One primary student development theory is limiting for a division with such diverse departmental missions. The division of Student Life affirms the importance of theory-based practice, and expects each department to articulate and publicize the theory or theories that guide our work. However, the guiding elements of the Trinity Tomorrow plan, and the Student Affairs strategic agenda, call on many facets of wellness as essential elements of student success. Where possible, the division will draw upon wellness as an over-arching philosophy the division embraces.
Learning Outcomes and Assessment
The Council for the Advancement of Standards publishes learning outcomes that the division will use as guides to identify learning and developmental outcomes for divisional and departmental services and programs. There are six outcome domains, each with more specific dimensions. Departmental self-studies will be conducted over the next five years.
The next divisional strategic plan will more accurately be characterized as a strategic agenda, which will include the following:
1. Action Step 1a: Create a Center for Engaged and Experiential Learning.
The Center for Engaged and Experiential Learning (CEEL) will facilitate faculty and staff partnerships and undergraduate experiential education in all its forms. It will serve as a liaison with various campus offices including Campus & Community Involvement, Academic Affairs,Career Services, Alumni Relations, Risk Management, Study Abroad, the Center for International Citizenship, and community partners.
2. Action Step 1c: Strengthen experiential learning opportunities for all students.
Trinity will become a place where all students will have numerous opportunities to learn about themselves and other industries from powerful experiences such as internships, client projects, off-site travel, independent research, artistic and cultural programming, and volunteerism.
3. Action Step 1f: Equip students to demonstrate their achievement in experiential learning.
We will develop ways for students to demonstrate their accomplishments to employers and graduate programs through experiential transcripts, micro-credentials, e-portfolios, or other recognizable achievements.
4. Action Step 3c: Develop greater institutional coherence across international initiatives.
Trinity will strengthen the coordination of international student...support.
5. Action Step 4a: Improve undergraduate academic advising and student support.
The VPFSA will lead an initiative to revamp the advising process to include conversations about students' current and future goals - academic, professional, and personal. While these conversations certainly occur in some advising interactions, they are not as universal as they should be. Effective advising enhances student learning.
6. Action Step 4c: Improve the coordination of curricular and co-curricular activities.
- We will urge senior administrators to coordinate the campus events calendar and to develop mechanisms to assess the quality and impact of these events.
- We have asked staff from Academic and Student Affairs to consider developing an activity time block in the class schedule and a plan for integrating visiting lectures and performances into students' course work.
7. Action Step 4d WELLNESS: Expand existing and pilot new programs to improve student success, career exploration, and holistic wellness.
- It is incumbent upon us to foster a strong sense of wellness in every aspect of their lives - personal, professional, physical, financial, social, and spiritual.
- The Center will organize forms of academic support, such as peer tutoring and writing assistance, with resources for social support, such as workshops on time management, handling stress, and sustaining healthy interpersonal relationships. By proactively publicizing and coordinating these services, we hope to increase our students' likelihood for success in college and after graduation.
- Beneath the auspices of the Student Success Center, the VPFSA will oversee a variety of wellness activities and personal growth opportunities for all students at various milestones in their academic career.
- In the service of holistic student development, whenever possible, wellness programs should be devised and carried out by faculty and staff partnerships.
8. Action Step 4d REFLECTION: Expand existing and pilot new programs to improve student success, career exploration, and holistic wellness.
First-year students will be encouraged to think broadly about their goals through "reflection seminars," modeled on similar programs offered at Stanford and Harvard.
9. Action Step 4e: Sustain opportunities for students to explore their spiritual beliefs and practices.
In its commitment to excellence, Trinity University is not only concerned with intellectual development, but also with moral and spiritual growth. The integration of body, mind, and spirit to achieve a wholeness in human life is fundamental to the well-being of the individual and to the very nature of the University itself. Recognizing these truths, the University strives to create an atmosphere in which basic civility and decency are expected, mutual respect and open communication are fostered, and spiritual growth is encouraged.
10. Action Step B5: Enhance program assessment for all University divisions and academic and co-curricular programs.
Periodic program reviews are a helpful mechanism to ensure the health of all academic and co-curricular programs. Such reviews require programs to define their goals and provide evidence of their success. The involvement of an independent reviewer, whether from outside or inside the University, will provide a broader context for the self-review as well as support for resources needed by a disciplinary or interdisciplinary program.
11. Action Step C1: Strengthen the connection between Trinity alumni and the University.
12. Action Step D2: Develop a Facilities Master Plan.
The Vice President for Finance and Administration will develop this plan in consultation with Facilities Services, Financial Services, Academic Affairs, Conference Services, and Residential Life.
13. Action Step D6: Develop a new generation of faculty, staff, student, and alumni leaders.
Through the division of Student Affairs, we will enact similar programs to ensure that all Trinity students have opportunities to hone their leadership skills both inside and outside the classroom.