Portland Community College: A remarkable institution made up of remarkable people working in concert with a remarkable community to serve remarkable students. With this support system, the College is on the cusp of beginning a new chapter in its 50-plus-year history.
It has the good fortune to build on the strong foundation that has been established at PCC over time. But past accomplishments are only as strong as the visions they create, ones that inspire administrators, faculty, staff and students for the future.
With this as a guidepost, PCC has launched a strategic planning process to identify goals and initiatives for the next five years. This process presents an exciting opportunity to think about how, together, we will create a community college that anticipates and responds to the students of tomorrow and their needs.
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Upon approval by the Board of Directors, the College’s five-year Strategic Plan will enable PCC to chart its future in a sea of major changes: the evolving landscape of higher education in Oregon and across the nation, the changing needs and expectations of our students, advancements in technology and pedagogy, and discourse about the role of community colleges in workforce and economic development.
The Strategic Plan will identify key strategic themes and supporting measurable actions that will position PCC for success in the 21st century and provoke continued discussion about decisive, ongoing shifts for the College, as well as the leadership required to realize those changes.
PCC is at a pivotal moment in its history. It has a legacy of success, and “things are not broken.” It is for good reason that more people and groups than ever before are looking to PCC to “be all things to all people at all times in all ways.” It is from this strong platform we assume the responsibility and seize the opportunity to think strategically about the future of this great College. The future—it will be here before we know it.
The process is being led by the Strategic Planning Steering Committee. PCC’s president, Dr. Jeremy Brown, solicited membership nominations for this committee, and nearly 70 individuals raised their hands or were nominated by colleagues. Members were chosen with two objectives in mind: to represent College stakeholder demographics as widely as possible, while keeping the committee small enough in size to be workable. College Vice President Randy McEwen is chairing the Committee.
The Committee’s charge is to develop key strategic themes and measureable action plans that get us on the way to achieving outlined goals and objectives. As themes emerge, subcommittees will be formed to develop tangible strategies that move us toward reaching these goals and objectives.
The College has a rich and long-accepted tradition of providing opportunities for input from standing committees or councils, such as the Educational Advisory Council. The strategic planning process will seek to draw in those groups, as well as solicit input from various program Advisory Committees that have deep commitment to the College.
It is essential that people have opportunity to provide input in a way that is responsive to their lives and work schedules. To that end, PCC will use online tools to provide updates and, more importantly, opportunity to comment on the Committee’s efforts. In doing this, anyone from the College community who wants to be involved will have the opportunity to do so.
The Committee’s goal is to submit an initial draft for the President’s review in late May 2014. One of the age-old challenges with strategic plans is that once done, they sit on shelves for the next 5-10 years and have no impact beyond the date they were written. One way to avoid that pitfall is to link strategic planning and updates with College-wide In-Service in late September each year. We hope this will become part of the College’s routine into the future.
Strategic Planning Initiative
- President Brown and Board Chair Frisbee announce Strategic Planning Initiative
- Steering Committee nominations submitted
- Steering Committee members selected and announced
- Committee convenes and considers the question: “What is your vision for PCC’s impact in five years?”
December 2013 – January 2014
- Committee considers the questions: “What are PCC’s strengths? PCC’s weaknesses? What are threats to PCC? What are opportunities for PCC?”
- Potential strategic themes/thrusts emerge?
February – May 2014
- Sub-committees formed to develop strategic plans and measures responsive to strategic themes
- Draft Strategic Plan presented to President Brown
June – August 2014
- Revision and discussion
- Plan review by Board of Directors
- Plan rollout at Fall 2014 District In-Service
In the News
Visit the following sites to learn more about PCC’s strategic planning process and President Jeremy Brown’s vision for it:
- Randy McEwen Q & A: College making strides in strategic planning process
- Portland Tribune: My View: PCC's No. 1 goal: Improving education for all
- Portland Business Journal: PCC President Reaches out to business community
- Oregon Live: Portland Community College president visits The Oregonian editorial board
- PCC: Communities (Winter 2014)
- PCC News: Campus Conversations