Elevate '28

Empire State University Strategic Plan Framework

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Founded in 1971 as the innovative campus of the State University of New York, Empire State University empowers learners from diverse backgrounds to achieve their educational goals. We have decades of experience providing educational access through online teaching and learning, individualized instruction, mentoring, and prior learning assessment. We build on our students’ experiences to promote their growth and drive upward mobility and economic development in New York state and beyond.


Empire State University is a national leader for high-quality, flexible, and affordable education. We stand alone among public institutions nationwide in our ability to provide impactful academic experiences to learners of all ages.


  • Access
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Flexibility
  • Innovation

Our values serve as a guiding force for everything we do in service to our students, their families, and their communities. Our values infuse all of our priorities, decisions, and actions. 

Strategic Shield icon for decoration Priorities

1. Student Success

Empire State University provides a positive student experience by valuing our students’ diverse perspectives, respecting their goals and priorities, and connecting them to the institution and each other. Our high-quality academic programs, mentoring, and support services enable learners to
meet their academic, professional, and personal goals.   

Supporting Themes

Every member of the university community is invested in student success. We share responsibility with our students for their success, proactively removing barriers and helping students build connections to the institution and to each other. We value students’ knowledge and experience, deliver outstanding academic programs, and provide comprehensive mentoring, advising, and other support to increase retention and ensure timely
degree completion.

2. Academic and Inclusive Excellence

As stewards of SUNY’s access institution, our students, faculty, staff, professional employees, and administrators must express our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of the organization for excellence to be achieved. We deliver on the interconnected priorities of academic and inclusive excellence through high-quality academic programs, student services, and employee support.   

Supporting Themes

We are committed to strong academic programs and excellence in teaching, service, research, scholarship, creative activity, and professional development. In support of academic and inclusive excellence, we recruit and develop employees from diverse backgrounds. In turn, by recruiting and educating a diverse student population, we expand educational access, enrich the learning experience, and prepare students to work and live in a global society.

3. Organizational Effectiveness

All members of the Empire State University community help improve our organization, climate, and programs so we can best serve our students and each other. We engage in ongoing assessment to improve academically, operationally, fiscally, and organizationally.   

Supporting Themes

Hallmarks of our organizational effectiveness include fiscal responsibility, continuous improvement, and an inclusive campus climate. All of us contribute to the strength and effectiveness of the university by fostering a culture of inclusion, civility, communication, and support. We work together to ensure that our academic offerings, student services, operational infrastructure, financial resourcing, and campus climate align with our mission, vision, and values.

4. Raising our Public Profile

As a leader in online teaching and learning, individualized instruction, and prior learning assessment, Empire State University strives to be recognized as a distinctive institution that offers high-quality, flexible, affordable education to diverse learners. Employees, students, alumni, community leaders, legislators, and supporters all play a role in elevating awareness of the institution.   

Supporting Themes

Through high-impact teaching, research, scholarship, creative activity, and public engagement, we support our access-driven mission and differentiate ourselves in an increasingly crowded field. We expand our reach by telling our story, leveraging our expertise, promoting program growth, connecting with students and alumni, and building our philanthropic base.