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

The Reinvention task force structure for fall 2011

The Fall 2011 semester task forces launched on Monday, August 22nd with presentations and team exercises throughout the day.  This semester the structure of the task forces will be different than they were during our first semester of Reinvention. At the end of the Spring semester we discussed with team members and managers, departments with which we worked, faculty and others how the work went and what changes should be made for the Fall.  We received a lot of great feedback from many sources;

  • Faculty members who suggested that technology should not be a separate task force since technology should be applied to help solve issues around student services, instruction, etc. that should come from other task forces
  • Internal and external stakeholders who suggested that our large number of teams and team members resulted in more, smaller ideas rather than large strategic solutions (more “singles,” fewer “home runs”)
  • Team members who indicated that we suffered from a high degree of overlap between task forces, creating areas of confusion/missed opportunities for synthesis and that it was difficult to balance all roles within a team – i.e. outreach, execution, problem solving, etc.
  • Team leaders and others who proposed that we would benefit from greater cross-task force collaboration
  • Departments that indicated our need for a better way to set consistent priorities for colleges and teams – particularly as it relates to implementation – in order to mitigate change fatigue and lack of consistency

In addition to all of this great feedback we needed to address our ability to balance the continuation of our task forces’ new idea generation with our need to work on implementing recommendations from the Spring task forces.  We worked throughout the summer to come up with a structure designed to be much more effective at addressing all of the issues that were raised.

Our first modification was to clearly distinguish between the continued work of the task forces and the need to conduct implementations.  To that end we’ve divided our efforts into Discovery and Delivery.  Discovery (idea generation) will continue to be the work of the task forces.  Their charter is to:

  • Continue to discover: (a) what are CCC’s biggest challenges and (b) what is the proposed path forward
  • Continue refinement of ideas proposed thus far
  • Lead general problem solving and strategy conversations across the district
  • Work on communicating findings to internal and external groups

Delivery (Implementation) teams will be responsible for:

  • Taking implementation-ready ideas and driving to completion
  • Preparing project plans, milestones, resource requirements, etc.
  • Providing ongoing updates on status of delivery project
  • Focusing more narrowly on portfolio of “Delivery” projects rather than whole scope of CCC issues

We’ve adopted this new structure for the Fall semester and will evaluate the results again at the end of this semester, seeking additional feedback in an effor to continue to improve our processes.

So, what does this new structure look like?  On the Discovery side, rather than the set of task forces that got the ball rolling and identified over sixty recommendations we’ll have a new set of task forces, each with a more focused charter.  The new task forces are

  • Career & Academic Program Pathways
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Student Services & Support
  • Processes, Operations & Governance

In addition to the task forces, there will be five service areas of concentration each of which will span across all four task forces.  These service areas will allow for increased participation and collaboration between task forces and internal and external stakeholders.  Additionally, they’ll improve cross-task force collaboration.  The service areas of concentration are:

  • Adult Education
  • Transfer
  • Occupational
  • Remediation
  • Organization

Here’s what the task force structure looks like:

Discovery Task Force Structure for Fall 2011
Discovery Task Force Structure for Fall 2011

For Delivery projects, teams will be led by a combination of Delivery Project Team Leaders from the Center for Operational Excellence and/or individuals at colleges.  Delivery team members will be assigned based on specific projects and where they are being implemented.

Delivery Team Structure for Fall 2011

We look forward to using this new structure to better engage with everyone who has an interest in the Reinvention efforts underway at CCC.

  – Scott Martyn, Executive Director, Center for Operational Excellence