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Department of Agricultural Education, Communications and Leadership

Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan


The Department of Agricultural Education, Communications and Leadership is committed to preparing agricultural leaders of national prominence in the areas of education, leadership, and communications.


The Department of Agricultural Education, Communications and Leadership aspires to become the preeminent agricultural program in the nation in the areas of education, leadership, and communications.

Core Values

  • Excellence - We seek excellence in all our endeavors, and we are committed to continuous improvement.

  • Intellectual Freedom - We believe in ethical and scholarly questioning in an environment that respects the rights of all to freely pursue knowledge.

  • Integrity - We are committed to the principles of truth and honesty, and we will be equitable, ethical, and professional.

  • Service - We believe that serving others is a noble and worthy endeavor.

  • Diversity - We respect others and value diversity of opinions, freedom of expression, and other ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

  • Stewardship of Resources - We are dedicated to the efficient and effective use of resources. We accept the responsibility of the public's trust and are accountable for our actions.

Goals, Critical Success Factors, Objectives, and Strategies

Goal 1. Academic Excellence - Create and uphold high standards of excellence in instruction, research, and outreach.

Critical Success Factors:

  • Faculty will demonstrate improvement in teaching through professional development
  • Faculty will demonstrate scholarship by publishing at least 2 peer-reviewed creative works annually
  • Faculty will increase external funding by 5% from 2003 to 2008
  • Faculty will provide high-quality service to the profession, university, and community

Objective 1.1: Professional development plans will be developed by faculty for improving instruction.

  • Faculty will present to the department head an annual plan for instructional improvement and professional development
  • The plan will include faculty reflections on progress made toward goals during the previous year as well as thoughts on achieving goals set for the upcoming year
  • Faculty will be encouraged to use peer reviews and other mechanisms as tools for instructional improvement

Objective 1.2: Research plans consistent with the discipline will be developed by faculty.

  • Faculty will present to the department head an annual research plan that reflects a strong focus on scholarship for the profession
  • The research plan will discuss steps taken toward adding to the knowledge base of the discipline

Objective 1.3: Faculty will solicit external funding to support advancements in teaching, research, and service.

  • Departmental faculty will submit proposals for external funding annually to support outstanding teaching, research, and service
  • Faculty will seek opportunities for developing proposals collaboratively with colleagues at OSU as well as at other universities and institutions

Objective 1.4: Faculty will serve the profession by their involvement in outreach activities.

  • Faculty will provide assistance and service to individuals and organizations beyond the OSU campus
  • Faculty will document annually how they have served organizations, the community, and state through outreach activities

Goal 2. Student Development - Recruit, retain, and graduate students in a collegial environment that encourages excellence, prepares for careers, enriches personal growth, fosters discovery of knowledge, and promotes leadership

Critical Success Factors:

  • Faculty will recruit undergraduate students at a minimum of 4 statewide, regional or national events.
  • Faculty will recruit graduate students at a minimum of 4 statewide, regional or national events.
  • Students will be involved in a minimum of 4 annual recruitment visits to junior or community colleges.
  • At least 80% of the students who start in the department will graduate from the university.
  • The department will maintain 100% of the current student enrollment.
  • Faculty will assist 100% of all graduates to seek employment in their areas of preparation.
  • The department will encourage membership in and provide faculty advisors for student organizations.
  • Faculty will coordinate 100% of the student internship experiences.


Objective 2.1: The faculty will recruit high-quality undergraduate and graduate students from the region, nation, and world. Strategies:

  • The department head will send a recruiter to specified 2-year postsecondary colleges in Oklahoma and surrounding states annually to speak to prospective students about programs in the department and college.
  • The department head will collaborate with the college to send students and faculty to the National FFA Convention to speak to prospective students.
  • Faculty will attend national and regional conferences to recruit graduate students.
  • Faculty will network with other universities to identify and recruit students.
  • The departmental web site will include recruiting materials.

Objective 2.2: The department will maintain high retention rates for graduate and undergraduate students.

  • Faculty will provide high-quality academic mentoring and advisement to support students.
  • Faculty advisors will be provided for undergraduate and graduate student organizations.

Objective 2.3: The department will encourage academic and professional excellence from graduate and undergraduate students.

  • Faculty will expand opportunities for student to develop greater communications proficiency through writing, discussion, and presentations.
  • Faculty will develop discipline-specific portfolio criteria and provide "model" portfolios.
  • Undergraduate and master's of agriculture students will be required to create and submit professional portfolios.
  • Faculty will support students through extracurricular activities.

Objective 2.4: The department will prepare students for careers in agricultural education, communications, or leadership.

  • Faculty will offer high-quality instruction to students using the most advanced technology available.
  • Faculty will improve the quality of internship opportunities and student teaching experiences.
  • Faculty will select and maintain student teaching centers staffed by highly competent teachers and administrators who use best educational practices.
  • Faculty will provide updates about the teaching program and develop skills of cooperating teachers through training workshops.
  • Faculty will encourage students to expand professional opportunities by earning minors in subject matter areas suitable to their option or academic strengths.
  • Faculty will encourage Leadership and Service majors and Agricultural Communications majors to take additional business and agricultural economics courses appropriate to their interests and strengths.
  • Faculty will develop an advanced graduate seminar series.

Goal 3. Diversity - Achieve diversity and create an environment of respect for individuals.

Critical Success Factors:

  • Departmental faculty and staff will create a climate of respect for individual differences.
  • The department will strive to achieve ethnic diversity among the student body on par with the state demographic profile.
  • The participation rate in international activities by faculty and students will increase by 10%.
  • Faculty will evaluate current curriculum regarding issues of diversity and develop action items related to the curriculum by 2006.


Objective 3.1: The department will recruit and retain a diverse faculty.

  • The department head will advertise in appropriate outlets to encourage applicants from a diverse population for all new faculty positions.
  • The department head will work with the Office of Multicultural Affairs to provide professional development training for faculty and staff regarding the recruitment and retention of diverse members of society.

Objective 3.2: The department will recruit and retain a diverse student body.

  • Efforts will be made to work with the 4-H and FFA programs to identify students from underrepresented populations who might be recruited to the department.
  • The department will seek external funding for minority student scholarships.

Objective 3.3: The department will increase student opportunities for participation in activities that develop awareness and respect for individual differences.

  • AGED 4713 (I): International Programs in Agricultural Education and Extension will be evaluated and revised as needed.
  • The department will encourage and support study abroad opportunities for faculty and students through the Office of Programs in International Agriculture.
  • Programmatic faculty workgroups (teaching, leadership and service, and communications) will evaluate their curricula regarding diversity, awareness to support a climate of respect.

Goal 4. Healthy Living and Economic Development - Enhance the quality of life by contributing to the human, economic, and cultural development of Oklahomans.

Critical Success Factors:

  • Faculty will offer systematic program evaluation services to the division.
  • Faculty will increase service learning experiences for students in the undergraduate and graduate curriculum.
  • The department will offer professional development for beginning agricultural education teachers.


Objective 4.1: Dedicate department resources to increasing the human capital potential for Oklahoma.

  • Faculty will provide in-service education to agricultural educators in Oklahoma .
  • Faculty will expand professional development opportunities for agricultural educators in Oklahoma .
  • Faculty will provide outreach to agricultural youth organizations in Oklahoma .
  • Faculty will maintain an advisory group to guide teaching, research and service for the department.
  • Faculty will serve 4-H and FFA by sponsoring state level competitive events, providing assistance with state level events, and providing leadership to those groups when needed.

Objective 4.2: Faculty will serve as a teaching and learning resource for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the agricultural education community in Oklahoma.

  • Faculty will teach a graduate level course in teaching methods.
  • Faculty will model the use of teaching portfolios in the promotion and tenure process.
  • Faculty will model innovative approaches to providing meaningful evaluation of instruction.

Goal 5. Human Resources - Recruit, retain, and develop an outstanding faculty and staff within a collegial atmosphere that recognizes diverse contributions.

Critical Success Factors:

  • The department head will retain faculty for an average of 7 years.
  • The department head will retain staff for a minimum of 3 to 5 years.
  • The department head will use annual appraisals to award merit increases to the highest performing faculty and staff.
  • The department will be composed of faculty and staff from diverse academic and experiential backgrounds.
  • All new faculty will be engaged in a mentoring program.
  • The department head will provide $1,500 annually for faculty professional development.
  • The department head will provide $150 annually for staff professional development.
  • The department head will have a faculty member on sabbatical every other year.


Objective 5.1: The department head will recruit outstanding faculty and staff.

  • The department head will cast a wide net for recruiting the highest quality faculty and staff available.
  • The department head will offer competitive salary and benefits packages to prospective faculty and staff.
  • The department head will offer competitive start-up packages based on position descriptions to prospective faculty and staff.
  • The department head will seek to move temporary faculty positions to tenure track/permanent positions.
  • The department head will seek additional staff positions as faculty Full Time Equivalent (FTE) and student enrollment increase.
  • The department head will continue to request that all faculty positions include a 25% research or extension appointment.

Objective 5.2: The department will retain outstanding faculty and staff.

  • The department head will conduct annual appraisals to review work performance and make recommendations to improve performance and review position descriptions.
  • The department head will reward staff, faculty and student employees for excellence through merit raises, nominations for awards, and other methods of recognition.
  • The department head will maintain a pleasant and professional work environment.
  • The department head will support and mentor faculty in their efforts for reappointment, promotion and tenure.
  • The department head will provide all the necessary resources to complete the duties of the job, including up-to-date computer equipment, software, and skill training.
  • The department head will ensure equitable faculty advisement loads of undergraduate and graduate students.

Objective 5.3: The department will develop outstanding faculty and staff in an atmosphere that recognizes diverse contributions.

  • The department head will assist faculty in developing skills necessary for enrolling, advising, and mentoring students.
  • The department head will develop a peer-mentoring program for new faculty.
  • Faculty will be encouraged and supported to participate in fellowships, sabbaticals, and professional meetings and organizations.
  • The department head will support staff in professional develop opportunities related to position descriptions, especially those offered by OSU Human Resources.
  • The department head will provide skill training to staff as necessary based on job duties related to their position description.
  • Staff will be encouraged to participate in college and university activities.

Goal 6. Synergy in Use of Resources - Leverage and focus financial and physical resources to achieve strategically targeted national prominence using partnerships with industry and government and collaborating with stakeholders.

Critical Success Factors:

  • Faculty will partner with public school systems, agricultural communications organizations and industries, agribusinesses, Cooperative Extension and other governmental agencies to insure quality internship experience for 100 % of students in the agricultural education and agricultural communications majors.
  • Faculty will formalize partnerships with public and private entities to increase social capital and human capacity for the State of Oklahoma.
  • Faculty will actively partner with regional and national research initiatives in agricultural education, communications and leadership.
  • Faculty will submit at least 1 proposal per year to solicit external funding to support teaching, research or outreach priorities.


Objective 6.1: The department will seek external funding to support excellence in teaching, research, and outreach.

  • Faculty will be encouraged to submit Big XII Fellowship proposals to enhance professional development and foster collaboration.
  • Faculty will work collaboratively within and outside of the department to develop competitive proposals to leverage resources.
  • Faculty will cooperate with the College Grants and Contracts Office to optimize support in grant seeking.
  • Faculty will serve as proposal reviewers for governmental agencies and foundations to increase grant seeking skills.

Objective 6.2: The department will seek partnerships with stakeholders to support excellence in teaching, research, and outreach.

  • Faculty will support initiatives for external funding to increase resources and improve teaching, research and outreach programs in agricultural education, communications and leadership in Oklahoma.
  • Faculty will partner with the State Department of Career-Tech to enhance the professional preparation of secondary agricultural educators.
  • The department head will use external stakeholders to identify instructional, research and outreach needs in agricultural education, communications, and leadership.

Objective 6.3: The department will support faculty engagement in professional organizations for the purpose of leveraging financial and human resources.

  • Faculty will network within professional organizations to improve linkages with industry.
  • Faculty will serve in leadership roles to improve professional organizations and enhance national prominence of the department.
  • Faculty will collaborate with colleagues through professional organizations to enhance human capacity, networking and grant seeking opportunities.

Goal 7. Image/Pride/Recognition - Communicate an image that accurately reflects achievement and pride in our organization and rewards excellence.

Critical Success Factors:

  • At least six "Good News" items will be submitted to the Dean and Regents annually.
  • The ACTualities and the Ag Educator Newsletters will each be produced biannually.
  • The Cowboy Journal (magazine) will be published biannually.
  • The department will seek to provide a minimum of 5 scholarships to agricultural communications students and six scholarships to agricultural education students annually.


Objective 7.1: The department will project its pride and communicate its achievements to alumni, students and other stakeholders.

  • The department head will support a coordinator for recruitment and outreach activities, including web site managers, media representative, and organizer of awards for students, staff, and faculty.
  • The coordinator for recruitment and outreach activities will develop a communications plan for reaching potential students and to increase visibility of its programs and achievements.
  • The department head will invite students to participate in departmental recruitment activities.
  • Faculty will promote the undergraduate program at relevant events to attract outstanding students.
  • Community college campus visits will be coordinated with the college and university to maximize impact.
  • Faculty will promote the graduate program at relevant conferences to attract outstanding faculty and students.
  • Faculty will participate in relevant youth activities to promote the programs of the department.

Objective 7.2: The department will promote and recognizeexcellence in its students, staff, and faculty.

  • Faculty will attend professional meetings and present high quality research.
  • The department will present achievement awards to students, staff, and faculty at its annual awards ceremony.
  • The department will recognize student, staff and faculty accomplishments in the Actualities and Ag Educator newsletters and other relevant media outlets.
  • The department head will select a scholarship committee annually to assist students with scholarship and award opportunities.
  • The department awards committee will assist students, staff and faculty to recognize outstanding members of the department.

Objective 7.3: Students, staff and faculty who provide service and leadership within professional outlets will be acknowledged by the department through awards, media announcements, and merit pay.

  • The department head will encourage and provide opportunities for professional development.
  • The department will encourage involvement and leadership in professional associations and community volunteerism.
  • The department head will support a merit pay system to reward outstanding staff and faculty.