Fort Lewis College today announced that it has been awarded $2 million in in-kind consulting support from Entangled Solutions, a pioneering innovation consultancy for higher education. The multi-year, multi-million-dollar consulting engagement will focus on continuing the rural college’s enrollment and financial growth and helping the college preserve its mission while meeting the needs of students and a changing labor market.
"In the last year, campus has been full of energy and focused on our strategic direction," says President Tom Stritikus. "Faculty and staff have already accomplished a lot with the strategic plan and I'm excited to welcome Entangled into our community to be our thought partner on what moves we need to make next to best serve our students."
Although the project has yet to kick off, leaders from Fort Lewis College and Entangled expect that the project will focus on attracting additional students to its rural campus by expanding online programs and building partnerships with employers and industry. Under the new leadership of Stritikus, faculty and staff at FLC have taken steps to expand enrollment and increase revenue, notably securing accreditation for new online programs.
“Small, rural colleges find themselves at a major crossroads today. They face an imperative—and an opportunity—to align their classic strengths with shifting student demographics and a new economy,” says Paul Freedman, CEO of Entangled Group and principal consultant at Entangled Solutions. “With support, we believe that Fort Lewis College can serve as a lighthouse example for the renewal of rural colleges in postmodern America. We congratulate President Stritikus and his team for their winning bid—and their commitment to the spirit of innovation that has always defined higher education.”
FLC’s successful bid was the result of a competitive, national RFP process that included a thorough evaluation of the College’s student outcomes, financial stability, strategic plan, and existing leadership team.
“Growing expectations of value coupled with more options have rendered the higher education market vastly more competitive. To enhance our social impact mission of serving Colorado and Native students, we must find new ways to reach students and build a sustainable foundation for the future,” says Stritikus. “Entangled Solutions will bring critical expertise and experience to accelerate the pace of change and best serve our graduates entering the workforce.”
A panel of national experts in higher education participated in the interview process. The Project Capstone Advisory Council includes Bridget Burns, executive director of the University Innovation Alliance; Eric Darr, president of Harrisburg University; Helen Drinan, President of Simmons University; Jeffrey J. Selingo, Contributor to The Atlantic, Visiting Scholar at Georgia Institute of Technology; and Michael Sorrell, President of Paul Quinn College.
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