The College’s most recent strategic plan, “Vision 2020,” brings to life the mission and vision of the institution in light of current and anticipated challenges and opportunities. It extends the goals of earlier plans that strengthened the College’s national reputation and its academic program — initiatives such as adding greater diversity to its course offerings, restructuring the curriculum to a four-course-per-semester model, increasing the level of academic engagement and challenge, increasing academic support, and expanding student/faculty research.
Created in 2015, the current plan leveraged work that was done by a Strategic Assessment Taskforce commissioned in 2013. Made up of trustees, faculty, staff, and alumni, the taskforce provided a candid assessment of the future landscape for small, religiously affiliated, liberal arts colleges in the Northeast in light of demographic, financial, technological, and political developments. The influence of this report on strategic initiatives at the College was significant and is evidenced by the creation of the Accelerated Summer College — an initiative designed to offer hybrid and online courses during summer months at a significantly reduced cost, thereby helping families while making better use of institutional resources and the latest blending of technology and teaching. Today the program offers two sessions in each of which students can take two classes, for a total of 16 possible credits. In the summer of 2017, the program had over 275 enrollments, largely made up of current students working to get ahead or catch up with their studies.
Another important strategic initiative is the recent creation of the Life After College program. This is a comprehensive four-year student development program that promotes success through purposeful learning experiences beyond the classroom. The College created a new Career Education and Alumni Engagement Center to oversee delivery of the program.
Work is also currently underway to launch the new Center for Teaching and Learning, which underscores the College’s commitment to the success of all students at Saint Michael’s. As envisioned in the strategic plan, the Center will provide faculty with a space to share evidence-based, student-centered pedagogy and to examine innovative instructional practices that support the educational goals of students.