The future of Bellevue College

image001On May 12 the drafts of the strategic plan, academic master plan and student affairs plan were released, followed by an open comment period which came to a close on May 23. There were three feedback sessions as well as an open house that were “well attended,” according to Tray Biga Maclean, accreditation coordinator and member of the strategic planning committee. Additionally, “the committee has solicited comments from the campus since last fall through the Designing Our Future blog,” said Maclean. Robert Viens, co-chair of the strategic planning committee, is “very pleased with how people have been responding and how we’ve been able to work with the entire campus on this, throughout the whole process.
The feedback will be reviewed one comment at a time as to address each one and determine if the drafts are the appropriate place to address the concern as well as the appropriate level of urgency to accommodate the feedback. “We want to make sure that we look at all the feedback we’ve gotten so that we’re considering what everybody has said,” said Viens.
Currently, the various plans have deadline of June at which point in time they are to be presented to the president and board of trustees. Over the summer, the drafts will undergo formatting and aesthetic revisions. Viens expects the finalized plans to be released in fall though differs to President Rule to establish a formal timeline.
“We feel like the plan is moving towards a direction that reflects what people have said more than anything, that it reflects the vision of the campus, not just the vision of some few individuals,” said Viens. Tradon Jordan, a student on the committees, expressed no qualms with the outcome of the drafts though expects the implementation process to be a more probable place for student issue to arise.
Strategic plan draft goals are to “deliver innovative and high quality educational opportunities,” “educate students to be global citizens,” “affirm equity and social justice as a part of all we do,” “be a vibrant and interactive partner,” create effective support systems for a large college and provide a nurturing and productive community. The next stages of planning will “develop the next level of objectives,” establish and “transition to [the] annual process,” among other things.
The annual review is planned to “environmental scan, evaluation of accomplishment, check alignment with the president’s goals, accreditation and annual driving and operational plans, adjust initiatives and roles, present findings and adjustments to the board, implementation considered during summer retreats, maintain a dynamic webpage on the public site with continual updates, maintain a portal site for a planning library, and celebrate and document the process.”
Ray White, strategic planning co-chair and VP of administrative services, was not available for comment.
As for the academic plan “Over the course of four workshops held in March and April this year, the task force prioritized six Planning Themes, which form the foundation of a new academic mission.” Who we are: our identity and our community, what we do: our people and our programs, and how we do it: academic support and equity.
“As a means to move this new mission forward, on the basis of the planning themes, the task force subsequently developed five priority initiatives, each with a number of associated initiative solutions.” Phases include addressing the learning quality, professional development, success skills, liberal arts education, and demographic alignment. “In addition, the team also identified a further ten initiatives which build on the priority initiatives/solutions and would be undertaken subsequently at phases 2 and 3 as the college moves from framework planning mode to a developed and then transformative planning more.”
Phase 2 will “re-evaluate the assessment process, incorporate research into learning curricula and courses, leverage community members to provide mentoring to BC students, leverage community facilities or resources to create an off-campus ‘classroom’ or educational experience and focus on student support services.” Phase 3 will “create high quality bachelor degrees that address economic need and identify the means to market them, identify mechanism and forums that facilitate cross departmental dialogue, build an evolving tech infrastructure that enhances faculty capability to deliver content and students’ ability to learn, better utilize media to involve students and community in the BC ‘brand’/community and create new facilities that promote new learning and collaboration.”
Tom Nielsen, academic planning committee lead and VP of instruction, was not available for comment.
The student affairs’ mission is to “provide student-driven services and support through equitable and accessible practices, engage with and advocate for all populations, respond to the unique individual needs of each student and promote an exceptional service experience.” With a goal of “ensur[ing] access and equitable participation in the educational process for all populations […] cultivat[ing] a collaborative culture of service excellence that promotes an exceptional student experience, student-driven practice, deliver[ing] impactful programs and services that empower students to achieve their academic, personal, and professional goals and […] intentionally invest[ing] in our infrastructure to support our strategic initiatives.”
Ata Karim, student affairs planning lead and VP of student services, refused to comment.