Winter quarter is now upon us and I hope each of you had an opportunity to rest, reconnect, and recharge over the holiday break. I am so pleased to be back on our bustling campus to continue our mission together to serve the educational, workforce, and cultural needs of our diverse students. I value the unique gifts each of you brings to your work and your dedication to Shoreline Community College.
Propelling the Strategic Planning Process
Last academic year, we underwent a collaborative process to develop the structure of the College’s 2016-2021 Strategic Plan. Many of you are now continuing this important work by participating in the College’s five strategic planning steering committees, the Strategic Planning and Budget Council, and the Student Learning Experience Coordinating Committee. These groups are helping to recommend the first actions and metrics to fulfill our plan over the next few years.
Our focused efforts are propelling us toward a shared picture of our common future. Our Strategic Plan will help the College chart its course and ensure we deliver on the promise our students and community have come to expect from us. As we begin to flesh out the actions that will help bring the plan to life, I’d like to take an opportunity to share with you some important updates related to our goals.
Strategic Plan Goal 1: We attract students and community learners and ensure successful attainment of their goals through our programs, services, and teaching and learning environments.
College Identity Results
The Clarus Corporation has now completed its community and campus surveys and has presented some recommendations to the Executive Team around the College’s positioning statement, key messaging, and tagline. This quarter you will have an additional opportunity to provide input on a College tagline, and in the spring, we will begin to roll out some guidelines and tools to help campus departments deliver our college identity promise to students in a consistent and clear way. Please stay tuned for additional information about this important process.
Refreshing Campus Interiors
As we begin the new year, the College has substantially completed the 15 construction projects that began in the summer and fall terms. The campus theater is in final renovation stages; the library celebrates with a grand reopening this month; and the PUB (Student Union Building) has been updated. I hope you will tour the campus and attend the library celebration on Wednesday, January 18 at 12:30 p.m. in building 4000. Many projects were infrastructure improvements such as roofing and HVAC systems. Additional campus interior spaces will continue to be updated using color themes pulled from the campus gardens and landscaping. We are fortunate to have such a beautiful park-like setting in which to learn and work.
Strategic Plan Goal 2: We continually strive for disciplined excellence and focused improvement in all that we do.
Professional Learning Opportunities
Our professional learning leads, Ali Armstrong and Sheryl Copeland, will host several sessions this quarter to encourage our students and ourselves to adopt a growth mindset. During the week of January 23, all employees are welcome to attend “When I Failed – and Learned from Student Interactions,” an informal, confidential conversation about how some of our most flawed experiences can sometimes prove to be the most valuable. AVID for Higher Education will also be joining us for several sessions Thursday, February 9 and Friday, February 10, touching on growth mindset and classroom strategies for STEM fields. Please look for more communication from Ali and Sheryl about these and other opportunities.
Increased Giving for Scholarships and Emergency Assistance
My personal thanks to neighbors, businesses, and employees for their generous support of the Foundation’s annual Student Success Breakfast in November. The event raised $66,000, 50% more than ever raised, for student scholarships and emergency funds. I am grateful for the Shoreline Community College Foundation Board, chaired by Greg Olson of Olson Chevrolet and KIA, who are committed to helping our students to meet critical needs and complete their educations.
Strategic Plan Goal 3: We ensure that a climate of intentional inclusion permeates our decisions and practices, which demonstrate principles of ecological integrity, social equity, and economic viability.
2017-18 Budget Process
The abbreviated Strategic Action Plan (aSAP) application materials for the 2017-18 budget process are now available. The submission deadline for aSAP applications is Friday, February 3, and trainings will be offered in mid-January to help you develop your proposal.
The aSAP process provides a streamlined opportunity for Shoreline employees to propose ideas and projects that help realize the College’s Strategic Plan goals. Priority consideration will be given to proposals that directly enhance student enrollment, retention, and/or completion. Learn more about the criteria and instructions for submitting an aSAP proposal.
We Are a Welcoming Campus
Many students and employees across the nation’s college campuses continue to feel a heightened sense of uncertainty. I want to reassure every Shoreline student, staff, and faculty member that the College is steadfast in our commitment to being a welcoming and inclusive place. We are committed to upholding a culture of free expression, as well as maintaining a supportive and respectful learning and working environment for all.
I also want to affirm that our students’ education records — including information regarding immigration status — are protected by federal privacy laws. You may read more about Shoreline’s commitment to being a welcoming environment for all students in my recent DAAG post.
Our Community Standard and Responding to Acts of Intolerance
In fall 2014 and winter 2015, two incidents of intolerance and hateful acts occurred on campus (defacement of posters from Project Pride and Muslim Student Association groups) that sparked the formation of the Community Standard Committee. I asked faculty, staff, administrators, and students to form a committee to develop a Community Standard statement that captures our values and clearly states what we mean by a respectful, inclusive community of learners.
In response to the current state of our national conversation, some members of the Community Standard Committee recently reviewed Shoreline’s protocol and guidelines for addressing incidents of intolerance. Let us all be reminded if we experience or witness any acts of intolerance, to please contact Stephen Smith, VP for Human Resources and Legal Affairs, or email email@example.com. Reporting incidents of intolerance or hate is important so we can determine appropriate action to address them. Thank you for helping to make our campus a place where everyone can feel supported and valued. We are truly fortunate we work at a college that defines for all who come to Shoreline who we are and what we stand for!
A group of faculty, staff, administrators, and students are also working on a new event series to help us better understand the First Amendment; build our ability to hold inclusive conversations both inside and outside the classroom; and provide strategies to help us intervene when we see actions that are not consistent with our Community Standard. Information about this series, collaboratively organized with Student Life and Equity & Social Justice faculty, will be provided later this month.
College Values Conversation
As we began the Strategic Planning process in winter 2015, we realized the College’s Vision and Mission needed to be refreshed. We also noticed that our Core Themes expressed more of the values of the College. You may recall that during Fall Convocation 2016, we began to explore the values and associated behaviors that our students and community can expect to experience at Shoreline. The three values that had the strongest support from that exercise were:
- Student Success/Student Centered
At our Fall Campus Update in November, we reviewed these three values and you provided additional input. I also engaged in conversations with faculty, staff, and students in late fall to hear what values drive our actions at the College. Out of those conversations, some next steps emerged. We will continue to gather student feedback through classroom experiences, forums, and focus groups. The results of that work will then be shared at division and department meetings throughout winter quarter to deepen our understanding of what values we will hold ourselves accountable to living at Shoreline.
Finally, our Spring Campus Update meeting on March 10 will be a culmination of this values conversation. The campus community will have one more opportunity to weigh in on the values and behaviors that make the Shoreline experience unique. I hope you will remain engaged in this process so that we can ensure we are reflecting consistent values and behaviors at Shoreline.
Reevaluating Our Core Themes
Alongside our values discussion, we will review our Core Themes. Core Themes are areas that help us determine if we are fulfilling the College’s Mission. One of the accreditation requirements is that the College develop core themes that are a direct reflection of the mission. These are distinguished from the values, which are lived behaviors and unique to each individual college. Proposed Core Themes will be discussed during winter term and finalized by spring quarter 2017.
Upcoming Events – Mark Your Calendar!
- Library Grand Reopening – Wednesday, January 18, 12:30 – 1:30 m., Room 4237
Tour the newly renovated library, tutoring services, learning centers, and activated learning spaces.
- Winter Campus Update – Friday, January 27, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m., PUB Main Dining Room
Please attend this quarter’s campus update to learn about the impact of our new allocation model, our increased winter enrollment, recruitment/retention/completion efforts, our commitment to doable actions (linked to data-informed practices to reinforce the progress we’ve made), and information about student engagement and sense of belonging.
- Winter Campus Update #2 – Friday, March 10, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m., PUB Main Dining Room
In the second Winter Campus Update, we’ll share important news and information about the College, as well as report out on the College Values feedback we’ve gathered from students and employees.
I look forward to working alongside each of you as we help even more students realize their potential and achieve what they set out to accomplish at Shoreline!
With much appreciation,
Cheryl Roberts, Ed.D.