Strategic Plan and College-Wide Student Learning Outcomes



1. Increase retention and graduation rates.


A. Maintain a fall to spring retention rate of 95% or higher and fall to fall retention rate at 90% or higher
  • Increase number of Peer Student Success Team mentors from ten to twelve.
  • Implement a College Success Series co-facilitated by professional and student staff to support successful transition into college.
B. Graduate 180 students annually by 2024.
  • Hire ten Thesis Ambassadors who represent each academic college who will host workshops and visit honors classes to showcase the value of completing a thesis.
  • Increase annual research funding for students from $30,000 to $50,000 annually.

2. Recruit, admit, and retain a student population representative of WMU with respect to race and ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and academic interest.


A. Mirror the WMU population within 3 percentage points with respect to race/ethnicity, gender, Pell-Grant eligibility, and academic college by 2024.
  • Continue to fund and increase number of LHC program fee scholarships for select WMU programs and those with demonstrated financial need.
  • Offer a minimum of five courses each fall/spring semester on topics related to underrepresented populations.
  • Continue to support and invest in the LHC Intercultural Competence Committee student organization.

3. Strengthen the sense of community within the college by delivering engaging programming, connecting with alumni, and encouraging students to utilize the honors college building.


A. Increase average attendance at LHC-sponsored events by 20%.
  • Host at least eight events focused on professional/career development each academic year.
  • Provide remote access via livestreaming and archiving to live, in-person programming.
B. Increase meaningful touch points with alumni to at least six per year.
  • Host an LHC “Open House” for alumni during Homecoming Weekend each fall.
  • Continue to invite alumni to provide programming and teach honors courses.
C. Increase building traffic and facility use by 20%.
  • Track building use to include weekly event attendance, in-person student meetings, and enrollment for classes in LHC building.
  • Remodel kitchen and update equipment.
  • Redecorating lobby to better showcase the honors student experience.

4. Nourish honors student engagement with the local and global community.


A. Fill at least four Metropolitan Series programs per year to capacity.
  • Fully fund Metropolitan Series to eliminate student cost.
B. Have 90% of honors students be in good standing with respect to annual community service.
  • Transition submission and monitoring process for community service hours to ExperienceWMU.
  • Create a community service mini-grant program for students to serve in Kalamazoo.
C. Increase study abroad funding for students from $30,000 to $50,000 annually.
D. Increase the number the number of honors students enrolling in Study in the States to 50 per year.
  • Recruit, support, and approve faculty-led Study in the States proposals that allow students the opportunity to engage in site-based, experiential learning throughout the United States.
  • Provide regular opportunities for prior Study in the States participants to share how the program led to the creation of their honors thesis, internships, and job opportunities.

College-Wide Student Learning Outcomes

The Lee Honors College at Western Michigan University (WMU) was founded in 1962. The honors college now serves more than 1,900 undergraduate students and for the first time in college history will implement and begin to measure college-wide student learning outcomes during the 2018-19 academic year. The information below outlines proposed student learning outcomes as well as the plan to measure them to ensure continuous improvement of student success led by data-driven decisions.

Honors students will be able to:

The honors college will measure these outcomes by:

Learning Activities
The honors college will support honors students achieving these outcomes via:

Demonstrate a thorough understanding of a topic within their chosen discipline and address a meaningful idea, problem, or question in an innovative way, resulting in a tangible, shareable product.

  • Honors thesis (rubric items 1 and 2)

  • Post-graduation survey (one and three years out)

  • HNRS 4980 and 4990

  • Thesis workshops

  • Mentor pairing

  • Lyceum Lecture Series

  • Study in the States Program

Build a sustained commitment to civic engagement and serving others.

  • Volunteer log submission survey (How did this experience impact you?)

  • Post-graduation survey (one and three years out)

  • Mix It Up programming

  • Community service requirement

  • Study in the States program

  • Service-learning coursework

  • Lyceum Lecture Series

  • Metropolitan Series

  • Peer mentoring

Develop aptitudes to objectively analyze complex issues and propose inventive solutions or perspectives.

  • Honors thesis (rubric item 3)
  • HNRS coursework
  • Study in the States program
  • Mix It Up programming
  • Lyceum Lecture Series