The Leitzel Center Strategic Plan is structured around a core set of themes that reflect responsibilities related to the Center’s mission and stakeholder needs. The goals and action steps related to these themes provide a framework for planning and implementing Center programs and activities. The themes that guide this document are Inquiry, Engagement and Outreach, Creativity, and Sustainability.
Goals and activities within the theme of inquiry are related to conducting research, asking question about practices, employing valid assessments, and reflecting on outcomes for student learning, professional development, curriculum implementation, and outreach activities. Center activities and programs will be grounded in current research and theory about teaching, learning, and institutional change. In addition, the Center will seek to promote research about the teaching and learning of mathematics, science, and engineering, and about educational change. it will be a resource and learning site for individuals interested in these areas but lacking experience and expertise.
Engagement and Outreach
The Center is committed to developing reciprocal and sustainable partnerships among a variety of internal and external constituencies. Goals and activities within this theme will promote collaboration, generate knowledge, and enhance communication among the UNH extension, education, and research communities; pre-college educators and administrators; education policy-makers; students; and business leaders. Calls for assistance in the education area continue to come from various entities both external and internal to the University. Currently, faculty members with expertise and interest assist and respond as best they can, frequently without any University support, recognition or coordination. Increasingly, many individuals within the University are interested in working on issues in mathematics and science education but they may lack the appropriate experiences and expertise. The Center will provide a coherent organizational structure that promotes integration, communication, and strategic planning within the University and with external communities in the area of mathematics, science, and engineering education.
The Center will be pro-active in fostering cross-disciplinary activities among University faculty and other stakeholders to cultivate relationships, explore creative ideas, and position the Center to respond to local and national opportunities. In its selection of projects and programs, the Center will promote interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning at all levels and in a variety of settings. Activities will foster a broad view, not a disciplinary-specific approach to learning. Goals and action steps within this theme are based on the assumption that by teaming and sharing expertise we can change the educational culture and improve the teaching and learning of mathematics, science, and engineering.
The success of the Center will most likely be judged by its ability to build, support, and sustain a coherent set of programs and activities over time. Sustainability will require the development of a broad-based capacity for fund-raising and grantsmanship, a creative marketing and communication plan, and a plan for assessing the Center’s effectiveness. Critical to all of these is a strategy for attracting, mentoring, and rewarding faculty and staff who share this vision of integrated research, education, and outreach and who have the capacity to contribute to the science, mathematics, and engineering community at the University and to a national agenda. The same strategy would be employed to recruit, include and acknowledge external stakeholders who share that vision and capacity.