Iterative and interactive, with broad participation across all stakeholder groups
Major trends in the external environment that may impact our future
New Standards of Public Accountability
A key factor in the strategic planning process relates to public and political concern about the rising
costs of higher education and the difficulty of finding quality jobs for the graduates who are burdened
with large student loan debts. Demands are rising for a greater return on investment in higher
education and greater transparency about student outcomes. In the future, as part of new standards
of public accountability, universities and colleges will be expected to answer questions such as:
- Is the college affordable?
- What do students need to learn?
- Are the students learning?
- What is the graduation rate?
- How long does it take to graduate?
- What is the average student debt?
- How many get good jobs?
- What is the return on investment?
Other Environmental Trends Related to Higher Education
- Revenue from key sources continues to fall, putting many institutions at severe financial risk due to flat or declining:
- enrollments (demographic trends – fewer high school graduates),
- state funding and appropriations,
- investment returns on endowments,
- philanthropic gifts, and
- government research grants.
- New business and delivery models focused on providing competencies and convenience while reducing cost and time are gaining traction.
- The globalization of education is accelerating, which means new competition for international students and more mobility for U.S. students.
Examination of internal strengths / weaknesses in the context of key opportunities
Engagement in the community
Clayton State University is one of the largest academic resources in the metro-Atlanta Southern Crescent. The rapid expansion and success of our Quality Enhancement Program, Partnering Academics and Community Engagement (PACE), coupled with our growing involvement in local chambers and non-profit groups, demonstrates that we can enhance our student learning and career preparation opportunities in conjunction with providing assistance to our community partners. Strategic initiatives focused on this aspect of our mission must capitalize on our supporting strengths, and develop our current weaknesses into additional strengths.
- Experienced, committed faculty
- Diverse, skilled student body
- Rapidly growing reputation for PACE
- Strong leadership support
- Academic programs in Film and Entertainment, and Supply Chain
Weaknesses to Overcome
- Historical reputation as junior college
- Lack of infrastructure for matching needs to resources
- Resource constraints
Growing demands in regional workforce
Increasing economic development on the south side, including the Atlanta aerotropolis, Porsche, Pinewood Studios, and Ft. Gillem/ Ft. McPherson supply chain expansions, provide outstanding opportunity for us to enhance and expand our programs providing high demand workforce skills and excellent job-placement opportunities to our students, alumni, and neighbors.
Threats we must prepare against include first-to-market competitors, major universities with expanding online presence and diminishing resources.
Our strategic position in the marketplace and basis for differentiation
Clayton State is a student-friendly university, with a heart for community engagement, servingthe educational needs of the South Metro Atlanta area. We seek to differentiate ourselves in themarketplace through the combination of the following seven elements:
- Our superior value, providing a quality education at an affordable price.
- Our focus on distinctive high demand career programs.
- Our student-centered faculty who provide a relationship-based educational experience in asmaller class environment.
- Our proactive professional academic and career advisors supported by data analytics and aninnovative career planning process.
- Our diverse student body, offering significant opportunities for interaction with people from all walksof life.
- Our safe and beautiful campus convenient to metropolitan Atlanta.
- Our systematic approach to community engagement.
A disciplined system to insure execution and follow-‐though
Each strategic initiative will be supported by a tactical project team consisting of the following
- Project leaders with experience and passion for the initiative
- A cross-discipline team of five to seven members
- A project action plan outlining the team charter, tasks, target dates, assignments, and deliverables
- Appropriate University resources
- Success measures and goals
Periodic status updates for each team will be scheduled with the President’s Cabinet across the
In addition, to insure the whole campus is engaged and helping move the strategic priorities forward,
each college and division will be asked to identify and implement one or more projects within their
area of control to support the strategic plan.