Outreach Strategic Plan for Diversity 2004–09
The mission of Penn State Outreach is to increase access to Penn State's educational resources through linking the expertise of faculty in the University with the needs and interests of external constituents. The interface of Outreach with the spectrum of Penn State's external constituents opens up the organization to a broad and inclusive perspective on diversity. Outreach's audiences are youth and adult; male and female; local, national, and international; rural and urban; location-bound and mobile; racially, ethnically, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse; differently abled; and diverse in sexual orientation. This experience reinforces that there are many kinds of differences that characterize human lives, both for Outreach customers/clients/students and in the University workplace, an understanding that is reflected in the core values and strategic goals of the organization as well as the wide variety of programs offered through Outreach and the wide variety of learners they involve.
Among its stated core values, Outreach seeks to be an organization that:
- is committed to diversity and the unique potential that diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds and viewpoints bring to our work and learning experience
- creates a humane environment in the workplace and classroom; treats all faculty, staff, students, and customers with dignity and respect; and is sensitive to the need for balance between work life and personal life
A commitment to diversity is further embraced in Outreach's strategic goals, which include:
- enhancing Outreach's environment for work and learning in support of the contributions of individuals from diverse backgrounds
To advance these core values and this strategic goal and to address the challenges identified in Penn State's Framework to Foster Diversity, the Outreach Strategic Plan for Diversity 2004–09 gives special priority to initiatives targeted at (1) enhancing the climate for diversity in Outreach, (2) recruiting and retaining adult learners (3) recruiting and retaining diverse faculty and staff, and (4) enhancing leadership for diversity. The plan also includes the continuation of efforts to serve diverse audiences and provide programming with multicultural content that currently are an important part of Outreach. These initiatives and activities include Continuing Education, Online Education, Penn State Public Broadcasting, Economic and Workforce Development, and central Outreach support units, in partnership with Extension where appropriate. (Extension is included in the plan for the College of Agricultural Sciences.)