vision [vizh'n] n
1. eyesight: the ability to see
2. mental picture: an image or concept in the imagination
3. far-sightedness: the ability to anticipate possible future events and developments
We will be called upon to think about our collective vision for SCC in the coming months as we engage in a long term strategic and master planning process. There will be much opportunity for discussion and dialogue as we go. Our current vision statement reads as follows:
"We will be a community college recognized for leadership in academic excellence, student success, instructional and technological innovation, and community responsiveness."
This is an admirable vision for the college, and one that by most measures we have achieved and continue to achieve. There is nothing in this statement that I would reject, challenge, or change. I might, however, seek to add to it.
As we engage in the coming months in dialogue about our future, I would ask us to consider the following ideas, questions, and suggestions for our future. None of these alters our current vision statement; all arguably support that statement in new ways in a changing external environment.
1. Should we consider our current mix of career/technical and transfer programs; are there external pressures for us to add to our career/technical programs - both our capacity in current programs and new programs not currently offered - without altering our mission, vision, and collective sense of institutional self?
2. Can we find ways to strengthen our four-year partnerships in such a way as to increase degree completion here and streamline transfer to four-year degree completion for those students who seek us out as a transfer destination?
3. How do we serve a more distant student population within our service area and beyond? Should we consider satellite locations, expanded and strengthened online delivery, developing residential capacity, some combination of one or more of these strategies?
4. Our many other community offerings, from workforce development to ESL/GED instruction and continuing education programs are vital to our future and to our relationships within the community. How do we continue to ensure that these offerings are supported in such a way that we deliver on the ongoing promise in our vision statement of community responsiveness?
5. How do we discern and how do we respond to the job market needs of the future? What new programs, or expansion of current programs, will best meet those needs and ensure healthy enrollment levels into the future?
6. What new spaces or altered use of current spaces might we envision to respond to the questions above?
These are just a few of the questions facing us as we move into our next 25 years and engage in a long range planning process. We will have conversations about these and other questions over the next several months as part of that planning process. I encourage us to begin now to think about these and other questions that you find to be important about our future, and I look forward to the dialogues to come.
For an excellent overview of the challenges and opportunities facing community colleges in today's environment please access "Reclaiming the American Dream: Community Colleges and the Nation's Future" American Association of Community Colleges, 2012 at the link below.
Happy Holiday Season 2013
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