INND13 – Day 1 Session 4 – Building a Comprehensive and Worthwhile Professional Development Program

Great, fun, engaging, (insert glowing adjective here) presentation from Denise Sewitt and Dolores Davison of Foothills College

Challenges for establishment of the Professional Development Program:

  • Facing significant funding issues
  • identifying and appreciating the complexity of the 21st century students (Digital immigrants vs natives, underprepared students, students with disabilities, returning adults, etc.)
  • Recognizing that Faculty are as diverse as the students, and the professional development program must appreciate these differences and meet the expectations and needs of the population.
  • Passing accreditation review, and provide professional development for faculty, staff, and administration.
  • Addressing technology needs of students and faculty, and exploring new ways in which technology is employed.
  • Dealing with various regulating bodies at the state, federal, ad local levels. (They Subscribe to go2knowledge to help cover some of the required trainings)

Neat point to note. California differentiates between correspondence courses and distance education courses. Any distance education course must have weekly engagement with students. OPINION: This should be implemented everywhere!!!

Expectations: Improve student success, workplace development, career pathways, transfer, and basic skills.
Future impact: Careers (are the jobs out there?) employment fields (what jobs exist? How are we preparing students for these jobs?), outside factors, the multigenerational workplace, and needs for retraining
What it takes

  • College commitment
  • Administrative support
  • Collaboration
  • innovation
  • Resources
  • inclusiveness
  • Resilience
  • Flexibility

Requires a lot of coordination, involvement of the whole college, strategic programming, passionate presenters, hands on opportunities, motivated presenters, learning communities

Honestly, it’s difficult to write about this session while its in progress. These ladies are superb presenters and have a hilarious delivery. Fun and informative. Can you ask for more?
All professional development activities are must address student success issues. Even though sessions may be on technical stuff (how to use Word, etc.), they all must be aligned to specific areas of student success (veteran support is a big one).
Again, they have a holistic approach to professional development and work to offer programs that will help ALL of the college community (faculty, staff, and administration). They work with outside companies to create great opportunities for professional development and don’t rely entirely on internal resources.

But… They’re located in Silocon Valley and have all sorts of great local resources available. So, although they don’t have a large budget to work with, they have been able to put together some excellent professional development opportunities. They maintain a persistent presence on campus, and promote activities via email, listserv, newsletter, etc. Additionally, stronger professional development across all divisions and departments (faculty, staff, and admin) increases sense of community across campus and leads to more engaged and involved students.

Wow. This is a disjointed report…. Gonna have to revisit and edit this one. Its been an exceptional presentation, and I hope that my finished product provides at least a little insight into the coolness of their program.

Foothill College Professional Development