Missouri State University - West Plains

Strategy: First Choice

Missouri State University-West Plains puts students first by striving to be the first choice for potential students in the service area. We intend to improve two key areas: academic opportunity and excellence within the University from open admission to the Darr Honors; and, effective promotion of our institution outside the University, with the potential to expand outside the traditional service area to include remaining Ozark region counties and northern Arkansas.

Objective 1. Increase number of students who select Missouri State University-West Plains as their first choice.

Tactic:

1a. Work with service area high schools to improve the rate at which seniors advance to postsecondary education to the state average

  • Expand and continue In-Service workshops for all area HS teachers in Developmental Ed and others in STEM areas identified as lacking in the rural sector
  • Maintain activity level and quality of Threshold College Access,
  • Innovate means and allocate resources to extend college access outreach (Threshold grant activities) beyond the traditional service area of 7 counties
  • Consider stronger emphasis on outreach activities on select academic programs such as Agribusiness, Agriculture, Entrepreneurship and Virtual Media/Computer Web Design, with accompanying displays/video, program marketing materials included with campus caravans

Targets/Accountability:

2016 Target: Conduct two in-service workshops a year for area HS teachers in a variety of topics, including Development Ed delivery, College Readiness, the national Completion Challenge agenda and other topics of interest and value as identified by instructors and superintendents as well as academic leaders at Missouri State University-West Plains (DDE, DAA, PTOC)

2016 Target: Annually ensure quality completion of the Project Threshold plan (DSS, PTOC)

Tactic:

1b. With the advantage of ample housing in the community, expand student recruitment activities beyond the seven-county service area

Targets/Accountability:

2016 Target: The number of students attending from outside the service area will increase from 320 in Fall 2011 to 352 - 10% increase (ADM).

Tactic:

1c. Ensure Missouri State University-West Plains is the institution of choice for providing quality dual-credit high school programs in the seven-county service area

  • Provide delivery options for dual credit courses, including technology-assisted Tegrity lecture- capture options for school not having qualified instructors in particular areas, particularly STEM related courses
  • Provide stipends by course for Missouri State University-West Plains instructors to develop lecture-captured dual credit courses appropriate to the HS academic cycle
  • Review all dual credit courses by HS to determine instructor eligibility and interest by course and urge HS faculty to pursue graduate course opportunities (target: 18 hours in a topical area)

Targets/Accountability:

2013 Target: Contact all potential dual credit partners to expand the frequency and coverage of dual credit offerings from Missouri State University-West Plains.

For those not already doing so, assess interest and willingness to participate in our dual-credit program.

Get commitments to pilot five (5) Tegrity lecture capture courses followed by additional course by demand by 2016. (ADAA, ID, IR, DAA)

Tactic:

1d. Improve the fall-to-fall retention of first-time freshmen students

  • Launch first year experience and bolster other initiatives such as intrusive advising, online course delivery and modular programs
  • Continue to innovate new programs and retention strategies including all efforts in Developmental Education to improve retention
  • Fully develop a career pathways advising strategy that includes training advisors/career coaches to include volunteer Grizzly Mentors in the use of career pathway software and online sites to be used in advising and mentoring session with first year students in the Student Success Center, TRIO and other advising mentoring venues such as STAR

Targets/Accountability:

2016 Target: Increase the retention rate of first-time freshmen from 51.2% for Fall 2010 cohort to 60% for Fall 2015 cohort (DDE, DAA, SAAS, IR, ID, SGA, AA).

Tactic:

1e. Increase staffing infrastructure to support increasing enrollment

Targets/Accountability:

2016 Target: Annually review staffing needs (IR, HR)

Objective 2. Provide excellent activities, events and support services for students

Tactic:

2a. Continue to pursue additional scholarship opportunities for students

Targets/Accountability:

2016 Target: Increase the number of scholarships (endowed and endowing) from 66 in 2012 to 69 in target year – an increase of 5% (does not include conversion of institutional scholarships to private donors) (DDEV).

Tactic:

2b. Provide enhanced and expanded academic support that accommodates a diverse student body and varying student academic preparation, interests and goals

  • Train frontline advisors to integrate career pathway orientation for all students through initial orientation as an ongoing and continuous intrusive advising strategy for all incoming students. Emphasis will be on expanding student awareness of the diversity of career options
  • Integrate career advising and refined retention strategies/tool kits into IDS/first year experience through task force reports and applications
  • Promote continued diversification of student interest groups and active participation of faculty as sponsors of new and established groups

Targets/Accountability:

2013 Target: Expand academic support provided through the proposed “Skills Center” and re-organization of SAAS as “Student Success Center”.

2014 Target: Establish cross-campus student success task force (SST) - to include key staff with significant institutional knowledge – charged to identify, improve and refine retention strategies using existing institutional knowledge/trends and best practices from other institutions to be collected and applied through Student Success Center; rotate memberships after 2014 (DDE, DAA, IR, SST, SS).

Tactic:

2c. Maintain support for athletic programs

Targets/Accountability:

2016 Target: Increase the number of memberships in the booster club from 186 for 2012 to 204 - 10% increase (DSS).

2016 Target: Increase the number of private (endowed, endowing and restricted) scholarships for athletics from 34 in 2012 to 37 - 10% increase (DSS).

Objective 3. Deliver outstanding instruction

Tactic:

3a. Encourage faculty to participate in professional/instructional development opportunities available through grant funding and Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning/Springfield

  • Continue faculty attending the Center for Teaching and Learning to expand exposure of faculty in new pedagogies and teaching/learning toolkits and expand collaborations/partnerships with Missouri State University-Springfield faculty
  • Continue faculty participation in professional/instructional development through mini-grants

Targets/Accountability:

2016 Target: Targeted participation in Title III mini-grants to include all divisions with a minimum target of 10 successful submissions per academic year (DAA, AA, ID, DDE, DE, GDS).

Tactic:

3b. Involve per course instructors in professional development activities

  • Make a limited number of mini-grants available to per course instructors
  • Involve select representatives of per course cohort to have direct input in the Self-study, including contributing comments/observations to Section 3.0 (Instruction) of the new accreditation criteria.
  • Conduct end of year focus groups with per course instructors to provide input on instruction, scheduling, compensation, support resources, communication and other identified issues of significance

Targets/Accountability:

2016 Target: Continue semi-annual mandatory per course training sessions to include availability of mini-grants for instructional design and pedagogy - with a minimum of two grants awarded per academic year; Host two additional instructional workshops on select professional development topics identified in collaboration with per course instructors (DAA, AA, ID, DDE).

Tactic:

3c. Participate in the Diversity Hire initiative

  • Identify positions that can be addressed as Diversity Hires
  • Encourage academic leadership/division chairs to actively identify potential diversity hires for areas of need and follow-through with candidates as approvals to hire are obtained

Targets/Accountability:

2016 Target: When appropriate, hire new faculty under the Diversity Hire Initiative with the goal of at least one additional (DAA, AA).

2016 Target: Retain the percentage of racial and ethnic diversity among faculty to reflect the racial and ethnic make-up of the region (DAA, EOL, coordinated w/HR)

Tactic:

3d. Expand full-time faculty in relation to growing program needs

Targets/Accountability:

2016 Target: Conduct successful hires in priority areas supported by faculty and reported annually (DAA, AA).