Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Oak Ridge Meeting Summary


. . . About Leaders and Leadership: “Leadership still matters most”

Until the leadership changes, nothing will change.

Principals are the key to our work. It is vital that we become a visible and tangible part of our local principals’ network and meetings.

Principals are the key people to work with to improve college access programs.

School principals need professional development training on college access.

We need to build relations with principals.

Principal is KEY.

The need for a passionate leader/principal that is involved and engaged, and will share with other principals and help to ignite their buy in.

Without the buy-in from the school Principal, not much happens

Principals are the key to changing school culture and community decisions.

When the principal and superintendent are involved, things change! Getting them involved is difficult until they “see” the need by getting outside their comfort zone

Principal leadership is a worthwhile effort. (Thanks for support to do this activity.)

Expectations of administrators are key.

The need for administrative leadership to effect change in the school culture.

Need to bring principals together for PD and showing through out project.

Terry and Chuck got me out of Fentress County on the bus tour and follow-up from a principal from OH.

. . . About Boards of Directors

A strong board – one that can speak and fund raise on your behalf is needed.

Select members to serve as an Advisory Board.

Each Center needs a functioning BOD

The critical importance of advisory board commitment.

. . . About AHE Network Strategies

When you are overwhelmed with reality, the success of others in similar circumstances is motivating!

It is helpful to see examples being done by others.

It is important to get the kids out of the town into the workplace and/or on the college campuses.

Teachers, counselors, decision makers must all be exposed to what is going on outside of their home county.

Annual Report; the need to improve information delivery to various stakeholders, including funders.

The AHE Network is a valuable resource and will be a very powerful force with the Appalachian education system.

Relationships and networking are essential to success and worth the time it takes

Working together is better than working alone.

Together we are much smarter, better than we are individually.

Great ideas come from collaboration rather than from one person.

Pollyanne sparked a great discussion which produced much excitement; we were listening and contributing. (See Leadership for Sustainability in Report Section)

Non profits can thrive.

Need a website and marketing material.

Our work is NOT confined to the AHE Network, but serves or should serve as a ripple effect. We continue to learn and grow

Dropping out is not an option.

Identify something to first be able to do something about it.

We are the strength and the weakness of our programs.

We can’t do it alone; community buy in is necessary.

IHL student service projects in local schools for sororities/fraternities, etc.; service grants

The broader import of statement for future grants

The need to manage competing job responsibilities

There can be a change in anyone; you just have to keep trying different avenues

CIRCLE - (Lingering Questions)

How will our AHE Network dovetail with the EPFP/leadership development programs?

What should we/will we do (what kind of training to provide) for our principals?

What are the other AHE Centers doing for principals with the new grant? A blog would help us share information on our progress

How are we going to build a strong network of principals in our region and not exclude some?

How will Ohio conduct this roundtable/principal conversation?

Who needs to be on our Board?

We need economic development impact data from states where AHE Network Programs have been implemented. Has there been a change in OH?

Should it be an Advisory Board or an Operational Board?

How can I make the Board functional?

Who should be asked to serve on an Advisory Board?

Why do we have the have the word “access” in the AHE logo on the front of the program?

Time, Time, Time

How can we learn from the experiences of OH to better prepare our programs in terms of by-laws and boards?

What is working and still growing?

What are we going to do about the bus tour? A Southern Tour?

How do we build a contingency plan?

Branding!! Marketing – getting the message out broadly, but with MS-HEI as a lead partner.

How do I develop the relationships within the Network of regional principals?

[As seemed to be the case] Why is the TN Department of Education not more concerned? The level of politics . . . Why do we shoot ourselves in the foot?

Can we (ARC) do something distinct for principals that will be missed if we aren’t around?

Getting organized???

How will a school district like Fentress sustain their activities after the TnACHE funding ends?

How do we use the Annual Report to promote the Plant the Seed concept?

What does out new expanded model look like?

How do we get the best travel experience for MS?

How does the entire school district help/hinder this new initiative?

Can we have a GA/TN Bus Tour in closer proximity to our states so we may invite more school leaders and counselors to participate?

How to clone the leadership?

How can I get more folks on the bus tour?

TRIANGLE -- Important Points

Connect, Connect, Connect -- Network, Network, Network

Continuing to build a/the network is important.

New places to recruit for ORAU/ORNL.

Fentress’s need for the ‘next’ step.

Develop changes for the bus tour.

Help get the word out in working in the region.

Principals are the key to total school buy-in because they set the tone for the entire building and the students’ experience of education.

Marketing Skills & Products; Marketing; develop marketing material

Function of Boards

Places to get grants

Contact/involve service learning students to assist GACHE with projects.

Need to rethink Board of Directors and Functions.

Plan for succession for our program (if I leave is important).

Advertise – bumper stickers – paint barns, etc.

We need an AHE Network slogan.


How to answer broader impact questions by NSF.

Be prepared for change.

Need a good forum for sharing.

Sharing with cohorts.

Always share ideas.

It is nice to have money to leverage when networking.

Personal relationships matter.


There is still Power in printed material.

Must be selective when considering board members

Foundations are not a likely source of funding right now.

Leadership is the key to non-profit success.

Build a good board of directors who can/will add value.

FACEBOOK (as a resource).

Whether we are a 501C3 or not – act like one when it comes to funding.


Make all principals aware of AHE efforts.

Start a regular mailing effort with the principals – communications.

Time together creates partnership; it doesn’t happen overnight.

I don’t have to do anything or everything by myself.

New folks (in work) are helped when they join a strong organization; specifically, I’m thinking about how much MS is helped by joining a stronger AHE Network Directors meeting.

Share and build.

We need to remember that getting out of one’s hometown is Very Important in Improving Education at home.

Importance of getting administrative people out of their setting.

Trust-building relationships.

Use leaders to champion work and build new relationships.

Never forget that our students’ parents do not or may not know how to be supportive.

Need to promote our vision for a different relationship – education/economic development.

Must join with state leaders to make a difference.

Get leaders out of their own county to see other programs.

There is hope—when there seems to be little or no hope. Ask for fuel or tangibles other than money; include decision makers.

The process will not show quick results.

Helping one person can make a difference to many people.

We are changing a culture.

Visionary leadership is critical; Parent involvement is critical.

Relationships are important.

It is more than enrollment in post-secondary; need to develop a follow-up plan.

Teacher expectations matter; parental engagement matters; superintendent commitment and leadership matter.

Learn more about Appalachian “at promise” scholarship.

Link up with real estate agents to provide virtual tours on line of model schools.

Selective appointments to the advisory board.

Balancing competing interest of host agency and institution.

General Comments

I enjoyed the variety of topics covered; the breadth was good.

This was a very direct and focused meeting with a wealth of information. Expectations were well defined.

Thanks Jeff for the idea website for bylaws.

Looking Forward: Leadership for Sustainability

Download the PowerPoint

Thursday, July 16, 2009



OH: Technology helps the Ohio Appalachian Center for Higher Education (OACHE) work more effectively. The program serves 32 counties, 11 colleges, and 19 public schools, a huge territory to cover. Webinars (GoToMeeting is the technology resource; costs 1K per year for unlimited use)help sites collect data in a correct fashion. OH also uses technology to communicate with site coordinators, to disseminate grant funding opportunity information, and to conduct RFP training for OACHE-funded programs. The director controls the computer screen and what people see, displaying forms and showing participants how to complete them accurately. TA is provided using both face-to-face and online meetings. OACHE commissioned a follow-up college access study through the Voinovich Center at Ohio University to compare 2008 data with the 1992 data; economic development is now an OACHE focus.

Note: ZoHo – an online database (Access) – is available for free. TN will be using this resource collect data from schools. Another resource, E-lluminate, is free. Some AHE Centers have used Survey Monkey to collect data.

NC: The RFP is online. The director follows up by telephone with key counties. TA workshops are face-to-face.

GA: The RFP is online. TA workshops are face-to-face.

TN: Everything is sent via email. Applicants submit application electronically. GEAR-UP collaboration/cooperation remains an issue. In planning a “sustainability summit,” it’s important to consider who needs to be at the table.

WVACHE: The RFP is online. TA workshops are face-to-face.

MS: The RFP is online, but also sent electronically. TA workshops are face-to-face. First meetings are done face-to-face, but electronic meetings are used for subsequent gatherings. GEAR UP has a new cohort – 7th grade, and one school is participating. The MSIHL (Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning) is handling this program. There are no perceived barriers, and the MSIHL is writing a challenge grant application.

KY: RFP is sent via snail mail and via email. Director follows up with personal telephone calls. Personal contact makes a difference because a lot of people don’t know what AHE Network is about.

Note: Webinars need to have a purpose and be short (45 minutes). The benefits: everyone gets the same information at the same time. With travel cuts and the expense of substitute teachers, Webinars are cost effective.


NC: In August 2008, Director met with the Campus-based network management team to let them know about the end of funding. The suggestion: get the players together. In November 2008, a sustainability summit with partners (UNC-Asheville and Western Carolina University) was conducted. The 48 attendees included: current grantees, the ARC state program manager, state legislators, superintendents, etc. GEAR UP did not participate, but POCs were made aware of the activity.


Learn more about the college-going system in your state, and about the organizations working toward achieving common goals. Create a list of similar organizations in your state and identify where partnership opportunities are possible.


End of year report must include a treasury report with appropriate signatures. No receipts, rosters or syllabus required; however, the school must keep this information on hand, and have it available upon request.

Value-added reports are available in both TN and OH; each superintendent has this information. This information helps schools identify and address the population or areas of need such as: low income, teacher development, etc.

The National Student Clearinghouse, the nation’s trusted source for enrollment verification, can be purchased to track students for college-going rates. Note: staff from the Clearinghouse will be invited to present at the OACHE conference.

Do not use 9th grade cohort; use seniors who actually graduated (senior class) unless you used the 9th grade cohort for your initial report.


Host institution must understand the mission of the Center. Host a retreat for institutional staff; help them understand the mission of the organization (Center), get help from the AHE Center board of directors.

Follow your institution’s guidelines, regardless of the grant funding outline.

-- Serve on committees for the institution.
-- Head up an office of sponsored programs for institution.
-- Use governing and advisory boards to make policies.

The AHE Center director position must be at least 50% time. You cannot be a 10% director; at 50% time the agenda is not in competition; you must have the full support of the institution.


Establish partnership with local education service centers; make presentations about the program to the staff.

Provide opportunity for curriculum dialogues between college faculty and high school teachers.

Conduct a check presentation ceremony off campus; invited guests should include: school principals, graduation coaches, superintendent, grant coordinator from each school, and ARC state leaders. Prepare press release; invite reporters to the presentation.

Any senior in NC will receive an acceptance letter from a Community College based on an area code; make sure schools know about this (and other) resources.

Provide opportunities for effective principals to speak to principals in other schools - use principals in the trenches to speak to those in similar situations.

Encourage school staff participation in the bus tour/reality store.

Sponsor a parent-student night.

Use the simulation: Welcome to the State of Poverty: Understanding Families in Poverty to help school staff understand their students (and their situations) better.

Work with 4-H clubs and other out-of-school activities (reach the students outside of the schools); develop partnerships with these and other community resources.

Tell the school staff about the resources available from the PIRC-centers; on the AHE Center website(s).


Meet with parents off campus and/or off the school site; some parents are not comfortable on campus if they had a negative school experience.

When conducting college/campus tours, invite parents to participate and chaperone.

Look for resources available from the resource CollegeGoalSundayUSA, information on where and when to attend a College Goal Sunday program, as well as accessing financial aid resources.

Use resources from KnowHow2Go─ real-time, on-the-ground assistance to help with college-going. This initiative has built and continues to support a strong grassroots network of partners. To date, more than 14 state and regional coalitions and 30 national partners have signed onto the campaign; KnowHow2Go-Ohio received a 20,000 grant.

Use the Educational Needs Index (ENI)– a study of educational economic, and population pressures that influence educational policy and planning (and educational results).

Spread the word widely about available college access resources; for example and if appropriate, paint barns with such information.

Conduct symposia and follow-up with a publication about what works and what doesn’t work.

FEDERAL (National & Regional) REFLECTIONS

SQUARE ─Something I Learned that Squares with My Belief; My Work Experiences

  • Relationships are like handlebars and something valuable to hold on to – especially the relationships with members of AHE Network! I learn so much from each.
  • The time is now for change and opportunity to reform education: leadership; accountability; transparency.
  • Change the disconnect between education and the economy.
  • Networking is key.
  • The need to share best practices.
  • Learning from others is important
  • Communities are stronger when the educational structure is productive.

TRIANGLE – 3 Important Points to Remember

  • Communicate with other Centers and state contacts when talking or working with colleagues from that state.
  • The importance of keeping current with policy, data, best practices, and the national scene.
  • Keep in contact with legislators; keep them in the loop.
  • Opportunity is now to get things done.
  • Change relationships to cross the lines.
  • Take advantage of ‘being broke’.
  • Value of leadership
  • “Race to the Top” Money an opportunity
  • 10 data points and ties to money for State Departments of Education
  • Leadership skills are important
  • IEL is about relationships as much as leadership development.
  • Data is not just for researchers.

CIRCLE – A Lingering Question(s)

  • What is the best avenue(s) to start the conversation; to keep it going; and set the motion while keeping the momentum? (action-oriented)
  • How can we sustain the AHE Network program?
  • Why does the AHE Network look so different in each state?
  • Are we “equals” in the network structure?