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Cultivating an Enriched Campus Community Goal

Create and support a dynamic inclusive [1] campus community that provides high-quality, student-centered, out-of-class learning experiences to prepare students for academic success, democratic citizenship, life in a global society, and a life-long affinity with Illinois Wesleyan University.


Strategy A: Prepare students for democratic citizenship, life in a global society, and the professional world.

II.A1:   Students will develop strong leadership skills through progressive leadership programs {class-year based, identity-based (gender, race/ethnicity, LGBT+), and advocacy-center}, including peer mentoring and peer education.

Outcome:  Program outcomes will be developed and used to assess student leadership and mentoring initiatives. Recommendations from assessment will be reviewed and implementation supported, when possible.

Outcome: Collaborative leadership initiatives between programs, centers and activities will be documented.

II.A2:   Students will understand social justice concerns and be able to apply those concepts to their academic and leadership experiences.

Outcome: Students will regularly participate in initiatives that connect the enhanced academic exploration of social justice issues with practical opportunities that contribute to their resolution.

Outcome: Interested Registered Student Organizations (RSO’s) will be engaged in promoting and educating students about social justice issues.

II.A3:   Students will connect vocation, social justice, and inter-faith initiatives through leadership and service experiences.

Outcome: The Chaplain’s office will develop, pilot, implement and evaluate Fall and Spring Break trips incorporating inter-faith exploration, service, and social justice.

II.A4:   Students will engage in a robust, fully-integrated student experience that emphasizes collaboration regarding community service, service-learning, human rights and social justice.

Outcome: Create a system for collecting service and service-learning hours for students. Maintain annual Presidential Community Service Honor Roll recognition. Increase student service hours per-capita.

II.A5:   Students will gain valuable professional and leadership experiences through campus-based student employment. Campus work positions will emphasize learning work-related knowledge, professionalism, and employability skills.

Outcome: Student employment position descriptions will reflect outcomes-based goals, training, and method for evaluation. Supervisors will be trained and supported about how to supervise student employees for high quality learning.

II.A6:   Students will learn financial literacy skills regarding personal financial management, e.g., student loan debt. 

Outcome: Identify leadership and support mechanisms for program development. Identify learning outcomes and/or a four-year learning curriculum. Develop an implementation plan including participation incentives.

II.A7:   Students will understand the changing nature of the world of work and will demonstrate successful job-search and graduate school search skills required to be successful in their area of interest.

Outcome: Use graduate survey to provide data that indicate strengths and areas for improvement.

II.A8:   Students and prospective students will have an opportunity to experience a summer intellectual community focused on leadership, scholarship and service. Programs might include expanded summer conferences, collaboration between Eckley Scholars/Summer Enrichment Program/Action Research Center, a summer post-baccalaureate fellowship preparation program, and other summer experiences.

Strategy B: Support Student Transitions and Academic Decisions throughout College. Enhance the undergraduate experience by bringing together academic and co-curricular experiences that address new student orientation, transitions, and the ongoing advisement of students in all spheres of their growth and development.

II.B1:    Students pursuing pre-professional programs will experience a clear path to success through support programs, advising, career-related advising and graduate/professional school preparation, alumni mentoring and panel discussions, and preparation for their program of choice. 

II.B2:    Students will experience a smooth transition to IWU that begins with summer communication plans, continues with Turning Titan orientation, and extends to the first year residence halls. The different needs of transfer, first-year, international, MALANA, and first generation students will be considered and addressed through appropriate programming.

Outcome: A clearly-delineated, intentional communication plan will be structured and managed for maximum effect. Programs will be assessed for alignment between learning outcomes and the student experience.

Outcome: Define first generation for IWU (parents have no college, no degree, or self-identified). Identify first generation students to academic advisors and support structures. Explore pre-orientation possibility to support first generation students.

Strategy C: Maximize retention of all students by understanding the campus experience, the decision to leave the University, and improving the identified areas of concern.  Goal is to maintain a freshman-to-sophomore retention rate of over 90%.

II.C1:    Develop, maintain and review a consistent study of campus retention (MALANA and first-year to sophomore) for trends and actionable responses.

Outcome: Review existing processes to determine if we collect the information we need to assess fully (exit forms, etc.). Review retention rates by race to determine areas for improvement.

Outcome: Review first-generation student retention and explore supports as needed.

II.C2:    Students will experience a high-quality academic and social experience consistent with their recruitment process promises. Returning students will receive information regularly about new initiatives, University successes and campus opportunities to reinforce the value of the IWU education. 

II.C3:    Students with disabilities and/or the need for executive functioning support will continue to receive appropriate services, supports or referrals. 

II.C4:    Undeclared students will be supported and guided in their decision making by academic advisors, mentors, the Advising Center and the Hart Career Center. 

II.C5:    Out-of-state students will be retained at the same or higher level as in-state students.

Outcome: Assuming our out-of-state student population will continue to grow, the academic calendar, residential policies, and activities programming will be examined to maximize a positive experience for out-of-state students.

II.C6:    Examine the development of appropriate mechanisms so that students in programs that demonstrate high attrition will gain a sense of academic affinity and experience enhanced support.

Strategy D: Develop and maintain a dynamic inclusive campus community. Enhance and maintain a campus community deeply committed to Illinois Wesleyan through high quality communication, affinity groups, campus spirit, and historical sense of place and tradition. These connections include both the local campus community and the broader alumni community.

II.D1:   Students will experience an engaging residence life program that enhances their learning experience and encourages lifelong affinity with IWU. Specific activities include: reviewing the campus residency requirement, developing a residence hall renovation master plan, and exploring strong affinity/living-learning/theme housing experiences.

Outcome: Task force will review residency requirement and present recommendations. Living-learning programs will be explored as part of the residency requirement opportunities and an implementation plan will be developed. Learning outcomes development will be part of the proposal for residence theme programs.

II.D2:   Students will explore a coordinated intellectual theme annually that permeates campus dialogue through collaborative programming and contributes to a strong intellectually vibrant community. Programming includes first-year reading, speakers, symposia, and other out-of-class learning opportunities.

Outcome: A formalized process will be established to maximize inclusion, visibility, and synthesis of theme. Students will be able to identify the theme each year and connect with at least one related activity. A system of formal recognition for people who implement outstanding, new and/or collaborative theme-related programming will be developed.

II.D3:   Students will have shared experiences that engage tradition and historical connection to Illinois Wesleyan. Student-centered social spaces will be used to maximize community, encourage tradition-building and increase connectivity. Possible activities would include tradition tours, the development of new traditions/revisiting of old traditions, spirit days, ghost walk, service day, etc.

Outcome: The Office of Student Activities and Leadership Programs will conduct an external review of programs and facilities.

II.D4:   Students will connect with IWU events, opportunities and people through the use of social media technologies that assist with maintaining connections, influencing culture, and providing quality services.

Outcome: Offices will be asked to report information about the use of social media in annual reports.

II.D5:    Students will understand the ethical use of technology regarding copyright laws, authenticity, bullying, and other social media issues.

Outcome: The Dean of Students office and Academic Affairs will track policy violations regarding technology-related offenses. Campus climate will be monitored for cyber-bullying and trends in “confessions”-related sites.

II.D6:    International students will experience a positive American and campus experience. Campus supports will be explored including host family experience, English as a Second Language support, faculty development and calendar considerations.

Strategy E: Maintain high quality of life on-campus regarding campus resources and facilities.

II.E1:     Students will experience (both in variety and healthy environments) quality facilities, recreation spaces and food service options. “Quality of life” refers to physical places, support, learning outcomes, and programmatic opportunities.

Outcome: Specific facilities to be explored include a new/expanded fitness area for recreational fitness, a consolidated Counseling and Consultation Services department, the Nell Eckley Lounge/Memorial Center, the location of Financial Aid Office related to visibility and accessibility for students, and on-going consideration of food service space, equipment and delivery. Spaces should be considered based on enrollment and use by current students, faculty and staff. Sodexo dining survey should be used to examine food service improvements.

II.E2:     Students will use technology in ways that enhance their learning experience and their quality of life. The University will provide technologies that maximize: the ability to demonstrate learning (learning commons, e-portfolios, electronic journals); services to students; and efficiencies for faculty/staff. Information Technology infrastructure will adequately support student learning.

Outcome: EDUCAUSE TechQual+ student survey will be conducted to measure student satisfaction with technology services.

Outcome: Technology used in high-use programming spaces will be evaluated regularly to ensure high quality event support.

II.E3:     Students will be knowledgeable about the safety risk factors associated with sexual assault and understand the resources for support, reporting, and advocacy.

 II.E4:     Outcomes measures will be developed to ensure quality decision-making about programs and services in times of limited financial resources.


[1]  Note: The term LGBT+ will be used in this document to represent Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Ally members of the IWU community. MALANA is an acronym used to represent Multi Racial, African American, Asian American, Latino/a, and Native American community members.