The Success of our Students
Strategic Objectives and Actions
IUPUI will build on our existing strengths by enhancing collaboration among schools, academic, and non-academic units to align student success efforts; improving curricular and co-curricular coordination; supporting the engagement of all students in demonstrated high-impact teaching and learning practices; expanding academic support services; enhancing the overall student experience; and improving students’ degree completion rates.
IUPUI has an enviable track record of success in developing innovative, distinctive undergraduate curricula and creating opportunities for students to engage in high-impact practices. Our Principles of Undergraduate Learning provide a flexible, competency-based framework for curricular and co-curricular learning, and we are nationally recognized for excellence in such areas as the first-year experience, service learning and themed learning communities. Support for undergraduate student learning and success is infused across the curriculum and co-curriculum, and outcomes are routinely assessed and tracked to help ensure ongoing improvement. Student persistence and on-time degree completion are systematically addressed and abundant campus resources and services—including the Bepko Learning Center, the Math Assistance Center, and the University Writing Center—are dedicated to supporting student learning. In addition, IUPUI shares a model program of collaboration with Ivy Tech Community College and we have recently enhanced our support services for transfer students. Finally, councils exist to promote networking and sharing of best practices among academic advisors, career professionals, and faculty and staff engaged in retention efforts.
The research on undergraduate student success and our own experience tell us that increased engagement of students and other stakeholders with learning and campus life will be critical to supporting continued improvements in undergraduate attainment. We should thus continue to create venues and opportunities for our undergraduates, as well as our other diverse stakeholders, to establish, nurture, and sustain connections. Such connections are crucial to the vitality and quality of campus life. Continued progress will require renewed efforts to develop a dynamic and engaged campus community.
Representative actions that will enable IUPUI to achieve its objectives for undergraduate student learning and success:
- Support integrated, ongoing academic and career planning and reflection on goals through mechanisms like the ePDP (electronic Personal Development Plan) and online modules that foster career exploration.
- Create a leadership position to provide strategic oversight for expandingstudent participation in high-impact educational practices through the RISE (Research, International experience, Service learning, Experiential learning) Initiative, with emphasis on involving underrepresented students in experiences that combine multiple high-impact practices.
- Create an Office of Student Data, Analysis, and Evaluation that enables early intervention when students are struggling academically, as well as identification of high-risk courses and sections.
- Improve student success and retention by creating a campus-level position to coordinate a comprehensive approach to co-curricular service delivery.
- Develop additional support services and programming, especially those that support campus engagement, for underrepresented student groups (first-generation and minority students, international students, students with disabilities, and adult degree completers). Include in these services focused campus programs, an Indianapolis host family program, and American Disabilities Act (ADA) education and training.
- Reduce dependence on developmental education by matching support services to the needs of learners. These support services may include technology-assisted learning and summer programming to reduce the need for developmental courses in mathematics and writing. Offer supplemental instruction as co-requisite to credit-bearing mathematics courses as an alternative to developmental mathematics.
- Review and re-imagine the campus infrastructure to ensure that processes, policies, and organizational units are coordinated to provide a more engaging campus life experience. For example, develop a 24/7 business model to better serve students. Increase the capacity of on-campus housing to meet the recommended General Assembly standard of 10 percent of the total student population. Develop on-campus childcare options for students.
- Improve opportunities for credit distribution from transfer institutions, early college, dual enrollment, and military credit, as well as credit from nationally accredited institutions. Create a campus-wide structure and institute policies and procedures for awarding credit through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), using IUPUI’s electronic portfolio platform. Develop a web site that enables students to access information on how departments award PLA credits and apply them to specific courses.
- Develop opportunities for students to earn credit based on evidence of learning from co-curricular involvement experiences.Create explicit curricular and co-curricular linkages that help students connect in-class learning with out-of-class opportunities for leadership experiences, personal development, community engagement, and application of new knowledge. Identify gaps in current strategies for actively engaging students, faculty and staff in curricular and co-curricular learning.
- Build on the success of our first-year experience programs by creating a campus-level position to provide strategic oversight for the sophomore year. Responsibilities will include enhancing communication with second-semester freshmen, sophomores, and families to connect them with targeted programming and support; creating peer mentoring programs for second-semester freshmen and all sophomores; and developing extended (two-semester) first-year seminars.
- Build a distinctive campus identity and a stronger campus community to engage faculty, staff, and alumni by using space, visual elements, and events creatively to enhance campus pride and develop campus traditions. Educate all students, faculty, and staff about IUPUI’s history and traditions at the outset of their IUPUI experience. Incorporate the use of the Jaguar as a unifying symbol, and integrate it, along with campus colors and themes, into the design of buildings, classrooms, lounges, signage, and outdoor spaces.
- Identify and create a wide variety of new formal and informal learning spaces to accommodate diverse learning styles and increase student engagement. Establish a plan to revitalize current facilities and build new facilities to become more multifunctional, ADA-compliant, and commuter- and family-friendly. Develop an outdoor space engagement plan. Build new facilities that serve as learning laboratories, space for performing arts, and spaces that support enhanced connections with the Indianapolis community.
IUPUI will develop tomorrow’s intellectual leaders and scholars through enhanced opportunities in graduate and interprofessional education, with emphasis on creating more Ph.D. programs.
From its earliest beginnings, IUPUI has been one of Indiana’s principal sites for post-baccalaureate professional education, particularly in health-related fields. We provide our state with more than 80 percent of its dentists, more than 50 percent of its physicians, and large percentages of the work force holding post-baccalaureate degrees in other professions, including nursing, social work, law, engineering and technology, and education. Recent years have seen an increase of post-graduate professional degrees at IUPUI to meet the needs of our city, state, and nation. For example, the School of Medicine has expanded the size of its student body to alleviate projected physician shortages and we have launched the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health to address critical issues like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
The state and nation also need growing numbers of professionals with doctoral preparation to innovate, develop new knowledge, and translate research into practice, and IUPUI has responded in recent years by developing a variety of new Ph.D. programs. These programs have enhanced the campus’s intellectual vitality and enabled new forms of civic engagement, a defining value of our institution. Many of them draw on our strengths in the health sciences and in interdisciplinary and translational research. For example, Ph.D. programs in Health Informatics and Biomedical Engineering are helping to develop Indianapolis and Central Indiana as a hub for the health sciences industry. Ph.D. degrees in Epidemiology and in Health Policy and Management, within the Fairbanks School of Public Health, prepare scientific leaders to work in academic, governmental, nonprofit, and industry settings. Beyond the health and life sciences fields, our interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Philanthropic Studies, the only program of its kind in the world, prepares innovative researchers and leaders for careers in philanthropy, higher education, and nonprofit organizations.
Now we are poised to develop a larger strategic vision for graduate education, to assess how graduate education contributes to a new vision and goals for IUPUI, and to create strategies that will ensure the health of graduate education on our campus far into the future.
Representative actions that will enable IUPUI to achieve its objectives for increasing capacity for graduate education:
- Review existing programs, establish priorities for program autonomy, and gain necessary site approvals for autonomous PhD programs at IUPUI.
- Over the next seven years, double enrollments and degree conferrals in Ph.D. programs; increase the number of research faculty and research publications by 50 percent; increase research support that includes funding for graduate students by 30 percent.
- Develop interdisciplinary PhD degree programs linked to “Grand Challenge Initiatives” and active IUPUI research centers.
- Create a committee to oversee the development of professional master’s degrees and launch at least one new professional master’s degree program each year for the next three years or until local needs are met.
- In partnership with businesses and other organizations in the state, offer degrees that are malleable and intentionally translational, such as the MBA cohort program in the Business of Medicine in the Kelley School of Business or the partnership between Eli Lilly and the School of Science currently under development. Develop cohort degree plans for existing degrees in at least three schools.
IUPUI will continue to develop a technology-rich campus that offers coordinated, flexible programs and services to meet the 24/7/365 demands of learners, and that permits real-time, boundary-spanning access to expertise on campus, in the community, and around the world.
Higher education institutions have only begun to explore the potential of online environments to expand educational access and improve student learning and achievement. IUPUI thus has the opportunity to forge its own distinctive pathway through this largely uncharted territory and to provide leadership within the larger IU Online enterprise. Over the next several years, the IUPUI faculty will apply its creativity to developing new and innovative online opportunities, options, and initiatives to benefit our students. These opportunities will include not only formal courses and programs, but also innovative cross-curricular learning experiences like modules, tutorials, educational gaming, and immersive environments to supplement formal coursework, engage students, and enhance learning.
Representative actions that will enable IUPUI to achieve its objectives for online education:
- To catalyze and support transformation of online education, establish a centralized resource to help faculty design, develop, and evaluate innovative and effective teaching/learning technology-enabled strategies (including Technology-Enabled Learning Experiences (TELEs), Massive Open Online Courses, Educational Games, and so on), and to strategically coordinate and align IUPUI’s online efforts.
- Champion the IU Online initiative at IUPUI by creating, implementing, and improving courses, certificates, and degree programs that meet market needs, facilitate degree completion, and position IUPUI and IU as a leading provider of high-quality online education.
- Appoint a taskforce to survey the national landscape to identify existing TELEs, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Educational Games (EGs), and additional innovative strategies from other institutions that can serve as foundations for IUPUI-crafted teaching and learning offerings.
- As an initial step toward the “Super Platform,” dramatically redesign the current web-based guide to online courses, establish a video service to begin populating an IUPUI/IU Tube channel, and incorporate a series of small TELEs.
- Empower students (the “digital natives”) to be our partners by actively soliciting student ideas for online courses or strategies, practical services such as enrollment, matching of students with peer mentors, and so on.
- Identify and develop at least one classroom or learning space in each academic unit as a “state-of-the-art” location with all appropriate technologies in order to facilitate hybrid digital-physical learning.
- Augment existing faculty development opportunities by adding a workshop in which faculty from various disciplines explain and expand the fundamental concept of the TELE.
- Sponsor an annual prize for faculty/departments/schools that develop the most innovative TELEs, including TELEs that best address campus goals or “Grand Challenge Projects” that address large-scale themes or problems.
- Promote and expand the use of Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL), including its adaptation and adoption through Cyber Peer-Led Team Learning (cPLTL).
- Create employment and support mechanisms for online student assistants/peer facilitators in online courses and programs.
IUPUI will create a strategic and coordinated enrollment management plan to attract, retain, and graduate better prepared, more diverse students who choose IUPUI first for its vibrant urban location, leading academic programs, and culture of learning in engagement with local, regional, national, and global communities.
Strategic and managed enrollment growth is an institution-wide responsibility that is critical to IUPUI’s future viability and to the effectiveness of all of the above recommendations for enhancing student learning and achievement. Our student body and its success are increasingly the attributes that define us in the eyes of the public, as well as the government. In addition, enrollments are assuming growing importance as a funding source; in 2011-2012, enrollments provided 52 percent of our total education and general revenue stream, up from 41 percent in 2005-2006. Given decreased state appropriations, reduced availability of external research funds, and the probability of limited tuition increases and additional cuts in other revenue streams, this trend is likely to continue. Moreover, we have more control over enrollments than we do over other sources of income.
Representative actions that will enable IUPUI to achieve its objectives for enrollment management:
- Implement a strategic, proactive enrollment management plan to expand enrollment of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students at the Indianapolis campus and increase the number of degrees awarded at the baccalaureate and graduate/professional levels.
- Shorten the length of time needed to complete an undergraduate degree.
- Establish a Division of Enrollment Management led by a senior-level administrator charged with implementing the campus’s enrollment planning and management activities.
- Implement recruitment and retention strategies and ensure that the campus policies, processes, and data infrastructure necessary for accomplishing goals are in place.