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Vanguard Learning College

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Vanguard Learning College

Welcome

Introduction

Institutional Profile

Outstanding Features of Learning College

Project Plans

Solutions to Problems and Issues

Advice to Our Colleagues

 

 

 


Solutions to Problems and Issues—Compiled Spring, 2002

III.  Staff Recruitment & Development

For further information, contact Lynn Harrington at harrington@morainevalley.edu

Part A.
Recruiting & Selecting Learning-Centered Faculty and Staff

1. What marketing plan does your college use to attract faculty and staff who are committed to and knowledgeable of learning-centered education?
For faculty, the recruitment strategy is as follows:
  • Deans are responsible for providing a rationale as to why a new faculty member is needed in a particular subdivision

  • Recruitment of faculty is done through postings, advertisements, on-site visits to graduate schools, job fairs, and Internet advertising (all advertisements state the college's commitment to learning-centered education)

  • Search committees are responsible for interviewing and recommending candidates to the administration for approval

  • Human Resources provides training, assistance, and administrative support throughout the recruitment and selection process

For staff, a strategic recruitment plan for staff is currently being developed and recommended to the college's Strategic Planning Council for approval and implementation.  Through a partnership with the University of Chicago Hospitals Academy (UCHA), an employee learning corporate college program, MVCC will adopt and 'Morainize' the best practices of this program for implementation.  To build a culture of continuous learning, the college has partnered with UCHA to offer employees learning opportunities designed to strengthen individual and organizational performance.  Components of the UCHA model include recruitment/selection, orientation, employee training and development, diversity, rapid feedback, aligning staff learning, performance management, and recognition and rewards.

2. What criteria are used at your college to select faculty and staff to ensure that they are learning-centered?  What criteria, beyond teaching competence and knowledge of subject matter, should your college establish for faculty?
For faculty, the search committee and Vice President of Academic Affairs pose questions to candidates that are designed to help them determine if a person is learning-centered.

For staff, some of the managers/supervisors are doing this (see faculty above); however, training all managers/supervisors to do this is in the development stages.

Criteria for faculty should include having them do a teaching demonstration to an actual college class, asking them to prepare a written statement as to what learning-centeredness for an institution means, and determining what type of faculty member they want to be.

3. What processes and procedures for interviewing and selecting faculty and staff have been implemented at your college to ensure that new faculty and staff meet the learning-centered criteria?
For faculty, see answers to questions one and two above.

For staff, policies and procedures are currently being developed to ensure staff meet learning-centered criteria and will recommended to the college's Strategic Planning Council for approval and implementation.  The best recruitment/selection practices of the UCHA model will also be customized to fit MVCC's needs.

4. What policies and procedures at your college guide the appointment of selection committees, and how are these committees trained to ensure that they select learning-centered faculty and staff?
For faculty, the deans and Vice President of Academic Affairs identify and invite those individuals whom they believe are committed to learning-centeredness to serve on selection committees. The committees are trained in a two-hour training session, which discusses the selection process, what their charges are, and learning-centered criteria. The Vice President of Academic Affairs, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, and Human Resources conducts this training session.

For staff, policies and procedures are currently being developed to address these issues and will recommended to the college's Strategic Planning Council for approval and implementation.

5. What steps have been taken at your college to ensure that the selection of classified staff, part-time faculty, administrators, counselors, and other staff meet the same standards and rigor focused on learning as that established for full-time faculty?
As part of the college's strategic planning efforts and in support of the Vanguard objections, a sub-group of the strategic planning council has been charged with developing and recommending policies and procedures to ensure that the college recruits and selects learning-centered staff for the institution. This group is currently addressing these issues.

Part B. 
Developing, Evaluating, and Rewarding Learning-Centered Faculty and Staff

1. What best practices have been created at your college to orient new staff in each of the following employee groups?
  • Full-time Faculty
    The program is designed to assist new faculty in becoming acclimated into the college and its culture. The three-year process begins by providing new faculty with information about the college, its student populations, and campus services.  Mentors are assigned to new faculty members to help in their adjustment to the college. The second and third years are devoted to the improvement of instructional skills and the revision of course delivery techniques to enhance opportunities for student success.

  • Part-tim e Faculty
    Currently, part-time faculty are invited to participate in all college in-service days, and an evening in-service is specifically planned to address part-time faculty development related to teaching.

During this current academic year, the Teaching and Learning team surveyed other colleges to determine the level of professional development support the college provided part-time faculty. Based on the results of the survey and an internal analysis, a more comprehensive schedule of faculty development opportunities will be developed and coordinated by the assistant dean, academic affairs in collaboration with the assistant dean, teaching and learning. Both assistant dean positions were recently hired in the division of Academic Affairs with the responsibility of developing and implementing these programs.

Also, at the departmental level, adjuncts are invited to participate in all aspects of departmental planning and professional development activities. This objective is met through their attendance at department meetings, in-service, and faculty development days, and faculty development workshops.

  • Classified Staff
    Through the sub-group of staff recruitment and development of the Strategic Planning Council, recommendations for an orientation program for all staff are in the process of development. The best orientation practices of the UCHA model will also be customized to fit MVCC's needs.

  • Counselors
    Counselors are  full-time faculty. See Full-time Faculty above.

  • Administrators and Other Staff

    Recently, an orientation program for administrators has been developed. It is a year-long process, which assists new administrators in becoming acclimated into the college and its culture. The process provides new administrators with information about the college, its student populations, policies and procedures, and campus services.

    Through the sub-group of staff recruitment and development of the Strategic Planning Council, recommendations for an orientation program for other staff are in the process of development. The best orientation practices of the UCHA model will also be customized to fit MVCC's needs.

 2. How does your college assess the skills and knowledge of current faculty and staff and rate a program with goals, individual learning plans, learning options, learning portfolios, technical support - supported by experienced facilitators of learning - to meet the needs of the faculty and staff?
A Teaching and Learning Team comprised of four faculty members acknowledged for their past efforts and accomplishments at the college in collaboration with the Vice President of Academic Affairs, pursues investigations of the learning organization through strategic conversations, readings, visits to colleges, seminars, conferences, etc. The team meets weekly to discuss the topic of teaching and learning with the purpose of identifying the national trends in postsecondary institutions that have an impact on learning environments and approaches at our college.

The Center for Teaching & Learning provides learning opportunities related to all aspects of teaching, including designing material for the classroom incorporating the use of technology and implementing effective teaching methods. The Center will offer various professional development programs for faculty, ranging from workshops and seminars to credit courses. It will also provide space for faculty to meet and work one-to-one with center staff on various projects.

A formalized development program for staff is in the process of development and recommendation by the Strategic Planning Council's sub-group for staff recruitment and development. The best training/development practices of the UCHA model will also be customized to fit MVCC's needs.

3. What are the critical core skills that should be required of all faculty and staff at your college to ensure that they will be learning facilitators of the highest caliber?  Are additional core skills required for sub-groups (e.g., administrators, classified staff, faculty) at your college?
There is a full time faculty position description and a job description for department chairs. Faculty and staff must possess a dedication and service orientation to providing a student-centered environment to support student learning, student development, and student success. While each group may have some specific skills required to make sure they are learning facilitators of the highest caliber, the basic core skills of excellent customer service, integrity, honesty, professionalism, fairness, etc. are necessary skills for everyone to have.
4. How have faculty and staff evaluation programs at your college been designed to reflect learning-centered values and to measure the contribution of the individual being evaluated to improving and expanding learning?
For faculty, the evaluation program for non-tenured faculty has been revised and is currently being piloted for the second year. The process now includes a peer review team that observes the faculty member teaching and provides formal feedback through the team meeting.

For staff, an external consulting group will be working with the college over the next year to redefine and redesign a performance management program for staff.  The best performance management practices of the UCHA model will also be customized to fit MVCC's needs.

5. What best practices have been implemented at your college to reward and recognize faculty and staff who have made significant contributions to expand and improve learning?  What learning-centered criteria on which to base reward and recognition have been established at your college?
Employee awards for faculty are: Professor of the Year (monetary; graduation grand marshal; recognition from NISOD); Master Teacher of the year (recognition from NISOD); Adjunct Faculty Member of the Year.

Employee awards for staff: Nancy Blaine Guerra Award for Administrative/Professional Staff, and full and part-time staff awards are given each year in recognition of employee excellence and dedication to learning-centeredness and enhancing student success.  Recipients each receive a monetary award to be used for a staff training/development opportunity.

Other recognition awards based on learning-centered criteria will be developed in conjunction with the college's strategic planning process and the partnership with the University of Chicago Hospitals Academy (recognition/rewards).