Worcester State University
Strategic Planning

 
 

2010 – 2014

From its founding in 1874, Worcester State University has been dedicated to educational programs that lead to self-enrichment and to careers in the professions, government, business, and industry. As a public, state-supported university governed by a local Board of Trustees under the direction of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, Worcester State University is empowered to award baccalaureate and master’s degrees in education and in the arts and sciences. While continuing its tradition of serving the residents of the Commonwealth, Worcester State University has earned a reputation for quality teaching by dedicated faculty in classes of moderate size, and for programs responsive to its students’ and society’s changing needs.

The current strategic plan was approved by the Board of Trustees in November, 2009. A rededication to the current plan began in spring, 2012, with the development of six institutional goals. A series of strategic initiatives supporting the institutional goals build on our existing strengths and provide a guide for data-driven decision making for the next two years. Strategic initiatives are drawn from the five divisions of the university, combining within- and cross-divisional collaboration in support of the institutional goals.

The institutional goals were developed through an open collaborative initiative where all constituencies of the university were able to suggest, discuss and decide upon the final set of goals. The goals contain specific areas of focus that the community identified that serve as scaffolding for the divisional objectives and departmental actions.

 Strategic Plan Summary 2012-2014

Goal #1: Actively promote student centered academic environments that provide rigorous learning opportunities and scholarship. 

·         Academics

·         Resources

·         Student success

·         Healthy lifestyle

·         Lifelong learning

·         Fiscal responsibility

Worcester State University offers programs in the traditional liberal arts and sciences and also offers professional programs, thus providing a broad spectrum of possibilities for students planning on entering the workforce or continuing their education after graduating. We serve our student population by offering high quality, affordable undergraduate and graduate academic programs that promote their intellectual and personal growth. Students develop the skills needed to participate in their chosen fields of study and to continuing developing those skills as lifelong learners.

Key Strategies:

§  Support academic quality across all programs and student experiences.

§  Develop and implement an integrated systems approach that accommodates students from prospect phase through graduation.

§  Increase retention and graduation rates.

§  Support and increase student learning opportunities outside the classroom.

§  Achieve and sustain national recognition for excellence.

§  Implement seamless institutional effectiveness system.

§  Provide university-wide support for assessment of student learning.

 #2: Promote an inclusive decision making process that is driven by qualitative and quantitative data while maintaining a student centered focus. 

·         Strategic planning across departments and divisions

·         Assessment planning

·         Financial planning

·         Enrollment planning

·         Facilities planning

The institution is striving to reinforce a culture of data-driven decision making. The strategic plan will serve as the basis for prioritizing the needs and resource development across the entire community. 

Key Strategies:

§  Develop and implement an integrated systems approach that accommodates students from prospect phase through graduation.

§  Develop financial reporting structures and planning models that provide data to inform the resource allocation process.

§  Encourage broad based thinking about the financial stability of the institution acknowledging linkages and connections across all functional areas and the multiple layers of demands for resources.

§  Implement seamless institutional effectiveness system.

§  Create and implement marketing and branding campaign to meet the enrollment, retention, fundraising and all University goals.

#3: Prepare students for life and careers in a diverse and rapidly changing world. 

·         Technology

·         Community engagement and outreach

·         Leadership development

·         Mentoring

·         Internationalization

·         Integrative learning opportunities

·         Communication

·         Financial literacy

·         Globalization

The global community is ever-changing and developing in ways that cannot be predicted. Our students are encouraged to experience the world through community outreach and engagement programs, working on research focused on real-world issues, and integrating their understanding of the global community with their current reality. Workforce skills are changing and students need to be prepared to recognize, adapt and grow with the needs of their personal and professional worlds.

Key Strategies:

§  Identify and provide opportunities for students to understand their role in the world through experiential learning.

§  Create and implement a plan to foster a culture of philanthropy and student engagement.

§  Advance DGCE's academic and training programs.

§  Expand technology resources and support for academic programs.

#4: Foster an environment of open communication, collaboration, inclusion, and respect.

·         Interdepartmental and interdivisional communication

·         Interpersonal and intercultural communication

·         Culture of civility

·         Tolerance

The university is committed to building and sustaining an environment that encourages collaboration, inclusion and respect across all constituencies.  

Key Strategies:

§  Establish a customer focused approach to providing administrative and financial services to the WSU community

§  Support Diversity

§  Foster a respectful and supportive workplace emphasizing positive interactions

#5: Foster an ethos of sustainability that informs all aspects of the university community.

·         Academic

·         Environmental

·         Ecological

·         Philosophic

·         Physical 

Sustainability is the ability to continue and thrive. All areas of the university have a focus on sustaining the mission of the university, to continue to provide a high quality, liberally focused academic environment. We are also focused on providing up-to-date technology and facilities that lessen our ecological footprint, supporting a greening environment.

Key Strategies:

§  Encourage broad based thinking about the financial stability of the institution acknowledging linkages and connections across all functional areas and the multiple layers of demands for resources.

§  Support academic quality across all programs and student experiences.

§  Start a Green Revolving Fund to help fund large scale energy efficiency projects on campus. 

#6: Cultivate and enhance local, regional, and global connections to strengthen WSU’s impact on the world.

The university is committed to creating connections between itself and the wider community that enhance and expand the influence of WSU.  The university is dedicated to putting the skills and abilities of its faculty, staff and students to work to strengthen bonds with the outside world.

Key Strategies:

§  Create and implement a plan to foster a culture of philanthropy and student engagement.

§  Create and implement marketing and branding campaign to meet the enrollment, retention, fundraising and all University goals.

§  Continue to expand and develop a stronger cross collaboration with academic departments, community, and alumni collaborations.

 

The action plans can be seen by clicking this link.

Updated January, 2013

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