College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
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Strategic Theme 1: Undergraduate Students

We will promote a dynamic and rigorous learning environment that draws undergraduate students to a liberal arts and sciences education as an essential foundation for success in today’s society. Throughout their undergraduate experience, students will receive comprehensive advising, be challenged to explore their interests and reach their full potential, and be encouraged to participate in experiential learning to prepare for their post-baccalaureate endeavors.

Strategy 1 – Engage more students in the liberal arts and sciences

Actions

  1. Advocate for increased inclusion of liberal arts and sciences courses in KU Core curriculum, seeking opportunities to minimize obstacles and encouraging curricular creativity among departments
  2. Increase entry points for student enrollment in liberal arts and sciences courses, focusing on building more opportunities for cross-listing, team teaching and curricular and degree partnerships between the College and professional schools
  3. Encourage and develop curricular opportunities that maximize pathways into the College and address student needs for flexibility, including 8-week and winter session courses, KU Edwards programs, and interdisciplinary certificates
  4. Encourage faculty participation in first-year seminars and learning communities, exposing more new students to liberal arts and sciences disciplines earlier in their academic careers
  5. Strengthen recruitment efforts in the Kansas City area and throughout Kansas utilizing enhanced partnerships with key offices on the Lawrence campus and at KU Edwards and KU Medical Center, as well as with high schools and community colleges
  6. Develop and implement multi-platform recruitment and enrollment communications plans that dispel doubts about and promote the utility of liberal arts and sciences education, in terms of both personal growth as well as career preparation (both on its own and in combination with professional majors)
  7. Develop authentic messages that position KU as both approachable and rigorous to prospective students and their parents
  8. Work with Lawrence and KU Edwards partners to strengthen recruitment of key populations, including under-represented groups (see College DEI Plan, Section IV), international students, legacies and high-ability in-state students
  9. Fully leverage scholarship resources available to recruit high-ability students
Strategy 2 – Identify and resolve barriers to student success

Actions

 

  1. Maximize collaboration with the Undergraduate Advising Center (UAC) to make students’ transition from UAC to College advising as seamless as possible
  2. Identify at-risk students earlier and intervene with resources and guidance, such as continued expansion of the College’s Faculty Mentor Program, added investment in retention advising and support for financial emergencies (e.g., short-term loans) and longer-term efforts to limit costs for students (e.g., open educational resources and scholarships)
  3. Identify courses where student progression is slowed, such as high DFW (grades of D or F or course withdrawal) rates, and develop advising strategies and other interventions to improve student success in such courses
  4. Provide a safe and inclusive environment where students of all identities feel welcome and supported to succeed at KU (see College DEI Plan, Sections I and VI)
  5. Maintain high standards for instructional quality, encouraging faculty participation in course redesign, and Center for Teaching Excellence and Center for Online Distance Learning opportunities, as well as advocating for facilities upgrades to support active learning and innovative instruction (see also Strategic Theme 3, Strategy 3)

 

Strategy 3 – Broaden opportunities for hands-on career exploration and preparation

Actions

  1. Support the creation and/or further development of capstone experiences across majors in the College, providing the opportunity to synthesize academic and hands-on experiences and demonstrating the applicability of liberal arts and sciences skills to future endeavors, including graduate school and professional careers
  2. Increase opportunities for study abroad and study away, through development of less expensive and/or shorter experiences, as well as additional funding support to students to ensure more broad access to these transformative opportunities
  3. Expand participation in undergraduate research opportunities, working closely with the Center for Undergraduate Research to increase faculty and student participation
  4. Encourage career development and exploration among liberal arts and sciences students, including strengthening the partnership between the College and the University Career Center and expanding programming that brings alumni to campus for career talks
  5. Develop and adopt mentoring and internship programs in collaboration with the KU Endowment Association, KU Alumni Association and alumni themselves
  6. Incorporate experiential learning into advising framework, adding advising on such opportunities as part of students’ major declaration process
  7. Broaden opportunities for leadership development, through curricular innovations, participation in College governance, and greater collaboration between the College administration and leaders in student government and organizations

Accountability metrics

  • Increase in undergraduate enrollment (majors, minors, certificates and student credit hours) across the College
  • Increase in undergraduate retention across the College
  • Increase in undergraduate participation in experiential learning opportunities, especially undergraduate research, study abroad/away and internships
  • Continued evidence of increasing academic standards for students in the College
  • Improvement in post-baccalaureate placement rate in careers, service or graduate school
  • Increased alumni participation in mentorship