TO: All VCCS Employees
FROM: Glenn DuBois
DATE: December 1, 2011
RE: The Latest on VCCS Reengineering

Dear colleague:

Good afternoon from Northern Virginia Community College!

Later today, I will be hosting another gathering in my 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.

Sadly, a combination of bad weather and an airport closing forced us to reschedule our town hall meeting planned for Lord Fairfax Community College earlier this week. A future message will share with you the details of that rescheduled meeting.

As you can see from this picture, this week’s meeting at Rappahannock Community College was well attended:

RCC

Further, faculty members who are serving on the Reengineering Taskforce gave in-person updates to most, if not all, of the fall peer group meetings across the state. Preparations are underway to continue that come spring, including a return visit to the New Horizon’s conference.

These live reports to our colleagues, emails like the one you are reading now and our dedicated website at www.rethink.vccs.edu are among the many ways we are working to ensure this process is as transparent and inclusive as possible. We seek ideas to do what we do even better and would love to hear from you.

Reengineering in the News

Increasingly, people outside of our community colleges are paying attention to the reengineering work we are doing.

The editorial page of Richmond Times-Dispatch, which has been focused for some time on the issue of Virginia high school graduates needing developmental education, recently wrote an editorial praising our reengineering work in the area.

While I would encourage you to read the entire piece, let me share with you the most pertinent part:

“Blame for this situation does not fall on the community colleges. They are not to be blamed for new students who need remediation. Yet the system is striving to improve matters… It’s a smart and promising reform — one for which…the system deserve credit.”

Town Hall Meeting Schedule

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 previous messages, I want to continue that dialogue with you this coming year. I intend to visit each of our 23 community colleges before the end of the academic year.

Below is a schedule of when those visits will be occurring. This chart will be updated in future emails.

DATE

COMMUNITY COLLEGES

TOWN HALL MEETING TIME

9/27/11

GCC

10:00 a.m.

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

9:00 – 10:30 AM
12:30 – 2:00 PM

11/9/11

PVCC
JSRCC

9:30 – 11:00 AM
2:00 – 3:30 PM

11/29/11

LFCC
RCC

Postponed, Rescheduling
1:30 – 3:00 PM

12/1/11

NVCC

1:00 – 2:30 PM

12/5/11

TCC – Portsmouth

12:00 – 1:30 PM

1/13/12

VHCC
SWVCC

9:30  – 11:00 AM
1:30 – 3:00 PM

1/27/12

ESCC
TNCC

10:00 – 11:30 AM
2:00 – 3:30 PM

2/3/12

VWCC
DSLCC

10:00 – 11:30 AM
2:00 – 3:30 PM

2/29/12

BRCC

1:30  – 3:00 PM

3/7/12

JTCC

1:30  – 3:00 PM

3/12/12

PDCCC

2:00  – 3:30 PM

3/14/12

CVCC
DCC

10:00 – 11:30 AM
2:00 – 3:30 PM

 

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.)

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

Reading and writing faculty members who serve on the Curriculum Team for Developmental English Redesign are finalizing student learning outcomes for the integrated reading and writing model that will be used in the redesigned developmental English courses. Members are sharing these student learning outcomes with full-time and adjunct English faculty colleagues at their colleges in advance of the next Curriculum Team meeting on November 1, 2011. These student learning outcomes will define the content of the three new developmental English courses envisioned in the report and recommendations of the Developmental English Redesign Team (The Focal Point).  The 32 Curriculum Team members from the 23 colleges are to be commended for their significant contributions to this initiative.

(17.) Improve Learning Outcomes and Reduce Student and College Costs
Click here to keep up with the latest work being done on this topic.

The workgroup appreciates those who participated in the system-wide survey about the Articulate Learning Outcomes (ALO) initiative. Informed by your feedback, the Workgroup is refining the process in preparation for the first curriculum team to begin its work in the spring 2012 semester. The following features are central to the VCCS’ approach to aligning learning outcomes while preserving the most important value we add to teaching and learning – faculty talent:

  • A Curriculum Committee, with faculty representatives from each college, will articulate the learning outcomes for a course in their discipline.
  • Each Curriculum Committee will identify its own multiple methodologies for assessing student learning and achievement.
  • Pilot Teams will be awarded $5,000 grants to implement the Curriculum Committee’s work in online, on-campus, and hybrid iterations of the course.
  • Each college will retain autonomy in deciding whether to adopt Pilot Team courses or continue creating unique methods for delivering agreed upon learning outcomes.

For more information about other colleges that have had success with course re-engineering projects, a “Getting Started” document is available on the Articulate Learning Outcomes page of the Rethink website.

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

The six colleges who are taking part in the Shared Services Distance Learning (SSDL) pilot for fall 2011 have received invoices from Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC). The business process is proceeding as planned. Blue Ridge Community College and New River Community College will share their first NVCC courses in spring 2012, joining Eastern Shore, Germanna, Paul D. Camp, Rappahannock, Southwest, and Thomas Nelson Community Colleges. The Director of Statewide Delivery presented at the Distance Learning Peer Conference and will be available at additional peer group meetings to represent the SSDL project for the reengineering presentations. Partner colleges selected 63 unique courses to share in spring 2012. Duplications in selections by multiple colleges include all the world languages and some other interesting selections such as:  Entrepreneurship, Women in American History, Meteorology, Elements of Astronomy, Photojournalism, Principles of Real Estate, and Introduction to the Travel Industry. The colleges are currently marketing their spring selections to their students. Some 500 students signed up for 87 different classes on the first day they were offered this past week.

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.

Your incredible work is paying off for the people and commonwealth that we serve. I am delighted to announce that all 23 colleges and the system office achieved the performance incentive bonuses approved earlier this year by our State Board (and explained in one of my previous emails). Congratulations! You should be seeing the results of that in your pay check soon.

This is likely my last email for the calendar year. As you wind down the fall semester, I would like to extend to you the warmest holiday wishes and thank you, once again, for everything you do to make Virginia’s Community Colleges successful.

Sincerely,

Glenn DuBois

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