Strengthen Liberal Education

In 2021, every Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) student will encounter faculty dedicated to excellent teaching and quality research. The classroom experience will be dynamic and engaging. Students will be encouraged to become critical, independent thinkers. Faculty members will be equity-minded as they mentor students through their intellectual journey.

As students move between general education and the major, they will be challenged to strengthen analytic, writing, and problem-solving skills. Academic programs will have a diverse set of course offerings, including seminars and special topic courses. Collaboration and teamwork will drive the academic endeavor, and all students will be required to confront difficult societal issues such as diversity, sustainability and justice in all forms.

The WSSU experience will provide opportunities for students to cultivate global awareness through multiple and overlapping curricular and co-curricular avenues. Every student will experience a significant undergraduate research experience, internship, study away opportunity, or experiential learning engagement. The WSSU experience will exhibit a tapestry of seminars, colloquia, lectures, symposia, and public programs designed to stimulate students and engage faculty in interesting, thought-provoking, and challenging issues.

WSSU is proud of its historic status as the first institution to award degrees in education to African Americans. WSSU will extend this tradition by offering signature teacher preparation programs grounded in our commitment to social justice and designed to meet the challenges of urban education in the 21st century. The University will graduate a new generation of teachers and educational leaders known for their distinctive ability to integrate the arts of pedagogy with the principle of educational equity to meet the diverse learning needs of a global society.

Faculty and professional advisors will mentor students throughout their academic journey. These mentoring relationships will help students design their WSSU experience in a manner that best prepares them intellectually, socially, and personally. Academic support will be widely available and readily accessible.

Campus life at the university will be lively and exciting with classroom experiences extending to the residence halls and across the campus community. Students will encounter living-learning communities guided by creative collaborations between faculty and staff. Student activities programming will be designed to foster leadership development and to hone academic skills. An invigorating campus atmosphere will be present seven days a week, including a dynamic commuter-friendly environment which supports a vibrant campus life.


Strategies:
  • Recruit faculty, committed to the principles of equity who are highly qualified scholars, teachers, and researchers in their respective discipline.
  • Develop strategies to support and promote faculty engagement and productivity.
  • Build academic leadership capacity among faculty.
  • Foster opportunities for professional development across faculty ranks.
  • Devise and implement new mechanisms for rewarding outstanding faculty.
Strategies:
  • Revise courses across the curriculum such that at least one student learning outcome clearly reflects the development of an essential skill.
  • Develop procedures to ensure that all new courses foster essential skill development from the perspectives of assessment and instruction.
  • Develop opportunities for each student to complete a Signature Project.
  • Promote professional development opportunities to support course instruction that incorporates high impact practices.
Strategies:
  • Require every student to engage in at least one undergraduate research project or applied learning opportunity.
  • Develop Senior Capstone Experiences (i.e., internship, research project) for each degree program.
  • Provide an honors track within each major.
Strategies:
  • Align policies and workloads to support collaborative scholarly pursuits.
  • Promote faculty and staff expertise.
  • Utilize endowed professorships to increase research productivity among the faculty.
  • Engage community in collaborative efforts and/or research.
Strategies:
  • Align all courses within General Education and the major to present a seamless undergraduate educational program.
  • Create and cultivate a signature teacher-scholar model.
  • Facilitate broad interdisciplinary learning and teaching.
Strategies:
  • Diversify Study Abroad and create study away options.
  • Initiate more Global-focused curriculum.
  • Develop and maximize international partnerships.
  • Develop co-curricular programs focused on globalization.
Strategies:
  • Enhance academic support services to improve successful course completion rates.
  • Develop collaborative engagement between Academic and Student Affairs to drive holistic student learning outcomes.
  • Create a comprehensive advising approach from entry to graduation.
Strategies:
  • Implement weekend residential programs focused on essential skill development.
  • Feature learning opportunities in all student organizations, activities, and groups (i.e., athletics, band choir, honors) that focus on developing essential skills and leadership skills.
  • Structure living and learning communities to develop at least one of the essentials skills to complement the interest/learning area.
  • Incorporate opportunities to engage high impact practices such as experiential learning, service learning, internships, and job-shadowing into the co-curricular experience.
  • Engage transfer, adult, and military veteran students in the campus culture to advance their essential skills.
  • Incorporate social justice themes into co-curricular activities towards engaging students, faculty and the campus community (for example campus police) in opportunities to further enhance critical thinking and reading skills.
Strategies:
  • Recruit and develop faculty to achieve social justice, equity, and urban education goals.
  • Renew Educator Preparation Program curriculum.
  • Expand the understanding and practice of equity-minded education among internal and external constituent groups of Winston-Salem State University.