Strategic Planning

Emerson College uses strategic planning to provide a vision for each department for the next several years. Each academic department and school reviews its strategic plan on an annual basis, to identify programmatic needs and establish plans for faculty hires, budgets, curriculum, and space planning.

The Office of Academic Affairs coordinates this academic planning process with department chairs and school deans, beginning in the fall semester and culminating in prioritized initiatives in the spring semester to be implemented the following academic year. The resulting goals, initiatives, and plans are developed with significant faculty input to reflect the academic mission of the College.

Faculty and staff should consult with the department chairs and school deans regarding strategic planning for their departments and programs.


Emerson is a private, independent, nonprofit college fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges as authorized by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Emerson is also accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (for its master's degree in communication disorders), and the Massachusetts Department of Education (education preparation programs in the Departments of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Performing Arts).

Emerson was reaccredited by NEASC in 2013 and will undergo full review for reaccreditation in Fall 2022, with the five-year review scheduled for Spring 2018. The Spring 2013 Report of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges may be viewed here (after logging in with your Emerson College username and password). The reaccreditation process involves review, reflection, assessment, and planning by administrators, faculty, students, and members of the professional community.

Program Reviews

Each of Emerson’s academic and instructional programs is reviewed regularly by department or program faculty. Reviews are administered and supervised by the Office of Academic Affairs. Most reviews occur on a five-year cycle.

The purpose of Emerson’s academic program reviews is to put into place a system of continuous assessment, planning, and improvement to help achieve the academic mission and the identified academic commitments. Program review is an evaluative, not a descriptive, process; it results in judgments about the quality of a program and the adequacy of its resources.

The Academic Program Review Guidelines provide complete information about the process of program review, and the Program Review Schedule provides a schedule of program reviews.

Emerson College Learning Goals

as of September 2015

The following Emerson College Learning Goals were originally drafted by the Student Learning Committees in 2013-2014.  They were reviewed and edited by the Department faculty, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, the Faculty Council, and were endorsed by the Faculty Assembly in September of 2015.

Emerson College graduates create, communicate, collaborate, critically think, civically engage.

Upon graduation Emerson students will be able to:


  • Experiment with creative processes, including traditional practices.
  • Apply foundational theories and practices to their disciplines.


  • Demonstrate effective written, oral, and visual communication skills.
  • Demonstrate competency in information, media, and digital literacies.


  • Work with others across disciplines of study to produce meaningful outcomes.
  • Integrate the liberal arts into the various fields of communication and the arts.

Critically Think

  • Support conclusions based on research methods appropriate to their disciplines.
  • Make decisions using quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Civically Engage

  • Demonstrate a commitment to diverse perspectives and ethical practices.
  • Engage with local and global communities.