Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: From planning to action – October 18, 2019
October 18, 2019
This week marked the beginning of the next phase of strategic planning at Westchester Community College. It is now time to move from planning to action. In case you missed the release of the new Strategic Plan (2020-2023) during our recent Summit, here is a link to the presentation by the Strategic Planning team. We are grateful for favorable feedback from Board of Trustee committee meetings this week. They have provided input throughout the process and lauded the broad based stakeholder involvement in compiling the plan, the commitment to transparency in reporting key performance indicators, and the plan’s eye toward the future and long-term institutional sustainability. Other resources are on the new strategic plan website.
We are now at a critical juncture when we develop specific action items, timelines, and measurable outcomes. Alignment between planning and budget commences while we prepare department budgets and link them to new strategic plan priorities, we identify goals and map them to indicators of success within the strategic plan, and bring together the tactical plans that will help us achieve our strategic objectives. Examples of activities this week that relate to our new plan include:
- A modest uptick in enrollment, which helps close the gap needed to meet our immediate budget goals and contribute to our stewardship for the future. Expanding enrollment is a major focus of the strategic plan as we examine projected declines in the number of Westchester County high school graduates, prospects for adults with some college and no degree, and new pathways for career changers. These inputs help us identify new markets and attract new students amidst increasing and intense competition.
- Release of the SUNY graduate wages dashboard, which shows the post-completion earning power of SUNY alumni in the rapidly evolving workforce. This report coincides with information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics regarding job growth in the Hudson Valley (see attachment). Data points such as these highlight employment trends and emerging occupations. They are valuable inputs to our ongoing processes to design academic and career pathways that are relevant to students and the job markets they enter. These data are used by increasingly savvy students and families when researching career options and choosing the institution where they will invest their time, money, and effort.
With so much work ahead of us, we recognize the importance of investing in and continuously valuing the input of every college employee whose contributions will make possible our anticipated outcomes: full-time and adjunct faculty members; full and part-time staff; and administrators. Special thanks to all the members of the planning team as they pass the baton to the rest of us to cross the finish line together. As previewed during the summit, more information is forthcoming regarding how departments will submit their information by the start of 2020.
Dr. Belinda S. Miles