Front Entrance of UofSC Aiken

SWOT Analysis

Strategic Plan

S.W.O.T. Analysis Feedback 
Executive Summary

Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats

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  • Committed Faculty, Staff and Administration
  • Student/Faculty ratio
  • Solid University connections to the local Aiken community
    • Academy of Lifelong Learning, Wellness Center, the Arts, USCA in the Alley, welcoming USCA signage downtown
  • Improved Alumni connections
  • Variety and abundance of non-classroom opportunities, internships and programs
  • Strong emphasis on Student Life and Engagement
  • Great financial value for the quality of education received
  • Nimble and flexible in adopting changes
  • Dedication to Global Diversity
  • Accreditations, recognitions and affiliations
    • US News & World Report ranking, COPLAC
  • Focus on improving Student Success including Retention and Graduation


  • Addressing challenges presented by limited state funding
  • Low tolerance for additional tuition increases
  • Competing with communities that provide millennials and Gen X with a compelling place to live
  • Building more "brand recognition" to be used as a tool for marketing and institutional pride


  • Plethora of internship opportunities for students to be workforce ready and gain soft skills
  • STEM program offers training, skills and education for students to be relevant in our regional market
  • Strong partnerships with:
    • Local school districts
      • Scholars Academy, Professional Development Schools, Ruth Patrick Science Center
    • City of Aiken and Aiken County
    • Industry
  • Close proximity to downtown and in an area ripe for development
  • Close proximity to Graniteville, which is revitalizing and rapidly growing
  • Emerging Opportunities such as Cyber Security

Threats (and Challenges)

  • Comparably low state funding to support higher education
    • Touches budgets that impact areas such as (but not limited to):
      • Recruiting highly qualified faculty, staff, administration
      • Recruiting highly qualified students outside of our region
      • Physical Plant
      • Additional maintenance and division funding
  • Conflicting public messages about the “value” of a higher education degree
  • "19 is the New 15": Student Success challenges created by delayed maturation
  • Limited pool of qualified high school students and increased competition amongst institutions
  • Increasing "anti-intellectualism" and "ideological rigidity"