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– Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert

Iowa Central students discuss their thoughts and concerns about the college during an open conversation about strategic planning at Hodges Fieldhouse on Wednesday morning.

That’s one of the questions college leadership hopes to answer after a series of strategic planning conversations with a range of stakeholders that took place this week.

“We are really excited to embark on the strategic planning process,” said Iowa Central President Jesse Ulrich. “It was a natural time for us as a college to update our strategic plan. We have just completed our 10 year national accreditation cycle and with a new chair, I obviously wanted to make sure we heard feedback from all of our stakeholders as we develop our vision for the future.

The strategic planning conversations welcomed students, faculty, staff, and community members to Hodges Fieldhouse and were moderated by outside consultants John Beranek, of Intersections Consulting, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Kristi Wagner from the Rushmore Center for Civic Leadership in Whitewood, South Dakota.

“How might we recognize and align the good work currently being done and incorporate new ideas that drive innovation and lead us into the future for Iowa Central Community College?” was the central question posed by Beranek and Wagner.

– Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert

Neely Scharf, left, a career navigator at Iowa Central, participates in an open conversation about the college’s strategic planning Wednesday morning.

Participants sat around tables in the gymnasium where they discussed with others at their tables topics such as campus safety, student and staff retention, affordability, improving facilities, creating positive change and community involvement.

“This is all to help inform the strategic planning team before they do the strategic planning, so that the group of people working on it have everyone’s voice,” said Beranek. “One of the things we’re trying to eliminate is strategic planning done by a small group that makes the decisions for everyone, so we’re going to have all of that data to inform that strategic planning team before it’s done. develop a strategy.”

It was important for Ulrich to hear as many voices as possible during this strategic planning for the next years of the college.

“No strategic plan will be successful without bringing all of our stakeholders together and allowing them to say whatever they think they need to say, to give us feedback on how we can improve,” said Ulrich. “The strategic plan means nothing if you don’t allow people to provide you with feedback to help develop it.”

Neely Scharf, a career navigator at Iowa Central, attended the strategic planning discussion on Wednesday morning.

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert Students, faculty and staff at Iowa Central discussed their ideas for the future of the college during an open conversation about strategic planning at Holdges Fieldhouse on Wednesday morning.

“I always appreciate events like this because it gives us a chance to really step out of our comfort zone and our boxes,” she says. “We each work in a very specific area or department, and that allows us to diversify.”

Scharf said she’s optimistic about the impact those talks will have on the college.

“Overall, I’m really excited to see where Iowa Central is going,” she says. “He has grown so much and I can really see him growing in the future. I think we’re really heading for new heights and new places and I’m just thrilled that they allow us to be so involved in this process.

Over the next few weeks, Wagner and Beranek will compile the information, data and feedback received during these sessions and present their findings to the design team and a strategic planning team, who will review the information to refine what needs to be targeted. on.

“We hope to have a draft of our strategic plan completed over the summer, with a full rollout coming this fall semester,” said Ulrich.

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