WSSU to roll out five-year plan to create state-of-the-art liberal education

WSSU to roll out five-year plan to create state-of-the-art liberal education
January 07
00:00 2016

By Todd Luck

The Chronicle

Winston-Salem State University plans to begin a rollout this month of its new five-year strategic plan to prepare students for the future.

The plan’s goal, according to Chancellor Elwood Robinson, is to make WSSU into a state-of-the -art liberal education institution preparing the workforce of the future.

“This strategic plan is a plan we’re going to put in place to make sure each and every student  that comes to Winston-Salem State University leaves with those skills in order to be successful,” he said.

The plan elevates things once thought of as soft skills –  critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, ethics and teamwork – to “essential skills” required for every student.

“It’s about making sure students come here and get the type of quality education that they need, and when they leave they become leaders, they become change agents in an ever-changing global technologically information driven society,” said Robinson.

According to the plan, all students will “experience significant undergraduate research experience, internship, study away opportunity, or experimental learning engagement.” These types of things, often experienced by a small percentage of college students, will be the experience of every student at WSSU, said Robinson.

“We don’t want a small percentage of our students to get that type of education, but we want each and every one of our students to get that type of education,” said Robinson.

Along with strengthening liberal education, the plan seeks to enhance the quality of graduate and professional programs, enhance revenue and stewardship of resources, enhance the quality of physical and operational infrastructure, and build a commitment to social justice through community engagement locally and abroad.

The plan was approved by the WSSU Board of Trustees on Dec. 11. The university will begin the rollout toward  the end of the month with a promotional campaign and the development of measuring metrics to determine the plan’s progress when implementation begins later this year.

Though it is resource intensive, Robinson said that he doesn’t anticipate increases in tuition because of it.  He said the university will be looking for additional and expanding partnerships to help with things like internships.

Students will be seeing an unrelated tuition increase next school year. The increase was approved in 2014 by the Board of Trustees and most students will see a three percent increase in tuition. Housing costs will increase one percent and meal plans by 2.7 percent. Robinson said the university remains affordable compared to its peers while having the best outcomes among the UNC system for undergraduates finding jobs and for the income they earn.

The strategic plan included faculty, students and alumni feedback in its extensive planning process. WSSU Student Government President Kyle Brown, who is also on the Board of Trustees, said students had a large voice in the plan.

“I think Dr. Robinson and Provost Allen have done a wonderful job of including everyone in the community,” he said.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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