DWU Strategic Plan

Our Institutional Strategic Plan

The Dakota Wesleyan University Strategic Plan was developed and implemented to ensure the long-term success of the institution – to have stronger and more diverse enrollment; a better reputation; a more robust academic environment and learning experiences; more mutually beneficial partnerships; and a solid financial foundation.

The five Strategic Plan themes are:

Strategic Growth

Dakota Wesleyan University will implement plans to strategically and sustainably grow enrollment.

Success metrics
  • Increase university enrollment to 800 full-time undergraduates and 200 online students.
  • $500,000 in unallocated operating expenses by 2020.


Dakota Wesleyan University will grow enrollment by improving visibility of its people and programs.

Success Metrics
  • Increase campus visits by 75% by 2020.
  • 50% of surveyed high school students rate DWU as high or very high quality by 2018.
  • DWU will be featured once per month in media outside of Mitchell.

Wesleyan Experience

Dakota Wesleyan University will enhance the student learning experience by refining the curriculum to be more relevant and employer-friendly, and by investing in student support.

Success Metrics
  • 75% retention of freshman to sophomore students
  • 85% retention of sophomore to junior students
  • 85% retention of online students
  • 90% satisfaction of employers of DWU graduates
  • 85% of seniors say they would attend DWU again, given the opportunity
  • 85% of faculty would encourage a family member to attend DWU
  • 90% of alumni satisfied with employment readiness skills
  • 100% of students engaged in experiential learning

Innovative Partnerships

Dakota Wesleyan University will seek mutually beneficial partnerships with community businesses and organizations, the church and alumni.

Success Metrics
  • $2 million in additional revenue or expense off-set
  • By 2018, 25 entities will have partnerships with DWU that impact the student experience.

Sustainable Foundation

Dakota Wesleyan University will improve leadership training for staff and board members.  Mission-central resources will grow, allowing for improved facilities.

Success Metrics
  • Complete $40 million capital campaign, “A Greater Wesleyan”
  • Complete successful 10-year reaccreditation and 100% of accredited programs in good standing
  • 75% of all midlevel staff will participate in a minimum of one annual leadership development activity.
  • 100% of new DWU Board members will go through orientation within six months of joining the board.
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, all board members will rank level of engagement at 3.5 or higher.