About the Process

Illustration of process: 1) Understanding; where are we? 2) Visioning; what's the destination? 3) Planning & prototyping; how do we get there? 4) Implementation; what do we do along the way?

Engaging students, faculty, and staff has been part of each stage of the visioning process through open forums, facilitated discussions, individual interviews, surveys, observations, and workshops.

Some highlights from each stage of the process:

Stage 1: Understanding

Understand the current student experience

This summer, meetings took place between the Advisory Committee, Brightspot, and students to begin the process of learning about the unique challenges and opportunities at the College. We also gathered summary survey data from our most recent surveys of graduating seniors, enrolled students, parents, and alumni. These foundational surveys led to additional conversations with students, faculty, and staff on campus. Visioning forums for students, faculty, and staff took place on Tuesday, Aug. 30, and Wednesday, Aug. 31. All members of our community were invited to these open forums to share their current experiences, needs, and ideas.

Stage 2: Visioning

Establish a vision for the future

A campus-wide culminating visioning workshop, developed in close collaboration with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the team from Brightspot, was held on Monday, Oct. 17. The workshop gathered broad input from Swarthmore students, staff, faculty, leadership, and alumni on the guiding principles for the student experience.

A series of moderated panel discussions with staff, faculty, and alumni and open Q & A sessions with the audience addressed three emerging themes of the process:

  1. Community and Belonging
  2. Exploration and Curiosity
  3. Growth and Development

In addition, representatives from Brightspot provided a summary of their work to date and sought feedback from the audience. We also plan to engage faculty more fully in the process in the coming weeks, and to share our findings to-date at the All Staff meeting on Nov. 10. We will continue to engage students and hope to consult further with SGO at an upcoming meeting.

Stage 3: Planning & Prototyping

Identify potential improvements

We will continue to work with Brightspot to synthesize the information that we have learned through our community engagement efforts to identify potential improvements to space, technology, activities, and culture that will help us achieve our vision for student life.

Stage 4: Implementing

Prioritize recommendations for implementation

A final report of findings and recommendations resulting from this process will be shared with the community early in the spring semester. We will not be able to implement all suggestions at once, so we will need to prioritize. Discussing these recommendations with the community will play a vital role in prioritizing which recommendations to implement now or later, and which are not feasible.