The Student Experience

Primary Goal: Create vibrant, exceptional, and comprehensive undergraduate and graduate student experiences that integrate in- and out-of-classroom learning to prepare graduates for meaningful careers and civic and personal lives.

Supporting material for this focus area can be found here.

Strategic Goals

 1.  Increase degree completion and shorten students’ time to degree.

 2.  Systematically improve the quality and consistency of academic advising and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students.

 3.  Leverage the strength of UMBC’s compositional diversity by increasing the cultural and global competencies of all students.

 4.  Continue to build a campus culture that creates, supports, and expects applied learning experiences that present a wide variety of options for all students (e.g., study abroad, internships, cooperative education, service learning, engaged scholarship, artistic performance, and teaching and graduate assistantships).

 5.  Promote the health and well-being of students as a foundation for academic and life success.

Supporting Objectives

 1.1  Adopt a more efficient and effective approach to course planning, academic pathways, and scheduling to improve undergraduate and graduate student progression through academic programs.

Reduce time to degree.

Increase student satisfaction with availability of required courses and efficient progress through academic programs.

 1.2  Expand the amount, type and utilization of informal space on and off campus that is available to students to study together, collaborate on creative work, recreate, socialize, or interact with faculty and staff. These spaces should create opportunities for informal peer-to-peer communication and relationships that increase sense of community, retention, and graduation rates.

Increase peer-to-peer and faculty-to-student interactions as measured on the National Survey of Student Experience or a similar survey.

Increase the number of alumni, students’ family members, and others who are not students, faculty, or staff visiting the campus and its surrounding areas.

 2.1  Better define expectations for advisers and peer mentors by examining successful models on campus for replication, and revise standards, training, and support accordingly.

Increase student-success measures and student satisfaction tied to advising and mentoring, including retention and graduation rates.

 3.1  Develop communities of practice that deliberately focus on developing skills, attitudes, and experiences that promote global and cultural competency. Consider adding global and cultural competency as the fifth area of student competency.

Students can clearly articulate how interactions and connections with diverse people on campus can translate to their lives and careers post-graduation.

 3.2  Increase significantly the diversity of tenure-track faculty.

Aggressively recruit and retain underrepresented minority faculty with the goal of increasing the diversity of UMBC faculty to, at a minimum, mirror the diversity of UMBC’s student population.

 3.3  Research student perceptions of staff diversity to better understand the effects of staff compositional diversity in the student experience and guide staff diversity priorities.

Conduct an assessment of and develop recommendations concerning the impact of staff compositional diversity in the student experience.

 4.1  Increase support and incentives to improve the quality and variety of applied learning experiences so that every UMBC student engages in and reflects on a significant applied learning experience prior to graduation.

Upon graduation, students report applied experiences as an important part of their education at UMBC.

In graduate and professional school applications and in hiring processes, UMBC graduates can clearly articulate skills and knowledge obtained through applied experiences.

Employers, internship/cooperative education hosts, and graduate and professional school evaluations indicate that UMBC graduates have been able to apply skills and knowledge.

 5.1  Improve student services to significantly increase students’ satisfaction with hours, availability, and responsiveness of services used and needed by undergraduate and graduate students, including access to off-campus services, venues, and social opportunities.

Measure and increase student satisfaction with student services and availability of services outside of normal business hours (i.e., during evenings and weekends).

 5.2  Improve support for undergraduate and graduate students who feel overwhelmed and experience anxiety as a result of academic and career insecurity and poor emotional health.

Measure and increase support for students’ emotional health and “academic safety.”

 5.3  Improve the promotion of campus activities (such as athletic, social, cultural, and performing arts events) to faculty, staff, and students in an energetic, holistic, and comprehensive fashion.

Increase the number of students, faculty and staff who are aware of and attend campus activities.

Increase the number of students (particularly first- and second-year resident students) who are on campus for at least part of the weekend.

 5.4  Work to increase students’ pride in UMBC to higher levels.

Students can articulate and demonstrate pride in UMBC.

The campus community indicates understanding of, and support for, the role of athletics and recreation in increasing the level of pride and visibility for UMBC and building community that impacts student success.