Located in north San Diego County, MiraCosta Community College District recently partnered with HMC Architects to develop their 2011 Comprehensive Master Plan (CMP), which will guide the district’s development for the next 10 years. The CMP is the result of an integrated planning process and includes two parts – the Educational Plan and the Facilities Plan. The Educational Plan serves as the foundation for the site and facilities development recommendations that are described in the CMP.

The creation of institutional goals was an important step in the college’s educational planning process. The institutional goals provided the strategic direction for the educational and facilities plans, as well as the mandate to emphasize sustainability in curriculum, facilities design and operation. The College Brain Trust (CBT) led the educational planning efforts as part of the comprehensive planning process.

I.         MiraCosta Community College District will become a vanguard educational institution committed to innovation and researched best practices, broad access to higher education, and environmental sustainability.

 II.         MiraCosta Community College District will become the institution where each student has a high probability of student success.

III.         MiraCosta Community College District will institutionalize effective planning processes through the systematic use of data to make decisions.

 IV.         MiraCosta Community College District will demonstrate high standards of stewardship and fiscal prudence.

V.         MiraCosta Community College District will be a conscientious community partner.

A primary element of the planning effort is the goal to “develop interrelated plans that will establish models of environmentally sustainable practices.” The plans include an examination of potential academic program development, potential for maximum growth at build-out for each of the campuses, and a capital program that will identify preferred land use, potential building sites, circulation plans, landscape and site development plans as well as capacity and massing plans to support the academic program needs of each of the campuses.

The CMP for MiraCosta College is more than just a planning document. It is centered on the needs of students and the community and provides a vision of what the college will look like in the next decade. It also gives the necessary guidance to get there, in a sustainable way.

To effectively build upon MiraCosta’s more than 12 years’ devotion to “green” principles, the CMP project team (which includes experts from architecture, energy, civil engineering, water and wastewater, land use, technology planning and architectural landscape disciplines) defined the aspects of sustainability that were most important to the campuses and their users. As a result of a full day of workshop with multiple stakeholders from all three of the District’s campuses, three main categories reflecting MiraCosta’s educational, environmental, and community-based objectives were identified: Leadership in Sustainability, Environmental Preservation, and Transform Campus into a Living Lab. The resulting CMP incorporates each of these categories into a document that is now used for all existing and future development at the MiraCosta Community College District’s campuses.

This CMP is the result of thoughtful collaboration among MiraCosta College faculty, staff, students, community members and the governing board. In true collegial fashion, the college community participated in a multi-year process of educational program review and facilities planning derived from forecasted student enrollment, local employment projections and future economic growth of the region.