The present North Central Association accreditation self study is the most significant organizational self evaluation in the history of Missouri University of Science and Technology This study has made it abundantly evident that the university is a strong academic institution. The critical occurrences of recent university top leadership changes, an institutional name change, and organizational restructuring during the self study process indeed are unusual simultaneous occurrences in the life of Missouri S&T. These events have measurably influenced the university’s external and internal perspectives related to its operation and the self study has permitted a quantitative reflection of the “before-during-and-after” impact of these events relative to the institution’s overall quality.
The university’s self assessment of “what we do best” and “what we have learned” and the identification of “opportunities for improvement” provides significant clarity to the institution’s “strengths” and “challenges” in its description as a forward-looking organization.
Since its last NCA Accreditation Review, Missouri S&T has made signifcant progress in improving the quality of its operational processes. The 1999 evaluation team expressed concerns about the campus’s declining enrollment and the time it took students to graduate as well as the need for improved coordinated marketing, development, alumni affairs, and public relations. Equally challenging was the need for comprehensive strategic planning and a greater effort to enhance diversity on the campus. Declining interest among domestic students in engineering and science and substantial cuts in general operating funding from the state has complicated campus efforts to address the concerns raised by the Higher Learning Commission.
In the past decade, Missouri S&T has met most of those challenges with resounding success. Since 2000, the campus has increased undergraduate enrollment 33 percent while continuing to attract outstanding students. In the last decade, both the first-to-second year retention and six-year graduation rates have improved significantly from 83 percent to 87 percent and from 52 percent to 61 percent, respectively. These changes have been supported by the complimentary changes to the campus’ physical infrastructure and the quality and practice of dedicated faculty and staff. In 2003, the campus integrated its development, marketing, and alumni affairs into a University Advancement office, a decision that contributed to a robust “Advancing Excellence” capital campaign. Three years later, the campus embarked upon its most comprehensive strategic planning process, one that integrates departmental and unit plans, and includes an annual campus tactical plan.
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Missouri University of Science and Technology, "Missouri S&T 2008 Institutional Self Study Report" (2008). Self-Study for North Central Association accreditation. 3.