- Faculty and staff engagement
Engagement for Pathways Implementation: Basic Concepts and Practices (posted 4/5/2018)
These slides highlight practices related to engagement for pathways implementation, including how to establish a climate to influence culture, the role of meaningful engagement, and practices of enlightened leaders. (Sova)
Engaging Adjunct and Full-Time Faculty in Student Success Innovation (posted 4/5/2018)
This tool helps colleges design and implement effective faculty engagement strategies related to institutional change for student success. (Achieving the Dream and Public Agenda)
PRACTITIONER, PRESIDENT, AND PARTNER PERSPECTIVES
John Nixon, President (retired), Mt. San Antonio College, Pathways Coach (posted 4/5/2018)
Two strategies to better engage faculty in this work: One is to make sure that the leadership of the college, beginning with the board and a president or a chancellor, makes clear to the constituencies that this is our focus, that our focus is now improving student success and completion through the array of strategies and changes that fall under guided pathways. So that there’s a single focus for the faculty.
We know why we’re doing what we’re doing. And that ties back to the second strategy, which is the use of data. If the faculty understand where the leakage points are and as students go through programs at a college and why there are leakage points and too many noncompleters and who those noncompleters are, and even have a better sense of, for transfer students, of their success or lack of success as they transfer on in a major to a university.
If the faculty have and understand the data on the student performance, I find that to be highly motivating for them to effect change, to want to change what they’re doing and how they’re doing it.
Tonjua Williams, President, St. Petersburg College, Pathways Coach (posted 4/5/2018)
Well, first you share the problem, with data. Bring the faces to that to show not only is it 500 this, show who those students are. Here are our students who fit in that category.
And then teach them what do we need to do to move this forward and include them on the discovery of it. You can’t hand them “here’s the roadmap, do it.” You need to help them discover for themselves and be actively involved in order to develop the plan. Because a lot of folks look at buy-in, for them to buy in. But a good institution will help them create it, not buy into it.
Buy-in means, “Here, I put this together. We’re going to do pathways. I hope you like it. It’s going to work.” No. We want them to create. “Here’s a problem. Here are some ideas. You get together, faculty and staff, and work collaboratively and come up with a strong plan on how we can implement this and make it work.”
Laurel Williamson, Deputy Chancellor & President, San Jacinto College, Pathways College (posted 4/5/2018)
When you look at the data, and it says your students are not doing well, then the question is, “How can we help students do better?” And it’s very difficult to say, “I don’t want to,” right?
So there are good conversations. You need strong leadership. You need leadership that stays the course and that can have those difficult conversations that are testy at moments, but then you come out the other side, and people are eager to help. They’re eager to get into what you’re doing, to examine those best practices and make them their own and to see those success rates.
Walter Bumphus, President & CEO, AACC, Pathways Partner (posted 4/5/2018)
The extent to which colleges can get folks all across the college involved in this, all levels of administration, all faculty, that’s the key.
In that respect, you gotta take the position that everyone in the institution has a leadership role. You can lead from any place in the college. To the extent that you can get, not just the vice presidents and deans excited about this, but you get everyone in the college excited about it, you’re more apt to have success than not.
Anne Kress, President, Monroe Community College, Pathways College (posted 4/5/2018)
I think every college that’s interested in the guided pathways movement really needs to create some conditions for faculty to become engaged. And I will say, at MCC, faculty were engaged from the very beginning. Actually, it was a faculty member who brought the notion of guided pathways to us.
So if you think about, okay, you have somebody who has a great idea, and they want to move that forward, then what you need to do is to create a culture where those ideas can be nourished and nurtured and that they’re validated. So when we had a faculty member who said, “This could be a really good idea,” we had other faculty who then sort of attached to that idea, and they brought it to a dean, who brought it to the provost, who brought it to the president’s office. And in each case, that enthusiasm was validated because it was really centered on student success.
Vicki Karolewics, President, Wallace State Community College, Pathways College (posted 4/5/2018)
I think one of the tenets that we hear in the literature is the first thing that you don’t do to get faculty to buy in is to suggest that faculty buy in. I think the great ideas and the great opportunities for innovation bubble up through an organization if everyone feels a part of that organization. So in community colleges, generally, community colleges as a whole are very inclusive environments. So we have to value that inclusivity and find ways to expand it and to broaden it and to make it more meaningful.
Tom Bailey, Director, Community College Research Center, Pathways Partner (posted 4/5/2018)
We want faculty and administrators to also have a road map to the goals that they have. I think also in the end we have to pay much more attention to engagement of a broader group of people at the college.
I think that the traditional model of reform, which is to introduce an initiative within the college, often funded by a foundation or perhaps by the federal government, that works with a relatively small number of students, that works with a slice of the activist faculty. That really draws those activist faculty away from the rest of the college because they have a special program that they’re doing. That gives them a lot of things. They can go to AACC and give workshops, and they get their picture on newsletters, and they get recognition and travel around the country. But it’s taking them away from the college. And those reforms can continue to operate without actually influencing the regular way that the college operates.
So I think in a lot of ways our model of reform has stood in the way of the type of really fundamental change that we think is necessary. So we have to move beyond that paradigm. We have to move beyond the idea that we’re going to have a little pilot project. We have to talk about reforming the entire college. And I think that means we need to pay much more attention to the issues of faculty engagement at a broader level.
Rob Johnstone, President & CEO, National Center for Inquiry & Improvement, Pathways Partner (posted 4/5/2018)
So when you talk about colleges in a union environment, the union environment just adds a layer of complexity to being in a nonunion environment. I mean, one of the things we talk about nationally is regardless of how top down or bottom up or union or nonunion your system, you still got to deal with every one of these change issues, right.
So there’s not anything particularly different about the change process in a union environment aside from you need to early on engage those leaders … but that doesn’t mean you can’t evolve organizations, organizations need to evolve. I mean, organizations that have huge union contracts and industry evolve all the time so there has to be a constant interaction. So I do think absolutely it’s slightly more complicated, there’s no doubt about that. And if you have union leaders at your college who are completely resistant to the idea of change, then you’re going to have to work through that or around it. These issues are too important.
What I have found is union leaders are at the college for the same reason the rest of us are, they’re there to create conditions for the students that help are going to help them most succeed. It’s their job on many occasions to also think about the working conditions of faculty, and sometimes people have different perceptions, whichever side of that that you’re on. I think the culture change issues may be more important in a union environment early on because you have to get to the place where everyone’s bought in to “we’re moving in this direction” to kind of bring things together. But we have many colleges who are working in union environments.