The planning process will be both transparent and inclusive. We will begin with a data-gathering effort that includes individual meetings, focus groups and surveys with a variety of internal constituents and external stakeholders of the College. The analysis of the information we gather will inform our strategic plan goals. Further details of the project plan will be forthcoming within the next few weeks, and there will be regular communication to the community throughout the process.

Strategic planning timeline.

SMC Strategic Planning Phases (as of January 2014)

Phase 1 – Visioning, Project Planning and Launch [January-February 2014]:

  • Initial project planning – Jim Donahue, David Ford, The Napa Group
  • Steering Committee launch (Feb. 10)
    • Affirm comprehensive project plan, calendar and constituent engagement framework
    • Coordination and integration of existing activities and data/analysis
    • Discuss future vision – define the possibilities, set the long-term objectives, drive the planning focus
  • Finalize project plan and calendar [including Steering Committee dates]
  • Develop project communications plan and project website to inform, support understanding
    and build buy-in

Phase 2 – Strategic Planning (Data Gathering/ Analysis, Community Engagement and Draft Goal Development [February-March 2014]:

  • Conduct “listening sessions” with academic and administrative executives and managers, Brothers Communities, faculty, staff and students
    • Methodology: For these initial conversations, approximately 10-12 individuals and 3-4 representative small groups over approximately 2 days and to be affirmed following Steering Committee input (broader engagement will occur during the process through surveys and other methods); summary report/analysis to assist Steering Committee in developing strategic directives/themes
  • Review of internal data/analyses (e.g., Institutional Research data, academic plan, master plan project, branding project, existing peer/competitor data) [Napa Group]
  • Develop a report and analysis of trends and best practices in private higher education, incorporating issues critical to St. Mary’s such as Catholic faith-based institutions; conduct institutional peer review on selected topics [Napa Group]
  • Steering Committee develops 5-6 strategic directives/themes – using this data and analysis

Phase 3: Assess, Build Out and Validate [April-June 2014]:

  • Form and launch cross-College “solution teams” or task forces of faculty, thought leaders, staff, students and other stakeholders to apply their subject expertise to develop initiatives for each strategic directive/theme (worksheets provided by The Napa Group and include proposed resources, timelines and metrics)
  • Align these activities with ongoing parallel activities, such as master planning and branding
  • Electronic surveys with faculty and staff (others TBD)

Phase 4: Goals Finalized and Stakeholders Engaged [July-October 2014]:

  • Steering Committee develops first and final plan drafts
  • Constituent engagement activities (e.g., town halls once the new academic year begins)
  • Development of a realistic budget and business plan

Phase 5 – Project Completed and Implementation Initiated [October-December 2014]:

  • Finalize strategic plan
  • Develop implementation plan – a defined roadmap that focuses on Years 1-2 of 5-year plan implementation
  • Communications announce plan
  • Phase 1 implementation begins
  • Unit operating plans developed
  • “Adaptive implementation” guides annual refreshing of the strategic plan against current or changing situations
Maps & Directories

Mailing Address

Saint Mary's College of California
1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575
(925) 631-4000
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