Using the Maturity Model – Basic

Using the Maturity Model – Basic

The Maturity Model helps you develop and describe your strategy in a way that is not just a list of actions or services. Some people like to start with the detailed, concrete activities and then cluster them into pillars that make up your Big Picture Strategy. Others like to start with the Big Picture Strategy and work back to identify pillars which then have a number of detailed activities. This worksheet assumes you are using the approach of starting with the detailed activities, seeing what they add up to, and then adjusting if needed so your Big Strategy is balanced.

As shown earlier, the four quadrants of the Mentally Healthy Campus Maturity Model are:

  • Individual Interventions (Upper Left) – interventions or services related to individual people, for example students, faculty, staff or visitors.
  • Collective Interventions (Lower Left) – interventions or services related to groups (social environment) or the physical environment of the campus.
  • Individual Connecting (Upper Right) – the leadership and management functions that help you plan and deliver the interventions.
  • Collective Connecting (Lower Right) – the partnerships or ‘ecosystem’ of other organizations that you are working with, which magnifies your effort.

The page Mentally Healthy Campus Maturity Model Background, has descriptions of the kinds of activities or services you might be thinking of using in your Big Picture Strategy.


1. First, compile a list of the activities and services you want to implement.

If you are doing this for the first time, work with your team to identify all the activities or services you would like to include in your strategy.

  • You may wish to start with sticky notes so you can to move things around. As an alternative, use software that allows you to share brainstorming across many computers. This way, all your group members do not have to work at the same time.If your predecessors started this process, work from their list and modify it according to the changes you have made.
  • Consider whether there are important things to separate out.  For example, Wellness Wednesdays will include a number of individual activities.  Some will be about providing information. Others will be interactive events that engage students (or faculty or staff members) more actively. List the individual activities.
  • Optional – If you wish to be a bit more detailed, take a closer look at your initiatives. You may want to cluster initiatives from the same quadrant into actions of the same type. So in the Upper Left you could have initiatives like information and resources for students, stress relief strategies like puppy days or colouring, addictions reduction, or suicide prevention strategies.
  • Take a picture of the sticky notes for your records. (You do not want to have to start this from scratch every time!!)

Use the worksheet provided, or create a spreadsheet that you can adjust later. If you have started with sticky notes, key your initiatives into a list in the left column.

For each action or service, identify when it will be implemented (or time period if it is ongoing, or will be implemented more than once).  Looking at the Student Journey Map may give you some ideas on the timing that will be best. Or, if you are working actively with others, there may be particular timing that is chosen to reinforce a particular activity.

For each activity or service, identify which quadrant it applies to.

Look at the examples in the document Mentally Healthy Campus Maturity Model Background to help get you into the pattern.

If you have decided to be a bit more detailed, add columns that identify the clusters you think are relevant.

Consider whether the activity has an aspect that fits in more than one quadrant. For example, a specific activity like “information and resources for financial literacy” may have been done in partnership with a local agency, and may have been done as part of a collective activity like a Wellness Wednesday. Check all the columns that apply.

Keep this information for the third step, Assess Balance. Save a copy of the worksheet for your files.

2. Prioritize the list into what you can actually do well in the time you have.

Mapping the time sequence for activities may help you see where you have too many activities to actually manage them well with the resources you have.

Consider asking another organization to do the activities where you do not have the time or expertise. Add these to your list for consideration in your plan for advocacy.

3. Assess Balance.

The most effective way to continuously improve your mentally healthy campus is to make sure you have actions in all the Quadrants, whatever your level of complexity.

Create a wall chart to map this so everyone can see the same information. Take a flip chart sheet and draw the four quadrants, or use four flip charts if you have lots of information. Write the services and activities you identified in the worksheets for each of the quadrants.

Take a photo and put it in your files.

Gather your project team and consider what the map tells you. Does it identify quadrants that have been less emphasized and might be good candidates for future initiatives?  Are there areas you could undertake yourself?  Are there areas for advocacy? For example, changes to the physical plant, such as parking lot lighting or gender-neutral bathrooms, are initiatives you would propose to the institution’s administration.

Think long term as well as short term. For example, consider where you may be wise to build on previous years’ success, or on momentum that has been created. For example, if your predecessors worked to catalyze efforts of a group of organizations (Lower Right Quadrant), then you would be wise to include actions that continue to build the momentum (momentum is hard to build and easy to destroy!).  If your SA has a philosophy that multiple campus locations will be treated equally, then your actions need to embody that philosophy.

Consider whether there are ways you can do double duty.  Developing a partnership with agencies (Lower Right Quadrant) that have expertise and resources that increase the services and activities you provide to support individuals (Upper Left Quadrant) is an example. Can you deliver your initiatives in a way that helps groups form and learn from each other (Lower Left Quadrant)?  Can you do this with the way you are organized (Upper Right Quadrant), or do you need to adjust your organization structure or train people differently?

Compare your map to last year’s map.  Are there patterns that suggest particular strategies?

Save your document for your records so future student leaders can build on your work.

4. Adjust your strategy and develop your Big Picture Strategy Story.

Adjust your strategy to include those actions or services you can actually achieve with the resources and time you have.

Use the information you have gained from this process in your Design of Specific Projects, Programs and Services stage.

Use your Big Picture Strategy Story to describe your overall approach in your application. If you are purposefully building momentum (Lower Right Quadrant), then describe how your strategy builds on momentum started in previous years.  If your strategy builds equally across multiple campus locations, or for a particular program group, then be sure to include that in your Big Picture Strategy Story.

You can also use the information you prepared in this worksheet to help you think about appropriate outcomes and evaluation approaches. The Evaluation and Learning Framework will work with this information.

You can move on to the discussion of the Using the Maturity Model – Detailed, or go to Using the Maturity Model – Advanced, or return to the original discussion of the Mentally Healthy Campus Maturity Model.