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Ithaca College Charts Future with Strategic Vision

 ITHACA, NY — Ithaca College recently set a strategic vision in motion to transform the student learning experience by the year 2020. The plan, dubbed “IC 20/20,” will create unique opportunities and experiences for students that will produce visionary leaders ready to tackle the range of professional and life challenges they will face in their futures and position Ithaca College as a leader among educational institutions.

(Download the accompanying IC 20/20 infographic here. The artwork can be resized upon request.)

“Who can imagine the world as it will be in 2050 when our students today reach the peaks of their careers?” said Ithaca College President Tom Rochon. “As the world continues to change dramatically we will make our students ready to succeed in jobs that don’t yet exist. Rather than teaching them specific information, we will challenge students to solve real-world problems by examining issues from multiple perspectives.”

The most striking innovation in the IC 20/20 plan is the introduction of a more problem-centered approach to the general education program, which will occupy a large part of every student’s first two years. The Ithaca College core curriculum will be redesigned to focus on contemporary and enduring issues, rather than offer traditional introductions to various departments. This integrative core leverages the comprehensive nature of Ithaca College by weaving together learning opportunities in liberal arts and professional study, while creating a more intentional bridge between the College’s five schools (Business, Communications, Music, Health Sciences and Human Performance and Humanities and Sciences).

“By taking courses taught from the perspectives of a variety of different disciplines but connected to a single over-arching theme, students will develop the ability to draw on different areas of specialized knowledge in order to address problems,” said Ithaca College Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Marisa Kelly. “This creates a distinct educational experience that will have students actively applying their education from day one.”

Other initiatives of the IC 20/20 plan include a college-wide student-alumni mentor program to facilitate more interaction between students and alumni; the addition of more integrated graduate degree and certificate programs to fulfill the desires of professionals whose career advancement depends on the ability to move across standard professional boundaries and skill sets; the development of additional alternative learning delivery models and online classes, making schedules more flexible for students to explore off-campus learning opportunities such as study abroad; and new regional and international learning centers in New York City and China.

The IC 20/20 plan was developed as a college-wide effort and initiated by the academic and administrative leadership of the college. It draws on work completed by various campus groups over the last decade and on work done by task forces formed in the fall of 2010 for this purpose. Timelines will be developed for implementation of each of the plan’s fifteen major initiatives.