Riverland plans for excellence: College revises its vision, mission, heart in strategic vision for the future

Published 9:02 am Monday, June 30, 2014

By Adenuga Atewologun

Riverland Community College President

As a primary public higher education institution in southern Minnesota, Riverland Community College understands its critical role to help bridge the region’s workforce skills gap and prepare our residents for the knowledge economy of the 21st century.

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To prepare, Riverland began a strategic planning process in November 2013, with campus representation from faculty, staff and administration, and joined by community members from Riverland’s foundation board. Further feedback was gained through community presentations, college town hall meetings, campus conversations and student focus groups. The final report, “Strategic Vision: A Blueprint for Excellence,” was released April 15. During the process, we spent time revising our mission, vision and heart statements to propel Riverland and the communities we serve toward a preferred future.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, MnSCU, Board of Trustees voted unanimously at their May 21 meeting to approve Riverland’s revised vision, mission and heart statements.

The highlight of our presentation to the trustees was the presence and support of 13 Riverland employees and students that accompanied me to the meeting.

Our new vision, Achieve ‘Best in Class’ status in programs through excellence in teaching, scholarship and service, is succinct, inspirational and aspirational. It suggests a process to attain excellence. It reiterates a goal to benchmark our outcomes to institutions both internal and external to MnSCU. It provides a strong impetus to strive for excellence intentionally. It recognizes our determination to exceed stakeholder expectations.

Our new mission, Riverland Community College inspires personal success through education, supports the mission of MnSCU: The system of distinct and collaborative institutions offers higher education that meets the personal and career goals of a wide range of individual learners, enhances the quality of life for all Minnesotans and sustains vibrant economies throughout the state.

Furthermore, the revised mission embodies continuous improvement. It provides a strong foundation for evaluation, accountability and regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission and the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) pathway.

The new heart statement incorporates Riverland’s list of values into a simple statement intended to capture what drives our college toward achieving our vision and mission on a daily basis. Our heart statement is, Riverland Community College is dedicated to our students, our mission and our communities.

The strategic planning process has shown me that Riverland is capable of much more growth. To accomplish our goals within constraints we have to play to our strengths. As we proceed, I hope you will discover our determination to excel, to achieve best in class in programs through excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. Feel our heart beating with dedication to our students, communities, and our mission. Join our commitment to foster strong partnerships with businesses and industries. Above all, discern our resolve to remain increasingly relevant to your lives and to escalate student success by improving student experience and providing best practice interventions.

Learn more about our plans by visiting www.riverland.edu/strategy. Please join us on the journey and celebrate with us when we accomplish key milestones.