Strategic Plan 2017-2022

From the Dean

Melba Spooner

I have the joy of leading and being a part of the Reich College of Education (RCOE), and I am delighted to share our strategic plan. This strategic plan presents relevant and intentional goals to forward the work of the College in a collaborative and dynamic manner. As we know, Colleges of Education face many challenges, and I believe we have identified goals and actions that provide opportunities and great possibilities for growth and learning.

The information contained herein helps guide decision-making processes as well as resource development and allocation. It helps us communicate around shared goals and ideas. As we move forward, it is also my hope that our plan will help us continue to build our identity and presence within the university as well as the broader community through intentional and informed conversations and actions. It guides our work but is a work in progress - never static with the constant need for review, progress, and relevance.

Dr. Melba Spooner, Dean, Reich College of Education

Strategic Direction One

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Creating the Transformational Educational Experience

Creating a transformational educational experience provides students the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that allow them to better understand both themselves and others, while preparing them to better seek positive and just outcomes in their communities and in their work.

Goal One: Student Recruitment and Sustainability

  1. Create the Reich College of Education (RCOE) Advising and Student Success Center (to provide resources and information for students to receive: academic advising; admissions counseling; Praxis Core, Praxis II, and NES support; assistance securing lateral entry professional positions; professional licensure; professional guidance and support for transfer, distance education, early college, and non-teacher education students).
    1. Establish Advising Center work team.
    2. Explore research on advising center functions, as well as visit or consult with advising centers from other universities. Identify key roles and functions of the RCOE advisors.
    3. Construct a financial plan for operations of the Advising and Student Success Center.
    4. Create a specific space for students to gather and to enhance the community of the College.
  2. Create an RCOE Learning Network (LN) as an extension of the Advising and Student Success Center (to provide activities focused on supporting, expanding, and transforming the professional and personal development of students, and to foster a culture that encompasses freshmen through graduate students and alumni).
    1. Focus on offering service, professional development, and leadership experiences to transform students and to offer opportunities to explore various careers in the RCOE.
    2. Identify a staff or faculty member to coordinate this network.
    3. Survey students on what interests them, what would have been helpful, what experiences they would like to have had.
    4. Establish communication system to highlight opportunities for students. 
    5. Establish Beginning Teacher Support Network.
  3. Establish an RCOE recruitment position.
    1. Hire recruiter to increase undergraduate and graduate enrollments in the RCOE programs, especially high-need majors and students from diverse populations.
    2. Expand Teacher Education Ambassador Program and create ambassadors for all departments in the RCOE.
    3. Access and use data that predicts future professional employment needs to assess goals within the RCOE.

Goal Two: Student Identity and Transformation

  1. Increase recruitment, retention, and support of students from diverse populations.
    1. Increase diversity (visible and invisible) and inclusion of students, staff, and faculty while recognizing the intersectionality of identities.
    2. Increase recruitment and retention of students of color to 20% of total graduates in all programs, undergraduate and graduate, by 2022.
    3. Increase recruitment and retention of First Generation College, low socio-economic status students, students from the Appalachian region, and working class students to 20% of total graduates in all programs, undergraduate and graduate, by 2022.
    4. Increase recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups that may be difficult to identify.
    5. Increase recruitment and retention of faculty and staff of color and from underrepresented groups that may be difficult to identify as a means of supporting the development of student identity and transformation.

Goal Three: Faculty and Staff Transformation

  1. Using existing RCOE committees and working groups to establish a coordinated support structure for faculty and staff.
    1. Provide release time for experiences, i.e. sabbatical and community service leave.
    2. Include SHRA employees on RCOE committees that directly impact their work life within the College.
    3. Create Lunch and Learn series.
    4. Create clear opportunities and resources for faculty and staff career development.
    5. Build on the work begun by Dr. Ken Hardy; identify key staff/faculty tension issues (e.g. classist and sexist dynamics) and develop an action plan to address each issue substantively.
    6. Review RCOE Conceptual Framework with a focus on alignment with curriculum map and (RCOE) strategic plan.
  2. Establish a new working group to encourage and facilitate faculty and staff research initiatives in the RCOE.
    1. Create structures to encourage the RCOE community to share its research with one another in substantive ways. 
    2. Identify a cohort of clinical educators (cooperating teachers) who will work collaboratively with faculty and staff to develop research opportunities.

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Strategic Direction Two

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Advancing Knowledge and Addressing the Challenges of Our Region, State, and World through Creativity and Innovation

Advancing knowledge and addressing the challenges of our region, state, and world through creativity and innovation is a shared responsibility of faculty, staff, and students.  The RCOE Conceptual Framework (2013) highlights an emphasis on advancing knowledge and developing expertise through inquiry.  The faculty of the RCOE strive to conduct research and creative endeavors that support and sustain the mission of the college, while also embracing local and global issues.  They value the connection between research and practice, and cultivate those values through their work with students.

Goal One: Research and Creative Projects

  1. Enhance the number of submitted applications for funded research and creative projects.
    1. Create an administrative position that is responsible for aiding faculty with grant applications and managing tasks related to research funding internally and externally.
      1. Provide graduate assistant to support grant applications and grant management.
      2. Connect faculty with similar project ideas and complementary skills to each other within the college.
      3. Enhance and increase opportunities for meaningful and sustained work with graduate students in the college.
  2. Provide funding for faculty research and creative projects.
    1. Create a summer stipend program (up to $5000) for faculty who conduct research or work on scholarship over the summer, especially in niche areas. 
    2. Allocate academic travel funding based on both generated FTEs and departmental needs.
    3. Provide unique funding for faculty to sponsor students at conferences (co-presenting research, mentoring, etc.).
    4. Increase the technology resources available for research and creative endeavors.
  3. Utilize and enhance school partnerships for conducting research projects in the RCOE.
    1. Use Public School Partnership Mini-Grants to enhance and encourage research collaboration.
    2. Include faculty and staff in Public School Partnership grant awarding process.

Goal Two: Faculty Recruitment and Retention

  1. Recruit and retain faculty with diverse interests and talents in order to maintain competitiveness with our peer institutions.
  2. Enhance and protect faculty research time by encouraging and supporting policies such as Off Campus Scholarly Assignment (OCSA) and reassigned time (as delineated in the faculty handbook).
    1. Establish a clear policy for awarding reassigned time.
    2. Provide adjuncts and/or visiting faculty to backfill when faculty are on OCSA or reassigned time.
  3. Recruit new faculty and retain productive (as defined by department tenure and promotion committees) faculty through the awarding of course release time/stipends/recognition to establish and pursue research.
    1. Create a culture of support for research within the college. 
    2. Conduct exit interviews with faculty who decide to leave the institution and/or the RCOE.

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Strategic Direction Three

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Engaging the State, Region, and World

Engaging the state, region, and world is achieved through cultivating communities of practice which bring together RCOE faculty, students, staff, and educators through outreach, connection, and collaboration.  The RCOE will create and enhance sustainable partnerships in our fields and integration of those partnerships.

Goal One: Engage the Local Area and The State Through Outreach, Connection, and Collaboration

  1. Expand laboratory school programs.
    1. Continue and expand when and where appropriate through research supported data the Lucy Brock Child Development Laboratory Program.
    2. Lead and engage other campus partners in the expansion of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Lab School Initiative in a way that recognizes cultural differences and dynamics. Include creative ways of soliciting feedback from their community and utilize RCOE and campus expertise to support their community throughout the endeavor.
  2. Support environmental initiatives.
    1. Support and expand school based environmental programs.
    2. Encourage RCOE program discussions focused on environmental sustainability in mission statements.
    3. Develop new programs and enhance current programs that promote environmental sustainability.
  3. Enhance partnerships with P-12 education.
    1. Examine and enhance collaboration through partnerships such as the Public School Partnership’s Coordinating Council, Professional Learning Communities, and Field Placement in Practicum, and Clinical Internships.
    2. Examine and enhance collaboration through the Public School Partnership. 
    3. Examine and enhance Math Science Education Center outreach. Current activities include the following: STEM professional development for teachers, math and science resource room, science and math fairs and competitions, family math and science nights, science and math programs in schools or on campus for visiting school groups, science seminars, and robotics competitions. 
      1. Leverage connections made through outreach as a means of recruiting and retaining future STEM majors.

Goal Two: Engage the Region Through Outreach, Connection, and Collaboration

  1. Establish a clearing house of information outlining ways in which the RCOE engages the   local area, state, region, nation, and world through outreach, connection, and collaboration.
    1. Initiate and implement Study Away Programs.
    2. Establish and expand on-line BS, MA, and doctoral programs.
  2. Initiate and implement the pilot Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic.

Goal Three: Engage the World Through Outreach, Connection, And Collaboration

  1. Enhance and increase international opportunities, programs, and partnerships.
    1. Develop international undergraduate and graduate (including Doctoral Program) agreements.
    2. Offer all RCOE students a global experience. 
    3. Develop Global Learning Opportunity (GLO) course offerings.
    4. Conduct an international curricula review.
  2. Expand global opportunities.
    1. Expand travel opportunities for students and faculty tied to coursework.
    2. Expand the international student teaching option. 
    3. Explore the option of a semester abroad for RCOE students.
    4. Develop an international student exchange program.
  3. Explore international enrichment opportunities.
    1. Expand the international alternative spring break option.
    2. Explore the option of international service learning.

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Strategic Direction Four

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Embracing Diversity of Thought, Belief, and Community 

The RCOE embraces socially just principles and practices.  Embracing diversity of thought, belief, and community is achieved through being responsive to the beliefs, identities, practices, and values needed for constructive engagement in our increasingly global community.  The RCOE believes diversity is recognized as an essential binding agent of the interdisciplinary approach to education, as well as to the greater life experience.

Goal One: Make the RCOE a Welcoming Environment for Underrepresented Students, Staff, Faculty, and Administration and for Those Doing Diversity and Equity Work

  1. Develop a culture of inclusion via the physical space of the RCOE.
    1. Create public, bold, and visible signs throughout the physical RCOE building that affirm our college community’s commitment to recognizing, supporting, and welcoming students, staff, faculty, and community members who are from minority and under- represented groups and our community’s commitment to anti-oppressive education.
      1. Set aside a Reflection and Meditation Room on the first floor of the RCOE building. (Fall 2017)
      2. Host professional development seminars with all staff, faculty, and administration to increase understanding of inclusion, such as using inclusive language (i.e., gender pronouns, sensitive terminology in referencing or interrelating to underrepresented groups). (May 2017)
      3. Encourage the RCOE to have participation in campus-wide initiatives such as Intersect Social Justice Retreat facilitator training and Henderson Springs LGBT Center Ally training.
      4. Create an RCOE internal reporting system/team/committee to address inequitable issues that arise.
      5. Report departmental diversity and equity work in RCOE annual reports each year. These reports will be made public by RCOE administration.
  2. Develop the cultural and social context of the RCOE.

Goal Two: Create an Inclusive RCOE Educational Experience for Students

  1. Conduct thorough RCOE curriculum review assessing for gaps in culturally relevant course material and content.
  2. Create more inclusive curriculum by demonstrating infusion of culturally relevant material into course content. Address gaps in: (1) the curriculum and (2) assessing and meeting underrepresented students’ needs.
  3. Provide space and opportunity for all staff, faculty, and administration to engage in a college- wide shared-values dialogue regarding fears, thoughts, beliefs, and experiences around diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  4. Conduct series of sustained dialogue programming for the RCOE.

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Strategic Direction Five

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Preserving Faculty and Staff Excellence

The mission and vision of the RCOE promotes a collaborative community of practice, excellence in teaching, learning, research, scholarship, and outreach with a particular emphasis on global engagement, intercultural diversity, and issues of social justice, all within the context of preserving faculty and staff excellence. 

Goal One: Promote a Strong Support Structure for Attracting and Retaining Outstanding Faculty and Staff

  1. Create a faculty and staff mentoring program.

Goal Two: Develop Curriculum and Faculty Capacity Maps

  1. Create a Curriculum Map to identify curriculum and pedagogy across all programs as laid out by the RCOE Conceptual Framework.
  2. Create a Faculty Capacity Map to support faculty in their efforts to align instruction with the aims addressed in the RCOE Conceptual Framework.
  3. Commit to covering all departmental core courses with tenured, tenure-track, and permanent instructors.

Goal Three: Promote a Culture of Employee Engagement, Motivation, and Retention

  1. Reward and support faculty and staff in the evaluation process who engage the state, region, and world through outreach, connection, and collaboration.
  2. Create a Faculty/Staff Appreciation Team to oversee recognition efforts.

Goal Four: Promote Sustainability Through Self-Care, Physical Health, and Work-Life Balance

  1. Bolster collegiality through faculty and staff events.
  2. Collaborate with departments outside the RCOE to develop volunteer self-care opportunities for faculty and staff.

Goal Five: Provide Sufficient, Sustainable Resources for Faculty and Staff Professional Development

  1. Identify and promote professional development opportunities for faculty and staff available through university programming.
  2. Develop a process for faculty and staff to apply for College-based funds to support professional development activities.

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Strategic Direction Six

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Building a Responsive Infrastructure for a Sustainable Campus

Building a responsive infrastructure for a sustainable campus is achieved through embracing good stewardship in all aspects of the RCOE.

Goal One: Review Ongoing Physical and Organizational Structures

  1. Create a sustainability committee to support the RCOE’s initiatives and interfaces with the University’s sustainability initiatives.
  2. Establish a standing committee for oversight and implementation of effective use of physical structures and processes that support and enhance the RCOE’s community and work.
  3. Create a Facility, Equipment, and Process Committee (FEPC), comprised of at least two faculty members, two administration members, and two support staff, with rotational two-year terms.
  4. Evaluate the current committee structure of the RCOE to ensure inclusion and participation in shared governance involving faculty, staff, and students.
    1. Map the current RCOE committee structure and membership.
    2. Discuss the RCOE committee structure and membership with Administrative Council.
    3. Propose changes to the RCOE committee structure and membership to ensure inclusion and equal representation.

Goal Two: Address Communication and Community Needs

  1. Maintain communication among all stake holders in the RCOE.
    1. Develop and administer survey for evaluation of communication aspects and methods related to working within the college, outside the college, with students, with faculty, and with staff. Identify what is working and what is not working. Gather suggestions and ideas for communication and idea exchanges.
    2. Develop and administer survey to go to RCOE Administrative Council and Program Directors for evaluation of professional collaborations across all lines.

Goal Three: Develop a Strategic and Responsive Digital Learning and Technology Support Plan


  1. Build and sustain human capacity for teaching, learning, and communication through digital tools and connections for students, faculty and staff.
  2. Develop a structured process for strategic procurement and prioritized investment in technology.
  3. Establish and upgrade communication, research, and knowledge management/assessment, and service ecologies for students, faculty, and staff.

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