Tech's Strategic Plan: Five Years Later

Strategic Plan - Five Years Later

Tech's Strategic Plan: Five Years Later

It's been five years since Georgia Tech set out to begin “designing the future” with its 25-Year Strategic Plan

In some ways, not a lot has changed. Georgia Tech is still one of the best institutions of higher learning in the country and world, and is still dedicated to improving the human condition through advanced science and technology. The Ramblin' Wreck is still running, and George P. Burdell is still here. 

And in other ways, it's a different place than it was five years ago. Tech is trailblazing in the way it educates students, partners with government and industry, serves its employees, and connects with its local and global communities. Physically, numerous new facilities now exist to serve an increasingly interdisciplinary approach in all areas of academics and research. Demographically, it's more diverse than ever, with this year's freshman class having more women and more African-Americans than ever before. It's a place where the President of the United States wants to come to cite what is being done right in higher education today.

As we move forward, with 20 percent of the plan’s timeline now passed, it is encouraging to look back at the progress made and how Georgia Tech is strategically changing the world.


Goal One - Be among the most highly respected technology-focused learning institutions in the world.

Rankings that Rock

Rocking in Rankings

U.S. News & World Report ranked Tech as the No. 7 public university for 2016. Tech also earned the No. 13 spot in the Most Innovative category and the No. 30 spot in Best Colleges for Veterans.

Innovation Ecosystem Takes Shape in Tech Square

Innovation Ecosystem Blossoms in Tech Square

AT&T, The Home Depot, Southern Company, Panasonic, ThyssenKrupp Elevator, and NCR all now have innovation centers in Tech's neighborhood. 

Freshman Make Impact in the Face of Grand Challenges

Freshmen Make Impact in the Face of Grand Challenges

In 2012, the Grand Challenges Living Learning Community began giving first-year students a chance to tackle global issues related to food, water, energy, and health.

Class of 2015 Sets Records for Academics, Diversity

Class of 2015 Sets Records for Academics, Diversity

This year's freshman class represents 64 countries, 48 states, 86 Georgia counties, and more than 1,400 high schools. It also has the highest academic profile to date. 

Tech and the K-12 Mission

Tech and the K-12 Mission

Georgia Tech takes a keen interest in training future scientists and engineers through initiatives such as Project ENGAGES a high school education program that began in 2013. 

The "Flipped" Classroom

Professors Pilot New Teaching Models

Tech faculty and students are at the forefront of new teaching and learning models, such as flipped classes, and the pioneers are sharing tips with others as they blaze the trail.

Alexandra Bowers Schoen, Software Engineer, OMSCS student

Tech Launches World's First Massive Online Degree Program

In 2014, we revolutionized online learning through a partnership with AT&T and an Online Master of Science in Computer Science that costs about $6,600. 

Student Experience Survey Shows Gains

Student Experience Survey Shows Gains

Data from a 2015 Student Experience Survey shows that more students are highly likely to recommend Tech to others, find it very friendly, and have a high-quality experience.

Goal Two - Sustain and enhnace excellence in scholarship and research.

Robots on the Road

Creating the Next Musical Instruments (and Musicians)

Tech's Shimi and Shimon robots took center stage on The TODAY Show in May 2015, showcasing Georgia Tech's cutting-edge program in music technology.   

Tech Launches Manufacturing Institute

Tech Launches Manufacturing Institute

In 2012, Tech created a new interdisciplinary research institute to promote a technologically advanced and globally competitive manufacturing base in the U.S.

Surviving Cyberspace

Surviving Cyberspace

As cybersecurity becomes increasingly important, faculty and researchers in the new Institute for Information Security and Privacy are focused on finding new ways to keep our data and privacy safe.

Celebrating Tech's Best Teachers

Honoring and Learning from Tech's Best Teachers

Tech is continuing to find new ways to cultivate, recognize, and reward great teaching to promote better learning. A new commemorative wall in the Clough Commons is one testament to that goal.

Campaign Georgia Tech Hits $1.5B

Campaign Georgia Tech Surpasses $1.5B

Gifts from Tech alumni and friends, corporate partners, foundations, and others have funded nearly endowed faculty chairs and professorships, student scholarships, new facilities, and research centers.

Tech Selected as National University Transportation Center

Tech Selected as National University Transportation Center

Being named as the lead for one of 10 centers by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2012 let Tech take a step forward in developing solutions to transportation challenges in Georgia and the region.

Clough Commons

Investing in Infrastructure

The Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons (opened in 2011) and Engineered Biosystems Building (opened in 2015) are two new campus facilities that demonstrate Tech's collaborative approach to research, academics, and campus life.  

Tech, Emory Launch Law Master's

Tech, Emory Collaborate on Law Master's Degree

A new program that was started in 2014 lets students earn both a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Tech and a juris master’s degree from Emory University in as little as five years.

Goal Three - Ensure that innovation, entrepreneurship, and public service are fundamental characteristics of our graduates.

Maker Culture Meets Startup Incubators

Maker Culture Meets Startup Incubators

Each year, more students are pursuing startups while still taking classes, and new campus spaces and programs are supporting both their academic and entrepreneurial goals.

InVenture to Maker Faire

From InVenture Prize to National Maker Faire

While still a student, InVenture Prize winner Jasmine Burton launched Wish for WASH, a startup that could provide access to improved sanitation for billions of people around the world.

VentureLab Helps Launch Companies

VentureLab Lets Faculty, Staff, and Students Hatch Ideas

This arm of Tech's Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) lets members of the Tech community commercialize the ideas that come from their research. 

When Computing Equals Social Good

Computing Meets Social Good

In 2014, Tech started its Data Science for Social Good internship program, where students help local organizations use advanced computational power and new analytic methods to improve their work.

Texas Instruments Plaza and Maker Space

Texas Instruments Supports New Maker Space

The new Interdisciplinary Design Commons, now in the design phase, will provide an additional space on campus for students to explore project-based learning and leadership.

West Side Story

Telling the West Side's Story

The neighborhoods surrounding Tech’s campus have struggled for decades with drugs, crime, and poverty. In 2011, Tech formed the Westside Communities Alliance to help. 


Undergraduate Education Plan Focuses on Sustainable Communities

Tech's new Serve-Learn-Sustain initiative, launched in 2015, gives students the opportunity to make service contributions as part of their academic work and based on their expertise.

CREATE-X Boosts Entrepreneurial Confidence

CREATE-X Will Build Entrepreneurial Confidence

Supported by alumnus Chris Klaus, CREATE-X, launched in 2015, is a collective of programs designed to give students the tools they need to establish startups.

Goal Four - Expand our global footprint and influence to ensure we are graduating good global citizens.

ORGT Goes to Mt. Everest

Outdoor Recreation Reaches Mount Everest

One group of students took an expedition in 2014 through Nepal to Mount Everest, encountering a wide variety of Nepalese culture along the way.

Social Courage Prize Honors African Lawyer

Social Courage Prize Honors African Lawyer

The 2014 Ivan Allen Prize honored Beatrice Mtetwa, an African lawyer who has devoted herself to human rights, social justice, and gender equality for more than 20 years.

Spring Break in Bolivia

Civil Engineers Spend Spring Break among Alpacas

Each year, a group of undergraduate civil engineering students travels abroad to apply their research and help communities. In 2015, the group tackled air and water quality in Bolivia. 

Summit of the Americas

Tech Leaders Participate in Summit of the Americas

In April 2015, Tech helped organize the first Forum of University Presidents, which convened around 400 university leaders and high-ranking officials from 35 countries, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Soldiers Add Stripes with OMSCS

Soldiers Add OMSCS Stripes

The groundbreaking Online Master of Science in Computer Science is breaking down education barriers to let students from around the world earn a Tech degree, even while on active duty.

Global Social Venture Competition

Scheller Hosts Global Social Venture Competition

This event brings together university teams from around the country to compete for prizes for their business ideas that will make a positive real-world impact. Four Tech teams made it to the semifinals this year.

Students Host International Football Clinic

Students Host International Football Clinic

In 2013, the Student Government Association began an annual event with Georgia Tech Athletics in which Tech's own student-athletes teach international students to play American football.

Georgia Tech Launches New International Program in Shenzhen

Tech Launches Program in Shenzhen

As of 2014, students from all over the world can study electrical and computer engineering with Tech faculty, gain experiences studying and living in China, and interact with multinational companies.

Goal Five - Relentlessly pursue institutional effectiveness.

President Barack Obama Visits Campus

President Barack Obama Comes to Campus

In March 2015, the president visited to address students and discuss college affordability, calling Georgia Tech "one of the best bargains around."

Crunching the Numbers on ROI

Crunching the Numbers on Tech's ROI

By almost any measure, Georgia Tech tops the list when it comes to return on investment. In recent years, more external rankings and studies have been noticing.

Tech: The Land of Co-Opportunity

Co-Op Lets Students Work, Pay Their Way Through

Tech's co-op program is not new, but its usage and benefits continue to grow. In 2014, annual co-op earnings totaled $10.4 million.

Joint Library Service Center

Tech, Emory Launch Joint Library Service Center

The two Atlanta universities are saving themselves space and resources by combining forces for a new facility on Emory's campus. The joint effort was announced in 2014.

Tech Initiates Atlanta Scholarship Partnership

Tech Initiates Atlanta Scholarship Partnership

In 2014, Georgia Tech announced that all valedictorians and salutatorians from Atlanta Public Schools would receive automatic acceptance and full scholarships. 

Industrial Engineers Help Police Optimize Operations

Industrial Engineers Optimize Police Operations

Beginning in 2014, undergraduate researchers teamed up with the Georgia Tech Police Department to help them better use data to serve the campus more efficiently. 

Sheep Manage Campus Kudzu

Sheep Help Manage Campus Kudzu

In 2014, Tech turned to four-legged friends as a sustainable, efficient method of managing landscaping in parts of campus.  

Ethics Focus of Yearlong Campaign

Ethics Focus of Yearlong Campaign

Tech spent the 2014-15 year with a renewed emphasis on stopping unethical behavior that could prevent the Institute from achieving its goals because of depleted resources. 

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Writer: Kristen Bailey
Digital Designer: Melanie Goux


Originally published September 2015