- Identifying needs for professional development and technical assistance
PRACTITIONER, PRESIDENT, AND PARTNER PERSPECTIVES
Tina Hart, Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services, Indian River State College, Pathways College (posted 4/5/2018)
It’s very important to recognize the fact that all students are not coming into our doors at the same place. They are coming from a different reality. They are so different. Some come from very nurturing, caring families that want their students to go to college. Everybody in their household went to college. They’re hearing the terminology. They’re hearing the expectations that you can do it. But many of our students, probably most of our students, that’s not the reality. If anything, they’re hearing messages like, you know, “Who do you think you are trying to go to college? We don’t do college.” Or they’re hearing, “Well, if you go to college you’re going to leave me, and then who is going to take care of me?” I mean there is a whole the whole gamut of messages that students are growing up with, it just runs across the board. And so we’re educating our employees, we do Bridges out of Poverty training to help all of our employees, and right now in the division of student services, that is required training so that you know what messages students are hearing that are coming from poverty because it’s very different than those of us that were raised middle class. So we’re doing training and professional development to help our college better understand the students that are coming from a place that’s different than the way a lot of us were raised. So that is very important. And the messages that we need to give our students and the mindset that no matter where they’ve come from that they can do it. We’ve got all of the resources here. We’ve got all of the supports available. We want to know how you’re doing. We’re going to watch how you’re doing, and we’re going to be diving in to hold your hand whenever necessary, but we also appealed to students to not be afraid to speak up.
Paul Markham, Founding Partner, Sova, Pathways Partner (posted 4/5/2018)
When we’re thinking about professional development it’s less about the sort of individual skills that faculty or advisors or administrators need to have. Because I actually think they’re quite skilled and committed already. It’s about the connections between them. And this is something I’ve seen over and over again. It’s so easy, it’s almost like — it’s almost a term that’s — siloed, to use a term that’s so overused it’s almost meaningless now. But it’s real. It’s a real effect that happens. So when we create professional development that connects faculty and advisors … and connects administrators with faculty, for example, so we understand why decisions are being made and what decisions need to be made, how data are used, for example. Then the professional development becomes more effective because each group and each sort of role understands the other’s perspective and how they need to work together.