Selkirk College Seeks Strategic Plan Feedback from Community

The West Kootenay and Boundary community is being asked to help shape the vision of inspiring post-secondary education in the region for the coming years through the Selkirk College strategic plan refresh. Community meetings are scheduled for October in six communities.

It’s a resource powered by the residents it serves and now Selkirk College is reaching out to the community to help shape the future of close to home post-secondary education.

As part of its five-year strategic plan review, Selkirk College is undertaking an extensive internal and external consultation process that involves input from students, staff, alumni, retirees and community. With the current plan set to expire at the end of 2018, the college has entered the next stage of the process that will set a course until 2023.

A series of six public meetings have been planned for October in all communities the college serves. Members of the public are being invited to review the common themes discovered over the past few months of research and provide any further ideas.

“We have received such valuable information and guidance from community members, it’s really quite inspiring to see the level of interest,” says Selkirk College President & CEO Angus Graeme. “As we continue to map out the coming years for the college, we are at a point where it’s important to lay out what we have discovered, hear back from people and get to work on putting the finishing touches on this vital document.”

Community Input a Key Component in Process

Working with Rossland-based ThoughtExchange, the college opened up an online engagement process to ensure as many voices were incorporated into the process. Between April 23 and May 11, almost 500 people took part in the online forum where more than 800 thoughts were shared and 18,000 interactions completed. Though the majority of input came from faculty and students, 20 per cent of the input was received by those identifying as community members.

“The online process exceeded our expectations,” says Graeme, who has been the president since 2011. “Describing the learning environment we want to develop for students is at the core of this plan, so getting to hear from the people who live in the communities we serve is essential if we are to continue to be a leader in rural post-secondary education in the province.”

Five main priorities have emerged from the consultation: experiential learning, career preparation, employee support, program innovation and delivery, and technology and facilities. Participants in the process have also identified common outcomes that every student at the end of their Selkirk College learning experience should have which include: critical thinking and problem solving, career preparation, confidence and accomplishment, community and culture, and experiential learning.

Once the refresh is complete, the strategic plan will be instrumental in the identification and development of programs and services into the future. It also assists college leadership in making informed decisions on the allocation of effort and resources which helps fuel the day-to-day work of the institution.

“Changes in our students, global challenges, and the future of work, education and society require us to be responsive to the needs of today and while preparing for the years to come,” says Graeme. “This college was established more than 50 years ago because the communities in the West Kootenay and Boundary said it was important to have attainable and inspiring post-secondary education locally. That hasn’t changed, but what we deliver on a daily basis needs to always be relevant to the people we serve.”

Everyone is invited to attend the following meetings:

  • October 3 – Trail Campus at 6:30 p.m.
  • October 4 – Grand Forks Campus at 6:30 p.m.
  • October 10 – Castlegar Campus at 6:30 p.m.
  • October 11 – Nelson Victoria Street Campus at 6:30 p.m.
  • October 15 – Kaslo Learning Centre at 6:30 p.m.
  • October 29 – Nakusp Learning Centre at 6:00 p.m.

You can find out more about the Selkirk College strategic plan refresh process that includes the latest data from ThoughtExchange online.

Original article from Selkirk College