Frequently Asked Questions

What is Blue Ocean Strategy (BOS)?

Blue Ocean Strategy is an approach that has been proven in corporate settings that aims to uncover new insights by looking across boundaries to offer high value at lower cost. BOS also redefines the market for an organization’s product, accessing a larger group of potential users by creating new demand. At JCSU, this translates into the university evaluating and changing the programs and activities offered to create a distinctive and valuable student experience that compels students to stay and graduate.

Has it ever been employed in an academic setting?

BOS has been implemented in public school systems for primary and secondary education. While one other university used BOS principles outlined in the book, JCSU is the first higher education institution to fully employ the strategy with BOS Network Practitioners to improve student retention and graduation.

How can BOS help Johnson C. Smith University?

BOS will help Johnson C. Smith University take advantage of its unique characteristics as an urban university with deep connections to the Charlotte community to create an unrivaled student experience that is recognized as providing an unmatched education and producing graduates that are highly sought after by employers and graduate programs.

When will the results be available?

Results from this phase will be available by spring of 2014 and implementation of the results will begin by fall of 2014.

What can stakeholders expect at the end of this process?

At the conclusion of the process, the JCSU community can expect more efficient, better aligned programs that address all needs of every student, as defined by the four key dimensions identified by BOS Network Practitioners:

  1. Possessing a vision/conviction that graduating with a JCSU degree outweighs the cost of earning it
  2. Receiving timely and effective academic support for each level of coursework
  3. Building up the emotional strength to put in the hard work to persist and graduate
  4. Securing the financial means to complete the coursework required for a JCSU degree

These systems changes will result in a better student experience and will produce higher student retention and graduation.

How will findings from information-gathering activities be shared?

Findings and outcomes will be regularly posted in the News and Updates section of this website. 

How can an individual contribute his/her ideas?

JCSU encourages any interested individual to join the conversation about Blue Ocean Strategy, student retention and graduation on our Join the Conversation page. Throughout this period of reflection, it is critical to hear from many stakeholders with many perspectives in order to understand challenges facing students as the work to complete college. Team members invite alumni, students, faculty and staff, Charlotte community members, corporate partners, higher education administrators and experts and other stakeholders to comment on the progress of the project and provide feedback. For additional information, please contact Heather Huskey, program manager for Blue Ocean Strategy.

How does BOS align with President Ronald Carter’s vision JCSU?

Since arriving at JCSU in 2008, Dr. Carter has focused on an aggressive path to transform the university and the surrounding community by outlining six strategic priorities. Throughout the project, team members will work with Blue Ocean Strategy Network Practitioners to implement changes that will strengthen all six priorities, especially academic excellence, operational performance and a distinctive student experience.