Strategic skills are needed to enable staff members to assess emerging community educational needs, envision the best match between these needs and the nature and scope of the future CS/CE program, develop longrange goals for the program, and establish working relationships with individuals and groups which will lay the foundation for future program development. [...] community college management is going through a transformation from a campus-based, operationally oriented enterprise to a community-based strategically-oriented one.
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT OF COMMUNITY SERVICES IN THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE By Gunder A. Myran This article previously appeared in The of a preferred future for the overall pro- sons, the future is simply a projection into Community Services Catalyst, Winter gram and have a sense of the strategy time of the current configuration of the 1983, Volume XIII, Number 1 (pages 12- being used to create that future. Strategic offerings and services of the program. 14) and is reprinted with the permission skills are needed to enable staff members They feel that if things are going well of the author. to assess emerging community education- operationally, they must be going well al needs, envision the best match between strategically. Introduction these needs and the nature and scope of the future CS/CE program, develop long- On the other hand, those who feel that A person standing on a hill overlooking range goals for the program, and estab- the future of the CS/CE program can be a community college campus can take a lish working relationships with individuals shaped by planned interventions into photograph either of the “big picture”— and groups which will lay the foundation ongoing events can be described as strate- the entire campus-or a detail of a specific for future program development. gically-oriented managers. They feel that building simply by using different lenses. the future can be shaped by anticipating Similarly, the Community Services/ Shaping the Future of the emerging trends in the community and in Continuing Education manager in a com- Community Services/Continuing the college as a whole, and then making munity college is able to shape the big Education Program those key decisions which will create the picture-the future of the entire CS/CE pro- best match between those trends and the gram—or carry out operational details of Some CS/CE managers feel that the future possibilities of the CS/CE program. the program by using different skills. future just happens, while others feel that They believe that CS/CE staff members Strategic management and operational they can shape the future through a must devote time and energy to speculat- management represent two ends of a con- process of strategic decision-making and ing about the future and seeking consen- tinuum which encompasses the skills of action. Some feel that the future is largely sus on answers to these fundamental the CS/CE manager. On one end of the unknown and indiscernible, while others questions; continuum are found the more intuitive, feel that the future is a reality that is hap- I . What emerging trends and conditions creative, time-free, and entrepreneurial pening now-that today’s decisions are in the community and in the college skills of strategic management, and on the shaping tomorrow’s CS/CE program. Some are likely to have an impact on the other end are found the more technical, feel that the future of the program is future of the CS/CE program? sequential and time-bound skills of opera- being shaped by factors beyond their con- 2. In anticipation of external trends and tional management. trol, while others feel that the future can conditions, what changes in the Operational skills are, of course, very be anticipated and that strategic moves nature and scope of the CS/CE pro- important. A CS/CE program cannot be can be made so that the program is posi-
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