2020-2025 Strategic Plan

I. Enrollment, Retention and Student Success

Commitment 1 

We will make our University a destination of first choice for an increasing number of students from around the state, from across the region, and beyond.

Objective 1. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will develop creative options by configuring existing courses and programs into new experiences that will enhance traditional undergraduate education

Metric 1.1. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will combine existing courses into proposals for at least two attractive new majors/minors (e.g. Public Health Education, Biochemistry, Data Analytics/Data Science), two other micro-programs (minors, concentrations, undergrad certificates) designed as add-ons for other majors (e.g. Healthcare Spanish Certificate, data analytics/data science).

Objective 2. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will improve time to graduation for all students with specific consideration for transfer students, both enrolled and prospective.

Metric 2.1. 

The College will measure success on this objective by tracking reduction in the programs requiring additional requirements for transfer students (24 programs) and mandatory minors (18 programs).

Metric 2.2. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will improve advising and mentoring of students by scrutinizing all degree audits to ensure their accuracy.

Metric 2.3. 

By utilizing advising as a means of encouraging students to pursue relevant minors and/or concentrations, the College will measured an expansion of the number of students who graduate with minors.

Metric 2.4. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will support expansion of student assistance programs (e.g. creation of a Math Center modelled after our Writing Center for expanded assistance, tutoring, Writing Center, and creating CETL sessions and resources on assisting at-risk students).

Objective 3. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will emphasize integration of scholarship/research—teaching—mentoring—life-long learning and the practical application of liberal arts learning through the expansion of the quantity and quality of high impact practices.

Metric 3.1. 

Success will be measured by documenting the quality and quantity of available and completed High Impact Practices, including internships, study abroad, service and leadership (including Model UN), and research including the Honors Thesis and Undergraduate Research’s Summer Scholars program. (Baseline to be determined)

Metric 3.2. 

The University will affiliate with the Consortium for Global Education in order to expand opportunities for international travel and training for those involved in international travel.

Metric 3.3. 

. The College of Arts and Sciences will expand opportunities for student professional experiences in attending, presenting at and participating in scholarly conferences and symposia and will document participation in these activities both in on-campus and external settings. (Data for establishing baseline currently does not exist in a centralized and accessible form.)

Objective 4. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will carefully assess current and proposed programs through expanded reliance on and improved access to relevant, accurate and current data.

Metric 4.1. 

Work with other GWU entities (OPIE, Registrar, Enrollment, IT, etc.) on the creation of an easily accessible database (preferably a dashboard) of information necessary for program directors, chairs, deans, faculty advisors and staff on numbers of majors, second majors, minors, course enrollments, students who have not selected major, and other demographic information in order to facilitate decision making based on actual current data.

Metric 4.2. 

Work with OPIE and/or external consultants (see University Metric 2.1) to assess feasibility of proposed new programs, particularly tightly focused new graduate programs such as a Masters of Public Administration (possibility in 10 month format), alternative licensure/MAT programs (e.g. Health/Physical Education), or in DCP (e.g. Graphic Design).

Objective 5. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will facilitate the implementation of the “Motto Model” general education requirement revisions to ensure that they continue to provide a well-rounded liberal arts experience that emphasizes the universal skills of research, communication, and analytical and objective thinking that are a necessary foundation for disciplinary study, professions, citizenship and life-long learning.

Metric 5.1. 

This objective will be measured by addressing the Writing Intensive 2 requirement and helping to bridge the gulf between WI 1 (provided in ENGL 102) and the WI 3/Information Literacy courses taught in majors. Developing requirements for a seminar style WI 2 course for sophomores would be a measure of this as will maintaining or increasing the number of WI 2 options offered annually.

Metric 5.2. 

Attainment of this objective will entail tightening the focus of learning goals for the Exploratory Experiences in the revised General Education curriculum and will be measured by the publication of these learning goals.

Metric 5.3. 

A further measurement will be increased numbers of CETL sessions and resources for developing inter-and multidisciplinary courses/course revisions.

Objective 6. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will improve advising and mentoring opportunities for graduate study, fellowships and employment opportunities for A&S graduates.

Metric 6.1. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will begin tracking and recording (see Objective 4) its students’ success in applying for and receiving Fellowships, graduate/professional school admission and employment relevant to their field of study with the goal of seeing this number increase.

Objective 7. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will expand and better track participants in its summer pre-college programs.

Metric 7.1. 

Success will be defined as building (again in conjunction with Objective 4) a database for tracking participants in The Honors Experience, summer math and science camps and developing these leads as potential Gardner-Webb students.

II. Strengthening GWU’s Financial Base

Commitment 2

We will increase and diversify the sources of revenue needed to sustain the growth and strengthening of our vibrant, comprehensive University.

Objective 8. 

Through cooperation with GWU Advancement, develop, refine and publicize (among Arts and Sciences faculty) standard guidelines and procedures for pursuing external grants.

Metric 8.1. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will measure this through the completion of guidelines and subsequent tracking of the number of grant applications with an ultimate goal of two proposals per year.

Metric 8.2. 

Name the College of Arts of Sciences as a result of a major gift designed to support program quality within the College.

Objective 9. 

Cooperation with Advancement/Alumni and IT (OPIE and registrar’s office) to build infrastructure to facilitate communication with A&S graduates in order to expand contacts with alumni as donors, publicity and recruitment assistance.

Metric 9.1. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will measure this objective through development of user-friendly database (with procedures for maintaining and updating of the database) of alumni information—a critical prerequisite to conduct outreach with alumni effectively and efficiently) and tracking utilization of the alumni database. Ultimately, this is an essential to producing a prioritized list of feasible projects alumni wish to support and a record of such support procured.

Objective 10. 

Broaden contacts (again in cooperation with Advancement and adhering to its guidelines/procedures) with potential external individual, institutional/corporate (including international companies located in the region) entities.

Metric 10.1. 

The College of Arts and Science will develop a process for tracking its external contacts and once that is completed, set objectives to measure success in acquiring funding for study abroad opportunities for groups and individuals, internship, research opportunities (including UG Research’s Summer Scholars), high impact practices such as Model UN or service learning, travel funds for attendance/presentation at professional conferences and student mentoring programs (including those dedicated to assisting students apply for and obtain fellowships).

Objective 11. 

Develop plans for funding maintenance/replacement in areas that are heavily dependent upon technology, particularly Natural Sciences and Computer Science.

Metric 11.1. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will measure success of this Objective through the development and implementation of these replacement/maintenance plans.

III. Become An Indispensable Partner To The Town, County, and Region

Commitment 3

Gardner-Webb University is a private university with a very public mission. We will increase our positive impact in the broader community and in the region by partnering with those who share our interest in improving the quality of life in Cleveland County and beyond.

Objective 12. 

Expand, improve and track community outreach efforts by our faculty and staff, particularly in our immediate area such as faculty guest lecturing, English poetry competition for high school, specific summer camps (e.g. Math, Science), The Honors Experience, pursuit of Model UN in high schools, etc. Students (esp. discipleship majors) in church experiences, service learning and Professional Readiness Experiences.

Metric 12.1. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will produce an annual report demonstrating the amount of community outreach projects.

Objective 13. 

In conjunction with Marketing and Communications and The Center for Professional and Personal Development, the College will utilize the alumni database (Objective 9) to expand our network of alumni contacts.

Metric 13.1. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will develop a set of departmental/school specific alumni communication plans utilizing social media to reach out to maintain contact with alumni.

Metric 13.2. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will document the involvement of graduates in community activities including non-profits, education, ministry, volunteer work, and other aspects of community service work.

Metric 13.3. 

Documenting increased contact with graduates of teacher licensure and English MA programs to expand visibility and recruitment and with successful graduates in all fields for use in publicity, as speakers for on-campus events, contacts for internship and PRE/high impact opportunities, and contacts for job placement of Arts & Sciences graduates. (Benchmarks will be dependent on creating the data base).

Objective 14. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will encourage, track and publicize student activities beneficial to the community and region.

Metric 14.1. 

Success in this Objective will be measured by documenting student community service projects in service learning and field experiences within courses, the Honors Program, internships and other Professional Readiness Experiences and Undergraduate Research’s Summer Scholars program.

Objective 15. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will work towards expanding Continuing Education opportunities for educators.

Metric 15.1. 

Success on this Objective will be measured by investigating, and if determined feasible, creating alternative licensure pathways (e.g. MAT in Physical/Health Education) and developing CETL opportunities for training in Quality Matters certified online practices (Community Colleges and High Schools). (Data for establishing baseline currently does not exist in a centralized, compiled form.)

IV. Respect Our Heritage, Extend Our Brand, and Sharpen Our Identity

Commitment 4. 

We will achieve and sustain a reputation as North Carolina’s leader in Christian higher education.

Objective 16. 

Work with Facilities/Operations on dissemination of clear and user-friendly guidelines and practices regarding logistical preparations (e.g. lodging, meals, reservation of spaces, etc.) for hosting events on campus.

Metric 16.1. 

Fulfillment of this objective will be determined by the production of and ready access to guidelines for hosting on-campus events.

Objective 17. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will support the “Religion and Culture” public lecture series identified in the University Strategic Plan’s Objective 15.

Metric 17.1. 

Success will be measured by tracking Arts & Sciences’ contribution to organizing, staging and hosting this series.

Objective 18. 

The College of Arts and Sciences will increase scholarly events on campus in order to demonstrate the quality and breadth of scholarly work, by students and faculty, done at Christian institutions like Gardner-Webb.

Metric 18.1. 

Success of this objective will be measured by documenting the expansion of the work of the Life of the Scholar Series (including LOTS components such as the Joyce Compton Brown lecture series and the annual LOTS Multidisciplinary Conference for undergraduate and graduate students), by reviving the Southern Appalachian Culture Series as a series of lectures/symposia, and by hosting other individual or small group scholarly presentations with a goal of four such new programs added each year.