Agile Ambrose

St. Ambrose University Strategic Plan (2022-2027)

As the university writes its next chapter, we find ourselves at a turning point. Change is everywhere. The job market is changing. Demographics are changing. Student needs and expectations are changing. Agile Ambrose is ready to address these challenges and make bold moves to redefine itself as the leading Catholic Learner-Centric University.

The St. Ambrose University Strategic Plan Agile Ambrose (2022-2027) is a roadmap that guides us toward excellence in teaching, research, and service to our community. On this webpage, you will find an overview of our strategic plan and the planning process, as well as detailed information about our areas of focus and strategic outcomes.

We invite you to explore our strategic plan and learn more about our commitment to providing world-class education and making a positive impact on society.

Planning Updates

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Areas of Focus

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Goals & Outcomes

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Strategic Plan

At St. Ambrose, we believe that careful planning and thoughtful execution are critical components of success.

With that in mind, we have developed a comprehensive strategic plan and process that outlines our vision for the future and the steps we will take to achieve our goals.

Strategic Context

The marketplace for higher education is going through significant transformation and change as we enter the post-pandemic period.

  • Changing Marketplace Expectations 
    • Gen Z learners want shorter, less expensive, more direct-to-career pathways in high-demand industries (Question the Quo, 2022)
    • 68% of adults considering enrolling in education prefer non-degree pathways, up from 50% a year ago (Strada Education)
    • More traditional students want online education and experts predict online students will make up 30% of all college students within five years (Education Dynamics, 2022)
    • 39 million adults have some college but no degree or credential. 1.9 million live in Illinois; 655,908 of these adults live in Iowa. (National Student Clearinghouse, 2022)
    • Employers increasingly tout their willingness to "train on the job" with 50% of IBM's US job openings not requiring a college degree. (Gallup, 2022)
  • Declining Student Enrollment
  • Increasing Student Debt Burden
  • Technological Change and Disruption to Meet Evolving Learner Needs
Strategic Plan Framework

The St. Ambrose University Agile Ambrose strategic plan is built around three key components: strategic pillars, a strategic process, and areas of focus. All three components work together to create a framework for achieving the goals and objectives of an Agile Ambrose.

Strategic Planning Framework

Strategic Plan Pillars

Strategic Plan Pillars

The strategic plan is driven by a commitment to the four pillars of the cross. Each pillar represents an anchor of our foundation.

  • Faculty, Staff, and Student Engagement Axis - A flourishing faculty and staff are central to strong student engagement.
  • Faith, Tradition, and Innovation Axis - Ambrose balances its faith tradition rooted in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and Catholic Social Teaching with a spirit of innovation that has driven the university to serve learners across their lifespan while recognizing that to be a learner-centric university, we must model agile and evolutionary efforts to meet learners in new spaces with new models and new pedagogies.
Strategic Plan Process

Strategic Planning Process

To achieve our vision, we must continuously bring sustainability (clarity), focus, and growth to our strategy.

  1. Sustainability - What problem are we trying to solve or where are we trying to go? What infrastructure do we need to build to get there?
  2. Focus - Can we test the solution and see if it works?
  3. Growth - Can we scale to achieve the desired goal? How are we going to get there?
  4. Transformation - How has St. Ambrose been changed and transformed by an order of magnitude?
Areas of Focus

Areas of Focus

In the application of the planning framework, the Agile Ambrose strategic plan focuses on five key areas for transformation; we refer to the areas as the five A's of Ambrose.


We are anchored (click here to read more) in the Catholic intellectual tradition, the liberal arts, and a commitment to developing principle-centered leaders.


We are active (click here to read more) through our engagement with the community.


We are adaptive (click here to read more) to the evolving ways students learn and to the needs of business and industry.


We are accessible (click here to read more) to learners across their lifespan.


We are affordable (click here to read more) to the next generation of learners.

Strategic Plan Goals & Outcomes

There are five key strategic goals and outcomes of this strategic plan to be achieved by 2027.

  • Enrollment = 3000 students
  • Market Share = 12%
  • New Partnerships = 35
  • Operating Revenue = $72.5 million
  • Philanthropic Giving = $50 million

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? Click on the visit button below to learn more about our virtual and in-person visit options.