Back to Table of Contents for the On Course I Workshop

1. Strategy: The Jigsaw (variation)

Application: Brainstorming Tool for Administrators

Educator: Mark Kinney, Director of Institutional Research and Planning, Bay College, MI

Implementation: An important part of my role at the college is to lead the process of strategic planning. Recently, our college identified three institutional priorities as part of this process – student success, community success, and culture of success. However, work remains to be done on identifying the specific goals and actions to be taken under each of these categories. I will use a variation of the Jigsaw structure as a brainstorming tool to accomplish this task. By splitting participants into three group (one for each priority), ideas can be developed and shared for those specific items that should make it into our strategic plan and then brought back to the home groups to refine them. Later, after all ideas have been collected, if we find that we have too many, the Jigsaw process could be used again to further refine the list.

2. Strategy: V x E = M + Responsibility Model

Application: Admissions Interview

Educator: Cindy Carter, Director of Admissions, Bay College, MI

Implementation: At the point of admission, I have focused on asking students “why” they want their degree. The responses and “values” they have shared have often been powerful. One student shared that she had made a promise to her father before he passed away to someday earn her college degree. Another student wanted a better job so he could afford healthcare for his sick child. Through this workshop I have learned to include E (Expectation) in my conversation with students. By helping students identify both the Value of a college degree and an Expectation that they can accomplish it, students feel more motivated to succeed. One way I help students increase their Expectation of success is by showing them the Responsibility Model, with the Victim and Creator choices. Students quickly understand that if they make Creator choices instead of Victim choices, they can have every expectation of being a success in college.

3. Strategy: Wise Choice Process

Application: Conference with a student who has a complaint about a math class or teacher

Educator: Jerry Marshall, Chair, Math Department, Tri-County Technical College, SC

Implementation: When confronted with a student who is frustrated about a situation in a math class and that situation is within their control, I use the Wise Choice Process. First, I ask the student to share details regarding his/her troubling situation. At times I reflect back their information to confirm my understanding of the circumstances. Next, I ask how the student wishes for this to be resolved (the desired outcome). Then I seek to “draw out” as many options as possible to create the desired outcome, listing them on a sheet of paper. This step is crucial to get as many options on the table as possible, and I often have to fight against my inclination to make this list for the student. Then we discuss the likely outcomes of each choice on the list. Next I seek to get the student to commit to a wise choice with which we are both comfortable. Finally, I ask the student, “How will you know if this plan is successful for you?” I end with a statement reassuring the students that they can report back to me if they wish.

4. Strategy: Eight Choices of Successful Students

Application: Administration

Educator: Mary Ferguson, Executive Assistant, General Education, Chemeketa Community College, OR

Implementation: Each week I choose a topic from the Eight Choices of Successful Students (titling it the Eight Choices of Success People – so it applies to our staff as well). I display that on my desk with the “definition” and an accompanying timeless wisdom quote. I display this attractively so it draws attention. I also provide in business card size the same information so someone can take it with them. I also put the information on the “signature” of my emails.

5. Strategy: Wise Choice Process

Application: Financial Department–empowering employees to solve their own problems

Educator: Julie Huckestein, VP/CFO, Chemeketa Community College, OR

Implementation: Use the Wise Choice Process when discussing situations with employees who have a concern. Suggest they create an index card for their personal use and change the six questions to first person voice so the employee begins problem solving on his or her own. Example: What is my present situation? How would I like it to be? etc. Offer to discuss both the method and how it is working for them to resolve their concern.

6. Strategy: Desired Outcomes and Experiences

Application: Financial Department–Staff meetings

Educator: Julie Huckestein, VP/CFO, Chemeketa Community College, OR

Implementation: For staff meetings, planning meetings, etc.: Ask each staff member to write on sticky notes 2-3 “desired outcomes” and 2-3 “desired experiences” for the meeting. Then have them post their sticky notes on easel-pad pages. At end of meeting, if appropriate, move posts to from “desired” to “achieved.” Discuss posts not achieved and why. What kept individual from moving post to “achieved”?

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