Dear FLC community,
Across campus, we are making progress in implementing our strategic goals. At the fall kickoff, we took time to celebrate what we have accomplished. As you all know, more important work lies ahead. I wanted to give the campus an update on where key aspects of our strategic planning stands and how our engagement with Entangled Solutions will start to ramp up here soon.
Student Recruitment & Increased Reputational Visibility for FLC
Our marketing team and recruitment team continue to implement aspects of the action plan that was developed this summer. Marketing is focused upon implementing an intensive media campaign through targeted advertising and web-based promotions to increase enrollment applications in key geographic areas that we are also targeting in our recruitment efforts. This coordination means that we are able to leverage our marketing dollars to support the work of our on-the-ground admission counselors. In addition, recruitment and IT are working on implementing a new software package to assist in communications with applicants and future students. The result: we will be able to move off an inefficient system and have better human touch points with future students.
Retention & Innovation
The way our entire campus has owned our retention goals has been inspiring. Our retention work is being driven from the Provost’s office with support from faculty, Student Affairs, and our academic support offices. Building off of what was accomplished this year (Skyhawk Station, First Year Launch, Skyhawks Persistence Grant, FLC Tuition Promise), we are working on our next phase of curriculum and student success innovations:
Refining the First Year Launch courses
Building a signature sophomore year experience
Designing a cohort structure for first-year students
Creating a centralized hub for academic support in Reed Library
In addition, our colleagues in Student Affairs are developing robust peer-to-peer mentoring options for first-year students. They are also focusing our attention on the crucial issue of student wellness through a new mental health and well-being campaign.
Diversity, Inclusion, & Hiring
As I communicated to campus, we have begun to look at aspects of reconciling our history. I hope you’ll join the Committee on FLC History on Friday in the Vallecito Room at 11 a.m. for an open session to discuss the public displays of FLC history.
We have also made progress on how we hire faculty and staff to work toward our equity and inclusivity goals. Many faculty and staff-led initiatives addressing inclusion are now underway, including the newly formed Faculty/Staff of Color group, faculty development and undergraduate research funded by the Mellon Grant, and our new membership in the National Academies Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment. These are improvements and we need to continue to ensure that all students, faculty, and staff thrive on our campus.
Some of our implementation goals have been on hold due to vacancies in Human Resources, Career Services, and the Diversity Collaborative. As new colleagues come on board, we will able to accelerate our work in these areas. We will go full steam once our new team members are in place.
Entangled has spent the first two months of their engagement with us in a period of sensemaking. Based upon the feedback they have received and our strategic plan, they will now move into solutioning, an intentional design process that will shape the nature of our engagement with them. Entangled has identified four areas of work with FLC: student success initiatives, faculty and staff success, teaching and learning, and fiscal sustainability. In the next two years, they will engage in two types of work within those four categories – advisory services and discrete projects. Advisory services will be ongoing and as-needed, in areas where FLC may need guidance but not concentrated development or management. The discrete projects will be robust collaborations, longer in duration and more typical consultancy work.
We expect to begin this work in earnest in January 2020 and I wanted to share with you now the two discrete projects that rose to the top in the on-campus feedback sessions: new program strategy & development and elevating the lower division experience. Both of these areas will serve recruitment and retention goals and improve our service to students. For example, new program strategy will include an analysis of how we best develop our online presence in a way that makes sense for FLC, including market research and how online efforts would interface with our in-person programs.
I know – these emails are getting longer. There’s no shortage of good news to share at FLC. Thank you for your efforts toward our strategic goals – it’s been an incredible semester of great accomplishments.