Classes may be winding down for the summer, but Red River College sits poised to enter a new era of post-secondary excellence, armed with an updated set of initiatives to guide its strategic direction and future growth for the next five years.
Following months of consultations with internal and external stakeholders — including a series of Open Café meetings (shown above) with staff and faculty from all campuses — the College has adopted newly-revised mission, vision and values statements, casting an aspirational eye towards sustainability, service to community, and global recognition.
Redrafted in tandem with RRC’s new Academic and Research Plan and pending five-year Strategic Plan (due this August), the new statements provide a roadmap for the College to follow, and a set of guidelines for all staff as they put policies into practice — both inside and outside the classroom.
“We don’t expect people to memorize them word for word, but hopefully to get to know them and understand what we are as an institution, and where we’re trying to go, so they can be part of the change,” says Cindee Laverge, vice-president, Student Services and Planning at RRC.
“It’s a way for people to help us achieve our strategic direction: through the mission and vision, to understand on a day-to-day basis what’s important to us, and through our values to understand how we work and play.”
1) Vision: Red River College will be recognized globally for excellence in applied learning, research and innovation.
While RRC already enjoys international acclaim in many fields — such as its Science of Early Child Development resource and its research into green vehicle and building technology — the new plans make a priority out of expanding that reach even further, through strategic partnerships that will help staff and graduates alike become more globally aware.
“Increasingly, we’re operating in a global context,” says RRC president Paul Vogt. “We are a draw for students from around the world, we have partnerships throughout the world, in particular in China and India, and we’re doing work — in early child development, construction technology, and green energy and green vehicles — that is getting attention around the world.”
2) Mission: Together, we learn, teach, challenge, innovate and find solutions to build a brighter future.
The most notable addition to the new mission statement may well be the first word, which reinforces the fact it applies to all members of the College community — including external partners and non-academic staff.
“What follows the ‘together’ is a commitment to problem solving,” says Vogt. “We want people, when they think of Red River College, to think of a place that contributes to meeting the challenges that all of Manitoba faces.”
3) Values: Learning, respect, inclusiveness, integrity, sustainability, service to community.
The College’s values have been similarly updated to reflect the changing landscape of the post-secondary sector, including recent commitments to Indigenous learners and increasingly diverse staff and student populations. They also reflect a renewed focus on sustainability (both environmental and financial) and on serving communities – the latter, one of RRC’s strong suits for decades.
“With that, we’re really putting an exclamation point on what has always been a strength for the College … we specialize in applied teaching and learning, and everything we do serves the needs of Manitoba communities,” says Vogt.
“That’s what distinguishes the polytechnics and the applied learning colleges from the universities. We certainly do contribute to bodies of knowledge within disciplines, but our real raison d’etre is to ensure that knowledge is converted into careers for our students, and skilled workers for employers.”