This past Friday, June 29, the SWC leadership, including the members of the Academic Council, the Chief Finance Officer and the Director of Enrollment Services (me!) gathered together for our annual, “Assessment and Strategic Planning Retreat,” at Sunrise Springs. The setting was lovely, but the idea of sitting in a room for 7-8 hours talking about academic program assessment and the future of the college seemed daunting. Yes, we would be taking feedback from information gathered in exit interviews from our graduating students which was really helpful! Yes, we would be talking about ways to increase enrollment for New Mexicans and to increase diversity in our student body, also very good! Yes, we would be devising topics for different “Learning Circles” (focus groups) which was exciting for the growth and transformation of the college. Even so, the primary topic was “assessment.” We began the day by exploring the word itself and our responses to it.
Surprise, surprise… I actually enjoyed it!. Bottom line, it is a privilege to be together in a room with ten people who have their hearts open to learn, grow and share. It was inspiring to experience our commitment, caring and concern for the well-being of SWC as a group. We were able to work in dyads and triads outside and inside at the retreat center which really helped the day move along at a good pace. I was inspired by my colleagues and hopeful for us and for what we are planning on creating in the coming months and years. It was definitely worth the time and the pre-angst about the topic!
Submitted by Dru Phoenix, Director of Enrollment Services, with photos by President Ann Filemyr