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Initiated in November 2013 by Dr. Gayle Saunders, President, a series of events led to the development of the 2015-2018 Strategic Plan of Richland Community College. First, the trends, opportunities and challenges section completed by the 2014 Richland Community College Environmental Scanning Team provided the backdrop necessary for the Strategic Planning Team, comprised of representative stakeholders throughout the College, to begin its work. The Strategic Planning Team, using the SOAR (Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations and Results) process, held 14 focus group sessions between June and October 2014 with over 210 participants. Internal and external stakeholders spoke to Richland’s strengths and offered opportunities for improvement. While focus groups were a main source of data collection, the Team also reviewed other data sources that include the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) Systems Portfolio and Systems Appraisal, ICCB Economic Impact Study, and the RCC Institutional Year Books. Throughout this entire process, the Team met to debrief the focus groups, discuss data sources, and advise the progression of the Plan. In addition, retreat topics and regular presentations allowed the Board of Trustees the opportunity for their input into the process and the Plan.
Intended to provide strategic direction for the College, the four goals in the 2015-2018 Strategic Plan are the following: Elevate Teaching and Learning Standards, Foster Student Success and Completion, Advance and Create Workforce Development Partnerships, and Ensure a Sustainable Organization. These goals collectively reflect the mission and vision of the College through emphasis on evidence-based decision-making to support student success, teaching and learning, community relationships and Richland’s Principles of Sustainability. To continue this work, the President’s Cabinet will identify annual priorities to ensure accountability to the Strategic Plan. This Strategic Plan offers direction for the future while maintaining flexibility to meet the dynamic nature of the District and nation as the College moves to meet its vision, achieve its mission, and uphold its Core Values
In September 2013, President Gayle Saunders assembled a team responsible for developing a new Environmental Scan that would serve as one of the research documents for the Richland Community College 2015-2018 Strategic Plan. The Environmental Scan continues the examination of the College and the Richland District conducted in four previous Scans (1996, 2003, 2007, and 2010) to understand the national, state, and local environment in which Richland exists and to provide a foundation for planning. The Scanning Team represented key areas of the institution and drew on the expertise of other stakeholders.
The 2014 Environmental Scan is divided into several sections:
1) External Scan includes a comparison of national, state, and Richland Community College District 537 information;
2) Internal Scan offers historical information and information on current operational conditions at Richland Community College;
3) Teaching and Learning includes information on academic conditions and on student support services; and
4) Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities summarizes key trends and challenges identified by the Team and included in the Scan. Research is incorporated into the trends to identify national, state, and local issues that may impact the work of Richland Community College
The Richland Educational Advisory Committee on Higher Education (REACH) concluded its year-long process of public engagement on August 17, 2004, with a presentation to the RCC Board of Trustees. The Community Chairs outlined the REACH process and then offered a series of recommendations based on the input and ideas from the community participants. These recommendations were accepted by Board Resolution that evening. The Executive Summary outlines the process and findings, and the REACH Recommendations list 6 major recommendations and additional sub-recommendations. These recommendations are being prioritized by the College administration and are being incorporated into the RCC Strategic Plan.