The ability to sense and respond to change is a characteristic of community colleges. It could simply be called agility. There is a predictable cycle that describes agile organizations. Those organizations that are agile move through five steps: (a) sense, (b) strategize, (c) decide, (d) communicate, and (e) act. Agility is the ability to sense and respond to change. Today’s colleges need to be agile.
A critical first step is to understand what is changing in the environment. Without a doubt, students have changed. Community college students span multiple generations, representing a range of attitudes and aptitudes for study, technology, and their definition of success. In part because of the technological environment they have been exposed to, they bring different learning styles and expectations to college. What we understand about how people learn has also evolved. There are educationally sound tools and techniques that go well beyond what most faculty experienced as students. And technology has advanced, and will continue to offer new opportunities. Instant messaging, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, graphics, and mobility are just a few of the dimensions along which technology continues to change. Along with these changes are shifts in expectations. Never before has the call for outcomes from education been as strong.
College faculty, administrators, and staff are asking if
they have the agility to respond to all these changes. Some colleges are proving
it is possible.
The presenter provides examples of institutions responding to change.
To ensure that an institution optimizes its agility, there are a series of questions to ask:
How agile is your college?