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Student Affairs

STRATEGIC PLAN 2016-2020


Contents 2 Mission, Vision, Core Values 4 SWOT Analysis 5 Goal 1 Engage prospective students, parents, families and the community in order to promote recruitment and enrollment at UHD. 7 Goal 2 Engage students through our programs and services in order to promote and strengthen holistic student development and success. 9 Goal 3 Build a welcoming, engaging, safe, caring and inclusive community that creates a culture of UHD tradition, pride and spirit. 11 Goal 4 Promote the professional development, competency, and capacity of Student Affairs staff and university constituents. 12 Goal 5 Establish and sustain necessary resources to advance divisional priorities.


Letter From The Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

Dear Colleagues: The Division of Student Affairs has a unique role in shaping the student experience at the University of Houston-Downtown. We are deeply committed to our relationship with students and their families from the moment they inquire about attending UHD until that momentous day when they cross the graduation stage with their UHD degree. Student success is not a mantra or a saying in Student Affairs, it embodies all that we stand for. That is why we are committed to providing students with a transformative learning experience that furthers their coursework while encouraging their personal growth and development in a holistic way. In order to provide students the best educational experience possible, a specific set of conditions must exist. Those conditions must include a caring and expert staff, a welcoming and inclusive environment, and adequate resources, both human and fiscal. This 2016-2020 strategic plan provides our road map to achieving our vision of becoming a premier division of student affairs that is dedicated to a process of continued improvement in all that we do. I hope you enjoy reading our comprehensive four-year plan and that it inspires you to join us in our exciting quest to educate and develop this nation’s future! In gator pride, Tomikia P. LeGrande, Ed. D. Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

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What We Plan to Accomplish MISSION The University of Houston-Downtown Student Affairs Unit is dedicated to being a leader in developing a student-centered university, helping students realize their personal growth potential while achieving their educational and career goals. In our role as educators, UHD Student Affairs professionals provide a broad range of educational opportunities and teachable moments.

VISION The University of Houston-Downtown Division of Student Affairs will be a premier student affairs unit who’s caring, expert and innovative professionals, in partnership with the university community, create a welcoming, inclusive environment where students engage, learn, succeed and positively impact their communities and the global society.

CORE VALUES Student Centered: Student Affairs is committed to focusing on the aspirations and needs of students in providing responsive processes, services, programming, and experiences. Our commitment gives students an active role in shaping the university to instill a sense of legitimate participation in their educational experience. Collaborative Spirit: Student Affairs builds productive relationships with UHD departments, faculty, students, and alumni to address the needs of UHD, the University of Houston System, and the greater Houston area. Boldness: Student Affairs embraces a courageous and creative edge grounded in a willingness to try new, innovative and informed approaches dedicated to student development and success. Trust: Student Affairs facilitates all relationships by delivering consistency and follow-through in actions, words, and decisions, resulting in constituent confidence. Expertise: Student Affairs provides subject matter experts who help to interpret institutional and external requirements and policies. These experts share knowledge with the campus community, advocate for our students, protect the integrity of the institution, and proactively identify challenges that may affect students, staff or faculty. Institutional Pride: Student Affairs fosters a culture of positive experiences at our institution that develops a sense of great satisfaction, self-worth, community, and strong affinity for the university and the UHD family.

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SWOT Analysis Strengths Student Affairs work together

Weaknesses

Threats

Lack of Documentation

Staff Experience

Insufficient staff resources

Lack of Backup

Commitment to Access

Solve Problems

Lack of Organizational Depth

Student Affairs influence on campus

Employee training and development

Flexibility

Lack of Cross-training

Listen

Lack of Assessment

Faculty, Students, Administration

Generous

Lack of Fiscal Resources

Policy

Retention (Student & Staff)

Accessible

Reactive instead of Proactive

Collaboration

Wasted resources (money and human)

Knowledge

Inefficiency in Technology

Community

Know Limitations

Lack of use of Technology

Resourceful

Salary Level

Develop inventory of co-curricular programs

Experience

Lack of Employee Recognition

Open Communication

Facilities/ student union/ Lack of space for students Technology

Competition with other institutions Financial resources

Peer Mentorship

Insufficient student resources

Grant opportunities

Graduation Rates

Patching but not solving

Social Media /Website

Articulation of QEP

Creative

Recruitment/ Employee Retention

Civic/Community engagement

Dedicated

Onboarding

Responsive

Lack of Communication

Collaboration & Marketing in events and programs

Willingness/Adaptable

Over program /Under program

Well Rounded Diversity

Space Brand External Awareness UHD History frames community perceptions of academic quality and profile of UHD students Program Attendance

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Opportunities

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Understanding students wants and needs in programming Orgsync & Technology Distance & Online education engagement (equity) Student Services needs/ segment services to meet needs


GOAL

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Engage prospective students, parents, families and the community in order to promote recruitment and enrollment at UHD.

Statement of the Issue: Enrollment goals of 18,000 by 2020 necessitate a coordinated enrollment plan to attract new markets, improve enrollment yields and new student profiles, in addition to improving retention and graduation rates. Metrics: Achieve enrollment increases as described in SEM plan. Objective: Refer to Strategic Enrollment Management Plan.

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GOAL Engage students through our programs and services in order to promote and strengthen holistic student development and success.

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Statement of the Issue: The Student Affairs Leadership Team noted a desire to increase interactions and opportunities to intervene with students at critical points to influence their retention, persistence and development. Student Affairs programs do not have assessment data that indicates that current programs have a positive effect on academic performance, or persistence. Metrics: • • • • •

Appropriate office visits (e.g. services utilized) and contact metric as defined by approved service levels. Increase in annual event participation and satisfaction rates. Increase in student satisfaction rates of the office. Achievement of programmatic learning outcomes. Long-term metrics: Longitudinal study on retention, graduation and grades for student participants.

Objective: Strengthen and expand existing successful programs and services in Student Affairs and develop new ideas, concepts, and programs that have the best potential and/or results for promoting student success. Action Items: • Improve first-year students’ utilization of campus support services and provide programs that offer common experiences to help students to identify themselves as a part of the UHD community. •

Develop a vision and plan for promoting student development through the first-year experiences offered at UHD in partnership with University College (e.g. First-Year Experience, orientation, convocation)

Collaborate with Academic Affairs and other campus entities to provide a strong First-Year Seminar program that connects new students to all campus support services.

Assess existing programs to determine their contributions to student success. • • •

Improve efficiencies through the utilization of program-review recommendations in short and long-term planning. Eliminate unsuccessful programs. Identify ways to demonstrate how current and new programs add value to the student experience.

Develop/expand the capacity of student communities to positively impact retention and graduation (e.g. Greek Organizations, Student Club Sports, Veteran Student Associations, Disability Student Associations, Campus Ambassadors, etc.)

Develop a campus committee dedicated to enhancing the student experience by meeting on a monthly basis to enhance the coordination of services, and collectively identify needs of specific student populations. •

The committee will also develop opportunities to celebrate student successes Strategic Plan — UHD Student Affairs

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Objective: Educate and empower students to make choices that enhance their seven dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, intellectual, social, environmental, spiritual, and professional/career. Action Items: • Evaluate current programming and services to assess their contribution to the seven dimensions of wellness. •

Develop deliberate, intentional, and measurable programming and services focused on fostering student wellness.

Objective: Develop programs that integrate curricular and co-curricular components to support student development of 21st century skills. Action Items: • Increase programming partnerships across student affairs to develop an annual calendar of programs/activities that promote collaboration, maximize resources, and connect to the learning outcomes in the common core curriculum. •

Increase programming partnerships with faculty to develop an annual inventory of programs/ activities that facilitate experiential learning.

Objective: Empower students to grow personally in their self-identity, purpose and leadership Action Items: • Evaluate current programming and services to assess their contribution to the development of student identity, purpose and leadership. •

Develop and implement initiatives for students to increase self-esteem, strengthen self-identity, and embrace individuality within the context of social responsibility.

Develop and implement initiatives for students to explore their purpose in college and in life.

Develop and implement initiatives for students to discover and enhance their leadership ability and skills.

Objective: Establish an assessment-based culture within Student Affairs to maximize efficiency and effectiveness while fostering a campus community which understands and utilizes integrated student learning outcomes. Action Items: • Create learning opportunities to develop student affairs professionals’ expertise in planning, assessment, and continuous improvement.

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Implement annual program assessment model.

Develop and implement a campus-wide Student Affairs showcase to highlight programming achievements and future plans.

Request staff support for management of Student Affairs assessment.

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GOAL

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Build a welcoming, engaging, safe, caring and inclusive community that creates a culture of UHD tradition, pride and spirit.

Statement of the Issue: The Student Affairs Leadership Team noted observations that although institutional pride appears to have improved since the UHD 2020 strategic plan implementation began in 2010, there is still much work to be done in creating a sense of UHD tradition, spirit, pride, and sense of belonging. UHD pride is defined as an emotional bond that is formed between the student and the institution. Metrics: •

Campus climate survey • Student satisfaction rates for student affairs offices

Student self-assessment data of their level of school spirit.

Student self-assessment data of their level of institutional pride.

Student self-assessment data of their probability that they would recommend UHD to a friend or family member.

Student self-assessment data of the percentage of students who had family members attend UHD prior to them.

Decrease in the percentage of FTICs that exit UHD in first and second year due to transferring to another four-year institution.

Increases in student organization involvement

Student self-assessment data of their plans to return to UHD for special events after graduation.

The degree to which graduates are remaining engaged with the university after graduation (i.e., % returning for a graduate degree, % making financial contributions, % participating in and supporting Student Affairs events, etc.)

Objective: Create a plan to coordinate existing efforts and develop new ideas to promote University tradition, spirit, and pride. Action Items: •

Create a committee to oversee the development and implementation of traditions and spirit initiatives. •

Develop mechanisms to share traditions and spirit initiatives with internal and external constituents.

Increase Student Affairs branding in social media.

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Objective: Create programs, policies, and practices that are student-centered. Action Items: •

Include students as major stakeholders in the assessing and planning of programs

Provide training opportunities and legitimate participation for Student Affairs professionals regarding the role of Student Affairs in the educational process. (Student development theory)

Create feedback loops for students and staff.

Create opportunities to encourage new ideas from students and staff to improve the student experience.

Objective: Create an environment to increase understanding and appreciation of the contribution of all people, communities, cultures, and ideas within the remarkably diverse UHD student body Action Items:

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Offer professional development opportunities to increase cultural competence among students, faculty and staff.

Increase programming partnerships across the University to produce an annual calendar of programs/activities that demonstrate UHD’s inclusivity.

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GOAL

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Promote the professional development, competency, and capacity of Student Affairs staff and university constituents.

Statement of the Issue: The Student Affairs Leadership Team noted that Student Affairs staff are passionate about serving students. However, additional student affairs professional development is needed. Employment Services and Operations offers employee development programs but they do not cover the content specific or student development theory approaches relevant to Student Affairs. Metrics: •

Annual report of the following professional development and training by department;

Annual Report of number and type of compliance initiatives, number and type of opportunities for improvement and detailed corrective actions for the following: Title IX, Suicide Prevention, Mental Health, Disability (504), Title IV, Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention, and The Higher Education Act.

Objective: Facilitate compliance, awareness and education of legislation and federal laws that impact Student Affairs areas. Action Items: •

Develop and implement initiatives for the training, education, and compliance of the following: • Title IX • Suicide Prevention • Mental Health, • Disability (504), • Title IV, and • The Higher Education Act.

Objective: Develop a division-wide professional development program for staff based on a crossfunctional competencies model. Action Items: •

Student Affairs directors will identify core competencies for all Student Affairs staff.

Establish a Professional Development Committee to: •

Identify a cross-functional competency model to be used.

Develop an annual calendar of professional development activities for Student Affairs professionals

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GOAL

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Establish and sustain necessary resources to advance divisional priorities.

Statement of the Issue: The Student Affairs Leadership Team noted that the 2020 plan identifies aggressive goals that will require a commitment of resources: fiscal, human and space. In addition to the current staff-to-student ratio in some student affairs units, the leadership has identified challenges with entry level and mid-level student affairs professional attrition rates. Metrics: •

Annual increase in employee retention rates

Evaluate the staff-to-student ratio

Annual increase-staff satisfied with their work experiences as reflected in the staff climate survey (segmented for Student Affairs);

Funded annual budget requests analysis

Annual increase in operation budget for student affairs unit(s)

Annual increase in grant submissions in the following categories: (local grants, state grants, foundation support, and federal grants).

Annual increase in grant funds awarded in the following categories: (local grants, state grants, foundation support, and federal grants)

Objective: Decrease entry level and mid-level student affairs professionals’ attrition rates. Action Items: •

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Develop a talent acquisition and development plan for the Student Affairs Unit. •

Design the curriculum and model for SA on-boarding and mentoring.

Design the curriculum and model for mid-level management leadership development.

Design the curriculum and model for leadership development for senior level staff.

Work with Employment Services and Operations to establish career ladders for employees.

Develop meaningful employee development plans for all SA staff with appropriate feedback intervals.

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Objective: Employ a diverse student affairs workforce at the entry, mid, and senior levels of Student Affairs. Action Items: •

Actively present and promote UHD and career opportunities at conferences, electronic platforms and other venues that highlight a commitment to diversity and expertise in the profession.

Objective: Actively participate in the University planning and budgeting process Action Items: •

Improve the use of assessment data to support budget requests.

Engage in department staffing analysis as a part of program reviews.

Develop five year department staffing plans.

Objective: Diversify funding sources to student affairs Action Items: •

Offer professional development opportunities in grant and proposal development and writing

Identify and compete for grant opportunities.

Explore and develop a long-term funding source diversity plan.


UHD Student Affairs One Main Street, Suite S380 Houston, TX 77002 713-221-8100 www.uhd.edu/studentaffairs


UHD Student Affairs Strategic Plan