SCVN Inquiry

While at the BSI Leadership Institute in San Francisco, the Basic Skills Coordinators/Deans from the pilot colleges in the Sacramento/Central Valley Network developed the following Regional Network Inquiry question:

How do we get faculty to take ownership (ongoing engagement in and implementation of) of their professional development in teaching underprepared students?

Please leave comments about this Inquiry by clicking on “blog it” below.


Homework Assignment
In order to further discuss and create a process for collecting data and delving into this inquiry question, the BSI Coordinators/Deans of the SCVN pilot colleges who attended the Leadership Institute began by posting below one-page “answers” to the Inquiry question.

Logic Model

Next, the SCVN coordinators/deans created a working logic model for their Inquiry project in order to establish agreed upon outcomes for their project as well as assumptions and activities. This logic model also contains a working timeline and assignments for Inquiry activities. Click here to see the most recent version of the SCVN working logic model.

Focus Groups

One of the ways in which the SCVN is collecting research data in an effort to answer their Inquiry question is by conducting focus groups on a number of campuses within the region.  In  order to begin the process of conducting focus groups, the SCVN team wrote focus group questions and other pertinent documents.  Please access these documents below.

Process for Developing Focus Group Questions

Focus Group Organization

Participant Permission Form

Participant Demographic Questionnaire

Invitation to Join Focus Groups

Focus Group Questions

4 Responses to SCVN Inquiry

  1. Rhonda Rios Kravitz July 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm #

    Faculty taking ownership of their professional development
    Assignment 1: Rhonda Rios Kravitz


    Obtaining faculty ownership varies with the organizational culture and what faculty perceive to be important and rewarding.

    What hunches do I have?

    • Faculty more likely to own the process if they are involved early in the process
    • Faculty need to perceive benefits for themselves
    • Faculty need to participate in defining the vision – what is basic skills, why sustain
    • Need to identify faculty stakeholders
    • Need to understand the motivation of faculty stakeholders
    • Need to define and state why change
    • Identify best practices and models
    • Need to establish a standard of excellence


    • How do we overcome resistance?
     Build bridges with faculty via one-on-one small group sessions
     Build trust through one-on-one small group sessions
     Diagnose and ask what are the reasons for resistance
     Organize professional development around collaborative problem solving
    • Ask the question – Why change?
    • How opportunities will faculty be given to acquire new skills
    • Ask questions about what might be
    • How do we steward vision(s) for success
    • How do we sustain a college culture conducive to student learning and staff professional growth?

    New Questions?
    • How do we develop a common vision, identify goals, and set priorities?
    • Should we develop a strategic plan first?

    How can I investigate this?
    • Invite others to join as observers
    • Foster collegial atmosphere that allows for productive teamwork
    • Draw from previously learned skills

    What data
    • Provide faculty with data on underprepared students
    • Systematically collect and analyze data on a regular basis
    • Use data to identify gaps in achievement and to determine effectiveness of existing programs

    Create opportunities for students and faculty to interact on the question of student success – what works

    Which faculty, staff, counselors and students can be involved?
    • Faculty and counselors teaching basic skills courses
    • Basic skills advisory committee
    • Students taking basic skills courses
    • Peer tutors

    What changes can we make?
    • Develop professional learning communities on basic skills and student success
    • Identify resources (people, funds, resources)
    • Develop outcomes and course of actions to achieve outcomes

    I also used Mindomo—check it out:

  2. miya July 28, 2009 at 2:50 pm #

    Wow, Rhonda!! This is COOL! And I love your mind-map. I am motivated now. Can’t wait to see you on the 3rd . . . You are coming, right??


  3. miya July 28, 2009 at 3:02 pm #

    Faculty taking ownership of their professional development
    Assignment 1: Miya Squires
    I like what Rhonda said here about organizational culture. I think helping faculty see who the basic skills/dev ed students are in their classes and out will help . . . for example, having successful students who started in basic skills courses, or brainstorming around the prompt (that I probably got from BSILI) “You know you have a basic skills student in _______(insert course or discipline)______ if . . . .”
    What hunches do I have?
     Faculty need to be more connected to the overall picture of basic skills: statewide, campus-wide, etc.
     Faculty need to have more one-to-one interactions with each other around these students and their needs – Learning communities foster this, as well as partnerships with SI Supervisors and learning assistance professionals.
     Faculty need to interact with the tutors who are supporting these students (and SI Leaders), to hear what they are learning about individualized support and what the students are saying that faculty aren’t hearing
     Faculty need to find ways to build stronger connections with these students . . . sharing best practices among colleagues at a campus would likely help folks think outside the box to get some good interactions going on a regular basis so students have a sense of community and responsibility to their own learning process.
     How do we overcome resistance?
    I like Rhonda’s ideas here. . . .
    New Questions?
     How can we get classroom faculty to interact more with folks on campus who can help them better support basic skills students without threatening them? I guess this is about breaking down silos . . . we need to feature stories from others on campus who are playing vital roles. I know “what happens in the classroom” is seen as #1 priority, but there are a lot of people doing great things to keep students in school and motivated to take on challenges.
    How can I investigate this?
     Survey or interview folks around campus to find great student success/support stories

    What data

     Not sure on this one . . . .

  4. Donna Cooper July 29, 2009 at 2:53 pm #

    You ladies rock, Monday is going to be great. Here are my thoughts.

    How do we get faculty to take ownership of their professional development in teaching underprepared students?

    So, how do I take ownership? For me, it is about passion. If I am passionate about my subject, client, student, department, topic, etc. then I am usually interested in learning more. So how do we get faculty to be passionate about underprepared students, rather than being cynical of them?

    I agree with Rhonda and Myia about organizational structure, but I have seen faculty, employees, etc. step out of the limits of that structure if they are passionate about something.

    If we take what Myia said one more step. If faculty that basic skills students can succeed will help them. Having those “case stories” of student success will be part of what fuels the passion.

    I think that faculty need to hear about basic skills across the spectrum on campus. They need a way to hear, see, feel, and touch the stories of basic skills students. This individualizes “basic skills” and the more personal the greater the committment.

    I think that if faculty talked more, there would be more collaboration for these students

    Themes or trends:
    Increased awareness on the part of faculty about the problem (needs to continue)

    Younger adjunct and tenured faculty seem more attuned to the needs than tenured older faculty

    Faculty really want to do their best, but feel overwhelmed

    New Questions:
    How can we effect change (change agents if you will) utilizing the public health model to change behavior

    How do we foster collaboratives with faculty

    Who needs to be at the table discussing change

    How investigate:
    focus groups, one-on-one interviews, relationship building

    share established data

    continue to document trends, improvements in students

    highlight data from courses that are SI and what is happening with those students. Track them to see how successful they are after their first SI course.