Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Pursuing WINGS to Further Sustainability
November 5, 2021
Last spring during our Allied Strategic Plan Engaged Network (ASPEN) Summit, we identified three WINGs (Wildly Important & Necessary Goals), all tied directly to the student academic journey: Welcome (new students), Continue (retention), and Complete (graduation). Our access to success mission serves as our North Star as we integrate these objectives while constantly adapting to a new world that demands modernization, flexibility, and a focus on sustainability. The WCC acronym keeps our top goals forefront in our minds as we serve our students and community.
Currently at WCC, we have set targets to reverse declining enrollments. Reaching these targets requires innovation, better processes, and unrelenting focus on our message of hope and opportunity—even as our continuing and prospective students face roadblocks and barriers to achievement. Falling short of our enrollment goals means falling short in reaching and serving the students it is our mission to serve. It means fewer individuals and fewer families will have the resources required to advance socioeconomically. It means fewer qualified workers for the jobs of today and tomorrow. And it means fewer resources for WCC to maintain its high levels of teaching our students, operating effectively, and serving our community. It is imperative that we meet our enrollment goals to help others thrive and for our own survival.
Fortunately, WCC is about solutions, both in concept and implementation. Regarding concept, please RSVP here to provide input at our Enrollment Summit entitled RISE! (Reimagining and Innovating Strategies for Enrollment) scheduled on November 12 at 9:00 AM. All employees are invited because all employees play an important role in ensuring WCC is a welcoming place for higher learning. Join this mission critical action planning session designed to grow enrollment, keep current students enrolled and on a path to completion, and consider best ways to structure operations to ensure future enrollment success. In preparation for this critical summit, I share with you an infographic on retention from Hanover Research.
As for implementation of solutions, one tactic that has proven successful in the past is an all-hands-on-deck effort to reach out to students. Faculty can remind their current students to register for Spring classes. Anyone can join our efforts at making phone calls. Dr. Sandra Ramsay will once again be organizing such a calling campaign, and she is currently seeking volunteers to assist in this important effort.
A critical message to be conveyed to prospective and continuing students is that WCC is here for them, wherever is most convenient and accessible. We know many students prefer remote learning and that our faculty are well-trained and experienced in this modality. But we also know that a large percentage of students would rather return to campus for their college experience. Fortunately, we have both options available including many more in-person courses and services beginning Spring 2022. Please check course listings for details and encourage students to register for Spring courses now.
Dr. Belinda S. Miles