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Strategic Plan: Vision 2030

2023 - 2028 Strategic Plan

Vision 2030
A New State of College

Amidst a changing higher education landscape, we must assess Pikes Peak’s unique strengths and challenges to make intentional and measurable choices. We must ask ourselves, what will it take for Pikes Peak to thrive, not only over the next 5 years but for many years to come?

Strategic PlanStrategic Plan Summary

An overarching goal

While Pikes Peak has made progress on many key performance indicators, we know that improving retention, student success, and graduation rates should always be at the forefront of our work. Improving these metrics not only benefits our students, but improves the College’s overall financial health, thus benefiting faculty, instructors and staff as well.

By the end of the strategic planning period, Pikes Peak’s retention, graduation and course pass rates should be equivalent to if not exceed those of the other urban Colorado Community College System (CCCS) colleges:

  • Arapahoe Community College (ACC)
  • Community College of Aurora (CCA)
  • Community College of Denver (CCD)
  • Front Range Community College (FRCC)
  • Red Rocks Community College (RRCC)

In striving toward this overarching goal and the strategic priorities below, PPSC remains committed to the College’s vision, mission and values statements:

Vision: Students succeed at PPSC.

Mission: Our mission is to provide high quality educational opportunities to all with a focus on student success and community needs.

Values: We value a community built on learning, mutual respect, and diversity.

  • Other urban schools (average): 80.52%
  • Pikes Peak: 77.9%

Fall to Fall, IPEDS cohort, full-time, first-time, degree seeking only:

  • Other urban schools (average): 54.3%
  • Pikes Peak: 49.2%

Fall to Fall, all students, full and part-time, including both degree and non-degree seeking students*

  • Before the pandemic, retention for all Pikes Peak students rose to 55.9% in 2019. That rate declined to 52% during the pandemic, but has started to rise again: our Fall 2021 to Fall 2022 rate is 53.5%.
  • For the strategic planning period, our goal is to continue that positive trend and reach 58%.

*IPEDS data tracks first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students. “All students” tracks degree and non-degree-seeking students, full and part-time, and is not limited to students in their first term. Thus, in the “all students” data, below-average retention rates among first-time students can be obscured by above-average retention rates among concurrent enrollment students, and there can be a wide range between full-time and part-time students.

(Fall 2019, graduated by Summer 2022, IPEDS cohort):

  • Other urban schools (average): 27.32%
  • Pikes Peak: 22.9%
Student Studying

Strategic Priorities

In early fall 2021, the Core Strategy Team (CST) was formed. This team, comprised of faculty, staff and administrators, led the strategic planning process from summer 2021 through fall 2022: analyzing data, gathering ideas and concerns from the College community, and assessing higher education trends. Additional details about the strategic planning process can be found in Appendix A of the downloadable strategic plan.

In support of the overall goal of improving retention,
student success and completion rates, the CST recommends the following strategic priorities:
  • Improve Success and Retention Rates for First Semester Students
  • Become More Agile in Response to the Changing Needs of Industry Partners, Students, and the Evolving Economic and Regional Workforce Landscape
  • Commit to Inclusive Excellence and Closing Equity Gaps by Embedding the Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan into College-Wide Practices
  • Create a Thriving and Energizing Employee Environment

Improve Success and Retention Rates for First Semester Students

  • Assess courses that students typically take in their first semester and support faculty, department, and division efforts to increase success rates in those courses.
  • Create greater opportunities for early access to student areas of academic interest. Potential models include learning cohorts and contextualized AAA sections.
  • Support academic readiness by piloting and expanding co-curricular offerings such as parachute courses, non-credit skill development programs, and bridge programs.
  • Expand peer tutoring and peer mentoring programs.
  • Build upon and continue to support community building programs in both academic and student support services.
  • Employ strategic scheduling in order to foster cohort building, a sense of belonging, and to minimize scheduling challenges.
  • Close the digital divide by implementing digital inclusion practices and digital literacy tools that increase access to internet-enabled devices.
For purposes of this plan, “first semester students” are defined as: New First Time Anywhere, Transfer, or Readmit students. This includes concurrent enrollment students who matriculate to degree seeking students (they are classified as “new” in the first term after they graduate high school).
Student Studying
Student Candid

Become More Agile in Response to the Changing Needs of Industry Partners, Students, and the Evolving Economic and Regional Workforce Landscape

  • Continue to develop shorter, flexible options such as stackable credentials and short term or industry credentials.
  • Offer a variety of course modalities and schedules.
  • Increase Prior Learning Assessment opportunities, utilization and awareness.
  • Increase non-credit learning opportunities.
  • Following CCCS’s emphasis on increasing success rates for learners 25+, intentionally connect those learners to programs and resources.

Commit to Inclusive Excellence and Closing Equity Gaps by Embedding the Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan into College-Wide Practices

The high-level priorities of the Equity & Inclusion (E&I) plan are included here to affirm the College’s continued commitment to that plan, as well as the alignment between the two strategic plans. More details can be found in the E&I plan.

Enhance and Advance College-Wide E&I Initiatives:
  • The College will foster an authentic climate and culture of inclusion, building a sense of belonging for students, faculty, instructors and staff.
Achieve Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) Designation:
  • As the College works toward becoming an HSI, create the necessary infrastructure and resources to support success for Hispanic-identifying students.
Collaborate with Human Resources on Hiring and Retaining a More Diverse Pikes Peak Workforce:
  • Align PPSC’s hiring practices with the College’s Affirmative Action Plan and Anti-Racism Framework.
Student cutout
Teacher teaching

Create a Thriving and Energizing Employee Environment

  • Identify and build upon the differentiators that attract and retain top talent. Build the Pikes Peak brand as an attractive employment destination.
  • Recognizing that compensation and benefit packages are prescribed by CCCS and the state board, develop a compensation philosophy and schedule designed to attract and retain top talent at Pikes Peak. As a first step in this effort, Human Resource Services (HRS) will conduct a compensation study that will benchmark PPSC’s compensation against other CCCS colleges (scheduled for February 2023).
  • Within salary bands, provide pay differentials for specialized skills, such as bilingual or multilingual language skills.
  • Create professional development opportunities that allow employees to acquire skills, expertise in multiple areas, and explore career pathways. Develop entry-level generalist positions within departments/divisions that provide an opportunity to gain experience and provide pathways to advancement.
  • Develop an application, hiring and onboarding process that is inclusive and provides a continuum of support to potential and new employees. This process should meaningfully connect potential and new employees to Human Resources, hiring managers, Departments/Programs, and the broader College.
  • Create an educational assistance program that supports broader use of the tuition reimbursement program (per System Procedure-360a). Develop a plan for utilizing the State Tuition Reimbursement Program, which allows funds to be used for a wide range of courses including those beyond the two-year degree.

Focus Goals

Each year the President establishes a working group dedicated to determining the focus goals for that year. That working group is charged with:

  • Revising and refining the goals of the strategic plan, as necessary.
  • Assessing changes in the regional and larger higher education and economic landscapes.
  • Selecting the focus goals for each year. 
  • Determining the key metrics of success for those focus goals.
  • Creating and coordinating with small working groups designed to implement each year's focus goals.
  • Reporting back to the Leadership Team and the broader Pikes Peak community on the success of the focus goals. 

This goal focuses on creating an overall course schedule that enables students to complete degree requirements with minimal conflicts or delays. Strategic scheduling uses historic and projected enrollment data to build more student-friendly and efficient schedules.  This work will align course offerings with our new campus-based divisions as well as the goal of maintaining efficient scheduling.  

Strategic Scheduling Goal Leaders:

Kevin Hudgens

Rob Hudson

This focus goal is desgined to create a Tuition Assistance program for employees that does not rely on a reimbursement model. The focus goal group will create an up-front payment program, which will alleviate the out-of-pocket burden for employees and should increase use of the program.

Employee Tuition Plan Goal Leaders:

Kim Hennessy

Darlene Melby

The Adult Learners Task force will seek strategies and tactics to increase adult learner enrollment, retention, and completion.  Credit for Prior Learning, short-term intensive programs, alternative modalities and scheduling are among the strategies this group is considering . This Focus Goal builds on the work of and formalizes the College’s commitment to the Adult Learner Task Force.  

Adult Learner Goal Leaders:

Gary Walker

Heather Pierce

This focus goal group seeks to develop employee engagement and campus culture. We recognize that the nature of work and higher education shifted during the pandemic, and so this group's focus will be understanding, embracing, and improving on what our institutional culture is and can be now and in the future.  The focus goal group will seek consensus on strategies and tactics that build community, a sense of belonging, and a shared sense of purpose while also understanding and supporting the altered institutional work environment that has evolved over the past four years.

Employee Engagement and Campus Culture Goal Leaders:

James Gellenbeck

Maria Mesa

Three Students
Rampart Campus