Strategic Planning Initiative Focuses on Student Success, Marks Key Milestones
With the focus on enhancing student success, internal and external stakeholders came together in large- and small-group sessions during the Spring 2010 semester to craft a new 2012-2016 Atlantic Cape Strategic Plan.
Strategic Planning Steering Committee
- Paula Pitcher, Co-chair
- Donna Vassallo, Co-chair
- Torrina Bennett-Michael
- Kathy Corbalis
- Dr. Dorothea Dunayer
- Nick Ganaway
- Michael Kernan
- Jean McAlister
- Luis Montefusco
- Bart Musitano
- Nancy Porfido
According to Dr. Richard Perniciaro, Dean of Facilities, Planning and Research, “In a time of change, from the national recognition of the community college sector as an important base for educating the workforce of tomorrow, to the new “normal” in resource availability, the College needs to focus its programs and initiatives better to be efficient and successful in fulfilling its mission. The strategic plan provides that focus for the entire college community.”
The group used a modified version of the Society of College and University Planning’s planning model, which calls for a four-phase process:
- Set Course
The final plan will include:
- Goals and Objectives
Milestones achieved in 2009-2010:
- “Learn” Phase: From January to May, the committee gathered information and sought extensive internal and external stakeholder input through information sessions, retreats and focus panels.
First, the group developed the 2010 Environmental Scan, and planning consultant Richard Maher of Maher & Maher conducted college-wide strategic planning information sessions open to all members of the College community. Next, Maher facilitated a strategic planning community stakeholders’ retreat that brought together faculty, staff and students who met with and collected input from community opinion leaders. A total of 75 persons attended the all-day session. The groups identified community needs, opportunities and challenges facing the College, and developed potential strategies to address issues raised.
From the retreat, the group leaders identified a number of potential strategies for the College, which were reviewed and prioritized by the Board of Trustees, who gave additional ideas. Finally, to gain feedback on strategic planning initiatives, Steering Committee members conducted focus groups at all three campuses with faculty, staff, students and Foundation board members.
- “Visualize” Phase: In April and May, based on literature by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras on organizations that enjoy “enduring success,” as well as input from the Senior Staff, the Steering Committee reviewed the College’s current mission and values and developed a description of an envisioned future for the college.
- “Set Course” Phase: In May, the Steering Committee developed a gap analysis between the outcomes of the Learn Phase and the reviewed mission, values and envisioned future for the College, determining strategic issues that will be addressed in the next five years and identifying and writing the College’s 2012-2016 institutional goals and measurable objectives.
The committee agreed that objectives developed had to be “SMART”— Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bounded. Once met, these objectives will provide empirical evidence on how institutional planning goals are being achieved. College departments will fine-tune the “SMART” objectives and will implement strategic budget initiatives that will support meeting institutional objectives and corresponding goals.
- “Implement” Phase: When the 2012-2016 Strategic Plan is finalized, the Steering Committee will recommend a process to Senior Staff on how to transform institutional strategies–goals and objectives–into actions. The College’s Institutional Effectiveness Plan will also be reviewed.