Small Changes Make a Big Difference

  1. Realize that the 21st century is the Age of Learning.
  2. Shift your thinking from Central Piedmont Community College as organization that exists to provide instruction to an organization that exists to produce learning.
  3. Set the stage in classes for problem solving activities.
  4. Understand that providing student access isn’t enough. We must serve our students better and ensure their success.
  5. Incorporate mind, body, and spirit into employee orientations and classes, since the Learning College is concerned with the whole person.
  6. Listen “deeply” to students.
  7. Make it a point to get to know the people with whom you work as individuals, not just co-workers.
  8. Believe that everybody’s learning is everybody’s responsibility.
  9. Create more opportunities for fun and celebrating our accomplishments; suggest an impromptu parade, hold class on the lawn.
  10. Provide appropriate advising and counseling to students, making them more likely to be successful in their learning experiences.
  11. Create and offer as many options for learning as possible, including student organizations, service learning, co-op experiences, and the like.
  12. Review periodically your processes and systems to identify any potential barriers to students.
  13. Encourage students to participate in career exploration.
  14. Identify and provide multicultural student resources that address a variety of communication and learning styles.
  15. Have a student Wall of Honor. Post photos of outstanding students on a prominent display board at each campus on a monthly basis. In addition to good grades, include community service, kindness to others around them, etc. in the criteria.
  16. Have lunch with students on a regular basis. Have fun with them.
  17. Be willing to take a risk and learn to do something new.
  18. Give praise for small accomplishments and give it often.
  19. Develop an atmosphere in class and in the work environment that embodies trust and pride.
  20. Print a shortened version of CPCC’s mission statement to be used on our stationery, business cards, and in offices and classrooms.
  21. Make a list of the things that we are already doing right and celebrate a good start to the learning college concept.
  22. Have a Learning College Day and provide professional development credit for sharing learning initiatives from all departments in the college.
  23. Make a list of best teaching practices and make it available to all full-time and part-time faculty.
  24. Have all students and employees read the same book and have the book discussed throughout the campus for the entire semester or year. A new book would be chosen in subsequent years-or semesters. Or try this on a unit or departmental level.
  25. Open meetings with “What have you learned lately?” Discuss possible applications to the College.
  26. Post photographs and write-ups of employees who have made a contribution or difference.
  27. Reconsider anything you do “because it has always been done that way”. Is there is a better way to accomplish your goal?
  28. Encourage students to compare, apply, evaluate, analyze, and synthesize, rather than just to listen and remember.
  29. Understand that the three core components for success for students are: to know the material; to be able to demonstrate that they know it; and to have an attitude that makes them want to learn, not just make good grades.
  30. Know what resources are available to help improve student learning including learning centers, financial resources, advising, and counseling services.
  31. Learn from each others’ successes and mistakes.
  32. Raise questions and challenge students to develop their own explanations and defend them.
  33. Begin where students are, not where disciplinary traditions might dictate; explanation should start with the simple and move toward the complex.
  34. Support the concept that teaching is scholarship and faculty members should be as familiar with the research on pedagogy as they are with research in their discipline.
  35. Expose students to techniques for developing competencies in personal, interpersonal, and thinking skills, in addition general education skills in math, communication, and computers.
  36. Review testing and placement to ensure that students are being placed into courses in which they can be successful.
  37. Remember that change is good, necessary, and doesn’t have to be hard.
  38. Seek information before you make judgments.
  39. Understand that access means more than just getting into the college, it means access to faculty, services, computers, and the like.
  40. Make a purposeful intention to improve your communication with other areas of the college.
  41. Give support and reward people who are investing in positive change.
  42. Be sure that when you give your word it constitutes a promise rather than just a statement.
  43. Build commitment to honest conversation and trust.
  44. Develop a culture of evidence to support learning.
  45. Consider what skills you need for the future in all hiring decisions.
  46. Develop strong assessment systems that look at students’ needs and outcomes.
  47. Continue contact with students throughout their educational career.
  48. Promote supplemental instruction in which students learn from each other as a part of the learning experience.
  49. Use active learning strategies, since students who have this experience will be better prepared for the workplace.
  50. Put student learning first as the context for resolving disputes and moving ahead.
  51. Include all part-time faculty as colleagues.
  52. Embrace working collectively to accomplish goals.
  53. Establish policies and procedures for the classroom which emphasize personal responsibility.
  54. Include some classroom time on a periodic basis for reflection, student input, group work, and critical thinking.
  55. Encourage students to participate in service learning projects as appropriate. Research indicates that service learning has a positive impact on students’ academic learning and improves their ability to apply what they have learned.
  56. Assess not only your students’ course content understanding, but also their ability to apply what they have learned in other contexts.
  57. Understand that becoming a learning centered college is a journey, not a destination and a process, not a project.
  58. Enhance options for independent learning, including self-assessments and practice tests with technological tools.
  59. Take the time to define problems and solutions collaboratively.
  60. Provide learning options that are alternatives offered to accommodate student-learning needs both inside and outside of the classroom.
  61. Realize that change takes a lot of time.
  62. Change can enable you to improve what you are already doing, or enable you to create and implement an altogether new way of doing something.
  63. Be more aware of the different populations of students that we serve.
  64. Help students continuously assess their goals, skills, abilities, values, and interests.
  65. Make learning the central focus for all activity.
  66. Organize a content-rich curriculum that is worth knowing.
  67. Accept that all learning is a life-long and continuous process.
  68. ppreciate that diversity improves learning.
  69. Hire intelligent, creative, caring, flexible, and diverse employees to facilitate learning.
  70. Understand that all students need orientation and a sense of belonging.
  71. Identify barriers and limitations to learning in your area and commit to resolving them.
  72. Meet the needs of both external and internal customers by fostering a college culture that is devoted to service.
  73. Look at different ways of using college resources that are more learning- centered.
  74. Involve more areas of the college and people in programs to increase efficiency and productivity.
  75. Examine what key college policies and practices have been linked to student success.
  76. Help students feel and become more in control over what is happening to them at the College.
  77. Incorporate learning communities into more areas since they are vital to the engagement of students in learning.
  78. Commit to constant personal renewal and learning.
  79. Help students to get to know each other.
  80. Maintain an attractive environment that makes the learning experience more pleasant.
  81. Develop strategies for increasing the involvement of all full-time and part-time faculty, administration, and staff so as to benefit from their wide-range of mindsets.
  82. Speak less so that students think more.
  83. Select all technological tools and training based on the best way to promote learning.
  84. Listen for new opportunities with an open mind.
  85. Measure student success by documenting learning.
  86. Believe that change is inevitable-except from a vending machine.
  87. Realize that learning is a social engagement and a shared experience.
  88. Focus on the nature and process of learning rather than the performance of the instructor.
  89. Be aware that becoming a learning college is a continual state of improvement directed toward student success.
  90. Ask yourself if you have the desire and ability to support in words and deeds Central Piedmont Community College’s goal of becoming a more learning-centered College.
  91. Adopt an adjunct. Adjunct instructors teach many of our classes and need to be part of the learning centered college. Mentor an adjunct teaching your subject and become a resource and point of contact for him or her.
  92. Encourage students to use their Central Piedmont Community College email to contact you and each other.
  93. Publicize successes and best practices as to how your actions improved learning, and constantly foster an organizational climate that promotes learning.
  94. Emphasize the importance of collaboration, involvement, empowerment, and personal responsibility for the success of the implementation and integration of learning throughout the College.
  95. Take a class. One of the best ways to understand your students is to become one yourself. Students will also admire your commitment to lifelong learning. This is a great way to get to know students and faculty from a different vantage point.
  96. Demonstrate sensitivity to learners’ life experiences and prior knowledge as well as social, cultural, and gender differences.
  97. Foster integrated learning through cross-disciplinary education.
  98. Expect a culture that asks, “What am I doing to improve and enhance student learning?” and “How do I know?”
  99. Construct an educational environment that requires active involvement in the learning process with others.
  100. Consider how we can work together to continually improve student learning.
  101. Accept the invitation to participate in our College’s most basic goal—student success.