Academic Excellence

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Goal 1

Goal 1: Enhance the academic excellence and experience of our students.

“Never stop learning, never stop learning, whether it be self-taught or school learning.”
— Dr. Robert E. Eberly

A shared passion for learning and discovery entices students and scholars to come to California University of Pennsylvania. Individuals are drawn by our foundational commitment to top-quality academic programming, which is emboldened through innovative and dynamic approaches to learning in our classrooms and beyond. The expectation of excellence exists throughout the University’s academic and student programming.

Over the coming years, academic programming at California University of Pennsylvania must continue to evolve in response to the ever-changing population of Pennsylvania. The vitality and health of the region is directly correlated to the ability of the University to offer quality programs that assure knowledge and skills acquired here are connected directly with careers in the Commonwealth and beyond. Therefore, California University of Pennsylvania has set an ambitious agenda to lead in the implementation and use of new and emerging technologies in education. California University of Pennsylvania will continue to develop and employ technologies to enhance learning and to reshape the traditional classroom while expanding the impact and reach of our programs on campus and beyond.

Objective 1.1 – Ensure competitive excellence in all programs and services.

Examples:

  • Complete a successful five-year Middle States Review.
  • Integrate information literacy into curricula across campus.
  • Obtain national accreditation for all programs where relevant.
  • Develop and implement a plan to evaluate the effectiveness of maintaining existing accreditations and obtaining new accreditations.
  • Integrate academic and extracurricular experiences by offering programs and services that enable students to develop 21st-century skills.

Success Criteria / Expected Outcomes by 2020:

  • Improve by 2% in relevant measures in the NSSE report.
  • Measure participation in Career Advantage, student development and learning outcomes via OrgSync.
  • Reaffirm accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
  • Devise an effective plan for evaluation of accreditation based on reliable data. 
Objective 1.2 – Increase recruitment, retention, and graduation rates for historically under-represented and underserved groups.

Examples:

  • Analyze effectiveness of systems in recruitment and retention.
  • Develop assessment plans to collect and review data on recruitment and retention plans.
  • Establish campus-wide intervention procedures to assist under-represented students and underserved groups.
  • Conduct a gap analysis to aid in aligning academic program offerings with future regional workforce needs and student interests (PASSHE 2020).
  • Design, market and implement a degree completion program in order to serve the growing population with credits earned but without degrees.

Success Criteria / Expected Outcomes by 2020:

  • Develop five new programs (undergraduate/graduate/doctoral) in the next five years that directly respond to high-growth occupations.
  • Increase our market share by 1% in the five-county area surrounding the University every year for the next five years.
  • Implement a degree completion program (The Finish Line).
  • Develop, implement and analyze the success of the Strategic Enrollment Management Plan.
Objective 1.3 Engage faculty and staff in research-based practices and innovative instruction, employing proven course and program redesign strategies to enhance student learning.

Examples:

  • All academic departments will develop a research-based action plan for developing and delivering innovative instruction.
  • Identify, analyze and reorganize a comprehensive professional development plan for teaching and learning.
  • Engage faculty and staff in innovative instruction, employing proven course and program redesign strategies to enhance student learning.

Success Criteria / Expected Outcomes by 2020:

  • Increase by 3% the number of students and faculty participating in and supporting undergraduate research.
  • Increase by 3% public recognition of faculty and staff achievements in local publications. 
  • Increase the number of faculty utilizing the services of the Teaching and Learning Center.
Objective 1.4 – Promote and expand High Impact Educational Practices (HIP).

Examples:

  • Develop a comprehensive academic plan for student academic support.
  • Establish discipline-specific learning communities.
  • Encourage faculty-led undergraduate research.
  • Increase study abroad opportunities for students and faculty.
  • Provide support for curricular practices such as writing-intensive courses, capstone experiences and experiential learning.
  • Increase and support student research and creative work through faculty teaching and mentorship.

Success Criteria / Expected Outcomes by 2020:

  • Increase the number of students taking advantage of the Four-Year Graduation Plan annually.
  • Maintain or improve the first-year retention rate of 78%.
  • Increase the number of awards (degrees or certificates) annually by 1%.
  • Improve the six-year graduation rate for all students from 53% to 60%.
Objective 1.5 – Enhance academic support services via optimizing informational technology (IT) infrastructure.

Examples:

  • Develop an IT master plan, which includes input from the campus community.
  • Increase participation of University Technology Services in developing and redeveloping instructional spaces.

Success Criteria / Expected Outcomes by 2020:

  • Develop, implement and analyze the IT master plan for the University.
  • Promote formal participation of University Technology Services in developing and redeveloping instructional space on campus.
Objective 1.6 – Enhance academic support services through optimizing facilities and infrastructure.        

Examples:

  • Update the existing campus master plan for the next five years based on instructional and other needs.
  • Increase participation of Facilities Management in developing and redeveloping instructional spaces.

Success Criteria / Expected Outcomes by 2020:

  • Implement and analyze the updated campus master plan for the University.
  • Promote formal participation of Facilities Management in developing and redeveloping instructional and other spaces on campus.

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IntroductionSummary and GoalsGoal 1Goal 2Goal 3Goal 4Goal 5Conclusion