After numerous sessions among its executive and leadership teams and extensive consultations with communities throughout the region, Northern Lights College has finalized its strategic plan for 2023–2028. Titled Moving Forward Together, the plan is a refresh of the college’s previous strategic plan, building on the strengths of the previous quinquennium while growing into new challenges and opportunities.
Working with Calgary-based consulting firm Prime Strategy, NLC began its strategic planning process almost two years ago. Early on, it was noted that the previous plan did not specifically speak to the college’s connection with First Nations communities in the area that it serves, even though that had been an area of much activity over those years. Addressing that important relationship was a high priority for the new plan.
Similar to the previous strategic plan, there are a number of overarching priorities, or “pillars,” to which the college is committed. These are: student journey, responsive programming, truth and reconciliation, people and culture, and community connections. Under each of these pillars are various specific goals that will serve as indicators of progress and guide key operational decisions, such as budgeting and staffing.
Determined that the strategic plan as it has been developed should be just a launchpad for a system of cascading plans and reports, the college will now work towards a comprehensive review of its internal procedures by department and functional area.
“We see it all the time where a lovely strat plan is created by an organization and then it sits on a shelf for the next several years, detached from reality,” says Jessie Drew, Vice President of Community Relations and Institutional Strategy. “At NLC, we are determined to keep our actions aligned with our vision. So that means that this is really just step one for us. We’ve got more work to do.”
Moving Forward Together is available on the college’s website, or a print copy can be obtained by request.