Message from the Strategic Planning Co-sponsors: Day of Reflection provides a successful start to Strategic Planning discussion

Thank you to everyone who joined us for Day of Reflection on April 28, which served as a very successful start to an important college-wide discussion that will take place over the coming months.

This year’s event marked the first college-wide consultation on the development of a new strategic plan. Our challenge is to develop a long-term vision for Niagara College that will position us for success in a very transformational time for postsecondary education. As part of this process, we will also develop the initial three-year plan to bring us closer to a new, long-term vision.

We were very fortunate to be joined at Day of Reflection by Ken Steele, a postsecondary education “guru,” futurist and the president of the consulting firm Eduvation. To say that Ken’s presentation was eye-opening would be an understatement. His overview of the significant changes in demographics, the needs and expectations of students, postsecondary funding, educational technology and the ways in which colleges and universities are delivering programs and services underlines the need for Niagara College to develop a plan to guide us as we navigate the profound changes taking place. If you were unable to attend Day of Reflection, or if you would like to review the information, Ken’s presentation deck is available on the G-drive at G:Corporate>Strategic Planning 2016-2017.

The feedback provided by all of you via table discussions and online polling will be essential in informing our process moving forward. Clear themes emerged throughout our discussion: a recognition of the challenges posed by shifting demographics and changes in our student population; opportunities that come with new technologies; innovation and educational pathways; and the need for our entire college community to be flexible and adapt to the changing world around us. Top responses from the online polling that took place are also available on the G-drive at G:Corporate>Strategic Planning 2016-2017.

Previous strategic planning exercises have served us well – though prudent planning and strong leadership we were able to overcome the challenges associated with rapid growth and demand that began in the early 2000s. Today, we, like all postsecondary institutions, face a very different set of challenges. The status quo is not an option if we are to succeed in the years ahead.

As a follow up to Day of Reflection, we have created a short online survey to better understand your experience and help us to plan for future events. If you attended Day of Reflection, please take a few minutes to complete the survey here.

Where we are and next steps

Our strategic planning process began in January with the selection of a steering committee and working group.

Our strategic planning process has been mapped out and a broad consultation process is now underway. Within the college community, we will build on the momentum created at Day of Reflection with an upcoming consultation with the Advisory College Council (ACC), followed by a one-day consultation conference on June 10. Our goal for the consultation conference is to draw a group of participants that is representative of our college community. Beginning next week we will invite online applications to attend this event – watch InsideNC and the strategic plan website for further details.

Learn more

Watch for regular updates via InsideNC and the strategic plan website where timelines and other information is available. Your ongoing feedback is welcome – please feel free to contact us or send your comments, questions and suggestions directly to strategicplanning@niagaracollege.ca.

Steve Hudson, Vice President, Academic and Learner Services
Pam Skinner, Vice President, Corporate Services
Strategic Plan Co-Sponsors