From the President's Office
We are thrilled that enrollment stands at an all-time high this semester &mdash ;5,277 students — and that our incoming class of baccalaureate students is the largest in 30 years. With record-breaking enrollment and a newly approved strategic plan already in motion, we’ve embarked on another banner year.
Our plan for St. Catherine University, called 2020 Vision, stretches out 10 years, which will take us to the leading edge of this century’s third decade.
Our plan encompasses eight broad strategic directions that pivot on mission, structure, curriculum and co-curriculum, academic excellence and leadership, partnerships, visibility, enrollment and resources.Within the 10-year framework of 2020 Vision is a set of shorter-term priority plans consistent with the entire 2020 sweep.
There can be no doubt that our University exists within an unsettled political, social and economic environment, often reluctant to fund higher education or acknowledge its long-term benefits. It is an environment certainly indifferent to the value of education in a single-gender setting and one which favors education that leads directly to jobs, rather than preparing students for meaningful lives and careers in a world of rapid, unpredictable change. Our 2020 Vision squarely faces these challenges.
During the planning process, we asked ourselves difficult but essential questions:
Through the University’s four schools we will maintain or bring targeted programs to national pre-eminence — specifically, psychology, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), Montessori education, sales, ASL/interpreting and selected programs in the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health. We will establish new programs, including doctorates in Montessori education and occupational therapy; and master’s or baccalaureate degrees in public health, orthoptics, physician assistant, music/theater, liturgical music and business administration. We will continue to offer existing programs and new programs through a variety of formats and delivery systems, among them day, weekend, evening, online, hybrid, cohort and summer options.
A primary focus of 2020 Vision is to intensify our focus on academic excellence and leadership development. Priorities here include an enhanced honors program; greater focus on research at both undergraduate and graduate levels; increasing student success in competing for prestigious scholarships such as Fulbrights; internationalizing the baccalaureate curriculum; and greatly expanding our advising support for students preparing to pursue graduate, medical and legal education.
Our 2020 Vision plan radiates possibility, and we are already energetically engaged in all it will take to achieve its ambitious goals. Our plan takes the long view in the face of worldwide change and instability. Throughout all this change, we will remain true to our mission and deepest values, and, as we always have, we will offer St. Catherine University as a leader in educating students — particularly women — who can write, think, communicate, solve complex problems and collaborate effectively with others.
In the end, it comes down to mission and vision and the passion they evoke. I am eager to hear your thoughts about 2020 Vision and hope many of you will join us in our work — eyes always on the horizon and faithful as well to our roots.
Andrea J. Lee, IHM