STRATEGIC PLANNING IS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
The strategic planning process can also be a time where different constituent groups lobby for their priorities to be strategic priorities. How can we, as student affairs professionals, provide feedback that civic engagement should be part of the strategic plan? If the strategic planning process centers on “how the students will get there,” i.e. what the institution will do to help them achieve the mission, then these are the core questions for constituent groups: What do our students need? What do we do well that helps them and what should we do to help students meet those needs? Likely, phrases such as linking to the work, global citizenship, multiple perspectives, and media literacy will emerge as what students need to “get there.” These are all elements of civic engagement. An institution does not have to have the words civic engagement in its strategic plan to prioritize it.
SUNY Geneseo Civic Action Plan 2017
In developing the College’s 2017 civic action plan we revisited these concepts, and updated them to conform to the revisions to the College’s mission statement and values, as well as the emerging Geneseo Learning Outcomes for Baccalaureate Education (GLOBE). In addition, the College strategic plan has specified eight individual objectives that, taken together, contribute to the conception of a civic action plan for SUNY Geneseo.
The Strategic Benefits of Student Civic Learning and Identity
In 1908, twelve years before U.S. women could vote on a national level, the state of Virginia founded the University of Mary Washington as a teaching college -- the “State Normal and Industrial School for Women in Fredericksburg” was our uplifting original name -- to train women as public school teachers for the surrounding community. At the time, most southern institutions were segregated, so this opportunity was only offered to white women. Over the decades, Mary Wash has expanded our curricular offerings and opened up to African-American women (1960s) and men (1970s), and today, people from all identities and backgrounds attend the institution. The public purpose of our original mission as a teacher preparatory college continues to inspire us.
CLDE17 Baltimore in Review
Our recent 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting in Baltimore, Md., brought together a great group of faculty, students, administrators, community partners and representatives from our national sponsor and partner organizations committed to advancing civic learning and democratic engagement through higher education.
Read on for highlights of our time together.
A Different Kind of Running
The Leadership Scholar Program has contributed to my growth as a student and civic leader. Within the first year of the program, I learned about my leadership style and how there is no one type of leadership. I consider myself to be a servant leader. I want to be a leader who not only grows but makes sure that the people around them are growing and practicing their best skills to work for the common interest. My university has offered me endless opportunities for leadership where I can exhibit my skills - from being a Resident Assistant to taking on the role as an Orientation Assistant planning programs for new students. Because of the Mount, I’ve learned that there is no shortage of greatness if we empower women and provide them with meaningful roles to showcase their leadership.
Lessons Learned from a Strategic Planning Participant
Strategic planning processes can be positive, interesting and engaging for the participant. Understanding the expectations and ground rules is helpful for engaging the team, along with context, mission and laying the appropriate groundwork to set yourself up for success. These are just a few of the lessons learned as a participant for an engaging strategic planning process.