The Year of Transformation
In the recent all-employee meeting, 2021 was referred to as “the year of transformation”. There were four areas cited as a priority to Institutional Planning, the first being to achieve HLC program approval and reaffirm accreditation. HLC stands for the Higher Learning Commission, which is responsible for accrediting all post-secondary educational institutions, 2021 is the year we are up for review and plan to come out strong. The next area of focus is to develop a Strategic Enrollment Management Plan prompting enrollment growth. Thirdly, the launch of the three most significant initiatives: The Martin WORKS Academy, Martin-Ivy Tech Partnership, & The National Center for Racial Equity & Inclusion, and lastly the development of the 2022-2027 strategic plan of which commences on the 50th anniversary of Martin University.
Of the three initiatives set to launch, The Martin WORKS Academy will begin identifying potential students for the pilot program in late February with a goal to have all 25 selected by the end of March. This will make Martin University the first regional HQ of the National Urban Work College Consortium hosted by Paul Quinn College. The second initiative, The National Center for Racial Equity & Inclusion will launch with a virtual grand opening taking place in February as well. There will be a temporary location on Martin University’s Campus during fundraising efforts for a more permanent location. The primary practice focus of the center will be on consulting engagements as well as programming and partnerships of Racial Equity. As one may notice, diversity isn’t included in the NCREI’s title strictly by intention. Dr.Huddleston defined diversity as a “catch-all term”, meaning the presence of difference. “Inclusion & equity are intentional, while diversity requires nothing. From inclusion & equity, diversity is achieved.”
As development continues, informational updates will be forthcoming.
Future Focused for 2021
Future Focused, a beginning year report prepared by Dr. Huddleston that highlights some of the important accomplishments of Martin during 2020 and future-focused initiatives for 2021. Last year was a challenging year for colleges and universities nationwide. However, 2020 included a near-historic year for Martin University including gifts, donations, and grants; $200,000 in student scholarships awarded; the creation of a virtual teaching and learning environment as one of the various ways the university handled the challenges of COVID-19; the introduction of 8-week courses and a more efficient enrollment process; and that hundreds of families in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood were served through community partnerships.
Initiatives being launched this year include the Martin WORKS program (the first university-based Urban Work College model to focus on working adult students in the United States); the Ivy Tech partnership that benefits students from both institutions and features a joint Cyber-Entrepreneurship program; and the National Center for Racial, Equity, and Inclusion that will help minority students gain employment plus help employers who are working toward a more diversified workforce.
This year promises to be very significant for Martin University, our city, and the state. To read the full report, click here.