Overarching Strategy: Student Access and Success

Missouri State University-West Plains puts students first by continuing to honor its open admission promise to the citizens of its service area and beyond, while offering a variety of programs and strategies to help ensure our students’ academic success.

Objective 1.Establish effective initiatives to promote access to quality postsecondary education


1a. Identify ways to maintain the successful activities developed through the Project Threshold program

1b. Enhance effectiveness of communication with area high schools

  • To further improve communication and collaboration with schools, continue the annual Counselor/A+ Coordinator workshop
  • Prepare TRIO/ Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) proposal for this year’s competition. In collaboration with HS Superintendents and their HS STEM Teachers and MSU/WP Math/Science faculty. The program will be designed to strengthen the math and science skills of participating students, help students recognize their potential to excel in the fields of math and science and encourage them to pursue postsecondary degrees in math and science through the following program elements:
  • Continue to employ College Access Coordinator and Outreach Coordinator; evaluate the viability of making the positions full-time


2013 Target: Continue outreach through in-service workshops for HS teachers and expand discussion of needs and ideas for collaboration in the annual superintendent workshops to include an additional ten (10) HS, raising the total number of invited HS institutions to 33. (DAA, DDE, SAAS, DSS, PTOC)

2016 Target: Secure UBMS grant. The budget is $250,000 per year, in which 60 students per year will participate for a total of 300 students over five years, with an overall estimated budget of $1,250,000 if TRIO funding remains constant. There is no required institutional match or cost-sharing. (ADAA, DE, DAA, IR, AA, DSS)

2013 Target: Increase invited schools from 23 to 33 for the Counselor/A+ workshop (DSS)

2013 Target: Make recommendations with rationale for institutionalizing the positions of College Access Coordinator and Outreach Coordinator (PTOC)


1c. Explore what the community work force needs are that can be served within the mission of the institution

  • Develop and administer a workforce needs analysis for area employers
  • Provide periodic Town Hall meetings with invitations to community leaders to identify and discuss needs


2016 Target: Annual survey of small business clients to determine the workforce needs for this type of business (SBTDC)

2016 Target: Maintain close communication with area employers through the Red Carpet Day for Employers program; host at least two programs annually and ensure task identification and follow-up from those sessions. (DSS, DAA)

2016 Target: Administer survey of service area employers to identify the broader range of workforce needs beyond small business. (IR)

2014 Target: Based on surveys, develop new programs in opportunity areas appropriate to the region and workforce needs, with a target of 300 students (2013-2016) in new workforce development programs (GDS, DAA, ADAA, IR, AA, DSS)


1d. Remain affordable and competitive.

  • Annually assess our tuition and fees in comparison with like institutions in Missouri (Comprehensive Fee Schedules – Public Two-Year Institutions spreadsheet)


2016 Target: Tuition and fees for Missouri resident students will not increase above the mean of comparable institutions’ out of district tuition and fees in Missouri. (CH)

Objective 2. Develop effective strategies to better ensure student academic success


2a. Develop a process that identifies a student’s goal for their education and tracks their individual success in attaining those goals

  • Provide a more intensive questionnaire for applicants
  • Develop a more personalized approach to STAR orientation
  • Put into place student success task force drawn from service and education units campus-wide to recommend changes in advising, registration, pedagogy and first year experience


2013 Target: Integrate career planning with academic advising through the first-year experience and with regular contact with career coaches, specified as 2 faculty per division receiving special training/professional development in advising students as to the diversity of career options available in the region and wider contemporary society. (DDE, SAAS, ADM, AA)


2b. Increase library resources and access to resources

  • Develop a plan to fund the addition of resources in the library

2016 Target: Plan for library development completed and specific external funding sources targeted and received (DAA, DE, LS)


2c. Sustain the success of the TRIO Student Support Services program

  • Ensure that the program meets the objectives of the grant so that funding for the program is sustained
  • Prepare reports leading up to renewal of TRIO after year 5.


2016 Target: Annual TRIO reports to funding agency and as part of Annual Assessment report; target of 100 - 140 students per year and 60% graduation rate for TRIO serviced students. Yr. 5 successful completion of proposal and awarding of new TRIO grant ( DTP, DE, DAA)


2d. Sustain the success of and institutionalize Title III developmental education key initiatives

  • Identify the budgetary needs for institutionalizing grant funded positions and equipment
  • Institutionalize the role of DDE as “Director of Student Success” by Yr. 5 with director to lead reorganization of SAAS
  • Identify, describe and prioritize initiatives for staff, students, faculty and as part of outreach through College Readiness Campaign/Workshops for HS teachers/superintendents
  • Increase interaction of MSU/WP faculty with HS counterparts in the Dev. Ed core courses and preparation, with shift in emphasis from College Access to College Readiness


2013 Target: Reorganization plan in place with external funding to continue initiatives and expand student success model; 2013 Target: Expanded College Readiness Initiative (CRI) designed to impact/raise retention from 51.2% (baseline w/Fall 2010 cohort) to 60% with HS teachers/superintendents to include participants outside traditional 7-county area.

2016 Target: Twice a year in-service workshops completed each year with emphasis on college readiness and networking with MSU/WP faculty and between regional faculty from different HSs (DDE, DAA, IR, ID, LS, DSS)


2e. Provide resources to expand the availability of tutoring/advising/job training services to students

  • Increase the number of tutors
  • Expand the hours the tutoring lab is available to students
  • Identify and pursue additional sources for qualified tutors
  • Adequately fund tutoring budget
  • Link advising and career planning as one entity, to include training on career diversity options through degree programs with specifically identified community partnerships through internships and apprenticeships
  • Create a “Skill Center” for assessing, preparing and training students and student interns in specific job-related and regional employer-specific job skills to include continuing education opportunities


2015 Target: Number of tutors (average 16/semester) and service hours available (average of 55/semester) will double, with the anticipation of increased enrollment of 8% (from 2,142 in Fall 2011 to 2,313). Will pursue recertification for the tutoring program from the National Center of Developmental Education and continue to require all tutors to participate in the tutor training course. (DDE, SAAS, IR, ID, DAA, DSS, DE).

2015 Target: Adjust Academic Affairs budget to adequately fund tutoring measuring impact - correlations of increase in retention rates for those tutored. Baseline data for retention of students receiving tutoring will be set in 2013 with a target of 60% retention rate of those receiving tutoring (DDE, SAAS, IR, ID, DAA, DSS, DE).

Career advising /advising training for select faculty and staff completed, all IDS 110 and GOAL students receive combined career/advising validation (DDE, SAAS, IR, ID, DAA, DSS, DE).

2014 Target: Outreach Center or similar space completed as Skill Center, with supporting funding sought from local employers, Gates Foundation, Lumina Foundation and EDA/Department of Commerce (DDE, SAAS, IR, ID, DAA, DSS, DE).


2f. Redesign the IDS series of first year courses to address motivational issues, career identification issues, leadership development and new learning tools available for the student

  • Annual input from Program and Community Advisory Boards on critical skill development/workforce development
  • Forums for faculty reporting on new pedagogies/skill development applications
  • Selection of faculty members for first year experience Task Force
  • Annually administer the First Year Initiative assessment in IDS 110


2016 Target: IDS summer review and goal setting to include proposed skill /life preparation building from Program Advisory Boards and faculty core teaching IDS. IDS revision linked to “first Year Experience” curriculum designed in conjunction with select faculty task force. Learning tools acquired through Title III faculty mini grants incorporated into tool kits/pedagogies as appropriate. (DAA, DDE, SAAS, IR, ID, DSS)


2g. Identify alternative groups of students to track retention and continue to track the traditional first-time, full-time cohort

  • Define the baseline retention rates for each identified group
  • Establish retention goals that are relevant for each identified group


2013 Target: New Cohorts identified and baseline retention rates established with goal of 20% increase in 2 years over baseline established in 2013; Retention goals established for each group (IR, DDE, DAA, SAAS).