I found people who would fight for the hope of me.
-Wes Moore, AACC 2017 Opening Keynote
I personally had a really great AACC meeting for the following reasons:
- Wes Moore’s keynote and the quote above set the tone for me. I think he nailed it. That is what community colleges do. They fight for the hope of individuals who come through their doors. A great reminder.
- My presentation went great and I do love telling about our experience with Classlink. I even got fun feedback such as this…
Anything that combines Johnny Cash and student success is a winner in my book! Love the vision and call to action here.
Here is my Prezi:
As an added bonus the focus of my talk was featured on the Education Dive Website and they said:
Providing students with a highly personalized matriculation experience may have more benefits than just providing a shiny-new-toy in an institution’s slate of offerings: It could actually help improve retention and boost graduation rates. Imagine if a student could get app-based advising or career advice from off-site or after-hours to supplement the often formulaic advising that comes with the required face-to-face check-ins. Or the impact phone notifications alerting one to lab availability could have on success in a given course. The ability to combine personalized learning with intrusive advising and allow students to customize their collegiate experiences based on their own preferences could be a game-changer.
- I had coffee with my former boss and retired president Walt Nolte,
- I saw several other old friends and made a few new ones,
- Got a picture with the Ferrari at the Ferrelli booth (too bad I didn’t win the Ferrari for a day drawing but I am excited for Chris Murphy at NE Mississippi CC)
- I removed additional ‘dumbness’ from my head about Pathways thanks to the gifted people dedicated to improving people’s lives when they come to the community colleg
- The twitter action went well and people were really engaged(see my Twitter stuff below……..and
- I left frustrated to a great degree. I am not frustrated by all the cool stuff I just mentioned, but rather about my connection to the successful implementation of the Pathways concept.
Basically, Pathways is a Bill & Melinda Gates – funded effort to design and implements structured academic and career pathways at scale. The thing that frustrates me more than anything was ever present at each session I attended. I sat in session after session that talked about three legs of this which in some form revolve around people, process, and technology.
In every single case the bottleneck to doing this is technology at at some point in the process…the bottleneck is all about these crappy antiquated ERPs.
The mindset of many associated with rolling our ERP systems doesn’t help either in my view. They are at least to a degree satisfied with the existing enterprise model. We really should be providing college APIs, and one click summarys. In these sessions I saw time after time where the Pathways model is being implemented
This makes me think of the old Clint Eastwood, Lee Marvin western Paint your Wagons. In that film there was a song….
Way out here they got a name for everything
For rain and wind and fire
The rain is Tess, the fire’s Joe
And they call the wind Maria
NOTE: This may be correct or maybe not because I suffer from ailment known as “lyricosis” It is a condition in which one can’t really remember the sequence of lyrics in a song and so you just start making stuff up.
So how does this song fit in? ERP is Joe, and if Joe is ‘fire’ then ERP in higher Ed is on fire. The financial part of ERP is unsustainable and there are no really new options in the marketplace or on the horizon.
CC’s are in the political spotlight now… I guess where K12 failed with common core, there’s now a focus on systemically fixing education outcomes through CC’s. What a great opportunity…and burden. This is where my rub is at this point.
The ERP Vendors are so big and complicated that I don’t know if we can get past them in any timely fashion. The whole higher ed ERP market is totally broken in my view as well as financially unsustainable (Read my Kuali blogs where the primary theme is the use of public money to finance a startup if you want to know more about how dysfunctional the higher ed ERP marketplace is) Huge problem.
If you missed it here is my 2017 list of Must Follow Community College CEOs on Twitter
I have been capturing conference Twitter data for several years and AACC is one of those conferences.
AACC 2017 Overall Twitter Activity
Here is how some of the Twitter Activity has varied from 2013 to now.
Retweets show what people find interesting. Here is the AACC 2017 listing:
I am sure there is more I should talk about but I need to move on to other things for now.