FGCU Exceeds Goals Outlined in the 2017-2022 Strategic Plan

President Martin Announced the Achievements Made in the Past Five Years

Hayley Lemery, Assignment & Features Editor

Strategic plans are used as a guide for long-term and short-term goals that a university hopes to exceed during a duration of time. President Michael Martin announced the accomplishments that have been made due to the 2017-2022 strategic plan. 

The five pillars were student success, academic excellence, entrepreneurship, health sciences and community engagement and outreach.

“In 25 years, FGCU has come farther and faster in emerging as a major force in Florida higher education than other institutions in recent history,” read his letter in the executive summary. “The aspirations and expectations of the founders continue to be met.”

The student success pillar focused on retaining students and 4-year graduation rates, providing resources to connect students with professionals in their fields, providing affordable education to minimize debt, and providing opportunities for student and staff engagement to build a sense of community and atmosphere for success.

FGCU has since: created the Student Success and Enrollment Management division, expanded summer courses, created new programs to expand options, redesigned recruitment events, launched an intention admissions recruitment strategy to serve the diverse population as an emerging Hispanic Serving Institution, support students with financial barriers and increase degree completion, enhanced student programs to ensure academic success and workforce readiness and expanded opportunities for students with faculty and staff to enhance the learning experience. 

“Two major hurricanes and a global pandemic didn’t slow our progress in achieving the goals and objectives that were set five years ago,” President Martin said in an email on Feb. 3 to the FGCU community. “We hope this information provides both transparency and accountability, and we should all be proud of the results.”

The academic excellence pillar focused on furthering development in the Honors College, expand internship opportunities and double the number of co-op education and experiences, creating new and redefine programs that lead to high-wage and high-demand jobs, increase collective accountability on the Board of Governors performance metrics, increase sponsored research by 100% and focus on resources and structures to foster faculty research and scholarship and expand those opportunities to students.

Because of this, 137 programs were revised, 27 new programs were created, 62 undergraduate curriculums were revised, 22 graduate curriculums were revised, 40 minors were revised, 13 certificates were revised, 14 programs were added, 6 majors were added, 4 minors were added and 3 new certificates were added.

FGCU has also: transitioned the FGCU Honors Program to the Honors College and enrollment has grown over 49%, students have obtained prestigious scholarships, fellowships and nationally competitive awards, the internship leadership team was formed to increase co-ops campus wide and created new internship programs, created The Water School and the Daveler and Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship, continued curriculum updates and new program developments to meet the needs of an ever-changing workforce, created FGCU Complete, Return to the Nest and Credit for Prior Learning to increase access to academic programs for all students in any stage of education, campus-wide initiatives were developed for collective accountability, and  submitted grant applications for externally sponsored research and programs increased by 537%.

The entrepreneurship pillar focused on growing the Institute for Entrepreneurship, creating an entrepreneurial mindset throughout the FGCU community and focusing on FGCU becoming the catalyst of entrepreneurship within Southwest Florida and the state.

Since, the entrepreneurship program is number one in the state and number 15 in the United States according to The Princeton Review. 374 businesses have been created by students since 206, student enrollment grew 640% from fall 2017 to fall 2022 and $11.2 million of gross revenue has been generated by students since 2016.

FGCU has also: established the School of Entrepreneurship in July 2019, launched the M.S. Entrepreneurship Program in fall 2021, enrolled over 260 participants in the FGCU Runway Program in 2021-22, started 125 businesses through the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program since 2016 and generated $40 million in gross revenue collectively, expanded community programs to spread entrepreneurship through the state, create 80 mentor roles to serve students, have focused micro-credential and digital badge programs available for free to students and have 59 entrepreneurship faculty fellows from 22 departments incorporate skills into their curriculum.

“The point is clear: FGCU plays – and will continue to play – a central role in improving the lives of students and citizens alike. Doing so means listening and then moving boldly,” President Martin said in the executive summary.

The health sciences pillar focused on furthering clinical oriented disciplines within healthcare and establish the Marieb College to prepare students for the workforce with an exception of allopathic and osteopathic medicine, establish on and off campus faculty-led practice clinics in primary care, rehabilitation, fitness and behavioral care to generate revenue to support student and faculty success, develop advanced interprofessional graduate programs that are research based, develop other degrees external to the Marieb College to expand commitment to improving health and wellness and interprofessional education, and focus on promoting personal development, physical and mental health, wellness and safety for students and academic success.

FGCU has the top nursing program for National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses pass rate, the top BSW and MSW program in Florida based on students’ median net monthly income one year after graduating, 98% pass the National Physical Therapy Examination between 2019-2022 during their first attempt and 100% licensures pass rate in National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy since 2015.

FGCU has also: created new programs and enhance programs to expand healthcare programs, established partnerships with Home Base Southwest Florida to address the growing needs of veterans, developing a faculty-run physical therapy clinic for students to learn hands-on, opening the Community Counseling Center, launching the Shady Rest Institute on Positive Aging to support older generations in Florida and 250 students have been placed in parter sites for clinical and non-clinical preparation.

The community engagement and outreach pillar focused on increasing awareness to FGCU programs, people and impact, strengthening outreach and ties in the region, building partnerships with the five area school districts, local businesses, and organizations, and engaging and building loyalty among alumni and strengthening fundraising efforts.

FGCU has since: created community outreach campaigns to engage the community with FGCU, enhanced digital presence, expand WGCU public service and fact-based news coverage for Southwest Florida, created a media relations strategy positioning FGCU as a resource for the community, obtaining a cumulative service-learning total for 4.4 million hours, create strategic partnerships with regional employers and five-county K-12 school districts for specific workforce development initiatives, support FGCU Athletics through 28 regular season wins and conference tournament championships with 15 NCAA berths and five postseason victories since 2017, attracted 7,000 in-person attendees to Bower events, receive $1.5 million in grant funding for programs geared towards the workforce, expand Alumni Association Chapters to 21 cities, received $200,000 from 784 alumni donors in FY22 and reached a record fundraising amount of $33.6 million in 2022.

FGCU has begun the next strategic plan, which will be implemented when the fifth university president assumes their position.

An in-depth summary of the specific achievements made during the 2017-2022 academic years can be found on FGCU’s website.