TO: All VCCS Employees

FROM: Glenn DuBois

DATE: March 7, 2012

RE: VCCS Reengineering Update

Dear colleague:

I would like to begin this update on our reengineering work by thanking everyone who braved some nasty storms and even a tornado warning to attend our most recent town hall meetings at Virginia Highlands Community College and Southwest Virginia Community College.

As you can see from the picture below, taken at SWCC, the meetings were well attended:

These town hall meetings, emails like this one and our dedicated website are among the ways we are working to ensure this process is as transparent and inclusive as possible. We seek your ideas in this effort and would love to hear from you.

Reengineering is making a difference

As you can see on the reengineering website, there is a lot of work being done. More than two dozen workgroups are examining ways we can do what we do more effectively to serve more people and, if possible, at a lower cost.

Student success remains at the heart of this endeavor.

That’s why I am glad to see notes like the one below come from our faculty members who are vital to enacting our reforms. This note came from one of the mathematics faculty members in regards to the work we are doing to improve developmental math offerings:

On a personal note, I am amazed and proud of what the VCCS has accomplished. Our early results at [our college] look very promising with 74.8% of our “A session” MTE students earning a grade of S. I know there was a lot of resistance from some colleges and that some faculty may still be “fighting” the redesign and may not have been ready for the implementation. I am convinced that this is a major improvement and only wish we could have realized it years ago.

Keep the Ideas Coming

Your colleagues continue to send in great ideas to consider as the reengineering task force moves forward. We see success in the early going of sharing distance education courses between our community colleges. More of you are thinking about ways we can leverage what our colleges do to serve more people.

Let me share with you just one example:

“There are many areas in medical imaging that require certification such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT). Unfortunately, an individual CC may not be able to support a program either due to faculty or student enrollment, however, the state as a whole could support the certificate,” wrote a member of our faculty from Northern Virginia Community College. “It would benefit all concerned if specialists throughout the state contributed to this certificate by teaching courses in their specialty. An example would be an MRI Certificate which provides a course in Cross-sectional anatomy taught from NVCC, and perhaps MRI physics taught by Tidewater CC and Patient Procedures taught from VWCC…I think it is the future of providing education throughout the state with limited faculty.”

I like this kind of thinking and will ensure that the taskforce receives your message, just as they receive all the emails sent to me at

Town Hall Meeting Schedule

The input you offer at town hall campus meetings across the state is 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 dialog with you. 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.






10:00 a.m.



9:30 AM
1:00 PM


SVCC (Alberta)

1:00 p.m.



9:00 – 10:30 AM
12:30 – 2:00 PM



9:30 – 11:00 AM
2:00 – 3:30 PM



1:30 – 3:00 PM



1:00 – 2:30 PM


TCC – Portsmouth

12:00 – 1:30 PM



12:30 – 2:00 p.m.



9:15 – 10:45 AM
2:00 – 3:30 PM



10:00 – 11:30 AM
2:00 – 3:30 PM



1:30  – 3:00 PM



9:30 – 11:00 AM
1:30 – 3:00 PM



2:00  – 3:30 PM



10:00 – 11:30 AM
2:00 – 3:30 PM


VCCS System Office (at the Library of Virginia)

1:30 – 3:00 PM



1:30  – 3:00 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

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.

Two groups are actively working this semester to support developmental English redesign. The Placement Test Team for Developmental English Redesign consists of 10 English faculty and 2 Assessment Coordinators who, in their role as subject matter experts, are assisting McCann Associates in developing the new English assessment.  The new assessment will incorporate an essay. The pilot of test questions will take place over a three-week period beginning late March 2012. In addition, the Campus Implementation Leads for Developmental English Redesign will convene on February 10, 2012. Applications have been received for the 2012 Chancellor’s Developmental Education Institute, which will be held in early June. Registration opened (and has since closed) for the 2012 Developmental Education Symposium, which will be held on March 20.

(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 following milestones were reached for the Articulate Learning Outcomes (ALO) initiative in Fall 2011:

•    A survey of faculty and administrators guided the selection of the first courses to engage the ALO process and the development of an ALO How-To Guide.

•    The Reengineering Task Force II endorsed the process and progress of the faculty-led ALO workgroup.

•    The Chancellor’s Faculty Advisory Committee, Council of Deans and Directors, Academic and Student Affairs Council, Advisory Council of Presidents, and every Peer Group meeting was updated on ALO progress and plans.

•    The ALO workgroup submitted its final report to the Vice Chancellor of Academic Services and Research.

•    The Vice Chancellor of Academic Services and Research, in consultation with the Academic and Student Affairs Council Executive Committee, approved the workgroup’s ranked list of ALO courses.

•    PSY 200, BIO 101, and ACC 211 have been selected as the first courses to engage the ALO process.

The PSY 200 Curriculum Committee of faculty representatives from each college has been formed. Its goal for this semester is to review/revise the course description and prerequisites, to write the student learning outcomes, and to develop multiple methodologies and benchmarks for assessing student learning and achievement. Updates to and solicitation of input from all VCCS psychology faculty will be a core component of the process, including a presentation on PSY 200 learning outcomes at the New Horizons conference.

(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 began the spring semester on January 9, 2012 with an enrollment of 795 students from 10 different colleges in 108 course sections. Northern Virginia Community College’s Extended Learning Institute orientation specialist held a general orientation for all SSDL students. The director and liaisons held additional orientations with each partner college’s students. Through the fall pilot, NVCC learned that proctoring requirements, course deadlines, and withdrawal of students for non-participation sometimes surprised students as they differed from their home college practices. Liaisons are focusing their effort this spring on monitoring student participation in their courses, communicating with them, offering both mentoring and support. Under examination are the fall data on withdrawal rates, student grades, student course satisfaction, student access, and cost efficiency.

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 I look forward to reading those emails personally and passing them along to the taskforce.

I hope your new year is off to a fantastic start! I hope to see you at an upcoming town hall meeting, or read any thoughts you wish to email me in response to this message.


Glenn DuBois

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