October 2008 - Part I
Opening food for thought: What have you improved today? How do you know it worked?
Basic AQIP questions, but let’s consider random improvements vs. collaborative and aligned improvements – improvements considering root cause analysis and understanding the web of impact that might be created. What’s better for our system? Random acts of improvement or collaborative acts based on a clear understanding of root causes?
In last month’s AQIP in Action, I promised a look this month at our adult learners and activities surrounding DeVos, Executive/Continuing Education, and Adult Degree Program (ADP, formerly UC). I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear what’s taking place in those units. Additionally, it is important that I briefly highlight issues associated with Security, Assessment, One Northwood Curriculum Review Process, Foundations of Excellence in the First College Year, Omniquest, the Employee Evaluation and Development Process, and AQIP website postings. With so much information to cover this month, I will be dividing October’s AQIP in Action into Parts I and II. Part II will address our adult learner activities, while Part I addresses the other activities listed above.
You’ll notice new Code Blue phones on our three campuses. There are three Code Blue phones in Texas, three in Florida, and eight in Michigan. Five of the pedestals in Michigan also have loud speakers. Thanks to IT Director Bob Wisler and his staff for their good work in helping make our learning environments safer and capable of enhanced communications. I also need to mention that our text message provider, clearTXT, is getting out of the emergency text business and we are replacing the service with a new vendor as I write this. This will NOT impact current sign-ups and service should be seamless. We’ll keep you posted. Bob’s team has provided excellent work in this area as well.
Assessment Coordinator Dr. Laura Vosejpka is collecting assessment portfolio information (so far from the likes of Banking and Finance, Management, Math, and Adult Degree). She’ll be constructing a sharing mechanism for such through Blackboard – look for a launch date of November 1. She is interested in collecting materials that you are currently using to assess student learning in your courses and programs. Further, we have a team headed to an HLC Assessment Workshop on October 22-24. We sent over a dozen faculty to a couple of assessment conferences last year and are building an infrastructure of content experts! Thanks to the following for their commitment and participation (each attendee will serve as a site leader for the implementation of the assessment strategy):
One Northwood Curriculum Review Process
Your academic deans have the review schedule and will be sharing these with you. The process has already started for several of our programs! The Deans’ Council wishes to ensure all faculty have a voice during the process. As is the case in our collaborative, matrixed environment, communication across campuses, disciplines, and units is critical to process success.
Foundations of Excellence in the First College Year
We announced the launch of this program in President Pretty’s Weekly Message of August 22 and I discussed the program in last month’s AQIP in Action. By now, targeted faculty and staff have received a third-party administered online survey to complete and students will be receiving one in the coming weeks. Within the first week of the faculty/staff survey being administered, over 40% of the participants responded. This enthusiasm demonstrates the faculty/staff commitment to this program's success. Larry Lindsey, Mike Anguiano, Ellen Iwanow, and Kelly Blaggie have announced co-chairs for the nine dimensions of analysis. Each dimension co-chair will be participating in an upcoming current practices inventory analysis. Thanks to the following for volunteering to improve our first year of college endeavors:
The Last Lecture is garnering a great deal of thought and discussion in and outside the classroom. As many of you know, co-author Jeffrey Zaslow will be speaking at the Michigan Campus on October 16 and we are hoping to garner his support to visit our Florida and Texas campuses as well. We are filming the address. Also, as mentioned last month, “Last Lectures” are occurring across our operating units. Thanks to the following and will look forward to hearing their messages:
Also, Dr. Lance Lewis led a study team in reviewing the Omniquest program. They recently completed their work and the Deans’ Council has entertained the recommendations. More to come on next steps in fortifying the program’s strengths and enhancing its impact for all of us! Thanks to Lance and his team.
Employee Evaluation and Development Process
The due date for the Individual Goals Worksheet has been changed from October 1 to October 15. HR Director Pam Christie has received some excellent feedback on the process, and the design of goal-setting aligned with strategies should yield important gains for our learning environment! And a side note as I’ve been talking to several of you about various processes – the Officer Team participates in the varying activities being rolled out and expected of our employees (evaluation and Individual Goals Worksheet completion, Omniquest, etc.).
We’ve posted our Annual Updates for “Action Projects” to www.aqip.org. We are required to keep three active Action Projects in the AQIP system, and three postings cover strategic planning, retention, and employee development. We are replacing the strategic planning Action Project with one based on the assessment of student learning. Additionally, AQIP asked us to share with other AQIP institutions some “Innovation Showcases” and we’ve posted three to the AQIP website: Northwood Strategic Planning Process, Academic Program Review Process, and the EXCEL Program.
Future AQIP in Action Newsletters
The mid-October issue, as mentioned above, will address our adult learner activities. Coming issues of AQIP in Action will cover notes from our own “Last Lectures” referenced above, information on financial aid model redesign, survey updates, an exciting redesign for the Freedom Seminar, discussion on work associated with analysis and upgrades of learning areas/technology, and more!
Yours in teaching and learning,
John Jasinski, Ph.D.