The discussion has started in earnest on a number of topics and I am keeping up on the various threads as they emerge.
It is important to remember here what the context is for these discussions.
Douglas College was founded 40 years ago as an access-based learner pathway post-secondary education and training institution and remains true to that vision today. We all know that Douglas College enjoys a fine reputation for quality instruction, courses, and programs. Our record of community engagement and service is excellent whether we are talking about transfer to other institutions, our own credentials, our scholarly activity, our international opportunities, our student experience, or a number of other things. We are a major part of the post-secondary landscape in lower mainland B.C. and have alumni in all walks of life.
Yet, the post-secondary landscape has changed, the economy has changed, and society has changed since we were established. I have commented on these changes elsewhere - as have others.
BC is aging, our market share among high school graduates appears to be diminishing, and a strategic plan offers us the opportunity to more closely align to current realities and to position ourselves for future changes and challenges all in the realm of providing the best possible instruction, courses and, in general, education for the students we serve and need to serve.
As a pathway institution, we must consider entrance to Douglas, transition within and between programs at Douglas, and transfer from Douglas to other institutions.
We must, as an access-based institution, carefully consider barriers to entry, progression, and transfer.
Our questions on internationalization, research and scholarly activity, service excellence, aboriginal initiatives, technology, and community engagement need to be taken up by Douglas employees and others as we plan for the future. We need your help to begin to vision Douglas College for the next 40 years.
I thank you for the discussions to this point and look forward to more discussion in the weeks that follow.