Plans & Reports

Strategic Plan, 2020-25


The Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications is committed to excellence in teaching, research, creative activity and outreach. We prepare students to contribute to a multicultural society as active, critical, ethical and engaged participants. We promote effective, responsible use of communications, media and technologies by individuals, organizations, industries and government.


The Bellisario College:

  • prepares the next generation of journalists, digital storytellers, strategic communicators and scholars for leadership in their professions and society;
  • impacts our disciplines and professions, along with policymakers and the public, by advancing knowledge that addresses the grand challenges of our time; and
  • serves the University, the Commonwealth and communities across the globe with our expertise, for the greater good. 

Thematic Areas and Goals

The heart of our strategic plan is five thematic areas that outline the goals we’re striving to achieve. Those areas and key goals are:

  1. Ensuring Student Success
    • Students across all programs will have expanded career-preparation opportunities.
    • The Bellisario College will strengthen its retention and graduation rates as among the highest at the University and among its peers, reflecting its commitment to all students.
    • The Bellisario College will rank at the top in national competitions that showcase the work of students and will consistently place students in University-wide honors programs and opportunities, reflecting its commitment to strong student learning outcomes.
  2. Advancing Equity, Inclusion and Diversity
    • The Bellisario College will ensure that all students, upon graduation, can demonstrate culturally proficient communication that empowers those traditionally disenfranchised in society, especially as grounded in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and ability, domestically and globally, across communication and media contexts.
    • The Bellisario College will consistently attract, retain and graduate a student population that reflects diversity in the Commonwealth and ranks the Bellisario College among the most diverse academic colleges at University Park.
    • The Bellisario College will maintain an outstanding reputation at University Park and among our disciplinary peers as a diverse and inclusive workplace.
    • The Bellisario College will maintain and, where possible, increase diversity in staffing.
  3. Advancing Ethical Leadership
    • The Bellisario College will ensure that all students, upon graduation, possess an understanding of professional ethical principles and are prepared to work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity in their chosen fields.
    • The Bellisario College will position itself as a thought leader for the academy, professions and a curricular model for its peers in the academy.
  4. Empowering Through Digital Innovation
    • The Bellisario College will become a resource of digital expertise for the University and its peers, enjoying a strong reputation for the innovation of its faculty and students.
    • A “collaboratory” in the media center will align teaching, research and outreach to address issues of digital literacy, news and information in multicultural society.
    • The Bellisario College will develop and offer relevant, interdisciplinary, digitally focused credit and non-credit programs, leveraging the media center where appropriate.
  5. Impacting Our Communities
    • The Bellisario College will serve the Commonwealth through news, public-information campaigns, research and outreach that engages multiple partners and improves communities.
    • The Bellisario College will leverage its expertise and its resources, and engage its students, in Penn State’s initiatives aimed at sustainability, climate change, and enhancing health