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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 2002 and will undergo review for reaccreditation in 2012. The NEASC Self-Study Report provides a review of Emerson’s programs from 1993 to 2002. In August 2007, the College submitted a Fifth-Year Interim Report to NEASC, updating information from the 2002 report and addressing several issues the reviewers had raised. Emerson completed its required reaccreditation report for 2012-13 and is awaiting the final review and recommendations from NEASC. 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.