The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

New innovation forums streamline process for initiatives districtwide

New innovation forums streamline process for initiatives districtwide

By Kenney Kost/editor-in-chief

09112013dreamIdeas could start flowing on South Campus as early as next week and across the district by October in the new Innovation Forums set to open on all campuses.

These forums are open to students, faculty and staff as well as any members of the surrounding communities who have an idea or initiative they would like to see at TCC, said institutional planning director Margaret Lutton.

Each forum will have a liaison working with people who bring in ideas through the entire process from proposal to piloting the project, she said.

“At the beginning, there is a quick go or no-go filtering process,” she said. “It’s just a few questions based around legality, TCC policy and whether it is sanctioned by TCC. We don’t want to do anything that would compromise the integrity of the school.”

If the idea gets a no-go, the liaison will go back to see why and help the person make the changes necessary to get a go if possible. If it gets a go, the idea then goes through the DREAM score process, which gauges the diversity, workforce relevance, student engagement, accessibility and metrics regarding graduation, certificates and the number of students the project will impact.

Cost-per-student ratio and community impact are the final factors on whether the initiative moves to the approval process.

“With these three, we can create the standard for return-on-student-investment,” she said. “All initiatives are plotted against each other and take everything into account regarding the student. That is what is truly key. A lot of other plans don’t look at student impact. This one does. It is comprehensive and embraces both worlds, facilities and academics.”

Once the initiative has gone through the standardization process and gets an average DREAM score of at least one and costs no more than $3,000 per student, it goes before the Chancellor’s Executive Leadership Team and then on to the board of trustees for approval. Once approved, it goes back to the forum to begin work with the liaison on developing a business model and projecting a pilot.

“The whole process takes about three months,” she said. “And the liaison is there to help every step of the way.”

Also, a virtual forum will allow people to sift through data on every program in the district as well as any initiative going through the forum.

“The virtual space can be used to develop ideas, refine an initiative that may not have gotten a go at the beginning or to hook up with someone who may be trying to get a similar initiative through the process,” she said.

Vice chancellor of real estate and facilities Nina Petty said she is excited about the academics master plan — which combines the facilities master plan and the academics master plan into one comprehensive, evolving document — and the innovation forum and what they can do for TCC.

“Through all of the planning and meetings, I feel like we have created a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive, vision-driven, inclusive plan, and it’s really exciting,” she said.

Petty said the academics master plan is more integrated now and takes into account finance, communication, student support and student success when looking at bringing initiatives and programs to TCC.

David Wells, vice chancellor of academic affairs, said the plan and forum will help ensure each campus maintains its identity while still supporting the concept of a single-college district and allows the district to utilize its resources more efficiently.

“The plan considers everyone’s input,” he said. “When an idea moves through the institutional planning system, you can know that it’s been touched by representatives from all different parts of the institution and has been thoroughly considered.”

TCC is close to hiring five campus liaisons who will be tasked with maintaining the virtual forum, its day-to-day administrative duties and guiding prospective projects through the process, Lutton said. Currently, 20 new initiatives are waiting to be processed through the forum.

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