Vision Task Force Final Report:

Shaping the Future of UAF

Teaching and Learning for Student Success

We have developed recommendations that will be a positive first step in identifying and assessing the concerns shared with the task force. Now, the heavy lifting will begin as the strategic vision is developed, followed by evaluating how to achieve the strategic vision, setting goals and, finally, implementing them with measurable results. This process will require a diligent champion and full support from the chancellor.

Recommendation One:

Develop and utilize relevant university business partnerships at all levels, with an emphasis on meeting Alaska's needs in high-growth, high-demand occupations.

Requirements

  • Identify key industry partners and employers of graduates for all programs and engage them meaningfully in advisory committees, outcomes assessments, curriculum review and strategic goal setting.
  • Utilize industry partners to offer critical, constructive assessments in all program reviews.
  • Emphasize development of career and employability skills throughout UAF curriculum with active involvement of potential employers.
  • Identify career pathways and clusters appropriate to all UAF programs, consistent with U.S. Department of Labor categories; use these pathways and clusters to strengthen collaboration with K-12 education and meet all appropriate state and national standards.
  • Provide two-way exchanges of faculty and industry to ensure relevance of UAF curriculum to work force needs: 1) externships for faculty working in industry settings, and 2) engagement of industry experts as visiting faculty.
  • Identify promising opportunities for university-industry collaboration in developing new products and services, especially those directly benefiting Alaskans.
  • Seek avenues for expanding industry investment in programs producing high-quality graduates in high-demand fields.

Impact

  • Demonstrates how university and industry partners can collaborate to meet shared goals in research, teaching, service and work force development.
  • Produces quality graduates for high-growth, high-demand occupations in Alaska.
  • Ensures that UAF curriculum and program elements meet local, regional, state and national standards and needs.

Recommendation Two:

Ensure basic competencies of all UAF students in communication, computation and critical thinking.

students

Requirements

  • Identify national best practices in developmental education and incorporate them into all UAF programs.
  • Continually evaluate effectiveness of developmental courses and core curriculum in meeting this goal, and upgrade programs and courses as needed.
  • Regularly determine effectiveness in meeting this goal through consistent and reliable student competency assessments.
  • Build on success of programs already serving nontraditional students effectively, including the Rural Alaska Honors Institute, Rural Student Services, Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program, and community campus student assistance and advising services.
  • Learn from students themselves about effective learning styles, interests and technological aptitudes.
  • Expand partnerships with K - 12 institutions to strengthen college preparation.
  • Maintain high academic standards to ensure basic competencies are achieved.
  • Continue to provide engaging learning opportunities for both women and men.

Impact

  • Ensures that all UAF graduates, at all levels, have basic competencies in communication, computation and critical thinking appropriate to their level of study and career pathway.
  • Makes UAF a leader in implementing meaningful programs for student success, with a special emphasis on those for rural and Alaska Native students.

Recommendation Three:

Build exciting, engaged learning communities at UAF for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Requirements

  • Expand opportunities for new students to engage in exciting and informative university orientation and advising, with special attention to needs of community campus and nontraditional students.
  • Improve and spotlight UAF Honors and Leadership programs by building on national best practices and proven successes.
  • Provide substantive opportunities for undergraduate research and incentives for faculty to offer those opportunities.
  • Provide students opportunities for community service as part of their programs of study.
  • Significantly expand internships, externships and practicum opportunities for all students.
  • Provide regular opportunities for Fairbanks students to experience rural Alaska through internships and special projects.
  • Offer high-quality, personalized department- and program-level advising.
  • Offer flexible education and training opportunities to meet needs of nontraditional students.
  • Recruit more international students to enrich global perspectives of Alaska students.
  • Identify and develop programs and services of interest to young men, who are increasingly under-represented in university settings.

Impact

Highlights UAF's special qualities and attractiveness: high-quality education with opportunities for close personal interaction with faculty and involvement in research.

Recommendation Four:

Strengthen UAF faculty resources as the key element in expanding high-quality programs and services.

Pottery lab

Requirements

  • Ensure that UAF faculty salaries and benefits meet or exceed national market levels, with special attention given to maintaining competitive salaries and benefits in programs meeting high-growth, high-demand work force needs in Alaska.
  • Seek industry investment in meeting faculty resource needs through endowed chairs, salary supplements, visiting industry faculty and externships for UAF faculty to experience workplace settings.
  • Expand professional development opportunities for UAF faculty to maintain cutting-edge knowledge of curriculum areas and currency in field.
  • Spotlight and reward the faculty and staff success in developing innovative programs, research and student services.
  • Recognize distinctive needs of rural faculty and create opportunities for expanded engagement between them and Fairbanks-based faculty.
  • Maintain low faculty-student ratios to support attractiveness of UAF as an engaged learning community.
  • Provide consistent, high-quality mentoring for new faculty and opportunities for building faculty collegiality and collaboration.

Impact

Underscores faculty’s key role in strengthening programs across UAF and in attracting and retaining students in exciting undergraduate and graduate programs.

Recommendation Five:

Make UAF a national and international leader in offering online and distance education, with emphasis on courses and programs meeting needs in Alaska and the circumpolar North.

Requirements

  • Build on Alaska’s extensive experience with innovative online and distance education to meet increasingly diverse student needs.
  • Create a strategic plan for developing, implementing and evaluating online and distance education courses and programs.
  • Expand models for innovative hybrid or blended delivery systems, including the best of online/distance education with intensive face-to-face instruction.
  • Seek student ideas and engagement in design and delivery of online and distance education to address emerging learning styles, technologies and interests.
  • Offer incentives and professional development opportunities for faculty seeking to expand online and distance courses and programs.
  • Expand online and distance education opportunities for advanced secondary students in Alaska to encourage their continuing interest in UAF.
  • Offer integrated online advising for distance students so they have access to a full range of student services.

Impact

  • Places UAF at the forefront in Alaska of online and distance education, a fastgrowing and high-demand realm.
  • Positions UAF to expand its online and distance offerings related to Alaska and the circumpolar North.
  • Maximizes use of new technologies in course delivery while minimizing costs.
  • Effectively serves rural Alaska students.
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