Associate Vice Chancellor, Transitions
San Jacinto College, Houston Texas
Unlike turning on a light in the bedroom, changing culture and practice at an institution tends to be a more complicated and a longer process than flicking on a switch. Changing the point of interaction with students from a list of activities to accomplish, or information to digest, to a system of self-empowering and self-advocacy, takes deliberate planning, work and strategy.
I had been involved in coaching for several years by sending several staff members to train at the LifeBound headquarters in Denver. I was and remain committed to the idea and principles of coaching. It was not until we had all our developmental education faculty go through an on-site training with LifeBound that a real shift happened. Those faculty members had always been in tune with helping students “find their way” but after the training it was more deliberate. We saw new instructional strategies using coaching principles that lead to more independent learning. Students were no longer not just passive in their learning behaviors. Faculty had found the special sauce for engaging students through LifeBound coaching strategies. Faculty coached students to be their own guides to learning and taking control of their behaviors for their own success.
What is on the horizon for us? Two main strategies. First, we are sharing some of the coaching strategies with our student mentors so that they are better equipped to interact with their mentees. The mentors we have trained are feeling more prepared and able to have productive interactions with their mentees. Second, we are engaging our advisors and distinguished faculty in understanding the importance of the culture of coaching.
As an administrator I use my coaching skills every day. I would recommend this training for administrators, faculty and advisors. See what a difference it will make in the culture of your institution.