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Students in Luter Hall

College of Social Sciences Develops Strategic Plan

Academic offerings to focus on global perspective, career outcomes.

Above: Luter Hall, home to the College of Social Sciences

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Faculty and administrators of the College of Social Sciences (CSS) have developed the college’s first strategic plan.

The CSS mission, as outlined in the plan, reads:

“The College of Social Sciences values the theoretical and practical knowledge and understanding of human society and social relationships. The college seeks to be a premier undergraduate liberal arts college, engaging our students with innovative teaching and learning experiences that will enable them to lead lives of meaning and purpose, and become engaged citizens and leaders.”

To fulfill that mission, the strategic plan outlines four areas of focus:

  • Provide an education on the challenge students face now that is also deeply rooted in the foundations of the social sciences
  • Increase the emphasis in coursework on analytics and data
  • Offer students a more global perspective
  • Stress outcomes in connection with consideration of career opportunities for students

“Our goal is to better provide a social sciences education that speaks to the educational needs students have relative to the job market and opportunities that will be available to them when they graduate,” said Dean Quentin Kidd.

The plan was developed by a committee of faculty members who consulted with their departmental colleagues. Once drafted, it was approved by the chairs of each department within CSS: communication; economics; leadership and American studies; military science; political science; and sociology, social work and anthropology.

The college is one of four major academic units at Christopher Newport along with the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences and the Joseph W. Luter, III School of Business.

The full text of the strategic plan appears below.


College of Social Sciences Strategic Plan

Mission
The College of Social Sciences values the theoretical and practical knowledge and understanding of human society and social relationships. The college seeks to be a premier undergraduate liberal arts college, engaging our students with innovative teaching and learning experiences that will enable them to lead lives of meaning and purpose, and become engaged citizens and leaders.

Goal 1:
Offer quality program options that provide an educational foundation that prepares students to deal with complexity, diversity, and change in their lives and the world at large. To accomplish this, the college will:

  • Support and incentivize new and high-quality academic and professional programming that will address important political, economic, and social issues and provide a value- added benefit to students
  • Promote and support interdisciplinary programs and collaborations within the college and across the university
  • Develop a set of college specific competencies/skills
  • Establish metrics for the evaluation and promotion of high-quality educational programs

Goal 2:
Strengthen students’ understanding of the connections between their academic content and the post-graduate world. To accomplish this, the college will:

  • Develop more productive relationships with campus units (e.g., alumni relations, Center for Career Planning) and prospective employers to build pipelines and connections for students’ post-graduate lives
  • Provide incentivized opportunities for students to explore how their course content connects to a wide array of career options (e.g., through alumni panels, professional development) and incentivize faculty to encourage this exploration
  • Help students develop a better understanding of their professional competencies so they are able to demonstrate they are career ready to prospective employers
  • Develop an alumni network to support career readiness and students’ professional development

Goal 3:
Advocate for and develop resources to support the teaching, research, and service activities of its faculty. To accomplish this, the college will:

  • Develop financial streams to support technological advances (e.g., software) that support the teaching and research needs of the college
  • Explore opportunities for faculty across the college to engage/interact/build relationships in support of interdisciplinary teaching and research
  • Advocate for the overhaul of the EVAL-4 to address evidence-based best practices for the evaluation of teaching, research, and service in support of innovation
  • Advocate for refinement of the EVAL-4 in areas regarding community scholarship/engagement and service to promote greater collaboration and interaction with the local community
  • Develop a metric for evaluating and rewarding the uncompensated labor of faculty in their interactions with and support of students

Goal 4:
Create a more diverse and global perspective in its programs and curriculum. To accomplish this, the college will:

  • Review and revise its curriculum to ensure students have the global competencies necessary for success post-graduation
  • Enhance efforts to diversify and internationalize the college with regard to hiring, retention, annual review, and promotion and tenure
  • Provide professional development opportunities for faculty to diversify and internationalize their perspectives
  • Develop sustainable education abroad programming that supports the college’s mission
  • Develop support systems to recruit and retain a diverse student population, including international students

Goal 5:
Distinguish and market its quality programs, faculty and students on campus, regionally, nationally, and globally. To accomplish this, the college will:

  • Better distinguish itself from other colleges and schools on campus (e.g., curricular requirements that elevate CSS students).
  • Work with relevant stakeholders (faculty, students, employers, administrators) to develop and disseminate promotional materials that demonstrate the value of the college as well as a social science degree (i.e., an ongoing public relations campaign).

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