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Priorities

Goals 2018-21

1. ENHANCE THE UNDERGRADUATE EXPERIENCE
Provide students with the education they need to fulfill their aspirations and make a better world.

  • Contribute to advancing MIT undergraduate education by enhancing the first-year student academic experience.
    • For AY2017-2018, develop and deliver “Designing the First-Year” class to engage the community and develop solutions for improving the MIT first-year experience.
    • Implement recommendations from the FYE course, most specifically, conduct the First Year CUP Experiment(s) over the course of the next several years. Refer to CUP proposal(s) for more details.
    • Enhance academic advising in the first year and beyond for students by implementing practices, policies and programs to help students adjust to life at the Institute, explore major and career options, and continue their process of personal discovery. This goal will be met by working in partnership with MHH, faculty, and academic departments in a phased approach over 3 years.
    • For AY19-20, implement the Phase 2 policy of the First Year CUP experiment and assess policy usages and outcomes for both Phase 1 and Phase 2 in order to inform long-term policy recommendations or a Phase 3 of the experiment.
    • For AY19-20, promote the development and refinement of a broad selection of First-Year Discovery subjects that provide low-commitment but rewarding opportunities for first-year students to engage with different departments and offices on campus.
    • For AY19-20, implement an advising pilot that uses a hybrid model with a staff advisor and faculty mentor and assess possible strategies for scaling the model to the full first-year class.
    • By 2021, implement and begin to assess curricular pilots within each of the first-year learning communities to test options for building more flexibility and/or inspiring learning experiences into the first year.
    • Throughout AY19-20, communicate the results of Phase I and Phase 2 broadly to students and faculty for the purpose of soliciting concerns and addressing them.
  • Develop an improved undergraduate orientation that aligns with goals for the first-year experience.
  • In two years have a better understanding of how prospective students perceive MIT, as measured by survey results.
  • Improve how we communicate undergraduate tuition and financial aid.
    • In two years have a better understanding of how prospective students perceive MIT’s accessibility and affordability, as measured by survey results.
    • Redesign the Financial Aid award letter for this year’s cycle to improve the readability and comprehension for students.
    • Launch a new website to improve how we communicate about our costs and aid.
    • Launch a new simplified cost calculator (if we deem it to be a worthwhile tool for students and families.
  • Analyze the relationships between student outcomes, admissions factors and aspects of the MIT experience and use this as guidance for improving our programs.
  • Propose and implement a way to reduce the time between end of finals and graduation by a factor of two.
  • For 2020: Through a newly-configured OEL, develop and provide a more coordinated and comprehensive interface for students seeking extracurricular and co-curricular opportunities.
  • 2019: Identify common risk areas for experiential learning at MIT, including OEL units and other campus colleagues (MISTI, SAO, others); inventory and evaluate existing risk management policies and practices in conjunction with the offices of Risk Management, General Counsel, Insurance and others; recommend and implement areas for improvement and standardization.

2. SERVE OUR GRADUATE STUDENTS
Provide students with the education they need to fulfill their aspirations and make a better world and create an environment in which students may produce their best work to support the teaching & research mission of MIT.

  • Develop a “Graduate Student Roadmap” to give visibility to existing efforts and identify areas for innovation and improvement to enhance the graduate student experience in partnership with stakeholders across the Institute.
  • Redesign the onboarding and orientation experience for graduate students by identifying outcomes-based goals and developing a continuous improvement process.
  • Promote a diverse and inclusive graduate student body by developing, sharing, and adopting best practices in admissions, recruitment and student success programs and policies.
  • Enhance graduate student advising by examining best practices and effectiveness of the different types of advising models to improve career and research mentoring. Collaborate with DLCs over a multi-year period to implement change.
  • Strengthen the capacity of the GradSupport team (formerly Grad Personal Support) to serve individual students, faculty and administrators and collaborate with other student support personnel.
  • Institutionalize professional development competencies, catalog best practices and develop new programs to provide enhanced professional development opportunities.
  • By AY20-21, leverage technology for a digital-It transformation for OGE to provide immediate and long-term impact to improve efficiencies in visit tracking, digitizing petitions/forms, reporting tools for funding requests.
  • Increase the financial stability of our graduate students by developing a rigorous understanding of graduate financial, housing, family and food security needs.
  • Contribute to developing a rigorous understanding of graduate student housing needs.
  • For AY20-21, implement Everfi’s Mental Well-being for Graduate Students digital course to provide meaningful learning experiences that encourage graduate students to take proactive steps to support their mental well-being, recognize what additional support may be needed and proactively seek support, while also developing skills to appropriately support peers in doing the same.
  • In partnership with the GSC and DSL, enhance engagement and outreach efforts to our graduate students to keep them informed and to foster community and make deeper connections with those in departments and offices who support our graduate students. This goes beyond orientation, and includes broader communications effort in collaboration with the GSC.

3. PROMOTE DIVERSITY, INCLUSION, AND WELL-BEING
To deliver on the OVC mission, we must commit to being diverse and inclusive. Different perspectives create the best solutions and outcomes.

  • Work closely with student groups and others to understand the needs of the community.
  • Inventory and evaluate programs in order to better understand how we can build a more diverse and supportive environment that meets the needs of all students, especially those from underrepresented groups.
  • Expand the number of students we reach through OME by creating an online version of Interphase EDGE through a collaboration of ODL, OME, and TLL. Evaluate the use of these tools for improving the learning outcomes of on-campus Interphase EDGE students. This work will take up to 2 years.
  • Promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in G admissions and recruiting and inclusive teaching practices for UG and G students by disseminating best practices to Administrative Officers, Grad and UG Officers and Administrators, and Assistant Deans, thereby enabling network effects and positioning OVC as a support to the Schools.
  • Assess, recommend, and pilot programming in how to take a holistic approach in developing and sustaining a healthy workplace environment for OVC staff.

4. IMPROVE STUDENT CAREER EXPLORATION AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Equip students with the professional skills they need to thrive in a  variety of workplace settings over the course of their careers as national and global leaders.

  • By 2021, improve overall student confidence in academic and career decision-making, by expanding opportunities and supporting structures for students to explore a diverse range of academic and career options.
  • Provide undergraduate and graduate students more effective professional development opportunities.
  • In two years have a financial literacy program in place that reaches many students and delivers content through a variety of channels, including web content, workshops, and possibly peer to peer mentorship.

5. STRENGTHEN ACADEMIC INFRASTRUCTURE
Provide students, faculty and staff with the best tools and classrooms to deliver the optimal student academic experience.

  • Assess how well MIT’s current combination of Stellar and MITx are positioned to meet the Institute’s future needs and compare the current system to commercially-available options for a new electronic learning management system that better serves the needs of students and faculty.
  • Define a plan to optimize resources and implement solutions that best support the needs of students, faculty, and staff through a three-year Education Systems Roadmap.
  • Improve the subject and teaching evaluation process.
  • Create an integrated student dashboard to allow students easy access to their important academic, financial and student life information.
  • Evolve classroom spaces to improve the teaching and learning environment and support pedagogical innovation. One of the mechanisms to advance this goal is through the Faculty Classroom Survey.
  • Provide more effective navigation for students to MIT resources, including both digital and in-person components.
  • By 2021, develop and implement a roles-based Student Support Network to improve the support and services provided to individual students through a more comprehensive view of student data across the advising and support functions while enforcing appropriate data protocols, safeguards and training.

6. LIVE OUR MISSION AND VALUES
Serve as a model organization at MIT for a principle-driven approach towards optimizing the best outcomes.

  • Develop and implement a criteria-based process to be intentional about the formation of cross-function teams with diverse perspectives to advance organizational objectives.
  • By mid-Fall 2018, develop and implement a coordinate OVC communications strategy to integrate efforts (digital, print, email) of office-based communications staff, convene OVC communicators and coordinate with the Chancellor’s Office/DSL, inform key stakeholders (departments, grad and undergrad admins, leadership), keep OVC staff informed of progress and priorities, and to begin a comprehensive effort to devise a plan to improve student-facing messaging.
  • Promote Institute-wide impact by using the TLL’s teaching and learning and assessment and evaluation experts to guide our work both within and outside OVC.
  • Establish a clear, straightforward, and well-coordinated process for survey administration / data collection and data sharing to strengthen our capabilities in collection, interpretation, and use of qualitative and quantitative information for improving the rigor of decision-making.
  • Use the annual budget process for setting projects and priorities in a way that is consistent with staffing, funding and space.
  • Consider every OVC strategic priority from a “Three Lenses” perspective (strategic, political, and cultural), with a particular emphasis on how any future or current recommendations, programs, policies, and procedures (newly developed, re-imagined, or withdrawn) impact the diversity, inclusion, equity, and overall wellbeing of our staff and students, and the Institute as a whole. Work to begin in 2019 and be ongoing.

Updated: August 2019