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Quality Initiative

From the Higher Learning Commission: “The Open Pathway requires an institution to designate one major improvement effort it has undertaken during its 10-year accreditation cycle as its Quality Initiative. The Quality Initiative takes place between years 5 and 9 of the 10-year Open Pathway Cycle. A Quality Initiative project may be designed to begin and be completed during this time, or an institution may continue a project that is already in progress or achieve a key milestone in the work of a longer initiative. The Quality Initiative is intended to allow institutions to take risks, aim high and learn from only partial success or even failure.”

MSU 2022 Quality Initiative

The MSU 2022 Quality Initiative, “Closing the Gap” is a comprehensive plan to improve the quality of academic support, student achievement initiatives, and–ultimately–our undergraduate graduation rate by closing opportunity gaps for minoritized students. Closing the Gap has been developed in support of the university’s strategic plan, “MSU 2030: Empowering Excellence, Advancing Equity and Expanding Impact,” which puts people first and prioritizes the success of students, staff and faculty. Theme one, Student Success, includes many areas of impact around Closing the Gap, including curriculum, access and persistence, student experience, and commitment to DEI student success initiatives. 

Our work on Closing the Gap began in the planning stages of the 2030 Strategic Plan, but was wholly implemented with the plan in September 2021. Over the next two years, we hope to take steps toward accomplishing the plan, described below, and of course, the full plan has a goal date of 2030.

In Spring 2022, after the beginning phases of the Strategic Plan implementation process, the Student Success theme of the 2030 Strategic Plan has over 70 projects in various stages of review, planning, and implementation. In the next two years, we hope to accomplish several key components of the plan; what follows are five highlights of Closing the Gap. 

  1. Develop the One Stop Shop to improve the student experience and to remove barriers around information sharing and gathering. 
  2. Expand the SPAD program to include more of our very high need students, beyond the 2000 students who are enrolled. 
  3. Restructure and infuse resources into MSU’s advising community to ensure that MSU can provide the holistic and intrusive advising necessary for all students to learn, thrive, and graduate. 
  4. Focus on the First Generation Student Success Project. MSU’s recent designation as a First-gen Forward Institution allowed us the dedicated opportunity to work on a series of efforts to address the opportunity gaps for first-generation students.
  5. The Inclusive Campus Initiative (ICI) is designed to create a space wherein discussions of student social justice and advocacy issues involve students' voices firsthand. 

Another thoughtful feature of Closing the Gap is its connection to and inclusion of MSU’s 2016 Quality Initiative The Neighborhoods. That on-going work has continued to inspire our innovative efforts in student success initiatives on campus.

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