Georgia Military College Strategic Planning Report 1Strategic Planning and Georgia Military CollegeStrategic Planning and Georgia Military College Laura L. Lee Georgia Southern University EDLD 8135: Strategic Planning Strategic Planning Report Georgia Military College
Georgia Military College Strategic Planning Report 1 Milledgeville, Georgia DLCs Atlanta, Georgia Augusta, Georgia Columbus, Georgia Sandersville, Georgia Valdosta, Georgia Warner Robins, Georgia Georgia Military College was established in 1879 as Middle Georgia Military andAgricultural College by an act passed through the Georgia General Assembly. According toGeorgia Military College, the act cited that it was established to “educate young men and womenfrom the Middle Georgia area in an environment which fosters the qualities of good citizenship.” Georgia Military College was chartered in Milledgeville, Georgia – which served as theCivil War era capitol city of Georgia from the years 1806 – 1868, eleven years after the capitol‟srelocation to its current city of Atlanta. As a result, the state‟s former Old Capitol Building inMilledgeville along with its surrounding property was deeded to the college. According to the college, its name was officially changed to Georgia Military College in1900. State legislative acts in 1920 and 1922 severed all ties between Georgia Military Collegeand the University System of Georgia, as it still remains today in 2008. A Board of Trustees wasappointed to oversee all operations of the college, making the college a private state institution.In 1950, the War Department declared Georgia Military College a “Military Junior College,”where today the academic institution remains one of only five military junior colleges remainingin the United States. The Georgia Military College website www.gmc.cc.ga.us states the following, “TheGeorgia Military College of today is made up of a two-year liberal arts multi-campus juniorcollege and a preparatory school (grades 6-12). The college is a co-educational public institutionoperating under the direction of a publicly elected Board of Trustees.”
Georgia Military College Strategic Planning Report 1 Georgia Military College is a SACS (Commission on Colleges of the SouthernAssociation of colleges and Schools to award associate degrees) accredited, co-educationaljunior college of Georgia with a liberal arts focus. The college‟s “home” campus still resides inMilledgeville with its Board of Trustees still conducting its official academic business in thepromotion of the day-to-day operations of the college within the walls of the historic Old CapitolBuilding chamber. In the decade of the 1980s, Georgia Military College expanded its educationto include satellite DLCs (Distance Learning Centers) in five major Georgia regions – Atlanta(Union City), Warner Robins, Augusta, Columbus and Valdosta – and smaller developingsatellite campus in Sandersville. Each of these cities are representative of major Army or AirForce bases in Georgia, for instance, Warner Robins is the home to Robins Air Force Base,located approximately thirty miles outside of Macon in the middle Georgia community. Georgia Military College notes that ninety-five percent of its student body consists ofcommuter students (the other five percent live in campus housing facilities located only on theMilledgeville campus). The college boasts that its faculty is well-equipped to work with juniorcollege students who may need extra assistance with remediation/learning support courses. TheGeorgia Military College website states that Georgia Military College students transfer inimpressive numbers to four-year colleges or universities in Georgia or elsewhere where they findthey are fully competent to complete bachelor degree-level work. Others gratefully report thatthe Associates Degree they earned at Georgia Military College has assisted their advancement inthe workplace.” Georgia Military College‟s strategic plan report is posted to the school‟s website for FY2005 – FY 2009 with the date October 2003, effective date of Fall 2004. The contents includethe vision statement, with three targets that include Improve Enrollment, Improve Student
Georgia Military College Strategic Planning Report 1Learning and Improve Character Education along with a strategic planning calendar for theacademic year 2003 – 2004. Mission Statement The mission of Georgia Military College is to produce educated, contributing citizens byproviding its high school and middle school students an inclusive college preparatory curriculumand its college students a liberal arts based two-year undergraduate curriculum in an environmentconducive to the holistic development of the intellect and character of its students. Vision Statement Georgia Military College will be an institution that is recognized by the citizens ofGeorgia as a model of educational excellence and student success. Its renown will arise from thecharacter, intellectual skills, and performance of its graduates. The students will respect thefaculty for their caring attitude and ability to help them grow in all human dimensions and fortheir mentoring in a community of learners. The institution will be respected for its caring andhigh-qualified faculty and staff who are focused on student learning and student success. It willpossess facilities that support the institution‟s mission and purpose. The students and graduateswill be proud to claim Georgia Military College as their alma mater and will be known andsought after as men and women destined to be leaders in their generation. The plan states that the purpose of Georgia Military College is to impact the educationalprocess of its students through two dimensions. Having these two dimensions include, accordingto Georgia Military College, “the capacity to act upon one‟s knowledge, provide an individualthe ability to function as a responsible citizen within a republic. Georgia Military Collegegraduates shall have an appreciation for the centrality of education as a lifelong pursuit.” Thereport‟s purpose continues to reinforce the importance of its students to be strong community
Georgia Military College Strategic Planning Report 1leaders, role models to their fellow citizens, respectful of the dignity and humanity of others andadaptable to changing environments. This report also encourages a strong partnership betweenstudents, faculty and staff. (Kaufman, et al, 2002 p. 3-4) The strategic planning process encompasses three greater elements to include, scoping,planning and implementation and continuous improvement. During the first phase of scoping,one must identify and pinpoint the institution‟s needs and define the institution‟s current missionstatement. For the second phase of planning, one must identify the SWOTs (or strengths,weaknesses, opportunities and threats) of the organization, determine the long-term and short-term missions and establish the strategic plan. In the third stage of implementation andcontinuous improvement, the tactical and operational plans are settled, necessary resources aresecured, which are then either implemented or used for enhancements, or a combination of both.At the end of the process, there becomes the opportunity to determine efficiency andeffectiveness for the next future strategic planning process. With strategic planning there are sixareas of critical success factors, each will be highlighted in the following paragraphs. 1. Shift your paradigm to be larger and more inclusive – focus at the mega-level,and think globally as you act locally. According to the authors in the text Educational Planning:Strategic, Tactical, and Operational, “educational planning intends to create a better future forindividuals, groups, organizations, and a shared society.” (Kaufman, et al, 2002 p. 13). At themega-level, one must detail the kind of society he/she wishes to create -- the ideal future worldfor following generations. Within the Georgia Military College mission statement, the college‟sfocus is on emphasizing the leadership, character and citizenship of each student within his/hercommunity. It stresses the importance of building strong, healthy relationships between thefaculty and the staff and the student. It its worded of “students will be proud to claim Georgia
Georgia Military College Strategic Planning Report 1Military College as their alma mater and will be known and sought after as men and womendestined to be leaders of their generation,” it gives the indication that the motives behinddeveloping the student‟s leadership, character and citizenship traits is less for the benefit of thecommunity – and more for the benefit of the college itself. To fall better in line with the textbook‟s mantra of thinking globally, it should instead strive to develop leaders with the aspirationto produce positive change in the world for the greater good of the community, not simply for thecollege‟s own reputation. 2. Differentiate between ends and means (distinguish between what and how). The“ends” are the final product and the “means” are what yield the final product. In education, thetext authors provide the following examples of the ends: the graduates, the self-sufficientstudents, the license holders, etc. In education the means are time, money, resources, people,facilities and methods are teaching, learning, supervising, planning, etc. (Kaufman, et al, 2002 p.18) It is important for one to focus on the ends and then determine the means in strategicplanning measures. As the authors observe, “By distinguishing between ends and means, thedifferences between mastery and competence versus teaching and learning become clear.(Kaufman, et al, 2002 p. 19) This is a difficult objective to be achieved by many strategicplanners. It is all too often easy to get caught up in actions that are thought to be needed. Onemust train himself/herself to take a step back and consider the big picture. The Georgia MilitaryCollege plan is guilty of this predicament. Most every sentence in this plan begins with everysingle one of these action verbs, achieve, improve, implement, redress, evaluate, develop,promote, assess, review, provide, refine, strengthen and conduct. There is not a lot of meat to theplan either, many phrases and loose statements. That is a lot of acting, where the focus needs tobe on what the accomplishments/ends ideally need to exhibit. Instead the strategic goals would
Georgia Military College Strategic Planning Report 1make a stronger statement if the projected end results were stated first. Once these goals havebeen established and stated as objectives, then the planning group should address each oneindividually. 3. Plan using (and linking) all three levels of results. There are three levels ofplanning, and these are the mega, micro and macro. The mega-level results require one toidentify the desired outcomes and brainstorm the processes or products that will deliver thesedesired results. Instead of thinking about planning as assembling a bunch of puzzle pieces toachieve one big picture, one should view the planning process as a system that flows in differentdirections and possesses multiple options in order to attain optimal results. As the text authorspoint out, “Linking and integrating all the levels provides effective and efficient educationalconsequences – if we first have chosen the correct outcomes.” (Kaufman, et al, 2002 p. 30) TheGeorgia Military College vision, mission and statement of purpose makes statements about whatthe college will do (action), such as “Georgia Military College graduates will produce…willunderstand…will be successful.” It is as though the college is issuing vague proclamations thatare admirable but not exactly concise. The document is not representative of a seamless,organizational process. The strategies are simple, one sentence efforts for most every objective.For instance, one objective states, “Improve academic advisement of students.” The strategy isone mere weak sentence response to “redress specific areas of significant weakness identified bythe ACT advising survey of 2003.” Another objective/strategy is to “improve studentsatisfaction by addressing customer service and staff training deficiencies.” Speaking as aformer employee from 2003-2008, there were never any customer service classes or additionaltraining sessions for staff and faculty to beef up their customer relations skills!
Georgia Military College Strategic Planning Report 1 4. Use an ideal vision as the underlying basis for planning (don’t be limited bycurrent restraints nor limit the vision to your organization alone). The authors refer to this as asort of “practical dreaming.” (Kaufman, et al, 2002 p. 43) In writing an academic institution‟svisions statement, planners must incorporate a vision for an ideal world for which futuregenerations may thrive in harmony. Realists must overcome any aversions to this type ofthinking and allow themselves to channel their inner idealists for the planning process. Inreviewing the Georgia Military College vision statement it misses the mark. This vision doesmake reference to a drive to make members of the student body into model citizens of Georgia,possessing strong character. It further to stresses the commitment between faculty and staff toforge caring and nurturing relationships with the students. This is a noble trait but needs moreelaboration beyond this level to ascertain the ideal vision as portrayed by the text authors. 5. Prepare all objectives – including mission objectives – to include rigorous,precise, clear statements of both where you are headed and how you will know when you havearrived. This critical success factor is a crucial element to the strategic planning process. Anoteworthy analogy presented by the authors sums it up nicely, “When doing a strategic plan, thecommon „North Star,‟ toward which all can steer, has to be both precise and measurable.Strategic planning depends on precise, measurable, valid mission objectives that state thepurpose and the destination of the organization along with the precise criteria for assessingsuccess.” (Kaufman, et al, 2002 p. 55) The Georgia Military College mission is very broad andnonchalant. It does not clearly and concisely address the college‟s objectives in direct manner asprescribed by the text‟s authors. 6. Need is a gap between current results and desired or required ones (not a gap inresources, methods, or means). The authors make an eye-opening point when they point out a
Georgia Military College Strategic Planning Report 1new way of thinking about the word “need.” Cease thinking about the terminology need as averb and think about it in a new light as a noun. Stop thinking, “We need this….” Think aboutneed as way to bridge to broken links within the plan. (Kaufman, et al, 2002 p. 76) There again,with the Georgia Military College strategic plan, everything is written in short, choppy phrases,often opened with action verbs. There is little to no elaboration of objectives and strategies. It isoverall a weak document. Georgia Military College – Strategic Plan RevisionVision Statement
Georgia Military College Strategic Planning Report 1 Graduates will be self-reliant and self-sufficient in their lives, community and country.Men and women will live above the poverty level and maintain employment with strong a workethic and survival skills. All lives will be sustained by proper healthcare and nutrition. Deathsand weaknesses will not manifest as a result of these variables. Diseases and illnesses frominfectious diseases will never be a factor in loss of life or sickness. Violence, crimes and rapewill be obliterated. There will be destruction or harm to environmental elements and species.Deaths or quality of life reductions will not occur at the hands of addiction, substance abuse oremotional health disorders.Mission Statement The mission of Georgia Military College will be to enhance the academic, cultural,literary, philanthropic, character and fiscal livelihoods of its student body and campuscommunity. Georgia Military College students will achieve the building block skills of a well-rounded curriculum by supportive faculty and staff in their pursuit of a quality liberal arts two-year undergraduate curriculum.Mission Objectives and Function AnalysisMission Objective 1 Georgia Military College will increase new student enrollments annually by a full 10% ormore throughout the Georgia Military College campuses. Retention rates will meet a goal of100%. To keep in line with the projected enrollment growth and retention, the headcount tocredit hour ratio will increase by 5% annually. Functions and Tasks 1. There will be 100% participation in all Georgia public and private middle and high schools, community and PROBE fairs to maximize college recognition.
Georgia Military College Strategic Planning Report 1 2. 100% of high school seniors will receive recruiting materials through either postal or email initiatives. 3. Every business and organization in Georgia will be provided recruitment materials, posters and applications, emphasizing programs for non-traditional, working college students. 4. All Learning Support students will be closely monitored by Life Key‟s faculty for sufficient academic progress. All first time freshmen will be closely monitored by Student Success faculty for sufficient academic progress. Free tutoring and support services will be available at flexible times to assist students. This will lead to a 100% annual retention rate. 5. Students in danger of failing or falling below a 2.5 GPA will be required to attend tutoring sessions and faculty-lead out of class workshops and peer-tutor lead study groups. This also will lead to a 100% annual retention rate. 6. Student Affairs will provide student-centered events, workshops and services, along with philanthropic initiatives, to promote a sense of fellowship and community on campus and in the campus community. This also will lead to a 100% annual retention rateMission Objective 2 Georgia Military College students will develop and demonstrate the college‟s coreintellectual proficiencies, obtaining two-year liberal arts degrees and transferring to four-yearuniversities or successfully transitioning into the work force.Proficiencies as established by the Board, Critical and ethical thinking Effective and analytical reading and writing
Georgia Military College Strategic Planning Report 1 Effective oral communication Effective mathematical and analytical reasoning Effective use of technology and an understanding of the role of technology in society An understanding of historical, political, social and economic developmentFunctions and Tasks 1. Curriculum committees will continuously review and revise master syllabi to maintain continuity, streamline goals and meet core proficiencies. 2. Department coordinators will work one-on-one with and provide support to new faculty and adjunct faculty to ensure syllabi goals are understood and being met. 3. 100% of graduating students will agree or strongly agree with the following statements appearing on the official graduation survey each quarter, a. Georgia Military College helped me to develop the intellectual proficiencies to meet and exceed my educational goals. b. Georgia Military College helped me develop my ability to think critically and independently. c. Georgia Military College helped me to learn to function in a professional setting and to act with ethical awareness.Mission Objective 3 Georgia Military College will improve academic advisement of students in alignmentwith the annual ACT advising survey. Faculty and advisor satisfaction rate will receive a 100%score. Functions and Tasks
Georgia Military College Strategic Planning Report 1 1. The annual ACT survey will reflect the level of student satisfaction in reference to advising to be greater than that of the national norm. 2. Advisors and faculty will attend quarterly advising workshops lead by the assistant academic dean at each campus to refresh and enhance current advising skills and to be educated on revisions and additions to the catalog. 3. Advising manuals will be updated and printed each year, along with online versions linked through the faculty/staff webpage, to serve as desktop references during advisement session. 4. Registration and advising dates and times will be flexible and extensive to meet the needs all of students. 5. Online registration portals will be available for efficient registration for upper class students. 6. Student surveys will provide feedback on each advisor‟s skills.Mission Objective 4 Georgia Military College will improve the degree of academic success of LearningSupport Services students. Learning support students will achieve a 100% success rate and willprogress into college level courses and graduate with a two-year degree. Functions and Tasks 1. Learning Support students will continue to be monitored by Life Key‟s coordinators to ensure sufficient progress. 2. Faculty will provide mid-term progress reports of struggling or failing Learning Support students to these students assigned advisors for review. Advisors will
Georgia Military College Strategic Planning Report 1 contact these students to discuss academic needs and resources available through the college. Follow-ups will then ensue. 3. Peer Leader students will be assigned to each Learning Support class to provide peer guidance and support to these students. 4. Free tutoring and workshops will be provided at accommodating intervals for all students.Mission Objective 5 Georgia Military College will promote and improve character education within its studentbody. Functions and Tasks 1. Georgia Military College students will experience an enhanced and optimal character education and ethical issues based academic learning environment and curriculum through classroom and campus-wide initiatives. 2. Faculty will assign at least one reading assignment that promotes ethical and moral thinking within the context of the course‟s subject matter. Students will compose an essay on this topic. 3. 100% student participation will be required in the Honor Code workshop and signing during freshmen orientation sessions at the beginning of each new quarter. 4. Students will have the option to earn the Exceptional Character certificate through community, religious and campus philanthropic activities outside of class time. 5. GMC 154: Character Education course will be a part of the core curriculum for all Georgia Military College graduates.
Georgia Military College Strategic Planning Report 1 6. Noel-Levitz surveys will be rendered each quarter to ensure national norms are being exceeded. Implementation of this plan will be overseen by the President and Academic Dean, inconjunction with the appointed strategic planning committee, representing the main campus andthe individual DLC learning centers. A trickle down measure will follow from the committee toeach DLC director and DLC assistant academic dean. From the assistance academic deanmeasures will flow to department coordinators to faculty and adjunct and from the DLC directorsto the support staff.
Georgia Military College Strategic Planning Report 1 ReferencesKaufman, R., Herman, J. and Watter, K. (2002).Educational Planning: Strategic, Tactical and Operational. Lanham, Maryland and London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.Strategic Plan.Georgia Military College. FY 2005 – 2009.