Strategic PlanStrategic Plan

Strategic Plan

While blessed with a century of educational tradition, Lees-McRae faces a rapidly changing world, and must adapt to support and nurture the next generation. In the summer of 2012, President Buxton tasked a committee of senior faculty and staff to review the College mission and develop new strategies for future success. The group looked at perceptions of the school from higher education colleagues and the greater community, followed by a close inward examination of testimony from students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni and friends.

Feedback from students and parents pointed to strengthening connections between classroom learning and preparation for careers, graduate education and life after college. While research from industry leaders, indicated the need for skilled workers that can think on their feet, work effectively with others and problem-solve. Employers seek graduates with strong fundamentals developed through core education and enhanced through experiential, career-focused practice.

With these findings and realizations as their foundation, the committee revised the mission statement and created a strategic plan, which was approved by the Board of Trustees in October 2012. By adopting six active institutional commitments, individual departments can establish operational goals and learning outcomes that elevate the college’s future.

We commit to being the first choice academic institution for entering students.

Flagship Programs
| Identify, market, and nurture dynamic academic programs
Opportunity | Integrate assistive learning strategies in all academic and student programs
Website | Create a website that meets the needs of prospective and current students, faculty, staff, and alumni and friends

“I wanted to be a face and a person, not just a number. I visited lots of small schools, but the community here was just so much better. When I visited Lees-McRae, I immediately knew it was the right fit. Not to mention, the campus is beautiful!”
Jamison Carrigan ’15 | Student Ambassador

We commit to delivering educational solutions that attract and support diverse learners.

Completion Programs
| Increase the enrollment and offerings of the extended campus programs
Distance Programs | Develop online programs that suit the needs of traditional and nontraditional learners
Honors Program | Expand the College honors program to serve additional students
Transfer | Implement flexible academic programs that attract transfer students

“The extended campus program attracted my attention due to affordability, and the close distance of the program. The flexibility of a hybrid learning experience fit well into my hectic and unpredictable work schedule. Lees-McRae has taught me that learning does not stop in a classroom.”
T.J. Bates | Assistant Chief of Police, Granite Falls, NC

We commit to preparing students for careers through traditional and experiential learning.

Work Experience
| Integrate and promote purposeful work experiences and career preparation into the curriculum of all academic programs
Career Preparation | Develop an effective Center for Career Exploration that supports work experiences and global education
Co-curricular Transcripts | Implement co-curricular transcripts to record student leadership, service, and learning outside of the classroom

“Classroom education is not enough; students need real world business experience in order to compete. Internships enable students to validate their chosen career path. Employers are more prone to seek students who are aggressively pursuing their knowledge outside of the classroom.”
Bob Capps | Executive Chairman of BRICA, Inc.; Chair, LMC Business Advisory Council; Trustee, Lees-McRae Board of Trustees

We commit to using technology effectively in support of student learning, teaching, and College operations.

| Enhance the accessibility and reliability of technology for students, faculty, staff, and campus guests
Support | Provide consistent and deliberate technology training and support to the campus community
Systems | Refocus and leverage technology to enhance student learning, engagement, and experiences
Telecommunications | Improve telecommunications to provide better customer service

“Creative use of technology in the classroom enables the faculty to improve learning outcomes and enhances student engagement and collaborative experiences. Through the use of technology, students can go forth with 21st century skills and lifelong learner competencies necessary for success in today’s world.”
Robin Buchanan | Chair, Division of Education

We commit to serving the College and greater community through a year-round educational operation.

| Revitalize academic and athletic camps and community education programs that encourage and support future enrollment
Summer Enrollment | Promote robust academic offerings, including accelerated and limited residency options, to increase the summer enrollment
Events | Develop and market centralized resources for conferencing, events, cultural programs, and facility usage

“The town of Banner Elk feels more alive when there is energy on campus. Programs provide enrichment opportunities for our residents and help the local economy by attracting more visitors to our beautiful area. We look forward to a thriving calendar of events at Lees-McRae.”
Brenda Lyerly | Mayor of Banner Elk, NC

We commit to providing all students the best opportunity to complete their education at Lees-McRae College.

| Implement early intervention programs to increase the first-year retention rate
Graduation Rate | Identify and reduce the barriers to degree completion to increase the six-year graduation rate
Process Improvement | Streamline the administrative processes to provide better and more efficient service to students

“I was accepted into a college family that cannot be duplicated. The intimate  classroom environment afforded me the opportunity to receive individual attention as well as develop early leadership abilities, while the professional environment prepared me for an extremely competitive and rigorous post graduate career.”
Todd Morgan ’95 | Theatre Programming Coordinator, John F. Kennedy Center