Dimension One

Career Education and Student Success

Cultivating student success is what we do—it is and will continue to be our core mission. Of course, as the world changes, so too does the definition of student success. The knowledge and skills that will be required of graduating students in 2025 are virtually unimaginable to us today, and what distinguished graduates in the job market of 1995 could well be obsolete in 2025. RIT’s tradition of academic excellence, its appetite for difference and adaptation, and its commitment to students will ensure the continuation of student success as our paramount institutional mission. Recognizing that new models of “the successful college graduate” place increasing demands on the already limited time of college students, RIT will be innovative and flexible in the supplemental learning experiences it develops.

student government president photo

There are some elements of student success over which no institution has control; we cannot rewrite students’ high school preparation or re-program their social skills or even require them to learn. But we do have control over the single most important determinant of success: the quality of our academic enterprise. Without absolute confidence in the quality of the teaching, learning, research, scholarship, and academic support services that are the student’s academic environment, we cannot expect to provide our graduates with the knowledge and skills that will guarantee their success.

Difference Maker I.1
Difference Makers highlighted in orange are the 15 priority items for the first implementation phase.

RIT will build upon its strong academic portfolio, extensive experiential learning and co-curricular offerings, and the rich diversity of its people and programs to develop “T-shaped” graduates possessing both disciplinary depth (the vertical axis of the “T”) and breadth across multiple skills and competencies (the horizontal axis, or “transversal” skills).

Objective I.1.1
Introduce a comprehensive co-curricular transcript that will reflect to employers students’ competencies in such necessary skills as critical thinking, written and oral communication, leadership, visual interpretation, collaboration, and research.

Objective I.1.2
Develop a national reputation for applied critical thinking and ensure that it is deeply interwoven in every program and in general education.

Objective I.1.3
Develop flexibly scheduled offerings (e.g., during intersession and summer terms) that supplement course work and experiential learning with instruction and practice in transversal skills.

Objective I.1.4
Revise student learning outcomes in degree program and general education curricula to include T-shaped skills and competencies.

Objective I.1.5
Establish a student-alumni career-mentoring program.

Objective I.1.6
Through innovative K-12 outreach activities that bring pre-college students to campus, familiarize young students with RIT and with the college experience in general.

Difference Maker I.2
Difference Makers highlighted in orange are the 15 priority items for the first implementation phase.

RIT will offer opportunities for study at the intersections of technology and the arts, imagination and application, and rigor and curiosity—all designed to meet the demands of future careers in the complex global economy.

Objective I.2.1
Create policies and practices that facilitate the development of interdisciplinary majors, minors, and electives, as well as team-teaching, individualized majors and minors, and innovative learning delivery methods.

Objective I.2.2
Design and implement a clear, unbiased process for rewarding and encouraging faculty to work in new interdisciplinary teaching and research areas.

Objective I.2.3
Create an interdisciplinary, cross-functional team of faculty to identify and prioritize interdisciplinary opportunities for rapid implementation.

Objective I.2.4
In order to introduce a STEAM approach (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) to STEM education, prioritize and fund the inclusion of studio and theory courses from the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences (CIAS) and the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) in STEM programs.

Objective I.2.5
Use instructional technology to extend and enrich RIT’s interdisciplinary capabilities (e.g., online, blended, flipped).

Objective I.2.6
Develop opportunities for students to work on interdisciplinary projects of their own design.

Objective I.2.7
Retool and rebrand CMS (Center for Multidisciplinary Studies) as a center for interdisciplinary and innovative learning pathways.

Objective I.2.8
Make greater use of CMS as a path for on-time graduation for students who have changed majors or whose studies have been interrupted.

Objective I.2.9
Academic departments will continue to set a high bar in faculty searches and appointments, with the goals of advancing diversity in all its forms, hiring exemplary teachers, researchers, and scholars with deep disciplinary strengths and the ability and willingness to enhance the interdisciplinary direction of RIT.

Difference Maker I.3

RIT will further enhance its position as the preeminent academic institution and model for professional and technical education for people who are deaf or hard of hearing around the world.

Objective I.3.1
Operationalize “Strategic Decisions 2020: Shaping NTID’s Future Through Innovation.”

Objective I.3.2
Through NTID (National Technical Institute for the Deaf) and in collaboration with the other RIT colleges, expand the university’s role as a national and international Resource Center of Excellence in the education of people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Objective I.3.3
Through NTID and in collaboration with the other RIT colleges, promote technology in support of access and learning for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Objective I.3.4
Enhance student learning and the use of educational technology for deaf or hard-of-hearing learners at RIT, around the nation, and around the world.

Objective I.3.5
Organize research centers around NTID’s traditional areas of success-related research: Teaching and Learning; Communication; Technology, Access, and Support Services; and Employment and Adaptability to Social Changes and the Global Workplace.

Difference Maker I.4

RIT will lead higher education with a bold new model for ensuring academic quality through a unique outcomes-based assessment model designed to ensure continuous progress in student learning, graduate success, stakeholder satisfaction, and academic excellence.

Objective I.4.1
Deploy real-time, contemporary program review, assessment processes, and renewal practices to guide planning, resource allocation, continual improvement, and effective responses to opportunities and challenges.

Objective I.4.2
Regularly assess employer satisfaction with the T-shaped skills and competencies of our graduates.

Difference Maker I.5

RIT will expand and strengthen opportunities for experiential learning to the point that there are sufficient placement opportunities for all undergraduate and graduate students to participate in at least one such experience.

Objective I.5.1
Revise degree program requirements so that an experiential learning component (of which co-op is an important subset) is required in all undergraduate and graduate programs, resulting in 100 percent of RIT students participating in experiential learning relevant to their degree program and designed to provide skills and competencies of growing importance to employers. (In addition to co-op, variants of experiential learning to be considered include internship, research, field experience, clinical experience, and senior capstone experience.)

Objective I.5.2
In appropriate programs, and using current rigorous standards for assigning co-op status, consider including paid participation on a funded research team as a candidate for co-op status.

Objective 1.5.3
Strengthen alumni connections to expand opportunities for experiential education, especially in programs in which co-op and internship placements are difficult to find.

Difference Maker I.6

Through a blend of curricular, co-curricular, and experiential offerings, RIT will build a leadership program that will equip more graduates to become leaders in their fields.

Objective I.6.1
Develop a broad institutional definition of “leadership” that applies to the spectrum of RIT programs and degrees.

Objective I.6.2
Building upon the current offerings of RIT’s Leadership Institute and Community Service Center, the Divisions of Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, and Development and Alumni Relations will create an exemplary learning community that offers RIT students and alumni multiple opportunities for learning about the contemporary theories and practices of leadership associated with the fast-paced, high-tech, and boundary-blurring careers of the next decade.

Objective I.6.3
Create an Alumni Leadership Advisory board at the university or college level charged with mentoring high-potential students planning leadership workshops, seminars, and events, and recruiting other alumni to contribute to the development of a strong leadership program.

Objective I.6.4
Provide student leaders with a broad range of leadership development opportunities during their time in office.

Objective I.6.5
Where appropriate, include a “leadership potential” category in evaluation instruments submitted by co-op employers.

Difference Maker I.7
Difference Makers highlighted in orange are the 15 priority items for the first implementation phase.

RIT will make the on-time graduation of its undergraduate and graduate students a highly visible university priority.

Objective I.7.1
Students and their advisers will develop comprehensive, multidimensional Educational Plans designed to ensure that students maximize RIT’s learning resources while also graduating on time.

Objective I.7.2
Eliminate existing policies, procedures, practices, and conditions that impede progress toward on-time graduation.

Objective I.7.3
Identify existing and develop new policies, procedures, practices, and conditions that support progress toward on-time degree completion.

Objective I.7.4
Set on-time graduation goals for five-, four-, and two-year programs.

Objective I.7.5
Incorporate the on-time graduation priority into recruitment and marketing materials.

Objective I.7.6
Make greater use of CMS as a path for on-time graduation for students who have changed majors or whose studies have been interrupted.

Difference Maker I.8
Difference Makers highlighted in orange are the 15 priority items for the first implementation phase.

RIT will be a center of innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship that serves as an important economic engine for Rochester, the region, and the nation.

Objective I.8.1
Launch twenty startup companies per year.

Objective I.8.2
Leverage university resources and expertise in entrepreneurship to create entrepreneurship curricula (i.e., programs and minors), applied research, business development, and technology transfer.

Objective I.8.3
Develop an investment model to fuel entrepreneurial activities.

Difference Maker I.9

RIT will establish a campus-wide culture that embraces alumni, contributes to their lifelong learning, and relies upon them for counsel and support.

Objective I.9.1
Establish an alumni loyalty program that recognizes and rewards those alumni who engage, volunteer, mentor, give, and promote. Use loyal membership as a launch pad for leadership roles.

Objective I.9.2
Expand opportunities for alumni to serve on college and program advisory boards.

Objective I.9.3
Design and implement “RIT for Life,” a program for alumni that serves as a catalyst for their lifelong learning and continuous career development. Consider offering online and nontraditional courses and learning packages at a significant discount.