Student success has been and will always be central to who we are and what makes UMass Lowell distinctive. We believe that the promise of a public education is to provide an accessible, affordable and transformational educational experience well-anchored by support, connections and opportunities. None of this happens without excellent teaching.
Although the 2020 Strategic Plan made great strides in student outcomes, there is still room to ensure all students, across all demographic categories, are succeeding at the same rates. We are committed to constantly building a more supportive and enriching experience for undergraduate and graduate students, on-campus and online, inside and outside the classroom, from day one to the completion of their degree and beyond.
Our more diverse student body provides unique opportunities to create a correspondingly diverse portfolio of support and access. For example, our ability to teach varied populations across a wide range of class modalities—in-class, online, hybrid, hyflex and experiential— is a distinct advantage of UMass Lowell.
Challenges are opportunities.
We acknowledge that students are taking on more debt and facing challenges created by the pandemic. Our population is smaller, and many will suffer from pandemic learning gaps for the foreseeable future. Our students require more support academically, socially and emotionally, and the impending decline in the number of high school graduates in New England will put significant pressure on future enrollments. In addition, while most statistics have trended positively over the past decade, gaps still exist in measures of success along gender, race, ethnicity, disability, socioeconomic status and residency lines.
Our online education programs remain highly regarded and viable. However, the intense competition for a shrinking pool of applicants means we need to offer more support than before. The pandemic provided an opportunity to grow graduate programs, as evidenced by our rapid MBA enrollment growth. Significant opportunities exist in fields that have not historically competed online—including science, engineering and health science—to create more access across more fields to more specialized populations. Supporting lifelong learning and development beyond just degree-seeking students is also fertile ground for new and expanded programs.
Despite these challenges, UMass Lowell remains uniquely positioned to help our students succeed. The expected return of international students is good news for growing in-person graduate and doctoral programs that will be even more valuable in the face of a strong economy and low unemployment. Our strong relationships with industry and government, nonprofits and educational partners provide significant opportunities to develop programming unequalled by our peers, especially at a public-school price.
Our road to success.
Attract, recruit, enroll and graduate a diversified student body.
We will continue to recruit, retain and support a diverse student body to offset demographic declines in the number of students and the increased competition across the commonwealth and the country.
Measured by enrollment headcount according to career and demographic data.
Provide a supportive, enriching, transformative and personalized experience, in and out of the classroom, to prepare every student to be a critical thinker, problem-solver and global citizen.
While students attend a university for an education recognized by a certificate or degree, research shows that the value of the experience is defined by opportunities both in and out of the classroom.
Measured by the rate of completion of Student Mosaic, a framework that captures student engagement and success across four areas: academic opportunities, university supports, engagement and involvement, and career-connected and experiential opportunities.
Close the achievement gaps across all groups.
We will continue to support the success and well-being of our diverse student body fluidly defined by categories that include, but are not limited to: transfer status, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, disability, socioeconomic status, age, experience, national origin and other marginalized social identities.
Measured by graduation rates by career and both traditional and non-traditional demographic data (i.e., veterans, LGBTQIA+, disability).
Support each student to achieve their post-graduation goals.
We understand that achieving a desired career, service path or other aspirational goal is the outcome that ultimately define the success of a UMass Lowell education.
Measured by placement rates into careers as defined by jobs, military or volunteer service, and continuing education.
Provide a compelling, accessibly priced, on-campus living learning experience.
We commit to improving access to a residential program that combines academics, student life, housing and dining because we know that students who live in on-campus residence halls, and especially Living Learning Communities, consistently outperform their peers academically.
Measured by graduation and satisfaction rates for resident students.
Provide services, programming and resources that promote holistic student wellness.
We will continue to support the health, safety, well-being and mental health of our students through innovative and effective strategies to foster empowerment, engagement, learning and connection.
Measured by self-reported and documented student health assessment data.