As we launch this new Interactive Academic Workspace, it seems fitting to use this inaugural blog to provide an update on the development of Humber’s 2016-2021 Academic Plan. As already discussed in a number of forums over the last year, Humber’s Academic Plan will be a strategic document that flows from and is anchored in the Humber 2013-2018 Strategic Plan. Its overall purpose is to outline Humber’s academic priorities and inform key future decisions, such as program development, organizational requirements, infrastructure and technology needs. As outlined in numerous Humber organizational documents, the two main drivers of Humber’s Strategic and Academic Plans are our Unique Polytechnic Identity and our Commitment to Students. Together, the Strategic Plan and the Academic Plan provide the lens through which all units within the organization develop action plans and annual objectives.
At Humber, we recognize that learning is not limited to the classroom. It happens everywhere and context is important. As such, the 2016-2021 Academic Plan will focus on teaching and learning within a polytechnic, postsecondary environment and in service of our overarching commitment to student success. Our institutional vision – leadership in polytechnic education – is predicated upon our core values and our mission to develop “broadly educated, highly skilled and adaptable citizens to be successful in careers that significantly contribute to the communities they serve.” We are constantly challenged to meet the needs of our students, industry and the community, and to equip our graduates with the skills they need to be successful in work – and in life.
Based on the results of the consultations and work undertaken to date, teaching and learning emerge as our core function. From the development of academic programming that is responsive to the needs of employers to the expansion of the scholarship of teaching and learning and the value of experiential learning, the academic plan will set out a series of goals and strategies that will guide our activity in the coming years.
I strongly believe that our responsibilities extend far beyond the provision of excellent academic program delivery, and this is supported in the feedback and comments received to date through the academic planning process. We are accountable to our learners throughout their academic careers and to our graduates once they go out into the world. To that end, the evolving plan will speak to the essential integration of academic and non-academic programming. We will continue to offer student services that support, enrich and inform. Ensuring that our students – as well as our faculty and staff – are free to explore, grow and challenge during their time with us is a principal component of our role as a provider of postsecondary education and training.
Another important theme that has emerged through consultation and dialogue relates to our close relationship with our partners in industry, the community and government. Through these creative partnerships we serve newcomers to Canada and other under-represented groups, assist individuals in finding and keeping employment, and support the economic and social development of our local community and the province more broadly. These partnerships remain crucial to ensuring that our students and faculty have opportunities to engage with real-world problems, and are a key component of providing an educational experience that is rewarding, fulfilling and inspiring.
Humber’s Academic Plan is currently in the final stages of development. A draft of the plan has been made available internally for feedback and the final document will be made public over the coming months. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire Humber community for engaging with me during the development process, and am humbled to acknowledge my appreciation of your daily and ongoing commitment to our shared goal of helping our students succeed.
Senior VP Academic
Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning