An important part of Pratt’s mission is to educate artists and creative professionals to be responsible contributors to society. We can measure student success in terms of retention, persistence, and graduation rates, and we can focus on offering students support for their physical and mental health, overall wellbeing, and engaged activity across campus as contributors to those metrics. But if we really mean to prepare students to be responsible contributors to society, positive physical and mental health, overall wellbeing, and engaged activity across campus-need to be goals in and of themselves. Results from national surveys indicate that students attending independent colleges of art and design have significantly higher incidences of depression and anxiety and significantly lower flourishing scores than the general population of college students. Data on Pratt students support this trend, underscoring the need to address wellbeing among all of the factors contributing to retention, persistence, and graduation rates, and as integral to their overall success, not only at Pratt but also through their long and productive careers.
- Become a leader among our peers in undergraduate first-year retention rates and graduate and undergraduate (six-year) graduation rates. We will ensure that Pratt enrolls, retains, and graduates a highly qualified, diverse student body in three ways: by improving the quality of data on retention and graduation rates, examining multiple variables among various student cohorts and sharing the results with the community; by developing interventions for at-risk groups (including specific academic departments, Pell-eligible students, first-generation students, international students, and commuters); and by reducing the cost of a Pratt education, particularly for students with high financial need.
- Become a leader within the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design in the percentage of students who are flourishing and exhibiting well-being. We will identify well-being and flourishing as outcomes of a Pratt education, with a timeline for regular assessment, including among alumni. By encouraging and supporting student practices that promote well-being, and by adopting policies and practices that encourage healthier studio and classroom environments and that improve overall student well-being, we will raise Pratt’s positive scores on the Healthy Minds Survey and the American College Health Association Survey to levels closer to the national averages. We will provide improved support and services for students with mental health concerns, and implement well-being initiatives for faculty and staff, while also providing training in improved technology and support for pedagogical approaches that empower students to thrive at Pratt and beyond.
- Promote student personal growth and engagement both inside and outside of the studio and the classroom. We will establish personal growth and engagement as documented outcomes of a Pratt education, with a timeline and methods for regular assessment (including a co-curricular transcript). We will collaboratively develop and implement co-curricular, interdisciplinary programs, with an increase in experiential education and community service participation. By expanding the Student Government Departmental Council (which formalizes the relationship between students and the academic administration), we will bring students new opportunities for participation in the development of Pratt’s policies and structures.
- Strengthen efforts to support and promote student creative and academic accomplishments. By developing a more integrative and holistic academic advising model, we will support improved, more frequent communication with students about their progress, and we will provide new tools and opportunities that enable students to reflect upon and curate their own learning experiences. We will take steps to inform faculty and students more effectively about Pratt’s policies, programs, and services related to students and learning, while also providing faculty and staff with training in the use of technology programs that support students’ creative and academic accomplishments and of pedagogy that accommodates learning differences around intercultural and other factors.