University Strategic Planning Case Study

The following strategic planning case study is from the University of Alaska College of Health and Social Welfare. The plan was critical in meeting the school’s vision of to change the face of nursing in Alaska: by licensing an increasing number of RN’s who are Alaska Native/American Indian.

Short Description

A case study on the successful strategic planning process the University of AK used to increase the number of graduating Native RN’s in the state.


The Recruitment and Retention of Alaska Natives into Nursing (RRANN) program needed to organize funding, distant delivery sites, program expansion and a growing structure in order to realize its vision of more Native RN’s in the state.

Critical Issue


The RRANN program had added some new staff and was in the midst of a questionable future funding-wise. However, there was high demand for its services from current and prospective Alaska Native students. The program needed a strategic plan that:

  • aligned staff behind a clear picture of the future,
  • prioritized and addressed the internal challenges,
  • identified needed changes to improve its customer service,
  • outlined a set of doable projects with accountability and clear outcomes

PGS Provided

PGS provided its Vision Navigation® process, with visual, practical and ongoing support. The Vision Navigation® process included:

  • A variety of training and learning aids to take the group through establishing its vision and identifying strategic and internal priorities
  • Comprehensive assessments both internal to the organization and external to its environment
  • Regular follow-up including coaching, as needed
  • The Vision Navigation® Chart, which presents, visually:
    • The individual tasks to be completed to reach the various project goals
    • The people accountable to complete those tasks
    • The dates the tasks are to be completed.


“Vision Navigation® is a very thorough look at an organization’s situation, and it plays out in a way that you can use the tool that’s ultimately developed for tracking. Use it actively.

Others I have seen done weren’t as thoroughly documented and they wound up sitting on a shelf. There was nothing visual. That’s one of the things I like about Vision Navigation®. It’s very visual. You work it regularly and it’s right there in front of you. You may need to adjust it as you go, but you’re able to use it to track progress.”

—Jan Harris
(at time of this project):
Associate Dean
College of Health and Social Welfare
University of Alaska, Anchorage

Vice Provost, Health Programs
Office of Health Programs Development
University of Alaska, Anchorage

Outcomes achieved.

“As far as I’m concerned, they’ve performed a really good service for the state. In situations where their products apply, that’s where I’d go. I certainly haven’t found any other group with more useful products.”

—Jan Harris