Calvin College 1876

Our Process

Based on your feedback, we want to be intentional in the way we capture your perspectives in this process. That’s why, over the course of two years, we are prioritizing community participation in asking questions about our future, bringing new ideas to light, and building an integrated plan together. Our overall approach follows the Society for College and University Planning.

First phase: 2017 – 2018 Academic Year Overview

Through October 2017 Preparation and research
November 2017 Community dialogue (Calvin faculty and staff)
December 2017 Analysis of findings
January – March 2018 Drafting and revising the vision and strategic issues
March 2018 – May 2018 Sharing and approving the vision (alumni community)

Second phase: 2018 – 2019 Strategic Planning

May – August 2018 Summer Workgroups
August 2018 Identify & present pathways at Fall Conference
October 2018 Engage Board on Pathways
November 2018 – January 2019 Draft strategic plan
February 2019 Engage Board on strategic plan

Recent Alumni & Parent Engagement Events

Join the conversation and offer your input at an event in your local area.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

North Haledon, NJ
Eastern Christian School
7 p.m. – 9 p.m. local

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Grand Rapids, MI
Alumni Board Room, Commons Annex
7 p.m. – 9 p.m. local

Monday, April 23, 2018

Troy, MI
North Hills Christian Reformed Church
7 p.m. – 9 p.m. local

Monday, April 23, 2018

Seattle, WA
Bellevue Christian Reformed Church
7 p.m. – 9 p.m. local

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Kalamazoo, MI
Third Reformed Church
7 p.m. – 9 p.m. local

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Lynden, WA
Sonlight Christian Reformed Church
7 p.m. – 9 p.m. local

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Holland, MI
Fourteenth Street Christian Reformed Church
7 p.m. – 9 p.m. local

Monday, April 30, 2018

Los Angeles, CA
The Center at Blessed Sacrament
7 p.m. – 9 p.m. local

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Ontario, CA
Ontario Christian High School
7 p.m. – 9 p.m. local

Key Terms/Definitions

An institution's stated purpose or reason for existence.
A description of what an institution (and key parts of the external environment) will look like if the institution achieves its full potential; its aspiration.
Core Idea
The unique and inherent truth about an institution that differentiates it in ways that are meaningful and persuasive to the target audience (differentiating means characteristic more than unique). Answers the questions whom, what, where, when, why, how and against whom do we serve?

Additional Terms/Definitions

Taken from the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) resources as a tool for shared understanding.

  • Alignment
  • A state of agreement and cooperation among individuals, groups, processes, documents, etc., about what should be done, how and why. There are two kinds of alignment:
    Vertical: the direct connection of desired outcomes form mission to on-the-ground operations
    Horizontal: coordination of tactics across boundaries so they effectively work together towards the same institutional goals.
  • Benchmarks
  • Specific performance indicators used to compare institutions or programs against established criteria. See also metrics, evaluation.
  • Communication Plan
  • A document that outlines how you will inform, engage with, and seek feedback from your plan's stakeholders, including specific audiences, messages, delivery methods, and frequency.
  • Environmental Scanning
  • An exploration and analysis of the external factors affecting an institution. Forces and trends can be categorized as: social forces, technological forces, economic forces, environmental forces, and political forces. See also STEEP analysis.
  • Goal
  • A broad, general statement of what an institution intends to accomplish.
  • Implementation
  • The process of putting a plan into action.
  • Institutional capabilities
  • An institution's characteristics and activities that make it successful.
  • Institutional context
  • An institution's distinct set of challenges, conditions, and history that shape planning and strategy (Norris and Poulton, 2008). While contextual factors can cover many areas, these are particularly important: institutional complexity (nature and complexity of institutional mission profoundly shape both its culture and its planning challenges), size (as determined by enrollments, budgets, or other measures), and labor/collective bargaining environment (the presence of a union can reduce or improve the level of collegiality).
  • Integrated Planning
  • A sustainable approach to planning that builds relationships, aligns the organization, and emphasizes preparedness for change. Integrated planning is both an overarching model of alignment — the connective tissue amongst disparate institutional planning efforts — and a process of planning within each of the institution's component planning efforts.
  • Integrated Planning Culture
  • A high-impact organizational culture that values strategy and preparedness for change, collaboration, healthy and productive debate, and empowering its stakeholders to pursue its mission.
  • Mandate
  • A directive an institution is required to do (or not do), often imposed by an external actor or force. Mandates may be formal, such as laws, rules, regulations, or informal, such as political mandates for change or deeply held public expectations.
  • Metric
  • A measurement that tracks, monitors, and assesses the effectiveness of an objective, initiative, or plan.
  • Objective
  • A specific, measurable outcome an institution intends to accomplish.
  • Planning team
  • A formal group of people assembled to prepare a plan.
  • STEEP analysis
  • A way to organize environmental scanning. STEEP stands for social forces, technological forces, economic forces, environmental forces, and political forces. See also environmental scanning.
  • Strategic Issues
  • Pressing problems and/or significant opportunities that must be strategically addressed for an institution to meet its mission and/or remain operationally viable.
  • Strategic Plan
  • A product of the strategic planning process that documents and communicates decisions made during the planning process
  • Strategic Planning
  • A deliberate, disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an institution is, what it does, and why it does it.
  • Strategy
  • A plan of action created to achieve a goal or a vision or to address a strategic issue.
  • SWOT analysis
  • A structured planning method used to evaluate internal strengths and weaknesses) and external (opportunities and threats) factors affecting an institution, department, project, industry, or person.
  • Tactics
  • A specific action an institution takes to carry out a strategy.
  • Values
  • Principles and beliefs that form an important part of the foundation on which an institution operates.

Strategic Planning / Vision 2030 Team Members

Cheryl Brandsen


Kevin den Dulk

Political Science

Todd Hubers

People, Strategy and Technology

Lauren Jensen

Institutional Effectiveness and Analytics

Will Katerberg


Michael Le Roy, chair


Nygil Likely

Pre-College Programs

Michelle Loyd-Paige

Diversity and Inclusion

Brian Paige

Information Technology

Jason Stansbury


Sarah Visser

Student Life

Jolene Vos-Camy


Amy Wilstermann


David Wunder


Wesley Brooks

Student Representative

Strategic Planning Meeting Dates

Aug 7, 2017

Aug 16, 2017

Sept 22, 2017

Sept 29, 2017

Nov 2, 2017

Dec 1, 2017

Dec 19, 2017

Jan 30, 2018

Feb 26, 2018

April 3, 2018

April 27, 2018

May 22, 2018

The Calvin 2030 Community Forum

Creating conversation. Making progress together.