> The PC200 Strategic Plan- full version

The PC200 Strategic Plan- full version

PC200: Embarking on Our Second Century, Building from Strength, Enhancing Our Distinction

Preamble

Providence College is a vibrant Catholic, Dominican institution of higher learning in which the community is committed to academic excellence and fostering a loving, diverse, and inclusive living and learning environment. The College stands at the threshold of its second century, poised to step boldly into the future, guided by an ambitious new strategic plan, PC200. The Plan illuminates a path that will distinguish Providence College as a nationally recognized, residential, primarily undergraduate-focused, premier Catholic college, with an expanded national recruiting presence and an ever-increasing academic reputation.

More than a year in its development, PC200 is a 10-year Strategic Plan initiated by College President Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P. and the College’s trustees to set the stage for Providence College’s second century. A 17-member steering committee, its work supplemented by the efforts of a 20-member Future of Higher Education Research Team, has led the community-based creation of this living document. More than 1,000 stakeholders, including the President’s Senior Cabinet, faculty, staff, students, alumni, trustees, and members of the Dominican community, have provided input.

At a time when higher education has faced scrutiny for its value proposition amid financial pressures and new forms of competition, Providence College has maintained high academic standards, solidified its fiscal position, and retained its focus on a contemporary liberal arts, residential education for undergraduates. As a result, there are many assets on which to build.

PC200 addresses many of the challenges facing higher education institutions, including the need for a distinctive value proposition, careful fiscal management, and an evolving recruitment strategy that accounts for expected demographic shifts affecting the traditional college-age population. It is a strong vision, a sustainable vision — one that ensures that the College leverages its strengths and focuses on areas with the greatest potential impact. PC’s educational experience will continue to equal that of larger prestigious institutions in a smaller, more intimate setting, thereby providing students with greater opportunities for relationship-building and leadership experiences.

While more and more institutions are questioning the value of a liberal arts education, Providence College emphasizes and celebrates the deep and unique connections among the humanities, fine arts, social sciences, natural sciences (i.e., the liberal arts), and professional courses of study. A PC education integrates extensive interdisciplinary learning with personal, professional, and spiritual development that enable students to flourish and to live meaningful lives.

The signature Development of Western Civilization Program (DWC) exemplifies PC’s unique approach to liberal arts education. Team-taught by faculty from numerous disciplines and completed by each student, DWC engages students and faculty in an exploration of humanity’s most important questions. An important initiative of PC200 involves innovation and reinvigoration in DWC, as well as in the Liberal Arts Honors Program.

Uniquely, PC is the only undergraduate institution in North America founded and administered by Dominican Friars, associating it with an 800-year-old intellectual tradition. The Dominican intellectual tradition that has shaped the College is grounded in a passionate pursuit of truth, often through the scholastic practice of disputatio, wherein faculty and students consider many and divergent points of an argument in seeking the truth. PC enjoys a robust level of religious presence and engagement that is uncommon at American Catholic colleges and universities.

Moreover, the Dominican presence at PC will continue to thrive, in part because of record numbers of religious vocations to the Province of St. Joseph. Our alumni and students have benefited greatly from the engagement of the Friars and Sisters in the life of the community, and many have established lifelong friendships with Dominicans. Building on this foundation, PC200 establishes a Dominican Intercultural Center to celebrate the Order’s heritage and ethos by enabling engagement with Dominican scholars and professors from around the world, and with international students from other Dominican schools.

Despite its relatively small size, Providence College has enjoyed enormous success as a Division I school through its participation in major athletics conferences (BIG EAST and Hockey East). The athletics program has, in many ways, put PC “on the map” and has provided national recognition. PC200 provides the opportunity to continue to elevate the athletics program, which will strengthen and broaden the College’s institutional profile, provide opportunities for student interaction, and encourage alumni and community engagement.

With an average class size of 20, Providence College is well positioned to create a meaningful and personalized learning experience for each student. PC200 provides for guiding students through a unique signature work project that corresponds to their personal goals and that allows them to integrate their cumulative curricular and co-curricular experiences and apply them to complex contemporary issues. The Plan will enhance a mentoring/advising program which assists interested students in creating individualized majors and courses of study. In addition, the Plan addresses the need for extracurricular professional development of students through the Center for Career Education and Professional Development to enhance skills in areas such as leadership and teamwork, planning and organization, and analytics and technology.

Providence College, for the past several years, has experienced consistently increasing enrollment and yield, despite demographic challenges. We recognize, however, that we cannot become complacent, nor can we ignore the declining number of Catholic high school students in the Northeast, our largest demographic. While the College will continue to draw from this population, PC200 will expand recruiting efforts in geographical areas with increasing populations of college-age students who would be drawn to the cultural, spiritual, and intellectual experience offered by Providence College.

At the same time, to sustain enrollment and performance, Providence College will ensure that its academic programs continue to enthuse and inspire students, as well as prepare them for their ongoing professional and educational pursuits. Therefore, PC200 also provides for ongoing assessment of academic programs for relevance and impact, support to improve existing programs, and resources to develop new and creative interdisciplinary areas of study. One primary goal is that each student is exposed to, and participates in, a variety of high-impact educational practices, irrespective of the programs they declare as majors or minors.

PC200 considers known environmental factors impacting the College today and in the near future. The evolving nature of higher education necessitates a continuous focus on the landscape, new emerging trends, and steps Providence College may have to take to enhance its market position amid evolving consumer preferences and emerging forms of competition. A key component of PC200 establishes and funds a presidential initiative represented by multiple stakeholders to research higher education trends and landscape; assess the College’s positioning with respect to this landscape; mobilize resources to advance the College’s planning efforts; and share its work with the campus community and the president’s Senior Cabinet to ensure appropriate and timely responses to these challenges.

In alignment with PC200, the College will advance the next comprehensive campaign and will intentionally grow the endowment through philanthropy and disciplined transfers from operations.

PC200 will enhance the College’s brand and reputation by making an already strong educational and co-curricular experience for students even better. The Plan will allow the College to build upon existing practices and traditions to create new, unique, and innovative approaches to educating its students. It will engage every member of the PC family and will be the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in the life of Providence College.

Vision

Providence College will be a nationally recognized Catholic, residential, undergraduate-focused, higher-education institution distinguished for leveraging the interconnections among the humanities, fine arts, social sciences, natural sciences (i.e., the liberal arts), and professional courses of study, and integrating experiential learning opportunities to prepare its students to live meaningful personal and professional lives in an increasingly global society.

Goal 1

A Distinctive Educational Experience

In the 800-year-old Dominican tradition of critical inquiry, we will provide our students with a life-changing experience that helps them to discover the harmony of faith and reason and that allows them to flourish intellectually, personally, and professionally. More

Goal 2

A Model of Love, Inclusivity, and Equity in a Diverse Community

Inspired by Catholic teaching and St. Dominic’s wide embrace of all people, our community will model the love, empathy, and respect which are at the heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A diverse body of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and trustees will work together to advance the mission of the College. More

Goal 3

A Sustainable Institution with Growing National Visibility and Reputation

To steward Providence College’s resources for the next 100 years, we will enhance collaboration and create structures within and across academic and functional areas to support an organizational culture and operating model that is mission-driven, creative and nimble, and committed to fiscal responsibility and enhancing reputation. More

Goal 1 – A Distinctive Educational Experience

In the 800-year-old Dominican tradition of critical inquiry, we will provide our students with a life-changing experience that helps them to discover the harmony of faith and reason and that allows them to flourish intellectually, personally, and professionally.

Objectives:

  1. We will provide a rigorous and distinctive interdisciplinary academic experience in an intimate and personalized setting. Primacy will be given to the nexus between teacher/mentor and student, in and out of the classroom, and to the deep and unique connections between the liberal arts and professional courses of study. As a result:
    1. Students will participate in a variety of high-impact educational practices and co-curricular activities, including writing- and speaking-intensive courses, foreign or domestic study/service, individual or mentored research, internships, leadership and team experiences, and capstone projects.
    2. Faculty advisers and campus mentors will encourage and provide students within each academic program the opportunity to develop a unique and integrative signature work project over the course of their undergraduate studies. Their signature work will: (1) address a complex contemporary issue that is of interest to the student; (2) lead to a fuller understanding of the demands of an increasingly global society; and (3) set the context for personal, professional, and educational success.
    3. Students will have the opportunity to engage with career coaches, including alumni mentors, to complete co-curricular learning tracks through the Center for Career Education and Professional Development and the Center for Engaged Learning. Students will acquire skills and enhance their professional development in areas such as leadership and teamwork, planning and organization, and analytics and technology.
  2. We will deliver a student experience that integrates academic, personal, and spiritual development in and beyond the classroom to develop skills in our students that will benefit the campus and potentially impact local and global communities by:
    1. Encouraging and providing opportunities for civic engagement and student participation in immersion and service trips.
    2. Providing opportunities to enable students to discover and reflect on faith and personal values and to choose paths, both during and after their years at Providence College, that are best suited to them and that will lead to a virtue-centered, well-lived life.
    3. Assessing and continuing to improve resources, programs, and services that promote students’ academic success and overall well-being.
  3. We will continue to recruit and retain superior faculty who are exceptional scholars and teachers, and will formally support and incentivize them in developing initiatives that lead to innovative and creative academic offerings and that increase interdisciplinary collaboration by:
    1. Creating and endowing the Providence College Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, building off initiatives that promote the liberal arts even more authentically (e.g., the Liberal Arts Task Force). The Center will be charged with creating a new climate and practice of interdisciplinarity across campus by:
      – Assessing and enhancing existing interdisciplinary programs of study;
      – Developing new programs that promote integrative thinking across disciplines and leverage the College’s strengths to prepare students to prosper and thrive during and after their years of matriculation at PC;
      – Facilitating the process for creating individualized student academic programs by better promoting their availability to prospective and current students, and by providing support and coordination for them.
    2. Invigorating the Development of Western Civilization Program, the centerpiece of PC’s liberal arts education, through efforts led by the faculty.
    3. Invigorating the Liberal Arts Honors Program through efforts led by the faculty to attract extremely high-achieving students and enhance the College’s academic reputation.
    4. Considering and assessing better ways to enable students to engage in concentrated study apart from their chosen major, especially students seeking to minor in a program considerably different from their primary area of study. Factors to consider will include the demands of the core curriculum, additional major requirements, and ongoing efforts to strengthen existing programs and ensure healthy enrollments across schools.
    5. Strengthening professional development programs for faculty and recognizing and rewarding outstanding accomplishments, including scholarly achievement and innovative teaching.

Goal 2 – A Model of Love, Inclusivity, and Equity in a Diverse Community

Inspired by Catholic teaching and St. Dominic’s wide embrace of all people, our community will model the love, empathy, and respect which are at the heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A diverse body of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and trustees will work together to advance the mission of the College.

Objectives:

  1. We will respond to national trends in the changing demographics of college-age students through focused recruiting, relevant programming, and scholarships funded through philanthropy by:
    1. Increasing recruiting efforts in geographical areas with growing and diverse populations of college-age students who would be drawn to the cultural, spiritual, and intellectual experience offered by Providence College.
    2. Developing and regularly assessing curricular and co-curricular experiences that foster inclusion and mutual respect, and that meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population.
    3. Developing and implementing long-term strategies, including partnerships with donors, to create scholarship programs based on financial need. Emphases in these various programs will include first-generation students and/or to students studying in specific disciplines (e.g., STEM, humanities, fine arts). Also, within these programs, dedicated efforts will be made to recruit students from Catholic secondary schools so as to participate more fully in the educational ministry of the Catholic Church.
  2. We will help students understand and appreciate that diversity of people, experiences, and perspectives is necessary to solve problems, improve society, and find truth by:
    1. Providing opportunities for frequent interactions and dialogue among diverse constituencies to foster a campus community that is caring and that embodies Catholic teaching on diversity and inclusion.
    2. Intentionally recruiting and retaining faculty and staff who are drawn to, and supportive of, the mission of the College, and who have demonstrated a commitment to the human flourishing of each member of the campus community.
    3. Developing and implementing specific strategies and programs to promote multicultural understanding and to recognize and challenge implicit bias.
    4. Assessing campus climate regularly to determine progress toward becoming a more inclusive and just community, and making necessary improvements.
  3. We will celebrate the Catholic and Dominican intellectual, academic, and spiritual tradition of Providence College by:
    1. Establishing and supporting the Dominican Intercultural Center. The center will include:
      – An intercultural exchange initiative with Dominican scholars from around the world, as well as international students from secondary schools and higher-education institutions;
      – The Disputed Questions Initiative, a program that explores emerging questions using a contemporary version of the scholastic disputatio process, including the Thomistic theological and philosophical synthesis, and leveraging the expertise of PC faculty and visiting scholars to stimulate national and international conversations;
      – A heritage/intercultural display on Dominican life through history, literature, art, and music;
      – Innovative and interactive programs to share with the campus community and visitors the rich heritage and joyful spirituality of the Dominican Order and Catholic social teaching, and their relevance in contemporary society.
    2. Reaffirming and enhancing the relationship among the College, the Priory of St. Thomas Aquinas, and the Province of St. Joseph through regular and ongoing dialogue between College and Provincial leadership.
    3. Continuing to encourage the training and formation of Dominican Friars in preparation for assuming key academic and administrative roles at the College.

Goal 3 – A Sustainable Institution with Growing National Visibility and Reputation

To steward Providence College’s resources for the next 100 years, we will enhance collaboration and create structures within and across academic and functional areas to support an organizational culture and operating model that is mission-driven, creative and nimble, and committed to fiscal responsibility and reputation enhancement.

Objectives:

  1. We will develop and utilize resources in alignment with the College’s mission and strategic goals by:
    1. Advancing, in alignment with the PC200 Strategic Plan, the College’s next comprehensive campaign.
    2. Purposefully growing the endowment through philanthropy and transfers from operations.
    3. Enhancing the alumni network through focused programming, educational offerings, on-campus events, and increased engagement of local clubs.
    4. Advertising and vigorously promoting the distinctiveness and value proposition of the Providence College experience to increase awareness and enhance perception with key stakeholders, including alumni and prospective students/parents.
    5. Fostering and supporting a mission-driven, student-centered varsity athletics program to enhance campus community building, strengthen alumni engagement, and broaden the College’s national profile and admission reach.
    6. Updating the master space plan to ensure that academic facilities promote high-impact learning practices and that residential, dining, and office spaces are attractive, comfortable, and conducive to community-building and co-curricular learning.
    7. Creating a permanent sustainability committee; drafting a Climate Action Plan; and formalizing an institutional commitment to reducing energy consumption, water usage, and waste to protect the environment and preserve resources.
  2. We will assess administrative and operational effectiveness to drive impact and ongoing improvement by:
    1. Creating collaborative processes to increase overall efficiency, including facilities utilization, campus committee structure, and departmental staffing levels.
    2. Formalizing a model of shared governance that is designed to engage campus constituents in strategic and operational processes, and communicating decisions and outcomes transparently and in a timely manner.
    3. Engaging in an ongoing review of curricular and co-curricular programs to ensure relevance to the College’s strategic goals.
    4. Reviewing the College’s use and support of academic and information technology, systematically introducing improvements, and making necessary investments.
  3. We will seek opportunities to align with the stakeholders of today and tomorrow, assess emerging higher-education trends, and anticipate changes in consumption, competition, and regulation over a 10-to-20-year horizon by:
    1. Establishing and funding a presidential initiative, represented by multiple stakeholders, to: (a) identify and curate research on trends and landscape; (b) assess the College’s positioning with respect to the landscape; (c) mobilize resources to further the College’s planning efforts; (d) share its work with the president’s Senior Cabinet, strategic planning committees, and the campus community; and (e) modify and update the Plan as necessary.
    2. Exploring opportunities for maximizing and diversifying revenues in ways that leverage the strengths of the College and support the goals and initiatives of PC200. Examples include in-person, hybrid, or online certificates; graduate degree programs in emerging areas; and utilization of campus facilities during off-peak periods.

Process & Timeline

Quiet Phase – Spring/Summer 2016: The College’s senior leadership and Board of Trustees discuss the process for PC’s next Strategic Plan

Launch – Fall 2016/Winter 2017: The College president launches the process, names co-chairs, and creates two broadly representative strategic planning committees, including faculty, staff, and students: the Strategic Plan Steering Committee and the Future of Higher Education Research Team; as work begins the Strategic Plan is named “PC200

  • Launch email to campus: 9/7/2016

Discover and Envision – Winter/Spring/Summer 2017: The research team gathers and curates evidence related to the future of higher education and the higher education landscape (external lens); the College’s CIHE/NEASC reaccreditation self-study process identifies issues for PC200 consideration (internal audit against Commission Standards); the steering committee initiates “big thinking” sessions for on- and off-campus constituents (individuals, groups); in-person, written, and online feedback opportunities are created; the strategic plan portal website and research findings website are built; more than 1,000 people participated
• Process and timeline email to campus: 1/19/2017

Landscape Report Released – Spring 2017: The research team publishes its report

  • Landscape presentation to campus: 3/29/2017
  • PC200 update email to campus: 5/5/2017

Prioritization and Goal Setting – Summer 2017/Fall 2017: The PC200 “Vision & Goals” draft is prepared; the steering committee initiates feedback sessions for on- and off-campus constituents (individuals, groups); in-person, written, and online feedback opportunities are created

  • Board of Trustees debrief/PC200 update email to campus: 6/15/2017
  • Board of Trustees debrief/CIHE-NEASC reaccreditation visit update/PC200 update email to campus: 10/5/2017
  • PC200 update, including PC200 vision & goals draft, email to campus: 10/30/2017

Draft PC200 Plan Released – Winter 2018/Spring 2018: Various PC200 drafts are prepared; the first made available to the campus community for feedback in March 2018; feedback sessions also are held with on- and off-campus engagement councils and constituents; the consulting firm Art & Science is engaged to update the College’s financial aid analysis and to identify those academic and student-life initiatives in the PC200 draft that may have the greatest potential to strengthen PC’s competitive positioning; a comprehensive package, including landscape data and Plan financing is developed for the President’s Senior Cabinet and the Board of Trustees

  • Board of Trustees debrief/PC200 update email to campus: 2/9/2018
  • PC200 draft available email to campus: 3/12/2018

PC200 Finalized – Summer 2018/Fall 2018: PC200 drafts continued to be reviewed, refined, and published, and the preamble and metrics are added to the Plan; one such draft is provided to the Board of Trustees and the campus community in June 2018; Huron Consulting Group is engaged to provide outside, independent perspective on the viability of PC200, as well as coordinate and provide assistance with the Board of Trustees’ and the President’s Senior Cabinet’s Plan review and engagement; the Board and Cabinet are presented the latest draft during the September Board meeting, at which Huron presents; additional PC200 drafts are published and made available for comment in October (10/2, 10/3, 10/16) and community drop-in sessions and an all-faculty feedback meeting are hosted; the *final* PC200 draft is published and made available in early November; in total, as of 11/8/2018, the strategic plan portal site had 912 unique viewers and 2,452 site visits

  • Board of Trustees debrief/PC200 update email to campus: 6/22/2018
  • Board of Trustees debrief/PC200 update email to campus: 10/3/2018
  • PC200 update email to faculty with request for final comments: 11/5/2018

PC200 was approved by the Providence College Board of Trustees, by online vote, in November 2018.

Metrics Information

PC200 Primary Alignment(s)10-Year
Target/Metric
Baseline
(2018/most current)
VisionMin. 42% (or lower) admission acceptance rate undergraduate (UG) day school49%
VisionMin. 24% enrollment yield rate (net) UG day school20%
Vision, Goal 1, Goal 2Min. 94% retention rate (first-to-second year) UG day school92%
Vision, Goal 1, Goal 2Min. 87% graduation rate (six-year IPEDS rate) UG day school84%
Vision, Goal 1, Goal 2Min. 4.50/5.00 agreement with if given opportunity to start again, would choose to attend PC (5-Years Out Alumni Survey UG day school)4.31
Vision, Goal 2Min. 90% of incoming students' financial need met UG day school86%
Vision, Goal 2Min. 23% multicultural student enrollment UG day school17%
Goals 1, 2, and 3Target 1,075-1,125 as first-year UG day school enrollmentAvg. 1,070 (Fall 2014-18)
Goal 1Min. 60% first-year students participated in at least one high-impact practice beyond DWC (NSSE Survey)47%
Goal 1Min. 98% senior students participated in two or more high-impact practices (NSSE Survey)89%
Goal 1Min. 98% students working, attending school, or both within six months of graduation (from First Destination Survey/Online Research) UG day school98%
Goal 1Min. 90% students working in desired fields within six months of graduation (from First Destination Survey/Online Research) UG day school88%
Goal 2Min. 20% faculty structural diversity (full-time faculty)14%
Goal 2Min. 17% staff structural diversity (full-time staff)13%
Goal 2Min. 50% students, faculty, staff responding somewhat or very satisfied with "the campus experience/environment regarding diversity" (CLLWE Survey)33%
Goal 2Min. 60% students, faculty, staff responding somewhat or very satisfied with "the campus experience/environment regarding inclusiveness" (CLLWE Survey)47%
Goal 3Min. $450M endowment total$238,600,000
Goal 3Min. $6.7M Fund for Providence College, annually$5,000,000
Goal 3Min. 5% (or higher) operating margin, annually5%