By: Brock Bowen
WSU has allocated $341,324.50 this year to fund 12 of more than 40 received proposals geared toward improving the University and community at large, per the recommendation of the Strategic Planning Implementation Fund.
Proposals were developed within and across departments. Once finalized, the proposals were submitted to the Committee for review along with a request for funds. Approved proposals received a financial award deemed necessary by the Committee that may or may not have matched their request. Even after funding twelve different projects to help the university and community, the Strategic Planning Implementation Fund was fortunate enough to have a $51,868.50 budget surplus that will be saved to fund new proposals next year.
The following quotes come directly from each proposal, all of which can be found in their entirety at Worcester State Strategic Planning Committee.
Faculty Ambassador Program for International Students
International students coming to Worcester State need to be acclimated to the university culture. By creating a Faculty Ambassador Program the students will be able to have a teacher mentor.
“A critical component of this will be academic support through assisting students with adjusting to the campus and community will also be necessary. For this reason, we are proposing the implementation of a Faculty Ambassador Program which would assist with the welcoming, acclimation and academic advising of international students.”
Communications and Sports Broadcasting Internship
The sports department is in need of upgrading their marketing position. By purchasing better equipment they will be able to display their sports in a more up to date fashion.
“To get this program activated, the athletic department would collect resumes and interview Communications majors who have an interest in the sports broadcasting, journalism or the production industry. The internship (job description(s) attached) would utilize three students. These three students would have one of three job titles throughout the term of their internship which will include videographer, play-by-play broadcaster or color analyst.”
Creating urban networks will expand Worcester State’s horizon to how it communicates with the community. Having more connections to the city itself will in turn reward the university.
“We propose the development of an Urban Partnerships Network (UPN) to facilitate strong, productive, and sustainable relationships between WSU and its host communities. The network will support and encourage faculty, centers, students, and non-academic departments to work with community partners in addressing community-identified needs.”
Creating Assessment-driven, Evidence-based Training for First Year Seminar Faculty
This proposal would help the First Year Seminar Faculty understand how to help Freshman into the university culture. $21,250 will be towards stipends and $17,400 will be for food during the training. Both students and faculty will attend the the First Year Experience course.
“At Worcester State University, we have found that First Year Seminars can be transformative for both the students taking them and the professors teaching them. For students, gaining explicit instruction on the hidden curriculum of college lessens their anxiety and confusion while building the academic skills necessary for college-level work. “
Increasing student access to Global and Local Service and community engagement overall, through a Civic Corps, in order to promote student retention and success
This proposal will help the transition from university into real world experience.
“This proposal seeks to address the following core university values: Academic Excellence in particular through creative linkages between classroom learning and real-world experiences. Engaged Citizenship by promoting community service, social justice, the democratic process, environmental sustainability, and global awareness to prepare students to be active and informed citizens.“
Study the cultural impact of Worcester State University and create a long-range plan for culture and the arts at WSU and in the community and region
In order to discover what cultural impacts are happening and how to adapt, the university is creating a strategic plan to help how the campus functions in terms of how it adapts to culture.
“The benefits of both developing our cultural resources and marketing them are recognized by faculty and administrators as in keeping with the overall effort to maximize the student engagement in part through a comprehensive approach to improving the campus climate. “
Study Away Scholarship Program
Adding on Worcester State’s already-excellent Study Abroad programs will help more students get the opportunity to visit another country and learn more about how the world works to help “Change the way the world works.”
“Further, study away provides critical opportunities for students to transcend the boundaries of the classroom and apply their learning to life outside of the classroom through experiential learning.”
“Such opportunities build students’ knowledge base of critical global issues and increase their cross-cultural and interpersonal communication skills.”
Development of a Watershed Science and Education Co-Laboratory to Advance Student Learning, Foster Undergraduate Research, and Engage the Community
The program is broken in several parts though, essentially, it will make Worcester State a bigger player in Big Data as well as Environmental Research.
“Because of this interconnectedness between humans, the landscape, and water resources, the watershed serves as the basic unit for addressing many regional scale management decisions related to the complex, interdisciplinary environmental problems of erosion control, storm water management, contaminant transport, water quality, and water availability. “
Filling the gap in Undergraduate Career and Life Planning Services and Support- we anticipate that revenue from enrollment in these courses will sustain these courses on an ongoing basis as long as there is sufficient interest
This will help the undergraduates be able to find jobs what to do with their lives after their degree.
- Students and Alumni participate in Strategic Futuring- Life and Career Planning- “The collaborators have conceptualized the ultimate result of Part 1 (Strategic Futuring) as three 1 credit courses that will be offered voluntarily as part of the curriculum.“
- Employer / Faculty Dialogs are convened in five sub-sectors of the economy- “If project results merit expansion, the Chamber may be prepared to expand the scope of these conversations to include participation of faculty from other Worcester based colleges and universities, and other sectors of the economy.”
- New method for collecting WSU graduate employments/education data is launched- “Given this, Part 3 efforts should be sustainable as well.”
CitySpeak: A New, Interdisciplinary Model to Address Urban Issues Through the Arts
This program will be there to help face the problems in city life through art and expression.
“As a piece of devised theatre, CitySpeak will create an original theatrical production based on the themes, ideas, and concerns that arise from community- engaged research and fieldwork on and off campus.”
Upgrade Colleague Reporting and Operating Analytics/SAP Business
This program would upgrade the universities communications between departments and individuals.
“The outcome of this proposal is to provide the university with an updated reporting tool that can be used to better assist with management of information for making data-driven decisions.”
“This would offset the time spent generating reports utilizing other reporting tools or by submitting help desk requests which requires a dependency on UTS resources.”
WSU Archives Project: More Effectively Using and Promoting the Special Collections
Adding to the Dennis Brutus Collection in the Learning Center, this program will help Worcester State be a bigger player in archiving important pieces of history.
“In keeping with the university’s overarching strategic plan as well as individual departments’ programs, support of this proposal increase opportunities for increased experiential learning and faculty-student research collaboration in many disciplines.