Higher Education Student Services Redesign in 6 Phases: An Overview

June 25, 2013
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medium_2521904717Recently I revisited the report “Reclaiming the American Dream: Community Colleges and the Nation’s Future” and the call to action for community colleges.  The report identifies 3 overarching imperatives required to reimagine community colleges.  These are:

  • Redesign students’ educational experiences;
  • Reinvent institutional roles; and
  • Reset the system to create incentives for student and institutional success.

The challenge for most higher education institutions is to identify where to put the stake in the ground and begin the reinvention process.  Should the assessment process begin with people, process or technology- or all three? I recommend a 6- phase process for initiating a redesign.  This blog post introduces the phases recommended for beginning a redesign effort.  In subsequent posts, I will  detail how to engage in each of the 6 phases.

6 Phases for a Student Services Redesign:

  1. Launch project
  2. Assess the current organization
  3. Conduct best practice research
  4. Develop a vision and goals
  5. Formulate options for student service models
  6. Create a go forward plan

 Checklist for Launching a Student Services Redesign:

Pre-launch critical success actions that set a foundation for overall project success include the following:

  • Committed executive sponsorship: President, Provosts, academic leadership, and administrative leadership all need to be on board for supporting this effort.
  • Committed senior student services leadership: Provides resources and support for initiative.
  • Assigned project leader with a work team: Using volunteers is tricky.  A truly transformative initiative needs committed resources.  If performance is only tied to day-to-day responsibilities that are unrelated to this initiative, only those responsibilities will be the priority. A best practice in overall project success is to formally allocate a % of the assigned individual’s time to this initiative.  Align project outcomes to performance metrics to guarantee the initiative maintains priority status.
  • Allocated project administrative support. Communication, scheduling and resource management need to be carefully managed to ensure the project stays on track and continues to move forward.

 Question to Consider?

What will it take for my campus to prepare for a student services redesign effort?

Do we have the right resources allocated to this initiative?

What other campus partners can improve our success in executing this initiative?

Questions about how to begin a student redesign initiative? Contact me at
[email protected].

photo credit: Wonderlane via photopin cc

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