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Office of Student Affairs Special Programs

Strategic Planning

In accordance with requirements from the University’s Office of Strategic Planning, Institutional Research and Effectiveness (OSPIRE), Student Affairs engages in a rigorous process to build a comprehensive 5-year Strategic Plan for the Unit.  The Student Affairs Unit is comprised of the Counseling Center, Experiential Learning and Career Services, Health Center, Intramurals, Judicial Services, Residence Life, Special Programs, and Student Activities. Student Services areas are Enrollment Management (Admissions, Customer Service and Financial Aid), Physical Plant, Police and Security and Student Liaison.

The question posed to the Directors of these units for the 2010-2015 cycle was: What can we do to enhance student involvement, learning, and experiences at Shaw University?  

After this question was discussed by the team, the task at hand was to develop a comprehensive strategic plan that:

  • Advances knowledge
  • Facilitates student learning and achievement
  • Enhances the spiritual and ethical values of students
  • Transforms a diverse community of learners into future global leaders
  • Provides quality programs, services and activities.   

The first phase of the strategic planning process includes development of a mission statement that supports the vision of the administration and the mission of the University. The newly created mission statement then serves as the catalyst for the Division’s long-range planning.  Guided by the Director of Student Affairs Special Programs and an external consultant, the core planning team conducted a SWOT analysis of each unit. At the end of the 5-year cycle, the mission statement will be reviewed and adjusted as necessary.

The team meets throughout the summer to review and to discuss the internal strengths of staff; internal limitations from staffing practices, communication and funding; external threats; and external opportunities including fundraising. Broad strategic areas were identified for the 2010-2015 cycle through the work of the team. 

These key areas of concern are: 

  • Recruitment/Retention
  • Student Learning/Involvement
  • Staff Development
  • Assessment/Evaluation
  • Collaboration with Academic Affairs
  • Services and Operations
  • Partnerships

The Vice President of Student Affairs and Administration reviewed the team’s recommendations and confirmed plans of the seven key strategic areas to provide the vision and strategy necessary for future growth. To be certain the process is inclusive and collaborative, the Vice President shares with all Division staff at the Back to School Staff Development kick-off event the strategic planning process and the importance of each department to the continued success of the Division.

The second phase of the strategic plan includes development of departmental goals and objectives based on the key strategic areas.  From August through October of each year, the planning team meets with each department to discuss and facilitate the process.  The 2010-2015 Strategic Plan represents the work of the entire division. It links Division goals and department goals and guides the Division’s work over the next five years. The Division of Student Affairs and Services encourages a culture of assessment and improvement. Each year, the Division and departments will review the strategic plan and make necessary changes as issues emerge.  Yearly Action Plans are developed by each Director that is particular to their unit of operation.  The yearly plans are excerpted from the 5-year plan and evaluated at the end of the year for continued improvement.