Board of Trustees Approve Student-Centered Strategic Plan for 2011-16
Guilford College’s Board of Trustees on Feb. 26 approved a five-year comprehensive strategic plan for the College focusing on how best to support the programs that prepare graduates to compete in a global marketplace.
The Strategic Plan for Guilford College 2011-2016: Outcomes of a Guilford Education builds on the successes of the strategic plan that guided the College from 2005-2010. The new plan combines areas of longtime strength – excellent teaching, practical liberal arts study and Quaker-influenced core values – with an intentional spotlight on the skills, knowledge, values and other attributes students need to succeed in the 21st century.
“A strengthened focus on educational outcomes, when reinforced by rigorous assessment and marketing, will enhance Guilford’s academic program and reputation,” said President Kent Chabotar. “In turn, that will attract more highly qualified students, a more economically diverse applicant pool to decrease our financial aid discount, and donors who want to make a highly respected academic institution even stronger.”
“The plan does not describe everything Guilford College does or will do,” Chabotar continued. “It sets a basic direction for how to strengthen our core business: the education of our students so that they are prepared for life after college.”
The plan aims to support programs that strengthen student abilities in four broad areas: cognitive, skills, values and applications. Under the plan, traditional, continuing, and Early College students will:
• think critically, know globally (cognitive)
• communicate effectively, create insightfully (skills)
• engage responsibly, choose diversity (values)
• ability to learn experientially, achieve personal and career goals (applications)
To these ends, the College will expand existing initiatives that promote students’ development, such as the Center for Principled Problem Solving, service and community learning, and the Guilford Connects experiential learning and digital portfolio program. The plan also includes a greater focus on career and graduate school advising and preparation, increased support for faculty development, communications education and IT support, and international education including study away programs.
To foster integrative learning opportunities, the College proposes to develop an optional one-month special term when students may complete internships or short-term study away/abroad trips. The plan also calls for College-funded grants for undergraduate research and students’ self-designed projects.
The College’s Diversity Plan (implemented in 2010) will be fully supported, with funding for classroom experiences, workshops and community initiatives. The College will continue to build a diverse campus population of students, faculty and staff, including international students.
Also included is an integrated marketing initiative to better communicate the College’s unique strengths to its audiences, which include prospective students, alumni and friends. As part of this effort, Guilford’s website is currently undergoing a complete redesign and rebuilding of its intranet.
The plan was developed over two years by the Strategic Long-Range Planning Committee of faculty, staff and students, discussed in a series of campus forums and made available for the College community to review. The plan contains not only goals and objectives but also estimated costs and revenues, assignments of responsibilities for implementation, timelines, and comprehensive assessment of results that will be annual and public. The Board of Trustees approved the plan in principle at its October 2010 meeting. It was endorsed in fall 2010 by the corporate faculty, the College’s staff association, and the adult and traditional student governments.
The complete version of The Strategic Plan for Guilford College 2011-2016: Outcomes of a Guilford Education is available here.