- Strategic planning is an iterative process that must adapt and overcome substantive change to the environment in which it takes place while maintaining a commitment to setting goals, crafting actionable strategies, tracking progress, and making further updates based on new information. While the process adheres to a five-year cycle, the assessment and identification of new initiatives propels the college’s advancement on an annual basis. Informed by campus stakeholders, the Governing Board’s annual retreat, and alignment with the President’s yearly objectives, the following updates were incorporated this summer:
- Student parents were added into fund-raising goals
- Development of pathway linkages to 4-year degrees and Career Opportunities were incorporated into the plan in order to build on progress already made in these areas
- Non-credit courses were included in the initiative to expand workforce training opportunities
- Identified need to increase outreach to high school students to encourage a college-going culture
- Based on significant progress in course redesign, the focus on Math course placement and pre-requisites was expanded
- Sustainability of long-term college operations included the initiation of a salary study for employees
- Following SFCC’s return to regular implementation of the strategic plan in the fall 2022, the Office of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness (OPIE) provided updates to the Governing Board on the progress made on each of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the plan’s 20 initiatives to ensure alignment with the Board’s goals set for the president. A common thread over the past few years are initiatives that address objectives of our current Title V Grants. As a result, many of our KPIs are focused on building systemic institutional capacity to remove barriers that Hispanic and low-income students face in achieving post-secondary success. This helps ensure equity principles are embedded throughout our strategic plan. Considerable progress has been made on most of the initiatives in the 2022-2023 Strategic Plan, particularly considering the vast commitment of time and resources that has been required by the CHESS Shared Services project. See our mid-year report for 2023 for details.
- SFCC has officially entered the 2022-2023 planning cycle with three overriding goals, nine sub-goals and twenty initiatives that we are tracking through new month by month action plans. The previous year was focused on re-engaging the campus in the planning process and being innovative, while understanding that pandemic metrics were going to continue to look very different from the past. This year we are working to re-establish achievable targets and a rigorous process.
- This summer was spent revisiting the initiatives in the 2021-2022 plan and making adjustments to prepare for 2022-2023. There continues to be a very strong focus on our Title V Initiatives as well as the CHESS Shared Services project that SFCC is engaged in. Adjustments were made to ensure a strong alignment with the President’s priorities as well. Work began to establish new action plans and planning began for a fall retreat for the Governing Board to discuss the future of Higher Education in the United States and SFCC’s place in that future.
- As part of our recovery from the pandemic, our focus this year has been to move out of an emergency planning mode and to re-engage the campus in the annual SFCC planning process. The following components, which have been key to our past success were put back into practice during the fall semester and will continue throughout the spring.
- Establishing month-to-month action plans for each KPI
- Assigning “leads” and “executive team sponsors” to ensure accountability
- Creating cross-departmental teams, when needed, to carry out of the work of the month-to-month action plans
- Scheduling each KPI for regular review at Executive Team to give updates on progress toward SFCC goals and to get support and resources from Administration when needed
This allows us to maintain a focus on the most important goals for the college and re-connect faculty, staff, students and administrators in the work of planning.
- In the fall of 2021, SFCC returned to our regular planning cycle focused on three overarching goals: Support Our Students; Partner with Our Community; and Build Our College Capacity. The plan also contains nine sub-goals and twenty initiatives designed to move those overarching institutional goals forward. The revised plan continues to address the objectives of our current Title V Hispanic Serving Institution grant as well as aligning with the President’s high priority goals for this academic year. The Title V MAPS (Minority Academic Pathways to Success) project seeks to build systemic institutional capacity that removes barriers Hispanic and low-income students face in achieving post-secondary success. The Strategic Plan initiatives derived from the SFCC Title V project have been timely in helping us to address the challenges underserved students face in higher education, particularly during the pandemic.
- Typically in summer we are preparing action plans that will kick off the implementation cycle in August. Because of the ongoing COVID emergency planning work, the implementation process is continuing through the summer. Plans are being made to return to our regular annual planning cycle in academic year 2021-2022.
- In Spring 2021 we revisited our 2020 Blueprint and made minor adjustments to continue through 2021 to address the still very active COVID crisis. As we have adapted to the remote environment, we have begun to make plans to return to our planning process. Due to the workload involved with institution-wide projects, such as the Enterprise Resource System, there was a need to further reduce the scope of the plan to ensure that we are focusing our resources on addressing the needs of our most vulnerable students as well as addressing systemic barriers to their success. the Spring 2021 plan was greatly streamlined to address the highest priorities during the pandemic- financial and other support for students, online teaching improvements, COVID safety measures, financial solvency, etc- and to take into the consideration the limited bandwidth of faculty and staff who had shifted to a remote format. At the same time, we have redoubled our efforts to address the student success inequities that exists within our system.
- The 2019-2020 planning cycle was a test of our institutional agility. Originally, we had expected to complete a new five-year strategic plan and begin implementation in August of 2020. Instead, due to COVID-19, our planning cycle was disrupted and SFCC switched to a short-term emergency planning mode to address the immediate challenges. Though progress on many KPIs was impacted by COVID-19, for the most part SFCC was able to pivot to meet the crisis, while still continuing to address many of our longer-term initiatives. In addition to addressing the challenges of COVID-19, another shift has become pronounced in the past few months. The need to address issues of equity and systemic racism are more pressing than ever. SFCC has always had a strategic priority related to equity, but now it is clear that equity issues need to be woven throughout all the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to truly make systemic change. This is timely as we have been implementing the COVID 2020 plan, we have begun to think about the next longer-term planning initiative that will carry us forward.
- In early 2020 we initiated the process of creating a new five year strategic plan for SFCC, but in March when the pandemic forced a campus closure, the timeframe for planning of any sort shrank from five years to the immediate future. Our planning consultant worked with SFCC’s leadership to develop a Blueprint for 2020. The Blueprint was designed to help the college manage the crisis and plan for probable scenarios for 2020. This summary was completed on June 22, 2020 and presented to the SFCC Governing Board on June 24th. Through this process three overarching goals were identified: Support Our Students; Partner with Our Community; and Build Our College Capacity. Based on these overarching goals, OPIE worked with stakeholders from leadership and other key stakeholders to identify twenty initiatives and associated Key Performance Indicators centered around meeting our students needs during these challenging times and beyond.
- Because SFCC is developing a new five-year strategic plan, some of our usual annual processes have been modified for this one year. For example, KPI Leads and Sponsors would typically submit budget requests in early spring. This year, OPIE has requested that a portion of the budget be held aside for strategic priorities until the new plan is completed and resources can be committed to newly identified KPIs. We will also be foregoing our annual spring planning retreat where we make revisions to our short-term goals. Instead, we will continue our efforts to get input from the campus and the community on the mission, vision and values of SFCC, as well as future long-term and short-term goals.
- In the fall, SFCC kicked off our new five-year strategic planning process with a day-long retreat that involved 332 members of our campus community, including faculty, staff and representatives from the student body. In this retreat we reviewed the institutional mission, vision and values and began talking about priorities for the next five years. The work of engaging stakeholders, including students and community partners, in planning for the future will continue in throughout the spring.
- This year, we moved our bi-weekly strategic plan check-in process from a regular meeting with the President to a meeting with the full Executive Team. This allowed us not only to continue to ensure accountability, but also to ensure that all members of Executive Team are well informed about each of the institutional priorities and their progress. It also facilitates even more cross-departmental communication and collaboration on our goals.
- Over the summer, we set measures and targets and created action plans for each short-term goal.
- OPIE also gathered data for the 2018-19 Annual Report, to be presented to the Governing Board in the fall.
- A summer working group, made up of faculty, staff and students, met to begin developing the process of getting input on the next 5-year plan.
- A mid-year report was presented to the Governing Board in January and regular check-ins continued throughout the spring.
- After receiving feedback from the SFCC AQIP Systems Portfolio in late spring, it was determined that several key accreditation priorities would be addressed using the same check-in process that had been used for strategic priorities. As a result, adjustments were made to the strategic plan to reflect and/or strengthen certain short-term, high-priority initiatives for the remainder of the two-year planning cycle.
- Through the fall, we continued using our proactive strategic planning model to implement twenty-three short-term goals. Each of these initiatives is overseen by an Executive Team Sponsor and a Project Lead. In many cases, a task force has also been assigned to make sure there is stakeholder input into the strategies and to help with carrying out the tasks for each goal.
- Because we are implementing a two-year plan, we saw an opportunity to strengthen the connection between our priorities and the resources needed to address them. We developed a process to allow the Executive Team Sponsors and Project Leads to request funding that is directly tied to the strategies and tasks outlined in the action plan.
- We also worked over the fall semester to engage more stakeholders in the planning process. This happened primarily through involving more faculty and staff in setting and implementing strategies for individual short-term goals. There was also an increased focus on planning at the program level. This has helped to increase the level of understanding of SFCC planning processes, which is particularly important as we prepare for the development of the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan.
- SFCC has continued to make progress with the proactive planning model we started in 2016. In fact, the college has begun to be recognized for its best practices in strategic planning through presentations at the Higher Learning Commission’s annual conference, the Achieving the Dream’s annual conference and in an article for the Journal of Applied Research in the Community College titled, “Re-conceptualizing Strategic Planning: Planning Strategically for Student Success.”
- Work continued over the summer to set measures and targets and to create action plans for the new 2- year short-terms goals.
- In addition to having Executive Team sponsors for each KPI, this year we added a role for a project lead. This person is responsible for overseeing the work around each KPI and reporting back to the Executive Team sponsor. This allowed us to spread the work more effectively and to engage more people across campus. It also created opportunities for leadership development.
- Over the summer, OPIE also gathering data for the 2017-18 Annual Report, to be presented to the Governing Board in August
- A mid-year report was presented to the Governing Board in January and regular check-ins continued throughout the spring.
- SFCC improved the alignment between the Strategic Plan cycle and the Higher Learning Commission accreditation cycle. Moving forward we will be on a five year planning cycle that aligns with our next 10 year accreditation cycle (beginning in 2020). This will allow SFCC to incorporate feedback from the HLC into the next major planning process and be better situated to address any concerns that might arise from that process.
- Each year, we have conducted an annual update of the short-term goals in the 2013-2018 strategic plan. This year, in order to carry our current plan through to 2020 we have conducted a two year update. As we have worked to create a culture of planning at SFCC, we have depended on this annual update process to revisit our goals to make sure they were attainable, relevant and timely. Now that our ability to plan as an institution has matured, a two year update seemed appropriate and has the added benefit of allowing us to work more effectively with the budget cycle to seek the resources needed to carry out our goals.
- At the end of the spring semester we held our planning retreat. In the past, this has engaged all of the KPI leads from the Executive Team. This year, we included representatives from the Student Government Association, Faculty Senate and Staff Senate. We also had community partners available to share updates from joint efforts. This allowed us to seek feedback from a broader group of college representative in the 2 year update. It was also good preparation for the larger campus-wide process that will take place to develop the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan.
- Through the fall we continued our proactive strategic planning model with KPI leads taking part in regular check in meetings with the President and occasionally with the entire Executive Team. This effort continued to increase accountability and resulted in more regular progress toward milestones.
- A mid-year update of the Action Plan worksheets was conducted in December by each of the KPI leads with their teams to adjust for any unforeseen circumstances.
- The SFCC Strategic Plan is updated annually to ensure that we are focusing on our highest priorities. This year we further integrated the process to ensure that we are responding to documented needs. A matrix was created that included priorities that have arisen from the AQIP accreditation process and our work through initiatives such as Achieving the Dream and the Santa Fe Birth to Career collaboration. It also included issues that arose through the Employee Satisfaction Survey, the Student Satisfaction Survey, the Graduation Survey, etc. The Executive Team reviewed the matrix and gave their recommendations during a day-long strategic planning retreat which were then forwarded to the President and the Governing Board for final revisions. This process helped us to integrate and align the work that we are doing across campus and increase our ability to be successful.
- After the priorities for academic year 2017-2018 were established, members of the Executive Team were assigned as “leads” for each short-term goal. They were then responsible for working with a team of stakeholders to develop an action plan that included strategies, milestones and a target. These plans will be used to track progress toward each goal throughout the year.
- In the spring, KPI leads began conducting their bi-weekly updates with the entire Executive Team. This allowed them to receive additional input from their colleagues in the latter stages of the planning cycle.
- Significant work was done to update the documentation of the annual planning cycle and to look at the long-term calendar for planning. In particular, the timeline was adjusted so that the strategic planning cycle would correlate with the 4 year accreditation cycle.
- In order to initiate the next update of the Strategic Plan, OPIE began to create a matrix of potential institutional priorities related to our accreditation, our involvement with Achieving the Dream and the Santa Fe Birth to Career Network (B2C), and other systemic challenges that continually rose to the top in student and employee surveys, campus-wide meetings, etc. The matrix will be used to help us determine what priorities should be addressed in the coming year.
- Beginning in August and continuing throughout the fall, KPI leads took part in a bi-weekly 10 minute check-in meeting with the President on the progress that was being made toward their milestones. At each meeting, items that were completed were checked off of the Action Planning Worksheets and, if any adjustments needed to be made to tasks or timelines those were updated as well. This effectively increased accountability and resulted in more regular progress toward milestones than there had been in the past.
- Executive Team KPI leads were also required to give a monthly update to the entire Executive Team. This allowing for increased collaboration among the Executive Team on reaching individual KPI targets.
- OPIE gave quarterly updates to the board, which included a mid-year review of how the 2016-2017 implementation process.
- A mid-year update of the Action Plan worksheets was conducted by each of the KPI leads with their teams to adjust for any unforeseen circumstances and to add additional strategies.
- Over the summer, OPIE met with the KPI leads and gathered data for the 2015-16 Annual Report. This was presented to the Governing Board in August.
- The Executive Team held a retreat to discuss how to improve implementation of the Plan and how to ensure that KPI leads were held accountable throughout the academic year for regular progress on their milestones.
- KPIs were updated for the 2016-2017 academic year and each KPI was assigned to an Executive Team member “lead”. These leads were responsible for working with the appropriate teams to determine strategies that would be implemented. Action Planning Worksheets were developed for each KPI that laid out a month-by-month calendar of the milestones to be accomplished over the year.
- OPIE met with each of the Goal leads and KPI leads to ensure that the milestones are being addressed in a timely manner and to make adjustments in tasks and/or timelines. A mid-year progress report was presented to the Governing Board.
- The Institutional Planning Committee met to review Goals 3 and 4. A number of KPIs were prioritized and streamlined. KPIs that were removed from the institutional plan will continue to be tracked at the appropriate division or department level.
- Goal 4 was divided into two goals for clarity, “Ensuring Institutional Effectiveness” and “Promoting Social Responsibility”. This was done in order to communicate our institutional priorities more clearly.
- SFCC is working to ensure that our budgetary resources are directed towards our highest priorities. The Budget Allocation process for FY17 was completed in March and the Technology Request process was completed in April.
- The Annual Report process, which includes gathering and analyzing data; evaluating success of strategies; updating KPIs; and drafting the report, was process mapped to improve effectiveness and efficiency for AY 2015/2016.
- Strategy worksheets were updated through team meetings with each area.
- Methodology for the calculation of each KPI was updated.
- Initial discussions were held about the alignment of the Facilities Master Plan and Achieving the Dream Implementation Plan with the SFCC Strategic Plan.
- The Institutional Planning Committee met to discuss streamlining the KPIs to further focus and align the Strategic Plan with the Achieving the Dream Implementation Plan.
- Initial discussions were held to seek ways to address the Strategic Challenges brought forth in the AQIP Systems Appraisal.
- The 2015 SFCC Strategic Plan Annual Report was completed and presented to the Governing Board.
- Began the annual review and update of KPIs through meetings with the leads in each Goal area.
- The annual update of strategies began with stakeholders across campus.
- Ongoing review of milestones was conducted to ensure progress, particularly for those areas that experienced the most challenges in the past.
- OPIE participated in the budget process to ensure that strategic priorities were reflected in the budget for the next fiscal year.
- The leads for the four Strategic Plan long-term goals met to review progress, communicate challenges and share ideas. Milestones were updated and areas needing additional focus for the remainder of the planning cycle were identified.
- Division-level plans were completed. A streamlined approach to planning will now be employed increasingly with each dean and at the department level.
- OPIE worked with each of the Goal leads and the KPI leads to insure that the milestones are being addressed in a timely manner. A mid-year report was presented to the SFCC Governing Board on progress made toward established milestones.
- Communication efforts were increased in order to reach out to a broad group of stakeholders in the SFCC Community.
- The methodology for calculating each KPI was updated.
- The timeline for the annual review process for AY15/16 was revised so that the cycle can be completed at the end of Academic Year.
- Several new task forces were created around particular initiatives in the Strategic Plan including recruiting of working adults, increasing graduation rates and addressing the diversity gap in regards to Hispanic faculty.
- The update of the plan for 2014-2015 was completed. Some new measures were added while others were modified or removed for further study. Targets for each KPI were set based on historical performance, comparisons with benchmark institutions, and institutional priorities.
- OPIE developing an annual progress report for Year One, including reporting and analysis of the KPIs for academic year 2013-14. The 2014 SFCC Strategic Plan Annual Report was completed and presented to the Governing Board.
- The budget taskforce began updating the documentation for the New Budget Request process and creating a training plan.
- The Institutional Planning Committee (IPC) began regular meetings to review progress and to evaluate planning processes.
- The annual review and update of KPI outcomes and effectiveness of measures began with stakeholders across campus.
- A budget taskforce refined the prioritization rubric for New Budget Request Process in preparation for the next budget cycle.
- OPIE began working with SFCC divisions to create division-level plans, which include missions, long-term goals, short-term goals, strategies and timelines. Some Departments have also opted to create department-level plans.
- A taskforce was formed to assess how well the new budget process functioned.
- An Annual Action Plan document was created and publicized which summarized key strategies.
- A taskforce was formed to develop a comprehensive evaluation of the strategic planning process.
- The new budget request process was initiated for Fiscal Year 2015 including communication about the process, training sessions, online application submittal and review and ranking of applications.
- Four taskforces—one for each of the long-term goals—were established. KPI leads were tasked with organizing stakeholder groups to help implement strategies.
- A strategy brainstorming session was held with members of the SFCC staff. Based on the feedback received, KPI leads began identifying and refining strategies to be implemented. Strategy Charters for each proposed strategy were completed. Each Strategy Charter documented the specific objectives of the strategies themselves, major milestones and timelines.
- Development began for a new budget request process tied to the Strategic Plan. A task force working on the new budget request process began piloting the new process.
- Methodology was developed to calculate each KPI annually.
- Fliers, posters, bookmarks, etc. were used to promote awareness of SFCC’s mission, vision and values.
- The SFCC Governing Board held a retreat on the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan. Their feedback was incorporated into the strategic plan.
- Meetings with external focus groups were concluded and summarized. Based on the feedback, strategic objectives and KPIs were revised.
- KPI leads were identified and tasked with developing strategies to meet the objectives.
- Work began on gathering and analyzing data for the Strategic Plan. Several of the KPIs required the college to implement new systems or modify existing ones to gather and analyze data that had not been formally reviewed previously.
- The SFCC Governing Board formally adopted the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan.
- Work began on developing strategies to move the long and short-term goals forward. Two strategy development sessions were held when faculty returned to campus for Convocation.
- The Communications Committee worked with the Office of Marketing and Public Relations to develop marketing and PR materials that communicated and promote the strategic plan.
- OPIE met with Staff Senate, Faculty Senate, and Student Government Association to discuss the process for updating SFCC’s Strategic Plan for 2013-2018.
- The Strategic Planning Coordinating Committee met for the first time and created these subcommittees: Communications, Environmental Scan and Mission, Vision and Values.
- An internal survey was developed for students, faculty and staff. Student Government, Student Ambassadors and Phi Theta Kappa helped to promote the internal survey.
- An external survey was developed for business leaders, public officials, neighbors and community members representing stakeholders across different interests. A link to the survey was posted online and promoted through various channels.
- Three internal forums, facilitated by professional moderators, were held with students, faculty and staff to help develop the mission and values.
- SFCC Governing Board members were individually interviewed for their perspectives and input on the mission and values.
- Held two half-day retreats, facilitated by professional moderators, with students, faculty and staff to refine the mission, vision and values and develop draft strategic goals.
- The Strategic Planning Coordinating Committee met on a regular basis to synthesize feedback received. The group developed the recommendations for mission, vision, values, long-term goals for the college, and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
- External focus groups were organized to further gather the input from Santa Fe’s local stakeholders on the strategic plan.
For more information, please contact Todd Bruce, Strategic Planning and Special Projects Coordinator, 505-428-1031, firstname.lastname@example.org.