October 10, 2008

Greetings all,

Welcome to issue number four of “What’s On My Mind?” As I have done in each of the three previous issues, I will briefly touch on sights and sounds from the college that touch the themes that are collectively guiding our work this year – leadership for: student success, community building, bringing learning alive and positive social change.

This Week’s Focus – Positive Social Change

So, our vision statement that we collectively drafted several years ago includes this statement “… {we want to} inspire and support all learners to increase their capacity for personal growth and positive social change.” Simply put, positive social change is a hope that our students will leave PVCC with a greater sense of concern for the rights and welfare of others and the desire to make a better neighborhood, a better community, and a better world. Is this too lofty of a vision for PVCC? I don’t think so. In fact, I think it is imperative that students leave PVCC knowing that they can make a difference – that they can make things better. Our students are capable of helping solve complex problems such as global warming, international border conflicts, and persistent illiteracy of the poor and disadvantaged.

Positive social change is not just a student activity – ask the PVCC faculty who last year championed over 100,000 hours of curriculum based service learning. Last week, Felicia Ramirez’s Com 230 class engaged in a project to raise funds for a variety of social causes. Over the last two months the campus has been awash in positive social change activities, including Rock the Vote, Phi Theta Kappa’s Fashion for Compassion, a college blood drive, a BBQ to raise funds for Flood Relief, Michele Marion’s diversity and inclusion programming, and I could go on. Students learn best in compelling situations where context is created through an active search for meaning. Through the lens of positive social change, these conditions are significantly enhanced.

The college will soon be rolling out a Positive Social Change web site where all of our activities will be highlighted – watch for the URL soon.

Quick Updates

Learning is alive and well on campus…ask Lynn McClelland about her student deployed to Iraq who still finished his course incomplete literally from the trenches – a perfect example of the power of the student faculty relationship…ask Karen Kabrich about the magic in her 7:30 a.m. developmental reading class – something is clicking…finally while walking though G Building I saw through the classroom window Larry Burgess’ class with student arms raised and engaged. Ask Larry about his use of practical applications in the classroom…yes you are bringing learning alive at PVCC. Thank you.

Next time you see Fred Reill and Scott Fischer, thank them for their good work keeping the college in good repair. And while you are at it check out their exemplary work to repair and refurbish the water feature in M Building courtyard.

In the next issue of “What’s On My Mind?” I will reflect on the importance of learning outcomes assessment and why this is critical to the work we do and not just an exercise for accreditation purposes.

Have a great week.

Regards,

Paul Dale, Ed.D.
Interim President

September 26, 2008

Greetings all,

Welcome to the third cut of “What’s On My Mind?” Hopefully by now the intro is reading like a “broken record” in terms of reiterating the themes that are collectively guiding our work this year – leadership for: student success, community building, bringing learning alive, and positive social change. After I touch on a number of quick updates, I will reflect on the work we have done to date with external community building.

Quick Updates

A critical component of leading towards student success is sharing a common language and common understanding of what student success looks like. It is equally important that elements of student success be explicitly communicated to students. Our Agenda for Student Success can be found at http://www.pvc.maricopa.edu/prospective/why.html – just click on the iLean icon. Thanks to Rick Vaughn for championing the addition of the general education learning outcomes (in student friendly language) to the Agenda. Our collective work to tie these success outcomes into our teaching and learning practice is very much appreciated.

Last Friday, the first College Leadership Council meeting was held. This year, CLC will feature a conversation format (as suggested by Mark Milliron in his convocation remarks). Each month a critical college topic/issue will be discussed. Watch for more information.

Twenty-five PVCC faculty and staff are currently enrolled in the MOSAIC diversity and inclusion training held here at the college. We have completed the first two of six sessions. The group is highly energized and engaged. Our participation in MOSAIC addresses a number of our diversity and inclusion goals. To see the goals go to the link at http://www.pvc.maricopa.edu/admin_bios/dale_bio.html

Kudos to Paul Sunder for an excellent fire science program presentation at Tuesday’s District Governing Board Meeting, and to David Rubi for bringing the Arizona Language Association Conference to PVCC.

External Community Building

Over the last eight weeks, the college leadership has embarked on planned outreach to the community. We no longer have the luxury of waiting for the community to come to us. We must go out and tell our story FTF! Here are the types of events that PVCC now has regular representation: city of Phoenix Paradise Valley Village and Desert View Planning Committees, Vice Mayor Neely’s monthly breakfast meetings, Greater Phoenix and North Phoenix Chamber of Commerce events, and Foothills Community Foundation events. I have also met individually with the PVUSD and CCUSD Superintendents, Vice Mayor Neely, and representatives from Northern Arizona University. Finally I have presentations scheduled for both PVUSD and CCUSD Board meetings in order to share with these communities our wonderful partnership success stories. If you would like to participate in any of these events please feel free to contact me.

In the next issue of “What’s On My Mind?” I’d like to catch up on the recent good work we are doing related to PVCC living our vision of positive social change.

Have a great week.

Regards,

Paul Dale, Ed.D.
Interim President