Renewing Canada’s School for the World
The Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific is a bold experiment founded by visionary leaders who believed that education, experience and friendship could lead to a more peaceful and understanding world.
Lester B. Pearson believed that by creating a College on Canada’s Pacific coast that embraced the values and principles of the United World Colleges (UWC) movement, this experiment could help to shape and inspire young changemakers from across Canada and around the world to go on to make a difference in their respective careers, communities and countries.
For more than 40 years, this dream has become a reality through the faces and stories of more than 4,000 alumni worldwide. And this tradition continues today.
The United World Colleges helped bring the International Baccalaureate to the world, with Pearson College UWC leading the way in North America. Today – with the IB as the main curriculum in more than 4,700 schools worldwide — Pearson College UWC is pioneering a global curriculum for solving complex problems across disciplines, sectors, nationalities and ideologies. As part of a robust network comprised of 17 colleges (and growing), 159 national committees, and over 60,000 alumni around the world, Pearson is able to assemble the most deliberately diverse student body in the world. Due to our generous scholarship policy, we can select students of great promise and potential based on merit rather than means. Indeed, 91% of our current students are on partial or full scholarship or financial aid.
years of bringing together change-makers from around the world.
Pearson alumni around the world
of current students are on full or partial scholarship
Today, Pearson College UWC faces a number of key strategic challenges: attracting the most promising students, aging infrastructure, offering innovative curriculum and programming, addressing reduced public awareness, and ensuring financial stability. It must adapt to a changing world by coming to terms with these emerging challenges and having the courage to embrace new opportunities, including the following:
In doing so, Pearson College UWC must undertake these goals in a financially viable and sustainable way.
In an uncertain world, the mission of Pearson College UWC remains more relevant than ever. Now is the time to write the next chapter in this story. Now is the time to move forward with the next phase of Pearson’s bold experiment.
A Roadmap to the Future
This strategic plan provides Pearson College UWC with a forward-looking and visionary road map to revitalize its standing as a leading educational institution in Canada and the world. It is an opportunity to reflect on and to reassess a four-decades old model for relevance and influence in a world that has witnessed dramatic social, technological, environmental, and geo-political change since the College’s founding in 1974. In 2015, the arrival of a new President coincided with a mandate to re-found and renew the College. Three strategic priorities were identified:
- Develop and deliver an educational and residential experience that is innovative, distinctive and transformative.
- Renew and re-found Pearson College as Canada’s School for the World.
- Build a solid financial foundation based on a sustainable operating model
Consequently, the College leadership has been restructured into three corresponding main areas:
- Education and Programming
- Administration and Operations
- Advancement and External Relations
Thus began a deliberate process to follow through on previous attempts to develop a strategic plan that would assess Pearson’s place in the world of international education and make sustainable changes to assure continued success in attracting and producing high quality global citizens and change agents. Underlying these motivating factors is the recognition that Pearson College UWC has faced an operating and infrastructure deficit for years, if not decades. Although fortunate to have a sizeable endowment fund, the annual draw is unsustainable if the College is to maintain the deliberate diversity of its student body and reinforce the quality of its educational model in addition to supporting infrastructure and systems.
In April 2016, Board-directed reductions in endowment draws were implemented to preserve core financial stability such that by 2020, the College will align with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requirements for charitable organizations. A strategic plan will ensure the right financial infrastructure is in place to support the College’s educational mission as well as the quality and diversity of its students: the young people whose lives are transformed by their Pearson experience and who go on to transform their communities, their countries and indeed the world.
Throughout 2015 and 2016, as part of its strategic planning, the College engaged almost 700 Pearson stakeholders. The outcome of these sessions and their responses were summarized in a report to the Board in April 2016 and encapsulated into clusters under the acrostic SPECIFIC, representing the following priorities as identified by the stakeholders (ranking in brackets):
Selection (2), People (3), Experience (4), Campus (8), Impact (6), Funding (1), Innovation/Indigenous (7), Community (5)
In early June 2016, the strategic planning process transitioned from the “consultative” to “development” phase, utilizing leadership team working groups. An analysis of stakeholder input resulted in a preliminary report to the Board in November 2016 where initial goals, objectives and actions were identified according to priority, affordability and feasibility.
Guided by overall strategic direction from the Board, development of the strategic plan was assigned to working groups comprised of the College’s Leadership Team.
The final approach was organized around four fundamental questions, portions of which were addressed during stakeholder consultations:
- Who are we as an educational institution?
- Where do we want to go?
- How do we get there?
- How will we tell if we have succeeded?
The first question challenges the need to identify the essential qualities of the College, in particular its commitment to UWC mission and values as well as its unique contribution through experiential learning. The second question refers to Pearson’s overarching goals and objectives over the next five years (to 2022). The third question refers to the actions (means) needed to move the plan forward. In this regard, it is essential that objectives (specific goals or ends) are “actionable” processes as the means to those ends. The last question challenges the need to provide a framework and methodology to periodically assess progress toward plan objectives within the five-year timeframe.
Stakeholder sessions provided an early blueprint for the College vision – “to be recognized globally for a [our] unique experiential and progressive entrepreneurial curriculum which develops healthy, interculturally-competent and environmentally-sensitive citizen leaders equipped and committed to creating a more peaceful, socially just and sustainable society.”
In June 2016, the leadership team session refined and revised the vision statement as follows: “to be recognized as a Canadian centre for global citizenship education and a model for social innovation, diversity, sustainability and reconciliation.” The leadership team vision reflects Pearson’s adherence to UWC core values of global engagement, diversity and sustainability and emphasizes a unique Canadian contribution to peace and reconciliation through social justice.
The general strategy proposed is to achieve the vision through two key words – prioritization and action. The realities of a small college with limited staff, faculty and resources demand that strategic objectives be defined and prioritized according to a combination of importance, feasibility and affordability. Of equal importance, the generation of great ideas – a trademark of Pearson’s intent to make change – must be followed by action that ultimately leads to impact. Impact defines the measure of success for implementation of the strategic plan.
The official mission statement of Pearson College reflects the UWC mission statement, which is as relevant today as it was during the founding of the College: “to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.”
Our Core Values
Core values are unbreakable commitments that define Pearson as a learning institution and what principles guide its practices and activities. Feedback from stakeholder consultations were utilized to define the College’s unique value proposition as “rooted in the shared UWC core values of responsible global engagement, in the quality of our intentionally broad diversity of educators and students, in the intensity and long-lasting effect of our transformational experiential learning program, in our challenging, high academic standards that open doors to good universities (especially for those who would not otherwise have access to post-secondary education), and in the creation of a durable awareness and appreciation for stewardship of the natural environment.” The Leadership Team agreed to support this value proposition and retain UWC values as the core values of Pearson.
Click here to read the UWC core values
- INTERNATIONAL AND INTERCULTURAL UNDERSTANDING: UWC is committed to building communities that are free from prejudice and intolerance irrespective of gender, socioeconomic, cultural, racial, religious, and national backgrounds.
- CELEBRATION OF DIFFERENCE: UWC consciously creates supportive environments where differences are valued and recognized for the strength they bring to communities.
- PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND INTEGRITY: Personal responsibility, accountability and integrity are at the heart of the UWC experience. We expect our members, partners and those we work with to behave in a similar way.
- MUTUAL RESPONSIBILITY AND RESPECT: UWC advocates a collaborative and mutually supportive approach, recognizing that respect underpins the smooth functioning of any encounter or team. Those engaging with UWC will find our members dependable and respectful.
- COMPASSION AND SERVICE: Our actions and language will communicate our compassion and commitment to our communities. We will work at all levels – personally, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally – to do what we can to make the world a better place.
- RESPECT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT: UWC recognizes our interdependence with the environment and is actively seeking solutions that will contribute to a sustainable future. Our choices and actions will demonstrate this commitment to our communities as well as to a wider audience.
- A SENSE OF IDEALISM: UWC inspires its members to believe that it is possible to make a difference and will actively seek to work with others who share that belief.
- PERSONAL CHALLENGE: UWC is committed to the concept of learning through doing and the value of interactions and experience. By taking the initiative and challenging ourselves, we learn about ourselves and those around us as well as developing a sense of responsibility for others.
- ACTION AND PERSONAL EXAMPLE: UWC believes in the importance of acting on your beliefs and taking a lead role in what you do as well as what you say.
Stakeholder engagement in formulating priorities for Pearson’s Roadmap 2017-2022 were summarized and prioritized under eight categories, loosely defined as goal areas under the acrostic SPECIFIC – Selection; People; Experience; Campus; Impact; Funding; Innovation/Indigenous and Community. Overarching goals are timeless and enduring and express the long-term commitments articulated in the strategic plan. From the eight categories, five overarching goals have emerged:
- People: Select, educate, and graduate the most diverse, deserving and promising students possible. At the same time, enhance efforts to recruit, nurture and retain a diverse and dedicated faculty who are outstanding teachers and mentors; a diverse and dedicated staff who are outstanding professionals who provide strong support to faculty and students; and engage alumni, generous donors and supporters.
- Program: Inspire students to be responsible global citizens by fostering innovative programming, cutting edge curriculum, leadership in experiential learning, IB excellence and creativity, and Indigenous programming and reconciliation.
- Place: Renew the campus infrastructure for the future through initiatives that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, timely and informed by stakeholder input.
- Profile: Strengthen Pearson’s public presence by re-engaging and inspiring our alumni, supporters and the wider community (local, national and international).
- Prosperity: Achieve and maintain financial stability and sustainability through a diverse mix of tuition, philanthropy, endowment income, and revenue generation.
While Pearson’s mission and core values remain relevant – indeed essential – in today’s world despite dramatic social, environmental, and economic change over four decades, the College faces five significant challenges over the next five years:
- How to attract the most promising students: Competition for quality students in an increasingly competitive international school environment makes financial aid, scholarships, diversity, and experiential learning more important, but also more expensive. The UWC National Committee of Canada, program innovation and concurrent enhancement of public profile and engagement are gaps to be addressed.
- How to repair and renew Pearson’s aging infrastructure: As buildings and systems age, they become increasingly costly to maintain and repair, making strategic choices necessary to determine where to invest limited resources, and where and when to divest.
- How to offer the most innovative curriculum and programming: Pearson once set precedents with the International Baccalaureate and its experiential learning program. Now it finds itself in an increasingly crowded field of organizations and programs working to educate and engage the next generation of leaders and change agents. The College must be willing to evaluate and consider the way we do things so that we can carve a path to ensure it remains a global innovator in leadership education far into the future.
- How to create greater public engagement and awareness: The College will need to raise its public profile with the local, national and international communities, and with alumni not only to enhance its philanthropic mandate, but to recapture interest in its social-change leadership and quality education.
How to become financial stable with ample resources: With endowment draws reduced under Board direction, efforts to increase revenue sources and eliminate operating deficits through fundraising, government grants, revenue generation and especially tuition become more critical. In addition, the College has not taken full advantage of its potential as a revenue generating facility and destination for special interest groups and tourists.
The overarching goals of the College define broad areas within which the strategic plan develops specific objectives and actions. Main objectives (ends) are identified in each goal area, followed by a series of actions (means) to achieve each objective. The objectives specify particular directions within the goal areas, while the action items for each objective identify key ways to make progress over the next five years. Some actions involve resources and some do not. It is feasible to phase in actions on the basis of priority, cost, opportunity, timeliness etc. Phasing in decisions are part of the implementation stage of the strategic plan.
In the sections that follow, each goal – People, Program, Place, Profile, and Prosperity – will be detailed with a rationale and a set of objectives and actions.
To achieve its mission, the College must admit a deliberately diverse population of students of exceptional promise and potential, a population that represents the tensions in the world that need to be understood and addressed in order to create a more peaceful and sustainable future.
Objective 1: Attract qualified applicants from across Canada and Canadians around the world to the UWC movement in partnership with the National Committee of Canada.
Rationale: The role of the UWC national committee system is to propagate the UWC mission and increase UWC impact throughout the world. In order to fulfil this role each UWC national committee commits to performing one or more of the following functions:
- Recruitment of students: the committee promotes, selects, and prepares students for a UWC educational experience.
- Engagement of students and alumni: the committee engages with its current students, alumni and facilitates a hub for alumni activity in the country.
- Fundraising: the committee raises funds to support the costs of a UWC education
- Delivery of education projects and programs: the committee delivers a UWC education project or program.
The National Committee of Canada has oversight for selection in Canada and is a partner to Pearson College UWC in engagement and fundraising for Canadians in the UWC movement.
- Develop a partnership between the National Committee of Canada and Pearson College UWC for joint marketing and recruitment efforts.
- Continue to support the structure and processes of the National Committee of Canada through appropriate and adequate administrative, financial and alumni support.
Objective 2: Build a deliberately diverse student community.
Rationale: Pearson College UWC works with National Committees in nearly 160 countries and actively seeks a representation of students from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, including a diversity of socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. We also seek representation from different nationalities and from communities that reflect tensions within and across societies.
- Fill available places at Pearson College UWC through the official offers process, giving access through National Committees.
- Work with the UWC International Office to continue to professionalize and support the work of committees and the admission function in UWC.
- Play an active role in the UWC Refugee Task Force, advising on how to recruit and select students in this situation and find ways to integrate these students in the admissions and orientation process.
Objective 3: Develop a reliable revenue stream through admissions, while maintaining access.
Rationale: Include students who come from family backgrounds capable of funding a significant amount of the cost of attendance, through supporting the work of National Committee recruitment. At the same time, the College will continue its pioneering work in providing access to those who would not normally have a pathway to the transformative learning experience available at a UWC school.
- Provide National Committees with recruitment and retention materials required for working with high net worth families.
- Work with the National Committee of Canada to ensure funding is available for Canadians who would not otherwise have access to this education. One area for fundraising and sponsorship would be working with new Canadians. Working with Indigenous Canadians and their communities is another avenue for securing funding.
Objective 4: Create a safe and appropriate transition program for incoming students from all backgrounds
Rationale: Ensure that students are prepared for arrival and for meeting others who they would not normally encounter in their home country or community. Preparation includes the launch of a rigorous academic program delivered over two years.
- Work with National Committees to identify students who may need additional supports.
- Continue to build a personalized pre-arrival preparation program, including English proficiency, core skills in mathematics, intercultural communication, and other relevant areas to each student.
Faculty and Staff
Education and programming in a community-based experiential learning environment distinguishes Pearson College from other IB schools and private residential institutions. Finding and retaining quality teachers and staff is as important as increasing diversity. It is essential to stay ahead of a changing workforce and abreast of the competition for talented educators and administrators.
Objective 1: Attract a talented, diverse workforce
Rationale: Talent and diversity are workforce priorities for Pearson to support the College’s core values, to provide educational benefit to students and programs and to mirror the diversity of both the student body and Canadian society.
- Expand search outreach and pools from which faculty and staff are recruited, while investing appropriately in assessment process, visas and work permits.
- Strive to achieve gender, racial and ethnic diversity of faculty and staff, while taking account of critical mass balance and available candidate pipeline.
- Implement workforce planning to ensure Pearson has the right people in the right places at the right time to match current and future needs and demonstrate value for money.
Objective 2: Improve the work environment through policies and practices to motivate and retain faculty and staff.
Rationale: The competitive environment for quality employees within Canada’s aging workforce is a growing challenge. Successful retention and succession planning can be assured by providing faculty with a stimulating teaching environment, first-rate students and the resources to achieve professional goals. Similarly, recruitment and retention of skilled administrative staff require a supportive, engaged management, a rewarding workplace environment and resources to do their job well.
- Implement a continuous review and update of Human Resources policies and guidelines in consultation with employees.
- Enhance the College’s orientation and onboarding program for new faculty and staff.
- Develop a first-rate performance evaluation and feedback system for employees.
- Provide staff and faculty with training and resources to enhance community support and mentorship of students, including increased opportunities to live on campus.
- Maintain competitive levels of compensation and benefits appropriate to budget.
- Expect, recognize and reward high quality and innovative teaching or work performance.
- Promote a culture of dignity and respect for everyone.
Objective 3: Develop a high-performance culture in which delivery to agreed standards and objectives is the norm.
Rationale: Achievement of Pearson’s core education and program objectives will require optimal performance at the individual as well as organizational levels. Faculty and staff need to understand the context within which they work and to feel motivated and enabled to achieve higher objectives. Engaging faculty and staff in developing a high-performance culture is critical. Well-targeted and well-designed training and development are effective in motivating and enabling staff and faculty and improve productivity.
- Explore best practices in employee engagement and adapt for a community learning environment.
- Focus and target training provision and professional development on skills/experience that will positively impact student experience and leadership development.
- Strive to support the training and certification of as many teachers as possible and practical to lead and instruct student activities.
- Identify priorities and action plans for workplace well-being to help faculty, staff and students improve their health and sense of well-being.
Alumni, Volunteers, and Supporters
Objective 1: Revamp the College's volunteer management program
Rationale: In a resource-constrained environment, the pro-active volunteer engagement of students, staff and faculty in programs that improve local and regional social well-being and prosperity represent a key generator of return volunteerism that supports Pearson College UWC. The core of Pearson’s outreach program starts at home and requires dedicated and committed workers and volunteers.
- Raise profile of Pearson’s Host Family program to recruit more individuals and to support and recognize the dedication of long-time participants.
- Strengthen the strategic volunteer engagement and management program to make it more robust and to match interested individuals with College resources and requirements.
Objective 2: Enhance relationships with all donors and other supporters to ensure an ideal experience
- Donors (see Prosperity – Objective 4)
- Alumni (see Profile – Objective 2)
- Partners (see Profile – Objective 3)
At Pearson, students are offered the opportunity to embrace a whole education – a powerful one that pays equal respect to academics, service, leadership, physical pursuits, creative expression, experiential learning, and the lessons of learning and living together. There is scope for Pearson to adapt and change, ensuring that it continues to provide a unique educational experience while aligning with 21st-century cutting-edge approaches. Pearson must make better use of its unique setting on the unceded territory of the Scia’new (Beecher Bay) First Nation on Pedder Bay and all the attendant opportunities for students to learn to be curious, to explore, and to take ownership of their own educational experiences.
Objective 1: Deliver an educational, experiential program aligned with the College’s mission to create broader impact.
Rationale: Pearson must assess and increase its impact in a world of rapid change. This means being more deliberate and intentional about the impact it wants to see in its students and alumni, and in turn their impact in the world. Pearson’s three-pronged program (curricular, and co-curricular and residential) must generate a transformative experience for students, and therein a greater capacity for innovation and impact. We must be clearer and more confident about Pearson’s distinctiveness – in the context of both the UWC system and the broader educational landscape – if the College is to enhance its impact on and in the world. In an era of increased scrutiny, it is essential for the College to improve the way it defines and measures its impact. Enhancing impact and clearly assessing it are increasingly important. Program success will encourage other organizations to seek out Pearson College UWC students, alumni and professionals for assistance and modelling. In addition to the two-year on-campus experience, the UWC program encompasses selection, pre-arrival, breaks, transition, and the alumni experience.
- Provide students with coaching and mentoring for program selection that supports expeditionary learning, social service, and creative pursuits in support of peace and sustainability.
- Measure overarching impact of the program through formative and summative assessments for students and reflection exercises.
- Communicate growth and development of UWC skills and core values through outward-facing transcripts and a portfolio.
- Use the mission as a lens for making decisions about offerings in the entire program both on and off campus.
- Ensure that peace education and conflict transformation are cornerstones of our orientation and advising program, with ongoing coaching for community members and students.
- Integrate skills for sustainability (including systems thinking and modelling) into the program goals.
- Actively seek to offer options for an academic and educational program beyond the IB Diploma.
- Support and expand the program envelope to extend beyond the on-campus experience to pre-arrival, between years and post-Pearson periods.
Objective 2: Ensure innovation among students and the broader community is at the heart of our programming.
Rationale: Innovation is at the heart of our programming. Pearson can and should be once again at the frontier of innovation in experiential education if we are to equip a new generation of leaders with the skills and competencies to exemplify UWC values. The ability to innovate and to create pathways for creative use of time, space and energy will both add to the educational experience for our students and underscore the continual relevance of our program. We engage in UWC wide initiatives, such as the Refugee Initiative, to find new ways to serve potential students and further our mission.
- Intentionally choose themes to reinvigorate regular programming and give a structure for inviting involvement from alumni, guests, and friends.
- Train and support students to have clear areas of responsibility and to bring ideas through the design phase to execution.
- Practice mission-aligned discernment, accepting that not every community member will participate in every happening.
- Allocate resources to volunteer management and program design, with portions of the program being delivered by alumni, guests and friends with relevant expertise.
- Reevaluate the scheduling of current programming to create space for innovation, looking at ways to pace the program in different ways.
- Mobilize the “Life After Pearson” program to fulfill its dual purpose of engaging alumni with current students and the life of the College as well as preparing students with information of what life as an alum is and a support system (as they transition to alumni).
Objective 3: Develop and implement a leading foundational program on reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples.
Rationale: Pearson College UWC is uniquely situated to lead peace and reconciliation education in the UWC movement. In addition to being conceived by a Nobel Peace Laureate, the College is located on the unceded territory of the Scia’new (Beecher Bay) First Nation and in close proximity to pristine marine and terrestrial ecosystems. The College shares interests with Indigenous leaders and has excellent potential to develop living, working and learning relationships. In concert with Canada’s 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the College has a duty to inform and educate students on residential schools, treaties as well as current and historical contributions of Indigenous peoples to Canada.
- Ensure that all staff, faculty, residents and Board Directors complete Indigenous cultural competency and cultural humility training by 2018.
- Augment existing and create new programs to inform, instruct and engage students on Canadian Indian Residential Schools, Treaties, and Indigenous Peoples.
- Implement a Sea and Land-based Indigenous Perspectives course, using Indigenous pedagogical methods to teach cultural humility and provide students with the tools and capacity for intercultural understanding and empathy with people from other cultures.
- Provide a framework for understanding and recognition of Canada’s Indigenous experience in a global context that paves the way for the founding of a Global Centre for Peace and Reconciliation.
- Align College programs and practices with local Indigenous community knowledge and reconciliation.
Objective 4: Promote the physical, mental and social well-being of students in their individual and collective fulfillment of UWC values
Rationale: The learning process simply stagnates without a healthy heart, mind, and soul. However, burn-out is as much a problem for faculty and staff as it is for students and Pearson should find ways to “take the pain out of the learning process” for all members of the community. Social and emotional learning should not just address well-being. It should bring to life Kurt Hahn’s vision that education should support the development of “vigorous and active individuals” with “humanitarian convictions and ethical responsibilities for the welfare and progress for all.” As a recognized UWC leader in Pastoral Care [student and residential life], the College must continue to rigorously examine and develop its support, resources, training, and infrastructure to serve a diverse student community experiencing an increasingly stressful and demanding world within and beyond the UWC experience. A successful program will fulfil the UWC mission and values by fostering physical, mental, and social resilience among its emerging global citizens.
- Staff and support a Health Centre for 200+ students with resources for proactive outreach and intervention, including two full-time nurses on campus and expertise in the field of mental health.
- Provide students with pro-active training on issues of recurring concern (sleep, anxiety, body image) and on gender-related issues, including consent.
- Train and qualify adults who work with students in Incident Protocols, Consent and Respect, Cultural Sensitivity and Awareness and common mental health issues.
- Conduct regular and independent checks via surveys and interviews to allow us to rigorously interrogate our practices with regard for student wellness.
Objective 5: Nurture a safe and supportive residential community that supports student quality of life.
Rationale: Being part of an inclusive and intentional community and living in close quarters means actively participating in the well-being of the community. Policies, guidelines, and protocols must be clear and consistent with applicable standards and regulations.
- Review and update policies, guidelines, handbooks, and related documentation in line with leading practices and for consistency and clarity.
- Improve communication to students about rules, guidelines, and expectations.
- Offer regular training to students and adults in Restorative Justice, Conflict Resolution, Inter-group dialogue and Non-violent Communication.
- Ensure visitors, volunteers and host families are provided information and guidance on student interaction, with access to extended programs, training, and support.
The College’s aging infrastructure and its upkeep are increasingly drawing resources away from core education services and future program initiatives. A selective, planned renewal of buildings, equipment and essential services is necessary to support College operations while meeting safety codes and standards and creating efficiencies, improving quality of life and increasing opportunities for revenue generation. Pearson College UWC is blessed with a natural west coast setting. The campus is surrounded by dense temperate rainforest, acres of undeveloped land and bordered by a sheltered marine inlet of the Pacific Ocean. Its beauty rivals iconic images of BC’s coastal parks, but also requires sound management practices to preserve and sustain the health of surrounding marine and terrestrial eco-systems, flora and fauna.
Objective 1: Implement a rigorous, systematic renewal of campus buildings, facilities, systems and equipment.
Rationale: Upkeep and renewal programs that are supported by an integrated capital and fundraising plan and reviewed periodically ensure safer, more sustainable, and cost-effective built and natural structures to support a healthy living, learning and working environment.
- Integrate multi-year Capital Expenditure Plans and Capital Campaign(s) and ensure they are monitored, tracked and recorded to incorporate lessons learned into future plans and campaigns.
- Incorporate energy-efficient systems and environmentally friendly products and materials into all future renewals and new construction where applicable and within financial means.
- Implement on a rolling five-year basis an independent inspection and risk assessment of critical infrastructure systems, including but not limited to electrical grid, natural gas, water storage and distribution, waste treatment and marine pilings and associated structural integrity components of the floating building.
- Implement regular facility condition assessments.
Objective 2: Implement a cost-effective, institution-wide preventive and corrective maintenance system.
Rationale: As Pearson’s aging infrastructure is renewed or replaced, it is essential to balance the management of preventive and routine maintenance while being responsive to requests for the management of reactive and corrective maintenance. A properly aligned and planned preventive and corrective maintenance system will eliminate deferred maintenance and enable the College to focus savings and efficiencies on preventive maintenance (PM).
- Implement a modern cloud-based maintenance management system for all College buildings, systems, vessels, vehicles, grounds infrastructure and equipment.
- Under one centralized system, organize and coordinate work orders/requests, recurring tasks, PM schedules and create a single point of contact for staff, faculty and students to submit requests and receive completion reports.
- Leverage system data to accurately plan future budget and staffing requirements and to increase productivity.
Objective 3: Implement guidelines for organizational stewardship of College infrastructure
Rationale: The College must operate in a manner that ensures, on an ongoing basis, that its operations align with and support its core academic mission and educational programming. Principles of good stewardship must be understood and followed at all levels. These principles include a commitment to understand priorities and responsibilities at an organizational and individual level, an appropriate respect for collaborative decision-making and a commitment to open communication and transparency for decisions regarding the development of plans and setting of priorities. All employees and students are stewards of the College.
a. Implement cost-effective investments in support systems and infrastructures that meet mission-based needs.
b. Align support operations with the core academic mission and college strategic plan by maintaining clear priorities, metrics for assessing them, and appropriate internal controls.
c. Implement resource allocation strategies that enable and motivate actions that enhance the academic mission through educational programming and activities.
Objective 4: Promote effective renewal and stewardship of Pearson’s built and natural environment.
Rationale: Pearson’s campus buildings, supporting infrastructure and beautiful and natural surrounding environment are key assets that must be enhanced and preserved. At the same time, facilities must be allowed to grow, adapt and evolve as necessary to support the College’s mission. Decisions regarding facilities and the natural environment involve complex intersecting factors and issues that must be recognized and addressed in order to effectively steward the College’s physical resources. These decisions should be framed by and consistent with the College’s commitments to sustainability and accessibility. An integrated planning model should involve the following:
- Make environmental sustainability a core principle in the stewardship of Pearson College’s facilities and resources and in assessments of its impact on the community, First Nations, regional municipalities and the Capital Regional District (CRD).
- Ensure effective financial planning for construction projects, guaranteeing that budget impacts, including ongoing facilities operations and maintenance costs, are known, understood, and agreed upon, and that a specific and approved funding plan is in place, before they are initiated.
- Optimize existing infrastructure footprints and use renovation whenever appropriate, including use of vertical density, as an alternative to new construction and expansion. Major renovation decisions should seek to avoid creating duplicative capacity and honor the interior and exterior architectural integrity of existing campus buildings.
- Ensure resources available for facilities, including those from Government and private sector agencies, are optimally sourced and allocated by a strategic analysis of college infrastructure priorities.
- Seek to create campus-wide space utilization that optimizes college and departmental priorities.
- Allocate sufficient funding for maintenance and renewal of existing facilities, and for college projects related to infrastructure, common and shared facilities, public spaces and natural areas.
- Ensure pro-active and long-term planning efforts with affected local, provincial and federal governments and First Nations to optimize Pearson’s investments, enhance community relations, and leverage local, provincial and federal funding.
Objective 5: Provide and maintain cost effective infrastructure and support for Information Technology.
Rationale: Information technologies (IT) and infrastructure need to be maintained and renewed, while balancing technology needs with budgetary demands and other priorities of the College. Technologies and infrastructure that contribute to the core academic mission merit the highest priority.
- Effectively coordinate the delivery of IT services and infrastructure that support academic and business/administrative needs of the College in a financially responsible manner.
- Ensure IT services and infrastructure support the access, security and privacy needs for information stored within the infrastructure.
- Implement cost-effective investments in IT services and infrastructure that support future needs of the College in a financially responsible manner.
Objective 6: Manage risks that affect the College.
Rationale: Pearson College UWC faces risks that threaten the successful delivery of its objectives to provide a safe learning and working environment for students and employees respectively. Risks come from a variety of sources, whether as a result of a natural catastrophe or a man-made event, incident or accident. A strong strategic school risk management program will help identify and address risks; improve decision-making, planning and prioritization; allocate more efficiently financial and other limited resources; allow leadership to anticipate what may go wrong, minimize crisis management, or prevent a disaster or serious financial and/or reputational loss.
- Train employees and stakeholders. All employees, students and visitors must understand what is expected of them within the College risk management process and be properly prepared. Workshops are effective tools to help identify risks and should be attended by senior management teams and student representatives.
- Continue to support and strengthen the College Safety Committee.
- Develop and implement a College Risk Register as a comprehensive, single repository for all College risks with clear robust reporting for management and the Board.
- Assess and update the College’s comprehensive insurance plan and coverage on an annual basis.
Advancement is a major source of revenue and is key to generating funds that support innovative educational programming, financial stability and sustainability. Effective communications support fundraising initiatives, ensure accurate and growing awareness of the College and its mission, and enhance the reputation of the entire organization by helping professionalize outreach to all external and internal audiences. Engaging alumni through relationship-building programs energizes this specific community that is already inclined to be a key supporter of Pearson and the UWC Mission. Community engagement and outreach, both formal and informal, promotes awareness, understanding and support for Pearson as Canada’s leader in global education and the provision of community-based experiential education.
Objective 1: Develop an exceptional Case for Support for the College and specific fundraising priorities.
Rationale: Clear and effective Cases for Support provide foundations of mutual understanding of the institution’s needs, goals and aspirations for the Pearson community and its broad membership of stakeholders. Cases for Support clarify vision and help bring together all segments of the community behind specific goals.
- In conjunction with the Strategic Plan, draft and execute on Cases for Support for educational programming, operational sustainability, capital renewal and other new initiatives that culminate in Pearson College UWC as a Global Centre for Peace and Reconciliation in both structure and program.
- Engage key stakeholders to review Cases for Support and implement appropriate feedback and recommendations by June 2018.
Objective 2: Build a robust, diverse and active Alumni Relations program.
Rationale: After 43 years, Pearson College UWC has more than 4,000 alumni living around the world making a difference in a wide range of fields of study and work. The impact of Pearson alumni is not easy to demonstrate or quantify as they represent deliberately-selected students diverse in talent, worldviews, aspirations, and personal situations. The creation of a program for this community is challenging and must take into account many factors, including their stage of life, country of location, field of work or study, interests and alignment with the missions of Pearson College and the UWC. In this regard, the Alumni Relations program will have three categories to encourage a lifelong commitment: engagement with the College, engagement amongst alumni, and engagement during the transition from student to alum.
- Review and enhance the alumni reunion program to ensure a positive, meaningful experience for alumni and their guests while also ensuring financial sustainability.
- Enhance and grow the Alumni-in-Residence program by finding rewarding and relevant volunteer opportunities on campus, especially during the academic year.
- Develop a Speakers Bureau that includes both alumni and prominent individuals to engage current students and alumni and supporters worldwide with a focus on international affairs and “Life After Pearson”.
- Explore the feasibility of establishing a Continuous Learning Forum – a Short Course gathering for mission-driven professional development and continued learning for UWC alumni and friends
- Establish regular regional gatherings in key urban centres with either a social networking purpose or mission-related content to complement fundraising and profile-raising efforts (in particular to mark the 60thanniversary of the Pearson Nobel Peace Prize).
- Work with the National Committee of Canada and the UWC International Office on joint initiatives to promote alumni engagement among other UWC graduates in Canada and around the world.
- Continue to promote the UWC Hub as a virtual portal for engagement between alumni, faculty and staff for networking, mentorship, event promotion and employment opportunities.
- Working in collaboration with the Philanthropy team, focus on increasing alumni participation in fundraising across class years and through affinity campaigns.
- Develop and enhance the Alumni and Community House program during 2017/18.
Objective 3: Make community engagement a primary feature of local, national and international outreach by cultivating stronger partnerships with mission-aligned organizations to enhance College programming, reach and impact
Rationale: The story of Pearson is a compelling one that continues to develop new chapters with each graduating class. Sharing these stories with local, national and international communities gives Pearson a unique capacity to interweave public engagement with its educational programs and activities for students, as well as initiatives around environmental sustainability, Indigenous relations and infrastructure development.
- Build and sustain a meaningful and collaborative relationship with Scia’new (Beecher Bay) First Nation and other First Nations communities in the region.
- Develop partnerships with educational institutions (such as universities and colleges) and youth organizations in Canada to enhance programming, mentorship opportunities for students and to increase enrolment of Pearson and UWC students in Canadian institutions.
- Engage in local and regional associations to demonstrate community support and to open opportunities for networking and business opportunities particularly in the Greater Victoria area and in other areas of British Columbia.
Objective 4: Achieve excellence in communications and marketing through targeted activities to ensure understanding and a growing awareness of the College and its UWC Mission.
Rationale: Pearson drew wide attention at its founding and during its early years because of its unique and exceptional educational program and location. With the growth of other comfortably-endowed global education and IB-based schools in Canada, the College must ensure resources are invested in strategic communications planning and execution that are consistent and support effective awareness-building initiatives.
- Incorporate strategic communications and marketing advice and considerations in every major College initiative and project.
- Work with the UWC National Committee of Canada on a campaign to promote Pearson and UWC in Canada using the Pearson Nobel Prize 60th Anniversary as a central theme in 2017/18.
- Ensure adequate communications/marketing resources (human and funding) are in place and consistently supported.
- Forge and build out partnerships with key non-stakeholder organizations such as media publishers and broadcasters, indigenous media organizations and educational material publishers to better leverage limited resources and achieve wider positive understanding of the College, particularly in the Greater Victoria region and across B.C.
There is a critical need to return Pearson College UWC to financial stability in order to sustain and enhance College operations, provide a platform for a stable endowment growth and instill confidence in philanthropic and other investment.
Objective 1: Eliminate the College operating deficit and achieve a balanced operating budget by 2020.
Rationale: Collective financial challenges have seen Pearson operate with a deficit for a number of years. In addition to eroding and restricting growth of the College endowment, an enduring operating deficit has limited investment in education and programming innovation and expansion, accrued a significant and growing backlog of deferred maintenance and capital investment, added stress to employee performance, undermined confidence in the College’s ability to attract philanthropic donations and created uncertainty among potential major donors. In view of the College’s relatively fixed level of operating expenses, the primary driver to eliminate deficit is revenue. Of the four main sources of revenue – endowment draw, advancement (fundraising, government grants), tuition and revenue generated from facilities rental – tuition is the most reliable source of significant revenue growth. As indicated above under “People – Objective 3,” increasing revenue by adjusting the mix of full, partial and non-fee payers must be managed with extreme care so as not to disrupt the socio-economic and cultural diversity that is a hallmark of Pearson’s unique community-based experiential learning and leadership development. Actions to address the deficit are planned under the assumption that once financial stability and sustainability are achieved, measures to achieve as many full scholarship admissions as are financially feasible will be pursued.
- For 2018-2019 academic year, admit 100 Year-45 students at a mix of full, partial and non-fee payers to achieve tuition revenue of approximately 23.7% growth over 2017-2018 forecast.
- For 2019-2020 academic year, admit 100 Year-46 students at a mix of full, partial and non-fee payers to achieve tuition revenue of approximately 17% growth over 2018-2019 goal. If operations deficit is eliminated in 2020, Pearson College UWC will adjust admissions mix to the extent possible for increased numbers of non-fee payers.
- Inform and coordinate Pearson admission adjustments with respective national committees, the UWC International Office and sponsoring organizations.
Objective 2: Establish a growth revenue generation program to contribute to Objective 1.
Rationale: Pearson’s facilities and location represent an attractive venue for many potential clients, ranging from executives seeking a retreat to non-profit groups seeking a location to run in-residence programs. Its current potential to generate revenue for College operations is not fully realized, especially during periods when Pearson students are not in residence.
- Implement an investment and marketing strategy to increase client interest and maximize facilities rental during non-academic calendar periods and, to the extent possible, maximize facilities rental on a non-interference basis with students during academic calendar periods.
- Develop and implement a marketing campaign to attract SMERF group clients to Pearson College (Social, Military, Education, Religious, and Fraternal/reunion groups).
- Engage stakeholders to increase calendar space for new client opportunities.
- Conduct a review and assessment of existing summer programs and activities for feasibility. Program renewal will be based on improved return on investment and/or expanded outreach to enhance College visibility, exposure to potential UWC candidates and philanthropic donors.
- Continue to build and improve networking relations with local and regional supporting agencies such as Tourism Victoria, the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, and related business associations, events and workshops.
- Expand relations with local First Nations to develop and build mutually beneficial partnering and marketing initiatives, including employee and volunteer opportunities for First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples of Canada.
- Continue to invest in the renewal of infrastructure and employee training to enhance facilities for comfort and diversity of use and to improve client experience and service.
Objective 3: Nurture and grow the endowment.
Rationale: Pearson College UWC has a substantial endowment, but it alone is not sufficient to generate returns to bring the operating deficit into balance, especially as Board mandated draw percentages re-align with CRA recommended levels by 2020. Developing greater revenue through other sources will protect the endowment, allowing it to grow and contribute more to the College over time.
- Set advancement targets for annual endowment fundraising at an average of $400,000 per year (understanding that amounts vary from year to year).
- Meet with the Investment Committee no less than four times annually to review asset allocation and investment manager performance.
Objective 4: Significantly improve funding through a range of philanthropy and revenue generation.
Rationale: While fundraising is the major source of annual revenue and is critical to return Pearson College UWC to a balanced budget and sustainable future, the College must also seek new and innovative ways to generate revenue from public and private sources.
- Enhance and grow the College’s major gifts fundraising program by raising an additional $1.5 million in 2017-18 in “Special Gifts” (new gifts over $100,000, estate gifts, new government or sponsorship funding) through dedicated time and by the President and philanthropy staff, active participation by board members and the US Foundation and a Fundraising Advisory Cabinet.
- Increase total annual fund revenue through a variety of means including segmented mail and email campaigns, as well as personalized solicitations for the donors $1,974+ (Jack Matthews Circle). In 2017/18, the goal is to raise $1.8 million in operating funds in 2017/18 from annual fund activities.
- Increase alumni giving revenue and participation by inspiring alumni to give to cohort scholarships or affinity campaigns.
- Enhance and grow the College’s legacy giving program (the Lester B. Pearson Legacy Society) by increasing promotion among patrons, alumni and other long-standing supporters.
- Grow revenue by 10% and participation in the recurring donor program (Sustainer’s Society) by 15%.
- Develop and execute a comprehensive campaign to renew the Pearson College UWC living and learning environments.
- Develop a comprehensive external sponsorship program that identifies opportunities to encourage financial support from corporate and private sectors for College activities, facilities and operations.
Objective 5: Develop effective relationships at all government levels and secure new public funding.
Rationale: Throughout Pearson’s history, governments at all levels have supported the College financially in a variety of ways including direct funding for student scholarships, investing in the endowment fund and supporting capital projects. In recent years, however, government support has diminished in large part due to austerity. However, there is now an opportunity to re-engage governments both in Ottawa and Victoria by aligning their policy priorities with those of Pearson.
- Develop and implement a comprehensive government relations program particularly for the Governments of Canada and British Columbia that builds and strengthens relationships with key elected and appointed officials at all levels, particularly in priority areas such as education, global affairs, Indigenous peoples, and environment and climate change.
- Identify and pursue government funding through departmental programs, grants and matching opportunities to encourage private fundraising.
Objective 6: Make continuous improvements in the stewardship of financial resources
Rationale: Rigorous stewardship of the College’s financial resources, with appropriate checks and balances, is critical to Pearson’s ability to achieve its mission. Because of the complexity of budget and finance functions, it is imperative processes be open, transparent and effective in achieving financial stability and protecting the College’s fiscal health. Resource flows must be clear and predictable, but there must also be sufficient institutional flexibility to allow the strategic pursuit of important opportunities when they arise.
- Review and assess existing budget structures and resource flows to revise, simplify and align budget processes and ensure support for departmental priorities.
- Clarify institutional roles and responsibilities related to budget and finance to facilitate effective collaboration and communication between responsible budget managers and appropriate monitoring of performance and accountability.
- Continue to ensure there are effective internal controls, sufficient transparency, and appropriate checks and balances to prevent excessive financial commitments and overspending.
- Continue to prepare and present operating and capital budgets reflecting complete program and operating costs and sources of funding, and regularly review these to ensure planned use of resources do not exceed funds available.
- Continue to ensure clear and explicit reporting documents for senior leadership and Board Directors, including reports on in-year operating budget performance, capital budget sources and uses, short-term lines of credit, the College’s debt portfolio, and a multi-year financial model.
- Balance the need for purchasing efficiencies through centralization with an allowance for flexibility and individual solutions across the diverse array of products and services utilized by departments.
- Continue to keep senior leadership and appropriate infrastructure, finance, investment and advancement committees informed of major budget issues and make public suitable information regarding annual capital and operating budgets.