Weber State University Core Themes
Interpretation of Mission - the Mission Core Themes
The Core Themes Model defines mission related objectives and achievement indicators and therefore describes how WSU interprets its mission and how success is being measured. The NWCCU accreditation process provides cyclical peer review and outside perspective using this WSU-defined model of objectives and achievement relative to mission.
Mission Core Themes and Planning Objectives
Weber State maintains accreditation by the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) and, in accordance with accreditation Standard One, the University Planning Council developed a clear definition of the purpose and goals of the university as expressed in its mission (April, 2011). The Core Themes of the Weber State University Mission, and the objectives inherent in them, were adopted by the Weber State University Board of Trustees (by delegation from the Utah Board of Regents, June, 2011). The University mission Core Themes and objectives, along with performance assessment methods, were filed with NWCCU per accreditation Standard One (September, 2011).
With the purpose of continuously improving the university in pursuit of the mission, the University Planning Council interpreted the mission as having three fundamental themes and ten operating objectives crafted to enable assessment of achievement.
Core Theme I: ACCESS
WSU serves communities with significant socioeconomic and cultural differences. As the “educational, cultural and economic leader for the region,” WSU strives to provide meaningful access for prospective students to educational programs that respond to local employment needs. The two objectives addressing the core theme address the responsivity and affordability of the institution and its appeal to all students, including cohorts of interest.
- Weber State will offer programs that address the needs of the community
WSU offers responsive associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degrees in liberal arts, sciences, technical and professional fields.
- Weber State will serve cohorts of interest in the community
WSU effectively serves the needs of cohorts of interest in the community, which includes ethnicity based and other groups which may be quite small compared to the size of the majority. The institution remains attentive to the success of these students, and they remain an important and growing constituency served by the institution. The focus on cohorts of interest allows for flexible analysis of groups to assess whether the institution is fulfilling its mission of access for all students.
Core Theme II: LEARNING
The learning core theme is central to the WSU’s mission to provide “excellent educational experiences” and its commitment to support student success. The six objectives for this core theme address the range of students’ educational experiences. We measured student academic achievement, experience, and progress in a variety of ways to provide a complete picture of the institution's dedication to student learning and academic success.
- Student who enroll will be retained
Student learning requires students to be retained. WSU will be at the fiftieth percentile, or above, of its peer institutions in freshman-to-sophomore student retention rates.
- Students will participate in engaged learning experiences
The university prides itself on offering engaged learning opportunities that research has demonstrated as central to student success. The two indicators of this objective address whether students participate in engaged learning experiences and judge the experience as meaningful.
- Students will achieve General Education learning outcomes
General education is widely recognized as critical for preparing students for their academic and professional careers and their personal lives. The two indicators of this objective assess students’ achievement of general education outcomes and experience of meaningful learning. General education outcomes are outlined in Utah State Regents’ Policy R470 for the program as a whole and for classes in the core (Quantitative Literacy, Composition, American Institutions, and Information Literacy) and breadth (Creative Arts, Humanities, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences) areas. The class outcomes are further refined by university area committees composed of faculty representatives from departments teaching general education courses in each area.
- Students will achieve program learning outcomes
The focus of this objective is bachelor’s and master’s degree programs that are reviewed every five to seven years according to Utah State Regents’ policy (R411). The program review process includes outside reviewers, faculty leadership, administration, and Board of Trustees before being submitted to the Board of Regents for approval.
- Lower-division students will achieve success
Students enter WSU with varying backgrounds and abilities, and the institution has programs to support both well-prepared and underprepared students early in their academic careers. Underprepared students may be placed in developmental mathematics and English courses. Well-prepared students may join the Honors program or be invited to join the Aletheia program. To ensure that the institution is being responsive to lower-division students’ needs and aspirations, we shine a light on student academic performance and success early in their academic career.
- Students will complete degrees
Degree completion brings economic benefits to the student and the state.
Core Theme III: COMMUNITY
The WSU mission statement highlights the university’s role as an educational, cultural, and economic leader for the region. The six objectives in the community core theme assess these roles by targeting the ways WSU is an active contributor to regional learning endeavors, the social and cultural life of the community, and the region’s economic development.
- Weber State University will contribute to K-12 education in the community
This objective addresses the ways in which the institution contributes to pre-K through grade 12 education in the region that goes beyond the direct preparation of teachers.
- The community will participate in a wide array of WSU sponsored cultural program
WSU contributes to the richness of the regional culture by both inviting the community to attend events at WSU and by going into the community to offer opportunities where people live.
- Students will engage with the community and become productive members of society
This objective addresses a key function of the university, which highlights students' next step success in either the job market or additional education after graduation.
- Faculty will contribute to their professions
WSU faculty are connected not only to their institutional and local communities, they are also members of their academic or professional disciplines. They are actively involved in their discipline and make all manner of contributions, notably by their scholarly or artistic work in the discipline.
- Faculty, staff, and students will support the community through service and outreach efforts
WSU is committed to promoting the community service of its students, faculty, and staff. The value of community service is embedded in the WSU mission statement which highlights public service and community-based learning as a basis for WSU functioning as an educational, cultural and economic leader. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recognized WSU’s commitment to community service and community-based learning with the Community Engaged Institution classification.
- Weber State University will contribute to the economic development of the region
WSU is committed to fulfilling its mission as an “economic leader for the region.”