Strategic Plan

Seal

Willamette University Strategic Plan

Goal: To become the Northwest’s leading institution for rigorous, personalized liberal arts and graduate professional education, attractive to students and faculty from across the nation and around the world.


D. Strategic Objectives:

Graduate School of Education

The Graduate School of Education is dedicated to excellence in teacher education enhanced by collegial student-faculty relationships. The hallmarks of teacher education at Willamette University include developing an interactive, experiential approach to teaching and learning, emphasizing teachers as collaborative educational leaders, gaining insight into reflective practice and classroom research, understanding multicultural and global education, demonstrating accountability for student learning, and viewing teaching as an inquiry process.

The Graduate School of Education is committed to quality in teacher education and leadership and strives to develop strong partnerships with Oregon schools while nurturing an awareness of the diverse needs of learners both nationally and globally.

  1. Deliver the highest quality student experiences:

    • Create a continuum of opportunities for educators at various stages of their careers by:
      • Developing a purposeful induction program supporting GSE graduates as well as novice teachers in partnership school districts,
      • Creating new programs that expand the leadership potential of educators, provide leadership development for master teachers and teacher leaders, develop support for lifelong learning, improve teacher morale, and enhance student learning, and
      • Developing programs that will provide specialized training in a given area;
    • Work with school districts to identify and offer programs that meet the needs of individuals as well as schools and cohorts of teachers;
    • Expand the variety and number of quality clinical experiences available to degree-seeking students, including for M.Ed. students, potential opportunities at the Oregon Department of Education or other state and local district partnerships; and
    • Enhance student advising and guidance so that every graduate departs with a professional development or career plan for her or his pursuits post-GSE.
    Metrics will include faculty quality, on-time graduation rate, and survey of graduating student satisfaction, as well as monitoring of accreditation reviews of learning outcomes.
  2. Expand access for bright, talented students who will contribute to a diverse Willamette community:

    • Apply financial aid resources strategically to comport with established goals and
    • Increase endowed scholarship support.
    Metrics will include undergraduate GPA, matriculation rate, multicultural fraction, gender balance, and median student debt at graduation.
  3. Demonstrate the life-long value of a Willamette Graduate School of Education degree:

    • Develop a comprehensive and integrated marketing and communications plan that addresses issues of student recruitment and improves GSE’s visibility and market position;
    • Support and promote achievements of faculty, students, and alumni; and
    • Develop programming and infrastructure that foster ongoing connections to GSE alumni and track outcomes.
    Metrics will include employment rate at three months, post-graduation student satisfaction with career services, and alumni giving.
  4. Cultivate an authentic engagement with place:

    More than the other professional programs at Willamette, GSE draws the preponderance of its students from within Oregon, competing with other local institutions and placing the majority of its graduates into local school districts. Nevertheless, its location adjacent to state government, partnerships with diverse local school districts, and interdisciplinary connections within a strong liberal arts university all give the GSE distinctive opportunities to be a regional leader in developing educators who are prepared to be effective in a rapidly changing Northwest.

    • Focus on creating leaders in education in Salem, the state, and the Northwest by:
      • Creating programs focusing on the development of leadership skills throughout an educator’s career,
      • Considering joint programming with the graduate schools of law and management to create a superintendents’ program with emphases on instructional leadership, school law, school finance, and school policy, and
      • Strengthening faculty relationships with state and local agencies, connecting teacher education specialists with policymakers and education administrators;
    • Align GSE more closely with local school districts to strengthen and promote both entities in the local community and serve as a model program for other districts and states, recognizing that many local school districts lead the region in demographic trends towards a more diverse and less economically advantaged student population;
    • Pursue partnerships with education leaders and schools (e.g., TIUA) in the Pacific Rim for teacher exchanges, placements, and other mutually-beneficial programs that support the growing economic ties between the Northwest and Asia; and
    • Continue to develop high quality distance education models that support educator development in otherwise underserved rural areas of the region.
    Metrics will include number of regional district partners, faculty engagement with advisory and policy bodies, and number of regional students served outside Willamette Valley.