Think, Know, Prove–Reinvention Re-Presentation

The Short Version:

So, yesterday our esteemed leader, President John Metoyer, gave a new version of the Presentation on the the District Reinvention plan. Did any of you go and are you able to fill us in on any changes to the original plan?

What do you think? What do you know? What can you prove?

The Long Version:

About 10 days ago, the department chairs and Faculty Council Reps, received an invite to meet with the Chancellor to hear the new, revised version of the Reinvention Plan (as John said would be happening when he came to the FC Reinvention Forum the previous week). Only a day or two after the invite, as plans for a meeting with FC4 and the local FC Presidents fell apart because of short notice and scheduling difficulties and drama (and probably other things I’m not privy to), that meeting was canceled–the latest in a long line of meetings planned with faculty and then canceled*.

A few days after that, John said he had a meeting at district where he was likely to hear more about what was coming next, and that he’d get back to us with some more info as soon as he could. Shortly after that, on September 24th, I saw this post on the Truman Lounge saying that every school would be getting a presentation on the Reinvention plan by their President with support from District honchos on October 1st. I was still under the assumption that our HW meeting, previously scheduled for October 1st, was canceled. Then we got the email from John on Wednesday night about the presentation on Friday, with the statement that it would be for people who missed it the first time and those with questions, suggesting to me, at least, that the content will be the same or very, very similar to the first go-around (as in–they haven’t yet come to agreement/decisions on the revisions to the original version).

I do not know what the story is, but I think it’s safe to say that this is not the process that ANYONE (you, me, them, everybody, everybody) would like, and as much as it looks like a Keystone Kops drill from our vantage point, perhaps we should be grateful that they are at least taking a little time (and showing a willingness to risk some part of their credibility) and NOT shoving a bad plan down our throats, which they could certainly do in the current political climate for higher education, teachers and unions (h/t to Joy at Truman Lounge for the find).

Consequently, I’m inclined to, at this point, give the Chancellor and her fellow district leaders the benefit of the doubt and some room to learn (which, as we all know, only happens through the making of mistakes and active reflection upon them). Still, I wonder what happened yesterday…

What do you think? What do you know? What can you prove?

*A not even full list of the scheduled and canceled meetings, I’m sure:

1. Meeting with HWC Chair and FC: Scheduled for October 1st (on or around September 20th), and canceled on September 22nd.

2. Meeting with FC4 and FC Presidents: Scheduled and confirmed for September 22nd at 5:30pm (on September 21st), and canceled on September 22nd (at 1:07pm)

3. Faculty Council (District Wide) Retreat: Scheduled for August 20th (Cancelled August 19th)

4. Reception for Chancellor with Local FC: Scheduled for July 26/27/29th (Cancelled July 26th–Chancellor on vacation)

9 thoughts on “Think, Know, Prove–Reinvention Re-Presentation

  1. Checking in from Wright. It seems that our new chancellor is simply putting her materials together for her own exit strategy. Daley appointed her and he’s gone. Chico’s gone. The PowerPoint presentation yesterday was full of euphemistic marketspeak, which looks great on a resume. She’ll be able to say she presented this terrific, forward-looking plan but regrets she was not able to stick around to implement it. The new Plan is nothing more than marketing material for her own job search.

    • Nice to have Wright in the room. Welcome to you. I have wondered (and heard speculation) about the politics of the Reinvention given the local Mayoral scene, but I suspect that the national environment (and giant pools of money–federal and private in particular) will have more to do with the driving of the Higher Ed reform narrative than local turnover (unless Chico wins, in which case the heat turns up). But I am an amateur when it comes to political parsing, so I won’t totally commit to that prediction. Still, the same tune is being played all across the country (and the band has been warming up for years now).

  2. The Chancellor and Provost Henderson came to Truman College yesterday to deliver an uplifting, inspirational call to arms to “reinvent” the City Colleges and basically to address the fact that our graduation rate is low. We presented some data showing that almost 50% of our students never intend to earn an Associate’s Degree – but intend to transfer. Success should not be a matter of how many graduate, and as the administration has failed to obtain the data that captures the individual success stories of our students, the Faculty Council has set a precedent by doing its own research.

    The Chancellor and her team invited faculty to participated but side-stepped the question that asked how can we address the fact that there are fewer and fewer full-time faculty. I did receive information that suggests part-time faculty will be compensated to hear the presentation given to everyone else.

    As for canceled meetings add the District Wide Chemistry meetings called by Mike Davis to your list. He canceled it because of the simultaneous presentations of the reinvention plan.

  3. I attended the meeting at HW on Friday, and it was basically the same info given at the Chancellor’s presentation, with a few updates. Metoyer told us that the data used for the presentation was taken from IPEDS, and this is data that CCC self-reported to the state. He talked about how the data is bad, we know it’s bad, but that’s how we’ve collected it, so we really don’t have any other hard data on which to base a new plan. He also said that one of the main goals of the reinvention is to improve the way we collect data, the type of data we collect, and the way that we can track students once they leave CCC. The timeline for the reinvention is the same – beginning this semester and continuing through the Spring, but, members of the task force will serve part-time during the current semester (will not leave their classes) and then have the option of continuing part-time during the spring or moving to the task force full-time. Jaime Guzman (who has authority over the Board in Chico’ absence) was at our meeting and told us that there will be approximately 9-10 members per task force. There was no information about the deadline for applying to a task force or when they task forces will actually begin their work, but John said he would find out and let us know. We do know that Xiomara Cortes-Metcalf is the adviser on the faculty and staff development task force, John Metoyer is the adviser on the student services task force, but the others still remain a mystery. John did say that HW will be forming their own mirror task forces for those who would like to have a say in the reinvention, but do not want to serve at the district level. That was all the important stuff that I can remember.

    • I too was present at Metoyer’s presentation, but did not make the first. I do not think he stated that the data was bad. Rather, he pointed out the limitations of IPEDS data collection for community colleges nationally. He also pointed out the limitations in our anecdotal proof of student success. He stressed that policy makers and funders do not consider this. He stressed the importance of IPEDS data for federal and state accountability which will ultimately be tied to accreditation and funding. IPEDS data was also compared to our adjusted data which shows graduation and transfer rates beyond the 3 or 4 year IPEDS cut off. I don’t know how many additional year. Instead of single digit graduation rates we have a graduation rate in the teens. This is also far below the national average presented in the presentation. Data from other agencies was also presented. I understood his point to be that IPEDS will not be changing for CCC. We need to work on improving our graduation rates and advising, retention, data collection,etc.

      No deadlines were provided for applying to committees. Few names were provided of committee leadership. Presidents of the colleges will be committee chairs.

  4. Hello readers of The Harold Lounge. This is John Metoyer. I know this is a forum for faculty to congregate, but it’s public….. and I’m nosy. In my Gladys Kravitzing, I read UsuallyConfused’s report on the Case for Change presentation I gave on Friday. Upon completion of the one paragraph summary of the 1.5+ hour presentation, I noticed some minor inaccuracies and misinterpretations. I would like to take this opportunity to clarify, and I encourage others who were in attendance to let me know if further clarification is needed in any of the areas covered. If clarification is needed, we can arrange for future presentations focusing on specific areas. Or, you can stop by my office.

    CLARIFICATION:

    I do not recall stating that IPEDS data is bad. Actually, given IPEDS parameters, it is very accurate. The data we report to IPEDS is accurate, too. It is based on the registration and completion patterns of our students. A student simply is or is not registered. A student did or did not complete a credential within the IPEDS timeline (150% for the associate, which translates to 3 years- double that for the bachelor). In simple terms, if a student belonging to a cohort being tracked by IPEDS is no longer taking classes at CCC, and the student is not identified at another institution (2 or 4yr), then the student falls into the non-completer category- no transfer, no degree, no certificate, or any other credential.

    HERE ARE THE POINTS I WAS MAKING RELATED TO IPEDS DATA COLLECTION AND REPORTING:

    POINT 1: For years we (CCC) have argued that our students are successfully completing their educations. We have argued that students are transferring to senior institutions. This is addressed in our 2009 self-study, and it is addressed in the final report we received from the Higher Learning Commission. They recognize the reporting issues community college face, but they also tell us that we need to improve our graduation and transfer rates. We have used the limitations of IPEDS reporting to explain away our reported low transfer and graduation rates, but what have we done about it? NOTHING! We have very little data to prove that our students are making these transitions successfully. While many pockets of CCC have ways to track career placement and transfer (I’m referring to some healthcare programs and grant funded programs like our Title III grant, which requires this type of reporting), we have not worked collectively to create a broad district-wide mechanism to capture the students who fall out of the parameters of IPEDS data. Ultimately, we have the opportunity to address the issue through the reinvention process.

    POINT 2: As local, state, and federal funding dollars shrink, all institutions of higher education are being held more accountable for student success. Accountability is tied to QUANTITATIVE DATA by these entities. While it is important to tell our success stories, and we know we have them, all of our funding and accreditations will increasingly be based on numbers- not just numbers of students enrolled, but number of students who successfully complete, transfer, and get jobs. This is not a concept developed locally. This is coming from the Department of Education, the ICCB, and the Higher Learning Commission. IPEDS is one of the major standards by which we will be measured.

    POINT 3: So what? Let’s forget about IPEDS for a second. Let’s focus on HW. Every year (fall, spring, summer) we serve close to 20,000 students. Most of these students are credit/transfer students. Every year we graduate roughly between 175 and 300 of these students (I’ll get specific numbers from Keenan tomorrow). Research tells us that students who complete the associate degree are more successful at their senior institutions than their non-associate completing counterparts. Financially, it makes more sense to complete the associate degree. So why aren’t we doing more to encourage students to finish their credentials with HW and/or CCC? THIS IS ONE OF THE MAJOR GOALS OF THE REINVENTION. I know it will be impossible to capture 100% of these students. I know there are various groups of students who are not interested in completing the associate with us, but we do have a significant number of students who initially wish to but don’t. I know being in a major city gives students other academic options, but why shouldn’t we be their first option? What is wrong with giving students an upper hand academically and financially when they transfer?

    I hope that clarifies the IPEDS portion of the discussion we had on Friday. That’s what I was trying to get across, and based on conversations I had with others in attendance, I think I did. I apologize to UsuallyConfused and anyone else if I was not clear.

    OTHER MINOR AREAS THAT NEED CLARIFICATION

    TIMELINE: The timeline for the reinvention has been adjusted slightly to compensate for the later Case for Change presentations. It will begin this semester and continue through the spring.

    SERVICE: If you are interested in participating on one of the district-wide committees, you must state what level of involvement you desire in the application process: full-time or part-time for this or next semester.

    APPLICATION: Before I send out the detailed application process via email, I want to include a deadline for application. I have requested this and expect to have it tomorrow.

    • “I know this is a forum for faculty to congregate, but it’s public…” AND you’re still faculty…

      You’re welcome in here anytime, John.

    • Dear Gladys,

      Thank you for the clarification. I understood what you were saying. But, I still think that the data is “bad” in terms that it does not accurately reflect the bigger picture of what we do and accomplish at CCC. The data is “bad” because of the parameters that are set by IPEDS. The data is “bad” because it does not get frequently updated to reflect a student’s change from degree-seeking to certificate or vice versa. The data is “bad” because it relies on self-reporting, students may say that they are degree-seeking even if they are not intending to seek a degree from CCC, but because they intend to transfer and seek a degree. Much of the data is cut and dry, but some of it is “bad” either because of the way that it is collected, or the way that it is recorded and reported.

      We must work within the confines of IPEDS, since that is where decision-makers look to make their decisions. But, we can change the way that we collect data, the timing of the data collection, the type of data that is collected, and the way and frequency with which we sort, organize and clean our data.

      On a slightly different vein, you stated, “Research tells us that students who complete the associate degree are more successful at their senior institutions than their non-associate completing counterparts.” I’m wondering what it means to “complete” an associate’s degree – do we account for students who complete all of the requirements/credits for an AS degree, but do not apply for graduation? Those who do not complete an AS degree and are less successful after transfer, do we know, on average, how many credits or how much time they spent in an AS program prior to transfer? Also, what does it mean to be “less successful” – is that in terms of graduation/completion rates, or does it have to do with grades? Just the researcher in me wanting to know more.

      Thanks 🙂

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