Enhance Student/Learner Success and Experience: Creating Learners, Leaders, Innovators, and Change-makers as part of Gallaudet’s Mission.

Rationale: Learning is at the core of Gallaudet’s mission and all aspects of student matriculation, including academic, and social experiences, must support and strengthen their life-long learning competencies.

Goal: Address the most crucial aspects of the student experience to immediately improve the Gallaudet experience for undergraduate, graduate, and special students, both on-campus and online.

Objective One: Enhance student success, career readiness and the overall student experience for all Gallaudet students, with a particular emphasis on students of color.

Objective Two: Address issues that will improve student persistence to graduation, with a particular emphasis on students of color.

Objective Three: Strengthen birth–12th grade ASL/English bilingual academic achievement at KDES and MSSD, and define a university-wide vision to impact birth-to-five early bilingual language acquisition in preparation for long-term strategic plan.


  1. Identify and institute improvements to the most crucial aspects of Gallaudet’s physical, digital, and community environment with special attention to the digital technology, classroom and student living and convening spaces, the library, and the university’s landscape.
  2. Enact the first phase of a student success plan with special attention to making data available to students, faculty, staff, and administrators; the role of the faculty; and the financial, social, developmental, and emotional supports needed.
  3. Develop a multi-year, mid- and long-term plan, defined by shared goals, to improve the Gallaudet student experience that addresses improvements to the physical, digital, and community environments on campus.
  4. Establish and communicate campus-wide, university-level undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) benchmarks.
  5. Identify and address obstacles to matriculation, retention, and graduation for undergraduate, graduate, and PST students.
  6. Assure that standards for web and course accessibility for students with disabilities (including deaf-blind students) are understood and used university-wide.
  7. Develop and enact a multi-year recruitment and retention plan to further strengthen efforts to increase and maintain the diversity of our student community, particularly students of color, students with disabilities, and international students.
  8. Establish a career education task force to review current efforts, and to guide the identification and development of high-impact career readiness strategies, including those related to student internships.
  9. Implement at KDES and MSSD the 2012–2018 Excellence by Design (accreditation) plan and the related annual school improvement plans developed by the schools.
  10. Create a university-wide center of excellence concept for birth-to-five learning for children and families, and explore the feasibility of a commitment to building bilingual educational programs in the United States over the next 10 years.

Key Performance Indicators:

  1. By the end of FY 2020, there will be at least a three percent increase in total end-of-the-year enrollment from the Academic Year 2016–2017 baseline.
  2. By the end of FY 2020, there will be at least a 70 percent fall-to-fall retention rate among first-time, full-time freshmen entering their second year.
  3. By the end of FY 2020, the differential fall-to-fall first-time, full-time freshmen retention rate from Year 2 to Year 3 between white students and students of color will be reduced to within seven percentage points from the Cohort 2015 baseline (15 percentage-point gap).
  4. By the end of FY 2020, there will be an increased sense of belonging among students as measured by the NSSE and/or SSI (target forthcoming) (co-listed in Priority Two).
    • Metric 1: Increase the mean score for the discussions with diverse others item by 1% from the 2014 baseline score of 35.0 for first year students and 38.6 for seniors.

      Discussions with Diverse Others Mean Scores
       20142017 Target2017 Actual2020 Target
      First-Year Students 35.0 35.4 32.5 35.4
      Seniors 38.6 39.0 35.3 39.0
    • Metric 2: Increase the percentage of students responding to having done or plan to do at least one, two or more, and a total of one or more high impact practices by 5% from the 2014 baseline scores of 65%, 12%, and 77% respectively for first year students and 17%, 74%, and 91% respectively for seniors.

      High Impact Practices Mean Scores

      First-Year Students
       20142017 Target2017 Actual2020 Target
      Participated in at least one 65% 68% 58% 68%
      Participated in two or more 12% 13% 17% 13%
      Total HIP (at least one + two or more) 77% 81% 75% 81%
       20142017 Target2017 Actual2020 Target
      Participated in at least one 17% 18% 16% 18%
      Participated in two or more 74% 78% 78% 78%
      Total HIP (at least one + two or more) 91% 96% 94% 96%