Dear CC Community,

As we approach the end of our fall semester, I want to share with you what we have been doing since my last update in September.
The students, faculty, and staff on the Project 2024 Steering Committee are instrumental to the success of Project 2024. Each has their own reasons for taking part in this work, and I’d like to share some of those voices with you.
Mark Lee, director of web and digital media and Steering Committee member, describes what participating in Project 2024 has meant to him and why he wants to be part of this critical visioning process.
Four Phases of Project 2024 Year Two: 
  • Generating ideas
  • Identifying options to pursue
  • Consolidating options
  • Vetting and assessing options
Phase One – Generating Ideas: From June-September, nearly 800 faculty, students, staff, alumni, and trustees engaged in the process through discussions, emails, and surveys.
Phase Two – Identifying Options to Pursue: concludes in Block 4. Eight working groups, made up of faculty, students, and staff and led by two members of the Steering Committee, are developing sets of options building on campus-wide conversations over the last ten months and on relevant data. These groups may also develop additional ideas as they consider possibilities and “what ifs.” 
Phase Three – Consolidating Ideas: Blocks 4 through 5. The Steering Committee will evaluate the options advanced by the eight working groups and consolidate them where possible.
In addition to this work on “How can we do what we do better?,” “exploratory groups” composed of people from inside and outside CC will examine four key challenges facing higher education. These include the financial model and access, demographics and access, and digital knowledge — the role of online learning at CC and the effects of screen use and social media on cognitive function and student learning and wellbeing, plus, as more high-quality colleges and universities now offer less costly online diplomas. How strongly will these compete with a CC degree? What role should online learning play in a residential liberal arts college? How compatible is it with the Block Plan? 
We’re also asking offices and divisions to think more about “connection” and “time,” the two main themes of Year One discussions. We’ve asked them to consider: What are they doing now that they could stop doing in the future, and how could they best use the time they would save? And how could they support other offices, and how could other offices support their work?
In each of these initiatives, we remain mindful of who we are and what we do, and of the values we share:
We are a place of learning committed to supporting our students.
We provide a liberal arts education in a residential setting that builds community and promotes learning beyond the classroom using the Block Plan, which features small classes and an intensive one-course-at-a-time structure.
We value the health and wellbeing of the campus community, our work on antiracism, ensuring equity and access, protecting the environment, and providing clear, transparent, and effective communication.
Please check our website for ongoing updates. I look forward to sharing more updates and introducing you to other members of our Steering Committee after Winter Break.
Thank you for all that you have done to make this work successful!

Susan A. Ashley

Professor of History and Project 2024 Coordinator
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