Support Learn by Doing

Student Affairs

Office of the Vice President



2017-22 Strategic Plan

2017-22 Student Affairs Strategic Plan

This strategic plan presents a dedicated vision for the future of Student Affairs at Cal Poly and deliverables that will help us continue to provide unlimited possibilities for all students.

As a tool for action and decision-making over the next five years, this plan will guide our leaders, empower our students, and promote continuous collaboration throughout the entire Cal Poly community.

The foundation of our strategic plan rests on four broad division-wide goals that support the mission and guiding principles of Cal Poly and align with the strategic priorities for the university.


download 2017-22 student affairs strategic plan 

Our big four goals

In our plan, we have detailed targeted imperatives that support our four division-wide goals and identified specific initiatives to move us forward in reaching these goals. 

Nurture an inclusive campus community that stimulates learning across identities and affinities and creates a shared sense of connection, belonging and social responsibility.

Implement solutions to enhance a 24/7 residential campus community that promotes academic success

  • Expand Student Affairs' footprint, staffing and collaboration with campus partners to support student programming and service delivery that ensures campus is the focus of the student's Cal Poly experience.

  • Design and renovate residential facilities that enhance the delivery of high-quality programs and services integral to students’ academic success and personal development.
  • Partner with Academic Affairs to design faculty-student interaction programs within Student Affairs that support academic success outside the classroom.

Engage all students through Learn by Doing experiences outside the classroom

  • Centralize university-wide community service management within the Center for Service in Action.
  • Improve the delivery of personal development services to our student-athletes.
  • Collaborate with Academic Affairs to formalize academic-credit student internships within Student Affairs.
  • Enhance professional development training opportunities in Student Affairs for students to expand transferable employment skills.

Create more welcoming and inclusive co-curricular programs and services 

  • Collaborate with chief diversity officer and other campus partners to create a comprehensive diversity and inclusion training plan for faculty and staff.
  • Develop new programs and increase engagement for parents and supporters of first-generation students.
  • Create identity-based, pre-WOW groups to foster a sense of belonging and connection for underrepresented students.
  • Expand Cross Cultural Centers spaces, programs, and services to increase a sense of belonging for all students at Cal Poly.
  • Create a center that supports the religious and spiritual identities of students and provides programs and services for students to explore values, engage in dialogue and learn about opportunities for interfaith collaboration.
  • Expand gender-inclusive policies and infrastructure throughout campus.

Bolster school spirit for students, alumni and the community

  • Collaborate with university partners to build consistent knowledge, skills and best practices that promote a spirited Cal Poly brand throughout the university.
  • Build a culture of school pride through more active engagement of Cal Poly history and heritage.
  • Secure additional resources to expand recognized student clubs and organizations.
  • Create large group experiences throughout the student’s lifecycle to continue student engagement, school spirit and a sense of belonging after their first year.
  • Develop and implement new programs for students throughout their senior year that support future success and build strong connections with Cal Poly.
  • Promote Mustang spirit among alumni, parents and supporters with expanded programs, events and online engagement opportunities.

Advance programs and services that promote behaviors, attitudes and environments that contribute to lifelong success and a culture of well-being.

Implement high-impact practices that improve student retention and graduation 

  • Develop and implement an early alert and intervention strategy with Academic Affairs to encourage continued student engagement.
  • Create comprehensive first- and second-year programs to enhance academic success, engagement and belonging.
  • Expand tutoring, advising and supplemental instruction in partnership with Academic Affairs.
  • Further develop learning communities for first-year, continuing and graduate students.
  • Create additional avenues of academic, personal and financial support for first-generation, low-income, transfer and foster youth.

Lead the commitment for campus well-being

  • Partner with Administration and Finance to design campus environments, procedures and policies that support health and well-being for our Cal Poly community.
  • Develop and implement evidence-based education and programs to promote healthy behaviors for students, faculty and staff.
  • Lead Cal Poly to become a model campus for students' basic needs security, including access to healthy food and stable housing.
  • Innovate university-wide prevention programs, practices and services for substance use, violence and suicide.

Strengthen a lifelong alumni connection to Cal Poly

  • Expand mentorship opportunities for alumni to engage with current students.
  • Collaborate with university partners to establish traditions of on-campus experiences that welcome alumni and friends back to Cal Poly.
  • Create structure to connect alumni with current Cal Poly clubs, organizations and affinity groups on campus.

Create global citizens through co-curricular programs 

  • Expand Alternative Break opportunities worldwide and facilitate access to all students.
  • Develop and implement a Global Citizen Leadership series that prepares students for the challenges and needs of society, including globalization, interdependence and multiculturalism.
  • Ensure all leadership training programs cultivate an appreciation of cultural and human differences and increase awareness and knowledge of a leader's personal and professional roles in contributing to positive social change.
  • Collaborate with university international studies programs to expand meaningful interaction between international and domestic students.

Nurture an environment that attracts and retains a diverse workforce

  • Nurture and enhance a robust and consistent onboarding program to welcome new Student Affairs staff and provide a foundation for success.
  • Design and implement recruitment strategies to create a talent pipeline that produces increased numbers of qualified and diverse candidates.
  • Expand professional development opportunities to motivate staff and build capabilities around diversity, inclusion and social justice.
  • Collaborate with Human Resources to expand outreach and employment opportunities that attract and retain diverse faculty and staff.

Commit to continuous improvement, innovative change and emerging technologies that enable our delivery of best-in-class services to all students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff and the community.

Partner with university Information Technology Services to utilize technology to improve our service delivery and efficiencies

  • Develop integrated technology solutions for tracking constituent engagement in programs, services and events to measure service utilization, promote operational effectiveness, and drive continuous improvement.
  • Create technology lifecycle plans that support operational goals of each Student Affairs area in order to improve planning, documentation and accountability.
  • Execute technology solutions to promote and improve division-wide collaboration, efficiencies and information sharing.
  • Support technologies that automate our marketing and communication efforts in partnership with University Marketing to streamline communications delivery, increase personalized digital engagement, and improve impact to, and giving from, all constituent groups.

Research and execute division-wide reviews to ensure each department meets or exceeds national standards

  • Implement a division-wide program review, by department, based on standards established by the Council for the Advancement of Standards.
  • Utilize the American College Personnel Association/National Association of Student Personnel Administrators professional competencies in programming/services to promote student and staff growth from foundational to advanced proficiency levels.
  • Assess Student Affairs’ business operations alongside national benchmarks and business fundamentals to optimize resources.

Implement innovative technology solutions that support student success

  • Implement business intelligence tools that analyze data to measure learning outcomes, drive data-informed decision-making, and define the impact of Student Affairs on student success.
  • Utilize technology to expand delivery of programs and services that meet students’ mobile service needs.
  • Design engaging digital experiences for alumni to connect with one another and the campus community.

Collectively contribute to responsible resource stewardship and the pursuit of new funding possibilities in order to increase access to programs and services that positively impact student success.

Build a culture of philanthropy among all constituent groups

  • Partner with University Development to expand parent, alumni and supporter philanthropic support.
  • Develop and support plans to nurture student philanthropic values and giving throughout the Cal Poly experience.
  • Design opportunities and affinity program engagement to encourage philanthropy with Cal Poly staff and faculty.

Increase alumni engagement and services

  • Invest in programs and services that engage alumni in the life of the university.
  • Expand the network of alumni chapters to increase alumni participation.
  • Increase the percentage of alumni donors and the total amount of alumni giving.

Expand corporate partnerships for campus-wide success

  • Develop a Cal Poly Career Advisory Board with key corporate leaders to drive deeper employer engagement opportunities on campus.
  • Expand corporate sponsorship of Student Affairs programs and centers, facilities underwriting and innovative program offerings to build strategic relationships with employers.

Generate new revenue streams

  • Investigate and implement nation-wide best practices for generating new revenue streams in a university setting.
  • Initiate public-private partnerships that support strategic division-wide resource needs.
  • Implement cross-departmental task forces to apply for grants.

Want to know how we're progressing on our goals? Check out our 2017-22 Strategic Plan Progress Reports page!

Related Content

Cal Poly Now

Find student events

Division News

Read the latest news

Cal Poly Cares

Apply for a grant today!

Get Connected

Follow VP Humphrey