Ithaca Forever

This past fall, Ithaca College launched its five-year strategic plan: Ithaca Forever. The plan is a result of a yearlong, inclusive collaboration between faculty, staff, students, alumni, and off-campus community members.

And it’s just getting started.

The plan provides a framework for how the college will deliver an exceptional educational experience that is accessible, affordable, and responsive to the needs of the next generation of Ithaca College students. The field of higher education is facing myriad challenges, including affordability, accessibility, and the demographic decline of the college-age population in the Northeast. These challenges caused us to think deeply about our purpose, what we are committed to, what we want to invest in, and what our future will look like. Read on to see how we plan to address these challenges in the future and for examples of current initiatives that help illustrate the plan


Students are at the center of everything we do.

We want IC to become a model for student success, engagement, and well-being, and to help students develop their unique potential.

To that end, we are working to provide even more experiential learning opportunities and a lower cost of attendance for students and their families. 


Become a year-round campus

Ithaca College already offers a number of programs during the summer catering to high school students, such as the Summer Music Academy, the Summer College for High School Students, and the Ithaca Young Writers Institute. What if we added more of those types of programs so that IC could become a vibrant, 12-month place of learning for multiple generations?

Support collaboration and cross-sector partnerships

Ithaca College has deep roots and long-standing relationships with organizations in the local community. We now look to expand beyond those traditional partners to work with organizations that can help create innovative opportunities.

Become a national model for colleges committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion

We value diversity as a source of strength for our community that will build understanding and fuel vibrancy, creativity, and innovation on our campus.

“Not only are we launching Ithaca Forever, we are honoring this community, honoring our resiliency, and honoring the promise of this institution.” — Shirley M. Collado, President


The following examples show the goals and objectives of the strategic plan brought to life.

IC Dining

In response to concerns from students and families, the college decided to end its relationship with Sodexo, bring dining operations in house, and partner with Cornell Dining. Now, we aim to become a national model for in-house dining services by 2024, providing experiential learning for students and lowering the cost of meal plans.

Grant to Recruit More Diverse STEM Students 

This fall the National Science Foundation awarded Ithaca College a $650,000 grant to recruit and retain low-income, academically talented computer science, mathematics, and physics/astronomy students. The grant will allow the college to award 14 scholarships and contribute to a positive campus climate. 

“This is the very embodiment of what the strategic plan hopes to achieve— bringing in revenue, partnering with a community organization, and giving students a valuable learning opportunity. It’s a great sign for the future.” —Mary Jo Watts, Learning Application Coordinator, on the Bob Dylan concert.

The Bob Dylan Experience

Students in the first cohort of the MBA in entertainment and media management helped local concert promoter DSP Shows promote Bob Dylan’s concert in the Athletics and Events Center on campus November 17. The concert also served as an example of how we can better utilize spaces on campus.

Cortaca Jug 2019

This past fall the Cortaca Jug was played in MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and New York Jets, as a result of an invitation from the National Football Foundation and collaboration among more than a dozen cross-functional teams on campus. The event also created multiple opportunities for hands-on learning for students from all five schools and was the largest-ever gathering of IC alumni.

“As we strive to create an Ithaca Forever community and a culture of philanthropy, we rely on alumni to share their experience, their passion, and their expertise.” — Wendy Kobler, Vice President of Institutional Advancement 


We are committed to the financial stability of the institution, so we will determine and maintain an appropriate size for our programs and structures and look for ways to improve space utilization on campus. We will also seek to advance the Campus Master Plan in ways that will enhance teaching and learning, including revamping the Campus Center. 


We want to cultivate an Ithaca Forever community, inspired by the power of the Ithaca College experience.

Ithaca College’s alumni are among our most valuable resources. We seek to build a community devoted to Ithaca Forever, sharing our talents and developing relationships and skills that will serve a lifetime of learning and growth. We want to build a culture of philanthropy that will support the college through the power of social, educational, and economic connections, which will put Ithaca College firmly on the path to another 125 years of excellence in education.