St. Cloud State University Strategic Plan

SWOT Analysis

SWOT is an acronym for an organizations strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Completing a SWOT analysis provides insight into areas of focus during a strategic planning process.


  • Our people and their shared focus on student success
  • A wide range of academic programs, many with national accreditation
  • A diverse and vibrant student body and campus community
  • A reputation as an international university and our strong international connections and partnerships
  • Our Husky Compact that defines our shared educational values
  • Strong and established partnerships within our community


  • Declining enrollment due to changing demographics, increased competition and some programs that lack clear career alignment
  • Lower than expected student success outcomes, including student learning, retention and completion
  • Lack of a brand and strategic marketing and communications strategy
  • Organizational silos that make us slow to respond to internal needs and external opportunities
  • Uneven engagement across students, campus and community – both within and across
  • Inadequate resources for facilities, equipment and recruitment and retention of quality staff


  • Growing public interest in educational value and transparent pricing
  • Expanding non-traditional market, including baccalaureate completion in the Twin Cities
  • Expanding partnerships and engagement opportunities within our communities
  • Location on the river and along the growing I-94 corridor


  • Regional and online competition for students
  • Stagnant state investment in higher education
  • Decreased family buying power and high rate of unmet financial need
  • Higher education’s current role in society is less valued while expectations are rising

Guiding Philosophy

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