PATHWAYS TO PURPOSE:
A STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK 2017

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Introduction

A few of the many recent realities in higher education include: Changing demographics and approaches to teaching; competition from the pressures of access and affordability; and demands from politicians to parents about the value of a degree. This Strategic Framework presents Edgewood’s vision for how to successfully navigate this landscape by investing in areas with the greatest potential to ensure a healthy and sustainable Edgewood for future generations in ways aligned with our core values, identity, and mission.

As an educational institution, student learning is necessarily at our core; but as a liberal arts college in the Dominican tradition we respond to the needs of our times by embracing the unique role we have to play in this community. Thus, our strategic planning process is intended to provide a dynamic framework to guide our actions and decisions in an evolving environment, rather than a pre-determined series of steps. Three strategic themes provide the grounding for seven strategic priorities that we believe hold the greatest potential for realizing our vision. While the three themes are integrated across all seven strategic priorities, the strategic priorities are ordered to parallel the three themes. Recommended Priority Actions describe more specific routes toward measureable progress in that area at this time. These recommended actions are written with attention to both leveraging our current strengths and challenging ourselves to pursue new possibilities.

Graphic of Strategic Plan

Foundations

WHAT DO WE BELIEVE IN?

OUR CORE VALUES

Truth, Justice, Compassion, Community, and Partnership

WHO ARE WE?: OUR IDENTITY

Sponsored by the Sinsinawa Dominicans, Edgewood College is a community of learners that affirms both its Catholic heritage and its respect for other religious traditions. The liberal arts are the foundation of all our curricular offerings in the humanities, arts, sciences, and professional programs. Committed to excellence in teaching and learning, we seek to develop intellect, spirit, imagination, and heart. We welcome people who reflect the rich diversity of the world’s cultures and perspectives. We foster open, caring, thoughtful engagement with one another and an enduring commitment to service, all in an educational community that seeks truth, compassion, justice and partnership.

WHAT DO WE DO, AND FOR WHOM?: OUR MISSION

Edgewood College, rooted in the Dominican tradition, engages students within a community of learners committed to building a just and compassionate world. The College educates students for meaningful personal and professional lives of ethical leadership, service, and a lifelong search for truth.

WHAT DO WE ASPIRE TO BECOME?: OUR VISION

Edgewood College will be an inclusive model of learning, teaching, and scholarship. Our students, alumni, faculty, and staff will be recognized for their pursuit of purposeful lives, vibrant and sustainable communities, and a just world.

EDGEWOOD COLLEGE PROMISE

What is meaningful to members of the Edgewood College community, experienced consistently enough that we can promise it with integrity? Connecting learning, beliefs and actions.

Three Strategic
Themes + Definitions:

The vision statement is built around three central strategic themes. These themes emerged from an analysis of ideas provided by the College community in response to being asked what a strong and vibrant Edgewood College would look like in 2027. After each theme is a paragraph explaining how that theme relates to our mission, our values, and our aspirations for institutional growth and development.

STUDENT LEARNING:

Our mission as a Dominican Catholic, liberal arts institution of higher education calls us to place student learning at the center of all we do. We commit to providing relevant, transformative educational experiences for all students—from full-time undergraduates and learners returning to college to master’s and doctoral candidates. We demonstrate a commitment to student learning by investing in the development and scholarship of our staff and faculty, by creating multiple learning environments, and by providing holistic support to facilitate student success. We strive for academic excellence that challenges and supports students in developing lives of purpose through engagement with our curriculum, co-curriculum, and institutional culture.

INCLUSION:

Our mission as a Dominican Catholic institution of higher education calls us to the intentional pursuit of justice. We commit to doing the challenging work of building an inclusive learning community, ensuring students, faculty and staff from underrepresented and historically marginalized populations are present, fully included, and successful. We demonstrate a culture of inclusion by making sure that issues of and actions toward inclusion are central to every aspect of our daily work and by cultivating an environment where all faculty, staff, and students apply the awareness, knowledge, and skills to live and work effectively with individuals across the rich spectrum of diversity. We also recognize our role in setting an example to further advance ongoing efforts toward realizing diversity and inclusion achievements. We strive to recognize, respect, and support the intersections of diverse identities as critical points of strength, learning, and growth.

COMMUNITY IMPACT:

Our mission as a Dominican Catholic Institution of higher education calls us to actively engage in strengthening our local community, region, nation, and world. We commit to mutual engagement in meaningful and measurable ways. We demonstrate community impact by responding to the needs and opportunities of the times through the cultivation of reciprocal relationships, particularly in our local community. At the same time, we provide opportunities for community access, influence, and contribution to the work of the College. We strive to be known as a center of culture, learning, and innovation that contributes to a vibrant, just, and sustainable community.

Strategic Priority #1

Foster academic excellence that transforms students and communities.

The search for truth, one of our core values, commits us to integrate all ways of knowing and reflects intellect, spirit, imagination, and heart by cultivating the skills necessary for seeing and appreciating this unity of meaning. Thus, we advance this priority when the liberal arts are fully embedded and expressed in our curriculum and co-curriculum, and engaged learning experiences are a distinctive part of students’ in-and out-of-classroom experiences.

Recommended Priority Actions:

  • Integrate a social justice orientation across student learning experiences
  • Promote the use of active learning in the classroom through attention to multiple modes of presentation, means of engagement, and expression of knowledge
  • Require and support undergraduate students’ participation in at least one intensive form of engaged learning
  • Develop and implement a plan to scaffold writing, reading, and critical thinking across the curriculum (with special attention to the needs of English language learners), and assess student growth over time

Strategic Priority #2

Build holistic support for students that ensures educational success.

Dominican Catholic higher education encompasses more than academic or professional development. Thus, we prepare students able to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for personal and professional life, create spaces that support, and remove barriers that impede student satisfaction and success.

Recommended Priority Actions:

  • Provide more seamless and integrated student services and spaces across all student populations including undergraduate, returning adults, graduate, and professional development
  • Develop flexible and responsive delivery models and support, including hybrid and online, that lead to pathways, programs and policies that meet traditional and adult learner needs
  • Create systems, spaces, and human resources for improving holistic health and wellness options for students
  • Create systems, spaces and resources that address the specific needs of underserved student populations – including our ALANA, LGBTQ and veteran student populations
  • Improve and develop athletic facilities that enhance wellness, and promote team and community spirit

Strategic Priority #3

Implement programs and curricula that respect, respond to, and anticipate community needs.

The Dominican Catholic intellectual tradition impels us to study the needs of the time and promote changes that ensure justice for all. Thus, we respond by delivering programs, degree options, pathways and professional development true to our distinctive intellectual tradition while also being mindful that different populations of students seek access and navigate higher education through multiple pathways.

Recommended Priority Actions:

  • Ensure that curriculum in general education, majors, and graduate programs is responsive and incorporates the College’s commitment to inclusion and social justice
  • Develop and support programs and initiatives that meet the changing needs of the workplace, and relate students’ learning to career and workplace experience.
  • Develop policies, curricula, and processes that respect students’ prior experience and provide flexible routes to a degree or credential
  • Develop pre-college programs that meet needs of local school districts, underrepresented populations, and the community as a whole

Strategic Priority #4

Support our faculty and staff in ways that recruit and retain high-quality faculty and staff and strengthen their roles as mentors, educators, and scholars.

Guided by our Dominican Catholic intellectual heritage, we believe the authentic search for truth is guided by questions, and we welcome questions as opportunities to challenge our perspectives and those beliefs that keep us from truth. Thus, we commit ourselves to faculty and staff development that fosters the kind of questioning and challenge that aligns with teaching, learning, scholarship, and inclusion practices that meet the needs of our students, and that maintain professional and disciplinary currency.

Recommended Priority Actions:

  • Dedicate space, money, time, and support to professional development for faculty and staff who have teaching and learning relationships with students
  • Build and recognize professional development offerings around identified priorities
  • Create conditions that allow for recruiting and retaining high-quality, mission-centered faculty and staff
  • Require and support all faculty, staff and administrators to develop inclusion goals as part of professional development planning
  • Develop a required diversity-focused leadership training program for all managers, supervisors, chairs/directors, and College leadership

Strategic Priority #5

Build an inclusive College where individuals across the rich spectrum of diversity succeed and belong.

Our core value of justice recognizes an education for all is a foundation for living a full human life. Thus, we advance this priority through deliberate recruitment and retention processes as well as educational experiences to develop knowledge, skills and awareness in students from privileged dimensions of diversity. In addition, we must ensure an environment where people are accountable for working effectively across multiple forms of diversity in pursuit of equitable outcomes for students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds.

Recommended Priority Actions:

  • Create an action plan to intentionally diversify faculty, staff, students, and leadership, including increased funding for scholarships, programs, and resources that will attract underrepresented and historically marginalized populations
  • Implement a framework for leadership, coordination, and communication for diversity and inclusion
  • Create metrics (representation, recruitment, promotion/tenure) to ensure accountability among staff, faculty and administration for hiring, retention and promotion of individuals from underrepresented and historically marginalized populations
  • Create a fund to support diversity and inclusion initiatives that campus members can apply to use for research, pilot programs, and professional development
  • Provide resources to support underrepresented and historically marginalized students, staff, and faculty

Strategic Priority #6

Develop partnerships, particularly in greater Madison, that contribute to a just and sustainable world.

Our core value of partnership realizes that vital partnerships across religious, economic, cultural, and institutional boundaries are essential to the pursuit of our mission. Thus, we advance this priority when we invest our unique human, intellectual, social, and financial assets in culturally responsive ways that measurably impact the long-term well-being of the community (and in particular the local community). Furthermore, community needs influence Edgewood’s priorities, planning, and decision-making.

Recommended Priority Actions:

  • Identify targeted educational, business, and non-profit partnerships, and create a liaison/outreach structure to develop and provide ongoing support
  • Develop a structure where students, faculty, and staff can address community-identified needs and concerns in socially innovative and entrepreneurial ways
  • Continue to develop and expand an endowment and other funding sources to achieve and sustain community impact outcomes
  • Develop the infrastructure needed to track and assess community impact in a way that shares our focus and encourages community participation
  • Encourage, recognize and reward staff and faculty participation in community outreach and service activities

Strategic Priority #7

Invest resources in responsible ways that ensure a healthy and sustainable Edgewood College for future generations.

As a Dominican Catholic institution of higher education, we responsibly discern and develop our strengths and resources in order to contribute within and beyond this learning community. Thus, we strategically prioritize resources, engage in multi-year budget planning, pursue new revenue streams, diversify our revenue sources, actively manage our budgets, allocate and grow people and space to enact our vision, and create and reward a culture of entrepreneurial spirit.

Recommended Priority Actions:

  • Develop long-term budget models and processes that plan for targeted growth, reallocation, and reinvestment
  • Conduct a comprehensive campaign to support priorities identified in the strategic plan
  • Act upon recommendations from facilities and academic studies
  • Implement an ongoing marketing and communication plan (internal and external stakeholders) regarding delivering on our promise through the liberal arts
  • Make short-term investments in areas that show promise for long-term financial gains (Advancement, Admissions)