During the 2019 Professional Development Conference in Reston, Virginia, hosted by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), Bryan University had the opportunity to present an innovative approach to strategic planning. ACCSC is Bryan University’s accrediting agency.
Bryan University President and CEO Eric Evans, and Vice President for Employee Excellence Julie Phillips presented “Unleash the Power of Your People.” The presentation was offered in a “learning lab” style format, giving attendees a look at how to leverage an Objectives and Key Results (OKR) framework to enable employees to identify and achieve goals related to effective institutional assessment and improvement planning. Bryan University developed this approach to link BU goal setting to the overall ACCSC planning document to foster transparency and buy-in at all levels throughout BU. This model is considered a best practice and innovative approach to connecting the university’s goals with its strategic plan that the accrediting agency requires. “It’s an innovative approach that ensures each employee feels that they are a part of making this plan happen,” said Julie Phillips.
ACCSC recognized Bryan University for this innovative approach and asked BU to present their model during the Best Practices session at the conference. Using this approach, BU has been able to better measure and assess increases in employee engagement and improvements in student outcomes. Eric Evans said, “At Bryan University we are always looking at ways to challenge boundaries, whether it be through innovating the student experience, tuition costs, admissions processes, or how we align with local employers. This specific approach shows how we are innovating strategic planning to better enable our institution as a whole to really drive the mission in alignment with ACCSC requirements. We adapted an approach seen as a best practice from the business sector, and used it to align our employees within the institution directly to our institutional objectives and university mission.”