Okanagan College’s road map for its future is titled Inspire. (OC photo)

Okanagan College’s road map for its future is titled Inspire. (OC photo)

Okanagan College Inspired for its future

College unveils plan for down the road, titled ‘Inspired’

Okanagan College continues to Inspire.

After nearly 60 years of transforming lives and communities, the college has unveiled a road map to its future with an inspiring new plan that keeps the needs of learners – and a growing and changing region – at the forefront.

OC’s board of governors recently gave unanimous approval to Inspire, the college’s new strategic plan that maps out the mission, vision and priorities of the institution for the coming years.

“Okanagan College has long taken its mission to heart, striving to transform lives and communities,” said Vernon’s Juliette Cunningham, board chair. “As we collectively emerge from an intense period of change and uncertainty as a society, we know the college will continue to play a vital role in recovery, resilience, sustainable growth and innovation in the region. Inspire sets OC’s course for many ways in which we can play that role.”

Inspire is the culmination of hundreds of perspectives, conversations, ideas, comments and questions presented during a series of engagement sessions in 2021.

The college’s long-standing mission received a small update to “We transform lives and communities,” as a collective call to each employee and student to engage in the most transformative parts of learning together.

The plan also introduces a vision for the college: “We inspire and empower individuals and communities to strengthen and sustain the social, economic, environmental and cultural resiliency of the region for current and future generations through the creation and sharing of knowledge.”

“As the title – Inspire – suggests, the feedback throughout this process was clear: Okanagan College is an inspiring place because of its people,” says Okanagan College president Neil Fassina. “We inspire and are inspired by our learners, our employees, our communities. We hope each and every member of the OC community will feel inspired and encouraged to join in as we work together to achieve our goals – and that these efforts will tremendously benefit OC and the region in the days, months and years to come.”

There are six values embedded within Inspire, which demonstrate the values at the heart of OC: students first, community, respect, courage, relationships and distinction.

“Learning, community and transformation are at the heart of OC’s mandate, and Inspire calls on every member of the OC community to reflect on those values, responsibilities and commitments, and how those can be integrated into everything we do,” notes Fassina.

From there, responsibilities and commitments are outlined, which help frame the road map of milestones OC will work toward to achieve its goals across the institution. These include continuing to take meaningful steps toward reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, building on the college’s long-standing commitment to working with and learning from Indigenous communities.

“With Inspire, OC re-affirms its pledge to weave Indigenous world views into all aspects of college life as part of the institution’s journey toward reconciliation,” explains Fassina. “From our learning and research environments to our physical, cultural, social and spiritual spaces on campuses, to our structures, policies and practices, Inspire outlines our unwavering commitment to working with, listening to and learning from Indigenous communities throughout this journey.”

In the plan the college also re-affirmed its responsibility toward equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice (EDISJ). OC is committed to strengthening its culture of inclusion by increasing the equitable and inclusive participation of all diversity groups including systematically marginalized people in every aspect of college life. Inspire describes how the college will strive to continue to weave EDISJ principles throughout policy, practice and action in all aspects of college life.

The college is also committed to strengthening its role as a leader in sustainability; the plan states: “As an active partner in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, we are accountable to meet or exceed expectations of sustainability in our physical spaces, energy usage and our daily activities.”

More information about the college’s new strategic plan is available at www.okanagan.bc.ca/inspire.

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