Creating Futures—CWU Strategic Plan 2023-2028

Confronting Challenges CWU’s new Strategic Plan is about creating access and opportunity for all learners. Here are some challenges we are confronting with our work:

▶ Racial and ethnic minorities in six-county Central Washington region—Kittitas, Grant, Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan, and Yakima—are significantly less likely to carry a bachelor’s degree* • 19.4% Regional average • 29.4% White • 13.1% Native and Indigenous • 9% Latinx ▶ Central Washington has 11 Opportunity Zone tracts in a six-county region**

▶ The immediate college-going rate in Washington is 48 th out of 50 states ▶ FAFSA and WASFA completion rates in Washington are 48 th out of 50 states ▶ Traditionally lower-income communities are typically left behind by higher education, and CWU must do our part to remove barriers ▶ Washington state has approximately 350,000 residents between ages 18-49 who live in an “education desert”

“ Shared vision can generate levels of creative tension that go far beyond individuals’ comfort levels. Those who will contribute the most toward realizing a lofty vision will be those who can ‘hold’ this creative tension: remain clear on the vision and continue to inquire into current reality. They will be the ones who believe deeply in their ability to create their future, because that is what they experience personally. — Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline

* Source: American Community Survey, 2021

** F ederally recognized economically distressed communties marked by high poverty and high unemployment.

If we hear, ‘But we’ve never done it this way’—or, more insidiously, ‘We tried that’—it may be evidence that we are living into our Vision, Mission, and Values and expecting us to rethink what we are doing. When we hear these phrases, we might gently, graciously call each other out. We cannot let our past stifle the opportunities we have to create a future filled with promise. Our work is too important. There is too much at stake. —Jim Wohlpart, CWU President

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