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SWOSU Pathway to Excellence Strategic Plan

Misson Statement

Southwestern Oklahoma State University supports students and community through its integration of effective teaching, scholarly and creative endeavors, and civic engagement.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University accomplishes its mission through:

  • Ensuring a safe, accessible, non-discriminating, nurturing learning environment;
  • Preparing students to be leaders and responsible citizens;
  • Cultivating cultural, intellectual, and economic development for the local, national, and global community;
  • Providing strong programs of study leading to a variety of degrees, from associate to doctoral;
  • Strengthening the University’s areas of study, nationally-accredited programs, general education curriculum, service learning, and experiential learning activities;
  • Giving students opportunities to engage in research and creative activities in order to develop social skills, knowledge, and cultural appreciation, allowing lifelong contribution of students and alumni to society.

Values Statement

In pursuing the university’s mission, SWOSU faculty and staff are guided by a shared commitment to:

  1. students, by providing high-quality instruction, involvement, services, scholarly endeavors, creative activities, and service learning.
  2. achievement, by establishing a foundation for student success.
  3. knowledge, by pursuing the exchange of ideas, research, and leadership for the public good.
  4. respect, by fostering a safe, healthy, and diverse intellectual, cultural, and social environment that encourages emotional well-being.

The Values Statement defines SWOSU’s standards in fulfilling its mission. SWOSU values its standing as a premier Oklahoma institution of higher education that meets the needs of the local, state, nation, and global community. We seek continuous growth in teaching and learning in order to provide a place in which students and faculty thrive personally and academically. We are dedicated to the economic stability and growth of our region, and we cherish our role as a center for arts, culture, science, and technology. We guide our actions by fairness, honesty and integrity as we meet our obligations through prudent use of the resources entrusted to us.

Vision Statement

SWOSU will foster an inclusive environment that inspires intellectual excellence, responsible citizenship, professional development, and personal growth. 

The Vision Statement expresses Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s aspirations for the future. As a premier university, SWOSU strives to create an environment for faculty, staff, student, and graduate success and public service through a variety of elements:

  • Innovative and academic programs delivered via effective methods ranging from traditional to online;
  • Continuous improvement of learning through data-informed decisions;
  • Cultural inclusion and diversity;
  • Expanded international programs and opportunities for international students;
  • Community and private sector partnerships;
  • Research and creative activities that expand bodies of knowledge and enhance quality of life;
  • Activities and investments that promote ethical, intellectual, professional, and personal growth;
  • Promotion of university and community health and wellness;
  • Management of resources and establishment of new avenues to support and preserve quality programs; and
  • Expansion of alumni relations, recognition, partnerships, and support.

Strategic Goal 1

Cultivate effective methods to attract, develop, and retain students.
  1. Implement methods to attract students, as evidenced by effective recruitment initiatives
    1. Maintain a professional social media position to increase communication and visibility of SWOSU and its resources.
    2. Increase accessibility of courses, including expansion of course delivery options.
  2. Implement methods to develop students, as evidenced by increased academic support efforts
    1. Expand the Freshman Orientation to a full semester course.
    2. Implement advising and informational methods that will retain a higher percentage of all students, including those who begin as Undecided majors.
    3. Design more robust Orientation initiatives for transfer and online students.
  3. Implement methods to retain students, as evidenced by increased retention rates
    1. Increase counseling resources to help students overcome academic barriers to success.
    2. Increase minority student support programs.
    3. Develop a centralized office for freshman student advising to include alternatively admitted students and sophomore students with remaining subject deficiencies.
    4. Extend communication and support services to incoming freshmen and transfer students for entire first year at SWOSU.

Strategic Goal 2:

Promote student achievement of educational and professional goals.
  1. Produce graduates who are in demand by employers and graduate/professional programs
    1. Expand 5 C’s and an R in programs so that graduates have multiple opportunities in GE and major courses to practice personal and professional skills including communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and community connection while understanding the relevance of their courses and assignments to the real world.
    2. Continue to update degree programs to reflect current practice and understandings.
    3. Offer ongoing workshops and/or course-imbedded instruction on resume preparation, interviewing skills, etiquette, and job- and internship-seeking skills.
  2. Provide opportunities for students to engage in High-Impact Practices
    1. Enhance service-learning track designation by increasing the number of service-learning courses and the reporting of service learning hours.
    2. Facilitate effective, accessible, and numerous opportunities for students to engage in internships, study abroad, and undergraduate research.

Strategic Goal 3:

Provide stewardship of resources necessary to operate excellent programs and services.
  1. Increase resources and institutional alignment of the SWOSU Foundation
    1. Ensure that every Academic and Administrative unit is benefiting from ongoing support from endowed funds by 2027.
    2. Establish a shared repository of employers that hire SWOSU graduates to optimize relationships with business/industrial partners and potential funding agencies.
  2. Increase external funding through faculty and staff support
    1. Increase the Annual Institutional Grant portfolio by $5,000,000 by spring 2023.
    2. Increase the number of and attendance of funding workshops for faculty and staff.
  3. Seek methods to improve stewardship of resources
    1. Implement department-level strategies to ensure efficiency and feasibility within yearly budget planning.
    2. Develop more efficient use of buildings.

Strategic Goal 4: 

Foster quality programs that meet the needs of students and the local, state, national and global community.
  1. Provide resources for faculty, staff and administrators
    1. Increase salaries for faculty, staff and administrators to a higher percentage of CUPA averages to attract and retain dedicated staff and scholar-teachers.
    2. Coordinate training of all new hires and positions, including department chairs, deans, and administrative assistants.
    3. Expand training and orientation opportunities for new and existing faculty.
  2. Strengthen bonds between the university and the community
    1. Expand and enhance engagement with community organizations and the private sector
    2. Coordinate efforts of informing policy makers and the general public about SWOSU’s value to the local, state, national, and global community.

Downloadable version of Expanded Strategic Plan