Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Imagine the Possibilities
February 9, 2018
Following the state of the college address, “Creating the Future Now,” we have started discussions about the best ways to note accomplishments from the current plan and create the next one looking forward to the college’s 75th anniversary in 2021. It has sparked interesting suggestions including a summit-type event featuring outside speakers on 21st century career and transfer options for each of the four schools. We are collecting suggestions, so if you have one, please send it my way.
Strategic planning focuses our attention on the need for innovative stewardship options to sustain our access and success mission for the long term. A Forbes article, “The Changing Business Model for Colleges and Universities,” suggests that widespread change is inevitable. While the article cites numerous challenges at private colleges, it observes changes in higher education including decreased public funding, increased competition for students, and free college programs, with New York among the most prominent. These conditions have led some colleges and universities to a culture of innovation and experimentation. Some of the breakthrough ideas include fully online degree programs, academic departments morphing into interdisciplinary centers of excellence, academic programs designed collaboratively with corporate partners, and pricing models based on performance, not credit hours.
Our strategic planning process should magnify our view of Westchester Community College’s role in the region. It should invite bold experimentation supporting our access mission, our crucial role in liberal education and workforce training, and our support for students as they work to complete their academic goals.
While we engage in this strategic planning process, we should begin thinking about how we integrate the college’s anniversary into our routine events and theme for that year. It will be the college’s biggest celebration yet!
Dr. Belinda S. Miles