The Future of the CAA

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Highlights of Our Strategic Plan

The Caltech Alumni Association’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan charts a four-year course for the association as we evolve to serve a variety of alumni audiences at specific life stages. Over the next few years, we will transform our current offerings and introduce a suite of sophisticated, diversified, and targeted programming for current and future alumni.

For the past five years, the CAA has been engaged in a three-part strategy to:

  1. Formalize our mission, vision, and priorities

  2. Implement a foundation of programming and communications based on those priorities, and

  3. Establish tools to measure and analyze the efficacy of those efforts.

As we look ahead, the CAA plans to make significant leaps forward in the scope and scale of our impact upon alumni. In order to focus our work, the CAA Board adopted strategic objectives – targets to be met through the programs, events, and services delivered by the organization.

Over the next 4 years, the CAA plans to:

  • Double the number of alumni who attend at least one event per year

  • Triple the number of alumni volunteers in CAA programs and events

  • Provide every undergraduate and graduate student with the opportunity to meaningfully engage with alumni each year

  • Develop and expand career support and mentoring programs for alumni and future alumni

  • Foster self-sustaining Caltech alumni community groups led by volunteers

  • Provide lifelong learning opportunities to alumni, and

  • Promote the ties of goodwill between the Institute and its alumni.

 

FY18 Key Investment Areas:
Student Programs & Mentoring

The first year of the CAA Strategic Plan focuses on building the foundational elements required to make vibrant, targeted, and tailored person-to-person and virtual communication a core part of the Caltech student and alumni experience. This programming will help students see themselves as future alumni, broaden their view of career options, provide mentoring and networking opportunities to both alumni and students, and increase the number of alumni volunteers.

New Alumni Programs in FY2018:

 

FY19 Key Investment Areas:
Alumni Community Groups
Expanding Student Programs and Alumni Mentoring

In this second year, we will continue to create a narrative around lifelong community by driving more adoption and diversification of the new programs introduced in year one. Electronic communications will be enhanced by providing all alumni with lifetime @alumni.caltech.edu email addresses.

Programming will be targeted to expand the engagement of recent alumni, who have traditionally been less engaged. Additionally, we will focus on our largest community group, our alumnae, and develop volunteer driven, scalable regional programming for them as well as for other community groups.

The CAA will also conduct a second Alumni Attitude Study as part of our efforts to seek alumni feedback and give them a clear voice and bi-directional communications with the Institute. Having established a baseline in 2016, this second study will offer comparison data to evaluate the effectiveness of current strategies and make course corrections.

 

FY20 Key Investment Areas:
Reunion Weekend & Seminar Day
Externship Program
Alumni Website

The CAA will increase our investment of time and resources in Reunion Weekend to enhance the tradition of returning to campus. Seminar Day will also continue to grow and receive enhancements.

Investments will be made in technology primarily to the alumni website to expand alumni outreach through digital channels. Furthermore, the launch of an Externship program (a one to three day job shadowing experience) with campus partners will provide students with the opportunity to connect with an alum, explore career options, and gain a realistic perspective of an industry near campus or in the cities where they live. This program can provide alumni with a short-term mentoring and meaningful volunteer opportunities.

 

FY21 Key Investment Areas:
Grow and Scale Alumni Engagement

This year represents the final stretch to reach our strategic objectives, and will continue to build across the entire portfolio of new programs and services. We will continue to hold Reunion Weekend and Seminar Day, and publish Techer. There will be continued growth of the Caltech Alumni Advisor Network, Dinner with Techers, the Externship Program, virtual programming, as well regional programs and alumni community groups driven by volunteers.

 

Conclusion

The CAA Strategic Plan is ambitious, as the organization grows from a period of foundation building and moves towards the implementation of diverse and targeted in-person and virtual programming to impact the most alumni possible.

Building upon the great work of the Alumni Engagement Working Group and the Alumni Engagement Coordinating Council, the CAA will continue to drive forward in pursuit of its mission and vision.

It is our belief that through this plan, alumni and student experiences will continue to improve dramatically, in a matter befitting the caliber of the Institute and its impact on the world at large.