Saturday, February 24th, 2018

CC to build on success in next plan

The future of Clarendon College will soon be taking shape as officials there begin working on the institution’s next strategic plan.

The “One College, One Vision” strategy implemented by President Robert Riza in 2014 had seven individual initiatives, and all have either been completed or are ongoing.

“We’ve had a very successful plan and a very successful three years,” Dr. Riza said. “Now we’ll build off that.”

The current plan’s first initiative was to complete the college’s reaffirmation from its accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on College (SACS-COC). That was successfully completed last summer and was the most important of the seven points.

Other initiatives of the “One College, One Vision” plan included redesigning student services, increasing student success, strengthening the college’s presence in the community, identifying programs for expansion, implementing effective models of instruction, and a creating district-wide master plan.

“We’ve got a completion percentage of 91 to 92 percent,” Riza said, noting that some things can’t be finished. “You never stop looking for programs to expand, for example.”

Absent from the objectives was enrollment growth, which the president said caused some concern on the part of those who first saw the “One College, One Vision” plan.

“If we did everything else, enrollment would take care of itself,” Riza said.

In fact, CC has seen some of its highest numbers under the plan. Enrollment was up 10 percent last fall, 13.34 percent this spring, and summer numbers exploded with a spring mini-session up 172 percent and the college’s Summer I session posting a 53 percent gain.

“Our success is a direct result of buy-in from everyone involved,” Riza said. “As president, I’m the first believer. But when you have administrators and instructors also buy into it, then it’s hard for someone to say it’s not theirs. There are lots of voices, and they all count.”

Riza said his cabinet recently met to start laying the groundwork for the next plan.

“We use a start-stop-continue process with each person giving five examples of each,” the president said. “You can see from that where the big ideas are, and the plan morphs itself.”

With initial ideas in hand, Riza said an employee survey will be conducted in the fall with those responses used to help finalize the shape of the plan, which will likely be unveiled in January.

The new plan will also cover about three years.

“Some of the initiatives will look familiar,” he said. “The process will also give ownership throughout the college and will contain initiatives big enough to keep us busy.”

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