Salisbury University students on campus

Goal 1: Enrich Academic Success and Student Development

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, strengthened by ongoing scholarship, external funding, creative activity and up-to-date professional practice, work together to continually improve academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

To advance our mission and values, the University continues to be dedicated to educating students to be strong, thoughtful, resilient and responsible contributors to society. SU is not only committed to preparing students to address the most pressing issues of our community, locally and globally, but also to supporting the advancement of efforts to sustain future generations. All undergraduate programs must contribute to the formation of our students personally, professionally and as engaged citizens. Each of SU’s undergraduate programs builds on the foundation of a common General Education program, through which all undergraduate students have the opportunity to accomplish the goals of liberal education that are 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. Through their courses and programs, students can explore different disciplines and approaches as a way of to achieve our core student learning outcomes, as well as learn how their actions directly affect the economic, social and environmental sustainability of our world. Continued effective and integrated collaboration between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs divisions will help to ensure that students not only successfully complete academic programs, but will thrive in an inclusive community.

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 is critical to the success of these efforts. Faculty collaboration, leadership and development are key strategies in maintaining the academic rigor and integrity of the curriculum as we thoughtfully explore opportunities to expand.

Objective 1.1 - Continue to support and develop our wide range of exceptional and challenging academic programs and experiences.

  • Strategy 1.1.1. Continue to evaluate faculty proposals for new programs based on emerging market trends and regional needs, as well as our current mission and objectives.
  • Strategy 1.1.2. Expand and support existing undergraduate and graduate programs based on emerging trends, as well as the needs of students and the region.
  • Strategy 1.1.3. Explore opportunities to continue offering online courses particularly where it aids in the completion of General Education requirements.
  • Strategy 1.1.4. Strengthen opportunities for student participation in creative activities, applied research, clinical experiences, civic and community outreach, entrepreneurial undertakings, scholarly pursuits, and other experiential learning opportunities.
  • Strategy 1.1.5. Continue to seek accreditation and/or national recognition from professional organizations and support continuous program review and improvement.

Objective 1.2 - Develop a more robust program of student support services that fosters holistic student wellness, development, integrity, leadership and resiliency.

  • Strategy 1.2.1. Promote the effective use of our academic and student support services among our students, ensuring that those most in need receive access.
  • Strategy 1.2.2. Facilitate conversations and opportunities where students feel empowered to explore and request the academic and wellness support they need.
  • Strategy 1.2.3. Explore synergies between complementary student support services under a central location or center and the communication structure among them.
  • Strategy 1.2.4. Explore new strategies to ensure undergraduate and graduate students are adequately supported and best situated to succeed at SU while recognizing the differing needs and trends of incoming students.
  • Strategy 1.2.5. Assess and, as appropriate, expand or develop new 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 1.2.6. Strive to achieve parity in support for undergraduate and graduate students, recognizing that graduate students are integral members of the SU community with unique profiles and specialized needs.
  • Strategy 1.2.7. Build a comprehensive assessment plan to evaluate the effectiveness of existing University structures, policies, programs and practices to minimize differences in outcomes for students of diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Objective 1.3 - Cultivate student academic support and participation in High-Impact Practices (HIPs) to support improvements in time-to-degree, retention and graduation.

  • Strategy 1.3.1. Evaluate the potential of first-year seminars as a tool to improve student retention and development.
  • Strategy 1.3.2. Inventory and, where appropriate, expand existing experiential learning opportunities.
  • Strategy 1.3.3. Continue to assess and, where appropriate, expand opportunities and support for enhanced global learning through study abroad and study away programs.
  • Strategy 1.3.4. Continue to develop infrastructure to support undergraduate research opportunities across academic disciplines.
  • Strategy 1.3.5. Increase student engagement in service and community-based learning opportunities and consider how SU can facilitate these activities (e.g., Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement [PACE], internships, practicum, etc.) reflective of our designation as a Community Engaged Campus by the Carnegie Foundation.
  • Strategy 1.3.6. Assess HIPs to ensure effectiveness and financial stewardship and achievement of associated learning outcomes.

Objective 1.4 - Provide enhanced support for faculty to foster teaching, research, scholarship, creative activity, service and professional development.

  • Strategy 1.4.1. Create a Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning to foster teaching excellence and provide professional development opportunities.
  • Strategy 1.4.2. Facilitate, support, celebrate and expand resources for faculty development and recognition in the areas of teaching (including online, hybrid and other technology-assisted modalities), research, scholarship, creative activity, service and mentoring.
  • Strategy 1.4.3. Expand training and professional development that support the development of an understanding of equity, anti-racist behavior, bystander response and diversity.
  • Strategy 1.4.4. Provide more opportunities and support for faculty to engage in outreach activities, including service as experts in one’s field, within the local community.
  • Strategy 1.4.5. Reconsider faculty workload allocation to provide greater flexibility for interdisciplinary team teaching, research, scholarship, creative activity, service, innovation and entrepreneurship as allowed by the new USM policy.
  • Strategy 1.4.6. Identify financial resources to provide seed or matching funds for projects that support the University’s mission and that have a high likelihood of success.

Objective 1.5 - Affirm the relevance and value of General Education to career and life success for all majors.

  • Strategy 1.5.1. Ensure that student learning experiences exist for all student learning outcomes within General Education: essential competencies; foundational knowledge; and personal, social and cultural responsibility.
  • Strategy 1.5.2. Create an academic culture in which multiple stakeholders, especially students, understand the purpose and importance of the General Education curriculum and its associated student learning goals and outcomes.
  • Strategy 1.5.3. Implement the new General Education model effective Fall 2024.
  • Strategy 1.5.4. Establish and maintain a faculty-led mechanism for the continuous review and improvement of our General Education program.
  • Strategy 1.5.5. Facilitate the development of team-taught courses and interdisciplinary programs by implementing an effective budgeting and staffing framework.