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Valuing People

2019-2023 Strategic Plan & 2021-2022 WIG & Valuing People Action Plan

Strategic Plans are critical for today’s complex, multifaceted organizations. Well-developed plans act to guide an organization toward a longer-term objective while helping to prevent distraction at the hand of the crisis du jour. In addition, strategic plans provide a framework to establish measurable, short-term goals engineered to move the organization steadily forward. In this plan we have accomplished three things: 1) we have placed mission above all else, 2) we have simplified our core values, and 3) we recognize that our greatest resource is our people — our students and our employees.

The following information gives an overview of the 2021-22 Wildly Important Goals & Valuing People Action Plan as part of the 2019-23 Strategic Plan. You can view the PDF in its entirety here If you would like to request a printed copy, please contact the Zane State College Duplicating Center.

Pause to Reflect

It feels like just yesterday when we released Zane State College (ZSC) 2019-2023 strategic plan; however, here we are already with version 2.0.

You may be curious about why we felt the need to update the document. The answer is simple: progress. You will see in this updated brochure that we have come a long way in a short time attempting to address issues important to students and employees. Since its release, we have even adopted a new vision statement!

Despite the economic challenges resulting from the pandemic, declining enrollments, and shifting demographics, there is also good news to be shared. ZSC continues to strengthen our student performance outcomes. With the highest graduation rate in the State of Ohio, and among the best in the nation, students who choose ZSC have every opportunity to succeed.

As noted in the first strategic plan, it is clear that ZSC employees take pride in the work they do and the impact we make in the lives of our students and their families. This strategic plan is a reminder that through collaboration, persistence, and transparency, our College can continue to make a difference – despite any challenge thrown our way.

The intent for our strategic plan does not stop with this brochure. You will notice that we want to continue with our progress and hearing from you will help tremendously. Please take the time to share your ideas, feelings, and opinions via the feedback web page listed on page 12. Thank you for all you do to help create “A Promising Future for Every One.”

Chad Brown, PhD

Preparation Matters

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe” – Abraham Lincoln. Every educator at Zane State College understand the enormous benefit of pre-class preparation. Every employer examines an applicant’s readiness to do the job prior to hiring them. Preparation matters! It is the core business of ZSC. So the leadership had been thoughtful and intentional in the development of this plan which sustains our trajectory toward the College’s Vision of “A Promising Future for Every One.” Our three strategic priorities are quality, equity, and stewardship.

Zane State College is critical to the success of our communities. Not only is ZSC one of the larger employers in the region, but the vast majority of graduates live and work within the community helping to drive the economic engine. For first- generation students, the prospect of a college degree offers hope for a better future, including economic stability, affordable healthcare, and for many, an escape from generational poverty.

Zane State’s 2021-2022 Wildly Important Goal and Valuing People Action Plan outlines several campus-wide projects intended to improve efficiency, advance employee engagement, and close equity gaps in student retention and graduation rates. The Board of Trustees is highly supportive of these efforts and look forward to receiving updates on the progress.

James McDonald
Board of Trustees, Chair

Student Snapshot

Here is the most recent data available through the College’s Institutional Research Department and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Once again, Zane State College is at the top of the list for graduation rate in the state of Ohio. Job well done to all employees for supporting our students’ success!

Equity: To Provide an Impartial Environment

Zane State College expects our students, staff, and faculty to challenge social injustices and advocate for change. The campus community strives to demonstrate respect for all, regardless of differences. We empower our students, staff, and faculty to seek and create opportunities to better understand our beliefs.

A Fresh New Look

In 2018, while preparing the new strategic plan, we asked students and employees alike about Zane State College. Nearly one in five students suggested that our facilities were in need of updating, making this the greatest opportunity to improve. We could not have agreed more. That is why we invested more than $1 million in renovations, updating classrooms, public spaces, testing facilities, and labs.

Quality: To Embody High Standards

From Pathways to BRIDGES: For nearly two decades, Zane State College has been a leader in the national conversation on student success. Building on this work, ZSC’s new initiative, BRIDGES, seeks to engage the local community. Click here to listen to a podcast highlighting Zane State College and the Education Design Lab that focuses on economy and rural community colleges.



At Zane State College, our employees are the lifeblood of this institution. For confirmation, one needs only to listen to what the students say about the way they are treated at Zane State. Not only are our employees our greatest resource, but also our greatest investment, with nearly 75% of the operational budget going to support salaries and benefits. Referred to as total compensation, responsibility for this belongs to the Board of Trustees and has been delegated to the President and Chief Financial Officer. Click here to view the ZSC Employee Value Proposition.

2021-2022 Wildly Important Goal

The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) are: Focus, Action, Compelling Scoreboard, and Cadence of Accountability. The 4DX process teaches teams how to execute on their highest priorities in the midst of the whirlwind of the day-to-day.

Since 2016, ZSC has used the 4DX process to drive change at the College. This work has led to steady improvement in the College’s graduation rate, and more recently, helping generate additional student credit hours over the prior year.

The 2021-2022 WIG will focus on advancing equity. Utilizing the Advancing Equity through Guided Pathways Self-Assessment, ZSC has established a baseline self-assessment score across eleven equitable practices. Our work over the next 22 months will be broad ranging. Incorporating what we have learned from the past cycles, we want to ensure that all employees participate on a 4DX team and that teams are empowered to address any of the eleven equitable practices in the self-assessment tool.