A Purposeful Pathway
By: Dr. Kris Mickelson
Message From the President
The 'Code Squad'
Dr. Mickelson is the Dean of the School of Integrative Studies and facilitates the Strategic Framework Implementation Group.
The previous issue of the Edgewood College Magazine celebrated our 90th anniversary by reflecting on how our Catholic Dominican roots anchor our continued vitality as a College. In this edition, we look forward guided by our new road map – Pathways to Purpose: A Strategic Framework.
The process of developing our Strategic Framework was a College-wide effort framed by the theme of looking back; looking forward. Revisiting Sr. Mary Paynter’s history of Edgewood College, Phoenix from the Fire, we considered the chapter titles that named the distinctiveness of each historical era, and then discussed what we would like to be known for in our next chapter. This reflective process served as the foundation for the development of our new vision statement:
Edgewood College will be an inclusive model of learning, teaching, and scholarship. Our students, alumni, faculty, and staff will be recognized for their pursuit of purposeful lives, vibrant and sustainable communities, and a just world.
This aspirational statement recognizes the unique moment in which we exist as an institution of higher education. We remain responsive to the needs and opportunities of the time, in the spirit of Dominican sisters, amid a new landscape that includes changing demographics; new approaches to teaching, learning, and degree completion; competition from the pressures of access and affordability; and calls for accountability from politicians to parents about the value of a degree.
This Strategic Framework presents the College’s vision for how to successfully navigate this landscape: we will invest in areas with the greatest potential to ensure a healthy and sustainable Edgewood College for future generations in ways aligned with our core values, identity, and mission. As an educational institution, student learning is at our core; but as a liberal arts college in the Dominican tradition, we embrace the unique role we have to play in our communities.
Thus, our strategic planning process is a dynamic framework to guide our actions and decisions in an evolving environment, rather than a pre-determined series of steps. Three strategic themes provide the grounding for seven strategic priorities that we believe hold the greatest potential for realizing our vision. Recommended Priority Actions describe more specific routes toward measureable progress in that area at this time.
Theme One: Student Learning
We continue to place student learning at the center of all we do. We commit to providing relevant, transformative educational experiences for all students—from full-time unde
rgraduates and learners returning to college to master’s and doctoral candidates. We strive for academic excellence that challenges and supports students in developing lives of purpose
through engagement with our curriculum, co-curriculum, and institutional culture.
Theme Two: Inclusion
We are called to the intentional pursuit of justice. We commit to doing the challenging work of building an inclusive learning community, ensuring students, faculty and staff from underrepresented and historically marginalized populations are present, fully included, and successful. We strive to recognize, respect, and support the intersections of diverse identities as critical points of strength, learning, and growth.
Theme Three: Community Impact
We will actively engage in strengthening our local community, region, nation, and world. We commit to mutual engagement in meaningful and measurable ways. We strive to be known as a center of culture, learning, and innovation that contributes to a vibrant, just, and sustainable community.
We believe that by prioritizing actions that foster academic excellence, build holistic support for students, implement responsive programs and curricula, support our faculty and staff, build an inclusive college, develop community partnerships, and invest resources in responsible ways we will both leverage our current strengths and challenge ourselves to pursue new possibilities.
So when you learn we are developing a Master’s in Art Therapy, an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies, and Nursing pathways for Family Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists; creating spaces that develop our music facilities, designing a Center for Teaching and Learning, and upgrading athletic facilities and St. Joseph Chapel; building new educational partnerships with Madison College; or steadily increasing the number of traditionally underrepresented students attending Edgewood College, you can rest assured that we are on a Purposeful Pathway to preparing our students to enhance our communities through their work to build a more just and compassionate world.