At Harper College, we planned and facilitated a two-day strategic planning event designed to elicit community stakeholder input to the College’s strategic plan, and achieve consensus on a series of strategic directions for the college in the context of the changing global economy.
The key feature of Community-Centered Strategic Planning Process™ is that the College’s internal planners listen to and engage in dialogue with various stakeholder groups that impact on, and are impacted by, student success. Employers, Economic and Workforce Development officials, K-12 and post-secondary educators, and other local leaders join with representatives of all aspects of the internal college community (administrators, faculty, and students) to make the process work.
The first segments of the conference involved community and college stakeholders engaging in shared experiences and dialogue, which was followed by Harper College employees defining, evaluating, prioritizing, and recommending strategic directions.
Information and perspectives from external stakeholder groups were shared through panel discussions – each targeted around a planning framework aligned with the college’s mission.
Rick Maher’s opening presentation (“Global Update - Explosing America's "New Normal”) set the tone and context for community-centric planning designed to turn “stakeholders” into “stockholders” – allowing participants to influence and take ownership in the college’s success.
Working through the input received from the community, staff developed a consensus on a set of six strategic directions that formed the core of the college strategic plan ultimately adopted by the Board of Trustees.
“I have worked with Rick Maher and his firm on two strategic plans for my respective Colleges (Cumberland in NJ and Harper in Illinois). On both occasions we developed community based strategic plans that led to concrete programs and services. The plans were action oriented and fully implemented. I recommend Rick without reservation.”
— Dr. Ken Ender, President, Harper College