A Day in the Life – the September Edition

“Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head.”

Actually, with my curly hair, a comb is ineffective.  But still – you get the idea.

I thought I would pick Friday the 21st to tell you about in the September edition of A Day in the Life of an AVP.  I woke up, I fell out of bed, and I got myself out the door and on the road to our Elgin Campus by 8:00 AM.

Elgin Campus?  Yes. We are holding monthly leadership and management sessions with our newish and new department chairs.  Anyone who is in his or her first or second year as a department chair is included.  Among many other goals, one goal is to help folks get to know our campuses – so the September session was at Elgin, a charming campus approximately 20 miles from HBC.  Our Elgin Campus is home to our sustainable agriculture program, our veterinary technology program, our soon-to-be-launched Ag Science program, and some of our Early College High School programs (Elgin ECHS, Manor ECHS, and Colorado River Collegiate Academy).

I arrived at Elgin at 8:30 and visited with folks as they gathered.  At 9:00 I made some opening remarks and then stayed for a few minutes as the first session began.  About 9:20 I left to head to HBC.

At 10:00 I was in my seat in HBC 301 as co-chair of our college-wide Curriculum & Programs Committee.  This committee is one of my favorites at ACC.  It is composed of smart, dedicated, eagle-eyed, and committed faculty and deans who care about the nuances of curricular updates and revisions, new program or course development, and curriculum innovation.  They care because they understand that curriculum changes are at the heart of our mission and our focus on student access, persistence, and completion.  We had a lively meeting about things both large and small, and we finished around noon.

By 12:20 I was back on the road to our Elgin Campus.

Elgin Campus?  Again?  Yes – because the session with new(ish) department chairs ran from 8:30 to 2:30.  While I was at HBC they heard from HR, Purchasing, and Campus Operations.  They also had a few “seasoned” department chairs join them for lunch so they could pick their brains and learn from their experiences.

After I arrived back at Elgin, I heard the tail end of the Campus Operations and Safety presentation, and then listened to the Library Services presentation.  I was up next, to talk about schedule development (and Ad Astra) and curriculum development (and Curriculum & Programs).  We ended a little after 2:00, and they stayed for a campus tour while I headed back to HBC.

At 3:00 I was in my seat in HBC 507.9 as the convener of a Steering Committee put together to provide strategic vision and support for a grant we received from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.  This THECB grant was awarded to ACC sos that we can develop and provide training, professional development, and information about best practices around co-requisites to all public institutions of higher education in Texas over the next two years.

As  you may know, under HB 2223 all public colleges and universities must have at least 25% of their developmental education students enrolled in a co-requisite course pairing (developmental ed paired with college credit) this Fall.  Next Fall we must have 50% enrolled in co-reqs., and the following Fall we must have 75% enrolled in co-reqs.  The intent is clear – we are to help our students who need to beef up their reading, writing, and math skills in a way that moves them forward and helps them earn college credit thanks to the co-requisite supports that they receive while enrolled in a college credit class.

It’s a big grant with visible and consequential stakes, so we have established a steering committee to provide strategic thinking and serve as a sounding board for the faculty who are leading the implementation.  Our meeting ended around 4:30, at which point I went to my office to catch up on email and cross a couple of things off my “to do” list.

I eventually gathered up my work to take home and headed out to meet friends for happy hour.  Not a bad way to end another day, another week, and (almost) another month of interesting and significant work as an AVP.