Powerful Collaboration: Reinventing CCC’s Hiring Process

When I joined the Process, Operations and Governance Reinvention Task Force (POG), I knew there was one major project I wanted to work on; to drastically improve the CCC hiring and recruitment processes for all positions.  Having spent a year as a Department Chair, and having served on at least two other full-time faculty search committees, my personal experience suggests that CCC’s hiring process is slow and inefficient.  Of course, I wasn’t sure if my perception was unique or if it was one shared by others.  After collecting information from over one hundred hiring managers, it is clear that my impression is widely shared.

Though the project is not yet complete, the collaborative work that has been taking place among the various CCC entities has truly allowed us to make great strides towards our mutual visions.  Just two days ago, the Provost presented the preliminary results of our collaboration with Academic Affairs, HR, Finance, college administrations, and faculty members on full-time faculty hiring time-lines, workflow, and credentialing to the Executive Faculty Council.  The kind of momentum and energy I’ve seen this semester speaks to the power of collaboration and shared governance.  This collaborative group encourages everyone to review the recommendations presented below and to provide us with feedback so a more definitive recommendation can be formalized within the next few weeks.


We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

     – Valerie Pell, Process, Operations and Governance Task Force

Revised recommendations on Child Development

As part of the ongoing work of Career & Academic Program Pathways, we have been looking at all of the offerings in Education and Training at City Colleges. Due to the hard work of the task force members and the Child Development faculty, we were able to finish up work in that area ahead of schedule and I have attached revised versions of the Spring 2011 recommendations to show how things have changed. Essentially the change, based on a lot of feedback from faculty, was that the AAS needs to be a route for the group of students who do not seek to transfer but we all agree that a strong AA should support those who eventually plan to pursue additional education. The revised recommendations are here: recommendations and the revised supporting document is here: supporting findings

In the next few weeks we should have a better idea of what we think makes sense for the fuller Education and Training area and for Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics.

New Student Orientation: How Should It Look on Your Campus?

As part of my work on the Student Support and Services Task Force, I am investigating our current New Student Orientation (NSO) process. More specifically, are the current orientations addressing student concerns and needs, and how can we do a better job disseminating critical support services while preparing them for the academic rigor of being college students?

Dr. Eduardo Martí, former President at Queensborough Community College, NY, in addressing students during the Fall 2008 new student orientation stated, “Because we’re an open admissions college…it is fraudulent for us to just throw you in the pool and see if you can sink or you can swim. It is imperative that an open admission institution pays close attention to ensuring that you have the support services that are necessary for you to survive.” (http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/tigermedia/detailView.aspx?MediaID=770&CategoryID=3). New student orientation is the vehicle to best communicate those services, in addition to exposing students to issues that go beyond the classroom.

In researching effective NSO programs at other institutions, in varied discussions with colleagues and students, and in reviewing the Foundation of Excellence recommendations, I’m discovering that orientation has to go beyond simply offering students basic contact information and history of the college, but offer richer content and opportunity for discussion on such issues as; career exploration and planning, transferring to 4-year colleges, obligations of accepting financial aid (for example, how is financial aid affected when a student withdraws from an institution or when a student drops a course), what it means to take developmental education courses, childcare services, issues affecting nontraditional, older students, how to use campus technology and software (Blackboard, My.ccc), prerequisites and requirements, and personal counseling services. Additionally, NSOs need to introduce students to deeper academic issues on topics like student learning outcomes, critical thinking and information competencies, global awareness, personal responsibility, code of conduct, and student professional development. In order to do all this, NSO needs to also be separate from the current registration process.

I’m investigating three models of orientation – half day, all-day convocation, and online – and developing recommendations on the most effective model. Regardless of what model is implemented, the key to a successful NSO is collaboration at the institutional level; where students, faculty, staff, and administrators work together to develop meaningful workshops and table talk discussions on relevant student concerns and issues. NSO should not replace the work that College Success Seminars and First-Year Experience programs do, but should be an effective bridge between where college recruitment ends and retention begins.

What are your thoughts? What issues/topics need to be addressed in NSOs? What NSO model do you think is most effective based on your understanding of your campus or your academic needs? We are currently developing campus student focus groups, through campus SGA and VP Offices, to discuss this topic further. Please consider volunteering your time. Meanwhile, share your thoughts, concerns, and ideas!

     – Stephanie Hong Owen, Student Support and Services Task Force

I cannot live without books…

I cannot live without books.

-         Thomas Jefferson

It is a really good thing that Jefferson didn’t work in the field of Adult Education. Ileo Lott and I from the Teaching and Learning Task Force are working on addressing the issue of access to textbooks and supplemental instructional materials in the CCC Adult Education Programs across the District.  Federal (OVAE) and State (ICCB) regulations prohibit the compulsory purchase of textbooks by Adult Education students. Adult Educators aren’t able to identify a core text in their syllabus as even “required”.

No one could argue with the fact that students can’t succeed without a textbook for use in and out of the classroom. Yet currently Adult Education students have limited or no access to the core textbook identified for use in each instructional level. Additionally, most of the resources identified for use in CCC Adult Education Programs are not supportive of college credit and career program transition. This leaves students underprepared to encounter the rigors of college level courses and textbooks and places a barrier to successful transition.

To counter these problems, the Teaching and Learning Task Force is working on aligning the CCC Adult Education textbooks to prepare students for success in CCC college credit “gatekeeper” courses or to enter CCC career programs. A textbook and workbook distribution model is being explored to provide an opportunity for Adult Education students to be engaged with the textbook in and out of the classroom and better prepared to meet the learning expectations and goals for each course. The opportunities for lesson reinforcement and study, homework and out of classroom learning activities, exam preparation, and reference make this a worthwhile investment in student success.

It is our objective to make students as prepared as possible to make level gains, complete the Adult Education Program, and achieve success in the post-secondary arena. Sadly, a lack of student access to textbooks and instructional materials is par for the course in the field of Adult Education as is inadequate preparation for successful college credit and career program transition.  CCC through Reinvention is taking an innovative lead in ensuring that students in Adult Education Programs are armed with the tools needed for academic success and prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities that are inherent to higher education.

     – Kevin Scavuzzo, Teaching and Learning Task Force

Distribution and Logistics Cluster Updates

In the career cluster of Distribution and Logistics, the City Colleges of Chicago offers three programs; a basic certificate in supply chain management and fork lift operation and safety, and an advanced certificate and associate of applied science degree in supply chain management. These programs are offered at most of the colleges except Malcolm X  and Truman.  Enrollment and awards have declined across all campuses in the past five years, with Olive-Harvey college producing most of the awards (fork lift operation and safety).


The job market analysis indicates several opportunities for City Colleges, one will be to extend skill training in several areas related with air and road occupations.  Another possibility is to offer a transferable degree with different areas of concentration in supply chain management, logistics, aviation, air traffic controller, etc.

Potential articulation university partners that offer programs related with these areas are: UIC at Urbana, Southern Illinois University, Lewis University, and Western Illinois University.

Where we are now:

We are doing the internal interviews and based on the inputs we are developing a list of potential external interviews, amount those we have FedEx, UPS, John Deere, and Caterpillar.

Next Steps:

Over the next couple of weeks we will continue with the internal and external interviews, and after that we will be doing team analysis, which comprise synthesizing our findings and developing the recommendations.

Improving Policies and the Policies Process

Hi Everyone!  My name is Nina de Guzman and I’m working with Ms. Ellie Moore on the POG (Process, Operations and Governance) team at Reinvention.  Whether you are a Student, Faculty or Staff member, we would love to hear from you regarding current policy issues and how they affect you.  Here are some questions to ponder….

  • Are current policies being communicated so that everyone understands their purpose?
  • What policies are not being communicated enough?
  • Have there been any recent policy changes that impacted your area which you would have liked to have had communicated another way?
  • What are some examples of bad policies?
  • Are Emails or memos an informal way of administering policy?
  • What is not included in policy that needs to be included?
  • How do you escalate a revision or addition to a policy?

Your opinions matter to us in order to help improve the process here at CCC!  Hope to hear from you soon.

     – The POG team

What should the tenure process be?

The Teaching and Learning task force of Reinvention is looking at the tenure process for full-time credit faculty members.  Many people gave a lot of feedback last semester, and that helped us get to where we are now.

We feel — and Kojo, our Provost, agrees — that the current system is broken.  The requirement for 15 graduate credit-hours does not serve us and should be eliminated or replaced with something else.  The tenure project and the structure of the tenure portfolio are also under review.

However, if the current system is to change, we need to replace it with something.  The tenure process should be a time to mentor new faculty members and also a time to evaluate them.

Here is a short summary of what we’re now thinking:

We are envisioning a tenure process focused on helping new faculty members acclimate to the college, giving regular feedback in order to help them achieve excellence, and providing meaningful faculty development through a Center for Teaching and Learning at each campus.

But we also want to know what you think is important in the tenure process.

We ask that you:

  • Focus on what should happen, not what does happen now
  • Look at big questions:
    • What should the tenure process accomplish?
    • What best serves the educational needs of our students?
    • What best serves the long-term health of our seven colleges?
  • Remember that faculty members are a diverse group — think about the best teacher you know and the worst teacher you know, and ask what tenure process would be good for both
  • Don’t feel constrained to compare to our current system—feel free to start from scratch
  • Be succinct, if possible, so we can use this blog for an active conversation (a ten-page dissertation may not be the best way to communicate)

Thank you for your input!

     – Michael Maltenfort, Teaching & Learning Task Force

New Term Means… New Ideas!

Summer is over. With the fall 2011 term upon us, new Task Force members have joined the Reinvention Student Support and Services Task Force.  Where do we go from here? Despite improvements in student supports and the CCC Registration process for the fall term, more needs to be done.

The Task Force plans on making the next CCC credit and non-credit student Registration process even better than the last. We’re also looking at how to improve academic College Advising for students. This means we’ll be looking at the entire college advising process itself, the many responsibilities College Advisors have, and how they’re prepared and trained to meet the challenges of their critical role supporting students.  Additional areas of focus will be on pathways to assist guiding students in their career choices, bridging the gap between CCC students and employment opportunities, tools to help students choose careers, orientation processes, and evaluating career centers at the campuses.  Much needs to be done. Are there any ideas you have that will make this Task Force successful?

     – Dan Dutchak, Student Support & Services Task Force

Blogging and POGing

My name is Charles Ansell and I am the project team leader for the Processes, Operations and Governance (POG) task force. Before going into what in the world POG is / means / does (in a nutshell: nine people – students, faculty, staff – investigating real pains and possible gains in HR, Procurement, Security, Policy and more) I want to second some sentiments from over at Harold Lounge

There Are Many Many Many CCC-related Blogs Now

On September 16, 2011, The Realist at HL, proclaimed Tolle Blege - “Take Up and Blog” – proving the Romans foresaw every way to prevent Latin from ever becoming a dead language. Realist notes the plethora of new blogs emerging this academic year and takes it rightly as multiple call to arms – to all to have more say in the shaping of CCC. He concludes:

“Get out there and blog (and fb). Give Don some input! Give Kojo some feedback! Reshape Reinvention! Tweet the Chancellor!”

I wholeheartedly second this. Harold and Truman lounges have been ahead in online dialogue, and it’s being bolstered suddenly and to huge effect by CCC broadly, particularly via social media and blogs – from students receiving solutions to registration problems on facebook, to CCC providing updates on Twitter, to Provost Kojo Quartey’s workflow and academic policy investigations yielding faculty feedback to integrate, to HW President Don Laackman’s lifehacking,  student-entrepreneurship-promoting and eponymous-tropical-storm-chasing. Ideas, major change proposals, and flat-out helpful info and fun links now abound, supplemented and re-shaped through constant comments and re-posts. It’s my hope the same happens for this Reinvention blog.

The above conversations are hugely important and, thus far, hardly duplicative. The trick is to keep tabs on this constant info flow. (Personally, I use an RSS feed reader – which will retrieve all your favorite blogs, newsites, social networking sites and more into one personalized portal. Google Reader is what I use to “subscribe” to stay up-to-date while on a stalled blue line headed downtown, though others work well too.)


Over the next several months, you’ll receive timely, POG-ly updates through this blog from myself and from the POG team. We are two students, three faculty, an adult educator, a registrar, an HR admin, an advisor and a team lead – representing all seven colleges and do, of course. Doing our best to prioritize issues by impact (to student outcomes and organizational health) and feasibility (can it be done), we decided to delve into current-state investigation, best practice modeling and gap analyses on the following:

  • HR: On the pre-employment side we’re looking at workflow for hiring faculty and staff, staffing patterns and broader ability to forecast demand for new hires and recruitment strategies and tactics. For post-employment we’re hoping to make recommendations on performance management and professional development.
  • Procurement: Checking-out vendor management (how we leverage spend for volume discount purposes) – note PO workflow recommendations from Reinvention are already in the works, to the ends of reduced cycle time and other benefits.
  • Security: What security policies could best impact student success for the majority of students?
  • Governance: What are all the governing bodies at CCC and what functions presently overlap? (These include Adult Education off-sites.)
  • Policies: Where are policies stored? How do we communicate them? Do they conflict with each other?

We’ll be posting project plan info and data-driven recommendations. On a barely related note, as we do our work, we’ll be debating whether or not to use myriad tech tools to aid our endeavors. Do you have certain Web 2.0 free tools you have found useful in completing your school work, managing your projects, sharing your files or leading your classes? Please share. Some I’ve considered: mindmeister for brainstorming and trello for collaboration.

Talk to Us

Look again at the above areas of POG interest – Are we looking at the right things? Do you have opinions on this? Research? Leads? Note: This blog is not titled “Listen to Us.”

Talk. To. Us.

Your fellow faculty, staff and students originate Reinvention recommendations, soliciting and reconciling input from all directions – they do so as a principle of good research. Without your regular contributions, reactions, directions and knowledge, however, we all lose. Q&A’s and conversations at college-wide meetings and with faculty councils, adult educators, leadership, staff focus groups, student associations and other governance bodies only go part-way. Please let this blog serve as a vehicle for involvement in any and all changes going on at Reinvention.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

     – Charles Ansell, Process, Operations & Governance Task Force

Career and Academic Program Pathways – Fall 2011 Workstreams

The old Program Portfolio Review task force has been renamed Career and Academic Program Pathways (CAP)and our scope has been focused more on assuring the full pathway for a student towards their goals. This Fall, the CAPP task force team is focusing on five workstreams: Occupational Program Review, CCC Articulation Strategy, Adult and Vocational Education Bridges, Return on Educational Investment by program and assisting with the Implementation of Spring 2011 Recommendations.In Occupational Program Review we will continue our work reviewing programs. This Fall we hope to review Education and Training programs (including a continued review of Child Development), Transportation programs, Distribution and Logistics programs, Business programs, Healthcare Support programs, and Law and Public Safety Programs. Since these are occupational programs, our focus will be on how to help students on the path to a viable career.Articulation Strategy will be looking at different models of articulation, which models are best for each type of program, and how we can get there.Adult and Vocational Education Bridges focuses on the best models and programs for bridges to occupational credit programs for adult education students. In later semesters this workstream will be expanded for bridges to transfer programs.Return on Educational Investment seeks to understand the economic returns to the student and the City from different programs so that we better understand how to communicate value to the student and the value of the institution.
Finally, in Implementation we will be working with faculty in Computer Science, Manufacturing, and Health Care to start working on areas of agreement. In Computer Science the focus is on building a robust transfer degree. In Manufacturing the focus is on tying our programs to industry credentials. In Health Care the focus is on creating a common health care core curriculum.

     – Leighton O’Connell-Miller, Career & Academic Program Pathways