School of Health Sciences Five-Year Strategic Plan

SHS Five-Year Plan

In spring 2020, Elon University launched Boldly Elon, the strategic plan that will guide the advancement of the university’s model of student- and learning-centered higher education over the next decade. Using Boldly Elon as a guide, faculty, staff, and students in School of Health Sciences collaborated on a five-year plan that will contribute to Elon’s vision of preparing ethical, resilient, and agile graduates who will shape the future.

The mission of Elon University’s School of Health Sciences is to develop dedicated and empathetic healthcare professionals through experiential and engaged learning, to be recognized for scholarly and clinical excellence, and to create a positive impact in our local and global communities. Based on the Boldly Elon themes of learn, thrive, connect, and rise, the School of Health Sciences Five-Year Plan will both advance and sharpen our efforts to impact the future of healthcare by creating:

Innovative educational programs

Engaged and distinctive healthcare education

An inclusive and supportive community for working and learning

Regional health partnerships

Life-long learning and professional development

These guiding concepts will serve as the catalyst for departmental and programmatic strategic plans, underpinning the annual priorities pursued by leadership, students, faculty, and staff in the School of Health Sciences both individually and through the collaborative work of committees, teams, and task forces from January 2021 through December 2025.

Innovative educational programs

We will launch nursing programs and advance graduate education, creating key partnerships with programs and institutions within and outside Elon University.

Building on our success in physical therapy education and physician assistant studies, the School of Health Sciences will strategically explore and implement programs that complement our current offerings while simultaneously focusing on the future of healthcare. We will explore diversification of our offerings to include undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, transfer, online, and international pathways towards health sciences degrees.

Areas of focus:

Create a Department of Nursing including accelerated, traditional, and transitional bachelor’s degree program offerings

Expand the footprint of the Francis Center to include over 100,000 square feet of state-of-the-art learning, research, and gathering spaces

Partner with the Elon University Love School of Business to design and implement a Master in Clinical Informatics Management Program

Explore programs to prepare health sciences faculty, including faculty residency, Doctor of Health Science, and/or Doctor of Medical Science program options

Expand partnerships with international institutions for clinical, research, and educational opportunities

Engaged and distinctive healthcare education

We will create distinctive educational opportunities to empower development of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that contribute to equity and excellence in healthcare.

Engaged and experiential learning are hallmarks of an Elon education, readily observed in the School of Health Sciences as students interact in skills and research labs, with clients and standardized patients, and with their silent teachers in the anatomy lab. We will continue to advance our efforts towards engaged learning, identifying distinctives, cultivating interprofessional opportunities, and pursuing accreditation as a means to enhance both education and reputation.

Areas of focus:

Create course content and co-curricular programs that prepare healthcare providers who are committed to advancing health equity

Design crucial conversations pedagogy to empower students as effective and empathetic communicators in healthcare settings

Foster and comprehensively assess interprofessional education as a key component of health sciences education for all students

Establish and pursue accreditation of an Interprofessional Simulation Center

Explore the creation of hubs for clinical education throughout the United States, with specific attention to distinctive Elon learning centers in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and New York

An inclusive and supportive community for working and learning

We will actualize our commitment to inclusive excellence and enhance our shared experience within the Francis Center.

The first decade of the School of Health Sciences has been a period of founding, transitions, and identity development. During the next five years, we will continue to diversify and significantly expand our student population and program offerings, requiring focused attention to the lived experience of faculty, staff, and students who work and learn in the Francis Center. Committed leadership and strategic partnerships with central campus will optimize our continued development in inclusive excellence.

Areas of focus:

Advance efforts towards inclusion, diversity, equity, and access

Prioritize wellness and well-being as foundational principles of healthy engagement

Mentor and support professional development and scholarship for faculty, staff, and students

Regional health partnerships

We will serve as a partner in regional health, responding to health professional shortages and the needs of the underserved through the provision of outstanding healthcare providers, targeted clinics, and community outreach.

Building on the significant success of the Health Outreach Program at Elon (H.O.P.E. Clinic) and our partnership with the Open-Door Clinic of Alamance County, the School of Health Sciences will further our efforts to advance health equity and access in our region. We will explore partnerships with community agencies who offer proximate care to those in greatest need, intentionally engaging in resource-limited locations and maximizing access. Programs within the Department of Nursing will be designed to expand the healthcare workforce in our region.

Areas of focus:

Expansion of community health outreach

Development of curricular and co-curricular service-learning opportunities

Creation of RN to BSN pathways for students from our local community

Life-long learning and professional development

We will strengthen our connection with alumni and community partners, offering innovative opportunities for education, development, and scholarly collaboration.

The School of Health Sciences has nurtured meaningful relationships with thousands of alumni, clinical educators, preceptors, and community partners within and outside North Carolina, establishing our reputation for excellence in health sciences education. Over the next five years, we will deepen our engagement with alumni through targeted communication and an enhanced social media presence. A portfolio of continuing education and professional development opportunities will provide life-long learning opportunities and sharpen our market position in health sciences education.

Areas of focus:

Advance traditional and virtual marketing efforts

Optimize school-level and programmatic social media strategies

Enhance alumni engagement and communication

Create opportunities for continuing education and professional development for alumni and community partners