Strategic Plan 2018-2021

Jump to a section for an overview of the following:

Letter from the President

Grand Rapids Community College embraces the special role it plays in West Michigan.

We are called upon to serve all of the people who make up our community. Students of all ages and all abilities walk through our doors, and we are proud to help them all along an educational pathway to success.

It’s vitally important that we are relevant and responsive to our community. We must be the place where people turn to gain education and career skills. Our efforts must reflect the challenges faced by all of the people we serve and the goals they strive to reach. Together, we will make our community stronger.

Our strategic plan is our roadmap as we move forward. We’ve worked with the Strategic Leadership Team, other GRCC family members, and stakeholders to develop a solid three-year plan to guide our campus. These goals for 2018 through 2021 are:

  • Teaching and Learning
  • Completion and Transfer
  • Equity
  • Community Impact
  • Sustainability and Infrastructure

Our commitment to these goals will be unwavering, and our work as a community college is essential. And I know, with the dedicated team we have at GRCC, we will be successful.

Sincerely,

Dr. Bill Pink, president

Strategic Goal #1: Teaching and Learning

The College develops curriculum and curriculum delivery, and supports instruction that measurably improves student learning.

CAP 1.1 Schedule and Program Optimization

The purpose of this project is to strategically evaluate our schedule and program offerings against student and market demand, particularly given the fact that 70% of our students attend part time. This project seeks to engage a wide group of college stakeholders and constituents to better understand the needs of our current and prospective students in relation to course scheduling, course and program delivery, and program offerings. The activities associated with this project will include identification of new data sources, evaluation of data, and generation of recommendations to improve our course and program portfolio to increase enrollment and completion. In addition, this project seeks to better understand the economic and student demand within our region, and how that information should inform program development, recruitment, and marketing.

CAP 1.2 Strengthen Our Systems for the Assessment of General Education

The purpose of this project is to strengthen GRCC systems for the assessment of general education through the following approach: focused, actionable, connected to learning, and leveraging existing processes/practices. The goals of this project are to establish a routine schedule for assessing student learning outcomes in all of our general education distribution areas and a cycle of assessment that includes analysis by faculty to improve the curriculum.

CAP 1.3 Expand and Improve Outcomes in Online Learning

The purpose of this CAP is to increase the success of distance learning students by expanding virtual services. The goals of the project that focus on these aspects of the distance learning student experience include: 1) taking steps to ensure distance learning is a good fit for students prior to enrollment; 2) effectively preparing students for distance learning once enrolled; 3) effectively supporting students during the distance learning experience through a campus synchronous solution; and 4) revising curriculum and delivery methods based on assessment results.

Indicators of Success:

How will we know we are making progress on the Teaching and Learning goal?

  • Student satisfaction with curriculum and curriculum delivery
  • Course success rates for selected gateway courses

Strategic Goal  #2: Completion and Transfer 

The College sustains and continuously improves our focus on successful student goal achievement whether that be completion of a degree/ credential, transfer to another college, or personal interest/skill attainment.

CAP 2.1 Implement the Academic Pathways Model at GRCC

The purpose of this project is to continue the implementation of the Academic Pathways model. This requires systematic changes to improve both access and success. Clearly structured, coherent program pathways will be developed that enable students to meet their career and transfer goals. The project requires redesigning instruction, curriculum, and student support services to facilitate students’ learning and success as they progress to completion. Systems change will require a cross-college effort. Key organizational processes include admissions, advising, orientation, program review, curriculum development, transfer, classroom instruction, tutoring, financial aid, student progress tracking, and high school outreach.

CAP 2.2 Establish and Implement a New Model for Academic Advising

The purpose of this project is to create an efficient, sustainable advising model building on the work already underway with the MCCA Academic Advising Academy. Specific goals include: 1) prioritizing student needs and aligning services (triage system that differentiates between scheduling help, selecting a major, career assistance, students who know where they are going to transfer versus those who don’t, etc.); 2) identifying specific advising roles at GRCC (faculty, advisors, etc.); 3) supporting training needs for advisors; 4) developing strategies that increase internal communication among key institutional stakeholders who serve students; and 5) increasing relationships and communication between GRCC and transfer institutions.

CAP 2.3 Improve the Student Transfer Experience

The purpose of this project is to improve the student transfer experience by focusing on campuswide improvements through better information, processing tools, transfer institution collaborations, etc., to establish a smoother experience for students. Specific goals include: 1) benchmarking best practice and curriculum change; 2) establishing tools that provide a real-time view of a student’s path and progression toward transfer; 3) investigating software that would cohesively track and manage current academic plans with transfer institution requirements; 4) creating liaison positions between academic departments and other colleges; 5) potentially establishing a University Center; and 6) developing strategies to encourage degree completion prior to transfer.

Indicators of Success:

How will we know we are making progress on the Completion and Transfer goal?

  • Student intent against completion
  • Academic credit progress

Strategic Goal  #3: Equity

The College works to create and support equitable practices across the institution to remove barriers and ensure high comparable outcomes for all identifiable groups.

CAP 3.1 Close Achievement Gaps/Accelerate Achievement for Student Segment Groups

The purpose of this project is to determine and implement strategies to reduce achievement gaps between selected student segment groups or accelerate achievement for identified groups, including African-American students, Latino/a students, veterans, students with disabilities, first generation, foster care students, single parents, rural students, international students, LGBT students, developmental education students, and others. The goal is to expand on the work of the multiple 2014-2018 projects that have shown success in either reducing achievement gaps or accelerating progress by working with selected student groups.

CAP 3.2 Build an Inclusive Campus for All

The purpose of this project is to foster a community where students, faculty, staff, and community members feel safe, valued, and able to bring their genuine selves. Specific goals include: 1) conducting a comprehensive Campus Climate Study in 2019; 2) creating “courageous conversations” and safe spaces for conversations; 3) offering professional development training for equity and inclusion, including training for intergroup dialogue, inclusion advocates, etc.; 4) increasing faculty retention and recruiting of target groups through marketing the benefits of how the individual and GRCC can reach/teach diverse student populations; 5) implementing employee mentorship initiatives for underrepresented populations to build community and foster equitable practices across the institution; 6) developing and implementing leadership development initiatives to help underrepresented populations prepare for promotion opportunities; and 7) identifying and coordinating opportunities for students to be involved in decision-making processes.

CAP 3.3 Establish a Single Stop Center Connecting GRCC Students for Food, Housing, and Emergency Cash

The purpose of this project is to provide access to critical resources to support students as they attend college. Specific goals include: 1) providing a single-stop resource center for students experiencing housing, food or financial needs; 2) spreading services beyond main campus to include Lakeshore and other off-campus locations; 3) creating intentional links with community resources; and 4) increasing awareness of how these issues decrease student success and how supporting students helps them to meet their goals.

Indicators of Success:

How will we know we are making progress on the Equity goal?

  • Retention, transfer, and completion indicators by race/ ethnicity, Pell Grant status, gender, age, and starting levels
  • Survey results for questions related to equity for faculty/ staff and students

Strategic Goal  #4: Community Impact

The College seeks to positively impact the community by educating and training students with relevant skills so that they are retained in the service region holding living-wage jobs, as well as through collaborations/ events with education and community partners.

CAP 4.1 Establish a Career and Resource Center

The purpose of this project is to create a student/employer career resource to assist students in exploring career options, developing skills to enhance their career, and finding jobs. This hub will serve to connect students and employers as well as incorporate all the existing resources we have (Focus 2, Career Coach, Handshake, etc.). The center will be designed to serve prospective students through a placement to a bachelor’s degree and beyond, and/or job placement. Goals include: 1) establishing partnerships with the Alumni Association and Foundation to cultivate relationships with former students, student assistants, and recent graduates; 2) helping students identify professional and personal goals sooner through institutional engagements with high schools and middle schools; 3) enhancing internships, job leads, mentoring, job shadowing, and nontraditional apprenticeships; 4) finding community partners to fund these programs and expanding our capacity to seek and obtain grants; 5) creating a system of liaisons/partnerships between faculty and outside business sectors; and 6) meeting the lifelong learning needs for non-traditional students.

CAP 4.2 Create a System to Identify and Recruit Opportunity Youth

The purpose of this project is to establish an outreach process to those residents ages 16 to 24 who are neither in school nor employed, in an effort to provide mentorship, career or educational direction, and potentially to connect them to GRCC programming. This effort would be done in conjunction with community partners and other educational resources.

CAP 4.3 Increase K-12 Connections to Early College, Middle College, and Dual Enrollment Options

The purpose of this project is to build connections to increase early college and dual enrollment options. In addition, the goal would include building stronger relationships and engagement with K-12 partners to increase student readiness and build connections with area 9th/10th graders to introduce them to the college experience and expectations.

Indicators of Success:

How will we know we are making progress on the Community Impact goal?

  • Increase number, characteristics, and quality of partnerships with employers and community partners
  • Monitor job placement, wage data, and number of students in jobs related to their programs

Strategic Goal  #5: Infrastructure and Sustainability 

The College effectively plans for and uses our resources to preserve and enhance the institution.

CAP 5.1 Improve Campus Safety and Security

The purpose of this project is to improve the overall physical and IT security of our campus for staff, students, and the community. Goals include: 1) researching best practices for training and awareness regarding these issues; 2) investigating and evaluating gaps in current security processes; 3) determining solutions to gaps; and 4) implementing solutions.

CAP 5.2 Investigate the Effectiveness of the Current Campus Enterprise System (PeopleSoft)

The purpose of this project is to investigate the long-term effectiveness of the current enterprise system, PeopleSoft. The goals of this project are to embark on a campus-wide effort to: 1) document the current state of the system, including strengths and weaknesses; 2) benchmark other enterprise options currently available; 3) develop a comprehensive recommendation/ implementation plan.

CAP 5.3 Implement a CampusWide Sustainability Effort

The purpose of this project is to create awareness of current sustainable practices to increase participation and expand opportunities to create a culture valuing and practicing environmental sustainability college-wide. Specific goals include: 1) identifying and cataloging current and past sustainability practices; 2) completing status review of current and past practices; 3) benchmarking our practices against other institutions; and 4) developing a plan, based on the research, for work that can be undertaken.

Indicators of Success:

How will we know we are making progress on the Infrastructure and Sustainability goal?

  • Survey results for questions regarding campus safety and security
  • Survey results for questions regarding environmental sustainability

Revised Mission, Vision, and  Values statements

approved by Board of Trustees, June 2018

Vision

GRCC provides relevant educational opportunities that are responsive to the needs of the community and inspires students to meet economic, social, and environmental challenges to become active participants in shaping the world of the future.

Mission

GRCC is an open access college that prepares individuals to attain their goals and contribute to the community.

Values

  • Excellence - We commit to the highest standards in our learning and working environments.
  • Diversity - We create an inclusive, welcoming, and respectful environment that recognizes the value, diversity, and dignity of each person.
  • Responsiveness- We anticipate and address the needs of students, colleagues, and community.
  • Innovation - We seek creative solutions through collaboration, experimentation, and adaptation.
  • Accountability - We set benchmarks and outcomes to frame our decision-making, measure our performance, and evaluate our results.
  • Sustainability - We use resources in responsible ways to achieve equity across our social, economic, and environmental practices and policies.
  • Respect - We treat others with courtesy, consideration, and civility.
  • Integrity - We commit to GRCC values and take personal responsibility for our words and actions.

Institutional Learning Outcomes

  • Communication Skills – Students will effectively express and exchange ideas through listening, speaking, reading, writing, and other modes of interpersonal expression.
  • Critical Thinking Skills – Students will be able to gather and synthesize relevant information, evaluate alternatives, and implement creative and effective solutions.
  • Social Responsibility Skills – Students will be prepared to practice community engagement that addresses environmental responsibility, social justice, and cultural diversity.
  • Personal Responsibility Skills – Students will become independent learners who understand and express the lifelong skills necessary for physical, social, economic, mental, and emotional health.

Board of Trustees

  • Kenyatta L. Brame
  • Cynthia Bristol
  • Kathleen L. Bruinsma
  • Kathy Crosby
  • David J. Koetje
  • Sheryl Siegel
  • Daniel Williams
  • Bill Pink, Ph.D. (GRCC president)