Before we transition into Spring Break, I wanted to share several mid-semester reflections.
The pursuit to further embed, at scale, fair-minded critical thinking pedagogy into a significant number of classes at PVCC remains a priority. As we know, the single most significant predictor of student success and completion is the degree to which they are engaged as active learners in educationally purposeful activities. Your collective work to make learning contextual, relevant and significant – all critical thinking attributes – is appreciated. Recently, I have been making every effort to apply fair-minded critical thinking to border and immigration issues. If you have time over the break, check out The Devils Highway by Luis Urrea and The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantu. Both books introduce the human element into this complex social issue.
I recently returned from the League for Innovation in the Community College conference during which time, I mentally benchmarked PVCC’s commitment to innovation – one of our core values. One of the session speakers defined innovation as the successful implementation of “meaningful unique ideas.” He also referred to the importance of a “faster and smarter” pace to act on innovation. The recent re-deployment of the Puma Innovation Grant program is starting to yield a greater number of meaningful unique ideas throughout the college. I encourage you to pursue this avenue. I also encourage you to attend on Friday, March 29, the President’s Advance “Creating Entrepreneurial Learning Environments Through Innovative Thinking.” It is only through innovation that we will stay viable in this ever-changing higher education space.
Lastly, as I talk with many of you, I am reminded of how hard you work to make learning come alive. To sustain an “unwavering commitment to leadership and learning,” please use your time over the break to reset your life-balance. Find time to take in a Spring Training ballgame, hike one of the many valley trails, or read a book for pure fun and enjoyment.