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Advancing Student Success Through Strategic Planning

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Universities across the nation are striving to make themselves “student ready”. NKU determined that its strategic planning process was the perfect place to ensure that students were at the center of all university planning. Looking beyond traditional strategic planning methodologies and lengthy development timeframes, NKU decided to use Design Thinking across the campus to create a strategic plan that was both ambitious and nimble.  

The result is Success by Design, a strategic plan with a singular focus on student success. The framework was purposefully designed to align resources, decisions, and processes around prospective, incoming, and current learners. 

Success by Design is the strategic framework consisting of three pillars: ACCESS, COMPLETION, and CAREER AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT. The pillars guide the work as the campus as it determines how NKU delivers support, services, and programs to all learners — not just traditional students — by meeting the learners where they are in their educational journey. 

This site is designed to share the progress of this journey and includes information on the planning structure, events, timelines and news. A pivotal part of the process was to determine where to begin. After campus wide input, all proposed initiatives were narrowed down to the most important First Five Initiatives. 

Review the First Five Initiatives

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Latest News & Resources


  • Local Institutions Join “Moon Shot for Equity” to Close Equity Gaps

    Local Institutions Join “Moon Shot for Equity” to Close Equity Gaps

    Oxford, Ohio (Sept. 15, 2021) — Northern Kentucky University, Gateway Community and Technical College, Miami University, and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College [...]


  • Students 2 Scholars

    Students 2 Scholars

    "We definitely didn’t want our sophomores to feel left out and continuing that support system is important. They need a professional network of support and to see people that look like them within their profession."


  • Success by Design Metrics are Here!

    Success by Design Metrics are Here!

    March 31, 2021 - We are ready to begin measuring what we care about and to see the progress we make in our strategic framework. Watch the introduction video and take a look at our new metrics website: nku.edu/sbdmetrics [...]


  • An Update on Success by Design

    An Update on Success by Design

    March 3, 2021 - This has been a turbulent year for our world and we have remained committed to our student-centered and regionally engaged mission and vision [...]


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We want to hear from you

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Please let us know how you are impacting Student Success at NKU in these turbulent times. 

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