Posted on Tuesday, March 6, 2018

by Shauna Davis, executive director, VCCS Student Success Center and Office of Professional Development

Often in the VCCS, we discuss the aspirations and value of our credential programs, the impact of changing the lives of our students and the role of higher education in shaping the communities we serve. Our goals are lofty, our mandates are challenging, and our student needs are increasing exponentially. Whether we are working to improve dual enrollment, developing math pathways, implementing advising redesign or structuring programs in support of guided pathways, one thing is exceptionally clear – in our push to fulfill our mission, we must not lose sight of the need to equip our own workforce with the knowledge and skills needed to carry forth our mission.

With more than 6,500 full-time and nearly 14,000 part-time employees across 23 colleges, the system office, and the shared services center, there is no shortage of needs in supporting these professionals (full-time faculty, adjuncts, administrators, classified staff, wage…) to ensure we are all pulling together in support of our students from connection to completion.
Historically, the Office of Professional Development (OPD) has primarily served the needs of full-time faculty through Peer Groups, the Regional Centers of Teaching Excellence and New Horizons. In addition, OPD has provided two leadership academies, grants, scholarships, awards and published a faculty journal. While these efforts have been well-received, our team has consistently heard from faculty and staff that they want more opportunities to engage in professional development experiences that help to break down silos, and increase understanding and collaborative learning, all while reducing the need for overnight travel.

In response, we are embarking on a number of improvements to OPD, including the distribution of an annual system-wide professional development survey, a new website, more webinars and technology, expanding regional center programming, and intentionally adding more collaborative sessions to New Horizons. In addition, we seek to engage more colleagues at our colleges by sharing best practices, challenges and solutions to supporting student success.

We hope that you will join us at New Horizons (Top 5 Reasons to Attend) in April to learn more about the exciting things we have planned for the coming year. Our goal remains aligned with ensuring that all employees of the VCCS have the support they need to fulfill our mission …giving everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills!
The Professional Development team looks forward to traveling the road ahead with each of you.

SIDEBAR: We are looking forward to seeing those of you who registered for New Horizons (Top 5 Reasons to Attend) in April to learn more about the exciting things we have planned for the coming year. Our goal remains aligned with ensuring that all employees of the VCCS have the support they need to fulfill our mission … giving everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills!

info@vccs.edu'

Virginia's Community Colleges

Created more than 50 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve about 400,000 students a year in credit and workforce courses.

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