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Mapping the Future of Your Program: The Strategic Planning Process Jane Elyce Glasgow, M.S. Ed. Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA. What is Strategic Planning?. A road map for where you want to go A management tool A process of identifying who you are and what you want to be

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Mapping the Future of Your Program: The Strategic Planning Process

Jane Elyce Glasgow, M.S. Ed.

Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA

what is strategic planning
What is Strategic Planning?
  • A road map for where you want to go
  • A management tool
  • A process of identifying who you are and what you want to be
  • Intentionally setting goals (desired outcomes) and develop an approach to achieving those goals
  • Set of directions about what to do, why and how
what is strategic planning1
What is Strategic Planning?
  • Not just long-range planning
  • Involves input from all stakeholders
  • Critical to understand
    • Interpersonal dynamics
    • Organizational culture
    • Environment
  • Not just a “shelf” plan
critical elements
Critical Elements

Broad participation- wide variety of viewpoints and expertise to ensure support and engagement

On-going planning- multi-year approach with short-term & long-term goals, action plans with REALISTIC expectations and RESOURCES

reasons for strategic planning
Reasons for Strategic Planning

Might be done as:

  • Part of change initiative
  • Responsiveness to changing environment/climate
  • In preparation for formal or informal review

(Internal of External)

  • Implementation of recommendations of formal review
  • School improvement plan
benefits of a strategic plan
Benefits of a Strategic Plan
  • Set directions and priorities
  • Gets everyone on the same page
  • Simplifies the decision making process
    • Prioritizes
  • Drives alignment
    • Activities align with priorities
  • Communicates the message to many!
    • You know, but do they??
five elements for successful planning
Five Elements for Successful Planning
  • People– the right ones!
    • All stakeholders represented
  • Data- data based decision making
    • Representative of the current state of affairs
  • Preparation-
    • Make the case for need for the plan
  • Structured Planning Process-
  • Resources of time and money
Mapping the Future


ODU's Centers for Children

strategic planning committee
Strategic Planning Committee

Team of 18 Stakeholders

  • Parents
  • Faculty
  • ODU community members
  • Staff
  • Community-at-large
  • Early childhood colleagues
  • School personnel of transition schools

(More than we needed!)

planning and timeline
Planning and Timeline
  • Had a consultant for university that helps with strategic planning
  • Initial plan in my mind
  • Gathering of team
  • Rough outline of timeline and plan
  • Got input from the team on a solid timeline and plan
  • Timeline after the first committee meeting
first phase
First Phase
  • Brainstorming with committee
  • Mission and vision realignment
  • Determined data needed
    • Surveys
    • Focus Groups
    • Quality Rating and Improvement System Report
    • Advisory Committee thoughts
    • SWOT Analysis/Environmental Scan
  • BLOG

mission and vision
Mission and Vision

5 Minute Elevator Ride

Your ability to describe your center’s

  • Mission
  • Vision
  • Values

Will provide a reference point to guide decision making


Organizational identity

  • What is your purpose?
  • How do your fit into overall mission of university or college?
  • How do you contribute to the work of the institution?
  • Reviewed old mission and vision
  • What we like and dislike
  • Discussed contextual changes
  • Brainstormed and word-smithed
  • Shared with stakeholders
  • Feedback
  • Revision
  • Feedback
  • Revision

In partnership with Darden College of Education, the Mission of Old Dominion University Child Development and Child Study Center is to offer the highest quality early education for the children of ODU faculty, staff, students and the metropolitan Hampton Roads community. Collaboratively with Darden College of Education, we are a facility for teacher training and a site for academic research.

  • What do we aspire to be?
  • What can we excel in?
  • What about our programs are unique and can differentiate us?
  • What will be our defining characteristics in 5 years?

The Old Dominion University Child Development and Child Study Center is a first-class teacher training and research facility that serves as a model of exemplary early education.

mission and vision1
Mission and Vision

What we learned:

  • Feedback and revision, repeat, repeat.
  • Vision should be a dream
  • Some people do values here–

We did as part of our visioning party

data collection surveys
Data Collection: Surveys
  • Surveys- on-line and hard copy
    • Who to survey
    • Questions
    • Analysis-
      • SPSS analysis
      • Compilation of open answer questions
data collection surveys1
Data Collection: Surveys

What we learned:

1. Some questions seemed like a good idea at the time but……..

2. Scale principle- don’t like to look at the scale but we need the information

3. Don’t take it personally!

data collection focus groups
Data Collection: Focus Groups

5 Focus Groups

  • Who (8-10 people at each session)
    • Staff (including hourly)
    • Early childhood community
    • Parents
  • 10 questions
  • Moderators
  • Audio-recording
data collection focus groups1
Data Collection: Focus Groups

What we learned:

1. Moderator training is essential!

2. Confidentiality to ensure honest responses.

3. Qualitative research faculty are our friends.

4. Good recording and transcription is essential!

5. Qualitative data analysis is time consuming!

6. Information OVERLOAD!

data collection qris report and advisory council input
Data Collection: QRIS Report and Advisory Council Input

QRIS Report

  • Qualitative Analysis our report
  • Recurrent themes
  • Areas of concern

Advisory Council Brainstorming

  • 5 year headlines
  • Pride ourselves on
data collection swot
Data Collection: SWOT

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats and

How they impact your centers?

  • Based on current data
  • Director perceptions
  • Think about
    • Economic
    • Political
    • Regulatory/ Quality Standards
    • Larger Organization
visioning party
Visioning Party
  • Staff celebration to help identify values
  • PARTY!!
  • Qualitative data presented by staff
  • Survey results reported by theme
  • Common themes and topics recorded on chart paper
  • Combine, consolidate themes
  • Sticker vote
  • Our values emerge
  • Common themes for goals emerge
values of the center
Values of the Center

We Value:

  • Preparing children that are confident, competent, and motivated learners
  • Preparing Darden College of Education teacher graduates for various school settings
  • Being responsive to the needs of the ODU and metropolitan community
  • Partnering with Darden College of Education Faculty to add to the knowledge base of Early Childhood Education

What we learned:

We need to identify what we believe about

  • Children
  • Families
now to writing
Now to Writing

This was the easy part!

Goals first--

  • Main goals became evident
  • Action steps came from data collection and SWOT
  • Each action step was measurable and achievable
4 goal areas
4 Goal Areas

Goal 1: Communication

  • Enhance internal and external communication

Goal 2: Diversity

  • Create a program culture and services that are sensitive and responsive to the diverse needs of our metropolitan community
4 goal areas1
4 Goal Areas

Goal 3: Curriculum and Research

  • Build collaborative relationships with Early Childhood, Teaching and Learning and other faculty members that foster opportunities for sharing ideas, best practice, and innovative research

Goal 4: Family/ Community Outreach

  • Build positive relationships with families in our centers, the early childhood community and the metropolitan community at-large.
key steps and action steps
Key Steps and Action Steps

Enhance internal and external communication

1. Enrich communication to parents from teachers and program administration.

2. Develop effective communication methods between administration, full-time, hourly and practicum student staff members.

3. Expand marketing materials and stakeholder information that represents our programs

Action Steps:

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive website with information for parents, perspective parents, teachers and assistants including classroom information and weekly menus
  • Schedule and provide quarterly newsletters for parents and other stakeholders
  • Implement a system for quarterly meetings and training with student assistants
the plan
The Plan

Executive Summary

  • Background
  • Why we needed the plan
  • Organizational Profile
  • Planning process

Mission, Vision and Values


Key Steps

Action Steps

Implementation timeline

Outcomes and Achievements

more feedback
More Feedback



Advisory Council

Development Officer



College of Education faculty

**Short time for feedback (1 week or less)

final product
Final Product

A Mapped Future

  • Goals
  • Action steps
  • Outcomes
  • Time lines

Tromp, S. A. & Ruben, B. D. (2010). Strategic planning in higher education. Washington, DC: NACUBO.