Global Strategic Plan

In August 2020, San Diego State University adopted a new five-year strategic plan entitled “We Rise We Defy: Transcending Borders, Transforming Lives.” The Global Strategy Action Plan that was identified through the university’s strategic plan is part of the American Council on Education (ACE)’s Internationalization Laboratory Cohort. This is structured around the ACE Comprehensive Internationalization Framework and will guide our campus through strategic planning to internationalize students’ SDSU experience and advance the International Affairs mission to inspire globally conscious citizens. 

After an extensive multi-year process involving hundreds of stakeholders, four global strategic priorities have emerged. These include: International Access; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Global and Transborder Engagement; International Environmental, Social, and Financial Sustainability; and International Innovation. 

To view the full Global Strategic report click the link below:

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Strategic Priorities

Four strategic priorities emerged through an extensive multi-year process that aligns with SDSU's internationalization goals.

1. International Access, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
1. International Access, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
2. Global and Transborder Engagement
2. Global and Transborder Engagement
3. International Environmental, Social, and Financial Sustainability
3. International Environmental, Social, and Financial Sustainability
4. International Innovation
4. International Innovation

Strategic Goals and Activities

Internationalization Alignment
Goal 1: Strategic Internationalization Alignment

In alignment with the university's 2020–2025 Strategic Plan (SP), the Global Strategy (GS) will serve as the university's commitment to and roadmap for comprehensive internationalization in support of SDSU's strategic priorities and four global strategic priorities: (1) access, diversity, equity, and inclusion, (2) global and transborder engagement, (3) financial/environmental sustainability, and (4) innovation. The International Affairs Associate Vice President's Office will provide leadership to implement the Global Strategic Plan. 

  1. In alignment with Activity #29 of SDSU's Strategic Plan,  the Global Strategy Action Plan (GSAP) will serve as a living document to guide comprehensive internationalization and funding of priorities including: 1) international student recruitment, yield and retention; 2) administrative structure; curriculum, co-curriculum, and learning outcomes; 3) faculty policies; 4) global education opportunities; 5) international student experience; 6) partnerships; 7) access, diversity, equity, and inclusion; 8) transborder engagement, and 9) international research.
  2. Identify goals that prioritize data-informed policies and procedures that prioritize innovation, risk mitigation, and safety.
  3. Identify a goal that prioritizes advocacy, prioritizes visibility, and promotion of international activity and research across campus and to all campus community members.
  4. Commit to signing the Climate Action Network for International Educators (CANIE) Accord.


  1. By [date] secure institutioal approvals and support of the Global Strategy.
  2. By [date] Develop a Global Strategy Action Plan website within International Affairs and update progress and accomplishments on an ongoing basis.
  3. By [date] create a development plan and seek appointment of a development officer within URAD.


  1. Collaborate with ASIR to develop team metrics to demonstrate SDSU's activities over time as it relates to international activities.
  2. Create a Tableau dashboard that visualizes internationalization efforts, and makes reporting accessible to the SDSU community.


  1. Im plement software that supports prioritizes visibility, promotions and advocacy of international engagementy and research.
  2. Identify opportunities where international engagement is promoted and valued in the tenure and promotion at SDSU.


  1. Work with faculty, students and the Office of Energy and Sustainability to determine the specific CANIE Accord actions to which the university will commit.
  2. Develop and implement action plan for fulfilling accord commitments.
  3. Continually assess progress in meeting commitments.

Group of students interacting with each other.
Goal 2: Internationalization Through Meaningful Partnerships

In alignment with SDSU's strategic plan, expand academic infrastructure and partnership to meet the needs of broadly diverse learners in our region, across the border, the nation, and the world.

  1. Infrastructure of internal collaborations & partnerships.
  2. Infrastructure of external collaborations and partnerships. 


  1. Create a steering committee to 1) outline a charter of Collaborations and Partnerships, 2) conduct an annual audit of infrastructure and partners, and 3) provide recommendations and implementation plan.
  2. Create an internal communications plan that rpovided information regarding best practices, policies, and practices to facilitate international communication between IA, colleges, and campus units.
  3. Expand professional development training and partnership opportunities for internationalizing the curriculum at SDSU.


  1. MOU policies, procedures, and protocols
  2. Create an external communications guide that includes best practices, policies, and practices to facilitate international communication between IA, colleges, and campus compass units.
  3. Safety and Security policies, procedures, and protocols. Are upheld through use of Terra Dotta, Travel Registry and Alert Traveler software.
  4. Annually in May, review the full institutional partnership and collaboration portfolio and develop/update policies, procedures, review criteria, and timelines for selecting international partners, sustaining relationships, and keeping records.

Woman smiling while on laptop.
Goal 3: Students as Globally Conscious Leaders

In alignment with SDSU's strategic plan, we will provide equitable access to opportunities for the education and training of SDSU undergraduates, graduates, and lifelong learners to become the innovators and leaders our region and global society demand. Through alignment with the GLOs, SDSU students' experiences in and outside of the classroom will be designed to explore their cultural identities; examine the relationships between language, culture, history and power; engage with critical global issues; and increase their career readiness.

  1. International student campus engagement and support.
  2. Engage all SDSU students with global education, prioritizing pathways for students who have historically been underrepresented in these opportunities.


  1. Create infrastructure that supports international students' academic success through collaborative campus engagement across administrative units and colleges.
  2. Define key cross-campus collaboration processes to support international students' sense of SDSU identity by working with key DEI units and programming offices.


  1.  Build partnerships with SDSU colleges and cultural centers through regular communication and joint outreach.
  2. Integrate regular outcomes assessment and student evaluations of global education experiences into data and reporting, to facilitate continous improvement of programs to serve all students.
  3. Identify specific programs and pathways that address the most common barriers to student participation in global education opportunities.

Woman on phone.
Goal 4: Faculty as Global Education Leaders

In alignment with SDSU's strategic plan, the mark of our global leadership will be an innovative institutional infrastructure that promotes and supports research, learning outcomes, professional development, student experiences in and outside the classroom, and transnational and global relationships. Global Learning Objectives (GLOs) will be central to aligning curriculum, student advising, faculty research, and faculty engagement with this goal.

  1. Increase and support Curriculum Internationalization.
  2. Increase and support International Research.


  1. Develop a strategy that identifies COIL as an institutional priority that includes faculty panels, COIL training, and faculty partnership building.
  2. Implement a plan for GLO alignment that integrates GLOs into the online course catalog, is part of the faculty hiring and promotion process, and is the foundation for student advising.
  3. Expand course articulation between SDSU and international partner institutions across all academic disciplines and offer faculty-led programs to strategically augment the existing international offerings available to students.
  4. Identify (2) opportunities in each academic college to expand diversity of and access to international learning opportunities.


  1. Recognize and celebrate international research.
  2. Increase faculty engagement with established software to promote international research and publications. 
  3. Implement new database software to highlight existing and promote further international research.
  4. Develop a sustainable plan that creates support and pathways to visiting International Scholars, and addresses housing resources, community, and belonging.

Aztec Identity
Goal 5: SDSU's International Identity

SDSU will expand its global impact, unifying the university through a common mission and identity to achieve its global strategic goals.

  1. Define and promote SDSU's International Identity in alignment with SDSU's strategic plan.
  2. Provide consistent publications highlighting international activity focused on students, faculty, and staff.


  1. Launch a communication campaign across campus to communicate IA's mission, vision, and the GS. 
  2. Launch new International Affairs Website with updated branding and functional areas specific sites.
  3. Develop an editorial calendar to regularly publish stories (e.g. international students, study abroad, faculty teaching/research, scholars, and awards/distinctions.)


  1. Communicate International Experience requirements (IERs) and updates to these requirements to all campus stakeholders.