Lorain County Community College’s Board of Trustees adopted Vision 2020 – a refreshed strategic plan outlining the College’s mission, values, priorities and initiatives – which will guide the College through the year 2020.
“Vision 2020 sets the course for the College looking forward. It builds off of the progress made to date in fulfilling our current strategic plan, Vision 2.0, while responding to a rapidly changing environment,” said LCCC President Dr. Roy A. Church. “Vision 2020 clearly defines our commitment – as the community’s college – as to how we can best serve the needs and aspirations of this community.”
Vision 2020 is an updating of the college’s Vision 2.0 strategic plan that was adopted in January of 2013 and leverages the progress and success achieved in advancing Vision 2.0. One such achievement celebrated during the board meeting was the recent announcement of Lorain County Community College being recognized by Achieving the Dream as a Leader College. This designation is based upon the College’s past three years of successful student success improvements which directly tie to Priority 1 in Vision 2.0: Drive Student Completion and Academic Success. The College was one of 19 institutions that earned the Leader College distinction this year. Achieving the Dream grants Leader College designation for three-year cycles. After three years, institutions must undergo a recertification process to maintain Leader College status. The Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations conceived achieving the Dream as an initiative in 2004. The organization now leads the most comprehensive non-governmental reform movement for student success in higher education history.
While progress has been made since Vision 2.0 was adopted in January 2013, we recognize a lot of change has and continues to impact our work, Church noted.
“It was important Vision 2.0 be reviewed in the context of rapid, fundamental change as a host of environmental changes are impacting our community as well as higher education. Some of the factors include education reform at the state and national level, economic transformation with technology driving new industry sectors and the shrinking of our world with globalization touching every facet of our work and personal lives,” Church said.
Titled Vision 2020, the plan is the culmination of a nine-month long re-visioning process that, as with past practices, engaged stakeholders from the campus and community in setting the direction for the institution. During this process the Vision 2.0 Refresh Council, comprised of nearly 100 community and campus representatives, met four times in working sessions to review and update the college’s strategic plan, considering significant changes and trends that are impacting our community and the institution. The Council’s work was enhanced with feedback from over 600 campus and community stakeholders during this time period.
The process especially focused on the College’s core values and why it is important to this community. The college’s refreshed core values embrace the recognition that:
“We are the community’s college. We are trusted by the community to educate, lead and inspire. We create a better, more sustainable future for our community.”
Through its core values, Lorain County Community College’s work is guided by the mission that the college exists:
“To Empower …
- Individuals to succeed through quality education
- Economies to grow through innovation
- Communities to thrive through partnerships and rich cultural experiences”
To fulfill its core values and mission, Vision 2020 sets a refreshed action agenda of three strategic priorities and 17 supporting initiatives. The three Vision 2020 strategic priorities are:
Priority 1: Drive student completion for academic and career success
Initiatives to advance this priority include a commitment to Coach Every Student by wrapping personalized intervention and coaching strategies around every student to map a successful pathway. LCCC Success Coach Marty Eggleston underscored the importance of this priority. “Young people, and I include myself, are notorious for lacking direction and then make poor decisions. They need guidance. I want to be that guy.” Coach Eggleston is that guy for 19-year old Madison Willis of Sheffield Lake. Marty was assigned to Madison as she entered her first semester here at Lorain County Community College, apprehensive about the transition from high school to college. She is adjusting to college life and feels more confident. With Marty’s support, she is exploring program options in the Allied Health and Nursing Field. “Madison found a direction and confidence. She’s found a great rhythm on campus. That’s what we stand for in enrollment services,” Eggleston said.
Other initiatives to advance this priority include a commitment to Reducing Time and Cost to Completion and Engaging Adult Learners. University Partnership student Charlene Dellipoalo relates well to this priority. She came to LCCC to earn an associate degree but was so inspired by her learning experience that she continued on to earn her bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University through the University Partnership. She is currently working on her master’s degree in Social Work also from Youngstown State University through the University Partnership. A mother, student and volunteer, Charlene shares, “I came to LCCC for a quality education and to make a better life for myself and my family. The learning environment and ability to earn an associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree all at LCCC make it easy for me to shoot for stars,” Dellipoala said. “I was able to go after my dreams with ‘singleness of purpose’ because of the affordable, accessible opportunities at LCCC.”
Priority 2: Lead talent development while accelerating business and job growth.
Building talent and growing jobs is the focus of Priority 2. “In the past 25 years, companies less than five years old have accounted for all new net job growth in the United States. That’s not changing. Entrepreneurship and innovation are essential to economic growth,” said Church.
To drive Priority 2, Vision 2020 calls for initiatives to expand support to start-ups and existing businesses such as developing new products and coaching and mentoring. NanoBio Systems, a new company locating in the GLIDE incubator and Desich SMART Center, just moved here from Boston to tap into these resources to growth their biomedical company. “NanoBio Systems is developing technology to measure glucose levels in saliva as a means to monitor diabetes,” said Dr. Michael Bruckman, Director of Research for Nanobio Systems. “This is the environment we need to grow our company and this technology market. The Desich SMART Center is a unique resource and the coaching of GLIDE will help us move the business forward. And as we do, we will be able to find the talent right here through Lorain County Community College to fill the jobs we will create.”
Priority 3: Inspire community engagement, connectivity, diversity and wellness.
“As the community’s college, we serve all … students, companies, organizations, residents,” Church said. “We are a resource for the entire community.”
Priority 3 of Vision 2020 sets to improve quality of life in our community with a focus on wellness, seniors, creativity, diversity and ensuring all segments, especially those that are under-served and under resourced, of our population have the opportunity to prosper.
Executive Director William Harper has joined in emphasizing the importance of the college’s partnership with the community – organizations, municipalities and neighborhoods – to address issues that affect the entire community.
By advancing these priorities, the plan sets a vision for 2020 where by Lorain County Community College will “Empower a Thriving Community.”
“Vision 2020 is rooted in what the community needs and expects from its college,” said Church. “The direction for Lorain County Community College is clear. This plan builds off a track record success and continues toward making a meaningful impact on this community.”