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Chapter 5: Goals and Strategies

The Gavilan College Strategic Planning Committee operates as a subcommittee of President's Council. The Strategic Plan is updated annually, and reflects a planning horizon of five years. Each year the plan is revised to remove completed items and reset the five year planning time frame identified within the plan. The plan addresses short-term needs as well as long-term objectives that may take several years to achieve. The Strategic Plan and the Board Goals for each year are used as the guiding documents when establishing priorities and allocating resources in the Final Budget.


External and Internal Environmental Conditions

Gavilan College should prepare for increased competition from other community colleges and educational/technical programs within a thirty-minute drive from the campus. There will be competition for dollars as well as for students. It will be important for the college to establish partnerships with business and industry within the region. Business and industry are expected to play an important role in shaping the future and the direction of the college over the next ten years.

Silicon Valley will continue to provide some of the best and most interesting opportunities for employment over the coming decade. Gavilan College should take advantage of its close proximity to this area by prioritizing curricular offerings that are targeted to the needs of this region. Gavilan College also needs to concentrate efforts on development of San Benito County's economic base. The county is poised for rapid growth with the lifting of a building moratorium in place since 2002. Pent up demand for lower priced housing can be expected to result in a short to midterm building boom with a resultant increase in population.

Gavilan College can expect to serve a growing student population that is not prepared for college- level academics. The state's renewed interest in career and technical training programs will provide the resources and system support to add new career training programs. The core issue of under-prepared students remains problematic, as the basic skills are necessary to achieve success regardless of the long-term educational objective of students.

Gavilan College can expect to see a high demand for post-secondary education within its district boundaries. The demographic markers suggest that flexibility in the scheduling of curricular offerings will become increasingly important, as the majority of students attending Gavilan College will also be part of the local workforce.

In planning for its future, the college should make a concerted effort to work with the regional communities its serves, particularly as those communities engage in municipal and economic development planning. This cooperation will ensure a clear purpose of mission and function for the college.


Leadership will be a critical factor for the college over the next ten-year period. An effort should be made and sustained to obtain, develop, and retain leaders at all levels in the administration, faculty, and staff. Vision, direction, leadership, and stability will be the foundations for building "educational excellence" in Gavilan College's future.

A Process for Decision-Making

While the Educational Master Plan serves as a guiding document, it is unrealistic to believe that it is, or can be, an end unto itself. It is designed to be a living document, dynamic in scope. Ideas, initiatives, and issues will continually emerge that test, add to, detract from, or otherwise change and redirect the plan. These initiatives, ideas and issues will require assessment and action. The process should be versatile in scope, facilitative in getting new ideas adapted, and suited to matters related to the educational master plan or the strategic plan as well as for other decision-making actions that require a formal process.

Instructional Programs

Academic accountability should become the watchword for the development of the instructional program at Gavilan College. Both existing and new curricular offerings should be held to established levels of operational efficiency while maintaining high academic standards. The instructional program should be pressed to meet appropriate standards for students per class section offered, for WSCH per class section generated, for WSCH per FTE, and for WSCH per FTEF.

Curricular Performance: With regard to curricular performance, the college should establish standards that are both qualitative and quantitative in scope and evaluation based upon these standards.

The following efficiency/productivity criteria should be taken into consideration in evaluating the curricular offerings of the college:

  • Enrollment Trends: Does the enrollment trend of a given curricular offering show signs of increasing, decreasing, or remaining unchanged?
  • WSCH Analysis: Is the curricular offering productive relative to the WSCH generated per class section offered? Does the curricular offering generate sufficient FTES?
  • Seat Count Analysis: Is the curricular offering productive relative to students per class section offered?
  • Staffing Trends WSCH to Full-Time Equivalent Faculty: What is the productivity of the given program or curricular offering for WSCH generated relative to full- time equivalent faculty?
  • Facility Utilization: What is the efficiency/productivity level of the curricular offering as a function of the square footage it uses? Can/should the space allocated to this particular curricular offering be utilized more productively within the context of the overall curriculum?
  • Cost Efficiency: What is the cost/benefit analysis? What is the total cost? What is the cost per student? What revenues are generated by the curricular offerings to offset the expenses?
  • Success: What are the success ratios for students? What are the completion levels and grade awards?
  • Retention: Does the program of study exhibit a capacity to retain students? Do students continue the program of study after their initial exposure?
  • Awards and Certificates: For programs of study that offer degrees or certification, what are the ratios for completion?
  • Post-Termination Analysis: What are success ratios for students who terminate their program of studies at the college? What are the matriculation ratios to four- year schools? What are successes/failures in the job market?
  • Applicability: Does the program have "real world" relevancy? Does it link with programs of study at other educational institutions? Does it offer the possibilities for employment and securing a living wage?
  • Determination of Need: Is a particular curricular offering needed? How and why did the need originate (community, students, faculty, staff, administration)?
  • Competitive Analysis: Does the curricular offering or program of study have a niche? Is it offered at other nearby educational institutions? Can the curricular offering or program of study be offered on a shared or collaborative basis with other educational institutions? Can it be competitive in the marketplace?

The IEC process serves as the initial assessment for curricular performance. The hard decisions that involve staff and staff assignments, finances, and the highest and best use of facilities rest with the administrative leadership as provided under the provision of the college decision-making process.

Facilities as an Evaluative Criterion for Curricular Offerings: The projections (using state standards) for needed assignable square footage indicate that Gavilan College presently has sufficient on-campus lecture and laboratory space to accommodate an enrollment of 8,000 students. New facility construction for instructional purposes will be limited. The college will need to address this issue through thorough review and assessment of its program of instruction. Allocations will follow the "highest and best use" of available facility space, (i.e. those programs or curricular offerings that are expanding, growing, and/or performing at higher levels should receive the greatest consideration.) The development of future curriculum will need to include the criterion of facility utilization when evaluating curricular offerings. Under-performing programs or curricular offerings, in addition to the standards for academic productivity and efficiency, will also need to be evaluated on the basis of space utilization.

Gavilan College can expect to engage in more on-campus renovation/reconstruction and more off-campus leasing to deliver the instructional program and accommodate the enrollment growth of the future. Development of two new college sites will have to be integrated to ensure resources are used effectively and that the current student body population is not split from one site to three sites. Enrollment increases are a precondition to successful expansion efforts. Accordingly the college needs to carefully select where it places specific career technical training programs. Any replication of programs should be implemented in a way that attracts additional students rather than spreading the existing student base over two or three locations.

Evaluation of Existing Programs and Curricular Offerings: A plan of action for the current instructional programs should address the hard question of identifying and releasing those curricular offerings or programs of study that either are not performing to reasonable levels of acceptance and/or exhibit trends toward declining enrollments or poor success or retention.

Consideration of New Programs or Curricular Offerings: As outlined in the external environmental scan, Gavilan College's proximity to Silicon Valley makes it a prime candidate to support the driving force of the California economy, i.e. the computer programming and software development industry. This service sector is projected to record the fastest growing job growth in the nation over the next five-year period. Addition increases can be expected in the construction trades area. San Benito County reports a large number of residents with skills and jobs in the construction industry. The available area of potential development, the lifting of the building moratorium 2008 and the large housing communities planned for San Benito County suggest a solid base that could support a construction trades program.

Curricular offerings targeted to and linked with the high technology industry should prosper at Gavilan College's new site in Coyote Valley. Silicon Valley is also home to the emerging biotechnology industry. This industry sector should also offer outstanding possibilities for curricular at the technician level. The recently developed biotechnology program provides Gavilan College with educational programming that can be rapidly expanded should student demand warrant it.

The health services industry in the Santa Clara County region is projected to continue on a fast track for new job growth over the next five-year period. There is a shortage of qualified health care professionals and the demand for entry into these programs remains strong. Curricular offerings that focus on the health services industry (special education, physical therapy aide, etc.) should have excellent potential for success.

Provisions and Parameters for Defining the Instructional Program: At present, the possibilities for change in the curricular offerings of the college are substantial. Choices will need to be made relative to termination/replacement, phasing-out processes, and/or re-engineering options relative to some of the programs and curricular offerings. Provisions for accommodating and accounting for the various possibilities will be challenging.

The Future of the Instructional Program: Gavilan will be challenged to present a balanced curriculum in the future. Demands will dictate gravitating to the area of greatest need. The college should not, however, abandon its academic program and core educational courses designed for the transfer student. The college will need to upgrade its effort in this regard to stay ahead of the competition.

Gavilan College should reassess its current curricular offerings and incorporate "bridge" or "ladder" programs that are designed to bring under-prepared students to college-level capability. A great need and opportunity exists for such a program, which could become a distinguishing characteristic of the college. Noncredit courses in basic skills should be in place as a way to assist students in acquiring important skills needed for their success in achieving any educational objective.

Faculty and staff should prepare to be increasingly challenged to meet the diverse needs of students. New methods of instructional delivery as well as new ways of meeting the complex needs of students must be established. Under-prepared students will become more prevalent and require more non-traditional approaches to the delivery of the educational program. Greater attention should be placed on creative class scheduling and calendar modification to take full advantage of the facilities at Gavilan College.

Overall, the instructional program at the college should include and encourage interdisciplinary approaches to learning and the sharing of academic resources. The instructional program of the future should become more vertically integrated and establish clearly defined outcome measures for the college and each program.

Support Services

Gavilan College should make provisions to meet the increased demand that will be placed on student services. Tutoring, counseling, financial aid, and prescriptive educational support services will be pushed to the limits to accommodate those students who are under-prepared for the post-secondary educational experience. The growing number of re-entry students requires continued emphasis on support for that population. A strong demand will continue for the provision of greater services to students with disabilities. These requirements will necessitate an innovative and increasingly diverse approach to the provision of support services. New strategies will be required to permit the mainstreaming of both the educationally disadvantaged and students with disabilities.

The provision of childcare will play an increasingly important role in the delivery of the instructional program. Student services will be challenged to provide the support necessary to meet the requirements of these students.

As the use of technology and computer-assisted education is accelerated in the instructional delivery program, the need for high technology support will also become more prevalent in the delivery of student services. Counseling, health services, financial aid, and tutoring will be done at a distance--from home to campus. As the college moves toward greater utilization of and dependence on technology in the future, provisions should be made to ensure that student services are included in the process.

Human Resources

Gavilan College should make a strong commitment to its faculty and staff. The provision of support staff, particularly in student services, management information services, technology, and research is an imperative. The college should make a strong commitment to the task of faculty and staff retention. Any retention program implemented should be based on performance. Good performance should be appropriately recognized and poor or mediocre performance not tolerated. Faculty and staff development will continue to be an ongoing and important part of the human resources function.


The college receives high marks for the development of its technology infrastructure and efforts in pioneering the concept of educational television on a local level. The development of the TV studio, networking the campus and the sites in Hollister and Morgan Hill, and the growth of computer classrooms are commendable. The technology plan establishes the minimum classroom standards and addressed the core infrastructure requirements that are needed to expand the amount of technology equipment available on the campus. Gavilan College needs to continue to make efforts on bringing its technology up to par with other nearby colleges. Students expect a certain minimum amount of technology applications to be available to them.

Research and Development

Decision-making is founded on solid research and data reports that include the vital statistics of the college. Research and development data is instrumental in forging relationships with business, industry, and other colleges. Data is used to provide insight into employment markets and emerging occupational opportunities and to provide information on students as they transfer to other colleges or move into the job market. The research and development function will be important as the college assesses its Student Learning Outcomes.

Marketing and Identity

Gavilan College's ranking as an educational institution of choice will rest with the ability to communicate its educational program and support services to a diverse public audience. The college has made significant improvements in marketing, advertising and outreach. This function needs to continue to keep Gavilan College prominent in the minds of local residents who have in past years decided to go to other colleges for services.


Based on research and the projections for the next ten years, it appears (according to state standards) that Gavilan's present assignable square footage (ASF) for the instructional program (lecture and laboratory space) will be marginally sufficient to accommodate the growth associated with a student population of 8,000. This does not mean, however, that the available ASF is configured in a manner that is suitable for delivering the educational experience of the future. Renovation and reconfiguration of available square footage, therefore, will become an increasingly important strategy to accommodate the future growth of the instructional program. Greater facility utilization must also take place. In addition to increased classes on weekends, full five-day scheduling (to include mornings, afternoons and evening courses), with much greater utilization of the afternoon and evening hours must be a high priority. In summary, growth will need to be accommodated through better facility utilization and the reconfiguration of instructional space that is underutilized.

Measure E provided the college with needed funds to allow base improvements in facilities. This no frills renovation will provide a bare minimum but sorely needed upgrade to campus facilities. Heating is now available on a stable and predictable basis. Soon air conditioning will offer comfort to students who in the past have endured sweltering classrooms that did not provide a comfortable learning or working environment. Regrettably, Gavilan's poor load capacity ratios have prevented it from receiving state capital construction funds. As a result the renovation project is confined to addressing only the most basis of infrastructure and mechanical improvements.

Goals and Strategies change each year. This document includes the Strategic Plan for 2007-2012 (see Chapter III). Attached as Appendix A is a concept paper that forms the basis for conversion of the real property currently used as golf course into a community based learning environment with housing options for active older adults, traditional age (18 to 24 years of age) university bound students, and a component of faculty and staff housing.

Last modified: August 8, 2007
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