Office of Information Technology

Message from the CIO –November 2010

Happy Holidays to everyone at Muskegon Community College.  As we approach the end of the year, it’s an opportunity to reflect on our accomplishments, but more importantly to look towards the future.  To that end, I’m excited to report that Technology Strategic Planning has begun at MCC.  The timing is good: because MCC’s Master Plan and Institutional Strategic Plan were recently submitted to the Board of Trustees for their review, this allows the Technology Strategic Plan to be developed so that it may align with the overarching goals of the college.


Technology Strategic Planning is more than just a planning effort for the OIT department, but rather focuses on technology overall at our college. The emphasis lies more in what the college wants to accomplish and what problems to solve, rather than any specific technology or solution.  Because of this, it is not necessary to have a strong technical background in order to be involved in the process.   Presently, the core technology planning team consists of faculty and staff from college administration and the Information Technology Council. 


The core technology planning team will begin by reviewing trends in higher education.  For example, at a national level, college enrollments are on the rise and expected to continue to climb for the next several years.  Conversely, the number of high school graduates in Michigan will gradually decline over a similar time period.  The traits of millennial students will be compared to those of adult learners, along with their strengths and the challenges they face.  Current technology trends will be reviewed - the Internet is no longer a collection of static web pages, but rather a place where people actively communicate and connect with each other, not only to receive information and content, but create it as well.  Future trends in technology will also be examined, such as mobile computing, open content, eBooks, augmented reality, and gesture based computing.  Institutional trends will also be reviewed from both the Campus Computing Project and Society for College and University Planning.


Over the next several weeks, the core technology planning team will participate in three sets of meetings to work through the Technology Strategic Planning process.  Between each of these sessions, the team has been charged with reaching out to their constituent groups to provide information and get feedback.  This will allow for many people to provide input into the process.  Once complete, this plan will help to guide efforts with technology for the next three years. 


There are many expectations for the Technology Strategic Plan.  My personal expectation is that it will help the OIT department achieve maximum effectiveness in delivering solutions to our students, faculty, and staff.  I want everything we do to matter, and I thank each of you in advance who would participate in helping us do so.


Mike Alstrom

Chief Information Officer

Muskegon Community College