Things to Know – Tuesday, February 28, 2017

In the spirit of inclusion and communication I wanted to make sure you are aware of a few more things today. My Things to Know emails go to the entire college all staff distribution, the Governing Board, and our student leaders ASO President Mona Dibas and Student Trustee Freda Hernandez.

First, tonight is a Governing Board Special Meeting that will include two very important topics:

· Accreditation Follow-up Report – Governing Board Approval – There are a couple of important changes that came in yesterday and we want to make sure people are aware of the changes in following areas for clarification and accuracy:

  • Formatting of the report
  • Updating of evidence links
  • Correction of minor errors
  • Addition and/or revision of narrative for ACCJC Rec 1 and Rec 7
  • For ACCJC Recommendation 1, which supplants the original Recommendation #5 that dealt with SLOs and begins on page 47 of the Follow Up Report, we saw a critical need to add additional quotes from as many APR Comprehensive reports as possible to course, program and institutional innovations cited on pages 49-56 in an effort to provide solid evidence that our College has indeed not only created, implemented and assessed SLOs once, but that disciplines have also been reassessing SLOs to improve teaching and learning.  This addition was recommended at the AOC (Accreditation Oversight Committee) as well as the SCC (Shared Consultation Council).  Again, these additions do not change the meaning of the passages, but rather add further evidence of “closing the loop” on SLOs as required by ACCJC.
  • Recommendation 7…on page 16…the last two sentences in paragraph two, under Mechanism to Ensure Compliance… the sentences have been changed to correct the training and implementation dates.  It now reads as follows:
  • Phase Three includes manager and employee training and is being conducted in April 2017.  Phase Four is college-wide implementation which becomes effective after April 2017.

·  Governing Board Facilities Workshop – This is a college learning opportunity, and an event to engage in dialogue through an inclusive and thoughtful process to ensure our college facilities reflect Southwestern College’s educational needs. Please join us for an informational workshop where you will not only learn, you will help us set clear expectations for the future. Vice President Flood and team have dedicated many hours to creating the workshop.

The third thing to share is Dr. Matthew T. Hora was the keynote speaker at the CEO Symposium this last Sunday, and he presented his research, which culminated in a book Beyond the Sills Gap; Preparing College Students for Life and Work:

Drawing on interviews with educators in two- and four-year institutions and employers in the manufacturing and biotechnology sectors, the authors demonstrate the critical importance of habits of mind such as problem solving, teamwork, and communication. They go on to show how faculty and program administrators can create active learning experiences that develop students’ skills across a range of domains. The book includes in-depth descriptions of eight educators whose classrooms exemplify the effort to blend technical learning with the cultivation of twenty-first-century habits of mind.

Dr. Hora provided a thoughtful reflection of the national discussion on whether there is skills gap or is it an economic demand-side issue. His conclusion is there is some truth to the skills gap and as a nation we need to do a better job of building technical skills with what he calls “Twenty-first-century habits of the mind” (problem solving, teamwork, communicating). A good case for a comprehensive education. This is community college work.