On August 17, the Alexandria Campus kicked off the fall 2017 semester and welcomed faculty and staff during its campus convocation at the Bisdorf Building. The morning started with a light breakfast before faculty and staff convened with their divisions in different classes in the Bisdorf Building and the New Center for Design, Media and the Arts.
In her convocation address, Provost Annette Haggray acknowledged the work of Alexandria’s great faculty and staff and thanked the convocation committee for their efforts. Haggray also welcomed the faculty and staff and expressed her excitement for the new school year.
“I’m really looking forward to the year ahead,” she said. “We want to take a look at our campus and figure out what we can do to best serve our students.”
This year’s theme for the campus convocation was “Achieving Student Success Through an Engaged Campus Community,” and the Campus also live streamed the event. Haggray explained that this year, the Alexandria Campus will launch a campuswide strategic planning effort, building upon the great work that faculty and staff have already done in support of teaching and learning.
The priorities of the strategic planning include (1) every program achieves, (2) every student succeeds and (3) every community prospers. The goal is to develop a three- to five-year action plan for the Alexandria Campus in an effort to improve student enrollment, retention and degree/certification completion, strengthen relationships with the community and local high schools and to foster the culture of engagement with students.
The campus leaders are asking faculty and staff across the Campus to participate in a deliberative planning process designed to identify specific measurable outcomes and action plans, with a focus on practices and interventions designed to measurably improve student success outcomes.
Haggray also discussed the increase in enrollment from fall 2016 to fall 2017 and how they can “begin to create opportunities to coordinate, collaborate and share across the Campus to give students everything they need to succeed.”
Presentations were also made on different resources for students in need, including the Helping Hands Fund, which helps students overcome unexpected financial crises that put them at risk of not successfully completing the semester, and the Campus food pantry which provides assistance and food for students who are homeless, unemployed or underemployed. NOVA Police also presented on campus safety, and Achieving the Dream presented information about engagement and retrieved feedback from faculty and staff.