Strategic Planning at GBSC

Over the last quarter century, we have used varying approaches to strategic planning.

We work to plan with excellence, while also remembering that God establishes our steps, as Proverbs 16:9 proclaims. We see planning as partnering with God, seeking His direction as we plan.

Read on to learn about how we approach planning!

Two-year Cycles

We develop plans to implement over two years. This is shorter than some colleges, and we find that this helps us focus on fewer goals with greater intensity.

We used longer (usually 5- to 7-year) cycles until Onward, our plan started in 2018. That plan’s effectiveness caused us to continue this approach as we move forward.

General Categories and Specific Initiatives

Our plans include two levels: general categories and specific initiatives.

We make the general categories public from the plan’s beginning. Initiatives are generally confidential until we report on them each semester.

The entire set of initiatives for the plan is developed at the beginning and approved by our Board of Trustees. That whole list is also available to our accrediting agencies for review. Sometimes during the plan period, we add initiatives as opportunities arise, and we may also remove an initiative or add it to a future plan.

After each semester, we report on progress we accomplished in that time period. Here we include specific initiatives within the broader categories.

Plan Refreshes and Complete Planning Processes

The two-year cycle has benefits for implementation, but it’s hard to use a complete planning process every two years. Because of this, we use two approaches to planning.

Every four years (every two plan cycles), we use a complete planning process. This includes at least the following steps.

  • Environmental scanning by experts in specific areas (e.g., higher education, missions, finance, etc.)
  • Review of assessment data
  • Survey of constituents for ideas and evaluation
  • Focus groups with various constituent groups
  • A planning summit with representatives from different constituent groups
  • Iterative plan development by the Strategic Planning Committee, Administrative Committee and Board of Trustees

Then, in the middle of the four-year cycle, we use a “plan refresh.” Plan refreshes include at least the following steps.

  • Focus groups with various constituent groups
  • Review of assessment data
  • Review of materials from the last complete planning process (survey results, etc.)
  • Iterative plan development by the Strategic Planning Committee, Administrative Committee and Board of Trustees
Navigate