Cabinet for Institutional Change
At the Cabinet for Institutional change forum held yesterday, we discussed each of the focus areas. For those that missed the forum, I have written below the message we were trying to communicate with regards to the focus area of Student Success.
What is student success? As a community of students, faculty, staff and administrators, we have defined student success in seven student learning outcomes, and we have made a commitment to Inclusive Academic Excellence. Student success lies in the heart of the WASC accreditation processes and in our success as a community of learners.
One of two key themes of the WASC accreditation is Inclusive Academic Excellence. So what does this mean? It means that HSU will embrace diversity as an educational process central to academic success for all students. In addition to helping students thrive in a diverse society by exposing them to diversity-related curriculum or a diverse faculty, we must build the capacity to support academic excellence for all traditionally under-represented students in areas of student access, persistence, and graduation.
This is an important issue because regardless of their own background, when our graduates go out into the professional world they will work and live in an increasingly diverse environment. We need to prepare our students for this environment. We can do that by increasing the diversity of our campus community and by making sure that all students, faculty and staff feel comfortable and capable of success while on our campus.
The second key area of student success is the STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES. These are characteristics we want all HSU graduates to demonstrate before they graduate from the university and the aspects of life we would like them to be prepared for when they leave.
To address these two key areas of student success, we will
• Develop curriculum and co-curricular activities for achieving student learning outcomes and inclusive academic excellence
• Develop University-wide metrics for assessing student learning outcomes and inclusive academic excellence within the curriculum and co-curricular activities
• Develop and assess student retention efforts
In addition to being at the heart of our accreditation process, the benefits of addressing the area of student success should be self evident. It is imperative to our success as a university and a community.
There are many ways to approach Student Success: from curriculum development to developing intelligent metrics … from faculty recruitment to building an inclusive campus environment. To identify the best approaches to this issue and to put those approaches into actions rather than reports, we will need to work together…. across colleges and disciplines…across divisions…regardless of rank, tenure or affiliation…. we must work as a community toward one goal….the success of our students.