Strategic Planning Initiative

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Short Term, Low-Cost Recommendations - Priority 1

These twelve recommendations are considered to be in the highest priority category; however, they are not ranked in order of importance within the subgroups. 

Academic Advising and Other Academic Priorities:

1.1 Promote quality advising: advisor/advisee e-mail contact each semester.  Within the first two weeks of every semester, advisors should contact each of their assigned advisees via e-mail.  This message should contain advisor's contact information and office hours.  It should also describe the advisement function, give examples of when a student should reach out for advisement, and finally, encourage advisees to main an open and ongoing relationship.
1.2 Assign advisors to newly admitted students by third week of semester in Fall 2006.

Note:  As a long-term objective to be reflected in strategic plan; new admits/transfer students for Fall 2007 will have advisors assigned immediately upon admission and contact made.  The considerations utilized by the departments to assign appropriate advisors will be developed into a procedure that can be shared with the registrar's office.
1.3 Educate students about the use of advisement as a critical tool of success. Students need to become familiar with the different reasons to see an advisor and how to take action once they are given information. Places where such education can take place would be New Student Orientation, 100- and 200-level classes, student workshops, etc.
1.4 Implement on-line registration warning: once students possess their registration pin, they are free to modify and change their schedule at will.  A warning that defines fulltime status and explains the possible consequences for dropping below fulltime status should be presented whenever a student submits a schedule.
1.5 Continue the development of Orientation as a key event in the University calendar.  Involve all areas of the University community in the annual planning for Orientation.  Recruit faculty and staff to assist in effective Orientation activities, such as University and department tours; workshops for students and parents; and Q&A sessions. Create special activities for targeted students such as honors students, scholarship recipients, departmental-specific, student-athletes, etc.  Incorporate commuter and transfer students more closely in orientation.
1.6 Encouraging pedagogical practices that provide early and regular feedback to students -- Offer CELT workshop for teaching faculty

Branding and Marketing:

1.7 Identify university strengths for public relations and promotional purposes to assist in the eventual development of a new University marketing plan.
1.8 Ensure that publications such as U.S. News and World Report have ALL of the necessary information needed for our ranking – so that it will almost certainly be raised.
1.9 Build pride on campus by displaying achievements, awards and photographic displays. Use photographs from symbolic events to evoke a greater sense of pride in WCSU. and display them throughout the university campus on building walls and in hallways.  Photographs might include such events as entering the gates at Welcome Week, Homecoming celebrations, graduation, Midnight Breakfast, group photos by class, alumni events, student study trips, student research trips, residence life, etc.  For awards, display in nice cases in prominent places so students become aware that these awards exist.
1.10 Assign responsibility for University website to IA

Emphasize student recruitment and showcase the assets of the university throughout the WCSU web site.

Use technology early and often in the recruitment process, including email communications upon inquiry through application, conversion, advisement, and enrollment.  Make WCSU technology-friendly to prospective students and increasingly supportive of recruitment objectives.

Student Scholarships and Financial Aid:

1.11 Rename financial aid office to Scholarships and Student Aid Office and assign that office responsibility for managing all scholarship and need-based awards, including recipient selection (except those requiring auditions, etc.) so scholarships and other financial aid may be used together for recruitment.

Use coordinated approach to package, announce and promote combined need and merit based student aid to recipient students for greater impact.

Maximize scholarships for recruitment purposes by giving first priority for awarding all University and Foundation scholarships to the Scholarships and Student Aid Office to use in targeted recruitment, including those designated by major. Donor designated scholarships will be awarded based on donor restrictions. Academic departments will be asked to establish the criteria that would make prospective students desirable to recruit and likely to be successful in respective majors, with the criteria reflective of the goals and plans of each department, and the Scholarships and Student Financial Aid Office and Admissions Office will use this information in marketing, recruitment, and scholarship award decisions.  Exception:  talent-based scholarships that require auditions will continue to be awarded by departments.  For any scholarships not awarded via recruitment, the Scholarships and Student Financial Aid Office will notify the respective academic department who would take responsibility for awarding for retention
1.12 Enhance the Financial Aid Experience by streamlining the process.  Drop the requirement that signed parent and student 1040 forms be submitted (an atypical requirement that delays and/or prevents many applicants).  Instead, use only the FAFSA form (typically what is required at other universities).

WCSU Weather Information

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Greater Danbury 5-Day Forecast

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