Integrated Planning & Institutional Effectiveness

What is Planning?

Planning in higher education is all about setting goals that are grounded in and support the college or university's mission.  These goals vary in scope across the institution - some, including those within our five-year strategic plan, are university-wide, engaging all members of our community. Others focus on the unique needs of academic and administrative units, groups, and even individuals, empowering them to shape their own goals in support of the strategic plan, and address their own evolving needs. The University of Scranton embraces long-held Jesuit principles of collaborative engagement throughout this process - cura personalis, or individual attention and respect for the uniqueness of each member of the University community, and cura apostolica, the commitment to holistic care of our mission.  The University Planning Committee (UPC) plays a central role in this process. 

The goals and planning documents that result from this active participation are only the beginning. At its best, planning is a continuous, collaborative and integrated cycle of assessment and action. Implementation of plans is supported through various structures and processes, including those that develop and allocate resources, and guided by milestones to evaluate and reflect on progress, and make course adjustments.  In this process, both qualitative metrics and qualitative assessment and analysis are used to measure progress and celebrate success. 

PlanningA conscious and continuous process by which an institution assesses its current state and the likely future condition of its environment, identifies possible future states for itself, and then develops organizational strategies, policies, and procedures for getting to one or more of them 

Strategic Planning: a conscious process of developing institutional goals, and articulating the means by which they will be (1) achieved and (2) assessed.   The resulting strategic plan serves as roadmap, or framework, to guide decision making through a particular period of time.


Planning Guidelines for Administrative and Academic Departments

Planning and Institutional Effectiveness Model

University Mission, Vision, and Institutional Learning Outcomes

Our Strategic Plan: 2020-2025

Following the conclusion of the University of Scranton's 2015-2020 Strategic Plan - An Engaged, Integrated, Global Experience - members of the University community worked together to build a new plan for 2020 and beyond. Drawing from University-wide assessment, the 2020 Strategic Plan outlines new institutional goals and objectives in five areas. It directly addresses opportunities for growth and improvement identified as part of our 2019 Middle States Self-Study, the recent Mission Priority Examen, and other assessments and analyses.  The plan is operationalized through our integrated, tiered planning model, with concrete milestones for progress assessment, review, and renewal. Click the banner below to learn more about the strategic plan and its implementation and progress.


Strategic Planning 2025

In spring 2024, the University began the process of building its next strategic plan for 2025 and beyond.  Steered by the representative University Planning Committee, the planning process is designed to enable all members of our community to contribute to shaping the future of the University. 

The new plan will serve as a blueprint for decision making, defining the overarching strategic direction for the University and guiding the development of programming, services, and other institutional commitments. The plan, and the planning process, are grounded in our Catholic, Jesuit mission and Ignatian vision,  pursuing the concept of the Magis, or a restless pursuit of excellence grounded in gratitude; Cura Personalis, individual attention to students and respect for the uniqueness of each member of the University community; seeking God in all things; liberal education; service of faith and the promotion of justice; and contemplation in action.

Though in depth analysis and discussion of institutional strengths, external opportunities and challenges, opportunities for improvement identified through ongoing assessment, and various means of stakeholder engagement, we will strategy and goals to set our direction for the years to come.

Learn more about the 2025 strategic planning process, here.

What is Institutional Effectiveness?

Institutional effectiveness assessment (IE) is a comprehensive process that integrates planning, institutional and educational assessment, and other evaluative activities that support decision making, resource allocation, and improvement.  Three departments play a role in leading and supporting the institutional effectiveness cycle: the Office of Planning & Institutional Effectiveness, the Office of Institutional Reporting and Data Analytics, and the Office of Educational Assessment. These offices coordinate the wide variety of activities that occur within each step of the institutional renewal cycle: assisting units in identifying goals and outcomes; identifying appropriate measures of success and useful assessments; aligning unit-level and program assessment activities in institutional goals; supplying data and conducting surveys and studies; and providing support for interpreting and using findings to document success or identify opportunities for improvement. The University's Institutional Assessment Committee supports this process.

Guiding Principles for Institutional Effectiveness & Assessment at The University of Scranton

Annual Planning and Reporting

An important part of the integrated planning and assessment model is the practice of annual planning and reporting at the department, division, and college level. Through a formal Annual Planning and Reporting cycle, these areas summarize activities from the current academic/fiscal year, prepare detailed plans for the year ahead, reflect on assessment activities and how they have been, or will be used for improvement, and submit resource requests.

The Annual Report builds and documents units' direct support of the University's Strategic Plan. Academic departments submit program learning assessment reports via this process as well.

The cycle and technical system is coordinated by the Office of Institutional Reporting and Analytics, with guidance from the OPIE and other key administrative areas to ensure alignment with other decision making activities. Click here to learn more about the process.

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