Strategic Plan

Mission Statement

We prepare students for lives of active citizenship so they can contribute to their local, regional, national, and global communities. We help them to obtain professional careers in government, nonprofit and health care organizations.

Vision Statement

This program is your primary source for community and public service education! We provide an innovative and professional curriculum with dedicated and inspired teaching, scholarship, and service to the community. We are committed to developing ethical judgment and critical thinking in our students so they can lead as effective managers and community innovators.

Values Statement

We value:

  • Liberal education
  • Academic excellence in learning, teaching, and research
  • A culture of collegiality and collaboration
  • Diversity, civic discourse, and democratic communities
  • Community engagement
  • International perspectives and experiences
  • Management skills
  • Ethical commitment
  • Study of public, nonprofit and private sector collaboration
  • Innovation
  • Informed decision making
  • Social justice


Goals and objectives

Goal 1: Enhance the curricular content of SCLD programs to strengthen its position as a regional leader in educating students for active citizenship, professional careers, and leadership in public and nonprofit organizations.

Objective: Advance the MPA program to new levels of excellence.


  • Increase emphasis on core competencies related to organizational communication and information technology
  • Evaluate and improve content of nonprofit concentration with reference to the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC) Curricular Guidelines and nationally recognized exemplar programs
  • Increase opportunities for students to improve skill sets in policy analysis and city planning
  • Add more flexibility for completing concentrations
  • Evaluate and improve coordination and delivery of on-line classes
  • Diversify options for capstone experience to match diversity among students
  • Successfully complete the NASPAA re-accreditation process

Objective: Advance MHA program to next level of development


  • Revise MHA concentrations to clarify structure and add depth.
  • Increase external awareness of MHA program
  • Pursue AUPHA associate membership
  • Explore relationship with MSU medical center.

Objective: Upgrade certain aspects of undergraduate programs


  • Continue to integrate nonprofit management with public management content
  • Encourage participation in American Humanics
  • Improve oversight and mentoring of adjunct faculty

Objective: Better prepare students for challenges of globalism by increasing emphasis on international perspectives


  • Add content and courses which introduce international perspectives
  • Explore potentials for a new International NGO-oriented classes and concentration
  • Increase student participation in study abroad programs and other international experiences

Goal 2: Strengthen the faculty's capacity to fulfill the mission of SCLD.

Objective: Promote interactions among faculty members to increase transfer of knowledge


  • Create opportunity for team teaching
  • Develop a forum for post conference paper presentations

Objective: Financially sustain SCLD


  • Recruit good students to maintain high enrollments
  • Utilize university, local, state and national funding opportunities
  • Continue to build the endowment
  • Create collaborations to maximize resources and organizational capacity

Objective: Enhance research and service capabilities


  • Provide rewards for research and scholarship through workload policy
  • Recruit high-quality graduate assistants, both locally and internationally
  • Provide for acquisition of software, hardware, data, training, and books that support research agendas
  • Provide increased travel funding, especially for new faculty
  • Provide better mentoring on research and service activities for new tenure-track faculty

Goal 3: Strengthen the organizational and knowledge management capacity of SCLD to fulfill its mission.

Objective: Create decentralized internal administrative structure to implement strategy and recognize growth and maturation of SCLD.


  • Create a reorganization committee
  • Complete and maintain SCLD policy and procedure handbook
  • Monitor university development of post-tenure review process and encourage development of policies that ensures: (a.) preservation of academic freedom; (b) compliance with standards of due process; (c) recognition of situational differences in a diverse faculty; (d) the supremacy of peer review; and (e) a voluntary and incentive-based process.

Objective: Improve recruitment and admissions process to better identify, attract, and admit high quality graduate students


  • Develop a recruitment strategy
  • Develop and administer assessment survey for entering students
  • Enforce GRE requirement for pre-career graduate students
  • Lobby to modify rolling admission process
  • Strengthen role of and support of the admissions committee

Objective: Create student assessment procedures that comply with GVSU and NASPAA standards


  • Create a matrix of competencies by course and assign a grade for each competency
  • Create an assessment committee to plan and fairly divide workload

Goal 4: Develop organizational infrastructure to facilitate and institutionalize relationships with key stakeholders

Objective: Improve relationships with students that encourage their academic and professional development.


  • Promote and support the AH Student Association and the Graduate Student Association.
  • Enhance graduate assistant work areas and the climate for their intellectual development
  • Encourage students to join professional associations and provide support to attend professional and academic conferences.
  • Encourage students to participate in university-based and community-based activities that complement our curriculum.
  • Support student participation in Student Scholarship Day and provide other forums for students to present their independent study and thesis research.
  • Increase cooperation with University's placement office.

Objective: Strengthen relationships with alumni that increase their engagement with our students and programs.


  • Increase communication and interaction with alumni through use of the Internet and in-person activities.
  • Facilitate alumni volunteering for guest lectures and to serve as student mentors

Objective: Enhance relationships with professional, academic, and community organizations that improve study and practice in the public and nonprofit management fields.


  • Establish an advisory board to help SCLD achieve its vision by: (a) providing independent insight for the department's strategic directions; (b) helping students and faculty achieve a broader, more objective perspective on SCLD's external environment; and (c) increasing the visibility of SCLD's programs and graduates within the local public service community.
  • Serve on civic, public, and nonprofit boards.
  • Serve as technical and management consultants to public-private, community-based, and university-outreach projects and partnerships.
  • Support local, national and international organizations, conferences and publications which study and promote ethical, effective, and democratic public service.

Objective: To nurture collaborations with the Johnson Center that builds the future leadership of the nonprofit and philanthropic sector.


  • Facilitate cross participation in educational and research activities
  • Provide experiential opportunities for students seeking careers in nonprofit management
  • Develop connections for students and faculty with external networks

Page last modified August 23, 2022