College's strategic plan, NMC Next, approved

TRAVERSE CITY — Northwestern Michigan College’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a new strategic plan, NMC Next, which will guide the college through 2025 at its regular meeting Monday.

The vote is the culmination of NMC’s most comprehensive strategic planning process in decades, which began in February 2021 and drew input across all college constituencies. From community to students and trustees to faculty and staff, more than 1,000 participants provided input to the process, including answering surveys, participating in focus groups and feedback sessions and serving on the work team or steering committee.

“The voices and critical insights of the entire NMC community are central to the success of NMC Next, and I’m so gratified by how generously our many stakeholders have shared their time and talents,” said President Nick Nissley. “This data-driven plan positions us to meet the needs of the region, be a community college leader, yet also agile enough to adapt to changing conditions in higher education.”

The college now will begin to measure progress on the plan’s 24 objectives and action items, which fall under five strategic goal areas:

  • Future-focused education
  • Student engagement and success
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Community partnership and engagement
  • Institutional distinction and sustainability

Vice President for Strategic Initiatives Jason Slade will oversee the plan implementation. The college has already achieved one objective with the hiring of Marcus Bennett as special assistant to the president for diversity, equity and inclusion. Each area will see activity this year, involving the whole college, Slade said.

“We’ll need everybody’s help in getting to those goals,” he said, which will help keep NMC at the forefront of higher education.

The college will also hold itself publicly accountable by maintaining online progress trackers in each area, at

Release date: JANUARY 25, 2022

For more information:

Diana Fairbanks
Associate Vice President of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications
(231) 995-1019


Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.