Graduate School Strategic Plan
Goals and Objectives
Arkansas State University educates leaders, enhances intellectual growth and enriches lives.
Vision Arkansas State University aspires to be an academic leader recognized for innovation and quality in teaching and learning, international standing in strategic research areas and commitment.
The Arkansas State University Graduate School prioritizes diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in its student population and encourages and welcomes applications from all sectors of society.
Goal 1: Compete for the Best Graduate Students
A-State competes for the best graduate students and supports them during their time at Arkansas State University.
Goal 2: Support for Current and Potential Graduate Students
Help the university’s graduate programs recruit top students and ensuring their access to a high-quality educational experience.
Goal 3: Viable Programs to Meet Graduate Students’ Needs
These programs will enhance the experiences and development of all graduate students.
Goal 4: Recruiting and Marketing
We will ensure that students thrive in a safe, diverse, inclusive and globally aware graduate community.
Goal 5: Development and Alumni Engagement
We will continue to grow A-State’s graduate programs’ connections with the local, regional, national and global community.
Goal 6: Increase A-State Graduate School’s Internal and External Profile
We are working to cultivate and strengthen the A-State Graduate School’s relationship with alumni and supporters.
A-State Graduate Program History
The first graduate program at Arkansas State University, the Master of Science in Education, was established in the summer of 1955. Specialist degree programs were added in 1969. Doctoral programs in Educational Leadership, Environmental Sciences and Heritage Studies were added in 1993, 1998 and 2001 respectively. The newest program in molecular biosciences began in 2006. Other doctoral programs include Nursing Practice, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy.
ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY Graduate School
Goal: Compete for the Best Graduate Students
• The A-State Graduate School aspires to attract the best local, regional, national and international students and to support them as they are educated by our excellent faculty.
• The Graduate School does not have faculty of its own, therefore its primary focus is on the university’s diverse student population as they receive excellent training and preparation for a wide variety of career opportunities.
1A-State competes for the best graduate students and supports them during their time at Arkansas State University.
Goal: Support for Current and Potential Graduate Students
• Students need a more comprehensive and user-friendly Graduate School website. In addition, there needs to be an increased presence on social media with posts that target students from specific demographics with tailored messages about graduate school. By utilizing metrics, we can determine how often potential students’ access and view social media posts. Resources like social media sites are an easy and economic way to reach and interact with students as well as engage them while providing information about the A-State programs offered.
• Prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in A-State’s schools and colleges. The A-State Graduate School has a role in increasing the number of students from historically underrepresented backgrounds (gender, race/ethnicity, veteran status, first generation, etc.).
• To that end A-State Graduate School works with departments to build relationships with such undergraduate campus programs as the federally funded TRIO to create a homegrown pipeline of A-State students to apply and enroll in University graduate programs. Housed in Student Support Services (SSS), TRIO in particular provides such services for first-generation, disabled and housing-insecure students as tutoring, academic advising, career coaching, mentoring and graduate school preparation. Collaborations with university colleges to encourage students to attend graduate courses, speaking to First-Year Experience courses and even students at A-State satellite campuses to inspire them to think about graduate school from the very beginning of their careers in higher education.
• The Graduate School will collaborate with the Beck Center and military affiliated student programs through the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement to inform veterans and current military personnel of graduate school opportunities.
2Help the university’s graduate programs recruit top students and ensuring their access to a high-quality educational experience.
Goal: Viable Programs to Meet Graduate Students’ Needs
• Once students have enrolled in university graduate programs, Arkansas State University remains committed to helping them cultivate positive experiences both on and off campus. Students who become graduate assistants will receive training before assuming their duties. This includes, in cooperation with the Office of Title IX and Institutional Equity and the Registrar’s office, training involving on such issues as Title IX, Affirmative Action, Non-Discrimination, Equal Opportunity and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act or FERPA.
• There will be meetings between the Dean of the Graduate School and the Graduate Student Council executive committee to address student concerns inside and outside of the classroom.
• To help graduate students, there are professional development programs to assist them with writing curriculum vitae, dissertation or thesis proposals. In addition, students can get help with applying for grants or fellowships.
• There is an annual program, in conjunction with the Graduate Student Council, to celebrate graduate students at commencement.
3These programs will enhance the experiences and development of all graduate students.
Goal: Recruiting and Marketing
• The A-State Graduate School will, in cooperation with departments and graduate program directors, participate in multiple recruitment fairs each academic year to meet potential graduate students and to field any questions about Arkansas State University’s graduate programs.
• We will also coordinate with A-State’s Career Services office to provide opportunities for undergraduate students to explore graduate programs during their career fairs held during the fall and spring semesters.
• We will follow the best practices set forth by the Council of Graduate Schools to help students consider reasons to attend graduate school, what graduate school is, how to apply to graduate programs, and what funding opportunities are available.
• The Graduate School will further work with enrollment management to determine best practices for recruitment.
4Increase grad school applications and interest by recruiting throughout the campus.
Goal: Development and Alumni Engagement
• The A-State Graduate School will effectively communicate with the University Development Office to ascertain the percentage of active graduate school alumni and to increase the volume of career outcomes information for assessment.
• Stronger connections with A-State Graduate School alumni will also contribute to stronger intellectual communities for students and contribute to global learning and research networks.
• Graduate education at A-State has not been a high visibility area, therefore increased connections with graduate school alumni may potentially aid a university fundraising campaign.
• Stronger connections to the A-State Graduate School can be augmented by encouraging graduating students to provide valid email addresses, post-graduate career information and creating communication pieces specifically aimed at graduate school alumni.
5We will continue to grow A-State’s graduate programs’ connections with the local, regional, national and global community.
Goal: Increase A-State Graduate School’s Internal and External Profile
The Graduate School seeks to increase its visibility and engagement at meetings such as the Southern Conference of Graduate Schools, the Council of Graduate Schools and the Southern Regional Educational Board to learn about new best practices in graduate education.
• We will better communicate the A-State Graduate School’s accomplishments, initiatives, and programs to the university community, the region and the state.
6We are working to cultivate and strengthen the A-State Graduate School’s relationship with alumni and supporters.