PCIP Manual

Purpose and Goals


The purpose of the Planning & Continuous Improvement Process (PCIP) is to create a more systematic, coordinated and comprehensive approach to planning and improvement throughout the university. The strategies, initiatives and outcomes that are generated and assessed as the result of this process will allow SCSU to achieve our mission, vision and strategic objectives, align across operational units, make strategic choices about our resource allocation and report on outcomes and achievements to our external constituents.

The goals are to:

  • Integrate institutional and unit planning efforts to allow SCSU to act in a more focused, effective, efficient and transparent way
  • Position the university so it can respond more quickly to new opportunities
  • Provide a clear direction for future initiatives
  • Demonstrate accountability to SCSU’s stakeholders through purposeful measurement and reporting
  • Provide a framework for quality improvement at the university, unit and department levels that links annual planning and budgeting with assessment, program review and accreditation self-study
  • Provide a framework for integrating action planning and budget planning


  1. The ultimate goal is institutional and programmatic improvement. The Planning & Continuous Improvement Process (PCIP) process should exist, first and foremost, for the institution and its units. It should be the means by which the institution plans for its future, critically evaluates its own performance, and makes decisions about how to move in a positive, strategic direction. Long-term program viability is dependent upon a critical mass of students, faculty and/or staff, availability of space, and access to ongoing resources. Identifying institutional and unit opportunities and weaknesses is among the goals of IPCI. It is welcomed by the institution, and will be viewed in a positive light as changes and improvements are made.

  2. The process is ongoing and will change with the University. The IPCI process is based on the “Plan-Do-Study-Act” model and is designed with the belief that organizational improvement is ongoing and iterative. SCSU and its units should be as comprehensive as possible in their goals and objectives, but plans should be viewed as works in progress that are subject to change based on feedback about the plan itself, data from evaluation and assessment efforts, and changes in the institution and its external environment.

  3. Goals and measures will vary, but the process should be consistent across the University. It is expected that some measures will vary by unit throughout the institution, but the planning and reporting procedures used should be appropriately consistent. The process of planning, improvement, and measurement should be grounded in a common framework, and the recording, reporting and interpretation of data should be consistent throughout the entire process.

  4. Both effectiveness and accountability measures will be necessary. The terms “effectiveness” and “accountability” are used to represent complementary processes that serve different functions. For purposes of this plan, accountability means the demonstration of an institution’s performance measured in quantifiable terms to a public or political audience. Accountability measurement usually involves a demonstration that the institution is fulfilling its stated purpose and is using resources efficiently and effectively. Effectiveness is aimed at an internal audience and has institutional and programmatic improvement as the goal. Assessment and evaluation is a key component of the effectiveness process.