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Juniata has long existed as an educational crucible accessible to those with the potential and drive to succeed, grounded in values of peace, simplicity, community, and service. What will distinguish Juniata among our competitors, and ensure the long viability of our enterprise, will be a clarity of focus on that historic promise and its contemporary expression.
This plan will evaluate and strengthen areas key to distinguishing the College, including our general curriculum, the interplay between curricular and co-curricular life, how we engage technology, and our reputation. We will use those findings to strengthen key areas:
- the scholarship inherent in our academic offerings, the flexibility of our signature Program of Emphasis system, and our experience-driven approach to inspiring learners;
- the community and its mix of challenge and support, commitment to inclusion, respect for peace and service, and focus on wellness;
- the distinctiveness of our location, academic offerings, and mission;
- our resources and the ways they enable focus on our mission and vision;
- and our presence as a college of high academic standards and performance transitioning from regional to international in reach, recruiting, and impact.
STRATEGIC PRIORITY #1: Juniata College will foster an environment that encourages and rewards intellectual rigor.
Academic rigor was noted as our greatest strength by survey participants. Our accreditation effort, our academic indicators and outcomes (here indicating graduate and professional school placement rates, employment rates, and similar measures) place us among a competitive group of the strongest liberal arts colleges in our region and, increasingly, nationally.
We will improve academic rigor by strengthening the curriculum, emphasizing clearly articulated learning outcomes to ensure an interdisciplinary and experiential educational experience, and enhancing flexibility. This initiative also will include developing assessment strategies and support for learning technologies.
Juniata will ensure students can expect a challenging, experience-driven liberal arts education that respects their individual ability to contribute to the learning goals of the community.
Juniata initially will evaluate present curriculum and, based on assessment, develop clear student outcome expectations designed to foster the skills, knowledge, and values the College deems necessary for a college graduate in the coming decade.
Juniata will provide faculty with professional development opportunities needed to sustain and evolve a viable curriculum in a knowledge-driven society.
Teaching and Learning Environment
Juniata will assess the environment in which it delivers a competitive and salient education, completing a specific assessment of learning spaces and the qualities they possess that help or hinder learning and collaboration.
STRATEGIC PRIORITY #2: Juniata College will grow, nurture and support an inclusive, engaged, and vibrant community.
Juniata’s most distinctive asset is its people and community. A student-first approach is not merely a tagline but the lived experience for most everyone at Juniata. Students and their families become part of the Juniata fabric as prospective students, and they continue as engaged alumni for a lifetime.
We are mindful of the many environments in which learning occurs at a residential college set in a distinctive environment. Juniata’s many co-curricular opportunities—including athletics, student government and advocacy, scores of academic and interest clubs, service and campus leadership, community engagement and service, arts and cultural opportunities, and residential living itself—are credited by generations of alumni with helping them grow.
Juniata’s community has long been described as welcoming, but as it has grown and diversified along many measures, our historic welcoming impulses have to adapt as contemporary students arrive with different strengths, ideas, challenges, and needs.
Student Residential Experience
Juniata will provide a residential experience that encourages considerations of community and service, promotes intellectual challenge, and facilitates personal and academic growth and empowerment.
Juniata will create a campus community of inclusiveness from the classroom to the residence hall room to the conference room by evaluating the effectiveness of its programs that help ensure diverse employee candidate pools, developing academic, employee, and residential life activities and educational opportunities that encourage dialogue, develop competencies, and foster interaction around diversity.
Juniata will strengthen international opportunities, programs, and skills in its community, with a goal of achieving a rate of 50 percent of students studying abroad for long-term credit-bearing periods, and with higher percentages engaged in study away for shorter terms, cementing internationalism as a signature part of its offering to students.
Juniata will create an environment that inspires our students, faculty, staff, and alumni to sustain a healthy and balanced lifestyle. We believe that our setting and attributes of our service and community-oriented campus can enhance the likelihood of students adopting wellness habits. Juniata will expand the conception of our wellness programming to include intellect, physical health, emotional balance, social fluency, and mindfulness. From there, Juniata will develop means for students to access recreational and service opportunities in our distinct region.
STRATEGIC PRIORITY #3: Juniata College will deepen and enrich the unique characteristics that make the College an extraordinary place.
Juniata will pursue initiatives to enhance and highlight the advantages of our geographical location, strengthen and make more distinct the challenging and supportive character of our community, and ensure the sustainability and flexibility of our physical spaces to best serve the learning and professional objectives of our community constituents. The main highlight of this overall strategic priority will be developing a comprehensive plan to connect and utilize the Juniata-Huntingdon connection.
Juniata will enhance and highlight the advantages of our geographical location, a key step for which will be a comprehensive assessment of our brand in the higher education marketplace. We will also work to strengthen awareness and connection to regional assets for outdoor recreation, business, and networks.
Character of Community
Juniata will strengthen and make more distinctive the challenging and supportive character of our community. Recent surveys have highlighted the College’s combination of challenge and support as distinct, as well as the Program of Emphasis and the two-adviser system. Juniata will enhance its use of distinctive assets, including the POE and the advising system, in addition to community traditions and other attributes.
Campus Physical Environment
Juniata will enhance and provide for the sustainability of the physical beauty and usefulness of our campus. New capital improvements will be designed with an eye toward intentional curricular and co-curricular goals, with sustainable practices a given in the campus environment.
STRATEGIC PRIORITY #4: Juniata College will strengthen its financial position.
Juniata’s financial position has supported a period of growth. However, we know from data that our resources are leaner than those of many of our peers. We have tended to “do more with less,” and the campus as a whole has shown concern regarding the sustainability of such an approach. We will pursue initiatives to strengthen our financial position, ensure accessibility to talented students from challenging financial situations, and diversify our revenue streams.
Juniata will strengthen its financial position to provide greater security and flexibility with which to deliver on its mission. To do so, we will consider pricing strategy and cost structures. At the same time, Juniata will pursue a comprehensive fundraising campaign to support significant endowment growth and capital investment.
Juniata will diversify its revenue sources. With nascent online programs, summer instructional programs and camps, and other revenue lines to consider, the College will capitalize on or enhance revenue possibilities. A campaign also has the potential to increase unrestricted assets.
STRATEGIC PRIORITY #5: Juniata College will increase its national and international reach and reputation.
One of Juniata’s main challenges is its name recognition outside of central Pennsylvania. Surveys identified it as the single greatest weakness with which the College struggles. Success on this initiative will mean that graduates can expect people of influence to know or quickly understand the value of where they earned their education.
Juniata will develop and execute means to advance its national and international presence. A significant brand study will be the basis for enhancing reputation and recognition. Additionally, planned increase in presence in our region and community will ensure people know our story.
COURAGE TO ACT:
The Plan for Juniata College
will solidify our place and presence in the higher education landscape, and position us to better serve students, employees, alumni and the Huntingdon community, for another century.