Helping colleges design and launch reform

The NJ Center for Student Success, part of the New Jersey Council of Community Colleges, works with the state's 19 public two-year institutions to improve students' college experiences and outcomes. Using a guided pathways framework, the NJ Center for Student Success provides opportunities for shared learning and collaboration in order to support colleges' reform efforts. Colleges benefit participation in webinars, convenings, and planning workshops designed to help them implement guided pathways-focused change on their campuses.

Phase Two Advisory is providing customized, real-time support to four New Jersey community colleges implementing advising redesign as part of their Center for Student Success engagement. Over the course of 10 months, each college is receiving in-person, telephone, and web-based consultation targeted to their unique reform needs. Engagements include partnering on rewriting advisor job descriptions, gathering information on stakeholder needs, exploring the connection between technology and redesign, and project management assistance. With support from Phase Two, each college will launch refined student support systems during the 2018-2019 school year. 

Advising Redesign Support

A community college in the northeast was two years into guided pathways and advising redesign efforts, and felt that their work had stalled. They had a sense of the type of changes they wanted to make, but could not figure out how to plan, pace, and launch the work. Moreover, different stakeholders had different points of view on whether or not reforms to date had been successful. They called Phase Two Advisory to help them get, in their words, "unstuck." 

Over the course of four months, Phase Two Advisory worked with stakeholder groups to diagnosis the root cause of their reform standstill. Through weekly phone calls and document reviews, as well as a day-long on-site, Phase Two staff identified communication and leadership challenges that were leading to frustration across campus groups. We then worked with college and project leadership to develop (a) new communication processes and lines of authority; (b) a process for planning and pacing reform work; and (c) a clear timeline for decision-making and reform launch. Post-project, the college has relaunching its advising redesign efforts and is preparing to implement in fall 2018 with greater clarity and more productive cross-departmental communication.