A thick, dust-gathering tome — that's the one thing Cambrian College president Bill Best didn't want in developing the college's 2015-2019 strategic plan. He wanted something that was memorable and repeatable.
Ask, and you shall receive. The strategic plan, released Sept. 29, is encapsulated in a one-page document the folds up neatly, origami-style.
“Whatever people would normally expect, we tried to do the opposite,” he said. “If you're going to get people's attention and get people out of their comfort zone, you have to have that in mind.”
Of course, if you want the strategic plan's full details, you can visit futurecambrian.ca, to find out where the college plans to go for the rest of the decade.
The college has identified a single strategic priority: continuous access to flexible and customizable learning experiences.
To capture this priority, Cambrian will be guided by a new vision, captured in three words: imagine, inspire and innovate.
Among its specific plans are transforming the learning experience, increasing access to education and expanding its influence globally.
To do this, it will simplify its student aid programs, reduce barriers to indigenous students, modernize its campus, build its recognition as a leader in applied research and create a teaching and learning innovation hub.
Everyone from students to faculty to alumni to members of the local community were heavily involved in the plan's development, and the college ended up with 9,500 inputs from the public, Best said.
“The risk I took is I gave up control,” he said. “I didn't decide what the vision was. I didn't decide what the values were. The most inspiring part for me, that came from the community.”
A strategic plan for a post-secondary institution isn't normally something that's top of mind for students, but now that they realize their voices are being heard, that's changing, said Cambrian student leader Rhaili Champaigne.
“I think Cambrian did something really smart,” said Champaigne, president of the Students' Administrative Council.
“They went out and they actually asked their students their opinions and what they wanted to see. The plan is actually built around the students' short and long-term needs.
“I think it's really important that the student voices were heard in this, and I'm really excited to see how it's going to help students as it all unfolds.”
Visit www.futurecambrian.ca to view the strategic plan in its entirety.