College Strategic Plans

Notes on College Strategic Plans, 2008-2013

The following is a summary of the references to online teaching and learning that appeared in the College Strategic Plans (2008-2013). Only those goals listed included such a reference.


Goal A: Increase enrollment and enhance student success.

  • Includes increasing enrollment in Extension programs, increasing total enrollment by 2013 from 8% of total PA population (one million) to 10% of PA total population.
  • Strategies include:
    • Provide relevant programs to increase enrollment in extension:
      • Increase collaborative programming with campus colleges
      • Devise new ways to reach resident, distance and extension students through technology and alternative scheduling


  • Among the goals cited under “What will we look like in 2013?”:
    • We will increase our cyberpresence, including visibility on YouTube, Second Life, podcasts, etc. We will also evaluate the benefit to the University’s statewide and national presence and recognition of establishing a performance and exhibition presence in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C. and New York.


  • Plan, finance and build ComMedia, a multimedia center, both physical and virtual, whose two-fold purpose is to serve as a teaching facility and as a home to expanded cocurricular student media. ComMedia would enable all five programs of the College to showcase student work and modernize curricula in ways that reflect the 21st century media environment.
  • Develop a plan for a comprehensive student media program encompassing current projects (e.g., ComRadio, Big Ten Network/PSUonDemand and the Centre County Report) and new initiatives that create learning and cocurricular opportunities for students.
  • Improve access to our curriculum and space-use efficiency through expansion and quality control of the College’s portfolio of online and blended learning courses:
    • Complete development and launch blended-learning version of COMM150, Art of the Cinema.
    • Develop online versions of 400-level courses in each major.
    • By Spring 2011, one 400-level course in each major is offered online.
    • Have three BL courses by Fall 2011


Goal 2—Nurturing an undergraduate program that engages a diverse ensemble of students in active service learning, problem-solving, e-learning and international experience.

  • Related strategic priority: enriching the student experience.
  • Engage the power of e-education: Bachelor of Arts in Energy and Environmental Policy (EMSEE), a new interdisciplinary online undergraduate degree-completion program offered to adult learners through the WC. New program will leverage success of Dutton e-Education Institute and the WC, and will require close coordination with VP for Outreach, Cooperative Extension, and PSPB.
  • EMS views e-education as important component in promoting spirit of lifelong learning.
  • Open Educational Resources Initiative—provide a vehicle for faculty members to voluntarily share select digital educational resources through University-approved open source license.
  • Novel uses of visual media—create documentaries and other training and outreach materials to double as teaching instruments and public information about key EMS subjects such as climate change, energy security, and nanomaterials. The initiative will require close coordination with the VP for Outreach, Cooperative Extension, and PSPB.


Signature Endeavor 5: Technology and Learning in the 21st Century

  • Create an Innovation Studio to support the building of capacity among faculty to use technology in support of research, teaching, and learning, and outreach.
  • Place where faculty can go to receive support for pedagogical innovations that involve technology, be introduced to and/or become skilled at using emerging technologies, and explore technology tools for advancing their research.

Cross-cutting initiatives—outreach and continuing education:

  • College will also expand its efforts in online teaching through the WC and continue to expand its work with C&I, CE, and PSPB.


Strategic Goal: Strengthen Graduate Programs

  • Many departments are interested in exploring a new professional master’s degree (M.Eng.) program offerings. New M.Eng. degree programs would be develop0ed to respond to clearly identified market needs, with a revenue sharing expectation to support future programs. The M.Eng. efforts would be accomplished through a blend of delivery mechanisms, such as increased resident and distance education.

Strategic Goal: Enhance Outreach to the Commonwealth and Beyond

  • Promote activities to engage the K-12 Community
  • Advance Continuing & Distance Education
  • Increase our DE offerings and capabilities—nine departments have cited in the strategic plans intentions to develop or increase DE offerings. We propose to build on the existing courses and add at least 15new courses over the next 5 years. We will also explore opportunities to provide courses to students at the campuses, either to insure course consistency across the system or to deliver courses that are not available locally at the campus.
  • Interest is developing in new distance learning certificate programs and minors focused on areas of interest to working engineers or undergraduate and graduate students, including: green design, sustainability, and energy and environment.
  • Position the College as a major player in the delivery of professional development to professional engineers in Pennsylvania.
  • College will work with Outreach Professional Programs to develop a structure and procedures to meet the new professional development and licensing requirements of recent legislation (24 professional development hours in every two-year license renewal cycle).


Goal 3: Transform the health, development, and quality of life of underserved, diverse populations by greatly expanding the scope and impact of our outreach activities.

  • Expanding offerings on WC
  • Develop future online courses in consultation with Outreach. By developing courses ourselves, and taking on more of the risk associated with WC course development, we will be in a position to receive a larger share of course revenue.
  • Develop and offer additional courses that will either satisfy the University’s General education and/or Diversity requirements or have broad appeal.
  • Developing continuing education programs
  • Establishing a partnership with the US Army’s Children and Youth services Division to provide a customized credit program in early childhood care and education for civilian military employees who are child care providers working on military bases. Most of the instruction will be offered in blended learning format.
  • Self-development, non-credit courses for the general public on topics such as diet and exercise, stress management, etc. College will explore the feasibility of offering similar non-credit courses through WC and CE.


  • By 2015, the College of IST will be known as IST@PENNSTATE, a premier brand in the i-field and in higher education.
  • IST’s success will be based upon the realization that the educational enterprise for the 21st century is made up of a network of partnerships between people and organizations; partnerships which start inside the college, extend through the University as a whole and then branch out to other institutions and organizations.
  • Goals include:
    • Embrace the reality that everything we do we do as a partnership.
    • Do research, teaching and outreach that will foster the deeper understanding and better innovation needed to solve the millennial problems that we face as a society.
    • The college should be “built to last.”
    • Strategic objectives include:
    • Enhance and develop Online IST to widen our markets for the B.S., B.A., and the new professional M.S. degrees for non-traditional student populations.
    • Temporary Funds Requests:
    • Creating Networks and Partners Beyond Penn State, Development of Online IST. Investment: $100,000 per year for five years.


    Goal 4: Achieving national leadership. Strategic priorities:

    • Expand the revenue base through:
    • External funding
    • Development
    • E-learning

Appendix 7: Online Education and the Liberal Arts

  • Leadership—World Campus has asked Liberal Arts to anticipate contributing as many as 27,000 of its project yearly enrollments by 2012. A number of Liberal Arts departments, as part of their strategic plans, are committed to developing new World Campus courses and program offerings in the next three years.
  • Focusing on Quality—College will cooperate with WC to add more full-time faculty positions, including some with mixed WC/RI instruction appointments.
  • Online Education for Resident Students
  • Future—Liberal Arts will increase its portfolio of online courses strategically to enhance student learning and improve access to its courses.


Academic Mission Goal: Develop a state-of-the-art education environment that will serve the learning needs for students, faculty and the community.

  • Develop a web-based training and e-Learning environment to enhance our education mission using a cost-effective asynchronous approach. E-learning tools will enable an asynchronous approach to expand teaching modalities across the instruction for student, physician, and workforce training. This will enable supervisor-directed training modules to our user population.
  • Increase the integration of library resources and services with COM and medical Center teaching/research/patient systems such as ANGEL, Connected, electronic repositories, and other mechanisms.

Academic Mission Goal: Insure high-quality “state-of-the-art” health sciences education across the continuum through curricular innovation.

  • Partnering with community mission subcommittee, inventory current outreach, and identify new opportunities for new offerings.

Research Mission Goal: Serve the Commonwealth and society through research, technology transfer, and global collaborations.

  • Establish a program that will allow clinical faculty to identify and work with researchers to develop translational solutions. Includes a web portal for connecting faculty who identify needs with faculty having required expertise, and funding of pilot projects.


  • Goal: Enter a new era in outreach with enhanced local and regional programs and a presence on the national stage, which will address the College’s goal of enhancing public understanding of science and assist the University in becoming the leading innovative, engaged institution of higher education.
  • Recognition of the expanding importance of online education by developing and delivering online courses and programs to meet the needs of domestic and global audiences, from pre-college to adult learner.
  • Strategic approach: focus on the mathematical sciences.
  • Anticipate need to make further investments (alone or in partnership with the WC) in other College online programs, particularly in Astronomy, Physics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Forensic Science.
  • Specific initiatives:
  • Support the WC Military Grant-in-Aid Pilot Initiative.
  • Pursue the development of WC courses that would be eligible to receive dual high school and college credit.
  • College portfolio in online education:
  • Provide incentives and training for faculty who wish to become involved in online course development and delivery.
  • Work with WC and e-Learning Cooperative to set realistic but expanded goals for the delivery of online courses to pre-college and professional audiences.
  • Support and facilitate activities that create new sources of income for the College:
  • Explore WC opportunities for offering popular courses.
  • Develop Professional Master’s degrees programs.
  • Explore opportunities for developing online certificate programs.
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