Goal 1: Improve recruitment
and retention effectiveness to increase enrollment.

 

Desired Outcomes:

  • By 2020 increase overall enrollment by 20 percent from the 2015 levels.
  • Increase undergraduate graduation rate to 60 percent and increase the freshman-sophomore retention rate to 80 percent.

Benedictine will increase its recruitment effectiveness with the goal of growing its enrollment. The Benedictine enrollment strategy will be clearly defined and implemented. Financial Aid processes will be enhanced to allow new students ease of access to financial resources. In order to remain enrolled, continuing students will be provided assistance addressing financial barriers and securing additional financial resources. Retention efforts will include enhancing academic support, providing co-curricular and experiential learning opportunities and improving engagement. Improvements in career development services will help students identify and connect to post-graduation employment or to continue their studies. The development of a facilities master plan resulting in well-planned facility improvements will help to drive enrollment and support retention efforts.

 

Goal 2: Raise the academic profile of the University by assuring excellence in all academic programs.

 

Desired Outcomes:

  • Gain competitive advantages in targeted markets through the identification and transformation of key current academic programs.
  • Continue to be a comprehensive university with strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Benedictine has identified five specific groups including students, parents, alumni, employers and graduate schools that are direct beneficiaries of academic excellence. By offering well-respected academic programs, we will prepare our students for their chosen careers or continued education. In order to achieve the outcomes with each of these groups, Benedictine will focus on teaching and learning. Each program will integrate high-impact learning techniques and a learner-focused approach, and incorporate Benedictine values. Programs will be structured to best meet the needs of various markets. The result will be a distinctive, value-focused Benedictine education.

 

Goal 3: Improve organizational management and effectiveness.

 

Desired Outcomes:

  • To produce greater student and employee satisfaction, improved program performance, and regional and national recognition for best practices as a Catholic university thought leader.

As an institution, Benedictine will improve its ability to manage the effectiveness and efficiency of our organization to drive the overall strategy. In order to foster a culture of continuous improvement, Benedictine will utilize a reliable system of ongoing assessment, and coordinate, monitor and evaluate the progress of the strategic plan. When applicable, organizational changes to existing programs will be reviewed through established governance programs. A key initial priority will be to focus on data definition, collection and reporting. A technology master plan and roadmap will focus on improving the capabilities and usage of the existing technology systems, processes and support.

 

Goal 4: Cultivate talent within our Catholic and Benedictine culture.

 

Desired Outcomes:

  • To support the diversity of student and employee cohorts, utilizing the “Chicago Catholic,” (Catholic universities in the Chicago metro area), Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU) and Association of Benedictine Colleges and Universities (ABCU) cohorts for comparison purposes where appropriate.

Improved faculty interactions with learners should have an impact on retention, academic success and recruitment. Development, training, recruitment and management of staff will help to ensure that staff members are effective as possible and satisfied with their careers and roles. Across the entire University, efforts will be focused to further embed, sustain and spread the Catholic and Benedictine mission and values. This values-driven focus will enhance and enrich the culture of the University.

 

Goal 5: Strengthen financial sustainability.

 

Desired Outcomes:

  • Operating budgets returning margin revenue to endowments that support scholarship and facilities.
  • Fundraising reaches $6 million annually by 2020.

Benedictine is committed to remaining financially accessible and affordable to a diverse student population through efficient management of our fiscal resources. By growing revenue and other sources of income for operations and strategic objectives, we will be able to achieve and strengthen long-term financial sustainability to support academic excellence. Additionally, development and fundraising capabilities and financial contributions will be enhanced significantly. Benedictine will focus on a financial strategy that will manage our resources to ensure the continued health and sustainability of the University.

 

University Planning and Research

Sheila Coffin 
Executive Director of University Planning and Research

(630) 829-6664
scoffin@ben.edu