Fall has finally arrived in North Texas. Whether you like football or jack-o-lanterns, we're moving ahead this semester with classes, programs and our efforts to build student success.
Speaking of students … I want to give you an update about our collaborative work on "The Student Experience." You will remember during Conference Day that our focus was – and continues to be – on a study this spring titled "The Student Experience."
This effort involved 40 volunteers from among our faculty, staff and administrators who kept regular contact, several times each week, with 70 students during the spring semester. We wanted to know about their good and bad experiences as they attended classes, participated in campus activities, and interacted with employees in offices at all of our colleges.
I hope you remember the World Café brainstorming sessions we had during the Conference Day afternoon session. We traded ideas and offered suggestions about how to change processes so that we can make the DCCCD student experience better. And we saved all of those diagrams and works of art you produced so that we could talk about how to implement your ideas.
This effort included:
- A total of 902 employees who sat in on the World Café activities.
- Instruction comprised the largest group, including faculty, 62%; instructional support, 29%; and instructional administrators, 9%.
Do you remember the sticky notes we used? Here's a list of top 10 suggestions for change that would make a better student experience.
- Personalized student navigation
- Purposeful faculty engagement
- Student-focused access and inclusiveness
- Streamlined, consistent processes
- Improved personal and public communication
- Intentional and welcoming customer service
- Employee hiring and training
- Employee feedback and appreciation
- Better technology
- External support
Look for more information in "DCCCD This Week" when you receive it today. Next month, we'll talk about results from the 580 participants in the student services group.
Thank you for all of the creative and concrete ways in which you want to serve students better.
Access and affordability are part of that mix, which also is affected by funding and policies. I want to invite you to attend a symposium on Thursday, Oct. 27, called "Follow the Money: How Policy Influences Community College Access and Affordability."
This free program is offered to all area community college employees by DCCCD and the Bill J. Priest Center for Community College Education at the University of North Texas. It will be hosted at Brookhaven College.
This session will include speakers from around the country and will be moderated by the editor of Inside Higher Ed. The discussion will center around national and state initiatives that seek to lower the student cost of attending community college. You will hear a variety of perspectives on this subject, which is critical to the success of our students.
I hope to see you there.
As Oct. 31 closes in, it's not just trick-or-treat time for Halloween. It's also our deadline to help others throughout the year – including our students – by participating in the Employee Giving Campaign. When you give through the 2016 Employee Giving Campaign, you get something in return: successful students.
By donating to scholarships and supporting our programs, you ensure that more students will be able to attend DCCCD colleges. And with more students, we all will have more opportunities to do the work that we do so well – improving students' minds and lives.
Please take a few moments to consider a gift that will change someone's life. That's the DCCCD Way.
Finally, I want to mention to you that we will soon begin a national search for a new vice chancellor of educational policy as a result of Dr. Fernando Figueroa's recent departure. I will soon name an interim to help lead that area while the search commences. Educational policy is critical to our work for improving the student experience and developing an integrated higher education network.
Have a great weekend, and we'll talk again soon.