After four intensive months of reading, listening, deliberating, and visiting other leading two-year colleges, our Futures Institute members this week will present their recommendations for redesigning ACC programs, services, and processes to support a guided pathways model. I am grateful for their dedication and to those who supported their work by sharing their ideas and concerns. In the not-so-distant future, we’ll be able to see the impact of this collaboration on our students’ success, and that’s exciting!
In recent weeks our Futures Institute members have continued to gather feedback as they’ve begun communicating their findings to various ACC constituencies.
On November 12, Futures Institute members presented results of their site visits to Miami-Dade College, City Colleges of Chicago, and Sinclair College to a large audience of ACC faculty, staff, students, and administrators. The presentations focused on several points, including the rationale for guided pathways; specific steps or changes needed to improve students’ experience in our focus areas of connection, entry, progress, and completion; and actions ACC might take to adopt guided pathways.
Also last month, ACC Trustee Dr. Barbara Mink’s students from Fielding Graduate University conducted focus groups at our Highland, Northridge, and Riverside campuses. Faculty and students discussed what they did and didn’t like about ACC programs and services in terms of our four focus areas. The graduate students then presented their findings to the Futures Institute.
In the not-so-distant future, we’ll be able to see the impact of this collaboration on our students’ success.
On November 20, Futures Institute members heard a number of ideas during a webinar with administrators from St. Petersburg College who discussed their processes for mapping courses into clear program pathways.
Finally, in early December several Instructional and Student Services Deans joined the Futures Institute participants for a “compression planning” exercise to identify more specific tasks needed to implement pathways. The exercise was led by Dr. Mary Harris, Vice President for Institutional Planning, Development, and Evaluation, and Neil Herbkersman, an Ohio-based consultant with more than 28 years experience in higher education.
A video of the site visit presentations is accessible on the Futures Institute webpage, where we will post results from the compression planning session and the Futures Institute’s recommendations. A draft of the recommendations also has been circulated to the presidents of the ACC’s employee associations.
I encourage you to take a look at the proposals or contact a Futures Institute member if you’d like more information. We’ll continue to post updates throughout the spring.
ACC recently was recognized for its developmental math initiatives. The college was one of several institutions to receive an Exemplar College award at the recent Pathways to Progress Summit at Lone Star College in Houston.
ACC received the award in the category of “Acceleration,” one of the four guiding principles of the New Mathways Project. New Mathways is the statewide effort to reform math education by creating different pathways for specific academic programs and careers.
The Pathways conference brought together college leaders and higher education experts to discuss policies and practices for promoting student success. In addition to myself, ACC’s delegation included Dr. Richard Rhodes, Vice Presidents Mike Midgley, Virginia Fraire, and Soon Merz, and Assistant Dean Missi Patterson, who discussed our Futures Institute on the panel “How We Are Doing It: Pathways Model Colleges.”
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