TO: All VCCS Employees
FROM: Glenn DuBois
DATE: October 5, 2011
RE: An update on VCCS Reengineering

Dear colleague:

Good morning from Patrick Henry Community College!

I’m here this morning to begin another series of town hall-style meetings to talk with you about the VCCS Reengineering effort and why it is so important not simply to our community colleges but our entire commonwealth. I will be visiting New River Community College this afternoon.

Innovation Spurs Partnerships and Resources

Our work to rethink the way our community colleges operate is generating interest from across the nation. With your help, we are building solutions, and acting upon them, to tough questions that are only being talked about elsewhere.

Our work is also spurring partnerships and generating resources that will help us enact some of the bold and innovative ideas we are pioneering.

The most recent example of this is a $24 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to “Implement seven strategies that will contribute to the realization of the Achieve 2015 strategic plan and the Rethink re-engineering plan,” according to the grant announcement.

The funds, which will be awarded over three years, offer tangible benefits to all 23 of our community colleges in the form of resources or personnel to serve unemployed individuals who are seeking a new career path in the high-demand filed of health sciences.

 You can read more about the grant on our blog, www.VaHigherEd.com.

You can also read a news article about just how competitive these grants are written by the folks at InsideHigherEd.com.

Congratulations to everyone who had a hand in making that grant award possible. Well done!

Town Hall Meetings

The input you gave me last year at town hall campus meetings across the state was invaluable in helping us refine, improve and move forward on many of the big ideas at the center of our reengineering work.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous message, I want to continue that dialog with you this coming year. I intend to visit each of our 23 community colleges before the end of the academic year.

Below is draft schedule of when those visits will be occurring. I will update the chart in future emails as more meetings are solidified.

DATE

COMMUNITY COLLEGES

TOWN HALL MEETING TIME

10/5/11

PHCC
NRCC

9:30 AM
1:00 PM

10/26/11

SVCC
(Alberta Campus)

1:00 p.m.

11/2/11

WCC
MECC

AM
PM

11/9/11

PVCC
JSRCC

AM
PM

11/29/11

LFCC
RCC

AM
PM

12/1/11

NVCC

AM 

12/5/11

TCC – Portsmouth(tentative)

PM

1/13/12

SWCC

Time TBD

 Further, members of the Reengineering Task Force will give presentations at a number of peer group meetings that occur throughout the year. Those updates will likely focus on specific reengineering topics that are germane to your peer group. Keep an eye on your peer group meeting agenda for those updates.

A sampling of updates

There are more than two dozen reengineering task force work groups now at work. You can track the progress of every single one of them through the dashboard at www.rethink.vccs.edu.

Here are updates on just a few of the issues I am often asked about during my campus visits. (The numbers contained in the parentheses correspond to the workgroup numbers on the dashboard.)

(1.) Implement Developmental Education Task Force Redesign Proposal (Mathematics)
Click here to keep up with the latest work being done on this topic.

The Campus Implementation Leads for Developmental Mathematics Redesign met in early September to discuss a variety of topics related to the implementation. System Office staff continue to work with representatives from McCann Associates on the new mathematics placement/diagnostic assessment that will be available in October for students beginning in January 2012.  Participants in the inaugural Chancellor’s Developmental Education Institute will gather for their first follow-up meeting in September. Some Institute “alumni” have already begun to implement their college action plans developed during the Institute.

(10.) Pursue an Aggressive Strategy to Increase the Proportion of Students Receiving Financial Aid
Click here to keep up with the latest work being done on this topic.

An additional $5.36 million in state funded financial aid for 2011-12 has been distributed to the 23 colleges, an increase of 20%. This will help mitigate to some extent the scaling back of Year Round Pell that will occur this year as a result of federal reductions in that program. Colleges have been advised to use the additional funds to target the middle income populations as much as possible.  A workgroup is being formed to consider performance standards and metrics related to both the Back-Office Financial Aid initiative as well as student success tied to increasing the availability of financial aid.  The workgroup will also consider characteristics of a high performing financial aid operation.

(6.) Pilot Shared Services Distance Learning Systems
Click here to keep up with the latest work being done on this topic.

The Shared Services Distance Learning (SSDL) pilot is progressing and growing. Over 340 students (unduplicated headcount) have enrolled in 38 different courses and began their educational experience on August 22, 2011. Twenty percent of the students are enrolled in world languages. Additional reports have been put into production to assist Northern Virginia Community College’s and partner college’s business office managers in keeping track of total credit hours enrolled. Partner college liaisons and Northern Virginia Community College’s SSDL instructors engaged in communications to support an explanation of partnership and successful outcomes for students. Additionally, a site has been created and is now available for liaison and instructor collaboration. ELI conducted a synchronous online orientation for SSDL students and a recorded version is available. Students have been added to Smarthinking and if it is a course supplement, eNOVA. Additional student support services are in progress as requested by partner colleges.

Stay engaged

These are, again, just a few of the updates available to you on the dashboard at the rethink website.

Should you have comments or questions that are specific to the efforts of an individual workgroup, I would encourage you to email the leads of those groups. The names and email addresses of the leads are included for your convenience on the individual workgroup pages.

Of course, please feel free to send me any thoughts related to the reengineering process at rethink@vccs.edu. I look forward to reading those emails personally and passing them along to the taskforce.

Sincerely,

Glenn DuBois

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