Change IS the New Normal

Numerous external forces, unlike any experienced to-date, are driving the need for campuses to enact innovative solutions that ensure student success remains central to the community college mission. Long-term viability of community college education can be assured by directing our focus on strategic enrollment management. This session will examine a multitude of factors that affect current practices as well as provide a framework for evaluating strategies that meet the “new normal” head on.

See this session and others at AACRAO's SEM Conference in Los Angeles, CA.  Register today!

Dr. Kevin Pollock

President of St. Clair Community College

Change IS the New Normal

Monday, October 27, 2014 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Where did the desire stem for writing this paper and sharing this session at AACRAO SEM?

I’ve had the opportunity to observe the changes taking place in higher education at all levels locally and nationally.  There are so many things happening at a rapid pace and hard to keep up with in terms of how we must truly be serving students. 

What do you see as the major challenges impacting higher education today?

How are we going to deal with the numerous changes since it is one of the most dynamic periods at both two and four year institutions.  Furthermore, we have all these added external factors like Obama’s completion agenda, increased state and federal government compliance issues, foundations influencing policies, demand for data, parents and students questioning the value of education. 

How do you think colleges could serve the needs of students better in this changing climate?

Institutions need to truly focus on student success.  We need to reduce the barriers in terms of all the activities students engage from processing, class scheduling,  and transfer.  Courageous academic conversations also must take place on campuses in order to fully address growing concerns about completion as well as the ability for students to seamlessly transfer credits to four-year institutions. 

How do you get important stakeholders on campus to support your SEM initiatives?

I am an advocate of over communicating with my stakeholders.  People are reticent to change to begin with, but I realize that it is important to share data, and information that is happening on a local and national level.  In order to begin our work on the higher-education-model-to-come, we need a better understanding of issues, a sharing of more information, increased campus transparency, greater employee buy-in, and a willingness to break down pre-existing silos and create campuses that focus on student success. 

What do you hope attendees will grasp and implement on their own campus after attending your session at SEM?

I hope that they get a sense of the broader picture and hear how other institutions are dealing with change.  Ultimately I want attendees to take the ideas back to their own campus and go further with the concepts shared.