2023-2028 Strategic Plan



The Woodward Hines Education Foundation is excited to release a new five-year strategic plan, which sharpens our longstanding efforts to increase postsecondary access, postsecondary persistence and completion, and entry into family-sustaining careers for students all across Mississippi. It reflects our central focus on Ascent to 55%, Mississippi’s postsecondary attainment goal, and reinforces our commitment to help students — regardless of income, race, age, or circumstance — pursue postsecondary attainment in multiple forms, including four-year bachelor’s degree, two-year associate degree, and short-term certificate and credential programs. 


Throughout 2022, our thought partner, Education Strategy Group (ESG), connected with stakeholders all across Mississippi, spanning a wide range of sectors and geographies. Stakeholder groups ranged from students and families to policymakers and Mississippi public education officials.

Not unlike the best lesson plans, the most effective theories of change are developed via “backwards design.” This means first identifying the outcomes you hope to achieve, then identifying the preconditions necessary for those outcomes, then identifying the organizational activities necessary to drive those preconditions. This process helped us identify the activities that needed to happen in order to achieve the change we hope to generate, rather than simply validating what we already do or might want to do, irrespective of impact.  


During these five years (2023-2028), we will work tirelessly to help Mississippi achieve Ascent to 55%. To reach our north star, education leaders, elected officials, policymakers, business leaders, and average Mississippians all across the state will need to unite around a common purpose.