Institutional Effectiveness & Research


Institutional Planning, a subsection of Institutional Effectiveness, provides a roadmap from vision to planning to implementation and subsequently assessment of how the institution is performing. Planning applies to all divisions of the college, academic and non-academic, staff and faculty units. The institution’s planning efforts are focused on the achievement of stated goals and objectives, and the assessment of those efforts to identify opportunities for improvement.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College engages in a three-level planning process of continuous improvement across the College namely:


Strategic Planning is initiated by the Cabinet and involves the establishment of institution-wide goals and objectives in a strategic plan that provides imperatives for a 3-year period. Using the strategic plan to provide direction, the various divisions are responsible for establishing strategies to accomplish institutional objectives that are reflected in the program’s 3-year plan or in the annual plans. Established goals and objectives guide the allocation of college resources.

During the 3-year planning process, the Cabinet vets the Purpose Statement, Mission, Vision, and Values. Changes to the mission statement, Mission, Vision and Values require the Rowan-Cabarrus Board of Trustees’ approval.


Unit Planning, sometimes referred to in academic areas as Program Planning, is used to establish goals and objectives for the next three years. For academic areas, planning generally occurs at the program level. In the administrative support units of the college, a unit is established below the division level and generally represents a department within a division. Therefore, while the strategies are defined by the division heads through the strategic planning process, the units and programs establish goals and objectives to achieve the strategies defined at the division level.

At the end of the 1-year cycle, a review is undertaken to assess achievement of outcomes, address findings and identify needed improvement, and establish objectives and outcomes for the next cycle.


Annual Planning also occurs at the unit level. Goals and objectives are established each year for each unit which supports the achievement of the 1-year unit goals and the strategic plan. Units identify objectives, assessment criteria, critical documentation for evidence and findings. Unmet objectives are identified for action planning and improvement. Budgetary needs, facilities, and other necessary resources noted in annual planning help to inform other critical processes such as annual budgeting, allocation of space and hiring of appropriate staff and faculty.