Whitman College has identified five strategic priorities for the years 2017 to 2022:
Increasing access and affordability
Recognizing that a college education has become less affordable for many families, Whitman believes that access to its education should not be determined by ability to pay. Rather, students of all socioeconomic backgrounds should be able to decide whether this is the best college for them without cost as a limiting factor. Whitman’s ultimate goal is to meet the full demonstrated financial need of all students while still using financial aid to encourage students from all socioeconomic backgrounds to come to Whitman. In the timeframe of this plan, we must make significant progress toward this goal, increasing the availability and amount of financial aid to enroll a more socioeconomically diverse student population.
Enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values of Whitman College. Our mission focuses on educating a broad range of talented students in a college community where everyone can participate fully in the life of the college and experience a genuine sense of belonging. For Whitman, diversity includes the composition of the students, faculty and staff, as well as the curriculum, ideas, experiences, relations and cultural traditions across our community. We must become a place where both majority and minority members of our community experience difference every day, where diversity is woven throughout our cultural fabric: our values, our behavior, our culture.
Innovating the curriculum
Now more than ever, the challenges and opportunities of the twenty-first century underscore the need for a civically engaged and ethically minded public. In the face of environmental upheavals, technological change, and debates over the meaning of community in a globalized world, we reaffirm our commitment to the liberal arts and dedicate ourselves to shaping a dynamic curriculum that can respond to these needs. We aim to educate students to respect the value of knowledge for its own sake as well as its contribution to society, and to inspire students to maintain a life-long responsibility to their education as thinkers, makers, activists, leaders, and collaborators. We prepare students to grapple with complexity, to flourish in environments of experimentation, exploration, and uncertainty, and to engage in rigorous inquiry and the free exchange of ideas amidst ever diverse and conflicting viewpoints. Through close individual mentoring, inclusive pedagogy, and a curriculum that intentionally builds across all years of study, students will grow creatively and analytically, learn to embrace ambiguity, and think deliberately about their place in the world.
Connecting to life after Whitman
Whitman College believes every student should graduate with the knowledge and skills to translate their liberal arts education into a meaningful and satisfying life path. While at Whitman, every student will have the opportunity to participate in high-impact learning experiences, robust advising, strong co-curricular programs and a rich extracurricular life. Students will be able to draw on the support of Whitman’s robust alumni network through multiple programs and avenues. This work must help them develop the acumen needed to successfully transition from life at Whitman to life after Whitman, and translate their Whitman education into a compelling narrative for their future.
Celebrating our location
Whitman’s eastern Washington location—with its dynamic history, diverse population and inspiring physical landscape—is a source of strength and pride for the college. The leaders of the Walla Walla and regional communities are partners who are ready to collaborate on internships, volunteer service, community-based classes and other experiential learning opportunities. In turn, Whitman must further strengthen our commitment to and readiness for this collaboration: building sustainable community relationships, creating a culture that celebrates our location, emphasizing the strengths of our location as we communicate with prospective students and recruit new faculty and staff and protecting our natural environment. This effort strengthens student learning by developing students’ capacities to thrive in diverse communities and foster lifelong commitments to any place they choose to call home.