Our Strategic Plan

The Purpose

Strategic Planning evolves from collaborative engagement with the campus, local, and regional communities to articulate a shared mission, vision, and set of values that drive all decision-making at Arizona Western College. The Strategic Plan that develops out of this process is dynamic and provides a flexible but focused framework for our future.

The History

In November 2016 AWC President Dr. Daniel Corr launched a 15-month Strategic Planning Initiative. He worked with the Classified Association, Faculty Senate, and the President's Cabinet to select Biridiana Martinez, Ellen Riek, and Lori Stofft as tri-chairs for this process.  Dr. Corr gave only two directions for the tri-chairs: make the strategic planning process inclusive, and make it transparent. Research into successful strategic planning at other institutions and preliminary discussions with consultants revealed that we should develop a Task Force with balanced representation from our three employee groups, to collaborate with President's Council and AWC students to drive our Strategic Planning process.

View Archive

October 2021
Innovation Fund Update

September 2020
Arizona Western College hosted a press conference at the Parker Learning Center on Thursday, September 10, to share about expanding partnerships with regional law enforcement and funding from Arizona@Work to enroll cadets in the college’s Law Enforcement Training Academy (LETA).

June 2020
We hosted the 2nd in a series of college-wide convenings (AWC Teams Streamline: Stop to Reinvent) with Liz Murphy, from CampusWorks Inc, to talk about how our teams can learn from the COVID-19 Pandemic and streamline their work to better serve our students.

May 2020
Over 120 colleagues joined us to at the Stopping to contemplate the early lessons of this huge shift in the work we do.

March 2020
In March, days (minutes?) before the shut-down, about 40 colleagues gathered for an Implementation Council meeting, to talk about how to streamline and collapse the list of 19 objectives, and to engage in conversation about our Values. We discussed how to set our teams up for success and completion on the Objectives, the need to remove barriers, the desire to ap new talent to the Implementation teams.

October 9, 2019
AWC staff seek professional development on Strategic Planning work

July 25, 2019
2019 Strategic Planning Status Report

December 6, 2018
2019 Innovation Fund Awards Announced

November 13, 2018
Pathways Framework Adopted

May 03, 2018
Strategic Innovation Projects in the Works Across District

February 26, 2018
Arizona Western College Unveils Strategic Plan: Technology, Agility, and Baccalaureate Degrees at the top of the list

May 02, 2018
AWC Governing Board approves a preliminary budget

February 27, 2018
Student-Focused Innovation Projects Bring Great Ideas to Life Across District

File Name Downloads
2024 Innovation Fund Strategic Plan Town Hall, Dec 2023 Download
Strategic Plan Bootcamp for New Hires, Oct 2023 Download
Strategic Plan Jeopardy, Oct 2023 Website
Strategic Plan Postcard, Oct 2023 Download
Strategic Plan Posters, Oct 2023 Download
Strategic Plan Update & Innovation Town Hall - Dec 2022 Download
Strategic Planning Remaining Work 2022 Document Link (Internal Only)
Strategic Booklet - Status Report - Fall 2019 Download
Strategic Plan 2025 Booklet Download
Strategic Plan Presentation - Dec. 2018 Download
Action Plans - Dec. 2018 Download
Implementation Workshop - May 2019 Download
Implementation Workshop Questions - May 2019 Download
Implementation Workshop Feedback - May 2019 Download
File Name Downloads
October 2020 Download
October 2019 Download
September 2019 Download
April 2019 Download
March 2019 Download
February 2019 Download
Strategic Planning Document/File Name Downloads
Strategic Plan: Implementation Team Objective Leads Download
Accessibility Document/File Name Downloads
YCAT Email Download
YCAT Data for AWC Ridership Download
Summer Drop and Success Rate Data Download
Student Survey - Fall 2018 - Spring 2019 Download
Student Survey (Online) - Fall 2018 - Spring 2019 Download
Standard Time Model Feedback and Notes Download
Proposed Transfer & Career Pathways Framework Download
Agility Document/File Name Downloads
Agility Processes, Procedures, and Policies Download
Agility Self-Assessment - Shared Governance Download
Deal Makers & Breakers Workshop Presentation Download
Deal Makers & Breakers Workshop Questions Download
Deal Makers & Breakers Workshop Responses Download
Notes from Focus Group on Section 8 Download
Combined Minutes - 03/28/18 - 09/03/19 Download

In June of 2019, members of the AWC Pathways committee, now the Pathways Charter Team, attended the inaugural Arizona Center for Student Success convening in Tempe. Representatives from all 10 Arizona community colleges gathered to discuss successful Guided Pathways models at colleges outside of Arizona, collaborate on best practices, and share next steps for statewide Pathways initiatives moving forward. The plenary speaker was Kay McClenney, Senior Advisor to the president of the American Association of Community Colleges. McClenney congratulated participants on their willingness to do the deep work of building Guided Pathways at our home institutions, recognizing that the historically piecemeal approach to providing support for student retention and completion has yielded less than impressive results. Rather, she suggested, we need to adopt a holistic approach that shifts us away from asking if students are ready for college and toward creating colleges that are ready for students.

Certainly any approach we adopt should be data-driven, and she challenged each of us to ask questions of our institutional data that perhaps we had not asked before. These questions begin to address some of the systemic issues our students experience that hinder their ability to easily navigate an academic path. When our Charter Team returned to AWC and met to debrief the convening, these questions continued to resonate with us. Thus the Disaggregated Data Party was formed! We sent our IERB office a data request focused on the questions McClenney asked, and planned a Friday morning in late September when faculty and staff serving on a variety of Strategic Planning committees could come together to review and analyze the data, and set some goals based on what we found.

Over 50 faculty and staff participated in this Data Party on Friday, September 27, 2019, 9am-noon, and took a deep dive into the data. In many cases what we learned was that we need more data! In other cases, we took issue with how a question was framed—what it implied or didn’t that skewed the results. Sometimes we were just generally surprised at what we found. In all cases, as our post-Data Party survey responses indicate, we agreed that working together—across departments, programs, and employee groups—should be at least an annual exercise.

If you have any questions as you peruse the slides that helped drive our process, the raw data, or the results, please contact Strategic.Planning@azwestern.edu

File Name Downloads
Observations and Discussion Download
Disaggregated Data Party Presentation Download
Q1 Student Application Demographics Download
Q2 FTSE Numbers vs Course Completion Download
Q3 1st Semester Gateway Course (ENG & MAT) Download
Q5 30 Credits 1st Semester Download
Q6 1st YR Degree Related Courses Download
Q7 Degree Completers - Total Credits Completed Download
Q8 FTSE Developmental (ENG & MAT) Students & SSC Download
File Name Downloads
Project Funding Request Download
Travel Proposal Download

Strategic Direction


Cultivate an agile culture and institutional model that strengthens the future of AWC and the region

  • COMPLETE - Establish an equitable model of shared governance that builds a culture of empowerment by minimizing hierarchy and broadening decision making. January 2019
  • Review processes, procedures, and policies to improve efficiency and create sensible workflows to increase student and faculty/staff satisfaction. July 2019
  • Design a cross-training model to support collaborative staffing resource flexibility. July 2019
  • Create and fund a professional development model to grow bench strength and assist with succession planning. January 2020


Improve student success by leveraging technology that personalizes the student experience and increases organizational effectiveness

  • Deliver upgraded technology that increases automation in Student Services. July 2022
  • Develop a stable, well-supported, technology-rich teaching and working environment dedicated to current and equitable technological resources. August 2022
  • COMPLETE - Eliminate negative IT audit findings. December 2020
  • Develop a technology-literate workforce that embraces IT as a component to improve responsiveness, efficiency, pedagogy, and student learning. August 2021
  • Deliver upgraded technology that reflects best-practices in teaching and learning and supports an enriched student experience. August 2022


Eliminate cultural, financial, time and place barriers to education

  • COMPLETE - Develop and implement a multiyear data-driven class schedule that aligns with program offerings and transfer/ workforce demands to increase enrollment by 5% at all campuses. June 2020
  • COMPLETE - Offer open educational resources in 50% of all classes. July 2022
  • COMPLETE - Allocate appropriate resources to meet the growing community and educational needs in South County and other district priorities as identified by the Facilities Master Plan. January 2025
  • Develop and deliver “wrap-around” services that accelerate student time to completion. January 2022
  • COMPLETE - Research and adopt a Guided Pathways model that aligns with AWC student & community needs. November 2018
  • Develop a partnership with the high school district to design and deliver aligned developmental curriculum at the High School level to reduce barriers to college-level courses. June 2020


Grow and sustain academic programs that leverage our competencies, fuel economic growth and position graduates for prosperity

  • Create regional economic growth by collaborating with key business and industry partners to develop programs tailored to meet the existing employee deficit. January 2020
  • Develop and deploy three interdisciplinary programs that t local industry needs using flexible delivery models. June 2020
  • COMPLETE - Explore learning processes to obtain credits based on experience, skills, and prior learning. July 2019
  • COMPLETE - Develop Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs) for all AWC students. October 2018


Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) Logo

AGILITYWe welcome change, anticipate stakeholder needs, identify flexible, innovative solutions, adapt to meet constituent needs, and are process focused.

PASSIONWe dream big, propose creative solutions, exceed expectations, and foster an engaging and supportive environment.

TRANSPARENCYWe build trust through honesty and openness, include stakeholders in decision-making, and communicate thoughtfully and clearly.

UNITYWe collaborate to develop and achieve goals, find opportunities to create synergy and empowerment, and work holistically toward student success.

EMPOWERMENTWe are inspired to do our best work when governance and responsibility are shared equitably, individuals are encouraged to express diverse and innovative perspectives, and courage is esteemed over comfort.

RESPECTWe express the highest levels of professionalism and kindness, seek common ground with openness & inclusivity, challenge ideas with an empathetic mindset, and listen to and acknowledge others’ ideas with civility and courtesy.


Strategic Planning Framework