SMC hosts long-range planning session

DOWAGIAC — A local college is planning ahead for the future.

Recently, Southwestern Michigan College trustees spent more than nine hours engaged in its annual meeting for long range planning for the college as part of their regularly scheduled March meeting on the college’s Dowagiac campus.  The meeting covered the state the college is in now and where it is planning to be in the future.

After general business and public input, the marathon session continued with an institution-wide Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats analysis.  Following this, trustees reviewed the college’s institutional report card that benchmarks key indicators of student success, including:

• College course success of more than 80 percent, 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.

“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,” said Board Chairman Thomas F. Jerdon.  “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.”

SMC is a public, residential and commuter, community college, founded in 1964. The college averages in the top 10 percent nationally for student academic success based upon the National Community College Benchmark Project.

SMC strives to be the college of first choice, to provide the programs and services to meet the needs of students, and to serve our community, according to officials.

The college is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the American Association of Community Colleges.

Learn more at swmich.edu or email mediarelations@swmich.edu.

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