Movers and Shakers

Redesigning Concurrent Enrollment with Hybrid Courses
Saturday PM

Utah is engaged in designing and piloting courses that serve as concurrent AND/OR college courses, Technology Intensive Concurrent Enrollment (TISE). Secondary teachers and college instructors collaborated to produce six (so far) courses, each “designed as a hybrid course having a blend of different learning activities that take place in class and online.”  See background and selections of courses.

One problem cited was the poor performance of incoming college students in math. Many take their senior year “off” and take no math. This course option would give them high school credit while allowing them to get math “out of the way” for a degree which is not math intensive. The success in the math class should be greater than had the student taken it in the second year of college, say, without having had math classes for two years.

The classes look promising; high school staff teach the course in high school and college instructors the university courses, but it is the same course.

The last session of the day addressed change in faculty focus from a more traditional mindset toward a learning-centered mentality. Lots of great ideas and resources. The presenters from Dalton State were very knowledgeable and personable.  I am so thankful that I have been exposed to so many creative thinkers and doers!


Creating Change

Reference was made to the book “Leading Change” by Kotter.  Dalton State U has developed a method to change based on Kotter’s book.

1.  Establish a sense of urgency.

2.  Create a guiding coalition

3.  Develop vision and strategy.

4.  Communicate the change vision.

5.  Empower broad-based action.

6.  Generate short-term wins.

7.  Consolidate change and produce more change.

8.  Anchor new approaches in the culture.

Degree Attainment Efficiency

Graduation stats have been commonly used to determine success (or lack of) with colleges and universities.  This newer method was offered by Ralph Rogers from Purdue-Calumet.  Including all students (FT, PT, transfers . . . ) use the following equation to collect and compare annual data.  # of graduates divided by FTE times 4 gives the degree attainment efficiency number for a baccalaureatte student.  Multiply by 2 for community colleges.  These #s give a much better picture of the institution’s success.

The Suburbs or Downtown?

Student Success Does Not Arise by Chance
Saturday AM

The speaker made the point that student support should not be at the fringes or the periphery of the classroom experience, but embedded at the heart of classroom teaching and learning.  I think frequently in metaphors, so what came to mind is the student experience as a metropolis (here I am in San Antonio, far removed from the rural life I live in New Mexico).

I thought of this resort, removed and distant from the downtown section, where tourists and business visitors alike visit to soak up the “aura” of the city. If this hotel is student support, where students are offered the amenities (concierge service to navigate unfamiliar ground, nourishment, company, transportation, necessary commodities), then the classroom is there, on the horizon, disconnected. That is where the business occurs, the work happens, the hands get dirty, the smog accumulates.

Dr. Tinto addressed the necessity of embedding student support there, in the classroom (and here the metaphor weakens; some hotels ARE there, in the heart of the city). He suggested holding and communicating high and clear expectations for students and giving consistent assessment and feedback using both institutional and classroom benchmarks to catch students before (and while) they are faltering and falling away. Embed instructional support for students; integrate skill training in areas we know influence college success; connect with students at every level from the office staff to the professors in ways that build a safety net for them; involve students with other students, the content, and the instructors in ways that encourage resilience and tenacity. Build and monitor momentum. Do not leave success to chance.

It is not about what we teach, it is about what students learn and use.

Saturday Plenary: Student Success

Attaining student success requires faculty development first.  Faculty mentoring faculty can be a beneficial part of faculty development.  Higher ed. faculty is not taught to teach so those skills must be learned elsewhere.  A suggested question for interviewing potential faculty members is, “What role do you have in student success.”

Thoughts of follower-ship

At our last session today, we watched a very funny video with a very important message. Check it out on YouTube at

It should be a video about the importance of followers in creating great leaders. And you get to watch a funny dancing man help create a dancing mob.

Yesterday, we had a good conversation among ourselves about the BCCSC group and people across campus supporting the leadership of Dr. Shepard. let’s join him in his dance and see what we can do!

Using Undergraduate Research for Institutional Transformation

Dr. Margaret E. Madden described the Center of Undergraduate Research from SUNY Potsdam. The arguments for a strong undergraduate research program are clear:

-Students learn more when actively engaged in activities.

-Research skills are more important for all disciplines.

-Employers are more likely to hire a candidate that has some research background.

-It has been reported that undergraduate research is a useful tool for retention of African American students, women, first generation students, and Hispanics.

-The students increase the amount of one-to-one interaction with faculty.

In their 4 of a 5 year $ 1.6 million grant, they have found that the increase of senior participation in research increased from 24% to 40%. In addition, the student report of student-faculty interaction outside the classroom increased from 48% to 55%.

It seems logical that if undergraduate research improves retention, our institution may try to explore this possibility. How many of us decided to become faculty members due to a conference presentation or active participation in a research project?

The situation in California is not that far from home

Today I attended a session about funding in California and Red Balloon projects at Fresno State.

William Covino shared an interesting statistic he read in an article in the recent ACE publication. He said that in about 40 years, state colleges and universities will be receiving ZERO dollars from their state government based on trends over the past few decades. What that means for campuses in California is already somewhat apparent because of their extreme budget cuts. Fresno and other campuses are working toward independent funding so that they can survive into the future. I can think of many state schools that have already made progress toward independent funding or at least have a great potential to do just that. What about WNMU? What potential do we have to be completely independent – self-funded in 20 to 40 years?

The BCCSC and President’s vision of reorganization may be a key element in moving us in that direction. Perhaps greater dialogue around this issue is needed.

The ACE publication can be read at

Using Predictive Analytics to Improve College Education (Just like the little brain)

The provost of Austin Peay State University, Dr. Tristan Denley gave a great talk about a course recommendation system named Degree Compass that was developed based on Netflix, Amazon, and Pandora models.  We are all aware of the new Facebook information sharing features that caused privacy concerns and the huge volumes of personal information that Internet companies are gathering from us. Why can we use this model to gather information from our students in order to help them?   Austin Peay State University did just that. They develop a system that remains me of the functions of the little brain, better known as cerebellum. The cerebellum receives input from sensory systems and from other parts of the brain and spinal cord, and integrates these inputs to fine tune motor activity. Other gross motor activities, such as walking are mainly contained in the spinal cord. The small changes to the walking patterns, however, such as speed, stride length, and so on are regulated by the cerebellum. The cerebellum is one of the most important integration systems. In the same manner, this course recommendation system or software takes a huge amount of information from the students (transcripts, previous experiences, grades, talents, etc.) to predict the student future grade and make individualized recommendations for upcoming semesters. It is not an advisor online, but helps the advisor just like the cerebellum helps the brain. It will be fatal to let the cerebellum take all the decision and work separated from the brain. The cerebellum, for example may not be well equipped for administrative decisions, without a front cortex these decisions will be awful. But if they work together the cerebellum and the brain create one of the most important teams in our central nervous system. It is possible that in a near future the software Degree Compass or something similar may team up with the advisor and become an inseparable team in higher education.

Here are some links if you need more information about Degree Compass:

Strategically Internationalizing Your Campus Using Trends and Data

Strategically Internationalizing Your Campus Using Trends and Data 10:45am session
Jim Crawley, director, University Recruitment and Advising, ELS Educational Services

Recruiters are trained on how to inform students on all types of programs
Strategic Plan: Which markets are right for us
Engaging alumni in recruiting and admission process

Visit community colleges or collaborate with other community colleges or local areas that teach English Learners

Marketing and recruitment plan costs
                additional student services costs/programs        

With relatively no support on campus (admit 50 new international students) start a program is a recipe to crash and burn

Initiative to support what you are doing

Visas – admission letter to an academic program for conditional admission  – graduate level

Graduate Programs that can speak to your strengths and can give conditional admissions

Promote university

Classroom Experience – practice teaching in another county; opportunities for graduate students; practicums

                Education USA – Department of State – has funds to recruit international students to the US

Identify your competition – who are we competing against?

How many international students do you need to meet enrollment and revenue goals? How many can you handle?

Examine why you are doing this
What services do you have to support students?
                Surveys for why they came to your school
                Why or why not are they satisfied
                How did you find out about us?

Dr. Hellenbrand presents

PORTAL – Simulated experience students must go through in order to enter university  (Northridge)

                Helps with cohorts, which majors will be impacted, advising issues

Any financial Aid problem gets elevated to VP status immediately so that it is resolved not later than the next day so that embassies or consulates do not become involved