GOCC approves new strategic plan

CENTREVILLE — A new strategic plan for the next few years was approved by the Glen Oaks Community College Board of Trustees Thursday.

The plan, which runs from 2022-25 and presented by Executive Director of Institutional Planning, Assessment, and Research, Dr. Tammy Russell, covers four different goal areas for the college for the next few years, with a number of different objectives to reach those goals.

Student success was the first goal, with five objectives listed. The first is that by 2024, the college would increase the percentage of students who test at a pre-college level successfully completing college level math by 3 percent, while the second is to increase the percentage of part-time students attaining an associate degree or certificate by 3 percent in the same timeframe. Other objectives include improving feedback to students on progress toward their academic goals by 2025, establishing “pathways for all programs of study” by 2023 and achieving utilization of student retention software by 2024.

Of the objectives in the first goal, Russell said feedback from the college and faculty on students’ progress has been a topic of discussion for a while.

“This is a topic that continues to rear its head on some of our surveys with stakeholders,” Russell said. “It’s something our stakeholders want us to continue to focus on.”

The second goal for GOCC was to “become a community model committed to the values of diversity, equity and inclusion.” To do so, the two goals outlined have the college host two events for students and/or employees focused on “increasing the appreciation of diversity in the community” by December 2023, while by August 2023 revising and enacting an employee recruitment plan “aimed at diversifying the faculty and staff to better match the student profile” of the college.

Russell said the hosting of “appreciation events” was a holdover from the last update to the strategic plan, with some modifications made by the college in terms of audience. A previous objective to increase the percentage of African-American students was removed due to seeing “increased progress” in that category, however Russell said administration is having discussions on focusing on increasing the success of those students at Glen Oaks in the near future, rather than increasing the demographic numbers.

“It supports our overall philosophy of DEI by providing equitable outcomes for all,” Russell said.

Goal No. 3 for the college was to “grow in stability in innovation.” Some of the goals surrounded enrollment, looking to increase enrollment of high school and post-high school students each by 3 percent. Other goals involved potential infrastructure projects, such as investigating the potential for solar energy on campus, completing the second phase of the college’s capital outlay project, and installing an electric vehicle charging station, and some others involve policies and academics, such as establishing or updating an existing certificate program to align with high-demand careers outlined by the Michigan Bureau of Labor Statistics and pursuing program-specific accreditation.

Russell said the enrollment goals should be an “emphasis” for the college, while one of the other goals, planning and conducting a Summer College for Kids program, needed to have “energy” put into it post-pandemic, therefore making it a goal for 2024.

Finally, the fourth goal outlined for the college is to “expand and strengthen our collaborative relationships.” Mostly, these goals involve presence for the college in the community, including providing more Viking Speaker Series to “provide wide community access to diverse perspectives and relevant national issues,” increasing faculty presence in high schools to promote academic programs, and expanding advisory meetings to include “additional students, business and industry partners.”

Overall, GOCC President Dr. David Devier said from the last strategic plan, eight goals were sunsetted and eight goals were added to the new one. He praised the plan, which was later approved unanimously by the board.

“It lives up to the goal that a strategic plan should be dynamic. You shouldn’t make a plan, shelve it, and then two years later go back and see what we did. Our focus was every year you revisit it and modify it every year,” Devier said. “I’m pleased with this, and there are some noble things in there.”

In other business…

  • The board approved updates to the college’s Local Strategic Value document, which is required by the state to inform them that the college meets best practice standards in different areas.
  • The board approved changes to upcoming college calendars to make the Juneteenth holiday, June 19, a college holiday and close campus for the day.

Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 22 or robert@threeriversnews.com.

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