Graduate Program Array
As a public comprehensive university, graduate programs are an important aspect of our overall program array. Both the 2008-2016 Centennial plan "Transforming our Future" and the new strategic plan "Creating our Future: UW-Eau Claire Strategic Plan 2016-2020" (link to strategic plan here) assert our University vision to provide distinctive, select graduate programs. As with the undergraduate program array, graduate programs must enhance the image and reputation of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UW-Eau Claire), be aligned with the mission, values, and strengths of the University, and be attractive and relevant to current and future students. We must set forth the principles by which we will decide which graduate programs to maintain, to modify, to eliminate, and to initiate.
Distinctive, select graduate programs at UW-Eau Claire must meet three criteria. First, each graduate program must address the broader needs of the region and state. The program could respond to these needs by developing appropriately credentialed individuals to fill a key employment shortage, or the program could provide a credential to meet the requirement for initial licensure and employment. The program might also provide individuals with additional skills and knowledge to unlock opportunities for advancement in their current career field. In any event, all graduate programs need to make a clear case for how they fulfill a specific need. Second, graduate programs must build on or enhance strengths of the undergraduate programs and contribute to the overall reputation of the University. Because we are primarily an undergraduate institution, it is necessary that our graduate programs connect to and grow from the strengths of our undergraduate curriculum. These connections allow faculty to teach at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and provide opportunities for the efficient delivery of streamlined 4+1 or 3+2 degree programs. Third, graduate programs must demonstrate financial sustainability by generating a stable revenue stream to cover program expenses.
To fully meet our goals, graduate programming needs to be a shared endeavor across the entire campus. This does not mean that every program on campus should or can have a graduate program; however, as we decide which graduate programs to enhance, which to phase out, and which to initiate, these conversations must take place within the overall context of the University mission and vision. We must change processes, procedures, and structures to more fully integrate graduate programs into the overall University and help those programs to operate more effectively and efficiently.