2020-2025 Strategic Plan
THEME: AGILITY IN SERVING, RETAINING AND GRADUATING OUR STUDENTS
Troy University, over the next five years, will attract, guide, and retain students on campus and on-line through a responsive, affordable, diverse, and challenging educational experience. Internships and study abroad opportunities will add value and values to the overall collegiate experience yielding globally aware, confident alumni ready to lead change.
The Planning Environment
In a time of unprecedented challenges due to international public health concerns, Troy University began its planning process with an examination of the major environmental factors impacting higher education in Alabama. This process included a systematic approach to obtaining input from faculty and staff, students, alumni, and administrators under the guidance of the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees.
The most challenging environmental factors center around an international pandemic which has caused universities across the nation to close down campuses, curtail face-to face instruction, and limit operations. Additional major environmental factors that will have long-term influence over the next five years include:
- A projected decline in the number of public high school graduates in Alabama.
- A persistent decline in private high school enrollments and graduates in Alabama.
- A persistent decline in the number of students attending Alabama’s Community Colleges that could transfer to TROY.
- An uncertain international situation that could adversely impact international student enrollments.
- An excess overall capacity at Alabama’s higher educational institutions.
- An increased presence of out-of-state public, private and for-profit on-line institutions operating in Alabama.
- A modest projected increases in the number of potential adult students.
- An increasing investment in on-line programs at major national universities.
- An increasing student interest in job-ready degree programs.
- An increasing consumer sensitivity to price and financial aid.
Troy University does have an advantage in its early adoption of on-line learning and with all of its face-to-face courses having “shells” in the on-line Learning Management System which has increased the University’s agility in adapting to changing conditions. The future of higher education belongs to institutions that can demonstrate agility in serving, retaining, and graduating students. An additional advantage for TROY is its integrated and owned media, including a blog, magazine, social media, a public radio station, and public access television station. Maximum use and integration of content and messaging across these media will enhance TROY’s image and competitive position with its many audiences.
The Plan for 2025
Looking towards 2025, Troy University will maintain its leadership role as an outstanding public university serving a diverse student body. The University will further enhance its service to students by focusing on actions that:
- Improve student success.
- Provide students with the best opportunities for blending on-line and in-class academics.
- Alignment of academic programs with career opportunities.
- Expanding student access to international opportunities.
These initiatives will be organized and tracked under four major headings – recruitment, retention, graduating our students, and maintaining robust support for internationalization and diversity.
The University will increase student access to higher education by providing programs that offer on-campus and on-line capabilities as well as programs that are offered in blended format, with a goal of increasing enrollment on the traditional Troy campus to 8,000 students by 2022 with the new student growth of 2% in its fall-to-fall comparison of new enrollments. Our intent is to regain momentum in our 14 county service areas plus growth areas of greater Birmingham, Mobile, Baldwin County plus Florida Panhandle.
Specific actions to support increased recruitment include:
- Attracting more regional students to our beautiful campuses and excellent on-line programs.
- Unify the course inventory under ACHE to provide more options for our students.
- Increasing the visibility of our high-quality academic programs. Increasing study-abroad opportunities.
- Increasing internships through engagement with business leaders and alumni to provide these opportunities across all disciplines and globally.
- Identifying and working with successful alumni and empowering them with the tools and messages they need to act as successful recruiters of excellent students.
- Repackaging scholarships to compete in large markets and begin assessment of effectiveness in Fall 2020.
- Improve conversion rate of enrolled scholarship recipients to 92%.
- Distributing financial aid award estimates (FAFSA) in early Fall when FAFSA posted.
- Leveraging integrated and owned university media across the spectrum to achieve sustained communication linkage with prospective students from expressed interest to enrollment.
- Coordinating with Marketing as they work with the new marketing firm on a deep dive to identify TROY differentiation factors. Launching a renewed and enhanced advertising campaign that targets key student groups likely to be interested in TROY in new and creative ways that are supplemented by owned media.
- Enhancing alumni efforts to identify, recruit and enroll new students to create an Alumni base that will facilitate recruitment and enrollment.
- Develop, launch and assess Adult Student Admissions with intent to grow adult learner population.
- Achieve 12% annual increase in adult and non-traditional students for on-line graduate programs.
- Retention success in Dual Enrollment and Home-schooled programs.
- Establish defined military enrollment metrics for off-campus locations (supports centers) to sustain and grow this targeted population.
The next capital campaign will redouble the emphasis on raising funds to endow additional student scholarships.
TROY will continue its nationally recognized outreach to America’s military personnel and their families at locations around the world.
Tuition and fees will be reviewed annually to maintain affordability and retain a competitive edge with peer universities.
TROY will retain and foster goodwill with its political constituents in showing good stewardship and student success.
Academic and administrative units will enhance their efforts to serve students in ways that improve retention and persistence to graduation with a goal of increasing overall retention by one percent annually as measured by fall-to-fall enrollments.
Specific initiatives will focus on:
- Improving success among part-time students;
- Supporting students with developmental academic needs;
- Leveraging the talents of the faculty in mentoring students;
- Enhancing scholarship support for promising students; and
- More closely monitoring the academic participation and progress of first-year and second-year students.
- Using University communications and marketing to create, sustain, and enhance a feeling of unity and family among TROY faculty, staff, and students in order to bind and hold them together.
- Intensifying promotion and recruitment efforts to target on-line growth in the adult and non-traditional student market with strategic focus on on-line graduate programs.
- Improve reporting and monitoring of retention efforts for on-line students and comparing to national norms.
- Improving enrollment coordination with International Programs – new IMPACT Session
- Revitalizing Leadership program.
- Retain a reputation for teaching excellence.
As part of our retention efforts, the University will maintain its commitment to provide a robust and supportive collegiate life that includes opportunities for leadership development, a vibrant Greek system, Division One Athletics, and ongoing adoption of new technologies to enhance student services. These activities will enable Troy University to remain true to its original motto – to teach the mind to think, the heart to feel, and the body to act.
GRADUATE OUR STUDENTS
TROY will aggressively ensure that its academic programs enable students to earn degrees that are relevant to the market and social needs of the State of Alabama and the communities where students reside. Our goal will be maintaining the total number of graduates at the spring 2020 level over the next five years and achieve a 50% six-year graduation rate over the next five years.
Actions that will support graduation of students.
- Develop a new model for advisement that expands the use of professional advisors.
- Increase contact and re-enrollment of stop-out and dropout students.
- Improve scheduling and advising to enhance to degree completion.
- Expanding the existing effort to provide students with internships.
- Review and adjust academic programs to meet emerging needs.
- Publicize the success of TROY graduates through all media and use them when appropriate in advertising to show the value of a TROY degree.
- In order to measure the success of our graduates, the colleges and administration will commit new resources to provide for follow-up studies on Troy’s graduates.
- Continue efforts in student success center to encourage persistence and degree completion.
TROY will expand efforts to stay connected with our alumni and pull more alumni into active engagement that benefits the University and enhances the value of TROY degrees.
INTERNATIONALIZATION & DIVERSITY
- The Doctoral Program in Global Leadership will become a signature program for TROY.
- TROY will find new ways to advertise and market its programs to international students in promising countries for growth, such as India.
- Increase faculty and staff minority leadership.
- Expand TROY’s successful educational outreach in India and South America and South-East Asia.
- Provide Alabama students with opportunities to study in Europe and Latin America.
- TROY will successfully implement its 2021 - 2025 Quality Enhancement Plan on Internationalization.
- TROY will continue to enroll and graduate one of the largest number of minority students in Alabama’s higher educational system.
- Increase participation in academic, student life, and community activities among all students to realize our reputation as Alabama’s International University.
- Explore on-line programs in international locations.
The Role of the Distributed Campuses in Recruitment, Retention and Graduation:
Troy University has a set of distributed campuses that are unique to higher education in Alabama and that enable the institution to exercise agility in reaching out and directly serving students throughout Southeast Alabama. The majority of TROY’s on-line students live in proximity to the three distributed campuses and these campuses, in Dothan, Montgomery, and Phenix City provide access to face-to-face advising, counseling, career services, tutoring, and library services for on-line students. The three distributed campuses continue to serve in-class students in designated disciplines. These campuses provide the University’s primary outreach to military students at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ft. Rucker, and Ft. Benning and as such serve as the cornerstone to TROY’s service to the military. Dothan, Montgomery, and Phenix City are actively involved in recruiting on-line students, traditional students for the residential campus, and local students for on-campus classes. These campuses provide high visibility for Troy University that helps in recruiting traditional students to the residential campus and they support outreach programs that are important to the economic, social, and educational well-being of the diverse communities they serve.
The University will increasingly position the three distributed campuses as gateways to all of the academic programs that the University supports. As part of this strategic plan, the University will pursue the growth of academic programs that meet the specific needs of the communities where these campuses are located and ensure that local students can successfully complete TROY degrees by efficiently accessing programs that blend in-class and on-line offerings. Additionally, the university will continue to review the physical plant at each location to ensure efficient use of the facilities including leasing excess space to community service units and disposal of excess property where appropriate.
As gateways, the three distributed campuses will also serve as service centers within their communities such as the Rosa Park museum in Montgomery. These sites can be centers of innovation sharing lessons learned such as activities in the early childhood center in Dothan. Phenix City with its proximity to Ft. Benning could facilitate and foster programs unique to the military.
Each gateway campus should also serve as an engine of economic development and support within its respective location. For example, white water rafting and economic enterprise within the Phenix City / Columbus regions.
The Board of Trustees has identified a committee to also review these roles.