Vol. 1, No. 1                  Nov. 2005                Contents                   The Clark Journal Invites You          ...
Collaboration and Competition:        Aligning Clark College with Exciting Regional ChangesT    he dual goals of competiti...
Miles Jackson, professor of Psychology and                                                                         AHE pre...
On the Path from “Good to Great”F    aculty and students understand     that the key to a great educationis asking importa...
How are the communitys needs             What does enhancing "access tobeing ascertained?                        education...
Building the Future of Clark College                        One Square Foot at a Time                                     ...
Left to right: Vice                                                                    President of                       ...
Opening Doors to EducationS    ince stepping into the role of     Acting Vice President ofInstruction, Dr. Sylvia Thornbur...
Dr. Thornburg brings teaching experience at the university, community college and middle school levels to herrole at Clark...
Smooth Sailing for Students Is the Goal for the                            New Head of Student AffairsD      r. Rachel Rui...
Dr. Rachel Ruiz, Vice President of Student Affairs, speaks with Alex Gordon, Latinos Club                  President (left...
Innovation Is Key to Workforce Development                                and Continuing EducationC    lark College’s Work...
One of the most well-received and innovative programs offered in Continuing Education is Travel Studies, pro-viding adult ...
Benchmarking Teams Set Sights on Excellence: Team                  Members Comb the Country for Ideas and Ideals          ...
The Access to Education team,            resources, said Nancy Johnson, chair of the Broad-based Partnershipschaired by Ra...
The Next StepThe information gained in developing these benchmarking standards will provide the framework for determin-ing...
A Learning-Centered                 Institution Needs All                       Employees                        to Play A...
•   Fosters enthusiasm and             not only on pedagogical issues but cultivates an exemplary service atti-    respons...
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The Clark Journal

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An on campus publication celebrating and highlighting departmental successes and achievements.

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The Clark Journal

  1. 1. Vol. 1, No. 1 Nov. 2005 Contents The Clark Journal Invites You Welcome Page 1 to Step Inside Its Pages Collaboration & Cooperation Pages 2-3 The Chinese philosopher Confucius said, “A journey of a thousand miles On the Path from “Good to Great” begins with a single step.” Meriwether Lewis and William Clark traveled Pages 4-5 3,700 miles on their exploration of the Northwest, and still it was a seriesBuilding the Future of Clark College of single steps. Pages 6-7 The Clark Journal is the next step in campus communications at Clark Opening Doors to Education College. Pages 8-9 Smooth Sailing for Students The results of a campus-wide survey last spring indicated your desire for Pages 10-11 more substantive information about the College’s programs and goals as well as the presentation of that news in a lively and concise manner. The Innovation Is Key Clark Journal was created to do just that. Pages 12-13 Benchmarking Excellence Its name reflects the same spirit of exploration, development and commu- Pages 14-16 nication that characterized the writings and drawings of William Clark in his renowned journals. We congratulate Carl Flipper, Director of Auxiliary Learning-Centered Leadership Services, for his own historical explorations into the Lewis and Clark Pages 17-18 Expedition that inspired the name for this document. As you can see, our masthead celebrates our proud past and our vibrant future. Editorial Staff The Clark Journal complements our other new addition, Clark 24/7. Through both documents, we celebrate the accomplishments, programs, people and Editor: Barbara Kerr events that make the Clark College campus a dynamic focus of our region. Reporters: Debra Meadow & RandaLyn Novick Graphic Design: Linda Bowman Photography: Ian Beckett
  2. 2. Collaboration and Competition: Aligning Clark College with Exciting Regional ChangesT he dual goals of competition and collaborative decision-makingset the tone for the 2005-2006 aca- community. Lower Columbia College and City University are both expanding their services in the Dr. Branch said that Barbara Kerr, Executive Director of Communications, emphasizes thedemic year during Clark College region. importance, in marketing, of thePresident Dr. R. Wayne Branchs phrase "Differentiate or die." "Ikeynote address at the 2005 Fall "There is nothing wrong with being would also add innovate to thatLeadership Conference. in partnership with those you are in phrase," he said.Approximately 400 faculty and staff competition with. We must be readyattended the school year kick-off. for Clark College to be a students Faculty and staff play a leadership first choice," said Dr. Branch Clarks role in the education of those whoCollaboration with community new co-admission partnerships with come through the Colleges doors,groups means "We must bring our Marylhurst and Portland State whether these doors are actual orperspective to the table," said Dr. Universities complement the virtual. "Our aspiration is to be aBranch. Decisions vital part of the lives ofabout the relocation of those who have yet tohuman services support see what a great rolesystems close to cam- Clark College can havepus, as well as the very in their lives. To do soidentity of Vancouver will require us to differ-and Southwest entiate ourselves fromWashington, are all fod- our competition," saidder for a collaborative Dr. Branch. He addeddecision-making that the College must beprocess in which Clark ready to provide inno-College moves "from a vative programs andreactive stance to a delivery systems on theproactive posture," in cutting edge of commu-order to serve both stu- nity needs.dents and the communi-ty. For example, in 2002 the Washington LegislatureDr. Branch noted that providing Colleges longtime partnership with requested the formation of a Healthservice to students and business WSU Vancouver by providing addi- Care Personnel Shortage Task Forcepartners in Southwest Washington tional pathways to education for stu- to address the scarcity of health carewill require a more focused atten- dents in the region. professionals in the state. The Boardtion. "Students and the community of Trustees responded by makingwill have more choices and there is "Differentiate or Die" support to the health care industry ano reason to expect that these choic- strategic priority. Thus, the Collegees will not increase," said Dr. Branch. Dr. Branch noted that the exponen- "will provide a single point of focusWashington State University tial growth in our community and for health care organizations andVancouver will admit freshmen the availability of information means human service providers to accessbeginning in 2006. The Skills Center, that "The world will make decisions associate degrees, certificate curricu-formerly serving the K-12 popula- for those who are unable or unwill- la and customized learning experi-tion, will now serve adults. Portland ing to decide for themselves." He ences critical to the skilled workforceCommunity College is marketing said, "The landscape and fabric of needed in these fields," said Dr.workforce development programs to our campus depends upon the deci- Branch.the Southwest Washington business sions we make this year."The Clark Journal 2
  3. 3. Miles Jackson, professor of Psychology and AHE president, and Communication Studies professor Roxane Sutherland focus on Dr. R. Wayne Branchs keynote address at the 2005 Fall Leadership Conference. Diversity and Quality Must CoexistDr. Branch noted that the College must continue to develop a climate that "fosters the free exchange of concepts,thoughts and positions with mutual respect, dignity and accepted rules of discourse." In service of this goal, this quar-ter he will reconvene the Committee on Diversity and Equity to establish clear goals for addressing attitudes and val-ues that nurture a diverse campus community and allay concerns that emphasis on diversity of faculty and staff mightdiminish quality. Data-Driven Decision-MakingThe enormous task of positioning the Colleges data sets and feedback mechanisms to reflect the commitment to stu-dent success will entail years of work, said Dr. Branch. "But in this Information Age, the messages, the direction, andthe indicators of our own effectiveness that allow us to innovate and differentiate must be data-driven. Our credibilitywill depend upon how successful we are at framing both our role in the development of this region and our messagesto those who do not know how Clark College can further their goals."Dr. Branch concluded his remarks by referring once again to the changing nature of information systems. "Our servicedistrict is changing rapidly and the Information Age has brought the global community to our door," he said. "We willnot stand still. We will assert our need to not only be at the decision-making table but to also, when appropriate, leadthe discussion." November 2005 3
  4. 4. On the Path from “Good to Great”F aculty and students understand that the key to a great educationis asking important questions as well A third challenge is staff and faculty recruitment and retention. We need to have the talent pool available to A year ago I heard that the percent- age of positions related to health care in the state of Washington isas seeking answers. That’s exactly provide the highest quality of serv- expected to grow from 14 to 17 per-what Clark College is doing on its ice and instruction. cent in the next decade. Thats apath from “Good to huge growth in higherGreat” and that theme salary jobs. Beyondwas reflected in this health care, there areinterview with Clark a number of otherCollege President Dr. R. industries in the areaWayne Branch. that need a skilled labor force, and that isWhat are the biggest an enormous opportu-challenges facing nity for us. How doClark College in the we help these compa- nies stay sharper as2005-2006 academic they grow andyear? become more diverse?The first challenge is Another way Clarkreengineering our deci- College will have tosion-making processes attune itself to com-so they address the munity changes is bymission imperatives getting out the message about ourand strategic priorities of the institu- How will Clark College modify wonderful opportunities - from pre-tion. Were asking the questions: Are its role in response to the ever- kindergarten to mature learning - tothe processes in place to support a changing Southwest people who dont know about uslearning-centered philosophy? More Washington community? and we must do that in an efficientspecifically, how much of the col- and cost-effective manner.leges budget actually goes toward Perhaps keeping up with the needslearning? That means being data- of a drastically changing community How can we better get thosedriven and creating a culture of evi- is the fourth challenge. For example, messages out?dence. Again we ask: What do we in the area of health care, theneed to know? How often do we Columbia River Economic By putting more energy into technol-collect data and what critical ques- Development Council reports that ogy, we have put strategies andtions do those data sets answer? they have scores of requests for qual- structures in place to update our ified employees from health care modes of communication - theThe second challenge is enrollment related businesses. Legacy Health Internet and website development,development. We are building, ren- System in Salmon Creek, the for instance. We want our messagesovating, and replacing more than Vancouver Clinic, and a number of to say that we are an energetic and400,000 square feet of space at Clark other agencies are expanding to diverse institution. Whenever weCollege over the next five years. We meet the growing need for health make those kinds of commitments, itneed to determine what that means care. Where will they get that makes communication challenging.for access to education as we transi- skilled talent pool? This is a ques-tion from a primarily single site to a tion that Clark College must be pre-multiple site facility. pared to answer by assertively put- ting strategies and programs in place to meet those needs. The Clark Journal 4
  5. 5. How are the communitys needs What does enhancing "access tobeing ascertained? education" mean to you?We are developing a comprehensive Access is of critical importance. It isstrategy for data collection and a complicated topic, and, again, itanalysis, and we are considering comes back to diversity. Differentdoing a district-wide community people want different things. Someneeds assessment. Thats an area people want a process that holdsthat we know needs to come togeth- their hand from the very beginninger to allow us to look down the road of their enrollment all the way Celebrating Success:a bit further. through. Some just want you to 2004-2005 check on them every now and then. Clark CollegeWhat are your goals for devel- And some dont want you to check Accomplishmentsoping a more diverse college on them until theyre walking acrosscommunity and what will that the stage. So, we are just beginning to have a conversation about devel-ideal look and feel like? • Received grants totaling oping processes to attend to the diversity of support system needs. over $600,000 from theIm not sure there is an ideal, or per- state and support fromhaps the ideal is not quantifiable, but Perhaps a student comes from a fam- Legacy Health Systemdiversity, for me, is at the heart of ily that has never been to college. and Southwest Washingtonlearning. Sometimes I think our Perhaps they have a sense of not Medical Center to beginsociety gets hung up on numbers expecting to be successful. What do a medical radiographywhen its really about having a mul- we do as an institution to give them program.titude of perspectives that partici- confidence and support their suc-pate in a free exchange of ideas. cess? • Maintained the integrityThat exchange is the epicenter wherelearning occurs. of our commitment to Technology has affected our lives culinary arts while exponentially over the last 20 years increasing food serviceWe need to work on answering the and can be a great aid and support options for students atquestion: How does an institution of to accessing education. It can also, multiple sites, using localhigher learning bring those multiple according to Thomas Friedman, flat- vendors.ideas into its culture, especially in ten the world. Do we conceptualizeterms of increasing the diversity of access as being local, regional orour faculty? • Strengthened our national? Its a pretty intense ques- relationship with the tion if you figure that a distanceMany people think diversity equals Clark College learning course can be taken by acolor. Thats only one aspect of it. Foundation, so that we local soldier who just happens to beTheres age, the difference in per- will soon begin the stationed in Afghanistan. Shouldntspectives across generational lines. College’s first capital she or he be able to continue theirTheres disability, understanding that campaign in over 10 education? And suppose they hap-when people are physically disabled years pen to be talking to a recent highit perhaps influences their view of school graduate from Afghanistanthe world. There are people who • Started/completed and they want to study together andhave heritages from different parts renovation of AA5, Stout take the same course at Clarkof the globe, regardless of their eth- Hall, Gaiser Hall and the College?nic group. When you add ethnicity Penguin Student Unionand gender to the mix, there are so (PSU) including the PSU’s These are definitely intriguing possi-many different perspectives. wireless capabilities. bilities, and some challenging ways of thinking about how we define “community.” November 2005 5
  6. 6. Building the Future of Clark College One Square Foot at a Time • The College has acquired almost 10 acres of land about 10 miles east of the main campus for the Clark Center East, which is expected to house some transfer and general education classes, as well as business and workforce training classes. • Spring 2006 will see the completion of the replacement for Stout Hall. The new building will house 10 classrooms and 20 faculty offices, as well as a student lounge and limited food service. • By April 2006, the Clark College or over 70 years, Clark CollegeF has been an educational leaderin Southwest Washington. Today, it tasks involving hundreds of mil- lions of dollars. Foundation will purchase two buildings in the triangle area west of Fort Vancouver Way.is also a corporate leader with $100 One of the biggest accomplishments Knight and his staff will overseemillion in current construction proj- of this school year will be the com- the renovation and remodelingects and approximately another pletion of the 60,000 square-foot of the 50,000 square feet of$100 million in future ventures. Clark Center at Washington State space. The buildings willThats the challenge - and opportu- University Vancouver, scheduled to temporarily house Workforcenity - facing Bob Knight, Vice open in January 2006. It will house Development andPresident of Administrative the nursing education program as Continuing Education and be aServices, and his department. general education classes in English, home for a new Medical math, science and more. The proj- Radiography program. The westAs Vice President of Administrative ect is ahead of schedule and under side of Fort Vancouver Way willServices, Knight also supervises the budget. also see the addition of two newteam responsible for sustaining the parking lots.day-to-day operations of the college Other projects in the works are:campus. This includes budgeting, • The renovation of the Studentaccounting, purchasing, construc- Affairs area of Gaiser Hall will • Renovation of the northtion, building maintenance, begin in summer 2006. parking lot to allow smoothergrounds maintenance, security, access and larger parkinginformation technology and auxil- • Within the next six months, spaces was completed in timeiary services. His experience as an the OConnell Sports Complex for opening day of fall classes.executive in large private compa- will add a womens locker room "It has cut down on accidentsnies, as well as 21 years in the U.S. to comply with Title IX and stress for students," saidArmy, where he trained as a comp- regulations and an elevator to Knight.troller, have prepared him to suc- meet the Americans withcessfully manage multiple complex Disabilities Act guidelines.The Clark Journal 6
  7. 7. Left to right: Vice President of Administrative Services, Robert Knight, meets with Dave Halme, retired plant services director, and Derral Fleming, plant serv- ices director, to plan and budget for Celebrating Success: upcoming facilities 2004-2005 projects. Administrative Services AccomplishmentsEven with the completion of so many vital projects, Knight sees opportu-nities for ongoing improvement. "We are trying to do a better job identi- • Completed the newfying program needs ahead of time and building buildings based on those Penguin Student Unionneeds," he said. "The success of all these projects," said Knight, "can be (PSU) area in April 2005,attributed to the good people I have working with me who care about a partnership betweengetting things done right and care about Clark College." students and the College. • Approximately 34,000 square feet added to Gaiser Hall and 18,000 square feet renovated. • Completed Applied Arts #5 building renovation in December 2005 to provide space for the machining program, new offices, and classrooms for DVED, Reading, ESL, English and math courses. • Added wireless Internet service to the PSU and Student Center, Library, Anna Pechanec Hall and the science complex. • Increased access to online student services to seven days a week, from 5 a.m. to midnight. Left to right: ASCC Finance Director Benjamin Hayford and Vice President of Administrative Services Bob Knight hold the annual Community Pride Design Award for the design of the Penguin Student Union.November 2005 7
  8. 8. Opening Doors to EducationS ince stepping into the role of Acting Vice President ofInstruction, Dr. Sylvia Thornburg spearheaded by Dr. Robin Terjeson, Dean of Physical Science and Mathematics. In addition to being years of Clark classes and two years of WSUV classes and receive both an associates degree and ahas been reviewing the goals of the key person coordinating the bachelors degree. "The additionalClark College in general and finishing touches on the building, classroom space at the Clarkinstruction in particular. Her chief Dr. Terjeson is responsible for coor- Center is going to be a tremendouspriority in her new role is "in a sin- dinating details of moving the fac- help to us in serving more stu-gle word, access. Clark needs to ulty and staff of these programs dents," said Thornburg.develop every opportunity to pro- over the holiday break.vide access for students to further Partnerships with local businesstheir education at a variety of levels. According to Dr. Thornburg, the and industry are enhancing ClarksSince Southwest Washington ranks building is equipped with special- leadership role in the community.low in the state for available seats in ized labs and "smart classroom" For instance, contributions andcollege and university classrooms, technology, such as interactive support from from Legacy Healththis must be the chief priority. white boards connected to a com- Systems and SouthwestWere already addressing this chal- puter and data projector. "The Washington Medical Center willlenge in a number of ways," she nursing suite is going to provide help support a new Medicalsaid. incredibly realistic training for our Radiography program. "As we nursing students. It truly looks look toward bringing other newOne of the most immediate is the like a real hospital, but it also has programs online, such as those inWinter Quarter opening of the Clark highly sophisticated teaching tech- allied health, transportation andCenter on the Washington State nologies to be envied by any train- technology, we will continue toUniversity Vancouver campus. This ing facility," she said. explore partnership opportunities,"65,000 square-foot facility will be she said. "Serving as many stu-the new home of Clarks Nursing In addition, the Clark Center will dents as we reasonably can is par-Program, along with the lower divi- provide enhanced access to stu- ticularly compelling since an edu-sion portion of Bachelors degrees in dents, including Running Start cated workforce in the region helpsbiology, mechanical engineering and Students from the northern part of drive the economic engine of thecomputer science. The logistics of Clarks service district, to our 2+2 area. Businesses are fully aware ofthe buildings occupancy are being program. Students can now this relationship and see partnering progress seamlessly through two with Clark as a natural option." The Clark Journal 8
  9. 9. Dr. Thornburg brings teaching experience at the university, community college and middle school levels to herrole at Clark College. "Im convinced that the community college is by far the most responsive level, so Imeager to get things done," she said. Her five years as Dean of Social Sciences and Fine Arts at Clark have givenher an understanding of the demands on a Vice President. She credits "a tremendous number of talented andenergetic people around me who are wishing me well and offering their help. I intend to work as hard as I canto meet their expectations." Dr. Sylvia Thornburg confers with Clark College Foundation Director Lisa Gibert at the 2005 Fall Leadership Conference. Celebrating Success: 2004-2005 Office of Instruction Accomplishments • Increased capacity in the nursing program due to a high demand grant. • Reorganized and established a new unit in Workforce Development. • Reorganized Instruction and went from a four to a five unit structure. • Established a Distance Learning Department.November 2005 9
  10. 10. Smooth Sailing for Students Is the Goal for the New Head of Student AffairsD r. Rachel Ruiz has been on the job as Vice President ofStudent Affairs for less than two Dr. Ruizs second goal. Dr. Gennett is a national expert in strategic plan- ning and research with experience in Development and Matriculation at San Diego Mesa College. She has a Ph.D. in Educational Administrationmonths, but she is already crystal the development of a comprehensive from the University of Texas atclear about her mission and at student database and tracking system Austin and a masters in PublicClark College. She and her staff that is client-focused. During the Administration from Harvardare working toward "a system work session, the Clark College lead- Universitys J.F.K. School ofthat is easy for students to navi- ership team developed recruitment Government. She is a graduate ofgate - a way to access student and enrollment plans aligned with Austin Community College.services quickly and easily." measurable outcomes, as well asStudent services include recruit- methods of tracking data to asses "Im very committed to getting toment, advising, registration, ori- those outcomes, according to Dr. know the faculty and staff on a per-entation, financial aid, and other Ruiz. sonal level," said Dr. Ruiz. To buildsupport programs. those relationships and understand A new Welcome Center in the the needs of her staff, she has circu-Dr. Ruiz outlined three priorities, Student Union is due to open in fall lated a survey among the Studentwhich she calls "challenging 2006. Planning for the Center is third Affairs Leadership Team (SALT) toopportunities," for her first year on the list of challenges for this year. elicit information on what is work-on the job. Number one on the It will be an accessible location for ing and what needs improvement inlist is to determine how student students where they can have their all areas of Student Affairs.services will be provided during questions answered on enrollmentthe remodeling of Gaiser Hall, and advising processes, program "I feel like this position and thisscheduled to begin in summer services, financial aid, and more, in community is where I need to be,"2006. During the transition, "We one centralized area. "We have iden- she said. "It is an excellent fit, withwant to ensure easy access and tified a place in the building and the a supportive, caring and welcomingcontinuity of services," said Dr. process is in motion, but we need to staff. The Executive Cabinet is aRuiz. finalize the plans," said Dr. Ruiz. wonderful team to work with in tak- ing Clark College to the next level.A two-day work session with Dr. Before coming to Clark College, Dr. Im glad to be a member of theNick Gennett aided in attaining Ruiz was Dean of Student team." The Clark Journal 10
  11. 11. Dr. Rachel Ruiz, Vice President of Student Affairs, speaks with Alex Gordon, Latinos Club President (left), and Justin Taylor, Office of Student Life (right), about their goals for the new academic year. Celebrating Success: 2004-2005 Student Affairs Accomplishments• Implemented the transition from ASSET to COMPASS as the primary means of english and math placement testing.• Redesigned New Student Orientation and Advising Sessions to include an online registration option as part of the session.• Completed Penguin Student Union, providing students with facilities in which to congregate and room to enhance student programs and activities.• Launched the "College is Possible" Program, a pre-college plan that connects Clark College with K-12 students and community groups to create a vision of college in their future.November 2005 11
  12. 12. Innovation Is Key to Workforce Development and Continuing EducationC lark College’s Workforce Development andContinuing Education programs, Dr. Pletchers department also pro- vides customized on-site training and professional development for Dr. Pletchers background in developing partnerships between business and education is exten-headed by Dr. Lisa Pletcher, offer local businesses. "We are in the sive. In 2003, she was awardedmore than just traditional degree process of building a corporate the National Star of Educationoptions. Opportunities for career relations team to conduct outreach for professional and technicalor personal enhancement are one to companies. Weve been passive education. She actively worksway the College is expanding its in waiting for businesses to come with the Southwest Washingtonservices. to us," she said, "but now we will Workforce Development Council, aggressively seek out new business the Columbia River Economic"There is significant demand for partnerships and training opportu- Development Council, thecourses and programs that histori- nities." Currently the department Vancouver Chamber ofcally havent been available here," employs one half-time corporate Commerce and numerous busi-said Dr. Pletcher. For instance, relations manager to begin imple- nesses to be responsive to thebecause of the growing housing menting the outreach and will hire economic and workforce needs ofmarket in Southwest Washington, more over the next two years. local industries.the Workforce DevelopmentProgram has added a residential The biggest challenge the Continuing Education is ahome inspector training course. Department of Workforce growth area for Clark College."This is something we can put Development and Continuing Dr. Pletcher herself continued hertogether quickly and offer a short Education faces is the lack of ade- own education with a beadingtraining program in," she said. quate space. Within three years class and, even though her jobAnother is a short-term forklift the department will move from keeps her on the go, she looksoperator training program offered Bauer Hall to a permanent facility forward to trying a class in interi-through the WorkFirst Program. with dedicated classrooms for or design or a new series of class-It recently graduated its first 12 delivering training. es in which celebrity chefs teachstudents and already six are cooking in their restaurantemployed in the field. kitchens. The Clark Journal 12
  13. 13. One of the most well-received and innovative programs offered in Continuing Education is Travel Studies, pro-viding adult learning vacations with an educational component. "Baby boomers have discretionary income andare looking for new learning opportunities without tests or homework," Dr. Pletcher said.For a week to 10 days, Travel Studies students could attend a cooking school in Tuscany or learn about rejuvena-tion and revitalization at a Mexican spa. The program also offers domestic trips of three to five days. Since itbegan in January 2005, every trip has been full. The program "has been highly successful beyond our expecta-tions," said Dr. Pletcher.In addition to Mexico and Italy, 2006 travelers can look forward to visiting New York City for three Broadwaymusicals, a class taught by theater professionals and sightseeing throughout the city. Executive Dean of Workforce Development and Continuing Education, Dr. Lisa Pletcher confers with Todd Oldham, Clark Colleges Director of Corporate Education. Celebrating Success: 2004-2005 Workforce Development Accomplishments • Created an organizational • Completed comprehensive structure for the department. business plans and marketing plans for • Increased companies Workforce Development, served by 42% over Customized Training, and previous years. Continuing Education.November 2005 13
  14. 14. Benchmarking Teams Set Sights on Excellence: Team Members Comb the Country for Ideas and Ideals Alex Montoya, chair of the benchmarking team which focused on “Respect for Differences,” encouraged multiple perspectives and a “highly visible” approach.T he road to increasing excel- lence for Clark College ismarked with signs reading "Good," and programs and met for count- less hours from January through May of this year to determine stan- sion-making; arriving at decisions based on the best available assess- ments and information; and con-"Great" and "Greatest." The jour- dards of excellence that would sidering the needs of all stakehold-ney along that road is driven by improve the Colleges level of serv- ers, including students, faculty and"benchmarking," the process of ice and enhance existing areas of staff, business and industry, com-determining the "best practices" of excellence, according to Candy munity, alumni and parents. Assimilar institutions in order to Bennett, Executive Dean of the communitys needs change, soestablish standards of excellence in Planning and Advancement. The must the benchmarks. The ques-all areas of Clark College. teams presented their reports at the tion inherent in each teams work 2005 Fall Leadership Conference was "How does this enhance learn-Two years ago, Clark College with enthusiasm and creativity. ing?"President Dr. R. Wayne Branch Hawaiian costumes, upbeat musiclaunched the development of a and an entertaining video helped Benchmarking Team Reportsstrategic plan for the College. The drive their points home.Strategic Planning Task Force met Miles Jackson, AHE president andfor nine months. In 2004 President The teams conducted Internet chair of the Focus on LearningBranch recruited over 70 volun- research, attended conferences and team, stressed that the emphasis onteers and organized them into spoke with peers around the coun- learning is "driven from the facultyteams to identify benchmarks for try to glean the names of dozens of level. It is a collaborative effort andeach of the mission imperatives: institutions exemplifying "best indicative of the kind of decision-Focus on Learning, Access to practices in each of their mission making we should aspire to." TheEducation, Respect for Differences, imperatives, so we could compare characteristics of this benchmarkWorkforce Development, Broad- ourselves with other colleges and are: employee development (whichbased Partnerships, and establish our own standards of drew a round of applause), organi-Management Excellence. excellence," said Bennett. zational culture, outcomes assess- The common threads woven ment, information technology, andThose teams visited more than through each of the benchmarking student preparation.three dozen community colleges reports were collaborative deci- The Clark Journal 14
  15. 15. The Access to Education team, resources, said Nancy Johnson, chair of the Broad-based Partnershipschaired by Ray Korpi, began its team. Markers of excellence for this benchmark include clear communi-presentation with a video montage cation of goals, development of trust, honest and consistent communica-reminding the college community tion, a synergistic relationship, investment of time and effort with part-that, among other things, "Without nering organizations, as well as institutional support for and responsive-access to education, our dreams die ness to those groups.at the end of our noses." The teamreported that the characteristics of The Management Excellence team, chaired by Sylvia Thornburg,feasible access to education are: echoed the goals of shared decision-making and consideration of stake-affordability; accessibility through holders needs in the construction of facilities, information systems, andremoval of physical, scheduling support services, and in the acquisition of technology, in order to maxi-and technological barriers; flexibili- mize student success and support fiscal efficiency.ty of delivery options; and an openand welcoming environment.Respect for Differences must beapproached in a calculated,methodical and highly visible man-ner, according to Alex Montoya,chair of that team. The teamlooked at models from over twodozen colleges and universitiesaround the country to "learnl thebest practices from other colleges,"said team facilitator KatrinaGolder. Multiple perspectivesmust be encouraged through cur-riculum and course enhancement,communication and decision-mak-ing, student and employee recruit- Sporting Hawaiian garb, the Workforce Development team presented their goals meant to prepare students for the workplace through academic andment and retention, and communi- real-world experiences.ty relations.The Workforce Developmentteam, chaired by John McKee,wanted to ensure that "throughacademic rigor and real-worldexperience students are preparedfor the workforce." This will beaccomplished through theColleges leadership in the businesscommunity, delivery of workforceprograms through a variety of sitesand modalities, an active andongoing relationship with stake-holders, and facilitation of real-world experiences for students,including internships, apprentice-ships and mentoring programs. Bob Knight, Vice President of Administrative Services, added humor to the presentationExternal and internal partnerships of the Management Excellence team by pointing out the importance of up-to-date tech-enhance learning and community nology. Sylvia Thornburg moderated from the podium. November 2005 15
  16. 16. The Next StepThe information gained in developing these benchmarking standards will provide the framework for determin-ing measurable indicators of the Colleges success in moving from current levels of achievement to goal levelsin each of the areas. An example of measurable indicators in the area of Workforce Development might includethe number of vocational degrees and certificates awarded, the number of students prepared for employment,the number of job referrals and placements made by the Employment Center, the employment rate of gradu-ates, and the satisfaction rate of employers who receive customized training.In defining key indicators of success in the months ahead, "We will likely identify areas where Clark Collegehas already achieved standards of excellence," said Bennett. She added, "If benchmarking was the first step onthe journey from good to great, defining the key indicators of success will be the next step." Chaired by Dr. Sylvia Thornburg, the Management Excellence team, encouraged by retired Director of Business Services Dave Duback, marked a bench to illustrate their benchmarking report.The Clark Journal 16
  17. 17. A Learning-Centered Institution Needs All Employees to Play A Leadership Role Dr. Jeanne Jacobs, former Vice President of Instruction at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio.W hen Clark College adopted its six mission imperatives,it was clear that a "Focus on Community College Survey of Student Engagement, and Dr. Jeanne Jacobs, then Vice President the work being done in community colleges as some of the most important in our nation.Learning" is critical to the Colleges of Instruction at Sinclair "Community colleges have thesuccess. During the 2005-2006 aca- Community College in Dayton, toughest job in the American edu-demic year, the College is taking a Ohio, both emphasized the role of cational society," said Dr.fresh look at that imperative by research and the need for Clark McClenney, "but we cant use thisasking the question: "What does it College to become more data-driv- truth to keep us from looking hardmean to be a learning-centered en while also highlighting the real- at how well were doing and whatinstitution?" That question was at ity that employees at all levels have we could do better."the heart of the 2005 Fall a role to play in the critical missionLeadership Conference, held from of supporting student success. She noted that the faculty and staffSeptember 6-16. of Floridas Valencia Community Dr. McClenney commended Clark College have described a learning-The Clark College Management Colleges desire to be a learning- centered college as one that:Team devoted a full day of discus- centered institution is a journey.sion to that critical question. She described it as a journey with- • Focuses on the results: what isCollege administrators and man- out end but noted that successful learned and how well it isagers concluded that, in order to institutions see clear milestones taught.become more learning centered, along the way, including increasedthe College must first define stu- student satisfaction, student reten- • Emphasizes critical/creativedent success and establish stan- tion, and participation in student thinking, effective communi-dards for success. activities. cation, collaboration, and workplace skills.Two keynote presentations during Dr. McClenney thanked Clarksthe Fall Leadership Conference faculty and staff for the difference • Maintains an open-minded,addressed diverse aspects of learn- they make in the lives of students, caring environment withing-centered institutions. Dr. Kay the community, and the future via- emphasis on personal contactMcClenney, Director of the bility of our society. She described among faculty and students. November 2005 17
  18. 18. • Fosters enthusiasm and not only on pedagogical issues but cultivates an exemplary service atti- responsibility for lifelong tude that permeates the institution and all of its organizational units," said learning and motivates Phil Sheehan, Director of Computing Services. learners to achieve their goals. Others noted the importance of recognizing past accomplishments while• Respects the uniqueness of embracing the opportunity for administrators, staff, and faculty to help each member of the learning create a community of learners. community and encourages an appreciation for diversity. Acting Vice President of Instruction Dr. Sylvia Thornburg commented, "Dr. McClenney clearly identified the increasing pressure from accredita-• Encourages faculty and staff tion bodies, employers, and legislators for institutions of higher education development activities, to be more accountable for real student learning, not just for granting cre- providing incentives to learn dentials. Fortunately, Clarks Assessment Program has already taken on about and create successful the ongoing challenge of addressing these demands." delivery strategies which respond to community needs. Dr. Branch acknowledged the varied reactions and stressed that Clark College is on a journey. "Each employee plays a leadership role in the• Makes appropriate technology lives of those who come to our doors. If we are willing to make the com- accessible to enhance teaching mitment to being a learning-centered institution, and if we are willing to and learning. do the work that it requires, our journey will be most worthwhile. It is not the easiest path, but it is the right one if our true concern is with and• Involves the business sector for those whose lives we affect." and the community in the educational process and designs structures for learning based on community and employer needs. Debra Jenkins, Professor• Maintains an overall of Early Childhood commitment to excellence, Education, contributes to the discussion of what it integrity, accountability, and means for Clark College to constructive innovation. be a learning-centered institution.Dr. Jeanne Jacobs acknowledgedthese characteristics during herpresentation entitled, "TheLearning College Model." Dr.Jacobs and her colleagues havetaken a nationally-recognizedapproach to outcomes assessmentand program review. Togetherthey shared the process of institu- English professortional transformation at Sinclair Patricia FulbrightCommunity College. Since her queries Dr. Kayvisit to Clark College, Dr. Jacobs McClenney, Director ofhas been named president of the the Community College Survey ofHomestead campus of Miami- Student Engagement,Dade College in Florida. at the Fall Leadership Conference.Reaction to both presentations var-ied among faculty and staff. "Dr.McClenney reminds us that alearning-centered college focuses The Clark Journal 18

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