Strategic Goals and Objectives
GOAL 2: STUDENT SUCCESS
The institution will provide an affordable, quality education as well as an enriching environment that attracts, retains and supports a diverse group of students in achieving success.
Successful Recruitment, Retention and Graduation
Our promise to our students is to provide them with an educational experience that prepares them to compete successfully in the global economy.
Winston-Salem State University will attract, retain and graduate diverse students prepared to compete in a global economy.
As we work to ensure that the educational programs at Winston-Salem State University keep pace with new demands in the workplace, we must also ensure that our students are prepared to fully engage the curriculum. WSSU admits students who show a range of preparedness. Our student profile ranges from individuals who enter from the top of their high school classes to those whose performance was about average. Moreover, whether students are at the top or in the middle of their high school class, the majority come from under-resourced high schools where the rigors of academic programs vary widely. As a result, many students enter WSSU under-prepared for the challenges of a college curriculum.
The lack of exposure to good secondary education is often exacerbated by the fact that many of our students are the first in their families to attend college. First-generation college students often face challenges because they do not enter school with a broad range of knowledge about how to be a good consumer of the education offered. These students require more guidance in choosing among academic options as well as more ongoing advice on how to manage their work.
Rather than focus on under-preparedness as an impediment to academic excellence, our Plan defines this as an area for strategic intervention. Several factors have been shown to increase the likelihood of success for students who enter college less optimally prepared. Chief among them is ensuring that these students have the financial support needed to keep them focused on their schoolwork. Research shows that for every $1,000 in financial aid awarded to a student, the possibility of graduating increases about 20 percent. Advising is another factor found to relate positively to retention and graduation rates. At-risk students need more contact with individuals who are committed to helping them stay on track and access academic support resources. Academic support centers, such as writing labs, quantitative skills centers and supplemental instruction, also have positive effects. Academic support centers are most successful when the services are fully integrated with academic programs.
The Strategic Plan has objectives designed to bring coherence to WSSU’s approach to academic support by:
- Establishing a “summer boot camp” program designed to build the entering skill levels of students who do not meet admission requirements
- Increasing resources for financial aid and scholarship support
- Enhancing retention support for at-risk students
- Developing and implementing a comprehensive pre-major advising program
- Improving advising programs in the majors
- Consolidating academic support centers
- Enhancing tutoring and other supplemental instructional support
- Expanding and enhancing learning communities
- Attracting and recruiting diverse students with the motivation and ability to succeed
- Better coordinating student leadership opportunities and programs