COS Mission/Vision/Philosophy/Goals

The College’s Mission

The Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Science is made up of academic programs in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering and technology, geography, geology, information systems, mathematics, and interdisciplinary studies. These programs are housed in the departments of Biology,  Mathematics,  Physical Science and the School of Computing and Technology. We operate or participate in the operation of several special learning environments for students that include a Keck Foundation sponsored undergraduate research lab, an astronomical observatory, a GIS lab, a certified water lab, a scanning electron microscopy lab, the Garth & Jerri Frehner Natural History Museum, the Cedar Mountain Science Center, the Valley Farm, a Computer Forensic Lab, a Networking and Security Lab, the James E. Bowns Herbarium and the Mountain Ranch. We serve as the center of learning for the undergraduate STEM programs offered at SUU. We also serve as the resource center of scientific knowledge and expertise for southern Utah. The purpose of the Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Science and Engineering is to provide comprehensive classroom and experiential learning that emphasizes critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making, and communication in STEM. The faculty is committed to providing high-quality education, individual guidance and assistance to students, and helping them grow intellectually, professionally and personally while pursuing their academic goals.

The College’s Vision

The Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Science and Engineering will be nationally recognized as a premier institution of learning known for enabling its students to honor thought and accomplishment in all of its finest forms, achieve excellence in their chosen field, and create positive change in the world. Our graduates will demonstrate high levels of academic achievement through admission to graduate and professional schools and/or gainful employment. Our faculty will model engaged pedagogy and scholarly activities, thereby increasing the value of our students’ degrees.

The College’s Philosophy

The values and beliefs that guide the Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Science and Engineering in all activities and serve as our basic foundation are:

  1. Undergraduate education is our highest priority.
  2. Well-planned and executed, pedagogically sound classroom, laboratory, and outdoor educational activities are expected.
  3. Life-long learning will be modeled by our faculty by being professionally active and productive scholars in their fields.

The College’s Goals and Objectives

The observable, measurable goals of the Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Science and Engineering and our objectives by which we will accomplish them are:

  1. GOAL: prepare students for graduate schools and professional schools.
    OBJECTIVE: offer coursework and active learning experiences appropriate to the prerequisites of specified 
    post-baccalaureate programs.
    ASSESSMENT: tabulate student reportage on application/acceptance to post-baccalaureate programs. 
  2. GOAL: prepare students for careers using their baccalaureate degree.
    OBJECTIVE: offer coursework appropriate for employment related to departmental majors or minors.
    ASSESSMENT: require standardized, nationally-normed tests where available and regularly evaluate curricula to assure currency and appropriateness.
  3. GOAL: develop skills in analysis, critical thinking, problem solving, decision making and communication.
    OBJECTIVE: offer well-planned and pedagogically sound learning experiences.
    ASSESSMENT: annually examine and evaluate course syllabi, course materials, and student research experiences. 
  4. GOAL: provide hands-on experiences with state-of- the art scientific instruments and equipment 
    OBJECTIVE:  provide coursework and research opportunities that include opportunities to use equipment.
    ASSESSMENT: inventory current and continuously update need for future equipment. 
  5. GOAL: provide highly skilled professors that are also respected scholars.
    OBJECTIVE: recruiting Ph.D.- prepared faculty, reward good teaching, encourage faculty to conduct funded 
    research and publish results, and encourage participation in professional organizations.
    ASSESSMENT: annually evaluate faculty performances, teaching, scholarship, services, and collegiality using 
    criteria and performance standards developed by departments and the college. 
  6. GOAL: provide special, unique learning opportunities.
    OBJECTIVE: utilize the Valley Farm, Mountain Ranch, Cedar Mountain Science Center, SUU Observatory, Voyager Mobile Science Lab, Water Lab, Scanning Electron Microscopy Lab, the Southern Utah Natural History Museum, the GIS lab, the KECK Molecular genetics and ecology labs, and community partnerships.
    ASSESSMENT:  annually evaluate the use of our specialized learning environments.
  7. GOAL: maximize the utilization of our unique community and geographic resources.
    OBJECTIVE: foster and strengthen community and agency relationships.
    ASSESSMENT: annually evaluate community and agency interaction.