The line of thought that I am proposing is based on the book “Conscious Business” by Fred Kofman. My colleague Bill Guschwan suggested the book to me. I also try to implement the ideas from a Ted Talk about the Golden Circle by Simon Sinek. The main point that I keep bringing up is Real, Demonstrable Student Success(RDSS). I’m pretty sure the first time I heard the term Real Demonstrable Student Success it was mentioned by President Kim. The term really resonated with me and it seems like something that should be threaded into this topic.
Here is a link to the book-
Here is a link to the Ted Talk – It’s 13 minutes long.
As an educational institution, I feel that Real, Demonstrable Student Success (RDSS) is our primary goal. However, it is possible for RDSS to mean different things among the various individuals that play different roles in our educational institution.
To start, I would like to frame RDSS from the student point of view. Some items of consensus that could define RDSS are: Getting a job, graduating, getting straight A’s, simply passing calculus, getting a scholarship, getting approved for a student loan, making it to class on time, or simply being admitted to college. Depending on an array of experiences, obstacles, and other variables any of the aforementioned items of consensus are completely valid goals to the student.
As professionals working in higher education, our perception of RDSS could be entirely different. Some items of consensus that could define RDSS related to the following things we provide students: technical skills pertaining to field of study, critical thinking skills, enlightenment, entrepreneurialism, creative thinking, employment, a professional portfolio or body or work, etc. Again, what we provide students is largely dependent on our array of experiences, obstacles, and other variables. Our experiences and how we have all traversed our obstacles and challenges to this point, mainly cover the “how” and “what” portions of the Golden Circle mentioned in the TED talk.
The “why” we do what we do seems pretty common as educational professionals. We want to see our students do well. We want them to be ready for their profession once they graduate.
We know why we do what we do as individuals working in higher education, but why do we want RDSS at the institutional level? Below, I have proposed a “why”, some “how” items, and some “what” items.
Possibly why we do it:
We do what we do because Columbia College Chicago wants to produce students that can become a driving force in the global creative culture because we want to be show that the brand of education we offer and that students invest in can have a positive ROI (return on investment).
Possibly how we do it:
Develop rigorous and current curriculum that fosters aspiration and ambition that is delivered by industry leading faculty.
Utilize contemporary facilities with robust infrastructure and technology.
Provide the best networking opportunities to students.
Provide comprehensive, yet student friendly advising experiences.
Support a sustained effort toward a culture of inclusion and diversity.
Lead the way in innovative approaches to pedagogy.
Develop key competencies in students that prepare them for the challenges they face in the pursuit of success.
Create active distribution avenues for students so they can at least broach real, external success for what they create while at Columbia College Chicago.
Provide evidence to the world that our students have achieved RDSS.
Possibly what we do:
According to my understanding, Columbia College Chicago predominantly relies on tuition for resources. As a result, RDSS, and resources are inherently linked values. Because of this, it seems the greatest budgetary goal is RDSS.
Allocating resources for RDSS implies a significant investment in the students that have invested in their education at Columbia College Chicago. If the allocation of resources is considered with the core value of RDSS in mind, it makes the prospect of allocating resources a very altruistic, noble and positive endeavor.
The actual allocation of resources would directly feed into what is mentioned in the “how” category of the “golden circle” which proposes a way to align our resources to our goal and what is perhaps our most important core value.
We do have competitive demands on our resources, and I propose that it remain mostly competitive. To elaborate, if a budget surplus arises in a given area, then the surplus resources could be allocated to other areas of the college or rolled into an endowment as a way to mitigate future risk related to economic volatility or other unforeseen financial issues.
If areas achieve significant growth, constantly having their surplus allocated to another area could diminish incentive. So, each year that an area experiences growth, a positively incremented percentage return on the surplus should be injected back into the budget where the surplus originally came from -- making short term saving become long term budgetary gains.