MONTICELLO, AR — Student success and making the University of Arkansas at Monticello a model open access institution are the cornerstones of a new strategic plan for UAM approved recently by the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees.
The plan, entitled "2021 Vision — Breaking Boundaries: Creating Access, Success, and Growth in Arkansas and Beyond," is the culmination of campus-wide effort spearheaded by Chancellor Karla Hughes to articulate a vision for UAM's future.
During the 2016-17 academic year, groups of UAM faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and other stakeholders began a five-year strategic planning process "to move forward and create a lifetime of legacies centered on student success and sustainability for southeast Arkansas and beyond," says Hughes. "We are truly going beyond the boundaries to a new paradigm of greatness."
The strategic plan spotlights three major areas – student success, gains in enrollment and retention and a revitalization of the campus infrastructure. The student success initiative includes developing, delivering and maintaining quality academic programs, including a revised general education curriculum and an expansion of academic and degree offerings at the technical, associate, baccalaureate and graduate levels to meet state, regional and national demands. The plan also calls for recruiting and retaining high achieving faculty and staff as well as expanding accessibility to academic programs through institutional partnerships, satellite programs, alternative course delivery and online partnerships with eVersity.
The plan also includes creating gains in enrollment and retention by creating concurrent enrollment partnerships with public schools, especially in the areas of math transition courses; providing assistance and outreach initiatives for working adults, international students and transfers; developing marketing efforts that will highlight alumni, recognize outstanding faculty and staff, and spotlight student success; developing a plan to assist first-year and at-risk students; and identifying prime recruiting areas and developing strategies for tapping those areas.
Infrastructure revitalization includes preparing economic impact studies to align university programs and partnerships with business and industry; preparing and updating the University Master Plan; working closely with state legislators and the UA System to maximize funding opportunities; and increasing external funding by increased efforts to earn research and grant funds, creating a philanthropic culture among incoming student, graduates and the community; and engaging in a collaborative fund-raising effort with alumni and athletics.
"This is an ambitious plan that is the result of many hours of work by dedicated teams who gave of their time to make a lasting contribution to the university," says Hughes. "This is not my vision; it is our vision to move UAM forward, building on the legacy of those who have come before us."
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