Create a contemporary, innovative teaching and learning environment
We will build a transformational teaching and learning environment that is grounded in interdisciplinary programming, a commitment to scholarship and deep learning, contemporary teaching methods, and leadership of the heart.
We will establish a culture of academic excellence and innovation by rewarding and implementing creative new ideas, rigorously assessing student learning and institutional effectiveness, and using these assessments as the foundation for substantive improvements. We will create an academic culture that is rich with opportunities to change the lives of our students. This culture will create transformational environments that extend beyond the classroom to include living and learning communities, collaborative capstone experiences, service learning and other experiential learning opportunities, and faculty-student research venues.
Within the learning community, faculty have the pivotal role in establishing trust and building developmental environments in which information is shared, extended, then negotiated through pedagogies that encourage group interaction and caring relationships among students. In order to deliver this transformational learning environment successfully while achieving manageable faculty workload, we will need to grow the size of our faculty appropriately within the limits of our resources. In so doing, we will be required to develop greater clarity about what constitutes appropriate faculty workloads.
We will use emerging and existing technologies to create a dynamic technology-supported learning environment using virtual communities, electronic portfolios, and multimedia pedagogies that provides a foundation for our commitment to a curricular focus on interdisciplinary studies. We will create virtual communities that will enable us to become a more learning-centered college and communicate this shared purpose. We will incorporate electronic portfolios for students that will provide a record of achievements, encourage self-reflection among all members of the Cabrini community, and facilitate lifelong learning.
We will identify our strongest, most innovative and/or unique programs and look for ways to promote them as flagship programs at the College. A signature academic program must strongly express the values and mission of Cabrini College and be fully integrated into the marketing messages we promote to the community and potential students. We will establish signature initiatives in the areas of interdisciplinary and experiential learning, with an ambitious and progressive Honors Program, a Center for Engaged Humanities, and a new core curriculum that are at the vanguard of these developments. In so doing, we will communicate an institutional "sea-change" from a compartmentalized and parochial disciplinary culture to one whose hallmark is genuinely shared inquiry and provocative collaboration. We will consider signature initiatives in the area of Social Justice/Common Good in the general education program, in the disciplines, and in Graduate and Professional Studies.
Through grant support, we will expand Cabrini's visibility and leadership in teaching and implementing Catholic Social Teaching by establishing an Institute on Catholic Social Justice Education. This Institute could make a distinctive contribution to American Catholic higher education and provide professional development and global immersion experience on social justice to our faculty. It might also offer a journal and a regular conference dedicated to engaging other educators in developing pedagogies of social justice suited to our 21st Century world and students.
We will expand graduate and professional studies programs that build upon the College's existing academic programs and integrate with our efforts to define signature programs. We will consider a "shared-team approach," with the Graduate division becoming a blended component of the entire campus community, rather than as a stand-alone unit. This will be critical to accomplish truly integrated growth and development. The key to successful program integration will be to build relationships with faculty and to solicit their ideas and resources. A newly formed Graduate Education Advisory Council, working closely with the Dean of the Graduate Division, is poised to lead our efforts in the achievement of this and other future goals in graduate program development. Further, we will need to continue the use of market research to help determine additional programs to offer to the adult graduate population. Key resources required to build these programs are already in place, including the SET Building, new campus technology, and a skilled and dedicated faculty.
All of our academic programs - existing and new, undergraduate and graduate, classroom based or from a distance - must achieve the appropriate balance between quality, mission fulfillment, vision integration and financial viability.