By Wayne Allen
Common Staff Writer
In January of 2012 the Shawnee State University (SSU) Board of Trustees endorsed a plan by, Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Jim Petro to increase the school’s course completion rates and the number of degrees awarded.
With the passage of House Bill (HB) 153, Petro was to required to submit a plan to state legislators with the directive of the plan was to ensure the “Shawnee State Supplement will be used to promote the goals of improving course completion, increasing the number of degree conferred and furthering the university’s mission of service to the Appalachian region,” Petro wrote in a letter to the school.
SSU and Central State University are the only universities in Ohio that receive a special supplement in the state’s budget. SSU’s supplement has been as high as $4 million; it is currently at $2.4 million.
On Friday SSU released, a report from the Educational Policy Institute, titled “An Assessment of the Chancellor’s Plan for Shawnee State University.”
The report states, “The Educational Policy Institute (EPI) was hired by OBR (Ohio Board of Regents) to conduct a review of the institution and provide feedback on how the institution can deliver towards theses three goals.”
Shawnee State’s goals, beginning with new students in the fall of 2013, are to improve the rate of successfully completed courses by one to three percent for each class for the next 10 years, increase associate and/or baccalaureate degrees by one to three percent for each class entering in the successive 10-year period and to further its service to the Appalachian region by strengthening relationships with key regional employees and school districts.
The assessment leaves SSU with a number of student success strategies in the areas of data, analysis and communications, recruitment and admission, academic support, developmental education, advising, professional development and partnerships and collaborative.
Morris said the Chancellor’s Plan for Shawnee State University, holds a number of challenges for the university.
“There are challenges because you don’t turn a battleship around in six months. This is a 10-year plan to turn this battleship around,” Morris said.
She said the university has already implemented portions of the plan, and will strive to meet the plan’s goals.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-1151, or firstname.lastname@example.org