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Staff (all) 10-19

Notes from All-Staff Meeting

19 October 2012

Extending Our Reach

Off-campus study.  What if we could send students to take classes that are not being covered here?  It may enrich students’ lives to be able to take classes outside of the CC culture and curriculum.  In some ways, the Block Plan is limiting.  Should we expose students to how everyone else in the world does scheduling?  We could look into connecting with institutions that have similar academic schedules like the “J-term.”

For what should CC be known?

  • New center(s). Perhaps we should look into creating some kind of center or centers at CC for which we are widely known. Something like State of the Rockies but with a wider scope.  Are there other issues/areas that we could pursue?
  • Development and advancement of our staff.  It would be great to be known at other institutions of higher education for being a place that turns out great staff members capable of working at other places.  We should aim to be the cutting edge of furthering the development and advancement of our staff. 

 

 

Place

Student groups.  There used to be 75 student groups, but now there are at least 150 student groups that touch every aspect of the CC community.  However, they have almost no visible means of support.  We need to provide that for them.  These groups are truly phenomenal and we need to be supporting them in their endeavors together, yet there is no place in the college that accepts responsibility for them.  We do not recognize the value of these groups by providing a cohesive support system.  We need to take a look at what our students are doing and what they are trying to achieve in relation to the mission of our college.

 

Student portfolios.  Can provide an answer to the questions what are our students doing and where are they engaged?  There is no single repository that gathers and tracks all of the things that each student does during his or her time at CC.  Is there some way that we could keep track of this information, this “resumé” of CC experiences, for graduates?  We need something that features students and lets us know about students we could target to feature in programs based on particular students’ experiences.  Scuddle.me works in this way, somewhat, but we need to have some sort of consolidated effort in this respect.  Some of the events that students put on are absolutely huge.  There is a sense of loss and regret every time an event comes and goes, so we need to archive, track, and capture the originality and hard work of our students.  Example: FUCC and the events they organize throughout the year.


Student involvement.  What would it look like to have students involved in every aspect of Colorado College?  We need to find more areas for students to get engaged within the community. We need to be deliberate.  We could offer opportunities for this type of engagement as a class/independent study/adjunct/during Block Break.  Or we could offer them as adjuncts which would allow them to can be longer-term.  We could set up a semester-long internship program for CC students on campus.

Teaching with technology.

 

Student and staff interaction.  Staff are looking to get involved with students and in student events but it is really hard to know which events are happening on campus.  Staff in buildings that are not right in the heart of campus feel very disconnected from student involvement.  Can we engage students in our staff departments and roles?  How do we engage students in what we do as staff?  How do we have more opportunities for students to engage with staff?  Providing a place for students to study might be a great way to connect staff with students.  Some offices have been doing this for a while and it allows staff to feel more engaged with the student body.  Another idea would be to have two staff members take a group of twelve students to do service projects and/or cultural studies during Block Breaks.  What else can staff members do to be known among our students? How can we change the culture so that students can connect with staff on the same level as faculty?

 

Staff community.  We could improve the connections among staff.  Perhaps staff could read a book a month and get together as a staff community to discuss it.

 

Staff involvement.  Every staff person should have the opportunity to take a class periodically in an area that fits his or her position.  It would not have to be every year, necessarily, but every three years or five years or something like that.

 

 

Institutional Effectiveness

Communication.  Perhaps we need more transparency so students can know where to go to get certain things that they need.  Staff are isolated on campus and it can be tough to know what others are doing.  This makes it difficult for staff to help students since they do not always know in which direction to point them.  It would be helpful for staff to be able to find out more about what other departments do. Could we offer training in other departments’ areas/expertise? It would be great to have an internal chat forum at CC similar to chat on Facebook.  Some sort of campus instant messaging would allow for us to be able to provide responses more quickly and informally than via email.  It is worth noting, however, that we, as members of the CC community, need to accept personal responsibility for some of the difficulties in communicating across campus.  For example, everyone should be reading the Digest to stay in the loop, but not everyone does.  We should always be asking ourselves, “who else should know this?,” whenever we gather a piece of information.

  • Possible goal: Improve communicative effectiveness.  There is good communication among the staff assistants at CC.  Perhaps we can use them as a model.
  • Digest. It would be helpful if we could change the format of the Digest so that the last few items on the Digest are not cut off as they are now.