DePaul University's School for New Learning at 40

Crafting a Strategic Plan for a Leader in Adult Education

Turning 40 years old, DePaul University's School for New Learning (SNL) wanted to reflect on the lessons of its past, peer into the future and think about new scenarios for success. To accomplish these aims, SNL retained Millennia Consulting to help it craft a strategic plan.

Since its founding 1972, SNL has become a model worldwide for adult learning and instruction, with a particular emphasis on individualized learning. SNL, like many colleges and universities in the 21st century, is navigating an increasingly complex world of higher education, as students demand more courses related to practical occupations and administrators and faculty weigh their options for building institutional strength.

With its expertise in education, Millennia moved move quickly and efficiently to guide a complex array of work groups in conducting a current reality analysis for SNL. Millennia then examined how best to define SNL's current educational model and evaluate competing providers of adult education services in the region.

Once that work was completed, Millennia hosted a retreat to present and discuss the findings. In the next phase, Millennia facilitated a scenario-building exercise to integrate ideas from the current reality analysis and recommendations from the future-trends work group.

In the months following the retreat, SNL's Strategic Planning Committee developed and refined a bold new vision, a set of core values and proactive strategies for the future.

SNL faculty and staff said Millennia's guidance not only forced them to face current realities but also gave them the means to integrate exciting future trends into their thinking in ways that were provocative and challenging.