Wheelock Strategic Plan: Learning, Leading, Innovating Together

An institution is only as important as its goals, and only as valuable as the steps it takes to achieve them.

In 2011, a large group of Wheelock stakeholders began to examine Wheelock's direction in light of a world undergoing dramatic change.  We went back to Wheelock's essential core values, asking ourselves how we could deepen and expand our mission to improve the lives of children and families.  We explored how we could better prepare leaders, practitioners, and change agents to be adept with new technologies and capable of making a difference anywhere in the world.

It was an extensive process of discovery that took months to complete. In fact, our primary institutional priority was 100% engagement with the process. What emerged, however, justified the effort. Wheelock now has a strategic plan that will help us reach the full measure of our enormous potential.

The plan narrows our focus to just six themes, such as "Innovation" (we call it BE BOLD). We have set two to four objectives in each theme, identified tactics for reaching them, and established measures for gauging our progress. Wheelock's commitment to meaningful action has never been so strong.

To educate leaders, Wheelock must be a leader itself, and a bold one.

We are going to do things that other institutions would not do. For example, in June 2013, Wheelock hosted an international conference on the impact of policies governing education, health, and human rights. Why? Because education without action to improve global conditions is unconscionable in the 21st century. Since the conference, we have maintained an international dialogue to continue the discussion about these issues.

Here are some other bold actions we are planning:

  • We will expand our already-extraordinary commitment to student success by developing an aggressive outreach to international students, increasing academic excellence and rigor, aligning our programs with workplace demand, and creating new ways for students to achieve their goals.
  • Through our Center for International Programs and Partnerships, we are seeking to make Wheelock's curricula available in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and more of Asia.

We will also continue to distinguish ourselves through our field service programs. The story of the Wheelock student who built a thriving school for the children of families living in a Guatemalan dump is well known. There are others. These efforts are really nothing new for us. They are the latest manifestations of an international focus that began when Lucy Wheelock sent teachers to study the European kindergarten movement. Now, our ambition is to make Wheelock the pre-eminent source of talented and visionary leaders who will impact lives in many ways in the decades ahead.

Boldness trickles down

The Wheelock Strategic Plan is clean, simple, emotional, and accessible to all. This is a plan that grew from the hearts and minds of Wheelock people and partners, not consultants. Our values have always been inspirational. But now it's time to pursue them pragmatically, with focus, energy, and a healthy skepticism for everything status quo.

There's a lot of change coming at Wheelock. Getting new technology onboard. Throwing old concepts overboard. Making Wheelock a global brand. It's all in the plan.


Wheelock College Strategic Plan

Enrich the Wheelock experience for all stakeholders
Engage Wheelock College stakeholders (administrators, community partners, students, and educators) in shared growth, collaborative learning and service to join together to effect positive change.
Match values and interests to build new relationships
Find and engage with organizations, foundations, and other entities whose primary focus is closely aligned with improving the lives of children and families.
Retain, attract, and support excellent and effective faculty and staff
Fully explore all factors influencing retention, recruitment, and ongoing support of excellent faculty and staff, in general and specifically at Wheelock. From that research, make recommendations to implement as appropriate.
Clarify and strengthen organizational practices and operating efficiency
Streamline organizational practices within and across the staff, faculty, and administrative sectors.
Align and grow undergraduate and graduate programs with workforce demand
Evaluate and continuously understand current trends and changes in response to workforce needs that are consistent with Wheelock's mission.
Create pathways for student success
Identify and promote multiple opportunities for all learners to meet their academic and career goals.
Support academic excellence and increase vigor
Promote consistent opportunity for faculty development including teaching, academic rigor, scholarship, and academic pedagogy.
Enhance and expand internationalization
Continuously explore and execute strategic high-quality international partnerships using modern technology which are consistent with Wheelock's mission.
Implement 2-3 big ideas no one owns now
Identify current gaps/needs in national and international social and educational practices that could be addressed (and owned) by Wheelock strengths.
Develop transformative tech-enabled learning
Transform teaching and learning across the institution by leveraging internal and external expertise to embrace, develop, and integrate technologies into instruction that will enhance the learning experience.
Develop and lead a children and family policy entity
Use Wheelock's strengths in children and families to develop an entity (conference, think tank, center, etc.) that will impact public policy.
Build and execute a strategic marketing plan
Develop and implement a comprehensive strategic marketing plan to increase Wheelock's visibility and brand recognition in the world and support the College's goals and mission.
Grow national and international enrollment
Increase the institution's visibility in order to attract a diverse student population for whom Wheelock can provide an enriching educational experience while promoting the College's mission nationally and internationally.
Grow global partnerships
Identify and pursue potential corporate and community organizations globally for which Wheelock can provide valuable services or enhance the educational experience.
Increase operating revenue
Strategically assess and identify programs, populations, use of space, and activities that will lead to increased resources to support the College's operations.
Raise funds to support the vision
Identify new sources of funding along with reallocation of current funding.
Expand grant development and management capability
Create and staff a structure to support faculty and staff grant development and management through all phases of the process, from identifying opportunities and proposal writing to final report.
Increase access and affordability for students
Find ways to ease the financial burden on students and families by increasing financial aid and by using new modes of delivery to reach traditional and non-traditional students.


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