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EDUC 6261/Rewrite

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Managing Resources for Organizational Success: Finance

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Walden University

EDUC- 6261

Dr. Erik Naglee

Identify your Department:

The Developmental Reading/ English department is a department in a small sized college in South Louisiana. As a private institution, the college develops most of its revenue from tuition, fees, donors, and a share of its revenue from the state of Louisiana.

This is an important department, the measurement of students enrolled in developmental Reading/English courses varies among many institutions in the United States. However, the number of students needing remediation courses are estimated to be as high as 90%, for the first time students (Boroch, et al 2010). Although there are a large number of students that have a need for developmental educational courses, the number of those students who make it to college-level English courses is much smaller. Those individuals who essentially obtain a degree is still small in number.

The term, developmental, is a more modern term, than others used in the past. The term originally is from the 1970’s, and takes a comprehensive view of the student (Casazza & Silverman, 1996). Students attending institutions of higher education should be provided a comprehensive support system that meets the student’s needs, both academically and personally (Casazza & Silverman, 1996). Using a developmental approach working with the idea that everyone has talents and strengths in some areas, and rather than focus solely on a student’s weak areas, developmental education is to assure the student’s strengths, while also working to build undeveloped areas. Developmental Education programs have tools and resources to set a positive environment with students that other academic programs fail to do (Casazza& Silverman, 1996).

New Departmental Priorities:

The institutional objectives: Increasing student engagement; integrating information technology into programs and services; and developing measurable learning outcomes fit easily into this department. I will discuss each objective separately as to how the department can meet these objectives and the effect each has on the department.

Student Engagement: The obstacles faced by developmental course students are many. With the diverse needs that extend beyond the need to learn fundamental skills (Boroch, et al, 2010), success will require additional services for these particular students. Being able to link child care, financial aid, transportation, counseling, and career planning are all necessary resources for the institution and the students. Numerous time is spent thru these at-risk-students feeling disconnected and isolated. “Intentional efforts by colleges to overcome this isolation and encourage students’ to identify with the college are important vehicles for enhancing students’ intrinsic motivations to persist and succeed” (Boroch, et al, 2010).

According to research, students who are actively engaged with faculty, staff, and other students at their institution are more likely to succeed in attaining their educational goals” (Tinto, 1993; Astin, 1985, CCSSE, 2006; Kuh et al, 2006b; as cited by Boroch, et al, 2010 p.83). When students are strongly included in the creation of their own learning experience, there are significant results in the academic outcomes.

The goals for the Developmental Reading/ English department includes engaging the students in collaborative and active learning activities. These students will be able to engage and collaborate when students are making presentations in class, they begin asking for help from tutors outside of class, reaching out to faculty for assistance outside of class, as well as working with other colleagues outside of class on certain projects. These acts will engage students, allowing them to express their understanding and enhances student learning.

The integration of technology into the developmental Reading/English classroom is important. With the pressure to improve mission performance indicators, while at the same time reducing costs, innovations are called for. The Developmental Reading/ English department is prepared to mix technology not just to improve academic productivity and reduce costs, but to improve and show measurable outcomes in student retention and performance. This department has chosen to engage students and faculty in the short term, and “transformative in the long term” (Ehrmann, 2010).

Improved student outcomes as shown by measurements have supported the demands for mandatory assessments (Casazza & Silverman, 1996). The practices of the organization and administration have key influence on developmental education at the institution level, and effective practices at the program level (Boroch et al., 2010).

The students served are afforded the opportunity for increased retention, higher success rates, increased persistence, and increased progression to college-level work. Also, an increase in overall units attempted earned, improvement in student engagement, increasing instructional technology and improving student outcome measurements.

Strategic Direction.

The department would have to develop strategic goals and priorities that include:

·

Teaching with technology- the use of appropriate technology in teaching (Boroch et al., 2010).

·

Active and interactive learning-interactive learning such as learning through writing, reading, speaking as well as collaborative activities that provide students the opportunity to work together effectively in groups and communicate both orally and in writing (Boroch et al., 2010).

·

Experiencing thinking- learning activities that include projects and apprenticeships that promote independent thinking and require sustained thinking (Boroch et al., 2010, p. 63).

·

Align entry and exit skills and link content to college-level performance requirements (Boroch et al., 2010, p. 79).

Addresses complete development of all aspects of the student. Paying attention to the social and emotional development of the student as well as their cognitive growth (Boroch et al., 2010, p. 82).

New initiatives and New goals

:

Reformatting the developmental Reading/English sequences to improve the outcomes of student learning, while being able to reduce the costs for both the student and the college using the NCAT’s (National Center for Academic Transformation) proven practice model (Twigg, 2010, p.1).

Traditional developmental classes are taught in classroom sections, in a semester or quarter format (Twigg, 2010). It often takes students with lesser reading comprehensive skills longer to complete the developmental Reading/ English program, because of the need to repeat sections of the Reading/ English classes in order to gain literacy, to move on to college-level classes. These students are often required to take the whole structure of developmental Reading/ English classes, even though they may be weak in one area. This is at a great financial cost, and time investment that could be better served in college-level classes. The reshape will allow students to choose the method they are most comfortable with, possibly completing one-or-two course sequence, or feasibly three, but no more (Twigg, 2010).

Faculty development is a necessity for the developmental classroom. Tutors, must be trained appropriately. Without administration support and the entire institution, the Developmental Reading/English program will be just one class with one teacher (Johnstone, 2010). This will not be useful for our students or the workforce for all of these students have the potential to start in the professional workforce as competent educated individuals, with college degrees and who are capable of obtaining employment.

Recommend Proposals:

It is recommended all students entering college for the first time is assessed. Various measures can be used depending on at which point in the student’s college career that the assessment shall takes place. For the student entering into the institution, gathering the necessary information can be obtained both formally and informally (Casazza & Silverman, 1996, p. 94), with a combination of the two being the most beneficial. Formal assessment includes tests, accounts, and checklists, and analyses. Some assessment can be compared with the national standards and are standardized (Casazza & Silverman, 1996). ACCUPLACER, published by the College Board is an assessment test used to see where the students are academically. The collection of qualitative data is vital for formative evaluation and continuous program improvement (Boroch et al., 2010, p. 27). Informal assessments are structured lightly, and the information is sometimes mainly gathered from conversations and/or observation (Casazza & Silverman, 1996, p. 95).

Students need to have the encouragement to participate in assessment, because without their activity and or participation the assessment is impossible. Boylan (2002) recommends that the plan development of a comprehensive assessment is created by program investors and includes developed plan that is fit for the spreading of the results (Boroch et al., 2010, p. 27).

Nevertheless, students need to also be encouraged to take responsibility for their learning as well. Learner-centric analytics, primary issues that focus and relates to access, affordability, and success of learning, will eventually empower these students to take larger responsibility for their success.

An important component of the assessment process is the regular program evaluation and should be circulated among faculty. Student services will be eligible to receive the results of assessments as well for this will be a good way of the student’s weaknesses being noted, planned interventions if needed, and or additional tutoring.

Major improvements are found in student outcomes with the addition of instructional technology in the class room; however, many academic programs are distracted by new needs before old needs are met. The needs for technology are compelling enough to attract enough recognition from the administration, as well as faculty and staff. If the need for improvements in academic quality. Improving learning, teaching, and technology is one of great importance as recognized, major stakeholder should be able to identify the significance for incorporating technology into the curriculum is something that “We can’t not do” (Ehrmann, 2010).

Technology has the ability to enhance academic conversations in other ways as well, given more time to think, and interpret lessons. Students are able to communicate with instructors through e-mails or online classes are able to have faculty-student and student-student interactions, even though their understanding of the English language may be limited. “Technologies help faculty and students carry on conversation that could not have happened otherwise, due to email, and other interactions when class is not in session” (Ehrmann, 2010, p. 19). This then leads to the fact that when tracking students learning, assessments should be tracking different learning, as well.

Purpose of these proposals

The purpose of the mention proposals is to ensure that the purpose of the restructured program maintained its integrity and purpose. The mission is to improve the educational experience for at-risk students. While using technology, this will allow the students to choose their learning style that best fits them, which is one component of best practices. Students will also receive immediate feedback on quizzes and assignments done with the instructional software. With immediate feedback, students are able to spend time on task until they have mastered the task. They also have the availability of priority faculty assistance, due to faculty member teaching a small group of students and who are not lecturing to 100 students, but the faculty are able to concentrate on the student who needs their assistance at that time.

Resource Allocation:

Barr and McClellan describe wants as “desirable, but nonessential programs or services, including opportunities to pursue new initiatives” (p.58). Needs are programs or services essential” to performing core functions, meeting mandating requirements, or fulfilling critical requirements’ (Barr & McClellan, 2011, p.58). The department sees the development of the Developmental Reading/English Center as an essential component to bring cost-reducing saving and high quality educational opportunities to an under-served, vulnerable group of students.

Not only is the education of the students in developmental education a need; also coming up with a plan to minimize the amount of time and effort spent repeating courses is also just important. The students, who are repeating the same course over and over, at a steep cost, should not be doing so.

Windfall resources

In the event of a windfall, the extra money would help replace any out dated computers and updating any necessary software. The remaining will be placed back into the college for the college’s emergency fund. A portion of the funds will be set aside specifically for any other major expenses that the department may suddenly come across.

Cuts and Budget cuts

Even the best program well be unexpectedly asked to cut a portion of its budget for the greater being of the college. Depending on what type of budget cuts are being asked, whether a certain percentage from the department, flat across-the-board-cut, and targeted drops. Primarily the first order of business is to gather the department members together to gather suggestions and strategies to the less drastic measures first. As the Developmental Center runs with limited faculty and staff, it is really no login in cutting positions. With just one teaching assistant, this would not hurt the department that much. However, it must also be considered that in the first year of the reform. Yet, there is still a traditional section of developmental reading/English sections being taught. Budget cuts could and will potentially affect this part of the department, due to them not being taught in the same way, not using the software as planned for as many functions, and use more faculty, space, and equipment. One of the purposes for the redesign of the developmental classes is to reduce the cost of education. Therefore, the department will more than likely feel that we have done our part to help the college in most cost efficient saving measures.

Funding:

New and increased fees are two ways of funding for technology, although keeping fees as low as possible is a goal of this college. Louisiana Community College has been raising fees to offset budget cuts. However, it is common for colleges to require their students to provide their own laptop computers, this reduces the dependence on the college’s resources. For those individuals who are unable to afford the expense of the laptop, the college could work out a solution, so that those students and no student at that would not feel embarrassed or singled out for not being able to provide their own laptop.

The college could also become entrepreneurial or form some partnership with the local community to develop services and programs that can generate revenue that reaches out to the local community. Also, using work-study students in the reading lab, or library rather than as paid college employees. This effort would also reduce the operating costs of the Developmental Center. The redesign Developmental Reading/ English Center is a creative way to save on resources.

Communicating priority budget needs

Explaining to upper management of the condition of the department’s overall success/failure rate of students in the department. We would then demonstrate to management the facts and figures related to the costs and benefits of a restructured developmental program, with instructional technology. The plan for the redesign of the classroom, what equipment we would continue to use, how we would be re-directing for a greater cost savings.

Describing the department needs, as well as the student’s needs as a learner-centric department. Our hope is that the college’s administration along with stakeholders are prepared to stand behind its new strategic direction. and support the strategic goals and priorities of the Developmental Reading/ English Center.

Assessment:

Implementing a Learning Outcome Assessment is one of the first ways to tell if the new department priorities are effective. Evaluating how well each student master each section of the developmental program, whether they move on to college-level work. And how long that task takes to accomplish, are signals of success. These skills can be measured by final exams, or by inserting some common questions or projects into the assignments for each section.

Secondly, tracking the students after they have completed the redesigned course, looking for data such as how many passed with a C or better. Also, how many of the students in the department go on to college-level classes and overall retention and graduation rates.

A third method would be to ask students their reactions and get their input of the course through surveys. Other questions could include, how much they thought they learned, how motivated were they to learn the material presented, did their attitude toward reading or English improve. Did their participation of the redesigned classroom make them more motivated and changed attitude?

Evaluation effectiveness

Evaluating the effectiveness of the proposal the redesign the Developmental Math Center would be accomplished by studying the proposal, and weighing the different aspects of the proposal against the characteristics of the college; what it is that the proposals wish to accomplish against what the strategic plan and goals of the college are.

It would also be wise to look at the proposals and determine if the proposals reduce or strengthen the quality of education, supports best practices, and leads to student success.

Does the proposal improve pedagogical technique, and the quality of student learning? What are the other impacts on students? Faculty? The college community as a whole?

Collaboration:

Collaboration across departments is essential for the communication of knowledge and ideas. Most colleges and universities operate in silos, however, at a time when resources are scarce, or multiple departments are looking for funds for essentially the same type or similar services, collaboration is desirable. In the case, of the Developmental Math department’s needs and wants; their proposal and initiatives; collaboration is a key element. Each person involved from student services, academics, administration, financial aid, career services, staff training and development, academic advising, and faculty advising— all is needed for collaboration to make the educational experience positive and successful.

Faculty, who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic bring with them expertise that helps others learn. Student services, who are trained to work with the under-served students can help student’s get essential services; financial-aid representatives who can guide students who do not know how to navigate the financial-aid maze. The developmental math department, in return, can collaborate with other departments in recognizing learning challenges in students. By offering to hold seminar’s or workshops in redesigning academic programs; and consult as to what software is available commercially for teaching purposes that are cost-effective, rather than the designer software that software companies would be apt, to sell to the novice buyer.

Large scale redesign takes the collaborative efforts of a group of people working together and are committed to the objectives of the program, rather than having all the efforts fall on one individual ((Twigg, 2002, p. 13) discussing amongst themselves a need for change; and having established common learning objectives (Twigg, 2002, p. 13).

In a redesign initiative, there is a focus on the collaborative effort. Working on a common syllabus, opening dialog about what will be used for course assessments; faculty must work in committees as well, creating more meaningful interaction among the course instructors and other staff (Twigg, 2002).

Partnerships

For the Developmental Math department strategic partnerships are needed to ensure that developmental education is an institutional priority; that institutional leadership demonstrates a commitment to the program; that developmental education is included in the broader college planning activities and is adequately funded and staffed (Boroch, et al, 2010). To this end the partnership needs to include, the President (CEO),Provost, Student Services Administrator, Enrollment Manager, Public Information Officer, Learning Assistance Center Director, Faculty and Peer Mentoring Directors, Developmental Education operation-level administrator, Lead faculty members in Developmental Education programs, including- Reading, Writing, Mathematics, ESL, College Success/Study Skills, Counseling, Lead faculty members who teach college-level English and Mathematics, other college-level faculty, tutoring staff, recently matriculated student and assessed into developmental education, CFO, Academic Senate Representatives , and others as appropriate (Boroch et al., 2010).

Faculty members are largely responsible for bringing reform to the classroom; however, administration’s strong support is a necessity. The administration holds the power of allocating resources and the implementation of reforms. The administrative branch also creates an atmosphere in which reforms can flourish. By engaging all branches of administration, as well as faculty and other university staff, an environment is created for support of the strategic initiatives, as well as a campus-wide intervention. In both the short and long term, strategic partnerships are needed to advance the new initiatives, while also creating programs for faculty development and training in the assessment and measuring of student outcomes, specific tutoring methods for developmental math students.

In developing strategic partnerships, the Developmental Reading/ English department is considering the needs of the entire organization to reflect the college’s strategic directions, as well.

Planning

Look over all of the college’s characteristics. According to Goldstein, the budget process is more so reliant on the features of the institution and this will stretch out how the budget is decided. An open process is anticipated, however, since the department is in a community college, the budget is subject to approval from the state. The budget is developed by the chancellor’s office, and is signed by the governor. Our department would do well if we were able to meet on a regular basis with the new president and the budget manager

The budget committee will be presented with a presentation displaying the data collected and the departments recommendations. Faculty and staff remaining will also be given a presentation that would explain the initiative. Such as, what this initiative means in terms of savings for the college, and the opportunities for the use of technology that will be brought to the college.

Timelines must be drawn for operation, and decisions on how the funding will occur must be made. As the reshape calls for one large workroom that can accommodate a large number of students at a time, a large space needs to be allocated. However, computers that were already used beforehand in other rooms or departments can be transferred to the new lab. Though there is a cost for the software as described it would be profitable.

The budget committee would then have the job of preparing the budget, coming up with any modifications, and make a presentation of the budget to the chancellor of the community college. The chancellor then will review, make any type of adjustments, through the budget committee and board and then the budget is delivered to legislation for passage and the Governor’s signature. “The budget process will require extensive evaluation, and the presence of well-defined plans will make the process run much smoother…. not every decision will flow smoothly from the plans, but the absence of plans will make each plan a struggle “(Goldstein, 2005, p. 69)

Challenges and Opportunities

In the planning process, some of the challenges may be trying to project the enrollment, developing assumptions as well as central revenues. These challenges presented are essential for the planning of a budget. When allocating endowment funds, more certainly if there is a generous supply, can sometime be both a challenging and thrilling opportunity, depending on how it is looked at. As fascinating as the budget process is it’s a complex one to understand without understanding the distinctions and the challenges of a financial structure of any institution. Knowing how the decision-making in the institution works, and the financial structure, if it is centralized or decentralized, or perhaps a mixture will occur many challenges. Being able to tell between the two types of different budgets, funding sources, provides the student with the opportunity to develop into a competent administrator, or department manager. The department manager or department lead will need to know just how to arrange the budget, and in turn, can train the faculty members in the necessary aspects of budgeting.

Understanding each department, its strengths and weaknesses and the relationships between its members, is helpful when things occur. In the event if shortfalls occur in more than one way, decisions will need to be made and implemented concerning that department. Often times, there will be members of the department who do not have the same dedication as the others in the department. These few individuals may try to have budget decisions shaped to fit their agenda’s. Budget supervisors must pay attention for this type of problem.

Unanticipated and Unbudgeted major expense?

In the event of an unanticipated or unbudgeted major expense, my first option would be to look for a solution temporarily. This could mean start discussing the problem with the budget supervisor, or the chief financial officer and to come together with ideas on what would be the best option with the issue presented at hand. This may result in not having as many students learning assistance momentarily, the impact of this would initially be low, since these individuals mainly have the task of grading and helping assist in the center to make sure things run smoothly and effectively. Reliant to the amount of students in the program in that moment, it is likely that tutor will be moved to another department that is in need. Having a financial plan that guides the college toward financial profitability is essential (Gibson, 2006 p.32) without a financial profit, the college cannot enjoy the stability necessary to focus on how to build and grow the institution (Gibson, 2006, p.32).

Impact on other departments

The impact that this proposal for the Developmental Reading/ English Center will have amongst other programs is extensive. This model being considered can also be duplicated by other departments at the program level for a savings of employees and resources. The rearranging or remodeling of faculty and staff to other duties will support the college with its strategic plans, by producing more engagement with student and faculty, including more technology into the college, and will be able to measure out the outcome of the students thorough the necessary assessments.

This restructure is based on the principle that the college already has a computer learning platform, a sufficient amount of computers, faculty is also willing to include and collaborate with existing curricular materials, and the college goal is to implement computing throughout the college. Since we do know the strategic direction is to implement instructional technology, the rest must be presumed.

References

Barr, M. J., & McClellan, G. S. (2011). Budgets and financial management in higher education. [Book].San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Boroch, D., Hope, L., Smith, B., Gabriner, R., Mery, P., Johnstone, R., & Asera, R. (2010). [Book].Student success in community colleges: A practical guide to developmental education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Casazza, M. E., & Silverman, S. L. (1996) [Book]. Learning assistance and developmental education: A guide for effective practice. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Ehrmann, S. E. (2010, September/October) [Magazine Article]. Taking the long view: Ten recommendations about time, money, technology, and learning. Change, 42, 16-22.

Gibson, A. (2009). Budgeting in higher education [Educational Instructional Article] Education Department of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists–Number 3). Retrieved

Goldstein, L. (2005). College and university budgeting: An introduction for faculty and academic administrators. (3rd Ed). [Book]. Washington, D.C.: National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO).

Johnstone, R. (2010, June). Innovation in developmental education: You can’t afford not to do things differently-and here’s why! [Fact Sheet]. Retrieved from RP Group: www.rpgroup.org/publications/returnoninvestment

Kezar, A. J., & Lester, J. (2009). Organizing higher education for collaboration: A guide for campus leaders (Ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Twigg, C. (2010). Changing the equation: Scaling a proven innovation (Issue Brief). Retrieved from The National Center for Academic Transformation: www.thencat.org

Twigg, C. A. (2002). Improving quality and reducing costs: Lessons learned from round ii of the Pew grant program in course redesign (Project Brief). Retrieved from The Academic Center for Academic Transformation: http:www.thencat.org

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