Strategic Plan 2021-2025
Visioning Team Develops College's New Strategic Planning Objectives
Wallace State is embarking on its fifth five-year plan as a national leader institution that joins other progressive institutions of higher learning in redefining the role of the community college in America. Its success agenda for the past two decades—Start Early, Start Right, Finish, Succeed— remains unchanged. What has changed instead is the world around it. As the pace of change has accelerated, Wallace State has positioned itself as a leader in effective and orchestrated response to innovation and disruption.
Embracing the principles of the national Guided Pathways movement, and curricular and administrative pathways marked by simplicity, clarity, intentionality, and alignment, Wallace State is intent on making student and community success, to the degree possible, the default pathway. Moreover, in a world that needs a source of caring and light, the College remains focused on improving the lives of its students, employees, and community stakeholders.
To this end, the college introduces the Four A’s of a Future Community to frame Wallace State’s leadership role for the next five years. The four critical areas of focus in this plan are: ALIGNMENT, ACCELERATION, ACQUISITION, AND ACHIEVEMENT.
The accomplishments of Wallace State have been exceptional, including being named a three-time Aspen semi-finalist, an award given annually to the most outstanding community college in the nation, and being one of a select number of Leader Colleges in the seminal Achieving the Dream program. Achieving the Dream was started by the Lumina Foundation and other organizations to enable more students to achieve the dream of realizing their own personal and professional potential, a step that often begins at the door of a community college. In 2015, the College was one of thirty chosen to lead the national Guided Pathways movement using a conceptual framework proposed by the American Association of Community Colleges.
Wallace State is beginning its new five-year plan with a sense of renewal and hope despite the unprecedented challenges of 2020, from a local cyberattack to the national tides of political and social strife and a global pandemic. The College’s vision is not one of limits, but instead one of learning without boundaries, and partnerships that can truly transform the College, the community, and the world.
The Wallace State Community College mission statement serves as a beacon for guiding its programs and services:
Wallace State Community College is committed to learning that transforms lives and communities.
In support of our mission, Wallace State Community College is committed to student success through a student centered, innovative, engaging, and supportive learning environment; teaching excellence; respect for uniqueness and diversity; strategic partnerships that advance community, workforce and economic development; cultural enrichment of our communities; and accountability and integrity.
Wallace State will facilitate learning without boundaries, will be committed to every student’s success, will exemplify the spirit of perpetual improvement, and will promote an overarching sense of community.
In April 2020, Dr. Vicki Karolewics, the President of Wallace State, commissioned a planning task force to review the previous five-year plan and establish a new five-year plan reflective of the College’s shift to a new model that provides quick and intentional response to sudden, transformational change. The Task Force was comprised of approximately fifty representatives of various campus and community constituencies.
The Task Force met virtually at a planning summit on June 24, 2020. The summit began with remarks from the President and the College Dean, who served as moderators. The participants, divided into working groups, analyzed the College’s positioning in regard to strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and submitted summaries to the President.
Parallel to these efforts was a call for statewide strategic planning under the auspices of a new program, ASPIRE (Achieving Systemwide Potential through Increased Resources and Engagement), led by the Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System. Wallace State actively participated in this initiative as well, hosting more than fifteen meetings with legislators, government officials, business and industry leaders, educational partners, economic development agencies, nonprofit leaders, and others.
This five-year plan reflects a confluence of these efforts.