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Strategic Plan for Student Affairs

Context For Planning

The Division of Student Affairs’ work is guided by GVSU’s institutional mission, the Academic and Student Affairs mission, as well as our divisional mission, vision, and values; this work directs the efforts of our individual units as we partner with students.

In order to advance our mission and vision, we set strategic objectives that we report on annually. Acknowledging our commitment to student learning outside the classroom setting, we have developed a set of student learning outcomes that are foundational to our work, and which we also report on annually (like our strategic objectives). Each of the units within Student Affairs develop unit missions, visions, and values specific to those areas. Through an annual reporting process for both strategic planning and student learning, units stay committed to a culture of continuous improvement. Within our unit strategic plans, units evaluate ongoing efforts to support students and report on objectives (e.g. utilization, satisfaction, student learning). Within unit student learning outcomes (or student-centered outcomes), units report annually on at least 1-2 student learning outcomes influenced by the divisional student learning outcomes.

Each year, in order to complete assessment expectations, Student Affairs staff must make meaning of what we learned during the assessment process (utilizing data to inform decisions, planning action as a result of decisions, describing significance of findings and implications for future work).


Mission

We place students at the center of our work, advocate for their well-being, and promote positive and inclusive programs, services, and facilities.

Vision

We aspire to partner with students as they discover their purposes and create meaningful lives, careers, and communities.

Value Statement

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Innovation 

Leadership 

Excellence 

Collaboration 

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.4

The Division will assess student learning at the divisional level.

Baseline

2018-2019 the Division of Student Affairs was not assessing student learning outcomes at the divisional level. Student Outcomes Assessment was occurring at unit level only.

Progress

2020 Status
Achieved
In 2019-2020, the DSA Assessment Committee prioritized the outcome of advancing student health and well-being and committed to including DSA related student learning outcomes in unit plans. Units reported findings of improved learning from related interventions and programs.

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
The Division of Student Affairs formed the DSA Assessment Committee which worked with divisional leadership to identify student learning outcomes influenced by the robust set of Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) Essential Learning Outcomes as articulated by the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). These learning outcomes will be used by Student Affairs departments for division co-curricular programming and University Assessment Committee (UAC) student centered outcome (SCO) reporting.

Objective 1.A.5

Division units will shift from Student Centered Outcomes (SCOs) to utilizing 1-2 Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) within unit assessment plans.

Baseline

In 2018-2019, only four of the units reported utilizing Student Learning Outcomes.

Progress

2020 Status
Achieved
Each DSA unit that currently has a unit assessment plan includes 1-2 Student Learning Outcomes within their plan.

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
Over half of the departments within the Division of Student Affairs are now reporting student learning within their unit assessment plans. Others are currently developing new assessment plans.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 1.B.2

Create and expand Student Affairs programs and initiatives that support the involvement of underrepresented student populations.

Baseline

This objective was refocused in 2019. A new baseline needs to be developed to include number and types of programs and initiatives supporting the involvement of underrepresented student populations within the Division of Student Affairs.

Progress

2020 Status
Substantive Progress
Data was collected and reviewed. Existing data was unable to provide a quality baseline number. Next steps include all departments submitting their programming information for review.

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
The Division of Student Affairs Assessment Committee will be developing a baseline to include number and types of programs and initiatives supporting the involvement of underrepresented student populations within the Division of Student Affairs.

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

A comprehensive divisional staff recruitment and onboarding staffing plan will be created and implemented.

Baseline

There was no divisional staff recruitment and onboarding plan (Jan 2020)

Progress

2020 Status
Minimal Progress
Identified DSA staff to participate in working group to develop resources and tools. The group has begun to collect information and draft documents.

Objective 2.A.2

A divisional professional development and talent management plan will be created and implemented consistent with vision, mission, values, priorities, and student affairs competencies.

Baseline

There was no divisional professional development and talent management plan (January 2020).

Progress

2020 Status
Substantial Progress
The NASPA Professional Competencies guide the content of intentional workshops, trainings, and roundtables that enhance relationships and support the shared responsibility for a division wide focus on student success. The Division of Student Affair's Professional Development committee's focus for 2019-2020 was on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The committee provided multiple opportunities for staff to engage. For example, DSA staff led a film series with shared viewing and round table discussions to continue learning and action around issues of racial justice.

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

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

Objective 3.E.1

The Division will create and implement strategic plan-based budgeting to support allocation of resources.

Baseline

Current unit budgets are a result of annual University level budget allocation process. Base budgets are mostly stable with annual base or working budget additions based on University growth. In recent years small budget cuts were implemented as part of a University strategic reallocation process. The Division as a whole balances each year with the assistance of designated funds for certain areas (i.e. Student Life, Career Center, and Rec & Wellness). Excess Division funds are closed to a Division reserve account for internal allocation needs. Each unit engages in internal budget reallocation to some extent but an overall Division budget reallocation based on strategic plan priorities is incomplete.

Progress

2020 Status
Minimal Progress
Given impact of COVID operations and potential re-organization further work on this objective is on hold until strategic direction is resumed.

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
Appropriate staff - including new staff - have access to Banner. Monthly budget summary from Provost office is shared with unit heads. Assessment of FY19 budget variances is complete. The DSA financial manager has held individual meetings with department heads. The financial manager has reviewed expenses including student wages to determine next steps in strategic allocation of divisional funds for FY21. The student wage reallocation recommendations are 90% complete. The CSSM reallocations are 50% complete and assessment includes proposed budget cuts for FY21.

Objective 3.E.2

The Division will identify alternative sources of funding for achieving strategic priorities.

Baseline

Most units in Division have alternate sources of funding beyond general funds. These include designated funds, development funds, and reserves. These funds are used annually to support Division operations as well as ensure longer-term sustainability of strategic plans and goals.

Progress

2020 Status
Minimal Progress
Due to impact of COVID operations and financial implications only new funding addressed in FY20 and FY21 is related to CARES Act. Donations via University Development have been fairly consistent with historical levels.

2019 Status
Minimal Progress
Clean up of restricted and endowment funds is in process. Rec and Wellness is the one area to have completed the process with Development based on their current operations. Each unit identified a primary fund to advertise for donation requests (on web, etc.). Dean of Students Office initiated a new fund for Divisional focus (Students First Fund). A general strategy for reserve and designated fund use was submitted to Provost's Office with the FY21 annual budget process information. Conduct Education Fee process will commence in Fall 2020. Funds collected will be deposited into a designated fund to support Division operations related to student support, wellness, and alcohol education. Counseling Center and Rec and Wellness have reviewed their current fee structures for alignment with current operational costs and best practices. Additional opportunities for fund solicitation and revenue generation continue to be researched via professional literature, bench-marking, and internal discussions.

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

A Division communication plan will be developed to refine the Division narrative (story), brand, and communication plan to assist faculty, staff, and students becoming more knowledgeable about our university role.

Baseline

There was no divisional communication plan in August 2019.

Progress

2020 Status
Substantive Progress
Dec 2019/Jan 2020: Surveys were sent to all DSA staff members, a random selection of GVSU faculty/staff, and a random selection of GVSU students. Results were analyzed and discussed with DSA leadership in Feb 2020. Nov 2019-May 2020: DSA visual identity (brand) developed and launched across all 11 departments in the division, in addition to Style Guide. Jan 2021: DSA Staff Insider (formerly Staff Access) webpage updated to better align internal communication with DSA staff, complementing email newsletters distribution.

2019 Status
Minimal Progress
Survey was administered to all Division of Student Affairs (DSA) staff members (December 2019) and a random sampling of external campus partners and students (January 2020). Results will be used to formulate the communication plan. In addition, visual identity for each DSA unit is being collectively developed to create consistency.

Objective 4.A.3

The Division will lead new population-level student wellness initiatives to effectively address relevant health topics throughout the campus environment.

Baseline

The Student Well-being Steering Committee and Student Well-being Collective were created in Winter 2020 to begin this work.

Progress

2020 Status
Substantive Progress
A student health promotions coordinator was hired within RecWell. The Wellbeing Assessment from Wake Forest was administered (Sept 2020). American College Health Association Health Services review was completed (December 2020). The Student Well-being Collective is moving forward with efforts to author and advance a common agenda for student well-being through examination of university systems, processes, programs, and settings to identify how best to support student wellness. A student wellness website was created and includes comprehensive wellness education and resources that supports GV students. A peer education program was initiated and is underway.

Objective 4.A.5

The Division will ensure physical spaces and facilities support student needs.

Baseline

The overall quality of DSA space is influenced by appropriate social, cultural, and educational spaces which complement academic initiatives. Areas that support Student Affairs must be assessed, reviewed, and thoughtfully planned to continue to provide the high quality, student-centered experiences. An assessment of current DSA spaces at GVSU provided some challenges related to supporting student success that will be addressed moving forward.

Progress

2020 Status
Substantial Progress
Completed Housing, Dining, and Kirkhof facilities assessment reports and presented findings to University Leadership.

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
A new planning study for Kirkhof Center, Housing, and Dining is underway. The University Counseling Center underwent an expansion as the Career Center was moved to another location on the Allendale campus.

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