Santa Clara University

Santa Clara 2020 - Integrated Strategic Plan

Elaborated Strategic Plan

Santa Clara 2020 moves us forward from the 2011 Strategic Plan by building on the strategic priorities through the development of concrete strategic goals and objectives that leverage the University's strengths, capitalize on opportunities, and provide clear direction for the future of Santa Clara.

Goal 1 – Imparting a transformational Jesuit education

Santa Clara University will transform students' lives through a personalized Jesuit education that integrates rigorous study with high-impact experiential learning.

  • Impart a rigorous, contemporary education that fosters critical, creative, and reflective thinking; complex problem solving; excellent communication skills; and the application of knowledge for the betterment of society.
  • Expand opportunities for students to deepen their intellectual pursuits through research, creative expression in the arts, international study programs, internships, capstone experiences, senior design projects, and other high-impact forms of experiential learning.
  • Create flexible—formal and informal—collaborative learning spaces, leverage cutting-edge educational technologies, and foster innovative pedagogical approaches to promote active and adaptive learning.
  • Structure an integrative set of developmental experiences for first- and second-year undergraduate students that nurture habits of mind and heart and prepare them for a life of ongoing intellectual, moral, and spiritual growth.
  • Enhance opportunities for students to deepen their own spirituality and faith commitments while coming to understand and honor the religious traditions and philosophical backgrounds of others.
Key Features Include:

Santa Clara University has delivered a rigorous and reflective liberal arts education to undergraduates since its founding as a Jesuit university in 1851. Years later, Santa Clara created opportunities for students to study engineering and business in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Over the past century, the University further expanded, offering graduate education with advanced degrees in law, engineering, business, counseling psychology, education, theological studies, and pastoral ministry.

The Jesuit ideal of educating the whole person is the foundation for all of the degree programs. Beyond acquiring deep knowledge and skills in their chosen field of study, Santa Clara students develop lifelong habits of mind and heart.

Through the defined objectives, Santa Clara University will provide a personalized and enhanced Jesuit education by strategically incorporating technological advances, pedagogical innovations, and high-impact experiential learning.



Goal 2 – Fashioning a more humane, just, and sustainable world 

Santa Clara University will cultivate within its students the knowledge, skills, ethical reasoning, global perspective, and desire to help fashion a more humane, just, and sustainable world.

  • Prepare students to evaluate and confront ethical dilemmas in their personal and professional lives, and galvanize students to work toward the promotion of justice.
  • Assist students in their vocational discernment as they develop post-college career plans that align with their talents, passion, and values.
  • Introduce students to the gritty reality of our globalizing world through innovative instruction, immersive programs, engaged scholarship, and reflection.
  • Advance prosperity and education within five socioeconomically challenged neighborhoods of San Jose through coordinated and collaborative engagement of Santa Clara University students, faculty, staff, and alumni with community members, businesses, and organizations.
  • Strengthen SCU's culture of environmental sustainability by becoming a climate-neutral, zero-waste campus that serves as a living laboratory for developing global solutions rooted in Catholic social thought
Key Features Include:

Santa Clara University has had a long-standing commitment to care for the whole person and encourage service to others. Many campus units, including the three interdisciplinary Centers of Distinction and the Division of Student Life, work to create powerful experiences for students to address challenging societal problems.

Santa Clara is expanding—in scope and size—its most promising curricular and co-curricular experiences in order to encourage students to serve as transformative citizens and leaders.



Goal 3 – Fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in service of humanity

Santa Clara University will build on its academic programs and linkages within Silicon Valley to become one of the top educational institutions advancing scientific and technological innovation and entrepreneurship in service of humanity.

  • Strengthen the departments, schools, centers, and Silicon Valley partnerships that are critical to expanding Santa Clara's efforts in entrepreneurship and scientific and technological innovation.
  • Promote an entrepreneurial mindset throughout relevant academic programs by emphasizing avenues where novel ventures can generate social benefit while advancing prosperity.
  • Create and sustain a multidisciplinary collaborative space—virtual and physical—that stimulates and supports students, faculty, staff, and external partners engaging in scientific and technological innovation and entrepreneurial ventures.
  • Mobilize a global network of Jesuit universities and mission-aligned institutions to incubate and accelerate social enterprises worldwide.
Key Features Include:

Silicon Valley is the global center of innovation, drawing extraordinary talent and resources to the Bay Area and spawning new scientific and technological industries and trailblazing ventures.

As a premier University spirited by Jesuit ideals, Santa Clara University delivers an invaluable pipeline of graduates who possess the knowledge, skills, and creativity to make lasting contributions to the region.

Santa Clara alumni offer more than just technical expertise; they bring an uncommon commitment to ethical practice and developing enterprises that positively impact people, the community, and the environment.

Through the University's signature programs in entrepreneurship, high-tech law, frugal engineering, and global social entrepreneurship, Santa Clara is catalyzing innovative startups and producing the next generation of entrepreneurial professionals for Silicon Valley and beyond.



Goal 4 – Advancing contemporary theological studies, education, and ministry

Santa Clara University will become one of the nation's leading universities advancing Catholic theological studies, education, and ministry.

  • Be a recognized center for scholarship, dialogue, and public engagement around issues of contemporary Church life and practice, demonstrating a deep commitment to interreligious dialogue and intercultural exchange.
  • Partner with mission-aligned institutions worldwide to advance theological studies, ministry, and education in linked global and local contexts.
  • Form and prepare education leaders, ministerial practitioners, and mental health professionals to serve the growing Hispanic community in global and local contexts.
  • Establish Santa Clara University's Jesuit School of Theology as one of the world's foremost Catholic graduate schools for theological education and research rooted in and furthering of the Ignatian tradition.
Key Features Include:

Santa Clara University is home to several innovative academic and co-curricular programs in the areas of religious studies, theology, education, and counseling psychology that have independently achieved levels of excellence.

Together, they present an extraordinary opportunity for Santa Clara University to prepare leaders in ministry and education, advance dialogue around contemporary issues, and provide theological leadership.



Goal 5 – Increasing diversity, access, and affordability

Santa Clara University will recruit and graduate a broadly diverse community of highly talented students while striving to make a Santa Clara education more affordable.

  • Increase the enrollment, retention, and graduation rates of students from underrepresented or underserved populations.
  • Provide sufficient financial assistance to ensure that low-income students and students from middle-class families can afford the costs of a holistic Santa Clara University education.
  • Efficiently deploy resources to effectively execute Santa Clara's programs and operations while minimizing future tuition increases.
  • Recruit and retain outstanding faculty members whose teaching, research, and life experience enrich the diversity of Santa Clara's academic community with respect to race, ethnicity, and gender.
Key Features Include:

Santa Clara University plays a key role in forming the next generation of citizens and leaders, particularly in Silicon Valley—one of the most racially and ethnically diverse regions in the country.

The shifting demographics of college-bound students call the University to two courses of action—affordably educating a more diverse population of students and preparing all students to participate in an increasingly diverse culture and workforce.

Aspiring for excellence through inclusion, Santa Clara will enhance recruitment, retention, and the success of a highly diverse and talented academic community.



Goal 6 – Enhancing Santa Clara's reputation and national visibility

Santa Clara University will grow in national reputation as an outstanding university with distinctive programs of excellence inspired by Jesuit educational values.

  • Develop and execute a comprehensive strategic plan for marketing, based on rigorous research and best practices.
  • Recruit, train, and graduate student-athletes of the highest ability and sportsmanship whose success will enhance the University's reputation among students, prospective students, alumni, and friends.
Key Features Include:

Santa Clara University will achieve new levels of excellence as it attracts the interest, imagination, and support of current and prospective students, faculty, staff, alumni, benefactors, and friends.

Future success in recruiting talent and garnering resources will depend significantly on Santa Clara's national visibility and the strength of its reputation as a distinctive university making important contributions.