In this Strategic Plan, we took the advice of our students, employees and partners to develop a comprehensive set of objectives. As reflected in our values, everything we do at Seneca starts with our students: how we help them achieve their goals, support them inside and outside the classroom, provide a teaching and learning environment that helps them develop the skills they will use in their careers and in life.
Through our extensive internal and external consultations, common themes emerged that have shaped this plan.
Leading through excellence
There is a strong pride in the leadership role Seneca plays in the postsecondary system. The focus on quality, the innovation in teaching and learning, the determination to improve continuously … Seneca is known for the excellence of both our experienced and connected faculty and our programs, rooted in the needs of industry and communities. We proudly say that the proof of that excellence is in our graduates. This will continue.
Leading by example
From all groups we consulted came a consistent message: we need to model the behaviour we want and expect of our students. That starts with our insistence on a climate of respect in all that we do. It goes further. Our faculty were especially articulate about the need to be exemplars for the skills our graduates will need to forge successful careers, and productive lives. Connecting with the community, giving back, encouraging a culture of philanthropy, embedding respect for our environment in all we do: our work is not just about enabling our graduates to make a living, but also to make a life.
Leading in collaboration
We lead the postsecondary system in pathways for our students and in partnerships. We are building on that leadership in the communities we serve by forging even stronger partnerships with our students, employees, industry, community organizations and other educational institutions. In an increasingly transparent and connected world, the ability to work and communicate seamlessly across boundaries, whether those are inside or external to Seneca, is no longer optional.
A Polytechnic Education
In partnership with similar institutions in the province, Seneca has approached the provincial government to formally recognize polytechnic institutions as part of the postsecondary system in Ontario. Similar recognition of the differentiation in higher education has already happened in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Polytechnics Canada, the national association of polytechnics representing 13 institutions across Canada including six in Ontario, defines polytechnics this way:
“A polytechnic education combines the practical approach of a college education and the depth of study usually associated with a university program. Polytechnic graduates obtain degree-level programming, certificate, diploma, apprenticeship and post-graduate credentials. The competitive advantage of a polytechnic education is the seamless transition from education to employment, fostered through both apprenticeships in the skilled trades and work-integrated learning opportunities – these are hallmarks of polytechnic education.”
Seneca believes polytechnics are playing a leadership role in the evolution of higher education in Ontario: the expansion of career-based degrees, the growth in graduate certificates and the superior work-integrated learning opportunities are all evidence of the importance of these unique institutions.
We are also ready to play a larger role as the postsecondary system continues to respond to demographic and financial realities. As we have already started to do with Cambrian and Canadore colleges, two great institutions based in Sudbury and North Bay respectively, we are working with our colleagues in small, northern, and rural colleges to offer degree and diploma completion opportunities to students. Seneca takes great pride in being the leader in college-university transfer options, and is committed to building college-college partnerships of equal and enduring value to students.