Agile Ambrose

Honoring Our Past. Embracing Our Future.

St. Ambrose University Strategic Plan (2022-2027)

As the university writes its next chapter, we find ourselves at a turning point. Change is everywhere. The job market is changing. Demographics are changing. Student needs and expectations are changing. Agile Ambrose is ready to address these challenges and make bold moves to redefine itself as the leading Catholic Learner-Centric University.

The St. Ambrose University Strategic Plan Agile Ambrose (2022-2027) is a roadmap that guides us toward excellence in teaching, research, and service to our community. On this webpage, you will find an overview of our strategic plan and the planning process, as well as detailed information about our areas of focus and strategic outcomes.

We invite you to explore our strategic plan and learn more about our commitment to providing world-class education and making a positive impact on society.

Strategic Plan

At St. Ambrose, we believe that careful planning and thoughtful execution are critical components of success.

With that in mind, we have developed a comprehensive strategic plan and process that outlines our vision for the future and the steps we will take to achieve our goals.

Strategic Context

To begin to appreciate the context in which the Agile Ambrose strategic plan was developed and is being implemented, consider some of the headwinds facing higher education:

  • Gen Z learners want shorter, less expensive, more direct-to-career pathways in high-demand industries (Question the Quo, 2022)
  • 68% of adults considering enrolling in education prefer non-degree pathways, up from 50% a year ago (Strada Education)
  • More traditional students want online education and experts predict online students will make up 30% of all college students within five years (Education Dynamics, 2022)
  • 39 million adults have some college but no degree or credential. 1.9 million live in Illinois; 655,908 of these adults live in Iowa. (National Student Clearinghouse, 2022)
  • Employers increasingly tout their willingness to "train on the job" with 50% of IBM's US job openings not requiring a college degree. (Gallup, 2022)

This is just a small sample of the issues colleges and universities face. The higher education sector is navigating through a period of unprecedented challenges and shifts. Key among these is changing marketplace expectations, with students and employers alike demanding more practical, flexible, and technologically integrated educational experiences. Coupled with this is the worrying trend of declining student enrollment, a phenomenon that threatens the sustainability of institutions across the country.

Equally pressing is the increasing student debt burden, casting a long shadow over the value proposition of higher education. This financial strain is reshaping public opinion about higher education, with a growing call for accountability, affordability, and tangible outcomes.

Furthermore, the rapid pace of technological change and digital disruption is redefining what it means to learn and teach. Today's students, digital natives, expect educational experiences that are not only immersive and interactive but also personalized and accessible from anywhere.

In response to these challenges, St. Ambrose University's Agile Amborse strategic plan is crafted to steer the institution toward a future marked by growth, resilience, and relevance.

Strategic Plan Framework

The St. Ambrose University Agile Ambrose strategic plan is built around three key components: strategic pillars, a strategic process, and areas of focus. All three components work together to create a framework for achieving the goals and objectives of an Agile Ambrose.

Strategic Planning Framework

Strategic Plan Pillars

Planning Pillars

The strategic plan is driven by a commitment to the four pillars of the cross. Each pillar represents an anchor of our foundation.

  • Faculty, Staff, and Student Engagement Axis - A flourishing faculty and staff are central to strong student engagement.
  • Faith, Tradition, and Innovation Axis - Ambrose balances its faith tradition rooted in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and Catholic Social Teaching with a spirit of innovation that has driven the university to serve learners across their lifespan while recognizing that to be a learner-centric university, we must model agile and evolutionary efforts to meet learners in new spaces with new models and new pedagogies.
Strategic Plan Process

Planning Process

To achieve our vision, we must continuously bring sustainability (clarity), focus, and growth to our strategy.

  1. Sustainability - What problem are we trying to solve or where are we trying to go? What infrastructure do we need to build to get there?
  2. Focus - Can we test the solution and see if it works?
  3. Growth - Can we scale to achieve the desired goal? How are we going to get there?
  4. Transformation - How has St. Ambrose been changed and transformed by an order of magnitude?
Areas of Focus

Areas of Focus

In applying the planning framework, the Agile Ambrose strategic plan contains four areas of focus under the following banners, each with several strategic initiatives: Sustainable Foundations, Reimagining Learning, Students Thriving, and Strategic Growth.

Sustainable Foundations

St. Ambrose University is firmly committed to a future where our community thrives, supported by a solid foundation. Our strategic plan places the Sustainable Foundations area of focus at its core, highlighting our dedication to building a strong and adaptable organization. Initiatives in this area of focus are designed to not only address the immediate needs of our community but also to foresee and prepare for future demands. By focusing on expanding the capabilities of our people, continuously improving our policies and procedures, and enhancing our physical and technological resources, we are paving the way for a future of sustainable development and achievement at St. Ambrose.

Reimagined Learning

The Reimagined Learning area of focus is a bold endeavor to redefine our position as a leader in Catholic, learner-centered education. With an eye on the future of academia, this forward-thinking area of focus contains multiple initiatives to redesign the student's educational experience, setting a new standard for how education is delivered and received. These initiatives will not only prepare St. Ambrose students for future challenges, but will empower them to be the architects of tomorrow's world.

Reimagined Learning underscores our dedication to providing a holistic education that fosters critical thinking, ethical decision-making, and the pursuit of knowledge, all within the framework of our Catholic values. It's about creating a vibrant, innovative learning environment where students are prepared to lead, innovate, and excel in a rapidly changing global landscape.

Students Thriving

At St. Ambrose University, our Students Thriving area of focus is more than just words - it is a commitment, a promise we make to every student who chooses to join our community. As a learner-centered institution, we are deeply devoted to creating an environment that nurtures our students' academic, personal, and professional growth. Our dedicated strategic initiatives under the Students Thriving banner are carefully designed to ensure that success for our students is not just a possibility but a certainty.

Strategic Growth

The Strategic Growth banner contains strategic initiatives designed to lead St. Ambrose University into the future through innovation, transformation, and sustainable development. As the university charts a course of growth and renewal, this area of focus has several initiatives designed to ensure that we both honor our tradition while leaning into a future of possibility.

Strategic Plan Goals & Outcomes

There are five key strategic goals and outcomes of this strategic plan to be achieved by 2027.

  • Enrollment = 3000 students
  • Market Share = 12%
  • New Partnerships = 35
  • Operating Revenue = $72.5 million
  • Philanthropic Giving = $50 million

So, what's next?

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