Dr. Barrett has been tasked with evaluating the faculty in the education department. As she works her way through the evaluation she comes across the following issues:
• Students are sleeping in classes
• Faculty are requesting more resources in order to perform their jobs successfully.
o She knows that if the graduation rate and retention are not improved, the board will have a hard time approving budget requests for a program that they see as struggling.
• A large number of students are unprepared academically for entry into college. As a result, the majority of students are in remedial courses instead of their core curriculum “method” courses. This causes enrollment in the core “method” courses to be low. A result of the academic unpreparedness is the increased length of time it takes students to meet the basic math and English requirements to be eligible to take the state licensure exam.
• Faculty in the education department, offer excuses for the low enrollment and decreased enrollment based on issue that students are underprepared.
• 21% of the graduating teachers are minorities
• 7% of minority students graduating with a teaching degree find employment in the state.
There are two key steps that need to be taken when solving a problem in higher education. The first step is to utilize community problem solving in order to grow a shared institutional vision. The second step, which happens somewhat simultaneously with the first is to research the problem and utilize the community to generate solutions (Borwick, 2014; Kotter’s, 2012; Lewin, 1939; Llopis, 2013).
Step 1 – Community Problem Solving and Strategic Planning
Dr. Barrett should work collaboratively with the Deans of instruction, the department chairs, stakeholders and instructors to grow a shared institutional vision. She should involve the board, organization and stakeholders in the planning process to translate conflict into shared problems that can be solved collaboratively. Outcomes of a strategic planning process often include stakeholder analysis and reaching agreement on the mission, strategic goals, objectives, and specific action plans.
• Collaborate with the stakeholders at the University including the advisory board members and the accrediting associations to find out what they want to see from graduates of the University. Specifically, the education and humanities program.
• Collaborate with the department chairs from all departments, the deans of instruction, and the full-time faculty.
• Develop focus groups, survey research, interviews, or series of meetings to develop a comprehensive community outreach plan to obtain feedback from the University employees. Topics would include: ideas to improve graduation and retention for minorities and the student body at large, academic preparedness for freshman students and best practices in the classroom.
o To gain buy-in, an employee best practice could be highlighted each month and sent out via email or placed in the...