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Strategic Action Plan Guide

PART 1: ROAD MAP OVERVIEW


The purpose of the Strategic Action Plan process is to align the college budget with our Strategic Plan in an open and transparent way. If you are a Dean or Director and planning any new expenditures for the 2015-16 academic year, you will need to follow the process outlined below. Here is the current Budget Process Timeline.


1. Planning
You are encouraged to work collaboratively with faculty, staff, and students both within and beyond your division or department to plan your proposals for additional funds (i.e., the Abbreviated Strategic Action Plans).


2. Completion of the Abbreviated Strategic Action Plan (aSAP)
The abbreviated Strategic Action Plan (aSAP) is a document in which you describe how you will use the proposed budget expenditures and how your plan fits with the College's strategic plan. Please fill out the online aSAP form. Detailed instructions can be found below.  Note that a full budget spreadsheet must be completed with your application.

 

The completed aSAP must be submitted by February 13th to be considered for the 2015-16 Budget Process.

 


3. Review
The SPBC will review the submitted aSAPs in two stages.  In the first stage of the review, the committee will identify questions or points of clarification within the proposal; the submitter will have the opportunity to provide written responses to the committee.  In the second stage, the committee will review the proposal and the submitter's answers to the initial questions.  The committee will then provide ratings and comments about how well the proposed strategic objective aligns with the College's strategic goals, strategic initiatives, and core themes.  These ratings and comments will then be forwarded to the ELT, along with the original aSAP.  The ELT then reviews and prioritizes the proposals, taking into account the SPBC's ratings.  The final decisions about whether and how aSAPs will be funded lie with the President.


4. Decision
The President, or his/her designee, will make and announce the final funding decisions, which will include a rationale for that decision. The decision can be 1) approved, 2) not approved, or 3) conditionally approved.


5. Funding
If your aSAP was approved, the Budget Office will transfer the funds to the appropriate budget. The target date for all funding is July 1, but this date may vary depending on the availability of state funds.


6. Full Strategic Action Plan
Once your project has been approved, you must complete and submit a full Strategic Action Plan to the budget office and the SPBC by the end of Fall quarter.


7. Report Back
You must submit a brief annual or final report on progress-to-date by the end of Week 6 of Spring quarter. Depending on the scope of your project, you may also be requested to present your progress-to-date to the SPBC.

 


PART 2: INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING AN ABBREVIATED STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN


This document provides detailed step-by-step instructions for completing an abbreviated Strategic Action Plan request form. If you have further questions about your abbreviated Strategic Action Plan request, please contact Guy Hamilton, SPBC chair, ghamilton@shoreline.edu.

 

The form is saved each time you click on the “Save” button.  When you are finished with the full submission, click on “Save & Return” to see the listing of all the aSAPs you have created.  Be sure all submissions are completed and ready for review by the due date of February 13, 2015.

 

aSAP Information

 

Title of Project/Request
Your title should be descriptive enough to allow reviewers to differentiate it from other aSAPs. For example, instead of calling your project, "Biology staff" you might call it "New Lab Technician for Introductory Biology Labs."

 

Within this section, identify the principal author of the proposal and the Dean/Director/Supervisor of the department or division making the request.  Additionally, identify the budget number where any potential funds will be appropriated.

 

Requesting Dean/Director & Entered By

 Please be sure your department dean or director knows about your aSAP request and choose his/her name from the drop-down list in the “Requesting Dean/Dir” field.  Choose your own name from the “Entered By” drop-down list.

 

Budget Number, Amount

Indicate the expected budget number that will be used for the request. Remember, this would be the budget department that would pay for the request and does not necessarily indicate funding source.

 

Indicate the total amount of a temporary request by adding up all funding for the number of years the project will be underway.  For example, if you are requesting a temporary role for curriculum development over three years, input $3,000 x 3 years = $9,000.

 

Or, indicate the annual amount of a permanent request.  For example that “New Lab Technician for Introductory Biology Labs” would be $40,000 for salary and benefits on a permanent annual basis.

 

Proposal Objective/Summary
The strategic objective should be at the heart of your abbreviated SAP. It summarizes what you hope to accomplish with your project. As such, it should include a description of what the effect of your actions will be and how your plan will yield benefits that relate to the college's long-term strategic goals, strategic initiatives, and core themes.

 
The strategic objective hits a "sweet spot" of specificity. It is not just a repeated list of actions you are going to take; it must also describe the local and relatively short-term effect of your actions. On the other hand, the strategic objective must not be so general that it simply re-iterates the college's strategic goals, strategic initiatives, and core themes.

 

    • Too specific (i.e., equivalent to actions): Hire five new tutors to support pre-college math classes.
    • Too general: Improve the quality of education at Shoreline Community College.
    • "Sweet spot": Improve the performance and retention of students in developmental math classes.

 
Your strategic objective should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound). In 250 words, you should be able to demonstrate specificity, by following the guidelines above. In addition, the description of the changes that will occur should indicate Measure-ABILITY. Your strategic objective does not necessarily need to include a specific baseline or target benchmark; that type of information can be included, if appropriate, in the evaluation section.


When writing the strategic objective, reflect on the simple questions, "What do you hope to achieve? What changes will you see once you have undertaken your list of actions?"

 

Rationale
In 300 words or less, you should provide the reviewers with a clear understanding of how meeting your strategic objective will eventually contribute to the Core Theme(s), Strategic Goal (s), and Strategic Initiative(s) you have identified in the previous section. This is a chance for you to demonstrate the R (RELEVANCE) of your strategic objective. In this section, consider addressing some or all of the following points/questions:

 

    • What led you to decide to request this specific funding? You might describe a problem you are trying to solve. You might also describe other possible solutions to this problem that you explored and decided not to pursue.
    • What assurances can you provide that this project will be successful? As described below, you will provide a definition for success. You might have some specific evidence that the project will meet its strategic objective. "Evidence" is broadly defined here and could take many different forms. Possible examples include having "buy-in" from faculty involved, a demonstrated need in this area (e.g., numbers of students on the waitlist), or feedback from students. Include any evidence you believe helps make the case that this project will be successful.
    • Why do you think meeting your strategic objective will contribute to the Core Theme, Strategic Initiative, and/or Strategic Goal. It would be highly beneficial to provide evidence for why you think meeting your objective will contribute to the College's strategic plan. "Evidence" is broadly defined here: you might have numerical data, you might have references to literature, you might have some historical evidence (a similar technique was employed in the past), or you might have learned from success within another division/department. Provide any evidence you believe demonstrates how meeting your strategic objective will further the college's strategic plan.

 

Actions (Steps)

Enter as many, specific and action-oriented steps that outline your project.  This would be a work plan that you would use to complete the objective of the proposal/request.  Use the additional columns like Dates, Contact Person and Budget to help you formulate a concrete work plan.  For each action requiring a financial expenditure, list the action, date, contact and budget amount requested. A contact person is responsible for each action. All contacts should be aware of their assigned actions!

 

 

Alignment & Evaluation

 

Alignment to the College Core Themes and Strategic Initiatives/Goals  
Select the Core Theme(s), Strategic Initiative(s), and Strategic Goal(s) that best align with your strategic objective.  It will be common for a proposed funding item to contribute to more than one theme, initiative, or goal.  Think carefully about which one(s) the proposed funding will contribute to the MOST.  Doing so will help you narrow down the information you will provide in your rationale.

 

List as many as seems appropriate in both categories.

 
Evaluation
The purpose of an evaluation plan is to ensure there will be a method for understanding whether the project has been successful. To complete this section, you might address one or all of the following questions:

 
How will you define success for this project? The answer to this question might already be embedded within your strategic objective, but you might reframe this question by completing the statement, "I know this project will be successful when ___________,"or " I will know that this expenditure has been well spent when __________."

 

How will you measure success? Ideally, you will have a baseline and a follow-up measurement. However, these measurements should be meaningful to you and to others who are considering whether this project has been successful. Note that for the College's Strategic Initiatives and Goals, methods for measuring success are (in theory) already in place. Consider how you would measure the success of your specific project. If you have hit the "sweet spot" of specificity with your strategic objective, then figuring out how to measure success should be closely tied to that objective.


What will be your source of data? Before considering collecting new data, ensure that you are making full use of data that are already available. Within your department or division, you might have existing methods for assessing your own work or your unit's success; make full use of procedures and information already available.

 

Budget Worksheet


Budget worksheet
Complete a Strategic Action Plan Budget Worksheet to detail your use of the proposed funding. Note that salary benefits will be automatically calculated in the worksheet.

 

 

Review

 

The Reviewer Questions field can only be updated by members of the Strategic Action Plan committee during the Review period.

The Responses field can be updated by the aSAP Submitter or Requesting Dean/Director
during the Responses period.

 

 

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