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Chapter 2: Methodology

The Planning Process

The Gavilan College Educational Master Plan was first prepared in year 2000, and has since been updated. Many of the original plan's initiatives have been completed.  The updated document incorporates initiatives from the Technology Plan, the Facilities Master Plan and the Strategic Plan.

The Educational Master Plan sets the long-term overall academic direction for Gavilan College. The other planning documents: Strategic Plan, Facilities Master Plan and Technology Plan, are revised annually to reflect current perspectives of faculty, staff, administration and the Board of Trustees. The Educational Master Plan articulates a vision for the future as well as the college's educational goals and values.  It provides direction for the college and drives the development of action plans to implement the initiatives and outcome measures to assess success.

The Gavilan College Educational Master Plan is the foundation for other key plans of the college. It was developed to complement and fulfill the guidelines established by the California Community College Chancellor's office.

The collaborative planning process focused on future trends, needs, and sensitivities influencing the long-range development of the college. Therefore, this document:

  • is founded on the participation of students, faculty, administration, and classified staff members.
  • encourages linkage between the educational program and student service needs and projects the college's facility needs to support these linked systems.
  • complements and promotes wide participation in the process of determining the future direction of the college.
  • identifies the need for a comprehensive basic skills and immigrant education program that utilizes non-credit courses as a pathway for students to progress into credit based academic and career programs.
  • establishes a plan for development of full campuses in San Benito County and Coyote Valley
  • provides for collaboration between community based learning projects and the academic programs of the college for degree seeking students and older active adult life long learning programs

The planning process began with an examination of both the internal and external environments of the college.  Trends representing possible opportunities and/or threats for Gavilan College were identified and addressed through plans for future instructional program and support services for students.  The process further included an analysis of data relative to student enrollment and the overall productivity of the college.   The final Educational Master Plan unites the trends, analysis, and concepts articulated through the planning process, and the conclusion drawn for analysis of data and background information

All college units were given the opportunity to present their specific needs, goals and objectives to the consultants.  Campus personnel were encouraged to complete a Unit Planning Guide (UPG) that addressed both present and projected needs.  These perspectives were considered in the development of the strategies described in Chapter 5 and will be used as a basis for departmental planning.  The extent to which the Educational Master Plan provides a sense of vision and a guide for multi-year planning is a tribute to, and the result of, the contributions of many individuals and groups.

Planning Activities Utilized

The development of the educational master plan included the following activities:

  • A review of the history and evolution of the college.
  • An environmental assessment ("environmental scan") to consider the present and anticipated impacts both on the college and within the Gavilan service area.
  • The development of a "vision for the future" via qualitative and quantitative analysis, focusing on creating educational programs and services for the future that will meet the needs of the existing student population as well as the projected population that is expected to reside within the College's service area.
  • The development of growth and enrollment estimates extending to the year 2030.
  • A review to assure that access and overall success of under-prepared and under-represented groups within the community were considered in the planning process.   
  • An assessment of the technological improvements that will provide alternative instructional delivery strategies, improved record-keeping and record access, and more responsive information systems for human resources and business services.
  • An evaluation of current and projected facility needs to support growth and innovations in instruction at the Gilroy campus.
  • An evaluation of access currently offered to the communities served by Gavilan to determine if full college campus sites should established in San Benito County and Coyote Valley.
  • A detailed market analysis to determine the demand for active older adults housing and residential housing for transfer and degree seeking students.

As part of the planning process, the following individuals and groups reviewed current educational programs and support services at the college. Most of their involvement in planning activities occurred through development of the strategic plan. They reviewed a draft of the Educational Master Plan prior to for the report's general distribution.

  • Members of the Board of Trustees
  • District administrators
  • Division deans and directors
  • Department chairpersons
  • Faculty
  • Student services staff
  • Facilities and maintenance staff
  • Students

This Educational Master Plan is intended to serve as the college's blueprint for the future.

Residential Planning

Gavilan College has initiated action to establish a visionary and forward thinking effort to combine educational programs with a resident older adult community. Appendix A - Lifelong Learning Through College Residential Experiences describes the key concepts supporting establishment of a residential housing option for active older adults. As of April 2007, no California Community Colleges had yet combined residential housing for active older adults with an academic program, although universities in California and across the United States, have established projects to allow alumni, former faculty and staff and members of the community to retain a connection between the university and its programs into retirement.

The active adult community at Gavilan College will be unique in two ways. There are no nearby active adult communities that establish a connection with a community college. The existing facilities are linked with universities both public and private, with the closest in Palo Alto in association with Stanford University. The second unique aspect of this community is that the mission of the college includes older adult programs and life long learning.

The residence option provides a tool for the college to achieve one of its primary roles as a community college. In 2004, the college established a noncredit program with programs for older adults being the first courses offered in the noncredit arena. These courses are now operating. Enrollment continues to build as this program gains notoriety among the age 55 and older population. As of April 2007, over 1,000 students per semester were participating the noncredit course offerings.

Last modified: August 8, 2007
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