Notwithstanding the operational, program delivery and student learning related implications that have emerged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, growth and expansion of our institutional presence and programming remain high priority objectives in our 5-year strategic plan. Accordingly, our leadership teams have taken up the challenge of envisioning the next 5-years through the development of four strategic directions that position our independently established colleges to flourish. These strategic directions create an opportunity for us to establish a unique academic program niche, reputation and identity and to ensure a sustainable and vibrant future amid numerous existing and emerging challenges in the higher education sector.
During the 2019–20 academic year, leadership invited our campus community to share their vision and to participate in the development of governance, academic and operational policies which included setting a new strategic direction and re-positioning of our independent colleges given their expansion and new academic programs. Participants included Registrar, operations, admissions, marketing, instructors and student services, budgeting and finance. The policies were developed during the 2019–20 academic year in consideration of our new direction and with extensive input from administrators, instructors, staff and students through a number of self-study workshops, small-group and one-on-one policy and planning meetings. After incorporating the input received through the development process and in light of COVID-19, our Management Committee is reviewing the advice provided for incorporation into the strategic plan and ultimate submission to our Board of Directors.
Our independently established college programs in arts, science, business, management and general studies have been designed to complement each other. Our programs prepare students a lifetime of critical thinking and strong leadership enabled through personal awareness and integrity. We encourage and enable students to interact daily with instructors who exemplify a passion for learning and a dedication to teaching. We foster a supportive, inclusive, multicultural environment in which students are encouraged to engage and interact with different cultures and diverse perspectives. We seek to educate students to become ethical, successful and valued citizens in an increasingly complex and interconnected global society.
Our strategic plan identifies four strategic directions which embody our Vision and Mission. The first strategic direction involves expanding and cultivating academic excellence across all program areas. The second strategic direction involves building and sustaining a diverse community in which all students, instructors and staff experience a sense of belonging supported by a foundation of inclusion, equity and access. The third strategic direction involves designing an unparalleled student experience for our students. The fourth strategic direction involves creating a sustainable future through the responsible stewardship of our resources. In order to operationalize these strategic directions post COVID-19, confirmation and prioritization of the proposed strategic directions based on our Vision and Mission will be undertaken by the Board of Directors, employees and invited stakeholders in 2021.