The Strategic Planning and Allocation of Resources Committee (SPARC) kicked off its first meeting of the academic year 2015/16 on Thursday, September 10, 2015. This planning-focused meeting began with a review of the nearly completed SMCCCD Strategic Plan goals and strategies. It was noted that many of Skyline College’s existing Strategic Priorities, from development of the Middle College and the International Student Program to support for expanded professional development through the CTTL, are reflected in the goals and strategies included in the plan. President Regina Stanback Stroud noted that this was due in large part to the high level of participation and engagement of Skyline College during the development of the plan during last year that included three campus forums that were well attended.
The conversation then shifted from the District goals to Skyline College’s own priorities. President Stanback-Stroud shared information about the Skyline Promise, a concept that has been in development as one of the College’s Strategic Priorities. A document was shared with the SPARC that begins to identify the specific components of the Promise that will allow students to Get In, Get Through, and Get Out… On-Time. As mentioned during Opening Day, the Skyline College Management Team has set a goal of at least 75% of students completing their educational goal, on-time, and the Skyline Promise is viewed as an essential vehicle to turn that goal into a reality.
With the District Strategic Plan nearing adoption, and the idea of the Skyline Promise moving closer to being realized, the stage has been set for the development of Skyline College’s own Strategic Plan to align goals, strategies and efforts. The SPARC committee discussed data provided by Co-Chair Aaron McVean, Dean of PRIE that placed a focus on the successful course completion of students in their First-Semester at Skyline College and the subsequent persistence to their second semester. With close to 2,500 (or 25%) of our students experiencing Skyline College for the first time each Fall semester, it was shared that only 50-60% will return for the spring semester. Though many factors are involved, one that will be a focus in the Strategic Plan will be that of successful course completion. A robust discussion took place around the different aspects of student success amongst committee members, a conversation that will likely permeate our campus for the entire academic year.
The meeting adjourned with the announcement that Executive Vice Chancellor Kathy Blackwood would be joining the SPARC at its next regular meeting to discuss the final 2015-16 District Budget.
Article by Aaron McVean