Grove City College is running down our Top Ten stories of 2021. This story was originally published Dec. 9.
Grove City College is moving forward with a new five-year strategic plan that aims to leverage the College’s strengths to further advance its distinctive and vital mission in a time of growing disruption in higher education.
The plan – “From Strength to Strength: Timeless Values and Historic Opportunities” – was approved in November by the College’s Board of Trustees and sets five strategic goals for the next half-decade across academics, community life, enrollment, financial management and brand identity.
“The strategic plan builds on the College’s strengths to chart a course that honors the steadfast mission, vision and values for which Grove City College is known,” Board Chair Edward D. Breen ’78 said.
The plan looks to those strengths – excellent academics, a Christ-centered community, financial discipline, responsible stewardship and bold thought leadership – to create opportunities in a disrupted marketplace. Most colleges and universities are facing a common demographic and social reality: There are fewer traditional college-age students, and they want greater value and more flexibility when it comes to higher education. The College has, so far, succeeded in this environment by providing conviction, consistency and a highly personalized education in the pursuit of truth.
“To sustain this success for generations to come we must move from strength to strength, with a spirit of innovation and discernment rooted in timeless values. By God’s grace, this plan will serve as an essential road map in guiding Grove City College in the next steps on its nearly 150-year journey,” College President Paul J. McNulty ’80 said.
The outline for the future includes dozens of objectives and tactics to meet the plan’s goals, which include new academic programs, physical plant upgrades, enhanced faith formation and community cultivation opportunities, raising the College’s national profile and optimizing financial management and fundraising efforts to support students and maintain the College’s independence.
The plan is the result of a year-long effort by the College’s Strategic Planning Committee, which was led by Board Vice Chair Craig W. Jones ’74 and comprised of trustees, administrators, faculty and staff. Breen and McNulty also served on the committee.
“This strategic plan builds upon many noteworthy foundational programs and current practices that continue to produce enviable support from the College’s stakeholders and recognition among its comparative higher education institutions,” Jones said.
“This is a credit to past and current trustees and College employees. But past success does not necessarily guarantee future success,” Breen said. “Grove City College must be vigilant in maintaining a discipline of strategy development, monitoring and evaluation in the dynamic higher education marketplace to secure a prosperous future. Enhancing Grove City College's future success as a place of strength, truth and light in an uncertain world is a profound responsibility for all engaged. It is our sincere hope this plan serves as an effective step in realizing that responsibility.”
Among many other initiatives, the strategic plan calls for reviewing the College’s core humanities curriculum, expanding online and graduate programs, setting optimal enrollment goals, improving educational technology, increasing scholarship support for students, advancing thought leadership and seeking innovative ways to serve the greater good.