CBT Case Studies
Community College of the District of Columbia
Strategic Plan 2010-2015:
The College Brain Trust (CBT) responded to a Request for Proposals (RFP) by the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). After extensive review by the University and the Community College of the District of Columbia (CCDC), CBT was selected to provide the consulting services needed to complete the Comprehensive Strategic Plan. Dr. Fran White, president emerita of the College of Marin, California, was named project lead for the CBT Team. The CBT Team began its work on the project in July, 2010, and three members made a visit to the District of Columbia July 12-15, 2010. Dr. White returned for an interim visit in August for follow-up interviews. Consultant Julie Hatoff made a four-day visit coinciding with Faculty Development Week at which she presented the draft grid of strategic goals and objectives as they aligned with expectations of the Middle States Higher Education Commission and those of Achieving the Dream.
The process and timeline for the completion of the Strategic Plan included the development of a work plan for all consultants and a five-phase timeline. The CBT Team collaborated with the CCDC leadership to insure a timeline and schedule appropriate for completion of the Strategic Plan. The consultants used the following steps to create the Strategic Plan:
Phase 1 and 2 involved on-site discovery, document review, and drafting of the Strategic Plan Table of Contents; Institutional Strategic Goals; and, the Institutional Strategic Goals and Objectives 2010-2015. On July 13-15, a CBT team traveled to Washington D.C to meet with leaders and stakeholders. During that time, the team spoke to individuals representing CCDC and UDC administrators, faculty, and staff as well as business, education and community leaders. Interviews were continued in August and September. Phase 3, included more refinement of the Strategic Plan Draft #2. Phase 4 included additional feedback, and revisions for the final Strategic Plan draft #2. Phase 5 was the final phase for the Strategic Plan, and the plan was sent to CCDC, October 15, 2010.
Frances L. White, Ph.D., Project Leader
THE STRATEGIC PLAN
The Strategic Plan 2010-2015, prepared for the Community College of the District of Columbia, presents an analysis and trajectory for CCDC to become an accredited, independent community college of distinction. Its CEO seeks to make CCDC a one-door college, offering “open, accessible services to students at whatever level, who enter through whatever site.” This document is grounded on internal and external realities, such as the college’s current programs and services as well as District demographic trends and educational needs. This Strategic Plan also extends the strategic planning work begun by CCDC participants in 2009. This more comprehensive Strategic Plan is intended to provide the foundation for all other institutional planning, including planning related to educational programs and support services, governance and leadership, financial resources, staffing, information technology, facilities, and marketing communications.
The service area of CCDC is unique and diverse. With a population of 591,336, Washington DC operates a bit like a Greek city state where neighborhood, municipal, district, and federal politics and programs create a fertile environment for new ideas , all of which must compete for scarce resources. Surrounding DC in Virginia’s and Maryland’s bordering counties live another 3.2 million people, many of whom work in the District or in federal agencies adjacent to it. The area demographics and characteristics offer insights for the future of public higher education in general and for CCDC in particular (see Profile of the College’s Community and Students, p. 22).
The District of Columbia is divided into Wards 1-8. Wards 5, 1, 2, and 6 (respectively) are the largest in terms of population, whereas Wards 8, 7, 4, 3 are considerably smaller. Wards 7 and 8 are the youngest in the area, with greater than 25% of their population below the age of 18. Conversely, Wards 5 and 4 are the oldest with 40% or more of their population 45 years of age or older. The predominant racial/ethnic group in D.C. is Black/African-American (52% of the population), followed by White, Non-Hispanic (34%) and Hispanic (9%). Wards 8 and 7 are overwhelmingly Black/African-American (94% and 95%, respectively). There is a high concentration of individuals in the 20-24 year old age group; this pattern is consistent across all wards except Wards 4, 7 and 8. Between 2010 and 2015, the CCDC service area is projected to grow by 2.9% with individuals 45 years and older growing at a higher rate of 4.7%.
Workforce needs are remarkable in the D.C. region. Currently the adult population numbers 475,339, but the number of jobs is much higher, 808,601, representing an employment growth rate of 7.9% in jobs between 2002 and 2010. At the same time, the unemployment rate hovers close to 10%. Of the adult population, 52% does not possess any form of college degree. Moreover, educational attainment rates are not equitably distributed but are highly correlated with the District’s racial diversity. Clearly, a trained and educated workforce for the immediate service area is needed for the health of the residents and their economy. Pent-up demand exists among the District’s unemployed and underemployed, who want to be trained and educated to take advantage of its job opportunities and its high salaries in business/management, healthcare, education, and technical fields where demand continues high. CCDC has positioned itself to address in years ahead the widening, inequitable gaps of wealth and class in our nation’s capital.
Not surprisingly, enrollment is skyrocketing. Within one semester after opening, CCDC increased its student numbers 32% from 1779 to 2355, dramatic growth attesting to the potential of this underserved and untapped audience for education and training in public community college classes at this time. Fall 2010 enrollment stands at 2672 at this writing. Statistical enrollment projection models, using typical “participation rates” of similar community colleges and communities, show a potential for a college of more than 14,000 students. This Strategic Plan identifies potential enrollment targets for 2015 and recommends a modest target of 7430 students for 2015 in order to best serve the educational needs of the community.
The Strategic Plan draws conclusions from the data that present challenges and opportunities for CCDC related to overall capacity: infrastructure, governance, policies and procedures, academic programs, support services, workforce training, information technology, resource allocation, and development. The Strategic Plan also offers Best Practices and Recommendations to guide the college in its future institutional decision-making. The core assumption for future planning, which resulted from the analysis, is that the development of infrastructure and capacity must be the top priority in the next five years for CCDC, if it is to become independent, comprehensive, viable, and successful. This plan’s goals and objectives provide the roadmap to do just that.
The Strategic Plan concludes with six strategic goals in a table identifying objectives for each of the six goals. Each objective is presented with a measurable timeline and responsible party for completing or ensuring the completion of the objective. As CCDC is working to attain accreditation candidacy at the same time it is implementing principles of student completion and success in accordance with Achieving the Dream (ATD), this new Strategic Plan aligns both the accreditation standards and ATD principles with the strategic goals and objectives of the college. Ultimately, the Strategic Plan, and thus CCDC’s development as a community college, will help CCDC expand the “circle of prosperity” in the District of Columbia.