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Strategic Plan

 

Preamble

The strategic plan outlines the mission and vision of the College of Engineering and presents four goals that will direct the course of action of the College of Engineering for the time period from 2014 to 2019. Outlined within each of the goals are strategies, followed by a list of actions that support achievement of the respective goal. 

The plan complements the Western New England University Strategic Plan 2009 – 2018 (Individual Focus. Global Perspectives. A Personal Approach to a University Education.) approved by the Board of Trustees on December 9, 2008. The University strategic plan outlines the mission and vision of the University and identifies eight strategic directions. Outlined within each of the directions are goals and, in many cases, strategies for implementation.

Implementation of these goals and actions will be carried out by the departments and administration of the College. The College of Engineering strategic plan is also in keeping with its core values as stated below.

Core Values


Core Values

We support the core beliefs of Western New England University and in particular we value:
Student Centered Learning
Promoting a learning environment based on a student first approach to ensure the success of our students
Discovery
Contributing to the research, development, dissemination, and application of engineering knowledge, integrating theory and practice
Holistic Engineering and Leadership
Providing an active learning pedagogy integrating knowledge across disciplines to cultivate leadership and decision making in solving complex problems to better serve humanity
Responsibility
Demonstrating integrity and accountability in all of our dealings
Ethics and Professionalism
Leading by actions characterized by ethics and professionalism
Teamwork
Providing pedagogy and opportunity for the development of successful teaming skills
Community
Being an active and collaborative part of Western New England University and the local, national, and global community
Diversity and Internationalism
Respecting the diversity of human kind, including but not limited to cultural, gender, and nationality differences
Continuous Improvement
Demonstrating successful continuous improvement processes of our College and its programs

Mission, Vision, and Goals

Mission - We will provide our students an excellent, well-rounded education, tailored to the dynamic and challenging demands of the engineering profession, in an atmosphere of individual attention and support.

Vision -   Our graduates will be recognized for leadership excellence in solving complex societal/global problems.  We will strive for global recognition by providing an innovative engineering education that promotes entrepreneurial thinking, preparing our graduates for life-long success.

Goals:  
1. Advance student excellence in engineering
2. Promote excellence in engineering education and intellectual growth
3. Promote global outreach and recognition for our students, graduates and faculty
4. Maintain an active partnership with our constituents

Goal 1


Strategy 1.1: Promote an instructional approach that emphasizes the development of thinking skills and processes as a means to enhance learning

Actions:

1.1.1 Provide faculty with training (workshops, online materials) in the area of innovative  pedagogical techniques
1.1.2 Provide state-of-the-art classroom technologies that encourage the application of innovative pedagogical techniques to this end
1.1.3 Provide online access to instructional technologies and software
1.1.4 Host seminars and workshops on best practices in engineering education

Strategy 1.2: Promote multi-disciplinary education across all levels of our programs 

Actions:

1.2.1 Establish an interdisciplinary engineering laboratory for students at all levels
1.2.2 Encourage joint projects across disciplines throughout the engineering curriculum, including senior projects  

Strategy 1. 3: Provide students with opportunities to connect with industry 

Actions:

1.3.1 Provide resource that leverages existing College of Engineering faculty industrial connections to help our students connect with industry
1.3.2 Leverage alumni connections to help our students find internship opportunities and jobs
1.3.3 Establish a formal internship program with industry partners at national and global levels

Strategy 1. 4: Recruit and retain high caliber students 

Actions:

1.4.1 Explore additional mechanisms to provide financial support, including scholarships, for students with excellent academic credentials
1.4.2 Expand funded undergraduate research opportunities
1.4.3 Promote the College of Engineering’s Honors program
1.4.4 Increase diversity in student population 
1.4.5 Work with the university administration to get support for COE  summer programs for high school and community college students, counselors and instructors
1.4.6 Expand summer program offerings, to attract high school students with excellent academic credentials
1.4.7 Expand the pool of transfer students and strengthen efforts to recruit transfer students
1.4.8 Improve retention rate of our students
1.4.9 Establish a managed growth plan for the college that balances the student population size and diversity with available human and physical resources

Strategy 1. 5: Enhance and expand curricula 

Actions:

1.5.1 Integrate innovation and entrepreneurially minded learning throughout curriculum
1.5.2 Continually enhance the first year engineering experience to instill design and innovation from day one
1.5.3 Enhance the COE’s focus on experiential learning through curricular and extracurricular activities
1.5.4 Develop new undergraduate and graduate programs that meet the dynamic demands of the various engineering fields
1.5.5 Benchmark, evaluate and ensure that our degree programs meet contemporary engineering needs
1.5.6 Expand undergraduate research opportunities within the curricula 

Goal 2

GOAL 2: Promote excellence in engineering education and intellectual growth

Strategy 2.1: Promote an environment that fosters excellence in engineering education and research

Actions:

2.1.1 Develop a network of researchers across college and campus disciplines to increase awareness of common interests and capabilities and facilitate collaborative activities and proposals.
2.1.2 Encourage and support interdisciplinary collaborations within the university and with other institutions.
2.1.3 Optimize utilization of existing COE space and facilities for innovative instruction and research
2.1.4 Work with the university administration to maintain and expand the necessary space and facilities, including instructional IT, for innovative research and instruction in the College of Engineering
2.1.5 Maintain high quality classroom, laboratory and computing environments.
2.1.6 Provide funding and research opportunities for graduate student support 
2.1.7 Develop faculty workload model that adequately allocates time to allow faculty to balance research, teaching and service
2.1.8 Promote faculty retention by maintaining a collegial climate in the COE to ensure a professional environment for all faculty members, offering mentoring and providing career development opportunities

Strategy 2.2: Increase research productivity of the College of Engineering

Actions:

2.2.1 Encourage and support faculty to develop sustainable research programs that benefit the students of the college
a. Establish a College of Engineering addendum to the faculty handbook that allows a faculty member the opportunity to receive a balanced (research and teaching) instructional load.
b. Develop forums for the creative exchange of ideas to foster a culture of innovation
2.2.2 Grow and develop graduate programs in the college in a sustainable manner
2.2.3 Establish a mechanism to allow a reasonable portion of  funded research overhead money to be returned to faculty 
2.2.4 Increase the number of refereed publications associated with engineering education and technical research 
2.2.5 Actively promote and support an increase in the number of external grants written by engineering faculty in support of the mission of the college

Goal 3

GOAL 3: Improve global outreach and recognition
 
Strategy 3.1: Create and promote an outreach plan to improve international recognition

Actions:

3.1.1 Create a director of global outreach position to coordinate and support the engineering international programs and study abroad experiences 
3.1.2 Work with university marketing to create professional marketing programs that include cultural and language specific advertising and utilize media to promote global recognition of the College of Engineering’s accomplishments
3.1.3 Increase community service and outreach activities of the College of Engineering faculty, staff and students
3.1.4 Work with the administration to establish infrastructure in support of international programs. 

Strategy 3.2: Create programs in support of international collaborations

Actions:

3.2.1 Promote a culture that embraces diversity
3.2.2 Promote the recruitment of students from abroad
3.2.3 Encourage faculty to write joint international research/educational proposals.
3.2.4 Promote international internships and research
3.2.5 Participate in international engineering competitions
3.2.6 Encourage semester-long visiting professorships from faculty of highly ranked international universities.
3.2.7 Support the growth of international visiting scholars program

Strategy 3.3: Cultivate and promote international student/faculty exchange programs

Actions:

3.3.1 Establish formal relationships with international institutions
3.3.2 Expand engineering study abroad programs.  
3.3.3 Develop graduate degree programs that attract international students.
3.3.4 Expand joint degree programs with international institutions
3.3.5 Encourage and support faculty to offer for-credit courses internationally
3.3.6 Support faculty efforts in developing courses with global perspectives including those requiring field work in developing countries
3.3.7 Encourage faculty to submit proposals to fund activities listed in 3.4.6

Strategy 3.4: Improve Recognition of the College

Actions:
             
3.4.1 Empower faculty to strive for prominence in their fields
a. Encourage and support faculty to assume leadership roles in engineering   societies
b.  Encourage professional service at the national level such as reviewing papers, serving as reviewers for funding agencies, ABET PEV etc.
c. Nominate faculty for awards and fellowships at the national level

3.4.2 Encourage and support student activities that promote recognition of the college 
a. Increase student participation at regional and national conferences 
b. Increase student participation in engineering competitions 
 
3.4.3 Host regional and national conferences and competitions related to engineering education and technical research
 

Goal 4

Goal 4: Develop and Foster an active partnership with our constituents

Strategy 4.1:  Strengthen and expand mutually beneficial partnerships with our constituents

Actions:

4.1.1 Seek and promote collaboration for applied research with local and national industry  to pursue mutually beneficial goals that enhance our graduates educational experience
4.1.2 Provide continued technical educational opportunities in areas of interest to external constituents, as well as to faculty and students
4.1.3 Strive to serve as the engineering resource for the Western Massachusetts community
4.1.4 Work with our constituents to support student recruitment and retention

Strategy 4.2:  Enhance and foster partnership with College of Engineering alumni to provide leadership and resources for the intellectual and economic development of COE 

Actions:

4.2.1 Work with alumni, seek career advice, mentoring, placements, internships and jobs for current students
4.1.5 Work with the development office to engage alumni for annual fund raising activities, for new College of Engineering initiatives, and sponsoring research projects for faculty and students

Strategy 4.3:  Increase engineering knowledge transfer to and from industry and government

Actions:

4.3.1  Develop partnerships with local, regional, national and international industries
4.3.2  Establish centers of excellence to support collaboration within and outside of the college of engineering
4.3.3  Work with the administration to generate needed support for technology transfer.