SEM Phase I Initiatives
- Dual Credit Policy Changes
- Gap-year Partnership with Verto
- College of Arts and Sciences Health Studies Initiative
- Entrepreneurship Minor
- CAS Internship Course
- Speech and Debate Team Expansion
- Music Department Alumni Mentorship Pilot Program
- Enhanced Pre-law Programming, Including 3+3 BA/JD Program with the Law School
- BA/MSL Program in Environmental Law with the Law School
- The LC 4-5-6 Commitment
- International Student Recruiter [currently on hold]
- SEM Communications Plan
Dual Credit Policy Changes
This plan seeks to attract more students who have earned college credit while in high school by removing restrictions on how those credits can count towards an LC degree. The necessary policy changes were implemented by the Curriculum Committee last spring. We now need to communicate them to high school students, families, and counselors—particularly in the state of Washington.
Gap-year Partnership with Verto
Verto is an organization that recruits students interested in taking a gap year or gap semester, provides credit-bearing programming for the gap period, helps match its students with a partner institution, and facilitates the transfer of credits from the gap year to the partner college. Verto is working with one public institution and one private institution in each state (we will be the Oregon private partner; the University of Oregon is the public partner). The partnership is intended to raise awareness of Lewis & Clark among students from outside our markets. We will begin working with Verto immediately, and might see Verto students on campus as early as the spring of 2020.
January New Student Trip Pilot Program
This plan proposes that we provide a small number of first-year students who were unable or uninterested in participating in a New Student Trip before New Student Orientation with an opportunity to participate in a New Student Trip in January. The plan includes financial aid money to help offset the cost to students who are eligible. If offering such a trip in January is successful, we would seek to increase the scope of the program in future years, as one tactic in a multi-pronged initiative aimed at improving retention from the first to second year.
College of Arts and Sciences Health Studies Initiative
This plan is a multi-phase proposal to recruit and retain students interested in a variety of health-related fields by developing our academic and co-curricular programming in that domain. It recommends that we create an academic/co-curricular home for such students in the form of a Center, develop an interdisciplinary minor, and launch a major in Public Health. This academic/co-curricular initiative would create the organizing framework necessary to (1) centralize and refine pre-health advising and thus improve the quality of students’ applications to health-related graduate programs (including Medical School, Nursing, Public Health, Biostatistics, Health Communications, Counseling, Medical Humanities, etc.) and the College’s admission rates in such programs. As such, it would bring us in line with our peers, most of whom already excel in pre-health advising and programming. It would allow us to move beyond our peers by capitalizing on our location in Portland and the many internship opportunities at OHSU and other local health-related organizations and nonprofits. Additionally, it would provide a focal point for collaboration among students and faculty, which in turn could create opportunities for external grant funding as well as alumni and donor enthusiasm, sponsorship, and partnership.
This plan seeks to increase recruitment, yield, and retention of undergraduates by offering an academic minor in Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation (ELI) through the John E. and Susan S. Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership. The team hopes to secure faculty approval of the minor by the end of the 2019-20 academic year, with new curriculum beginning in fall 2020.
CAS Internship Course
This plan proposes that we create a non-departmental internship course. The course would be open to all students, and would expand access for any student who is interested in pursuing professional experience outside of their major. But it more specifically addresses the needs of pre-major students who have not yet established themselves with departmental faculty, and thus may have difficulty securing a faculty sponsor. The proposal is consistent with the College’s Strategic Plan, which calls for further development of our internship programs (and of the College’s connections to the Portland community more generally). It is the first step in a broader SEM initiative focused on internships and practica.
Speech and Debate Team Expansion
This plan proposes that we build on the success of our Speech and Debate Team by doubling its roster. It recommends that we broaden our recruitment efforts, double the number of scholarships awarded annually to incoming students, and expand coaching and travel resources.
Music Department Alumni Mentorship Pilot Program
The Music Department has proposed a new mentoring program, pairing departmental alumni with current students and hosting programming to foster connections between the mentors and mentees. While we expect this plan to have only a small retention impact in its current form, it is potentially scalable to other departments where it could have much greater impact, and is the first step in a broader SEM initiative focused on the fine arts. It also furthers other institutional goals regarding alumni engagement and community involvement.
Enhanced Pre-law Programming, Including 3+3 BA/JD Program with the Law School
This plan seeks to increase recruitment at the undergraduate level by significantly enhancing our pre-law programming. It capitalizes on the strengths of our law school by offering students an opportunity to complete undergraduate and law degrees at Lewis & Clark in six years rather than seven. (The policy changes needed to make the 3-3 possible were passed by the Curriculum Committee last spring, and the Dean’s Office is establishing the 3-3 in time for it to be an option for students entering the College as first-years this fall.) The plan also includes expanding pre-law advising so we can better identify, build out, and market more substantive pre-law programming beyond the 3-3. Such programming might include law-oriented internships and mentoring opportunities, the creation of a student organization for pre-law students, the development of an overseas component to enable 3+3 students to pursue overseas study, and the development of a relationship, including coordinated recruiting efforts, between pre-law programs and the Speech and Debate Program.
BA/MSL Program in Environmental Law with the Law School
Building on the 3-3 law program, this plan proposes that we establish an alternate pathway to our graduate programs for undergraduates with an interest in law and the environment. Students who want to learn about environmental law and policy but do not want to pursue a JD and become a lawyer could obtain both a BA and a Master of Studies in Law (MSL) in environmental, natural resources, and energy law. The standard timeline would be five years, but we could also offer an accelerated four-year option. Both could be marketed as part of the 4-5-6. This plan has the added benefit of enhancing our reputation for excellence in sustainability and environmental studies and is the first step towards a broader SEM initiative in this domain.
The LC 4-5-6 Commitment
The LC 4-5-6 Commitment is essentially a marketing program, highlighting the fact that students who matriculate at LC can complete (1) a BA in four years; (2) a BA and a Masters of Arts in Teaching (plus licensure) in five years; or (3) a BA and a JD in six years. The four-year commitment seeks to capitalize on our proven ability to graduate students on time by adding a kind of guarantee: if a student has complied with a set of basic requirements (maintained a standard course load, declared a major by the end of their sophomore year, met regularly with their advisor, etc.) and still fails to complete a degree in four years, the college will allow them to take up to an additional semester of coursework (subject to certain restrictions) for free. The five- and six-year commitments highlight CAS’s relationships to the Graduate School of Education and Counseling and the Law School. We began marketing the 4-5-6 to prospective students this spring. The program could be expanded in the future to include other pathway opportunities (see below).
International Student Recruiter [currently on hold]
This plan recognizes that we have the capacity to support a larger international student population, and proposes that we increase that population by hiring an international recruiter in the Admissions Office. This person would conduct international travel, coordinate work with agents, review applications, make admissions decisions, and contribute to both communications and overall strategies for international student recruitment.
SEM Communications Plan
These Phase I SEM initiatives will be successful in recruiting and retaining new students only if we 1) market them to prospective students and their families and 2) ensure that faculty and staff across campus are prepared to help students understand and take advantage of new opportunities. Thus, the Steering Committee proposed a coordinated marketing and communications plan. The comprehensive plan recommends that we hire a new entry-level person in PubCom, which would enable more senior PubCom staff to focus on SEM-related marketing and communications (both external and internal).