Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Understanding & Aligning with Our Community
March 25, 2022
I encourage all members of the college community to participate in our April 1 Allied Strategic Plan Engagement Network (ASPEN) Summit. Setting goals and objectives that drive future success is our collective work. Your participation in this process ensures broad-based input and support for the course we are setting and the targets we need to achieve. Here is the link for pre-registration, and a link to our strategic plan framework and current measures.
This year is unique as we embark on a year-long reflection and assessment of our institution through our Middle States Commission on Higher Education self-study process. While much of that review is internal, it reflects how we fulfill our mission in the community as well as timelines for our work. It also means exploring and understanding our region and how it is changing over time. The 2020 Census showed notable shifts, like the county becoming majority nonwhite for the first time . At WCC, all demographic groups show enrollment declines from pre- to mid-pandemic with the most significant decreases among Black/African American and Hispanic/LatinX populations. There are also trends to understand as industries expand, especially in areas like healthcare and manufacturing.
In advance of next week’s summit, please consider these and other resources to gain a more complete picture of our community and the people who are looking for education and training at the community college, which may include learners that are newer to us. We should also strategize messaging to spark interest in college going for those who may think it is out of their reach or just not for them.
We can ask ourselves questions like these: How does a community college enable economic mobility in a place where there are great disparities in wealth? How is equity manifest in a multiracial and metropolitan region? Are we sufficiently reaching populations that need access to opportunity for learning and growth? What direct pipelines into the college are we missing? And what can we bring to those populations that advance our mission? These are the kinds of questions that will get us to specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound, inclusive, and equitable (SMARTIE) targets and corresponding executable plans.
Looks like we are evolving to become the Allied Strategic Planning & Execution Networks!
Dr. Belinda S. Miles