Schoolcraft College aspires to become a knowledge-driven organization, grounded by a culture of evidence and innovation; motivated by a desire to produce an effective, relevant, value-added higher education product.
The College’s quest for high performance began twenty plus years ago. At that time, “A Nation at Risk” had just been published (US Department of Education, 1983). The effectiveness of America’s public education system was questioned for the first time. Americans began to purchase products produced overseas. Japanese companies owned the quality brand. American manufacturers, struggling to stay competitive, became immersed in quality principles.
By the mid-eighties, Total Quality Management (TQM) and Systems Thinking were universally adopted as standard operating business practices (Glossary of Terms). The notions of predictability, process control, and standards transformed the way organizations design, develop and deliver products and services.
As the decade progressed, the Learning Organization was on the rise. The Internet was becoming a ubiquitous tool enabling organizations to collect, analyze and use data to improve processes and performance. And by the millennium, the knowledge economy had been born. International markets were developed, outsourcing became common practice and it became clear that the world is definitely flat.
Now, more than ever, the economic success of a country or a region or a community is intrinsically linked to the higher education attainment of its citizens. “A Nation at Risk” has become a “Nation in Crisis”. Higher education institutions across the country are grappling with critical business issues like quality of instruction, stakeholder pressure, changing demographics and student behaviors, changing expectations, the need for new revenue streams, competition, organizational development and change management. Schoolcraft is no exception.
The College believes the attainment of quality, in some measure, is shaped by two interrelated elements: 1) people and culture and 2) systems, processes and environments. Schoolcraft has long enjoyed a dedicated, talented employee base, whose members are at the core of our transformation.
In 2006, three long-term Breakthrough Initiatives (Core Product Design and Development, Performance Architecture, Strategic Enrollment Management) were built as a framework for systemic change. They provide a structure for achieving mission, for focused planning and organizational development.
In Fall 2007, Schoolcraft applied for admission to the Higher Learning Commission’s Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) and was accepted the following December. In January 2008, Schoolcraft attended the AQIP Strategy Forum. This milestone marks the beginning of the next phase of our quality journey.