On March 12, the Strategic Planning Committee at Elizabethtown College released the second draft of the Strategic Plan for review by the College community. The plan focuses on three goals that will continue to build the College into an ideal undergraduate institution.
Based on feedback from the first draft, the second draft was produced with a stronger focus on the goals that received the most support to move the College forward. Provost Susan Traverso, a member of the Strategic Planning Committee, displayed her enthusiasm about the new plan. Traverso said in a statement, “The purpose of a Strategic Plan is to focus our activities to gain national recognition so we have a robust learning program in and outside of the classroom by using and protecting our resources.”
To achieve the purpose of the Strategic Plan, the faculty and staff at the College will implement the three highlighted goals. By 2017, the College anticipates to become nationally recognized by developing learning everywhere, with the stewardship of its resources. These are not the only areas of importance to the College. Along with implementing these goals, there were several other factors the College took into consideration to add to the growth of the school.
Typically, a Strategic Plan is developed a year or so after a college welcomes a new president. With President Carl Strikwerda’s leadership, Etown has begun to already activate the process. “Anything that strengthens the College, will benefit the students,” Traverso said. By helping Etown gain national recognition, the plan will advance learning for students. Etown takes pride in offering university programs in a college setting. In doing so, it allows the campus to look and feel like a larger university but in an intimate setting.
The committee will use the heritage and location of the College to make an impact on the development of the school to help achieve this goal.
The College would also like to increase learning everywhere. This may not keep the same name but it will remain one of the main goals of which the College focuses on. Learning everywhere simply emphasizes learning in and outside of the classroom. Etown would like students to create new pathways by taking responsibility of their academics.
Buildings and sports help create learning everywhere as well. The development of a field house would benefit the Etown community seeing as Thompson Gym is always active. With the opportunity for internships and studying abroad, the students create pathways for their careers rather than just majors. “It’s not what you major in, it’s how you major in it,” Traverso said.
The last goal which Etown will focus on is the stewardship of its resources. The most important thing about this goal is to protect and nurture the resources supplied on campus. The primary resource at Etown is the faculty and staff. The role of alumni will be important with hopes of strengthening the relationship with current students. The intent is to have alumni act as mentors for students.
Strengthening programs such as ESL will increase enrollment of international students at the College. With national recognition, Etown will be recognized not only by name but by the programs they offer.
Of course with any expansion or growth of a school, the fundraising must expand as well. “We want to challenge the College to raise more money,” Traverso said. Money will be used toward scholarships and other programs at the College looking to be enhanced.
The Strategic Plan is still a work in progress. Final revisions can be expected next month. If the committee is satisfied with the plan, it will be sent to the Board of Trustees for final approval.
Today, a weekly Senate meeting will be held in Hoover 212 at 3:45 p.m. to discuss any questions posed by senators and pertaining to the senior staff. In attendance will be members of the College’s senior staff and Dr. Carl Strikwerda.