Over the last few months the College conducted a comprehensive strategic research project including market and competitor anlysis, employer interviews and qualitative and quantitative research with students, alumni and prospects.
The project findings have now been synthesized and will serve as the foundation for a well-informed multi-year strategic plan which is currently underway.
The following guiding principles emerged from the research findings to inform Peirce's next strategic agenda:
- Peirce should continue to build on its reputation as an istitution that promotes career development and workforce skills;
- Peirce's unique value proposition could appeal to a broad audience;
- Peirce has a reputation as an institution that caters to working students, and our studendtsn and aluni vlaue that commitment;
- Peirce is generally seen as affordable among its competitive set;
- The higher education market is moving to meet demands for flexibility and improved speed to completion for students;
- Competency-based models, flex modality and intensive course formats are extremely appealing to our core prospects;
- An integrated mission, i.e. services beyond academic offerings, is a key benefit for working students;
- Course flexibility, financial aid guidance/assistance and career services are important factors for student retention;
- Alumni have overwhelmingly positive views of Peirce;
- There is a substantial market of core prospects in the Philadelphia area, and Peirce can occupy a unique niche within that market -- one that's committed to flexibility and speed, like the national online universities but with the local connections to employers and relevant job skills.
While varied in nature, these implications coalesced to provide an optimistic outlook for Peirce's future: the college is well-positioned to meet the changing needs of the higher-education marketplace, and the barriers to doing so are not overwhelming.
During the research project, a Steering Committe was formed to provide oversight and input to the initiative. The Steering Committee will remain as a body to review and give input at key milestones of the strategic planning process along with an ad-hoc committee of the board of trustees.
Using the guiding principles noted earlier, specific areas of opportunity were identified for strategic planning focus and sub teams have assembled compirsing members of the community including faculty, staff, alumni and vendors who currently partner with the College.
Sub teams have also been designated to focus on updating the College's vision and mission statements, the financial impact of emerging strategic recommendations and communication of the College's next strategic plan.
The sub teams will be responsible for providing output to a Strategic Planning Core Team that will be responsible for drafting a plan outlining the College's strategic focus in the next three years.
The timeline for plan development will conclude with a presentation for approval at the Board of Trustee meeting in February 2015. Pending approval, the plan will be communicated externally in March 2015.