Strategic Plan

Grounded in Tradition, Creating a Vision for the Future

Not for school, but for life graphicMore than 100 years of vision, values, enduring commitment, and achievement have combined to create today’s Carroll. As a Diocesan, Catholic institution of growing regional and national renown, we attract increasing numbers of distinguished undergraduate applicants, draw faculty trained at the world’s leading colleges and universities, and are poised to diversify our educational offerings.

Today’s Carroll has accomplished a great deal through an enduring commitment to the fundamental values upon which it was founded. This remarkable legacy of achievement serves to inspire greater goals and to set new expectations for the role that the college can play in today’s world. These new objectives include enduring commitments such as mission, values, and college imperatives along with the overarching vision statements that now set the tone for Carroll’s next period of advancement and achievement.

We will pursue and attain this overarching vision through a group of initiatives that address Carroll’s responsibility to develop programs guided by the enduring principles that have shaped Catholic Diocesan education for centuries, but still responsive to the ever-shifting needs of its students and the communities of which they are a part. As such, we will consider shifting demographics, changing technologies, increasing globalization, and the heightened student expectations that compel us to continually reexamine the value and the promise of the educational experience we provide. These circumstances pose great challenges, but also position us to enhance this experience and excel in new ways.

Like the college itself, this plan is not static. It is a living, breathing endeavor that can and will be modified in response to the progress of its initiatives as well as the changing educational and financial climate.

Explore the plan.

Planning Process

Carroll College began a new planning process in the summer of 2012. Two community planning forums were held on June 25th and July 11th. These informed the creation of draft strategic enduring commitments with the emerging themes of positioning Carroll in the broader world community, Carroll's enrollment, bolstering Carroll's infrastructure, and ensuring financial stability.

These enduring commitments were further discussed at a leadership retreat with cabinet members, department heads and department chairs on August 20th and a similar retreat on the 21st with all faculty members. The discussions and feedback from these meetings informed the developing vision and strategic imperatives.

In October of 2012, the Board of Trustees approved our roadmap for strategic planning. They confirmed the draft enduring commitments and vision statements as well as the related objectives and timelines. Throughout 2012-2013, Cabinet members and dozens of faculty and staff revised and refined the draft statements. The final draft plan, Vision 2018 was presented to the community on April 30, 2013. The updated and final plan was presented to the Board of Trustees for their adoption on May 10, 2013.


Throughout the fall of 2017, the community engaged in a process of a closing out the Vision 2018 Strategic Plan. The process involved a series of meetings and conversations where outstanding Vision 2018 objectives were sunsetted, revised, or moved ahead for consideration in the next strategic plan. This work resulted in the Vision 2025 Imperatives listed below. Although these are not intended to be a comprehensive list or set direction for the institution, they will serve as guiding ideas to inform a robust, integrated, collaborative strategic planning process to launch Summer 2018. The list was reviewed by the Board of Trustees, February 2018. 



  • CATHOLIC IDENTITY: Improve understanding of and commitment to Carroll College’s mission and Catholic identity through increased participation in mission-related college programs.
  • BISHOP CARROLL LEADERSHIP AWARDS: Create a Bishop Carroll Leadership Program to enroll students with demonstrated potential for leadership and service.
  • NATIONAL PRESTIGIOUS SCHOLARSHIPS: Increase the number of students identified, mentored, and selected for competitive scholarships.
  • COMMUNITY LIVING: Implement residential housing opportunities to develop character and leadership through identified learning communities.



  • SUPPORT FOR TEACHING AND ENGAGED LEARNING: Promote innovative teaching and engaged learning through revitalized Core and Honors programs, high-impact practices, and a Center for Teaching Excellence and Student Scholarship that promotes opportunities for faculty development and undergraduate research.
  • MASTERS PROGRAMS AND CERTIFICATES: Identify graduate programs that have the potential to serve a demonstrated need, achieve distinction, and attract students.
  • FOCUS ON HUMANITIES: Establish a Center for the Humanities to promote research, scholarship, and creative work among faculty and students in the humanities and social sciences for the 21st Century and to promote lectures, performances, and other opportunities for engaging the public in the humanities.
  • EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY:  Improve and expand online course offerings for specific programs that will add value and flexibility to current and new curricula. 
  • LEARNING COMMONS: Renovate the Corette Library to include a “Learning Commons” that promotes and supports student learning in research, writing, and communication.



  • ADVISORY BOARDS: Establish advisory boards with a clear mission and mandate.
  • ATHLETICS: Fully align the Department of Athletics with the college’s strategic imperatives through a plan that includes program offerings, staffing, facilities, marketing, and funding sources.
  • SIGNATURE EVENT: Design an annual fundraising dinner to engage supporters of Carroll College to net a minimum of $150K



  • ENROLLMENT: Achieve an enrollment of 1,600 students in five years while increasing net tuition revenue.
  • RETENTION: Develop a program for retention and student success that achieves a first year to second year cohort retention rate of 87%.
  • COMPREHENSIVE CAMPAIGN: Launch a $40-50M campaign for budget-relieving endowments, naming opportunities to fund financial assistance and operations, and for capital improvements.
  • FACILITIES: Redesign classrooms and residence hall spaces according to a 5- year plan; increase the attractiveness and safety of campus spaces; and improve the efficiency of all services and operations.