Gadsden State Community College is poised to see around the corner and envision how the College will serve local communities in 2030. And, the Alabama Community College System is fully dedicated to improving communities by delivering quality education, innovative workforce training and public services developed through a close collaboration with local stakeholders. This commitment to serving and improving local communities is the cornerstone of ASPIRE 2030, a system-wide initiative to inspire community-focused strategic planning for the next 10 years.

“We have an opportunity to redefine the future of Gadsden State through the ASPIRE 2030 initiative,” said Dr. Martha Lavender, president. “Our charge is to ‘dream big’ and work with our communities to forecast future needs, the job market for business and industry and the interests and demands of our students.”

ASPIRE, which stands for “Achieving System-wide Potential through Increased Resources and Engagement,” is the result of a statewide bond issue passed by the Alabama Legislature to provide funding for facility upgrades and new construction for all levels of education in Alabama. Gadsden State and other ACCS institutions have been challenged with developing a community-focused strategic plan for capital improvement projects through ASPIRE 2030.

“Currently, we have committees that are conducting a rigorous self-analysis and are thoroughly researching the needs of future students and the communities in our service area,” she said. “They are providing unique and valuable contributions to the plan and assisting in research, self-assessment, strategy development and, eventually, the creation of our capital improvement proposal.”

Committees are comprised of Gadsden State faculty and staff as well as partners in K-12, government, business and industry, nonprofits and economic development organizations. They are engaging in strategic planning for all areas of the College, including teaching and learning, student services, adult education, financial management, technology, facilities, community engagement and economic/workforce development.

Once final proposals are reviewed and evaluated by both Chancellor Jimmy Baker and the ACCS Board of Trustees, projects will be selected for funding based on evidence collected during stakeholder participation in the planning process.

“It’s an exciting time at Gadsden State,” Lavender said. “We have an opportunity to create a future that demonstrates our continuing resilience and ability to respond to the ever-changing landscape in our communities through the development of the capital improvement proposal that will usher in a new era in education and student success.”

The opinions, comments and suggestions from community stakeholders are being collected by members of the committees. Your voice is important!