Southwestern Michigan College Trustees spent over nine hours engaged in their annual Long Range Planning for the College as part of their regularly scheduled March meeting on the college’s Dowagiac campus. After general business and public input, the marathon session continued with an institution-wide Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis. Following this, trustees reviewed the College’s Institutional Report Card that benchmarks key indicators of student success, including:
• College course success of over 80%, putting SMC in the top quartile of two-year institutions nationwide
• A combined graduation-plus-transfer rate above both the Michigan and national averages for two-year colleges
• Student satisfaction scores above the national average in all eight measured categories
Throughout the day, trustees and senior administration discussed plans for all facets of the institution including new academic programs, student success, college life and student engagement, service to the community, and financial planning for 2018-19 and beyond.
According to Board Chairman Thomas F. Jerdon, “Institutional planning based on solid data that can be benchmarked statewide or nationally ensures the College will continue to provide the highest value to the taxpayers. The cycle of continuous quality improvement that we use at the College has produced the outstanding results in student success. I appreciate all of the trustees volunteering to spend an additional whole day on this process each year for the betterment of the college and the community.”