The Student 2020 Plan, or The Plan, is a strategic initiative lead by student government and endorsed by the student body to change SGA from an association that evaluates problems annually into an institution that develops solutions. This 2020 Plan will extend from the 2010-2011 academic year through the 2020-2021 academic years to create a campus community that allows students to thrive and develop in their academics, social and community pursuits. The Plan is dedicated to creating a New Cardinal Experience for the student body at UofL and attempts to measure specific goals through tangible outcomes.
During the fall of 2009, students completed nearly 1,000 surveys that asked specifically the importance of student issues regarding five key areas for student success: College Affordability, Student Facilities, Academic Enrichment, Student Services and Student Engagement. These surveys were used to develop the structure and focus of The Plan. The issues that were discovered and the general means to tackle them are listed below. This is not meant to be a strict and rigid requirement for student government of the future to adhere to; rather a guide in answering the questions that students have been asking for years. The issues in the 2020 Plan are divided into 5 general categories: College Affordability, Student Facilities, Academic Enrichment, Student Services and Student Engagement. Through these 5 areas, the student experience at UofL can be changed. A New Cardinal Experience can emerge. The Student 2020 Plan will take us there.
As a student body, we are conscious of the fact that college costs money, time and energy and we give those things at our own benefit or peril. There is no attempt to pass higher education off as a right; but what must be acknowledged is that higher education is an investment by all, for all. The Plan attempts to articulate this investment through policy initiatives. College must be affordable, and affordability must be defined. When colleges become unaffordable, universities bring in less revenue and contribute less trained workers, less provided services and less community engagement. Costs must be kept low; college must be kept affordable. This is a statewide issue. The execution of this section of The Plan will largely be under the purview of the SGA President
Students require facilities that allow them to explore and enhance their college experience. In order for facilities to stay abreast of current student desires and interests, new buildings must be built and current buildings must be renovated. As the university continues to improve in quality, so too must our academic space, cultural tolerance and recreational avenues improve. All of these are set aside for new building projects in The Plan. The execution of this section of The Plan will largely be under the purview of the Executive Vice-President.
A quality classroom and advising experience are paramount in student success. According the student surveys taken in fall 2009 that were used to develop this plan, student listed faculty evaluations, grading policy and blackboard usage as top issues. Students also mentioned quality advising as a growing area of concern; developing comprehensive reform in all of these areas is of particular importance in developing the student experience. A poor system in these areas directly leads to retention issues. The Plan offers ways faculty, students and administrators can work together to improve these areas.
The very nature of college suggests that students are in an atmosphere that mimics the convenience of a home environment. Quality and convenience of services are not only encouraged by students, but required in order to provide the best student experience available. The Plan suggests many different ways the university can improve the quality of its services for students.
The culture of campus is defined differently by different students. In the surveys taken that helped develop this student plan mainly revolved around issues concerning diversity initiatives, athletics excitement, student programs, spirit and traditions and engagement. The Plan provides opportunities for development in these areas.