College of the Rockies unveils 2015-2020 strategic plan in Creston

Web Lead

  • Apr. 8, 2015 2:00 p.m.

A page from the College of the Rockies' new strategic plan

With a mission “to transform lives and enrich communities through the power of education,” the College of the Rockies revealed its 2015-2020 strategic plan to an invited Creston audience yesterday.

The strategic plan, introduced by president and CEO David Walls, was the culmination of a yearlong process that included consultation with communities, students and staff to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

“We’re working to make sure we’re working with the communities we serve,” said Walls.

The mission statement changed little from its pervious incarnation — “If anything, we reinforced it by the verbs we put in there,” Walls said — but the plan’s vision statement is totally new: “To create and deliver the most personal student experience in Canada.”

That will be determined by the ultimate goals of recruiting and retaining more students, better preparing graduates for the job market and better preparing students for the next stage of their education.

A new brand promise, “Rocky Mountain inspired. Small college proud,” is among the keys to making that happen.

“Rocky Mountain inspired” means, among other things, that the college reaches higher, doesn’t compromise on the quality of education and delivers programs based on the region’s strengths. “Small college proud” highlights personal attention and quick decisions on things that matter.

With provincial funding declining, competition from larger institutions and the young population in the area decreasing (the average age among COTR’s 2,500 students is 24), the college could simply cut services to keep functioning.

“Eventually, we’ll get smaller and less relevant, and clearly we don’t want to do that,” Walls said. “We want to continue to grow as a college.”

With a main campus in Cranbrook, and regional campuses in Creston, Fernie, Golden, Invermere, and Kimberley, building relationships is a significant part of maintaining awareness in the communities the college serves. Appreciation of the people, land and culture is among the four key values outlined in the plan.

There is room for the plan to grow, Walls said, noting that most strategic plans last less than five years. Changes will come as the plan is implemented and goals are reached.

“It’s not going to sit on a shelf,” he said. “We’re cascading it into all our divisions.”

Developing the strategic plan was a key mandate for Walls, who succeeded Dr. Nick Rubidge, president for 12 years, in 2013.

“It’s like having a map,” said Creston’s Dave Handy, who serves as COTR board chair. “You have to have somewhere to go.”

The plan, available to download at www.cotr.bc.ca/strategic-plan, has already been well received.

“I think the college is engaged,” he said. “I get that sense from the faculty I’ve gotten to know and from management.”

Just Posted

ASC approves their work plan and reviews spatial analysis

FireWise Consulting Ltd. provided an overview of two components for the ASC to consider.

Hospice continues to serve

For more than 30 years, volunteers with the Creston Valley Hospice Society… Continue reading

Local singers to perform in Carnegie Hall, NY

Boundless vocal ensemble which features 10 singers from Bonners Ferry, Sandpoint, and Creston, BC

VIDEO: Highway 3A reopened after mudslide cleared

A mudslide closed Highway 3A between Castlegar and Nelson just north of the Brilliant Dam on Wednesday.

Bad behaviour dominates police week

Bad behaviour, some fueled by alcohol, was the running theme as Creston RCMP responded to 57 calls for assistance from April 10-17, Staff Sergeant Ryan Currie said on Tuesday.

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Renewed plea for answers in 40-year-old B.C. cold case

The family of Lawrence Wellington Allard is hoping a private reward will get them some closure

UPDATED: Arrest made after van hits pedestrians in Toronto

Police are not saying what is the extent of injuries yet

B.C. farmland values grew at slower rate in 2017: report

Vancouver Island saw the highest growth in the province

Turbulent times for outgoing B.C. Lieutenant Governor

Judith Guichon ends term today, returns to Nicola Valley ranch

NHL playoffs weekly roundup

Maple Leafs look to stay alive tonight as they face elimination against Boston on home ice

Electric vehicles more affordable than you think: BC Hydro

Myths blocking road to electric vehicle adoption

Kinder Morgan bungled pipeline public relations: poll

The survey suggests 58 per cent of Canadians believe the company is to blame for poor perceptions

Plane makes a surprise landing on the Coquihalla

Social media was alive Sunday night with pictures from Coquihalla commuters.

Most Read