Things to Know – Monday, May 15, 2017

As we race toward commencements and the celebrations of our student’s success, we will celebrate our employees this late this afternoon with a ceremony at 4:30 p.m. in the Student Union East. Congratulations to all our faculty, staff, and leadership for a year of success. It appears we are going to see our largest graduating class. Numbers to follow.

I become very reflective during the last few weeks of our academic year, as it is important to me to consider what I did well, and what I need to do to improve our student’s college experience, not only as a person, but as a leader, but as someone who is dedicated to student equity, achievement, and success. It is my hope that you think about your role and how you personally influence our students. Everyone who works at Southwestern College impacts students and it is important for all of us to remember we make a huge difference to our students and our community. Some thoughts some resources to consider.

Is it our job to ensure student’s think critically? Or is it more important to provide technical job skills? Or are we developing the whole person? What is our role? Some perspectives on the purpose of college:

How do you define the purpose of college?

American Association of Colleges and Universities defines critical thinking:


Critical thinking is a habit of mind characterized by the comprehensive exploration of issues, ideas, artifacts, and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion.

As we think deeply about the purpose of education. This is an easy to read article that reminds of us of things we can do to personally think more critically:

  1. Learn how to question things
  2. Think for yourself
  3. Evaluate evidence
  4. Consider you own personal biases
  5. Consider motives
  6. Break big issues into small pieces
  7. Keep it simple

Did you know that as part of the Southwestern College’s Processes the Shared Consultation Council (SCC) conducts a self-evaluation to ensure continuous improvement? The SCC will meet to that evaluation this week.

Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful. Margaret J. Wheatley