Strategic planning is a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what the program does, and why it does it, with a focus on the future. Simply, strategic planning is answering three questions: Where are you now? Where do you want to be/go? How do/can you get there? Strategic planning closes the gap between where the program is and where it wants to be.
A strategic plan is a document that covers a period of 2-3 years in the future and outlines the step-by-step progress the program plans to make toward completing its mission and achieving desired outcomes. It also identifies specific strategies for attaining these outcomes, who is responsible for carrying out each strategy, when it will be accomplished, and a mechanism for regular evaluation of the plan. To be successful, a strategic planning process must be dynamic, ongoing, adaptive, and inclusive.
The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) has adopted strategic planning as a critical component of graduate education programs that are eligible for accreditation. The plan must have the support of the university administration, be congruent with the mission of the institution, and reflect the role of the program within the community. A strategic plan provides the foundation for a graduate program's self-study and continuous improvement and assists the program in meeting its own mission.
The purpose of this resource is to assist academic programs in communication sciences and disorders with successful strategic planning that is consistent with the mission and vision of their institution.