Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and a Sense of Belonging

Introduction

The Vision of Michigan Technological University states:
Michigan Tech is a globally recognized technological university that educates students, advances knowledge, and innovates to improve the quality of life and to promote mutual respect and equity for all people within the state, the nation, and the global community.

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging are thus established as among the most central commitments of MTU and as such, Enrollment Management (EM) and University Marketing and Communications (UMC) are ensuring alignment with DEIS strategic planning process. By the creation of the following strategic plan, we are outlining strategies, tactics and objectives that will act as foundational and specific objectives that will "future proof" Michigan Tech, and tightly align with the University vision for diversity, equity, inclusion and a sense of belonging at Michigan Tech.

Strategic Recruitment Goal for University Relations and Enrollment

To realize a target metric of 15% of the entire incoming student body to be underrepresented minority students by 2025. To reach this goal, by 2024 13.5% of our incoming student body needs to be made up of underrepresented minority students.

Enrollment Management

EM Strategic Initiative 1

Expand K-12 programming to reach a broader and more diverse audience.

Initiative Description

Programming through Educational Outreach is an integral part of University growth as its access to younger (K-12) students is historic, broad, and engaging through programs like Summer Youth. Diversifying programming and intentionally meeting students where they are will be a critical component to our success with underrepresented minority students, so we must expand accessible programming. Students who participate in experiences with Michigan Tech as a K-12 student have a much higher likelihood of ultimately enrolling at Michigan Tech, making this a critical strategy.

EM Strategic Initiative 1 Timeline for Objectives
  2021-22 2022-23 2023-24
Expand SYP to 2-4 programs per year. x x  
Launch off-site SYP: three locations by 2024. x x x
Develop three-year GEAR UP program model reaching up to 450 underserved students per year. x x x
Expand TTS to include 25 new videos. x x  

EM Strategic Initiative 2

Grow strategic awards and financial aid relationships to continue momentum on reduction of traditional cost and enrollment barriers for URM students for both recruitment and retention.

Initiative Description

Financial challenges are the most cited reason for not attending or not matriculating in higher education. Michigan Tech has opportunities to expand on previous efforts that make funds strategically available to students, and eliminate practices that are historically challenging for students and families for subset populations often containing URM students.

EM Strategic Initiative 2 Timeline for Objectives
  2021-22 2022-23 2023-24
Grow strategic scholarship pools to remove enrollment barriers and support completion rates of URM students. x x x
Cultivate relationship with corporate entities and College of Computing to produce new aid program for URM students. x    
Implement/grow the Working Families Scholarship program supporting low-income students. x x x
Strategically award CARES round 3 and support low-income students with additional emergency grants. x    

EM Strategic Initiative 3

Expand access to Michigan Tech for admissible and retainable prospective students through robust staffing and sustainable training.

Initiative Description

Admissions is often the first point of contact for prospective Michigan Tech students. As such, it's critical that the foundation is set for recruiting under-represented students, and that that foundation includes tactics and strategies that are sustainable and maintain the academic and moral integrity of Michigan Tech. These strategies will ensure a sound foundation and a well-trained, aware staff.

EM Strategic Initiative 3 Timeline for Objectives
  2021-22 2022-23 2023-24
Hire a RAM for Diversity and Access. x    
More training and open conversation around DEI with the RAMS—invite leaders with expertise in DEIS to speak at RAM Training week, invite DEI guest speakers to RAM weekly meetings once a semester. x x x
Creating sustainable diversity recruitment programming on campus.   x x
Add personal pronoun options in CRM where possible.   x x

University Marketing and Communications

UMC Strategic Initiative 1

Develop greater resources for UMC to collect and understand student impressions of the brand as it relates to URM recruitment and retention.

Initiative Description

Routine check-ins with current students at designated times of the year would allow for UMC to continually understand how our brand is perceived and engaged with by our current students.

A UMC advisory board would be a powerful tool for feedback for UMC on many marketing and communications issues. From evaluating existing campaigns, messaging, and visuals; to testing and refining new campaigns and materials, the creation of an advisory board, and the evaluation tools UMC will employ will make everyone in UMC more informed and connected to our students.

By utilizing any existing student groups, as well as forming our own advisory board, UMC will look to hear from students routinely on their thoughts around the marketing materials developed by the University. These efforts are especially important as the University continues to develop an overall marketing strategy focused on URM recruitment and retention—intended for students who are one of the University's key stakeholder groups.

Initiative Leader: Ian Repp
Sub-committee: Amanda Jackson, Stefanie Sidortsova

UMC Strategic Initiative 1 Timeline for Objectives
  2021-22 2022-23 2023-24

Discovery Phase

  • Identify key stakeholders
  • Audit existing procedures
  • Report
x x  

Development Phase

  • Resource development
  • Deployment
  • Test and evaluate
  • Refine
  • Redeploy
  x x

Assessment and Monitoring Phase

  • Test and evaluate
  • Refine
  • Redeploy
    x

UMC Strategic Initiative 2

Collect and amplify URM alumni stories.

Initiative Description

Develop and disseminate content that boosts the voices of our diverse alumni as shared through the lens of their professional lives within companies in key regional/national markets.

Told through individual stories in varying formats across unit and departmental platforms and further intensified through shares by the associated companies, the URM Alumni Success narrative will appeal to MTU's diverse constituents, including prospective and current URM students as well as alumni.

Initiative Leader: Cyndi Perkins
Sub-committee: Will Schuett

UMC Strategic Initiative 2 Timeline for Objectives
  2021-22 2022-23 2023-24

Discovery Phase

  • Identify resources
  • Audit existing procedures
  • Establish metrics
  • Report
  • Resource development
x x  

Development Phase

  • Resource development
  • Deployment
  • Test and evaluate
  • Refine
  • Redeploy
  x x

Assessment and Monitoring Phase

  • Test and evaluate
  • Refine
  • Redeploy
    x

UMC Strategic Initiative 3

Develop a communications plan for URM prospective student's families/guardians.

Initiative Description

Partner with Admissions to better engage families of accepted URM students throughout the recruitment cycle. In year one, the focus is on developing and sending communications that will have the greatest impact on yield (converting admitted students to enroll at the University). In subsequent years, we will explore ways to expand communications to families of URM students at the inquiry level to assist in application growth from URM students. Communications will be strategic and targeted, with the intention of providing additional information, fostering relationships, and connecting families with individuals and departments at Michigan Tech who can assist with college choice and selection.

Initiative Leader: Sarah Erickson
Sub-committee: Allison Carter, Carli Moyle, Beth Williams

UMC Strategic Initiative 3 Timeline for Objectives
  2021-22 2022-23 2023-24

Discovery Phase

  • Identify working group
  • Meet University stakeholders
  • Establish framework for engagement
  • Identify KPIs
  • Develop evaluation tools
x x  

Development Phase

  • Deployment
  • Test and evaluate
  • Refine
  • Redeploy
  x x

Assessment and Monitoring Phase

  • Test and evaluate
  • Refine
  • Redeploy
    x

UMC Strategic Initiative 4

Evaluate how our URM recruitment marketing compares to similar schools and our competitors.

Initiative Description

Audit the current state of URM recruitment marketing at MTU and at schools we consider competitors. The committee also plans to ensure all parties involved have the appropriate level of understanding of URE marketing through education.

Initiative Leader: Nicole Kelly
Sub-committee: TBD (could include RAMs: 2-3, 1 MI, 1 non MI, 1 URM)

UMC Strategic Initiative 4 Timeline for Objectives
  2021-22 2022-23 2023-24

Discovery Phase

  • Identify key stakeholders
  • Audit existing procedures
  • Report
x x  

Development Phase

  • Resource development
  • Deployment
  • Test and evaluate
  • Refine
  • Redeploy
  x x

Assessment and Monitoring Phase

  • Test and evaluate
  • Refine
  • Redeploy
    x