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Ridgetown Campus Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan Update for 2014/15

Vision:

Advancing society through agri-food research and science-based learning.

Mission:

To be a leader in applied agriculture, animal science, and environmental research and in life-long learning initiatives that are practical and relevant to society.

Tag Line:

LEADING CHANGE: BIG IMPACT, SMALL FOOTPRINT

Summary

The research strengths and complimentary learning environment of Ridgetown Campus, balanced with our unique partnerships, create tremendous opportunities. To this end, a review of the strategic directions for Ridgetown Campus was conducted with Campus staff on July 23, 2014 and was further explored by the Executive Committee on August 21, 2014. This forward-looking process helped develop a plan for our campus that articulates the key directions for the Campus to thrive and excel. The process involved reviewing who we serve, reaffirming our priority areas, and focusing on what’s most important in order to achieve our goals and priorities. This document summarizes the directions established during the review process based on our previous strategic goals, reflects the existing situation and establishes the direction we hope to move towards. It is our commitment to action and to be accountable to everyone who has an investment here.

Strategic Directions 2014/15

As an OAC regional campus, Ridgetown Campus’s core commitment is to education, applied research and knowledge transfer and translation. The heart of our success as a campus is our people – students, staff, faculty, alumni and community. We will build on the strengths of our people by focusing on strategic directions for these three key areas, in a manner that supports fiscal responsibility and long-run organizational sustainability. We will:

  1. Advance student learning through innovation and quality in teaching
  2. Increase the impact of applied agriculture and food research
  3. Engage our stakeholders and community

Year One

Strategic Priority # 1 – Advance student learning through innovation and quality in teaching

Goal Action
Enhance the quality of teaching for our students

Actively engage in curricula renewal to provide an effective student learning environment by reviewing and assessing curriculum, learning outcomes, and technology used in teaching, to respond to emerging employer demand and to ensure relevance.

Enhance experiential learning opportunities by identifying and coordinating ways to further embed them into existing courses for dairy, swine, sheep and beef.

Ensure the availability of appropriate technology and physical infrastructure to accommodate increased student numbers in a manner that enhances student learning and demonstrates fiscal responsibility.

Support an effective learning environment for instructors and students by streamlining administrative aspects of courses, addressing course delivery options, and enhancing orientation and training for permanent and contract instructors.

Optimize course availability by planning student timetables in a manner that accommodates the needs of fulltime and part-time students, lifelong learners and conference groups.

Expand educational opportunities for our students

Target campus recruitment for increased student enrolment in programs that target our core businesses and meet industry demand.

Investigate new courses that address current issues through certificates, on-line learning and other delivery options (e.g. apprenticeships, Practical Ag Certificate, Equine Diploma).

Integrate industry training and local infrastructure (e.g. Ridgetown Campus anaerobic digester, Ridgetown Water Treatment Plant, solar farm, RES wind farm, Rondeau water shed) into student projects.

Continue to explore transferability of courses and skills, including articulation agreements with other colleges and universities for concurrent degrees and diplomas.

Increase international exposure to faculty and students.

Support student well-being and personal development

Support student well-being through campus programs and services including a coordinated communication strategy with students, regular assessment of the overall student experience, and the provision of other services such as chaplaincy and community liaison.

Enhance student life by encouraging participation and leadership in sports, fitness, student government and other organizations and social activities, and by developing new activities where appropriate to engage students.

Continue to provide academic skills support to reinforce student retention and success for people with disabilities through technology and staff training, and job placement support

Continue to explore ways to improve the student residence experience and maintain the integrity of the residence building.

Strategic Priority # 2 – Increase the impact of applied research in agriculture, environment and rural initiatives

Goal Action
Support existing research strengths and build new areas of excellence, given limits of financial, facility and human resources

Develop a Facilities Master Plan for approval that will guide us in the location of and maintenance of buildings, maintenance of green space, and address issues such as space allocations, traffic and parking, removal of outdated assets and modernization of existing facilities.

Complete planning phase for a new Sustainable Cropping Systems Research Centre and implement an awareness campaign for fundraising.

Continue to explore new funding opportunities within University of Guelph, OMAFRA, industry partners, and collaborations with other government funding agencies and other universities to ensure fiscal responsibility and sustainability in research programs.

Update Business Plan for renewable fuels facilities (sustainability plan); hire Manager of Biofuel Operations and develop a fully operational research program related to renewable energy.

Integrate potential new scientists into Ridgetown Campus (transfer from Kemptville Campus).

Improve opportunities for students to connect research excellence and learning

Provide an intellectual and social environment that enhances the quality of graduate education and enhances the attractiveness of our campus to new graduate students.

Support grad student success through space allocation and appropriate funding models.

Identify research projects and partnerships that will provide experiential learning opportunities for our students.

Increase knowledge exchange between researchers and end users

Support student well-being through campus programs and services including a coordinated communication strategy with students, regular assessment of the overall student experience, and the provision of other services such as chaplaincy and community liaison.

Maintain and expand our presence within the agri-food system so our researchers and specialists have profile and are recognized as industry leaders, to encourage repeat and new business to the Campus.

Explore new KTT funding opportunities.

Strategic Priority # 3 – Engage our stakeholders and community

Goal Action
Create opportunities for alumni and community to engage with the Campus

Prepare a report for the Campus highlighting the year in review.

Improve stakeholder communication through targeted media and events (e.g. Roots, open house, meetings, Alumni events), and by implementing a communications strategy focusing on improving our website and digital communications.

Nurture community interaction with the Campus, and continue to explore synergies between the Alumni Association and Ridgetown Campus Foundation.

Provide a broad scope of continuing studies programs to support students and life-long learners

Develop new partnerships and collaborative relationships with organizations, business and government to enhance awareness, communication and support for our campus (e.g. fundraising).

Deliver new professional and career development programs for stakeholders in partnership with business and industry, through the Business Development Centre.

Integrate with industry partners and associations through experiential learning opportunities, graduate placement, applied research and knowledge transfer.

FUTURE PLANS – YEARS TWO TO FIVE

Strategic Priority #1 – Advance student learning through innovation and quality in teaching

Goal Action
Enhance the quality of teaching for our students

Continue working with Curriculum Advisory Committees to ensure quality teaching initiatives that are industry focused and incorporate experiential learning in diploma education, including a new swine focus.

Continue to make effective use of technology to support a more effective and sustainable learning environment and to streamline administrative aspects of programs and course delivery, including investigating on-line, blended and mobile learning.

Make decisions about student enrolment numbers and teaching allocations in a manner that enhances student learning while maximizing sustainability.

Expand opportunities for professional and personal development for faculty and staff to cultivate increased knowledge, capability and career progression, including opportunities to participate in international programs.

Expand educational opportunities for our students

Investigate feasibility of enhancing existing diplomas and certificates to accommodate new areas of interest (e.g. energy technician, wastewater management, equine and greenhouse specialization.)

Re-establish Horticulture diploma coordinator position.

Explore feasibility of course-based Master's program in Agriculture.

Investigate international student recruitment for specialized program delivery.

Explore new revenue-generating professional development and continuing education offerings through the Business Development Centre, using flexible delivery models including blends of face-to-face and online, weekend or evening delivery where appropriate.

Explore options for new partnerships with other educational institutions that are economically viable and that provide benefits to our campus, including exploring funding and program delivery partnerships with St. Clair College

Strategic Priority #2 – Increase the impact of applied research in agriculture, environment, and rural initiatives

Goal Action
Support existing research strengths and build new areas of excellence, given limits to financial, facility and human resources

Construct a new technical research building on campus to upgrade and consolidate services that includes a new multipurpose, multi-stakeholder centralized regional lab facility (Sustainable Cropping Systems Research Centre), that may include a new Greenhouse Innovation Centre with a focus on energy conservation.

Update Campus Master Plan for facilities with input from faculty and staff.

Address need for additional land base for research activities.

Explore additional fee for service opportunities, e.g. lab services.

Improve opportunities for students to connect research excellence and learning through graduate student activities

Develop new tools to enhance graduate student recruitment, including offering strategic summer work experience to undergrads.

Increase knowledge exchange between researchers and end users

Continue to engage staff and faculty as presenters at local, national and international conferences to improve personal contact with industry at large (industry events, etc.).

Expand use of social media as a means to reach end users and potential funding partners.

Strategic Priority #3 – Engage our stakeholders and community

Goal Action
Create opportunities for alumni and community to engage with the Campus

Complete strategic communications plan and implement priority action; redesign research web presence. Increase stakeholder communication through Partner of the Year, donor stewardship, and electronic communication.

Foster continual growth of community /alumni investment in the Ridgetown Learning Trust Endowment Fund, Planned Giving, as well as into open, undirected support to Scholarships and Awards – to be completed through website, print and public awareness programs.

Develop new partnerships and collaborative relationships with business and government sectors to deliver programs and services that meet their needs

Develop and prioritize research partnerships with local community organizations that address key emerging issues.

Develop and implement an action plan to increase interaction among and engage staff, faculty, alumni, campus partners and the external community that contributes to and supports our campus.

Indicators of Success

  • New program and course development and enrolment
  • Student enrolment and retention
  • Student and graduate satisfaction
  • Graduate employment
  • Employer satisfaction
  • Partner satisfaction
  • Applied research projects and funding
  • Training projects and revenue
  • New learning tools – volume, usage and satisfaction
  • New blended, on-line, mobile learning programs – volume, usage, student satisfaction
  • Funding for infrastructure development
  • Fundraising goal achievement
  • Facilities usage and user satisfaction
  • New building and renovation
Page reviewed 11/24/2016