Update: Transform NC committee gets to work

Twenty-three members of the Niagara College community – representing all employee groups, students and major areas of the College — have been selected to serve on the Transform NC Steering Committee, which will guide the integrated planning process for Niagara College programs and services.

The group includes representation from support staff, faculty and administration from a diverse range of program and service areas across the college, as well as students, and brings a combined 300+ years of Niagara College experience to the table. The committee held its first meeting on January 27, and will meet regularly between now and the end of March to develop the criteria, metrics and evaluation framework that will guide the integrated planning process.

“The response we received to our call for committee members was well beyond our expectations,” said Teresa Quinlin, vice president of finance and strategic planning, who will oversee the Transform NC initiative and chair the steering committee. “We’re very pleased that so many people want to participate in this important process. While we weren’t able to appoint everyone who applied to the committee, it’s important to remember that this process will include opportunities for everyone to provide input and feedback.”

Selection of the committee was based on ensuring equal representation among NC’s three employee groups and the College’s major divisions, along with student representation. A full list of committee members is available here.

“We’re very confident in the group we’ve assembled,” said Quinlin. “The committee members bring a wide range of experience, expertise and points of view that will be extremely valuable as we embark on this significant initiative.”

First announced by president Dan Patterson in October, the “Transform NC” integrated planning process for Niagara College programs and services is driven by NC’s growing enrolment and evolving economy, and the MTCU differentiation framework requiring post-secondary institutions to establish clear areas of specialization. The goal is to strengthen what we are doing well, focus on where to invest, and reinvent or improve areas facing challenges. Ultimately, this process is intended to support student success and our capacity to pursue the priorities set out in the College’s 2013-2016 Strategic Plan.

This planning initiative will be unique to Niagara College. It begins from a strong financial position, and is clearly focused on strategic and continuous improvement. While it may incorporate lessons and best practices identified by experts and similar organizations, it is driven by factors such as enrolment growth and a desire to ensure student satisfaction and success.

The project will include two tiers: Tier I will be a broad review that will take stock of all programs and services and sort them into three categories: enhance and invest; maintain; and revise and/or reallocate. Tier II will involve a detailed review of programs and services in category one (enhance and invest) and category three (revise and/or reallocate). Over the next two months, the steering committee will participate in the development of criteria, metrics and a scoring system.

The committee’s work will be guided by a clear set of deliverables and project milestones, and its progress will be shared regularly with the College community. A project web page has been launched, which includes project information and documents, FAQs, an archive of project updates, and form for submitting questions and feedback. Regular updates from the committee will be shared via InsideNC.

“The steering committee is committed to completing its work in a very open and transparent way, that invites and considers input, inquiries and feedback from all areas of the College,” said Quinlin. “I encourage everyone at NC to keep abreast of the Tranform NC’s progress, and to participate in this important process.”

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