Strategic Planning2019-09-03T09:03:58-04:00

WCC 5-Year Strategic Plan

It’s here! After many months of research, community input, meetings, discussions, and decision-making, we are pleased to share WCC’s “5-Year Strategic Plan”. This is the first of several final documents related to WCC Strategic Planning. The intent of this Strategic Plan is to provide an enduring vision for the future that is flexible and adaptable to the unknowns inherent in long-term planning. This document focuses on goals and objectives. Additional plan details are captured in separate documents, such as the Year 1 Implementation Plan, which also will be shared via this website.

Annual Implementation Plan 2019-2020

Below is a link to an executive summary providing the basic what, why, who, and when of SMART Strategies that will be implemented during the 2019-2020 academic year to advance Wilkes Community College’s 5-Year Strategic Plan. Each academic year over the strategic plan’s five-year period, the college will review progress made, lessons learned, resources available, and evolving circumstances in order to adjust or add SMART Strategies for implementation that best accomplish the goals and objectives set forth to benefit students and communities it serves. While this document contains only a brief summary of detail for each SMART Strategy, more detailed activities, assignments, budgets, timelines, success metrics, and other critical elements will be managed by Implementation Teams as working documents throughout the year.

Strategic Planning: Motivation & Approach

Why and how did we develop a strategic plan? Below is a link to a visual presentation of some of the motivators for developing the plan, the process we employed to orchestrate the planning, and the structures we put in place for teams and documents that optimized our productivity in planning.

If you have interest in learning more, feel free to contact Zach Barricklow, Vice President of Strategy at

The Aspen Institute: A Great Resource for Strategic Planning

As we convened leaders and stakeholders to develop a strategic vision for the future of Wilkes Community College, one of the earliest dilemmas we faced was how best to organize our research, benchmarking, goals, and objectives.

Thanks to the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, we benefited from both a research-based framework and a support network associated with it. The Aspen Institute is one of the nation’s leading institutions for the advancement of higher education practices and leadership that significantly improve student learning, completion, and employment after college—especially for the growing population of students of color and low-income students on American campuses. Our WCC President, Dr. Jeff Cox, was selected as an Aspen Presidential Fellow, which gave us a deeper view into the best practices and case studies being curated and connected by the Aspen Institute. This proved invaluable as we organized our teams, analysis, and goal-setting primarily based on the four markers of excellence identified by the Aspen Institute: learning, completion and transfer, labor market outcomes, and equity.

For more information on research, planning, and implementation tools available through the Aspen Institute, visit their website.

Curated Research & Benchmarking

Earlier this year, we mobilized Working Groups in our strategic planning process to review and synthesize over 2,200 pages of research to fuel goal-setting and focus of our 5-Year Strategic Plan. After all that work, we thought it a shame not to share the resources we found helpful. Below are links to Information Resource Packets prepared for four Strategic Themes inspired by the Aspen Institute. We hope you find some gems of wisdom and insight, as we did.

Research on Equity

Research on Learning

Research on Completion & Transfer

Research on Labor Market Outcomes