Strategic Plan 2011 - 2014

GOAL OF THE
STRATEGIC PLAN

The Strategic Plan is designed to: improve effectiveness, maximize efficiencies, and position the College to be competitive.

On Wednesday, August 3rd, the Gloucester County College Board of Trustees approved the attached 2011- 2014 Strategic Plan.   This marks the start of an ambitious plan that serves as a blueprint to help make the transition between presidents seamless.  During the next three years, the “transition plan” will focus on four key concerns identified for improvement by the college community of faculty, staff and the Board of Trustees. Tackling the challenging issues of student success, competitive course programs, alternative funding sources, and effective assessment better prepares Gloucester County College for its approaching Middles States Accreditation Review in 2013.

The Strategic Planning Process

GCC’s strategic plan is based on the collaborative research and vision of more than 92 members of the college community. Guided by the strategic planning steering committee  these stakeholders worked together and independently to identify the most important issues facing the institution. This process began in December 2009 with the selection of steering committee members and ended in November 2010 with a presentation to the board of trustees. The Board had an opportunity to review the final document, adding comments and input before its final adoption. It was important that the plan be developed according to this timeline to coordinate with the 2011–12 budget cycle, which began in July 2011.

The Strategic Planning Model

GCC used an issues-based model of planning. Unlike mission-based planning, issues-based planning is more commonly used by organizations in a dynamic or competitive marketplace.  Given the current economic environment, the College decided to use this planning process as an opportunity to both respond to and prepare for some of the more challenging conditions confronting GCC.  Issues-based strategic planning starts by identifying the major priorities or issues facing the organization, examining strategies to address those issues and creating action plans. In using this model, the College attempted to answer two broad overarching questions:

  • What are the most important issues facing this institution in the next three years?
  • Where should this institution put its resources, its time and its effort?

In using this model, the planning committee was also charged with understanding the consequence of what would happen if it did not take action to address a particular issue. This helped to further refine those areas deemed as highest priority. The process began with an introduction by the College president followed by a series of sessions
facilitated by a strategic planning consultant.  Throughout the process the consultant worked with the steering committee to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT). The discussions and learning that occurred were some of the most valuable time spent during the process.

2011-2014 Strategic Priorities

Strategic Priority #1.  INCREASE STUDENT SUCCESS

  • Objective 1. Review and revise credit requirements for standards and ease of transfer.
  • Objective 2. Offer courses at more flexible times to better meet the needs of students. Deliver instruction that students want – how, when, and where they need it.
  • Objective 3. Continue to identify and implement best practice strategies designed to move students through the developmental curriculum faster.
  • Objective 4. Improve college readiness by providing leadership in ongoing collaborations with public schools that focus on partnerships with the high  schools to test and remediate students before they enter college.
  • Objective 5.  Increase faculty engagement in effective educational practices that promote student retention and success.
  • Objective 6.  Review all student programs and services to ensure that they are accessible to students and available through technology where appropriate.
  • Objective 7.  Expand services provided by the Career and Academic Planning (CAP) Center to advise and support student goals through collaboration and shared resources.

Strategic Priority #2.INVEST IN PROGRAMS THAT MATTER

  • Objective 1. Develop and implement a comprehensive plan to expand distance education which includes training and assessment of distance education as it relates to students, faculty and technology.
  • Objective 2.  Promote academic and career programs, the transfer mission of the college and alternative delivery options to students, faculty and the community.
  • Objective 3. Prioritize credit and non-credit offerings that promote learning opportunities which align with student educational and workforce needs in the changing economy.
  • Objective 4.  Explore opportunities to expand program offerings by partnering with two- and four-year colleges and businesses throughout the region.

Strategic Priority #3 EXPAND ALTERNATIVE FUNDING STREAMS

  • Objective 1. Develop an annual finance report to support long-term planning and budgeting.
  • Objective 2. Pursue alternative revenue sources including a more focused attention on competitive grants and partnerships.
  • Objective 3. Increase private giving to the GCC Foundation.

Strategic Priority #4   DEMONSTRATE QUALITY AND EFFECTIVENESS 

  • Objective 1. Ensure academic quality through assessment of student learning.
  • Objective 2.  Provide a reasonable balance between the level of full-time and adjunct faculty. This balance includes ensuring that part-time faculty is provided access to faculty development initiatives with a clear focus on improving pedagogy.
  • Objective 3. Commit to a formal process of assessment across academic and education support areas of the college; these outcomes will inform the planning and budgeting process and become the basis for change.
  • Objective 4. Develop annual management reports that identify the major benchmarks to measure and assess quality and efficiency.