wake tech community college

LEA 124 – Leadership Training: Beyond Diversity

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Tyler Dockery celebrates Diversity with strong leadership
Tyler Dockery celebrates Diversity

LEA 124 – Leadership Training: Beyond Diversity

Since I had taken LEA113 (Understanding Diversity in the Workplace) and I clearly “understand” Diversity in the Workplace, it’s time to look BEYOND Diversity and put this clear level of understanding into action.

This course was presented by Jackie Popp (Jacqueline Popp) and Kimberly Breivogel on Wake Tech Community College’s Main Campus. During this leadership training session, we tooke a look at the biases we all hold (and we all have them, even if we’re not aware of it!).

We then explored how we could respectfully interact with others while actively working to reduce or eliminate preconceived notions which prevent us from being as effective as we could be, especially in the workplace. Research-based, hands-on activities and case studies allowed us to apply learning content to the workplace. We shared experiences as we got to know each other

In this class it was very interesting to see Cindy Foster, department head of Wake Tech’s Simulation and Video Game Development curriculum. Her experiences from the state and areas where she grew up made for some excellent insights. In her case study, her group had a staff member making harassing comments repeatedly. Her team made the breakthrough realization that the staff member might not be under their management control, which opened up a loooong and frankly quite fruitful discussion on how to deal with people under your management, those outside of your management, the difference in legal matters, performance improvement plans, and written/verbal warnings.

I thought this would be a general rehash of an earlier class, and was very pleased to find it stepping above and beyond my expectations.

College Central Network Flyers: We Have The Winners!

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This year, Wake Tech Community College has fully vetted College Central Network (CCN)and CollegeCentalNetwork.com as our official hiring network. College Central is one of the most visited entry-level job sites on the Internet. It provides both students and alumni with the ability to search their respective colleges’ or universities’ secure jobs databases, plus CCN’s Jobs Central national job board, with millions of jobs posted to date. The site also features valuable content geared toward entry-level job seekers.

In an effort to get the word out to students, the school has requested that the Advertising and Graphic Design Department run the materials in our classes as a project or extra credit project. Out of 4 potential candidates, 2 final winners were both chosen from my class: Kristine Kelly and Heather Heffner.

Its always a pleasure to create projects that the school can use. It was doubly good to see actual flyers hanging around the school. We were allowed to use the new Wake Tech Logo, and the students were able to add QR codes to the flyers, which was a really nice surprise. I think it earned us some extra points.

A special thank you to Rhonda Pickett for working with us on this job. The Advertising and Graphic Design Department at Wake Tech is always ready to help, whether its a class run by Tyler Dockery, Marsha Mills, Woody Hayes, or Alison Consol. Go Wake Tech!

NCCCS Conference 2012: Closing Keynote Address

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Tyler Dockery attended the NCCCS conference 2012 Closing Address
Tyler Dockery attended the NCCCS conference 2012 Closing Address

NCCCS Conference 2012: Closing Keynote Address

2012 North Carolina Community College System Conference closing keynote address, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Introduction of Speaker by Ms. Benita Budd, Wake Technical Community College

Benita Budd gave an excellent introduction to Dr. Ralls. I found myself waiting for this discussion with interest.

Keynote Address: Dr. R. Scott Ralls, President: Milestones and Momentum:Celebrating 50 Years of Student Success in the North Carolina Community College System

In all honesty, I was worried that this discussion was going to amount to an hour-long pat on the back. However, Dr. Ralls pointed out some great room for improvement, involvement in the future. It was definitely worth sticking around for.

R. Scott Ralls, Ph.D., President, NC Community College System
Scott Ralls is the seventh president of the North Carolina Community College System. With 58 colleges serving almost 900,000 individuals annually, the North Carolina Community College System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the United States and is internationally recognized for its efforts to foster economic and workforce development.

Dr. Ralls previously served as President of Craven Community College, in New Bern, North Carolina and is only the second former North Carolina community college president to hold the System presidency. He was one of the original champions for early college high schools, and today, North Carolina hosts one-third of all early colleges in the U.S., the vast majority located on the campuses of community colleges.

As President of the North Carolina Community College System, Dr. Ralls has championed workforce development and student success. He led efforts to gain the System’s first weighted funding for technical education; to link career-technical and science and technology pathways with public schools and universities; and to redesign customized training programs to enhance opportunities for existing employers. In 2009, under Dr. Ralls’ leadership, the North Carolina Community College System initiated a comprehensive set of strategic initiatives focused on student success and program completion entitled SuccessNC. The model was recently recognized by the Brookings Institution and the Rockefeller Foundation as one of “10 State and Metropolitan Innovations to Watch in 2012,” and was noted as one of the most “forward-thinking economy-shifting efforts underway in America’s state and metropolitan areas.”

Dr. Ralls serves on over 30 national and state boards and commissions, and is the incoming Chair of the National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges. He holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Maryland, a Bachelor of Science with highest distinction from the University of North Carolina, and in 2007, was elected the tenth honorary fellow of Warwickshire College in Warwickshire, England.

 

Closing Remarks: Dr. Sharon Morrissey, Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer

The conference ended with more polite remarks and encouragement that as the future unfolded, we should renew our commitments to education and pursue the future of the industry.

Conference Adjourned

Now, for a long and deserved drive home.

NCCCS Conference 2012: Liven Up Your Course In 3 Easy Steps

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NCCCS Conference 2012: Liven Up Your Course In 3 Easy Steps

Monday, Oct 8: 11-12 Liven up your courses in 3 easy steps was presented by Kelly Markson from Wake Tech Community College.

This sessions presenters showed how a few tweaks to your classroom performance and activities can begin to improve student engagement, improve concentration, and encouragement them to earn better grades.
This session was actually wildly effective. Many of these items had to do with creating and improving a flipped classroom – a classroom in which the students do the teaching and leading rather than a classroom in which the students must passively listen and take notes.
My favorite of the bunch was to have students pair up and have each explain the concept to their neighbor. In many cases, this forces the students to understand the ideas and to be able to actively describe them and how they might work. Some students simply will not understand the concepts as explained by the teacher, however, when the concept is explained through the words of another student, it often can become clear.
Another was to encourage students to engage other student by discussing and critiquing their works and presentations. As graphic designers, we do this by default within the advertising and graphic design program at Wake Tech, so this is something which is already in place.
The third easy way to engage the class was through the use of a token – in this case, a beany baby fish. The fish could be tossed and passed around the classroom, causing students to be active while others hoped or in some cases actually begged for the ability to have the fish and talk.
I found this class very enjoyable and looked forward to the opportunity to use the student explanations in the classroom. I think I could get some great traction with that one.

NCCCS Conference 2012: Capstone Roundtable with Roanoke-Chowan Community College

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Tyler Dockery attends the NCCCS 2014 Conference Opening!
Tyler Dockery attends the NCCCS 2014 Conference Opening!

NCCCS Conference 2012: Capstone Roundtable with Roanoke-Chowan Community College

Tonight’s ceremony had a session followed by a fine conference opening with a great food reception and discussion board afterward.

The Opening Session was followed by a short discussion set. I joined the Capstone Roundtable lead by Roanoke-Chowan Community College.  This roundtable outlined how Roanoke-Chowan community college was using their capstone courses as an opportunity to connect real-world challenges with their students. Materials involved showed a strong connection between local businesses and college students, followed by a fair amount of pre-degree hiring. Rountable discussion progressed with an effort to get feedback on how to improve their processes and moved into general discussion and recommendations from Roanoke-Chowan Community College to participants, including lessons learned, and plans for future expansion.

After the initial discussion was closed, we descended to the expo floor in order to taste the fine trappings of the culinary departments from several schools, to visit traveling exhibits from several community colleges, and sample some entertainment. I myself enjoyed a brief discussion with Woody Hayes and Marsha Mills, Advertising and Graphic Design instructors at Wake Tech Community College, and stayed until the gospel choir had finished their initial set.

I was really looking forward to tomorrow’s sessions, and went back for a good night’s sleep.

Leadership: Management Styles

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Leadership managment stylesToday’s leadership professional development session: Management Styles, was presented by Sam Strickland

In order to be more effective, organizations will have to move to more organic and participative management styles.As the workforce- especially the workforce in top institutions such as Wake Tech Community College- gets more educated, we see a stronger relationship forming between education, management styles, and institutional effectiveness. In today’s professional development session, Sam Strickland made a clear connection between a more participative management style and education and skills.

Unfortunately, numbers that showed a more educated workforce did not necessarily show an increase in organizational ability. If you want to have an effective management style in a heavily-educated workforce, you must adjust your organizational design and management style.

Three ways in which organizational design and management style can affect:

  1. organizational effectiveness
  2. individual performance motivation
  3. existence of organizational communication, coordination, and control mechanisms

These allow the performance of individuals to come together in ways that produce an effective organization; as well as individual performance capability.

 

Organizational effectiveness

Historically, there is a strong connections between the level of organization within an institution and its effectiveness. There are many different management styles, but no “magic bullet” style that is always effective. The key to organizational effectiveness is finding the particular approach to management that fits the type of demands a particular technology places on the organization. This should be taken to heart within each department and division.

Individual performance motivation

Motivation is frequently given in terms of individual rewards, however, this does not always translate to organizational success. In order for the organization- say Wake Tech, for instance- to succeed, smart management will make a clear, visible connection between the success of the individual and the success of the organization. Self-managing teams are another great way to help individuals feel responsible for organizational performance.

In an organization our size, the best management styles will contribute a sense of organizational performance, because they create an environment in which the individual feels they can influence the direction an organization takes, the decisions it makes, and future strategies or tactics the organization employs.

Existence of organizational communication, coordination, and control mechanisms

For an organization to effectively come together, there must exist a means of organizational communication, coordination and mechanisms of control that allows the performance of individuals to come together in ways that produce a quality organization. Teams need information on their performance for self-management and interfacing with other teams.

High Involvement Systems

High involvement systems by their very nature require greater individual performance capability on the part of the employees than other systems. These systems call for individuals to influence decisions, exercise a broader range of skills on the job, and interact with people in groups and settings outside of the norms of most business settings.

Understanding the Performance Appraisal Process and Performance Management

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Today I attended a professional development session: Understanding the Performance Appraisal Process and Performance Management as presented by Benita Clark.

In this session, employees with Wake Tech Community College had the opportunity to ask questions about the Performance Appraisal Process. The question: “What does it take to get a 4?” was explained and examples provided on what it takes to “exceed expectations”. HR was also there to answer questions about the Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) and that process as well.

A little bit about this development session was bait-and-switch. When discussing “What It Takes to Get A 4”, the team basically pointed out that everyone wants a “4” (out of 4) on their performance appraisal review, and that receiving a 3 should be enough. We had recently switched from a 5 out of 5 system, and part of the presentation on “What It Takes to Get A 4” was centered around 4 actually being the new 3. And how “meets expectations” was the new standard.

In the second portion of the class, they gave examples of staff members going above and beyond to receive a “4” rating in the new system. This upset quite a few people. First, the difference between staff and faculty is a pretty large gulf. The things that staff would do to receive high grades might include taking on a big project, heading a committee with the school president on it, or getting new outside funding for the school. Secondly, the examples for receiving a “4” rating included things many people already did but were not receiving “4” ratings for: having extended office hours, building new or updated curriculum for your departments, teaching 5 or more classes in a semester, getting stellar ratings on your course evaluations, posting more than 5 office hours during the week, leading a student club, lecturing to clubs or outside groups, running special projects for the deans, etc.

This ended up with lots of muttering and displeasure from faculty members asking questions about how they could bring information from this session to their supervisors to boost their scores, how they could retroactively improve their performance reports, and how some people were already doing these things for years and had never seen top scores.

In the end, we discussed this topic so much, and so animatedly, that this part of the session ended with a note very loudly from Benita Clark that the ultimate determining factor in your performance review came from your supervisor.

At this point I mentioned that during my most recent performance evaluation, my supervisor had said “We are supposed to give every single teacher a 3. We aren’t EVER supposed to give out a 4 rating unless it has been pre-approved by the Dean.” Benita mentioned again that everyone wanted to get a 4, and that each department was different.

We had taken up so much time with our Q&A session that we had to rush extremely fast through the PIP session. The Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) session was short, sweet, to the point. Benita wrote here email on the board and suggested any future questions could be addressed to her directly.