This report lays out the findings from the future-orientated scenario planning work for Cornell College, in April 2023. This work has identified a preferred future, and highlighted some of the future challenges and opportunities in front of the College. This report has been produced as part of the Cornell College Strategic Roadmap project which aims to guide the strategic direction of the college into 2035.


  • Cornell College stakeholders see the need to adapt and change. Throughout the planning process, and especially in the Think-Tank deliberations, there was an expressed recognition of the need for Cornell College to adapt and change. Change is not always a comfortable process, but the imperative for Cornell is to reposition in a rapidly changing world. The preferred future identified in this scenario-based planning work has highlighted the desire for change in terms of institutional adaptation, moving to more growth and diversification, and a shift to a more adaptive, future oriented and responsive education environment.
  • Significant headwinds that will need careful navigation. The survey work highlighted the perception amongst stakeholder that there are some significant headwinds and challenges ahead. It was observed that the educational environment will become much more challenging; there is a changing landscape of students with different expectations and values; and there will be a changing profile of students who are becoming more diverse. In addition, there are deep concerns about the impending ‘enrollment cliff’ and about the underlying financial strength of the College.
  • A key challenge will be attracting and retaining quality staff. In the survey results, over 70% of respondents consider it will be harder or much harder to attract and retain quality staff in the future. This has an impact on the adaptability of the organization, and how much depth there is in the talent pool to design and execute change.
  • Block Plan remains a key point of differentiation. The Block Plan model has been a key point of differentiation for Cornell College. Nearly 70% of survey respondents highlighted this strong point of differentiation and considered that it will become more relevant over the next 10 years. It was also considered that this model is effective in supporting the brand and reputation of Cornell College.