The changing seasons that come with September remind me of the quote from the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, “change is the only constant in life.” Technology, the economy and shared cultural experiences all cause shifts in behaviors, priorities, and choices. These shifts create new opportunities and challenges that organizations must respond to. Relevant, dynamic organizations welcome these shifts and in that spirit we have launched Waubonsee’s new FY2020-FY2022 Strategic Plan.
There is a quote from an unknown author, “The past is like using your rear-view mirror in the car. It’s good to glance back and see how far you’ve come but if you stare too long you’ll miss what’s right in front of you.” So as we developed our FY2020-FY2022 Strategic Plan we knew that is was important to look in the rear-view mirror a little. And this plan utilizes themes from our 2015 Vision 2050 project and our 2018 Community Needs Assessment which together provided feedback from more than 3,000 students, employees, board members, community residents and organizational leaders.
In 2019, we conducted further focus groups and listening sessions. Continuing the work of our FY2017-FY2019 Transformational Plan, we identified several assumptions within six key drivers critical to the success of the college. This led to the identification of significant opportunities right in front of us that are facing higher education and Waubonsee Community College now and in the future. So, building upon our work from the Vision 2050 project and our recent Transformational Plan, a team began developing, sharing, and refining the goals of our FY2020-FY2022 Strategic Plan which were then organized into three pillars: 1) student equity and success, 2) community connections, and 3) employee and organizational excellence. Each goal, priority and other related initiatives support our primary objective to be the top choice for learning in our community.
Initiatives like our Council for Access and Inclusion, our work to strengthen a college-going culture throughout the community and our continuing focus on careful stewardship of resources, build upon our strong history of 53 years of quality education while transforming us to meet the needs of our community today and into the future.
As we witness changes happening in other industries like retail, transportation and journalism, we recognize that people have many options for almost everything they want to do. Given this, we at Waubonsee continually ask ourselves one question: how do we remain relevant in a world of choice?
Our strategic plan helps to answer that question. We proudly own our role as a community college and we know we have to continuously refine and reinvent based on the ever-changing world around us. Waubonsee’s FY2020-FY2022 Strategic Plan is another reminder that we are more than college, we are community college. I invite you to review our new FY2020-FY2022 Strategic Plan and look forward to your observations and feedback.