Focus on Faculty/Staff
College reports professional development achievements

Chesapeake employees use team-based format to advance strategic plan

Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2011

t year of a voluntary professional development program featuring autonomous working groups dedicated to moving forward the college’s strategic plan.

While the 10 cross-divisional teams featuring 100 employees advanced the strategic plan, Chesapeake College President Barbara Viniar said the program strengthened the college in other ways.

"One of the benefits of being on these teams that individuals wouldn’t otherwise have had was the ability to get to know people from other areas of the college," said Dr. Viniar during a Friday morning event that included an expo featuring results of the 10 professional development projects. "Participants said the program improved job performance and created important new relationships."

While some projects – including "Critical Conversations about Race", "Catalytic Conversations about Learning", and "Textbook Alternatives" – were internal initiatives, others also featured external activities that often included community-building goals.

"Campus Contests" brought five teams of Dorchester County middle schoolers to the college to take part in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) competition. "Fill the Cadby" was a partnership with multiple community organizations to bring local speakers and highlight local issues in a series of noontime events in the new Cadby Theatre. "Campus Arboretum" was a partnership with Adkins Arboretum to develop a Chesapeake College arboretum.

Some projects – like the "Employee Appreciation" initiative and the "Video Contest" – were aimed at improving employee and/or student morale. "Chesapeake on Social Networks" explored the ways in which the college might expand its social networking capacity, while "Chesapeake by the Decades" began work on a multimedia history of the college that was started in response to the college’s looming 50th anniversary in 2015. The college intends to continue this model of professional development in FY12. Some teams will continue work on their projects while those that have completed their work will be replaced by other teams with new employee-suggested initiatives.

The program is overseen by Susan Cianchetta, director of human resources, and Dr. Cynthia France, professor of instructional design, working with a steering committee that includes Academic Vice President Kathy Barbour, Webmaster Marjorie MacDonald, Administrative Associate Kate Maxwell, and Academic Support Specialist Margaret Tessier.

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