CBD Annual Cross-Cadre Retreat
Teams of people who are leading the implementation of Completion by Design at their respective colleges convened in Charlotte, NC February 25-26, along with Gates Foundation staff and other initiative partners. Experts facilitated several professional development workshops on topics identified by the cadres to strengthen implementation:
- What’s Going On? Uses of Technology to Aid Completion
- A Year Later: On-the-ground lessons from the VA developmental education reform
- Dancing with Resistance: Embracing the tough conversations that come with change
- Implementing Multiple Measures Assessment & Placement Approaches in Diverse Contexts
- Lead from the Middle: Build & Sustain 360° Followership
- Contextualization for Completion
- Institutionalizing Student Success
Through these workshops and other open and plenary sessions, CBD representatives shared progress and challenges. If you would like to learn more about all of the sessions or browse any session materials, check out our event wiki!
The goals of the retreat were to energize the teams overall to continue their great implementation work, to deepen connections among the participants in the CBD network, and impart tactical ideas to fuel completion efforts; in our follow-up participant survey, about 90% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that we met these goals.
Above | A word cloud of participants’ responses to, What one idea or completion tactic do you most want to hear from/talk with others about during the retreat?
Breakthroughs, Insights, and High Points
This retreat was the first initiative-wide convening after a year focused on planning and design, and the work is starting to take shape. “This work is gaining momentum/impetus,” one participant wrote. Another noted, “We’ve made more progress than we sometimes give ourselves credit for.
”When we asked participants about the most valuable components of the retreat, they mentioned nearly all of the sessions by name at least once, and the workshops were all highly rated. Hearing from colleagues at other participating colleges was particularly inspiring! Seeing each others’ progress showed that large-scale work is possible and highlighted specific models and tips for undertaking it.
Top-of-mind strategies included:
- Mapping and implementing more structured programs of study
- Solving the “advising puzzle”: deeper alignment of instructional and student support strategies, and meeting the capacity challenge of advising many students effectively
- Transforming developmental education at scale, across multiple institutions
- The role of MOOCs, including potential applications for brush up courses, boot camps, and full developmental education courses
- Implementing multiple measures for placement at a large scale
- Opportunities and strategies for contextualized instruction within and across courses and program "on-ramps"
“…others are already doing things we want to do. There is hope and proof that things work.”
“Miami Dade made me believe mandatory practices can be implemented at large community colleges.”
“Let's not duplicate the work of others. Thou shalt steal!”
What's Next for CBD
All of the cadres highlighted specific aspects of each others' work that they intended to process how best to apply and adapt at their campuses. In addition, participants left the retreat still puzzling through some key issues, including:
- Effectively leveraging technology, including the logistics of implementing MOOCs
- Responding to changes in the policy environment
- Continued engagement and effective communications with the right groups of people throughout their institutions and beyond
- Balancing access and success in making interventions mandatory
- Achieving a lasting and/or broader impact: scaling to other colleges and institutionalizing the work for sustainability
- Financial Aid: “how do we ensure that federal, state, and college financial aid policies and procedures align with student success (e.g. summer term)?”
The retreat is just one of the ways the CBD network connects as a community of learners throughout implementation. We will follow up on these and other themes in the months ahead, and share opportunities to join the conversation!
We used #CBD13 to tweet the retreat. We plan to continue the conversation!
@BASILEJ1973: learning so much it's nice to know that everyone has their heart in it!
@cutler_white: can MOOCs make a difference for community college students? We think so.
@BASILEJ1973: Dev Ed session was very enlightening... Thanks to NOVA!
@JohnstoneRob: CBD Speed dating presentations are pure gold - MDC, OH, NC, wested - these are the stories the non-CBD world needs and want to hear!
@JohnstoneRob: Sinclair CC (OH) developing clear academic pathways for all programs for FT/PT students, with imbedded default electives...impressive
@JohnstoneRob: Miami Dade placement test boot camp results - 50% retest > 1 level higher, 25% 2 levels higher - also higher course success rates.
@Ritajerm: Much to learn at the upcoming Unconference
@SusannaDW: "unconference" pitches- multiple measures, visualizing data, mandatory advising (hot topic!), public policy.
@cutler_white: if we can't double the number of community college completers why are we in this work. Dedication.
@SusannaDW: #CBD13 is about what's possible. Everyone says these things can't be done- but these colleges are doing it. #StudentSuccess