Fort Lewis College’s strategic plan guides future decisions and areas of focus as we chart a course to student success, fiscal sustainability, and academic excellence.
In February 2019, the FLC Board of Trustees adopted the strategic plan, which was written based on campus and community feedback from an inclusive and intensive process. In September 2019, FLC was awarded Project Capstone, a two-year engagement with Entangled Solutions that accelerated our progress and innovated new strategies for FLC and the higher education landscape. In the spring of 2022, FLC reexamined the strategic plan, retaining the high-level priorities that rang true and refreshing the objectives and accomplishments.
The fundamental premise of Fort Lewis College’s strategic plan is “students at the center.” Our students are at the heart of everything we do, and our actions reflect our commitment to implementing solutions and pathways for student success at FLC and beyond. Additionally, the plan emphasizes the value of diversity, equity, and inclusivity at FLC and embraces our role as a non-tribal Native American-serving institution.
A critical strategic aim is to achieve financial sustainability at FLC. That priority is reflected throughout the strategic plan through goals to increase enrollment and diversify the College’s revenue-generating activities, including expanding online offerings and strengthening data-informed decision-making for allocating scarce resources.
The following strategic plan is organized into critical areas of emphasis from wide-ranging discussions with the FLC community and the greater region. These focus areas serve as touchstones to guide the College’s decision-making at the leadership level and in the day-to-day work of faculty and staff. They include:
The fourth area of emphasis, which permeates and supports all of the College’s strategic planning efforts, is:
This strategic plan presents a positive call to action to the entire FLC community. Over the next few years, FLC will strive to reach its full potential as a national example of serving students, the community, and the nation with an unyielding commitment to access and academic excellence.
In the spring of 2022, Fort Lewis College reexamined the 2018 strategic plan. While the high-level priorities still rang true, the plan's objectives and accomplishments needed a refresh. FLC retained the four pillars of the strategic plan—Students at the Center, Knowledge in Action, Community & Regional Partnerships, and Systems to Facilitate Success. The following appendix outlines the amendments that will guide decision-making, determine resource allocation, and shape FLC culture for the coming years.
FLC leans into its identity as a Native-serving, nontribal institution. As FLC continues to reckon with its history, the institution now sets even bolder goals to improve Indigenous students’ well-being and success. While other schools begin to learn how to serve diverse and Indigenous students holistically, FLC has the opportunity to transform the future of the institution and the state of higher education by modeling place-based and student-centered learning.
FLC strives to become the leading visionary for how to engage students in experiential learning that is relevant to their goal of returning home or joining a new community with the knowledge to make meaningful change. FLC aspires to be a transformative institution of education where students’ community-minded backgrounds are honored, and students are engaged in active learning with cultural relevance. As such, FLC has established the following strategic goals:
Emphasize the Academic Hub, FLC’s space dedicated to implementing and assessing student success initiatives that capitalize on Academic Affairs’ unique assets. Continue to build the Academic Hub into a space for academic support and inspiration, creating a welcoming and accessible home for student success initiatives. Integrate academic support services that meet students’ academic, cultural, and social needs.
Develop and implement proactive, trauma-aware, and welcoming campus-wide programming for students and training for all student-facing employees. Ensure services are accessible and there is “no wrong door” for students to enter for support. Work with Indigenous partners to better meet the well-being needs of Indigenous students. Facilitate student connections to improve their sense of belonging. Encourage student connection via new Student Involvement Center programming where students collaborate with peers, faculty, and alumni role-model mentors.
Increase sense of belonging by centering students in a community with peer, staff, faculty, and alumni mentorship. Use mentorship as a robust tool to support students during their time at FLC and postgraduation. Capitalize upon existing programming to provide a comprehensive support web for students.
Align online offerings with approved undergraduate online certificates.
Continue to build on FLC’s innovative academic offerings that feature hands-on learning. Connect students to a purpose-driven, place-based education celebrating the Four Corners' economic, cultural, and physical landscape. Understand what students see as the meaning of their education and answer those desires in meaningful ways.
Engage all students in active learning that demonstrates the importance of liberal arts knowledge in applied contexts. Ensure all students complete undergraduate research/creativity, community engagement, or internship project or program to help them with clear graduate school and career preparation. Plan and implement a new life-design approach to Career Services using community and alumni expertise.
Bring a stackable credential approach to academic programming to impact enrollment, internship, employment, and graduate school placement. Review the existing curriculum to create sequenced credentials for students to earn micro-credentials while working toward a degree or as a non-degree student.
Partner with educational institutions (P-20) to maximize institutional success and our impact on student success. Build robust Colorado higher education partnerships such as collaborative degree programs, post-doctoral programs, and graduate pipeline programs at CU Anschutz, CU Boulder, and CSU. Build and develop early college pathways to earn a teaching license by partnering with area high schools. Connect with tribal colleges to build educational partnerships that support tribal goals. Expand community college transfer pathways into FLC. Partner with community leaders to assess regional educational needs and capacity.
Form a network of external stakeholders, including tribal and local governments, with the specific intent of exploring and facilitating opportunities for mentorship, internships, job placement, guest lecturers/adjuncts, and philanthropic investments in students. Formalize partnerships with external enterprises that will increase grant and workforce development opportunities. Continuously evaluate the enrollment, placement, philanthropic, and financial impacts of community and regional partnerships.
Identify and develop innovative solutions to address the housing challenges students, faculty, and staff face. Meet enrollment goals and attract and retain the best employees by providing robust housing choices and opportunities. Options will include expanding the availability of rental units for students, faculty, and staff, as well as creating paths to ownership for faculty/staff by leveraging College resources that include land, access to capital, collective expertise, and community connections.
Intentionally, consciously, and collectively define the institution’s desired culture so that FLC can achieve its boldest mission. Intentionally, consciously, and collectively define the institution's desired culture and the roadblocks to achieving this mission. Ensure the values of #FLCTogether are upheld in employee compensation and recognition. Ensure all employees understand the connection between the FLC's Native American Tuition Waiver and the colonization of the Southwest. Hire and retain faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds who better represent the student body.
Utilizing a transparent process with campus constituents, update, revise, and enhance the College’s financial sustainability model. Ensure the model runs parallel to growing student needs as well as faculty and staff compensation expectations. Elevate FLC Foundation and Office of Sponsored Research approaches to identifying and developing alternative non-State revenue streams, including grants, contracts, and philanthropic support. Capitalize on opportunities that seed innovation while impacting long-term financial capabilities. Engage FLC Foundation with College leadership to discuss the greatest needs and opportunities to designate the use of FLC Foundation unrestricted funds. Expand on the original mission of Skyhawk Station and successful Admission strategies to integrate enrollment management systems and approaches in Admission, Registrar, Financial Aid, Skyhawk Station, and Advising functions.
Model transparency and knowledge-sharing by communicating key issues with students, faculty, staff, FLC Foundation, alumni, and donors. Continually re-evaluate process and best communications strategies. Provide clear and compelling institutional data to the campus community and beyond in visually interesting ways. Systematize storytelling around critical priorities and launch targeted fundraising communications to secure resources for the institution and strategically elevate the FLC brand.