Explore the Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan: Vision 2018

Carroll College's Strategic Plan, Vision 2018, includes a group of distinct, complementary initiatives that will advance the college's mission and vision. Organized into eight key areas critical to Carroll's continuing achievement, these initiatives focus on the college's Vision and Enduring Commitments. These elements are listed below, as well as the process used to created the strategic plan. Detailed outcomes for each initiative can be found on the Strategic Action Plan page.

Carroll's Vision

Mission Statement graphicCarroll College will enhance its nationally recognized status for excellence by preparing students for vocation and enlightenment in an increasingly GLOBAL and DIGITAL age with dynamic and distinguishing academic and co-curricular programs. As a diocesan Catholic college inspired by FAITH, Carroll will further integrate liberal arts, professional studies and service to others. Carroll will nurture leaders to live fully in the present and prepare for the future while engaged in their LOCAL community.

Enduring Commitments

To realize its Vision, Carroll College must rise to the occasion of these four Enduring Commitments:

  1. Strengthen academic and co-curricular programs
  2. Enhance campus life for students, faculty, staff, and the extended community
  3. Increase enrollment
  4. Improve financial vitality and sustainability 



Carroll will develop programs that encourage all community members to participate in the formation of the whole person – mind, body and spirit. Carroll will faithfully engage the intellectual tradition and the teachings of the Catholic Church, which are the source of its identity and mission. Carroll will therefore provide the following:

I. Campus-wide awareness of and understanding of Carroll College's history, its Catholic mission and its relationship with the Diocese of Helena

II. A community of faith and reason that engages with the Catholic intellectual tradition and explores its contemporary relevance

III. Opportunities for growth in faith and formation in Gospel values through programs that contribute to the full realization of a dual goal of vocation and enlightenment

IV. A culture of service that integrates the principles of Catholic social teaching and promotes civic engagement 

V. A culture of authentic interfaith dialogue, civil discourse and cooperation that recognizes what is true, good and beautiful in all traditions

VI. Spaces and opportunities for worship, reflection, inquiry and leadership that foster a sacramental vision of community and its responsibility for God's creation


Carroll will engage with the people and environments of Helena and Montana to both enhance students’ wellbeing through a deep connection to their environment and also to enable faculty, staff, students and alumni to contribute their intellectual capital and skills to the identified needs of the larger community. The college will therefore support the following:

I. Students, faculty and staff engaged in service activities

II. Programs that provide experiential learning through Montana's unique landscape and Helena's location as state capital

III. Relationships with business, government, organizations, educational institutions and communities that further student career opportunities and college relations

IV. Efforts to enhance its reputation as a regional resource for scholarly thought


Carroll will prepare students to navigate in an increasingly complex and interdependent world with agency and confidence. The college will create the following:

I. Distinctive programs on at least three other continents

II. A campus with an international community of students, faculty and staff

III. Relationships with global peers using technology to further opportunities in language study, teaching, research and other subject areas

IV. Enhanced academic and co-curricular programs that reflect global perspectives


Carroll will provide technology to enhance teaching and learning opportunities. It will therefore develop the following:

I. Technology-enabled classrooms to increase interaction and encourage collaborative learning

II. Multimedia capabilities to connect the world's teachers and learners

III. Digital workflows to improve efficiencies

Strengthen Academic and Co-curricular Activities

Carroll will develop new academic and co-curricular programs that blend service learning, technology and ethics in response to the changing world. Carroll will strengthen its excellent academic and co-curricular programs by creating the following:

I. An environment that is conducive to an interdisciplinary approach to academic programs, fully integrating liberal arts, professional and pre-professional programs that will include

    1. An Interdisciplinary Center
    2. A relevant CORE curriculum informed by vision and mission
    3. Integrated courses and programs

II. Masters, 3 2, and 4 1 degree programs that are mission-focused and market-driven

III. Online/hybrid courses and programs that meet the learning needs of current students and broaden the opportunity to attract new students outside the campus

IV. Additional opportunities for undergraduate research

V. Professional accreditation status for Business, Engineering, Education and Nursing Programs

VI. New and enhanced teaching and learning facilities

    1. Enhanced classrooms – technology and furniture – to better fit modern teaching and learning strategies
    2. State of the art Corette Library that fosters research and collaborative teaching and learning

Enhance Campus Life for Students, Faculty, Staff and Extended Community

Carroll will enhance the residential character of the student learning experience through an investment in programs, facilities, furnishings and technology to strengthen its sense of community. The college will provide conditions and practices that support an optimal learning and work environment for students, faculty, staff and extended community. This will be made possible by the following:

I. An enhanced residential and community space that will include

    1. Campus apartments to better meet students’ housing expectations
    2. Spaces that foster conversations between and among students, faculty and staff
    3. New, remodeled or consolidated spaces for campus services and organizations
    4. The Hunthausen Activities Center to promote community development as well as health and wellness

II. Integrated academic and co-curricular programs that will consist of

    1. Expanded student experiential learning programs to connect learning inside and outside of the classroom (e.g. service, leadership, outdoor education, faith development and global education)
    2. Increased resources for academic and co-curricular activities (e.g. Talking Saints, Moot Court, Math Modeling, SIFE, Athletics)

III. A curricular experiential component, which includes study abroad, internship, practicum, clinical, student teaching, leadership or service

IV. Technology to achieve academic, personal and organizational excellence that will establish

    1. Improved digital competency and technology-enabled skills for faculty, staff and students
    2. New systems and solutions that support innovative, collaborative, creative and informed decision-making, while creating organizational efficiencies to reduce its carbon footprint

V. A healthy, safe, and secure work and learning environment for faculty, staff, students and visitors on campus reinforced by a comprehensive Enterprise Risk Management Program to include policies, tools, resources, training and educational opportunities

VI. The recruitment and retention of qualified faculty and staff committed to Carroll's mission and values by establishing

    1. Salary and benefit packages that are competative with other peer institutions
    2. Robust employee recognition and celebration programs
    3. An evaluation of the effectiveness of existing recruitment methods
    4. Increased professional development funds

Increase Enrollment

Carroll will have a greater impact across its region, its nation and throughout the world by educating more students. It will recruit, enroll, retain and graduate a greater number of students by creating the following:

I. Enhanced strategies that support market penetration and development, such as

    1. Partnerships with Catholic college preparatory school networks to attract and enroll well-prepared students with a demonstrated interest in Catholic higher education
    2. Expanded transfer student outreach through student search opportunities, as well as Phi Theta Kappa scholarship opportunities and agreements with select Montana and Northwest regional community colleges
    3. Expanded outreach, enrollment and campus support for specialized student populations
    4. Expanded student search, fulfillment and application push strategies

II. Increased funding for endowed scholarships

III. Increased retention and graduation rates that will be achieved by

    1. Constructing a strategic retention plan that coordinates with admission targets, financial aid and choice of major
    2. Creating academic policies, programs and services such as course placement, course registration and program entrance requirements
    3. Instituting early alert and intervention strategies for first- and second-year students who are academically or otherwise at risk
    4. Improving student financial literary skills

Improve Financial Vitality and Sustainability

Carroll will build and strengthen its financial foundation to increase its ability to invest in academic and co-curricular programs, as well as human, technical and physical resources.  It will improve financial vitality and sustainability by establishing the following:

I. Both annual and five-year capital and operating budget plans based on realistic and achievable goals that will incorporate and advance the priorities of the strategic vision. 

II. Increased revenue sources and new revenue streams by creating

1. Marketing and sales strategies for ticket and event income

2. Defined policies and procedures relating to Corporate Sponsorships

III. Increased funding from individuals, foundations, and both corporate and federal sources achieved through

1. Expanded outreach to alumni, friends and parents

2. Yearly assessment of annual giving campaign

3. New strategies to increase major and planned gifts

4. Increased proposals to foundations of national prominence

5. Incentive programs that encourage faculty to develop grant proposals (funding requests > $25,000) for submission to foundations and federal agencies

IV. Institutional priorities identified for a MIND-BODY-SPIRIT campaign such as

1. A feasibility and readiness report for a MIND-BODY-SPIRIT campaign in the next five years

2. Identified endowment priorities based on feasibility and assessment of the last campaign

3. Developed MIND initiatives of the campaign

4. Developed BODY initiatives of the campaign

5. Developed SPIRIT initiatives of the campaign

V. Updated and prioritized campus master plan

Planning Process

At his first Board of Trustees Meeting, President Evans announced that Carroll would “embark upon a vigorous strategic planning process ... involving Cabinet, faculty, staff and trustees over the course of the next 12 months … requiring deep thinking and lots of work.” The Carroll community embraced this invitation with enthusiasm, excitement, and creativity, participating in several strategic planning activities. The resulting product was a dynamic plan, Vision 2018, which charts the college’s course for the next 5 years. The plan was assembled from the ideas and information collected at the following activities:

  • Broad discussions of Carroll College’s mission statement
  • A campus environmental scan to determine core focus areas
  • Creation of foundational documents, including a Vision Statement and a Statement of Values
  • Development of four vision statements and four enduring commitments based on areas of strength and accomplishment
  • Development of several Implementation Plans for proposals with broad campus input
  • Financial analysis and Measurable Outcomes for the initiatives distinguished by inclusive opportunities for all campus constituencies to shape the process, contribute ideas, and comment on progress, leading to substantive discussions the Trustee meetings in February and May 2013
  • Faculty department meetings
  • Academic and administrative department meetings
  • A day-long Board Retreat
  • A day-long Leadership Retreat
  • A day-long Faculty Retreat
  • A Strategic Planning website posting information, documents and a discussion forum for those who could not attend the Community Forums.