ACC Chancellor Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart held his first Employee Virtual Town Hall of the year on Friday, January 19, in which he previewed the college’s North Star Goal, Theory of Change, and newly created Values.
The town hall comes the week after Dr. Lowery-Hart completed his First 100 Days on the job. During those first few months, he connected with faculty, staff, students, and partners districtwide to learn more about the college and our students’ needs.
A First 100 Days report is being produced, and faculty and staff will be informed when it is available. Meanwhile, Dr. Lowery-Hart shared his revelations and previewed pieces of what will be included in the report at the town hall.
“We have to get better at helping students finish what they start,” says Dr. Lowery-Hart. He announced that the college’s North Star Goal is to grow our completion rate to 70% by 2030. Our current completion rate is 43%.
To accomplish this goal, the college will create solutions based on our Theory of Change, which is that a typical student will complete what they start if we can:
- Help them start strong,
- Create opportunities to help them enroll full time,
- Help them meet their basic needs, including child care, food, housing, and transportation, and
- Wrap them in a culture of belonging and connection.
The Theory of Change will be integrated into ACC’s 2024 Strategic Plan. Those interested in learning more about Theory of Change can read more in a resource from the Aspen Institute shared during the Town Hall: The Community Builder’s Approach to Theory of Change: A Practical Guide to Theory Development.
Dr. Lowery-Hart then previewed the college’s shared values that emerged from a series of listening sessions and a special workshop with students. During these conversations, students were asked what they expect and need from us. The values that came from these discussions are:
The Chancellor has asked the employee associations to work with their memberships to help define what these values mean in terms of our behavior and commitments to students and our colleagues. The values will be integrated into job descriptions, processes, and our evaluations of each other.
The college will go into depth on both the Theory of Change and Values at the collegewide Data Summit on Wednesday, March 27. A webpage is being developed now and will be shared with employees.
“This work will take all of us. So, just as crucial to our theory of change is the work we’re doing to build trust, transparency, and love for one another,” says Dr. Lowery-Hart. “It’s going to force us to think in new and different ways. That might feel messy. That’s okay. We’re here to learn, grow, and become the best college in the nation.”