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Tackling Inequities Through Intentional Strategic Planning


HCM Strategists (HCM) works to advance and align policies that improve educational outcomes beyond high school. Our postsecondary team is focused on eliminating inequities that continue to place learners at a disadvantage in pursuing and completing a postsecondary credential. By assisting the strategic planning of colleges, higher education systems, non-profit organizations and state agencies and their respective boards, HCM works closely with leaders to strengthen the postsecondary field’s capacity to serve more learners well and eliminate historic gaps in educational attainment.  

HCM’s strategic planning brings a keen awareness of the external political and economic environment, research and best practice, and the central role of equity, diversity and inclusion in effective leadership. The firm’s tools and facilitation help organizations clarify their mission, assess their strategic position, develop concrete benchmarks and measures of effectiveness and align and realign time and talent.  


When assisting a board or staff in professional development and strategic planning, HCM provides unparalleled analysis and helps find unique and impactful solutions that address the barriers learners and communities face today. Team members have held senior positions in the federal and state government, in all sectors of American higher education, and in community-based organizations. 

Through extensive research and in-depth environmental scans, HCM’s dedicated staff offers a level of knowledge and strategic planning service that is unmatched by traditional consulting firms. This includes strategies like: 

  • Providing organizational context through research, surveys and interviews;
  • Providing environmental scans through independent analysis of the external environments;
  • Strategic planning checklists and documents; 
  • In-depth priority setting and strategic guidance;
  • Developing customized strategic planning tools that can be adapted and updated;
  • Helping organizations build their staff and internal capacity to carry out a strategic plan; and
  • Connecting organizations and partners committed to improving equity and diversity.


HCM Strategists has worked with a broad range of leaders and stakeholders that influence postsecondary outcomes to support strategic planning that guides management, fundraising, hiring and external collaboration. This includes:

  • Two strategic plans for The Campaign for College Opportunity;
  • Full-service strategic planning for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, the State Higher Education Executive Officers and the United Way of Southeast Louisiana; 
  • Support for strategic planning with over two dozen state higher-education systems and agencies and colleges and universities;
  • Facilitated support to executive leaders of Excelencia in Education and the Association of Public Land Grant Universities; and
  • Strategic planning, development and support for the Southern University System (the only historically black university system in America) and its various campuses.

+ Learn More About the Postsecondary Practice Work



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