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By 2018, UMSL will increase the annual number of degrees conferred by 20% through an enriched UMSL experience with enhanced relationships and more research and community engagement integrated into student learning to fulfill our metropolitan land‐grant mission.
AREAS OF FOCUS
- Enhance the experience of UMSL for all our students
- Create new and more effective community partnerships
- Enhance academic excellence in all of our programs
- Increase the number of degrees conferred annually from 3,000 to 3,600 with a special focus on increasing the number of underrepresented minority graduates
- Increase research funding for public-private partnerships including the university, the city and corporations
- Raise first-year retention rates to 82% and six-year graduation rates to 55%
- Maintain a 3rd or higher ranking based on the Academic Analytics Faculty Productivity Index among small public research universities strategic plan.
The University of Missouri‐St. Louis has an excellent reputation as a research university that provides career pathways and advanced education to non‐traditional students. Over the next five years, UMSL will build on this foundation to focus on the success of the nation’s fastest growing student population, i.e., diverse freshmen and degree‐completion transfer students. UMSL has been world‐class in awarding degrees to under‐represented students, although the new population has lagged behind traditional students in degree‐completion nationally and to a lesser extent at UMSL. In the past, strong degree completion by non‐traditional students and diverse freshmen was accomplished through the strategic advantage of UMSL’s location. Through UMSL’s renewed Gateway for Greatness plan, the campus will become more strategic and implement best practices identified in the research literature to retain more students to graduation and increase the number of degrees conferred annually. For example, since today’s students desire more social and academic interaction, the campus will plan ways for our commuting students to stay more engaged with the campus while also upgrading services for residential students. We will provide opportunities for staff and faculty to learn how to modify their interactions with students to form lasting relationships and build future alumni rather than merely carrying out business transactions. Similarly, the plan provides support for faculty to revise traditional curricula to draw on their strengths in teaching, scholarship, and service to embed High–Impact Educational Experiences in courses and programs (e.g., more internships, additional opportunities for undergraduate research and service learning, and greater use of technology). We have identified key metrics to support strategic hiring to add faculty and staff lines in highly productive departments and will not automatically replace empty lines. Strategic planning also will aid the campus in attracting and retaining even better prepared students and committed staff and faculty. By increasing our enrollment through new recruitment and greater retention, the campus will be able to overcome its chronic underfunding and apply new resources to priority areas for the campus to fulfill its mission as a public metropolitan research university.
Full Strategic Plan