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2013-2018 Mount St. Mary's College Strategic Plan

Transforming Lives

Dear Mount Community and Friends of the College:

As a Catholic liberal arts college of the 21st century, we at Mount St. Mary’s College understand the transformational imperative of higher education and we stand ready to create new models of excellence to meet the changing needs of society. As we move forward, we remain steadfast in our commitment to the liberal arts for we believe that there is no education more practical and more aspirational than the liberal arts and sciences. The liberal arts are at the heart of all we do. We call our students, regardless of program or career aspiration, to think across boundaries in their pursuit of knowledge and understanding. We challenge them to ask big questions that require complex answers. We educate them to think deeply and critically and to communicate their thoughts with clarity and confidence. And we press them to integrate their intellectual skills with an understanding of personal and ethical responsibility. We prepare them for lives of purpose.

Intellectual inquiry and academic excellence stand together as the cornerstone of our College. Inspired and guided by the charisma of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, we celebrate the dialogue between faith and reason as central to the learning process, and we acclaim our call to the service of others in the Catholic social justice tradition.

Our unwavering commitment to excellence calls us to be forward thinking. We must be innovators in our work with students across all of our populations. We are guided by the example of the Sisters of St. Joseph in their faithful responsiveness to the changing needs of society. At Mount St. Mary’s College, we stand ready to build a culture of innovation for excellence to respond to the needs of our students and our communities, both local and global, in fulfillment of our mission.

The 2013-2018 Strategic Plan, Innovation for Excellence: Transforming Lives, ensures that the hallmarks of the Mount St. Mary’s College experience articulated in our five Pillars of Distinction serve as guides for the expression of our mission as we lay the groundwork for the 21st century.

Most sincerely,
Ann McElaney-Johnson
Ann McElaney-Johnson

Mission Statement

Mount St. Mary’s College offers a dynamic learning experience in the liberal arts and sciences to a diverse student body. As a Catholic college primarily for women, we are dedicated to providing a superior education enhanced by an emphasis on building leadership skills and fostering a spirit to serve others. Our measure of success is graduates who are committed to using their knowledge and skills to better themselves, their environments, and the world.

Five Pillars of Distinction

Five Pillars

Innovative Teaching and Learning

Innovative learning and teaching are hallmarks of a Mount education and are prioritized through the exploration and implementation of strategies for new pedagogies, scholarly examinations of best practices and exploration of innovative curricular and co-curricular design. The liberal arts and professional programs, on both the graduate and undergraduate levels, are enriched by a deep array of learning opportunities and experiences, including internships, student research, community-based programs, clinical placements, portfolios and academic competitions, all robustly supported and enhanced by the effective use of technology in both the classroom and in online environments.

Global Awareness and Understanding

Through academic and co-curricular emphases on cross-national dynamics and perspectives, Mount St. Mary’s prepares students to work and to live in a global community. The Mount’s learning environment pursues internationalization through the integration of cultural fluency and global awareness, both on campus and abroad, assuring that Mount students will be leaders of and for the world.


Mount St. Mary’s College provides a transformational educational experience which empowers and challenges women to strive for excellence, both as scholars and as contributors to a more just society. A catalyst for the promotion of women’s issues locally, nationally and globally, the Mount emphasizes the development of women as leaders, with a special commitment to the advancement of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).


Mount St. Mary’s is a learning community dedicated to preparing students for interdependent, mutually respectful relationships in service of the common good. The Mount fosters students’ understanding of their responsibility to serve the local, national and global communities in which they live and work, and to actively benefit from the abundant resources of the city of Los Angeles. This takes place in the context of a richly-diverse close knit college community which values respect, excellence and the contributions of all.

Spirit of the Founders

Mount St. Mary’s was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ) as part of their mission to educate women to reach their full potential and to address the needs of all, as “the dear neighbor,” deserving of their ministry. In this spirit, the Mount commits itself to our CSJ heritage of dynamic and innovative service to the Church and the world, emphasizing the Catholic intellectual and social traditions of rigorous academic explorations of faith, and a keen responsiveness to the needs of the communities and the times in which we live.


Goals and Objectives
Goal I

Strategic Goal I

Advancing Students

Prepare students for the 21st century through rigorous and competitive academic and co-curricular programs grounded in the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ) and the Catholic intellectual traditions, and coupled with comprehensive academic and technological support.

  1. Deeply and intentionally infuse the liberal arts across all academic programs.
  2. Advance and support the intellectual engagement of the faculty in their disciplines and in the development of innovative pedagogies and curricula, leading to excellence in teaching, learning and research.
  3. Prepare students for contemporary life and work as world citizens through globalization of the curriculum and our campuses.
  4. Advance women through the formation and education of leaders across all programs and all sectors.
  5. Promote and support student acquisition of lifetime health and wellness.
Goal II

Strategic Goal II

Advancing Community

Engage Mount St. Mary’s College with the greater community through education, service and partnerships in the Los Angeles region and across the globe.

  1. Expand experiential and service learning opportunities, both locally and globally, including integration of the rich cultural and technological resources of Los Angeles as extensions of the classroom and the campus.
  2. Serve and work in partnership with the community to promote research and advocacy on behalf of women and girls.
  3. Foster and strengthen the Mount’s identity as a community of learners through the active participation of all students, faculty, staff, and alumnae/i in the life of the college.
Goal III

Strategic Goal III

Advancing Mission and Identity

Strengthen and sustain the resources, identity and Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ) heritage of the College to enable innovation for excellence in all areas and programs.

  1. Create a culture in which innovative thinking is encouraged and valued through increased support for faculty, staff and student development, addressing best practices and evolving models of excellence.
  2. Develop and implement recruitment and retention strategies for faculty, staff and students, maintaining the highest academic quality and ensuring appropriate growth and a diverse population across all programs.
  3. Prepare and launch a campaign to infuse substantial funds into student scholarships, College programs, and the campus environment.
  4. Develop and implement a campus master plan to anticipate and meet the evolving needs of the institution.
  5. Increase the visibility of the College as a leading liberal arts institution of the 21st century.


The Mount St. Mary’s College 2013-2018 Strategic Plan, Innovation for Excellence: Transforming Lives

, was developed through an inclusive and collaborative process involving the full Mount St. Mary’s College community. The MSMC community shares responsibility for the successful implementation of the plan.


To this end, each division of the College will create measurable annual goals to ensure our continued progress. We commit to a comprehensive evaluation of our work and will share results with the College community on a yearly basis. The Strategic Plan was unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees on April 30, 2013.