Strategic Plan

The NDSU School of Education is in the final stage of developing our strategic plan to guide the department through the next three to five years by focusing our efforts on aligning our mission and vision with those of the college and university.

Excerpts from the School of Education's draft strategic plan are below, and the the full plan will be posted once it is finalized and adopted.

Key Strategic Issues and Themes

As a result of the committee's work, five key strategic issues emerged which are captured by the following questions:

  1. How can the School of Education be structured to best facilitate decision making?
  2. How can the School of Education foster an inclusive community?
  3. How can the School of Education best prepare and support students?
  4. How can the School of Education advance our reputation both internally and externally?
  5. How can the School of Education advance scholarship in all forms?

The five issues included the themes of organizational structure and decision making, building community, student support and preparation, reputation, and research and scholarship.

Theme #1: Organizational Structure and Decision Making

This theme focuses on facets of the department related to organizational structure (e.g., program offerings) and systematic decision-making (e.g., budgeting, enrollment goals, hiring). This area of focus arose from Appreciative Inquiry data related to the need for departmental and program sustainability, the effective and efficient allocation of resources, and the need for clear tools (e.g., policy, assessment data) to enable decision making.

Theme #2: Building Community

The essence of this theme is fostering sense of community in order to increase collaboration between faculty and interdependence among programs, as well as to support positive morale in the School of Education. This area of focus is underpinned by recurrent themes in Appreciative Inquiry data pertaining to collaboration, collegiality, and revitalization.

Theme #3: Student Support and Preparation

The focus of this theme is on students and their preparation. This includes assessment of student learning outcomes and program outcomes, course offerings (timely, appropriate, delivery platform). An additional focus of this theme is on graduate student assistantships (e.g. increase numbers, tie to start-up packages, faculty advancement). This focus arose in the ‘Discover’ phase of the Appreciative Inquiry process.

Theme #4: Reputation

The reputation theme involves a multi-dimensional perception of our school and the programs which comprise our department. Reputation is the things and areas of practical and scholarly expertise for which we are known; within our department, college, the university, and beyond. This extends to our work as individuals and as a unit promoting and advancing people in the broad field of Education. This theme emerged from the Appreciative Inquiry ‘Dream’ phase areas of impact, recognition, awareness of competencies/expertise, and expansion/growth.

Theme #5: Research and Scholarship

The research and scholarship/discovery theme involves working to improve both productivity and quality of research within the School of Education. This includes not only increasing the number of publications and presentation at reputable peer reviewed outlets, but also fostering and promoting the unique structure of research in the School of Education. How can we celebrate and better promote the various forms of scholarship within the School of Education to the broader campus and community? This theme emerged from the Appreciative Inquiry work and cuts across the major areas of financial support for research, building impact, promotion and tenure issues, and role of graduate students in our research.


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