduate Faculty meetings were suspended in 2019-20 and 2020-21 due to the COVID pandemic. Information important to the delivery of graduate curricula and programs was delivered via email to graduate faculty.

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
There has been minimal change from 2017 to 2018 in the number of regular graduate faculty attending a graduate faculty meeting.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 2.B.1

Include diversity and inclusion criteria for new graduate faculty applicants (e.g. a question on the Graduate Faculty application such as, "explain your teaching approach in terms of employing inclusive principles").

Baseline

There are no current diversity or inclusion criteria for graduate faculty.

Progress

2021 Status
Minimal Progress
There has been no further discussion in Graduate Council.

2019 Status
Minimal Progress
There has been no further discussion with Graduate Council

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

Objective 2.C.2

Increase by 10% the number of externally funded graduate assistantship positions.

Baseline

TBD

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
There were 27 externally funded GAs in 2020-21. This number includes 12 fully externally funded GAs and 15 GAs with externally funded stipends and university match for tuition.

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
The number of externally funded graduate assistantships has increased to 18 for 2018-19 academic year.

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

Objective 2.D.1

The Graduate School will work with CSCE and FTLC to offer at least one workshop each semester on topics unique to the graduate faculty perspective.

Baseline

0 workshops in 2015-16.

Progress

2021 Status
Substantial Progress
The CSCE and the FTLC offers a number of faculty workshops and learning communities that are directly related to topics relevant to graduate faculty. Examples include the following: Grant Funding Workshops, Improving Diversity; Internships: Approaches, Strategies, and Best Practices; Practicing Mindfulness; and Best Practices in Online and Hybrid Delivery.

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
The FTLC offers a number of faculty workshops and learning communities that are directly related to topic relevant to graduate faculty. Examples include the following: Growing Diversity; Internships: Approaches, Strategies, and Best Practices; Practicing Mindfulness; and Best Practices in Hybrid Delivery.

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

Objective 2.E.1

By 2021, use of adjunct graduate faculty as the instructor of record for core and elective courses will be less than 40% for graduate degree programs.

Baseline

TBD

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
Approximately 36% of graduate courses are taught by non-regular (i.e. adjunct) graduate faculty.

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
The following programs had more than 40% of their core and elective courses taught by non-regular faculty members: EMBA, Social Work, Medical Dosimetry, and Speech Language Pathology.

Objective 2.E.2

By 2021, 70% of the GVSU graduate program curricula will be provided by tenured or tenure-track faculty.

Baseline

TBD

Progress

2021 Status
Substantial Progress
In 2020-21 approximately 66% of all graduate courses were taught by regular (i.e. tenured/tenure track) graduate faculty.

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
In 2018-19, 79.3% of all graduate curricula were taught by regular graduate faculty.

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

By 2021, facilitate the creation of three new interdisciplinary programs in graduate education.

Baseline

TBD

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
There are now three interdisciplinary masters degrees at GVSU; Water Resources Policy, Social Innovation, and the Student Initiated Combined Degree program. In addition, there are 5 interdisciplinary combined degree programs.

2019 Status
Minimal Progress
No additional work has been completed on this objective

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 3.B.1

Include at least one topic on diversity and inclusion on the agenda at all new graduate student orientations.

Baseline

1 topic for each of the Fall 2015 and Winter 2016 new graduate student orientations.

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
The Graduate School includes at least one topic on diversity and inclusion at all new graduate student orientations.

2019 Status
Achieved
The Graduate School includes at least one topic on diversity and inclusion at all new graduate student orientations.

Objective 3.B.3

Provide all Graduate Program Directors with at least one training session per academic year focused on diversity and inclusion.

Baseline

0 sessions for 2014-15

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
The Graduate School includes at least one agenda item on diversity and inclusion for the GPDs each academic year.

2019 Status
Achieved
The Graduate School includes at least one agenda item on diversity and inclusion for the GPDs each year.

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

Objective 3.C.2

The Graduate School will assist the Graduate Student Association in increasing student participation so that 50% of all graduate students are members of a graduate Registered Graduate Student Association (RSO).

Baseline

TBD

Progress

2021 Status
Substantive Progress
The total number of graduate students that were members of an RSO was 1230 out of a total of 2834 graduate students. This was 43% of the total graduate student population.

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
The number of graduate students that belong to a Registered Student Organization (RSO) is 1,214 which equals 41.5% of all graduate students.

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

Objective 3.E.1

By 2021, 100% of doctoral degree programs will have a graduate assistantship stipend differential from masters degree level program.

Baseline

No differential at the current time.

Progress

2021 Status
Substantive Progress
The Dean of the Graduate School and the Provost are having discussions about increasing the stipend amount for all graduate programs.

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
The Dean of the Graduate School and the Provost are having discussions about increasing the stipend amount for all graduate programs.

Objective 3.E.3

Increase graduate assistantship stipends by $500 by 2021.

Baseline

2015-16 stipend levels are $8000 per year.

Progress

2021 Status
Minimal Progress
There has been no change in the graduate assistant stipend levels.

2019 Status
Minimal Progress
There has been no change in graduate assistantship stipend levels.

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.1

Send University Communications at least 3 notifications per semester that promote awards given to graduate students, faculty, and degree programs.

Baseline

One communication per semester.

Progress

2021 Status
Minimal Progress
During the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years the COVID 19 pandemic has limited the number of story options.

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
The Graduate School has provided, on average, at least 4 notifications per semester to University Communications.

Objective 4.A.2

Recognize at least 3 student successes per month on The Graduate School website by seeking out student achievements from faculty and graduate program directors.

Baseline

2016 - one success story per month.

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
The Graduate School continues to promote student successes on the Graduate School website.

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
During the 2017-18 academic year there were approximately 1-2 student success stories posted on the Graduate School website.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 4.B.1

100% of graduate programs will use Holistic Review in Graduate Admissions as defined by the Council of Graduate Schools

Baseline

2016 - 90% of graduate programs used Holistic Review in graduate admission decisions.

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
100% of existing graduate programs use a Holistic Admissions process.

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

Objective 4.C.1

By 2021, GVSU will increase the number of community partners that provide support (e.g. financial, internships, clinical placements) to our graduate programs and graduate students by 10%.

Baseline

TBD

Progress

2021 Status
Substantial Progress
Graduate Program Placement Sites for the 2019-2020 Full Academic year was 857.

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
The total number of clinical sites that graduate programs partnered with, with each single count representing one clinical site at one unique location. 2016-17 Academic Year: 789 2017-18 Academic Year: 921 2018-19 Academic Year: 873

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

Objective 4.D.1

By 2021, GVSU will increase the number of graduate programs by 20%.

Baseline

36

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
Grand Valley now has 44 graduate programs.

2019 Status
Achieved
Grand Valley now has 42 graduate programs

Objective 4.D.2

Work with University Communications to issue at least one news release each quarter showcasing graduate faculty and student research and community engagement accomplishments.

Baseline

2016 - 1-2 news releases per year.

Progress

2021 Status
Achieved
University Communications issues at least one news release each quarter showcasing graduate faculty and student research and community engagement accomplishments.

2019 Status
Achieved
University Communications issues at least one news release each quarter showcasing graduate faculty and student research and community engagement accomplishments.

Objective 4.D.3

At least 30% of the institution's graduate degrees are ranked among the top five in their discipline within Michigan.

Baseline

23% of GVSU's graduate programs were ranked in the top 5 in the State of Michigan based on data from the U.S. News and World Report rankings for 2015.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
A total of 31 out of 42 GVSU graduate programs are able to be ranked in a category by U.S. News & World Reports. Of those 31 programs, 8 programs rank in the Top 5 programs in Michigan. That is 25.8%.

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
A total of 31 of our 41 graduate programs are able to be ranked in a category by US News & World Reports. Of those 31 programs, there are 5 programs ranked among the Top 5 programs in Michigan. This equates to 16.13%.

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

Objective 4.E.1

GVSU will increase by 5% each year the financial support for marketing of select graduate programs.

Baseline

TBD

Progress

2021 Status
Substantial Progress
The University has increased the marketing of Graduate Programs and hired two graduate student recruiters to assist GPDs and Graduate Programs with the process of recruiting students.

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
The University has increased the marketing of Graduate Programs and is currently in the process of hiring a graduate student recruiter to assist GPDs and Graduate Programs with the process of recruiting students.

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