2013-2018 Strategic Planning Process

South Texas College started the 2013-2018 strategic planning process in Fall 2011. While the President's Cabinet and the STC Planning and Development Council provided the oversight for the whole process, the entire college community was engaged in various stages of the planning. Specifically, the strategic planning process consisted of three phases: The Environmental Scanning Phase, the Design Phase, and the Implementation Phase.

Phase I. The Environmental Scanning Phase

An internal environmental scanning exercise (SWOT Analysis) was conducted during the College-Wide Professional Development Day in September 2011. An external environmental scanning study was also performed by the Research and Analytical Services (RAS) Office during the Fall 2011 semester. Another engagement activity was conducted in Spring 2012 during the College-Wide Professional Development Day to gather feedback from the faculty and staff on developing pathways for student success and their college completion. Meanwhile, the College's administrators also reported on their units' successes, challenges, and opportunities. The synthesis of the internal and external environmental scanning data and the synthesis of the pathway engagement data were presented to the College's Planning & Development Council (PDC), the College's Texas Completes/AtD Steering Committee, and the Institutional Effectiveness (IE) Team. Their feedback on the synthesized data was collected to provide further information for strategic planning.

During Summer 2012, RAS conducted a student focus group study to gauge students' perception on STC Comprehensive Mission. At the same time, a Board Engagement Activity was also conducted to collect the Board members' feedback on the College's strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, faculty and staff members had an opportunity during the Spring 2012 College-Wide Professional Development Day to review the American Association of Community Colleges' (AACC) report Reclaiming the American Dream. In small groups, they studied the AACC recommendations and framework for changes. They also voted on their top 3 choices of the AACC recommended changes. Another ranking activity was conducted at the President's Administrative Staff meeting. The top 5 changes that received the highest ranking votes from both activities were adopted to guide the development of the Strategic Directions.

Phase II. The Design Phase

Based on the data and information collected from the environmental scanning and engagement activities, the College started the designing of the Strategic Plan in Fall 2012. A Strategic Planning Work Team was formed to develop the College's Comprehensive Mission (Vision, Purpose, Values, Guiding Principles, and Strategic Directions). The Team was co-chaired by the Vice President for Information Services & Planning and the Director of Institutional Effectiveness & Assessment, with membership selected from all STC divisions. The team reviewed all data collected and designed the College's Comprehensive Mission, all Components of which were posted on the STC Strategic Planning Website for feedback from the College community.

In Spring 2013, six Strategic Outcome Subcommittees were formed with representatives from all divisions. The subcommittees were led by co-chairs, and they developed strategic outcomes/objectives under each of the strategic directions. Afterwards, a collaborative work meeting, with all the co-chairs as the attendees, was held to review and revise the Strategic Outcomes proposed by the six subcommittees. Then, all the Strategic Outcome statements were posted to the college's Strategic Planning Website for feedback from the college community. The feedback was incorporated into the revision of the Strategic Outcome statements. In May 2013, the entire document of the Strategic Plan was submitted to the President's Cabinet and the Board of Trustees for approval.

Phase III. The Implementation Phase

In June 2013, South Texas College formed a Strategy Leadership Council to lead six implementation teams. Each team is in charge of implementing initiatives to fulfill the Strategic Outcomes under one of the six Strategic Directions. The Strategic Outcomes and Initiatives are also integrated into the unit IE plans. Monthly reports and annual IE reports are utilized to monitor the progress and ensure the success of the implementation of the Strategic Plan.

A visual representation of the Strategic Planning Process is presented below:

Strategic Planning Process