Thursday, April 11, 2019

Evolving a “Student-Centric” Culture at SLCC


On the SLCC Strategic Plan webpage, SLCC President Deneece G. Huftalin says:

“By focusing on students, the plan positions the College as a foundational player in the community, a driving factor in the state economy and a leader in the evolving educational landscape.”

Focusing on students is how SLCC fulfills its vision, which is to be “a model for inclusive and transformative education, strengthening the communities we serve through the success of our students.” The college’s Strategic Plan provides a clear framework to guide our efforts in encouraging student success. 

One of the most important lessons the college has learned since adopting its Strategic Plan is that we must intentionally and continually connect our specific areas of responsibility in holistic, integrated and collaborative ways. This is vital because the SLCC student journey is complex and non-linear. As students engage with SLCC they ‘live’ within a complicated matrix of compliance, choices and decisions. They must make sense of our marketing and websites, our admissions processes, our financial aid and scholarship offerings, our orientation and advising, and our academic course, program and transfer requirements. Students do this repeatedly throughout their college career. 

It is important to keep in mind that, prior to 2014, we did not have the resources to understand collectively who our students actually are — their diversity, the communities they represent, their challenges as first-generation college students, and their courage, despite personal obstacles, to believe that college education or training is a sure path to improved lives and strengthened families and communities.

We cannot take this for granted as an institution dedicated to access and completion.
Living our vision means we must learn from each other as we share our observations and ideas on how we can simplify and improve the quality of the SLCC student journey. How we bring our best thinking and analysis to our work on strategic initiatives, Collaborative Work Teams, teaching, analysis and governance makes all the difference in how we move forward.

As we work to cultivate our shared values —Collaboration, Community, Inclusivity, Integrity, Innovation, Learning and Trust — for maximum impact, we will realize Student-Centric Culture at its best, with student success the bottom line.