Snow’s strategic planning effort is in part a response to the changing world around it. An increased use of technology, electronically delivered content, Ivy league universities entering the on-line market, new methods of instruction geared toward today’s college students, and an increasing demand for free web based educational resources challenges the college to adapt in order to remain relevant.
Snow’s historic model of recruiting high school students following graduation and prior to missionary or military service was forever altered with the announcement by LDS church leaders lowering the minimum age requirement for young men and women to enter the mission field. In part, due to this change, the College finds itself questioning the long-term viability of a two-year college model in rural Utah. Having received approval for its first 4 year Bachelor’s degree in 2012, the College is exploring additional four year programs and offerings as one avenue to recruit and retain future students.
Recognizing limited financial resources, a continual decrease in state support, and pressure to moderate tuition increases, the College recognizes the financial resources to fund the new strategic plan and new programming must come largely from within. Based on a proven model outlined in Prioritizing Academic Programs and Services – Reallocating Resources to Achieve Strategic Balance, (Dickeson, 2010) the task force will analyze all academic and administrative programs based on ten weighted criteria. These program reviews will result in ranking programs into several categories with recommendations for expansion or enhancement, maintaining current efforts, and/or the phasing out, elimination, or privatization of programs or parts of programs.
The model and process invites program leaders to provide the historical background of their program, data in support of their activities, internal and external demand, quality inputs and processes, program outcomes, revenues and costs, and an overall justification of their program. Based on the outcome of these reviews, the task force will make recommendations to the college administration and Board of Trustees for future action. The model ensures implementation of the strategic plan by tying budget resources to the future goals and vision of the college. It is also anticipated that program leaders will identify new ideas, efficiencies, collaboration possibilities, and other creative strategies that will be welcomed and celebrated throughout the process.