By Tanner Carlson
SGA held an open meeting to the students of Southwestern to understand the new strategic plan. Brad Andrews, president, spoke to help explain, and answer any concerns presented from the student body.
The new strategic plan focuses on four main priorities the school wants to accomplish in five years. There were 200 ideas established, and sent in from alumni, staff and faculty, donors, and current students. Out of the 200, these were the four that the President and his team narrowed the strategic plan too.
- Establishing an Honors Program- The program will be designed to focus on the recruitment of students attending Southwestern for academic purposes, not to say athletes cannot join the program. This will require students enrolled in the program to have a higher GPA, and test scores in their respective course, as well as possibly do more work in that particular course. The student will be expected to work at a higher level to prepare them for graduate school.
- Creating a Center for Career Preparation- It has not yet been established if the center will be built onto an existing building, room, or have a single person or group of people oversee the program on campus, or if it will replace the career prep. course seniors are required to take. What is established and what it will entail is preparing students for life after college and career building strategies, such as properly preparing a resume, job interview practice, and finding jobs that are major specific to the student.
- A Branding Initiative- This study will better help identify what Southwestern stands for, and what is most important to the school as a whole. They will then put this image into action to create an identity against others colleges, and to help incoming recruits better understand what being a Southwestern Moundbuilder means.
- Improving On-Campus Facilities with a Master Plan- A facelift to buildings on campus including classrooms, athletic facilities, and dorms.
“There is no exact plan in place yet on when these projects will get done, and how they will get done,” Andrews explained, “When we do things, we need to do them right for 20 years from now. We are hoping all these will be in place in four years, so hopefully one project per year.”
Upperclassmen realize that this plan may not come into fruition by the time their time at Southwestern is over, but that does not affect the excitement, and energy behind the plan.
“I think the vision is great, I’m actually very excited, and I kind of don’t want to leave so I can see where this goes,” Kayla Demel, senior SGA president, said. “I think everything that will change, will change for the better, so I’m very excited.”
The strategic plan Andrews has implemented is getting support from the faculty as well.
“There is symbolism there. We have the four pillars, so I see the symbolism there of having four plans,” Dan Falk, dean of students, points out. “I think the president is doing what a president needs to do, he’s leading us.”
Tanner Carlson is a junior majoring in communication. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.