It was more than a decade ago that the field of higher education started to focus on assessment. Educators were asking questions about what, and how much, students were learning throughout their experiences in higher education. At first, just assessing student learning and tracking the results was yeoman’s work.
Developing or updating a strategic plan for an institution of higher education is a substantial endeavor. Engaging colleagues in committee and subcommittee meetings, discussing the future direction of the institution, and coming to a consensus on goals to guide the institution for the life of the plan: these considerations are at the heart of the collaborative process that is strategic planning in higher education.
If your experience is anything like mine, convincing your colleagues to embrace continuous improvement feels like an uphill battle. It feels like more work, “one more thing the college is asking us to do.” While I have rarely had someone ask me point-blank, the question in people’s minds is “What’s in it for me?” I don’t mind this question. I’m not an economist, but I’ve taken enough economics courses in my time to appreciate the model of humans as rational decision makers. If a course of action has no benefit for us, we shouldn’t take that action.
Topics: Continuous Improvement