Strategic Plan Annual Update 2020-2021

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Strategic Plan

Annual Update 2020-2021

Overview The Gogebic Community College Strategic Plan provides a framework to guide decision-making and change management. The Annual Update is an instrument used to summarize the results of the past year’s implementation of the strategic plan. It validates institutional effectiveness and clearly demonstrates results that align with the college’s overreaching core values, mission, and vision. The production of The Annual Report marks a moment to recognize that the results of this past year’s strategic planning reflect extensive work and analysis, thoughtful collaboration, and goal directedness. Thank you to all the GCC community who have helped to make Strategic Planning a success.

Dr. George McNulty President In looking back at this past year, and all that has happened in the world around us, we sit back and are in awe at all the efforts, hard work, and relationships that the Strategic Plan team has achieved. The pandemic was only a bump in the road as the work and accomplishments that were achieved are overwhelming. We are very proud of the teams implementing the GCC Strategic Plan and their devotion in moving the college forward. This initiative is truly campus-wide, with 89% of the employees participating in the implementation. This publication is a true testament of the work that has been accomplished thus far, and we are excited to see what else is coming down the pipeline!

Beth Steiger (left) and Miranda Heglund (right) Strategic Planning Committee Co-Chairs

Thank you to the GCC Foundation for funding the addition of the collegiate letters on the Ironwood campus through the mini-grant program!

Mission, Vision, & Core Values

Houghton Ironwood The 2020-2023 Strategic Plan constitutes stability and progress. The Plan was developed with a clear purpose in mind, an inclusive course of action demonstrating commitment to institutional effectiveness in supporting the Mission, Vision and Core Values and partnering effectively with the communities we serve. We look forward to sharing the measurable results as well as celebrating our accomplishments.

Mission Statement

Gogebic Community College is a learning community that contributes to academic, cultural, economic, and social success for our students and region.

Vision Statement

Gogebic Community College will be the gateway to empower people and inspire communities to thrive in a global environment through committed staff and innovative programming.

Core Values

Gogebic Community College will create possibilities by boldly educating, engaging community, and exceeding expectations. Boldly Educating Provide an affordable educational environment that promotes technological competence, free expression of ideas, ethical integrity, and a diverse, inclusive culture. Engaging Community As advocates for lifelong learning and business partnerships, GCC provides educational, creative, and cultural opportunities for economic vitality. Exceeding Expectations We commit to the highest standards in developing programs that lead to enhanced employability, goal attainment, and successful transfer to other educational institutions.

Institutional Goals Institutional


Enhance Student Experience Objectives: 1. Update Lindquist Student and Conference Center. 2. Develop and implement strategies to enhance college infrastructure, facilities, and technology. 3. Develop and implement strategies to enhance a sense of student belonging.

Expand Academic Programming and Services Objectives: 1. Develop and implement a Strategic Enrollment Management plan. 2. Create an online and on ground career resource center. 3. Enhance student services, academic instruction, and student support, that enables distance delivery for students. 4. Engage in research and discovery of programming needs in the region as evidenced by current and projected market demands.

Increase Community and Campus Engagement Objectives: 1. Develop and implement an information-sharing plan to promote the College. 2. Develop and implement a comprehensive employee engagement and satisfaction process. 3. Develop and implement a plan to enhance professional engagement and growth. 4. Develop regional partnerships to enhance community satisfaction and engagement.

Enhance Student Experience Student Advocacy Groups Both the Ironwood Campus and Copper Country Center have initiated Student Advocacy Groups, with 6 and 8 student members, respectively. The Student Advocacy Groups are intended to give students an opportunity to come together extracurricularly and to accomplish several goals, including performing volunteer work, forming study groups, acting as a student voice on GCC Committees and when issues/concerns arise, planning student events/activities, and providing opportunities for student professional development. The priorities of the Group were student selected. Last Spring (2021) the Group invited Jackie Franzoi, career counselor, to the Copper Country Campus to work on resume building which supported many students in a drop-in fashion. The Group also organized two Trivia Nights with 10 students attending both. Last Spring, in Ironwood, the Student Advocacy Group was recruiting and planning fall events. This fall we plan to continue to carry out the priorities of the Groups, as well as recruit new students. GCC students Leesa Paulson (left) and Michelle Vencl (right) led perspective students and their families at the August, 2021 Ironwood Campus Open House Event

Campus Way-Finding Improvements Updated entrance signs were added to the Ironwood campus in the summer of 2021, including a digital sign at the main entrance. Interior way-finding directional signs were installed at the beginning of the fall semester 2021 to assist with campus navigation.

Summer Youth Programming In June 2021, GCC collaborated with GOISD to run two 1-week Manufacturing camps focused on welding. Thirty-four 7th, 8th, and 9th-grade students were able to participate in hands-on learning activities, where current GCC welding students participated in by giving live demonstrations. Students also visited local manufacturers for tours. Several of our local manufacturers also talked with the students about careers in manufacturing. We would like to expand our offerings for Summer 2022 to include Field Science, Mechatronics, Forestry, Health Sciences, Food Chemistry, and Welding!

Area youth show off their skills throughout the week of the GCC Manufacturing camp (top left and top right). Early College student, Samantha Plant, demonstrates welding techniques to campers (left).

Enhance Student Experience (cont.) Phi Theta Kapa While we weren’t able to have a full induction at the Copper Country Center as planned due to COVID, we were able to hold a virtual induction ceremony to increase access for all PTK students. Plans are in place to hold in person induction ceremonies in Ironwood and in Houghton for the 2021-2022 academic year. GCC had student representation from PTK members at both the Michigan Regional Convention as well as PTK’s National Catalyst Convention this year. A PTK “course” was also created in Moodle to provide a shared collaborative space for all PTK members and to help streamline communication. Our chapter, Alpha Rho Chi earned the distinction of being a REACH Chapter, earning a Chapter Milestone Award, as well as increasing to a two-star chapter over the 2020-2021 academic year.

GCC student Harley Lindemann (below), PTK Member, and Michigan Region Virtual Conference attendee

GCC student Mara Pelto (above), PTK Member, and Michigan Region Virtual Conference attendee

Technology Advances The Student B4 team began with defining what it means to provide a seamless technology user experience across all systems, and then identifying all key technology users and systems that GCC centers on. With many already active projects to improve key systems, we honed in on areas that could provide the most value to GCC while allowing those active projects to remain autonomous. From that, we prioritized user training, better knowledge sharing, and improving the main website. We quickly implemented better user training and knowledge sharing through the January orientation week with a sessions on faculty technology best practices and a session on Office 365 and SharePoint. We continue to look for opportunities to improve in these areas. For the main website, members from the Student B4 team partnered with members from the Community C2 team to start discussing a new website design project. Since then a request for proposals has been posted and 15 proposals from quality web development firms have been submitted. The project is in the phase of proposal reviews and will hopefully decide on a winning bidder by the end of September. Additionally, the GCC Information Technology team has implemented single sign on (SSO) for students to allow account integration through their Office 365 account (email account). Currently, Moodle SSO integration is active with other integrations planned. Also implemented is SSO for employees with Zoom integration active. We also have been able to migrate student and employee email to Microsoft’s cloud email system, allowing for improved security, maintenance time, and hardware costs. We have also implemented the Dynamic Forms system that provides a secure platform for digital forms that can include digital signatures. There are a couple dozen of forms currently active for student and perspective student access for submission.

GCC staff are utilizing the new Zoom Room to conduct interviews (above).

These projects help us maintain continuous improvement and stay innovative, while we do our best with daily tech support for all users. We have many more projects in the queue, looking to optimize our network and to provide a more seamless user experience for all GCC students, employees, guests, and community members.

Expand Academic Programming and Services GCC Internships Gogebic Community College has recently partnered with Riipen to increase the number of workintegrated learning opportunities and virtual internships for our students. Riipen is the world’s leading virtual project-based learning platform that helps immerse students in industry projects and equips them with work-ready skills. It brings industry and academia together, with real company projects facilitated by instructors and embedded directly into the curriculum. Students complete their academic credit projects and receive feedback and skills validation from partner employers for inclusion in their e-portfolios.

Increase Community and Campus Engagement Mentorship Program The mentorship program links new employees with current employees to assist with their transistion into GCC. This committee developed a schedule for the new mentor/mentees, which includes morning check-ins throughout their first week of new employment as well as giving tours and attending lunches with various employees.

New employee, Kristy Dums (right) is pictured with her mentor, Deb Janczak (left).

New faculty member at the Copper Country Center, Trevor Ploe (above right) is pictured with his mentor, Matt Gage (above left).

New faculty members, Dr. Peter McKenna (left) and Nicole Mason (right) pictured with their mentor, Tara Tregembo (middle).

New Employee Welcome Packet The welcome packets were created as a quick reference guide to many things that new employees would find useful throughout their time at GCC. The packets includes not only the formal forms and trainings, but also bits of information to make life easier for the new employee such as Athletic Schedules, Snack Bar hours and Community Newsletter/events.

Increase Community and Campus Engagement (cont.) GCC Connects to the Community A Giving Tree was established for DOVE, Inc. in November of 2020. The response was amazing with a wide range of gifts received including winter gear, clothing, toys, toiletries, board games and approximately $450 in gift cards to local businesses. The Copper Country Center collected winter gear for the Angel Mission in the Houghton region.

The Giving Tree in the President's Office, with gifts for DOVE, Inc (left). Gifts were delivered to DOVE, Inc. to be distributed to families in need (above).

Led by GCC’s Allied Health Department, GCC employees and their families were encouraged to make cards, letters, and artwork to be delivered to residents in nursing homes in the Gogebic Range and Copper Country regions. Winter, with Covid preventing any visitors, resulted in it being a difficult season for the long-term care facilities. The GCC family hoped that these acts of kindness brightened their days.

An idea was formed to recreate MLK’s iconic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech by dividing up the speech into 40 parts that would be read by various GCC staff, faculty, Foundation Board and Board of Trustee members, and community members. Videos were compiled and posted on the GCC website and all social media outlets with a powerful portion of the video including the SAMSONS Men’s Basketball team linking arms reciting, ‘I have a dream today!’ (pictured below).

Mother Earth wasn’t left out of the mix in these efforts! GCC put out a call to students, faculty, staff, and community members to come together and clean up trash on campus on Earth Day, April 22nd. Trash bags were filled with garbage from around campus and along Greenbush Rd. leading up to Mt. Zion. Participants rolled up their sleeves and got down and dirty in the ditches, nooks, and crannies to pick up trash revealed by the melted snow. Together, we are Gogebic Bold!

Students, faculty, staff, Board and community members pitched in to pick up trash around the GCC campus on Earth Day, 2020.

Strategic Plan Team Leads

Dr. George McNulty

Strategic Planning Team Co-Chairs

David Darrow


Vice President of Academic Services

Glen AckermanBehr

Jessica LeinonNovascone

Director of Workforce Development

Director of TRIO and Accessibility Services

Cynthia BrandonSlocum

Emily Gieger-Dedo Biochemistry Instructor

English Instructor

Kari Klemme

Marketing Strategist

Miranda Heglund

Beth Steiger

Institutional Research

Business Instructor

Kelly Marczak Director of Institutional Development and Foundation Executive Director

Leah Hagen

Nicole Rowe

Director of Allied Health

Kristin Kenney

Administrative Assistant, Vice President of Academic Services

Kim Zeckovich Director of Admissions, Marketing and Community Relations

Jackie Franzoi Career Counselor

Steve Spets Director of Computer Services

Dayle Jackson


Director of Student Outreach and Engagement

Matt Gage

Dr. Maria Sokol

Anatomy & Physiology Instructor

Stacy Brey Director of Off-Campus

Biology Instructor

Dr. Chenin Limback Biology Instructor