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Mission Statement & Strategic Plan

Institutional Mission

To educate students and provide workforce training that enhances personal and professional growth in a learning environment that facilitates maintaining high academic standards, relationship building, academic and emotional support, and encourages all students to become the best version of themselves.


To be the best rural community College in Colorado.


At Otero College, our work is guided and informed by our commitment to diversity, integrity, learning and innovation, safety, and community.

Strategic Plan Priorities

GOAL 1: Enhance the Student Experience

Developing the student, both academically and personally, is at the heart of Otero’s mission. Each student that enrolls at Otero has access to state-of-the-art technology and facilities, all designed with the student experience at the forefront.

Objective 1: Transform the Academic Experience

Key Initiatives

  1. Strengthen support for adult learners by offering more night and weekend courses, giving students credit for prior learning, and extending office hours
  2. Ensure there is an adequate number of study rooms and tutors and peer tutors on staff to meet student needs
  3. Incorporate career-readiness activities in class and connect students with experiential learning activities, research opportunities, and internships
  4. Enhance instruction through the implementation of Universal Design for Learning and hyflex courses
  5. Explore new programs and articulation agreements that benefit traditional, non-traditional, and concurrently enrolled students

Key Performance Indicators

  1. Exceed the national fall-to-fall retention rate for full time students by 2027
  2. By 2027, increase the number of credentials awarded by 10%
  3. Establish benchmark for student course evaluation completion by Fall 2022 and increase response rate by 2027
  4. Develop five new academic programs by 2027

Student Quote: “I am a single mom of three, who works fulltime in addition to getting my nursing degree. I commute from out of the area and am so thankful that Otero has a program that will work with my personal life and work schedule. The Otero Nursing program is very structured, there are no surprises, and the instructors are experienced professionals in their field.” – Sheree, Otero nursing student

Objective 2: Improve Student Affairs Processes and Co-Curricular Experiences

Key Initiatives

  1. Improve student onboarding through a mandatory new student orientation
  2. Implement best practices in customer service through professional development opportunities
  3. Create a vibrant student engagement program with activities that all students can attend, and ensure students know about Associated Student Government other student clubs and organizations
  4. Ensure students are career-ready by connecting them with work study jobs and career counseling

Key Performance Indicators

  1. By 2027, increase student engagement with academic advising and planning by 5%
  2. Exceed the national fall-to-fall retention rate for full time students by 2027
  3. By 2027, increase the number of credentials awarded by 10%

Student Quote: “I grew up in the area and had always planned on going away to college. After my high school graduation, I realized that with all the OJC credits I had earned while in high school through the concurrent credit program, I was only a couple of semesters away from graduating from OJC with an associate’s degree. My decision to stay at OJC and finish the degree saved my family thousands of dollars in tuition and living expenses.” – Adam, current Otero student

Objective 3: Maintain and Update Facilities to Align with Student Needs

Key Initiatives

  1. Redesign the auxiliary gym
  2. Obtain funding to remodel the locker rooms and training room
  3. Explore the possibility of installing a turf field
  4. Update the residence halls by adding new paint, a trash chute in Wunsch Hall, new washers/dryers, and a community kitchen
  5. Create intentional outdoor spaces where students can gather

Key Performance Indicators

  1. Implement a student ticketing system for facilities issues by Fall 2022
  2. Devise a plan and secure funding to update the auxiliary gym and create intentional outdoor spaces for students by Fall 2024

Student Quote: “I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything else in the world. I have learned so much about myself and my leadership style as well as how others lead.” – Kendra, Otero alumni on participating in the President’s Leadership Program

GOAL 2: Transform our Workplace

Otero College is committed to developing a workforce that reflects our diverse student population. Through strategic marketing and intentional onboarding, Otero aims to increase the number of qualified applications for each open positions. Otero will increase employee satisfaction and retention by supporting professional development and advancement, and enhanced campus communication.

Objective 1: Revamp Our Hiring and Onboarding Processes

Key Initiatives

  1. Market open positions in a way that highlights the benefits of rural living (e.g., outdoor recreation, cost-of-living, shorter commute times, the tight-knit community, and a low faculty-to-student ratio
  2. Explore transitional housing and childcare options
  3. Conduct salary and job description reviews and ensure employees are paid fairly and equitably based on education, skills, and work experience
  4. Review the Alternate Work Schedule and align with other colleges
  5. Improve employing onboarding through mentoring and training

Key Performance Indicators

  1. Create a new employee onboarding and mentoring program by Spring 2023
  2. By 2027, increase the overall number of applicants by 5%
Objective Two: Increase Employee Retention and Satisfaction

Key Initiatives

  1. Reward employee performance and innovation through recognition programs and compensation
  2. Support lifelong learning through professional development opportunities and educational incentives/tuition reimbursement, and develop employee growth plans to identify opportunities for advancement
  3. Improve employee morale through improved communication, team building, networking, and employee events
  4. Establish a formal definition and process of shared governance on campus

Key Performance Indicators

  1. By 2027, increase employee trust and confidence in Otero leadership by 10%
  2. By 2027, improve communication of institutional goals and strategies by 10%
  3. Ensure employee processes are fair and equitable by 2025

GOAL 3: Engage our Community

As a community college, Otero was founded to serve the community. Relationships with industry partners, surrounding K-12 school districts, and supporting local businesses is key to the success of the college. Otero aims to rebuild lasting partnerships with the community and restore Rattler Pride throughout the Arkansas Valley.

Objective 1: Bring the Community to Otero

Strategic Initiatives

  1. Invite community members to campus for tours and events
  2. Explore non-credit and community education course offerings
  3. Engage alumni through an alumni ambassador program, monthly alumni highlights, and alumni events
  4. Partner with local news organizations to promote community events on campus

Key Performance Indicators

  1. Develop five reoccurring community events on campus by 2027
  2. Secure reoccurring enrollment in 15 new non-credit or community education courses on campus or online by 2027
  3. Create an alumni ambassador program by Fall 2023
Objective 2: Take Otero to the Community

Strategic Initiatives

  1. Develop a speaker’s bureau and have faculty and staff available to present to the community as Subject Matter Experts
  2. Increase student involvement in the community (i.e., have ASG attend City Council meetings and get mentored by members, involve athletes in community service projects or pick-up games at City Park, hand out free tickets to campus events, visit area schools)
  3. Explore industry partnerships and identify ways Otero can meet the needs of local organizations

Key Performance Indicators

  1. Participate in two community service or outreach projects a year
  2. Partner with at least three organizations by 2027 to provide reskilling, upskilling, or professional development for their employees

How the 2022-2027 Strategic Plan was Developed

Led by the Otero College Steering Committee, this plan was developed with fidelity and transparency in the spring of 2022. An external analysis was conducted by the committee, a virtual kick-off meeting was held with the campus community, a Strategic Planning presentation was shared with employees, and 12 roundtable discussions with campus and community stakeholders were facilitated by the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management, with support from the Executive Assistant to the President. Also,

surveys were administered to retrieve additional feedback from students, faculty, staff, Advisory Council Representatives, Foundation Board Members, and the community.

The campus and community stakeholders involved in the development of this plan include staff from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Athletics, Business Office, Information Technology, and Physical Plant, as well as faculty members, student leaders, Otero College Advisory Council and Foundation Board, and community leaders.

The goals, objectives, and strategic initiatives outlined in this plan align with the Higher Learning Commission’s Criteria, the Colorado Commission of Higher Education’s Master Plan, and the Colorado Community College System Strategic Plan.

1. External Analysis  

    1. Strategic Planning External Analysis Summary
    2. CCCS Data Book 2020-2021
    3. Otero Data Book 2020-2021

2. Strategic Planning Kick-Off Meeting for Faculty and Staff

    1. Dr. Alvarez’s Presentation Questions
    2. Strategic Planning PowerPoint

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