At a recent strategic planning committee meeting the question was asked, “Have we identified what behavior and traits a graduate of Washington Adventist University should exhibit?”
In other words what is distinctive of a WAU graduate? This certainly was a timely and relevant question as the committee debated the president’s Vision 2020 presentation for the institution. It is essential that we not only identify the desired behaviors and traits of the WAU graduate, but also in the administration of our daily responsibilities model, teach, mentor, and coach these behaviors in order to fulfill the vision of producing graduates who demonstrate competence and moral leadership to their communities. It is exciting to note and report to parents and students that the faculty, staff and trustees are united about the identified desired outcomes of our graduates. We agree that the preparation of a WAU graduate begins with a supportive and a committed faculty, staff and trustees. Our commitment is that the WAU students upon graduation will demonstrate competencies in the following areas:
They will understand the basic spirituality that is the heart of the university’s mission statement of community ethos. They will be committed to a belief and value system that results in responsible moral choices and the care of the body, mind, and spirit.
They will be able to communicate effectively through reading, writing, speaking, and listening and bee proficient in the use of electronic modes of communication.
Analytical Skills and Information Literacy
They will be able to find, evaluate, absorb, and synthesize information and solve problems through interpretation, analysis, evaluation, inference, explanation, and self-awareness.
They will be aware of the characteristics and needs of a diverse community, l understand the value of contributing time and effort to achieve community goals, and accept responsibility for personal actions. Their behavior in the community will reflect the importance of creating and maintaining a safe, orderly, healthy, and attractive environment.
They will be able to participate either as a member or leader of a committee, task force, board, or other group project in generating and achieving its collective goals.
They will be able to recognize and understand the value of fine and performing arts, as well as the aesthetic heritage found in a variety of cultures.
They will be able to show competency in a major field of study and understand the relationship of their particular discipline to the general education core of their liberal arts training.
This is Washington Adventist University.
The Spirit is growing at Washington Adventist University!
We are now at a critical point in the development of a master plan to facilitate expanded enrollment, new undergraduate and graduate programs, increased technology, increased aid to an aging infrastructure and the modernization of the campus.
During the past year, we engaged consultants to work with trustees, students, faculty, staff, Washington Adventist Hospital, and the community to gather data in developing a long-term plan for the University – Vision 2020. I am happy to report that there was a high degree of excitement among the participants to create a master plan to support the WAU learning community far into the future. A major feature of the plan is that there is a consistent focus on what is best for students’ learning experience. It is a bold plan that provides an excellent foundation by addressing essential academic and environmental priorities. This plan builds on the work of previous administrations, along with input from the leadership of Washington Adventist Hospital and Adventist HealthCare, Inc.
The campus master plan is our facilities blue print for the future, and like any plan, priorities will be revised and new and better ideas will immerge. The plan can be found on the University web site www.wau.edu . It is an ambitious undertaking and provides for the direction needed to make sound financial decisions and articulate specific needs for future academic programs and buildings. Continue to keep the University in your prayers because we are committed to the task of engaging minds and transforming lives.
The stated vision for Washington Adventist University is to produce graduates who bring competence and moral leadership to their communities. An essential aspect of this vision is character building. In the book Education (p.225) by Ellen G. White, she states: “True education does not ignore the value of scientific knowledge or literary acquirements; but above information it values power; above power, goodness; above the intellectual acquirements, character. The world does not so much need men of great intellect as of noble character. It needs men in whom ability is controlled by steadfast principle.”
Further, “character building,” Sister White said is, “the most important work ever entrusted to human beings; and never before was its diligent study so important as now. Never was any previous generation called to meet issues so momentous; never before were young men and young women confronted by perils so great as confront them today.”
My friends, please continue to pray for the administration, faculty and staff that as we impart knowledge in business, science, arts and technical skills, that we will model the life and teachings of Jesus to our students and co-workers. Our task is not only to prepare our graduates for the world of work, but also for the new world, eternity.