Travelogue date: Friday, April 12, 2019, inflight somewhere over Texas
Having just recently returned from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Conference (with colleagues Doug Berry, Michelle Carter, Eric Leshinskie, Julie Lazzara, John Snelling, Julie Olander, and Jana Schwartz) and now in flight headed to the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Conference where PVCC faculty member Dina Preston-Ortiz will be recognized as one of only twenty-two Dale Parnell faculty excellence award, I am reminded of two profound attributes that make PVCC a very special place to be: 1) a relentless and unwavering commitment to bring learning alive and 2) our self-defined ownership of relation-based “all-points” leadership.
It is not an accident that our ascribed Indicators of a Learning-Centered College are perfectly aligned with the five HLC Criterion because we know that disciplined adherence to each Criteria yields the highest probability of meaningful student learning, success, and completion. Additionally, the HLC Criteria expect the delivery of learning leading to a greater public good which is so fully aligned with our commitment to Positive Social Change. Over the next fifty some days, under the leadership of our HLC co-chairs, Dr. Doug Berry and Professor Michelle Carter, we will be finalizing our Assurance Report that will, with all confidence, present to HLC a narrative evidence proving that our values, systems, and approaches to teaching and learning deliver the student success outcomes that we aspire to achieve. Equally as important, our Assurance Report will show that our commitment to equity, diversity/inclusion, and community betterment yields the greater public good – as author Simon Sinek would define – as our “why” of existence.
Seeing our HLC team in action while in Chicago and through my anticipatory celebration of Dr. Preston-Ortiz this upcoming Sunday night, I am living two manifestations of the power of “all-points” leadership – formally recognized by the college as a core value over twenty years ago. Additionally, as I’ve reviewed the draft narrative of the HLC Assurance Report, literally hundreds of faculty and staff’s exemplary work is coming alive in the presented evidence. And while, not every accomplishment is heralded in the context of a national award, there is clearly a compelling acknowledgement that the passion and commitment of PVCC faculty and staff is the heart and soul of the College.
So as we move towards the end of spring semester with unwavering commitment to student learning and success – amidst the hectic and competing demands – please join me in: supporting and assisting in all ways possible the successful completion of our HLC Assurance Report, and authentically and genuinely thanking and recognizing each other for our collective parts, whether as a leader or a follower, in ensuring that learning and student success remains a shared and relentless focus.