January 6, 2023 – In 2022, IECC rolled out a strategic engagement plan (SEP) intended to serve as a blueprint to move the four colleges through year 2026. This plan, organized around four strategic pillars, was a collaborative effort led by Ruffalo Noel Levitz (RNL) and is the culmination of more than a year of conversations, deliberations, and decision-making.
To begin this process, an important question had to be considered before a new strategy was to be created. Who is responsible for IECC’s strategy? A district comprised of four colleges and many different constituents required a simple but important answer to this question: everyone. In the work done with RNL, voices from positions and perspectives throughout IECC were involved in identifying strengths, weakness, areas for growth, targets, and projects that became the core of the SEP.
A common, and fair, critique of IECC strategic plans of the past is the lack of action behind the words. Plans were created, sometimes communicated, but often ended up going no further than a desk drawer. Forward Together is not just a compilation of words and strategies; it is a pathway toward improvements and initiatives that will drive excellence through four specific strategic goals:
- Transform lives through exceptional education and services
- Foster excellence in faculty and staff
- Cultivate and steward resources for strategic growth
- Positively impact our local communities
What makes this plan different? What is going to ensure this plan does not follow suit with the IECC plans of yore? In short, the differences are the process and the people. With extensive input from internal and external IECC constituents, this plan is not prescribed from the top down. It was built by those working with and learning from students and community members every day. It ensures that budgetary considerations and financial support will be given to necessary programs and departments. It is informed by data and driven by the IECC mission, vision, and values. It contains key performance indicators and strategies that will guide action plans and outcomes.
The next step toward executing the strategic enrollment plan was to create a group to oversee the implementation and effectiveness of the SEP called the strategic enrollment plan council (SEPC). While operational discussion is incredibly necessary to the function of IECC colleges, strategic conversations need to be happening on a regular basis to develop long-range plans. The SEPC was created as a body responsible for having these conversations and matching resources to strategies. The role of the SEPC is not to give permissions or denials; it exists in order to provide support, ask questions, help fit puzzle pieces together, and monitor timeliness and expectations of projects and action plans.
There are 41 projects listed in the SEP. Recognizing that some of the projects must be completed in a certain order and the limited bandwidth to tackle new projects, the SEPC has identified a list of specific projects to prioritize. Members of Cabinet then assigned leads to each project:
- Map Program Pathways (Jay Edgren)
- Transfer Pathway Curriculum Development (Amber Malone)
- Develop Faculty Leadership Job Descriptions (Matt Fowler)
- Align IECC Budget and Financial Operations (Ryan Hawkins)
- Implement Degree Works (Amber Malone)
- Establish Three-to-Your Degree/Certificate Dual Credit Program (Roger Eddy)
- Synchronous Lecture Halls (Roger Eddy)
- Reimagine LRC and ASC Partnerships (Ryan Gower)
- Retool Administration Evaluation Process (Andrea McDowell)
- Develop CETL Adjunct and Faculty Micro-Certificates and Badges (Tona Ambrose)
- Build College-based MRPs to Achieve District Enrollment Targets (Amber Malone)
- Establish College-based Recruitment Committees (IECC College Presidents)
- Continue CRM Implementation (Amber Malone)
- Create Funnel Data Reports (Alex Cline)
- Equity in Athletics (IECC College Presidents)
- Dashboards and KPIs Ties to SEPC (Alex Cline)
SEPC subcommittees will be created as necessary by the project leads to ensure that necessary and vital voices continue to be part of the strategic process.
Accountability, celebration, and communication are important elements that must accompany the SEP in order for it to succeed. As steps are taken and milestones are completed, updates will be shared through the SEP website: www.iecc.edu/sep. Project descriptions will be available on the SEP website as well.
Forward Together marks the beginning of a time of growth and change, and most certainly, challenge and obstacles. However, the challenges and obstacles are necessary to transform IECC colleges to agile, innovative, and effective institutions prepared to deliver exceptional education and services to improve the lives of our students and to strengthen our local communities.
For questions or further information about the SEP or SEPC, email firstname.lastname@example.org.