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Strenghts, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT)

STRENGTHS: What RCC does well.

  • Caring, dedicated, and expert faculty and staff members
  • Employee involvement with student learning activities
  • Employee involvement in the community
  • Strong leadership with integrity and vision
  • Institutional commitment to professional development
  • Goodwill, respect, and recognition in the community/region
  • Outstanding technology, support, and distance learning
  • Workforce outreach programs
  • Updated, responsive curricula, with many options in region
  • Quality education and high standards
  • Transfer and Guaranteed Admission Agreement (GAA) options
  • Proactive Educational Foundation
  • Student-centered learning resources
  • First Year Experience (FYE) student success focus
  • Financial aid and scholarship availability
  • Good counseling and advising
  • Career coaches and recruitment efforts in high schools
  • Sports teams
  • Partnerships with school systems, businesses, and colleges
  • Great location
  • Affordability
  • Accessibility
  • Rappahannock Institute for Lifelong Learning (RILL)
  • Variety of offerings and instructional delivery modes for all age groups and interests
  • SACS Accreditation
  • Clean and safe campuses

WEAKNESSES: What RCC could improve upon.

  • Internal communication
  • Mentoring and training for faculty
  • Participation in governance and decision making
  • Student gathering spaces
  • Comprehensive marketing plan
  • Deliberate focus on quality
  • Reliance on part-time faculty and staff
  • Instructional space, program-related labs
  • Staffing levels in offices
  • Resources for Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)
  • Support staff for extended hours, future growth
  • Heavy faculty workload
  • Pedagogical training
  • Tutoring availability
  • Student clubs and activities
  • Faculty advising model
  • Career-related programs, need for short duration and internships
  • Bureaucratic obstacles
  • Variety in course offerings
  • Recruitment, follow up, and mentoring of adjunct faculty
  • Funding uncertainty and decline
  • Community College image as second tier in higher education
  • Large geographical area, lack of RCC satellite centers
  • Diversity in workplace and classroom
  • Alumni outreach

OPPORTUNITIES: What RCC can do for growth and programming.

  • Increase market share, due to value and quality
  • Utilize college recruiter on staff
  • Encourage dual enrolled students to become completers
  • Strengthen relationships with school counselors and teachers
  • Expand student activities
  • Increase tutoring for student success
  • Add new vigorous academic and Workforce programs
  • Increase internships, cooperative education, and apprenticeship
  • Improve and expand Guaranteed Admissions Agreement (GAA) advising and results
  • Use student assessment results to improve program quality
  • Continue to upgrade and expand to welcoming, multi-use facilities
  • Expand satellite locations, specifically Kilmarnock
  • Include campus space for community use
  • Develop a marketing plan
  • Strengthen the King George site
  • Partner on new initiatives with a variety of community organizations
  • Increase students in grant programs and Governor’s School
  • Recruit enthusiastic, competent faculty and staff members
  • Seek additional sources of revenue
  • Increase mentoring and leadership development internally
  • Streamline processes, using new web presence and technology
  • Review internal positions and processes to enhance efficiency and relationships
  • Enhance university partners onsite
  • Market the RCC economic advantage
  • Identify and implement improved early intervention activities for student success
  • Integrate ongoing training for staff
  • Engage volunteers and alumni
  • Strengthen RCC’s economic development role in the region
  • Enhance pedagogical training
  • Organize improvement input from staff serving students daily
  • Enhance short-term OT programs
  • Promote the Honors program
  • Improve adjunct recruitment, mentoring, assimilation in the college
  • Expand sports teams/clubs
  • Maintain currency with instructional technology, equipment infrastructure
  • Expand on-campus dual enrollment opportunities
  • Increase articulated programs with four-year colleges to meet certification training
  • Increase career services for students
  • Seek national professional accreditation for associate degree nursing
  • Redesign developmental studies

THREATS: Things that may inhibit future RCC successes.

  • Heavy faculty and staff workloads
  • Economic uncertainty, decline
  • Increasing tuition and fees
  • Financial stress prominent in service region
  • Low population growth in service region
  • Ability to hire individuals to support growth, expand services
  • Regional perception of higher education value
  • Static trend in high school graduate numbers
  • Competition from other higher education entities
  • Continued high need for developmental education
  • RCC not meeting VCCS growth average, funding implications
  • Low morale, sense of participation
  • Aging workforce and need for succession planning
  • Compromising quality while pursuing Full Time Enrollment (FTE) growth
  • Small number of large employers offering secure positions
  • Credential requirements for professional jobs shifting; sometimes above associate degree
  • Bureaucracy; government policies for education, health, business
  • Lack of pathways to RCC programs
  • Lack of public awareness
  • Lack of regional broadband
  • Communication deficits
  • Perception of community college as second tier in higher education
  • Inadequate facilities
  • Failure to continually update curricula and equipment
  • External distractions on leadership focus
  • Reliance on dual enrollment for enrollment growth
  • Employer base not growing; soft employment market for graduates
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