2019-2025 Strategic Plan

A VCU School of Education graduate student reads to a student at Barack Obama Elementary School.

Strategic Plan Year 3 (2021-22) Summary

For Year 3 (2021-22), faculty and staff in the School of Education worked to achieve further progress toward meeting the VCU School of Education Strategic Plan goals.

Learn more about our Strategic Plan Year 3 (2021-22) Summary

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Theme 1: Student Success

Goals and Strategies

SS1: The VCU SOE will provide comprehensive resources to support students as adult learners and foster a climate of holistic student success. (Tomika; subleads-Krystal, Chairs)

  • Monitor student success metrics to inform and develop appropriate policies and practices and resources to ensure that areas of improvement identified through the dashboard and matrix are prioritized and supported through sustainable action.
  • Create, implement, and evaluate initiatives that improve student mental health, belonging, academic advising, support services, and career preparation to enhance student success.
  • Increase the proportion of full-time faculty providing instruction in the School of Education.

SS2: The VCU SOE will encourage learning excellence through exceptional multi-modal and interdisciplinary learning experiences for all students. (Lu; subleads-Chairs, Pam)

  • Enhance on- and off-campus partnerships to integrate academic success skills, strategies, and collaborative learning opportunities.
  • Improve existing learning environments with enhanced technology to align with and enhance 21st Century teaching practices for in-person and virtual learning.
  • Enhance technology training and immersion into coursework for all programs to prepare graduates equipped to teach and lead in online and face-to-face environments using 21st Century technology best practices.
  • Establish a faculty and staff development plan utilizing internal and external resources that facilitates innovation in learning and strengthens pathways for faculty, staff, and students to demonstrate best educator practices.

SS3: The VCU SOE will engage in collaborative partnerships that prepare educators to meet the needs of various learners while cultivating/advancing community growth. (Lu; subleads-Lora, Chairs)

  • Collaboration between academic departments, administrative units, state and national policy makers and community partners to identify shared resources and funding opportunities.
  • Strengthen clinical partnerships and practice through: 
    • community stakeholder co-construction, design, and evaluation of multiple clinical opportunities to ensure candidate preparation through experiences in diverse settings where P-12 students with differing needs are enrolled;
    • opportunities for partners to co-select, prepare, evaluate and support high-quality clinical educators, both provider- and school-based, who demonstrate a positive impact on candidates’ development and P-12 student learning and development;  
    • co-design and implementation of clinical practices, utilizing various modalities that are of sufficient depth, breadth, diversity, coherence and duration to ensure candidates develop the ability to impact diverse P-12 student learning and development.   
  • Provide comprehensive resources to implement and evaluate school level coordination of all clinical experiences (advanced and initial programs) to ensure high quality experiences through consistency in 1) administration and data collection of student and placement metrics and 2) quality control and data use for continuous improvement.


Theme 2: Research and Innovation to Address Societal Challenges

Goals and Strategies

RIASC1: Pursue national prominence and differentiate from other strategic planning efforts, recognizing that national prominence is determined by external evaluations of SOE (ex. Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, US News and World Report, and The Center for Measuring University Performance). (Kathy; subleads-Chairs, Jose)

  • Specific action to increase SOE’s prominence on the national stage by:
    • increasing the submission of nominations for national awards of recognition.
    • encouraging staff and faculty to pursue leadership roles in national organizations.
    • encouraging staff and faculty to pursue leadership through journal editorships.
  • Gain external recognition for innovation in public scholarship.
  • Provide professional development and leadership advancement opportunities and support for career progression for faculty and staff from all groups, ensuring access to members and populations historically marginalized* in their fields, in the continued development of scholarship, research, creative expression and service that expand an inclusive knowledge base.

RIASC2: Increase federal and foundation research grants awarded to VCU SOE. (Kathy; subleads-Chairs, Jose)

  • Submit high quality, competitive applications for external research funding.
  • Align evaluation expectations of SOE tenure-track faculty (pre-tenured and tenured) to be commensurate with the research expectations of an R1 university.

RIASC3: Elevate the status of SOE within the VCU, local and national / international research community.  (Kathy; subleads-Chairs, Jose, Communications)

  • Seek out and pursue strategic collaborations and opportunities with initiatives that focus on elevating interdisciplinary, transformative research in schools and communities, especially those serving individuals who are historically marginalized.
  • Promote successes of SOE via both university-wide and external (local and national) outlets using communication modes and strategies that increase engagement. 
  • Professional development for faculty on expanding knowledge of and opportunities for seeking funding from multiple sources.

RAISC4: Achieve and maintain national accreditation (e.g., CAEP, CACREP) for all licensure programs. (Lora; subleads-Chairs)

  • Identify and implement an infrastructure to engage EPP stakeholders to: 
    • facilitate, support and monitor the transition within the School of Education from a culture of compliance to a culture of evidence to ensure ongoing alignment, integrations of accreditation regulations (e.g., CAEP, CACREP, VDOE) goals/strategies with SOE mission/vision/strategic plan; and 
    • improve P-12 school and EPP student, candidate and completer performance.
  • Ensure VDOE program approval and updates to align with existing and new regulations and policies.
  • Ensure that unit-wide assessment data collection processes are in place for undergraduate programs to ensure candidate, program and completer quality;
  • Ensure that unit-wide assessments processes are in place to support Counselor Education’s aim to meet all CACREP standards and pass its accreditation review 
  • Incorporate goals and processes into CITF that address CACREP accreditation needs.


Theme 3: Thriving Communities

Goals and Strategies

TC1: Advance innovations for high quality education and workforce development to meet the challenges of schools and communities, particularly those that serve historically marginalized individuals and communities and multilingual learners. (Kim, lead; Parthy, Cassandra, Al, co-leads) 

  • Determine sustainability options for the RTR Teacher Residency Program 
  • Develop and sustain workforce development programs including SOE Center initiatives (e.g., Partnership for People with Disabilities (PPD); Research and Rehabilitation Training Center (RRTC); Center for Innovation in STEM Education; Office of Strategic Engagement).

TC2: Produce new, highly-trained and high-quality teachers, counselors, school administrators and other professionals prepared to work with diverse student populations and more representative of the racial and ethnic diversity of their communities. (Cassandra and Lora, lead; Faith, co-lead)

  • Provide internal professional development for faculty/staff to expand knowledge (e.g., grant writing; national policy; working with school boards), in the area of equity to include participation in SOE and OSE professional opportunities.
  • Provide support for provisionally licensed, non-traditional candidates who enroll in teacher/preparation programs to graduate and/or obtain full licensure. 
  • Provide support to diverse school divisions to expand partnerships that lead to newly co-constructed non-traditional, grow-your-own licensure routes.  
  • Provide support for diverse candidates through MERREC’s emergency funds and programming (MERREC will be part of the Center for Teacher Leadership starting in January 2023)
  • Collaborate with policy makers in state or national level policy development organizations/opportunities.


Theme 4: Diversity Driving Excellence

Goals and Strategies

DDE1: Enhance the culture and cultivate belonging within the School of Education to build a diverse and inclusive community among faculty, staff, students, and community partners. (Tomika; subleads-Chairs)

  • Provide high quality learning opportunities for SOE faculty, staff, students, and community partners to create actionable change in climate, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and belonging.
  • Create opportunities for community building among faculty, staff, and students to cultivate a culture of belonging.
  • Cultivate an inclusive and equitable learning environment for all students through classroom interactions, advising, and curriculum.

DDE2: Increase and retain the number of historically marginalized faculty and staff in the School of Education. (Andrew; subleads-HR)

  • Systematically implement hiring practices that center inclusion and equity (i.e., charge, position description) across all searches in Oliver Hall and Centers.
  • Analyze and share faculty demographic hiring and retention data and Culture and Climate Survey results with Center and Oliver leadership and build into chair goals.
  • Develop and implement initiatives targeted to support retention of HM faculty and staff.
  • In partnership with the Office of Research and Faculty Development, establish formal mechanisms for supporting historically marginalized faculty (graduate assistants with like research interests, formal pathways for promoting scholarship and teaching success of faculty).

DDE3: Increase and retain the number of historically marginalized and international students (HMS) in the School of Education. (Tomika; subleads-Recruitment team, MERREC, Lora, Yaoying, Lu)

  • Implement the multi-year longitudinal, data driven strategic plan to recruit historically marginalized and international students (graduate/undergraduate).
  • Create mentoring, advising, research, and faculty engagement opportunities for historically marginalized students to support retention.
  • Engage in high quality learning experiences that offer historically marginalized students in all programs experiences in different settings and modalities.
  • Partners engage in shared responsibility of identifying and addressing real problems of practice historically marginalized students experience in their engagement with P-12 students.

DDE4: Produce graduates who are prepared for success and impact in schools and communities serving historically marginalized individuals.  (Lu; subleads-Lora, Chairs, Graduate Studies, Student Affairs)

  • Understand the interests, perspectives, and needs of all SOE students for teaching and working in schools and communities serving historically marginalized individuals.
  • Establish infrastructure to record and monitor graduate contact information to support understanding of all SOE program completer outcomes in schools and communities. 
  • Through strengthened clinical partnerships and other student experiences articulated in Theme Student Success, Goal 3, ensure HM students have equitable access  to well planned, purposeful, and sequential experiences in programs and demonstrate their developing effectiveness and positive impact on diverse P-12 and adult students’ learning and development, specifically by:
    • collaborating with partners to design and implement experiences, utilizing various modalities, of sufficient depth, breadth, diversity, coherence, and duration 
    • including campus-based and field-based activities that involve practical applications of knowledge and skills appropriate to prepare historically marginalized completers to effectively contribute to student-learning growth and apply the professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions the experiences were designed to achieve
    • assessing experiences using performance based protocols throughout the program, and evaluating completer performance using valid and reliable completer and employer surveys. 
  • Engage Holmes Scholars and other historically marginalized doctoral mentees as mentors to historically marginalized candidates.
  • Establish Holmes Scholar institutionalized funding to supply tuition waivers that will facilitate full-time enrollment, and increase academic support to undergraduate historically marginalized candidates). 
  • Systematically study the effectiveness of completers in schools and communities serving historically marginalized student populations, through case study design to understand opportunities to enhance preparation for those settings.

*Historically marginalized: Individuals from historically marginalized communities have an identity that has been historically excluded or underrepresented within higher education, including by race/ethnicity (African American/Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and two or more races, when one race is from a preceding group), disability status, first-generation college status, or socioeconomic status. We refer to those historically marginalized by racial and ethnic backgrounds in this strategic plan.

Strategic Plan Update and Next Steps for 2022-24

In this video, Angela P. Wetzel, Ph.D., director of the Office of Data Analytics, provides an update to the School of Education Leadership Council on June 30, 2022 on the Strategic Plan and next steps for 2022-24.

Watch the video

Screenshot from the Strategic Planning Video by Angela Wetzel, Ph.D.