Designing for Success: BMCC’s Two-Year Strategic Planning Process

Strategic Planning

Phase I: 2018-2019

In fall 2018, BMCC initiated a two-year intentional redesign process entitled Designing for Success, supported by the College’s participation in the America Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) Pathways 2.0 project. The purpose of this process was to engage the entire college in a thorough examination and redesign of policies, processes, and practices, as necessary, to enhance student learning and educational outcomes. With the College’s current 2015-2020 strategic plan coming to an end, the decision was made to use the two-year focus on institutional redesign as a comprehensive, organic strategic planning process that engaged the entire college community.

The first phase of this program took place during 2018-2019 through the work of a college-wide Design Team. This team, which included more than 180 faculty, staff, and students, was comprised of the following eight working groups:

  • Designing the First Semester Course
  • Designing First Year Success
  • Academic and Career Communities
  • Designing Career Pathways
  • Designing Pedagogy and Research for Student Success
  • Advancing Equity through Programming
  • Advancing Equity through Listening Tours
  • Advancing Equity through Professional Development

All faculty and staff were invited to join working groups and more than 180 members joined the effort. Phase I Steering Committee membership can be found in Appendix A and Design Team members can be found in Appendix B. These teams were provided with a significant amount of data and reporting specific to their charges, worked with offices across the college to gather additional information, conducted literature searches, and connected with other colleges through Guided Pathways and other networks to examine promising practices. In addition, multiple faculty, staff, and student focus groups as well as faculty, staff and student forums were held to gather additional insight into BMCC’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. At the end of the year, the teams produced comprehensive reports that provided the foundation for phase II.

Phase II: 2019-2020

Designing CrowdDesigning for Success Phase II, which convened members of the College community to develop the 2020-2025 strategic plan, occurred during 2019-2020. A call went out for volunteers to join a total of six committees that were established based on the final recommendations from Phase I. To ensure continuity between the phases leadership and members who served on the Phase I team were asked to serve, while new membership was encouraged as well. The six committees that both new and continuing members served on were:

  • Redesign the New Student Enrollment Experience
  • Improve Learning and Engagement in the First Year
  • Integrate Career Development throughout the Student Experience
  • Improve Completion and Transfer Rates Through Integrated Support Services
  • Strengthen our Culture of Care for Students, Faculty and Staff
  • Strengthen BMCC’s Role in a Thriving NYC and as a Leading Community College Nationally.

Over 100 faculty and staff worked across the six strategic planning committees during the 2019-2020 academic year. The leadership of the subcommittees consisted of a faculty and staff member, both of whom worked with a Cabinet member as a Liaison. The chair of the Steering Committee was the Dean for Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning, who worked closely with the Interim President as ad hoc member and the Associate Director for Assessment as special assistant to the process. The subcommittees maintained the ability to add members as needed to ensure representation and needed expertise.

The subcommittees began their work by reviewing the Phase I final reports, a series of institutional reports, and information from the focus groups and forums. In addition, faculty and staff forums were conducted in the fall to review the work of and provide comments to the subcommittees. As part of the Phase II process, the college reviewed the mission statement and began work on establishing institutional vision and value statements. These statements went through continued revisions into the spring, and the college community voted on whether to keep or revise the existing mission statement, the language in the burgeoning vision statement, and which institutional values should be prioritized. In the end, the community chose to revise the mission statement. The new statement along with the vision and values were presented in the front of this document.

BMCC owes a tremendous debt to the faculty and staff who continued to work on the development of the strategic plan during the spring 2020 semester. As New York City was ravaged by the impacts of the COVID-19 health emergency, BMCC abruptly converted to 100% distance learning and remote work before mid-terms. The Steering Committee as well as committee members continued to not only provide exceptional teaching and student support from a distance, but managed to provide comprehensive, thoughtful, and relevant reports and recommendations. Even as justice protests emerged across the world, this team continued their work and adjusted recommendations to consider in person and virtual services as well as the College’s role in an equitable economic, social justice, and public health recovery within the City. The final strategic priorities, goals, and actions, as well as the key performance indicators, not only represent the efforts of more than 1,000 faculty, staff, and students, but also the tireless and diligent work of the strategic planning team. The membership of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee and corresponding committees can be found in Appendices C and D.