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Progress Report 2019-2021

Strategic Plan 2017-2021
Progress Report
2019-2021

(updated 2.24.21)

 

OVERVIEW

A Progress Report on the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan was completed in fall 2019 that identified accomplishments to date. This progress report includes those accomplishments and summarizes additional accomplishments since completion of that report. It is meant to serve as a status check on the current Strategic Plan, which is slated to close at the end of December 2021, and to inform the development of the 2022-2024 Strategic Plan. These progress reports will also be important documents that will inform the Middle States Reaccreditation Self-Study.

GOAL I:
CRAFT A SINGULAR MMC EXPERIENCE

I.1. Augment & develop CityEdge programming

Accomplishments as of 2019 Progress Report

  • Established new curricular components of CityEdge
  • Added a new Career Lab on “Adulting” for recent graduates
  • Created CityEdge student professional development days on Advisement Days
  • Developed short informational film and stronger messaging to prospective students, parents, and current students about CityEdge
  • Improved data collection on internship and post-graduation placements

Additional accomplishments, 2019-2021

  • Included CityEdge in the work of the Presidential Taskforce on Academic Strategic Planning, which recommended incorporating it more fully into the curriculum;
  • Continued collaboration between Institutional Advancement, Academic Affairs, and Career Services to pursue additional funding opportunities for City Edge.
  • Revamped and revised CareerLab, removing it from Blackboard, designing a freestanding CareerLab website, updating and increasing CareerLab content including approximately 60 hours of instructional activities and assignments;
  • Created a CityEdge Badge, which students earn by taking action while at MMC to seek out opportunities to develop their career through the CityEdge programs, including the Annual Career Summit, Employer Pop-up Events, and Site Visits.
  • Developing an On-Campus Internship Program that extends opportunities for students to gain internship experience and to utilize the CityEdge Internship Stipend.

 

1.2. Develop more effective, innovative, and student-centered methods of educational delivery

Accomplishments as of 2019 Progress Report

  • Increased number of hybrid courses to meet space constraints and student needs
  • Hired new VPAA/DOF with expertise on High Impact Practices and community-based learning
  • Building on the Mellon faculty development grant on immersive teaching, Academic Affairs developed new initiatives to support faculty engaged in student-centered and innovative teaching methods
  • Created new Student Affairs groups to support underserved students, including a network for first generation students and a leadership program for sophomores
  • Created a new Welcome Week format

Additional accomplishments, 2019-2021

  • In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, transitioned all spring 2020 classes to virtual delivery and provided faculty training on Blackboard and Zoom;
  • Continued virtual instruction through summer and fall 2020 and spring 2021, and further developed a robust series of technology trainings and pedagogy workshops for faculty;
  • Developed innovative blended classes that allowed students to work on campus, including science labs, dance and theatre classes in fall 2020 with expanded blended and in-person options in spring 2021;
  • Center for Teaching Innovation and Excellence (C-TIE) focused on supporting faculty with transition to remote instruction;
  • Required all faculty to submit Continuity of Instruction plans (COI) to identify successes and challenges with transition to remote instruction;
  • Faculty developed discipline-specific initiatives to emphasize student engagement in virtual classes;
  • After comprehensive review, contracted with D2L to transition to Brightspace as the College’s Learning Management System;
  • Moving forward with hiring an Instructional Technology Specialist (proposed June 2021 start date);
  • Engaged faculty at the departmental level in advancing antiracist curricular and pedagogical initiatives;
  • Appointed Dean’s Task Force to explore possible revisions to the Course Evaluation Form to include questions about course content and classroom climate from an EDI perspective;
  • Faculty Development Days and C-TIE pedagogy workshops focused on racial equity.

 

I.3. Enhance support services for students and alumni

Accomplishments as of 2019 Progress Report

  • Developed stronger collaboration on financial aid
  • Conducted CSS-Advising-Admission policy and procedure audit
  • Hired an assistive technologist
  • Launched Symplicity/Insight platforms to improve student advising and tracking
  • Implemented Smart Catalog course catalog and curriculum approval system
  • Improved web site accessibility scored according to nationwide WCAG 2.0 guidelines
  • Enhanced and repackaged alumni perks and launched an e-mail campaign for alumni to opt in and become more engaged
  • Created a new Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity Strategic Plan
  • Expanded hours and staffing at Counseling and Wellness Center
  • Created Griffy’s Grocery food pantry and Fall Feast to combat food insecurity
  • Established Student Activities Advisory Board to increase student-run programming, with an emphasis on Heritage months
  • Expanded fall training for student leaders

Additional accomplishments, 2019-2021

  • Restructured Division of Student Affairs and Division of Enrollment Management into the Division of Student Success and Engagement with the goal of streamlining and enhancing student support;
  • Developed and implemented for first-year students the LINK Program, a high-touch student support program that bridges the Divisions of Student Success and Engagement and Academic Affairs;
  • In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, transitioned student support services to a virtual environment;
  • In wake of COVID-19 pandemic, enhanced academic support services for HEOP students, including academic support workshops in partnership with Academic Advisement and CAST;
  • Developed additional programming to support HEOP students, including the Leadership Council, the No Peer Left Behind Tutoring Program, the Young Men’s Initiative, and holistic counseling.
  • Created the Team for Student Operations (TSO) that brought staff members from various student-facing departments together on a weekly basis to streamline student support services;
  • Launched new app, MMC Engage;
  • Developed a strategy for implementing the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity Strategic Plan;
  • Moving ahead with developing an Intercultural Center;
  • Received grant to support First-Generation Student Program;
  • Developed comprehensive alumni engagement plan for building out Alumni Association.

Continuing Priorities from Goal I

  • More fully embed CityEdge within the curriculum and further highlight what distinguishes it from standard career services and professional preparation programs;
  • Build upon the progress with virtual instruction necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic to continue expanding and improving methods of virtual educational delivery;
  • Continue investing in faculty development to enhance online and in-person learning;
  • Revisit technology needs to further support and enhance virtual instruction;
  • Continue building LINK Program and clarify/strengthen partnerships between LINK Advisors, Faculty Advisors, and Academic Advisors;
  • Continue implementing the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity Strategic Plan;
  • Continue strengthening student services and alumni relations.

 

 

GOAL II:
ENHANCE THE MMC TEACHING AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

 

II.1. Develop a facilities and space plan that optimally allocates and defines existing space, and identifies new space as necessary

Accomplishments as of 2019 Progress Report

  • Completed initial program planning for new space needs
  • Updated classroom, stairwell, and other spaces with new paint and some furnishings
  • Revamped Admissions Office exteriors and installed MMC/CityEdge graphics on elevator doors
  • Held Cabinet-level space and facilities planning discussions
  • Conducted serious investigation of possible new spaces
  • Received feedback from architects on identified key projects
  • Developed revised facilities plan for the visual arts

Additional accomplishments, 2019-2021

  • Secured a gift to create the Judith Mara Carson Center for Visual Arts, finalizing its design, and set to begin construction with a projected completion date of August 2022;
  • Developing and pursuing campaign-level asks with capital components to further meet space needs;
  • Revisited use of off-campus rental spaces in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and explored options for reconfiguring space on main campus and consolidating external rentals to maximize resources;
  • Preparing to launch a strategic facilities plan;
  • As part of developing and implementing health and safety protocols in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, reviewed all spaces on campus, including residence halls, and made necessary repairs and upgrades;
  • As part of the enabling moves required for construction of the Judith Mara Carson Center for Visual Arts, initiating broader discussions about longer-term facilities needs;
  • Moving ahead with plans to create an Intercultural Center.

 

II. 2. Invest in technology and infrastructure enhancements in order to effectively support and facilitate student learning, curricular innovation, and the working conditions of faculty and staff

Accomplishments as of 2019 Progress Report

  • Replaced entire technology networking infrastructure
  • Initiated use of Ad Astra classroom scheduling and space management software
  • Launched Symplicity/Insight advising software to improve the student experience
  • Purchased Browse Aloud add-on to improve web accessibility
  • Implemented Smart Catalog on-line catalog and curriculum approval
  • Established student self-service module for financial aid (not yet implemented)
  • Made transcripts available to students and alumni on-line
  • Reviewed all mechanical systems and moved to computerized control of indoor climate to improve office comfort
  • Launched an app-based work order system to streamline maintenance requests
  • Renovated significant portion of 55thStreet Residence Halls
  • Upgraded laptops in 24 smart classrooms

Additional accomplishments, 2019-2021

  • As part of the College’s Restart Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, formed a taskforce on instructional technology that addressed current and future needs;
  • Assessed technology in all teaching spaces and upgraded where necessary to support virtual instruction;
  • Provided full-time and part-time faculty with Zoom licenses, and worked with faculty to provide additional technology and software needs to support virtual instruction;
  • Contracted with D2L to transition to Brightspace as the College’s new Learning Management System;
  • Moving forward with hiring an Instructional Technology Specialist (proposed June 2021 start date);
  • In wake of COVID-19 pandemic, implemented plans for immediate transition to remote work and are developing comprehensive policies for telecommuting;
  • Provided laptops and software to faculty, staff, and students as able to facilitate virtual instruction and remote work;
  • Provided Zoom licenses for Peer Leaders and some Registered Student Organizations;
  • Enhanced the HEOP Laptop Program, which allows students to borrow a laptop for specified periods of time;
  • Transitioned to Adobe e-sign to digitize human resources and purchasing processes;
  • Developed and implementing a long-term IT Strategic Plan;
  • Launched the new app, MMC Engage;
  • Assessing usage/effectiveness of Symplicity/Insight;
  • Continuing to implement Smart Catalog as a tool for streamlining curriculum change and Catalog update processes.

II.3. Create a more environmentally sustainable learning and working environment

[Note that II. 3 is a new objective, added in early 2019.]

Accomplishments as of 2019 Progress Report

  • Completed inventory of existing sustainability practices
  • Implemented new sustainability initiatives (including default double-sided printing)
  • Launched sustainability website for the College (mmm.edu/sustainability)

Additional accomplishments, 2019-2021

  • Launched pilot program for onsite recycling/sorting, with accompanying educational campaign;
  • Participated in sustainability-themed Student Leadership Summit;
  • Launched menstrual products pilot program;
  • Planned Serenity Garden for Lowerre Family Terrace;
  • Planned waste diversion program for residence hall move-outs, including drop ‘n go option for donations;
  • Achieved 100% of energy purchases from renewable sources;
  • Publicized College’s sustainability efforts through webpage updates and news stories;
  • Advanced transition away from paper-based processes.

Continuing Priorities from Goal II

  • Complete the Judith Mara Carson Center for the Performing Arts
  • Undertake Strategic Facilities Plan
  • Continue reviewing and updating technology across the College
  • Develop and implement a Campus Sustainability Plan

 

GOAL III:
FOSTER STUDENT SUCCESS AND FISCAL HEALTH

 

III.1. Establish long-term Strategic Enrollment Plan (SEP)

Accomplishments as of 2019 Progress Report

  • Enrollment Management: Established key steps needed for integrating into SEP
  • Hired new VPEM, Dean of Admission, and Senior Associate Dean of Admission
  • Developed a senior search model
  • Revised all Slate communications to prospective and accepted students and families
  • Enhanced travel territories for Admissions Counselors
  • Introduced a school counselor communication plan
  • Enhanced financial aid modelling
  • Developed yield and summer melt strategies
  • Created new revenues and marketing outreach through Precollege Summer Academy; international college summer programs; and the Ferraro Institute (adult learning and civic engagement community forum)

Additional accomplishments, 2019-2021

  • Hired Vice President for Finance and Administration/Chief Financial Officer;
  • Developed short-term strategies to sustain enrollment through the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Restructured Division of Student Affairs and Division of Enrollment Management into the Division of Student Success and Engagement;
  • Created position of Assistant Dean of Student Success;
  • Developed and implemented for first-year students the LINK Program;
  • Developed a multi-year search model, from sophomores through seniors;
  • Developed financial health model;
  • Revisited recruitment strategies to support the goal of greater student diversity, both college-wide and programmatically;
  • Developing plan for fundraising and external grants to support students of color.

 

III.2. Restructure the program development process to put faculty and academic departments with enrollment leadership team

Accomplishments as of 2019 Progress Report

  • Revised the Governance and Curriculum Committee processes
  • Updated the environmental science major with new focus on urban sustainability
  • Launched new BFA programs in musical theatre and in design and technical production

Additional accomplishments, 2019-2021

  • Established Presidential Taskforce on Academic Strategic Planning, which produced a set of guiding principles and recommendations for program/curriculum development;
  • Strengthened partnership between the divisions of Academic Affairs and Student Success and Engagement with ongoing focus on program development;
  • Launched new BFA programs in Film and Media Production and Creative Writing, revised majors in Environmental Studies and Human Biology, Health, and Society, and new minors in Child Development and Creative Media, Music Industry, Public Health, and Race and Antiracism.

 

III.3. Develop and undertake a comprehensive fundraising campaign

Accomplishments as of 2019 Progress Report

  • Initiated campaign pre-planning committee
  • Retooled advancement operations, improved database health
  • Restructured IA staff to make better use of existing talent
  • Hired new Chief Philanthropy Officer

Additional accomplishments, 2019-2021

  • Hired Vice President for Institutional Advancement;
  • Launched silent phase of a capital campaign, with initial focus on feasibility and goals;
  • Identified campaign priorities, with special focus on student aid;
  • Upgraded technology to support research and analysis capabilities to properly run a capital campaign;
  • Reorganized the Office of Institutional Advancement and streamlined various processes to support a major fundraising campaign.

Continuing Priorities from Goal III

  • Continue to develop and refine Strategic Enrollment Plan (SEP);
  • Revisit the work of the Presidential Task Force on Academic Strategic Planning and develop a plan for academic program development;
  • Launch comprehensive fundraising campaign.

 

GOAL IV:
ATTRACT, VALUE, AND SUPPORT FACULTY AND STAFF TALENT

 

IV.1. Support ongoing development and recognize achievement among faculty and staff

Accomplishments as of 2019 Progress Report

  • Added AVP of HR to cabinet
  • Completed 2/5 years of a faculty salary plan to benchmark salaries to national (AAUP) standards
  • Held first Annual Summer College Leadership Retreat
  • Conducted a compensation study that demonstrated appropriate compensation rates
  • Implemented formal promotion and merit pay processes
  • Launched C-TIE fellows program
  • Provided increased Interdisciplinary teaching support
  • Created a place-based learning academy with a focus on diversity, inclusion and anti-racist practices
  • Completed Faculty Workload study
  • Created Ferraro Institute fellowships
  • Highlighted faculty achievements in MMC magazine and on the College

Additional accomplishments, 2019-2021

  • Developed and implemented a series of technology trainings and pedagogy workshops for faculty focused on virtual instruction;
  • Developed racial equity workshop series for faculty and staff;
  • Implemented a successful 2020 Voluntary Faculty Retirement Plan;
  • Provided customer service training for staff to support transition to remote environment;
  • Hosted leadership workshops to promote staff development in a remote environment;
  • Hosted virtual Staff Town Halls, which included staff recognition through iValue Awards;
  • Streamlined performance review process, with initial focus on identifying successes and challenges with transition to remote environment and short-term goal setting;
  • Developed plan for an award for staff and faculty recognizing work in support of EDI, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Chief Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer hosting bi-weekly meetings to support black administrators and staff.

IV.2. Cultivate a more diverse and inclusive faculty and staff

Accomplishments as of 2019 Progress Report

  • Made changes to faculty recruitment and hiring processes
  • Gathered self-reported data on faculty and staff demographics
  • Approved post-doc language approved in Governance to allow for more ways to recruit
  • Created additional guidelines and trainings to improve the recruitment and retention of a more diverse faculty

Additional accomplishments, 2019-2021

  • Prioritized college-wide anti-racism initiatives and implementation of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Plan;
  • Launched Racial Equity Task Force, chaired by Chief Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer;
  • Worked with academic departments to develop anti-racism action plans;
  • Developing an Intercultural Center;
  • Added Chief Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer to the Cabinet;
  • Posting all faculty and staff positions on diversity-specific websites;
  • Ensuring that all faculty and staff search committee members have had implicit bias training;
  • Requiring applicants for faculty positions to include an EDI statement that addresses how they have worked to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in their previous positions, and how they would plan to continue to do so at MMC;
  • Incorporating EDI initiatives into college-wide KPIs.

Continuing Priorities from Goal IV

  • Revisit status of multi-year faculty salary plan and develop plan for resuming it;
  • Maintain focus on diversifying faculty and staff as new positions are approved and searches are conducted.
  • Support staff in ongoing transition to remote work and telecommuting.

 

GOAL V:
MAKE THE MMC EXPERIENCE VISIBLE

 

V.1. Launch a comprehensive branding initiative that reflects strategic direction

Accomplishments as of 2019 Progress Report

  • Circulated templates for standardized email signatures to all faculty and staff
  • Installed new lower-level signage and graphics in Nugent Hall, CityEdge-themed wall art outside Admissions Office, and engaging academic graphics on elevators
  • Installed CityEdgesignage on first floor of Carson Hall and strengthened CityEdge messaging
  • Made student outcomes more visible on website, digital screens on campus, and in the magazine
  • Created new social media guidelines and implemented trainings for social media managers
  • Developed student influencer role for social media campaigns
  • Initiated branding workshops with individual offices and departments to establish cohesive messaging and design standards across the College
  • Revamped academic landing pages and page navigation

Additional accomplishments, 2019-2021

  • Launched website redevelopment with anticipated launch of new website in April 2021;
  • Engaged mStoner (website redesign firm) in preliminary rebranding work;
  • Built communications team in the Office of Institutional Advancement, including hiring content developer/writer to increase ability to general original content;
  • Developing communication plans for offices and major projects;
  • Developed emergency communication protocols;
  • Developing a Social Media Policy;
  • Upgraded public relations capabilities, including investment in the Cision public relations tool to enhance direct communication with journalists and media outlets;
  • Contracted with Enrollment Marketing Vendor for prospective students through print, digital, and social media channels;
  • Increased utilization of the College’s new app, MMC Engage.

 

V.2. Enhance the College’s student recruitment models to more effectively market the singular MMC experience

Accomplishments as of 2019 Progress Report

  • Integrated CityEdgeinto all admissions messaging
  • Transformed “campus tour” into a more comprehensive campus experience
  • Revamped Open Houses and Accepted Student Days
  • Increased guidance counselor and school visits increases to improve feeder school network

Additional accomplishments, 2019-2021

  • Adapted recruitment strategies to accommodate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Expanded multi-year recruitment strategy, from sophomore through seniors;
  • Engaged in redevelopment of the website and preliminary work on rebranding;
  • Developed a communication plan with high school counselors;
  • Enhanced Integration of faculty recruiters into recruitment process;
  • Through the Presidential Task Force on Academic Strategic Planning, continued discussion of a unifying concept for the MMC educational experience;
  • Revisited recruitment strategies to support the goal of greater student diversity, both college-wide and programmatically.

Continuing Priorities for Goal V

  • Complete a comprehensive rebranding campaign that promotes singular MMC identity and experience;
  • Align educational programs with this singular MMC identity and experience.