Theme 1 - Excellence in Transformative Undergraduate Education

As a premier Catholic university in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions, LMU is committed to excellence in the formation of leaders who transform the world.  Our culture of academic excellence requires that all members of our community work to ensure an educational experience that is rigorous, inclusive, engaging, socially sensitive, interdisciplinary and international.

Objective 1:  Promote academic rigor, student engagement, integrated learning and student success.

Rationale:  Transformative learning demands inclusive curricula, pedagogies and educational experiences.  Faculty must set high expectations for achievement and employ pedagogies that foster deep learning.  The curriculum must involve rigorous engagement with liberal arts knowledge and skills, interdisciplinary and intercultural experiences that foster integrated learning, and opportunities for applying knowledge for the betterment of society.

Actions:

  1. Work to align the course structure with the desired pedagogy and content, possibly by moving to an undergraduate curriculum based primarily on four-unit courses, with a typical student semester load of four courses.
  2. Leverage the implementation of the new Core Curriculum to fully engage faculty and students in an integrated, interdisciplinary learning experience aimed at achieving stated outcomes.
  3. Improve the alignment of co-curricular programs and resources with academic curricula and goals.
  4. Increase access to and opportunities for students to participate in engaged learning experiences, such as independent research, internships, international experiences and community-based learning and research.

Objective 2:  Ensure that our student body is diverse, embraces the mission of the university, and possesses the academic potential and personal attributes necessary to participate fully in our rigorous academic experience.

Rationale:  A diverse student body is integral to LMU’s core value of fostering an inclusive community. At LMU, diversity refers to individual differences (e.g, personality, learning styles, and life experiences), and group or social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations) (AAC&U). Diversity generates important educational benefits because it provides a setting for students to live among and learn from those who are different from themselves. This is particularly important in a global, multicultural society and world.  In addition, a transformative education requires that students are prepared to engage in rigorous academic experiences, desire personal development beyond intellectual growth and career preparation, and seek to become men and women for others.

Actions:

  1. Enhance our efforts to recruit a diverse pool of academically ambitious students.
  2. Review and refine our recruitment, admissions and financial aid practices to take into consideration additional measures of success, such as demonstrated leadership, service and personal initiative.
  3. Significantly grow the university endowment in support of academic scholarships and need-based financial aid that help make LMU more broadly accessible and affordable.
  4. Support the implementation of the Retention Strategic Plan.

Objective 3:  Enhance the quality of the undergraduate learning experience.

Rationale:  To ensure the highest quality educational experience for undergraduates, it is essential that our best faculty from all ranks teach foundational courses, that curricula are reviewed regularly for quality and currency, and that we respond to continuously changing learning needs.

Actions:

  1. Increase the percentage of lower division courses taught by full-time faculty.
  2. Charge individual colleges and schools to review and revise their academic programs, with the goal of enhancing rigor and inclusiveness.
  3. Leverage appropriate technologies to enhance the effectiveness of educational programs.

Objective 4:  Strengthen support for students’ post-baccalaureate success.

Rationale:  One of the best measures of our success as a university is what our students are able to do after graduation and who they become.  We must engage students in activities and programs that prepare them for success after graduation.

Actions:

  1. Improve coordination between academic departments and Career Development Services, Alumni Relations and the Center for Service and Action in order to enhance learning and career opportunities.
  2. Strengthen mentoring experiences that prepare students for postgraduate education.
  3. Engage students earlier in their undergraduate careers in activities and programs that provide support, experience, and guidance in preparing for success after graduation.
  4. Increase the number of students applying for postgraduate fellowships and scholarships.

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