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CAES Strategic Plan 2020: Strengthening Goals

Academics

Goal 1CAES educational programs will be at the forefront of all land-grant institutions

 

Strategy A.

Evaluate curriculum of each major

  1. Departments should continually evaluate the rigor, relevance, effectiveness, and demand of the curriculum of each major and provide a summary of curriculum changes to the college every 3 years.
  2. Departments should conduct a stakeholder and alumni survey every 7 years to track program satisfaction.
  3. Departments should examine course prerequisites to determine if students are needlessly being shut out of courses.
Strategy B.

Evaluate college-wide curricular requirements

The CAES Curriculum Committee should:

  1. Evaluate alternatives to current college-wide requirements.
  2. Examine the possibility of allowing Agricultural Communication 1200 to substitute for the Speech Communications (COMM 1100) requirement.
  3. Facilitate the offering of a 3-credit-hour class in Agriculture and Society that satisfies the World, Language, Culture and History requirement, such as AESC 2050 (Effects of Global Agriculture on World Culture).
  4. Petition for courses offered by CAES departments to satisfy core science requirements (Examples: Horticultural Science, Food Science, Crop and Soil Science).
  5. Design classes to attract students with a greater diversity of interests and attract more non-CAES students into our courses.
  6. Examine the possibility of changing the name of the degree to a Bachelor of Science.
  7. Design an introductory class in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences that all students are required to take to improve agricultural and environmental science literacy of CAES graduates.
Strategy C.

Determine job market demands for CAES majors

  1. The CAES Office of Academic Affairs will develop a survey that can be sent to graduating seniors to provide information about job placement and starting salaries.
Strategy D.

Interdepartmental curricula

  1. The Dean's office should pursue mechanisms for departments to share contact-hour credit to facilitate formation of the interdisciplinary majors at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  2. Re-examine tenure-review processes for rewarding collaboration for interdisciplinary majors at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Strategy E.

Evaluate curriculum to increase globalization

  1. Evaluate study abroad programs for relevance and potentially promote longer stays, including semester exchange programs.
  2. Increase the discussion of global issues in lectures.
  3. Incorporate foreign guest lecturers into classes, either as visiting speakers or by video conferencing.
Strategy F.

Distance education

  1. Provide dedicated classrooms and support teams on each campus for distance education.
  2. Provide faculty with dedicated pedagogical and technical support to develop online courses and programs.
  3. Provide faculty with financial assistance to develop online courses and programs.
  4. Identify intrinsic and extrinsic motivators for CAES faculty to transition to technology-mediated instruction, and provide motivators for engaging in distance education (policies, marketing, technology, instructional and technical support, faculty forums, mentoring programs, stipends, etc.). Include Extension faculty and trainers in the same or similar offerings as Academic faculty as mentioned above and where Extension leadership deems appropriate.
  5. Improve marketing of online courses. Efforts should include completion of a DE portal (under development), which will provide a current listing of online course offerings for each semester.
  6. Form an exploratory committee to evaluate potential online Master's programs and courses for professional development.
Strategy G.

Expand graduate student enrollment in CAES

  1. The College should examine options to facilitate expansion of graduate programs. These may include identifying funds to provide each faculty member with one graduate student assistantship. Continued funding would be contingent upon productivity.
  2. Assistantship cap in CAES should be evaluated and increased to give faculty the opportunity to better compete for outstanding students.
  3. The College should work with the Graduate School to sustain tuition waivers and consider ways to be more flexible with awards.
  4. Work with the Graduate School and Administration to find alternatives to the graduate student fees.
  5. Work with the Graduate School to identify opportunities for graduate students to gain teaching experience.
  6. Provide incentives for faculty that develop large graduate programs and excel at graduate teaching, such as assistantships and release time from teaching.
  7. Ensure that one person in the CAES Business Office is trained and available to help faculty with grant budget development and budget justifications for graduate students.
  8. Provide incentives for new research faculty to advise more graduate students, such as including graduate student stipends as part of start-up packages.
Strategy H.

Update and modernize teaching facilities

  1. Ensure that wireless technology is available in all classrooms.
  2. Update as many classrooms as possible to facilitate group-learning situations with movable desks for flexible classroom setup.
  3. Develop a long-range plan for routine replacement/upgrading of student computer labs.
Strategy I.

Increase diversity of student body and provide support

  1. Engage students from under-represented populations by increasing interactions with the Assistant Dean of Diversity and/or the CAES Academic Counselor.
  2. Provide extra stipends for travel to appropriate scientific and educational meetings.
  3. Measure success in terms of number of students from under-represented populations that graduate.
  4. Determine if staff member is more effective as a recruiter than an Assistant Dean of Diversity.
  5. Train faculty members in each department to mentor students from under-represented groups.
  6. Attract a more diverse population of students by marketing connections of agriculture to other professions such as law, business, and medicine.
Strategy J.

Increase undergraduate involvement in meaningful research experiences and internships

  1. Convert inactive research labs to laboratories for undergraduate and master's level student research projects.
Strategy K.

Develop procedures to promote interdisciplinary teaching

  1. Create a process for faculty to share academic credit and student credit hours for courses taught by more than one faculty member.
  2. Create interdisciplinary minors and/or certificate programs within each proposed college focus area (see Goal 3) by leveraging existing courses.

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