Part one of two
Central Wyoming College has updated its strategic plan that will guide decision-making through 2021.
In an email to staff, CWC's institutional effectiveness director Louisa Hunkerstorm said creation of the plan took more than a year. The process included gathering input from employees, followed by organization and prioritization by college leadership and "anyone who wanted to participate."
The plan was finalized this spring.
Hunkerstorm distributed an overview of the document to employees this week, but she noted that there are many more details behind each item listed.
"A lot of measurements and planned activities (will) carry out the strategic plan ... that will drive all of our work for the next four years," she said.
CWC's mission is to "enhance the quality of life through innovation and excellence in education." Its vision is "to provide lifelong learning opportunities beyond the boundaries of time and place."
To achieve those goals, the college has identified five areas of focus: student learning and success, positive employee engagement, educational partnerships and collaborations, sustainability, and community resource and workforce development.
Administrators said they want students to "discover their academic potential, achieve their goals and build their future" at CWC. However, it's also important to CWC that students better themselves while at the same time "respecting human dignity in the service of diverse communities."
To that end, CWC will work to strengthen the retention and completion pipeline from high school to four year transfer or job placement for all types of students. The school will offer "high-quality, inclusive, relevant academic programs that exhibit rigor and deep learning."
CWC will also focus on enhancing learning and enrichment for students who aren't seeking a degree.
The school wants its employees to value - and feel valued by - the organization so that they can better "uplift those around them and embrace their role in the success of CWC." As such, the college plans to develop a "positive culture where employees feel valued and there is effective communication."
"All employees will embrace their role in the success of CWC," the strategic plan states.
More relevant professional development and training opportunities will also be made available to all employees.
The strategic plan indicates that "mutually beneficial educational and organizational partnerships" can help CWC achieve its goal of enhancing lives.
Administrators hope to further develop such partnerships by engaging with advisory boards that can help improve academic and cultural programs, agencies that offer grant funding, and businesses and other groups that can provide local internship and job placement for students and alumni.
Fiscal responsibility is an important part of developing a sustainable system, but administrators also seek to increase enrollment and retention as part of this goal.
Increasing enrollment - and better retaining current students - helps the school obtain more funding. The school is also working to reduce its reliance on fiscal reserves, in part through collaboration with the CWC Foundation, booster clubs and granting organizations that can increase program funds.
CWC also wants to manage its resources in an environmentally sustainable way.
As a community college, CWC isn't only focused on students - it also seeks to enhance the economic and business climate in its service area.
"CWC provides the community access to opportunities for workforce development, cultural enrichment, wellness and lifelong learning," the strategic plan states.
The school will continue serving as a "catalyst for economic development" by tailoring credit and non-credit courses to meet the needs of local employers, the unemployed and federal and statewide initiatives. Administrators will gather community input in order to identify these needs and will collaborate with other entities to expand opportunities for success.
In addition, "CWC will be a leader and role model of diversity and inclusion for the community."