Student Affairs Strategic Plan


Working collaboratively with our campus and community partners, the Student Affairs departments transform students’ potential to accomplish their dreams in a diverse and inclusive learning community.


As educators, Student Affairs staff are dedicated to delivering high quality, co-curricular programs and services in a learning environment that supports students’ holistic growth and acquisition of essential life skills in order to actualize their full potential to be responsible, engaged, and successful citizen leaders in a global environment.

We build a collaborative and diverse learning community that enriches the intellectual, social, cultural, spiritual, emotional & physical wellbeing of our students by promoting academic success, personal growth, leadership development, civility, civic, social and environmental responsibility, student empowerment, holistic well-being, and respect for diversity.

Student Affairs Strategic Plan, 2008-2013

Goal 1: Be Student Centered

We are a leading advocate for the University becoming a more student-centered institution.

  1. Ensure that student centeredness is at the core of our programs and practices.
    1. Include students in assessing and planning all programs and practices.
    2. Provide leadership and training at all levels of Student Affairs staff in the student development model.
    3. Align service delivery modes to match student centered objective.
  2. Serve as a community of educators who ensure that co-curricular learning experiences are an integral and essential part of students’ university experience.
    1. Appreciate Student Affairs contributions to co-curricula learning.
    2. Increase faculty involvement in co-curricular learning.
  3. Provide advocacy and support for other parts of the University to become more student centered.
    1. Reach out and respond to other parts of the University to identify collaborative opportunities to enhance student centeredness.
    2. Be a role model and share data and outcomes that reflect student centered practices.
    3. Offer student-centered development workshops to campus community facilitated by Student Affairs staff.

Goal 2: Improve Educational Experience

We are an active partner with Academic Affairs in improving the educational experience of undergraduate and graduate students.

  1. Establish an assessment-based culture within Student Affairs while fostering a campus community which understands and utilizes integrated student learning outcomes.
    1. Identify and agree on desired learning outcomes we want our graduates to have.
    2. Implement rotating program assessment process for all departments in Student Affairs.
    3. Enhance co-curricular programs to support integrated student learning outcomes as defined for UMD graduates.
  2. Prepare students to be fully engaged global citizens of the 21st century.
    1. Work with the UMass system to leverage opportunities for increasing the size of undergraduate international student population at UMass Dartmouth.
    2. Increase students’ awareness of international affairs/relations.
  3. Enhance the quality of student leadership.
    1. Assess current opportunities for student leadership.
    2. Assess student leadership recruitment.
  4. Produce positive undergraduate educational experiences.
    1. Develop learning communities in residence halls by piloting interest groups and or thematic housing assignments.
    2. Assess, identify and develop programs to address the unique needs of each year of the student’s development: first year, sophomore, junior, senior and “beyond”.
  5. Improve undergraduate retention and graduation rates.
    1. Implement focused activities to improve retention/graduation of students, with particular emphasis on at-risk students.
    2. Review and restructure New Student Orientation.
    3. Increase collaboration with Financial Aid Office and promote greater student and staff awareness of financial support.
    4. Increase and improve Student Affairs communication with parents.
    5. Coordinate centralized Student Leave Process and analysis of results.
  6. Strengthen residential life infrastructure and living and learning opportunities to support students.
    1. Increase residence hall safety.
    2. Develop facilities, staffing, programs, and services to address unmet residential needs.
    3. Create and implement a five year capital improvement plan for all residence halls.
  7. Improve the effectiveness of services we offer to support students in successfully pursuing postgraduate opportunities
    1. Enhance quality of services offered by Career Resource Center.
    2. Focus on career development model to improve job placement and post graduate education options.
    3. Develop more collaboration between Alumni Affairs and Career Development Center.
    4. Implement e-portfolio system that would track students’ curricular and co-curricular involvements and learning outcomes.
    5. Collaborate with Academic Affairs to develop and implement comprehensive and coordinated services and programs for graduate students.

Goal 3: Engage with Community

We are engaged in the activities of the campus, region and the Commonwealth.

  1. Increase and recognize employees’ civic engagement.
    1. Establish conditions to allow/encourage civic engagement by staff.
    2. Reward and acknowledge employee civic engagement.
  2. Increase student civic engagement and service learning opportunities.
    1. Develop an office of community Service and Partnerships (CSAP) in student Affairs.
    2. Inform students about existing options for civic engagement and encourage their participation.
    3. Develop and increase new options for civic engagement.
    4. Create a strong connection between Community Service and the Residential Life experience by incorporating Community Service opportunities into the Residential Life Model.
    5. Reward and acknowledge students’ civic engagement.
  3. Establish effective working relationship with the external community.
    1. Identify existing working relationships with external community.
    2. Increase the opportunities for additional working relationships.

Goal 4: Appreciate and share our diversity

We are recognized for our excellent diversity programs.

  1. Create a culture of inclusion.
    1. Assess current climate for diversity.
    2. Recognize efforts to increase diversity initiatives by Student Affairs staff.
  2. Improve retention and graduation rates of under-represented students.
    1. Improve working relationships with departments that recruit diverse students.
    2. Provide new support services for under-represented students.
  3. Enhance efforts to improve diversity climate within campus life.
    1. Increase staff diversity to more closely reflect student demographics.
    2. Increase students’ engagement with diversity issues.
    3. Provide education, training, and development opportunities for staff, students and faculty.
    4. Improve accessibility and visibility of support services.

Goal 5: Ensure infrastructure support

We ensure that sufficient physical, fiscal, technical and human infrastructures are in place to support co-curricular activities.

  1. Provide on-going staff development opportunities for Student Affairs staff to ensure excellent service at all levels.
    1. Keep Student Affairs staff current with industry standards in their area.
    2. Offer staff development opportunities for all levels of Student Affairs staff.
    3. Promote and support balanced life styles for Student Affairs staff.
    4. Encourage input from all levels of Student Affairs employees for improvments and innovations.
  2. Ensure effective, equitable and efficient allocation of spaces.
    1. Assess space needs in Student Affairs through infrastructure assessment.
    2. Work with Facilities, Plant, Planning Design and Construction in the space study of the campus center.
    3. Develop process for appropriate space allocation for student organizations.
    4. Assess public/community space needs and availability in residence halls.
  3. Develop new facilities to address unmet and emerging student support needs.
    1. Develop plans for Campus Center Expansion.
    2. Develop plans for increasing space for Health Services.
    3. Develop plans to bring Student Affairs departments to center of campus for accessibility.
  4. Continually forecast, monitor and assess to upgrade, replace and maintain our physical and technical infrastructure.
    1. Develop five year budget projection and facility improvement planning for Housing & Residential Life.
    2. Inventory all equipment in the departments to assess condition and include plans for replacement in five year projection budget development.
    3. Develop a process for sharing resources across departments.
    4. Develop plans to keep up with emerging technology which affects the way we deliver services.
    5. Assess all divisional practices in relation to available technology.

Core Values

  1. Accountability Knowing what is asked and expected of you and then doing so, holding people responsible for their actions and outcomes, being outcomes focused, being goal oriented
  2. Celebratory Injecting humor and levity, connecting with our inner child and creativity, enjoyment or playfulness; acknowledging accomplishments, recognizing staff’s contributions and years of service consistently
  3. Collaboration Working across organizational boundaries towards achieving desired outcomes; being inclusive, trusting that others are just as responsible; working for the good of the whole and utilizing the strengths of each member; cooperation between those who are working together on a task
  4. Community Fostering a sense of shared responsibility and belonging to our buildings, environment, organizations, and on & off campus community; engaging students to be involved or having ownership of programming and extra-curricular activities
  5. Diversity Advocating for social justice issues and inclusiveness; accepting, respecting & valuing social diversity among people; being open minded and welcoming to all diverse people and ideas
  6. Empowerment Giving power or authority to self or other people; taking the initiative; authorizing, enabling or permitting
  7. Excellence Striving to do our best work in all that we do, excelling; being focused on achieving plans developed, having determination; thinking outside the box, originality of thought or expression
  8. Integrity Acting consistently with one’s values, matching words with deeds; being guided by professional set of ethics, adhering to moral and ethical principles; freedom from deceit or fraud
  9. Safety Being free from the occurrence of risk of injury, danger, or loss; creating a sense of safety & comfort level; being able to admit failure or mistakes without negative repercussions
  10. Student-Centered Being focused on improving the students’ experience on campus; developing programs and decisions that takes into account the needs & perspectives of our students; thinking of impact on students and choosing options that would optimize positive results for students; being personable and customer centered; initiating interaction with others in a positive manner