The Process: A Five-Phase Model

Collaborative Strategic Planning (CSP)
follows a five-phase approach that has worked in a variety of institutions in higher education. The process is highly engaging and inclusive in nature and efficient in its execution. The process is designed to create commitment to the implementation of the strategic plan from the very beginning. It is consultant “lite” and utilizes a highly credible internal Planning Task Force as the driving mechanism for the entire process. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and all College "stakeholders" are heard and valued as their meaningful involvement helps create a bright and robust future for the College.

The Five Phases are
  1. Getting Organized
  2. Data Gathering and Engagement
  3. Making Sense of the Issues
  4. The Vision Conference
  5. The Goals Conference

Guiding Principles/Essential Elements

  1. Meaningful engagement of institutional stakeholders is at the heart of the process. By engagement we mean face-to-face interaction and discussion.
  2. Information gathered throughout the planning process is shared with everyone. Transparency is essential.
  3. The role of the consultant(s) is to help tap into and build the capacity of the internal stakeholders and guide the planning process not direct it.
  4. Attention is paid to the external issues and trends in higher education throughout the process so that institutional stakeholders don’t focus too much on their own world. (We call this listening to yourself too much)
  5. External stakeholders (alumni, community, business) are an important part of the process and are engaged in several phases of the planning process. This creates a well-informed and robust plan that intelligently responds to the pace and complexity of change and responds to the different stakeholder interests that surrounds every institution.