Wednesday, October 22, 2008
October 15-17, 2008
Hearing from other projects about best practices and issues/concerns caused me to think outside my own individual perceptions.
The importance of networking, and of building alliances with EDs, PDDs, Program Officers, etc.
There are many ways/tactics/strategies to accomplish the same goal.
Networks count; networking is central to the strength and stability of the AHEN Centers – individually and as a whole.
Time together with a group of people over a sustained period can create a powerful allegiance and a powerful resource. The AHEN group is increasingly important to my work, and to my success in my work.
Being positive and staying focused on the main goal will get the job done.
There is a need for additional activities that schools can use to improve programs.
Economic development must include education . . . and education must be directed to economic development.
Working with Chambers of Commerce and Economic Development Councils is another approach to changing the culture of continuing education. I am going to talk with the MS AHEN Center about this approach.
U.S. Department of Education programs like GEAR UP, and TRIO -- How will/can we work to build “win win” relationships with such programs in order to accomplish mutual goals?
How do you stay focused?
Does our approach with communities work?
How can you ensure success?
Is the AHE Network group interested in becoming a stronger regional network for working with/on P-16 initiatives?
How can you motivate school coordinators to send data on time?
How can we collectively sustain the network? When can we begin next steps on compiling an action plan to do so?
How will the new change in education and the economy affect the Appalachian region?
How can I develop a program to better deliver best practices to TnACHE Partners (a southern meeting similar to OACHE)?
Establish Leadership Goals.
Have a community-driven focus.
Focus on sustainability from the ‘get go” . . . don’t wait to begin a plan for sustainability.
Networking is key.
Examine all funding sources.
Data gathering is key.
Collaborative efforts are stronger than single initiatives.
The need for funding creates a need for conversation and a need for sharing resources.
New people in the group bring us new skill sets and perspectives. Welcome Mississippi!
This has been the best meeting for our AHEN.
Working together as a network and understanding what everyone else (other Centers) is doing will help meet goals.
Communicate often and clearly.
Keep your network strong.
Be transparent and willing to share successes and roadblocks.
Access programs must work together.
All parents want their child to succeed.
Don’t forget the value of networking and publicity.
Communicate with Partners, other AHEN Centers, and TNACHE.
ACT has itemized analyses that can change the use of data at the college level .
Take advantage of other viewpoints and of assistance that is offered.
Monday, August 11, 2008
- Have worked to increase key decision makers’ awareness of college access
- Strong relationships with eligible schools
- Growing relationships with stakeholders
- Development of "friends" who can open doors
- Strong support within network
- Diverse leadership in Network; committed and creative staff
- Program area is of interest; funding available (business/legislatures, etc.)
- Reputations of Program Directors/Program Hosts
- Small, nimble, and flexible non-partisan programs
- Work across college boundaries
- Turf issues among funders and school districts
- Colleges’ service areas boundaries
- Limit on grants to schools in light of increasing transportation costs
- Lack of data
- Network needs its own results to establish track record
- Turnover in legislation; state political issues
- Lack of a strategic and marketing plan for the Network
- Absence of consistent funding; cash flow issues
- Lack of staff; one-person operations
- Lack of fund raising experience and expertise
- Fund raising takes time away from program
- Compliments other access programs
- Everyone agrees with the mission
- Work with both two and four year colleges
- Capacity to develop new projects/programs
- Serve most distressed counties in region
- Program is complementary
- (If 501c3 organization), ease of fund raising
- Ability to development partnerships
- Other programs operating in schools
- Administrative issues/changes
- Funding and resources; cessation of funding; no financial reserves
- Resistance within organizations and within the universities
- Faculty resistance: access cuts into research funds
- Programs are growing fast
- Lack of staff
- Education budget cuts
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Well designed, hands-on, summer enhancement experiences can influence students’ decisions to pursue STEM areas.
Giving students the opportunity to see/experience scientific work helps them to see science (and ORNL) as accessible.
It is a hard sell for young people to give up two weeks in the summer for an academic camp experience.
We (Appalachia) need to have a higher rate of students going to college.
There is a need for better training; ORNL can show how to train and the need to train.
The ORNL experience for our Appalachian youth is a rewarding program which fills a gap and stirs a true interest in math and science.
Students want exposure to more careers and opportunities.
Students and teachers need to have experiences that allow them to apply the knowledge they often learn as abstract ideas. This type of contextualized experience (ORNL) significantly impacts students’ academic preparation and, potentially, their future work.
How can we get more students/teachers in distressed counties to apply to the ORNL Summer Camp?
While only a few individuals can participate in this very worthwhile program, how can some of these activities (modified) be implemented in local area classrooms?
How can we make it “the norm” that students – particularly 1st generation/low income ones – participate in summer academic enrichment experiences?
What would make the most impact on the students: Group Size; selection opportunities; or post–camp contact?
How do you select the participants that represent our region? A voice or a face?
A student said he/she did not see a need for math until coming to ORNL. Teachers need to be able to relate.
Grammar – of students – must be nationwide!
Why aren’t more students aware of this program?
Is it an expectation that the ARC - ORNL experience is to be connected to the AHE program? If so, who will determine what that looks like?
Communication is critical in science/math.
Take time to build community; expect group work.
High expectations and high support create positive expectations.
Students need for everyone to be involved.
ARC needs publicity about ORNL and equal representation from the Appalachian states.
AHEN Directors: What is our role? What is our influence?
The generation Gap remains.
Youth are interested in current events, but information needs to be conveyed using their media/ium of choice.
Oak Ridge is focused more on research.
Quality education is very important.
It is crucial for students to make the connections between the work they are doing and the application to real life.
To be successful in life, students must learn and acquire the necessary skills to keep them on the forefront.
Students learn quickly and can apply skills directly to careers.
Students want to learn.
The ORNL experience should be shared regularly with a larger audience.
REFLECTIONS: AHE NETWORK PROGRAMS & SUSTAINABILITY
We should move forward with a strategic plan for the Network.
Even though different in many aspects, AHE Centers are and can be stronger - collectively.
There is real value in brainstorming or at least talking about ideas – good and bad. This is real networking.
Diversity of opinions and experience is useful, but can make consensus difficult to obtain.
It is important that we decide upon our strategy for securing funding to sustain the AHE program. This may be done as individuals or as a group – we need a plan soon.
The concept of AHE Network is good and supportable. People see positive value in the program and can’t really argue about it – just possibly the methodology.
What can we do to ease the fears of submitting proposals as a collective network?
I need a plan of action: When, Where, & How!
How do I keep this group moving forward and creating a sustainable agenda?
How and when will we collect enough data to prepare and submit proposals?
Who should be our fiscal agent?
How can we effectively support each other when the programs and financial needs are different?
We must continue our work to build capacity and sustainability by understanding our SWOTs. And, we must full realize it is a continual work in progress.
It needs to be more than me.
Invest the time to work on developing a strategic plan for VACHE
Communication is key when expanding the understanding of what ACHE is about.
I gain confidence from connecting to state and institutional agendas.
Dollars drive agendas.
Network sustainability requires regular communications.
We need a timeline with benchmarks to establish a funding plan.
We need roles and responsibilities assigned with regard to the development and submission of a proposal.
ARC funding is “seed” money.
SWOT: Looking at the program – pros and cons.
Variety on the calendar – it needs continuous updating/evolution.
DOE programs - i.e., ORNL student/teacher/engineering program.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
“. . . I learned something important that made me think, and I came home with a renewed belief that we can make a difference in education by working together — with each other AND with our Congressional representatives”.
“We have the tools we need; we need an education speech like the Obama race speech.”
NCLB is not leaving, may emerge with a new name.
Assessment, NCLB possible national test in future-assessment of all students will be on same material at all levels.
A good educator needs to be a caring person, someone who can relate to students’ needs.
If a teacher can build a good relationship with students, those relationships will help develop a better learning environment.
Just meeting AYP and just missing AYP are treated the same, i.e. - both are failing schools! We should look at “differentiated accountability.”
NCLB is a soft bigotry of low expectations, achievement gaps, and cheap tests. There are 4 gaps (1) opportunity and resources, (2) low expectations, (3) inadequate leadership, and (4) disastrous outcomes.
People come to school with their hearts and we respond to them with our heads. Schools and teachers need to connect more with their communities.
We are in a very unhappy country; 81% believe we are seriously on the wrong track and 90% feel the economy is in trouble. Our biggest challenges: a poisonous political environment and many of our problem solvers are leaving. We have more information available than ever before, yet are finding objectivity very difficult.
American students are falling behind their international peers, but there is no outrage about our (the U.S.) rankings in math and science.
The silent epidemic of high school dropouts is having and will continue to have a severe and significant impact on the nation; students are not prepared to attend college.
As the value of personal relationships and networking to policymaking was formulated by the speakers, there was a definite connection to the/our rural college access work. By using the tools provided by the leadership training, the visits with the Senators and Representatives (actually their staff), I had a first-hand opportunity to speak about rural college access issues. This networking needs to continue in our rural communities and states – and with our national representatives.
The development of professional relationships with groups/individuals who have a vested interest in my work (AHE) needs ongoing opportunities and mechanisms for collaboration.
A network is about talking to someone who has solved the same problem. (Rachel Tompkins)
The idea of the value of personal relationships connecting the student, school, community, state and nation was prevalent in the breakout sessions and general sessions. The power of relationships and networking in forming state and national education policy was also evident. Personal relationships and networking opportunities can influence on policy making and provide a foundation for educational change.
Check out the McKenzie Report here – it could do for education what the Kinsey Report did for sex! Common characteristics of the best performing schools in the world: They: (1) Hire the best and train them well. (Actually hire a year prior in order to provide adequate training); (2) Know where they are going and have a sense of purpose, and (3) Set high expectations.
We are in a state of crisis in education; we have not fixed a system that has failed; we are in a state of ADD (Affection Deficit Disorder).
One cannot separate education and relationships.
We move forward by empowering principals, giving permission to once again be affectionate, and by developing a curriculum that engages our students. It is recommended that we raise standards for teachers and raise their salaries as well, but at the same time make it harder to become a teacher.
The complexities and interconnectedness of politics, values, and loyalties are what count in federal, state, and local governments. Senses of dramatic change sharpen the edges of the issues and therefore are less likely to work across party lines. We are at a crossroads with real challenges. Education is critical to remaining competitive globally.
At this time education standards are at an all time low. There is a great need for political leaders to establish high expectations and rigorous standards, provide for effective teachers in every classroom, and arrange for more time and support of student learning. We must internalize and realize what is truly at stake as we work to resolve our systemic education problems.
10,000 bills are introduced; however, only 400 will become law. Congress is not driven by policy alone; the politics of the players is a factor.
Because of the large turnover of legislative staff there is no institutional memory. There must be an understanding of policy, politics, and procedure. Congress lives in a procedural world; the House hates the Senate version on general principle, and the Senate hates the House version. Thus = ping-pong.
It appears that in terms of sustainability, the ACHEs are on their own in many regards.
As globalization continues, how will rural schools and communities be able to design programs that value the Appalachian culture (close to home, family) and prepare the students for the shrinking world of work and the economic reality(s) of the future?
Why have educators not been more vocal on the national political stage with suggestions for educating ALL students regardless of their region?”
[After viewing 2 MILLION MINUTES] - How can we get American educators and parents to be more concerned about the quality of the education of our children?
How do I express “intellectual affection?” Do I know how to love without sentimentality? (John Merrow)
If, as per Bud Hodgkinson, GA is doing a good job giving the HOPE grants, to high school graduates with a 3.0 GPA, then why is the number of college-going students in GA so small? If HOPE is working, why are we losing so many kids?
How do we (AHEN Directors) solve the problem of keeping up with our students across states AND within our state that ARE going to college?
When and why did we drop the ball in education?
If we move to adopt national standards, who will develop them?
If change is the driver and Senator Obama is elected President, what will happen as we move into uncharted territory?
How will the redistricting through the Census 2010 affect ideological lines?
Who is responsible for the well being of our nation -- long and short term?
Who is scanning the environment and looking out for us?
Congress is on a totally different wavelength from “grassroots” folks at home. How can we ever be on the same wavelength? Is that not what representation is supposed to be?
Where is the outrage? Why do we have this built in sense that everyone will be okay and that someone else will fix the problem?
Why does the ARC limit the educational support for the AHE project given the long-term and systemic nature of the problem?
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
- The work of the AHE Network intersects between and among leaders from all community constituencies to include educators, government, higher education, business, and corporations.
- When shared, our collective knowledge (including virtual info [websites]) helps everyone.
- There is a need for common voice – common definitions and data for comparison and contrast; data collection needs to be consistent across centers; there is a need to better understand Jeff’s data.
- Incorporating the in-depth look at classroom data to increase the rigor in our schools would help our schools better prepare our students for college.
- Being “connected” is of direct benefit to my work and my productivity; we have to connect with others engaged in our mission; there is strength and voice in the connections between people and partnerships.
- I am not the only one concerned about the previous lack of consistency in our network frameworks, but I have learned that we are a learning organization and this delights me.
- Know who the leader in a community is; not always the superintendent or principal; grant coordinator/graduation coach, etc. need to find out who this person is.
- The 7 segments of the community - “things”- in the Engaging All Leaders framework; all are connected; the framework is powerful.
- Storytelling is powerful; leaders use stories to engage others.
- Need to always be looking for funders and a method of approach – take the lead.
- Grant writing needs to be focused and prepared with specific outcomes; must be motivated and in agreement.
- There are specific ways to ask for funding, and there are extraordinary resources for assistance in getting resources.
Note: Network agreed to collect data using the following guidelines/framework:
1. Fall Census Data From Schools – Use what is reported to the State; include School and Senior Enrollment
2. Identify Number of Seniors Awarded Diploma; number recognized by Postsecondary Education (PSE) institutions; include December graduates/May/June from School Year Data
3. State Numbers
4. ARC Grant – Senior Focus
Postsecondary Education includes - 4-year; 2-year; Technical Certificate; military; Dual enrollment - counts as enrolled in college
- What are the ways to help students achieve a more productive life or lifestyle?
- Why has it taken so long to develop a consistent data collection plan?
- What is the most efficacious method of working in/with leadership?
- Who do I include in the drafting of our plan? What are my “chunking” resources?
- How do we successfully open the door to funding opportunities as a regional group?
- What do we bring to the table as a Network? How can we bring cohesiveness – with regard to funding opportunities – to the AHE Network?
- How can I embed these fund raising ideas in my presentations so that information dissemination is also a “moment of inquiry?”
- Unique position: Not competing with [my] Board of Directors. My Board is composed of college presidents who have their own fund raising agendas for their individual campuses. I have to constantly work in the group to keep the access network in their outreach efforts.
- Can we continue the grant writing activity at our April meeting in DC? Maybe each of us can write a grant proposal and have others critique it?
- How do I organize all my contacts so that I know them better?
- How do we piece it all together?
- How do I keep the vision of sustainability going in budget cutting (recession) times? Within my network? With my Board of Directors?
- What activities and best practices can schools use to promote college access?
MAJOR CONCERN: Preparing/exciting students about higher education, if they are not adequately prepared. Should we consider issues on educational rigor or higher education retention?
- Tell my story! Focus on my [leadership] activities for the year; refocus schools on senior services; develop a common data set; count any diploma that is accepted.
- Choose my audience from the 7 community categories – segments; develop my leadership plan to include leaders from each of the 7 community segments; focus on the mission as you define group construction in/from the framework for leadership change; think from the bottom up.
- Remember the “leadership matrix/framework” and relationships; Leadership skills can be learned; Leadership spans across roles; leaders may be formal or informal.
- Effective networking is critical to sustainability; contact campus experts for assistance. Make contact – call – the people I know such as: Pollyanne Frantz, Jeff Schwartz, Betty Hale, other AHEN members, etc. Successful contact of a leader is a process over time – networking, not collecting business cards.
- Write your thoughts down; bring it all together by folding and braiding; continue to hold workshops for our grantees.
- Write letters of inquiry immediately; Use 990s more; LOIs and Foundation Centers – good resources and tools for raising funds; research funders prior to writing letters of inquiry.
- We [all of the AHE Network] have some of the same problems (editor’s note: “comfort in numbers” or “misery loves company”); There are a lot o common issues among AHEN – keep in touch; we are as different as we are similar.
- We are becoming more “in the know” through these regularly scheduled meetings.
- We are a network working together to improve capacity of young people to continue their education; Progress is working together.
- Long term impact comes from earlier sustained efforts; [Jeff needs faster results].