GVSU sets four-year strategic plan

Empowered experience, lifetime learning and equity will shape all decisions.
242
Philomena Mantella. Courtesy GVSU

Grand Valley State University President Philomena Mantella recently unveiled her first strategic plan, Reach Higher 2025, for the university since she took the lead in 2019.

The university’s three major commitments over the next four years include an empowered educational experience, educational offerings for a lifetime of learning and a culture of educational equity. 

The plan was approved by the university’s board of trustees in February. Mantella said the goal is to create an impact in the community. The university will begin implementing the plan this academic year.

“We are a public institution in service of the citizens of Michigan,” she said of the strategic plan. “It is to be sure that their educational experience provides the strongest possible foundation for their lives so that they can make an impact individually and the students can have a level of satisfaction with the experience and how they were prepared and, collectively, as Lakers come together so we can make an impact on the communities and societies that we are a part of.”

The school’s empowered educational experience commitment is about students having an active place in their education. Mantella said GVSU will be intentional about seeking not just what students’ majors are or their interest, but also what their passions are, what they want to pursue and where they want to live, so the university is able to have a full understanding of the direction students want to go. Mantella said there will be new and evolving programs.

“Students will many times evolve their thinking as they go,” she said. “We want to have spaces and places for them to practice and have more internships, co-op, experiential learning, to be able to ensure that they understand and learn from and begin to work in their field of interest.”

The second commitment the university is focusing on over the next four years is educational offerings that cater to various types of students, whether they are 18-year-old high school graduates or adult learners, and encourage them to be lifelong learners by their intentionality about the higher learning journey.

“We also want to ensure that our educational offerings are well-positioned to support people in different phases and stages of their lives, maybe when they are working full-time, and they want to come back for a degree or certificate. It is really about education and not being bounded in a four-year traditional term.”

Mantella said GSVU’s educational equity commitment is a response to students who have been underserved by education, including first-generation students, people of color, and “that the community is inclusive and supportive of backgrounds, traditions and lived experiences so that everyone feels welcomed and belongs at the university.”

“Those are the three commitments,” she said. “The strategy that they are layered in will be to support those three commitments being lived into.”

Facebook Comments