Mission and Strategic Plan

We strive to provide an excellent academic experience and a healthy campus environment for all.

Strategic Plan


Learn how we value our student and employee experience and success, as well as academic distinction.
  • Mission, Vision, Core Values

    MISSION: The School of the Arts at the College of Charleston provides world-class arts education and impactful arts experiences creating artistically fluent and culturally engaged citizens in support of the College's commitment to the liberal arts tradition.

    VISION: The School of the Arts will be nationally recognized for its innovative approach, combining exceptional scholarship and high-level artistic training within a holistic liberal arts experience.

    CORE VALUES:

    • Integrity: We take accountability for our actions and adhere to the highest ethical standards in all our professional obligations and personal responsibilities. We demonstrate respect for self, others and place.
    • Academic Excellence: We are committed to a dynamic intellectual community, high academic standards, strong academic programs, exceptional teacher-scholars, engaged students and lifelong learners.
    • Liberal Arts Education: We encourage intellectual curiosity and foster each student’s ability to think creatively and analyze, synthesize, apply and communicate knowledge from many sources.
    • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI): We create and nurture a diverse and inclusive community demonstrated through our thoughts, words and actions. We value and respect the unique perspectives, backgrounds and experiences every individual has to offer.
    • Student Centeredness: We are devoted to nurturing thriving scholar-citizens through the intellectual, ethical and social development of each individual student.
    • Innovation: We act with an entrepreneurial spirit to imagine and implement creative, bold and sustainable solutions in our pursuit of excellence and continuous improvement.
    • Public Mission: We demonstrate social responsibility in meeting the educational and professional needs of our community, our state, our nation and the world.

  • Student Experience & Success

    Ensure an effective support system that increases retention and graduation rates and enables students to learn and grow in every aspect of their College experience, preparing them to work and lead in a globally connected world.

    Strategies:  

    • Increased experiential learning opportunities  
    • Recruit and retain a more diverse student body including first generation students  
    • Promote an inclusive environment  
    • Upgrade and maintain allocated facilities and educational resources to enable and foster effective learning  
    Example success metrics:  
    • Increase number of classes reflecting diversity  
    • Increase diverse guest artists, present artistic material that is culturally relevant  
    • Diversify faculty and staff  
    • Establish a DEI Committee (link to DEI jumplink) charged with actively monitoring relevant issues and the overall climate within the School  
    • Maximize state and philanthropic funds to upgrade and maintain facilities and educational resources  
    • Increase partnerships with artistic community  
    • Fully utilize renovated spaces to foster community engagement  
    • Increase the number of College of Charleston students attending School events  
    • Create a scholarship enrichment fund to address unexpected student needs 
  • Academic Distinction

    Become ranked as a national university distinguished by our innovative liberal arts core and high achieving students and alumni. 

    Strategies:  

    • Become a center for research and discovery of the art and ideas that define our local, regional, and global cultures  
    • Achieve national recognition for offering high level artistic training in a liberal arts setting  
    • Explore new and emerging technologies in course and program delivery  
    • Increase and enhance our domestic and international partnerships, offering students robust experiential learning opportunities outside of the College  
    • Ensure course content reflects the diversity of voices and sustainable practices in the arts

    Example success metrics:  

    • Increased faculty research and creative activity examining under-represented voices in our society   
    • Increased percentage of students that are admitted to highly ranked graduate programs   
    • Offer a fully online program   
    • Increased percentage of students participating in internships   
    • Increased percentage of students participating in experiential learning opportunities   
    • Increased percentage of off-campus artistic and scholarly activities, including international experiences   
    • Increase number of courses that fulfill the College's REI requirement
  • Employee Experience & Success

    Create an inclusive workplace that inspires excellence and innovation resulting in a thriving faculty and staff community

    Strategies:

    • Maximize RCM budget flexibility to address salary compression   
    • Recruit, retain and promote more women and underrepresented populations into faculty, staff and management positions   
    • Use RCM budget flexibility and philanthropic efforts to invest in faculty and staff learning and professional development   
    • Create a sense of purpose and belonging for all   

    Example success metrics: 

    • Increase the percentage of faculty and staff from under-represented populations  
    • Increase the number of events that include and involve all School of the Arts faculty and staff   
    • Create yearly budget allocation to address salary compression   
    • Increase faculty and staff professional development combined funding (state and foundation) by 10%   
    • Act upon the recommendations of the DEI committee (link to DEI jumplink)   
  • Cross-Cutting Commitments

    Foster a culture of innovation to create sustainable solutions: Assess, adjust and establish policies, programs and incentives to encourage and enable innovation and continuous improvement in how faculty, staff and students teach, learn, and lead.  

    Advance our commitment to diversity, equity & inclusion: Refresh and implement the University’s Diversity & Inclusion Plan (e.g., education, programs, accountabilities, and metrics) in order to drive noticeable improvement in creating a campus culture where everyone feels they belong.  

    Cultivate impactful strategic partnerships: Establish a central office to help forge, facilitate and foster high-impact strategic partnerships across campus with industry, educational institutions, local and state government, and community organizations in order to advance our mission, vision, and strategic priorities. 

  • DEI Initiatives & Resources

    We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion within our school by listening, learning and doing. As artists, scholars and arts administrators, we have a unique platform to consciously advance historically disparaged communities. We use our creative talents to educate, empower, heal and unify while helping audiences examine subjects from different perspectives. 

    Our School of the Arts (SOTA) DEI Committee includes representatives from all areas of our School ready to observe, listen and learn from you and to improve our support of DEI in relation to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, culture and religion. 

    Recent action items: 

    • Creation of SOTA student/faculty DEI grants (supported by SOTA DEI fund) 
    • Increase awareness of DEI-related SOTA events (ongoing goal)
    • Develop DEI webpage to share goals, opportunities and campus resources
    • Focus on recruitment/retention efforts to diversify student body and faculty/staff (ongoing goal)
    • Ensure students, faculty and staff know how to report DEI-related incidents 
    • Diversify curricular content (ongoing goal)
    Campus Resources: 
    Check out campuswide scholarships, programs and resources

    Arts-specific opportunities:  

    • DEI-related events
    • Charleston Symphony Inclusion Fellowship 
    • SOTA DEI grants (student-faculty joint projects that advance DEI)
    • Crossing the Cistern (program that includes academic advising, mentoring, funding & more)

    Land and Labor Acknowledgement:

    We acknowledge that we are located on the traditional lands of the first people of Charleston: The Etiwan, Kiawah, Edisto Natchez Kusso, Santee, and Wassamassaw people (also known as Varner Town Indians). We acknowledge and honor all the indigenous people who lived, labored and were faithful stewards of the land. We express our deep gratitude for the land and continued faithful stewardship to the next seven generations.  

    We also acknowledge the lives and labor of the Africans who were enslaved to build Charleston, South Carolina. On this campus and in our spaces, African and African-descended people used skilled labor in ornamental ironwork, historic architecture, and low country agriculture and food production. On behalf of the College of Charleston, we acknowledge the Black lives and labor that built our city and our campus.