University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Strategic Plan

Grace Baranek

May 7, 2018

On Wednesday, April 25, 2018, the USC Chan Strategic Planning Steering Committee convened for a working retreat, marking the end of Phase 1 and the beginning of Phase 2 activities of the strategic planning process. As a reminder, the purpose of Phase 1 was to comprehensively assess the division’s current position — essentially answering the question, “Where is the division today?” The purpose of Phase 2 is to answer the questions, “Where should the division be in the future?” and “How should the division get there?”

Activities and outcomes of Phases 1 and 2, designed to collectively develop detailed goals, strategies, and tactics, have included the following thus far:

Phase 1 Activities

  • Internal Stakeholder Interviews Eighteen individual one-hour interviews with a representative subset of faculty members, and two group interviews with 4 students and 4 staff members (a total of 26 internal stakeholder interviews) were conducted by AMC Strategies’ consultants. Interviewees were asked about USC Chan’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats; about the division’s current vision statement and core values; opportunities for collaboration and synergy both within the division (across USC Chan’s research, teaching, and practice mission areas) and with outside entities; and significant trends within occupational science and occupational therapy.
  • External Stakeholder Focus Group Nine fieldwork preceptors, alumni, and employers of USC Chan graduates participated in a two-hour focus group covering many of the same topics discussed during individual interviews. This focus group consisted of representatives from the Occupational Therapy Association of California, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles Unified School District, Pediatric Therapy Network, Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, Occupational Therapy Training Program, Exodus Recovery, Inc., and the USC Chan Division’s Board of Councilors.
  • USC Leader Interviews Sixteen senior leaders from across USC participated in individual 30-minute telephone interviews facilitated by AMC Strategies’ consultants. Such leaders included USC Provost Michael Quick, deans of USC schools, directors of institutes, and renowned experts in their fields. Interviewees were asked to share their perceptions of USC Chan and to describe potential opportunities for future collaborations with their respective academic units.
  • Electronic Survey 689 respondents completed an electronic survey distributed to all faculty, staff, students, alumni, fieldwork preceptors and members of the Board of Councilors. More than 90 percent of survey respondents endorsed the proposed core values identified by AMC Strategies after their interviews and focus group. Additionally, open-ended comments solicited by the survey pertained to the broad topics of curriculum, cultural sensitivity, and collaboration, among others.
  • Environmental Assessment Steering Committee members Emily Schulze, Stephanie Mielke, and Mike McNulty compiled quantitative data from numerous internal sources to provide a current snapshot of USC Chan and how it has grown during the last five years. This document provides a data-driven baseline status to inform the goals, strategies, and tactics to be set forth with the new Strategic Plan.

Phase 2 Activities

  • Steering Committee Retreat 25 USC Chan Steering Committee members and 3 consultants from AMC Strategies, LLC met off-site for an all-day working retreat. The morning consisted of reviewing results from all Phase 1 activities. The group then worked collectively to begin to draft a potential vision statement and strategic priorities as informed by those results. After lunch, breakout group discussions generated reflection and innovative thinking on topics pertaining to preparing graduates for the changing healthcare landscape; supporting healthy communities locally and globally; facilitating the translation, dissemination, and impact of our research programs; and cultivating valuable internal and external partnerships.
  • Town Hall Forum On Monday, April 30, approximately 50 faculty, staff, and postdoctoral scholars gathered in the CHP G-37 auditorium and via livestream to review the results of Phase 1 activities and to offer feedback on the strategic planning process to date. Discourse generated poignant questions and novel perspectives on USC Chan, both at present and into the future. Additional town hall forums for faculty, staff, and students are scheduled for early Fall 2018.

On behalf of AMC Strategies and the entire USC Chan Division, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the many people who have generously and thoughtfully contributed to these activities. This invaluable qualitative and quantitative information will continue shaping our Strategic Planning activities and outcomes, as together we look forward to the continuation of Phase 2 and the launch of Phase 3. Thank you, and Fight On!

Grace Baranek PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Associate Dean, Chair and Professor
USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC

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