Thank you for your virtual visit to Clayton State University. Soon, we hope that you will take the time to physically visit our campus, where the beauty of our surroundings provide an exceptional environment for your learning. During this visit, we hope you will discover the exceptional strengths of our faculty and staff, their shared commitment to our role as stewards of place—an engaged university focused on learning and enriched by active community interactions. We challenge our students and communities we serve to be our partner in 21st century learning. We work to make it possible for dreams, goals, and aspirations of those we serve to be realized.
There are many good reasons that The Atlanta Journal Constitution named Clayton State University one of the Top Workplaces in Metropolitan Atlanta in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, and that James Magazine named the university the first best buy for Georgia Universities in 2012, 2015, and 2016, and US News and World Report in 2015 placed the university in the top tier of regional Comprehension Colleges, 7th among public institutions in the South. The Carnegie Foundation has assigned to us the classification of a Community Engaged University, a role we have embraced, and have used to drive university learning.
We anticipate that we will finalize changes to our planning document around October 1 of 2016. In the meantime, you can have an early look at the work to date in the CSU Strategic Plan Draft Document and we would encourage your comments as we move toward more specific goals and success measures through which we can evaluate our progress toward those achievements in learning.
As you examine that document, you will find the following themes, among others:
Community Engagement – As a part of the reaffirmation of our accreditation, the university developed PACE, or Partnering Academics with Community Engagement. http://www.clayton.edu/pace Community engagement is defined as intentional efforts within courses to engage students in planned and purposeful related service experience within the community to impact student learning outcomes including critical thinking, problem solving and communication. Community engagement and service-learning have been shown to be beneficial to student and faculty engagement in the learning process. Our students, faculty, and staff are committed to being models of learning and community.
Active learning – EDGE http://www.clayton.edu/edge In every learning situation, students will be asked to take actions that contribute to their own learning. Such learning will lead to persistence in reaching academic goals, including graduation. Students will be supported in their efforts to be prepared for the marketplace, as well as through multiple forms of engagement, prepared to find relationships among learning and all other parts of their lives. And, through the Complete College Georgia initiative, we are committed to many more of our students reaching graduation and to use their habits of learning to succeed post-graduation.
Partnerships – Much more can be accomplished in work with others. Whether in improvements in career services with potential employers who can help in the design of academic and support programs, in community engagement with other institutions to foster learning success in shared students, in the creation of an environment in which students work together to support their own learning, and in finding potential financial supporters for our learning activities.
Celebration of Diversity –
Diversity is a concept greater than race or gender. It must also include age, national origin, income, class, diverse ways of knowing in the academy -- different ways to make and sustain knowledge claims and understanding. As is always the case under conditions of diversity, some frictions develop as differences come to be understood. But our unique strength comes from our conviction that diversity and differences and the energy so derived must inform and advance our actions. And that interactions across diverse individuals possessing many diverse characteristics provides the most powerful environment for learning-and an exceptional preparation for your future in which you will constantly be asked to succeed in groups with people different from one another.
Communication – We must constantly strive to achieve continuous improvement in communication with a variety of audiences-- to university community members, to potential students, to potential partners, to friends, including friends whom we have not yet met.
Dr. Tim Hynes