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Kankakee Community College

Kankakee Community College (KCC), located south of Chicago in Kankakee, Illinois, engaged Maher & Maher to facilitate a decidedly unique approach to developing its new strategic plan.  Our approach, Community-Centered Strategic Planning™, supports colleges in taking a broad and inclusive few of their strategic priorities, engages a wide variety of community partners as “stockholders” in the institution’s success, and offers colleges a path for realizing measurable institutional and community change.  The Community-Centered Strategic Planning Process™ has been used successfully at multiple community colleges across the United States, and has been updated and modified to align to national policy initiatives and calls for innovation, such as those articulated in “Reclaiming the American Dream: Community Colleges and the Nation’s Future,” a 2012 report from the American Association of Community Colleges’ 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges.  The process typically focuses on planning elements such as improving college readiness, increasing college completion and credential attainment, and closing the skills gap, but is always customized to an individual college’s needs.  The process is fast becoming known for its ability to drive transformation and engagement in college planning, and more, to establish forward-thinking community colleges at the center of community leadership in preparing not just students, but entire communities, for a more prosperous future.

For KCC, Maher & Maher provided the following support:

  • Assisted the college in forming a leadership team to oversee and support the planning process;
  • Designed and conducted a survey of internal and external college stakeholders to solicit input on KCC’s strategic priorities and areas of strength and opportunity;
  • Conducted a comprehensive study of economic, workforce, and education trends and data in the college’s service area;
  • Synthesized survey results and data study results in a comprehensive environmental scan report;
  • Facilitated a two-day strategic planning retreat attended by internal and external college stakeholders, during which consensus strategic directions were identified; and
  • Authored a comprehensive report on planning retreat discussions, consensus strategic directions, and recommendations for the college to use in strategic plan development.

As a result of the project, Kankakee Community College now has a clear course of action to align the college’s education and workforce development roles, re-imagine programs and curricula, and align strategic roles with other key community partners under its new strategic plan.  By having achieved a significant level of buy-in on its intended course of action from community leaders, administrators, faculty, staff, and students, KCC is better-positioned as a key leader in its community’s plan for economic competitiveness and prosperity.