Opening DayOpening Day 2018 focused on progress. Progress made toward the college redesign, progress driving equity across campus and progress in ensuring that the college is student-ready.

President Regina Stanback Stroud took the opportunity in her opening day address to highlight the work accomplished over the past year.
“A few years ago, I stood on this stage and asked this college to confront the brutal facts of low success rates,” said Dr. Stanback Stroud. “I asked that you work with me toward achieving a student completion rate of at least 75%, and since then we’ve started clear, impactful work to move us closer to that goal.”

President Stanback Stroud underscored the importance of redesigning the entire mindset of the campus community around strengths-based thinking as opposed to deficit thinking. Concentrating on what students can do and bring to bare on their journey as opposed to what they can’t do, or don’t have or weren’t raised with.

“We must believe in the idea that there is always an institutional, structural way to improve student success.”
Dr. Stanback Stroud then described a few of the major projects and milestones coming up in the 2018-19 academic year:

The Equity Institute: Featuring equity academies, the cabinet roundtable, publications and professional development. It will administer institutional assessments, publish research and provide professional development for organizations across the state and nation.
Accreditation: The college has been preparing for the upcoming site visit. The campus engaged in a strategic planning process to identify our strategic goals and initiatives that align with the district strategic plan. The plan has gone through the governance process and will go to the board for final approval this fall.
Branding Research Study: The college will be conducting a full scale research study (using quantitative and qualitative methods) of our brand to evaluate and evolve our brand look, define our unique positioning in the higher education landscape, develop audience personas to hone in on messaging, update our assumptions on target markets and test a new/evolved brand direction.
Great Colleges to Work For: We did not place in the competition across the nation. Instead we learned some things that we will certainly work on so it can and you can get the recognition you deserve.

After recognizing award winners, newly tenured faculty and new employees, the program was rounded out with a presentation by members of the Design Team who gave a presentation on the comprehensive college redesign. Of particular note in the presentation was the thorough mapping of what a student’s journey through their college experience might look like, with specific resources and milestones that they could expect along the way.

The presentation highlighted the incredible amount of work that’s gone into the college redesign thus far, and also provided a clear outlook for the future.

Article by Connor Fitzpatrick | Photos by Mia Coo & Zaw Min Khant

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