Learning Objectives & Outcomes
After completing this module, participants will be able to:
- Define the president’s role in recognizing and elevating good teaching and learning.
- Articulate strategies that presidents can use to drive improvement in teaching and learning.
- Develop solutions to challenges that presidents may face in regards to the improvement of teaching and learning on their campuses.
Aspen Prize-winning colleges and other excellent community colleges are distinguished by their intentional, college-wide efforts to improve student learning. While presidents and senior leaders may not be in the classroom themselves—and some may have never been faculty members—they play a vital role in driving the improvement of teaching and learning on college campuses. These leaders:
- 1. Define a core issue anchored in qualitative and quantitative information about where students and faculty struggle most—taking into account existing teaching strengths at the institution—and personally own the vision for teaching and learning at the college.
- 2. Engage with and put dedicated and innovative faculty at the center of teaching reforms.
- 3. Institutionalize systems and practices that will enable sustained improvements in teaching and learning, paying particular attention to how faculty are hired, on-boarded, promoted, and professionally developed and what resources are allocated to those human capital functions.
In the end, excellent community college presidents aren’t satisfied when accreditors give them a positive check mark for having learning outcomes in place, or even when the college and its departments have agreed on a broad set of learning goals that get assessed on a mandatory schedule. They aim to lead colleges that develop and execute deep and wide strategies that deliver high and continuously improving levels of student learning at the course, program and college-wide levels. They know that many elements of leading this work are the job of the faculty, but they also know that faculty leaders and classroom professors alone cannot create college-wide excellence in teaching and learning. In the end, they deeply understand that presidential leadership is essential to help set and own a vision, charge academic leaders and faculty with executing large scale change against that vision, and align systems and resources accordingly. This module will give participants an opportunity to understand and develop strategies that leaders can implement to ensure that their colleges sustainably improve teaching and learning and to explore potential challenges that they may face in the process.
- Aspen Institute, College Excellence Program. (2013). Building a faculty culture of student success. Retrieved from https://www.aspeninstitute.org/publications/creating-faculty-culture-student-success/
- Blaich, C., & Wise, K. (2015, January). Knowing about vs. knowing how. Practitioner’s Corner, Center of Inquiry at Wabash College. Retrieved from http://www.bu.edu/provost/files/2015/10/Knowing-About-vs.-Knowing-How-C.-Blaich-K.-Wise.pdf
- Nunley, C., Bers, T., & Manning, T. (2011, July). Learning outcomes assessment in community colleges. National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. Retrieved from http://www.learningoutcomeassessment.org/documents/CommunityCollege1.pdf
- Wieman, C. (2015, January/February). A better way to evaluate undergraduate teaching. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning. Vol. 47. p. 6-15.
- Kick-Off Activity
- Setting the Stage
- Key Learning
- Warm-up Discussion: The President's Role
- The President's Role in Leading Improvement in Teaching and Learning
- Define the Core Issue
- Engage Faculty and Put Faculty Innovators at the Center of Reform
- Institutionalize Systems and Practices that will Enable Sustained Improvements in Teaching and Learning
- Addressing Systemic Challenges
- Key Learning
- Group Application Activity: Dilemmas of a College President