NOVEMBER 9, 2004
An executive session of the Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board was scheduled to be held at 5:30 p.m. at the District Support Services Center, and a strategic conversation was scheduled to be held at 6:30 p.m.at Rio Salado College in Tempe, Arizona, pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.02, notice having been duly given.
Linda Rosenthal, President
Don Campbell, Secretary
Scott Crowley, Member
Nancy Stein, Member
Ed Contreras, Member (Executive Session only)
Kay Martens for Ken Atwater
Mary Kay Kickels
Alberto Sanchez for Phil Randolph
President Linda Rosenthal called the strategic conversation to order at 6:36 p.m. and welcomed everyone present to the evening's Strategic Conversation on student success, student development, and student services. The conversation was developed by the Office of Student Development Services. Mrs. Rosenthal then asked Paul Dale, Dean of Student Services at PVC, to come forward with opening remarks.
Dr. Dale remarked that during the next two hours participants would concentrating on thinking more deeply about the work done at the Maricopa Community Colleges and how staff could more positively impact student learning and success. He commented that Leadership Breakfast speaker, Mark Sandborn, had shared that leadership is really about creating clarity and defining what was important and what needed to be done. He expressed that he hoped when everyone left this evening that they would have greater clarity on the topic of what matters most in increasing student success. He expressed appreciation on behalf of the student services council deans to the Governing Board for championing this topic and placing enough value on student success to not only have this conversation but also to carry this theme forward to the Board Retreat scheduled for the following day where greater emphasis would be placed on linking "what matters most" in terms of student success with strategic planning and developing more robust outcome indicators. He also acknowledged the presence of the many students present this evening to discuss this very important topic.
Mr. Dale further commented that the white paper that had been pre-distributed indicated that as the student population continues to grow, we are asked to do more with less in an environment where the national data shows perhaps less than extraordinary student success on a number of indicators. Referencing the best selling book Moneyball by Michael Lewis, Mr. Dale made the case that oftentimes when organizations identify what really matters and focus on these things, greater success can be achieved. He stated that perhaps in higher education, rather than locking into a 300 year old paradigm of measuring student outcomes that don't really capture what matters most, and instead it might be more helpful to identify factors that really do matter and modify what is done in order to increase student success.
Vice Chancellor Dr. Steve Helfgot provided a historical example of a student orientation program held at another college he had worked at. The program consisted of a having a full-blown, full-service one-stop welcome orientation intended to cover all the necessary elements to help students become acquainted with college activities and necessary services. For those students unable to attend, a smaller scale version was also provided. It had been determined that as a result of this orientation, retention was higher and GPA's were higher for those who attended. It mattered not which version of the orientation students attended, but it did matter if they participated. These orientations were held for three years and then the "Cadillac" version was discontinued because it was no better than the "Chevy" version - both had similar results. Dr. Helfgot commented that student success could be assessed by retention rates, reenrollments, and degrees and certificates awarded. He questioned what the numbers meant, what makes a difference, and what make students re-enroll. He recommended that we ask what matters to students, citizens, legislators, and employees and if we were doing things to help students live successful lives?
Tonya Drake, District Director of Student Development Services, came forward to explain the process for conducting the conversation. She randomly assigned the following questions to the various table groups:
· What really matters in student success?
o What does student success mean?
o Are student learning and student success synonymous?
o How do external stakeholders define student success?
o What are the indicators of student success that we don't really measure? Would it be important to measure these indicators, if so how?
· What really matters in student development?
o What does student development mean?
o What is the relationship between student learning and student development?
o What is the relationship between faculty and student affairs professionals in supporting and facilitating student development?
o What are the indicators of student development that we don't really measure? Would it be important to measure these indicators, if so how?
· What really matters in student services?
o What does student services mean?
o What are student needs and wish lists to enhance student services?
o Who defines the student services that really matter? How do we expand the services that really matter and how do we reduce the services that matter less?
o Are there services that really matter that students are not using? How do we engage students in services that we know really matter?
Attendees participated in discussions up through the conclusion of the evening's conversation. Facilitators recorded comments on flipcharts and those comments are attached.
Mrs. Rosenthal thanked everyone for attending and assured them that their comments would be taken into consideration for further development of what really matters most in the areas of student success, student development and student services.
The meeting concluded at 8:36 p.m.
Dr. Donald R. Campbell
Governing Board Secretary