Strategic Goals & Initiatives

In 2010, Pennsylvania College of Technology developed an initiative-based planning model to provide ongoing, collaborative, and transparent review of strategic goals and initiatives over a three-year planning period. The planning model is mission-focused and ensures the institution's effectiveness, growth, and vitality. The planning process includes campus-wide input and annual reporting to employees and students.

Strategic Goals with measurable Initiatives guide decisions and operations, including budgetary considerations. Success Indicators connected to each initiative guide assessment by indicating the level of accomplishment. The indicators were crafted to complete the statement: "During our future assessment, we will consider the initiative complete if ..."

  1. Provide a distinctive educational experience that engages students.
    1. Continuously validate academic programs are of the highest quality.
      1. All academic programs will fully integrate assessment results into program review to guide decisions related to these programs by Spring 2017.
      2. All programs with discipline accreditation available will be either accredited or be moving toward accreditation by Spring 2017.
    2. Re-affirm Middle States' accreditation in June 2017.
      1. Initiate Periodic Review Report process by June, 2015.
      2. Submit a completed Periodic Review Report by June 1, 2017.
    3. Identify and develop new academic programs in emerging fields of study.
      1. Peer Program and Emerging Program reviews will be conducted in alternate years.
      2. An average of two new or significantly revised academic programs will be introduced each year.
    4. Provide students superior academic support and advising services.
      1. Increase student participation in academic support activities, offered by the Academic Success Center, by 10% by Spring 2017.
      2. All teaching faculty will have participated in educational activities related to best practices in advising by Spring 2017.
    5. Increase retention rates.
      1. Continue to implement programs and practices geared towards first-year students' success to raise the 1st to 2nd year retention rate for first-time, full-time students pursuing bachelor degrees from 70% to 74% by Fall 2017.
      2. Continue to implement programs and practices geared towards first-year students' success to raise the 1st to 2nd year retention rate for first-time, full-time students pursuing associate degrees from 62% to 66% by Fall 2017.
    6. Increase placement rates.
      1. Improve positive placement by 5% (to 83.1%) by Fall 2018.
      2. Increase the overall placement rate to 95% over the next three years.
    7. Increase community service.
      1. Define terminology to establish purpose and baseline levels of current student engagement by Spring 2015.
      2. Identify additional goals and establish both curricular and co-curricular initiatives to achieve stated goals by end of Spring 2015.
      3. 80% of student-athletes will volunteer at least 300 cumulative hours of campus/community service each academic year beginning in Fall 2014.
    8. Develop and use innovative pedagogy and technology to increase students' educational attainment and provide multiple pathways for acquiring competitive technical skills.
      1. Increase use of alternate credit options (Competency Assessment, Credit-by-Exam, Credit for Work/Life Experience, and Advanced Placement/College Level Examination Program) by 20% by Spring 2017.
      2. Annually showcase successfully demonstrated examples of "Innovations in Teaching" among faculty.
      3. Create a competitive grant fund to sponsor the development of a minimum of two faculty initiatives in innovative teaching practices each year in addition to the existing Assessment Award.
    9. Increase the level of co-curricular engagement among students.
      1. Increase the number of Living Learning Communities to 6 by Fall 2016.
      2. Increase student participation in Living Learning Communities by 33% by Fall 2016.
      3. Student Affairs will partner with faculty to program at least four faculty-led co-curricular educational programs per academic year.
      4. Achieve NSSE engagement benchmarks in the areas of Student-Faculty Interaction (SFI), Enriching Educational Experiences (EEE), and Supportive Campus Environment (SCE) for first-year and senior students that are either of "no significant difference" or a "positive difference" related to peer comparison groups.
    10. Transition Penn College Athletics to NCAA Division III membership.
      1. Penn College will be granted NCAA Full membership status by Fall 2018.
    11. Build a supportive and inclusive campus environment through the advancement of diversity and social justice.
      1. A Safe Zone Program will be in place by January 2015.
      2. Student Affairs will program at least 3 large scale, high profile diversity related programs annually that attract at least 200 attendees each.
      3. Increase the number of courses granted the Cultural Diversity Designator by 10% by Fall 2017.
      4. Expand recruitment opportunities of Hispanic/Latino students via the bilingual Admissions Recruiter.
    12. Expand campus-wide health and wellness education and awareness.
      1. A Bystander Intervention Campaign will be in place beginning in Fall 2014.
      2. A Quick Response Service (QRS) for campus emergency response will be developed by Fall 2015.
      3. Netnutrition software will be in place by January 2015 to provide enhanced nutritional information about on-campus dining options.
    13. Increase alumni engagement with students through various volunteer opportunities.
      1. Number of alumni volunteers participating in student engagement will increase by 10% per year.
  2. Invest in the development of all College employees to engage them in the advancement of the College's mission and vision.
    1. Develop and implement succession planning that identifies the pool of current talent and skills that will be needed in the future.
    2. Develop and implement a recruitment strategy that broadens the reach of the College and adds depth and diversity to the talent pool of faculty and staff.
    3. Develop and implement a retention plan that is appropriate for the College.
    4. Increase opportunities for internal and external professional development.
      1. Use WDCE resources to secure instructors for internal professional development as well as for opportunities for new training.
      2. Expand the number and variety of diversity training programs for faculty and all staff.
    5. Deepen engagement and support from all employees in recruitment/retention efforts and in the effective promotion of the College.
      1. Increase Open House and special event volunteers by 10%.
      2. Enlist employees in recruiting activities by offering 2 professional development programs per year.
    6. Support employees in assuming leadership roles in professional organizations.
      1. Increase employee participation in the Strategic Initiative Fund by 25% each year.
      2. Sponsor faculty and staff participation through the development of an external leadership fund.
    7. Increase faculty and staff participation in scholarly activities, including presentations.
      1. Provide institutional support for participation in grant and scholarly activities.
    8. Continue leadership development program.
      1. Offer 2 leadership development programs per year, one for faculty and one for non-faculty.
  3. Assure the long term financial strength of the College through sound stewardship of all College resources.
    1. Increase business and industry relationships.
      1. Develop new or expanded relationships with at least 30 companies each year.
      2. Engage at least 10 new or former employers that have not accessed WEDnet resources in the last 3 years to submit applications.
      3. Develop and provide customized training to at least 5 new companies annually.
      4. Seek, select and implement a formal mechanism for tracking relationships with business and industry (i.e. Salesforce).
      5. Expand the use of social media to engage at least 1,000 business contacts with regular postings about workforce issues, training opportunities, scholarships and College activities.
    2. Aggressively seek external funding for College initiatives.
      1. Continue working with McAllister and Quinn to identify and apply for grants relative to our mission.
      2. Apply for one grant per quarter.
    3. Increase enrollment.
      1. By fall 2017, increase enrollment to 6,000 students (headcount), approximately 81,600 credit hours through the implementation of the Enrollment Management Plan.
    4. Establish strategies to increase support from alumni, friends, and businesses.
      1. Alumni donors will increase by 10% per year.
      2. New Pillar Society members will increase by at least eight individuals per year.
      3. 1914 Society members will increase by at least 5% per year.
      4. Develop 20 new scholarships each year.
    5. Investigate and deploy desktop computing virtualization that covers 25% of all campus desktop computers.
    6. Continue to deploy new cloud services to replace or enhance current on-campus computing infrastructure, reducing the need for on-campus servers by 20%.
    7. Implement space management tools, access controls and monitoring to establish a baseline of current space utilization.
    8. Evaluate the move to p-cards for procurement to replace 50% of current college credit cards.
    9. Evaluate the use of Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) for Accounts Payable payments to 50% of all recurring vendor payments.
    10. Evaluate the use of Colleague Web Advisor Special Check Request module.
    11. Reinstate the Business Process Improvement Committee.
      1. Review and recommend improvements to at least 3 processes a year.
    12. Continue to deploy more energy efficient lighting fixtures, control systems and monitoring technologies.
      1. Reduce energy costs/needs 5% a year.
    13. Begin to deploy the newest wireless data technology (802.11ac) to replace the need for hardwired networked ports.
      1. Reduce the need for hard-wired network ports by 20%.
    14. Review and evaluate areas of potential risk for the College. Based on this evaluation, develop an enterprise risk management program which will comprehensively and strategically mitigate risks which have the potential for impacting the achievement of the College's mission.
      1. Risk Assessment and plan presented to board; December 2015.
    15. Review and evaluate internal control over financial resources.
      1. Evaluation of controls across campus completed by 12/31/2015.
    16. Enhance financial stability through improved financial performance.
      1. Increase unrestricted undesignated net assets on the consolidated College Financial Statement
      2. Budget depreciation on an incremental basis with a goal of reaching an amount based on the following formula: Total projected depreciation expense less total budgeted capital less budgeted bond principal payments = shortfall in the budget. A percentage of the shortfall will be included in the budget, estimated as follows: FY14 = 18.9% ($800,000), FY15 = 27.4% ($1,000,000), FY16 = 36.3% ($1,200,000).
      3. Improve overall financial health in order to maintain a S&P credit rating of A.
    17. Maintain and enhance the College campuses to ensure that the campus community lives, learns, works and recreates in the best environment that the College can provide.
      1. Maintain physical plant to ensure a safe and comfortable campus atmosphere.
      2. Renovate and expand campus buildings as deemed appropriate in terms of College needs and budgetary priorities.
      3. Explore opportunities to expand the College's land holdings.
  4. Promote the College's mission and vision to both a regional and national audience.
    1. Develop and execute a marketing plan that communicates the College's success to a national audience.
      1. Implement the Enrollment Management Plan's goal for marketing.
      2. Provide an annual review/listing of national and statewide promotional media including advertising, press releases, press and trade-publication clippings, story "pitches," etc.
      3. Increase national outreach opportunities 10% per year.
      4. Develop both a regional and national marketing campaign for distance degrees.
    2. Found a National Consortium of Superior Applied Technology Colleges. Such a consortium provides a peer group for benchmarking and assessment as well as a common voice to advocate nationally for applied technology education.
      1. Identify colleges and gauge interest by Academic Year 2014/2015.
      2. Establish charter of the organization by Academic Year 2015/2016.
    3. Identify and expand awareness of programs that have potential for national prominence.
      1. Implement marketing strategies for the academic portfolio program mix as approved by the provost for 2014.
      2. On a yearly basis, provide an evaluation, and make revisions, for how we used advertising, promotion, press releases, and media "pitches" for each program.
    4. Create a marketing component focused on athletics and student engagement.
      1. Implement the Enrollment Management Plan's activities for marketing related to student engagement and athletics.
    5. Expand workforce development and outreach K-12 relationships and networks.
      1. Establish scalability for the ShaleNET US project by accessing resources of The Community College Transformative Change Initiative through strategic partnerships with America's Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA), American Petroleum Institute (API) and other economic development entities.
      2. Increase awareness of training opportunities to a national audience through social media.
      3. Offer at least 4 national seminars for the plastics industry through the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center.
      4. Expand PC NOW in alignment with the Enrollment Management Plan.

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