Strategic Plan - Goal 2

Strategic Goal: Cultivate and strengthen the educational, economic, and cultural well being of our region.

Success Indicators:

  1. Survey responses from regional stakeholders will indicate positive trends in perceptions of the institutions' impact on the well-being of our region.

  Timeline, Reports, Team Members.               Click for Task Force Findings.              


Action Step One: Improve accessibility and increase communication.

  1. Improve handicapped accessibility to all facilities.
  2. Increase community participation on the main campus and at the Center for Workforce Education, the Caperton Center, and the National Aerospace Education Center, Lewis County Center, Braxton County Center, and other centers.
  3. Increase community awareness of Fairmont State opportunities.
  4. Increase student awareness of off-campus activities.
  5. Announce awards, honors, etc., through a variety of media to increase community awareness of achievement.
  6. Expand special events into all centers throughout the year (link up with Student Life).
  7. Improve parking access for the public.
  8. Place lighted maps/directions/informational kiosks on the main campus and at all sites.
  9. Improve directions to all institutional facilities by the use of detailed signage to include names of buildings and lists of functions in key buildings, and the use of directional and informational signs to improve access.
  10. Reorganize Fairmont State’s web pages to improve access and information sharing for various identifiable user groups.

Action Step 1 Assessment: Quantify real and perceived barriers that exist; semi-annually determine the number/percentages of barriers eliminated. Use marketing research to ascertain community opinion relating to communications and institutional impact.


Action Step Two:  Foster quality community partnerships.

Example current partnerships for clarification:  Articulation agreements (EDGE, Tech Prep), WV State Police Training Academy, Department of Highways, Benedum Schools, Radiologic Tech, hospital partnerships, etc.

  1. Establish benchmark for current partnerships and determine effectiveness of partnerships by requesting input from the community partners.
  2. Create advisory groups made up of diverse community leadership (representing business and industry, public education (K-12), community development, and human services) to provide more effective mechanisms for community input and assessment of partnership efforts.
  3. Continue to expand Fairmont State’s philanthropic gifts, grants, and contracts.
  4. Utilize community partners as research venues for enhancing the skills of faculty and facilitating the education of students.
  5. Explore new ways through which Fairmont State can effectively share our expertise with public school teachers and administrators in addressing the needs of public education by establishing formal institutional alliances for interaction.

Action Step 2 Assessment:  Analyze annual reports from each advisory group to determine the impact of the partnership (formal and informal agreement, internship, service learning project, or outreach with business, industry, schools, and community organizations) as well as identify problems, successes, and outstanding issues.  Relative to year-one baseline data, gifts, grants, and contracts will increase.


Action Step Three: Support economic growth.

  1. Establish a “faculty loan-to-business” program.
  2. Develop guidelines/goals for advisory group input and maintain or establish diverse, representative advisory groups for all academic areas of the institutions.
  3. Create a fully staffed Office of Institutional Research that has annual environmental scanning as a part of its mission.
  4. Ensure that institutional representatives are involved with economic and business-related agencies, organizations, and trade associations throughout the region.
  5. Facilitate internal and external communications processes that ensure that the information gathered from the above activities is shared across the institution and with the greater community.
  6. Create the image of Fairmont State as an active corporate citizen of the community.
  7. Seek input on the roles that Fairmont State can play as a corporate citizen in the community.

Action Step 3 Assessment: Annually seek input from area employers and industry leaders that hire Fairmont State students.


Action Step Four: Expand community outreach activities.

  1. Increase student involvement with diverse community organizations through internships, service learning projects, and outreach opportunities.
  2. Address faculty involvement by including engagement with the community in the service component of the annual faculty merit evaluation.
  3. Emphasize institutional responsibility for establishment of avenues of outreach for faculty and staff [a parallel with many institutions’ Speakers’ Bureaus].
  4. Create a series of programs that will facilitate a better understanding of community issues and needs among new and existing faculty with the goal of increasing outreach initiatives.

Action Step 4 Assessment: Seek input from service agencies detailing how Fairmont State’s assistance has aided in sustaining or improving the services that the agencies seek to provide.


Action Step Five: Enhance and capitalize upon the intellectual and cultural environment of the region.

  1. Emphasize the cultural offerings on campus for the community.
  2. Build awareness of the economic impact cultural activities have on the community.
  3. Expand the cultural offerings that are delivered throughout the greater community.
  4. Incorporate the Community Music Program into the Fairmont State Conservatory for the Arts, which will also include instruction in theatre and art.
  5. Establish print and electronic media to publicize campus events and accomplishments and to distribute this information to an audience beyond the campus.  Examples:
    •  Expanded version/distribution of the current Fine Arts Tatler, Maroon & White, the Fairmont State Foundation’s Annual Report.
    • The Columns could increase its coverage of the campus and then be included as a supplement (with advertising perhaps) to local newspapers.

Action Step 5: Assessment: Ascertain the enhanced socioeconomic demographics of those who are participants or spectators in events both on and off-campus, and determine whether it correlates with the community demographics. Survey community citizens and Fairmont State students, staff, and faculty in order to determine change in responses, attitudes, perceived problems as Fairmont State becomes more involved within the region that it serves.