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In April, the Columbia College Board of Trustees approved an update to the College Transformational Plan, a strategic document charting the college's course for the next three to five years. The original plan was written and approved in 2005. The pace of institutional change plus the hiring of a new chief information officer and executive director of alumni and development made the update imperative.
The planning template is not a standard strategic planning model. The college used as guidelines the Higher Learning Commission's five criteria for accreditation. Fourteen key goals were identified to culminate the process.
The plan will be updated again in preparation for the college's comprehensive reaccreditation visit in 2012. Feedback about the plan or key goals is welcome!
Said Executive Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs Terry Smith, "Columbia College has shown remarkable growth and resiliency in the past decade, and this transformational plan will help guide the college to new academic success, prestige and stability."
The college has already made progress in such key areas as infrastructure (Missouri Hall renovated; Southwell Complex, Southy and Owens Soccer Field upgraded), technological (Cougarmail upgraded, new phone and imaging systems added, help desk expanded to full-time Solutions Center, new campus cable TV channel), financial (significant endowment growth since 2000), academic (new degree programs, rigorous review of all programs every five years, restoration of experiential learning, student course evaluation).
The plan further calls for growth in adult programs; for new Day student housing; for employees to take graduate courses tuition-free; for more effective tracking of alumni; and for the college to rise at least ten places from its current No. 44 rank in the U.S. News and World Report Top Tier of Midwest Masters Degree Colleges.