Goal 2: Supporting Student Development and Success

Salisbury University has earned a reputation as one the country’s best public, regional, comprehensive universities. Key to this reputation is our campus-wide commitment to student success: We serve our students best by challenging them academically while ensuring a full range of services to support their growth. An exceptional faculty, sustained by ongoing scholarship, external funding activity, creative activity and up-to-date professional practice, work together to continually improve academic programs. While professional programs focus on preparation for specific sectors of the workforce, liberal arts majors develop foundational and transferrable skills essential to success in a wide range of careers. Per our mission, all undergraduate major programs must contribute to the formation of our students personally, professionally and as engaged citizens. All of SU’s academic programs build on the foundation of a common General Education program, through which all undergraduate students have the opportunity to accomplish the goals of liberal education, aligned with our mission statement: to empower students with the knowledge, skills and core values that contribute to active citizenship, gainful employment and life-long learning in a democratic and interdependent world. Continued effective and integrated collaboration between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs will help to ensure that students not only successfully complete academic programs, but will thrive in an inclusive environment.

Our graduate programs extend the reach of faculty to support a range of advanced-study programs that are professionally focused. Looking ahead, an increasing number of professions will require an advanced degree, affecting how we approach and deliver both undergraduate and graduate programs. Over the next five years, SU will continue to build excellence, interdisciplinarity and capacity within its undergraduate and graduate programs. While we have modest capacity to expand the size of our main campus community without compromising the qualities that set us apart and make us successful, we have opportunities through satellite and online programs to expand our reach at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Skillful and targeted use of technology at all levels is critical to the success of these efforts.

Objective 2.1 - Continue to build exceptional academic programs that challenge students.

  • Strategy 2.1.1. Emphasize and expand connections of curricular and co-curricular activities to the local community and Eastern Shore, including regional workforce needs.
  • Strategy 2.1.2. Support the Honors College’s tremendous growth in enrollment and reputation through appropriate staffing, space and resource allocation.
  • Strategy 2.1.3. Expand existing undergraduate and graduate programs and develop new programs based on emerging market trends and regional needs.

Objective 2.2 - Maintain a robust program of student support services that fosters holistic student development and leadership.

  • Strategy 2.2.1. Evaluate the adequacy of staffing and services in crucial student and academic support offices.
  • Strategy 2.2.2. Explore synergies between complementary student support services under a central location or center and the communication structure among them.
  • Strategy 2.2.3. Assess and, as appropriate, expand mentoring and leadership development programs (e.g., Powerful Connections, TRiO and International Buddy), including offering faculty, peer-student and/or alumni mentors for current students.
  • Strategy 2.2.4. Build a comprehensive assessment plan to promote the effective and efficient use of student support services resources.

Objective 2.3 - Cultivate student participation in High-Impact Practices (HIPs), as defined by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, to support improvements in time-to-degree, retention and graduation.

  • Strategy 2.3.1. Evaluate the potential of first-year seminars as a retention and student development tool.
  • Strategy 2.3.2. Expand opportunities and seek financial support for enhanced global learning through study abroad and study away opportunities.
  • Strategy 2.3.3. Inventory and, where appropriate, expand existing experiential learning opportunities.
  • Strategy 2.3.4. Continue to develop infrastructure to support undergraduate research opportunities across academic disciplines.
  • Strategy 2.3.5. Increase student engagement in service and community-based learning opportunities and consider how SU can facilitate these activities (e.g., PACE, internships, practicum, etc.) to achieve the Carnegie Classification for Community Engaged Campuses.
  • Strategy 2.3.6. Assess HIPs to ensure effectiveness and financial stewardship. Evaluate learning outcomes and return on effort for Living Learning Communities, Sophomore Year Experience and other efforts.

Objective 2.4 - Promote and cultivate global partnerships, recognizing the impact of contemporary global trends.

  • Strategy 2.4.1. Continue to assess existing 40+ global partnerships for effectiveness, return on investment, sustainability and impacts on student learning.
  • Strategy 2.4.2. Continue to develop more global partnerships that result in enrollment opportunities in undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs

Objective 2.5 - Re-establish the relevance and value of General Education to career and life success for all majors.

  • Strategy 2.5.1. Ensure that student-learning experiences exist for all essential competencies; foundational knowledge; and personal, civic and cultural responsibility student learning outcomes.
  • Strategy 2.5.2. Communicate with multiple audiences, especially students, about the purpose and importance of the General Education curriculum and associated student learning goals and outcomes.
  • Strategy 2.5.3. Continue to support University-wide and unit documentation of student learning for the achievement of a well-rounded liberal education that emphasizes the student learning goals and outcomes of General Education.
  • Strategy 2.5.4. Use Academic Performance Solutions, or other analytics, to develop a budgeting and staffing framework for General Education and interdisciplinary courses and programs, more generally.