Wayne Johnson of WDM presents the six pillars of SFSC’s new Vision Statement to employees during SFSC’s Professional Development Day.

Wayne Johnson of WDM presents the six pillars of SFSC’s new Vision Statement to employees during SFSC’s Professional Development Day.

At its employee Professional Development Day on Feb. 13, South Florida State College unveiled a new college Vision Statement:  A globally aware academic destination driving regional transformation through innovative collaboration

“Since 1965, South Florida State College has been an engaged provider of higher education in our community,” SFSC President Dr. Thomas C. Leitzel said.  “This year is significant for SFSC as we celebrate our 50th anniversary of exemplary service.  It is a perfect time to craft a new vision that will serve us into the next half-century of service. Visions inspire. They offer a compelling reason to advance and lead.” 

Although the new vision statement was voted on and accepted unanimously during the December 2014 SFSC District Board of Trustees meeting, college administration chose to officially launch the vision statement on a day when all college employees come together–Professional Development Day. 

“The Vision Statement, adopted by the District Board of Trustees in December, is a powerful declaration of the college’s aspirations,” Dr. Leitzel said.  “It establishes our operational mindset to become greater and to make a huge impact in the educational infrastructure of Florida’s Heartland.” 

Working in tandem with members of World Design Marketing (WDM), SFSC began the process of developing a new SFSC vision statement in October 2014. “Great visions move us and inspire us to something bigger than we previously imagined,” said Wayne Johnson, senior partner, WDM. “A great vision takes us from what we are to what we want to become.  The best visions aren’t truly attainable. It’s an endless future. Great visions inspire an immediate change within an organization that rallies around the new vision.” 

During the Professional Development Day presentation of the Vision Statement, Johnson indicated that some of the changes an educational institution may see are an invigorated staff and students, an increase in enrollment, and a greater impact within the institution’s community. 

The vision creation process for SFSC moved quickly. The college held 10 focus groups over three days to glean stakeholders’ vision of SFSC’s future. College employees, college advisory committees, and community leaders from SFSC’s service district of Highlands, Hardee, and DeSoto counties were invited to offer their comments on what the college should become. 

Johnson explained that at its foundation and core, SFSC is a teaching and learning institution and that the college offers quality with integrity. “This is what the college does, but institutions need a vision that goes beyond the day-to-day operations. Education is changing, students are changing, economics are changing; therefore, SFSC must remain relevant.” 

Through the focus groups, consistent themes emerged, prompting the creation of six pillars that support SFSC’s new Vision Statement: 

Quality – Personalized education via personal excellence

Leadership – Driving regional transformation

Relevance – Keeping local focus on the global pulse

Destination – Premier academic programs that attract engaged learners

Partnership – Accelerating change through bold collaboration

Technology – Pushing the envelope of academic enterprise 

“These six pillars arise out of what college employees do every day, and they support the vision,” Johnson said. “The pillars are points of engagement, and everyone at the college has a role in these pillars. Some people will be involved in all of them, others in only a few.” 

“SFSC proudly serves the residents of DeSoto, Hardee, and Highlands Counties with high quality, responsive academic programs, meeting the needs of the community through a first class, high quality teaching/learning platform,” Dr. Leitzel said.  “Stemming from this platform and led by outstanding faculty, the college has developed a new vision statement that will guide us in our strategic planning functions:  to become a globally aware academic destination driving regional transformation through innovative collaboration.”