Salisbury University students on campus

Goal 3: Support Access, Affordability and Academic Excellence

Access to public higher education, in which affordability is a critical factor, is essential to social development and the future of our knowledge-based economy and democratic society. Equity in opportunity is a core humanistic value, and education is the main means by which people gain access to rewarding careers, prosperity and personal fulfillment.

As Salisbury University approaches its 100 th anniversary, we are mindful of the strides we, as a campus and as a society, must make in improving access to higher education for all citizens. Aligning our campus with the broader demographic trends of our community and State reflects our commitment to equity of opportunity and also our obligation to continue the University’s good stewardship of public resources.

National trends suggest that over the next decade, high school graduates will be much more diverse in terms of their race, ethnicity and college preparation. The University will prepare for this trend by developing targeted strategies to meet the needs of college-bound students and those seeking graduate, professional and continuing education. We have much evidence to support the claim that our modest class sizes and emphasis on integrated mentoring by faculty and professional staff promote student development and success, notably and demonstrably among first-generation students. Our aim, therefore, is continued reflective instruction and mentoring in response to the needs and talents of students enrolled at the main campus while targeting some enrollment growth at regional centers and satellite sites and in online programs. Additionally, SU will explore opportunities to expand its reach by offering alternative enrollment pathways designed to serve an increasingly diverse student population, including more flexible course schedules to accommodate early college, non-degree and non-traditional enrollments, including non-credit continuing education.

As a public, comprehensive university, an important part of SU’s mission is to provide an affordable education to its students. Goal 3 of SU’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan also identifies strategies that will be used to develop comprehensive financial aid and tuition plans to maintain the University’s affordability. This will help ensure SU’s access and affordability while accommodating the changing landscape of higher education.

Finally, Goal 3 seeks to articulate SU’s distinctive identity and reputation and communicate this message within and outside the campus community. The longstanding and continued commitment to maintaining the character of the University will be paramount as we approach our centennial celebration in 2025.Through effective communication of our academic excellence and student outcomes, we can demonstrate, repeatedly and consistently, the power and value of the distinctive SU experience in enabling our students to achieve their full potential as individuals, professionals and community members. This strategy will help to ensure that, as we approach our second century, the promise of excellence will continue to draw new generations.

Objective 3.1 - Improve access and reassess enrollment goals utilizing strategies developed in the Strategic Enrollment Plan.

  • Strategy 3.1.1. Enhance, expand and invest in effective student support programs and services that meet the needs of students with increasingly diverse backgrounds, educational and career goals, abilities, preparation and physical locations.
  • Strategy 3.1.2. Reassess undergraduate and graduate enrollment goals with special attention to strategic areas aligned with regional, State and national trends, critical needs and academic program capacities.
  • Strategy 3.1.3. Develop a comprehensive enrollment and marketing strategy to support and grow graduate programs.
  • Strategy 3.1.4. Facilitate opportunities for interested faculty to offer programs and courses with greater scheduling flexibility and/or utilization of alternative forms of program delivery, such as online and at regional centers.
  • Strategy 3.1.5. Endeavor to achieve parity across alternative modes of program and course delivery.
  • Strategy 3.1.6. Build a comprehensive strategy to grow a continuing and professional education program.
  • Strategy 3.1.7. Increase access to teacher education programs to address critical teacher shortage areas in Maryland and the region while improving the quality of PreK-12 instruction for collegiate success.

Objective 3.2 - Increase affordability to support the continued enrollment of a diverse student body.

  • Strategy 3.2.1. Continue to refine our financial aid strategy to ensure that it is innovative, comprehensive and sustainable.
  • Strategy 3.2.2. Continue to seek increased base funding for the University.
  • Strategy 3.2.3. Develop additional scholarship opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students designed to improve student access, retention and success.
  • Strategy 3.2.4. Consider growth in work-study and graduate assistantship programs to increase affordability.

Objective 3.3 - Develop and articulate an identity that distinguishes SU as an outstanding public regional comprehensive University committed to academic excellence and student success.

  • Strategy 3.3.1. Conduct a brand exercise to examine and, through shared governance, reimagine SU’s current identity and values.
  • Strategy 3.3.2. Develop, execute and evaluate marketing and communication strategies that highlight SU’s distinctive brand, voice, image, reputation and outcomes.
  • Strategy 3.3.3. Communicate SU’s brand and marketing strategies internally and provide training and resources to faculty and staff on how to promote the SU brand.