Strategic Plan - Strategic Drivers
Strategic Drivers are the core of the LCC plan. Strategic Drivers flow from the Statements of Purpose, translating intentions into actions that are supported by resource allocation. Drivers take into account current and projected student demographics, characteristics and needs, skills required for 21st Century jobs, as well as many other variables listed in the Introduction, above.
Nearly two-thirds of LCC’s current and future students were born after 1980. Researchers refer to these students as “Millennials” and characterize them as team oriented, public service prone, diverse and diversity advocates, digital media users, high achievers and college bound.
A study commissioned by the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory on 21st Century job skills identified four major skills: (1) digital-age literacy (scientific and economic, technological, visual and informational, multicultural and global); (2) effective communication (teaming, collaboration, and interpersonal; personal, social and civic responsibility; interactive communication); (3) inventive thinking (adaptability, managing complexity, self direction; curiosity, creativity, risk taking; higher-order thinking and reasoning); and (4) high productivity (prioritize, plan, manage for results; effective use of real world tools; relevant, high-quality products). Based on this watershed research, other research, and stakeholder input, the following strategic drivers will be the primary forces shaping the College’s future direction.
Strategic Driver: Team-Based Learning
The College encourages and supports the infusion of team-based learning into College courses wherever feasible.
Rationale: “Team-based learning is a special, in-depth approach to the use of small groups in teaching. It calls for restructuring a course in such a way that facilitates the development of newly formed groups into teams and then engages those teams with challenging and complex learning tasks.” (Michaelsen & Knight) “Millennials,” LCC’s current and planning horizon students, prefer a team-based learning environment, and employers want employees who have the ability to effectively communicate and work well in teams. The major advantages of team-based learning are: (1) individual students commit to a very high level of effort in their learning, and (2) learning teams are capable of solving problems that are beyond the capability of even their most talented members. Research shows that this approach works well in a community college environment.
Strategic Driver: Service Learning
The College encourages and supports service learning in order to enhance student learning outcomes and fulfill its commitment to strengthening the community.
Rationale: Service learning is a method by which students learn and develop through thoughtfully organized community service that (1) is conducted in and meets the needs of the community, (2) fosters civic responsibility, (3) enhances the academic curriculum of the students, and (4) includes structured time for students to reflect on the service experience. Research indicates that students are entering college prepared to serve their communities and desiring to do so. A “best practice” trend in higher education institutions is to increase opportunities for social and civic engagement.
Strategic Driver: Leveraging Technology
To maximize use of existing technology infrastructure capacity, the College supports the development and application of additional applications to meet internal academic and administrative needs, as well as to generate revenue from external sources that would benefit from LCC’s technological infrastructure, expertise, and services.
Rationale: LCC’s current technology infrastructure has additional capacity to both support internal academic and administrative systems and provide fee-based services to external organizations. To maximize the LCC-technology return on investment, the College will broaden its usage internally in order to increase efficiency and enhance learning and services, as well as generate additional revenue to support College operations.
Strategic Driver: K-12 Partnerships
The College encourages and supports K-12 transition programs that help prepare primary and secondary school students for post-secondary education and the workforce.
Rationale: Research indicates that the jobs of the 21st Century require some form of postsecondary education. To assist students in making the transition to college, community colleges need to increase the awareness of, participation in, and opportunities for such transition programs as technical preparation, dual enrollment, advanced placement, and career pathways.
Strategic Driver: Future State Funding
The College will continue its aggressive approach in addressing declines in state funding for community colleges.
Rationale: The College’s financial challenges continue as a result of the State’s ongoing revenue crisis. In the past four years, the College has experienced a decrease in state funding combined with rising fixed costs in areas such as retirement, health care benefits and energy costs. The College has lost more than $16 million in state aid when compared to 2001 state support levels. The LCC 2000 strategic plan identified the coming crisis and drove successful initiatives to bring College revenue streams into balance and secure additional revenue from a successful millage increase. The current fiscal reality increases the importance of continuing this comprehensive, proactive approach, including such things as generating alternative revenue, leveraging technology, increasing efficiency, reducing costs, and focusing energy and resources on strategic priorities.
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