Goal 1 Strategic Map
KU has a strong tradition of serving the state of Kansas by providing an exceptional undergraduate education, yet as conscientious professionals we must continually adapt our practices to meet the needs and challenges faced by 21st century students. Our study of undergraduate education at KU began with the report of the chancellor's taskforce on retention & graduation. During this past year, the strategic planning work group on energizing the educational environment solicited extensive input from over one thousand students, faculty, staff, and alumni in a variety of surveys and focus groups. We asked many hard questions in the process: Why do some applicants choose not to enroll at KU? Why do some students leave KU without completing their degrees? What are the barriers that inhibit timely progress to graduation? What should be the educational goals that every graduate achieves?
The consistent feedback indicated significant opportunities to enhance the success of our students along their pathways from recruitment through graduation. Several key recommendations emerged. A crucial first step is to improve how we prepare, aid, and recruit students to KU and, once on campus, to involve them more immediately in the intellectual life of the university. By restructuring student advising, we will link students more effectively to resources that help them navigate curricular transitions and achieve their educational goals. As new students get started at KU, technologies can alert faculty and staff to students whose progress can benefit from immediate intervention.
Another clear mandate calls for a new KU core curriculum based upon a common set of key educational goals and outcomes. We want each graduate not only to master the skills needed for success in today's world, but to have the foundational abilities to adapt to and provide leadership in the ever-changing world of the future. The new curriculum will cut in half the number of required general education courses, yet at the same time ensure effective options for meeting the educational goals. The added flexibility will allow students to take better advantage of the many exciting learning opportunities KU offers — such as study abroad, research, internships, and service learning — which we will continue to enhance. Those experiences are often life-changing. They turn a good education into a great one.
Energizing the educational environment at KU in these significant ways will require bold action and collaborative partnerships among units and programs across campus. We are committed to this important task. By so doing we will position KU to recruit the very best applicants, engage them intellectually to reach their full academic potential, and enable their progress to graduation and successful careers.