Academic Plan Resources

The following resources are meant to inform and inspire ideas as we create an academic plan for StFX. If there are other resources that you would like to see included, please send a link to, and we will add them to the website.

Sample academic Plans

Sample Academic Plans

Reviewing academic plans from other institutions may help members of the StFX community develop a clearer sense of what kind of academic plan will work best for StFX. 

Each of these plans has come from a specific context and is designed to achieve different goals. As such, there is a great deal of variation between them.   For example, some of the plans are very broad and include content that might appear in university-wide strategic plans.  Others are focused on a few distinct areas and do not attempt to address all the interests that fall within the academic area.    In general, though, the scope of an academic plans differs from that of a university-wide strategic plan in that it presents operational goals for the academic area that will help achieve the vision of the strategic plan.

University of Prince Edward Island
Lakehead University
York University
Concordia University
University of Calgary
Cape Breton University
Queen's University

St. Mary's University appears to be currently engaged in an academic planning exercise, as is Mount Allison.  Some institutions restrict access to their plans (e.g., Lethbridge), while some have older plans (e.g., Queen'sTrent).  

The following are samples of university-wide strategic plans that have interesting academic content and approaches:
Denison Granville, OH
Macalester  Saint Paul, MN
Middlebury  Middlebury, VT
Williams Williamstown, MA

If there are other plans you feel would serve as a valuable examples, please share and we will post them.

Article (Opinion)
The following article challenges us to think about what is sometimes lacking in university strategic plans:
Colleges Need to Rethink Strategic Planning 

StFX Plans

StFX Planning Documents

The following planning documents, created by members of the StFX community, have been used to inform planning and decision making over the past years.  The new StFX Academic Plan will be informed by the work of these plans. 

StFX Strategic Plan (2017-2022) 

StFX Strategic Plan for Research & Creative Works (2019-2025)

Faculty of Science Strategic Plan (2016-2021)

Faculty of Business Strategic Plan (2016-2020)

Faculty of Arts Strategic Plan (2015-2020)

Rankin School of Nursing (2017-2021)



Data & Reports- StFX & External


Internal StFX Data & Reports

The link below provides access to internal StFX reports and data that are helpful for planning purposes.  These documents are for internal use of members of the StFX Campus community. 

To access the information click here:  Internal StFX data & reports for Academic Plan. Users will be prompted to log in using StFX credentials.  

The link contains the following:

1. StFX Academic Planning Exercise Resources 

  • A series of charts with internal data relevant to the 2021 academic planning exercise.

2. National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) results.  

  • NSSE (pronounced "nessie") provides educators with an estimate of how undergraduates spend their time and what they gain from attending university. The survey asks students to report how much time and effort they give to empirically confirmed "good practices" in undergraduate education. NSSE provides participating institutions a variety of reports that compare their students' responses with those of students at comparator institutions.
  • StFX participates in NSSE every three years, with the most recent data from 2020

3. Annual Enrolment data

  • Department-level annual course enrolments

4. Committee on Reconciliation Survey on Indigenous Course Content

  • Results of an April 2021 questionnaire to determine the extent to which Indigenous content is included in courses across the university, the level of support for efforts to include such content, what other ways staff and faculty have acted to make their classrooms and offices more inviting and safer for Indigenous students, and their understanding of Indigenous students’ experiences in their classrooms or at StFX in general.  

5. President Andy Hakin's Presentation: Vision for the Future

  • A video recording of Dr Hakin's October 2021 presentation to the campus community outlining his vision for StFX's new University-wide Strategic Plan.

External Data

StFX Academic Planning Exercise Resources: a series charts collected specifically to inform the 2021 academic plan exercise.

The State of Post Secondary Education in Canada 2020 - Higher Education Strategy Associates. Comprehensive, up-to-date, clearly-presented data on Canada's higher education sector. Includes enrolment by demographic group and program type.

Trends in Maritime Education Annual Digest - MPHEC. Infographic. Includes enrolment by student origin, gender, age, major field of  study.

Maritime Graduates Outcome Survey Program. MPHEC. Survey of the Class of 2012 in 2018. Further Education. Student Borrowing & Debt. Employment Profile.

Enrolment at Atlantic Canadian Universities -  AAU Enrolment Reports

Universities Canada: Stats on equity, diversity and inclusion at Canadian universities.

Statistics Canada Post Secondary Enrolment by Field of Study


Research about Effective Teaching Practices


High Impact Teaching Practices

High Impact Educational Practices  Overview of high-impact practices that educational research suggests increase rates of student retention and student engagement.  Excerpt from High-Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter, by George D. Kuh (AAC&U, 2008).  American Association of Colleges and Universities

Table: High Impact Practices 

Article:  The link between high-impact practices and student learning: some longitudinal evidence

Student Retention & Success

Research and Practice of Student Retention: What Next?  Tinto 2006

From Retention to Persistence Tinto 2016



Indigenous Knowledge: Foundations for First Nations. Battiste 2005.

SSHRC: Report of the Congress Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization. Igniting Change: Final Report and Recommendations, 2021

Characteristics of Excellence in Undergraduate Research  Produced by the Council on Undergradaute Research

Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Canadian professional association.  Includes winners of awards for innovation in post-secondary education.  


Innovative programs

Innovative University Programs

Programs offered at other universities may serve to start conversations and generate ideas as StFX community members engage in the academic planning exercise.   While these programs may not be directly applicable to StFX, reviewing what is happening at other institutions may encourage us to think creatively about what StFX could offer our students.

The programs presented here are simply offered as examples.  If there are other programs that you would like to see included, please send a link to, and we will add them to the list:

Programs & Degree Structure

Brown University:  Open Curriculum with Writing Requirement

Amherst College:  Open Curriculum 

Wellesley College:  Writing Across the Curriculum

University of British Columbia:  Science One

McMaster University: Integrated Science

Teaching & Learning

University of Guelph:  First-year Seminars

University of Toronto: First-year Foundations Seminar

Bentley University: Service-Learning Certificate

Bridgewater State University: Undergraduate Research 

Queen's University: Inquiry-Based Learning

Indigenous & Diversity Efforts

 Atlantic Canada's Universities Respond to the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission: Starting the Journey

University of Saskatchewan: Indigenization

University of Guelph:  Curriculum Innovation: Indigenizing Curriculum

Thompson Rivers University: Indigenous TRU

Western University: Indigenous Initiatives

Universities Canada: Equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives at Canadian Universities.

University of Otago: Māori Strategic Framework