Dr. Thomas Greene
December 2017 Message
It has been quite a semester, with the one constant being change. I think we are all looking forward to decompressing and relaxing with friends and family over the holiday break.
As 2017 comes to a close, it's worth taking a moment to reflect on where we've been as well as consider the direction we're headed. A year ago, we were creating a new vision, mission and strategic plan for the college; designing a more effective and efficient system of college governance; and contemplating the potential impact of further proposed state-level reforms.
Fast-forward to today; design teams are actively engaged in redesigning the student experience to achieve our shared vision of an inclusive, equitable education wherein all students succeed; we are implementing a more streamlined and action-oriented governance process; and we are rapidly moving to comply with new state mandates that require major changes in the assessment/placement of our students (AB705) and in how we facilitate the transition of recent high school grads to college so as to ensure their eligibility for the new California Promise Grant (AB19). All of this has been occurring alongside our critical day-to-day efforts of supporting our student's learning and success.
Projecting out to the end of this academic year, we expect the teams will have completed much, if not all, of their design work; plans will have been solidified for responding to AB705 and AB19; and we will be poised to implement and begin testing key aspects of all of our redesign efforts.
Redesigning the student experience requires that we implement our new plans or designs at scale, and then both refine and expand them over the subsequent months and years. This process is often referred to as prototyping.
In the coming weeks and months, you will start hearing about Achieve@ARC, which will be our mechanism for prototyping our redesigns of our student's experience.
The Achieve@ARC program will initially target newly entering recent high school seniors who have a degree, certificate, and/or transfer goal. Participants will be offered a variety of benefits, including hands-on assistance with admissions steps, a free summer experience, and coordinated and consistent support throughout their first year. The program will serve as the scaffolding for implementing, refining, and expanding (i.e., prototyping) the Start Right, IPaSS, and Clarify Program Paths (re)designs, as well as our responses to the legislative mandates of AB705 and AB19. The initial program is slated to launch in Fall 2018 so look for more information early in the spring term.
At a large college like ARC, redesigning the student experience is no small feat. Our initial designs will not be perfect; refining and expanding them will take patience, hard work, and sacrifice.
This work also requires the courage to continually hold ourselves accountable to our shared vision where we measure our overall effectiveness as an institution based on the success of our lowest-performing students.
That said, I want to thank everyone for your hard work throughout 2017, with a special thanks to those working closely on the college's redesign effort. I encourage you to take plenty of time over the holiday break to relax and unwind, and I look forward to working together with all of you in 2018. I am honored to serve as your president and thank you for all your contributions to making a real, positive difference in the lives of our students.