Foundation schools are the largest educational provider in the United States, and its physical territory covers three cities in California. Being a world leader in the provision of education, many people have been able to secure jobs through success of Foundation schools. A reputation that Foundation schools’ administrators have built for the schools enhances the status of Foundation schools in the United States. Some directors of other schools even pay special visit to Foundation schools for the purpose of wisdom and observation, as well as modelling their own schools on the methods of Foundation schools’ approach and development.
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Despite the successes that Foundation schools have recorded, Foundation schools still need to increase its financial improvement, and to enhance an organizational financial improvement, an organization needs to enhance its strategic program for program implementation, and realization of business objectives.
This report examines how Foundation schools have.adopted strategic program for the increase of the school’s financial position.
Identification of the Issues and Opportunities bordering Foundation schools
There are issues that have been the center of management’s discussion of Foundation schools. Keeping the quality of education is part of the issue that management of Foundation schools wish to address, because the schools’ management believes that increase of student-to-teacher ratio from 3: 1 to 4 :1 may reduce the quality , and standard of education that Foundation schools offer.
Additional issues that the schools board is addressing are previous year’s result, and the improvement of financial standard of the Foundation schools to ensure that Foundation schools are able to increase its financial position. For instance, the Foundation schools expect to increase student’s enrollment in order to increase next year net income to nearly two million dollars. (Simon, 2006,).
Finally, management aims to improve the quality of workforce in order to increase school’s financial position. (Gomez-Mejia et al. 2008,).
To address these issues, Foundation schools plan to involve some stakeholders so as to ensure that Foundation schools achieve all the issues raised. Typically, schools management decides to involve stakeholders such as board of directors, school staff, and students.
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However, school’s board has realized that there are some external and internal factors that may serve as challenges for Foundation schools before achieving the issues raised. Next section examines problems that Foundation schools are likely to face before achieving their aims.
Identification and Description of the Problem
Achieving the aims of Foundation schools has generated problems for the school board. A problem that Foundation schools are currently facing is how to meet the financial target of $50 millions, because the board has been responsible to fund 90% of the tuition fees and board is facing the problem of meeting this target.
In addition, Foundation schools have also faced a problem of increasing funds and revenues because there have been an increase in the enrolment by 5% per year.
Additional challenge facing Foundations Schools is an issue of expansion. Typically, expansion is a focus of all organizations, and organizational expansion is an index of growth.
Moreover, Foundations have not yet succeeded financially to develop its human asset, as the development of human asset will enhance Foundation schools’ leadership role in education.
Finally, Foundation schools have not increased their financially growth, and financial growth is a necessary tools for program achievement.
All these problems have become tasks that the management of Foundation schools has decided to address.
Addressing these problems is fundamental to Foundation schools strategic advantages because solving these problems will reduce students-teacher ratio and these will enhance quality of education offered.. (Simon, 2006,).
Development of a Set of End State Goals Against Which to Evaluate the Alternatives
To achieve the objectives of Foundation schools, the end-state-goals need to be developed for priority program that Foundation schools aim to develop. The reasons for development of end-state goals are to set program for future strategic development, and actions. Typically, education provides opportunity for cultural and social activity, and benefits of education enhance economic stability and prosperity. Thus, Foundation schools need to set a priority for the development of high quality education. Thus, to achieve these target areas, Foundation schools should set up the following End State Goals to meet the future needs of the schools.
- Provision of high quality education for kindergarten, primary, and secondary school students, as well as offering diversity program to meet the needs and expectations of students.
- The Foundation schools target to increase its financial capacity by increasing number of students. The Foundation schools also target to increase annual funding by improving the school effectiveness and to expand enterprises.
- The Foundation school is also setting target to reduce teacher student ratio in the future, as it is revealed that increasing, the students-teachers ratio can reduce the quality of education that Foundation schools are providing in the United States.
Thus, the Foundation schools will set three-year strategic program to realize this program. In the realization of this program, the Foundation schools aim to improve dedication of school staff towards life skills approach. In addition, achievement of the set goals will enhance provision of more jobs for people.
Moreover, achievement of program objectives will be revolving around the following SMART terms: (Maat, 2007).
- Time framed
Thus, to achieve the target goal, it is essential to identify and describe the alternative solutions.
Identification and Description of Alternative Solutions
The need for reaching target goal requires identification of alternative solutions. Some of the alternative solutions that need to be implemented as described as follows:
First alternative solution that Foundation schools should implement is to increase funding capabilities for the schools. The strategy to adopt is by using business development as the model to increase funding and revenues. Typically, there is need to plan three-year strategic program, which will include the realization of revenue increase. To increase the revenue, the Foundation schools need to bring John Thomas, who is a member of Board of Directors for the source of funds. Typically, choosing John Thomas to source funds for Foundation schools is essential because John Thomas has strong business background, and excellent leadership skills. In addition, John Thomas has been instrumental in the implementation of several projects.
Another alternative to consider is the increase of the tuition fees in order to increase revenue for the schools. Typically, the Foundation schools intend to increase profitability and an option Foundation schools are considering is to increase the tuition paid by students. An advantage of increase of tuition has been pointed out by Jane who declared, “It looks to me like the major driver of our increased profitability is next year’s significant tuition increase.” (SCENARIO: Foundation Schools, p5).
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It should be noted that increase in tuition would enhance additional revenue for Foundation schools as remarked by Nancy “we have not had a tuition increase in two years, and tuition is going up only 3% for next year. Most of the additional revenues are coming from new students, with some surplus occurring as we experience ratio improvement with new faculty”. ( SCENARIO: Foundation Schools, p 5).
Final alternative to consider is the acquisition of more locations for Foundation schools. It should be noted that the school is intending to expand, and increase the number of students in the schools. To achieve this, Foundation schools will need addition housing facilities because the program being initiated will lead to increase in the number of students by 300. It should be noted that the Foundation schools are considering expanding in the next two years in other states, and the expansion will require additional locations and additional funds.
This is revealed from Jane’s statement who said, “If we are going to expand this school into other states, we will need significantly more funding to acquire additional locations and fund the marketing. We will need to generate at least three to four million in cash for the next two years to give us the funding we need. Our projects have to yield their committed improvements.” (SCENARIO: Foundation Schools, p6).
Despite the program laid down for the improvement of Foundations schools, there can be some setback in the realization of this program. It is essential to analyze all the three alternatives laid down.
Analysis of the Alternative Solutions Considering the Desired Future State and Supporting Set of Goals
Increasing of funding for Foundation schools is a step to achieve overall objectives set down by the board. It is essential to realize that increase in financial capacity of schools will enhance achievement of objectives of Foundation schools. Typically, the marketing strategy to increase funding seems impressive because this will help to enrol more students, and more revenue for Foundation schools. Typically, marketing and business development strategy are likely to increase net income for Foundation school, and the net income could be increased by nearly two million dollars next year. The increase in net income will come from new students, and this will increase financial status of the schools.
However, there can still be some setback with regard to increase in funding through this approach. For example, some of the staff of foundation schools does not have funding background, and this may serve as setback for the increase of funding that the school is seeking to achieve. For example, Jeff, who is part of school’s staff, does not have funding background.
Second alternative to consider for the increase of school’s financial position is the increase of tuition fees. Really, this sound good for the increase of financial position for the school, however, increase in tuition fees need to be implemented tactically because increase in tuition may lead to situation where some parents may remove their children from Foundation schools. Typically, Foundation schools should realise that there are other schools in the Unites States also trying to increase the number of students.
Acquisition of facilities is an additional method to increase expansion. Although, Foundation schools have improved their position with regard to facilities cost, because the schools have negotiated space for three buildings with no additional cost. Nevertheless, there is still issue of taxation on schools. Acquiring more facilities can increase taxations levied on Foundation schools.
Despite the setback revealed from the analysis of these alternatives, increase of funding through marketing and business development serve as best alternative for the increase of financial position of Foundation schools, and with implementation of this program, there will be increase of schools funds in the next few years.
Implementation of the alternatives necessitates accessing the risks associated with these alternatives.
Assessment of Risks Associated with Solutions
All programs have the risks embedded in them, and for efficient implementation of a program, there should be management of risks that may be associated with a program. All the three alternatives enumerated in the previous section have the risks associated with them. For example, there can be risk in the increase of tuition fees for the school in order to increase the financial position of Foundation schools. It should be noted that Foundation schools record increase in the enrolment of students by 5 percent each year. However, with increase in tuition fee, this can lead to reduction of student’s enrolment.
In addition, part of the program is the issue of expansion, and the schools are trying to adopt marketing and business development for achieving this expansion and to increase the financial position for the school. However, it should be realized that positioning marketing in wrong direction might not achieve its aim. It is essential to position marketing at places that will reach the target population, and failure to adopt this strategy may not achieve desired results.
To mitigate these risks, management should implement strategic plan to achieve their objectives. As being pointed out by John, “I think we need to take a much deeper look at how we are managing our strategic program plan…we really do need a more thorough analysis of the status and impact of these projects. We also need to ensure our projects are realizing the benefits in the program plan and these benefits are in our financial and operating forecasts”. (SCENARIO: Foundation Schools, p 6).
Despite all the risks enumerated, there is need to provide optimal solution to mitigate the risks.
Selection of an Optimal Solution
As discussed in the previous section, the Foundation schools need to implement strategic plan for mitigating the risks.
An optimal solution for Foundation school is to develop a leadership strategy and an effective business plan for project management. It is essential for Foundation schools to address the problem of leadership. To address this problem, Foundation schools should employ a project manager with all qualities, and characteristics to motivate people as well as getting cooperation, managing, and oversee every aspect of the project initiated by Foundation schools. As being pointed out by Gray, Larson, (2006), “The project manager is unique because she/he manages temporary, non-repetitive activities and frequently acts independently of the formal organization. Project managers are expected to marshal resources to complete a fixed-life project on time, on budget, and within specifications” (p7)
Typically, Foundation schools will benefit from service of a project manager because a project manager provides direction, coordination, and integration of overall project plan. Thus, by employing a project manager, Foundation schools will be able to address problem of inconsistencies, and unclear leadership role that serve as major bloc to successful implementation of programs. (Woodyard, MacMedan, 2006).
It is essential to realise that Foundation schools have the problem of unclear roles, and inconsistencies leadership. Integration of project management in the school’s management plan will address this problem.
Although, it is essential to realize that effective integration of project management in management plan of Foundation schools needs the support of overall management team in order not minimize conflict within the management.
However, implementation plan is essential for project delivery because this aspect describes the methods of implementation of overall business plan.
Implementation plan will start from October 1, 2008 and a completion date will be December 1, 2011. All the factors that can lead to setback in the implementation of business plan will be minimized. The entire implementation plan for marketing and business development will be as follows:
First stage will be the selection of team member that will be involved in the implementation plan. This aspect involves careful selection because there is need to select people with business experience with ability to raise fund for Foundation schools.
Next stage will be launching of campaign to raise funds for the Foundation schools. This will involve implementing of marketing campaign for the program. It is essential to realize major objective of marketing campaign is to increase the number of students in order to increase revenue for Foundation schools. The Foundation school’s financial targets are even being remarked by Nancy, who stated, “in terms of the financials and operating results, you can see our net income increased because we enrolled more students this year. And as a result of marketing and business development, we expect a major jump in total revenues for next year, a net income increase of nearly two million dollars” (SCENARIO: Foundation Schools, p4).
Third stage of the implementation plan is that there will source of fund from the outside sources. Part of where the Foundation schools will target to source funds are from government source such as grants, and non-governmental source such as The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
With this implementation plan, it is expected that there will be increase in the number of new students up to 300, and it is estimated that there will be increase in the revenue. Although, there may be unforeseen circumstances that can serve as setback for rising of funds, nevertheless, some strategic plans will be taken into consideration for effective achievement of business plan.
To ensure that business plan achieves its objectives, Foundation school will ensure that the current staff is better utilized to serve companies’ goals. Moreover, Foundation schools will improve treatment of its work force, and overall staff of the school. (Gomez-Mejia et al, 2008).
Meanwhile, measuring of outcome is essential to evaluate the success of overall program.
Identification of Metrics to Measure Outcomes
Evaluation of success of overall business plan is essential to measures the metrics of overall outcomes of implementation Plan.
Typically, quantitative and qualitative approach will be implemented to measure outcomes of implementation plan. For example, using quantitative and qualitative approaches to measure the outcome will be to collect data from the stakeholders through questionnaires and survey on the overall performances of Foundation schools on the improvement of student’s performances. The target stakeholders will be students, parents, educational administrators, and work force of Foundation schools. Data collected will used to evaluate the performances of overall business plan, and for the improvement of school’s financial outcome in the future.
Although, compilation of data through quantitative method is not enough, there is need to evaluate data through qualitative technique for overall measurement of Foundation schools’ business plan.
This business plan shows how Foundation schools will achieve its overall business program. It should be noted that achievement of organizational objective would be difficult to realize without proper identification of business program. Foundation schools have identified several alternatives methods for source of funds for the increase of financial improvement.
Foundation schools have identified marketing and business development as a best solution in fund raising for the school. With proper implantation, Foundation schools will be able to meet its financial targets.
Gray, C, F, Larson, E, W, (2006). Project management: The managerial process (3rd ed). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Gomez-Mejia, Luis R.; David B. Balkin and Robert L. Cardy (2008). Management: People, Performance, Change. 3rd edition. New York: McGraw-Hill. Foundation School Worksheet.
Maat, J, (2007), IMPLEMENTATION PLAN WORKING DOCUMENT, EUROPEAN TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM “FOOD FOR LIFE” MMPBL/510 Foundation Schools Program Management Plan Rubric (Week 3) SCENARIO: Foundation Schools.
Simon, H. (2006). Administrative Behavior. 4th edition. Blackwell Publishing: London. Strategic Program Management Generil Week 2 The Foundation School Program Management Plan.
Woodyard, C., & MacMedan, D. (2006). Press: I was in love with cars every second. USA Today. Web.