Missouri State University will provide a rich, memorable, distinctive and transformative educational experience through a variety of curricular and co-curricular programs that will ensure students succeed both during and after college.
Universities used to strive for high student satisfaction. That’s not good enough any longer. In recent years, the bar has been appropriately raised.
Today, the only acceptable result is student success. That is what students – whether traditional, nontraditional or graduate students – expect for their investment of time and money. And that is why student success is a major focus in this five-year plan.
While students may define success in slightly different ways depending on their own situations and goals, for full-time undergraduates, it means graduating in four and no more than six years; being prepared to have a successful career in their chosen fields; having no debt or at least manageable debt; possessing the characteristics of an educated person; and having the skills and experience not only to be productive members, but also leaders in their communities. These are all reasonable expectations.
To foster student success, Missouri State is committed to the development of each student as a whole person. So, in addition to providing a wide array of strong undergraduate and graduate academic programs, and fostering students’ academic success, the university will advocate wellness as a lifestyle, strive to provide a safe and secure environment in which to live and study, promote and protect freedom of expression, develop leaders, provide meaningful support services, and celebrate diversity and inclusion, as well as the globalization of the campus.
Make no mistake – students will find Missouri State challenging. But, then again, college should be rigorous. And, students will be expected to fulfill their part of this educational partnership by attending class, engaging in discussions, staying current with readings and homework, participating in co-curricular activities and seeking help when they need it. Missouri State faculty, staff and administrators will do their part to support and provide opportunities.
By achieving greater student success, Missouri State will solidify its student-centered reputation, and maintain its foundation of loyal alumni and generous donors.
The characteristics of an educated person are clear, measurable and recognizable. An educated person is someone who is literate in the broadest sense; has an appreciation for the beauty and complexities of citizenship in his or her community and in the world; has the skills and motivation to continue to learn after leaving the university; and can solve problems through the mastery and application of one or more academic disciplines.
Educated persons are developed through the interaction of competent, caring faculty; skilled and dedicated staff; and capable, motivated fellow students. The university is committed to developing educated persons by challenging them academically while nurturing them in their personal growth. As enrollment continues to grow, maintaining these vital relationships with faculty and staff may require the university to develop fresh approaches without losing that personal touch.
Keys to success
Research and experience support that there are several keys to improving retention and graduation rates. They include:
- Providing early, regular and outstanding advising.
- Allowing students to take courses in their chosen area of interest early in their college careers.
- Creating opportunities for students to develop relationships with faculty members, and encouraging faculty members to mentor students.
- Engaging students in academic activities (internships, practicums, part-time jobs, education abroad, service learning and more) and campus activities (intercollegiate athletics, arts, speaker and other special events, living-learning communities, intramurals, clubs and organizations, fraternities and sororities, and more).
- Making available and publicizing a variety of support services for students, from personal, confidential counseling, to the health center, to the wellness and recreation center, to library and computer resources, to academic support labs and more.
- Fully communicating and then connecting students to Missouri State’s statewide mission in public affairs and its three pillars.
- Ensure all students experience a sense of belonging and personalized connection to Missouri State.
Ensure all students experience a challenging learning environment that fosters intellectual growth.
- Cultivate a student-centered learning environment promoting and supporting academic excellence and personal development.
- Provide opportunities for increasing the students’ sense of university pride and tradition.
- Provide an increasing number of opportunities for students to meaningfully engage with the public affairs mission.
- Improve efforts to orient, engage and support specific groups of students – for example, first-year undergraduates, transfer students, online students, first-generation students, historically underrepresented students, veterans, nontraditional students, international students, students with disabilities, graduate students – to Missouri State.
- Better integrate the academic programs and personal development opportunities to provide students with the full university experience to promote student progression, retention and graduation.
- Expand leadership, community engagement and cultural development opportunities for all students.
- Implement traditions and activities designed to enhance school pride and promote school spirit, all to contribute to student success and elicit alumni support.
- Increase student participation in high impact experiences.
- Engage alumni in meaningful ways to support current and prospective students.
- Increase visibility of intercollegiate athletics, performing arts, fine arts and other activities as important to the university student, community and alumni experience.
- Student success
- Quality of student learning
- Graduate outcomes