PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN
Effects of Recent History
The last four years have been characterized by change and uncertainty for the employees of The Community College of Baltimore County. As such, professional development activities often took a backseat to more pressing matters of institutional restructuring and survival.
The tumult over these years also has taken a toll on some employees whose reactions to these changes have produced stress and other negative physical consequences. These effects create opportunities for certain professional development activities which must include with wellness activities and opportunities to learn healthy responses to stress. Opportunities to engage in fun, social activities with colleagues will improve relationships as well as a sense of well-being and increase positive attitudes toward one’s work and the workplace. Widespread recognition of individual contributions towards fulfilling the college’s mission must be achieved through formal and informal means.
Effects of Strategic Vision Elements
With the adoption of the LearningFIRST strategic vision and plan by the Chancellor and Board of Trustees, there are new opportunities as well as necessities for professional development in order to advance the college mission. Many individual faculty and staff members are eager to develop new skills and accept new roles within the learning-centered environment. Still others need to learn more about the impact that this vision will have upon the institution.
The vision of The Community College of Baltimore County as a premier, learning-centered single college, multicampus institution must underlie any program that is put in place. Some key aspects of the LearningFIRST strategic vision which affect professional development are
1. Learning will be the central focus of CCBC as a learning-centered community college.
2. The college will ensure that every member of the college community is a learner.
3. Evaluation of services and programs will be driven by consideration of the ways that they foster student learning.
4. In a LearningFIRST environment, ideas are freely exchanged and innovation is celebrated.
5. Continuous improvement is encouraged.
6. Technology is fully integrated.
7. Resources are maximized.
8. Building a sense of community is valued. Partnerships are formed between students, faculty and staff.
Diversity is another element of the strategic vision which represents a unique opportunity for professional development. With the changing demographics in Baltimore County, the College’s student body is becoming more diverse racially. Thus CCBC students as well as faculty and staff need to become more adept at functioning within a pluralistic, multicultural environment. As more research becomes available upon the impact of differences in learning styles, professional development planning must address these differences in its programming as well as delivery methodologies.
Other Environmental Effects
With regard to the three campuses which comprise the College, each campus has had a unique approach and history regarding professional development activities. Among the College’s current internal resources are various plans, models and individual expertise around which future professional development activities can be built.
There are also a number of initiatives currently at the college in addition to the emphasis upon learning which have professional development components. Student retention, technology and supervisory training are three examples of work by units, task forces or committees which have professional development components. In order to be most effective these components need to build upon one another whenever possible.
In looking at the demographics of the CCBC faculty and staff, it is evident that many persons will be eligible for retirement in the next ten years. This fact necessitates specific programming for a number of individuals as they begin pre-retirement planning. However, it also means that the college must plan for internal leadership development initiatives. By planning well, the college should hope to minimize the impact of the departure of so many of its senior faculty and staff. As new employees take their places, a comprehensive orientation program becomes increasingly important.
In recognition of and response to all of these environmental influences, a comprehensive and well-executed professional development program of activities and services can help the Community College of Baltimore County achieve its goal of institutional excellence.
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