March 2010, Volume 4, Number 5


blue bonnets2.jpgSpring is here, and the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) is springing into full gear with membership offerings and preparing for the 32nd annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence to be held in Austin, Texas, on May 30-June 2, 2010. Remember to book your hotel rooms before the cut-off date to receive the discounted rates. The deadline is coming up in April!

The NISOD Staff

In This Issue

Presenters Plan a Motivating Morning for the NISOD Presidents Breakfast at AACC

Coffee cupWhile enjoying a sumptuous breakfast and smelling the aroma of warm coffee, eggs, bacon, and toast, you will take great pleasure in the motivating presentation planned for the NISOD Presidents Breakfast at the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Annual Convention. This year’s breakfast will be held on Sunday, April 18, from 7:00-8:30 a.m., in the Grand Ballroom C, Level 2, of the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. This membership benefit is only available to NISOD-member presidents or their designates. RSVP today!

BlackboardNISOD is proud to feature Blackboard, Inc. as the sponsor of the 2010 NISOD Presidents Breakfast. Blackboard Inc. is a leading provider of enterprise software applications and related services to the education industry. Blackboard partners with community colleges across the country to help them achieve their student engagement and assessment goals. Blackboard offers a single, seamless academic environment for online teaching and learning, dual enrollment, workforce training, community building, content management, and knowledge sharing.

NISOD Webinar Series

WebinarJoin us on March 31 for the next NISOD webinar, “They Can’t Succeed if They Don’t Come Back: Effective Practices for Entering Student Success.” This webinar will discuss the results of the 2010 Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE), and you will learn how your college can design and implement proven strategies to promote student success and keep students on the right side of the door!

Member Spotlight

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at San Jacinto College

sanjac.jpgMission Statement: To foster student success at San Jacinto College, the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning is dedicated to the support and advancement of the scholarship of teaching and learning through collaborative efforts with faculty, administrators, and staff to provide and encourage opportunities for personal and professional growth.

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) at San Jacinto College (TX) has a full schedule of professional development offerings for both our full-time and part-time faculty and staff during the academic year and summer. Workshops, semester-long series, lunch discussions, meet and greets, and professional development travel are a few of the many opportunities we offer our employees.

Though the CETL is operated and funded at the district level, each of the three San Jacinto College campuses has its own Center with two faculty fellows who are responsible for promoting, facilitating, presenting, recruiting, and making suggestions for the calendar. These faculty fellows also serve as mentors to our new faculty, make resources available to the faculty, and are liaisons to the campus administrators. And they are to stay abreast of current trends and research in education and help distribute this information to their colleagues.

New programs which have been established through CETL include a year-long new faculty orientation, staff orientation and in-service, a part-time faculty initiative which includes a new part-time orientation, a Distinguished Faculty Recognition Program which emphasizes student success and classroom engagement, Faculty Spotlights, and a Teaching Colloquium. Programs are designed to involve both young and seasoned faculty and staff and encourage stepping out of the box to try new innovative techniques.

With an emphasis on distance learning and hybrid courses, the CETL has created many professional development opportunities for faculty such as sponsoring group conference travel, offering discussion boards, and hosting webinars. A schedule of events is provided at the beginning of each semester as well as a monthly Happenings calendar.

For additional information or to schedule a visit to San Jacinto College, please contact Ann Tate, Director, CETL. You can also visit us at our booth #405/407 during NISOD’s Conference.

Partner Corner

Blurring the (Pipe)line Some More: Effective Practices in Student Services

BBInstitute.jpgIn December’s Hook‘Em Up, we shared key factors for success that emerged from the Blackboard Institute’s preliminary research into effective practices in fully online programs across K-20. Now we concentrate on the key factors for success we uncovered—student services specific to the online student—because top-notch student services are tied closely to a program’s success.

We shared initial findings on effective practices in student services in a March webinar for NISOD.

A comprehensive, integrated portfolio of student services provides one of the core elements for successful delivery of online learning and successful student outcomes. A well-designed portfolio of student services can help combat attrition. For example, use of real-time reporting tools to identify at-risk behavior (i.e., seven days without logging on) and automated email reminders can help engage and re-engage students.

Additionally, effective fully online programs offer the following services to students throughout their online course experience:

  • Mentor and/or on-site coordinator
  • Student orientation
  • Online advising and counseling
  • Real-time grading
  • Library
  • Tutoring
  • Discussion areas and collaborative workspaces
  • Access to instructor or office hours
  • Student-to-student connections
  • Tech support

To learn more, listen to the webinar or contact us.

About the Blackboard Institute

The Blackboard Institute initiates programs and projects that advance K-20 progression and offers actionable guidance drawn from Blackboard’s proximity to a large body of practice at all levels. By bringing together stakeholders from K-12 and higher education, and by sharing effective practices between the segments, we hope to foster an environment in which schools and institutions learn from one another and, together, improve the K-20 student experience.

Student Success Forums on Inspiring Change

pearson2NISOD knows that student success is one of your college’s top priorities, and we want to ensure that you are aware of a very unique opportunity for student success professionals.

Pearson Prentice Hall, a NISOD Platinum partner, is hosting several Student Success Forums on Inspiring Change throughout the country. Attendance is limited to student success/orientation instructors and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Student Success Forum provides an informative occasion for faculty to network with colleagues, exchange teaching ideas and problem-solving solutions, learn about the latest technologies, and discuss current academic issues. The primary goal is to provide you with a memorable and engaging experience, and to send you back to the classroom with a sense of renewal and equipped with some new and innovative strategies.

Learn more about the Student Success Forums on the NISOD website, or contact Brian Mounts, Events Manager at Pearson, at 800.228.7854 x3759 for additional information.

Winner of the Community College Week—NISOD Student Essay Contest

CCWNew3.jpgCongratulations to Mindy Birdwell, a student at Calhoun Community College (AL), for writing the winning essay for the Community College Week—NISOD Student Essay Contest. Mindy’s essay describes a most rewarding learning experience as a student in Mike Blizzard’s class. Mike Blizzard is a Machine Tool Technology Instructor at Calhoun Community College. NISOD is proud to feature all of the Top 10 essays in upcoming editions of Hook’Em Up. For the month of March, please enjoy Mindy’s winning essay!

BirdwellMindy.jpg BlizzardMike.jpg

A Hero in an Unlikely Place
My life became seriously unmanageable when my youngest left for college. I had always heard of the empty nest syndrome, but I did not believe in it. My four children were well on their way to realizing their goals, and I was devastated. I felt alone and abandoned, and I was not sure what to do. My response was initially to drown my sorrows and self-medicate my depression with alcohol, but that only made my life worse. I had worked as a housekeeper to help support my children, but I could no longer perform in that capacity. I had always been interested in any kind of mechanical work, but my husband did not allow me to pursue a job in any male-dominated field. After my youngest left for school, my husband left, too. All of a sudden the door was open for me to work where I wanted, so I took a temp position in a machine shop in my town.

The machine shop is a truly unique place; it is a place where average people do extraordinary things! I loved it, but I wanted to know more about machining so I was sent to see Mike Blizzard at Calhoun Community College. Much to my surprise I was welcomed into this male-dominated world, and I thrived there. Mike Blizzard opened up a whole new world to me, and in his own way, he mentored me through my first two years at Calhoun. I had left high school at the age of 15 to marry, and I had spent my whole life raising children, so I had a lot catching up to do. If I had not started out in the Machine Tool Technology field, I do not know if I would have made it in college. I needed so much patience and understanding; not just academically but emotionally. Mike Blizzard not only taught me how to be a pretty good machinist; but he also helped me get my self-esteem and self- confidence back that I had lost during an abusive 27 year marriage. I will never be able to repay him for the encouragement and compassion shown to me during my first two years at Calhoun.

As I finish up my time at Calhoun Community College and prepare to go on to a four-year school, I have every intention of reaching my goal of becoming an Industrial and Systems Engineer. I still see Mike Blizzard every day. I have been his work-study student for three years, and he still keeps me in line!

The instructors in the Machine Tool Technology departments in community colleges all over this great country deserve some recognition. I know my instructor does. After all I’ve learned from Mike Blizzard, I may change my major and become a Machine Tool Technology instructor, too!

CCLP Corner

What’s in Bloom with CCLP: Growing Community College Leaders

CCLP logoWith winter weather that will not go away and is considered cold even by non-Austinite standards, Block 65 of the Community College Leadership Program (CCLP) at The University of Texas at Austin is doing its best to spring into learning more about leadership and holding out for some warmer weather in the upcoming months.

To kick off the 2010 year, Block 65 started out with a great session from Dr. George Boggs, President of the American Association of Community Colleges. For future leaders in the field, Dr. Boggs’ presentation on the top issues facing community colleges today could not have been timelier.

In February, Block 65 travelled to South Texas for warmer weather and to learn more about South Texas College (STC). Under the leadership of Dr. Shirley Reed, President of STC, the College has been recognized with the 2008 MetLife Community College Excellence Award for promoting educational and economic advancement and is ranked third by Community College Week in awarding associate degrees in all disciplines to Hispanic students.

Back to Austin and fooled by a few days of nice, dry weather, Block 65 heard from Dr. Martha Ellis, Associate Vice Chancellor for Community College Partnerships, at The University of Texas System, regarding current initiatives on college readiness, dual enrollment, and college transfer.

As Block 65 looks to spring and summer and learning even more, they know much like the weather, community colleges are forever changing. As future leaders, they can take a lesson from always being prepared for all seasons of weather and leadership knowing that things go best when you always have an umbrella, sunscreen, or mittens near by. You just cannot be too prepared!



(Several members of Block 65 with Dr. Wallace Johnson, Assistant Director, College Readiness and Early High School Programs, at South Texas College)

Friends of NISOD

Educational Lean: Meet Demands Despite Dwindling Budgets

WinonaState.jpg The start of the 21st century will be remembered as the era of accountability in education. Policymakers and the public alike have been calling for the academic environment to improve the quality of its administrative and academic programs while funding levels simultaneously decrease. Students have demanded that the academic environment serve their needs by providing better academic, administrative, and student support processes.

To meet these demands, Winona State University has spent the past several years researching, designing, refining, and applying the principles of Educational Lean. Michael Berndt, Dean of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness at Normandale Community College (MN), recently made these remarks about Lean:

Originating in the manufacturing sector, Lean has evolved to help service industries improve the quality and efficiency of services. Educational Lean is the effort to adapt lean principles to education. It recognizes that:

  • Time is a precious resource. Schools must seek out and reduce activities that take time away from core functions such as teaching and supporting students.
  • Effective services provided when students need them may impact whether students stay in school.
  • Learning occurs within an organization, which impacts how effective we can be in our mission. Lean provides tools that encourage disciplined inquiry into processes that model the disciplined inquiry we seek to develop in students.

Berndt completed a program that prepared him to apply Educational Lean at his institution. Are you ready to learn about Educational Lean? Winona State University offers a 6-credit graduate program entitled “Applied Educational Lean Facilitator.” The program consists of two courses: Educational Lean Methods and Educational Lean Practicum. Together, these courses integrate Educational Lean principles and practices, leadership principles, team dynamics, and project management for a unique experience that prepares educational leaders to lead improvement efforts in the challenging educational environment we face today.

Publications Corner

Innovation Abstracts

Innovation AbstractsInnovation Abstracts, NISOD's flagship teaching strategies publication, disseminates practitioner-written descriptions of successful teaching and learning practices and strategies, programs, and initiatives each week of the academic year. The most recent issues include:

  • Creativity Matters in the Composition Classroom
  • Walking a Mile in Their Shoes: From Online Student to Online Instructor
  • Collaboration: Bridging the Discipline Divide
  • Engaging and Empowering Students in Classroom Discussions
  • A&P I Inspiration Night

Look for more great issues in your email inbox or on our website each Thursday of the academic year.

The fully searchable online archives contain all articles published over the past 30 years. Innovation Abstracts and Celebrations are password-protected for NISOD members only. Members who do not have a password can complete a password request form.

Publish Your Good Ideas in Innovation Abstracts!

Are you an administrator or instructor who has successful practices, innovations, programs, or initiatives that work for you, your college, and your students? Consider sharing them with NISOD readers in an upcoming Innovation Abstracts. Find out how!

Conference Corner

Conference graphicNISOD’s 32nd annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence is two months away! From May 30-June 2, 2010, teachers and leaders from around the globe will meet in Austin, Texas, to share innovative ideas and engage in professional development opportunities.

Early-bird conference registration is available through April 30. Please register now to receive a discounted rate.

When booking a room with one of our partner hotels, please indicate that your reservations are for the NISOD Conference to receive our highly discounted room rates. These special rates are available for a limited time on a first-come, first-served basis. Make your lodging arrangements today!

Preconference Seminars

Let’s take a sneak peek at our exciting preconference seminars scheduled for this year’s conference.

Special Sessions

Special Sessions will take place throughout the conference and are included in the registration fee. Visit NISOD’s Conference webpages for a preview of Tuesday and Wednesday’s special sessions.

Mailing List

Please check the NISOD website for updates and further information! If you would like brochures and conference updates emailed to you, please join our conference mailing list.

As always, we look forward to seeing you in Austin!

The Learning Edge

This month, the bloggers are discussing how to engage higher education students. Join the conversation.

Coral M. Noonan-Terry, Editor-in-Chief
Hook’Em Up is published monthly by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD), Department of Educational Administration, College of Education, 1 University Station, D5600, Austin, Texas 78712-0378, (512) 471-7545.

© The University of Texas at Austin, 2010, All rights reserved.


National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD)
College of Education | The University of Texas at Austin
1912 Speedway, Stop D5600 | Austin, TX 78712-1607
Ph: (512) 471-7545 | Fax: (512) 471-9426 |
Email |