STRATEGIC PLANNING IN A LEARNING COLLEGE
In the Final Report from the Comprehensive Accreditation
Visit, the 2002 visiting HLC team summarized its concerns regarding
strategic planning as follows:
Strategic planning is central not only to the criterion, but
for the operational health of the college. Without question, the
strategic planning process at the college has improved since the
1991 Team Visit. Clear evidence of planning documents exists (i.e.
facilities plan, operational plan, technology plan, etc.), however
these documents remain largely incomplete.
Additionally as part of the visit, the Team determined that
concern existed among faculty and staff regarding their low level
of involvement, lack of awareness regarding goal achievement, or an
understanding of how progress of the plan is evaluated. Further, a
review of the aforementioned plans offers no clear linkages with
other college plans, or with the college budgets. Finally, with the
exception of the annualized operation plan, there was little
indication of staff responsible, resource implications, timeline
for implementation, and evaluative components to the
During the required Focused Visit, the Team should expect:
- Involvement of employees, at all levels within the
organization, in the plan's development, implementation, and
- Indications of the following key elements in the college's
strategic plan: staff responsible, budgetary implications,
evaluation and probable timelines for implementation.
- Linkage to the college's stated mission and
- Department and individual administrative goals that flow
from those of the strategic plan and assume responsibility for
appropriate parts of the plan.
- A method for assessing progress throughout the time
designated for action and for summarizing actions upon
- Linkages from the institutional strategic plan with other
- Clear and direct involvement from the Board of Trustees in
establishing the college's mission and vision.
- An institutionally communicated and supported
The staff of Sauk Valley Community College recognized that these
concerns needed to be addressed. The staff acknowledged the
benefits that would accrue from a well coordinated, comprehensive
system for students, the institution, and all of its stakeholders.
Staff have come together as a team and worked diligently to create
a comprehensive system that addresses the Team's concerns and moves
the College forward.
Source: Assurance Section/ Section Two: Report of a
Comprehensive Evaluation Visit to Sauk Valley Community College,
April 1-3, 2002.