Annual Report - Five Year Plan
2011-2012 Annual Report – Five Year Plan: 2009-2014
West Texas A&M University, a member of The Texas A&M University System, is a student-centered, learning community dedicated to educating tomorrow’s leaders through innovative academic and co-curricular undergraduate and graduate programs. The University serves as the principal academic and cultural center of a multi-state region and is a significant catalyst for economic development by expanding the frontiers of knowledge through education, research, and consultation. Its faculty and staff prepare students for leadership roles both in their chosen careers and as citizens of the nation and the world. West Texas A&M University is committed to providing a technology-rich education, constantly improving its academically challenging educational experience, and engaging students through effective teaching and practical experiences involving inquiry, discussion, research, creative activities, experiential learning, and service. The University is committed to the intellectual, professional, and social growth of students by providing an education grounded in the liberal arts with opportunities to develop strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills, an understanding of cultural diversity, a commitment to ethical behavior, an appreciation for the fine arts and humanities, and a desire for life-long learning.
West Texas A&M University is a progressive university that provides a superior academic experience in an engaged, student-centered environment supported by a pioneering spirit that fosters critical thinking and social responsibility.
WTAMU seeks to be a first choice institution – first choice for students, for faculty and staff, and for employers and graduate schools. When prospective students are thinking about pursuing a university education in a field in which WTAMU has a degree program, we want WT to be their first choice. When a prospective faculty or staff member is thinking of a university in which to be employed, we want WT to be their first choice. When an employer is looking for a graduate to hire, we want WT to be their first choice. And when graduate schools come looking for graduate students, we want WT to be their first choice.
West Texas A&M University holds the core values listed below as those principles that the University will not compromise, even to overcome obstacles or achieve short-term gain.
Student Centered Philosophy
The development of a student-centered philosophy is a dominant theme in both the strategic planning and curriculum assessment processes at West Texas A&M University. Since the student-centered approach permeates and influences all aspects of the University, it is essential that the philosophy is well-defined and understood by all members of the University community.
A student-centered university community is entirely committed to ensuring that students have opportunities to succeed in their academic, co-curricular, extra-curricular, social, moral, and civic endeavors while they are enrolled as our students and throughout the remainder of their lives. All members of a student-centered university community assist students in achieving their individual academic and personal goals while meeting the goals described in the university’s mission statement. The student-centered institution inspires students to develop the attitudes and skills that are essential to a rewarding life of learning, leadership and service.
West Texas A&M University exists first and foremost to provide a superb education to its students. Students and their development must be at the heart of all that we do. Furthermore, excellence in teaching is the sine qua non of our existence as an institution of higher education. In a student-centered environment, we are committed to the continuous improvement of our academic programs; we are committed to challenging students to excel; we are committed to providing students with timely feedback and assessment of their progress; we are committed to constantly adapting our pedagogy to provide a learning environment consistent with students’ learning styles; and we are committed to increasing students’ personal responsibility for learning by providing participatory learning opportunities. In a student-centered environment, our course schedules and classroom allocations are designed to best meet the needs of our students and maximize learning. Our student support services are accessible, inviting and structured to help students achieve their personal goals.
Although a student-centered university strives to promote student success, the relaxation or reduction of academic standards or expectations cannot be considered as being a contribution to success. Students must be held to high standards in the classroom, in performances, in exhibiting their work, on the athletic field, or in any other arena of student endeavor. Expectations and goals are important aspects of the student-centered philosophy and must be encouraged campus-wide.
A student-centered university enforces the rules, regulations, and policies fairly and consistently for all students. The interests of a single student or a group cannot outweigh the interests of the student community as a whole.
Our most important contacts with students occur in teaching and advising interactions, but critical interactions also occur in admissions, registration, financial aid, residential life, and career services offices. It is imperative that the encounters students have with all employees at West Texas A&M University be productive and pleasant. In other words, all university employees must be empowered and willing to solve the problems that students bring to their doorsteps.
The mission of West Texas A&M University is to be a student-centered learning community dedicated to educating tomorrow’s leaders through innovative academic and co-curricular undergraduate programs. Our role is to provide opportunities for students to reach their personal goals in a supportive, student-centered environment. Our goal is to exceed the expectations of our students, their parents, and the community that we serve. Each member of the university community is responsible for ensuring that West Texas A&M University is student-centered.
Priorities of WTAMU
The University's primary responsibility is to provide a student-centered, learning community dedicated to educating tomorrow’s leaders through innovative academic and co-curricular undergraduate and graduate programs, with primary emphasis placed on undergraduate education. Given the large number of first generation and minority students, emphasis is placed on providing an educational experience in which there is personalized attention given to students.
Instructional responsibilities are given a weight of between 50 and 80 percent in annual faculty evaluations, depending upon specific faculty workloads. Recognizing that the existence of an effective student-centered learning environment entails extensive interaction of students with faculty outside of the classroom, advising/mentoring comprises between 10 and 20 percent of instructional responsibilities.
Scholarly research that provides practical applications of theory through applied research, enhance the effectiveness of teaching, and advance the bounds of knowledge, are valued and encouraged by the University. In terms of priorities, a goal is for the majority of our scholarly output to be applied scholarship, with the remainder being in rough balance between basic scholarship and instructional development. Regardless of type, the primary emphasis is on high quality intellectual contributions. Scholarly research/creative activities are given a weight of between 10 and 40 percent in annual faculty evaluations, depending upon specific faculty workloads.
As a service-oriented university, we have a commitment to assist in the economic development of the region. Service responsibilities are viewed as an integral part of the mission of the University and are given a weight of between 10 and 25 percent in annual faculty evaluations, depending upon specific faculty workloads.
Recognizing a sizable proportion of our students are commuter and/or non-traditional students, the University offers a wide range of student support services for part-time and non-traditional students in addition to being a residential campus. While traditional course delivery systems are the predominate means of offering classes and programs, WTAMU is committed to offering on-line programs and on-line courses.
Critical Success Factors and Key Performance Indicators
The following represent factors considered critical to the success of WTAMU: