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Board of Trustees Approves Cambridge Center Strategic Plan

Posted on Wednesday, August 09, 2006


CAMBRIDGE – The Chesapeake College Board of Trustees recently approved a Cambridge Center Strategic Plan that emphasizes the importance of both student access and student success.

The plan, which will run through 2010, features seven initiatives in areas ranging from student recruitment to academic support services to planning for long-range facilities needs. Chesapeake College President Stuart M. Bounds said the plan "provides both a strategic vision of what our Center should be, and the practical strategies and initiatives we need to achieve that vision."

An advisory committee representing college staff and students, local educators, and business and community leaders produced the initial draft of the strategic plan, which underwent relatively minor changes as it moved through the approval process. The draft was then endorsed by Chesapeake´s College Council and sent to the Board of Trustees for final approval.

The plan´s vision statement calls for the residents of Dorchester County and the southern portions of Talbot and Caroline counties to have "full access to the programs and services offered by Chesapeake College" via the Cambridge Center. The plan also envisions the Center serving "as a catalyst for the region´s educational and economic development."

Committee members expressed satisfaction with the plan, which the College intends to begin implementing immediately.

"I am pleased that the Chesapeake College administration has listened to the Cambridge Center Advisory Committee and taken to heart the initiatives and strategies it developed," said local attorney Edward H. Nabb Jr., who serves on the advisory committee.

"The College has already responded to some suggestions, while they were still in draft form," added Nabb. "I look forward to the Cambridge Center playing a larger role in Chesapeake College and the local community."

Cambridge Center Director Bob Boettger also expressed his satisfaction with the process.

"The strategic plan, when fully implemented, should enable the Cambridge Center to take a giant step toward better service for the community and the growing student population," said Boettger. "The innovative ideas and strategies set forth in the plan will greatly enhance the center´s ability to deliver a quality educational product."

Key components of the plan include:

  • An assessment to determine what programs can be offered in their entirety at the Cambridge Center, development of class schedules that support those programmatic offerings, and fuller utilization of distance learning to provide access to other programs that cannot be completed at the Cambridge Center.
  • Expansion of the developmental studies offerings and academic supports necessary to allow under-prepared students to move successfully into credit-level coursework.
  • A continued commitment to offering at the Cambridge Center the broad array of General Education courses that serve as the foundation for all of the college´s associate degree programs.
  • Expansion of the popular Dual Enrollment Program to increase access to college coursework for well-prepared high school students.
  • Assessment of the college´s Cambridge facilities to determine whether they are sufficient for meeting current and future student needs.
  • Expanded community outreach and participation in community events.

The plan also includes measures of success for each initiative, which Dr. Bounds called "an important component."

"We need these performance indicators so we know when we are achieving what we set out to do in the strategic plan, and also when we aren´t meeting those objectives," said Dr. Bounds. "When we aren´t meeting the objectives we´ve identified, we can take a step back and determine different strategies to meet those objectives."

Dr. Bounds said the plan will serve as "a blueprint for action."

"The plan will drive budgeting and programming decisions," said Dr. Bounds. "This plan calls for fundamental changes in the way we operate at the Cambridge Center. It´s not going to be easy or inexpensive, but it´s necessary if we are to fulfill the Center´s mission."

Members in attendance at the March meeting were, left to right: (front row) retired educator Phyllis Ralph, Chesapeake College student Samantha Harrison, Cambridge Center Director Bob Boettger, Cambridge City Planner Anne Roane, Main Street representative Tony Easter, North Dorchester High School Counselor Leslie Benjamin, (back row) Mark Masden of the Dorchester County Department of Juvenile Services, Chesapeake College Dean of Recruitment Services Kathy Petrichenko, Chesapeake College Director of Institutional Planning, Research and Assessment Bill Schneider, retired educator Robert Batson, Nathan Foundation Board Member Edward H. Nabb Jr., retired educator William Batson, and Chesapeake College Vice President for Student Success Rich Midcap.


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