Berklee's Strategic Direction: 2020–2023
Thrive is Berklee’s strategy to advance student success by focusing on three key priorities:
Enabling students to graduate at higher rates and with less debt
Supporting students to have a high-quality, engaging experience
Preparing students for purposeful, successful, sustainable careers
Our 12 Priorities
1. Adjust the curriculum to help students successfully progress through programs and graduate on time.
- Conduct curriculum mapping to optimize major and course offerings, and identify, streamline, and remove impediments.
- Revise credit transfer and academic policies.
- Finalize the new program development and approval process.
- Ensure that the course development process includes social and cultural context.
2. Promote and support innovation and excellence in teaching and learning.
- Establish a teaching center, staffed by professionals, to promote and enhance the pedagogical development of faculty and staff, and generate new approaches to effective teaching.
- Devise and implement concrete incentives for rewarding exemplary teaching.
- Foster a culture of inclusive excellence by applying evidence-based, student-centered, and culturally responsive teaching principles in all learning environments.
- Purposefully link educational and emerging technologies to classroom practice.
3. Develop a global ecosystem of centers and partnerships that establishes Berklee as the world leader in creative and artistic education.
- Actively explore a presence in areas that align with our global strategy and international recruitment goals.
- Launch a partnership with Inspired Schools.
- Explore a non-degree-granting presence in China and the Middle East.
- Reposition Global Initiatives as a scalable platform for delivering educational content across our global network.
4. Develop innovative programs that redefine creative education, broaden the type of students we attract, and reflect current industry and career trends.
- Expand online and hybrid offerings that align with market demand.
5. Refine marketing, admissions, and financial aid–awarding strategies to attract, nurture, and enroll students with exceptional promise to succeed at our institution.
- Refine admissions and awarding strategies to increase selectivity, diversity, retention, and graduation rates.
- Leverage new entering-student aid to optimize a merit-driven approach while reducing need-based gaps for high-quality students.
- Expand the Thrive continuing student aid pilot to reduce need-based gaps for academically achieving students.
6. Improve student retention through meaningful and personalized engagement.
- Enhance the impact of academic, financial, wellness, and career advising through more proactive, personalized, and integrated approaches.
- Implement the objectives set forth in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Framework.
- Align the cocurricular experience to student development outcomes.
- Launch a coordinated student communication approach that guides students through their Berklee experience.
- Build from existing and create new student success initiatives like college core music supports, the Berklee Summer Initiative, academic coaching and tutoring, and living learning communities.
- Improve the effectiveness of and satisfaction with frontline, student-facing experiences.
- Identify creative ways to enhance the student experience in existing and new spaces.
7. Better prepare students to apply their skills, talents, and relationships to achieve their full potential in their chosen careers.
- Enhance career education and experiential opportunities in all majors.
- Expand participation in and funding for career experiences, including internships.
- Broaden employer engagement across all career communities and academic programs.
- Partner with faculty to expand the reach and impact of career advising to more students.
- Influence and advocate for innovation in the arts and the industry with the Open Music Initiative, Women in Music, and paid internships.
8. Deepen our sense of community by defining shared values and creating an institution-wide mission statement.
- Deepen our sense of community by defining shared values and creating an institution-wide mission statement.
9. Upgrade our operational systems and processes to support a personalized student experience and excellent financial stewardship.
- Implement a technological ecosystem to inform best-practice academic and financial advising, and enable a successful degree audit.
- Strengthen relationship management software to facilitate better communication with prospective and current students as well as alumni.
- Align resources to support new systems workflows and improved internal efficiencies.
- Implement final phases of the One Berklee enrollment project to optimize systems and unify enrollment data and reporting across all programs.
10. Fund Thrive initiatives by managing costs and raising $25 million.
- Develop the case to inspire philanthropic support.
- Evaluate current programming and expenses, and invest cost savings to the Thrive Fund.
11. Consistently achieve strong operational performance and ensure long-term financial sustainability.
- Redeploy resources to support Thrive and our other highest strategic priorities.
- Align our performance management system, budget, and cost allocation processes.
- Engage in a formal talent management process; support the development of Berklee’s faculty, staff, and chairs; and ensure that staffing is aligned to support Thrive.
- Optimize facilities, including flexible spaces, to align with evolving student and curricular needs.
12. Use a data-driven approach to measure our progress toward these goals.
- Begin to develop the capacity for predictive modeling and analytics.
- Implement a comprehensive plan for benchmarking, assessment, and evaluation.
Resources and Documentation
Tool Kit for Your Team
Faculty and staff: use the tool kit for talking points to facilitate ongoing conversations with your team members (login required).
View a dashboard that measures Berklee's progress using 13 key performance indicators (KPIs).
Support the Thrive Scholarship
Give the gift of enabling a student to graduate on time with less debt.
Thrive: Berklee's strategy to advance student success