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Strategic Plan 2022 Our Process

Positioning the University for continued success during a period of dramatic change in higher education

Process Model

Iterative and interactive, with broad participation across all stakeholder groups

strategic process model

External Analysis

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

Internal Analysis

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.

Supporting 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.

Strategic Position

Our strategic position in the marketplace and basis for differentiation

Clayton State is a student-friendly university, with a heart for community engagement, serving the educational needs of the South Metro Atlanta area. We seek to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace through the combination of the following seven elements:

  1. Our superior value, providing a quality education at an affordable price.
  2. Our focus on distinctive high demand career programs.
  3. Our student-centered faculty who provide a relationship-based educational experience in a smaller class environment.
  4. Our proactive professional academic and career advisors supported by data analytics and an innovative career planning process.
  5. Our diverse student body, offering significant opportunities for interaction with people from all walks of life.
  6. Our safe and beautiful campus convenient to metropolitan Atlanta.
  7. Our systematic approach to community engagement.


A disciplined system to insure execution and follow

Each strategic initiative will be supported by a tactical project team consisting of the following elements:

Periodic status updates for each team will be scheduled with the President’s Cabinet across the academic year.

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.