After gathering valued input from the community and hundreds of hours of work by an eclectic team of employees, the new Selkirk College strategic plan has been released provides a blueprint for quality post-secondary education in the region.
A commitment to empowering confident and imaginative learners through quality post-secondary in the West Kootenay and Boundary region is cemented in a new document released by Selkirk College.
Building Remarkable Futures: Strategic Plan 2019-2024 is the culmination of community consultation, employee engagement, student input and the core values that have steered the regional college for more than 50 years. With a fresh mission statement of: “Together we build remarkable futures,” Selkirk College steps into the next five years with an advanced pledge of enhancing the lives of both students and members of the community.
After months of consultation and careful committee work, Selkirk College has released Building Remarkable Futures: Strategic Plan 2019-2024. Some of the college employees involved in putting the document together include: (L-R) Tessa Stark, Tiffany Snauwaert, Gordon Rein, Gail Crockford, Shana Rablah, Barb Ihlen, Angus Graeme and Bob Hall.
“The strategic plan is a living document that reflects the opportunities of today’s post-secondary environment,” says Selkirk College President Angus Graeme. “Every five years, we have a chance to really examine what is working, what has changed and what needs to be improved upon. This document was carefully prepared and there are some lofty expectations we have put on ourselves as a public post-secondary. We look for forward to executing and staying true to all we have learned in putting it together.”
Input from Community Essential in Process
The college began the process of a revised strategic plan last Spring by reaching out to students, employees, alumni, retirees and the broader community through Rossland-based ThoughtExchange. Hundreds of people took part in the online process that also included a number of face-to-face public meetings hosted in the different communities that Selkirk College serves.
A diverse committee of staff was then charged with pulling together the input, combining it with foundational values, and building a plan that fits the present and the future goals of the institution. The document includes the revised mission, vision, values, commitments and strategic directions of the college.
“Many hours were spent discussing and really digging deep into what it means to be a regional community college both at this particular time and over the next few years,” says Gail Crockford, a Nursing Program Instructor and committee member. “I’m proud of the work the committee did on this document because it brings together so many different ideals into one package that will invigorate the learning culture, the services we provide students and what we mean to the greater community.”
The four core values of the college include community, access, respect and excellence. The overarching ideals set a course for providing the region with a quality post-secondary opportunity that delivers an eclectic mix of program options in an environment that is attainable to all.
The fundamental commitments conveyed through the document include diversity and inclusion, environmental sustainability, health and wellness, innovation, and reconciliation. These statements of principle are key to the delivery of programming, student and employee supports, planning, and operations.
“This is one key area of the strategic plan where the evolution of post-secondary in our province becomes more clear,” says Graeme, who began his career at Selkirk College in 1992 as an instructor in the Forest Technology Program. “Some of these commitments may not have been as fully defined in our last five-year document, but the changing landscape of what it means to be a responsive and progressive post-secondary is now illustrated and laid out. We will stay true to these commitments as we serve our learners and community.”
To achieve its mission, Selkirk College provides five strategic directions that include: learner success, excellence in education, community development, healthy workplace, and modernization of facilities, technology and operations. These priority areas are spelled out through supporting definitions that act as a roadmap until the next review in 2024.
“We know that students, staff and the community expect a lot from Selkirk College and we are always striving to meet those expectations,” says Graeme, who has served as president since 2010. “Having this document as a reference point and cementing it into what we do on a daily basis will help all those who come in contact with Selkirk College realize the benefits of inspiring post-secondary.”