In collaboration with Degree Completion Council and General Education Committee, the Degree Completion Program will design and market a General Education Curriculum that serves to attract new online students to Gardner-Webb to complement their major studies, support their professional aspirations, and allow for timely graduation
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
The Degree Completion Program will review the traditional
undergraduate Motto Model general education curriculum for additional
opportunities to align with the Degree Completion Program general
education requirements. Recommendations will be presented to the
Degree Completion Council for proposal to the General Education
Committee for consideration.
In tandem with updates to the General Education Curriculum, the Degree Completion program will support the University’s measure of reductions in the total number of hours required of undergraduates to obtain a degree. The Degree Completion Program will measure time-to degree, with expectations that the average for students should move closer to 2.0 years (for students who transfer 60 or more hours of prior college credit) across the span of this planning period.
The Degree Completion Program will also measure the success of an updated general education curriculum by tracking retention and graduation rates. We should expect that the updated general education curriculum, particularly as it may align with the traditional Motto Model, will not penalize degree completion students and will not slow their path to a timely graduation.
In collaboration with Enrollment Management and Academic Departments, the Degree Completion Program will minimize, halt, and then reverse declines in enrollment in undergraduate degree completion programs.
The Degree Completion Program will monitor enrollment in all majors. The Degree Completion will join the University in the low productivity analysis of all programs of study averaging no more than three graduates over a five-year period. Findings from the review will result in recommendations to Administration and Academic Departments to invest, maintain, or reduce institutional resources in identified low productivity majors.
The Degree Completion Program will increase the number of
agreements (e.g. Nursing Bridge and A.A.S. Pathways) with community
colleges and expand recently launched Bulldog Bound, a co-admissions
program, with more visibility on the website and other promotional
strategies such as email campaigns, marketing collateral and virtual
events with community colleges. The Degree Completion Program will
work with community colleges to review and update agreements annually.
The Degree Completion Program will measure increases in enrollment
from community colleges in relation to these agreements.
In collaboration with Enrollment Management and Academic
Departments, the Degree Completion Program will work to better align programs
of study with the evolving needs of our region and with the interests of
The Degree Completion program will request inclusion in
measuring the potential viability of new online majors via the University’s
use of professional, third-party feasibility studies.
The Degree Completion Program will conduct an analysis
of Associate Degree programs from community colleges in order to
identify emerging programs and student demands for baccalaureate
Once properly resourced and marketed, The Degree
Completion Program will work with Enrollment Management and
Marketing to track success and return on investment by annual
enrollment, tuition and fee revenues, retention rates, time-to-degree,
and the six-month plan post-graduation data collected from student
In addition to having competitive online programs, the Degree
Completion Program will improve the quality of design and delivery of online
classes and programs through faculty development.
In collaboration with Digital Learning, the Center for
Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) and the Gayle Bolt Price
School of Graduate Studies, the Degree Completion Program will plan and
host an annual learning day to enhance and support teaching and learning
in online course delivery. The Degree Completion Program will track
success by documenting attendance patterns and analyzing feedback to
ensure content continues to align with faculty and student needs.
The Degree Completion Program will attract and retain
students through the expansion and improvement of onboarding processes,
student support, and extracurricular programs to connect online students to
In coordination with Enrollment Management, The Degree
Completion Program will streamline onboarding processes of new
students and deliver an enhanced new student orientation experience
via the Online Degree Completion tab in Blackboard. The Degree
Completion Program will measure increases in the number of new
students participating in Orientation. The Degree Completion Program
will monitor melt data from Enrollment Management and track first term
The Degree Completion Program will monitor targeted
course attendance data through Qwickly Pro to further track new
The Degree Completion Program will analyze student access
of content and resources (e.g. Smarthinking, Writing Center) in the Online
Degree Completion tab in Blackboard and the positive movement in
retention rates of continuing students.
The Degree Completion Program will measure the number
extracurricular programs available to online undergraduate students and
the percentage of students who participate annually.
We will increase and diversify the sources of revenue needed to sustain the growth and strengthening of our vibrant, comprehensive University.
The Degree Completion Program will collaborate with the Office of
Advancement to secure scholarship funding for students and additional support
for Degree Completion Program faculty.
The Degree Completion Program will seek training and
guidance from the Office of Advancement to apply for and secure one
new grant proposal across the span of this planning period.
The Degree Completion Program will partner with the Office
of Advancement to identify and target Degree Completion alumni to raise
new endowed scholarship funds for Degree Completion students.
While working to generate extramural funds to support the unit,
The Degree Completion Program will be increasingly efficient stewards of the
resources we already have.
In collaboration with Academic Departments and Enrollment
Management, the Degree Completion Program will reduce the number
of low-enrolled course sections taught by restructuring course rotations
and other measures to mitigate the need for additional adjuncts or
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.
In support of this University commitment, the Degree Completion
Program will enhance and expand partnerships with community colleges that
advance the institutional mission. The Degree Completion Program will raise the
public profile of Gardner-Webb University.
The Degree Completion Program will establish new partnerships by providing representative service on community college advisory boards. The Degree Completion Program will select community colleges that represent the strongest pipeline of students to maximize the mutual benefit of each institution.
Additionally, to raise the public profile of Gardner-Webb across the
state of North Carolina, The Degree Completion Program will explore
opportunities for students to connect with and engage in community service
programs as representatives of Gardner-Webb.
The Degree Completion Program will identify at least one
established Gardner-Webb service program (e.g., Little Bulldog Backpack)
for possible expansion into the communities of the online student
population. The Degree Completion Program will document volume of
student engagement and increases of number of communities served in
We will achieve and sustain a reputation as North Carolina’s leader in
Christian higher education.
The Degree Completion Program will collaborate with campus
stakeholders to explore and develop avenues for integrating content into courses
and the Online Degree Completion tab in Blackboard to provide a more visible
articulation of the University’s Christian mission and identity. Components of this
content might also be included in the Office of Christian Life and Service web
page for external audiences to access.
Adult and Distance Education will track program success through analysis of student access of provided content.
Adult and Distance Education will monitor impact on core
values as measured by student exit survey data.