Institutional Strategic Priorities and Goals to Achieve Them

Institutional Strategic Priorities and the Goals to Achieve Them

  1. Academics

    The Associate of Arts degree in General Studies (AAGS) transfers to all Missouri public colleges and universities, automatically giving students junior status. It is a degree designed to build into a baccalaureate degree and to provide students with the tools needed to be successful in upper division courses. The goals of the AAGS degree are most succinctly stated in our five General Education goals: communication, critical thinking, information management, valuing global awareness.

    The Associate of Science (AS) degree and the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree offer students the coursework focused most often in a specific technical subject area, providing graduates with the skills needed to enter the workplace successfully. The AS degree differs from the AAS degree in that students also obtain the general education requirements required for transfer into a bachelor-degree granting institution. The AS and the AAS degrees also meet the five General Education goals listed above.

    Strategic Priorities.

    In the next five years Missouri State-West Plains will improve its academic performance and student success by attaining each of the following strategic priorities:

    • Support a rich and diverse classroom and University culture that fuels a passion for lifetime learning.
    • Increase relevance of instruction to student needs both personally and in the workplace. Exercise due diligence to ensure that we provide an excellent academic curriculum based on sound analysis of the needs of students and future employers and that is workforce driven.
    • Improve educational attainment levels in the region by: 1) Increasing the ease of higher education access; 2) Assisting students in identifying life and academic goals and to plan pathways to attain goals; 3) Embracing technologies and modes of delivery that can be successfully utilized by students; and 4) Building on workforce partnerships and increase coordination with regional secondary education institutions to improve college readiness.
    • Increase student success rates (completing classes with C or better) across all disciplines while maintaining academic rigor and quality educational outcomes.

    Goals to Achieve These Strategic Priorities:

    • Increase success in recruiting and retaining excellent faculty, in part, by examining search processes and emphasizing teaching as the primary mission of this campus.
    • Facilitate effective faculty governance by maintaining and increasing communications and transparency of process throughout the institution.
    • Continue review and improvement in the effectiveness of our universal assessment of learning outcomes.
    • Establish procedures to assure academic programs and grants are appropriate to our mission and build sustainability processes to maintain programs over time.
    • Regularly review and evaluate current programs for relevancy to the employment of our students within the workforce. With the exception of the Associate of Arts degrees that promote transfer to baccalaureate programs, eliminate those programs of study that do not promote workforce growth. In addition, research workforce trends and relevant educational requirements. Enhance transferability of students who choose to continue their education on to other institutions of higher education.
    • Regularly review and evaluate current programs and look for opportunities to add additional programs to support student success. This could include ESL, reading, WorkKeys, Youth programs, re-entry programs for adults and juvenile offenders programs and more.
    • Meet or exceed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) established by the Missouri General Assembly and also other measures of success/failure to meet goals adopted by our institution and, specifically by faculty, staff and administration of academic affairs.
    • Initiate a process improvement plan. Assure that all policies and procedures are rational, stable and consistent across all campus entities and that they align with policies stated in catalogue and faculty handbook.

    Key Performance Measures*:

    • Enrollment
    • Retention rates**
    • Performance Funding Measures on Graduation/Transfer numbers**
    • Enrollment by Program
    • Program Costs to include tuition generated
    • Surveys of staff, faculty and administration
    • Assessment Reports and Data
    • Current KPI's already in place***
    • CAAP test results
  2. Funding

    Missouri State-West Plains is a full-service University campus in the south-central Missouri region, a region characterized by high poverty and low educational attainment. Adequate public funding is essential to address the issues caused by these two characteristics. Funding levels continue to challenge our ability to meet our mission, which underpins most other threats to success in meeting that mission. Missouri State-West Plains seeks to increase state appropriations in order to continue being successful in serving its mission and meeting its challenges.

    Even though the campus has been able over the past 10 years to move faculty and staff salaries within 80 % of our two-year college salary comparison benchmark, low salary levels at Missouri State-West Plains in comparison with other higher education institutions are barriers to recruitment of new hires. Additionally, as an isolated rural region with fewer broad cultural activities than larger metropolitan areas, Missouri State-West Plains may appear unattractive to many qualified applicants and their families unless the campus community provides a benefit to attract and retain them. This situation has negatively impacted morale among both faculty and staff.

    Strategic priorities.

    In the next five years Missouri State-West Plains will focus its attention on achieving a stable and sustainable level of funding by attaining each of the following strategic priorities:

    • Continue to offer a high quality education at a competitive price.
    • Seek to ensure the long-term financial vitality by developing a reasonable, sustainable but progressive budget and using revenue sources that adequately fund the core mission.
    • Demonstrate responsible stewardship for University operations and capital maintenance.
    • Advocate at the national, state local level for increased and/or new financial support and alternate forms of resourcing.
    • Attract qualified faculty and staff from a wider geographical area with reasonable compensation to retain them.

    Goals to Achieve These Strategic Priorities:

    • Increase student enrollment and retention by maintaining quality of degrees/programs at a reasonable cost.
    • Achieve a transparent and accessible institutional budget process that closes the loop between assessment and budgeting, as stipulated by the Higher Learning Commission.
    • Review funding in light of annual enrollment numbers, credit hour production, a threshold of University funding, progress in obtaining and sustaining the meeting of performance measures, and, when the opportunity comes, separate program-specific appropriations for the West Plains campus.
    • Seek equity funding from the state that, like that appropriated to Missouri's community colleges, provides greater support on a per student basis to strengthen the basic infrastructure of campus services and operations and sustains Missouri State-West Plains' academic programs and student support services.
    • Hold an initial legislative summit focusing on the unique mission and financial needs of the Missouri State-West Plains. Follow-up briefings should be held for review of progress and to ensure new funding opportunities are known to all stakeholders.
    • Seek to increase faculty and staff salaries to within 90 % of the two-year college benchmark average.
    • Reduce environmental and financial costs of the institution through conservation of resources and use of best practices across the campus.
    • Obtain grant monies through a deliberative and thoughtful process based on clear needs analysis and long-term impact on the institution.
    • Review position responsibilities to ensure that all personnel are receiving appropriate compensation and, upon review, add support personnel in areas where workloads have expanded without any additional support.

    Key Performance Measures:

    • First Fall to Second Fall retention rates
    • Three-Year graduation and transfer rates
    • Performance Funding Measure on Efficiency
    • Internally audit energy and resource uses through undergraduate research projects
    • Review of all campus positions by 2022
  3. Diversity and Inclusion

    Missouri State-West Plains faculty, staff student body has become more diverse over the past decade, with the Fall 2016 minority enrollment moving past the 10 % mark for the first time in campus history. We must take the next step and create a culture of inclusion that will further enrich the campus experience for all.

    Strategic Priorities.

    In the next five years Missouri State-West Plains will enhance the culture of inclusion for students, faculty staff by attaining each of the following strategic priorities:

    • Missouri State-West Plains will participate in a system-wide renewal to create an environment in which all people can thrive and achieve academic and personal success.
    • Communicate the value of diversity by developing and implementing programs, activities services throughout the Missouri State-West Plains campus designed to increase a culture of inclusion for students, faculty staff.
    • Design, develop implement a comprehensive system of responsibility, accountability recognition for increasing campus diversity, improving campus climate advancing the knowledge base for creating and sustaining a culturally diverse community of learners, teachers, researchers workers.
    • Where appropriate, transform curriculum to ensure that students have knowledge and competencies related to diversity and inclusion.

    Goals to Achieve These Strategic Priorities:

    • Enhance efforts to attract and retain historically under-represented groups, as well as other diverse groups (e.g., minority, first generation, low income, veterans, disabled, international, etc.) of students and faculty.
    • Recommend the Faculty Senate create an ad hoc committee to evaluate diversity across the curriculum to request appropriate data to assess effectiveness and to review diversity and inclusion aspects of faculty roles, emphasizing subject area evaluation processes, diversity and inclusion expectations the relationship of departmental/division expectations to University work.
    • Review and improve campus-wide strategies for sustaining and graduating under-represented students at Missouri State-West Plains. To accomplish this, academic persistence and graduation patterns of all students should be analyzed, with focused attention on under-represented and at-risk populations. In particular, the campus should develop a comprehensive plan to provide common, connected and cohesive experiences for students designed to improve academic performance, academic persistence cultural understanding. When appropriate, seek grant-funding to enhance and sustain these efforts, such as through the U.S. Department of Education's Title III grant program.
    • Work with the university's office of diversity and inclusion to schedule twice-a-month visits to the Missouri State-West Plains campus by a diversity and Inclusion administrator whose focus is entirely on diversity and inclusion matters. This employee will also participate once a month in the weekly West Plains Administrative Council meeting.
    • The Missouri State-West Plains Multi-Cultural Support Committee will monitor goal achievement in the area of diversity and inclusion consistent with the counsel set by the University System's office of diversity and inclusion as a guide for identifying resources to support and sustain diversity and inclusion initiatives.
    • Strengthen ties with local communities by involving community members and organizations in University-sponsored or supported programs and by supporting community efforts to create and sustain a welcoming, respectful environment for all.

    Key Performance Measures:

    • Number of Programs for under-represented students
    • Number of under-represented students
    • Graduation, retention, transfer rates of under-represented students
    • Ratio of under-represented students to faculty
    • Ratio of under-represented students to same in service area
  4. Student Experience

    Missouri State-West Plains will provide a rich, memorable, distinctive transformative educational experience through a variety of curricular and co-curricular experiences that will empower students to succeed in college and in life. Student success is the ultimate measure of higher education Missouri State-West Plains will continue to put students and their success first.

    Students at two-year schools define academic and vocational success in a variety of ways. Traditional full-time undergraduates may define success as completing an associate's degree in two to three years or a bachelor's degree in four to six years. Other students might view success as completing a certificate, receiving workplace training, or earning six hours of credit in evening college. Others may define success by graduating with no debt, gaining a solid general education, or simply improving their writing skills.

    To promote student success, Missouri State-West Plains will provide a wide variety of innovative academic programs, serve as an entry point for higher education, provide a pleasant and safer academic and work environment, provide innovative and effective support services, promote cultural awareness celebrate diversity and inclusion. With the construction of Hass-Darr Hall, the campus will house key offices in a one-stop student-friendly environment, including admissions, academic support, tutoring, the veterans center the Darr Honors Program. Such co-mingling of these services and programs will hopefully bring about a synergy between the various offices to promote and enhance the campus' student development services and student academic support services.

    Strategic Priorities.

    In the next five years Missouri State-West Plains will improve the experience of its students and enhance opportunities for their success by attaining each of the following strategic priorities:

    • Provide programs, activities facilities that foster all students' sense of belonging and personal connection to Missouri State-West Plains.
    • Cultivate a student-centered learning environment promoting and supporting academic excellence and personal development.
    • Provide an increasing number of opportunities for students to meaningfully engage with the public affairs mission.

    Goals to Achieve These Strategic Priorities:

    • Improve efforts to orient, engage support specific groups of students, such as first-semester freshman, online students, first-generation students, students from outside the Ozarks region, veterans, non-traditional students, international students, students with disabilities, economically challenged students historically under-represented students.
    • Better integrate the academic programs and personal development opportunities to provide students with the full University experience to promote student progression, retention graduation.
    • Expand leadership, community engagement cultural development opportunities for all students.
    • Engage alumni in meaningful ways to support current students.
    • Increase visibility of Grizzly athletics and other campus and student activities.

    Key Performance Measures:

    • Retention rate of specific student groups
    • Graduation rate of specific student groups
    • Number of student opportunities in internships, apprenticeships, education abroad programs
    • Total amount of dollars given to scholarships
    • Money given by alumni
  5. Infrastructure

    With sustainability and accessibility in mind, Missouri State-West Plains provides facilities and information services that enhance teaching, learning, service and operations.

    The Missouri State-West Plains residence hall houses 60 students, while another 1,900 students either commute to campus each day for their educational opportunities or access courses through distance learning technologies. The faculty and staff spend multiple hours each day on campus the campus facilities become their work home. Whether students commute, live on campus, or take classes online, this is where their educational opportunities come to life as they study for future careers.

    Creating a positive, educating, comfortable, environment for students, staff and faculty is a priority for Missouri State-West Plains. The campus infrastructure includes, facilities, technology, campus accessibility, personal safety and sustainability – all are important in reaching the overall infrastructure goals.

    Strategic Priorities:

    In the next five years Missouri State-West Plains will need to respond to changing conditions, new developments, emerging technology and changing culture on campus. Missouri State-West Plains must continue to assess the situations, identify gaps and opportunities in infrastructure and respond with due diligence to the ever changing environment. Success to this end will be measured by attaining each of the following strategic priorities:

    • Continue to improve the safety of the campus community through facility and auxiliary systems improvements, while also seeking out new information and opportunities to further enhance existing security and safety measures.
    • Continue to work to ensure facilities meet and exceed current and future needs.
    • Ensure information technology is innovative, accessible, secure and useful.
    • Continue to install educated, environmentally responsible practices into all campus community activities, keeping sustainability practices in mind in all decisions.

    Goals to Achieve These Strategic Priorities:

    • When possible, improve locking mechanisms, parking lots lighting on campus.
    • Renovate post office building to help with campus needs through a renovated Hass/Darr Hall.
    • Monitor on-campus student growth to ensure facilities are adequate, while continuing to review maintenance needs in light of continued deferred maintenance practices.
    • Work with faculty, staff and students on information technology initiatives to assure that the campus IT infrastructure is up to date and accessible as needed.
    • Continue advancing sustainability practices across campus by installing energy efficient HVAC and LED lighting.

    Key Performance Measures:

    • Number of incidents on campus
    • Classroom utilization
    • Energy usage
    • IT reports on computer issues
  6. Partnerships

    Fostering relationships are essential to the success of all organizations. Without the strength of its relationships with the community, legislators Missouri State-Springfield and the Missouri State Board of Governors, Missouri State-West Plains would be far less able to fulfill its mission and to reach toward its vision.

    Healthy relationships are essential to the continued success of this campus and its students. In order to continue to create and foster relationships, Missouri State-West Plains must be conscientious of the value of each person who supports the campus and our communications with each of the following entities:

    • Academic Partners
    • Alumni
    • Board of Governor's
    • Business Leaders
    • Chambers of Commerce
    • China campus
    • City Officials
    • Displaced workers
    • Donors
    • Economic Development Councils
    • Grizzly Fans
    • High School Faculty, Staff and Administration
    • High School Students
    • Legislators
    • Media
    • Missouri State University, Springfield administration, faculty and staff
    • Missouri State-West Plains Administration
    • Missouri State-West Plains Faculty
    • Missouri State-West Plains Staff
    • Missouri State-West Plains Students
    • Mountain Grove Campus
    • Ozark Action Inc./Head Start
    • Parents of High School Students
    • University/Community Programs audience members
    • Voters

    Strategic Priorities.

    In the next five years Missouri State-West Plains will create and foster relationships by attaining each of the following strategic priorities:

    • Continue to create and develop relationships to maintain our unique role as the "community's college."
    • Encourage and educate administration, faculty staff to utilize the most effective ways to reach constituents.

    Goals to Achieve These Strategic Priorities:

    • Encourage and support faculty and staff community involvement.
    • Utilize advisory boards to provide critical feedback for academic programs and other key institutional areas.
    • Invest strategically in activities that raise the profile of the University.
    • Utilize an external consultant to conduct a community awareness survey, perceived relationship to the campus the needs of the service area. Expand academic programs and enhance recruitment and promotional efforts based on community survey results.
    • Re-institute an annual employee survey designed to assess mission accomplishment, quality of instruction, service appropriateness, assessment enculturation, internal and interpersonal communication, employee development general morale. Trends would be evaluated for institutional effectiveness and utilized to modify priorities and initiatives.

    Key Performance Measures:

    • Number of community events on campus
    • Professional Leadership program progress
    • Employee Survey Results
* When calculating numbers, IPEDS will be the first choice when applicable. When not using IPEDS, NCCBP will be used to determine KPI. All other KPIs will be determined using the metric of choice by the institution.
** Graduation and retention numbers will look at first-time/full-time freshmen per the IPEDS report. Transfer numbers will be based on the National Clearinghouse data available.
*** All KPIs will use sustained excellence unless otherwise directed by the chancellor, the president or the Board of Governors.