Month: June 2016

Students Matter: How Organizational Culture Drives Student Success — League of Innovation Summit

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Students Matter: How Organizational Culture Drives Student Success — League of Innovation Summit</
Students Matter: How Organizational Culture Drives Student Success 

This session focuses on a culture transformation effort at Lone Star College. The presenters will introduce organizational culture as an underlying influence throughout the college and engage participants in a deeper discussion about culture transformation as an avenue to student success.

Debbra Esparza, Executive Director
Alicia Friday, Director
Melissa Hinshaw, Manager, Organizational Development, Lone Star College System, TX

How Organizational Culture Affects Student Success

Describe the culture at your college, and really write as many things about it as you can.
Student success is the major thrust at Wake Tech Community College. To that end, we have student organizations, numerous independent learning centers with free tutoring and it’s many different locations. Several open computer labs, free tutoring, faculty advising to work with our students. Office hour coverage seven days a week and evenings. Advising holds to help us know and help the students get along their degree in a timely manner. Our faculty has an open door policy. We have opportunities and job pushing out via email and Twitter feed as well as We have hands-on classes as well as expansion and enrichment classes. Our Compututor and 24/7 blackboard assistance for students in need. We have an IT help-line. We have capstone courses and capstone presentations that psych our students for self-promotion and getting ready for interviews. Our faculty each do a yearly benchmarking activities and applied benchmarking grants to improve our process. We have the E-learning initiative which students must complete prior to being able to enroll in our online classes — which helps assure we have completions. We have epic functionality being undertaken by faculty and full section 508 compliance in all classes. A 30-hour professional development requirement for all teachers ensures we stay on top of our game, and we have starfish, we have college algebra MOOK and many other things that I can’t think of.

Culture changes

The important thing about changing your culture is first to establish the values that you want, and then a way to evaluate those values. Is there a disconnect between the disciplinary culture and the college culture that is the students? Do the teachers feel and act one way and the students feel and act another?

What are the positives the change brings to culture

It’s easy to fall into altruisc statements about what we do and what the value of it is, but most of us actually say “what’s in it for me?”. What is student success? Is it grades, is it transfers, is it completions, is it success or failure? And, what exactly is a failure?

Cultural beliefs are used to create the attributes for new faculty. Start with your core values: include benchmarking. Dr. Scott is a man of action and he leads with initiative and then stands behind those initiatives. Are higher-ups wanting to assist what I do? Rachel Ruise at Austin community college notes that within their institution, compensation is based on completions. A question comes up: Are teachers giving completions to keep compensation high while overall quality is driving low? It’s a legitimate question.

How will this change impact student success? How does a healthy college hold improved student success and completions? Epic implementation at wake Tech is set to be 100% by spring of 2017. A question came up: “Where/what will the headline be five years from now about your institution?” many people had a great joke over the fact that I suggested that might be in the middle of the second Trump administration and then where would we be?

Support for Student Achievement of Learning Outcomes: Partnering for Success — Innovation Summit Symposium

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Support for Student Achievement of Learning Outcomes: Partnering for Success 

Rachel Fulcher-Dawson, Associate Director, Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities, University of Notre Dame, IN

Corinne Weaver, Senior Manager, Research, Data, and Evaluation, Catholic Charities Diocese of Fort Worth, TX

Explore four community college approaches to help developmental students succeed, including a remedial paradigm shift at Morton College; basic skills mathematics instruction at Golden West College; Power Math Camp at GateWay Community College; and the Best Fit Project at Henry Ford College. I felt it was an interesting set of material, but I was a bit bagged out at this point in the conference I was probably more focused on lunch than this product. By and large, many of the schools they were talking about had small populations and issues that Wake Technical Community College had already covered. It was helpful for some, but some older ground for us.

Understanding and Communicating With the Overly-Informed Millennial Generation — League of Innovation Summit

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Understanding and Communicating With the Overly-Informed Millennial Generation

Strong communication skills are critical to successful student learning. Participants will acquire a firm understanding of the impact generational differences play in choosing effective communication strategies. Small group discussion and interactive activities are included.

Sally Pestana, Director, Health Education, Kapi’olani Community College, HI; Rick Walker, Director, STARLINK, Dallas County Community College District, TX


Did you know?

Millennials Boomers Matures
Attended college   61% 46% ??
Married   26% 48% 65%
  • 84% of millennials say having a meaningful impact on the world is more important than professional recognition or wealth
  • 84% donated to a social cause in 2014
  • 84% own a smart phone – and use it on average 45 times per day


Educating the Overly Informed Millennial Generation

Session Goals

  • Understand how generational differences are formed
  • Articulate the importance of recognizing generational differences in the classroom
  • Responding to the need for teaching skills addressing generational differences
  • Helping all students respect the differences among the generations

The Generations

  • The Matures (1920-1945) – Age 71+
  • The Baby Boomers (1946-1964) – Age 51 to 70
  • The Gen Xers (1965-1980) – Age 35 to 50
  • The Millennials (1981-2000) – Age 15 to 34

Guess Which One Is The Largest Living Generation!!


Generational Differences Influence:

  • Habits
  • Values
  • Attitudes
  • Behaviors
  • Expectations
  • Motivational buttons
  • Communication preferences


Matures (1920-1945)

  • Duty, honor, country
  • Conformity, consistency, and commitment
  • Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation”
  • Hard times and then prosperity
  • Save – then pay cash
  • Hardworking; doing a good job is most important
  • Education was a dream
  • Nuclear family

Matures, sometimes referred to as the “silents” in the literature were raised during the depression. Commitment is a huge value for this generation.  Think back to a grandparent or parent that worked in the same job for three, four or five decades. This generation is known for rarely leaving an employer on their own volition – most stayed with the same company their entire career.

Baby Boomers (1946-1964)

  • Raised in prosperity by depression era parents with significant impact
  • Raised to be independent and “go out and get a job”
  • Work ethic = Long hours / “workaholics
  • Success defined by number of hours at the office
  • Competitive – only one winner
  • Education was a birthright
  • Buy now, pay later

Important to realize how matures impacted the Baby Boomers. They were raised by depression and war-era parents. They were taught to do what you need to do to gain financial security, thus avoiding the challenges their parents faced.  Baby Boomers were raised to always save and work hard. Told to get a job that will leave an impact on society and has benefits. The Baby Boomers Created the term “workaholics”.  

Millennial view – “Gosh, now I realize why my bosses are here all the time.  They have no other life.  Now I feel sorry for them.  How sad.”

Baby Boomers have few hobbies – too busy working. Some are taking on hobbies post retirement. By and large, they did not receive much affection, and thus are not very demonstrative. Discipline was the rule. There was only one winner.

First generation Americans tend to have more BB characteristics – regardless of their generation. Baby Boomers have most direct influence on Millenials because of their success and close connections.


Gen Xers (1965-1980)

  • Had two working parents (often children of divorce) / “latch-key kids”
  • Saw parents laid off leading to distrust
  • Self reliant, independent, and resilient
  • Want their passion to be their profession
  • Technologically adept and flexible
  • Work ethic = “Measure me by my outcomes.”
  • Money is important but control of time is the goal
  • Save, save, save
  • Frustrated that “boomers” won’t turn over responsibility to them


Millennials (1981-2000)

  • Raised by boomers who used opposite child rearing practices as their depression era parents
  • Grew up in merged families, and/or had grandparents with strong influence
  • Protected – raised by “helicopter” parents
  • Participation generation – everybody gets a trophy
  • “Techno-kids” – taking multi-tasking to a new level
  • Work ethic = Get paid to get the job done, NOT to be in the office
  • Expect flexibility, fun, and meaningful work – with their first job
  • Optimistic, energetic, and demanding
  • Empowered and spontaneous
  • Enter job market confident of their own value
  • Family and friends come above their careers
  • Education is a huge expense
  • Earn to spend
  • Encouraged to “Find a job that makes you happy”
  • Work, think, and travel in groups
  • Value education, relationships, achievements, and diversity
  • Want and need constant and immediate feedback and will give the same

Years of self-esteem building have given this generation the sense of being wanted and special. Baby Boomers told their children to find a job that makes you happy! This generation expects not only that they’ll be happy, but well compensated and make a difference for their happiness. They prefer to have LOTS of feedback as contrasted with the  Baby Boomer philosophy of  “no news is good news”.


Generations of U.H. Faculty vs. National Engineering Firm

UH Faculty large national engineering firm
Matures (Age 71+ 4% 0%
Baby Boomers (Age 51 to 70) 47% 15%
Gen Xers  (Age 35 to 50) 36% 31%
Millennials  (Age 15 to 34) 13% 54%

Depending on which report you read

Faculty’s Role

  • Be aware of stereotypes and understand how they shape other’s perceptions of you, and you of them!
  • Be prepared to teach millennials  the importance of generational differences, as they will be working with some boomers and many Xers during their careers


In the classroom…

  • Flexibility is critical
  • Use clear and straightforward language with everyone, but especially with millennials because millennials don’t respond to subtleties
  • Millennials  grew up in an instantaneous world, with Google immediately answering their every question and helicopter parents at their beck and call – they bring those same  expectations into the classroom
  • Have career goals, positive attitudes, technological savvy, and collaborative inclinations
  • Value communication and information and respond well when told the “why” behind the teaching and assessment methods you use
  • View higher education as an expensive but economically necessary consumer good
  • Higher education is not a privilege earned by hard work and outstanding performance
  • ¡They (or their parents) “purchase” it for the purpose of opening well-paying occupational doors on graduation
  • Feel entitled to their degree for the cost of the credits
  • Want to know that you care about them  — “They will care how much you know, when they know how much you care”.
  • Accustomed to near-constant interaction, and want to relate to you
  • Used to having clear expectations set
  • Respond well to structure, discipline, rules, and regulations

Those whose grades slip in college feel their self-esteem threatened and may react with depression, anxiety, defensiveness, and even anger against us. In addition, they hear a lot a “bad news” from us in their classes: that they didn’t learn enough in high school to handle college, that knowledge bases are full of holes and unsolved mysteries, that their beliefs and values are subject to question and debate, and that both college and the real world demand that they work and prove their worth.


Golden Rule vs. Platinum Rule

  • Treat others as you would like to be treated.
  • Communicate with others using their preferred method of communication.
    • Rotary phones
    • Touch tone phones
    • Cell phones
    • Texting


Communication Needs

  • Boomers communicated with family and  friends via snail mail and long distance phone
  • Millennials  prefer to communicate by text message or e-mail
    • They don’t expect to have to talk
    • Or write formally
  • Lots of room for teaching and growth


Messages that Motivate

“Your experience is respected” – satisfaction comes from a job well done

“You are valued and needed” – satisfaction comes from money and title recognition

“Do it your way – forget the rules” – satisfaction comes from freedom

“You will work with other bright, creative people” – satisfaction comes from constant feedback and doing meaningful work


Work Ethic

  • Duty before fun
  • Workaholic – works efficiently, quality important, not afraid to question authority
  • Eliminate the task!  Desires structure and direction, but skeptical
  • What’s next?!  Goal oriented, multi-tasker

Creativity, Action, Results: Connecting Student Engagement to Student Success — League of Innovation Summit

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Creativity, Action, Results: Connecting Student Engagement to Student Success 

The focus of this forum is to discuss strategies that can help students put their ideas into purposeful action, thereby increasing their chances of success. Attendees will address the concepts of empowerment and engagement in small group discussions and written activities.

David Pegram, Professor, English
Caron Sada, Faculty, Psychology
Michaelle Shadburne, Manager, Employee and Organizational Learning, Paradise Valley Community College, AZ

This was another hands-on bonanza, and I didn’t really even have time to take notes.

Just In Time Professional Development That Makes A Difference — League of Innovation Summit

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Just in Time Professional Development That Makes A Difference

Manuel Gomes, PhD. with Associate Provost of National American University

This session was a last-minute addition to the league of innovation summit. Technology is great for students learning in the college environment, but can also transform how, when and where teachers learn. So why are so many professional development programs so detached from the classroom? National American University is changing professional developement for teachers through “Just-in-Time” professional development, focusing on delivering real-time learning solutions that can be immediately applied to the classroom. Key takeaways included:

  • How to set up an effective coaching program for new teachers and on-going professional growth
  • How to leverage a variety of professional development solutions to support different learning & teaching styles
  • Differentiating between the best tools to use for just-in-time PD and deferred PD

Honestly, it was very surprising to see just how many of these colleges are struggling to reach the place where our college is. At Wake Technical Community College, we are required to undertake a minimum of 30 professional development hours every year, and frankly, most overshoot this by double or more.

JIT or Just In Time training is certainly a helpful thing in some cases, but wouldn’t it be more helpful if teachers prepared ahead, or new what they might be coming against? Better still, would not a proactive teaching populace take the initiative and take or demand the training they forsee needing or would like to have in order to be ready and available for the troubled time to come? Some colleges may need individuals who are ready “right now”. Would it not be better to have a team who was prepared for the eventuality BEFORE it happened? I’d rather have learned to swim a month before my boat start sinking than try to have a quick lesson on the dead man’s float in a boat which is slowly going under…

Quality, Inquiry, and Accountability in Pathways to Student Success — League of Innovation Symposium

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Quality, Inquiry, and Accountability in Pathways to Student Success 

Symposium: Quality, Inquiry, and Accountability 

Jo-Carol Fabianke, Vice Chancellor for Academic Success, Alamo Colleges, TX 
Rachel Ruiz, Dean, Student Services, Riverside Campus, Austin Community College, TX 


Allatia Harris, Vice Chancellor, Strategic Initiatives, Community Relations, and Diversity, San Jacinto College District, TX

The Role of a Healthy College Culture in Fostering Student Success — League of Innovation Summit

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The Role of a Healthy College Culture in Fostering Student Success

Symposium: Organizational Culture

Kristina Binard, Associate Vice President of Enrollment and Student Success, Front Range Community College, CO
Debbra Esparza, Executive Director, Organizational Development, Lone Star College System, TX
Shyamal Tiwari, Professor, Performing Arts, Bergen Community College, NJ


Allatia Harris, Vice Chancellor, Strategic Initiatives, Community Relations, and Diversity, San Jacinto College District, TX

This was a very interesting round table. Allatia moderated as the schools talked about healthy college culture and student success. It included minor break-out sessions in which I was the only teacher at a table full of administrators. Lone Start College seemed to have the most advanced materials, being a nice and honest contemporary competitor with us. Shyamal made a very funny joke about how 5 years from now everything might change as we’d all be in the second Trump presidency. That was very, very humorous indeed, and almost everyone was laughing.

We focused in on what things were great about our colleges, which initiatives were truly assisting our students, and what they future would bring. It was very hands on. Interspersed within these team items we heard from each individual college, including a story from Bergen Community College about how the community and the school gathered together to raise funds for a student who’d had his upright bass stolen, and short movies about how students with recent wheelchair injuries would not let physical handicaps stop them from achieving the education that would build the careers which would set the cornerstones of their lives.