Student Life Strategic Plan

Student Life Division

Commitments to Excellence

1. We are committed to educating students in a collaborative co-curricular learning community that engages students through personal connections and nurtures them to develop their full potential.

Collaboration: We know that student success is the result of the work of many people. We are committed to collaboration with: students, faculty and staff colleagues; parents and family members; employers; and others who are a part of each student’s network of supporters. We are committed to creating positive relationships with the many supporters of the university including alumni, neighbors, friends, donors, Regents, and members of the ELCA.

Co-Curricular Education: We know that student success is solidified when students have multiple opportunities to learn and live the university’s educational priorities. We are committed to providing a wide range of co-curricular programs, in differing learning styles, so that students are immersed in an educational environment throughout their university experience. These opportunities bring the PLU mission statement to life and provide opportunities for students to develop competencies in the Integrative Learning Objectives (ILOs). Through these co-curricular programs, we are committed to developing caring and compassionate students, who translate their interests and knowledge in ways that positively impact the community for the benefit of all. We intentionally develop opportunities to live the learning, whether it is on a sports team, in student leadership roles, in the community, in a work setting, in a club or other type of experience. We know that the ability to work well with others is paramount to student success in life. We are committed to providing opportunities where teamwork and conflict resolution skills can be learned and enhanced. We are committed to staying relevant to current students and using innovation and creativity in presenting these programs and opportunities in ways that are attractive to them and engaging. We are committed to excellence in all aspects of our work, providing programs and services that are efficient and effective.

Learning Community: We know that student success is best achieved when students are connected to a welcoming, safe and nurturing learning community. We are committed to creating a campus community that is safe and just, where the individual is welcomed and valued and campus standards are upheld. Further, we are committed to providing excellence in our living environments that are comfortable “homes” for students and that are conducive to learning. These include study spaces and places where they can engage with peers and faculty to continue learning from each other outside of the classroom. Student success includes learning from peers through casual interactions or around specific interests, such as with clubs and organization, or spiritual growth. We are committed to creating these comfortable informal gathering spaces that provide students casual, welcoming environments to establish and deepen relationships with peers and mentors.

Connection to Persons: We know that student success is deepened when students connect with people and engage with the many diverse communities in which a student lives. We are committed to embracing the diversity of students of PLU and to encouraging students to engage with and learn from each other whether from the same hometown or from a different country. We are committed to deepening students’ connections to PLU and to living as good neighbors in their communities.

Mentoring: We know that student success is strengthened when students have relationships with members of the community who are willing to offer support and share their collegiate years together. We are committed to being available to students and providing safe, open offices and spaces where students can seek a listening ear, where professionals are ready to nurture and assist, as well as challenge and empower the student to move forward and progress through whatever situations or issues have arisen in their life. We are committed to being mentors and role models for students and to working in partnership with campus colleagues to support student well-being.

Celebration: We know that student success is multiplied when it is recognized, honored and celebrated. Students who are acknowledged and applauded for their successes are encouraged to continue their accomplishments, both large and small. We are committed to celebrating student triumphs publicly and privately, individually and as groups, and inspiring other students to attain their own successes. We believe in our students’ capabilities and salute their victories.

2. We are committed to empowering students to take responsibility for their person and their life in such ways that resonate with their vocational aspirations and that contribute to the greater good of all beings and the physical environment, both locally and globally.

Personal Well-Being: We know that student success is sustained by the attention students give to their own personal health, well-being and safety. We are committed to providing excellent services that both educate and care for students as they balance nutrition, sleep, exercise and personal safety, as well as, emotional and physical challenges in the demanding days of collegiate study. We are committed to providing quality spaces for health and wellness activities and for recreation where students can advance their self-care skills. These life balance skills will serve the student well into their lives and careers post graduation. We are committed to attending to the whole person in our interactions and in the design and implementation of our work.

Identity & Vocational Development: We know that students thrive when they are able to solidify their identity, explore new areas of interest and discern their vocational inclinations. These activities assist them in charting paths that combine their interests, values and priorities into meaningful and purposeful lives. We provide opportunities for understanding the Lutheran concept of vocational callings in the world. We assist with identifying and developing career paths by providing opportunities to sharpen their skills and apply their knowledge in pursuit of employment, graduate programs and service experiences post graduation.

Social Justice: We know that student success ultimately supports the well-being of our larger society as the future generation of leaders. We are committed personally, as well as professionally, to encouraging our students to engage in lifelong learning and work that will create a fair and just world for all. We encourage our students to consider the greater good of society and to challenge impediments to progress. We are committed to nurture students as leaders with both local and global perspectives who care for and serve the greater good of all beings that inhabit their communities, as well as the physical environs in which they live. We strive to assist students in learning that their actions have consequences and to understand the impact of their choices locally and globally. We are committed to work with others in ways that promote a diverse, just and sustainable world for the betterment of all.

3. We are committed to the highest levels of integrity, professionalism and stewardship of resources in our work including professionals, facilities, services and programs.

Integrity & Professionalism: We know that student success is best supported by student affairs professionals who are well trained, broadly experienced and who are continually engaged in advanced professional development. We are committed to hiring and retaining the best staff possible and to the provision of ongoing professional learning opportunities. We are committed to knowing the best practices of our fields and adapting those to our work at PLU. We are committed to contributing to the advancement of the profession by the creation of knowledge in our fields based on research and study, through conference presentations and journal publications, serving on professional boards, university associations and accreditation efforts, and attending professional conferences. We are committed to honesty and truthfulness in our work and consistency in our actions demonstrating our values.

Quality Resources: We know that a broad range of quality resources devoted to assisting students and their learning strategies optimizes student success. We are committed to partnering with campus colleagues to both provide and steward those excellent resources and inform students of their availability so that students are aware of the choices they can make to assist themselves. These resources of people, facilities and programs need substantial financial support. We are committed to working, in partnership with other colleagues, to attain the financial resources needed to support excellence in our work.

4. We are committed to continual evaluation and improvement of our work through ongoing assessment.

Assessment: We know that student success is strengthened when programs and services are effective and efficient. We are committed to ongoing assessment and evaluation in all aspects of our work. We are committed to continually asking students for their feedback and to using their feedback to increase our effectiveness. We are committed to outside evaluation and continual improvement.