Professional Learning Network

In January 2011, the Board of Governors initiated a 12-month strategic planning process to identify a course of action for improving student outcomes. To develop an improvement plan, the Board formed the Student Success Task Force, which consisted of 21 members from inside and outside the CCC system. In December 2011, the task force released a comprehensive report containing 22 recommendations designed to foster greater student success. Key areas of emphasis in the report included strengthening student support services for students and rethinking basic skills education.

The task force stressed the importance of professional development in supporting implementation of these reforms and improving student outcomes. As the task force emphasized, “To accomplish major changes in the California Community Colleges, professional development must be at the center of this discussion.” Specifically, the task force recommended that community colleges create a system of focused and sustained opportunities for all college personnel to learn from each other and build their skills. The task force further recommended that the Chancellor’s Office “explore the use of myriad approaches to providing professional development, including . . . the use of technology.”

In January 2012, the Board unanimously endorsed the 22 task force recommendations, adopting them as a guiding policy framework for the CCC system and eventually embedding the recommendations into the System Strategic Plan. Since that time, the Chancellor’s Office has been working with the colleges to implement each of the recommendations.

To help implement the task force and Board’s collective vision for professional development, the Chancellor’s Office formed a 30-member “Student Success Initiative Professional Development Committee” in fall 2012. The charge of the committee was to develop ideas and strategies to “revitalize and re-envision” professional development in the CCC system. In September 2013, the committee presented its findings and recommendations to the Board. A key recommendation from the committee was for the Chancellor’s Office to create a “virtual professional development resource center”—a “one-stop shop” for colleges and their employees to access effective practices, trainings, and other resources.

In 2014, the system’s Online Education Initiative provided seed monies to Telecommunications and Technology Infrastructure Program South (administered by Palomar College) for development of the portal. To guide that development effort, in November 2014, the Chancellor’s Office—in collaboration with the Academic Senate for CCC, CCC Success Network (3CSN), California Community College Council for Staff and Organizational Development (4C/SD), @ONE, Online Education Initiative, and Success Center for CCC—held six regional summits on the clearinghouse project. The purpose of the summits was to obtain input on desired features, functionalities, and content for the clearinghouse, as well as what attendees and their colleges might contribute to the project. These regional summits were attended by more than 500 faculty, staff, and administrators. Participants at the regional summits identified a number of desired features for the clearinghouse, including:

  • a system-wide events calendar

  • a library of self-paced video-based trainings

  • a “speakers bureau” (a listing of experts who are available to speak at conferences or other CCC events)

  • discussion boards, and

  • the opportunity for employees to create a personalized professional development plan.

Summit participants suggested many topics and issues to include in the portal, such as:

  • effective practices around basic skills education, dual enrollment, and other programs

  • topics related to accreditation (including student learning outcomes and local board governance)

  • new employee orientation and training

  • training on sexual harassment and other mandated employee trainings

  • how to create robust professional development programs on campus.

In April 2015, the Chancellor’s Office and other project partners held a Webinar to solicit input from faculty, staff, administrators, and trustees who were unable to attend a regional summit.

In addition, the 2014-15 budget package created a new CCC program known as the Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative. This initiative is designed to help colleges improve student success rates and address accreditation, fiscal, and other issues. The Chancellor’s Office and Santa Clarita Community College District (the Chancellor’s Office’s partnering district on this initiative) intend to use the clearinghouse as a tool to provide information and resources to these colleges.

To access the Professional Learning Network, please click the below link: