In addition to our vision, mission, and core values, SRU is committed to areas of emphasis that include student success, student satisfaction, academic program growth and others, as well as areas addressed by President’s Commissions that include sustainability, diversity and accessibility. The following are descriptions of each:
Student success. SRU has a long history of providing purposeful transition and student success services. Some of these services include orientation programs, early-interventions and out-reach, freshman seminar/learning community clusters, academic advising, the Exploratory Studies program, tutoring services, supplemental instruction, the Leadership Development program, support services, and peer mentoring for new students who are under-represented or academically at-risk. Although SRU's six-year graduation rate of 69% far exceeds the national average that regularly hovers around 50%, as well as Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education average of 61%, SRU is committed to increasing the graduation rate even more in the coming years.
Student satisfaction. SRU continually uses feedback from its students to help inform decision making. Ninety percent of first-year students at SRU who responded to the National Survey of Student Engagement rated their overall experience as either "excellent" or "good" and said they would choose to attend SRU if they had to choose an institution again. Among SRU seniors who responded to those questions, 86% were satisfied with their overall experience and 84% would choose SRU again.
Growth of academic programs. With more than 150 undergraduate and 40 graduate programs, SRU continues to evolve by creating new programs, online programming, off-site instruction, and international partnerships. Twenty-four academic programs (12 master’s, 9 bachelor’s, 3 doctoral) have been introduced since 2016. The University has implemented these new programs and opportunities as a way to serve the needs of its changing student population and regional employers. The most recently approved programs focus on health-related degrees, security and information intelligence, and engineering, but also include the Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Dance and Acting, the Doctor of Education in Special Education, the Master of Public Health, the Master of Accountancy and the Master of Social Work.
Transformation of students. The University continues to invest in cocurricular programs and High-Impact Practices, as identified by the Association of American College and Universities, by approving grants that cover expenses associated with programming and courses that use HIPs. SRU also enhances learning outside the classroom. For example, the University recognizes over 200 student organizations enabling students to explore a wide variety of opportunities for leadership development and exploring interests. Approximately 5,000 students are involved in at least one student organization.
Caring community. As part of SRU’s vision of exceling as a caring community of lifelong learners connecting with the world, the University cares for others both externally and internally. Faculty, staff and administrators share their knowledge and enthusiasm by serving on board of directors and committees for civic organizations. There are numerous examples of students supporting local charities and businesses, from fraternities and sororities gathering canned goods during Greek Week to service-learning classes that benefit community partners in a variety academic disciplines that include pro bona health and social services and tax preparation.
SRU is one of more than 240 institutions that has earned the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, a national standard used by institutions for self-assessment and quality improvement of their community engagement. Achieved in 2020, the classification process included the establishing of SRU’s Office for Community-Engaged Learning in 2016. The OCEL is a resource that connects students with community service programming and supports students and faculty with their service-learning programs and courses. The office also supports the University's ability to effect change and serve the common good through civic engagement and community-engaged scholarship, where academic knowledge is applied in collaboration with the expertise of community partners.
Also, in 2019, the University launched the nationally recognized Bonner Leader Program, where students receive a combination of an institutional scholarship and a paid student leadership position for leading a community-service partnership for the institution. Ultimately, the University believes that the true value of an education is most fully recognized when it is experienced and implemented beyond the walls of the institution.
Responsible use of resources. SRU is committed to responsible stewardship of its resources –– financial, facilities and technology. The governing and administrative bodies of the University approve and allocate the $143 million annual Education and General Budget. These resources are distributed under the direction of University leadership to support the appropriate operations in an efficient, effective and sustainable manner.
President’s Commissions. Among SRU commitments are eight areas and topics addressed by campus groups, or commissions, comprised of students, staff, faculty, administrators and community members who volunteer their time to advance the interests of the University’s diverse campus community by advising the president on issues and recommending policies. The commissions help shape policy and a unique campus life that support the University’s mission and to create an environment that is open, caring, nurturing, fair and respectful. The eight commissions are: 1.) for Disability Issues; 2.) for Racial and Ethnic Diversity; 3.) on Women; 4.) for Gender Identity & Expression and Sexual Orientation; 5.) on Wellness; 6.) on Sustainability; 7.) for Veterans and Military Affairs; and 8.) for Mental Health.