Michigan Virtual’s Strategic Plan: Employee spotlight

There’s no clear-cut definition of the term “strategic plan.” Sure, there’s a Wikipedia page, but my years in high school debate scared me from using that as a source.

So what is a strategic plan? What’s Michigan Virtual’s and why should you care?

OK, that’s a lot of questions I just asked. Let’s start with the first one.
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There’s no clear-cut definition of the term “strategic plan.” Sure, there’s a Wikipedia page, but my years in high school debate scared me from using that as a source.

So what is a strategic plan? What’s Michigan Virtual’s and why should you care?

OK, that’s a lot of questions I just asked. Let’s start with the first one.

So, what is a strategic plan?

It’s a roadmap of sorts. For a nonprofit, a goal or goals are the destination. The mission, vision, and values help sort out the various paths to get there. But, which path is taken has a lot to do with strategizing. It’s the difference between printing out Mapquest directions (remember that?) and using Google Maps to avoid wrecks and construction along the way.

GPS isn’t always perfect, though. So it’s important to identify the key drivers throughout the journey. They’re the road snacks along the way that keep you focused.

What’s Michigan Virtual’s strategic plan?

As a nonprofit 501 (c)(3),  Michigan Virtual must be deliberate about our goals. When we enacted the strategic plan for 2021–2023, our primary focus lies in supporting schools, educators, and families as they transform their vision for student learning from concept to reality.

You can take a look at the entire strategic plan on our website. One of my favorite parts is described below.

Lead. Collaborate. Build.

Three powerful words are responsible for driving our future work at Michigan Virtual: Lead, collaborate, and build. These drivers are important to us because they represent a culture, mindset, and drive toward continuous improvement, supporting our colleagues, and providing new models of learning through research and partnerships. 

Our commitment to this work stems from our belief that Michigan Virtual is uniquely positioned to help lead our state’s charge toward next-generation learning models that yield greater student outcomes for all.

Our strategic plan at work (i.e., why you should care)

I don’t know about you, but I understand big concepts when I see them in action. A few folks here at Michigan Virtual kindly shared their stories and how their work is integral to keeping us moving along that strategic plan roadmap.

Published exclusively on LinkedIn, our Strategic Plan Series dives into some of the most foundational aspects about what it is we do, where we want to go, and how we get it done. It’s a glimpse into the world of ordinary folks doing extraordinary things to lead, collaborate, and build.

LEAD

Dr. Christopher Harrington, director of the Michigan Virtual Learning and Research Instutute (MVLRI), explains what learning innovation is and isn’t, as well as what leading in K-12 education in Michigan looks like.

COLLABORATE

Shelia Burks, SCECH coordinator and chair of the diversity, equity, and inclusion committee, shares her journey at Michigan Virtual and what collaboration means in a remote work environment.

BUILD

Tara Bladow, lead instructional designer, gives a lesson on what it takes to build courses that educate students effectively and efficiently, and how to re-create that model.

Thank you Chris, Shelia, and Tara, and the rest of the staff at Michigan Virtual for exemplifying our values while supporting schools, educators, and families. From online courses for students and professional development for educators, to original research and learning innovation, we appreciate you.

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Sarah Hill

Sarah Hill

Sarah believes words have the power to build community. She has been writing and editing professionally for more than a decade. Sarah earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and her master’s degree in rhetoric and composition, as well as a scholarly publishing certificate from Arizona State University. Sarah lives in Austin, Texas and spends most of her time supplying her toddler with snacks.

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Limited Course Capacity

We’re sorry to inform you that we have reached capacity for several of our Semester 1 and Trimester 1 courses. You’ll notice when attempting to enroll students in our Student Learning Portal that some courses are unavailable. While we are no longer accepting new enrollments for these courses at this time, many courses continue to remain open for enrollment.

With many students across the state 100% remote, demand for our online courses is greater than ever before. Because every course we offer is taught by a Michigan-certified teacher, this high volume of enrollments has created capacity issues for our teachers who provide each and every student with individual feedback.

While the Michigan Virtual team anticipated and planned for significant increases in student enrollments this Fall, the increased demand we’ve experienced has been unprecedented. As a result, we are taking steps to hire even more part-and full-time teachers to support larger numbers of student enrollments for Semester 2 as well as for Trimester 2 and 3. 

For schools that still need online learning options this year, please fill out the form at the bottom of our virtual pathways page to meet with someone to discuss other solutions. While some of our teacher-led courses are full, we may still have the capacity to help you in upcoming terms or can discuss timing to implement a whole-school or collaborative program in which local teachers from your school/district use our online course content to teach students. We also have free course content and resources available for you to use.

We know this is an incredibly stressful time for all, and we’re sorry if the courses you’re looking for are unavailable. We never want to turn away a student who wants to learn from us. Our top concern, however, is student success, and we have a policy to not take on additional enrollments if we cannot guarantee that all students will have a quality online learning experience. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the unusually high volume of enrollments we are receiving.