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ARKANSAS GEOGRAPHIC ALLIANCE

STRATEGIC PLAN 2012 – 2014


Geographically Literate Globalization Environmental Sustainability


February 2012 Dear Colleagues, Partners, and Friends: Strategic planning will guide the Arkansas Geographic Alliance over the next few years. Planning enables us to realize our vision and establish our distinctiveness in the competiveness of educational leadership and reform. Our planning looks both inward at our own needs and goals, and outward at opportunities in an interdependent world. An effective strategic plan must be selective, identifying priorities rather than addressing all of the Alliance’s needs and activities. We will have important work to do that may not be mentioned in this plan, but the priorities identified will make the greatest difference in strengthening the Arkansas Geographic Alliance and its position in the State of Arkansas. This plan is rooted in our commitment to geographic literacy and educational excellence. The plan reflects our vision of creating geographically literate students, teachers, administrators, parents, and business leaders who have competence, conscience, and compassion and cultivate knowledge and awareness to build a more culturally aware and sustainable world. Our strategic priorities will advance our mission by strengthening our ability to provide students, teachers, administrators, parents, and business leaders with a holistic view of geography, empowering them to shape the world that humanity deserves. These priorities will inform more specific objectives and guide the next level of planning. The priorities will also help shape and inspire the goals of the Alliance’s campaign toward a geographically literate population. Sincerely,

Brooks Green Brooks Green Coordinator


VISION Individual citizens, businesses, educational institutions, and public and private organizations in Arkansas, realize that a geographically literate population is essential and critical for economic competiveness in an interdependent, global society, for the preservation of quality of life, and for environmental sustainability. These persons, institutions, and organizations will promote the need for, assist in the advancement of, and provide financial support for geographic education and geographic literacy. Therefore, geography will be a preeminent component of the school curriculum at all levels and supported by all stakeholders.

MISSION The Mission of the Arkansas Geographic Alliance is to advocate and advance geographic literacy in Arkansas. This is accomplished by: 1) communicating with and engaging stakeholders; 2) measuring geographic literacy; 3) building an efficient and effective organizational infrastructure, 4) providing high quality professional development and other programs for practicing teachers, teacher candidates, and others, and 5) partnering with other organizations that will assit in reforming geography education.


STRATEGIC PRIORITIES AND GOALS The Arkansas Geographic Alliance is poised to secure its future as one of Arkansas’ distinctive institutions concerned about geographic literacy and education at all levels. To realize our vision and advance our mission during the next three years, this plan idenfies the strategic priorities that will stengthen our capacity to provide the kinds of support needed to help students, teachers, parents, administrators, policy makers, and business leaders shape a better world for all. An integrated approach to realizing a geographically literate population permeates each of the five strategic goals of this plan: 1. STAKEHOLDER COMMUNICATION AND ENGAGEMENT 2. MEASURING GEOGRAPHIC LITERACY

3. EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE

4. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

5. REFORM GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION


STRATEGIC GOAL #1: COMMUNICATE WITH AND ENGAGE STAKEHOLDERS


Strategic Goal #1 is accomplished by completing the following activity: Activity #1: Creating and implementing a plan to regularly communicate with and engage stakeholders. Stakeholders have been identified at the Policy Level, Education Administrative Level, Practicing Teacher Level, Teacher Candidate Level, Business Community Level, and Parent/Family Level. Objectives to communicate and engage each level are crucial to this Strategic Plan and to the eventual reform of education such that geography is a prominent component of the Pre K – 12 curricula.


STRATEGIC GOAL #2: MEASURING GEOGRAPHIC LITERACY


Measuring geographic literacy is vital to the mission of the Alliance. Without this goal, the Alliance has no idea where it is and when it arrives at its stated goal. Activity #2: Create a plan and measure geographic literacy. The objective is to annually measure the geographic literacy rate of high school seniors or first-semester university freshmen in order to track improvement toward the 80% goal.


STRATEGIC GOAL #3: ESTABLISH AN EFFICIENT ORGANIZATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE


Building an enduring organizational infrastructure includes the following activities: Activity #3: Develop an efficient organizational structure for the Alliance. Sub-activity #1: Specify how the Alliance should best partner with the host institution; currently the University of Central Arkansas. Sub-activity #2: Develop a Coordinator transition plan. Activity #4: Develop a financial model and fundraising plan. Activity #5: Incorporate technology into Alliance operations. Activity #6: Develop a plan to increase Alliance membership.


STRATEGIC GOAL #4: PROVIDE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND OTHER PROGRAMS


Developing Partnerships and Defining the Program Design includes the following goals: Activity #7: The Arkansas Geographic Alliance will develop professional development programs of different types in cooperation with its partners.


STRATEGIC GOAL #5: ESTABLISH PARTNERSHIPS THAT WILL CONTRIBUTE TO EDUCATIONAL REFORM


The Arkansas Geographic Alliance recognizes that educational reform will only occur if other groups, organizations, and institutions become contributing partners in that movement. The following activities will contribute to the successful completion of this Strategic Goal: Activity #8: The Arkansas Geographic Alliance will develop partnerships with organizations that have an interest in geographic literacy and education. Activity #9: After the capacity and climate regarding geography, geographic literacy, and geography education have been improved and changed in Arkansas, Pre K – 12 school curricula will be changed to include more geography integration as well as stand-alone geography courses.


FUNDAMENTAL VALUES The Arkansas Geographic Alliance is committed to these core values, which will guide it in carrying out its mission and realizing its vision: In alignment with the Vision and Mission, the Arkansas Geographic Alliance values:

Standards and Literacy. We seek a Pre K - 16 geographic education that abides by core and national standards and promotes geographic literacy at all levels and disciplines of instruction.

Education and Development. We promote professional preparation and development that produces teachers well educated in geographic knowledge and pedagogy.

Awareness and Involvement. We strive for public awareness and support of geographic literacy through the involvement of state policy makers, all schools and school districts, businesses, communities, parents, and families.


For a better understanding of the goals and activities of the Arkansas Geographic Alliance’s Strategic Plan, please visit www.arkansasgeographicalliance.com.

About the Arkansas Geographic Alliance Established in 1989, the Arkansas Geographic Alliance is a statewide partnership between university professors, Pre K – 16 teachers, and other organizations. The Alliance has received funding from the National Geographic Education Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Arkansas Department of Education, the Ross Foundation, an Eisenhower grant, the Southwestern Bell Foundation, the Arkansas Rivers Commission, the Arkansas Humanities Council, the Arkansas Community Foundation, the Arkansas Department of Heritage, the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, and the Arkansas Historical Association. The Alliance is committed to developing partnerships with other educational organizations to provide professional development at local, regional, and statewide geography-related conferences and outreach events. The Alliance regularly distributes resources and materials, including atlases, maps, curricula, and other educational materials to educators. The Alliance has an upto-date and active website that promotes the Alliance and provides resources for educators, and it distributes an electronic newsletter. Arkansas Geographic Alliance Administration Brooks Green, Coordinator Nancy Gallavan, Board Member Lori Delk, Board Member Julie Hill, Board Member Karen Davis, Board Member Jack Johnson, Board Member

Tanya Reddin, Board Member Kayla Gustafson, Board Member Mounir Farah, Board Member Ben Lykins, Board Member Hans Haustein, Board Member Leigh Sullivan, Board Member


Mission Vision Values


Arkansas Geographic Alliance 201 Donaghey Avenue Conway, Arkansas 72035 Phone: 501-450-5636 Fax: 501-852-2926 www.arkansasgeographicalliance.com


AGA Strategic Plan (Flip Version)