Developing the Person and the Professional
Affirming our mission, we will bolster current strengths by building programs that help students to reflect on personal and professional growth through their years at Alma, working to create a seamless, four-year developmental environment that leads our students, when they come to graduate, to personal and professional independence.
Objective One: We will develop a campus-wide program to help students make the connection between an Alma liberal arts education and careers, emphasizing the broad skills—in critical thinking, problem solving, written and oral communication especially—that are the hallmark of an Alma education. Specifically, we will provide resources to transformative programs that will help students connect learning in the classroom to the world beyond Alma, through undergraduate research, broadly defined internships, and service learning.
- Establish a new office that will bring together the many campus entities involved in supplementing the classroom experience to assure students have ready access to the necessary programs and services
- Assure that 100% of interested students receive a meaningful junior or senior year experiential learning opportunity
- Expand international and off-campus study for Alma students, doubling the number of such students participating
Objective Two: To affirm the central place of teaching and learning on Alma’s campus, we will commit the college to ongoing improvement of student learning and growth.
- Provide resources to reward innovation in teaching and to promote student-faculty research
- Develop new expectations for faculty promotion, tenure and post-tenure, proposed by faculty and approved through shared governance process
- Expand the Andison Center for Teaching Excellence, creating a space on campus to provide support for faculty throughout their careers
Objective Three: To reflect our focus on student success, we will improve a fundamental measure of student success, our graduation rate, to at least the average of peer institutions.
- Improve four-year graduation rates to a rate of 62% by 2017
- Improve first-year retention to 83% by 2017
- Create a four-year graduation commitment
- Student-athletes will graduate at the same or a higher percentage as the general student body
Objective Four: We will enrich the residential nature and identity of the campus, recognizing the importance of the co-curriculum to the reputation and perceived value of an Alma education as well as to the growth and learning of Alma’s students. In addition, we will recognize the importance of athletics and other wellness activities to student development.
- Identify developmental milestones for students and create a co-curricular transcript, or its equivalent to record them
- Celebrate the natural beauty of Michigan as well as the extensive recreational and educational opportunities across our state through new offerings such as Alma’s Get Out! program
- Assess campus safety and wellness programs to ensure that we are in step with best practice nationally and that we are doing all we can to ensure the well-being of all of our students
Objective Five: We will ensure that our campus better represents the diversity of American culture and the shifting demographics of Michigan, even as we will create a more global campus through the development of current and new programs. Specifically, we will seek to bring students from outside of our traditional demographic and create a culture on campus that supports such students.
- Increase the number of American minority students to 12% of student enrollment
- Increase number of international students on campus to 5% of student enrollment
- Provide staffing to support multicultural students and related activities on campus