Vision and Planning



The College of Applied Science and Technology at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith will be regarded as an innovative center for education based on the superior quality of its graduates.


Utilizing a dynamic, hands-on approach to instruction, the College of Applied Science and Technology creates educational opportunities for students that positively impact their potential for employment, as well as the economic development of the community, state, and region.

Strategic Plan


Strategic Goal 1:  Maximize student learning by providing an applications-oriented approach to instruction.

Objective 1:  Require project-based assignments in at least 50 percent of CAST classes.

1.1.             Action items

1.1.1.        Review and revise syllabi for all multi-section courses to ensure students across all sections are involved in comparable learning experiences.

1.1.2.       Require CAST project-based assignments to be at least 10 percent of course grade.

1.1.3.       Encourage university students to volunteer for CAST Initiatives, such as helping WATC students with BEST Robotics projects, SkillsUSA competitions, Traditions, and Campus Climate committees.

1.1.4.       Utilize advisory boards to help identify relevant project-based assignments.

Objective 2:  Increase the number of students participating in external learning opportunities.

1.2.            Action items

1.2.1.       Include an internship or work based learning component for each major or concentration offered in the College.

1.2.2.      Work with Career Services to increase the total number of external placements by 10 percent by 2013.

1.2.3.      Utilize advisory boards to help identify external learning experiences for students.


Strategic Goal 2:  Increase recruitment efforts to grow the number of students majoring in CAST programs

Objective 1:  Increase enrollment in CAST programs by 10 percent by fall 2013.

2.1.            Action items

2.1.1.       Establish a working relationship with key personnel at community college campuses to provide a network of individuals who are familiar with operational protocol – such that we may respect operating procedures on partner campuses.

2.1.2.      Identify individuals on community college campuses who will refer students to the Bachelor of Applied Science program.

2.1.3.      Offer the upper-level BS in Org Leadership completely online to reach students outside of the Fort Smith market.

2.1.4.      Work with community colleges, businesses and other agencies to recruit students to completer programs.

2.1.5.      Increase the number of Associate of Applied Science and certificate seeking students by 5 percent by 2013.

2.1.6.      Participate in various on and off campus recruitment events.

2.1.7.      Recruit WATC students to remain in CAST programs after graduation from high school.

2.1.8.     Promote the viability of CAST completer programs to administrators establishing agreements with international universities.

2.1.9.      Work with university recruiters to recruit students into CAST majors, specifically women and students of color.

2.1.10.  Participate in Student Academic Success’ New Student Orientation (to include Cub Camp and other events).

2.1.11.   Educate campus advisement about CAST programs on a regular basis.

Objective 2:  Implement the Bachelor of Science in Animation Technology Program.

2.2.           Action items

2.2.1.      Submit the Bachelor of Science in Animation Technology to the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board for approval.

2.2.2.     Advertise and recruit students into the program once it is approved.

2.2.3.     Begin offering classes leading to BSAT degree by spring 2011.


Strategic Goal 3:  Provide the best possible technology to produce students who are ready for the workplace.

Objective 1:  Equip classrooms and student labs with the latest technology.

3.1.            Action items

3.1.1.       Be persistent in letting University administration know CAST technology needs.

3.1.2.      Seek funding for technology and technology-intensive coursework from external sources.

3.1.3.      Begin working on a laptop initiative for appropriate CAST students.

Objective 2:  Establish a Technology Committee.

3.2.           Action items

3.2.1.      Stay abreast of the technology needs of the College.

3.2.2.     Develop a technology plan.

3.2.3.      Know the next generation of technology and whether it will complement our educational goals.

3.2.4.     Educate CAST faculty, staff and students of the technology needs of the College.

3.2.5.     Make budget recommendations to the appropriate department chairs/directors.

3.2.6.     Seek and develop partnerships with technology providers.

Objective 3:Provide appropriate technology training for faculty.

3.3.           Action items

3.3.1.      Identify the technology needs of each program.

3.3.2.     Provide opportunities for training in new technology.


Strategic Goal 4:  Service all of our stakeholders, including active involvement in economic development.

Objective 1:  Increase efforts to retain and graduate more students, and involve faculty in the advising process.

4.1.            Action items

4.1.1.       Increase retention rates by 2 percent by 2013.

4.1.2.      Increase 2-4 year graduation rates by 3 percent by 2013.

4.1.3.      Increase 3-6 year graduation rates by 5 percent by 2015.

4.1.4.      Increase the number of classes taught via alternative delivery methods.

4.1.5.      Counsel with faculty members whose grades are consistently skewed from the College norm.

4.1.6.      Work more closely with adjunct faculty to ensure they are aware of our goals for our students and are committed to helping to reach those goals.

4.1.7.      Determine student satisfaction levels with programs and services of the College.

4.1.8.     Create a more student-friendly atmosphere in the building.

Objective 2:  Increase outreach efforts, including training and collaboration.

4.2.           Action items

4.2.1.      Prepare to meet the specialized employee development needs of business and industry.

4.2.2.     Work with Arkansas Department of Workforce Services and Arkansas Economic Development Commission to obtain grants to assist area businesses with training costs.

4.2.3.     Market the Arkansas Career Readiness Certificate as a tool to improve employee retention for area businesses.

4.2.4.     Offer training/consulting that is reflective of current business trends.

4.2.5.     Update all training/instructional materials on a regular basis.

4.2.6.     Broaden faculty involvement in community outreach programs.

Objective 3:  Recruit and retain qualified faculty and staff members.

4.3.           Action items

4.3.1.      Hire an additional faculty member with a doctorate or other terminal degree for each of the completer-degree programs by fall 2012.

4.3.2.     Hire additional faculty in AAS degree programs as needed and with appropriate degrees.

4.3.3.     Provide faculty development funding for each faculty member to participate in at least one conference presentation, certification, training opportunity, etc.

4.3.4.     Provide on-campus faculty development opportunities.

4.3.5.     Encourage staff members to attend staff-development on- and off-campus seminars and workshops.

Objective 4:  Participate in economic development initiatives.

4.4.           Action items

4.4.1.      Partner with the area cities and chambers of commerce in recruiting businesses to the region.

4.4.2.     Work with existing industries to determine and meet employee-related needs.

4.4.3.     Attend local and state chamber of commerce events to learn more about economic development initiatives.


Strategic Goal 5:  Improve internal and external communications.

Objective 1:  Develop mechanisms for keeping all CAST stakeholders abreast of things happening with the College.

5.1.             Action items

5.1.1.       Publish a student newsletter at least once per semester.

5.1.2.      Post items of interest on bulletin boards within building and across campus.

5.1.3.      Include important accomplishments in the Campus Update.

5.1.4.      Create an annual publication to showcase the College, its faculty, staff, students and alumni.

5.1.5.       Share information across disciplines within the College.

5.1.6.      Create a Public CAST Calendar.

5.1.7.       Present semi-annual program updates at faculty in-service meetings.

Objective 2:  Communicate CAST accomplishments and needs to university and community.

5.2.            Action items

5.2.1.      Create elevator speech and have all faculty and staff become familiar with basic accomplishments and needs of the College.

5.2.2.     Include important accomplishments in Campus Update.

5.2.3.     Distribute annual publication to alumni and friends of the College, as well as various campus offices.

5.2.4.     Send College updates to advisory boards.

5.2.5.      Investigate the possibility of including CAST in the annual alumni publications.