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Basic Leadership Teams Improve District Through Projects

By Eddie Middlebrook

Since 1990, hundreds of DCCCD employees have improved their leadership skills by participating in the Basic Leadership program, run by district Organizational Development. Participants benefit from a curriculum that includes skills assessments, learning activities and written projects.

Each year, employees from across the district work in teams to complete projects to enhance DCCCD. In 2013-2014, four teams of seven to nine members put their heads together to develop concepts designed to improve student and/or employee success.  
Team One’s project focused on student career development. Team members enhanced the Career Services page on the district website, created an informative brochure and brainstormed workforce development ideas.

Focusing on Emergency Preparedness

Team Two, the “Affinity Group,” focused on the district’s level of emergency preparedness. The team surveyed the district to see how knowledgeable various groups were about our emergency plans.
“Through our survey we found that we all have different levels of knowledge and confidence when it comes to our emergency plans,” Affinity Group member Jonathan Blundell said. “In the end, our team presented recommendations on how we could improve our emergency prepar edness by standardizing things like our Emergency Operations Plans and signage across the district.”
Team Three focused its efforts on financial aid. Considered in the project were student concerns, complaints and frequently asked questions. The focus of the project was to provide students with responses to commonly asked questions and other pertinent information.

Team Four, named “Team Snapshot,” created a video for new employees to provide information about the different colleges and what makes them unique.

Aiming for Mastery

The team project is just one of the components that make up the 64 contact hours each participant needs in order to complete the Basic Leadership program. Other elements include in-class sessions, assigned readings and a coaching project. Once all components are completed, a Certificate of Mastery is awarded to the participant.
Associate Director of Organizational Development Rhonda Jackson leads the program and is very proud of the finished team projects.
“This is a valuable program that allows employees the opportunity to enhance or develop their leadership skills while networking with people from across the district,” Jackson said as Team Snapshot shared a video presentation of their project at Basic Leadership “graduation.”