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The Gallaudet Promise:
Excellence in Learning and Discovery

Gallaudet’s 10-Year Vision (2020-2030)

ASL Version – Introduction
Gallaudet University and its communities are in a continual state of “becoming” or transforming. Since President Cordano’s arrival in 2016, Gallaudet has committed to a path of transformation that reflects the University communities’ input, ideas, and urgencies. Through this work, the vision for The Gallaudet Promise emerged, creating a road-map for how we will create a more sustainable and vibrant life experience for our students who, in turn, will impact the community of deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind people, and all of humanity.

Creating the Road Map to Becoming

The Gallaudet Promise is a 10-year commitment to address the five grand challenges identified during the discovery phase with the University communities. They compel us to act. To address the grand challenges and achieve the Gallaudet Promise, the University will engage in initiatives within our 3 priority areas. In the course of doing the work, there are three imperatives, or central values, that must be integrated into all of the strategic work and, indeed, all aspects of the University. Our Roadmap consists of three strategic planning phases, and we are currently in Phase One.

Five Grand Challenges

The Five Grand Challenges are our “why”.

ASL Version – Five Grand Challenges

The Gallaudet Promise was introduced by President Cordano in 2019 and endorsed by the Board of Trustees in October 2019. Phase One of the three planned strategic phases was introduced in February 2021, and endorsed by the Board of Trustees. Read on to learn more about the 5 grand challenges, 3 priorities, 3 imperatives, and the first phase of strategic planning.

The five grand challenges are:

1

Demonstrating the benefits of an ASL/English education.
We will show the world the value of a bilingual education for all deaf children.

2

Expanding the impact of Gallaudet’s creative edge.
We will show the world the innovative and groundbreaking work we do at Gallaudet University and Clerc Center.

3

Realizing the value of Deaf people across the spectrum of identities
We will show the world the inherent value that Deaf people bring wherever they go.

4

Creating pathways to success for Gallaudet students and graduates.
We will show the world that our Gallaudet and Clerc Center graduates are fully prepared to contribute to and participate in an ever-changing world.

5

Cultivating opportunities in both ASL and English-based economies.
We will show the world that the signing ecosystem is thriving and is an equally desirable place to work and live.
Collectively, we will identify and address opportunities within the 5 grand challenges. All of our work will be underpinned by the three imperatives as we strategize by the three priorities.

Imperatives

ASL Version – Imperatives
As Gallaudet transforms, we must integrate three imperatives, or central values, into all that we do. These imperatives make us unique and we will intentionally infuse them into how we teach, work and learn.
1

Bilingual Mission

Incorporate bilingualism into everything we do. ASL and English are the foundation for the successful education of our deaf students, regardless of their deaf identity.
2

Belonging and Equity

Promote a sense of belonging and equity throughout our entire campus and signing ecosystem. Our everyday practices and language will be evolving. Everyone has inherent value that will be visibly appreciated and felt.
3

Innovation for Impact

Lead the deaf way of being, creating, and doing to the world. We are seen and heard when we continually share our innovation and research and prepare our students to be adaptable out in the world.

Priorities

ASL Version – Priorities
Together, we will rewrite our story by focusing on our three priorities to strengthen and influence our everyday work:
1

Extraordinary learning and academic excellence across the lifespan.

We will prepare our students for careers in a highly competitive, technological and rapidly changing world.
2

Knowledge creation and discovery.

We are a leading-edge research university, and we will continue to build and expand on that.
3

Signing ecosystems and career success.

We will prepare our students for success in the signing ecosystem and the spoken language ecosystem. We will commit to growing the signing ecosystem to match the opportunities found in the spoken language ecosystem so that our students will have greater choices.
Our priorities can be achieved only when all three imperatives are mastered and fully integrated into our work.

This is the Gallaudet Promise.

It paves the way for Gallaudet University and Clerc Center, and is driven by the five grand challenges identified to create a better world. This is an aspirational vision. It will take ten years and three phases of strategic planning for transformation and becoming.

Our roadmap consists of three strategic planning phases.

We are now in Phase One for Fiscal Years* 2020-2030.

Phase Two will be implemented during Fiscal Years 2023-2026. Phase Three will be Fiscal Years 2027-2030.
*Fiscal Year: October 1 – September 30

The areas for focused action in Phase One are:

GU Shared Community Values

ASL Version – GU Shared Community Values

Gallaudet is our space where the Deaf experience and sign language vibrancy and vitality thrive. By acting together for the greater good of our students and our community, we create a better world.

Our values reflect our human connection to each other. Values make a difference when each of us actively applies them as we learn, work and engage with each other.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Gallaudet Promise is a 10-year commitment, from 2020 to 2030, to address five grand challenges identified during the discovery phase with the University communities. Addressing these grand challenges will poise our students for success.

Gallaudet’s current transformation is a commitment to address five grand challenges.

These grand challenges are central to Gallaudet’s 10-year vision, The Gallaudet Promise. They compel us to act.

  1. Demonstrating the benefits of an ASL/English education
  2. Expanding the impact of Gallaudet’s creative edge
  3. Realizing the value of Deaf people across the spectrum of identities
  4. Creating pathways to success for Gallaudet students and graduates
  5. Cultivating opportunities in both ASL and English-based economies

Central to transforming Gallaudet and achieving the Gallaudet Promise, our grand challenges and our priorities, are three imperatives or central values that must be integrated into all of the strategic work and, indeed all aspects of the University:

  1. Our Bilingual Mission
  2. Our Commitment to Belonging and Equity
  3. Our Belief in Innovation for Impact

To address the grand challenges and achieve the Gallaudet Promise, the University will engage in initiatives within our identified priority areas:

  1. Extraordinary Learning and Academic
  2. Excellence Across the Lifespan
    Knowledge Creation and Discovery
  3. Signing Ecosystems and Career Success
With a series of strategic plans. The Phase One strategic plan is underway and continues through FY2022.

The Gallaudet Promise grew from the Gallaudet community – its goals, needs, and desires as well as the work that happened during the most recent strategic plan. The vision was endorsed by the Board of Trustees in October 2019.


The Gallaudet Promise is important because it is a road-map for how we will create a more sustainable and vibrant life experience for our students who, in turn, will impact the community of deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind people, and all of humanity.

The ultimate goal is that the work of every person rolls into and from their unit or department’s key initiatives and that connects to their division priorities. The divisions all roll-up into The Gallaudet Promise.

Join us today by considering how you will begin to integrate these challenges and values into your everyday work.
More information is coming soon.

Admissions Requirements

Hearing Undergraduate