A Message from the President
PITTSBURGH TECHNICAL COLLEGE STRATEGIC PLAN
SETTING THE COURSE FOR THE FUTURE
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt
Joining Pittsburgh Technical College at the onset of developing a new five-year strategic plan proved to be an exciting opportunity. Together, we set the course for the future and re-imagined PTC’s next chapter.
Through an open and transparent process, I invited the College Community to dream with me, and to imagine a future by our design. Within my first communication with faculty, staff and students, I established the six strategic directions reflected within these pages. Then I, with a community of brave dreamers, began a year-long process of crafting our path forward.
As President, I had the pleasure of working with and getting to know nearly 70 individuals, inclusive of all PTC departments, who committed themselves to serving on the Strategic Planning Taskforce and thoughtfully framed this critical plan, assuring that it represents the shared goals of our community.
I want to express my gratitude to the Strategic Planning Taskforce, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Eileen Steffan, Program Development Coordinator, Terry Ankeny, and the Pittsburgh Technical College Board of Trustees for their commitment and support throughout this process.
An Unprecedented Year
In 2020, COVID-19 brought unique challenges for higher education that forced unexpected change and the need for strategic reflection, planning and subsequent execution. Across the educational landscape, the Coronavirus Pandemic shifted enrollment, interrupted educational plans, reshaped employment, and significantly impacted instructional modalities.
Pittsburgh Technical College was technologically well-prepared to close its campus for several months to protect the health and safety of our community, maintaining education in a fully virtual environment. In July, we strategically re-emerged, poised to transform the educational ecosystem, student experience and teaching and learning environment, to embrace a new normal. This process also gave birth to an extensive Return to Campus Plan, which serves as a precursor to this document.
We are now virtually excellent in the online environment and have expanded our fully online programs and student support services to academically and socially engage learners. While the full impact of the Coronavirus on education remains to be seen, I am confident that PTC is positioned to make decisions that will result in a higher standard for education in our region and beyond.
Creating the Plan
We emerged from the planning process believing in our key priorities of becoming an educator of choice, a primary pathway for filling middle skills jobs and fueling economic development to rebuild our Commonwealth and serve as a model for other educational institutions.
Pittsburgh Technical College will expand its work with business and industry and educational partners to meet the ever-changing needs of students and employers. We will strive to maintain or exceed our consistent 95% in-field placement rate, of which we are so proud. We will also grow our relationships with governmental and philanthropic constituents who share and illuminate our mission.
This document reflects the College’s engagement with a broad array of talented internal and thoughtful external stakeholders about the future of education, the future of work, and the future of Pittsburgh Technical College.
The Next Chapter
As we plan for the next chapter, a chapter delineated within this document, our dreams and actions will align and they will present tremendous opportunities. Our culture will embrace and celebrate creativity as the transformational power of education seeds a renewed hope. Pittsburgh Technical College’s key priorities and strategic directions will guide tactical planning and budgeting practices.
We will make steady progress, and will integrate a brilliant mix of applied and technical education with rigorous academic requirements. This is the cornerstone on which our work must be premised.
The success or failure of an organization is heavily weighted on the leaders who serve and their ability to learn from the past and anticipate the future and act. In-order to achieve the outcomes within our strategic plan, the following three leadership goals will be set in alignment with our priorities and strategic directions to drive our continued planning and execution.
- Empower the faculty, staff and students of Pittsburgh Technical College to seize every opportunity to bring their best self to every situation. We will work smart and ground every action and interaction in excellence.
- Enhance transformational teaching practices, learning and work environments and embrace cultural competence in fulfillment of our core values. Quality interactions with the college community must be grounded in compassion, appreciation, respect and empowerment.
- Invest in our employees, creating an innovative, empowered workforce that is given the tools and opportunities to think bigger and better about everything we do. It will be important to provide opportunities for all employees to be heard, to engage, to grow professionally and to enhance and apply the intellectual capital, knowledge, and skills necessary to achieve institutional priorities and strategic directions and goals. This is key to institutional success, and means that PTC aims to be student- and staff-focused as we evolve and live our pledge to be a higher standard now, and in the years to come.
We are the future of higher education. PTC is a unique organization blurring the boundaries between what is considered traditional technical training and college education. Our innovative approaches are being incorporated by our peers, and we strive to continue to lead our fellow educators on this path toward revolutionizing academia.
With a laser-like focus on student success and the future, we will continue to create and nurture an organizational culture that is both open and responsive to change and learning, as I wrote in the Seventh Learning College Principle. Our Strategic Plan is a living document and a testament of the College’s evolution and growth as a higher education institution committed to excellence and accountability. The challenges of 2020 have provided a renewed vision, expanded mission and clear values that will lead us to broader inclusivity.
We believe our strategic directions of expand access, enable success, align workforce demand and curriculum focus, elevate public and private partnerships, enhance financial sustainability and stewardship and promote culture of excellence and accountability, capture the beauty of our dreams and predict the future by creating it.
Through continued planning, the alignment of institutional practices with student and organizational success, and the seamless integration of systems, a culture of excellence and accountability will serve to sustain Pittsburgh Technical College.
As PTC’s first President to emerge from outside of the organization and the first African-American to lead the College, I am humbled to be embraced by a college community that is united by values and a commitment to student success and organizational excellence. Together we will accomplish our goals.
Alicia B. Harvey-Smith, Ph.D.