Thank you Lesley Bonds for coordinating this institute and writing this blog.
During the week following commencement, over 100 faculty, staff and administrators gathered to attend myriad sessions designed to support both their personal and professional development. Read on for an overview of each session and to hear about the experience from those who facilitated these important seminars.
Day 1: Using Data to Inform Planning & Decisions
Jordan Horowitz, Vice President of Foundation Relations and Project Development for the Institute for Evidence-Based Change, kicked off the Institute by prompting attendees to share what inspired them to pursue work in higher education. Laughter, collective empathic nods and even a few tears littered the room as attendees shared the stories of what and – most importantly – who, inspired them to pursue their current paths. Following this activity, Mr. Horowitz shared strategies for data use that tells the stories of successes and challenges our students face. This session helped to provide a framework for the ways in which data can be used to drive institutional change to support student success.
Day 2: Assessment and Student Learning Outcomes
Michele Bresso, Associate Vice Chancellor of Governmental & External Relations, and David Neville, Professor of Spanish and Assessment Committee Co-Chair, led the second day of the Institute. Professor Neville shared that the Professional Development Summer Institute was a great success. He said, “The assessment committee appreciated the opportunity to make significant headway on the mapping as well as assessment. This lays the ground work for everything else that we will be doing this next year in our committee and as a part of Program Review.”
Following the session, Neville noticed a flood of positive comments, despite challenges when it came to accessing information from CurricUNET. “We are beginning to have the right discussions dealing with how assessment figures in both at the institutional level and at the course and program level,” he noted. He also observed discussions about how courses and programs align, as well as how assessments could be performed better with the ultimate goal of improving instruction.
“If I were to choose one phrase that permeated the institute and was evident in the comments of the participants, it was that in order to make positive change at Bakersfield College, we must participate. This is the difference between being an employee of Bakersfield College and Being BC. WE ARE BC.” -Dave Neville
Day 3, Part 1: Program Review
On Wednesday, May 20, the Program Review Committee (PRC) hosted a hands-on workshop to guide approximately 60 faculty, staff, and administrators through the Program Review process. After a brief overview, workshop attendees worked on their 2015 program review forms while PRC representatives offered 1-on-1 support and guidance. Below are their thoughts on the experience:
“I enjoyed the work-session format for Program Review. On a personal note, being able to assist on a one-to-one basis with the technology and facilities requests was a great experience. I was able to have meaningful conversations with both faculty and staff who are charged with filling out the forms. It was great!” – Kristin Rabe, PRC classified co-chair
“I was impressed with the number of people who showed up and how much work they accomplished!” Kate Pluta, past PRC faculty co-chair
“This workshop empowered attendees to begin the program review process earlier than ever in preparation for submission in the Fall 2015. Attendees reported a greater understanding and appreciation of the program review process and its impact on institutional effectiveness. Way to go, Team BC, for coming together and keeping the Program Review Train moving full-steam ahead!! A special thanks to the members of the Program Review Committee for organizing this helpful and productive workshop.” – Manny Mourtzanos, PRC admin co-chair
“It seemed as though those who attended the Summer Institute for Program Review were able see the importance of the program review process and its impact on the BC campus. They were able to see how important the work is that they do in their departments and the value of reflecting on that good work. Connecting with members of our BC family from other departments was extremely beneficial for all of us. We were able to alleviate some of the fear and dread of the program review process and answer many questions that bubbled up during the hands on portion.” – Kim Nickell, PRC faculty co-chair
Day 3, Part 2: College-Wide Equity Initiatives
Odella Johnson, Interim Director of Equity and Inclusion, and Bryan Hirayama, Professor of Communication and Faculty Co-Chair of the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Advisory Committee (EODAC), challenged attendees to center the needs of at-risk students in this dynamic, hands-on session. Johnson opened the session by sharing important updates and strategic goals outlined in the Student Equity Plan. The two facilitators then led the group through a consciousness-raising activity where small groups of faculty and staff members brainstormed how Bakersfield College can implement more equitable policies, procedures and perspectives that support students and lessen the achievement gap. Johnson interjected with tangible, concrete changes, such as a statement about equity on course syllabi, as well as faculty office hours repurposed as “student hours” in acknowledgement of the important relationship that exists between faculty and students. She charged all faculty to continue the conversation beyond the session and to focus on equity in the classroom. Hirayama closed the session by sharing a personal moment of growth in recognizing and combating unconscious biases in grading. The session provided a foundation of dialogue from which future programmatic initiatives, like those discussed during the morning session of day 3, may grow in intentional and meaningful ways.
Day 4: Rethinking and Redesigning Student Support Services
Janet Fulks, Interim Dean of Student Success and Precollegiate Studies kicked off the final day of the Professional Development Summer Institute with a report-out on the Making It Happen (MIH) initiative. Her presentation, ripe with student success data, helped attendees learn more about how enhanced communication, one-on-one student contact and improved course placement through Multiple Measures is improving student success at an exponential rate. Following Dr. Fulks’ presentation, representatives from several student support services areas, including Financial Aid, Math Lab, Student Success Lab, Supplemental Instruction, the Tutoring Center and the Writing Center broadened the scope of the discussion to include the interventions in place to support students once they’re enrolled at Bakersfield College.
After lunch, all attendees ventured out to the Student Services building and Library for individualized tours and presentations of the student services areas to round out the day. Attendees reported that they were thrilled to have the opportunity to visit spaces on campus they had never been and to learn more about how they can refer students to services that will support their success both in and outside of the classroom.
BC would like to extend a special thank you to the incredible catering crew who kept our attendees well-caffeinated and well-fed throughout the Institute. The support from other on-campus departments, including Information Technology and our Maintenance and Operations crew did not go unnoticed.
WE ARE BC!