UMA 2016-2020 Revised Strategic Plan:
Transforming Lives: Student Success and Academic Achievement
Please find the regrounding work done during Fall 2017 in the Vision 2.0 Archive.
Open Forums – April 23 & 25, 2018
Open Forums – March 21 & 22, 2018
Open Forums – February 8 & 9, 2018
This survey closed on April 27th. Use the following link to view the feedback submitted via the Vision 2.0 Civic Engagement and Cyberspace Masterplan Survey.
Cyberspace Master Plan Executive Summary
Vision 2.0 Call to Action – Develop a “Cyberspace” Master Plan to provide all students with digital pathways to services & support.
The Cyberspace Master Plan calls for an environment where students are able to easily access information, communicate with faculty and staff, and conduct transactions using the device(s) of their choice. Moreover, UMA’s cyberspace has tremendous potential to strengthen a student’s sense of belonging to UMA and promote student engagement in the UMA community.
Summary of Recommendations
The Cyberspace Master Plan recommendations build within the parameters of the current IT structures and systems. The table below lists the recommendations as well as an implementation readiness and timeline indicator level.
Level 1: Some resources and planning in place; pursue implementation in 2018.
Level 2: Planning needed to identify resources and strategies; pursue 2019 implementation.
Level 3: More exploration needed to determine feasibility and resources.
|Cyberspace Master Plan Summary of Recommendations||Level|
|Establish the portal as the clear front door for digital services and support||1|
|Adopt task-based navigation for the portal and web; Integrate & Unify Technology||2|
|Invest in mobile access to UMA SIS, LMS and portal||2|
|Create a UMA APP||1|
|Pursue partnerships to provide mobile devices to students||3|
|Introduce on-demand concierge service via full presence capable technologies||2|
|Pilot Dynamic Q & A Tool||1|
|Improve customer service (hand-offs and response times)||1|
|Expand embedded services & information in classes||1|
|Improve registration information & procedures||1|
|Explore navigator/coach model||3|
|Hire/assign dedicated staff to build online engagement activities||1|
|Create specific space(s) for online engagement||3|
|Gamify and Incentivize Participation||2|
|Establish online clubs/student organizations||2|
|Provide community with Adobe Creative Cloud and “Maker Spaces”||3|
|Regional location engagement||1|
|Increase asynchronous and hybrid Options||1|
|Create a group to monitor the implementation of this plan and to make provisions for continuous improvement.||1|
Cyberspace Master Plan Report
Vision 2.0 Call to Action – Develop a “Cyberspace” Master Plan to provide all students with digital pathways to services & support.
Introduction & Committee Work
UMA is an early adopter of technology-delivered education. In the 1980’s, we developed a cohesive operation combining live television broadcasts of faculty lectures, landline telephones for interactive communication, mail service to move paper copies of student work, and staff at local sites and centers to provide student services. As technology and program offerings evolved, there have been on-going improvements, additions and upgrades. UMA’s online enrollment now comprises over 50% of credit hours and every aspect of UMA’s operations has a cyberspace presence. We are in an era of mobile generation students. Students want access from their mobile devices and they expect instantaneous interaction and response. Our current offerings are robust; but, like a house that has been added to and updated in bits and pieces over time, not everything in our approach is in full alignment. The sense of the whole is less than the sum of its parts.
The notions of cyberspace and information architecture are relatively new and very dynamic. UMA’s cyberspace is accessible through the UMA website and student and employee portals (Liferay), and is anchored by its Learning Management System (LMS) Blackboard and Student Information System (SIS) MaineStreet. UMA’s Information Technology is provided by the University of Maine System (UMS IT), which has both benefits and constraints.
This report focuses on the charge of providing all students with digital pathways to all learning & support services. Committee members approached this task through research, tracking of trends both in and outside of higher education, and our collective experience with UMA students. For the scope of this report, we worked within the parameters of the current IT structures and systems. We believe our recommendations are qualified and thoughtfully targeted at the goal of improving student digital services and support while also serving as a valuable starting point to conceptualize and inform a future comprehensive UMA/UMS Cyberspace Master Plan.
Committee Work – Capturing the Student Voice
In order to give students the best possible experience, the committee sought direct student feedback through its two student members, focus groups (one conducted by EAB and one conducted by BerryDunn, inc. for the UMS IT) and survey information (conducted by SGA and Noel Levitz).
What our Students Said: Quotes and Desired State
Student Quotes (EAB Focus Group)
- I wish there was an app for MaineStreet the web browsers on phones can be difficult to navigate.
- I am looking for something that has everything in one place.
- MaineStreet is a pain, I loathe it, hardly ever log in.
- The one question I deal with the most (as a peer advisor) is students who aren’t sure where to look for the resources they need. They don’t know the process or who to talk to or where to start.
- There is a large disconnect between online learners and on-campus students; a lack of community when taking classes online.
- I sometimes avoid larger emails if they are from UMA and not UC-Rockland because that information is never relevant to me.
- I forget that we are part of UMA.
- I don’t know who my advisor is – a lot of students are not sure of who they should be contacting for advising.
- The lack of consistency can be confusing for students (Blackboard use).
- Response time matters.
What our students want:
One stop view (dashboard)
One stop service
Clear contact person(s)/advisor
Community for online learners
Live chat/help options
Consistent Class Experience (Blackboard)
Campus technology is also important to prospective students. When Wakefield Research surveyed 1000 college students in October 2017, 87% of them said the technological savvy of a school was an important factor in determining where to apply. (EDUcause)
BestColleges.com, in their 2017 Online Education Trends Report, states that the top challenges students face when making decisions about an online university or program include “finding sufficient information about academic requirements” (#3) and “contacting a real person to ask detailed questions about specific programs” (#4). Prospective distance students want help assessing program fit and with navigating the application and enrollment processes. (Evolution)
Committee Work – Review of Best Practices
Committee members gleaned best practices through review of web sites and portals (higher education and other), interviews with leaders in online education and technical experts, review of articles, participation in webinars, and vendor demonstrations. References are included in the appendix section.
What we learned:
- Information should be user centered (shaped to fit how the user is going to use it). (Pan)
- Task-based navigation generally works better by providing direct access to the actions and quick feedback on the completions of tasks. (Pan)
- Mobile devices play an increasingly important role.
- Fast response times help online students feel recognized and supported.
- Online engagement experiences designed from the ground up as online experiences (distinct from making existing experiences accessible to online via tape delay, streaming, etc.) are most effective. (Fifer; Iaquinta & Fifer)
- Campus swag, virtual club membership, and alumni communities are strong strategies to create connection with online students. (Fifer; Iaquinta & Fifer)
- Staff positions dedicated to online student support, service and engagement are important. (Fifer; Iaquinta & Fifer)
- A technologically unified campus consolidates siloed data, departments, and systems to create a “one-stop shop” solution designed to make engagement easier among faculty, staff, and students. (Salesforce)
- Well-designed nudge strategies work. (EAB: Fifer; Salesforce)
- Aligning and embedding support services in the classroom increases usage. (Betts, Parker & Porch)
UMA’s cyberspace presence is an environment where UMA students readily understand their academic standing including things such as registration status, financial aid, course deadlines, academic support services, real time assignment grading, and progress towards degree completion. They easily access information, communicate with faculty and staff, and conduct transactions using the device(s) of their choice. It is a space that strengthens a student’s sense of belonging and promotes student engagement in this community. As guiding principles, UMA’s cyberspace is student-centered, intentional and interactive.
To achieve the desired state, make improvements in the opportunity areas of Navigation, Access, Service and Engagement.
Opportunity Area: Navigation
The cyberspace navigation system plays a crucial role in how well users are able to access information and accomplish tasks using the internet site.
Current state. UMA’s website is our intended external facing space for visitors and prospective students, and the portal is the intended access point for internal users. Actual practice indicates that students and employees enter UMA’s cyberspace through both the web page and the portal and many enter the LMS and SIS directly through saved links. UMA is rich with tools, the typical student or employee portal launchpad includes links to 15-20 tools; however, these tools often feel siloed from one another and users are not always clear about what each tool does and when to use it. Users indicate that not all tools work equally well with all browsers and many perform poorly on mobile devices. UMA’s web and portal structures tend to align with our organization structure and while there is some internal convenience to this approach, students do not typically know the nuances of office divisions and specific employee responsibilities.
Ideal state. Students are able to quickly locate information, perform actions and browse the site – receiving help as needed.
Navigation Recommendation 1. Establish the portal as the clear front door for digital services and support. Set up clear Administrative assignment and resourcing of portal duties.
Individual departments are responsible for their portal presence, but most staff do not understand the portal’s features and many departments do not have individual(s) clearly tasked and trained to handle this responsibility. Form a team of in-house experts by sending a team of communications and student services staff to vendor training. These individuals will learn how to fully utilize our portal attributes and serve as in-house trainers to other departments.
Navigation Recommendation 2. Adopt task-based navigation for the portal and web. Integrate & Unify Technology Through Effective Navigation
Task-based navigation is user-centered and flows from what the user wants to accomplish. A well-designed navigation makes finding information easy, ensures the user’s work process runs smoothly and encourages the user to explore. It is practically invisible because users can navigate so naturally that they do not feel its existence. (Pan)
One approach to task-based navigation is a dashboard. The dashboard provides forward facing services and data sources to our community at a glance. The service would be modular and simple in design to provide maximum use and cross publishing of status/data info to multiple sources (i.e Mobile apps, web sites etc.)
- Peer Dashboard Example- http://www.hawaii.edu/its/
The navigation should integrate our technology systems and processes to support a unified method of tracking and monitoring students’ progress. UMA may employ internal resources for this task or it may be beneficial to jumpstart the process by hiring an information architect. Just as the UMS hired architects to design the Master Facilities Plans of each institution, an information architect would bring the principles of excellent design and architecture to the UMA/UMS digital landscape. A good information architecture is the basis of providing good usability and findability.
Opportunity Area: Mobile Access
Students view “Laptops as Kings, and Smartphones as Queens” in their academic lives, and favor a hybrid/blended mode of instruction. (NOVA) Nationally, and at UMA, students are using their mobile devices to access their education and related support services.
Current State. UMA’s portal, LMS and SIS are not mobile friendly. UMA does not have a mobile app. The user’s browser selection affects the performance of some modules within UMA’s site.
Ideal state. UMA is a mobile-friendly campus. Students may access UMA’s cyberspace with their device of choice. All students have access to a quality device.
Access Recommendation 1. Invest in mobile access to UMA SIS, LMS and portal
UMA needs to be available in the mobile spaces our students occupy. Work with UMS IT to improve mobile friendly access to all UMS digital tools and platforms. Provide prospective students with clear guidance about the technology required to access UMA’s digital classes and services.
Access Recommendation 2. Create a UMA APP
Build an app ecosystem using Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions that can also map the waypoints of access to important services and virtual spaces (e.g. forums, event calendars, student resources, student support, etc.). UMA is adopting the Education Advisory Board’s Guide product as its initial app tool. Advocate to UMS-IT for full adoption of this tool. Advance UMA use through marketing and clear expectations for departmental participation.
Access Recommendation 3. Pursue partnerships to provide mobile devices to students
National trends in smartphone usage amongst adults point towards universal access to the platform. However, given socio-economic considerations of Maine, access to these devices and more importantly, to unlimited data plans are significant barriers to students and adoption of new pedagogical practices by faculty. Explore potential corporate partners for device subsidizing & development support ( i.e, Apple, Google, Linkedin, Facebook, Uber, AirBnB, Cell Providers)
UMA supplied devices will be preconfigured with apps and mapping to internet based services and spaces.
Opportunity Area: Service
Adult learners expect that if it is an online program, it is 100% online including easy access to support and services. Students expect one-stop shopping and quick resolution of their questions. Well designed technology cultivates relationships between student, faculty and staff.
Current State. A review of UMA services (Appendix II) shows that all units provide information on the web page and in the portal. Self-service options exist in MaineStreet for tasks such as registration and payment of bills. Many forms are available to download and some options are available to submit forms directly online. Contact information is provided including names, emails and telephone numbers. Staff are typically available from 8:00 AM-5:00 PM EST, Monday-Friday. The library offers evening and weekend hours and staffs an online chat available during most open hours. Students may opt in for text messages for the Emergency Alerts and from the MaineStreet Message Center. Web and portal information is organized by broad organization categories such as Academics, Financial Services and Student Life. Individual departments/offices maintain their specific pages.
Ideal State. Students easily access online information and conduct transactions 24/7. Live chat/help desk options are available during specified periods. Students receive nudge notifications to remind them to complete tasks and guide them to relevant services. Staff recognize the importance of quick response times to avoid the impression of neglect.
Service Recommendation 1. Introduce On demand student concierge service via full presence capable technologies
Staff chat/help desk with generalists/student worker peer groups dedicated to the provision of online first services. Investigate and adopt call center support software solutions. Support front-line staff with access to specialists to address questions that are more complicated.
The re-emergence of UMA may provide opportunities to look at direct service providers to provide pool of concierge staff (time freed up through investment in marketing, recruiting, etc.)
Service Recommendation 2. Pilot Dynamic Q & A Tool
Dynamic Q & A tools allow users to find the information they are looking for by simply asking a question such as, “How do I get a transcript?” or “When can I register for summer classes?”
UMA’s online new student orientation has invited UMA to pilot a dynamic Q & A tool. We recommend participating in the pilot.
Service Recommendation 3. Improve Customer Service with Protocols for Warm Hand-offs and transparency with predicted Response Times
Students sometimes feel frustration when transferred from office to office to only leave a voice message or by sending email inquiries and not receiving a same day response. Establish institution-wide expectations for reduced hand-offs and appropriate response times. Support this effort with training.
Service Recommendation 4. Expand embedded services & Information in Classes
The majority of time spent by students at UMA is in the classroom, which for online learners means the LMS. Therefore, connecting students to services and policies through the class structure helps students to access the support and information needed when needed. UMA currently embeds tutors, class stewards, librarians and writing assistants in select courses. Expand this strategy by:
- Adding the above services to additional courses
- Embed additional services such as career services, VAWLT, Distance Librarian, tutoring etc in appropriate courses
- Adopt course design that connects students to university policies and support services
- Develop tools and work processes that allow advisors to easily see the online engagement of assigned students within classes (time in blackboard, videos watched, assignments turned in, exams taken. The expectation would be that these professional advisors are regularly (weekly) engaging these students and intervening with student who are off track at the earliest possible moment.
This report is focused on delivery of services; however, this effort must be connected to a complementary process to improve the delivery of class content. Students report the quality across online classes is uneven and also express a strong desire for greater uniformity in course design. (Focus groups)
Service Recommendation 5. Improve Registration Information & Procedures
Students and employees identified several strategies to improve the course search and registration process.
- Develop forward facing online catalogs of courses that can be registered for online by non degree/ non-credit students;
- Enable non-degree course registration as a public facing web service;
- Ensure courses can be sorted and marketed by programmatic categories;
- Update MaineStreet Class Search to include classroom software and hardware requirements as course attributes;
- Develop “welcome” pages for each class that includes teacher bio, course intro videos, syllabi, required course technology, career related skills gained, teaching philosophy;
- Adopt UMS common, easy-to-understand definitions for course modalities.
Service Recommendation 6. Explore Navigator/Coach Model
Many institutions serving online students have adopted a success coach or navigator model for student support and advising. Coaches connect with students from the moment they are admitted, guide them through the on-boarding process and provide on-going check-ins and service. This single point of contact approach creates a positive connection. This model represents an on-boarding and advising redesign, not technology deployment, but as a noted best practice for serving online and non-traditional students, we recommend continued exploration.
Students want to have a connection to faculty, advising and others who share their experience as students. Even students juggling family and work responsibilities want to be involved and recognized for their student role. They appreciate the opportunity to tell their story. Online learning can make connecting more challenging. It also has the potential to increase Transactional Distance a concept coined by M. G. Moore (1973) to articulate the space felt between instructors and students. While any student may experience transactional distance, online learners can more often feel isolated from their university, and may unintentionally be excluded from the university culture. (Major & Sumner)
Current State. UMA has no dedicated staff positions or resources for online engagement activities. UMA’s current approach to online engagement is to take campus/center based activities and make them accessible to online students via mechanisms such as delayed view or synchronous involvement via telephone or conferencing. The phenomenon of transactional distance was evident in the UMA student quote, “I forget that we are part of UMA.”
Ideal State. Online students have a dedicated digital space to connect with faculty, staff and each other. They have opportunities for recognition and participation in activities, organizations and events. UMA online learners are an active part of the UMA community complete with a sense of belonging.
Engagement Recommendation 1. Hire/carve out dedicated staff/staff time to build online engagement activities
Coordinator/Director of Online Engagement positions are emerging at best practice online colleges. Our instructional designers teach us the art and science behind courses designed specifically for online delivery. The same principles hold true for online engagement activities. UMA needs to invest in the delivery of engagement experiences specifically designed for our online learners. Hiring a Coordinator of Online Engagement will begin to fill this void.
Engagement Recommendation 2. Create specific space(s) for online engagement
Create a private online community just for online students. Explore options within existing platforms such as Liferay and Blackboard. Establish guidelines and create an educational culture more focused on academics than mainstream social media.
Engagement Recommendation 3. Gamify and Incentivize Participation
Digital badges, coins and UMA imprinted swag all encourage participation and create connection to the institution. Develop a strategy to include both quick contests & giveaways as well as opportunities to earn more meaningful badges based on significant investment in learning.
- Work with UMS IT to move forward with an enterprise solution for digital badging.
- Make photo student IDs available to online students. This demonstrates campus membership and allows students receive discounts at participating local vendors.
Engagement Recommendation 4. Establish online clubs/student organizations
Create online student clubs and organizations. Honor societies with message boards and virtual meetings to build student connections and spur academic interests are popular at other institutions.
Engagement Recommendation 5. Provide Faculty, Staff & Students with Access and training to Software and Tools to Support and Encourage Development of Online Engagement Spaces and Activities.
- Partner with other campuses to initiate a system-wide project intake form (PIF) for the UMS licensing of Adobe Creative Cloud to all Faculty, Staff, and Students. Adobe Creative Cloud is a set of software used for graphic design, video editing, web development, photography, along with a collection of mobile applications and also some optional cloud services.
- Explore the creation of “maker spaces” at all UMA locations to provide student & community access to 21st century tools and resources that are partnered with new academic programming for these emerging resources.
Universal access to these tools will help all members of the community contribute to a dynamic UMA cyberspace.
Engagement Recommendation 6. Regional location engagement
Work with alumni, career services and athletics to create off-campus opportunities for students to meet.
Engagement Recommendation 7. Increase Asynchronous and Hybrid Options
Continue to create videos of workshops, including shorter YouTube “how-to” videos and tips. Use conferencing and live streaming to bring online and campus/center based students together for events and club meetings.
Conclusion and an Eye to the Future
UMA’s cyberspace presence shapes the experience of our online students. Done well, it creates an environment where students always know exactly where they are in their educational journey and are readily able to complete the tasks they need to complete. Students feel connected to UMA and engage as learning partners with their faculty and peers. The recommendations in this plan provide steps to improve our immediate cyberspace.
Final Recommendation. Create a group to monitor the implementation of this plan and to make provisions for continuous improvement.
We propose that the charge of the ongoing group be expanded to provide for alignment between academics and services. The suggested charge: provide all students, faculty and staff with digital pathways to services, learning and support.
It is also important that UMA’s cyberspace continue to evolve. This report concludes by introducing two innovative possible next futures for UMA’s cyberspace: Virtual Reality (VR) Campus and Augmented Reality (AR) Campus. Virtual spaces can be representative of physical campus spaces to build a sense of place(s) that maps to campuses and centers, and can be unique to the virtual campus to foster and recognize the uniqueness of the experience.
Mobile VR hardware is available and consumers are adopting these products. Northern Arizona University launched a virtual 360-degree campus tour and had more than 30,000 visitors in the first two years. University Business Institutions of higher education are using VR and AR in all aspects of university life from student recruitment to academic enhancements and even capital improvement. (Fink)
About Virtual Campus
An accurate, complete 3d model of the campus is required to provide a platform for virtualized services and experiences. It will be necessary to modify facilities practices to ensure such a resource is kept up to date via multiple entities (i.e Bids for new construction etc.)
- Create Precise 3D model of campus
- Load onto google earth/maps
- Design interactions and way points that could include chat, video calls, phone calls, and discussion boards, etc.
- This could be a creative communication space using digital billboards, announcements and public forums, etc.
About AR Campus
Augmented Reality is the super-imposing of digital information over real environments. The popular game Pokemon Go is an example of AR. The possibilities for location based services and AR development to transform education are just beginning to emerge. In order to realize AR’s maximum effectiveness, virtual models must be available for reference in creating an AR environment.
- Review ongoing research & solutions around UMS and develop UMA solutions as needed
- Use location service on mobile platforms and virtual campus to create augmented education/ community experiences and services
- Mobile app solutions are already emerging for AR development and use cases
VR/AR are expensive to implement. Early adopter institutions recommend starting with low cost tools such as Google Cardboard to test the waters. As interest and excitement grow, invest in true VR headsets. Students who have learned to use VR/AR tools independently can be an excellent resource to provide tech support to other students and faculty. EAB
Becoming an early adopter of AR and VR will help to position UMA as an innovative and engaging institution.
Appendix I: References and Resources
Best Colleges. “2017-Online Education Trends Report.” Best Colleges, 2017, www.bestcolleges.com/wp-content/uploads/2017-Online-Education-Trends-Report.pdf Accessed Feb. 2018.
Betts, Kristen: Drexel University, Parker, Mark: Norwich University, Porch, Tom: University of Maryland University College and Seigle Peatman, Sarah: Academic Impressions. “Retaining Online Students: 3 Expert Perspectives.” Academic Impressions, 28 March 2017, www.academicimpressions.com/retaining-online-students-3-expert-perspectives/ Accessed Feb. 2018.
Chatlani, S. “Are Mobile apps a key to online student retention success?” EducationDive, 29 January 2018,
Chen, B., Seilhamer, R., Bennett, L., Bauer, S. “Students’ mobile learning practices in higher education: A multi-year study.” Educause Review, 22 June 2015, er.educause.edu:443/articles/2015/6/students-mobile-learning-practices-in-higher-education-a-multiyear-studyh Accessed March 2018.
Education Advisory Board. Student Focus Group. University of Maine System, 15 Feb. 2018.
Fifer, Tiffany, Director of Online Engagement at Southern New Hampshire University. Personal Interview, 16 Feb. 2018. Interviewed by Nickerson, Hafford & Fraser.
Fink, Jennifer. “Virtual reality, real rewards in higher ed.” University Business, 25 August, 2017, www.universitybusiness.com/article/virtual-reality-real-rewards-higher-ed Accessed Feb. 2018.
Major, Amanda and Sumner, Jennifer. “Reducing Transactional Distance: Engaging Online Students in Higher Education.” Evolllution, 1 March 2018,
NOVA. “Engaging Online Learners for Success-Beyond the LMS.” Educause. Northern Virginia Community College, 2012, drive.google.com/file/d/0B9_mIymohaIOaF9ueWZOLXZ5NkFnNUF3NFlxWmxGZ3BxVFQ4/view?usp=sharing_eil&ts=5ac79d02 Accessed Feb. 2018.
Pan, Pan. Redesigning website navigation from content-based to task-based: a case study for Nuage website. MS Thesis. University of Tampere School of Information Sciences, 2015, tampub.uta.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/98464/GRADU-1453719591.pdf?sequence=1 Accessed 17 Feb. 2018.
Tyger, Daniel and Hook, Frear. Personal Interview. 23 Feb. 2018. Interviewed by Hafford & Fraser.
University Services. “Information Technology State of IT Report – 2017.” University of Maine System, 1 Jan. 2018, thinkmissionexcellence.maine.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/1/2018/02/SoIT-Final-2018-01-31.pdf
YouVisit LLC. “Engage and Convert Your Audience with Interactive Virtual Experiences” YouVisit: Beyond Boundaries, 2010, www.youvisit.com Accessed February 2018.
Samples of 360 Classrooms
Create, coordinate, and communicate a continuum of Civic Engagement activities within the UMA community, as outlined in the University’s strategic plan (Strategy 3.5), that will enhance the development of informed, responsible, and involved citizen-graduates.
Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, though both political and non-political processes.” (Thomas Ehrlich, Civic Responsibility and Higher Education, 2000).
Guiding Principles for Civic Engagement at UMA:
- Student-focused—their skills and experience and engagement in solving problems
- Statewide—students, faculty, and staff at all UMA locations and in communities across the state
- Valuing all Contributions—the passion, experience, and expertise of faculty, staff, students, community and statewide partners
- Building Capacity and a Community of Practice—a virtual Hub model that effectively coordinates, communicates, and supports Civic Engagement activities
Short-Term Plan (February – August 2018):
- Establish an inclusive Civic Engagement (CE) Steering Committee to provide input and expertise and guide planning (Meetings 2/23, 3/26, 6/14)
- Inventory and document existing interest, activity, capacity, and resources (PLEASE RESPOND!)
- Develop ways for sharing CE information and resources within the Steering Committee (Google Group, Shared Folder)—hosted by New Ventures Maine
- Establish regular communication and coordination between Faculty and Administration Co-Chairs (Kati and Gilda)
- Research other CE models and resources (within UMA, the UMS, Maine Campus Compact, other colleges) and share best practices
- Set priority goals and clarify process (work groups/timeline) for moving some Civic Engagement areas forward in FY 19
- Badging (Sheri Fraser and Mina Matthews)
- Internships—utilize CareerLink (NVME with Haley Brown and Faculty)
- Develop proposal for a CE course designator (Susan Baker, Kati Corlew, Tim Surrette, Lynne King, with Rob Kellerman/Honors Program)
- Coordinate calendar and communication about events (CE designator)
- Communicate short and longer-range plans with UMA community within strategic planning framework
Longer-Term Plan (September 2018 – June 2019)
- Plan, implement, and assess progress on priority goals (see above)
- Steering Committee meets quarterly
- Define an organizational structure for CE at UMA
- Create systems and clarify leadership roles for developing and coordinating various components of the CE continuum (classes, internships, service learning, policy and advocacy)
- Explore options for virtual/web Resource Hub/Clearinghouse where information can be uploaded and current (CareerLink and/or other model)
- Develop a plan and communicate about CE to the broader UMA community (web page, calendar of events, quarterly newsletter)
- Build capacity and develop resources
- Determine what is possible through effective coordination and alignment of existing resources
- Set priorities and explore resource options for expansion
- Develop and begin to implement CE Professional Development Plan
- Create professional development opportunities for faculty and staff interested in incorporating service learning or other civic engagement strategies
- Provide curriculum development and instructional design support (on site and online) for faculty to incorporate civic engagement
- Develop training for students (online) to prepare them for service learning
- Provide support for employers and community partners who provide internships and other service learning opportunities for UMA Students
Congratulations to the following UMA faculty and students for Maine Campus Compact Awards!
- Donald Harwood Faculty Award for Service-Learning Excellence to Sharon McMahon Sawyer
- Heart and Soul Student Award to Aaminah Aleem
- President’s Campus Leadership Award to First Nations Student Circle
- PILLARS Award (Philanthropy Innovation Learning Leadership Action Responsibility Service) Certificate to Cathy Geren
The award ceremony is being held at Bates College on 4/25 from 2 – 4 p.m.
Civic Engagement Steering Committee Membership
Faculty–Kati Corlew, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Gilda Nardone, Executive Director, New Ventures Maine
Haley A. Brown, Coordinator of Career Connections
Haley E. Brown, Library Specialist
Dianne Carrick, Internship Coordinator, MHHS
Colleen Coffey, Learning Success Specialist
Kent Corey, Coordinator of Student Life (Bangor)
Jean Dempster, Program Manager, NVME
Alyra Donisvitch, Assistant to the ED, NVME (UMA Alumni)
Anne Fensie, Instructional Designer
Sheri Fraser, Dean of Students
David Greenham, Program Director, Holocaust & Human Rights Center
Chelsi Libby, CE Intern
Mina Matthews, Senior Instructional Design Specialist
Ian Magill, Student Success Coordinator
Jen Mascaro, Director of Counseling
Deb Meehan, Director, URock
Tom Nickerson, Center Director, UCBB
Rose Pelletier, Coordinator of Student Life (Augusta)
Nicole Roberts, CE Intern
Susan Baker, Associate Professor of Science
Robert Bernheim, Assistant Professor of History
James Cook, Associate Professor of Sociology
Matt Dube, Assistant Professor in Computer Information Systems
Nancy Foster, Assistant Professor of Dental Health
Rob Kellerman, Associate Professor of English/Honors Program
Lynne King, Professor of Nursing
Kristin McLaren, Lecturer of Religion
Sharon McMahon Sawyer, Assistant Professor Justice Studies
Gary Page, Assistant Professor of Accounting
Eric Stark, Associate Professor of Architecture
Tim Surrette, Assistant Professor of Education
Academic Services Unit Draft Recommendations – April 10, 2018
The Academic Services reintegration teams are making the following recommendations to effectively and efficiently re-integrate University College resources with comparable resources at the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA). We understand that this reintegration has the full support of the Chancellor and Board of Trustees of the UMS. We believe that this new structure will serve the needs of faculty and students alike by combining the resources of University College and UMA into a functioning academic services unit.
A draft organizational structure is attached. This chart is proposed to delineate reporting lines, and not to in any way interfere with work processes. In this proposed structure, there are no new positions added. In effect, this structure represents current practice. The two major changes in reporting lines are that the one UMA Instructional Designer (ID) will now join the team of IDs on the Faculty Services team. The OCLS librarian (who currently reports to the Interim Director of Marketing, ID, and Library) will report to the UMA Director of Libraries. The administration of this unit reflects exactly the current structure. As the position of Dean of Academic Services is presently filled on an interim basis (Interim Dean of University College), there potentially will be a search to fill the position. This position was formerly held by Bonnie Sparks, and is now filled by 3 interim appointees.
In grouping the responsibilities and activities of the employees as we have, we relied on research into what other universities do. There are many examples of universities blending teaching and learning support functions into one cross-functional model. Members of our team looked at the models at Arizona State University, University of Arkansas, University of Georgia, and University of New England (UNE) as we discussed our new Academic Services unit. In these examples, the schools combined all faculty support (instructional design, media services) with library services and student support.
The members of the Academic Support reintegration Oversight Committee believe that this streamlined model of collaboration will assist faculty for their pedagogical and technological needs. Currently, technology and Media Support services, which include technical support for our technology tools, classroom support for all modalities (web, VC, desktop, streaming), and production services are handled by IT staff and Faculty Services staff. Discussions should be held to define which team performs which function, further streamlining the process. The Faculty Services staff provide instructional design, faculty development and technology training, and copyright/streaming services and research assistance.
This new unit will also assist students whether on campus, at a Center or site, or at a distance online. Student academic services are accessible and available at the UMA libraries, our off-campus library services, and campus-like support at our Centers throughout the State. The Academic Logistics services provide faculty and student support by moving exams and homework, onboarding new faculty to distance teaching modalities, conducting placement testing and exam proctoring, and providing remote site support to both faculty and students.
We recommend that the new organizational structure be implemented by the end of June, 2018. We also recommend that a decision be made on the staffing of the Dean’s position so a search can be conducted and a candidate identified by September 1, 2018.
There was concern when the teams recommended that the Writing Labs on the Augusta campus and the Bangor campus be integrated into the faculty services unit reporting to the Dean of the Academic Services unit and not to an Academic Dean. The team has recommended that the writing and math labs work with the academic services unit, but form a separate reporting line to the Academic Deans. We are recommending that further study be undertaken to better integrate the onsite writing labs with online support. Some tutoring is already provided for students at a distance from the onsite writing labs; perhaps using the VAWLT as a technological platform to increase the reach and availability of writing tutoring may increase student support. We also recommend the development of an online Math tutoring service.
At some point in the future, there may be discussion about integrating other student support services into the Academic Services unit, i.e. advising, learning success, and TRIO services, but we recommend that discussion be held after the successful implementation of the forming of the Academic Services unit as proposed on the organizational chart.
This survey closed on April 5th. Use the following link to view the feedback submitted via the Spring Survey for Vision 2.0.
Mission & Structure Team
Re-emergence of UMA Draft Goals
To champion the re-emergence of UMA as a dispersed learning community, united by our mission and working in concert for the benefit of our students through our campuses, centers, and at a distance.
To expand UMA’s role as the leading provider of distance education programs to serve student needs across Maine and beyond.
To develop an omni-channel strategy that engages students through a seamless, high-quality, integrated educational experience.
To collaborate with other UMS institutions to support their distance education efforts though UMA’s dispersed services model.
To advance a unified structure that is inclusive of all roles and locations.
To support brand clarity for both internal and external audiences.
Academic Support Team
UMA-UC Reintegration Meeting – March 2, 2018
Brenda McAleer, Matthew Wilbur, Mina Matthews, Frank Ellis, Helene Turcotte, Gillian Jordan, Ann Delaney, Shelley Taylor, Don Osier, Justin Hafford, Lauren Dubois, Robert Bernheim, Elizabeth Powers, Greg Fahy, Tricia Dyer, Marilyn Hudzina, Ian Magill, Stacey Brownlie, Ben Treat
Attendees were sent sample organizational charts to start the discussion. After spirited group discussion, we coalesced (unanimous with one abstention) on 5 sub units answering to a Director/Dean of Academic Support. Those five units are:
Library Services, Faculty Services, Academic Logistics, Learning Success, and Centers
Each sub-group will meet between now and the end of March to determine what are the responsibilities within their sphere of influence, upon whom they depend for support, and what the group now covers that may belong in a different sub-group. We will reconvene in late March to flesh out all the services that are provided by the teams, and make sure that no services have been dropped.
Marketing & Communications Team Preliminary Recommendations
- Migration of UC content to UMA webpage for initial solution. Bring like content with like content.
- Improvements to website should be part of long-term plan.
- Domain learn.maine.edu will continue to provide information regarding UMS distance learning programs. Requires cooperation across UMS.
- A high priority is to modify the home page and navigation on the website to make more clear the locations and modalities that are, and will be, available when re-integration is complete.
- Inventory current websites, Facebook pages, Twitter, etc.
- Establish Web Improvement Group (WIG)
- New organizational chart with centralized reporting for communication and marketing personnel.
- Review and revision of job descriptions to reflect new reporting lines and clarify responsibilities.
- Develop and adopt job flow process for communication and marketing requests, including social media, web, and publication design to allow for review, approval, prioritization, and implementation consistent with the marketing, communication, and enrollment plans.
- As part of job flow process, review current policies and procedures for social media, communications, publications, etc. and develop and integrate, where needed, to reflect the new structure.
- Coordinated media buys and messaging between UC and UMA (winter and early spring 2018).
- Transitional messaging, followed by a formal launch of the new brand with amplified media presence to inform the public of the new unified entity (early summer 2018).
- Fully integrated marketing strategy and tactics, with the new brand elements, under a combined budget and structure (fiscal year 2019).
- Establish a prioritized timeline of work to be completed, including new creative, announcements, website revisions, printed documents, and marketing organizational structure.
- Develop a common set of talking points about the re-integration of UC and the benefits/value of the new unified entity, to be used in the launch of the revised brand and other marketing efforts as appropriate.
- Establish Marketing Oversight Committee
Brand and Logo
- UMA as focus of branding over “University of Maine at Augusta” when describing the entire entity. This is more inclusive and streamlined.
- Discontinue use of the round seal that includes the shield design. The use of both the seal and the shield is confusing. One “logo” style will allow for a stronger brand identity. c. Discontinue use of the “Declare Your Future” tagline. Develop internal focus groups or a campus community contest to develop a tagline that is representative and inclusive of UMA (Augusta Campus, Bangor Campus and Centers.) The possibility of sub-taglines or calls to action should be considered.
- Inventory all of the signage, printed materials, and collateral that will need to be updated with the new brand and brand messaging. The removal and replacement of any changes in logos, font, naming, etc. should be prioritized.
The Vice President of Enrollment Management & Marketing as well as the Executive Director of Planning and Communication report directly to the President.
The Director of Enrollment Marketing reports directly to the VP of Enrollment Management & Marketing, but also maintains regular communication with the Executive Director of Planning and Communication.
The Senior Graphic Designer and the Social Media Marketing/Communication Specialist both report to the Director of Enrollment Marketing.
The Director of Design & Online Marketing and the Manager of Digital Communications report to the Executive Director of Planning and Communication.
- Brand Stewardship
- Style Guide
- Quality Control
Reintegration Tasks for Marketing & Communications
- Create UMA Style Guide for marketing /communications (marcom): Starts March 5, 2018, completion by April 13, 2018
- Revise UMA Website to include center info (uma.edu): Starts March 5, 2018, completion by June 8, 2018
- Update UMA portal with appropriate info (myuma.edu): Starts April 16, 2018, completion by June 8, 2018
- Revise UC website to focus only on UMS services (learn.maine.edu): Starts March 19, 2018, completion by June 8, 2018
- Identify printed materials that need re-branding: Starts March 12, 2018, completion by April 20, 2018
- Redesign mission-critical print materials: Starts April 23, 2018, completion by May 18, 2018
- Print and distribute revised printed materials (requires one-time funding to be covered by $150K request): Starts May 21, 2018, completion by June 1, 2018
- Develop new creative (all inclusive) for paid media (requires one-time funding to be covered by $150K request): Starts March 12, 2018, completion by June 8, 2018
- Determine specific staff responsibilities: Starts March 5, 2018, completion by March 23, 2018
- Establish new reporting structure: Starts March 26, 2018, completion by April 6, 2018
- Develop new job descriptions with HR approval: Starts April 9, 2018, completion by April 20, 2018
- Develop work flow process for marcom requests: Starts April 9, 2018, completion by May 4, 2018
- Create new ‘Guide to Marcom’ for users: Starts April 23, 2018, completion by May 25, 2018
- Inventory existing external and internal signage: Starts March 5, 2018, completion by March 23, 2018
- Create location-specific plan for signage: Starts March 19, 2018, completion by April 13, 2018
- Design appropriate new signage: Starts April 9, 2018, completion by May 4, 2018
- Create appropriate new signage (requires one-time funding to be covered by $150K request): Starts April 30, 2018, completion by June 8, 2018
- Install new signage (requires one-time funding to be covered by $150K request): Starts June 11, 2018, completion by June 22, 2018
- Communicate recommendations /draft plans at 3/21,22 forums: During the week of March 19, 2018
- Share finalized plans with 4/27 campus letter: During the week of April 23, 2018
- Issue external press releases: During the week of April 30, 2018; Also from June 4, 2018 to June 15, 2018
- Purchase paid ads with announcement (requires one-time funding to be covered by $150K request): Starts June 4, 2018, completion by June 15, 2018
- Official launch date of unified brand: During the week of June 11, 2018
Proposals due: February 28, 2018
Programs of the Future: Request for Proposals
UMA 2016 – 2020 Strategic Plan (rev. 2017), Actions Supporting Key Strategies:
2.3 Pilot Academic Programs of the Future to align and enrich the learning experience for distance and on-site students through pedagogical design, technological platform, structured interventions, and assessment of learning outcomes, and provide faculty with incentives and support for pilot participation
UMA’s Programs of the Future initiative arises from our Vision 2.0 work in the fall of 2017. The intent is to align and enrich the learning experience for distance and on-site students through pedagogical design, technological platform, structured interventions, and assessment of learning outcomes; and provide faculty with incentives and support for pilot participation.
The university is interested in piloting two academic programs that will develop an integrated and assessable curriculum that will focus on increasing student engagement and improving their academic success for students across the State of Maine. To this end, we are requesting that academic programs (or pathways) who are interested in working to integrate, assess and invigorate their curriculum to provide students a seamless path to success at UMA submit a proposal to become a pilot for this initiative.
Successful pilot programs will work closely with instructional designers to develop new opportunities for student engagement, ensure that the program curriculum is ADA compliant, and to cultivate new modes of student interaction across modalities.
Interested academic programs should submit a two to three page narrative of the work they intend to do over the summer and in the academic year 2018-2019 to develop and improve their programs according to the following criteria. Programs should also submit a faculty signature sheet indicating faculty willingness to participate face to face in this initiative. Programs who successfully compete to be a pilot will receive
- Funding for stipends and for professional development (see budget section of proposal)
- Part time AA support
- Two instructional designers assigned to support the program in their work over the summer and during the 2018-2019 academic year.
Criteria for evaluation of RFPs
Programs will be selected using the following criteria. Please describe how you plan to address these criteria in your narrative.
- Potential for a significant increase in enrollments.
- Assessment plan.
- Development of new civic engagement/ service learning/ or experiential learning opportunities for students.
- Flexible delivery of the program.
- Increase in student engagement, including engagement between students and faculty, students and students and students with the curriculum.
- Development of structured interventions within the program to support student success.
- Use of a variety of modalities (including live, online, videoconference and delayed viewing).
- Inclusion of adjuncts in the planning and development of the programs (stipends will be available to compensate adjunct faculty for their time).
- Description of differentiation of the program or uniqueness of the program within the University of Maine System.
- Inclusion of general education faculty to ensure that general education courses offered to students in the program are consistent in content and design with program based courses.
- Incorporation of First Year Experience initiatives into the redeveloped program.
- Inclusion of international perspectives, student research and creative activity.
Proposals are due on February 28, 2018 by close of business to the Office of the Provost. Proposals will be reviewed by the academic administration with notification of the pilot programs to occur by March 15. Preparation work will begin over the summer of 2018 (with summer stipends available for faculty who participate) and continue during the 2018-2019 academic year. The new curriculum and delivery modes will be made available to students starting in the fall of 2019.
Criteria for Success of the Pilot
By the end of the academic year of 2019, pilot programs should deliver to the provost’s office a narrative account of the work that has been done and the initial assessment findings. This narrative should include a discussion of the following items.
- Significant course and program redesign work completed, including technologies used for distance delivery and student interactions.
- Alignment of program outcomes within the curriculum and an assessment plan for these outcomes. Initial assessment results would also be welcome.
- General education alignment and delivery that matches the program courses.
- Planned structured interventions at different times during a student’s progression through the program.
- Updates made to the service learning/ civic engagement/ or experiential learning offerings of the program.
- Discussion of the enhanced modalities of delivery of the curriculum
- Discussion of the ways in which the program is informing all faculty, including adjuncts, of the pedagogical expectations from this redesign of the curriculum.
- Inclusion of First Year Experience initiatives.
- Discussion of improvements made in the areas of internationalization of the curriculum and inclusion of student research and/or creative activity.
- Proposals to share this work to other faculty and programs within UMA.
UMA 2016 – 2020 Strategic Plan (rev. 2017), Actions Supporting Key Strategies:
1.2.3 Develop a Cyberspace Master Plan to provide all students with digital pathways to services and support
Sheri Fraser – Lead, Justin Hafford, Jodi Williams, Matt Dube, Haley Brown, Lauren Dubois, Brandy Finck, Sherri Brann, Tom Nickerson, Chip Curry, and Pierre Laot.
A draft of the plan will be completed by April 13th and available for campus-wide review and feedback. The plan will be finalized by the close of the Spring 2018 semester.
The team may request support for professional development and professional services, including subject expertise and facilitation.
Investigate Best Practices
The team will investigate best practices in providing access to services for distance students. Special attention to will be given to best practices that ease navigation, promote self-service, enhance interactions, remove barriers, simplify transactions, and improve access to services.
Conduct Focus Groups/Surveys
The team will conduct focus groups and/or surveys of a variety of distance students (online, sites and centers) to better understand service strengths, obstacles encountered and priority needs for services.
Assess Student Services
The team will work with campus student service providers to assess service requirements and determine the best manner to provide access to specific services for distance students.
Develop the Plan
Elements of the Plan to include:
- Three to five-year vision for virtual delivery of concierge model services to current and prospective students at a distance
- Prioritized outline of student services including a functional plan for each service outlining how students at a distance will be served and how the website and the portal will function as access points for services.
- Tools needed to support the Plan
- Detailed timeline for implementation by fiscal year
- Detailed budget by fiscal year
Mission & Structure Team
UMA 2016 – 2020 Strategic Plan (rev. 2017), Actions Supporting Key Strategies:
2.1 Complete the full re-integration of University College into UMA to enhance UMA’s statewide mission
Areas of focus:
- UC Centers
- Finance & Facilities
Membership: Rebecca Wyke – Lead, Joe Szakas, Tim Brokaw, Jon Henry, Brenda McAleer, Deb Meehan, Lorien Lake-Corral, Rob Roper, BJ Kitchin (1 & 2), Sheri Stevens (4), and Tracy Rockwell (1, 2 & 3)
The Mission & Structure Team will provide general oversight over the UC Reintegration Process, including considering the recommendations of the other teams: Marketing & Communications and Academic Support. The Team will explore the goals of the reintegration and oversee the development of mission statements, as appropriate, for various units. The Team will consider the UMA distance education mission and the role of the UC Centers, and will explore new opportunities for distance education outreach, including but not limited to Lewiston Auburn College, Dexter K-16, and Skowhegan K-16. The Team will consider any impact of the reintegration involving finance and facilities, and will advise the President on final recommendations for administrative structure.
Timeline: Preliminary recommendations are due Friday, March 16th; Final recommendations are due Friday, April 13th.
Marketing & Communications Team
UMA 2016 – 2020 Strategic Plan (rev. 2017), Actions Supporting Key Strategies:
2.1 Complete the full reintegration of University College into UMA to enhance UMA’s statewide mission
3.3 Complete logo and brand change for the UMA campuses and UC centers
Areas of Focus:
- Web & Publication Design
- Social Media & Communications
Membership: Jon Henry – Lead, Domna Giatas – Lead, Brandy Finck, Brent Wooten, BJ Kitchin (2, 3 & 4), Joyce Blanchard, Deb Meehan and Dan Philbrick (1&2), Frear Hook, Jim Knight, Michelle Armes, and Manager of Digital Communications (3&4); consult with Lauren DuBois and IT as needed
Branding – Jon Henry, Domna Giatas, Joyce Blanchard, Deb Meehan and Dan Philbrick; consult with graphic design as needed
Working within the current logo design, the Branding sub-team will develop a plan for a consistent and universal UMA brand that includes the University College Centers. This proposal will include a design that can be replicated for each center site.
Marketing – Jon Henry, Brandy Finck, Brent Wooten, BJ Kitchin, Joyce Blanchard, Deb Meehan and Dan Philbrick
The Marketing sub-team will develop a comprehensive plan for marketing UMA and the University College Centers as one unified entity. Ideas and initial steps for introducing the reintegration to students and the public should be included.
Web & Publication Design and Social Media & Communications – Domna Giatas, Brandy Finck, Brent Wooten, BJ Kitchin, Frear Hook, Jim Knight, Michelle Armes, and Manager of Digital Communications.
The Web & Publication Design and Social Media &Communications sub-team will develop a structure for delivering web and publication design services, as well as a social media and communication integration strategy, and ensure timely responses to UMA and the University College Center needs.
- Week of 1/29/2018 – Initial Meeting – All Team Members to review charge for Sub-teams
- 1/29/2018 through 2/26/2018 Sub-team meetings
- Week of 2/26/2018 – Check-in Meeting – All Team Members for preliminary plans/recommendations from Sub-teams
- 3/5/2018 through 3/26/2018 Sub-team meetings continue
- Week of 3/26/2018 – Report Back Meeting – All Team Members, Sub-teams present written plans
Academic Support Team
UMA 2016 – 2020 Strategic Plan (rev. 2017), Actions Supporting Key Strategies:
2.1 Complete the full reintegration of University College into UMA to enhance UMA’s statewide mission
Membership Leads: Joe Szakas, Brenda McAleer, and Greg Fahy
The Academic Support Team members will provide insight and guidance into the reintegration of academic support systems for all UMA students, whether on our two Campuses, enrolled at one of our eight Centers, or taking classes totally online. The sub-teams will focus on their respective areas of integration, including how best to make use of resources – human, financial, and technological – to provide stellar support to students in all modalities.
Preliminary reports from the sub-teams will be due to the membership leads by March 16 and the final recommendations by April 13.
Sub-teams nominated to serve:
- Instructional Design (including Instructional and Media Support)
Joe Szakas, Greg Fahy, Brenda McAleer, BJ Kitchin, Marilyn Hudzina, Lauren DuBois,
Justin Hafford, Andrei Strukov, Steve Hatch, Frank Ellis, and Robert Bernheim
- Learning Support (including Center SSC Coordinator role)
Joe Szakas, Greg Fahy, Brenda McAleer, Sheri Fraser, Laurie Grant, Ian Magill, Jim
Bradley, Jeremy Bouford, Shelley Taylor, and Cindy Dean
- Library Services
Joe Szakas, Greg Fahy, Brenda McAleer, Ben Treat, Stacey Brownlie, Ann Delaney, Anne Fensie, Jodi Williams, and Rob Kellerman
- Writing Labs
Joe Szakas, Greg Fahy, Brenda McAleer, Stacey Brownlie, Elizabeth Powers, Michelle Lisi, Tom Nickerson, Mina Matthews, Sally Daniels, Gillian Jordan, and Roz Hodge
- Academic Logistics
Helene Turcotte, Tina Howard, Renee Heal, Dana Haskell, Terry Lawson, Matt Wilbur,
Joe Demotta, and Bill Starrett
Civic Engagement Steering Committee
UMA 2016 – 2020 Strategic Plan (rev. 2017), Actions Supporting Key Strategies:
3.5 Build community connections through courses, internships and civic engagement
Civic Engagement Planning Process
Overall Goal: Create, coordinate, and communicate a Civic Engagement Continuum within the UMA community, as outlined in the University’s strategic plan (Strategy 3.5), that will enhance the development of informed, responsible, and involved citizen-graduates.
Faculty Co-Cordinator: Kati Corlew, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Administrative Co-Coordinator: Gilda Nardone, Executive Director, New Ventures Maine
Steering Committee Membership/resources: Susan Baker, Robert Bernheim, Haley Brown, Dianne Carrick, James Cook, Jean Dempster, Alyra Donisvitch, Matt Dube, Nancy Foster, Sheri Fraser, David Greenham, Rob Kellerman, Lynne King, Mina Matthews, Ian Magill, Jennifer Mascaro, Sharon McMahon Sawyer, Deborah Meehan, Rose Pelletier, Nicole Roberts, Eric Stark, Tim Surrette, Shelley Taylor, Colleen Coffey
Convene a Steering Committee
- Identify and invite representative Steering Group
- Create an interim (3 – 6 months) and longer-range (3 – 5 year) plan for sustaining civic engagement within UMA
- Staffing options and roles
- Resources—align with Programs of the Future, explore grant options
- Data Collection, Research, and Evaluation
Define Civic Engagement within UMA (Campuses, Centers, Virtual)
- Inventory and document what currently exists
- Leverage existing programs and tools to prepare and connect students and document their learning (i.e., CareerLink, digital badging)
- Create systems for developing and coordinating various components of the continuum (i.e. classes, internships, other activities)
- Clarify leadership roles for various components
Create Professional Development Resources for Civic Engagement
- Professional development for faculty and staff interested in incorporating service learning or other civic engagement strategies into classes
- Curriculum development and instructional design support (onsite and online) for incorporating civic engagement
- Training for students (online) to prepare them for service learning
- Support for employers and community partners who provide internships and other service learning opportunities for UMA students
Develop a Civic Engagement Communications Strategy
- Develop an internal communications system for Faculty and Administrative Co-Coordinators and Steering Committee (google group)
- Explore options for virtual/web Resource Hub/Clearinghouse (CareerLink?) where information such as internships can be uploaded
- Maintain/coordinate calendar of activities and events
- Develop a quarterly newsletter highlighting Civic Engagement activities
- Share overview and recommendations with broader UMA community within strategic planning framework
- Develop and communicate a “campaign” to build understand of and investment in UMA’s Civic Engagement continuum
Invitation: By 2/16
Steering Committee Meetings (3): 2/23; 3/26; 6/14
UMA Community Communication:
- Draft Recommendations/Direction by 4/13 for Strategic Plan Forums on 4/23 and 4/25
- Student Research Conference on 4/27
- Faculty Institute on 5/17
Report Recommendations: Integrate some activities during spring 2018; longer-range plan by 6/29/18 for implementation in academic year 2018 – 2019
University of Maine at Augusta Strategic Communication Plan
The purpose of this strategic communication plan is to support the action item identified in UMA’s Revised Strategic Plan 2016-2020 as follows:
“3.8 Enhance communication within the UMA community and effectively communicate our story to external stakeholders.
3.8.1 Create a variety of forums for open discussion to engage students, faculty and staff in a culture of shared governance and continuous improvement.”
This communication plan will also seek to support the goals outlined in the Revised Strategic Plan by pursing communication strategies that promote academic programs; enhance recruitment, enrollment, and retention efforts; and collaborate with associated programs.
This strategic communication plan will serve as a framework for managing and coordinating all internal and external communications regarding UMA and will strive to deliver clear and consistent messages to internal and external audiences as it articulates UMA’s mission, vision, and goals.
Communication is a shared responsibility and participation by all members of the UMA community is encouraged and desired.
UMA communicates with various constituencies, both internal and external. The internal audience includes faculty, staff, and students. The external audience includes prospective students and their families, media outlets, other stakeholders, and as a public institution of higher learning, the citizens of Maine.
III. Communication Objectives (in no particular order)
- Develop a process for distributing internal and external information and messages.
- Utilize more fully all social media platforms to support academic programs, enrollment, and other programs associated with UMA. Inventory current UMA social media sites and establish policies for consistent messaging.
- Enhance UMA’s website with consistent formatting and templates. Update current content information for all programs and departments, as needed. Assist academic programs with content updates using templates.
- Institute regular communication tools and channels for internal and external audiences, such as newsletters, weekly calendars, alumni publications, and written materials.
- Schedule campus open forums to engage students, faculty, and staff on issues of importance to the campus community and to enhance shared governance.
- Improve current events calendar.
- Develop and use consistent messaging with UMA logo to strengthen brand identity. Enlist assistance of UMA community in becoming stewards of logo usage.
- Partner with UMA Dean of Students and Student Life to ensure consistent student messaging. (Current Student Life communications, including the Student Newsletter will remain with Student Life.)
- Collaborate with UMA Marketing for consistent message and coordinated initiatives.
- Ensure compliance with regulatory, accessibility and any accreditation standards in all communication activities.
- Develop a consistent approach to posting items on the UMA website (an external site) and the UMA portal (an internal site). Ensure coordination of information and one process for posting information on both.
IV. Implementation and Tools
UMA This Week
Weekly summary of events on campus provided via e-mail to campus community and stakeholders at the beginning of each week. This communication will also include a section titled UMA in the News that will provide a list of recent news article links relevant to UMA or the UMS.
This communication tool is in addition to the Student Newsletter.
- To submit information for UMA This Week e-mail Domna Giatas (firstname.lastname@example.org) at least two weeks prior to the event.
UMA Message of the Day
The UMA Message of the Day provides a method for sharing timely information to the UMA community. All requests will be reviewed by the Manager of Digital Communication for content, tone, and relevance prior to distribution.
- To submit items for Message of the Day, e-mail Manager of Digital Communications
UMA E-Newsletter – Monthly Moose News
Monthly electronic newsletter with a message from President Wyke, brief articles, photos, highlights from UMA events, and relevant information for faculty, staff, and students. The newsletter will also provide an opportunity to highlight academic and administrative areas, welcome new employees, celebrate faculty and staff achievements, among other items. A link to an events calendar might also be included. Monthly Moose News will be posted on UMA website and distributed to campus community and stakeholders via e-mail.
- To submit articles and photos for the newsletter, e-mail Domna Giatas email@example.com.
UMA Campus Forum
An open campus forum for students, faculty, and staff held at least once a semester with President Wyke and senior administrators. These forums will be held on the Augusta and Bangor campuses with livestreaming availability to University College Centers from the Augusta forum. The open forums will provide an opportunity to receive updates from President Wyke and engage students, faculty, and staff on issues of importance to the campus community.
Press Releases/Social Media
Media newsworthy or noteworthy announcements, events, or other exciting UMA news can be developed into press releases or shared on social media. Examples of items for press releases and/or social media include UMA events; achievements and milestones of faculty, staff, and students; and initiatives and topics of interest to the public. Not sure? Contact Domna Giatas or Manager of Digital Communications to brainstorm.
Press releases and advisories are distributed to various media outlets throughout the state as appropriate, based upon topic and likely areas of interest. For event information, please provide materials at least two weeks prior to the event date.
- To submit a draft release or media idea, contact Domna Giatas at 621-3495 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
UMA has several sanctioned social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram) where events and announcements are posted.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/UMAugusta
Twitter – https://twitter.com/umaugusta
- To submit an item for posting, contact the Manager of Digital Communications with text, video, and images. (Please no PDF documents.)
UMA Marquees in Augusta and Bangor
UMA has marquees at the entrances of both the Augusta and Bangor campuses. General UMA information (ex. Enroll Now for Spring), or events specific to each campus (ex. Jazz Concert on Saturday), may be posted there to inform community members as they drive by the campuses. Marquee message requests will be reviewed with the Executive Director of Planning and Communications or Manager of Digital Communication to ensure consistency.
- To submit an event or message for placement on the marquees please provide information two weeks in advance as follows:
In Augusta contact Carol Bean email@example.com. There is space on the marquee for three lines of text with 19 characters per line (including spaces).
In Bangor contact Patrick Decker firstname.lastname@example.org. There is space on the marquee for three lines of text with 22 characters per line (including spaces). Winter posting are subject to weather conditions.
V. UMA Logo
The UMA logo is an important part of the UMA’s branding. Members of the UMA community are important stewards in maintaining the integrity of the logo. A logo usage and branding guide is available here. This branding guide will be reviewed, revised, and republished for the purpose of including options for department and program specific identifications, as well as to include current logos used by UMA athletics and student organizations.
Any questions or requests for logo variation, please contact Domna Giatas (email@example.com) or Manager of Digital Communications.
VI. UMA Website
A Web Improvement Group (WIG) will be assembled to ensure consistent formatting and templates (ex. Faculty/Staff, Program Overview, and Contact Us) ease of use, and accessibility of UMA website. The WIG will also resolve any web management issues and work collaboratively with the UMA community to make necessary adjustments to the website. The Manager of Digital Communication will work with academic and administrative departments to update content and ensure compliance with accessibility standards.
Additionally, social media platforms will be integrated on the website to provide mirrored content. An improved calendar of events and a section for UMA in the News will be developed for the website.