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Initiative 1: Student Success

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Reaching New Heights Improve Student Attraction, Achievement, and Outcomes Strategic Initiative 1



We will provide a rich, engaging experience for students at all levels to increase student satisfaction, academic quality, and the value proposition of the institution.




Strategic Focus: Student Success

Individual care and concern for each one of our students is a hallmark of a McDaniel education. From the First Year Seminar to senior capstone, it is essential for us to remain engaged with our student body. Whether helping transfer students find their place, implementing outreach programs during semester and summer breaks, or investing in better academic support services, we must show our students that we care about them and their success.


Strategic Initiative 1: Student Success Goals & Objectives

We will provide a rich, engaging experience for students at all levels to increase student satisfaction, academic quality, and the value proposition of the institution.

Goal 1.1: Ensure that undergraduate students are career- and life-ready Objectives

  • Ensure a revised general education program attracts and engages students, develops critical thinking skills, and prepares graduates for meaningful roles in their communities and professions.
  • Further leverage the promise of the McDaniel Commitment to help students prepare professionally.
  • Increase access to and numbers of career-related events in all disciplines.
  • Encourage study abroad and connections with McDaniel's Budapest campus to enhance students' intellectual, networking, and career opportunities.
  • Track and improve rates for job placement and graduate school admission, and market programs that excel in these areas.
  • Identify and emphasize career-translatable skills/pathways within existing and new programs of study in all majors and within the college’s liberal arts core.
  • Offer majors, certifications, credentialing, and skill development to meet student and employer demand.
  • Offer community-sustaining academic experiences that meet the needs of our diverse student population and prepare the college for demographic shifts.

Goal 1.2: Build student success structure and programming to increase retention, persistence, and graduation rates Objectives

  • Improve effectiveness, continuity, and accessibility of advising.
  • Establish tracking and outreach campaigns to improve student persistence and enhance students’ sense of belonging and achievement.
  • Develop more flexible paths within the academic program to facilitate degree completion.
  • Become more transfer-friendly.
  • Simplify early academic planning and revise policies that create unintentional roadblocks to retention and graduation.
  • Increase use of academic support services, in particular for underrepresented groups.
  • Expand efforts to ensure curriculum, pedagogy, policies, and practices are equitable and inclusive.
  • Utilize Jan Term and Summer Term more effectively for multiple purposes (e.g., experiential learning, gen ed requirements, credit recovery, and math support).

Goal 1.3: Improve campus living environments to promote community and student satisfaction. Objectives

  • Improve the quality and condition of the residence halls.
  • Increase the variety and richness of the college’s living-learning residence offerings.
  • Use current trends in dining plans, options, and venues to improve the student dining experience.
  • Improve services designed to meet students' basic needs, including access to healthy food and stable housing.
  • Engage in a program evaluation process of athletic teams to improve McDaniel’s athletic reputation and the student experience.

Goal 1.4: Align existing and new cross-divisional programming to focus on the dimensions of wellness. Objectives

  • Social: Create large group experiences throughout the student’s lifecycle to continue student engagement, school spirit, and a sense of belonging after their first year.
  • Spiritual: Support the religious and/or spiritual identity development of students by providing programs and services and opportunities for interfaith collaboration.
  • Financial: Provide pathways and curriculum for students to increase their financial literacy.
  • Environmental: Invest in infrastructure and programming focused on sustainability.
  • Emotional: Establish additional mental health programming and support.
  • Intellectual: Invest in innovative curriculum and innovation-oriented faculty development.
  • Physical: Increase activity-oriented extracurricular programming.