Skip Navigation

Master Academic Plan

Table of Contents

I. Introduction


The Master Academic Plan provides a flexible overall framework for the development of specific college and department plans and for academic initiatives that reflect those plans. In this way, the MAP guides academic development at the university and connects current planning efforts to those that have gone before, including the University Plan 2002-2007 and the Evaluation of Opportunities and Challenges.

The Master Academic Plan coordinates efforts toward the following six outcomes (unranked):

  1. High quality programs (Provide high quality educational programs and services that support students' professional, personal, and citizenship development.)
  2. Excellent faculty (Hire and support excellent faculty.)
  3. Secure future for Northern Minnesota (Help build the future of Northern Minnesota.)
  4. Diverse student, staff and programming (Enhance diversity.)
  5. Excellent teaching and learning environment (Support the teaching and learning environment.)
  6. Financial stability (Secure financial stability through appropriate growth and program development.)

Each outcome has sub-categories and each sub-category has decision parameters. The decision parameters are useful in several ways:

  • They provide a basis for the authoring of initiatives by the colleges and departments.
  • They provide a basis for college and academic affairs decision-making with regard to initiatives.
  • They invite interpretation and discovery. For example, review of the parameters might suggest a different frame or approach to an activity already built into an initiative, and might also provoke consideration of new approaches and activities. (Larry Hirschhorn and Linda May, "The Campaign Approach to Change: Targeting the University's Scarcest Resources," Change, June 2000)
As with other university planning documents, the Master Academic Plan remains open to review and modification.

References in this document to the Colleges include all academic programs, including the programs in Integrative Studies.


1 Provide High Quality Educational Programs and Services that Support Students' Professional, Personal and Citizenship Development

  1. Core Values and Signature Themes
  2. Curricular Philosophies
  3. Assessment of Student Progress

Bemidji State's educational programming includes Liberal Education (general education), majors, and other academic programs, including minors and fields of emphasis. These programs directly reflect the university's goal of "integrating liberal arts with career development to prepare students for life-long learning and leadership in a global society" (Five-Year Goal Statement, Appendix D). While many criteria come into play in the development of academic programming, such as trends and needs in professional fields, the following three over-arching criteria can help assure that Bemidji State curricular and co-curricular initiatives work toward common themes and goals.

1A. Core Values and Signature Themes

Bemidji State has identified three core values central to its mission, passion and promise:

  • International/multicultural understanding
  • Civic engagement
  • Environmental stewardship.

These identified values serve as Signature Themes that contribute to the development of Bemidji State's . curriculum. The Signature Themes are not tightly defined; rather, they are intended to invite interpretation and discovery appropriate to each academic program (Hirschhorn and May, 2000). Although it is not intended . that each class or co-curricular activity explicitly incorporates each value, it is intended that, through the sum . of their educational experience at Bemidji State, students will have multiple opportunities to learn about, . experience, reflect on, and integrate these values.

Decision parameters for inclusion of Signature Themes/Core Values in curricular and co-curricular initiatives include the following*:

  • As appropriate, intentionally incorporates experiences that reflect the Signature Themes.
  • As appropriate, promotes opportunities for students to confront or engage in experiences that reflect the Signature Themes.
  • As appropriate, helps ensure that every graduate will have had opportunities to learn about, experience and reflect on the Core Values expressed in the Signature Themes.

To this end:

  • The Liberal Education Task Force is encouraged to consider carefully these core values and signature themes as it proceeds with the redesign of the Liberal Education program.
  • College Strategic Plans are expected to address the inclusion of these core values and signature themes in Department Plans.

*The intention is to provide direction on common themes and goals, not to prescribe curriculum or degree requirements.

1B. Curricular Philosophies

A variety of curricular philosophies is evident and supported at Bemidji State. Two particular philosophical approaches are especially encouraged in current academic practice: interdisciplinary offerings and experiential learning. Models of these philosophies include programs in the School of Integrative Studies, joint programs, course structures such as that for "People and the Environment," and community-based opportunities including internships, service-learning experiences, travel-study, and practicums.

Decision parameters for incorporation of curricular philosophies in curricular initiatives include the following*:

  • As appropriate, supports and grows interdisciplinary approaches to the curriculum.
  • As appropriate, supports and grows experiential learning in the curriculum.

To this end:

  • College Strategic Plans are expected to address the inclusion of curricular philosophies in Department Plans.

*There is no intention to limit curricular philosophies to these two. Rather, the intention is, as appropriate, to support and grow interdisciplinary and experiential opportunities for our students.

1C. Assessment of Student Progress

Assessment of student progress occurs in a number of ways, including:

  • Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes
  • Measurement of Graduation Rates.

The University's commitment to assessment of student learning outcomes will continue through the various . offices and personnel already facilitating assessment, as well as through enhanced use of assessment outcomes in . decision-making. Assessment activities at the program level are led by the Deans and the assessment coordinators . in the three colleges, CEL, and Liberal Education with the review and approval process of the Academic Affairs . Planning Committee. Institutional assessment is coordinated through the Office of Institutional Research.

Academic advisement and timing of curricular offerings, reflected, in part, in graduation rates, are also critically important in supporting student academic progress.

Decision parameters for assessment of student progress include the following:

  • Provides evidence that assessment results are informing curricular decisions.
  • Promotes effective academic advising.
  • Promotes timely availability of curricular offerings.
  • Strengthens and improves graduation rates.

To this end:

  • College Strategic Plans are expected to address the inclusion of student progress assessment in Department Plans.
  • The Liberal Education Committee is asked to address assessment of student learning outcomes in its plans.


2 Hire and Support Excellent Faculty

  1. Faculty Hiring Plans
  2. Support for Faculty Development
  3. Grant Writing and Sponsored Research
  4. Compensation and Benefit Packages
  5. Work Load
  6. Civic Engagement: Scholarship and Service
  7. Technology Training and Support

Support for faculty in their teaching, scholarship, and service is critically important. As noted earlier, the quality of our faculty will always be a direct indicator of the quality of our academic offerings and programs. Bemidji State must be intentional in its commitment to hiring highly qualified faculty and supporting faculty development.

2A. Faculty Hiring Plans

The hiring of new faculty provides a unique and rare opportunity for departments to support their programs not only through teaching but through in-depth program development and the building of potential faculty collaborations, especially regarding faculty scholarship (including research, critical studies and creative work).

Decision parameters related to faculty hiring plans include the following:

  • Anticipates faculty hiring needs for the next five years in consideration of faculty scholarship and program needs.
  • Supports excellence in teaching.
  • Provides support for existing faculty scholarship agendas.
  • Intentionally builds opportunities for potential faculty collaborations in faculty scholarship areas.
  • Encourages people who are hired to continue to build on the existing scholarship agendas and interests that support international, environmental, American Indian, natural resource, assessment, and civic engagement topics.

To this end:

  • College Strategic Plans will address the inclusion of faculty hiring plan decision parameters.

2B. Support for Faculty Development

Professional development is essential to faculty vitality, including development in teaching, advising and scholarship. Professional development activities may be proposed or supported by individuals, departments, colleges, the Center for Professional Development, or MnSCU.

Decision parameters for initiatives related to professional development include the following:

  • Promotes and supports teaching effectiveness.
  • Supports faculty in their roles as advisors.
  • Supports issues of academic integrity.
  • Supports new faculty mentorship.
  • Supports faculty grant-writing and other scholarship efforts (including research, critical studies, and creative work).
  • Promotes establishment of best-practices for developing and administering student evaluations.

To this end:

  • The Center for Professional Development is asked to include in its annual plans programs that consider these parameters.

2C. Grant Writing and Sponsored Research

In response to requests from faculty members, the college Deans and the Vice President for Academic Affairs are committed to providing faculty with support for their grant writing and sponsored research activities.

Decision parameters for initiatives that support grant writing include the following:

  • Supports the creation of a grants office with personnel to assist faculty in their grant-finding and . grant-writing efforts.
  • In lieu of a grants office, provides limited support for the hiring of grant writers in support of faculty initiatives.
  • Creates self-sustaining financial model wherein initial college investment (in reassigned time or project "seed money", etc.) can be recouped through successful grant awards.
  • Supports a process for connecting these grant writer funds to the efforts of the CPD.
To this end:
  • College Strategic Plans will address initiatives that develop faculty grant writing and sponsored research.

2D. Compensation and Benefit Packages

Recruitment and retention of faculty members is linked, in part, to compensation and benefit packages.

To the extent that decisions are local, decision parameters for compensation and benefit packages include the following:

  • Packages are nationally competitive.

To this end:

  • Academic administration will address compensation for new hires in ways that support this decision parameter.

2E. Workload

Workload issues influence recruitment and retention of faculty, and faculty development. To maintain reasonable faculty workloads, both faculty and academic administration must be diligent in considering factors that affect faculty workload.

Decision parameters for initiatives that affect workload for faculty include, among other things:

  • Number of courses taught
  • Number of new course preparations
  • Advising commitments
  • Contractual reassigned time for responsibilities of production programs such as Theatre, etc.
  • Other characteristics of course level, preparation and delivery

To this end:

  • College Strategic Plans are expected to address faculty workload issues in Department Plans. Reduction in breadth of curriculum is anticipated to be one approach.

2F. Civic Engagement: Scholarship and Service

The colleges, the Center for Professional Development, the Center for Extended Learning, and the Center for Research and Innovation are expected to support faculty in their development of civic engagement service and scholarship.

Decision parameters for supporting faculty scholarship and service include*:

  • Promotes community-based scholarship and service.

To this end:

  • The Center for Professional Development, the Center for Extended Learning, and the Center for Research and Innovation are expected to address in their Strategic or Annual Plans efforts to support faculty in the development of community-based scholarship and service.
  • College Strategic Plans are expected to address support for faculty in the development of community based scholarship and service in Department Plans.

*No part of Section 2F should be construed as creating closure with respect to Area II of professional development as described in the Master Agreement.

2G. Technology Training and Support

As technology advances, the role of the Center for Extended Learning in support of faculty development will be critical. Through the Online Services Office, the Center for Extended Learning provides support for faculty and prepares them to meet the challenges of delivering technology-enhanced learning opportunities.

Decision parameters for initiatives by the Center for Extended Learning include the following:

  • Supports faculty development for online teaching.
  • Provides individualized faculty assistance, computer based tutorials, an Online Learning Faculty Handbook and an online orientation to D2L.
  • Provides support for development of summer offerings.
  • Provides faculty opportunity to discuss common issues.
  • Provides ways to ensure appropriate content and consistent quality of online courses.

To this end:

  • CEL Strategic Plan will address support for faculty development.


3 Help Build the Future of Northern Minnesota: Engagement and Service

  1. Commitment to Quality of Life and Place
  2. P-12 Educational Collaborations
  3. Industry Needs
  4. Influences from External Constituencies

As Bemidji State University, or as the "University of Northern Minnesota," we are committed to serving the needs of this region. Academic Affairs has demonstrated its partnership commitment to the region through programs and offerings familiar to most:

  • Academic department cultural outreach and intellectual programming
  • Center for Extended Learning offerings
  • Small Business Development Center business counseling
  • Center for Research and Innovation customized training

As part of its next re-accreditation process, Bemidji State University will have further opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to the region. In 2005, the Higher Learning Commission established a new criterion for . accreditation, Engagement and Service. Academic Affairs will demonstrate its support with regard to this . criterion in numerous ways.

3A. Commitment to Quality of Life and Place

Bemidji State is committed to improving the quality of life and place in the region's communities. . This commitment will be furthered by a new focus on civic engagement, one of the university's identified core values expressed in its Signature Themes.

Decision parameters for incorporating quality of life and place in academic initiatives include the following:

  • Support for civic engagement in curricular, scholarship, and/or service agendas.
  • Provision of cultural outreach and intellectual programming
  • Provision of professional or community related capstone experiences for all students.
  • Promotion of volunteerism and service learning.

To this end:

  • College Strategic Plans will address the inclusion of these quality of life and place in issues in Department Plans where appropriate.

3B. P-12 Educational Collaborations

Academic Affairs will continue to support its connections to the P-12 educational system in our community.

Decision parameters regarding P-12 educational opportunities include promotion and evaluation of changes with regard to the following:

  • Concurrent enrollment and PSEO.
  • Teacher preparation programs.
  • Shared educational, cultural, and sports facilities.
  • Professional development opportunities.
  • Cooperative summer events.
  • Cooperative routes to meeting licensure and recertification.

To this end:

  • College Strategic Plans are expected to address the inclusion of support for P-12 educational . collaborations in Department Plans where appropriate.

3C. Industry Needs

Bemidji State is committed to increasing the knowledge-based economy of Northern Minnesota. By way of example, current collaborations include the following:

  • Units within Academic Affairs participate in the Ingenuity Frontier, a collaboration with industry, community organizations, private foundations, economic development organizations, and other educational institutions.
  • The Center for Research and Innovation oversees Bemidji State's customized training offerings.
  • The Center for Extended Learning provides continuing education opportunities for citizens of the region and state.

Decision parameters for initiatives related to industry needs include the following:

  • Addresses the economic and quality of life needs of the region.
  • Helps meet the continuing education needs of the workforce in our region.

To this end:

  • College, CEL, and CRI Strategic Plans will address means, as appropriate, that help meet industry needs.

3D. Influences from Bemidji State's External Constituencies

Bemidji State recognizes the important role of external influences in its internal decision-making processes.

Decision parameters for external constituency influences in academic initiatives include the following:

  • Provides or supports a department advisory board comprised of community and regional members.
  • Includes the role of advisory boards in the program review process.

To this end:

  • College Strategic Plans will address the inclusion of influences from external constituencies in . Department Plans where appropriate.


4 Enhance Diversity

  1. Recruitment, Retention and Graduation
  2. Commitment in Hiring
  3. Multicultural Understanding

Bemidji State is committed to a campus-wide approach to encouraging diversity and inclusion, and to creating an environment where everyone can achieve their full potential as a member of the educational community (Beverly Daniel Tatum," Building a Road to a Diverse Society," The Chronicle Review, April 2, 2004 and William Tierney, "Models of Minority College-Going and Retention," Journal of Negro Education, Winter 1999).

4A. Recruitment, Retention and Graduation

Bemidji State University is located near three American Indian reservations and serves a unique role in the recruitment, retention, and graduation of American Indian students. Bemidji State's goal (Bemidji State . Underrepresented Student Recruitment and Retention Plan) is to increase American Indian enrollment 50% within five years and to increase overall minority and underrepresented student enrollment to 8% of total . enrollment within five years. Increased enrollment of international students is also supported.

Decision parameters within Academic Affairs related to recruitment, retention and graduation of American Indian, minority, international, and underrepresented students include the following:

  • Forms linkages, collaborations, and articulations with tribal colleges.
  • Increases distance delivery of coursework from Bemidji State to tribal colleges, and from tribal colleges to Bemidji State.
  • Supports tribal college faculty development.
  • Supports creation of an American Indian Leadership Institute and American Indian oriented summer symposia.
  • Supports establishment of a peer advising program that would pair minority upperclassmen with newly enrolled students.
  • Affirms our students' cultural identity.
  • Supports dissemination of information from the MnSCU minority student recruitment conference held each spring and attended by Bemidji State faculty and staff.
  • Supports program articulations, faculty exchange programs, and student exchange programs with . international partner institutions.

To this end

  • College and AIRC Strategic Plans will address college efforts related to the decision parameters for . recruitment, retention and graduation of underrepresented and international student populations.

4B. Commitment in Hiring

Bemidji State is committed to creating a diverse university community of faculty and staff.

Decision parameters related to promoting diversity through hiring of faculty and staff within Academic Affairs include the following:

  • Supports affirmative action goals for each hire at the university.
  • Supports the MnSCU Chancellor's Work Plan on diversity.
  • Promotes use of national best practices for attracting and supporting minority employees.
  • Supports College Strategic Plan initiatives that attract qualified underrepresented candidates.

To this end:

  • College Strategic Plans will address college hiring plans related to diversity.

4C. Multicultural Understanding

Bemidji State continues to strengthen its commitment to multicultural and international understanding through curriculum decisions, scholarship agendas, and related efforts.

Decision parameters related to multicultural understanding (as discussed in Section 1A: Signature Themes and Core Values) include the following:

  • As appropriate, infuses American Indian and international perspectives into the curriculum.
  • As appropriate, promotes opportunities for students to learn about and engage in multicultural experiences, and opportunities to reflect on them. The reflective aspect of understanding is underscored.

To this end:

  • College Strategic Plans will address the inclusion of multicultural understanding in Department Plans.
  • The AIRC Strategic Plan will address departmental support for curricular changes.


5 Support the Teaching and Learning Environment

  1. Technology
  2. Library
  3. Classrooms and Laboratories
  4. Equipment and Operating Funds
  5. Facilities

Bemidji State is committed to supporting an excellent teaching and learning environment, including a . supportive organizational context and appropriate physical and training resources.

5A. Technology

A University Master Technology Plan will help the institution better align technology expenditures with our . academic goals and objectives and will emphasize the role of information technology in supporting the . academic mission of the University.

Decision parameters for a Master Technology Plan include the following:

  • Prioritizes technology initiatives.
  • Develops multi-year funding and budgeting strategies for replacing and upgrading information . technology equipment.
  • Examines the strengths and weaknesses of the University's current academic and administrative computing environment.
  • Identifies and evaluates new emerging technologies.
  • Explores opportunities to better support scholarship of faculty, staff, and students.
  • Explores opportunities to better support the internal functions of the Bemidji State website.
  • Reviews and develops new technology policies governing use of campus technology resources.
  • Develops opportunities for greater communication and collaboration with the campus, local and regional employers, tribal colleges, and other peer institutions.
  • Aligns with system technology planning efforts.

5B. Library

The resources and services of the University's library play an important role in students' education and . faculty scholarship. The renovated library houses nearly a quarter of a million books, more than 900 periodical subscriptions, and collections of government publications, audiovisual materials, maps, and microforms. . In addition, the library provides access to off-campus holdings though an extensive interlibrary loan network.

Decision parameters related to initiatives of the university library include the following:

  • Supports migration to ALEPH (from PALS).
  • Addresses the access needs of faculty scholarship.
  • Incorporates library needs of extended learning students.
  • As appropriate, incorporates new technology.

5C. Classrooms and Laboratories

The Academic Technology Center supports the use of instructional technology in the classroom environment.

Decision parameters related to classroom and laboratory technology initiatives include the following:

  • Provides appropriate technical support for faculty, staff, and students.
  • Supports the maintenance, upgrades and appropriate adoption of new "smart room" technologies.
  • Supports needs prioritized in College Strategic Plans.
  • Incorporates forecasts of classroom and laboratory needs.

5D. Equipment and Operating Funds

Departmental computer labs are financed through the student technology fee on a three-year rotation basis. . To maintain this rotation schedule, no new labs are scheduled to be brought on line. Purchase and upgrading . of other program equipment, including laboratory equipment, will be coordinated through College Strategic Plans, and will be supplemented by College fund-raising activities through the Foundation.

Decision parameters regarding equipment and operating fund initiatives include the following:

  • Supports current three-year rotation schedule for departmental computer labs.
  • Supports equipment and programming fund-raising priorities expressed in College Strategic Plans.

5E. Facilities

Requests for academic building construction and renovations are guided by the Master Academic Plan and . coordinated with the Master Facilities Plan. Currently, preliminary discussions are underway for the following:

  • Sattgast remodel and expansion
  • Decker relocation, remodel and/or construction
  • Hagg Sauer renovation
  • Performing facility construction
  • Environmental Technology Center construction
  • Art Museum construction or remodel
  • PE Complex and John Glas Fieldhouse renovation
  • Center for Nursing and Health construction
  • Communications Center construction or remodel
  • Day Care construction.

Decision parameters related to facility initiatives include the following:

  • Supports goal of 10% improvement in space utilization by college.
  • Supports improvement in state-wide ranking of Bemidji State facilities projects, based on space utilization.
  • Supports goal of external and state financing over general Bemidji State funding sources.


6 Secure Financial Stability through Appropriate Enrollment Growth and Program Development

  1. Academic Program Initiatives and Resource Allocation
  2. Distance Education Offerings
  3. Graduate Programs Offerings
  4. Summer School Offerings
  5. Recruitment Initiatives
  6. Retention Initiatives

Bemidji State University seeks to stabilize its enrollments at approximately 4000 FTE on campus and 1000 FTE distance enrollments (final numbers to be determined by Administrative Affairs and the Budget Resource and . Allocation Committee). To meet these goals, Academic Affairs must accommodate institutional enrollment growth through a combination of approaches that serve as decision parameters for academic program initiatives:

  • Retain current students at a higher rate than current retention.
  • Attract prospective students to existing programs that have extra enrollment capacity.
  • Expand the enrollment capacity of existing programs to meet demonstrated student demand.
  • Develop new programs to meet demonstrated student enrollment demand.

On-campus growth is anticipated to occur through existing programs, through new programs with documented growth potential, and through programs supported by regional partners and external resources.

6A. Academic Program Initiatives and Resource Allocation

If economic resources were abundant, conversations on how to allocate resources among initiatives and priorities would not be necessary. But, we must consider how to maximize our programming excellence (an internal expectation) while maintaining an institutional enrollment that generates adequate funding (a challenge of our external environment).

A comprehensive university, such as Bemidji State, is dedicated to offering a variety of quality programs. It is widely recognized in such universities that some programs, such as those in the arts, require small class size, that some require high equipment budgets, such as those in the sciences, and that some lend themselves to larger lecture classes, such as "survey" courses in the Humanities. Programs are valued for the role they play in the success of the university.

Academic affairs decision-making always includes financial concerns, but a university budget is not a level playing field where all programs are funded equally. Rather, budget is one factor among several. Those might include a program's service to the university mission, the potential for drawing new students to the university, and contributions to the university's overall excellence.

In his book Prioritizing Academic Programs and Services: Reallocating Resources to Achieve Strategic Balance (1999, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass), Robert Dickeson poses questions that he considers important in resource decision-making. These questions can be categorized under the concepts of mission centrality, quality, and economic engine as identified in the book Good to Great (2001, New York: HarperCollins) by Jim Collins. Collins' conceptual framework is also referenced in the university's strategic plan.

The following questions are from Dickeson's (1999) book and are organized by Collins' framework.

Mission centrality:

  • What is the connecting relationship between the program and achievement of the university's mission?
  • What is the relative dependence of the university on the program?
  • How does a program enhance the image of university's overall offerings?
  • How does a program contribute to the political/cultural context of the university?
  • How does a program contribute to enhancing the university's overall distinctiveness?
  • How do we account for those programmatic offerings that are mission central, but that must be offered on a limited basis due to their high expense?

Program quality:

  • What are the program's student learning outcomes?
  • Are the students, alumni, and employers satisfied with the program?
  • How do we support and enhance the quality of the program inputs, including human and physical resources?
  • How do we judge whether the depth and breadth of a program's current offerings are appropriate given current resources?
  • How do we measure the educational "added value" provided by a program?
  • How can we recognize a program's capacity to capitalize on emerging trends?

Economic engine:

  • If 90% of Bemidji State's financial resources are generated by university enrollments, how do we . measure external student demand for existing or new programs?
  • What is the relative financial dependence of the university on the program?
  • How do we evaluate the draw of competing higher education institutions against our program offerings?
  • How can we measure whether a program's cost structure is such that expanding the program will help, or hinder, the university's financial situation?
  • How do we recognize those programs that attract students to Bemidji State?
  • How do we recognize the demanding efforts of some high credit-generating programs (often found in the Liberal Education offerings) in their support for other "high cost" or "low enrollment" programs?
  • How do we recognize those programs that serve other departments or generate credits for other departments?
  • How can we identify ways to improve efficiencies in programs?
  • How can we manage the extensive data provided in various studies and institutional records to help us in efficiency decisions?
  • What is the potential for outside funding (grants, bequests, gifts, etc.) to support a program?

Evaluation of a program's mission centrality, quality, and economic engine indicators should help make the . connections between institutional financial viability, program development, and resource allocation more transparent. Evaluation of programs against program indicators should also provide meaningful suggestions on how to improve quality, mission centrality, and cost effectiveness. Resource scarcity may require modifications of some current programs over the next five years. In such situations, efforts to maintain or enhance academic quality while reducing costs or inefficiencies will be important. Commitment to full-time faculty positions . continues to remain a priority for academic administration.

Decision parameters for academic program initiatives include the following:

  • Promotes program quality.
  • Promotes program mission-centrality.
  • Enhances program's economic engine.

To this end:

  • Requests for new faculty positions and proposals for new programs will need to be accompanied by . departmental and college consideration of how such changes/decisions would contribute to the . university's mission centrality, quality, and economic engine measures.

6B. Distance Education Offerings

In support of its academic agenda, the Center for Extended Learning focuses on offerings that are financially viable and supportive of the on-campus mission, as well as supportive of our outreach mission. In addition, CEL leads the academic alignment in delivery of general education courses to Northwest Technical College.

Decision parameters for Distance Education initiatives include the following:

  • Development and growth of online Liberal Education offerings.
  • Coordinated delivery of General Education courses for Northwest Technical College.
  • Development and growth of online programs and offerings.
  • Development and growth of articulated programs with community college partners.
  • Pursuit of concurrent enrollment opportunities.
  • Supports goal of growth to 1000 FTEs over next five years.

To this end:

  • As appropriate, College Strategic Plans will address the inclusion of distance learning in Department Plans.

6C. Graduate Program Offerings

The School of Graduate Studies coordinates graduate offerings from the academic departments. In support of . its academic agenda, the School of Graduate Studies promotes programming that is financially viable and . supportive of Bemidji State's undergraduate mission.

Decision parameters for graduate offerings and program development supported by the School of Graduate . Studies include the following:

  • Financially viable growth.
  • Support of the undergraduate mission.
  • Supports growth in graduate school credits by 7-10% over the next five years.

To this end:

  • As appropriate, College Strategic Plans will address the inclusion of the agenda of the School of Graduate Studies in Department Plans.

6D. Summer School

Summer school continues to provide unique opportunities to stabilize enrollments through offerings of this "third semester." Bemidji State has a system of profit sharing that many institutions are striving to attain. The success of summer session directly supports colleges' academic year efforts and offerings.

Decision parameters for summer school programming include the following:

  • Supports the goals of enhancing institutional image.
  • Supports students' timely graduation (time to catch up and get ahead).
  • Provides innovative and flexible offerings including consideration of interim sessions.
  • Supports growth in summer school credits by 7%-10% over the next five years.

To this end:

  • As appropriate, College Strategic Plans will address inclusion of summer school plans in Department Plans.

6E. Recruitment

The primary means by which Bemidji State University will stabilize its on-campus enrollment is by recruiting new students to existing and new programs. Academic departments can assist student recruitment in numerous ways, including working in concert with the efforts of the recruitment and Alumni Affairs offices.

Decision parameters for recruitment efforts include the following:

  • Supports the recruitment programming of the Admissions Office.
  • Supports the recruitment of transfer students and their particular needs.
  • Supports positive relationships with associate programs in two-year schools.
  • Supports the University's publication and marketing efforts.
  • Supports positive relationships with Bemidji State alumni.

To this end:

  • College Strategic Plans will address inclusion of recruitment efforts in Department Plans.

6F. Retention

The other side of the enrollment management "coin" is retention. Each interaction we have with a student can impact that student's likelihood of persisting to degree completion at Bemidji State. Along with improved retention of international students and distance learners, Bemidji State must improve retention for all high-risk students.

Numerous theories exist that explain student dropout behavior. Some, including those by Tinto and Astin, include the following considerations:

  • Positive student interactions with faculty and staff lead to a higher degree of academic integration, and that such integration improves retention rates.
  • Positive community building activities with students and others lead to a higher degree of social . integration, and that such integration improves retention rates.

Rephrased, these theories can serve as decision parameters for academic program initiatives:

  • Provides positive student interactions with faculty and staff that lead to academic integration, such as student/faculty research, student/faculty experiential learning settings, academic advising, among others.
  • Provides students with opportunities to develop a sense of community and social belonging that lead to social integration, such as discipline specific honorary societies, programmatic clubs and organizations, civic engagement opportunities within the broader Bemidji community, among others.

Additional parameters include:

  • Supports Bemidji State's retention goal of 75%.
  • Supports the department and program guidelines set forth in the student centeredness document adopted by Bemidji State (2005).

To this end:

  • College Strategic Plans are expected to address the inclusion of student retention in Department Plans.