Student Development Administrators and Counselors
Sunday, June 24, 2001
Facilitator: Jack Bautsch
Recorder: Maria Guevara-Lee
1. What were the critical issues emerging from the morning session? (Critical Problems and Issues, Part I)
· Architecture – many of our definitions have become obsolete. The perception of our role within the college must change particularly with interactions with faculty. Better linkages between student development and faculty must become the focus. The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) cited the “Powerful Partnerships” report from the American Association of Higher Education as an effective tool.
· Distance Learning – how to best develop support services for distance learners. The Seattle Community College District has created a position that coordinates student support services for distance learners.
· Legal Issues – concerns were expressed regarding students’ right to privacy and technological advances now available to student development teams.
· Student Goals – problems with accurate tracking of students’ intent and institution’s definition of successful completers.
· Research – lack of documentation tying learning outcomes and student development. Student learning … the cognitive and non-cognitive. Those skills which are transferable inside and outside the school environment. The definition of learning outcomes needs to be broadened to include development services as well as instruction. Many of us are teaching either Human Development Courses and/or teaching in Coordinated Studies Programs, this needs to be communicated to the institution.
2. What strategies are needed to enhance the Learning College culture?
· Develop cross-functional teams with instruction and student development, sharing the same vocabulary. Now in its third year, CCBC has established a Council for Innovation and Student Learning that pairs instruction and development staff. Powerful connections made when teams teach together.
· Involve student development teams in all areas of the college. These to include participation in non-traditional arenas for example teaching within learning communities, serving on curriculum review committees and on faculty hiring committees. “Infuse development into the fabric of every day life” was the quote from the Community College of Denver where barriers have been explored with the participation of students. Their findings: it narrows down to communication, informing the college community of our role and documenting our successes.
· Lane Community College offers a course which links student success, diversity and career exploration. It is taught by counselors and has worked well in legitimizing student development’s role in student learning. Similarly, Cascadia Community College’s Student Success Facilitators teach educational planning and career portions of their College 101, College Strategies. Unlike at other colleges, students at Cascadia are required to successfully complete College Strategies as a condition of graduation, thus providing student development with on-going visibility in the classroom environment.
· Lane Community College uses a “neighborhood” model which pairs a counselor and an advisor to an instructional division where they work directly with faculty. This is how they are “woven into the fabric” of their college. At Cascadia, (where faculty are grouped by learning outcome, not by discipline) all fulltime Student Success Services Team members serve on the Learning Outcome Teams with faculty, staff and administrators to develop the tools for measuring/evaluating stated outcome.
· The student development team from Community College of Baltimore County now integrates their goals and objectives for student learning to their strategic plan and to their budget. Research linking student development and student learning is coming in form of dissertation from a member of their team.
· Open Enrollment – a question arose regarding community college policy of providing access to all learners. Admissions into specific programs and enforcement of prerequisites vary widely among the schools represented. Is it time to re-examine? We could lead the discussion and make decisions based on research.
3. How are we doing? This conversation centered around areas of weakness or in need for improvement in:
· Visibility – this seen as a must. The ability to conceptualize what we are doing and getting the word out to the college, the board of trustees, our communities and our colleagues.
· Developing the same vocabulary
· Measuring our efforts and its impact on student learning
· Visibility in the literature –
§ Student Surveys
§ Faculty Surveys
§ Self-Assessment – how are we assessing ourselves regarding Learning College objectives. How do we improve/enhance student learning? How do we know?
4. How do we need to change?
· Mental shift from Student Development to Leaning College
· Change vocabulary. Traditional terms are loosing their meaning for example, advisors/counselors:
§ New terms to encapsulate new roles
§ Educational Planners, Learning Specialists, Student Success Facilitators
§ To whom do they report?
· Remember it is not about us, but about the students
· Empower ourselves to impact change to exhibit Learning College objectives.
· Make ourselves indispensable “we have information the college can’t live without”.
· Visibility in research
· Suggestion: To infiltrate faculty sessions the next day and share concerns, strategies, best practices, etc.
This was a joint session as the student services group joined the faculty group. This joint session came about after several issues/themes were identified at the Sunday session:
· We need partnerships to coexist.
· Student services/development needs to refocus around learning.
· The paradigm is changing as we move towards becoming learning centered.
· Counselors have information on the affective domain, so we should work together to help craft the successful student.
There is powerful learning when faculty and counselors work together or forge links. The participants shared diverse examples of joint projects:
· Class visits. Counselors visit program classes, speech classes for study skills instruction, career information
· Team teaching of foundations courses, communications/peer tutoring courses; modularized or full semester
· Online instruction/registration includes career workshops, employment information; students who learn online have the same need for connections to a counselor as do traditional students
· Communication/collaboration. Joint meetings regarding communications issues, student timetables, issue of faculty rights; Council for Innovation of Student learning (wrote 10 principles of learning)
· Joint sponsorship of conferences, guest speakers
· Crisis intervention. Working together on crisis interventions, conflict resolution helps faculty learn these skills
· Staff training by counselors on sexual and prejudice/discrimination, harassment issues; Faculty learn about these issues as well as how to link students in jeopardy regarding financial, child care issues
· Disability services. Faculty, student services, support staff need to be involved in delivering these services
· Volunteer activities. Counselors mentor student athletes, and then are seen as people who can help with issues
Conclusion: We have a shared responsibility for student learning;
therefore, we need a strategy so we can work together more effectively.
· Change work positions frequently (e.g., every 2 or 3 years) so we can learn about diverse issues and so that each person responsibility for a piece of student learning
· LOTS - Learning Outcome Teams: teams develop learning outcomes and determine how they will be applied to other areas of the college e.g. registration
· All college employees are held accountable to the same core abilities outcomes.
· Workload issues: need to find the required time by re-focusing roles, becoming strategic (i.e. doing only part of the role, sharing the power, the workload)
· An adaptable model: What does the box look like when we share the responsibility for learning? People need to work with their strengths. Perhaps cross-functional teams are good for faculty as well as for students
· Role changes: need to step out of our traditional roles which may mean sharing control
· Communication: need regular (once a month) joint meetings to share concerns and to provide direction
· Cross functional teams: for learning outcomes, tracking, hiring
· Look at government structures: Are they also centered on learning?