Virginia’s Community Colleges were created more than 40 years ago to address Virginia’s unmet needs in higher education and workforce training. That pursuit continues with Achieve 2015, a six-year strategic plan for Virginia’s Community Colleges.
Achieve 2015 is focused on the needs of the communities we serve, not the needs of our community colleges.
Community input served as the genesis for this strategic plan. Formal and informal conversations across Virginia with students, business and community leaders and elected officials guided the plan’s creation. The ultimate success of the plan will be judged with Virginia’s Community Colleges report back to those communities with the results of its five measurable goals.
Increase the number of individuals who are educated and trained by Virginia’s Community Colleges by 50,000 to a total of 423,000, with emphasis on increasing the number from underserved populations by at least 25,000 individuals.
Virginia, to succeed, must cultivate more of its own talent. The percentage of Virginians pursuing and completing a college education is below the national average and has remained stagnant for decades. During that time, the commonwealth has bolstered its workforce through immigration, attracting college-educated people from other places. This practice is becoming increasingly competitive and unsustainable as other places have followed suit.
Maintain tuition and fees at less than half of the comparable cost of attending Virginia’s public four-year institutions, and increase the number of students who receive financial assistance and scholarships by 36,000.
Virginia’s Community Colleges are dedicated to the idea that everyone deserves the opportunity to learn and to grow. We are continuing the commitment begun during our previous strategic plan, Dateline 2009, to remain a viable and realistic option for people to pursue their dreams of going to college. We are also striving to become more aggressive in helping students pursue financial resources, like grants and scholarships that can help them afford a college education.
Increase the number of students graduating, transferring or completing a workforce credential by 50 percent, including increasing the success of students from underserved populations by 75 percent.
Virginia’s Community Colleges are elevating the priority of student success to a new level of visibility and accountability, as they have been for the past six years. Experience shows us that the traditional narrow measure of graduation rates for first-time, full-time, program-placed students fails to articulate the broader community college mission. Through aggressive tactics like reforming developmental education is delivered to unique partnerships that place VCCS Career Coaches in more than 100 Virginia high schools, Virginia’s Community Colleges are placing a premium on ensuring that more people are equipped to succeed in their college pursuit.
Double the number of employer provided training and services to 10,000, with a particular focus on high-demand occupational fields.
Throughout the past decade, Virginia’s Community Colleges have been the linchpin to securing the biggest economic development announcements across the state. The ability of our community colleges to create and administer customized training programs is a benefit to potentially every employer in Virginia and an essential ingredient to the efforts to attract opportunities to Virginia. Some 97 percent of employers who have used this resource at their community college say they would do it again, according to a recent survey. As Virginia companies emerge from the recession, our colleges stand ready to help them ensure their employees are on the industry’s cutting edge.
Raise at least $550 million in gifts and grants to support the mission of Virginia’s Community Colleges.
As more people become aware of the value their community college delivers to their community, they are increasingly willing to partner with the colleges and bring resources to the table that will enhance the college’s impact. That was the case over the past six years as Virginia’s Community Colleges doubled the collective holdings of their foundations and awarded millions of dollars in scholarships and other opportunities. Unpredictable state budget fluctuations are forcing our colleges to expand their base of resources and create more relationships that deliver winning results for those who depend on the opportunities our colleges create.
For more information about Achieve 2015: Where We Are Going