BEYOND THE PANDEMIC
Delivering on Sheridan 2024
In fall 2019, Sheridan unveiled its five-year strategic plan, Sheridan 2024: Galvanizing Education for a Complex World. With a focus on individual transformation, economic and social development, and the courage to disrupt learning models, Sheridan 2024 has become far more than a traditional five-year roadmap.
In the face of an unprecedented global pandemic, our Strategic Plan set out the vision – and the action plan— to harness Sheridan’s strengths and help us emerge from the pandemic as postsecondary leaders.
The yearly objectives mapped out by each of Sheridan’s faculties and departments to meet the outcomes in our Strategic Plan, and the collective work to date to bring them to life, has equipped Sheridan with the tools and momentum to navigate the volatility of the pandemic. We’ve refined and articulated Sheridan’s unique value proposition, created a plan to deliver new micro-credentials that offer more flexible and responsive learning options, and enhanced our career-integrated learning strategy to better connect our students to industry.
Here’s how Sheridan is progressing towards the outcomes set out in our Strategic Plan – and how these actions support our ongoing pandemic response.
Enabler #1: Inclusion and Equity
Our work to embed equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) into all aspects of Sheridan’s operations, practices and policies has made meaningful gains as we launched several initiatives aimed at better understanding our employee diversity and empowering them with important training and education.
The Employee Diversity Self-Identification Census, completed in spring 2020, will pave the way for evidence-based programs aimed at reducing workplace barriers.
The Employment Systems Review, completed in winter 2021, builds on the findings of the Census and will identify strategies for improvement.
New required training gives all employees tools to become more mindful of their own biases and stereotypes, learn to model inclusive behaviour and empower them to be active allies in the fight against racism.
Enabler #2: People-Centric Technology
Our investment in technology that enhances the learning and work environments proved pivotal to our success in rapidly shifting many of our classroom and service offerings to remote delivery.
We launched Project Springboard, a digital transformation initiative to enhance student and employee technology throughout academics, administration, human resources and the student experience. These efforts have already borne significant improvements for service delivery through the Office of the Registrar and refined the mandatory training process for employees.
Sheridan launched numerous systems to support our immediate pandemic recovery needs, including a virtual events platform, enhancements to MS Teams for remote collaboration, a customer relationship management system for prospective students and the flexible student payment option.
We introduced the Well Series – workshops designed to help new students Start Well, Transition Well and Learn Well in the online environment.
Many years in the making, we formally launched Sheridan Central, our new online hub for institutional communications and community engagement for employees and students.
Enabler #3: Flourishing Workforce
Fostering our employees’ wellness and cultivating a culture of collaboration and resilience has never been more important. We’ve prioritized the launch of several initiatives aimed at safeguarding our employees’ mental health and promoting flexibility and collaboration.
We developed and implemented an Employee Engagement Action Plan in response to our first-ever employee engagement survey, which addresses five key areas for improvement.
We introduced flexible work hours in various departments, with part-time and ad hoc remote work options for employees balancing multiple responsibilities during the pandemic.
We’re continuing to embed practices into our recruitment process that further support equity and inclusion.
Enabler #4: Healthy and Creative Communities
Significant efforts to plan for the long-term well-being of our community bolstered our ability to respond to our students and employees’ needs during the pandemic – and will guide our strategy for the eventual reopening of full on-campus operations.
Our Campus Master Plan, which focuses on enhancing our spaces with inclusion, sustainability and wellness in mind, was drafted and approved by the Board of Governors following extensive community consultation.
We launched our community wellness strategy, Sheridan Wellness: Our Strategy for Community Well-being, that includes yearly goals and objectives for embedding wellness principles throughout Sheridan. As part of the strategy, we significantly expanded our mental health resources for both students and employees.
An extensive health, safety and capacity planning process informed the successful re-opening of our campuses for limited in-person instruction.
Enabler #5: Fiscal and Environmental Sustainability
The integrated planning approach that aligns Sheridan’s business units with our Strategic Plan enabled our community to make evidence-based decisions, harness our creative strengths and chart a path forward beyond the pandemic.
Our newly-formed Integrated Planning and Analysis team furthered our ability to maximize our resources, launch bold enrolment recovery initiatives and protect our fiscal sustainability – all grounded in solid research and forecasting.
We launched the Galvanizing Education Hub to leverage Sheridan’s expertise in creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, and to forge our role as leaders in the transformation of education. The Hub is using a human-centred design approach and widespread community engagement to inform its recommendations.
We refined and articulated Sheridan’s value proposition through a refresh of the brand, which better aligns our key brand with the goals of our Strategic Plan and strategic enrolment planning.
We achieved the 50% carbon reduction target set in 2012-13 as part of our Integrated Energy and Climate Master Plan. Planning for the next phase of Mission Zero is underway with anticipated completion of the plan in 2021.