This is my third post on the ATD kick-off session in Orlando. Check out:
Post #2 at http://sonyachristianblog.com/2013/06/24/bc-at-atd-post-2/
Post #1 at http://sonyachristianblog.com/2013/06/19/bc-at-atd/
We have continued the protocol of having the conference team connecting with folks here at BC virtually so that we have a larger community that is shaping the discussions and resulting plans for the College. Also, we have been fiscally prudent by (1) funding conference attendance primarily through grants and (2) getting commitments from conference attendees to follow through with specific actions on campus that moves the work on student success. We have framed this as a fivefold return on investment.
Let’s hear from Zav Dadabhoy, Vice President of Student Affairs, and Charles Kim, Political Science faculty who teaches at Delano.
From Zav Dadabhoy, Vice President, Student Affairs:
My highlights have been on the team interactions as we discussed different ways of developing data informed planning systems for student success. Rich conversations, and camaraderie that re-focuses us on the real work ahead of us.
Working within the cross disciplinary team has been rewarding and enlightening. I am looking forward to continuing our shared experiences, collegiality and focus on data pools to drive our student success work.
Also thrilled with our ATD Leadership Coach and Data Coach! Can’t wait till everyone on campus meets them, and we start working with them. Looking forward to bringing some of the magic back with us!
ATD is not a fad. It is basically a “way of operating” rather than another series of student success initiatives. We have the initiatives in place (mostly) and ATD can provide the framework and discipline to measure our progress and guide our incremental steps to achieving excellence.”
Charles Kim, Political Science faculty at the Delano campus participating in the conference discussions via skype. Here are his reflections:
1) I think ATD is a whole shift approach from everyone, grounds to support staff to staff to administration, thought process on the mission of BC. College education or higher education should still be conducted and targeted to the students needs without lowering the standards of college. ATD, to me, will help BC make the transition through data collection and data analysis. ATD will give us data that may take professors years to see; such as why a student is not succeeding in a class which can come from multiple variables. Some of those variables may include: workload, parental status, number of dependents, living conditions at home, transportation status, socioeconomic status, unit load and numerous other factors which ATD seems to want to create a variable and track the students as a whole while at BC. Since most professors may only have a student for 1 or 2 classes, bonds are hard to form and getting to know your student might be difficult, but I think ATD wants to control this with variables and scores or that crazy word; DATA and even worse word Statistics.
2) Be mindful that data on students can cut both ways. Although I personally think it will help to have the ability to have other information about my students, I think it should also be noted that PERSONAL DRIVE cannot be measured by data before a semester but maybe only after. I use my last quarter of the Masters program at CSUB as an example, which at the time CSUB was not allowing students to overload. I was working at West High as a full time teacher, took 3 Masters Classes at night 6 to 10 pm and wrote my Masters’ Thesis. This was a recipe for disaster but I had the full support of my wife and 2 children and I completed it all with a little more grey hair and more bags under my eyes and I graduated. I write this not to show off but to warn people that even though ATD will give us data about our students, keep in mind that sometimes even our own students can shock the system once in a while. You might have a student that has nothing in the world pushing against them yet still fall short in class and other students that have the world beating them down every day for every minute and still raise the learning experience in your class. Always be mindful that data on students can cut both ways.
3)Using the data from ATD, BC will be able to watch our students move through BC with success and help other students that might have the same factors as past students.
4)ATD will help BC internally, BC must also be mindful as how the outside world sees BC as this is where our students are coming from.
5)Finally, (this was supposed to be short) I think ATD will help BC achieve what we all want for BC and that is to be the shining light on top of the hill for all students that are wanting to learn, grow and reach their dreams.