Strategic Plan

Salem Academy and College Strategic Plan



To educate compassionate, creative, and innovative thinkers who lead change with integrity and are prepared with the knowledge, skills, and experience to effect change.

Strategic Positioning Statement

Salem is the oldest educational institution for girls and women in the United States, with a long and distinguished history of educating and fostering independence in young women. For almost 250 years, we have prepared thousands of young women to change the world. Changing demographics, the rate of societal change, and the ever-increasing use of technology cause Salem to be called upon to be a pioneer once more to ensure that young women in the present and the future will have access to an exceptional educational experience setting them on the path to lifelong opportunity. We will remain the oldest educational institution for girls and women in the United States, and we will become the newest in terms of the approaches we will take to help each of our students succeed in the global economy.



Salem fosters a community that makes each of its members better and that collectively has the power to do astonishing work.


We are committed to creating and maintaining an ethos where differing perspectives are sought and valued and where no voice is marginalized. 


Guided by the Honor Code, each student commits to the pursuit of excellence and to responsibility to herself, the community, and the world.


As innovators in women’s education, Salem unleashes students’ inherent capacity for innovation in engaging and consequential ways. 


Inspired by the courage of our founders, students pursue their passions fearlessly and are equipped to meet 21st century challenges.


With respect for the incalculable dignity of every individual, we express ourselves with candor, we listen to each other, and we enjoy each other.

Strategic Planning Process

In spring semester 2018, the strategic planning process engaged almost 200 stakeholders in focus groups, town hall meetings, and an Innovation Forum. Participants considered the market research conducted for Salem in 2017 which showed strong interest among current and prospective students and families in entrepreneurship, global studies, leadership, personalized opportunities, and partnerships. The ideas generated were solidified into the Vision, Values, and Strategic Directions, which were approved by the Board of Trustees and endorsed by the faculty. During a two-day retreat, attended by 45 community members, targeted action plans were created for each of the three strategic directions:

  • Experiential Learning
  • Student Success
  • Resource Development

Top priority was given to projects that would have the greatest impact on the student experience and the financial imperatives:

Experiential Learning

With an eye toward future success, Salem incorporates experiential learning into the Academy and the College academic programs. Students engage in real-world experiences, developing skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and decision-making.

  • Center for Women in Entrepreneurship and Business (CWEB)
  • College credit classes for Academy students
  • Salem Impact core curriculum at the College
  • Jan Term professional skills class for College First Years
  • Day of Service
  • Presidential Global Leadership course

Student Success

Salem will foster the full educational experience for our diverse student body. Students will be challenged, engaged, and energized across all campus programs with support from faculty, staff, and alumnae.

  • Lucy Rose Center for Global Leadership and Career Innovation
  • Wellbeing initiatives / Coaches and Student Success Teams
  • Alumnae mentoring – Network 1772
  • Athletic enhancement
  • Retention and Recruitment Plans

Resource Development

Salem places excellence and innovation at the forefront to support long-term aspirations. A transparent financial model informs the allocation of resources and strengthens administrative structures to support student success.

  • Balanced budget
  • Debt restructure/repayment
  • Step Up For Salem Campaign
  • Marketing Plan
  • Dashboards and KPIs

Download the full Vision, Values, and Strategic Directions document here.