Strategic Direction #2 – Enrich the Total Student Experience

Every WCU student’s experience reinforces high standards and expectations, connects with the surrounding communities and beyond, and instills pride in the University.

WCU is committed to working toward the best interests of the region and state through deliberately and consciously considering what it means to educate citizens, a pursuit that encompasses both curricular and co-curricular elements that serve to prepare students to participate in and help create a vibrant, intellectually, culturally, and economically thriving region, state, nation, and world.

Foster a student-centered campus culture that emphasizes academic excellence, personal growth, networking opportunities, and global and social awareness.

  • Initiative 2.1.1: Ensure that the mission of every academic support and student services unit espouses academic excellence as a primary emphasis.
  • Initiative 2.1.2: Review, and where necessary modify, all student recruitment and promotional materials to include expectations related to academic rigor and standards.
  • Initiative 2.1.3: Align, and where appropriate consolidate, academic support and experiential learning services to ensure consistent, interconnected, and efficiently provided assistance to students.
  • Initiative 2.1.4: Develop and/or formalize mentoring program(s) that help students develop a sense of personal, intellectual, and professional identity.
  • Initiative 2.1.5: Create leadership and experiential opportunities at the local, regional, national, and international levels, ensuring that all students participate in such opportunities and can document how these learning experiences are interconnected with their program of study. (See Initiative 2.2.4)
  • Initiative 2.1.6: Expand international experiences for all Western Carolina University students through such strategies as increasing study abroad opportunities, developing exchange programs with international universities, recruiting a sizable international student population to WCU, and enhancing global awareness components of existing curricula. (See Initiative 1.3.3)

Foster active citizenship among WCU students.

  • Initiative 2.2.1: Integrate the elements of the Western Carolina University “Community Creed” into institutionally affiliated programs and services.
  • Initiative 2.2.2: As appropriate, include students as full, voting members on campus decision-making committees.
  • Initiative 2.2.3: Increase the number of academic living-learning communities that integrate active, collaborative, and interdisciplinary learning experiences with curricular goals, ensuring necessary logistical and administrative support.
  • Initiative 2.2.4: Provide every student with an opportunity to participate in student-led outreach projects that focus on civic engagement. (See Initiative 2.1.5)
  • Initiative 2.2.5: Create a culture of participating in the democratic process as demonstrated by large percentages of students who are registered to vote and who vote.
  • Initiative 2.2.6: Provide opportunities for students to explore of all points of view on various issues and to understand the perspectives of others through civil and informed discourse and debate.

Instill pride in the University through more visible recognition and celebration of institutional achievements and traditions.

  • Initiative 2.3.1: Build and sustain a high-quality athletics program that excites and instills pride among students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the University.
  • Initiative 2.3.2: Create and sustain campus traditions that strengthen students’ connection to their University and its surrounding communities.
  • Initiative 2.3.3: Build and sustain consistent celebrations of Cherokee history, culture, and traditions.
  • Initiative 2.3.4: Include in the University’s comprehensive communications plan a focused strategy to celebrate with the institution’s internal and external audiences the accomplishments and achievements of students, faculty, and staff. (See Initiative 6.2.1)
  • Initiative 2.3.5: Ensure that University events are consistently well-advertised to external audiences.
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