Institutionalizing Transformative Learning: The Trees, then the Forest, then the Realization
Finding a sense of authentic self as an institution, a true sense of mission, and the means to live that mission were the central focus of a strategic planning process addressed by the University of Central Oklahoma about fifteen years ago. As the institution grew within a metropolitan-serving mission, the goal to transform students from adolescents to adults and find new potential in their lives led to an exciting journey that is still vibrant and relevant today.
The theoretical base provided within transformative learning has helped students, staff, and faculty align efforts.
This case study provides replicable processes and specifics that may help others find a clearer path for fulfilling their mission. The study describes how the University of Central Oklahoma’s (UCO’s) transformative learning focus coalesced and became the point of distinction for a UCO education, helping to ensure that all activity supported our mission—helping students learn.
The compelling, lived sense of mission developed from the initial strategic planning process has helped to strengthen the learner-centered culture of the campus while providing a structure that facilitates implementation and assessment.
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