March 1998 // Spotlight Site
Plan Ahead: The Online Magazine of The Society for College and University Planning
Note: This article was originally published in The Technology Source ( as: "Plan Ahead: The Online Magazine of The Society for College and University Planning" The Technology Source, March 1998. Available online at The article is reprinted here with permission of the publisher.

The Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), established in 1965, bills itself as "the leading organization focused on planning in higher education, at all levels and in all contexts." Part of that well-deserved title is based on the information housed at the organization's online magazine, Plan Ahead. This site is not only the repository for all the pertinent information on projects, conferences and other activities undertaken or sponsored directly by SCUP, but also contains a number of links to other sorts of information of interest to both its 3,700 current members and others interested in "the advancement and application of effective planning in higher education."

Among the services available at this site are a listing of SCUP's various professional conferences, complete with registration information and regularly updated information concerning scheduled participants and attendees. Also, detailed information concerning the structure and undertakings of the organization can be found here, including membership lists and annual reports. In addition, the site lists, describes, and offers information on how to purchase any of SCUP's publications, both the growing number of books published by the organization and the quarterly journal Planning for Higher Education.

However, the site is not limited to directly SCUP-related material. It also hosts several features that can be of equal use to members and to non-members of the group (membership is not required to use any of the online features detailed herein). For example, there is a listing of job openings in collegiate administration and planning, a section which lists "Requests for Proposals" by institutions for service providers in various planning-related fields, and a section entitled the "Higher Education Marketplace," which collects off-site links to a number of products and services that facilitate or promote planning.

In sum, Plan Ahead makes a sizable contribution to the information available concerning issues of planning in higher education. With a rapidly-growing number of strategies and proposals being continually made in every forum (including this one) as to how institutions with foresight can effectively improve their ability to educate their students, this site is a valuable resource for properly evaluating and choosing a path for development.

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