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 remind.com. 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?

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