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. 

We will annually track enrollment trajectories in all degree programs. Every two years, the College of Education will conduct a low productivity analysis that identifies all degree programs averaging no more than three graduates over a five-year period. The review process will yield decisions on whether to invest, maintain, or reduce institutional resources. By the end of the planning period, the College of Education will have fewer low-productivity programs and more high-growth degree programs in place.

Metric 1.1. 

We will increase graduate enrollment by a minimum of 25 percent by 2025.

Metric 1.2. 

We will increase undergraduate, TUG & DCP enrollment by a minimum of 75 percent by 2025.

Metric 1.3. 

We will graduate 75 percent of all matriculated graduate candidates.

Metric 1.4. 

We will graduate 80 percent of undergraduate candidates admitted into the Teacher Education Program.

Metric 1.5. 

We will increase the enrollment and retention of diverse and underserved student populations annually by 15 percent by 2025.

Metric 1.6. 

We will develop, implement, and monitor our recruitment activities, retention strategies, and graduation rates.

Metric 1.7. 

We will recommend the elimination of the Middle Grades Education Program (due to low enrollment) by Fall 2025 via a teach-out plan and recommend reallocating resources to the Elementary Education Program.

Metric 1.8. 

We will recruit at least three (3) main campus doctoral cohorts that include candidates from the Foothills initiative by 2025.

Metric 1.9. 

We will utilize the skills and knowledge of doctoral candidates in order to increase undergraduate retention by assigning these doctoral candidates as teaching assistants and assessors to build a pool of highly qualified adjuncts who can support initial licensure candidates.

Metric 1.10. 

We will recruit at least one MAIT cohort each academic year through the SOE/KTA Digital Scholarship Initiative.

Metric 1.11. 

We will collaborate with GWU and external offices (Gayle Bolt Price School of Graduate Studies, K-12 Teacher’s Alliance, Adult and Distance Education, Marketing, and the Enrollment Management Office) to develop innovative programs and implement procedures to track and increase enrollment, retention, and graduation rates.

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 2. 

We will create infrastructure and opportunity for faculty and staff to successfully compete for public and private grant funds that will support the SOE’s mission.

Metric 2.1. 

We will measure our institutional capacity to pursue extramural funding by the creation of one or more staff positions that will facilitate preaward proposal writing and post-award grant management. We will annually measure the number of proposals submitted, the number of awards received, and the total dollars granted.

Metric 2.2. 

We will seek a minimum of $300,000 in external grants by 2025.

Metric 2.3. 

We will raise a minimum of $100,000 to support scholarship and candidate activities by 2025.

Metric 2.4. 

We will submit at least one external funding grant proposal annually for a minimum of $100,000.

Metric 2.5. 

We will require all tenure-track faculty to annually submit grant applications to support tenure and promotion activities.

Metric 2.6. 

We will create a College of Education External Grants Committee to track grant activities and coordinate activities with the GWU External Grants personnel.

Metric 2.7. 

On attaining substantial extramural funding ($1.0 million plus), we will create a College of Education extramural funding position to support grant training, pre-award proposal writing and post-award grant management activities.

Objective 3. 

We will seek donor named opportunities for the College of Education.

Metric 3.1. 

We will seek a minimum of $500,000 in naming rights for the College of Education.

Metric 3.2. 

We will collaborate with the Office of Institutional Advancement to develop programs to raise funds from donors and alumni to support SOE activities and naming rights.

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 4. 

We will increase the number of highly qualified educators to contribute to the economic impact of our region. Our programs in Education will intentionally work to improve prosperity, alleviate poverty, and produce engaged 21st century citizens.

Metric 4.1. 

We will increase undergraduate recruitment, retention, and graduation of candidates from Boiling Springs, Cleveland County, and the Foothills regions by 15 percent by 2025.

Metric 4.2. 

We will increase graduate recruitment, retention, and graduation of candidates from Boiling Springs, Cleveland County, and the Foothills regions by 15 percent by 2025.

Metric 4.3. 

We will provide annual professional development activities to school districts in the Foothills region.

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 5. 

We will redouble our efforts to strengthen scholarship support that will increase the recruitment pipeline for new students choosing Gardner-Webb from Baptist churches and from other Christian denominations.

Metric 5.1. 

We will measure increases in support for Christian Service Organization scholarships and in the recruitment yield from church matching and ministers’ dependent scholarships.

Metric 5.2. 

We will recruit and enroll at least two (2) undergraduate candidates annually through the Christian Service Organization scholarships, church-matching and ministers’ dependent scholarships.

Metric 5.3. 

We will work with the Office of Financial Aid to recruit three candidates annually for the church-matching and ministers’ dependent scholarships.

Objective 6. 

We will increase the frequency of programming (especially on Sundays) in one of our University’s great structural assets, Dover Chapel.

Metric 6.1. 

We will conduct the SOE bi-annual undergraduate and graduate pinning and pre-commencement ceremonies (minimum of 3 events annually) at the Dover Chapel.

Objective 7. 

We will increase the intentionality with which we use – and live by – our institutional motto (Pro Deo et Humanitate) in the conduct of our daily organizational affairs, in our personnel decisions, and in the public face that we would put forward to the world.

Metric 7.1. 

We will monitor our public-facing media (website, social media, print advertising) to ensure that our Christ-centered focus remains prominent and pervasive.

Metric 7.2. 

We will provide annual public services to the community and Foothills school districts.