In January 1998 during its second semester of operation, Florida Gulf Coast University embarked on the development of a comprehensive distance learning strategic plan to support its unique mission increasing access to higher education not only in Southwest Florida but beyond. Since 1998 the DL Strategic Plan has guided our development through the present.
To do so, President McTarnaghan appointed a distinguished four-member distance learning advisory council to guide and direct the effort, and created an internal steering committee made up of faculty and staff across the four colleges and administrative units to lead the planning process.
With distance learning being a university-wide function at FGCU, faculty and staff were encouraged to interact with the members of the steering committee to share ideas and provide feedback. On February 12, 1998, the steering committee completed an extensive distance learning status report capturing all courses, programs, policies and services that were being designed, developed and delivered to date. The status report provided a baseline of information for the next steps toward developing the comprehensive strategic plan.
In the ensuing months, following several group workshops under the advisement of the advisory council and the feedback from the Deans Council, Faculty Senate, and the Executive Staff, the distance learning strategic plan, containing ten stated goals and objectives, was created.
- Goal 1 - Use distance learning courses and programs to be responsive to curricular needs of students.
- Goal 2 - Identify market opportunities for distance learning courses and programs congruent with academic strengths.
- Goal 3 - Consistent with the University's mission, ensure a continuous and stable funding base for distance learning.
- Goal 4 - Recruit, support, and recognize a faculty enabled to effectively design, develop and deliver distance learning courses and programs in collaboration with instructional development teams.
- Goal 5 - Develop ongoing management processes for reviewing, evaluating, and prioritizing market opportunities to implement distance learning courses and programs.
- Goal 6 - Leverage resources by forming strategic alliances to extend FGCU distance learning courses and programs that have been identified as consistent with targeted market opportunities.
- Goal 7 - Provide recruitment, admissions, financial aid, registration and advising services appropriate to meet the needs of distance learners.
- Goal 8 - Provide library resources, reference services, and information literacy instruction appropriate to meet the needs of distance learners.
- Goal 9 - Maintain the human and technical resources and network infrastructure necessary to reliably support and deliver distance learning.
- Goal 10 - Conduct continuous evaluation of distance learning programs.
In an integrated approach the plan carefully adheres to the University's Mission Statement, Guiding Principles, and Strategic Plan in Technology (January 5, 1996).
On June 5, 1998, President McTarnaghan and the Executive Staff formally endorsed the plan for adoption.