Strategic Plan

CHESS Mission

The mission of the College of Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences (CHESS) is to prepare students for successful careers, ethical leadership, and engaged citizenship to address the challenges that confront Northwest Indiana and our society at large. Through a high-quality, innovative, and experiential curriculum, we challenge, inspire, and motivate students to be critical and creative thinkers, to develop strong analytical skills, to foster an openness to diverse ideas, and to be informed, responsible, and global citizens in a complex, diverse, and interconnected society.

CHESS Vision

CHESS commits to providing a high-impact, liberal arts education to empower our students to fulfill their potential.

As the largest college at PNW, we offer a vibrant student experience, an emphasis on experiential education, and strong and collaborative relationships among students, faculty, and staff. We proudly offer a small, supportive academic community on two campuses at the cost and convenience of a public, metropolitan university. Our degrees respond to the constantly evolving professional needs of our graduates. We enrich Northwest Indiana and the surrounding communities through collaborative partnerships by leveraging the college’s expertise to offer professional and educational opportunities for regional, national, and international engagements.

By helping students create lasting connections with each other and by fostering meaningful student, faculty, and staff interactions, our students will be transformative leaders in their communities. Our students will embrace the rich diversity around us and impact the world positively through personal, professional, and civic engagement.

CHESS Values

Expanding Access to Higher Education and Maintaining High Education Standards.

CHESS believes that all people deserve the right to expand their knowledge and learning through access to quality higher education.

Emphasizing Integrity, Empathy, and Ethical Behavior

Grounded in the liberal arts tradition, CHESS stresses the study of the human condition by fostering introspective growth on issues of personal integrity, empathy, respect, and ethical treatment of others.

Developing a Global Perspective

CHESS supports learning, scholarship, and creative activities related to global issues through meaningful cultural exchange, international opportunities, and the study of different cultural, political, linguistic, and socioeconomic aspects of our interconnected world.

Committing to Equity and Inclusion

CHESS supports an environment that promotes and enhances a culture of inclusivity, equitable treatment, equal access, and equal opportunity for all.

Advancing Diversity

CHESS recognizes that diversity cultivates academic excellence and that the diverse life experiences of our students, faculty, and staff enrich learning, collaboration, research, and outreach. We equip our graduates to thrive and work in a diverse society by promoting equity and justice.

Cultivating a Welcoming Environment

CHESS takes pride in nurturing strong, collegial, and collaborative relationships among students, faculty, and staff. We strive to ensure that all feel welcomed and valued.

Advocating for Social Justice

CHESS commits to raising awareness regarding the significance of human rights and wellbeing, through the active promotion of experiential learning and civic engagements.

Enriching Local Communities and Fostering Regional Partnerships

CHESS is an integral part of the society in which we live. We recognize that we impact the communities where we live, work, and learn, and that the communities impact us.

Our Strategic Plan Initiative for 2020-2025

The faculty of the College of Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences puts forth the following themes and goals to guide our development in the next five years. These themes embody the mission and vision of our College, and support the values we hold.

  1. CHESS will foster a welcoming and collaborative environment for students, faculty, and staff. Students enrolled in CHESS courses will feel a sense of belonging and community with the college, their peers, their advisors, and their instructor.
    1. This will be assessed with the CHESS Climate Survey
  2. CHESS will recruit diverse and regionally representative student cohorts and actively support cultural and socially just engagements, and by focusing and actively supporting students who come from groups within our communities that have been traditionally underrepresented in higher-education
    1. This will be measured by tracking the demographics of each admitted cohort.
    2. This will be measured by tracking the number of cultural and socially just engagements that are supported, endorsed, or announced by CHESS
  3. CHESS will commit to increasing available resources (financial, technological, intellectual, professional, and personal) for all students, work to reduce learning material costs for students, and investigate and implement new resources based on the needs of our students.
    1. This will be assessed by tracking the number and amount of scholarships awarded to students.
    2. This will be assessed by tracking the number of students served by CHESS Career Closet
  4. CHESS will support the necessary physical spaces designed for enhanced student interaction and engagement, student wellbeing and success.
    1. This will be measured with counter/tallies to measure the number of students using space.
    2. This will be assessed with the CHESS Climate Survey
    3. This will be assessed by counting the number of events taking place in student space.
  1. CHESS academic programs will provide high quality innovative education and professional development.
    1. This will be measured by a Communities of Interest Surveys/ Surveys of stakeholders.
    2. This will be measured by counting and logging the number of internships students participate in.
    3. This will be measured by tracking total PR or media representations.
    4. This will be measured by tracking the number of study abroad opportunities offered.
    5. This will be measured by tracking the number of student publications, presentations, and awards.
    6. This will be measured by tracking the number of faculty publications and presentations.
  2. CHESS will develop and maintain programs of study and courses tailored to address the needs of our student population and the region.
    1. This will be measured by tracking the number of new undergraduate and graduate programs.
    2. This will be measured by tracking the number of unique courses offered per semester.
    3. This will be measured by tracking the placement of CHESS graduates in the professional community.
    4. This will be measured through the career services survey.
  3. CHESS will actively promote academic programs and courses that challenge students to embrace diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice, and global perspectives.
    1. This will be deemed successful with the creation of a designation for courses that include instruction that deals with diversity and global perspectives.
    2. This will be measured through the monitoring of student enrollment and interest in diversity and global perspective courses, with a goal to increase by 25% over five years.
  4. CHESS will offer core courses to help students cultivate critical thinking, writing, and communication skills, to foster information literacy and creativity, and to promote equity, inclusion, and social justice.
    1. Measurement: TBD
  5. CHESS provides student-centered academic and professional advising grounded in the development of strong interpersonal mentoring, guided by close monitoring of academic metrics and motivated by student success.
    1. This will be measured with the Student Satisfaction Survey of Advising and CHESS retention data.
    2. This will be measured through monitoring and adhering to Advisee/advisor ratio (to industry standards)
    3. This will be measured by tracking the number of internships and job placements.
  1. CHESS will recruit and retain high quality, diverse faculty, staff, and administration.
    1. A mentorship program will be enacted to ensure that new (and other faculty as requested) receive guidance toward successful achievement of their goals.
    2. This will be measured by keeping track of searches, job offers, and roster of personnel in the college so that the diversity of faculty, staff, and administration reflects the regional demographics.
  2. CHESS will support, recognize, and help disseminate quality faculty scholarship, teaching, and engagement.
    1. This will be measured by keeping track of scholarly releases, professional development funds, grant proposals and funded awards, and publications/ conference presentations by faculty.
    2. The college will publicize faculty success, i.e., scholarship, presentation, community engagement, etc, and keep track of these announcements and releases.
  3. CHESS will support professional development opportunities for faculty and staff.
    1. This will be measured through the creation of an annual log of professional development activities.
  1. CHESS will develop professional and educational opportunities that serve Northwest Indiana.
    1. This will be measured through the documentation of the number and outcomes of professional and educational services provided.
  2. CHESS will develop educational collaborations with regional partners in Northwest Indiana.
    1. This will be measured through the documentation of the number and outcomes of regional partnerships.
  3. CHESS faculty and staff will pursue internal and external funding opportunities to enhance the educational experience for students, the scholarly mission of the college, and the college’s role in expanding the intellectual enrichment of northwest Indiana.
    1. This will be measured by maintaining a list of internal and external grants and contracts obtained by CHESS faculty and staff
  4. CHESS will develop opportunities for national and global engagements by offering opportunities for students and faculty to engage and interact meaningfully with the rest of the world.
    1. This will be measured by tracking the number of visiting scholars and guest- speakers.
    2. This will be measured by tracking the number of international students.
    3. This will be measured by tracking the number of Study Abroad-type programs.
    4. This will be measured by tracking the number of international presentations and publications by faculty.

*Specific thresholds will be determined for measurement.

*Approved by the CHESS Faculty Council on December 4, 2020.