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The College of Letters and Science

A Roadmap

 
The College-at-the-Core
At the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the College of Letters and Science is focused on the public good, promoting leadership and service grounded in a foundation of flexible and robust education.

As home for UW-Stevens Point’s humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and computing/mathematics disciplines, our mission is to serve the region, the state, the country and the world through education, scholarship, service and leadership training.
 
While we work to instill in each student a love of learning that lasts a lifetime, we hone future leaders to learn and practice critical thinking, reasoning, and conduct civil discourse in a respectful manner, emphasizing an ethical approach to problem solving and personal integrity.
 
The College of Letters and Science is dedicated to making our region a better place to live and engage our communities by involving them as stakeholders in the common good.
 
Directions
We will be leaders in quality mathematics and science education for future generations:   Interest in learning starts at a young age, with research suggesting an enormous impact can be made during the elementary and middle school years.  By working with our educational partners at those levels, we can assist in finally resolving the national conundrum of “math-phobia,” dramatically expanding the possibilities for our students as they move into educational paths requiring them to be more quantitatively adept.  Expanding our influence and message beyond the walls of our campus will be critical in creating an “excitement to learn” in generations of future students.
 
We will be partners in health care: We know that many parts of Central and Northern Wisconsin are in need of quality health care.  We are positioned perfectly to help solve this problem with some of the best human biology, molecular biology and biochemistry programs in the Midwest.  Our nationally accredited social work and mental health care training programs are renowned and we will create new partnerships in an effort to draw students from rural and other underserved areas in the region to return home after graduation, where they can bring their knowledge and leadership to their home communities.
 
We will create better citizens and caretakers of government:  Behavior in the public commons has reached a critical point, and in some cases, is no longer civil at all.  We will have a role in shaping the way these conversations happen.  Civil discourse and its associated virtues of intellectual humility and courage will set the tone for how we model civil behavior. Already well known for environmental and medical ethics training, we will influence future leaders in applied ethics in mental health care, social work and business, and prepare students to be mindful of their role in creating an ethical society.
 
We will be stimulators of local and regional economies: UW-Stevens Point has always played an integral part in our regional economy as one of Portage County’s largest employers and as an engine of education.  Seventy-five percent of the top 25 jobs for 2014 were in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields, suggesting we are already ahead of the curve. We know industries change and economies shift, and to remain a regional hub for future employees, we will need to increase collaborations with our public school, technical college and employer partners.
 
Waypoints
The New Science Building:  A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in human biology, molecular biology, chemistry, genetics and botany.  As current UW System leaders, we can build on an already existing strength.  This building will positively affect our students, faculty, academic programs, and our prestige in the sciences making UW-Stevens Point a center for professional and practical science training and careers.
 
Media Expertise and Computing Sciences:  New collaborations with MSTC, NTC, SPASH, Skyward, Sentry and other educational and information management institutions and companies for training and placement of informatics professionals in all sectors of our economy.  Our new Health Information Management Technology (HIMT) degree will make UW-Stevens Point the place of choice for computing information systems and health care informatics training.
 
Geographic Information Systems (GIS):  COLS has the potential and opportunity to be the biggest and best spatial information center in the state and to collaborate with municipalities, companies and other educational institutions in the exploding spatial management technology arena.
 
Nanotechnology:  We are currently conducting cutting edge research with potential for contributing to manufacturing and innovative technologies for the region.  Nanotechnology education and research will help us reach this goal, and allow the university to partner with our local schools and youth organizations as we introduce potential UW-Stevens Point undergraduates to the “nano-world.”
 
Aquaculture and Aquaponics:  With the Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility (NADF) in Bayfield leading the nation in aquaculture research and production analysis, we continue our initiatives in sustainable agriculture by partnering with a local aquaponics technology firm in creating the country’s first Aquaponics Innovation Center. 
Nationally Accredited Social Work and Mental Health Care Training:  Through its Department of Sociology and Social Work and the Department of Psychology, the college is poised to develop training modules for care of the social and mental health care needs of the community and the region.  We have the resources, experts and curriculum to make a significant difference in assisting us to take civic responsibility for each other. 
 
The Civil Discourse Initiative:  We will have a role in shaping the way conversation happens, literally.  The first of its kind at a university, this initiative has promise for the institution, state and nation in redefining what skills the next generation of Pointers will bring to their communities.  Civil discourse and its associated virtues of intellectual humility and courage will set the tone for how we model civil behavior.
 
An Institute for Applied Ethics:  Already known for applied ethics training, COLS and UW-Stevens Point are well positioned to influence future leaders in medicine, natural resources, environmental science and business, with cross-department and cross-college cooperation making awareness of and confrontation with ethical dilemmas a reasonable measure of student success.
 
The Healthy Communities Initiative:  Partnerships with our medical stakeholders allow UW-Stevens Point to be the “go to” place for professional and practical health care education, with a special emphasis in serving rural and first generation, Native American, Hmong and other underserved populations. 
   
Destinations
To promote an environment for learning, which challenges our students to explore themselves, their current views, the history of thought, the history of their disciplines, and ethical treatment of individuals with whom they may not share similar worldviews.
 
To remain the center of cutting edge science education, and most desired destination for students wishing to specialize in modern methods of scientific analysis, professional preparation for careers in medicine and health care, and promotion of UWSP as a center for science education in the central and northern portions of the state. A special effort is underway to promote student success in the physical sciences and engineering aiming at underrepresented student demographics in this effort.
 
To attract a diverse body of students who represent a variety of backgrounds including first-generation, Native American, Hmong, urban and rural economically disadvantaged, returning veterans and nontraditional students.  The overarching goal is to encourage them to return to their communities and to make a service commitment in their areas of specialty.
 
Give all students the opportunity to experience education in a variety of formats allowing them flexibility in their choice of curricula, methods of communication and learning, with UW-Stevens Point being recognized as the institution of choice for those students who are time-, place- or life stage-bound and in need of a truly compassionate atmosphere to explore their potential. 
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