Transitions Strategic Plan

The mission of Texas Christian University is to educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community. The Division of Student Affairs is dedicated to providing student focused programs and services that support student success and enhance the collegiate experience.

TCU Transitions, a program area within Student Development Services, seeks to facilitate the growth of students through the developmental needs of college.

To do this we:

  • Aspire to transform and empower all students to become personally and socially responsible citizens.
  • Support students in their development as whole human beings and productive members of society.
  • Create and implement developmentally appropriate programs for students during their entire undergraduate careers.
  • Challenge students to integrate their learning experiences, both in and out of the classroom, while reflecting on how these experiences contribute to their success.
  • Seek to be partners, leaders, and experts in the field of student transitions.

TCU Transitions play an integral role in in shaping the total TCU experience for our students. Our strategic plan emphasizes student learning and development as the primary outcome of our work while simultaneously stressing the importance of assessment and planning. Finally, the necessity of continuing and strengthening our partnerships with faculty, academic departments, alumni, community members, parents and students is of critical importance in realizing our strategic plan.

The TCU Transitions plan sets forth five strategic goals/principles that will guide our work for the next several years.

I. Foster Student Learning and Development
II. Create and Promote a Seamless Student Experience
III. Establish an Office Identity
IV. Engage our Constituents through Strategic Partnerships
V. Advance a Culture of Evidence and Assessment

Foster Student Learning and Development – Providing students with an array of developmentally appropriate opportunities that contribute to their individual learning both in and out of the classroom.

TCU Transitions will do this by:

• Providing co-curricular opportunities for students to integrate their learning experiences.
• Providing opportunities for students to practice ethical leadership.
• Providing opportunities for students to practice responsible citizenship.
• Providing opportunities for students to deepen their experiences as global citizens.

This will be accomplished by:

• Each office within TCU Transitions defining appropriate integration of learning experiences, practices of ethical leadership, practices of responsible citizenship, and deepened experiences as global citizens for each stage of student development.
• Each office within TCU Transitions developing programming that fosters student learning and development along each of these four dimensions.

Create and Promote a Seamless Student Experience – Developing strategic activities and events that advance the unique student experience for students transitioning in, transitioning through, and transitioning out of TCU.

TCU Transitions will do this by:

• Providing purposeful opportunities for students to engage and identify with their individual class as well as the larger TCU community.
• Creating milestone moments within and between the class years which includes, but is not limited to, rituals and ceremonies.
• Educating students, parents, faculty, and staff about the intentionality of our programs and how they are connected together.
• Using our programs to build upon each other’s learning outcomes to go deeper within specific topics and subjects.

This will be accomplished by:

• Each office within TCU Transitions will have one or more identifiable milestone moment(s) for students as they move through their four-year experience.
• Having an integrated developmental programming plan that connects the four-year experience.

Establish an Office Identity – Defining what Transitions is at TCU, including our purpose, our values, our expectations, our audience, our professional identity, and our expertise by understanding our gaps, refining our focus, and creating a national presence.

TCU Transitions will do this by:

• Conducting research in the areas of student development and student transitions that can be shared by participating in regional, national, and international professional organizations.
• Developing straightforward explanations of TCU Transitions to share with our various stakeholders.
• Compiling and streamlining internal expectations and procedures for program implementation.

This will be accomplished by:

• Each member of the TCU Transitions team conducting research for the purpose of publishing or presenting.
• Each member of the TCU Transitions team maintaining involvement in regional, national, or international professional organizations for the purpose of sharing and gaining information and promotion TCU and TCU Transitions.
• Strategically articulating the developmental intentionality of our programs to stakeholders through communication efforts.
• Developing documents to aid in the process of program planning and assessment.

Engage our Constituents through Strategic Partnerships – Building collaborative and supportive partnerships with all of our relevant stakeholders, including students, faculty & staff, parents & family members, alumni, community members, and the field of higher education.

TCU Transitions will do this by:

• Creating a class representative system for each year that helps in the planning and implementation of programs and activities.
• Inviting and encouraging faculty and staff to have a role in our initiatives, including program design, planning, and implementation.
• Partnering with parents and family members by providing information related to the TCU student experience. In addition, we will seek to affirm the role of families in the education of their individual student.
• Strengthening our relationships with campus departments by educating them about our programs, activities, and initiatives.
• Utilizing the expertise, talents, and contributions of TCU alumni in our programs to maximize student opportunities.
• Involving, when appropriate, experts in the community to strengthen our programs. Additionally, we will seek to foster relationships with the local Fort Worth community in the design and implementation of our programs and activities.

This will be accomplished by:

• Developing one programming council with representatives from each class to assist in the planning of all milestone activities.
• Establishing a point person in TCU Transitions for each college, school, and department for the purpose of information sharing and program planning.
• Including information related to each class year, including student developmental needs and ongoing programs and services, in each parent and family publication.
• Creating an Alumni and Community Advisory Council to help in strengthening programmatic and fundraising efforts.

Advance a Culture of Evidence and Assessment – Basing decisions on verifiable evidence, including inputs and results, while connecting our learning outcomes to our assessment strategies.

TCU Transitions will do this by:

• Being well-versed in both foundational and current research, theory, and literature in the fields of student development and student transitions.
• Creating learning outcomes that are both valid and useful while being grounded in student development theory.
• Determining learning outcomes and appropriate assessment methods prior to the creation of new programming.
• Utilizing both quantitative and qualitative measurements to evaluate our programmatic initiatives.
• Documenting both the data and the data analysis in efforts to design a purposeful and relevant format to share data both internally and externally.

This will be accomplished by:

• Subscribing to and reading relevant higher education journals and periodicals that keep us abreast of changes and new research.
• Developing both general learning outcomes for the entire TCU Transitions area as well as specific learning outcomes for each program offered by TCU Transitions.
• Creating programmatic evaluations that allow students to document their experiences as well as their learning.
• Establishing an annual presentation and publication that presents the links between theory and research and programmatic initiatives as well as our assessment data.

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