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Outreach to Alumni

These groups have been involved to date with the strategic planning initiative. They have responded to questions related to the UTC Vision and potential branding messages. In addition, they provided feedback on student success and community partnerships that is being used in developing the strategic objectives for UTC.

Interview Notes


Alumni Council

Student success:

  • Caring and nurturing in situations
  • Campus involvement in organizations
  • Engagement – knowing, understanding, supporting
  • Completion – intrusive advising
  • Connecting post graduation
  • Service learning, i.e., nurses & Erlanger
  • Interaction outside of the classroom
  • Job placement
  • Students with evaluators
  • Student/ teacher ratios
  • Understanding students
  • Student-to-student mentoring
  • Role models
  • Telling the UTC story 

Community connections:

  • Leadership – lead the community conversations in areas that matter
  • Resource for the community – find solutions, research, academics
  • Applied research to the metro area
  • Service
  • Non-profits
  • Promote businesses and they will support us
  • Economic development – we are feeder for our major employers and the products they produce
  • Economic impact
  • Diversify the curriculum with competitive online
  • NOT really friendly
  • Identity – blue & gold
  • Challenge from For Profits – undergraduate and graduate
  • 4 year experience/ 2 year experience

Hamilton County Alumni

A group session for Hamilton County’s UTC alumni was held on Tuesday, October 7th. The objective of the meeting was to collect ideas for activities supporting the four goals proposed by the Steering Committee and to propose the top values of UTC.  The notes below detail the group’s discussion:

Goal 1: Transform lives through exceptional and meaningful learning experiences.

  • Create more internships for students.
  • Require at least one job-shadowing experience for every student, in their discipline.
  • Encourage career exploration by second semester of sophomore year- this may help increase retention.
  • Create community and out of classroom connections (examples: living/learning communities, external classroom outreach learning communities).  These experiences should be provided to all students with at least 50% of all freshman participating.
  • Encourage faculty-student mentoring.
  • Increase graduation rate to 70% by five year end.
  • Encourage “shadow days” in real world environments prior to final commitment to a major.
  • Expand Wi-Fi coverage to all of campus (internal and external) by fall of 2017.
  • Increase targeted messaging to alumni by 25% to engage more alumni.
  • Increase corporate connections for each senior student before their final semester.
  • Require each student to complete three online classes.
  • Require each student to complete one internship that is major-related.
  • Create by 2019, in each academic college, an alumni mentorship program.
  • Create pathways for jobs through internships and partnerships with local businesses.
  • Create more independent studies guided by instructors and initiated by business.
  • Create more short-term travel abroad experiences.

Goal 2: Inspire, nurture and empower scholarship, creativity, discovery, innovation and entrepreneurial initiatives.

  • Partner with local industry for hands-on experience/learning.
  • Offer courses with experiential learning opportunities included within the curriculum.  (20-30% of all courses.)
  • Create more cross-discipline learning opportunities.
  • Utilize classes and/or departments to create opportunities to partner with community organizations/businesses.
  • Expose students to the arts and culture the city has to offer, style courses specific to what the students want to learn more about. (graphic arts, music, art, etc.)
  • Invite guest speakers from various disciplines to come to classes.
  • Spark an esprit de corps of individual entrepreneurship, regardless of field.
  • Develop and emphasize a problem-based learning environment.
  • Utilize the alumni network to build partnerships throughout UTC.
  • Create an entrepreneurial alumni panel campus-wide by fall 2015.
  • Continue growth of focused experiential learning by 50% by fall 2018.
  • Create a quarterly seminar lead by faculty members on current topics open to community, students and alumni by fall 2015.
  • Require senior seminar in all disciplines to incorporate life skills (mortgage, student loans, resume, interview skills, etc.) by fall 2017.
  • Create public partnerships with local entrepreneurial companies such as Lamp Post and Co.Lab to offer additional learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom by 2016. (Example: Company visits in place of class time.)
  • Improve communication about national and international student exchange programs and their affordability and scholastics benefits within the next 3-5 years through information sessions.
  • Offer continuing education credit for all majors for local work.
  • Identify Initiatives and projects that have yet to be developed to empower students to problem solve and develop projects.  (Examples: Engel stadium, parking, veteran affairs)

Goal 3: Ensure financial stewardship through strategic alignment and investments.

  • Make scholarship availability/criteria more accessible (database more uniform and easier to find).
  • Utilize Naviance database for college and scholarship matching.
  • Commit financial support to highly qualified, reputable full-time faculty to retain them for mentor/advisor relationships.
  • Increase the transparency of alumni gifts and donations so alumni can see how the money is utilized.
  • Create incentives for students to graduate in four years (example: discounting 4th year tuition).
  • Increase marketing/branding of UTC’s mission and direction of our university.
  • Eliminate underperforming departments and majors
  • Examine pre-requirements.
  • Rework pathways to lead more clearly toward the timely completion of a degree.
  • Increase revenue from all event venues by increasing marketing, availability, and efficiency by fall 2017.
  • Create an easily-accessible database of scholarships available to students to include community and institutional scholarships by fall 2015.
  • Expand Tennessee promise to freshmen and sophomore students at four-year institutions by fall 2018.
  • Increase by 25% total dollars and in kind resources invested by local companies to the university within 3-5 years.
  • Have UTC representatives personally visit local companies to educate them on classes that may be beneficial for their employees’ professional development.
  • Offer a 50% off discount to alumni for auditing night classes or classes with low enrollment.
  • Increase number of professional advisors.
  • Work toward ensuring classes are available for upper classmen, in order to ensure they can graduate on time. 

Goal 4: Impact a diverse society through a global vision and engagement.

  • Create additional international study opportunities.
  • Allow tuition dollars to support study abroad.
  • Increase external funding for scholarships to study internationally.
  • Increase international student population by 10% in the next year.
  • Retain staff members in charge of internships, partnerships, etc.
  • Create an international affairs concentration as an add-on to any major.
  • Create study abroad internships (Example: starting business/industry in a foreign country).
  • Develop opportunities for globally diverse students to be a part of the UTC campus experience which could provide the international experience for US students without the expense of travel.
  • Hold Chattanooga community forums to consider issues of social, cultural and diversity issues.
  • Find ways to bring young students to campus to experience UTC.
  • Add an internal business and internal communication degree by fall 2017.
  • Expand offerings of foreign language courses and require 6 hours of foreign language courses by fall 2018.
  • Add the responsibility of civic engagement to the Student Development Office by fall 2015.
  • Encourage faculty and staff to engage in a minimum of 8 hours of community service by allowing employees to do this service during office hours without having to take annual leave.
  • Coordinate an international food festival open to the Chattanooga community that highlights cultures and practices.
  • Increase awareness of UT/UTC alumni educational enjoyment trips like cruises, tours, travel abroad, etc.
  • Increase frequency of exchanges abroad or alumni hosting exchange students by 25% within the next three years.
  • Create more opportunities for students to intern with local non-profits.
  • Increase community involvement.
  • Partner with the Chamber of Commerce and UTC Alumni Affairs to pull database of business leaders and entrepreneurs who are graduates of UTC.

Values:

  • Academic achievement/excellence
  • Student-focused relationships with caring/nurturing faculty (personalization)
  • Potential for strong pride/tradition among alumni
  • Community connections/partnerships
  • Appreciation of heritage
  • To be a continually relevant and innovative institution
  • Develop a culture of problem-based learning
  • State-wide reputation for educational excellence and value
  • Students first
  • Credibility and integrity
  • State-wide and national engagement
  • Engaged alumni
  • Community partnership
  • External learning experiences
  • Global adaptability
  • Passion
  • Engagement
  • Leadership
  • Pride in their university
  • Lifelong learners
  • Engaged in the community

Nashville Alumni

A group session with Nashville’s alumni was held on Thursday, November 13th. The objective of the meeting was to involve the alumni community in the strategic planning process, obtain feedback and determine how UTC can engage the alumni community more efficiently.  Results are below:

  • Alumni questioned the proposed vision statement (Engage students, Inspire change, Enrich community), asking how the vision statement differentiated UTC from other universities.  The group suggested that Enrich community should be changed to Enrich Chattanooga.
  • Alumni suggested that the mission statement should be changed from “UTC is a center of learning in the heart of Chattanooga where students and faculty explore and acquire the knowledge, engagement and experience that will guide graduates towards productive and meaningful lives” to “UTC is the center of learning in the heart of Chattanooga where students and faculty explore and acquire the knowledge, engagement and experience that will propel/project graduates towards productive and meaningful lives.”

Goal 1:

  • Regarding the goal-supporting activities, it was suggested that one activity under Goal 1 “Increase opportunities for student involvement in scholarly activity with faculty and staff” should be changed to “Increase opportunities for student involvement in scholarly activity with faculty and staff in offices at UTC” (because of the value of internal internships).
  • The group noted a concern about undergraduate online-only courses, that they could be a hindrance to learning and that interaction between students and professors is important. They felt that students might not be required to do as much for online courses and may not get as much out of them as face to face or hybrid courses. There was also a concern that online courses may take away the residential feel of UTC and the synergy of the campus. 
  • The group suggested that offering more graduate courses online (rather than undergraduate courses) may be more beneficial but wondered about competing with the Regents online degree.

Goal 2:

  • It was suggested that philanthropy/philanthropic should be added in goal 2.
  • It was noted under goal 2 that research is important for graduate school applications and students who want to go into higher education, and that UTC does not now have enough research opportunities for students.
  • The group noted that goal 1 and goal 2 seem very similar.
  • The group suggested a small business incubator to give faculty and students the opportunity to lead.

Goal 3:

  • The group suggested using dorm rooms and classrooms in the summer for revenue generation.
  • The group noted that alumni want UTC to be good stewards of its money and a more business-model approach would be appropriate. (Ex: low enrollment departments should have fewer faculty than larger departments.)
  • The group questioned what the TN Promise would do to enrollment and also questioned a move to a 15 hour credit cap for enrollment.

Goal 4:

  • The group suggested changing Goal 4 from “Embrace a commitment to diversity that prepares effective citizens to participate in a global economy” to “Commit to diversity that prepares effective citizens to participate in a global economy.” But also felt that the goal was not clear in general.
  • The groups questioned the measurability of activities to support this goal, namely the recruitment of a diverse community and also noted that diversity should include nontraditional students (Ex. Students with children) and faculty and staff.

The group indicated that there should be married housing on campus, more space dedicated to a multi-cultural center, increased programs for academically at risk students and more partnerships with Hamilton County schools (like Gear Up).


Atlanta Alumni

A group session for Atlanta’s UTC alumni was held on Tuesday, October 21st. The objective of the meeting was to collect ideas for activities supporting the four goals proposed by the Steering Committee and to propose the top values of UTC.  The notes below detail the group’s discussion:

Goal 1: Transform lives through exceptional and meaningful learning experiences.

  • Increase student participation in study abroad programs: 5% of all students should participate in a student exchange/study abroad program.
  • Increase the number of internships, co-ops, capstone experiences and trac programs available to students.
  • Increase meaningful connections between students by creating more campus programming.
  • Increase online learning opportunities for graduate students, but not for undergraduates.  Undergraduate students need the “college experience” and interaction with faculty, staff and other students.

Goal 2: Inspire, nurture, and empower scholarship, creativity, discovery, innovation and entrepreneurial activities.

  • Take advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities available in Chattanooga – encourage these opportunities for students.
  • Create “Hack Days” that students can participate in to solve internal issues through problem solving exercises.
  • Expand the elevator pitch idea from the College of Business.

Goal 3: Ensure financial stewardship through strategic alignment and investments.

  • Fund programs differently based on earning potential.

Goal 4: Impact a diverse society through a global vision and community engagement.

  • Require students to complete community service.
  • Encourage faculty, student, staff involvement in the community.
  • Increase diversity.

Values:

  1. Family
  2. Generosity
  3. Stepping Stone

Transformation

 


 

 

Knoxville Alumni

A group session for Knoxville’s UTC alumni was held on Tuesday, November 4th. The objective of the meeting was to collect ideas for activities supporting the five goals recommended by the Steering Committee and to propose the top values of UTC.  The notes below detail the group’s discussion:

Goal 1: Transform lives through exceptional and meaningful learning experiences.

  • Create more opportunities for international travel.
  • Create student-hosted conferences and have students do all of the planning, facilitation.
  • Create more partnerships with community and so students can have more real world experiences.
  • Bring the real world into the classroom (example- students managing money).
  • Control UTC’s size- don’t make UTC too large, personal relationships of students/professors are important.
  • Encourage civic engagement in introductory science courses (ex. Green Girls).  Science learning modules in the community.
  • Ensure students are prepared for the real world.
  • Improve career services.
  • Form a Speaker’s Bureau of alumnus who can speak to classes. (ex. General B.B. Bell).

Goal 2: Inspire, nurture and empower scholarship, creativity, discovery, innovation and entrepreneurial initiatives.

  • Encourage real world experiences.
  • Provide ways to solve problems.
  • Allow and encourage student creativity.

Goal 3: Ensure financial stewardship through strategic alignment and investments.

  • Invest public dollars wisely.
  • Meet the needs of today with academics- some programs that were applicable before may not be now.
  • Create programs that generate income and experience for students. (ex. Day care).
  • Encourage students to graduate on time.
  • Ensure class availability.
  • Streamline courses so students can work on undergraduate and graduate degrees at the same time.
  • Coordinate classes at UT campuses or coordinate online courses that would transfer easily. (Example: merge occupational and physical therapy introductory courses).
  • Retain students who are working on business/patents/etc.
  • Generate additional revenue through the use of university facilities that would otherwise be unoccupied (example: when dorms are empty in summer).
  • Take fewer students from TN, recruit more out of state students.

Goal 4: Impact a diverse society through a global vision and engagement.

  • International program: languages (conversational classes)
  • Bring international students and business people to campus.
  • Recruit students of all races/cultures.
  • Raise academic entrance levels, but make an effort to make UTC more financially accessible for all.
  • Recruit more out of state students for diversity.
  • Encourage minority faculty hires- faculty is not as diverse as it should be.

Goal 5: Share and communicate a consistent voice of achievement.

  • Engage alumni from different regions/use alumni who are prominent to speak, market, demonstrate quality of graduates.
  • Understand and market our message and our goals as a university.
  • Discover and market our brand.
  • Communicate the value of a UTC degree.

Values:

  • Size (small, relationships, class size)
  • Community
  • History/tradition
  • Pride
  • Unity

 

Nashville Alumni

A group session for Atlanta’s UTC alumni was held on Tuesday, October 21st. The objective of the meeting was to collect ideas for activities supporting the four goals proposed by the Steering Committee and to propose the top values of UTC.  The notes below detail the group’s discussion:

Goal 1: Transform lives through exceptional and meaningful learning experiences.

  • Increase student participation in study abroad programs: 5% of all students should participate in a student exchange/study abroad program.
  • Increase the number of internships, co-ops, capstone experiences and trac programs available to students.
  • Increase meaningful connections between students by creating more campus programming.
  • Increase online learning opportunities for graduate students, but not for undergraduates.  Undergraduate students need the “college experience” and interaction with faculty, staff and other students.

Goal 2: Inspire, nurture, and empower scholarship, creativity, discovery, innovation and entrepreneurial activities.

  • Take advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities available in Chattanooga – encourage these opportunities for students.
  • Create “Hack Days” that students can participate in to solve internal issues through problem solving exercises.
  • Expand the elevator pitch idea from the College of Business.

Goal 3: Ensure financial stewardship through strategic alignment and investments.

  • Fund programs differently based on earning potential.

Goal 4: Impact a diverse society through a global vision and community engagement.

  • Require students to complete community service.
  • Encourage faculty, student, staff involvement in the community.
  • Increase diversity.

Values:

  1. Family
  2. Generosity
  3. Stepping Stone

Transformation

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