Monday, August 29, 2011

Learning Together

If you have any comments on this post, please contact me at presblog@mvcc.edu.


(MVCC President Randall J. VanWagoner, Ph.D.):
This week on my vlog, I'd like to spotlight our employee enrichment program. At MVCC, learning isn't just for our students, but it's for everyone who works here. 

In 2008, we had a system design team do research across the country on best practices in professional development programs at community colleges around the country. They made a recommendation that employee enrichment and professional development for all of our employees become an institutional commitment, and we've committed those resources to developing the program.

The comprehensive program throughout the year not only provides outstanding learning experiences for employees, but creates opportunities for colleagues to develop stronger relationships across job functions. This results in more positive interactions, improved teamwork, and more engaged employees. With a number of institutes provided throughout the year, each institute brings a variety of topics, and this August was no different. Many of the programs advance initiatives in the college's strategic plan, and others are suggested by MVCC employees, making this institute even more personalized and audience-centered.

(John Bullis, executive director of Organizational Development at MVCC):
We've run the institutes for the past three years in the configuration that we have now, and really what I've seen is a tremendous growth in the capacity of our faculty and staff, on a number of different fronts. We've trained ... our faculty and staff is trained in dozens of different areas, so we've really added a lot of capacity to what our faculty and staff can do. For example, in the last year we've trained over a half-dozen faculty and staff in Master Facilitation, so that they can go in and facilitate groups and work sessions for their centers or other areas of the college.

(Randall J. VanWagoner):
Many faculty members learned how to empower their students to become active, responsible, and successful learners with the "On Course" workshop. The learner-centered strategies represent best practices from innovators in many fields, and have helped students become full and active partners in their own education.

Employees attended workshops on classroom design, wellness, and conflict resolution as part of our Civility Project efforts at the college. In "Classroom Management and Student Motivation," MVCC Professor David Katz shared time-tested principles to help create a classroom atmosphere that will improve student motivation and learning in a lively, engaged, orderly, respectful, and compelling environment. David also led a workshop on emotional intelligence, student efficacy, and student success.

(David Katz, coordinator of Employee Enrichment programs)
The idea of trying to imbue every single employee that comes to our college with this culture of excellence, and that we are about trying to be as good as we possibly can be so we can serve the people we are serving in the most effective manner possible. I think that has been a very nice corollary to the program in terms of benefit. I think we have really started to get people thinking, "Hey, they're really serious about everybody here being good and being able to help students in whatever way possible."

(Randall J. VanWagoner):
We know that the more engaged students are in their own learning and their own experiences here at MVCC, the more successful they'll become. I believe the same notion holds true for everyone who works here. The more engaged we are in our own work and our own learning, and the more connected we feel to one another, the happier we'll be. And the happier we are, the more successful we'll become in carrying out the important work of MVCC.

Thanks for watching.

If you have any comments on this post, please contact me at presblog@mvcc.edu.