Takoma Park, Maryland (April 26, 2016) Washington Adventist University (WAU) was recently named a Mission-Driven Campus by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), and profiled among nine dynamic CIC Institutions. The published report — Strategic Change and Innovation in Independent Colleges: Nine Mission-Driven Campuses — identifies nine colleges and universities throughout the United States that display distinguishing characteristics, making it possible to offer a high-quality education. Within the findings emerged the following six themes: a Bias for Action; a Drive to Connect Locally, Regionally and Beyond; Realistic Self-Assessment and Adaptation; Structuring for Innovation; Assertive Leadership within Shared Governance; and Alignment of Mission and Innovation. The report can be viewed at http://cic.edu/Programs-and-Services/Programs/Documents/CIC-Hearn-Report-2016.pdf .
Emphasized in the findings are WAU’s six pillars for strategic change: Quality, People, Finance, Growth, Service, and Community, along with WAU’s aggressive repositioning in its region. The report notes that the university is improving its institutional resources, and that such programs as health sciences, business and music are gaining in prominence.
“We have to continuously be proactive in addressing the issues impacting independent higher education institutions,” said WAU President Weymouth Spence, EdD, RT, adding that the university “seeks innovative solutions by soliciting from experts, internally and externally.”
Each of the institutions named faced a variety of challenges, and the report displays the choices they made and the manner in which they organized in order to face those challenges. The current finding is the second step to an initial project named Mission-Driven Innovation: An Empirical Study of Adaptation and Change among Independent Colleges published in 2015 by the CIC. This initial report presented results of a survey of presidents of the CIC member colleges. The institutions portrayed flexibility to their changing landscape and 90 percent reported using new approaches to controlling costs and creative approaches to their sources of revenue.
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Washington Adventist University is Montgomery County’s only four-year private college. Part of the Seventh-day Adventist system of higher education, Washington Adventist University has been educating college students since 1904 on a 19-acre campus in suburban Takoma Park, close to the nation’s capital. Approximately 1,100 students of all faiths participate in the university’s nine graduate and 30 undergraduate programs. The 2016 edition of U.S. News & World Report ranked Washington Adventist University among the best regional colleges in the north.
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