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EDLD5398SP312 ET8028

Reflections Leadership Competencies 1-9

Competency 001 The Vision of Learner-Centered Leadership and Campus Culture The principal knows how to shape campus culture by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by the school community. This year, South Texas College is undergoing a strategic planning process that may result in a new comprehensive mission including refined or revised vision, values, and strategic directions. To prepare for this process, I attended stakeholder engagement training in Miami, FL sponsored by the Gates Foundation. The training was designed to teach facilitators to effectively engage college stakeholders in the visionary process by leveraging qualitative data via focus groups. After the training, I led focus group sessions for college faculty and staff as well as the community including parents and our K-12 partners. This process ensured that the future comprehensive mission and strategic plan will incorporate and address the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities, real or perceived, of all stakeholders. We are the communitys college and all voices are critical in designing a vision that will ensure adequately prepare students for success, completion and the workforce. I have spent well over 100 hours within this competency and feel that I am proficient in facilitating an engagement process that acknowledges the contributions of students, staff, parents and community members toward realization of the campus vision. Competency 002 Learner-Centered Communication and Collaboration Supporting Campus Culture The principal knows how to communicate and collaborate with all members of the school community, respond to diverse interests and needs and mobilize resources to promote success. This summer, we launched the eSTC Virtual Campus, our sixth campus. I served as the student affairs lead, ensuring that online students had access to our services which typically begin in line. To do this, I had to leverage all division resources and applications to develop seamless, online services for students. While student affairs does not have traditional curricular or instructional opportunities we do have learning outcomes for our processes. Again, we want to ensure that students are challenged in the virtual classroom and not our virtual processes. Throughout this 20 month process I monitored and evaluated our progress while delegating specific tasks to process owners and departmental experts. This process allowed me to build capacity for leadership, but also gave other division personnel the opportunity to take on new leadership roles within the division. I have spent well over 200 hours within this competency and feel that I am efficient at applying skills for building consensus while managing conflict and that I can communicate and work with diverse groups to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity for success. Competency 003 Learner-Centered Integrity and Ethics of Leadership The principal knows how to act with integrity and fairness and in an ethical and legal manner. Business as usual for leaders includes dealing with resource management both personnel and assets. As a result of a recent fraud survey, I was forced to address management of personnel time adjustments and distribution of recruitment deliverables. I developed operating procedures designed to maintain fair practices in time and effort as well as inventory distribution. Both
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procedures applied best practices to ensure that time and effort as well collateral distribution was documented and substantiated in an ethical, fair and reasonable manner. Once the procedures were vetted by our internal auditors, I trained staff and implemented procedures. I spent approximately 25 hours within this competency and feel can effectively respond to ethical issues that can compromise the integrity of the personnel I manage and the fair distribution of our limited, but coveted, recruitment deliverables. Competency 004 Curriculum, Measurement, & Alignment of Resources The principal knows how to facilitate the design and implementation of curricula and strategic plans that enhance teaching and learning; ensure alignment of curriculum, instruction, resources, and assessment; and promote the use of varied assessments to measure student performance. I oversee the campus testing centers, and have the flexibility to develop opportunities to ensure students are confident and comfortable prior to test administration. For the most part, K-12 assessments are paper-based; however, most colleges leverage a computer based instrument to facilitate placement and registration. The instrument itself can be a source of text anxiety that may impact student scores. Both the Rose & Meyer and Solomon & Schrum texts reference the validity of "high-stakes" testing to measure student learning. Rose & Meyer (2002) infer that most standardized, high-stakes assessments are not designed to accommodate individual learning and are poorly integrated into the curriculum; and Solomon & Schrum (2007) link pervasive high-stakes testing to the NCLB standards. At our college, student performance on our high-stakes, online test will determine if he/she is placed in developmental or academic courses. For the lowest performing students it could mean adding 24 credit hours to a traditional college degree plan at the approximate cost of $4,800. (The accuracy of the testing instrument and the developmental sequence is another topic altogether.) Because the test is state mandated, how do we prepare students to be successful without having to wade through developmental courses? While the answer typically resides with the discipline experts, this Spring the testing center implemented a practice-test pilot to determine if we can affect the scores of our first time testers. The research question: will test scores improve if testers are introduced to the online instrument and provided with a content refresher via a diagnostic tool one hour before formal assessment? We are confident that the practice test will lower some of the test anxiety and allow students to dig deep for the things they learned in high school prior to entering the high-stakes environment. The piloted started in April. I have spent well over 40 hours within this competency: developing the pilot, creating the evaluation plan, training staff, and informing students. While I feel confident in creating opportunities that will facilitate student success, I am still not comfortable with curriculum planning and design. References Rose, D., & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching every student in the digital age: Universal design for learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Retrieved on March 7, 2011, from Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2007). Web 2.0 new tools, new schools. Washington: International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

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Competency 005 Campus Culture & Professional Learning The principal knows how to advocate, nurture, and sustain an instructional program and a campus culture that are conducive to student learning and staff professional growth. South Texas Colleges comprehensive mission includes strategic directions that inform departmental staffing plans and daily operations. Of the six strategic directions, the following has the most influence on culture, student learning and professional growth: South Texas College leads the transformation of the region to a college-going culture whereby attending and completing higher education is expected for all. As a result, I worked with the outreach staff to develop relevant, meaningful campus tours for all students, regardless of grade level. Together, we transformed the traditional walk and talk tour to an opportunity that builds brand identity and loyalty while creating a college-going culture in our region. For example: 5th graders now work with science faculty to apply the science TEKS and kindergartners explore nature with our school mascot. The retooled campus tour will facilitate the development, implementation, and evaluation of services and activity programs that help fulfill academic, social, and cultural needs of the students we serve. Not to mention, the presence of young students on campus has had a positive impact on morale and the campus culture. Finally, over the course of this program, I have had the opportunity to attend two presentations by Kati Haycock, President of the Education Trust. The Trust works for the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-kindergarten through college. The organizations goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement. Both presentations, Good Teaching Matters: How Colleges and School Districts Can Work Together to Replenish Opportunity in America (April 2012) and Delivering on the Promise: Roles for Enrollment Managers in ReAnimating the American Dream (November 2011), leveraged sound, research-based instructional strategies, programs and assessment to improve instruction and ensuring that educational resource distribution was effective and equitable across the K-16 continuum. I have spent well at least 25 hours within this competency. While instructional programming is not my strength, I feel I can facilitate the creation of a campus culture that promotes a college going and career ready culture and is conducive to student learning and staff professional growth. References Haycock, K. (November 2011). Delivering on the Promise: Roles for Enrollment Managers in Re-Animating the American Dream. Plenary session presented at the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, San Diego, CA. Haycock, K (April 2012). Good Teaching Matters: How Colleges and School Districts Can Work Together to Replenish Opportunity in America. Session presented at the University of Texas System VISTA Summit, Edinburg, TX. Competency 006 Teacher (Staff) Evaluation and Development The principal knows how to implement a staff evaluation and development system to improve the performance of all staff members, select and implement appropriate models for supervision and staff development, and apply the legal requirements for human resource management.

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In my role as interim Dean of Enrollment Services, it is my role to establish goals and implement plans aligned with College strategic and master plan. I supervise and evaluate 23 employees who report directly to me as well as 90 part- and full-time employees. Each Spring, the college undergoes a performance review process. The review is not tied to merit pay, it is simply a summative exercise allowing supervisors to evaluate employees, develop correction action plans (if necessary), and identify professional development plans. Because my staff is so large and is within a 100-mile radius of my office, the performance review process can be long and arduous. This year, throughout the ETL program I learned how valuable formative assessment was to the development and well-being of personnel. As a result, I scheduled monthly meetings with my staff as an opportunity to provide a forum for formative assessment and feedback from not only me, but from their colleagues as well. This has led to increased accountability and serves as an informal professional development opportunity for the staff. Together, they have formed a small, professional learning community that ultimately benefits the college and the students we serve. In addition, I use this time to identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for the staff, the departments, and the campuses they serve. It allows me to provide service and support year around, rather than in response to the annual performance appraisal. Finally, it has reduced the time spent on the summative performance review as I was able to gather information and documentation throughout the year. It is difficult to determine how many hours I have spent within this competency as it is an integral part of my daily routine; however, the total number of hour spent meeting with staff is 15 hours. We began the, three-hour monthly meeting in January 2012.
Competency 007 Organizational Leadership and Management The principal knows how to apply organizational, decision-making, and problem solving skills to ensure an effective learning environment. I manage five departments on five campuses all within a one-hundred mile radius. Defining roles, assigning functions, delegating authority, and determining accountability goals for campus enrollment targets is critical to student access and success. Each campus has a unique culture that has evolved into a unique brand. As a result consensus across campuses can be difficult to achieve. I have to use strategies that promote collaborative decision making and problem solving. One way that I attempt to achieve this is through open, transparent and honest communication. I encourage staff to discuss triumphs and challenges with me and with their colleagues. This gives all stakeholders an opportunity to contribute which ultimately increases their accountability as well as student access and success. This year, I challenged each department, not campus, to develop a departmental vision that is supported by achievable, relevant goals a clearly defined vision that focused on departmental culture rather than organizational tasks (Lashway, 1998). Too often, staff get caught up in processes that they lose site of the ultimate goal: student success. The exercise itself was beneficial, and addressed silo issues; however, I need to find a way to reinforce the unique, departmental visions every day. During peak times, staff revert to what they know best: processes and procedures. I spent a total of 25 hours meeting with staff to address this competency. While I think my organizational and leadership skills are strong, I realize I need to strengthen my group process skills to ensure each campus and department realizes their role in meeting enrollment targets and in student success.

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Reference Lashway, l (1998, January). Visionary leadership. Eric Digest, No ED402543. Competency 008 Business & Technology of School Leadership & Management The principal knows how to apply principles of effective leadership and management in relation to campus budgeting, personnel, resource utilization, financial management, and technology use. Support services and classrooms have been redesigned to promote student learning, collaboration and success. The college is implementing an information commons environment to accommodate the changing needs of our students and address the shift in learning from teacher centered to student centered. Across all campuses, computers and related equipment are available for students to use in common areas to conduct research, complete assignments, check email, etc. The availability of the technology is essential to student success and their ability to access information. For this competency, I served on a taskforce to research best practices and develop design concepts and cost for the new learning commons in campus libraries. The committee met bi-monthly for approximately six months. At that time, our recommendations were submitted to the Presidents Development Council (PDC) for consideration. The college was approved by the Southern Association of Colleges to offer courses at a local high school. As part of the approval process, I shadowed the Director of Instructional Technology as he evaluated the high schools technology resources in the classrooms, the library and computer lab. The evaluation was used to determine if the high school provided equitable technology resources as compared with the traditional campuses. This opportunity allowed the high school and the college to work collaboratively, combining personnel, fiscal and technology resources to meet the needs of the students we serve. I spent approximately 50 hours within this competency attending meetings, developing a plan and shadowing the Director of Instructional Technologies. I do feel I can effectively identify student and personnel technology needs as they relate to enrollment management; however, I lack the expertise and experience to impact pedagogy in the classroom. Competency 009 The Physical Plant and Support System The principal knows how to apply principles of leadership and management to the campus physical plant and support systems to ensure a safe and effective learning environment. I currently serve on the colleges Crisis Management Team and have been identified as an emergency responder for the building in which my office is located. The Crisis Management Team is tasked with applying strategies to ensure the safety of students and personnel and for addressing emergencies and security concerns. This year, our mass notification system was up for renewal and the team worked collaboratively to review off-the-shelf products that would meet our emergency notification and communication needs. Because the State of Texas requires colleges to have an emergency notification system to alert students and personnel, we selected a robust product that included text, email and phone alerts. In addition, the product is able to interface with our digital signage and web to immediately alert students in emergency situations. It is portable and accessible via mobile devices, which is essential during hurricane season. Although the system is used primarily used during inclement weather, this spring, the mass notification system was used to alert students and personnel of a kidnapping on one of our campuses. The message was sent timely and followed up by an all clear. In this situation, it was a domestic dispute; however, as we have learned from Virginia Tech, a volatile, dangerous situation could put an entire campus in danger. Sending information to students and personnel is critical for their safety.
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I spent approximately 20 hours within this competency attending meetings and reviewing product demos and feel I can adequately respond to emergency situations. I will continue to review best practices as part of the Crisis Management Team to ensure that we are prepared for any situation.

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