Summary of Enrollment Ideas
Idea: Add Accounting
My suggestion for increasing enrollment at Evergreen would be to offer Accounting. The Statistics class is in high demand, always full with a wait list, and is a requirement for the MPA program. If we offered Accounting, we would definitely attract more students in EWS, Oly Day and Tacoma. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but it may be the time to reconsider.
Idea: Certificate Programs and Low Residency Programs
I have noticed many universities (from NYU to UW) have graduate (and undergraduate) certificate programs attached to their institutions. Perhaps adding a couple of high demand certificate programs would draw people to the college without watering down the academic programs. They could, in fact, add a professional outcome to academic offerings. TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages), for example, has academic components as well as practical applications. There are other small liberal arts colleges that have certificate programs attached. Evergreen could specialize in a couple.
I have also noticed that many universities are beginning to offer "low residency" programs where time is spent during the academic year taking courses online, engaging with professors and peers online and then meeting during the summer for a month or three weeks to engage in more intensive, in person study. This could be a big draw for professionals or people who cannot afford not to work while in school and also bring in more students during the summer. For example, there is a low residency program in International Education at SIT in Vermont. (4-23-14)
Idea: Repeat Popular and Successful Programs
Look at the enrollment history of the past six years or so and find the programs that had large waiting lists, and or retained students well into the next year. Interview the faculty about what they think made those programs popular and successful. Offer them again. (If the original faculty don't want to teach them over, figure out some way to pay them extra to function as ongoing consultants to new faculty teams repeating those programs.) They don't need to repeat them by rote, obviously, but they should try to replicate whatever they can that the previous faculty thinks mattered, not just do a new riff of their own on the theme... (4-23-14)
Idea: New scholarships against all odds
Create 50 competitive new full scholarships. In an era of student debt and high levels of default, and despite state cutbacks and attacks on public education, Evergreen announces 50 new full scholarships for the entering class of 2015 and 2016, for students in the arts, humanities, sciences and technology committed to working on the issues of climate change, ecology, and income inequality through interdisciplinary means.
Each member of the faculty, including emeritus, and administration members who earn over 60K are requested to donate between $500 and $1500 a year (depending on what they feel they can afford) over the next 8 years to fund the scholarship, and the union kicks in half its members dues for the next 8 years. Between faculty, admin, and union donations, and perhaps matching grants, the scholarship is funded.
The applicants for the scholarships are vetted by a team of 8 faculty members, representative of as many disciplines as possible. The scholarship students will give teaching and learning presentations at the end of every year that are open to the public. (4-23-14)
Idea: Tours of high schools
Send students and faculty who can best tell the story of Evergreen, from their experiences in the classroom and beyond, to speak at high school assemblies all over the nation on what we offer. Support said students and faculty in producing effective, dynamic presentations on our affordable, interdisciplinary, collaborative, team taught, student-centered liberal arts programs.
Transmit our message that ours is an experimental, progressive educational culture focused on sustainability and social justice by means of pedagogical practices that bring the arts, humanities, sciences and technology together to look at issues, questions and problems and to enact solutions and produce new knowledge. Underscore that the continued invention and reinvention of the school entails collaboration between students, faculty, staff, and administration. Make the presentations themselves pedagogical events and seminars for the students involved. Charge 12 such groupings (twelve members of the faculty, twelve students) to come up with presentations in groups of two or three (one faculty member, one student, or one faculty, two students), and have each grouping give 8 presentations over the course of a month.
Charge a DTF to research potential schools and help support presenters. Charge staff to schedule engagements. Have someone accompany the presenters to document it; have media students and faculty edit short, great documentaries of said engagements to post on website and You Tube.
By the end of one year, 96 high schools will be aware of Evergreen, and there will be dynamic documentation of various discussions and encounters. (4-23-14)
Idea: Large scale faculty advising as governance and service
. Each new student who matriculates to Evergreen has a faculty adviser for their first year. One Wednesday afternoon a quarter, this faculty member is available to meet with their advisees en masse (say a group of 15) for two hours to give every student an opportunity to check in, to discuss any issues, share resources and information, trouble shoot, inspire, and guide. The group advising session happens in lieu of one faculty meeting per quarter. Faculty advisers are also available to meet with any single individual student among their advisees at least once during the quarter.
Faculty who volunteer to act as advisers for a given academic year have a lowered FTE for that year. Serving as faculty adviser also qualifies as governance for that year. Faculty advisers meet twice during the academic year with each other and deans to share what they are observing in their advising sessions.
The faculty adviser should be highly knowledgeable about the curriculum, issues, and resources on campus, and thus should be drawn from faculty who have already completed at least three years of teaching. (4-23-14)
Idea: Dedicated environments for planning units that are open to students
Rather than deciduous classrooms, each planning unit has a set space of its own that can be developed into dynamic locations over time, with bookshelves, posters, curricular information, white boards, that give students a good sense of what faculty in that planning unit are teaching and working on, and offer transparency about how planning units work. These planning unit spaces can be built by a program or several programs over the course of the years in consultation with planning unit members, or can be dedicated from the already existing spaces on campus, and then taken out of rotation for any other use. These planning unit locales should have running water, tea pots, coffee pots, book shelves, chairs and tables, and can be decorated by planning unit members. They can have walls dedicated to displaying materials from courses currently being taught, etc. (4-23-14)
Idea: Faculty control over self-representation in directory
Faculty control over self-representation in faculty directories: faculty update their biographical information, what they are working on, publications, awards, current shows, etc. and photos of themselves (working in the field, lab, gallery, etc.) on an annual basis, giving prospective students and families a dynamic, evolving picture of who is working here and what they are working on from the faculty's own perspective. These can be part of the drop down menu in myevergreen and faculty can update them as they go, just as they update fields for curriculum planning, etc. (4-23-14)
Idea: Provide one or more faculty consultants for 1st year programs
I guess it's obvious, but if students have a good first year as freshman (or as junior transfers), they are likelier to stay for the duration. The college could provide one of more members of the faculty with a demonstrated track record running programs with relatively high next year retention (especially if those were first year programs) and have them offer to work as a consultant and support person for any first year programs that wanted one. (I did this for a quarter or maybe two, years ago - a Danforth Visitor for first year program faculty. Basically I went around to each of the teams and said I was available to help with their programs in any way I could. I did research looking for good readings to fill slots they wanted books for, did some guest lectures, wrote possible study questions and workshops for a number of program readings, offered suggestions about catalog copy and program planning, etc... Maybe you could find some suitable retired faculty who’d be willing to volunteer to help with first year programs like this. (4-23-14)
Idea: Expand Tech Related Classes
I recall as a student that the computer science courses were often overloaded, but also many students dropped out after the first quarter because, while they were interested in computer work, they weren't as interested in the hard math/problem solving. Adding a Business IT course which combines public administration with the IT field, or perhaps Animation or Graphic Design courses that combine IT and the arts may increase enrollment/ retention. Technology is an ever increasing field, and one that is becoming more and more relevant. (4-23-14)
Idea: Help the Faculty Learn More from Each Other
I think the college's institutional memory has never been especially good. However, one of the big benefits of doing a lot of team teaching was that faculty passed on a lot of interesting and effective ideas about curriculum and how to teach in the course of planning and working with people they hadn't worked with before. (Having new faculty teach in programs with successful experienced faculty was probably the best introduction to the college one could provide for them, but I think faculty who'd been around for years also kept learning a lot of useful stuff of all sorts from each other.)
I haven't had much of anything to do with the college since I retired six or seven years ago, but my impression is that the percentage of time that faculty spend teaching in sizeable programs with each other has continued to go down. If that's true, and it's not possible to get it to go up again, I'd try to find some other way to support that sort of ongoing exchange of accumulated wisdom and clever ideas about teaching to substitute for what happened organically in programs. (Program histories were supposed to be a mechanism for that for quite a while in the college's history, but they didn't work very well.) I worked on building a website to help the faculty share reusable curriculum materials, mostly Finkel workshops about various books - which is still at http://184.108.40.206/c/curtzt/CurriculumMaterials/mainmenu.html but I don't think it's ever been used much.
Idea: Skype with Alumni
Spend half an hour every week in every freshman program talking on a Skype video conference with some alumni who started in a program like that, with the sorts of interests some of those students have, and who stayed at the college for their whole degree, and who has gone on to do reasonably well in the world, and just get them to talk about their personal history - what they studied, who they studied with, what they're glad they did and what they wouldn't do again, how they ended up with the work they're doing now, what else they wish they'd done in college to prepare themselves successfully for it, etc. (4-23-14)
Idea: Evergreen State University - Colleges within a University
I don’t know how much momentum the idea of changing Evergreen into a University has, but it may be the opportunity to introduce some “alternative” programs as “colleges” within the University. It might seem odd, but for Evergreen “alternative programs” could actually address the more conventionally minded student population with programs that would be more career-oriented.
For example, maybe our Masters of Public Administration and Masters of Environmental Studies (just as examples), could have undergraduate tracks that would approach the changing global environment issues from the perspective of career tracks. These career tracks would include everything from governmental jobs around resource management, to sustainable manufacturing and business practices, to environmentally friendly sales, media and marketing.
These undergraduate “tracks” would be more like conventional majors and would address the educational needs from the more conventional perspective of preparing students for a foreseeable career. These programs would parallel our more traditional programs which could all have titles like:
- College of Environmental Studies
- College of Public Administration
- College of Political Science
- College of Arts
These colleges would still be based on the Evergreen model but could give potential students a firmer grasp of where their Evergreen education might lead them. (4-23-14)
Idea: Have somebody on the faculty study and make suggestions about the admissions process
I did this one year - read the catalog, got somebody I knew to apply and looked at all the mailings they got, read all the brochures, walked around with students and their families on the visitors tours, stayed in one of the dorm rooms for visiting prospective students, rode around to high schools with the admissions staff and sat in the back at the sessions they ran, etc.,etc. I wrote a report with a lot of detailed description of my observations, what I thought was working well, and a great deal of advice about what I personally thought could be changed to do a better job of getting students to come to the college. I'm sure this wasn't pleasant for the Admissions staff, though I did my very best to be as nice as I could about it. It may be vain, but I think it's almost inevitable that the faculty can be more powerful and persuasive about why students should come to Evergreen than anyone else can (except maybe satisfied and enthusiastic graduates). That's why I think their point of view on what might be done to make the details of the admissions process more effective and successful is unique and important. (4-23-14)
Idea: Showing Student Work on the Website
You've probably seen the display of works from the Narrative Objects program that Steven Hendricks and Jean Mandeberg taught Fall/Winter on display in the library. They are absolutely stunning. Why couldn't images of works such as these that our students produce be prominently featured on the web site, perhaps in rotation? The actual work that students do could be a great recruitment tool. (4-23-14)
Idea: Set up an alumni interview program
When I applied to colleges (a long time ago) part of the process for the colleges that were harder to get into was being interviewed by an alumni volunteer. (I'm not even sure they reported on the conversation, but that process did mean I had a talk with somebody who was a satisfied and enthusiastic graduate...) (4-23-14)
Idea: Organize programs around explicit career hooks
Once upon a time, Don Finkel and I (Thad Curtz) and Irwin Zuckerman and Betty Estes wanted to teach a big, year-long program together called Darwin, Marx, and Freud. This was in a period when the college was worried about enrollment (in one of the periods...) and it was also in a period when we had an extended, serious, process for getting student input about the proposed curriculum. There was a big curriculum wall, where the faculty put up descriptions of proposed programs for the next catalog, and there was an extended period in which we urged students to go look at them; post suggestions, feedback, and criticism; post program proposals of their own that they hoped some faculty would like to work with them on, and indicate what programs they were likely to take if they were offered. Hardly anyone signed up for "Darwin, Marx, and Freud." It seemed clear that there was no way in which we could possibly get enough students to justify offering a year-long program with four faculty (or even a much shorter and smaller program...). Lots of students complained that there was nothing in the proposed curriculum about education, which was what they wanted to study. After a bit, we renamed the program - "Teaching in the Twentieth Century." The entire program was now structured around exploring how you'd teach now if you believed Darwin; how you'd teach if you believed Marx, how you'd teach if you believed Freud, and how you'd teach if you believed Piaget. The readings were pretty much unchanged, and a great deal of the work was pretty much unchanged, though now we also read some stuff about teaching informed by Marxist theory, Freudian theory, etc..., and we had students plan workshops for the program trying to put their ideas about the answers to the program's central question into practice. Suddenly we had a long waiting list, and students lobbying us to get into the program. I also think that having to relate all the substantial reading we did (Origin of the Species, most of Book 1 of Capital, a good deal of Freud, etc.) to this ongoing practical focus made the program a lot more interesting to us as well as to the students. (4-23-14)
Idea: Do a strongly recommended repeating intro to the major program in the humanities and qualitative social sciences
I kept trying to persuade my colleagues that we should do this when I was on the faculty, without success... Basically, we'd offer a repeating annual program like Intro to Political Economy for sophomores and maybe some junior transfers, every year - called On Interpretation, or something sexier if we could invent that. It would include a lot of the things that humanities faculty keep wishing all the students in their advanced programs knew and knew how to do, but often don't - the history and some of the classic works in the Western tradition, close reading, papers doing interpretation of a wide variety of materials (literary, historical, ethnographic, legal, psychoanalytic, art works, film, etc.), various theoretical frameworks for doing interpretation - feminist, Freudian, Marxist, New Critical, Whig Historical, etc..), reading and actually working with other people's writing about these materials, etc.
I think this would improve students' and the faculty's experience in several ways.
1. It would reduce the wildly different levels of experience and acquired skills among students in supposedly upper division programs, and mean that every program didn't have to begin again at zero with some of the students.
2. It would give students a shared body of knowledge to draw on and talk with each other about. 3. Most importantly, in the context of supporting retention, it would be planned so that many of the faculty that students might be excited about studying with in the future would teach small pieces of the program - come in and do guest lectures, or be in charge of everything for a week here and a week there. Because the program repeated every year, they could do their pieces without a lot of extra preparation and get really good at them.
Different teachers matter to different students at different moments in their careers. One of the things about our curriculum is that students are exposed to relatively few teachers for relatively long uninterrupted stretches of time. This can be wonderful, if it's a good fit, and dull or terrible if it isn't. I think that getting a chance to see a lot of the different faculty that one might study with in the future, and having them each of them finish up their visit by saying "Here's what I'm going to be doing next year, and the year after that, if you're interested in thinking about studying with me some more some time..." might give students a better sense of their possibilities, and encourage some of them to stay...
Betty Ruth Estes and I (Thad Curtz) did do a program like this once, called On Interpretation. It was three quarters, designed as a sequence, but set up so that you could take the whole sequence, or each quarter as a separate program - Fall did poetry and pictures; Winter did narratives in mythology, literature, ethnography, etc.; Spring did the interpretation of action - in theater, history, psychology, ethics. It was an OK program, but not great, I think. It didn't have faculty visitors. Lots of students did one quarter, but not the whole year - partly because of its relation to other options in the curriculum, I think, and partly because we didn't have any cumulative year-long structure with a substantial payoff at the end that people wanted to work toward and stay for...
As I said, I never had any luck getting my colleagues to agree to work on something like this together. I think a fair number of them didn't want to have to promise to teach beginners on a regular basis. Maybe they thought (correctly) that collaborating and getting something like this set up in a workable way the first time would be a lot of work. Some of them thought that there wasn't actually any common shared body of skills and experience and knowledge that matter for work in the humanities and qualitative social sciences (beyond a lingering ghost from required freshman survey courses on "Western Civilization") and that they were fine with just starting from scratch with whoever walked in the door and whatever they knew or didn't know. I still think an annual repeating program like this would be good for the students and the college... (4-23-14)
Idea: Parking Booth
Remodel or remove current antiquated parking booth which is the first thing parents and students and community see of our campus when they arrive. A new booth which would accommodate the flow of traffic and have a more modern technological access for credit card use and informational help for new people on campus. (4-24-14)
Idea: Systematic International Student Recruitment
We need to focus our energy in setting short term as well as long term recruitment goals and share them with the entire campus community. One of those goals should include better international student recruitment. I like to help in establishing updated guidelines and strategies in our effort to recruit international students (Lin Crowley). (4-24-14)
Idea: Honors Program
Since freshmen in all-level programs are retained at lower levels than those in core programs, and high achieving students sometimes complain of inadequate challenge within core programs, provide some venues for a concentration of high achieving/potential students. Create an honors cohort or track for freshman, perhaps with a 4 credit shared course and some 12 credit core program options, 16-credit full programs, or even a 2-credit shared course to go on top of their choice of core programs. Give them the guidance and opportunities to work at the more challenging end of the academic continuum, without putting them in an all-level setting. (4-25-14)
Idea: GIS Certification
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) allows for the spatial analysis of data as well as the organization of map layers commonly used by government, business, emergency response, and others. It is both a high-demand professional skill as well as a complex analysis tool for social and natural scientists. When offered within programs, many students often wish to continue their GIS skills in a more targeted way. A certificate program in GIS could be a way for existing Greeners with advanced GIS skills to enhance their credentials as well as a highly attractive training program for professionals from regional government agencies and the private sector. (4-25-14)
Idea: Graduation Incentives/Increase Worth of TESC BA/BS
I attended Evergreen for a year with a 5 year break and am now back. Of the friends I had the first time around I know of 1 who has completed a degree here. The rest studied for 1-3 years and left school without finishing. I am attracted to Evergreen's learning model and came back to finish in this environment. This was my own choice after attending 'normal' schools with limited enjoyment or success. I think Evergreen could benefit from demonstrating the benefits of graduating and earning a degree that says TESC specifically, and also reaching out to former students to come back and finish. I think this is a unique angle that admissions could use to increase graduation rates. There are many former Greeners without bachelor's degrees from here or any school who may come back if Evergreen could organize and promote good reasons to have a TESC bachelor's degree. This could work especially well if more options for night, weekend, online, and low residency study were part of Evergreen's offerings. I found the school via Colleges That Change Lives and perhaps getting this on some sort of bestseller list would do TESC some good as well... (4-26-14)
Idea: Distance Learning
Provide distance learning alternatives. (4-28-14)
Idea: Access Services
Provide more flexibility in disability accommodations. Improve access to Access Services for Tacoma students. (4-28-14)
Set prerequisites for admissions that would enable students to succeed. For example, the Tacoma program sets no prerequisites for any classes, including statistics, and students with math background are forced to "carry" students that don't know how to do basic arithmetic. Maybe insure that students can write at college level, so that capable students don't have to do their work for them. (4-28-14)
Idea: Prioritize reduction of drug and alcohol use among students
Evergreen has a reputation for being a hippie school. Some of that is based on perceptions about use of pot or other drugs on campus. That focus distracts from the fact that the NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement) indicates that our students read more and have more critical thinking skills than those at other institutions. Why isn't that the reputation we have? For some, “no majors and no grades” creates the perception that, academically, anything goes at Evergreen (which isn’t the case). Many students may believe it’s the same for drug and alcohol use. This is not because of lack of enforcement. Residential and Dining (RAD), Police Services, and Student Conduct are enforcing campus policies and local laws. Some will read this and declare this Student Affairs work. Yes. AND, the work of EVERYONE else here. Some may think this can wait. It can’t. Most college campuses can do more to address drug and alcohol use. Evergreen can too. In addition to creating a healthier campus, the effort may add to our ability to focus on the rigorous, high quality education Evergreen provides and influence public perception on that count as well. (4-30-14)
Idea: Promoting Evergreen
I was at a higher-ed conference this week (CUPA-HR) and a presenter from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) opened with "Critical Thinking, Critical Making, That's What RISD is all about," and I was so struck by my lack of awareness of a similarly catchy, informative and brief way to describe The Evergreen State College, even though I've been here almost ten years. As part of the opportunity for everyone on campus to be an active supporter/promoter of the college, we could all benefit from something equally brief and descriptive to use, such as "Critical Thinking, Action-based Learning, That's What Evergreen is all About." Also, broad encourgement for staff and faculty to promote Evergreen would be an opportunity to both encourage enrollment as well as attract more, and a more diverse, staff and faculty. (4-30-14)
Idea: Transcript Summary
Find a way to provide a short, executive summary style summation of a student's transcript. This might include a paragraph of writing, or even a visual representation (graph, participation highlights). For everyone outside Evergreen who might look at a college transcript (employer, grad school, others), we need to clearly communicate a student's success. Students will already attempt do this with cover letters, essays, and resumes and we need to offer grads the best possible chance to compete with peers who have a GPA that will draw outsiders attention. We cannot say, "well, we're different, we provide narrative evaluations which are better." Narrative evaluations may be better. AND, if a potential employer needs to look a number GPA versus a long narrative evaluation, the GPA will win. (4-30-14)
Idea: The School of Management at The Evergreen State College
Why don’t we initiate a School of Management at The Evergreen State College? This would be an upper division, interdisciplinary initiative, with business, public policy, environmental studies, art business training, planning, non-profit, NGO tracks or components (doesn’t have to and probably should not be all --that is a detail for later). It could be one or two years in length (start as a one year and develop into a 2 year?) In thinking about this, I believe we have enough existing faculty in relevant disciplines to develop this curriculum without new hires. I think this is something we can do now! In our past, Management in the Public Interest supplemented the interdisciplinary team taught programs with community based professionals with advanced degrees and direct, applied experience is specific skill areas such as accounting or finance on the business side. Think of the depth of the resources we could tap into for very specific courses, say in 4 credit offerings in other needed specific skill areas. We also have additional resources advanced undergraduate students could use, such as MPA and MES electives. In the past, undergraduate students have taken these electives, typically on a space available basis. This of course would need further discussion with the graduate programs. This initiative also could be an asset in recruiting CTC transfer students, as well as high school direct students who want to see the opportunity for this type of curriculum during their 4 year Evergreen Education. We already provide much of this coursework that now is decentralized and buried across planning units, program titles and so on. This would centralize it with a name, location, and awareness that this is something the Evergreen State College does every year. This initiative is not a new planning unit. The choice of the term school in the title is strategic. Think Jackson School at the UW or Evans School in Public Affairs. We have models of how this can work. The previous MPI Program is one. The MES model of identified required core programs and selected electives. Current MPA initiatives, etc. The structure accommodates a variety of faculty expertise to fit into the identified core sequences. Roll Out. I think, if we chose to, we could establish this initiative very quickly. I could imagine it in place by next fall, at a minimum as an initiative and also as a start up with curriculum. I also believe we have data that demonstrates this type of initiative would be well received and that it would have staying power. Cost. I haven’t thought about this deeply yet. However, I don’t think this would require much in the way of new expenditures. Costs would be in moving from an idea to identifying whether a core group of faculty would agree to make commitments to this initiative. It might require some summer money for faculty to engage in planning, etc. Over time, it might need something like a part time director, but I do not think that would be necessary as a start-up. If we moved quickly for curriculum, I think programs are already in place that could be placed into the school, and there might be strategic opportunities during the academic year to do more. Whether money would be needed at the outset for support to specific courses, I am not sure of. The one issue that has to be delivered is a rigorous curriculum. Real costs would be in advertising and marketing. If we went in this direction, Evergreen should make a big deal out of it! We would want this to be a game changer in the decisions of students. It also could serve as something of an image maker. I could see this as something that would be very valuable in the next legislative session. What do you think? (5-9-14)
Idea: Improve Work Prospects for Graduating Students
Host recruitment efforts by local companies for graduating seniors. Make sure interviews with employers are scheduled on campus. (5-16-14)
Idea: Improve Campus Aesthetics
Improve the appearance of the campus. There is too much graffiti and obvious graffiti patches, many restrooms are in bad condition, many sidewalks are broken and in disrepair, there are dirty windows in view of the public that should be cleaned more frequently and many things that need repair that are visible by the public. (5-16-14)
Idea: Better “crisis” response (summarized)
Evergreen should improve the ways it handles sexual assault and mental health crises. Recommendations: Phase out police involvement; be cautious about the role of doctors as well, especially in cases involving women of color and trans women of color. Support sexual assault prevention. Website reference: www.incite-national.org (5-16-14)
Idea: Full faculty participation in the Academic Fairs and predictable weekly office hours
I work with both new and continuing Evergreen students, and know directly from them how important it is to them to have meaningful and timely communication with faculty. In many cases, faculty are the only ones who can answer the specific questions students have about programs or areas of study. When students go to the Academic Fair and find empty tables, they feel astonished, disheartened, and frustrated. Most faculty do participate in the Academic Fairs. But more than a handful do not - there are a significant number of empty tables. This has a direct, negative impact on student retention, in my view. Similarly, many students are surprised to discover that some faculty do not maintain predictable availability through posted office hours. Connecting with a faculty member can be, in certain cases, simply a matter of luck - it then appears to students that no amount of careful planning can ensure success in making a timely connection with a faculty member. Needless to say, this creates a bad impression for students, new and continuing alike. (5-19-14)
Idea: Class Schedules for Oly Day programs should be published earlier
Most students expect to be able to plan their time well in advance, and many need to make their decisions about their enrollments based on the constraints of their schedules (work, family, commuting needs, etc). They are greatly disadvantaged by our practice of waiting so long to publish the schedules of our Olympia daytime programs. It can be late summer before these are publicly available, and that is a great disrespect to our students' needs. Faculty could set schedules at the time catalog copy is determined, and then would need to adhere to them, not change them and make students accommodate to the change. Whatever the system obstacles are that cause this problem, we should fix them immediately. (5-19-14)
Idea: Campus Telephones
I have always been concerned as to why Police Services is answering the phones for all internal calls and most importantly for the general public. It is important to have someone who represents the college with enrollment, recruitment and retention in mind. It is not that the police department is not capable and professional, but it seems that a college should have staff designated to answer phones pertaining to their mission. How would you feel if you called an airline for reservations and realized later that employees of a police department answered the phones for that airline? If I was a parent I would think twice about sending my child to a college where the police are the first contact. Also, what if the police staff are busy answering police duties and housing duties and cannot answer the prospective student call? I wonder how many colleges in the USA have a police department answering their general phones? This would mean a strategic change, but it is something to consider. 6-2-14