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Strategic Plan for College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Context For Planning

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences was founded in July 2004 and is the largest of Grand Valley's colleges. Our students choose from more than 50 bachelor degrees and a growing number of advanced degrees in the natural and mathematical sciences, the fine arts and humanities, and the social sciences. GVSU undergraduates build the foundation for their major studies through general education courses offered by CLAS. A liberal arts and sciences education prepares students to understand complexity, diverse perspectives and change, and to apply their knowledge and skills to the unscripted problems of the future. Our strategic plan for 2016-21 is aimed at framing in contemporary language our ambitions for our students and our programs, and to enhance our undergraduate and graduate programs and our student's college experience.

Mission

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is a student-centered, diverse, and inclusive learning community that engages in critical inquiry extending knowledge to enrich and enliven individual and public life.

Vision

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will set a standard of excellence in liberal education. We will prepare our students to be responsible citizens, productive professionals, and lifelong learners with global perspective. We will foster a diverse and inclusive community of inquiry, discourse, discovery, expression, and reflection.

Value Statement

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences values:

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% of undergraduate students in CLAS units 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 in CLAS participating in two or more relevant high-impact learning experiences.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
CLAS faculty continue to be engaged in the practice of high-impact pedagogy. The College has identified high-impact learning experiences as a priority and supports them financially. CLAS would like more reliable information on the number and type of high-impact experiences in which students participate. The College will continue to push on this until reliable feedback is obtained. The College plans to distribute a spreadsheet to units in CLAS in order to document the courses and sections in which students have high-impact learning experiences.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
CLAS provided enough high-impact experiences for 47% of all students enrolled in non-capstone courses in the academic year of 2016-17. High-impact learning experiences are a high priority and the College continues to support them with resources.

Objective 1.A.2

At least 90% of graduate students in CLAS participate in at least one high-impact learning experience prior to graduation.

Baseline

Current percentage of students in each graduate department participating in at least one high-impact learning experience prior to graduation.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
CLAS faculty continue to be engaged in the practice of high-impact pedagogy, and the College has identified high-impact learning experiences as a priority and supports them financially. CLAS wants more reliable information on the number and type of high-impact experiences in which graduate students participate. The College will continue to push on this until reliable feedback is obtained. The College plans to distribute a spreadsheet to graduate program directors in CLAS in order to document the courses and sections in which students have high-impact learning experiences.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
Graduate students in CLAS participate in high-impact learning experiences prior to graduation.

Objective 1.A.3

All CLAS units will have clearly defined plans for assessing effective academic advising.

Baseline

Unit plans available in January 2016.

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
All CLAS units have submitted Advising Assessment Plans to the CLAS Dean’s Office. Those plans have been reviewed and the findings have been used to inform the updates to the college-wide advising structure.

2017 Status
Achieved
Advising plans for all units in the College have been reviewed and approved.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 1.B.1

Diversity of faculty, staff, and administration in CLAS increases to 18% to reflect the populations of West Michigan.

Baseline

Current diversity of student, faculty, staff, and administration in CLAS - data from Institutional Analysis.

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
CLAS continues to work toward the goal of having a faculty, staff, and administration that reflects the population of West Michigan. The College has collaborated with the FTLC to develop more inclusive hiring practices within the College. These practices have been shared with unit heads and will be implemented during the 2017 hiring request process.

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
CLAS continues to work toward the goal of having a faculty, staff, and administration that reflects the population of West Michigan.

Objective 1.B.2

Retention rates in CLAS between freshman and sophomore years and sophomore and junior years for first-generation and other non-traditional undergraduate students (undergraduates 24 years or older, veterans, and students with children) meet or exceed the retention rates of traditional undergraduate students.

Baseline

Current data on retention rates in CLAS for each category of student - from Institutional Analysis.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
The CLAS Advising Center is well-connected to university-wide organizations that support retention of first-generation and non-traditional students. In addition, CLAS has numerous projects, initiatives, and professional development opportunities aimed at improving retention for non-traditional students.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
CLAS has numerous projects, initiatives, and professional development opportunities aimed at improving retention for non-traditional students.

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

Objective 1.C.1

At least 10% of academic courses in CLAS incorporate community-based learning experiences.

Baseline

Current percentage of academic courses in CLAS incorporating community-based learning experiences, as noted in the Presidential data collected each year.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
The College supports the achievement of this objective not only financially but also through professional development opportunities and collaboration with the Office for Community Engagement. The Director of the Office for Community Engagement has identified leaders in the College in terms of community engagement and units that have great potential to expand their community engagement. It is difficult to establish a precise percentage of academic courses in CLAS incorporating community-based learning experiences.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
CLAS continues to work toward achieving the goal of having at least 10% of academic courses in CLAS incorporate community-based learning experiences.

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

Objective 1.D.1

Global learning is part of a required course in each undergraduate major in CLAS.

Baseline

Current practices by department.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
CLAS has nearly met this objective. However, the College sees opportunities to integrate more in-depth global learning into its programs. CLAS will explore these opportunities in 2017.

2017 Status
Achieved
Global learning is part of a required course in each of the majors in CLAS.

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

25% or more of faculty complete training in developing and implementing high-impact student learning experiences.

Baseline

Current percentage participation by CLAS faculty in collaborative scholarly and creative activities.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
CLAS continues to prioritize high-impact learning experiences, providing professional development opportunities through Teaching Roundtables and New Faculty Seminars and encouraging units to reward faculty who participate in high-impact student learning experiences.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
CLAS continues to support high-impact experiences for GVSU undergraduates by providing both professional development opportunities and financial resources.

Objective 2.A.2

At least baseline +10% of credit hours in CLAS are taught by tenure-stream faculty.

Baseline

Current percent of credit hours in CLAS taught by tenure stream faculty

Progress

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
CLAS has established a baseline on the number of credit hours in CLAS that are taught by tenure-stream faculty.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 2.B.1

All appointed bodies at every level CLAS-wide include diverse individuals and reflect diverse perspectives.

Baseline

Current diversity of individuals in decision-making bodies in CLAS.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
The College will continue to support and promote a diversity of experiences and backgrounds on all appointed and governance bodies in CLAS.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
The College will continue to support and promote a diversity of experiences and backgrounds on all appointed bodies in CLAS.

Objective 2.B.2

Each unit in CLAS will ensure that all new employees participate in intercultural training and development.

Baseline

Current opportunities.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
CLAS provides intercultural training and development for all new tenure-track faculty and offers and supports opportunities for all interested faculty and staff.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
CLAS continues to provide intercultural training opportunities for faculty and staff in the College and to encourage employee participation.

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

Objective 2.C.1

Increase by 10% the number of CLAS faculty members who participate in one or more external professional organizations.

Baseline

Current participation by faculty in external professional relationships.

Objective 2.C.2

10% of CLAS faculty work on strategic long-term partnerships in the community.

Progress

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
Many faculty in CLAS work with community partners, but CLAS needs to establish a more accurate baseline of long-term partnerships maintained by CLAS faculty. CLAS will communicate criteria for strategic and long-term community partnerships to faculty in the College and encourage faculty to develop long-term sustainable partnerships.

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

Objective 2.D.1

All CLAS faculty will have access to academic advisor training.

Baseline

Training available to faculty at the timeframe start.

Progress

2017 Status
Achieved
CLAS has developed outstanding resources for training and developing the skills of faculty advisors, and all CLAS faculty have access to academic advisor training.

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

Objective 2.E.1

At least 75% of faculty and 75% of staff in CLAS participate in professional development to expand, enhance or extend their competencies and capabilities within the context of the responsibilities of their positions.

Baseline

Current percent of faculty and staff participating in professional development.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
CLAS invests significant personnel and financial resources into developing and supporting professional development for faculty and staff.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
The College invests significant personnel and financial resources into developing and supporting professional development for faculty and staff.

Objective 2.E.2

The amount of external support and grants to promote faculty scholarship in CLAS increases by at least 7.5%.

Baseline

Current percentage of external support and grants.

Progress

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
The College has established baseline data for this strategic objective. CLAS is focusing on the development off the next generation of grant winners by encouraging and supporting collaborations.

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

Enrollment capacity in CLAS expands to meet demands of highly qualified, matriculating students.

Baseline

Current enrollment

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
CLAS strategically allocates resources as student needs evolve. Within the constraints of existing faculty and space resources, CLAS responds to student needs by strategically allocating and shifting those resources.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
CLAS strategically allocates resources as student needs evolve. The College approaches the issue of enrollment capacity by managing resources strategically and by advocating for high quality and meaningful academic experiences.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 3.B.1

Increase by 10% all faculty and staff who receive inclusion training in CLAS.

Baseline

Current percent of faculty and staff who receive inclusion training.

Progress

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
CLAS engages with and supports inclusion efforts on campus. The College provides opportunities for inclusion training for faculty and staff in CLAS and encourages them to participate in university-wide initiatives.

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

Objective 3.D.1

At least 20% of undergraduate courses in CLAS are offered in innovative approaches and formats, such as hybrid, online and competency-oriented (units annually determine and provide information about current innovative pedagogies in their disciplines)

Baseline

Year; Number of Distinct Online/Hybrid Courses; Number of Online/Hybrid Sections 2012-13; 18; 28 2013-14; 29; 45 2014-15; 30; 56

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
The College had gradually increased the number of seats available in online and hybrid formats over the last two years. CLAS faculty are engaging in innovative approaches to teaching.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
CLAS is responding to requests for more hybrid and online courses where feasible with a focus on sound pedagogy and academic rigor.

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

Objective 3.E.1

CLAS maintains a transparent financial budgetary reporting and implementation process that operates with integrity and includes faculty governance and leadership structures.

Baseline

Current levels of transparency and faculty governance participation.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
The College is transparent about funding but could do a better job communicating details to unit heads. CLAS will provide training for unit heads on how to make budget requests and provide yearly updates to unit heads on the allocation processes that have taken place throughout the year. The College will consider ways to integrate the Assistant Dean for Finance and Project Management into College governance structures.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
The College is transparent about funding decisions but will continue to improve communication to unit heads. The AD of Finance has laid out a plan to implement many of the recommendations made by the PEAT Report.

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

Increase by 10% the number of students, faculty, and staff in CLAS nominated for external recognition for their accomplishments or outstanding performance.

Baseline

Current percent of students, faculty and staff receiving scholarships, Fulbrights, awards, recognitions, editorships, participation in advisory boards and professional residencies.

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
CLAS communicates opportunities for external recognition to unit heads and faculty. The College will work with units to develop structures and procedures for nominating students, faculty, and staff for external recognition.

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
CLAS communicates opportunities for external recognition to unit heads and faculty on a regular basis. The College needs to establish a good baseline for the number of students, faculty, and staff in CLAS nominated for external recognition for their accomplishments or outstanding performance.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 4.B.1

CLAS enhances faculty and AP sensitivity to diversity and inclusion issues for students and their families and in the community.

Baseline

Current measurement on 7-point scale.

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