BY VERONES PADILLA
SC Staff Writer
East Stroudsburg University’s Office of the President began the process to implement a University wide strategic plan in June by appointing a faculty, staff, and students to a Steering Committee.
The plan will essentially guide the decision making process of the University.
All decision making aspects of the University will be viewed through the guidelines set forth by the Strategic Plan, be it budget, academic planning, student retention and faculty support.
Roundtable discussions were held during winter break on January 7, 8, and 9, as well as during the semester on January 29.
The University invited students, faculty and staff to join in conversations about the direction in which the plan is heading.
The initial discussions had a turn out with over 400 people in attendance, according Cornelia Sewell-Allen, Coordinator of Multicultural Affairs.
The Committee appointed four initial task forces to create specific plans to improve the University. The first task force focused on student success.
The goal is to create policies that lead to higher student satisfaction, retention and graduation rates. Plans include supporting students academically with mentor programs, promoting student involvement on campus, and developing a “clearing house” for students.
“The clearing house is a place where students can go to receive a multitude of services all in one stop—such as career advice or academic support. It’s almost a hub where students can go to receive additional help outside of the classroom,” said Justin Amann, President of Student Senate, member of The Steering Committee and Co-Chair of the Student Success task force.
The second task force focused on ESU’s faculty. The task force set goals to invest in faculty and their research.
The task force contends that the goal of ESU is to provide faculty with opportunities to “redesign the academic experience.”
The strategic plan would provide faculty with the tools to use innovative and engaging approaches to their curricula.
In hopes to improve student retention and graduation rates, new students would be set up with a mentor to assist in any aspect of the transition between high school and the university experience. The mentoring program is still in progress.
Also parts of the strategic plan are specific goals to ensure a reputation for innovation at ESU. The goals would create a culture of entrepreneurial and innovative students, and give them a more competitive edge.
The last task force set out to create ways in which to strengthen alliances with the surrounding community. The goal is to have a university without walls, including the Pocono area as a partner in learning for ESU students.
There are three more dates for roundtable discussions open to any students, faculty or staff interested. The dates are January 30 and 31. To register call 570-422-3546 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with two preferred time slots.
Sessions available for the aforementioned discussions are as follows: 8:00 to 9:30 AM, 10:00 to 11:30 AM, 12:00 to 1:30 PM, 2:00 to 3:30 PM and 4:00 to 5:30 PM. There will also be a session on January 30 from 6:00 to 7:30 PM.
“The strategic plan will guide ESU and shape all future plans. Enrollment plans, budgets and other things will feed into this plan. It will guide what we choose to do as an institution. It gives us purpose. The decisions made should be student focused and part of the plan,” said Sewell-Allen.
“The plan is very ambitious. The final draft is expected in the third week of February. The implementation of this plan is scheduled in the beginning of March,” said Amann.
He continued, “This will be the catalyst for other plans, such as the Academic Affairs and Budgeting. These task forces will be charged with using the strategic plan as a guide to move forward in their respective areas.”
This will be a continuing process and will evolve as the university does. The ultimate goal is that the plan will guide the university in the decisions it makes going forward.
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